Tag Archives: soup

Sick Day

2 Apr
These were spread all over my house while I was sick.

These were spread all over my house while I was sick.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m like a toddler. In addition to an inability to handle hunger and sleep deprivation well, I also am a nightmare when I’m sick. There’s no easier way to say this: I’m mean.

I lose all patience for other people and their problems when I have my first sniffle. It’s just another personality quirk that I think others need to deal with.

When I returned from sunny, warm Rio to cloudy, cold New York, I had a jacked-up head cold. From the time I got off the plane, I was sneezing and coughing. My boss told me that I sound like his children when they’re stuffed up, words that did nothing to boost my ego (or my immune system).

I could handle being sick because I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time. What pissed me off, though, was how this case of sniffles impeded my workout plan. Before I lost the battle of the sniffles, I had gone the gym twice that week. The first time, I couldn’t make it 30 minutes without shutting it down. My second wind swooped in for my second visit, allowing me a full hour of cardio and in a few crunches. That was the calm before the storm, though, as the next day had me struggling to breathe through my nose. My plans to shed the Brazil pounds had to be put on hold.

The one-two punch of diet and exercise was going to have to wait. With exercise on the back burner, I’d have to focus on diet while trying to clear the gunk out of my face. One of the best lessons I learned during my weight-loss journey was the need for preparation. Having a stocked cabinet and freezer often kept me from stopping by Wendy’s on my way home. Why spend on a spicy chicken sandwich when I had chicken breasts and hot sauce at home?

That lesson came in handy as the tissues piled up around me. I’d gone to the grocery store soon after my return, so I had a plenty of good things to cook. One of the first things I made was chicken noodle soup. Instead of doing a separate recipe post, I’ll give you the basics: cook the chicken, boil some broth, add noodles and frozen veggies. Ta-da!

It’s easier to take care of yourself when you’ve prepared ahead of time. Having a few go-to recipes in your stable can make or break you sometimes while on this journey, especially when your body is telling you to shut it down.

What do you do on your sick days that can allow you to stay on track?


Recipe: Pepper and White Bean Soup With Rotini

8 Jan

Pepper and White Bean Soup With Rotini

Time: about 15 minutes to prep, 25-30 to cook


  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces frozen bell pepper and onion stir-fry
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil, crumbled
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 ounces dried rotini pasta
  • 15-ounce can no-salt-added navy beans, rinsed if desired and drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra-virgin preferred)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1.  In a Dutch oven, bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in the bell pepper and onion stir-fry, zucchini, tomatoes, basil and red pepper flakes. Return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt and oil. Drain in a colander.
  3. Stir the beans into the bell pepper stir-fry mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from the heat. Stir in the olive oil and salt.
  4. Put the pasta into soup bowls. Ladle the soup over the pasta.

Courtesy of American Hear Asssociation Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook (third edition)


This is one of my go-t0 recipes. It is so simple, so quick to make and so tasty. If I don’t have the frozen stir fry in the freezer, fresh onions and green pepper work jut fine (and taste better). I also don’t have a dutch oven, so a regular sauce pan does the trick. Spicy food is my thing, so sometimes I can go overboard with the red peeper. And don’t forget the olive oil and salt at the end, unless you have high blood pressure. Those two ingredients at the end really help, though.

Recipe: Cream of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup

27 Nov

Cream of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup

Time: About 15 minutes to prep; 10-13 minutes to cook



  • 3/4 cup chopped portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups reduced-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 package (9 ounces)  frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and finely chopped
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • Paprika, as garnish


  1. Saute mushrooms and onion in lightly greased medium saucepan until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.
  3. Stir  in milk, dry milk and bouillon cube; heat to boiling, stirring.
  4. Add artichoke hearts; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  5. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
  6. Sprinkle with paprika.

Courtesy: 1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes


I thought I’d try something different. Cream of mushroom soup isn’t the most ideal entree, but the artichoke seemed to be a nice twist. This came out very tasty. The actual recipe called for Parmesan toast, which I didn’t feel like making. But I suggest either croutons or rice if you’d like something a little more hearty for your dish. Plus, it was quick to make, which is always a bonus.

Recipe: Chilled Cucumber Mint Soup

6 Nov

Chilled Cucumber Mint Soup

Total prep time: 20 minutes (plus chilling)


  • image3 cucumbers (3 pounds total), peeled, seeded and coarsely sliced
  • 1 cup (loose) mint leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 drops Tabasco sauce


  1. imagePlace the sliced cucumbers in the bowl of a food processor or blender with the mint, garlic and 1/2 cup cold water. Process until pureed (the mixture will be granular).
  2. Transfer the puree to a bowl and mix in the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, salt and Tabasco, with 1 1/2 cups cold water. Chill.
  3. Stir before serving.

Courtesy of  Jacques Pepin


A co-worker who’s always trying new recipes sent this around this summer. I was surprised at how tasty this was. I used Frank’s RedHot Hot Sauce instead of Tobasco, for my own preferences. The hot sauce is the perfect kick this soup needs. And it also works as a light salad dressing.