Red Pepper Soup

I was back to the good ole egg/cheese/ham sammie for breakfast yesterday – except this time my cheese of choice was pepper jack.  My store had it on sale for $1.99 a pound!!  So spicy and good 😀

with 1/2 a Fuji apple on the side

Does anyone subscribe to Bon Appetit?  I am actually really starting to like this magazine.  In the front they have people write in asking for recipes they’ve had at restaurants or bed and breakfast places.  This months issue included a roasted red pepper soup, which I absolutely love.  I adapted it though, because I didn’t do the anchovy topping, and I used more vegetable broth.

luckily I bought 5 red peppers, it only called for three but I bought a couple extra for the week for snacks - two of them were rotten - and you couldn't even tell from the outside - doesn't this one look perfect?

I also used canned diced tomatoes – since I knew I would be using my stick blender to puree the soup, I left the red pepper in pretty big chunks.

lots of garlic too! 😀

After I added the vegetable broth and let it cook down some, I tasted it and it was . . .boring!  So I added a tablespoon of this:

And it was perfect!  Best part – this makes six 2 cup servings for only 145 calories, 12 fat, 5.8 carbs, 1.5 fiber  for two cups!

Red Pepper Soup (adapted from Bon Appetit)

3 red peppers, chopped
14 ounce tomatoes, diced
32 ounces vegetable broth
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper


Put everything in a pot, let simmer for 30 minutes. Using a stick blender, blend until smooth. Makes six 2 cup servings.  Biz Note:  I could have reduced the olive oil to 1/8 cup and easily left out the hazelnuts – you really couldn’t taste them. Still, I think 145 calories for 2 cups of soup isn’t bad!
I had a ham and pepper jack cheese sammie in a low carb wrap on the side:
With a generous amount of this mustard – OMG, so good!  The apple part of this mustard is actually apple cider vinegar – so the punch of the vinegar with the spiciness of the ginger was an amazing combination.   Oh how I love mustard!   Thanks again Karena for the mustards!!
My afternoon snack was a handful of almonds.  I am slowly getting used to them not being roasted or salted!
Dinner was so quick to put together.   I made my Cincinnati chili – its literally ready in 20 minutes!
2 tablespoons of chili powder may seem like a lot, but its perfect
While I normally make chili three ways over pasta with cheddar cheese, we had veal hot dogs that needed to be eaten.  These are from our deli and THEY ARE HUGE!  (that’s what she said!)
I boiled them while the chili cooked
I weighed mine, and it was six ounces, so I cut mine in half.  My bun is 2 ounces, I had 2 ounces of chili, 3 ounce hot dog, 1 ounce cheddar cheese, 2 ounces of kidney beans and an ounce of potato chips on the side.
and sliced fresh jalapenos!
this was difficult to eat, so I ended up using a knife and fork!
Stats for Monday:

43% of my calories were from fat yesterday - I need to get that closer to 30% - but I reduced my carbs - only 123 yesterday!

Exercise: 30 minutes elliptical, 15 minutes upper body strength train, 5 minutes abs on the ball.
Time to jump in the shower – I can’t wait for lunch – Thai basil wraps in baked wontons and a vegetarian pho soup!  Marissa, I think you’ll like it – I’ll post the recipe tomorrow.
Oh, and I ran across another food porn site!  It’s called – you can submit pictures much like Tastespotting and Foodgawker!    I am still waiting for Healthy Yum to come back – maybe by next week?
Not sure who won BSI last week for cocoa powder – so I’ll hopefully announce this weeks host tomorrow.

We lucked out!

I haven’t looked at the forecast for today, but we were supposed to get 8-12 inches of snow overnight – we maybe got two?

After making pancakes for breakfast yesterday, I baked up the rest of the whole grain artisan bread from last week – although I put garlic seasoning on the top of these two loaves.

parchment paper works really well to carry it to the baking stone in the oven

after 25 minutes in a 450 degree oven - perfect!

Before going grocery shopping yesterday, Tony and I went to grab a bite – funny, neither of us got wings!

I ended up getting their grilled chicken tacos – I ate one whole taco, then just ate the inside of the second one – and had about 10 chips.

Our grocery store has a lot of weird things – you can get two salmon fish heads for only $1.94!

I menu plan based on our sale paper – they had baby back ribs for only $2.99 a pound, so I couldn’t pass that up!  It kind of tasted like summer in winter!   I ended up making this dry rub, but using K.C. Masterpiece for the bbq sauce.

I had this bbq sauce on the side to kick mine up a notch! Very spicy!

I baked the ribs low and slow – about 2 1/2 hours at 275 – then put the bbq sauce on and put them under the broiler.

I made potato chips on the side

As I was cleaning up the kitchen, I started to sweat, so I checked my blood sugar and it was 48!  I guess I overestimated on the carbs for dinner and gave myself too much insulin.  This did the trick!

chocolate chip pecan cookie - yum!

Can I just say how happy I am that I don’t have to use the snow blower to get to work this morning??!!   Hope you have a great day! 😀

Lunch with Mom and BSI – Cocoa Powder

Tony and I woke up yesterday morning at 7:30.  I decided that was WAY too early to get up on a Saturday, so I turned over and went back to sleep, only to wake up at 9:00 – and I still needed to blog and get out the door at 10:00 to meet my Mom!  But being the low maintenance gal that I am, I was ready!  But as I was leaving the house I thought “I didn’t eat breakfast!”

I think I got this bar from Michelle at our blogger meet up at Christina’s – way back in October!

200 calories and 23 carbs for this bar

I actually liked it!!  It was really chewy:

I picked up my Mom and we headed to lunch – but it wasn’t opened yet, so we went across the street to an antique store.  I thought Mel and J would appreciate this picture!

We walked around for about 10 minutes, then headed back the restaurant – it just opened a few weeks ago, and it’s on Madison Street in Forest Park.

We thought we had plenty of time since she didn’t have to be at her volunteer job until 1:00.  We both ordered brown rice with our meals, but first started with shrimp rolls – we both thought they were a tad overdone, but the dipping sauce was really good!

Then we waited, and waited, checked our watch because we were on a tight schedule at this point.  The server came up to us and said that they were just waiting for the brown rice to cook.  What? You wouldn’t have started the brown rice at ten in the morning?  So we quickly changed to white rice and had about 10 minutes to eat 😦

I had about 1/2 cup of rice

I ordered the hot and spicy basil dish with tofu – this was so flavorful!!

We actually asked for our bill when our lunch was served to save  a little time!   I would go back though, it was that good – lunch for us only came in at $23 – nice! 😀

My mom volunteers at a place called the Economy Shop in Oak Park.  It’s a big Victorian house, that has different items in every room – one room may have electronics, another housewares, yet another books and magazines.  You could literally spend HOURS in this place!

Look at all the magazines!!!  No, I didn’t buy any, but cookbooks were 50% off, so I may have bought 5 cookbooks.  Shh….don’t tell Tony!

Check out these green stamps!  Raise your hand if you remember green stamps!

I remember we had a drawer in our kitchen dedicated to green stamps in books – Mom, what did you ever end up getting with the stamps – I don’t remember!

Guess who met me at the Economy Shop??  My twin sister!   I am on the right – can you see my beautiful eyebrows?!

When I got back home, I had a package from Karena – my BSI win for tofu!

She gave me this cute tote too!

Of all the loot she gave me, I am especially excited to try this – I love mustard!

While I was out, Tony got stuff to make dinner.  He is an amazing cook! I just hog the kitchen most of the time!  What’s great about Tony’s cooking is that he just puts stuff together – no measuring, no recipe.  On the menu last night?  Pork!  He seared a pork tenderloin on top of the stove, added a little chicken broth, water, green peppers, garlic and red wine and cooked it low and slow at 250 degrees.

this is how it looked after 4 hours of cooking

It was so tender it almost fell apart! So tender!

Then he reduced the sauce in the pan, added some flour and used the stick blender for a sauce to be put over egg noodles.  It was delicious!

I woke up this morning and realized I hadn’t done anything for the BSI this week – cocoa powder!  I had pancakes on the brain, so I decided to make Pumpkin Chocolate Pancakes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Pancakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspooon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 12 ounce can of fat free evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.  Mix wet ingredients in another.  Mix until well combined.

Each pancake comes in at 116 calories, 4 fat, 16 carbs, 1.4 fiber and 3.9 protein.

I am ignoring the fact that this expired on October of 2009!

because these pancakes are so thick, you have to cook them at a low temperature so the inside gets cooked

A perfect way to start a Sunday morning!

While at my Mom’s house yesterday, I grabbed some of my Dad’s artwork.  You can see my tribute post to my Dad here.  Back in 1985 he decided to come up with a comic strip – one of his artist idols was Charles Shultz.  It was a comic strip about a chef and all the wacky antics that can happen in a kitchen.  He even went so far as to submit the strip to a publisher in Florida.  He worked hundreds of hours on this project.  He shipped it off, got a dink letter, then put everything in a giant envelope and never talked or looked at it again!

I hadn’t seen it in years, but my Mom let me take it home – I am still going through all the materials, so I’ll leave you with this – and plan on showing off more of my Dad’s artwork in the coming weeks.

I am sure I got my love of food and cooking from my Dad – and if he were alive, he would have been the best food blogger – he was also an accomplished photographer!

Plans for the Day:

  • menu plan
  • grocery shop
  • maybe lunch out with Tony?
  • laundry!
  • cry about the 8 – 12 inches of snow that’s predicted overnight tonight! 😦

Party Pizza Friday = Happy Biz!

I was out of my wheat rolls, so I kind of missed my egg in a bread bowl yesterday!  But I ended up making a hash that looks like ass, but it tasted delicious!  Diced canned potato, diced zucchini, 1/2 ounce fontina cheese and 1/2 cup egg whites.  On the side was a peanut butter/apple arnold bread sammie:

I wished I had diced red pepper in there to make it look nicer!

Before our 45 minute walk, I tested my blood sugar and it was 90 – perfect!  But I needed a bit more fuel so my blood sugar wouldn’t drop too much – this did the trick! 😀

Lunch was a loaded baked potato – a 6 ounce potato with 1 cup of my cincinnati chili from the deep freeze, baby carrots and cucumber with ff ranch dressing.

Last year we discovered fried garlic – it takes fresh garlic to a whole new level – very garlicky, but mild and smokey at the same time.  It’s a great pizza topping!  I ended up using my whole wheat dough I made last week for my pizza – wow, when I took the lid off it almost looked like the dough was moving the yeast was so active!  I plan on baking the rest of it this afternoon.

So my idea for my pizza was to make a New Orleans barbecue shrimp.  One of the first restaurants I worked had made the most amazing barbecue shrimp – the spicy butter sauce was amazing when you dipped crunchy artisan bread into it and sucked all the spices off the shrimp.   But it takes a lot of butter – usually 1 stick of butter for 2 servings!

I decided to use my 5 calorie “spread” to make my sauce for the pizza.  My seasonings for six shrimp:

  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (could have used 1/2 – it wasn’t spicy enough for me)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

I cooked until almost done in a super hot cast iron skillet

I decided to add the spicy butter mixture to my pizza – it was flavorful, but again, could have had added spice for me!

with fresh basil on top after it comes out of the oven

I had three of these pieces - my dough weighed in at 5 ounces all together

I haven’t figured out my stats for yesterday yet, but I’ll post them later – curious how I did on the carbs, the pizza notwithstanding!

Check out Shelley’s new blog look – it is so her!

Also, check out Christina’s new feature – Friday Firsts – you submit something new each Friday you did for the week, weather it is trying a new recipe, ingredient or restaurant.  I submitted my whole wheat bread – it was the first time I’ve ever used vital wheat gluten!

Gotta run – I am finally getting together with my Mom for lunch today!  Have a great Saturday! 😀

It was a Great Day!

Wow, thanks for all of your comments on my last post!!  I have the best cheerleaders! 😀

What made yesterday a great day?  I brought these for my desk!

I cut down the roses Tony gave me for V-Day to fit in this vase - so pretty! 😀

And it was a re-run for breakfast!

I realized that I never showed you what the inside of the roll looks like!  Yesterday I shredded 5 ounces of zucchini, squeezed it dry and added it to my egg whites.  Its Wisconsin American cheese on top! 😀

i scoop out as much bread as possible - this roll weighed in at 2.5 ounces

And it was birthday treat day yesterday at my office.  While I was eyeing the chocolate chip muffin, I grabbed some fruit:

Fresh fruit just makes me think of summer for some reason!  But it is definitely still winter here.  My friend and I walked outside for 45 minutes yesterday – we have to walk through this snow path to get to the road where we walk:

There are a few hills too:

It was close to 40 degrees – I almost took my jacket off at the end of the walk because I was hot!  Now I am just waiting for all the snow to melt! 😀

I had shrimp stir-fry for lunch.  I used 1/2 a package of yaki soba noodles (only 75 calories and 15 carbs) and tossed that with 3 ounces of shrimp, 3 ounces of broccoli, 3 ounces of broccoli slaw, and 2 tablespoons House of Tsang schezchwan sauce – delicious!

the shrimp were so good! I put cracked pepper on them before cooking - nice and spicy!

But around 4:00 I was STARVING!  I looked in my desk drawer, and ate about 1 ounce of Sophia’s granola – that hit the spot!

Can I say how much I love leaving work when it is still light out??!!

Hannah and I had our final meeting about the German Exchange program last night – our student will arrive in one month!!   We pick her up at the airport on March 18 – have a welcome dinner on my birthday – March 19!   She’ll be with us for 3 weeks.  She sent Hannah and email that said “tell your Mum I don’t expect a hot meal every night.”  She has no idea what she is in store for!

So dinner was quick – last summer I made gyros burgers and they turned out really good!  While I missed the flavor of the grill, these were still good.  The only thing I did differently was add a teaspoon of this:

I have no idea what’s in it, because the ingredient list says “spices.”  Thanks!

any guesses what's in there? I see pepper . . .

I had the deep fryer on the counter (I must put that away!) so I hand cut some potatoes and had fries on the side – mine weighed in at 1.5 ounces – on caloriecount I just enter them as 1.5 of McDonald’s fries.

My burger:  3 ounces of beef, 1 arnold thin, cucumber on the bottom and 1 tablespoon of tzatziki sauce.

Before our meeting, Hannah and I went to 7-11 to cash in my lotto winnings and pick up some coffee.  I found a new International Delight flavor – love it!

so I need to add about 60 calories to my total for yesterday! 😀

And it was a magazine day yesterday!!!

I am especially interested in reading this article though!

Stats for Thursday:  45 minute walk at lunch

I got an A!! 163 carbs - not too bad my first day of reducing that!

So today is meatless Friday – my husband celebrates lent.  On the menu tonight?  Shrimp pizza with garlic chips! (mine will have pepperoni!) 😀

Do you celebrate lent?  What are your meatless dishes??