Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 22, 2016

ā€˜Sā€™ Foods (from Smoothies to Soup!)

Kay's Cooking Corner

Kay Bona

My weight loss attempts, no matter how many pounds, have not been very successful so far, or ever. Oh – I guess I can say I’ve done all right if my goal was two pounds; however, I did have a bit more in mind.

It seems that every time I attempt to exercise and watch my carb and fat intake, my mornings fill up with appointments, and all my friends and family have birthdays. I end up skipping the gym in the morning and eating cake for dinner. If that sounds familiar, I can’t offer you any advice on how to change it, but I can tell you – you are not alone. As if that is any consolation.

I hate the Bowflex commercials on T.V. All the pretty, young men and women looking all Adonis with a smile on their face, and saying all they did was walk for 30 minutes a day on the tread-climber. It’s just a Little. Bit. 

Depressing …

And I write articles on food. That is positively no help whatsoever.

I did make an awesome pot of soup this past week, which is the recipe I have for today. My hubby and son both said it was quite possibly the best soup I have ever made. Was it low fat? Well, yes, somewhat; I used ground sirloin for the meat, which had very little fat content. And it was super easy and quick!

Also, I found a few smoothie recipes that are supposed to be fat-burners. Or at least, one of them made that claim. I don’t know if they were or not (there wasn’t a picture of a young, female Adonis beside the recipe vouching for it), but they were good.

One of them was just pomegranate juice and strawberries, which was really tasty, and even if it didn’t burn any fat, it was pretty in my glass and was healthy. I just put two cups of frozen strawberries and one cup of pomegranate juice in the blender and pureed it. It was filling too.

Then I found another recipe. Once I tell you the name, you’ll laugh. No, it isn’t low-fat, low-carb, fat burning, or any of those catchy adjectives. But it is somewhat healthy. And it tastes awesome! It’s an Almond Joy Smoothie. I guess if you traded it for a piece of chocolate cake, it would be healthy. You could even substitute it for your lunch.

Almond Joy Smoothie

6 ounces unsweetened almond milk 

2 tablespoon raw almonds, (about 20 almonds) 

2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder 

1⁄2 cup spinach (don’t leave this out!) 

1⁄4 teaspoon coconut extract, 

  (or 2 tablespoons shredded coconut) 

1 tablespoon honey (or sweetener of choice, to taste) 

1⁄2 frozen banana, cut in half

1 cup ice cubes

Add all ingredients to blender and puree until smooth.

This is one 16 ounce serving and it has 270 calories, 13 grams fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat and 41 grams carbohydrates. So, like I said, I guess it’s not bad if you substitute it for a meal and it is really good. Dessert in a glass!

Beefy Lumachine Soup

As far as the soup recipe, I came across a recipe for Beef Macaroni Soup, which sounded good, but rather bland, so I “souped” it up! Also, I used Lumachine pasta instead of macaroni. The reason is because it’s cuter and even though it looks a lot like macaroni, one end of it is pinched together. That way it holds soup inside of it. After it cooks, it will even hold a kernel of corn or a bit of meat. I hope you can find it at your grocer; I got mine at Fresh Market. Anyway, here is my recipe: 

1 1/2 pounds ground beef 

  (I used sirloin. It is more expensive, but has less fat)

2 large cloves garlic, diced

1 medium onion, diced

3 cups frozen mixed vegetables of choice 

  (I used peas, carrots and corn) 

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained 

8 cups beef broth (I used Better Than Bouillon beef base)

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried parsley

3 small bay leaves

1 teaspoon garlic powder (if desired. I desired) 

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste pepper 

1 1/2 cups of Lumachine Pasta

Shredded cheese for garnish

In a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until no longer pink; drain if necessary. Return to burner and add diced garlic. Cook a minute or two longer, until garlic is tender. Stir in the mixed vegetables, tomatoes, broth, spices, and salt and pepper everything but the pasta. Bring to a boil and add macaroni. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until macaroni and vegetables are tender.

To serve, ladle in bowls and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with hot, sliced Sourdough bread.

*Cook’s note I also added one can of whole kernel corn because I didn’t think it had enough corn in it. This makes a large pot of soup enough for sharing! 

Kay Bona is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist and photographer. Contact her at kay@dailydata.com.