Tag Archive | "whole living action plan"

Mama’s Kitchen: Artichoke Soup Recipe

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Mama’s Kitchen: Artichoke Soup Recipe


artichoke soup

It’s a new year and I’m starting it off with the Whole Living Action Plan Cleanse from 2012.  You may remember that I did it last year and kept a diary to share my thoughts, recipes and progress.  The first week consists of only eating fruit, vegetables, nuts and plant-derived fats so basically I’m eating a lot of soup.  I have my mainstays that I love like Lentil Soup and Escarole & White Bean Soup but they have beans/legumes in them so I can’t have them until next week when I can introduce beans/legumes back into my diet.

A while back I received a promo copy of Pure Vegan and I haven’t had a chance to try any recipes from the book but I thought this would be a perfect time to start.  Yesterday I made vegetable stock from scratch (because I hate the flavor of store-bought vegetable stock) and Artichoke Soup.  If you like artichokes then you will love this soup because since there are so few ingredients it has a strong artichoke flavor.  I skipped the Vegan Aioli for drizzling and opted for fresh herbs and lemon instead.

Vegan Artichoke Soup
Adapted from Confused Artichoke Soup in Pure Vegan by Joseph Shuldiner

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 pounds of frozen artichokes, thawed
5 cups of vegetable stock (if you want to un-veganize this you could use chicken stock which has more flavor)
1/2 Teaspoon of salt
A few grinds of fresh black pepper

Garnish with
Lemon juice to taste
Chopped fresh herbs like mint, chives or dill
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add the onions and sauté until translucent and soft, and then add garlic and sauté until you smell the garlic about 30 seconds. Next add the artichokes, vegetable stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil, lover the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Let the soup cool a bit then in small batches, blend the soup in a blender until smooth. (Be very careful with hot liquids in a blender. Don’t fill the blender more than 1/3 of the way full and hold the top down with a towel under your hand). Also, artichokes can be fibrous so blend well. As you go, put the puree in another pot and stir well when you’ve blended all the soup. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with salt & pepper to taste, a bit of lemon juice and some fresh chopped herbs.

It’s yummy and vegan! Buon Appetito!

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Wishing You Well in 2013!

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Wishing You Well in 2013!


I hope you all had a nice holiday! I took a much needed break that ended up being a bit longer than intended. My husband was off from work for two weeks and since he normally works long hours, I took some extra time off to spend some quality family time. I barely checked my email or social media and the extent to which I played on my phone was a game of Solitaire before bed. I’m not going to lie, it felt good. Since I blog, I’m always connected and always checking my phone or computer or iPad. But for two weeks I was disconnected and I feel like it gave me the space I needed. I didn’t feel the need to share everything on Instagram (and then to Twitter and Facebook) and instead, I savored each moment with my family. My battery is re-charged and I feel reinvigorated to take on 2013. I’m starting my (now) annual cleanse to get my eating habits back on track and I’ve come up with some resolutions that I think I can actually keep. It’s good to be back and I look forward to sharing 2013 with you!

xoxo

P.S. – If you want to learn more about the cleanse, I explained it and kept a diary with recipes last year.

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Days 17, 18 & 19

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Days 17, 18 & 19


green juice
Day 17
Breakfast: Smoothie (orange, celery, carrot and apple juice with frozen mango, strawberry, pineapple and peach)
Mid-morning snack: Raspberries and Blueberries
Lunch: Artichoke, Onion, Mushroom and Spinach Frittata
Snack: Almonds and Banana, Coffee*
Dinner: Grilled salmon, cilantro-lime rice, green bean salad with corn, tomato and red onion
After-dinner Snack: pistachio, blueberries, raspberries

Exercise:
None.

Day 18
Breakfast: Green juice (kale, green apple, cucumber, celery, orange, parsley)
Mid-morning snack: 1/2 Banana
Lunch: 1/2 cheese quesadilla with guacamole, avocado salad with tomato*
Snack: Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal with soy milk*, Almonds
Dinner: Minestrone soup, kale salad with avocado, tomato, corn and red pepper, kale chips
After-dinner Snack:

Exercise:
CoreBody Reformer 40 minute workout.

Weight: dipped just below 96.5 (I’m a little bit in awe that the weight is still going down – I’m wondering if I lost fat or muscle?)

Day 19
Breakfast: Green Juice
Mid-morning snack: Banana
Lunch: Minestrone soup
Snack: Almonds
Dinner: Mexican! Garlic marinated grilled shrimp, rice and beans
After-dinner Snack: Raspberries

Exercise:
Ran 3 miles

How I felt:
I made it! I met my personal goal and I feel great. I’m down five pounds and I’ve managed to keep the weight off. The weekend was weird because I could finally eat but I made really smart, healthy decisions on Saturday. Sunday I made a big lapse but I’m blaming it on the Super Bowl. After not eating meat for 3 weeks I went and had a hot dog of all things! I paid for it with a tummy ache and a promise not to do that again. On Monday, to make up for it I didn’t eat any meat and as far as wheat I only had 1/4 of a whole wheat pita. I’m committed to eating better and I plan on doing this cleanse (maybe just the first week) about every 6 months – 1 year depending on how I’m feeling. I hope my experience may have inspired you to start out on a healthy new path – anything is possible if you just commit!

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Days 15 & 16

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Days 15 & 16


Week 3 here I come – bring on the eggs and rice!

Day 15
Breakfast: Orange, Apple, Carrot and Celery Juice
Mid-morning snack: Banana
Lunch: Artichoke, Onion, Mushroom and Spinach Frittata
Snack: Almonds
Dinner: Chipotle Vegetarian Burrito Bowl (cilantro rice, black beans, pico de gallo, corn salsa, gucamole and lettuce)
After-dinner Snack: pistachio, blueberries, raspberries

Exercise:
None.

Weight: dipped just below 97.5 (which is exciting because I thought it would start going up when I added other foods! Let’s see what happens this week…)

Day 16
Breakfast: Mean Grean Juice #1 (kale, cucumber, celery, green apples, 1/2 lemon, piece of ginger)
Mid-morning snack: Banana
Lunch: Artichoke, Onion, Mushroom and Spinach Frittata
Snack: Green bean salad with corn and tomato, trail mix
Dinner: Sauteed shrimp with garlic and lemon, sauteed mushrooms, baked sweet potato fries, roasted cauliflower and green bean salad with corn, red onion, and tomato
After-dinner Snack: pistachio, trail mix, blueberries, raspberries

Exercise:
Ran 3 miles.

How I felt:
I’m feeling really good. My husband says my skin is glowing and it does seem to look a bit bitter. I have energy and overall feel great. On Monday I attempted to make “corn pasta” which is “pasta” made from corn flour. Technically, this is probably not ok on the cleanse because it’s processed but I wanted some semblance of pasta. It was terrible. I didn’t even put sauce on it because when I tasted it to see if it was ready it was awful and really chewy – not anything like pasta. So, we scrapped the corn pasta idea and went to Chipotle since I could eat everything in a vegetarian burrito bowl. It was yummy since I’ve been craving Mexican food but I noticed some changes to how I ate it and it made me feel. First, I didn’t eat nearly as much as I usually do. I normally can’t finish the burrito bowl but I get pretty close to finishing. This time, I left just under half of the burrito bowl. I wanted to keep eating but I felt full and so I stopped. I was happy that I was able to recognize that I was full and stop eating. Also after two weeks of not eating anything heavy the rice felt a bit heavy in my stomach and I could feel my stomach working harder to digest.

On Tuesday, I was going to make rice as a side dish just because I could but I didn’t really WANT it. So instead, I made a bunch of veggies on the side and was really satisfied with my dinner (and it was very tasty). I’m definitely glad I’ve stuck with this cleanse because I can already see changes in how I’m eating. That said…I’ve decided to end the cleanse two days early. I know, I know excuses, excuses but this is really valid. My plan for future eating is to eat in a similar way as the cleanse during the week and on the weekends I can eat whatever (bread, sweets, etc). BUT, if I go through Sunday then I’ll have to wait until the following weekend to have a cupcake. And frankly, I just don’t want to! It’s the Super Bowl on Sunday! I will definitely snack in moderation though – I have a feeling my stomach won’t like me if I dive in.

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Days 13 & 14

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Days 13 & 14


grilled mahi mahi and arugula salad
2 weeks down, 1 to go!

Day 13
Breakfast: Kale Juice, Mint and Pineapple Smooth
Mid-morning snack: banana, 1/2 apple, almonds
Lunch: Cioppino
Dinner: Minnestrone soup, arugula salad with mango and pineapple
After-dinner Snack: pistachio, blueberries, raspberries

Exercise:
Ran 4 miles.

Weight: holding steady at 97.5

Day 14
Breakfast: Orange juice, pineapple, mango, strawberry smoothie
Mid-morning snack: Almonds
Lunch: Lentil soup
Afternoon Snack: Raspberries, Trail mix (almond, peanut, cashew, cherries, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips)
Dinner: Grilled Mahi Mahi with mango salsa, baked sweet potato, arugula salad with orange, fennel, avocado and red onion
After Dinner Snack: Trail mix, blueberries, raspberries

Exercise:
Rest.

How I felt:

Weekends are hard.  During my non-cleanse days, on weekends we tend to eat out a lot and they are usually my “freebie” days – that is we try to eat healthy during the week and then I can splurge on the weekends.  I’m glad this weekend is over and I only have seven days left.  I have been cheating a bit with the trail mix because it has small pieces of chocolate in it but I don’t care.  My intention is not to live life without chocolate and I need to maintain my sanity.  Today I talked myself out of buying a donut and instead I sat down to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  The documentary was uplifting and inspiring and made my cleanse look like a piece of cake.  It gave me the push I need to head into the last week – tomorrow I can add eggs and gluten-free whole grains like rice and corn. Woo hoo!

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Days 11 & 12

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Days 11 & 12


minestrone

Day 11
Breakfast: Orange, carrot, celery, apple juice
Lunch: Minestrone soup
Afternoon Snack: Coffee! I cheated – a little bit more on that below
Dinner: Grilled halibut, baked sweet potato, roasted cauliflower, kale salad with avocado, tomato, red onion and red bell pepper
After-dinner Snack: pistachio, mango, blueberries, raspberries

Exercise:
CoreBody Reformer Full Body Workout – 40 min.

Day 12
Breakfast: Orange, carrot, celery, apple juice
Lunch: Lentil soup
Afternoon Snack: Almonds
Dinner: Grilled Tilapia, baked sweet potato fries, roasted cauliflower, kale salad with tomato, avocado and red bell pepper
After Dinner Snack: Pistachio, pineapple, mango, blueberries, raspberries

Exercise:
Ran 2 miles.

How I felt: I’ve been feeling good and have had enough energy to exercise regularly. It’s Friday night and by now I’m getting a little bored but it’s partly my fault because I’ve been making the same side dishes over and over again. I find myself thinking about eggs and rice more and I’ll be happy Monday when I can add those to my diet (and maybe even some Mexican food!).

Oh yeah, the elephant in the room…I cheated…just a little. Thursday was a taxing day and I just needed some time to unwind by myself and I really just wanted to get out of the house and have a cup of coffee. It’s not like I’m reaching for scotch! Though by having coffee, I broke 3 rules in one: dairy, sugar and caffeine :( I can make a million excuses why this was ok, but I won’t bore you with them. But, I will tell you what I got out of it…
-I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would;
-I didn’t drink that much (see the pic below – less than half of a small coffee!);
-I felt guilty about being weak;
-It made me feel like the cleanse is already worth it because I’m less reliant on foods and beverages that I used to be dependent on. I’m hoping that I have the same reaction when I put a cupcake in my face when this is all over.

coffee

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Days 9 & 10

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Days 9 & 10


grilled salmon kale salad citrus smoothie
I hope you’re not getting tired of these posts – here’s days 9 and 10…

Day 9
Breakfast: Fresh OJ, strawberry, mango and pineapple smoothie (tastes like Jamba Juice’s Citrus Squeeze)
Lunch: Lentil soup and banana
Afternoon Snack: Almonds
Dinner: Grilled salmon, sauteed mushrooms, roasted cauliflower, sweet potato and kale salad w/ orange, avocado, red onion and cilantro
After-dinner Snack: Cashews, pistachio, apple

Exercise:
Kettle bell workout – 40 min.

Day 10
Breakfast: Fresh OJ, strawberry, mango and pineapple smoothie (tastes like Jamba Juice’s Citrus Squeeze)
Mid-morning Snack: Almonds, edamame and banana
Lunch: Lentil soup
Afternoon Snack: Raspberries and blueberries
Dinner: Homemade Minestrone
After Dinner Snack: Pistachio, cashews and apple

How I felt:
I feel great in every aspect – I just spend a lot of my day thinking about things I can’t have specifically baguettes, coffee, chocolate, and carne asada tacos. I’m officially half-way through with the cleanse and I’m already really glad that I did it. I keep thinking about what I’m going to eat afterward and when I make a mental list I start getting a little grossed out at myself. I don’t want to undo everything I’ve done and the fact that my dream list is grossing me out a little bit is a sign that the cleanse is working in changing the way I think about food.

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Day 8

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Day 8


tunal salad lettuce wraps and hummus
I can eat fish and beans today! I might have gone a little crazy…

Day 8

What I ate:
Breakfast: Kale Juice, Pineapple and Mint Smoothie (I’m really liking this one!)
Mid-morning snack: 1/2 apple
Lunch: Tuna Salad Lettuce Wrap (butter lettuce, tuna, celery, carrot, red onion, evoo, lemon, s/p)
Afternoon Snack: Homemade Hummus (my first time – tasty!)
Dinner: Homemade Lentil Soup, kale salad with avocado, red onion, tomato and cucumber
After-dinner: Cashews, Raspberries and Blueberries
Drank: Water with Lemon with meals and throughout the day

Exercise:
Ran 2 miles.

How I felt:
I definitely felt more full today. I was so happy to eat some protein! I had more energy (and knew that I would be getting more protein) so I went running today. I started slow just to get into the swing of things again. Since I was cooking much of the day and had to periodically taste the lentil soup, I never got that hungry after lunch.

I will confess that I did cheat a little today. I made the Tiny Dancer baked turkey meatballs with a new recipe for the first time and I tried 1/2 of golf-ball sized meatball. Sue me! It was DELICIOUS. I did feel very full but no tummy ache thankfully. Since it was a new recipe I really wanted to try it to see how it came out and see if I had to tweak it for future preparations. I don’t think this will affect the overall cleanse and I don’t feel guilty!

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Day 7

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Day 7


kale salad
Only one day before I can eat beans and fish and it’s the slowest day EVER!

Day 7

What I ate:
Breakfast: Mixed Berry and Pomegranate Juice Smoothie
Mid-morning snack: 1/2 apple, handful of almonds, handful of edamame
Lunch: Asparagus soup
Afternoon Snack: Peppermint tea, blueberries, raspberries and a handful of pistachios
Dinner: Asparagus soup, baked sweet potato fries, kale salad with avocado, red onion, tomato and yellow bell pepper
After-dinner: nuts and fruit
Drank: Water with Lemon with meals and throughout the day

Exercise:
None. Instead I took a long nap.

How I felt:
I woke up from my nap where I had a dream that I found the end of the rainbow. But instead of a pot of gold I found french fries at end of the rainbow!!! My dreams are crazy! (I ate the fries in my dream by the way and they were delicious!). I also dreamed of Christmas cookies, Cesear salad (can’t have dairy or bread) and sandwiches. So random.

I think being around all that food last night really messed me up because I’ve been eating the same way today as I have all week but I was “hungry” all day. I just kept thinking about bread and chocolate cake. I’ve decided that I won’t be going to the in-laws for dinner for the next two weeks because I don’t want to put myself in situations where everyone around me is eating food I want to eat. I mean, you don’t take alcoholics to a bar right?

I cannot wait until tomorrow. I have lentils and chick peas soaking (no canned beans for me this week!) and I have my salmon and halibut recipes ready to go. I just can’t decide what to eat tomorrow because I want to eat everything!

I really liked the juice/smoothie for breakfast and I’m going to keep that up this week – especially because I’d like to carry that aspect over to my life post-cleanse.

I learned today that the last day of my cleanse is on Super Bowl Sunday and I’m debating whether to fall off the wagon a day early to indulge. The only thing that’s stopping me is I think I’ll feel pretty ill if I eat a bunch of crap after eating so healthy and I don’t want to undo everything I did. It’s going to be a test of sorts – I hope I’m ready for it! Until then, I can eat beans and fish tomorrow!!!!! Yay!!!!

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Day 5 & 6

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Whole Living Action Plan 2012 – Day 5 & 6


kale juice pineapple mint smoothie
It’s the weekend and I’m hungry and a bit lazy so here are days 5 & 6….

Weight: 98 (4 pounds lost since day 1)

DAY 5
What I Ate:
Breakfast: Kale Juice, Pineapple and Mint Smoothie
Mid-AM Snack: Cashews, 1/2 Banana, Edamame*
Lunch: Butternut Squash Soup
Mid-Afternoon Snack: Almonds
Pre-Dinner Snack: Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Dinner: Roasted Cauliflower and Bell Pepper with Kalamata Olives and Almonds and Mixed Green Salad with Pineapple and Mango
Drank: Water with Lemon with meals and throughout the day

Exercise:
Yoga

How I felt:
I woke up remembering my dream from the night before: I was in a coffee shop and trying to decide what kind of chocolate cake to have – there were many options! Hmmmm, I wonder what I’m missing! Ha! Other than that, I felt much better than at the beginning of the cleanse and had enough energy to do some yoga. I didn’t need Peppermint tea for that hot drink replacement for coffee. I feel like my skin is looking better too (confirmed by the husband) and happily the headaches and body aches are totally gone.

Day 6

What I Ate:
Breakfast: Kale Juice, Pineapple and Mint Smoothie
Mid-AM Snack: Cashews and dried blueberries
Lunch: Kale, Avocado, Roasted Red Pepper, Artichoke and Olive Salad, Fruit Salad, A few sips of bean soup (see below)
Dinner: Avocado, Tomato & Bell Pepper salad, Cashews and dried blueberries
Drank: Water with Lemon with meals and throughout the day

Exercise:
None

How I felt:
Though I’ve gotten into the groove of the cleanse today was a bit challenging for two reasons: (1) We went grocery shopping at Whole Foods; and (2) we had dinner at my in-laws. Whole Foods wasn’t so bad but we decided to have lunch there. I really had my heart set on soup because I knew I was having salad for dinner and I wanted something hot to eat.  The only vegan soup had beans and rice. I got it anyway thinking it couldn’t hurt me to have just a little bit of beans and rice. After a few small sips of soup, I felt guilty and felt like I didn’t need it so I gave it to my husband. I went to the salad bar and got a salad of kale, avocado, artichokes, roasted red peppers and olives. Then I finished it off with fruit salad.

Eating at the in-laws was the hardest as I had temptation all over. I brought my own food to make my salad but dinner consisted of bruschetta (LOVE!), roasted chicken and potatoes (Yum!) and CHOCOLATE CAKE. Yes. CHOCOLATE CAKE IN MY FACE. I’ve been literally DREAMING of chocolate cake! Soooo, here’s how it affected me. Whereas earlier in the week the same salad was very filling to me, tonight no matter how much salad or nuts I ate, and no matter how much water I drank, I felt constantly hungry. But since I know this food filled me before, I knew it was really just me longing for the bread and chocolate cake around me. I’m proud of myself for being able to hold out – though I’m not sure I’m close to forgiving my husband for indulging in dinner AND CAKE.

I’m looking forward to Monday when I can add beans and fish to my menu and I spent today working on menus for the week. Almost 1/3 of the way there! Wish me luck and strength!!

**A note on edamame. I’m not sure if I probably should have waited until next week to eat edamame. I think in my “hunger” haze I saw that it was green and in a pod and it read more a vegetable than bean. Sorry! I only had a little and I think the protein helped me feel better and power through yoga. The CDC website calls it a vegetable and a bean – so I don’t feel that guilty :)

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