Wednesday, March 8, 2017

One Pot Turkey Meatball, Veggie and Barley Soup

Trying to choose well is hard. In the past week I have had to all but wrestle myself away from a THIRD slice of the gorgeous, moist banana bread that my husband made. (soley to test my will power. ....ok so I made that part up but thats what it felt like!), I have rummaged through our work chocolate drawer out of sheer habit before yanking my hand away with luckily just a single piece of Rolo instead of the usual handful of chocolate covered guilt.

These may sound like defeats but they are in fact small victories. It could have been worse! A lot worse. My chocolate lust, if unchecked, can be dangerous. LOL.  

I have discovered that if I don't stay full, I scavenge for anything and everything that will satisfy me and I WILL keep eating until 1. I feel horrible about myself or 2. I feel full.  So, how do I try to avoid and change this poor eating habit? Step 1 was actually realizing what I do (eat without being hungry) and then Step 2 was figuring why (I was bored, eating mindlessly or thirsty most of the time)

Now that I know what I know I am empowered to make changes to combat the chocolate/junk food lust I have on occasion (ok only on days that end with "Y" 😅 ) The biggest changes I have made have been to keep junk out of the house (the devil cant tempt you if hes not staring at you every time you open the kitchen or pantry, right?) and to drink waaaayyy more water than I have been with the goal of getting 8 cups of water in a day. In addition, eating soups and stews with a healthy mix of proteins, vegetables and broth/water help tremendously in keeping me satiated!

Enter: Tasty homemade turkey meatballs, fresh sweet and crisp vegetables, hearty barley and my favorite spices to make the most satisfying, filling soup I have ever made! 

Step 1: Turkey Meatballs
1 pound of ground turkey
1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 cloves finely minced garlic
1 small onion finely diced
 salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley diced 
olive oil

-combine all the ingredients
-form into small meatballs
-heat a small amount of olive oil in dutch oven 
-brown the meatballs on all sides, cooking for 1minute and then turning to cook for another 1 minute
-remove from heat and set aside

Step 2: Vegetables and Barley
1 large shallot
1 cup carrots, sliced
1/2 cup asparagus
handful of baby kale
any other veggies you'd like!
1/2 cup of pearl barley
small pat of butter
6 cups of vegetable or chicken broth (I prefer low sodium and then adding salt to taste)

-add a small pat of butter to brown bits in dutch oven
-once warmed and melted add shallot, carrots, asparagus
-stir until tender but not mushy
-add broth
-stir in pearl barley
-cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until barley is soft
-add kale and stir until wilted
-add meatballs


These were delicious all by themselves!

oh, beauty!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Chai Spiced Honey Nut Granola

The cold is keeping us indoors today but we are cozied up in the kitchen making a batch of granola! Our three years in Vermont has totally rubbed off on us and I couldn't be more excited. Every time I think about how effortlessly our friends in Vermont live a healthier, more active life I get inspired all over again. Which brings us to granola :)

And can I just say very seriously.... right now, my kitchen smells AH-MAY-ZANG!

Would it be a bad idea to start randomly putting stuff in my oven to bake just to get my house to smell this good constantly? Probably, huh? Darn. LOL

It has its challenges (like the Ghiradelli brownies sitting right in front of me...) BUT choosing healthy consistently is starting to feel ok! I still have such a long way to go but even the longest of journeys are completed one step at a time.

Although small, it is a victory none-the-less every time I exercise my teeny weeny will-power muscle. Every time I choose to eat something better or when I choose to just eat less of the "bad stuff" that I cannot live without (enter Ghiradelli brownies once again lol), I gain a bit more confidence. Cheers to all those who choose well, healthier and better, everyday. You are wonderful examples for me!! :)


3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup of whole almonds

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of black chia seeds

1/2 pinch ground cardamom

1/2 pinch ground cloves

1/3 cup of honey (raw preferred but careful around children less than 1 out of caution against botulism)

1/3 cup of oil (coconut preferred)

1. preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. mix all dry ingredients together
3. warm wet ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat
4. add wet ingredients to dry ingredients
5. spread evenly onto a baking sheet
6. bake for 15 minutes, then mix and bake for another 5 more minutes or until browned
7. allow to cool and then break into chunks (my kids favorite part!) and store!

Chai Spiced Honey Nut Granola


how satisfying to hear crunchy granola clinking around a pretty glass mason jar!