Tag Archives: healthy recipes

EASY WINTER SOUP

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It has been so cold here in LA, San Francisco cold. When it is chilly like this you want comfort food to warm your body and soul. Soup is cold weather food but it is also a wonderful opportunity to cook with a lot of vegetables. Last night my hubby requested I make healthy soup and I obliged because we are trying to get back to eating clean and healthy in the new year.  I was planning on making my vegetarian Split Pea Soup ( Here is the recipe) http://mychangeforaten.com/how-to-make-vegetarian-split-pea-soup/

Trader Joe’s did not have any split peas so I decided to make Chicken Sausage soup with lots of fresh vegetables. I am on a quest to eat less meat, and I am limiting my use of animal products with hopes to transition to vegetarianism and later veganism. In the meantime, I do use some animal products and this soup is one of those times. Below is the recipe given to me by my friend Cameron. I am back on track for the new year, and soup is my go to meal. Here is the link to the workout I am doing tonight after work. http://www.benderfitness.com/2017/01/arm-leg-sculpting-home-workout.htmlreciperecipe1

Cameron, like me rarely eats pasta so we both substituted shredded cabbage for the pasta. I used two cartons of low sodium vegetable broth for the chicken broth. I used spicy chicken sausage and it really flavors the soup so I just seasoned it with very little salt, some dried basil and black pepper. We skipped the Parmesan Cheese. 

This soup is as easy as it is written out. We had a simple salad of romaine, tomatoes, red onion and oil and vinegar. I am really trying to limit our sodium intake. 

This meal was healthy and so satisfying. We completed the meal with sprouted bread topped with Miyokos non dairy creamery spread, made out of Coconut oil and organic Cashews. It was delicious, but of course we used portion control. I read about it in the Magazine VegNews and when I went to Trader Joe’s I was delightfully surprised to see it on the shelf, and it really was a hit with my husband James.

I hope you are having a wonderful beginning  2017, and if you find yourself needing healthy soup to warm you up, give this a try and let me know how you like it. Every day is a new opportunity to get inspired and chase your goals, even when it is cold outside.

Much love and light,

Rose 15870575_10154786151473617_1135422458_n

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HAPPY NEW YEAR

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.

Melody Beattie

Happy New Year. I cannot believe 2017 is upon us. I actually love New Years, because I love the idea of starting over and reinvention. It could be as small as starting fresh on a Monday morning or taking a big leap and committing to your goals as the clock strikes midnight on a brand new year. I am so ready for this year and all of my goals; weight loss and fitness blog goals, personal goals and artistic goals. Let’s do this 2017.

I believe for me 2016 was a transitional year. A lot of good happened but most of the year was spent working on a move from San Francisco back to LA and dealing with the nuances of settling into a new home. I did hit my lowest weight in 2016 since beginning my weight loss/charity project. I am half way to my weight loss goal.

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Besides my weight loss one of my proudest accomplishments was being featured in my first print magazine, Asana Journal, International Yoga Magazine. Check it out.

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I lost my way a little on my blog, a very busy holiday season at work really wore me out. I also went five months without a cheat day on my diet, and then I did take a little time to enjoy holiday food and celebrate life. I admit it, eating off program left me feeling lethargic and ill. I learned a lot over my diet hiatus, I like eating healthy and exercising and when I eat unhealthy foods I feel unhealthy. I am back to treating my body like a temple. I am following the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time and leave 20% open for occasional treats.

My first commitment of the new year is to get back to posting regularly on this blog, at least every other day if not daily. I am making a resolution to my weight loss and fitness goals. I am currently collecting blankets for The Midnight Mission, and following my original format one charity per each ten pounds. I will deliver the blankets to the Mission as soon as I lose my next ten pounds. That is what I do, I lose weight and I do something for charity. It is a win, win.

Starting on January 2, 2017 I am beginning Melissa Bender 30 day fitness challenge Here is the link to her original 30 day fitness challenge.http://www.benderfitness.com/2014/05/original-30-day-workout-challenge.html

I have many fitness goals, including yoga and running goals. I will revisit my fitness bucket list within the next few weeks. I am motivated and ready to begin anew. Who is with me?

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CRISIS CHALENGES

It is Thanksgiving week and it never escapes me how lucky I am, despite being in what seems to be a long-term financial crisis. I keep dieting and exercising through my challenges. This week we had yet another disappointment, but I am not going to allow myself to wallow in my woes. I took a moment yesterday, cried in my coffee over conversation with my dear friend Mary. I shared with her some things that concern me about being in a financial crisis as a weight loss blogger. My friend is a fixer type of friend, she is completely giving and the kind of person who tries to come up with solutions to your issues. She is amazing and I am lucky to have her around the corner. I am thankful indeed for all of my friends, family, my husband James and our beloved Siamese cats Rascal and Spanky. I am thankful for life.

I decided to do a quick post and share my thoughts and concerns about being in a financial crisis and how it affects my blog, These thoughts are ridiculous to me when I type them up, but they are my feelings. Being in a financial crisis puts a limit on a lot of spending. If you know me, you know I am more interested in helping others, in reveling in nature than I am about material possessions. With that said, everyone likes nice things, and I am not immune to that fact. If you follow fellow weight loss bloggers and well as fitness bloggers it seems a lot of the things they post I cannot post because of my situation. I feel like I do not measure up. This is not a pity statement, rather a way to get it out and share and to come up with other ways to be a motivational weight loss blogger during my lean time. I love that I said lean, because despite my crisis, I can say I accomplished my lowest weight on my blog. I did it even though there were times I wanted to dive head first in a vat of chocolate cake batter. It has been five months without a cheat day, and I have one more month to go. My workouts are at www.benderfitness.com which are all free. My equipment is weights, a mat and again a pair of worn shoes. Here are my silly concerns and how I am moving past them. I keep moving.a02b9032-b84b-415f-b804-150a63cc676414705636_1268334023212061_7219886695795970552_n

  1. My running shoes have seen their best day. I almost did not go to the last Richard Simmons Slimmons class out of embarrassment. I shared this in a private group, and the beautiful support that came my way through the Slimmons family taught me I am not an embarrassment. Someone even kindly offered to mail me shoes his wife has never worn. That touched me but it was not why I posted it, I just felt the need to vent. I am grateful to him and the whole Slimmons family, and as I type I am sporting my proudly worn Asics. They still feel good when I walk and run, and I am proud of all my steps. I am proud where these shoes have been, and where I am going.15073486_10154639242963617_6508711910709230700_n15078580_10154628087623617_8586468506395100455_n
  2. Instagram is filled with photos of people posting work out gear. I love nice work out clothes too, so I love liking the photos. I cannot do that now, and that is OK. I will find other ways to share my journey. So I am at my lowest weight on my blog and I am not clothes shopping. It will come soon enough, perhaps when I hit my ultimate weight loss goal. For now I keep keeping on and staring as trees as I run in my worn shoes. This gives me something to work for and something to look forward to. Perhaps a fun photo shoot when I finally reach that elusive weight loss goal of 135 lbs. The new clothes can wait, I am refocusing on the work. It is all about the hard work, the health and the wellness. And of course the connections with people.12592393_10153807006948617_2827822076568560780_n
  3. Races. I have done a few and I wish to do more. They are not cheap.  I  hope to run in a race in the new year. In the meantime, I will maybe do a virtual race and ask my followers to run along with me virtually. In 2015 I ran across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and that was such a high on national 4/20 day. I can find another place to do a run here in LA, some place that really is special. As long as I keep running in my worn shoes I will reach my dream destination. I am a work in progress.unnamed-15
  4. Recipes and Food. Lately I have fallen off the wagon with cooking and shopping for groceries. We are keeping our diet simple, and I eat a lot of my meals at work. I tend to rely on the same fast and healthy options. It does not leave me much time or money to make elaborate recipes and that is OK. We have food, we eat healthy, we are grateful. Tonight I am off and trying a couple of healthier autumn treats. I am going to bake apples and make a baked sweet potato with just a few pecans, marshmallows and banana. I will post these budget friendly recipes. I can do one or two new recipes a week. I love shopping at thrift stores and finding treasures on a dime. This is my vintage Cuisinart food processor that I made black bean brownies with. 13731689_1191796280865836_7205266471736481432_n
  5. My Blanket Drive. I wanted to hold a boot camp to raise blankets for the Midnight Mission in LA for the Homeless. This is my next charity. I ended up sick and I have an injured rotator cuff so this felt like a failure to me. The game may have changed, but the prize is still the same. I am collecting blankets for the homeless and I will continue to do so from now until I deliver them to The Midnight Mission in December. It is getting Cold here in LA and the blankets are needed. Here are my thoughts on blankets for the homeless.http://mychangeforaten.com/1750-2/ I am getting to my goals despite the issues and nuances of life. My best friend Melissa Bender called me Mulan today. I am a warrior fighting my metaphorical huns. Much love and light, I am thankful for you. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Remember to treat your body like a temple but still enjoy life. It is the holiday so it is totally acceptable to indulge and share delicious fare with family and friends. Try to watch your portions and maybe get out for a walk or run. xocirque11
Rose Bruno Bailey Greek Salad

On the weekends, party “healthy” with this Greek salad

It’s the weekend, and now that my schedule is on point I am feeling better about that concept. I think we are going to drive up the coast again, and take in the sights. We usually go for seafood but this time we are packing a cooler with snacks and drinks. It is easy to be lazy and just bring things like chips and pretzels but I have come up with healthy picnic/party alternatives to take to whatever party/picnic you are heading to.

I love to make an easy Greek Vegetable Salad. When I say easy, I mean simple, easy peasy, cut up a few veggies and bam. So here is the Greek Vegetable Salad I will be taking for our joyride later today up the Pacific Coast Highway. Hope you enjoy.

This is how you make a wonderful Greek Vegetable Salad. Recipe is below photo.
Namaste’
1 container cherry tomatoes
Kalamata olives (as many as you prefer)
one small chopped red onion
1 chopped green pepper
half cup low fat Feta Cheese
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
oregano
salt and pepper
Juice of half lemon
Mix all the ingredients together and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of vinegar
Squeeze half lemon over mixture
Salt and Pepper to taste and add a shake of oregano
Mix well
Store in a container and keep cool in your picnic cooler and recipe can be doubled for more picnic guests.
Enjoy it with healthy sandwiches or add chopped chicken or Beef or Tempeh.

RAINBOW BERRY COFFEE CAKE

Happy Pride Day LA. I wish all of my friends a beautiful and safe day celebrating out in West Hollywood CA. Remember, we are all one connected to the core that is our humanity.

I have decided to bake today, and in honor of LA Pride I baked a Berry Coffee Cake and renamed it Rainbow Berry Coffee Cake.



I bought Trader Joe’s Multigrain Baking and Pancake Mix, and inspired by their recipe on the box made my own version with some healthy changes.



You will need:

Trader Joe’s Multigrain  Baking and Pancake Mix, or another brand if you please Use 2 1/2 cups

1 egg

1 cup low fat buttermilk, I substituted low fat milk

3 tablespoons oil, I used extra virgin oil because that is all I had, but you can use vegetable oil 

1 bag Trader Joe’s frozen mixed berries no additional sugar (I used most of the bag)

1/2 cup raw sugar, or sugar or agave

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 

In a large bowl mix together  1 egg,  1 cup low fat milk and  3 tablespoons oil.  Stir in 2 1/2 cups Trader Joe’s Multigrain Baking and Pancake mix and  1/2 cup sugar. Fold in almost a full bag of frozen berries but make sure to thaw the bag first. I used most of the full bag, I wanted tons of berries.

Mix well and spray a glass pie pan with cooking spray. Spread evenly in pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for ten minutes and serve this not so decadent treat with your favorite coffee or tea. I am of course practicing self control over the portion size. It was oh so delicious.



This recipe is very low cholesterol, low fat, low sugar, high fiber and whole grain. It is a little higher in sodium than I usually eat but it is an occasional treat. 

It was the perfect Sunday accompaniment for some quiet reflection on life before I have to get moving and work out. No rest for the weary, but who is weary anyway? I love working out,yoga, meditation and dancing, and I forgot how I much I love to bake and cook. Sundays are a great reminder to slow down and smell the roses and LA Pride is a reminder to wear your colors with confidence. Be you, your best authentic self always; critics be damned. 
Gotta love life.

Love, Light to all.
Namaste’
After all Namaste’ means we are all one
Rose








MOM’S VEGETARIAN SPLIT PEA SOUP

My evenings have been very busy with yoga and working out, and walking for an hour a day. I do not always have time to cook daily like I did before, so I look for meals that can last more than a day. I love to cook one pot soups, especially as autumn approaches. One of my favorite go to soups is my Mom’s Vegetarian Split Pea. It is a pot of delicious healthy soup, and so simple you could probably cook it in your sleep. You can add whatever extra vegetables you like to the soup, to make it your own. It is high in protein and fiber and low in fat. I do not puree’ it, I like the texture in its natural state. I love to have a few crackers with it, it warms me up from the inside out. 

This recipe first came to me from my lovely Mother, for years when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio I was a vegetarian and she would whip up meals for me that would work for my lifestyle. This is one I have learned and adapted as my own, one of many. I am blessed to have such an amazing Mother and teacher, and my husband reaps the benefits as well. 
Enjoy!!
Namaste’
Love and light
Rose

You will need

I bag dried split peas
2 carton of low sodium vegetable broth
1 Mirepoix mix from Trader Joe’s ( Chopped up celery, carrots, and onions) If you cannot find Mirepoix mix use one medium onion, 5 celery stalks, and 5 carrots, chopped.
Garlic cloves, I use 5 chopped
Sea Salt 
Ground pepper
dried basil
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

This is really the easiest soup.

Warm the extra virgin oil for a few seconds in a large pot. Add the Mirepoix mix and the garlic and saute’ until translucent. I like mine cooked so I saute’ mine for at least five minutes. I flavor the veggies with a bit of sea salt, a generous does of ground pepper and basil. You can add whatever vegetables you like. Sometimes I add kale to my soup.

After the veggies cook, I add the 2 cartons of vegetarian broth, the whole bag of split peas, and I bring it to a boil.

Season it a bit more, and cover and bring the temperature to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Boom, you have soup. It is that easy. Serve with crackers or some warmed whole grain bread from the oven. I skip the bread since I am working so hard on my My Change For a Ten weight loss and I may not be able to have just one slice.
This soup lasts only two days in my house, because my husband eats three bowls at a time.:-)
Manga’

BRIE BEACH SANDWICH

When we are born our first bout with individuality is when our parents bestow upon us the gift of a name. What is in a name? Does a name define who we are or how we are perceived by others?  What about those souls who are lost to their families, perhaps they ended up homeless and one day when their time was up they couldn’t be identified? They are just as much a human as anyone else but because their “name” was not known they were coldly stamped John or Jane Doe. 

This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart and one of the reasons I have chosen to assist The Monday Night Mission on my My Change For A Ten project when I lose my first ten pounds. I am so close, at nine pounds at the moment. I am hoping to make the ten pound loss Tuesday and then I will set the date when I will visit and assist The Monday Night Mission.

WALK IN EMPATHY
Step into my worn shoes,
How would you feel?
When People walk by,
Forgetting you are real.
Beyond your reach,
The hopes of a warm meal;
Or a place to lay your head,
To let your weary body heal.
Your spirit is broken,
Yet your head held high;
Only to be ignored,
By oblivious eyes.
A face with no name,
Is what they see;
Unloved, forgotten,
Throughout society.
Such lonely solitude,
Unanswered prayers;
Hopelessness and sorrow,
But no one cares.
Who will miss you
When it’s your time to go?
Will anyone remember,
Your name is not John Doe.
© Rose Bruno Bailey

The name Rose has caused many a remark from people when they first meet me. Usually it is the standard ” that is my great great grandmother’s name;” thanks a lot pal, for making me feel ancient. Or sometimes it is the cheesy “oh Rose, the name of beauty, the flower, by some guy dripping in too many chains and men’s cologne.” When the movie Titanic premiered I got lots of “never let go Rose.”  When I first met my husband he actually believed I gave him a fake name.


My husband and I bought a cooler, beach chairs and other things because we want to start having picnics at the beach. I know it is late in the season, but this is Southern California and we can picnic at the beach pretty much any time of the year. I was trying to figure out healthy sandwiches for me to take, that are not full of all the sodium that comes with cold cuts from a deli. This is what I thought would be the perfect beach sandwich for me and my healthy lifestyle.

That brings me to the origin of the Sandwich. It was named after John Montague, 4th Earl of Sandwich, he was  an 18th-century English aristocrat. Apparently he requested his valet bring him his meat inside two slices of bread. He was playing cards and wished not to get his hands greasy. Soon others followed suit requesting to have what Sandwich had.
Many sandwiches over the years have gained individual names of their own. The BLT, The French Dip, The Dagwood, The Club Sandwich to name a few.

This inspired me to make my favorite sandwich to take on my autumn picnics for my outings to the shore. Malibu breeze and a delicious light sandwich to feed my senses. I first had this unusual yet simple sandwich at my friend Marguerite’s house back in Cleveland, Ohio. Marguerite was French,world traveled, sophisticated, and whimsical. She sliced a french baguette, and spread some Dijon mustard on both sides. Then she topped it off with thinly sliced green apples and sharp cheddar cheese. My version is a bit more gourmet, but in honour of my long lost friend.  I have decided to name it THE MARGUERITE. A whimsical, sophisticated sandwich with a french origin just like it’s name sake.



You will need for one MARGUERITE

A  good french baguette or whole grain baguette

Extra virgin olive oil.

One green apple, sliced thin.

Brie cheese, enough to spread on both sides of the baguette. I use a small portion for mine.

Arugula, a generous handful

Toasted pecans( lightly spray cooking spray on a cookie sheet. Place pecans on sheet,and toast for five minutes in an oven set at 350 degrees for about five minutes). Just a few on mine, I have to watch portions.

Drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil, and a teaspoon of a good Dijon mustard.

Drizzle olive oil on baguette and place on a cookie sheet in a pre-heated oven set at 400 degrees.Bake baguette for about ten minutes til crusty.

Spread Dijon on both sides of the baguette.

Spread a generous amount of brie on each side of the baguette.

Top brie with a handful of the toasted pecans, spread them in the brie so they are firm in the sandwich.

Place thin slices of apple on one side of the baguette in a uniform line.

Top it off with a generous handful of fresh arugula.

Drizzle balsamic vinegar on the arugula,and a bit of sea salt and ground pepper.You may wish to use a bit more olive oil, the choice is up to you. I think the olive oil on the baguette suffices but again individuality comes first. It is your Marguerite Sandwich.

Close tightly, slice in half, and enjoy this distinctive yet delish sandwich which is reminiscent of  walking barefoot in a field in Paris during springtime in a Monet painting.
Oh la la c’est marveilleux


VEGETARIAN BEEF-LESS STEW

It is almost autumn, and cooking seems to go with the lush of the season. I am loving experimenting with vegetarian products even though I am not a vegetarian at the moment, and I have been converting some old stand byes. I was craving my Mother’s Beef Stew and decided to personalize it vegetarian style.  With the help of Trader Joe’s this is what I came up with, and it was amazing. My husband could not get enough of this cool weather dish. Served with warm whole grain rolls, this is a true stick to your ribs recipe and should please even the fussiest of eaters all while keeping it lower calorie, lower fat and of course low cholesterol. The sodium is a bit high from the beef-less strips so this is a healthy yet splurge item for me.

Try my stew and you will swear you are dining at your grandmother’s house. Even though this is a vegetarian dish, it has all the components of those traditional home-made memories you remember from your childhood.  Enjoy, and remember cooking is much more fun when you do it for someone you love.
Love and Light
Namaste’
Rose

You will need:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 bags mini potatoes
1 bag pearl onions
1 yellow onion, diced
1 bag baby carrots
1 bag crimini mushrooms
6 celery stalks, diced
1 head of garlic, chopped fine or pressed in a garlic press
2 packages Trader Joe’s beef-less strips
1 box low sodium vegetable stock
1/2 cup Cabernet wine
vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, a few tablespoons
1 small can tomato paste
2 tablespoons cornstarch for thickening at the end
salt, pepper, dried basil


In a large pot heat extra virgin olive oil.

Add diced onions, celery, garlic, and mushrooms and saute’ until soft and caramelized

Stir in 1 small can of tomato paste

add 1/2 cup red wine,3 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and basil. Mix well.

Add vegetarian beef-less strips and break up into smaller pieces, cooking for a few minutes so the veggie beef soaks up the flavor of the Worcestershire sauce, wine and vegetables.

Stir in 1 box vegetable stock, carrots, potatoes, pearl onions and mix well. Season with a bit more salt, pepper, and dried basil.

Depending on your tastes, you may wish to add a bit more of the Worcestershire sauce for flavor. I was heavy handed, but everyone is different.

Cook stew uncovered for 45 minutes over a medium heat, until the carrots and potatoes break apart with a fork. Stir frequently as your stew cooks.

After the stew is finished, add a few tablespoons of cornstarch for thickening, it should have a gravy consistency and be brown and rich in color.

HURRY GO BUY SOME CURRY AND MAKE MY SOUP


Happy Sunday to all. Autumn is right around the corner, and here in California that does not mean the same thing as it does back east but you still sometimes get a little hint of the season. Football returns, and some of the trees here actually do change hues. To me there is nothing like walking outside on a California night and having a cool breeze kiss my face. I get inspired to cook more in the Autumn.  Soups are a simple, healthy and amazing staple in our diet and perfect for sharing with friends and family come Fall. Perfect for staying on track with my My Change For A Ten program. 

I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items, and I noticed yellow split peas were on sale for only 59 cents. I have never made yellow split pea soup but I decided I would give it a whirl, I cannot pass up a bargain. I have decided to add some curry to spice things up a bit, and top it off with some Greek yogurt or light sour cream. I am new to the spice curry and I find the satisfying creaminess of the yogurt or sour cream adds richness to the savory soup.

You will need

One bag of dried yellow split peas

A few tablespoons of garlic infused extra virgin olive oil

Chopped up onions, celery, and carrots. Enough to fill up the bottom of a semi large pot. I use Mirepoix 14.5 oz from Trader Joe’s, it is already pre-cut 

If you do not find Mirepoix use one large onion, two carrots, and two celery stalks, chopped fine.

One  cartons of vegetable stock 32 fl oz. I use trader joes.  You can use regular or low sodium, I have tried both.

One carton of water.

Sea salt, ground pepper, a few tablespoons of curry spice. 

Greek yogurt or light sour cream to garnish.

Saute, onion, celery, and carrots in  garlic infused extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes til the onion carmelizes and the vegetables cook down. 

Salt and pepper as you are cooking the vegetables.

Add full bag of yellow split peas, one carton of vegetable stock, one carton of water.

Add a bit more sea salt,  ground pepper, and curry spices for flavor and stir.


Bring to a rolling boil, then simmer on low for 45 minutes covered. Some people prefer to puree’ their split pea soup, but I like to leave it au’ natural for more of a bean soup experience; the choice is up to you. That is what makes cooking so  much fun, creative license to change the rules as you go along and make it your own. Individuality found in one delectable dish. 
Top it off with a dollop of Greek yogurt or light sour cream for added richness of flavor.

This is amazing with warmed whole wheat pita. It is simple, just take some delicious pita and slice in triangles and place on a cooking sheet that has been sprayed with no-stick spray. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the wedges of pita and if you wish you can spread a little chopped garlic to spice it up. Be sure to dip the pita wedges in the soup, it just makes it taste better.

Hurry go buy some curry and make a big pot of my Yellow Split Spicy Pea Soup, you will not be sorry!!  

Namaste’ Love and light
Happy Sunday
Rose

SUNDAY ITALIAN PASTA FAGIOLI

I remember when my whole family went to Boston for my cousin Joseph’s big Italian wedding to Nicole, and my husband and I drove from Connecticut to join them. When we arrived my Mother had cooked Pasta Fagioli in my Aunt Terri’s kitchen, and tasting it brought back so many lovely memories of home and family. My Mother is always in my heart, even though miles are between us. Cooking her recipes makes me feel a bit closer to her and cooking Italian food seems to be in my soul. I am on a quest to recreate all the traditional Italian meals I grew up on, healthy style of course.

Since I began My Change for a Ten I have not been cooking as often, and cooking a one pot meal is a seamless way to make a delicious meal. Pasta Fagioli is simple, fast, and healthy and great for sharing with loved ones. One thing my Mother always taught us, there is always enough food if someone shows up hungry on your doorstep. Sharing was always a given in our household.

This soup is delicious and you can always splurge with a little Italian bread warmed in the oven, or garlic bread. It is super easy and healthy, except the Parmesan cheese; but I will be watching my portion size so I should be fine. Sometimes a little splurge is ok as long as you do not eat two or three bowls, which my husband always does and he does not need to lose weight. Go figure.

You could even drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on a whole garlic head, wrap it in foil and roast it on 400 degrees for about thirty minutes. That is absolutely delicious on Italian bread. I  like to dip my Italian bread in garlic infused extra virgin olive oil with Parmesan cheese, but I am being good as of late so I will skip that little indulgence. After all I weigh in tomorrow. I will only have once cup. 🙂

Here is the fantastic recipe, simply divine. I make this all the time.

You will need:

1 large onion

Cloves of garlic, I use tons!!

2 large cans crushed tomatoes plus one can hot water

2 regular cans white cannelini beans, do not drain.

1 large Parmesan cheese

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

dried or fresh oregano

Half of box of ditalini pasta cooked  al dente’ and drained. I like to find whole grain pasta if possible but once in a while it is ok to have the white stuff. 🙂

Saute’ onion and garlic in a large pot in olive oil.  I always season my veggies as they are cooking. Cook until the onions caramelizes.

 A few minutes later add 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes plus a can of hot water and simmer covered for forty minutes. Season with salt, pepper and oregano.

Add the 2 cans of cannelini beans and simmer another twenty minutes.Do not drain.

After simmering, mix in the Parmesan cheese, using most of the can. Then mix in the cooked pasta with  a bit more salt, pepper and oregano and voila you have  my Mother’s Pasta Fagioli. This soup is a big pot of Italian goodness. Mangia!!

Looking at bright fresh flowers when you are cooking makes the experience much more lush. Food, flowers, music, it all feeds our creative senses. I found this little pitcher and it was just shouting for come colorful stems to marry.  Mission accomplished, thanks to Trader Joe’s. I play some swing music and my whole apartment looks, feels and sounds festive. 

Just because I am dieting does not mean I cannot enjoy the pleasures of life. I am seeking balance as I continue on this quest to change myself and help others in the process. I totally believe you can achieve a mind and body connection.  

I am overflowing with gratitude for life and loved ones, and the opportunity to live La Dolce’ Vita, the sweet soulful life. I wish you the same abundance and more. Happy Sunday
Namaste’
Love and Light
Rose