Monday, January 4, 2010

Missing Recipes

For the last couple posts, I've forgotten to add recipes at the end. So here are a couple favorites of ours. Minestrone soup, I make for Mark's lunch and Vegetarian Chili; a great cold weather, hearty meal.

Minestrone Soup

2 tsps Red wine
1 med Onion, chopped
2 clove Garlic, minced
2 med Carrots, peeled, halved and sliced thin
1 med Potato, peeled, cut in cubes
1 med Yellow Squash, cut in cubes
1 sm Eggplant, skin on cubed
1 tbsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Oregano
2 lg Bay Leaves
28 ozs Crushed Tomatoes, with juice
48 ozs Vegetable Broth

1/4 lb.Green Beans, trimmed and cut into pieces
4 ozs Tiny Shells or Tubettini
1 can Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
Parmesan Cheese, grated  (I leave this off mine, but put it on Mark's soup)
3 tbsps Fresh Parsley, minced

1. In a large heavy kettle, heat red wine over low heat for 1 minute. Add onions and cook uncovered 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

2. Raise heat to moderate and add carrots, potato, squash, eggplant, basil, oregano, and bay leaves. Cook uncovered 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

3. Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Adjust heat so that the mixture bubbles gently and cook uncovered 20 minutes longer.

4. Add green beans, cover and cook until beans are tender but still crisp. Remove bay leaves

5. Add pasta and cook until tender. Add additional water if necessary.

6. Add kidney beans. Cook 3-5 minutes longer until heated through.

7. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with the cheese and parsley.

Vegetarian Chili

4 med Zucchini, chopped
2 med Onions, chopped
1 med Green Pepper, chopped
1 med Sweet Red Pepper, chopped
4 clove Garlic, minced
1/4 c Red wine
2 cans (28 Oz Ea) Italian Stewed Tomatoes, cut up
1 can (15 Oz) Tomato Sauce
1 can (15 Oz) Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 Oz) Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and chopped (*see note)
1/4 c Cilantro, fresh, minced
1/4 c Parsley, fresh, minced
2 tbsps Chili Powder
1 tbsp Raw cane sugar or Agave nectar
1 tsp Cumin, ground

1. In a Dutch oven, saute zucchini, onions, peppers and garlic in red wine until tender.

2. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, jalapeno and seasonings.

3. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*When cutting or seeding hot peppers, use rubber or plastic gloves to protect your hands. Avoid touching your face.

You can also use white wine; sherry; or vegetable broth to saute in any of the recipes I send out.  If you choose, you can also use Olive oil, but since I can't have any vegetable oils, this is how I cook.  Also, a nice crusty whole wheat bread is really tasty dipped in the broth of both soups. 

I hope you enjoy the above dishes as much as we do! Let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wii's Havin Fun Now!

What a whirlwind holiday season!  I feel like I'm just now beginning to catch my breath.  Already, my Wisdom has taught me how to lighten up.  I must be willing to lay aside even more old belief systems that I did not realize were still there.  

For Christmas, Sarah gave Mark and I a Wii game!  Then for my birthday (a week later), she gave me a Wii Fit Plus!  It's a perfect gift because it helps motivate us to exercise a bit!  However, as all three of us played with the Wii and learned all the little games I ran into a challenge.  I didn't want to do any of the games in front of Mark or Sarah, so I just watched them play.  Yesterday, I realized why.  

While growing up, my siblings and I were taught to be very competitive.  And when we did not 'win' or happened to 'goof up', we were ridiculed endlessly and told what losers we were.  Comments like:  'You're not any good; you stink; you loser' were very common digs.  As I tried out a new game on the Wii, I once again felt the sting of those comments come back to haunt me.  I didn't want my loving husband or daughter to think I was a loser, so I just didn't want to play, or I would reluctantly play announcing how terrible I am at games, to cover that base before anyone could call me a loser.  

During one of my announcements of how terrible I am at the game, Mark pointed out that I would be terrible if that's how I approached it.  That's when the light bulb turned on and I realized my thoughts were based on past occurrences instead of present realities.  Mark and Sarah would never ridicule me like that!  They both love me.  How could I think such a thing?  Now for the decision:  shall I go ahead and allow the past to dictate how I play with my family now, or shall I dismiss the past and firmly plant my heart in the knowledge that I never again have to believe I'm a loser?

I think I'll do the latter.  It seems much more fun and light-hearted!  And that's what this year is all about for me anyway.  Fun; laughter and joy!  

Has anyone else had to deal with these kinds of revelations?  What did you decide?