springtime soup

springtime soup 1

Even though the warm weather has finally arrived I am not ready to let go of soup!  Nothing tastes better after a long day!  Soups are also a great way to get in a ton of vegetables!  This soup shouts spring with the asparagus, lemon and fresh basil!  Asparagus is one of the first vegetables to sprout out of the thawed ground.  It provides a good source of dietary fiber, beta-carotene, B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, and the list goes on and on!  You get the point; asparagus is downright just good for you!

Springtime Soup

Recipe adapted from “The Moosewood Restaurant” cookbook


Olive Oil

1 small red onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 quart low sodium veggie broth

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

4 cups water

¼ cup short grain brown rice

1 ½ cups frozen baby lima beans

1 ½ cups frozen peas

1 bunch asparagus

juice from ½ lemon

½ cup fresh basil (more for garnish)

salt and pepper to taste

 springtime soup

-Pour a few generous glugs of olive oil into a large soup pot.

-Over medium low heat, sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic for about 10 minutes.

-Add veggie broth, water, brown rice and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil then add baby lima beans and asparagus, return to a boil.

-Turn down heat and cook until rice is tender.

-Add salt, lemon juice, peas and basil.  Cook for about 5 minutes.

-Garnish with basil and enjoy!

This soup would pair nicely with pita bread and hummus or topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

miso hungry


Thanks to Uncle Marty and Aunt Allison, Noah got his first set of wheels!  He was so excited to open the big package that arrived for him last night!  He very patiently watched and helped Dad put the bike together and he can’t be more proud of it!  Along with the bike he received a helmet, oh the dreaded helmet.  Noah LOVED it until I committed the unthinkable…I pinched his sweet little chin in the clasp.  OUCH!!!  As my mother did to me and I’m sure as your mother did to you…it must be some mom rite of passage thing. Noah is fine and brushed it off but my heart is broken.  I definitely get the “worst mom award” today :(

Anyway, on to miso soup…

miso hungry miso soup

Miso is a fermented food that has been used as a staple in the Japanese culture for thousands of years.  It was popularized in the western culture with the boom of macrobiotics due to its amazing healing qualities.  In Japan the average person consumes one bowl of miso soup per day along with a diet high in vegetables, fruit and fish and low in meat and dairy.  I should also mention that Japan has one of the lowest rates of obesity in the world!!!  (www.webmd.com Hmmm, makes you wonder…could there be a connection???

Miso contains high levels of minerals, vitamins and protein however; it’s special healing properties come from the process of fermentation. It is fermented by a yeast mold called koji, this process can take up to several years! Fermentation creates healthy bugs in the form of lactobacilli.  These bugs help the digestive tract function properly, which in turn enhances your body’s ability to extract nutrients from food.  The probiotics found in miso heal and strengthen the gut which crucial for a thriving immune system.

 miso hungry miso soup3

In addition to probiotics, minerals, vitamin and protein, miso also has high levels of antioxidants, which are responsible for removing toxins and free radicals from the body.  If toxins and free radicals are not eliminated they build in the body destroying cells, which can lead to chronic diseases, cancer and accelerated aging. YUCK!

I used to be afraid to attempt cooking miso soup.  I’m not sure why because it is so easy!  If buying a prepackaged miso soup check the ingredients as many of them contain MSG and high amounts of sodium.

 Miso Hungry Miso Soup

1 carrot, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups mushrooms, sliced

2 cups low sodium vegetable stock

4 cups water

a couple of handfuls of spinach

4 scallions, chopped

pinch of dried wakame seaweed

5-6 tablespoons miso

cooked brown rice (optional)

miso hungry miso soup2

-Bring broth and water and to a boil, add carrot and garlic.

-Turn down to a simmer and add mushrooms.

-Simmer for 30-45 minutes.  Simmering for a long time will pull out the nutrients from the mushrooms.

-Add scallions, spinach and a large pinch of seaweed, simmer for a few minutes longer.

-Take soup off of heat.

-In a small bowl thin out miso paste with a little water, then add it to soup.

miso hungry miso soup5

It’s important to not add miso when cooking as to preserve the live probiotics

-Serve as is or over cooked short-grain brown rice for a heartier soup.

miso hungry miso soup1

This also makes for a wonderful warm and soothing breakfast!

~To try this recipe and others, join us this Sunday at Orleans Yoga & Pilates~



touch a truck and tempeh chili


It certainly doesn’t feel like April out there!  Its freezing and I could not warm up today!  We started off our day by enjoying breakfast with friends and family at The Wicked Oyster. We then proceeded to “touch a truck,” a bunch of dump trucks, fire engines, bulldozers and such on display for kids to enjoy.  It’s kind of a big deal.  Even at such a young age Noah is OBSESSED with trucks (how do boys know to like trucks?) and loved seeing them up close and personal (minus their loud horns).  After walking around outside we were FREEZING!  To warm us up I decided to make tempeh chili for dinner.  This is one of our “go-to” meals.  It cooks up quick and can be adapted using whatever you have on hand.

photo 2

Tempeh chili


4 ribs celery, chopped

1 red onion, diced

5 cloves garlic

2 carrots, chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

2 tablespoons Bragg’s amino acids (can substitute soy sauce or tamari)

1 block tempeh, crumbled

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed (black beans or kidney beans work well too)

1 can low sodium veggie broth

2 cups water

salt and pepper

a few large glugs of olive oil

Cholula Hot Sauce to taste!

photo 1


-Pour a few generous glugs of olive oil into saucepan and heat on medium high.

 -Sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic until they are cooked down and the onions start to caramelize.

-Add Bragg’s, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and cook until spices become fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

-Add crumbled tempeh and cook for 2-3 min or until tempeh is lightly browned.

-Stir in broth, water and beans.

-Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 45 min or until flavors are nicely blended.

 photo 3

I’ve added corn, red pepper and zucchini in the past.  You can even leave out the tempeh and use two cans of beans instead.  It’s a great recipe to use when you need to clean out the refrigerator…get creative!

check out www.beginwithinnutrition.com for more healthy ideas!