Tag Archives: vegetables

It’s soup time!

Much to my boys disgust there will be an influx of pumpkin this winter in our house. Mum and dad have lots of them and I’ve been instructed to use as many as i like while they are away on holiday. The only thing now, how many ways can I cook a pumpkin when no one but me likes them. Hubby loves his soup and the kids complain the whole time they are eating (the meagre amount they get), while my favourite is by far a nice slab that has been roasted/baked, bringing out the sweetness, then soup and of course scones. I tried pumpkin pie for the first time last year (see post here) so I may give that a go. Pumpkin dip is pretty morish, but I’m not a fan of it on pizza or in salad. Maybe I haven’t tried the right one just yet?
As I go looking for more recipes to test out I’ll leave you with my soup that is cooking away as I type.

Vegetable roasted and ready for the pot. They were so nice I ate some straight from here.IMG_7647

Onion, parsley and stock simmering.IMG_7648

Veges added with the rest of the water.
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Roasted Pumpkin & root veg soup.

1 whole pumkpin, deseeded, chopped and peeled.
2 or 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sm-med sweet potato/kumara, peeled and chopped
1 onion chopped,
italian parsley, garlic, chicken stock powder
7-8 cups water,

1. While chopping vegetable, pre heat oven to 300F
2. place veges in roasting pan, and drizzle wiht some oil and sprinkle dried herbs over.
3. bake for at least an hour, turning oven down to 250 after half an hour. I did mine for 90mins to allow for a good flavour to develop, then left it in the oven while I went out.
4. brown onion and add 1/2 cup water, garlic, stock powder and parsley.
5. add vegetables and the rest of the water. stir to mix and mush them around a bit.
6. simmer for 15 mins or so to allow the veges to infuse the stock. Taste and adjust as required.
7. turn off, cool and then blend.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and parsley if you like. And always with thick slabs of bread.

enjoy 🙂
Jen

12 Week Challenge

********* WARNING: POST ABOUT DIET & EXERCISE **************

I have had this post rattling around in my head for a week or two, waiting to get time to sit down and think about what I am writing and put it on paper (or screen). I even wrote a draft in my notes folder to get my head around a few things. I’m not sure if I’ll go and rescue it yet.

Last Wednesday I decided, that was it, I’ll write it. I had had a PT session in place of the Power Pilates class I went to, as I was the only one who turned up. Turns out it was the best workout I’ve done for a while. And got me thinking about this damned challenge I set myself – thanks to hubby.

We were at the pool and while I am no heifer, I am not model material either. There are parts that need…toning up. While plenty of people will say I look fine, I have no doubt I probably do, but it is how I feel about me that makes the difference. Nine years ago, I felt better than I ever had. More energy, more confidence and more self esteem.
Sure I am all mature and grown up now, and what you think doesn’t matter, but if I don’t like me, then how are others supposed to.

Let’s get down to business here. The 12 week challenge. They are everywhere these days, a full on diet and exercise overhaul resulting in a tough regime of working out and eating properly.

I know how to eat properly. I choose not to all the time, that’s all. For me, the food is the easy bit. If I don’t buy it, if it’s not in pantry, I won’t eat it. (Chips are my downfall!! Chocolate will sit there for months) And when we go out, I generally choose the best options already.
It is the exercise that gets me. I get bored easily. I can’t just do the same thing day in day out.

Last year I set myself a challenge. Get fit and ready for an 8k run. I did it. I don’t want to do fun runs or marathons, I just wanted to do that. Been there done that.
Later in the year after some personal physical issues, I got back on the treadmill and free weights, and spent a few months getting it on, and working out. I started Power Pilates (PP) and loved it. A new dimension to my workouts.

Then Christmas and the school holidays hit. No excuse for no exercise. But not having a set routine, meant I just enjoyed 6 weeks of nothing except my weekly PP class. And that is not going to get you fit on its own.

Back to where I made the decision. Hubby, in all his diplomacy, said maybe I should do a 12 week challenge. Get back to where I want to be, quickly, and then it’s all maintenance. I suggested maybe he join me. I’m all for honesty etc, especially from him and the kids, but that hurt. Why? Because its true. I am ten kilos heavier than my maximum healthy weight.

Long story short. I found a challenge and paid for it (the Michelle bridges one had closed that day for the next round, yes, no exaggerations, that day!) and proceeded to receive the email with all the information.

Initially it looked good. But the more I read, the more it sound like a body builders regime. The diet is reasonably strict and full of protein. Protein is good, it builds muscles. But eating 20+ eggs in a week, yeah, that’s a bit extreme. (even if i ate them everyday id still only get in, say, 10) and I’m not taking the supplement powders, multi vitamins or eating tofu, euck.

The exercises look pretty good but repetitive, (the only things that changed was the order of activity and the reps went up) and the two sessions I did last week gave the muscles a good work out.
The only other extra exercise I did, which was really good and totally unrelated was a couple of workouts from my new Pilates Guru book and the app on the iPad. I will still be doing these – aiming for the 15min energy boost workout – daily.

My plan. For the next 11 weeks.
Working out my workout regime, what I do each day at the gym – my own cardio and free weights sessions – and set up my groceries to follow the diet closely, but not exact – and do a weekly check in on the page I made just for it. It will be my diary and information pages. I won’t be writing posts just for this. Maybe share a link or a sticky note, but not the full thing.
I will get the obligatory before shot and measurements. Whether I share this with you, I am unsure at the moment. Maybe at the end. I may gad about the place and not care, but sharing a pic of me like that makes me feel uncomfortable. Go figure.

I have been going to a stretch class each Friday morning. One hour of stretching. I am not flexible at all, and I need it to loosen everything up. Funny thing, I feel all free and lose in my head, but physically, I am wound tighter than a coil. Is that saying something??
I walk in feeling a lead pencil, and walk out feeling like a rubber band. All relaxed and limber and completely not achy or stiff. I actually feel like I have more energy. So Fridays I won’t be doing any other exercise. That class is like my end of week cool down.

12 week challenge. Bring it on. My way.

Get active, get out there and be comfortable with You! 🙂
Jennifer

Broad Beans anyone??

For those of you who didn’t click away and look for something else I have a little surprise. Broad beans are actually quite nice. But only if you get them when they are small and fresh, and sweet. To do this you’d have to get them straight from the grower (thanks mum and dad), grow them yourself (yeah, same thing) or find a really good grocer, or fruit and veg place.

Most of us do not have good memories of the critters, usually way over cooked and being large and old, really bland and icky. Some things take a while to leave our memories, but when I was asked if unwanted any I figured, well, as they are young, I’m happy to give them another try.
I’m glad I did.

My household shrunk to just Mr 8 and me, so I said its a ‘your choice’ dinner. As usual, he took the two minute noodle choice. Yeah mine choose the veges every time, Not!

I cut thick slices of ham, capsicum (bell pepper) and shallots, and stir fried with lots of garlic then added the two minute noodles (minus the flavour sachet, they are quite versatile) and broad beans with a blob of chilli sauce.
*Once the noodles were boiling I tossed in the beans to blanch rather than fully cook them.
And in five minutes I have a somewhat healthy dinner, that is tasty to boot.

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Now, if this encourages just one person to try them again, then I have succeeded in boosting bean self esteem.
What have you tried years down the track and realised it wasn’t as bad as you thought?

Jennifer 🙂