The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Mary Honrud
For the Courier 

Still Influenced by the Whole Life Challenge

 

March 20, 2019

Mary Honrud / For the Courier

My sweet potato/apple soup.

Since we've "sprung ahead" to save daylight for after-work recreation, can we please spring ahead into actual spring? We had some lovely ice fog last night, along with a dusting of fresh snow (again!). While it's gorgeous outside with the clear, deep blue sky, we are thoroughly, completely, definitely over winter. I'd much rather have green grass sprinkled with fresh dew than the icy cold glitter of the unending expanse of white that is our current situation. I know I'm not alone in this desire.

While we still have to deal with the frozen tundra, I made a large pot of comforting soup a couple of days ago. I'd been meaning to use this recipe for weeks, but kept using my yams for air fryer "fries," or for baking. (Colleen, you'll be happy to know Dennis didn't help me eat it. He had canned clam chowder).

Cream of Sweet Potato & Apple Soup

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium carrot, shredded

2 Tbl olive oil

3 1/2 C chicken broth

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and in 1/2" chunks

1 large apple, peeled, cored, and chopped

1/2 tsp thyme

1 Tbl parsley, minced

Salt & pepper to taste

1/4 C half & half

Shredded asiago cheese

Saute the onion, garlic and carrot in the oil. Add the potato and apple with the broth. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Puree in blender. Add herbs and seasonings. Simmer over low heat. Add warmed half & half. Garnish with cheese.

I used one huge yam in place of the sweet potatoes. My apple was a Granny Smith. To keep this compliant with the WLC (better food choices are a lasting effect), I used 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt instead of the half & half. Chicken stock was used in place of broth. My asiago cheese included rosemary and olive oil, and I topped my serving with that and pumpkin seeds. Pine nuts or pepita would also work. I had a slice of toasted sourdough bread on the side, with plenty of butter melting into it. It was heavenly. (Not everything I eat now will be up to WLC standards. Don't judge.)

Earlier in the week I finally got around to making the following WLC-approved recipe I'd copied from their Facebook page several weeks ago. It had gotten lost in the shuffle as I looked for new recipes that met their "compliant foods" lists I love it, even though I didn't have lime wedges or fresh cilantro and didn't serve it on corn tortillas. We enjoyed it as sliders on whole wheat buns, with a baked potato on the side. I should have had a fresh salad of greens instead. I'll do that with the leftovers today.

Simple Savory Beef Barbacoa

2 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut in 2

1 C beef broth

1 C crushed tomatoes

1/2 C onion, diced

1 Tbl garlic, minced

3 Tbl lime juice

2 Tbl cider vinegar

1 1/2 Tbl chipotle, minced

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

Lime wedges, cilantro, corn tortillas

Heat large pot on high, oven on 300°. Season roast with sea salt. Sear on all sides until well browned. Put roast out on a plate. Reduce heat and saute onion two minutes. Add garlic, saute an additional minute. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the roast, turning to coat. Roast in oven three to four hours, until the meat shreds easily. Shred meat onto the liquid.

Serve on corn tortillas, garnished with lime wedges and fresh cilantro.

I used canned diced tomatoes with cherry tomatoes cut in half. I used canned beef broth rather than a bouillon cube and water. I'm sure there was too much salt. Ah, well. My roast was three pounds, so I cut it into three pieces, but didn't increase the other ingredients. Usually I find these recipes have too much liquid so things seem soupy. This didn't. Not having chipotle peppers, I used chipotle mustard in the same amount. I know it's not the same, but you use what you have when you live in the Middle of Nowhere.

I've been making and enjoying overnight oats for breakfast rather than having my pre-WLC feasts of two slices of fresh, home-made whole-wheat bread slathered with butter, topped with sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon, broiled to crispy perfectio. (Can you tell I love that "toast"?) Anyway, I have three variations of these oats, but my favorite is the one with raspberries. I happen to have lots of those in my freezer from last summer's bounty. 

Raspberry, Almond, & Coconut Oats

1/2 C rolled oats

1/2 C raspberries

1/8 tsp almond extract

1/2 Tbl sliced almonds

1/8 tsp cinnamon 

1/2 C unsweetened coconut milk

1 tsp honey

1 tsp unsweetened shredded coconut

Mix oats, milk, raspberries, almond extract, cinnamon, and honey. Store in fridge overnight. In the morning, add a little more milk and stir well. Top with nuts and coconut.

I've been using canned coconut milk, which separates into a runny, watery milk and a solid white mass. It needs lots of stirring. This recipe meets the WLC-compliant requirements for my kickstart level since I'm allowed to have honey in moderation. I'm sure you could use stevia or monkfruit sweetener instead, should you wish to meet stricter requirements. Sometimes I forget to put this together the night before, so have zapped the oats and milk in the microwave for a minute. It sits for a very short while before I add the rest and eat it. It's still good.

Full disclosure: I have enjoyed my cinnamon "toast" ever since the current challenge ended, as well as French toast with my home-made bread. I've also indulged in pizza at Europe's once. But I'm making those enjoyments special, not daily events. 

And can I brag that one of the top honchos at the WLC shared my last week's column on their Facebook page? Having them "watch" me from afar is helping me stay mostly compliant. The next challenge starts in mid-April.

 

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