I’m really not a big soda-pop drinker; I usually drink iced tea instead. But every once in awhile I’ll l have some soda on hand, usually left over from a get-together or party. That’s how I ended up with some 7-UP recently. Instead of tossing it, I decided to see if there was anything I could make with it. After all, I had made a Coca-Cola Cake, which tasted great, so was there such a thing as a 7-UP cake?Continue reading
Winter seems to be trying to hang on in some areas! Have you had a lot of cool spring days where you live? Well, next time the temperature drops, this is a great soup to make if you like black beans. I found this recipe at Eating Well, and thought it sounded good. And after tasting it, I thought it was great! It has a little chili powder, cumin, and even some salsa to give it a little zippy Southwestern taste. Since you puree half of this soup, it has a nice creaminess with a little chunky texture. And it tastes great with some sour cream (or greek yogurt), shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped fresh cilantro on top. I added less water than the original recipe calls for, which was a good thing, because the soup would have been too watery for my liking if I had followed the recipe exactly. I really like the way it turned out–it’s great for lunch or a lighter dinner.
SOUTHWESTERN BLACK BEAN SOUP by NancyC, adapted from EatingWell.com
Makes about 6 servings
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 2 small or medium onions, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup prepared salsa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- Optional garnishes: sour cream (about a Tablespoon), shredded cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin, and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add beans, water, salsa, and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree (use caution when pureeing hot liquids)–you may have to puree half the soup in two batches. Stir the puree back into the saucepan. Serve soup garnished with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and/or chopped cilantro, if desired.
Do you like black beans? What’s your favorite way to prepare them?
If you like smoothies, you’ll have to check out a new book, What Color is Your Smoothie? It’s filled with 300 recipes that can help you get the recommended daily five servings of fruits and vegetables in your diet, in addition to important vitamins and minerals your body needs. As I was reviewing the book, I learned that each color group of fruits and veggies offer different health benefits, so it’s important to include a variety of different colored fruits and veggies in your diet. The first chapter, Nature’s Formula for Better Health, includes information on vitamins and minerals that are important for good health and the different foods you’ll find them in. The second chapter, Blending for a Better Life, gives you helpful tips on how to prepare fruits, veggies, and herbs for blending. The other seven chapters are filled with smoothie recipes organized by color: White (Vanilla Chiller, Crazy for Coconuts), Red (Red Berry Roundup, Creamy, Dreamy Watermelon), Orange (Sweet Potato Surprise, Papaya Powerhouse), Yellow (Pumped Up Pineapple, Luscious Lemon Mango Melon), Green (Cucumber Zing, Green Ginger Apple), Blue (Amazing Blueberry Almond, Blueberry Oatmeal Delight), and Purple (Sweet Spiced Blackberries, Purple Plum Thunder). As you can see, there’s quite a variety! I decided to try the Sweet and Smooth Citrus Smoothie…I’m a citrus-lover, and this smoothie is packed with lots of Vitamin C from the oranges, lemon, and lime that are in it! Bananas and coconut milk are also in the recipe, giving the smoothie a thick, creamy consistency. And it’s really good for you…as the book points out, “Vitamin C, limonin, and potassium combine for an all-out attack against sickness and disease.” Here’s the recipe if you want to try it out!
SWEET AND SMOOTH CITRUS SMOOTHIE from What Color is Your Smoothie?
Makes 3 cups, 360 calories per cup
- 3 oranges, peeled and deseeded
- 1/2 lemon, peeled and deseeded
- 1/2 lime, peeled and deseeded
- 2 bananas, peeled
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup ice
In a blender, combine the oranges, lemon, lime, bananas, and 1 cup coconut milk with 1/2 cup ice, and blend until thoroughly combined. While blending, add remaining coconut milk and ice until desired consistency is achieved (I actually just used the 1 cup of coconut milk and 1/2 cup ice, because I like my smoothies thicker).
I really want to try to get more fruits and veggies in my diet–how about you?
This is a great treat on a hot day! Today the high was 96 degrees, so I was really ready to have something nice and cool. I adapted this from a recipe in Martha Stewart Living. The raspberry and lime flavors go so well together…it’s really refreshing! If you want this freeze to be really thick, use frozen raspberries that are just slightly thawed (that’s how I made it–it will be harder to blend, though). For a thinner consistency, use fresh or completely thawed raspberries as the recipe indicates. This makes 4 servings.
- 2 1/2 pints fresh raspberries (about 7 cups) or the same amount of frozen raspberries, thawed
- 1 pint (2 cups) raspberry sorbet, softened
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 2 cups vanilla frozen yogurt, softened
Place 5 1/2 cups of the raspberries, the raspberry sorbet, and lime juice in blender. Pulse a few times, then puree until smooth (if you’re making this with slightly thawed frozen raspberries, you’ll need to alternately blend and stir mixture with a spatula because of the thickness). Then add the softened frozen yogurt and puree, stopping and stirring with spatula as needed. Stir 1 cup of raspberries into the mixture.
Pour or spoon into glasses, and garnish with remaining raspberries. Serve immediately. If you have time, it’s a nice touch to chill your serving glasses in the freezer or refrigerator for a few minutes before filling them with the freeze–it helps keep this treat extra cool while you’re enjoying it!