Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Morning Rush

Sometimes my life is so busy and I'm pressed for time that making breakfast can be difficult - even though I know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Prepared foods are not really what I like to turn to for breakfast, especially on Tuesday and Thursdays, my longest days of the week.  So with breakfast being an extremely vital meal for me today, I needed a fresh start with a bowl of goodness.  For my morning meal today, I began collecting the individual fruit ingredients - a fresh, plump and juicy peach, ripe red strawberries and small, crispy red grapes.  I took a clear glass bowl and then began the process of cutting the fruit.  I cut the peach into large slices, then in smaller chunks, and sliced the stem off the strawberries and cut them into quarters.  Then I added those two ingredients to the glass bowl and added a handful of red grapes.  I stirred about 3 ounces of vanilla yogurt and dolloped it on top of the fruit.  Then I sprinkled on 1/4 cup of slivered almonds and added 2 tables of Vanilla Flax Granola for the additional crunch factor.  My eyes were dancing with colors from the bowl, they were so bright.  My first spoonful was a combination of fruit flavors, filled with the smooth texture of the yogurt, a crunchy bite of the almonds, mixed with granola, as well as the pop-a-ble bites of the grapes.  The bowl was bursting with flavor, freshness and healthy choices.  I won't compromise on taste...for me, it has to taste good.  I know the week isn't over yet, but I can already say this breakfast will be my favorite one of the week.  I am satisfied and content, but not overly full - so even during the morning rush of getting ready, this breakfast was a great way of giving me a flavor rush in the morning.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Winter's Soul

So much little time.  Last night we had a Shabbat dinner, which meant chicken.  Chicken, chicken, chicken, sometimes I feel as though it's all I eat - but it is pretty good.  Anyways, we had some chicken left over and I decided to make chicken soup.  If my readers' haven't realized by now...soup is my favorite food.  However, I do not like soup from a can, homemade soup is the way to go.  I started with a large black soup pot and poured one full carton of organic, low-sodium, chicken stock into the pot and turned the stovetop on.  I added the chicken carcass with the remaining pieces of chicken into the now bubbling liquid and let the mixture boil.  I cut one large white onion in half and slowly placed each half in the pot.  Then I added a couple handfuls of small orange baby carrots, a cup of frozen corn, a half-cup of barley and my favorite ingredient: a can of fire-roasted tomatoes.  The tomatoes turn the soup a scarlet red and give it a smoky flavor.  After all the ingredients were added, I covered the pot and let the soup cook on a rolling boil.  A looooooonnnnng 2 hours later, the soup was almost completed, I added some spices for flavor - salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.  Finally, it was time for the taste test.  I ladled the steaming hot soup into a clear bowl and tasted my first spoonful.  And it was absolutely delicious, if I do say so myself.  The barley had created a creamy consistency, making the flavors melt in my mouth.  The tiny specks of yellow corn were hidden in every spoonful, the baby carrots were cooked to softness, the onions had separated into thin translucent pieces and the tasty, tender morsels of chicken reminded me of our Shabbat dinner.  Immediately after one bowl, I was back for a second and then a third, it was hard to stop.  This chicken soup was able to fill my soul and stomach.