This marks the end of week one of Project Veggie. I’m happy to say that I’ve felt great, and it has not been difficult at all to stick to the plan. We’ve eaten some great food, and enjoyed cooking and planning meals together. I have even discovered I enjoy writing these little blogs and get a tiny (huge!) thrill when I find out people are reading it, commenting, subscribing…how cool is that?
At the beginning of January, I started a “Biggest Loser” contest with my family. Hoping to lose a few pounds, I counted calories and started exercising. In the first 6 weeks I lost 3 or 4 pounds…and gained them…and lost them again. I went to my dreaded weekly weigh-in yesterday and in the last week, I’ve lost 2.5 pounds! My exercise this week consisted of making it 20 minutes into a 1 hour Bob Harper DVD where he promised to transform my body (didn’t happen this time, but I’m still hopeful), one 25 minute walk, and a couple of hours of “Just Dance” on the wii with Claire. I didn’t count a single calorie . So, I could be wrong, but I’m thinking all the veggies and no meat might have something to do with it. We’ll see how the scale looks next week.
Yesterday I started doing battle with a little head cold. Which meant two things. Dinner needed to be something easy, quick and warm & comforting. I guess that’s four things.
Back in art school my roommate Terry taught me how to make potato soup, and being one of a very small handful of things we actually knew how to cook we ate it a lot. I’ve played with the recipe some since then, but it’s still one of my go-to soups for when I just want a belly full of love and warmth. Recently I changed up the recipe some to add more veggies, turning it into a potato broccoli soup. Of course I didn’t write down the recipe, throwing things in the pot at random as I am wont to do. So I was determined to do my best to reproduce that lovely concoction and actually put it in writing this time. I think this batch actually turned out even better than the first one.
Potato Broccoli Soup
3 leeks, sliced – white and light green parts only
1/2 red or orange bell pepper, diced
1 stick butter
4-6 russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
1-2 cups chopped broccoli
approximately 4 cups of milk (I used 1% but any kind you have will work)
1-2 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. pepper
1-2 tsp. dill
pinch of paprika
cheddar cheese for topping (optional)
Saute leeks and peppers with butter in a skillet over medium heat. When they are soft, put in a blender or food processor with a cup of milk and puree. Meanwhile, put potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes or so, then add broccoli. Cook another 10-15 minutes until veggies are soft. Drain off most of the water, put back on stove. Add leek & pepper puree to the potato mixture. Add another cup of milk, and use a potato masher to mash around in there. I like to break it down, but still leave plenty of chunks. Feel free to puree the whole thing, part of it, or none of it, depending on the texture of soup you like. I prefer the masher method. Add seasonings, starting with one teaspoon each of salt, pepper & dill and adding more if needed. Add a pinch of paprika. Add more milk until it is the consistency you like. It’s easier to add more than to take it away, so add a little at a time, stirring in between. Heat through and serve. I like mine with some shredded cheese on top and some toasted bread on the side.