Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spontaneous Cannellini Bean Soup with Lemon and Spinach--Healthy Food Porn

La Primavera--in honor of the veggies of Spring! 
Today I started out driving my honey to the airport for a 6 am flight, followed by some oatmeal with quinoa and apples, followed by going back to sleep. When I finally got up, I had a cup of strawberry Greek yogurt and a cup of coffee with 1/4 cup of non-fat dry milk and 1 T sugar-free French vanilla creamer (planning on cutting that source of corn-syrup solids out--more to follow). I took an inventory of the Costco needs and the regular grocery store needs, then decided to take a field trip to Sunflower Market to see about some good veggies and perhaps a substitute for the creamer.

Sunflower market was a big win today, as they had fresh kale!  At a price that I could afford to make soup at!  That made me pretty happy. Bought some fresh lemons, some farro (never tried it), some wheat berries (probably for bread, but we'll see), and some sea salt. I also perused the refrigerated coffee creamer section for some substitute for all the fat and calories in non-dairy creamer without having to resort to black coffee. I decided on So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer in Hazelnut Flavor. I'm trying some in my sugar free hot chocolate right now, and so far, it's not bad. The real test will be tomorrow's coffee. Stay tuned.
Did my usual Costco run for stuff for the boys--they do frozen fish sticks and corn dogs (What the hell, it keeps them alive, and keeps them from complaining about my crazy health food.). Plus, I'll admit, their fish sticks are really good. The oldest keeps making them on the regular (not non-stick) aluminum foil, so if I happen to go out to the kitchen right after he's made some, he has usually left me half a fish stick stuck to the foil.
Next stop was the regular grocery store for canned beans and various beverages. They had canned Cannellini beans, as well as garbanzo beans (organic, storebrand, and on sale!), and Great Northern beans. So the house is all set to toot.
Got home with enough time to try out the Walking Boot Camp regimen I found on Prevention mag's site. Upside: it was pretty strenuous and a good workout. Downside: Could only take one dog, so now the other two are mad at me.  Got home and went to Zumba!
I ate pretty well today, but I also got a lot of exercise, so once I finally got home I was suitable famished. I had been thinking about some Cannellini bean soup that I think I saw on Giada at Home. Since I'm too lazy to look things up, I decided to just make something up.  So here's what I made up:
Someone else's white bean soup, I take terrible photos.

3 (15 oz) cans (drained) cannelllini beans
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
zest and juice of one whole lemon (it was a small lemon, so I added a little more bottled lemon juice to taste)
1 c. Chicken stock
1 c. filtered water

Threw all that in the blender and pureed it a bit. I don't think I completely pureed it, just got it pretty smoothie-like.
Threw that into a soup pot with a bit more water and stock until it looked soup-like and heated it on low. Added a teaspoon or so of dried basil and a pinch (or a few dashes) of ground cayenne pepper. Let it simmer while I took a shower (in case you skipped over the part about the Walking Boot Camp and Zumba class, I was gross.) Took a brick (10 oz.) of spinach out and plunked it in warm water (now that the blender is empty and needs rinsing, I thought I'd use that).
Once I finished my shower, I came out and stirred, tasted, added a bit of salt and cayenne to suit my tastes, then threw in the now-thawed brick of spinach (be sure to squeeze it out first). For some added protein and feeling of fullness, I added a 12.5 oz can of white meat chicken (Kirkland brand from Costco, I believe). If I had used veggie stock instead of chicken stock, I think you could call it vegan up to this point.

Overall, I have to say, it tasted as yummy as that picture above of someone else's soup. The spinach in that amount of beans made it slightly greener, but I'm always happy to have more spinach.  If I put my mind to it tomorrow, I'll figure out what the nutritional content is on that bad boy, because I bet it was pretty stunning.
So, yummy--check. Low fat--check. High protein & fiber--check, check.

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