I have survived Thanksgiving and Christmas and now just have New Years to go!
I don't know about you, but I have definitely indulged in more sugar in all its insidious forms--cookies, eggnog, and champagne--than I needed and am feeling the effects.
I also succumbed to a nasty cold several days ago, the first in more than two years so I guess I shouldn't be complaining. I found myself trying to soothe away my discomfort with treats and over-feeding my cold in a feeble attempt to feel better.
Well, every day and every meal really is a new opportunity!
After indulging in eggnog, rugalah, butter cookies, truffles, biscotti and champagne over the last several days, I awoke this morning wanting eggs.
They provide me with a great form of sustenance leaving me feeling satisfied for hours. To boost their nourishing punch even further, I first sautéed some diced red pepper, green onion, mushrooms in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes, then added two handfuls of baby spinach and let it wilt. (A fridge veggie bin full of choices makes getting your 5+ a day so much easier!)
Then I stirred in 4 eggs and scrambled it all together making two generous portions for my husband and me.
I feel much more clear-headed and focused and was even able to re-arrange our remaining cookie supply on a smaller plate without having one because I feel satisfied. Fortunately the plate of remaining cookies is small and we are expecting guests this evening who are sure to help us finish them!
I hope by the same time next year to have a wider repertoire of sugar-free treats to call upon. I have just started experimenting with natural sugars like succanat and the herbal sweetener stevia.
For dinner I have tossed together beef short ribs, carrots, celery, tomatoes, red pepper, green chile, minced garlic, a yummy southwest salt rub and chili colorado simmer sauce, from Suzanne and placed them in the slow cooker.
I discovered Suzanne Somers line of food products while following her diet several years ago. She makes high quality products that are all natural and sugar free, taste yummy and can really simplify the process of getting dinner on the table.
Although I enjoy cooking, sometimes I don't have a lot of time to spend on the process. The slow cooker is a great tool that has stood the test of time. It makes a lot of sense for how we live today. Just toss some healthy ingredients together, turn it on and come back hours later to a tasty healthy dinner. Just add another green veggie or a salad!
This month's issue of Real Simple magazine has a slow cooker recipe for beer braised pork and black bean soup that sounds hearty and delicious.
Here's the recipe in case you want to give it a try too.
Beer-Braised Pork and Black Bean Soup
From REAL SIMPLE
2 12-ounce bottles of beer (preferably lager)
1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed
1 ½ pounds boneless pork butt (pork shoulder)
½ cup sour cream
½ cup store-bought refrigerated fresh salsa
¼ cup fresh cilantro
In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine the beer, 3 cups water, the chilies, adobo sauce, cumin, onion, beans, pork, and 1-½ teaspoons salt. Set the slow cooker to high and cook, covered, until the beans are tender and the pork pulls apart easily, 4 hours. Using a fork, separate the pork into large pieces. Divide among individual bowls and top with the sour cream, salsa, and cilantro.
If you don't have a slow cooker: heat oven to 300° F. Follow the recipe above using a Dutch oven or large casserole. Bake, covered, until the pork pulls apart easily, 4 hours.
Yield: Makes 6 servings
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