I’m neck high in missions conference shenanigans. I hope you don’t mind waiting for a new recipe until next week. I’ll try to post some pictures from the conference this week – the decor turned out pretty amazing if I do say so myself.

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sweet-potatoThat’s right – potato chowder. I know what you’re thinking, I can’t eat something called chowder – it’s loaded with calories! If you’re thinking that now then wait until you see the ingredient list – 1/2 cup of heavy cream! What?!?! That’s not allowed! Well, guess what, it is.

Although this is a potato chowder it’s much better for you than your typical loaded baked potato soup. This chowder has sweet potatoes – these bright orange veggies are rich in vitamin A and C which are both vital nutrients and powerful antioxidants. Oh, and you get a good dose of B6 too.

As for the heavy cream, I reduced it by half from the original recipe and it only adds about 35 calories per serving. Although it’s fatty you’re not getting a lot of fat with this recipe so it fits into the moderation category.

The best thing about this recipe is that it is totally filling! You’ll get about 315 calories for two cups worth – that’s a lot of soup when it’s something rich like this. I toss a little spinach in some balsamic vinegar and olive oil and call it a meal.

This recipe is taken (with a few changes) from The Daily Soup Cookbook by Carla Ruben, Bob Spiegel, and Peter Siegel (1999).

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil (they call for butter – I’m fresh out)

1 large Spanish onion, chopped

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons salt (they call for the kosher stuff – once again, I’m all out)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

7 sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch cubes (they call for 4 sweet potatoes and 3 yams – well I’m sorry, WalMart doesn’t make those kind of distinctions)

1 cup frozen corn (they call for the fresh stuff off of two ears of corn)

1/2 cup heavy cream (they call for a whole cup)

1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

they call for 1/2 cup chopped fresh curly parsley – I think parsley is gross.

How to do it:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sugar and caramelize for 10 minutes, until tender and golden.

2. Add the thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and stir to coat the onion.

3. Add the stock, sweet potatoes, yams, and corn (only if you’re using the fresh stuff – wait if you’re using frozen corn) and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

4. Stir in the heavy cream (and the frozen corn if you’re using that) until heated through.

5. Remove the bay leaves and puree about one quarter of the chowder in a blender or a food processor until smooth. If you’ve got an immersion blender that might work so long as you don’t blend the entire thing.

6. Return the puree to the pot and stir in the garlic.

Ladle that mess up and top it with some nasty parsley if you like.

Enjoy!!

Tofu again, I hope there aren’t too many of y’all out there that hate it. I love tofu for three important reasons: 1. Tofu is a flavor sponge – it morphs to happily join any type of cuisine. 2. Tofu is a good source of protein. 3. Tofu is CHEAP compared to the cost of meat. So, all I am saying is, “Give tofu a chance.”tofu1Did you know that I am an expert at Paint? Here’s the proof. You try drawing Todd the Tofu.

So, without further ado – tofu tacos. This recipe is “as few dishes as possible” friendly. You can measure out the tablespoons and teaspoons and all that jazz but you don’t need to. You’re making a marinade.

This recipe is based on that recipe.

Ingrediamentes –

1 package of firm tofu

3 big squirts of lime juice – about three tablespoons – from one of those little lime bottles which can be found by the real limes. If you’re feelin snazzy grab some real limes. I was feeling lazy, not snazzy at all.

2 swirls of olive oil (when I say swirls I mean that you should hold the bottle upside down over whatever pan you’re going to marinate the tofu in and tracing a big circle in the pan) – about two tablespoons.

2 swirls soy sauce – this is the one ingredient that there really can be too much so don’t go crazy.

4 shakes of garlic powder. You can use three cloves of minced garlic but this will dirty things and the bits of garlic may burn upon grilling/sauteing.

3 shakes of oregano

1 big pinch of minced chipotle in adobo sauce. Now, I cheat on this one. Chipotle is an amazing ingredient but it usually only comes in cans and I never use up the whole thing in one recipe (that would be suicide) and I always forget that it’s in my fridge and then it goes bad and then I’ve wasted a few bucks. This is no good. So, as a replacement I use Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Sauce & Marinade – Southwest Chipotle. I know, cheesy name. Nonetheless, it is a perfect replacement. If you use this, add a splash to the pan – more if you like it spicy.

1 large yellow onion

1 green bell pepper

2 more swirls of olive oil – not to be added to the marinade.

1 big pinch of sugar

8  6-inch Corn Tortillas

1. In a shallow dish – I used an 8 x 8 baking dish – mix the lime, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, oregano, and chipotle. Cut your tofu in half and then cut the two halves in half longways. You should have four thin rectangles. Place those in the marinade up to 24 hours and no less than 2 hours before you want to eat it and refrigerate. Flip them over about halfway through marinating time.

2. Heat your indoor grill to medium. If you don’t have one, heat a small pan over medium heat. Heat the second two swirls of olive oil in a large skillet. Slice the onion in half longways and cut each half into at least six long wedges. Remove the seeds and ribs from the bell pepper and cut the pepper into long strips. Add them to the hot pan and add a big pinch of salt. Let those saute a couple of minutes before moving on.

3. Dump the marinade minus the tofu into the pan with the onions and peppers. Stir in a big pinch of sugar and allow the mix to simmer.

4. Dip a paper towel in oil and wipe your grill or small pan down with it. Add the tofu. Cook until both sides are brown. The tofu will stay soft in the middle so be careful when you handle it so it won’t fall apart. Set those aside on a plate to cool.

5. Warm your tortillas one by one in the pan you used to cook the tofu. I find that about two tortillas per person is a good amount.

6. Keep sauteing and simmering those peppers and onions until they are soft. They should be soft by now but just in case.

7. To assemble – Cut each piece of tofu in half longways placing one small half in each tortilla you plan to use. Give each taco a big pile of peppers and onions. Enjoy the deliciosity.

I know, I’m so lazy, no calorie count and no picture of the finished product. I’m telling you, these are super delicious. Ok, alright, I’ll figure it out – it shouldn’t take too long

ok, one taco is about 150 calories so enjoy 2 for 300 :).

Anniversary and Loser Food

February 3, 2009

I have to admit, this is going to be a half-hearted edition of cooking for losers. I’ve got a headache, I’m kind of tired, and I’m kind of crabby. We’re not even eating this loser dish tonight, we ate it last Thursday night. Now, it’s half-hearted only because I’m going to estimate the amounts and I’m not going to go through the work of exacting the nutritional information. I am wholly confident that it fits within the guidelines and I know from experience that the dish is delicious. I would post what we’re eating tonight but I haven’t decided yet. So, the recipe with a finished product photo is below. The dish is SUPER easy—SUPER SUPER easy and full of flavor. Simple Sauteed Chicken and Spinach Parm Rice. So good. Before I give you that recipe – here are some pics from our festivus anniversary celebration! Five years! I can’t believe it. We were really blessed to spend the weekend at my Aunt Jill’s cabin – Mary Paul’s Morning Mist Cottage – a place dedicated to my grandmother. It is an AMAZING place. Tucked in the woods beside a creek with a big stacked fireplace and nice hot tub. It’s got two bedrooms with huge, snuggly beds, a living room full of overstuffed furniture, a pool table, cable, tons of movies, a big kitchen and adorable towns just down the road. We wished we could stay a week which is what we did for the first weekend of our honeymoon. It was very romantic to be back there.

A surprise from James – flowers and fun chocolate

white chocolate coconut, dark chocolate with chili, and milk chocolate with sea salt and smoked almonds

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James chowing on one of the four pieces of cheesecake I picked up before the trip – a friend had given us a gift card and it just had to be used up! Ok, maybe not all at once but whatever.

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Making a little breakfast.

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OK, so it was a big breakfast.

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Homemade pop tarts. Drool is appropriate.

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We heart each other. He hearts me even with no makeup.

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Feet in front of the fire.

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We went to downtown Ellijay and James wanted a picture with the bear.

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James found this and was pretty proud of himself.

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More cheesecake.

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James caught me reading the guestbook where I wrote some pretty

embarrassing and gushing things on our honeymoon and our first anniversary.

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OK, we have a ton more pictures but I’ll make myself stop. We had such a great time!

Here’s the Loser recipe:

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Ingredients:

1 package chicken cutlets

olive oil

salt

pepper

1 cup dry rice cooked according to package instructions – we used brown rice

1/2 bag of spinach chopped up into bite sized pieces

1 palmful of shredded parmesan cheese or you can use the grated stuff

1 clove of garlic, minced – we did add one more clove but don’t do that unless you really like garlic like we do – it doesn’t get cooked so it’s pretty strong.

1. Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken with a good dose of salt and pepper. Lay the cutlets flat in the pan. Cook three to four minutes on each side. Done.

2. Stir together the hot rice, spinach, garlic, a dash of salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. Give that a taste and adjust the seasonings. Done.

Enjoy. It’s probably in the 300-400 range. One day I’ll do the math for ya.