When Life Hands You Broccoli…

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First day of the week down, 4 more to go! At least for the work week anyway… They are calling for another “complex” winter storm Tuesday night. I doubt we will get anything since we are so far south and right on the coast. Still, it is kind of fun thinking that it may snow here, since it hardly ever does! I have lots of produce and frozen meat stocked up, so I’d be set just in case.

Anyway, last night I made Nom Nom Paleo’s Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup. When I went grocery shopping it was buy one broccoli stalk, get one free. Heck yeah! The broccoli stalks were so big I broke one of the little produce baggies trying to stuff the green monster in it! I came home and Googled “whole30 broccoli recipe” (naturally, of course). Anything with Nom Nom Paleo that pops up is a winner. I had mostly everything the recipe called for except leeks. Confession: I’ve never had leeks. Or if I have, I didn’t know it. And I know for a fact I’ve never bought leeks. I found out while chopping the leeks up (which I also Googled how to do) that they are basically gigantic scallions. Except we don’t use their upper green part (thanks Google!).

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See?! Don’t the scallions look like leek mini-me’s?! Lots of chopping went on in the kitchen yesterday. I had to make two runs out to the compost!

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I used coconut oil to cook the onion, leeks, scallions first and then when they were soft I threw in the broccoli and apple slices. Oh, I also threw some protein to cook in here to so I could have a whole complete meal. I used some beef!

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I then poured in 4 cups of chicken broth. I used Imagine’s Organic Free Range Chicken Broth. Ah! I just noticed they have a $1 off coupon on their website. Heck yeah! I need some beef broth for my sexy Valentines Day dinner. I also put a few cups of water in the pot to make sure all the veggies were submerged. After making the pot come to a boil, I let it simmer for 20 minutes. Then I added some curry, salt and pepper.

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So, the recipe recommends using an immersion blender to “blitz” the ingredients. Funny story. We got a hand-held immersion blender for a wedding gift. I held onto it for a few months thinking I would definitely need it for something. Then, I felt like it was taking up too much space in our small little kitchen and I decided to post it for sale on craigslist. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of the original packaging or I would have returned it to the store. After a month or two I forgot about it and then out of nowhere someone takes interest in buying it. I sold it for a good $25 bucks and a few weeks later I make a recipe that calls for an immersion blender! One of my reasons for selling it was because I had this huge-ass Ninja blender taking up space in our cabinet and that I would just use it for everything that needed mixing, whipping, blending, dough-ing, pulsing, and “blitzing”. So, I put together my ass-kicking Ninja and pulsed it a few times, making sure to control it since I knew all of the soup contents were hot. It mixed everything up so fast that I didn’t believe it was finished. I thought, for sure, it needed more blending and for a longer amount of time! The picture on the right is the aftermath of my over-thinking.

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Luckily, it wasn’t too bad of a mess! I poured everything back into the pot and put a cup of coconut milk in it to finish off the soup.

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Isn’t it so pretty?! Hubs and I both enjoyed it, even though he is dodging from the photo. He is doing the exact opposite of photo-bombing.

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dinnersoup It was so good, I had it for breakfast today (leftovers!!!). I added some bacon to it and a fried egg (duh).

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So, I had a little bit of a kitchen malfunction but overall a success. My plan for tomorrow pretty much hinges on the weather since it will involve driving over and around a river and back. I would honestly be okay if I were forced to stay home after work and not brave the roads. I would just rather be at home all snuggled up with my Hubs and my Lady baby on a cold night watching a movie.

In other news, I woke up with some annoying hint of a cold coming on. I’ve been sneezing a lot today and right now can only breathe out of one nostril. Damnit! Come on, Whole30, heal me now!! I guess even Whole30 can’t compete with this stupid weather. It is 70 degrees and sunny one day and then it drops down to freezing rain the next day. What is a wannabe cave girl supposed to do?!

P.S. My nails are looking awesome! They are long and feel strong. By the way, my version of long nails is probably someone’s version of trimmed. I usually can’t keep them long without them chipping or me biting them! They distract me sometimes like when I’m doing planks during my workout. Ha!

Soup for Snow Day

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Today is day 3 of Whole30 and I can already feel some improvements in my body, albeit they are slight. Two weeks ago, it was my last few days of my first Whole30 and I went for a run outside in the cold. I usually can’t run in the cold without my joints throbbing during and afterwards. I also usually can’t run a few miles suddenly without slowly building up my endurance because of my ankle. In 2010, I ran a half marathon and got tendinitis in my right ankle. I’ve been able to run on it since, but usually not without wearing an ankle brace and not without it swelling up afterwards.The last time I had run before this time was probably a month and a half ago, so this was a pretty remarkable improvement. Now, flash forward to a week later from that 3 mile run that I ran two weeks ago and that brings us to last week (still with me?), when I was revisiting the land of chocolate, potato chips, peanut butter, and bread. Did I feel like shit? Yes. Did I crave sugar every single second? Yes. Did I go for another run? NO! In fact I didn’t do any real exercise because my ankle flared up like an alien laid an egg in my foot (that is a very weird analogy I understand). Not only that, but it throbbed constantly, which is something it hasn’t done in years. It’s like the Whole30 had cleared up the inflammation in my ankle so much that when I introduced my body back to processed crap, my ankle was even more sensitive to its effects.

So, anyway–the point of my ankle antics is to say that on Day 3, I can already feel how much better my ankle feels and looks. I’ve even been able to get some cardio in on it and it has been just fine. In fact, my hubby and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary (of dating-date-versary?) so we went out and did something we have never done together–rollerskating! It was “Cheap Skate” (get it?!) on Monday nights, so that is what we did. I was worried about how my ankle would hold up, but thanks to not even 72 hours of Whole30 I didn’t have to cancel our surprise date!

In other exciting news, tomorrow is an official Snow Day! More like “Snow” Day though since it hasn’t even really snowed yet. Although I do believe we have received some “freezing rain.” That is pretty much equivalent to snow here in Southeastern NC though. I stopped by one of my favorite local hole-in-the-wall grocery stores on my way home from work to pick up some soup for tonight and tomorrow. Check out the Veggie Wagon if you’re ever in the neighborhood! They make some delicious soups all from scratch and I found two that were Whole30 compliant. Tonight I had “Creamy Cashew Tomato Soup”. The ingredients are simple and all pronounceable: “Fresh tomatoes, Vegetable Stock (water, onion, mushroom, carrot, celery, tomatoes, black pepper, garlic, spices), Onions, Cashew Cream (raw cashews, water), Olive Oil, Garlic, Sea Salt, Xanthum Gum.” Doesn’t “Cashew Cream” just sound like something you want bottled up waiting for you in your fridge?! I’m going to make it my goal to make some homemade cashew cream this year….I wrote it. So there it is. The other soup flavor is Butternut Squash. It’s going to be hard to choose which one is my favorite.

I noticed that because of all of the “snow” excitement, I really found myself looking for reasons to go to the store and buy some beer and pizza and celebrate. Now that I think of it, I really wouldn’t be celebrating anything though would I?–Congrats, you don’t have to go in to work tomorrow?! Congrats, it is going to precipitate tomorrow, which may or may not be snow?! It is so clear to see how I self-sabotage myself in hindsight! Instead, I splurged on the home-made soup ($5 a pint is definitely considered a “splurge”). For dinner tonight I threw the soup in a pot with some cooked chicken and kale and voila! I’m glad I opted for the latter.

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soupTune in tomorrow to see how productive I can be on a “Snow” Day.