TOPS Week 1

Since Christmas and New  Years fell on Wednesday this go-round, I didn’t have a visit with the official scale until this morning.  The news wasn’t what I really wanted – I’d have liked to stay the same – but it wasn’t the 10 pound disaster that others talk about having to deal with either.  So, my beginning weight on my TOPS weight chart is 245.00.

So what’s next for me?  My challenge for this month is to eat mostly out of my freezer and pantry.  Right now I have a pumpkin soup simmering in the crockpot and chicken cooking on the stove.  It’s from  a wonderful book called Skinny Feasts which I’ve mentioned before on one of my blog posts.  Today I flipped the page and made my own changes yet again!

Skinny-Feasts-9781551105314Today’s recipe is Sweet Potato and Spinach Soup (with some variations)

1 lb. sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and finely diced.  (Keep them covered in cold water so they don’t discolour)   I used some frozen pumpkin.

1 tsp. canola oil (I used sesame oil)

1  jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced (I used some dried chili pepper flakes but not a lot)

4 cloves garlic minced

1 tbsp. minced ginger root

1 bay leaf that I raided from my mom’s kitchen last time I was there!

1 tsp. ground coriander (I’ve used fennel seeds too and that’s good)

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 bunch fresh spinach (Or a package of frozen spinach)

1 lime, zest and juice (I’ll at this at the end!)

Peel and finely dice the sweet potatoes (winter squash also works well in this recipe).  Immerse them in a bowl of cold water to keep them looking nice.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot and add the pepper, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, coriander and onion.  Cook until it becomes hot and fragrant.  I accidently added some lemon grass at this time (Cooking too many recipes too close together) so we’ll see how that tastes.  Cook until the onion is tender – 5 minutes or so.

Drain the yams or whatever and add them to the pot with the stock.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and cook until tender.

Remove the stalks from your spinach and wash them thoroughly.  Set aside to add after pureeing the soup in the pot.  (THis pureeing step is optional – you can coarsely mash it as well).  Add the spinach and let it heat up a bit.  Because I used pumpkin this time around it was already in a puree form.  I’m also doing the simmering in my crockpot so I just added the spinach to the top of the pot.

In the meantime, I slightly burnt the chicken that was for a stirfry I was making.  Fortunately the veggies were in a seperate pot, so they were safe.  I’m enjoying that at the moment –  I’ve never added spinach to stirfry before – It’s nice!

Sadly this book is not available at the Calgary Public Library, but I did see it available second-hand on Amazon.  I’m not selling mine!



About Marcia Stehouwer

I have a great life (most days) and a small budget, so being frugal is one of my favourite hobbies. I started this blog after procrastinating for 3 months, on April Fool's Day. I knit, I read, I knit, I work... I am also about a quarter of the way through my goal to lose 100 pounds. So between knitting, working, reading etc., I also do some walking!
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