Archive | November, 2012

Black Bean & Chorizo Soup

28 Nov

Oh, how I adore a good bean soup. What is not to love about a one-pot wonder that keeps on giving meals for days? I am always on the hunt for a new soup recipe, although this is somewhere in limbo between soup and stew (given the viscosity). I first had black bean chorizo soup at my friend, and fellow RD, Christina’s home, where she served it with cornbread. Cornbread elevates anything, in my opinion, and is the perfect prescription for a cold fall or winter day. I can testify that coming home from a long day of work and finding a frozen tupperware full of soup is like hitting the jackpot.

I based my recipe off of this Epicurious recipe, however I made some changes. There’s no need to worry about having each ingredient listed, because that’s the beauty of a soup: you can add whatever you a) have on hand and/or b) want to include. It allows the cook some creativity and personalization. You can go hog wild with toppings if you wish, however I prefer a simple shaving of sharp cheddar cheese (I used Cabot’s 50% light cheddar). Try it, and you’ll keep coming back to this recipe…I promise.

Black Bean & Chorizo Soup (Makes about 8 cups)

8 ounces Spanish chorizo links (spicy cured pork sausage), sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 to 3 cups low sodium vegetable OR chicken broth

2 (15- to 19-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

Garnish: grated cheddar cheese, avocado, cilantro, sour cream or Greek yogurt

To prepare: Sautee sliced chorizo, onion, garlic, bell pepper, pepper flakes, and cinnamon in oil in a Dutch oven over moderate heat, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes and beans and simmer, partially covered, up to 45 minutes. Garnish and serve. Soup keeps up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Transfer to freezer for longer storage.


It is that time of year again – How to keep healthy this holiday season!

20 Nov

It feels GREAT to be back and blogging again – it has been too long! You know when it the holidays are right around the corner when the red, festive Starbucks cups are in gloved hands around town. I treated myself to a skinny Peppermint Latte this past weekend, which truly hit the spot and the smell was like holiday in a cup. In any case, the holidays can (I stress can, not will) promote nutritional havoc. There is good news, though: you can avoid winter holiday weight gain by utilizing a few strategies. The following strategies are adapted from the Sam’s Club Nov/Dec 2012 issue.

1) WATER! By carrying a bottle of water with you, you can fill up without filling up on extra calories. If you drink a glass of water before heading to the buffet table, chances are you will eat less.

2) AVOID TEMPTATIONS! Places like the office break room can be a dumping ground for sweets and treats that you wouldn’t normally eat. Studies show that when food is within sight – you’re more likely to eat it. Don’t set yourself up for disaster!

3) SMALL PLATES! It’s known that people tend to eat whatever is on their plates – and ALL that is on their plates. If you eat off of a larger plate, chances are that you are likely to overeat. Stick with a smaller plate and if you are truly hungry, go ahead for seconds (but choose veggies if you can).

4) HEAD OUTSIDE! One of the easiest ways to prevent the unwanted gift of holiday weight gain, find ways to exercise every day. Gather the family and head outside for a walk in between main and dessert course.

5) DON’T WAIT FOR JAN 1! Avoid the “indulge now, diet tomorrow” philosophy that often resurfaces this time of year. Don’t wait until January 1 to start living more mindfully. It is never to early (or late) to start.

6) BE PICKY!  Part of weight management is being selective about your calories. Pick things that you truly enjoy, and politely say “no” to the ones you don’t reallllly need.

7) SAY NO TO EMPTY CALORIES: Alcoholic drinks and cocktails can be a caloric trap. Stick with club soda with limes!

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