Southwest Fiesta Soup

Main Dishes | June 10, 2014 | By

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Do you ever have the urge to open the fridge, pull out random items, throw them together and call it a night? Well, it seems like I’ve had one of those months. As a result, I’ve eaten some very interesting dinners ranging from funky tasting green smoothies to simple soba noodles tossed in sesame seed oil to a decent stuffed port0bella mushroom (you can never go wrong if you add enough cheese). Call it creativity if you wish, but my personal “everything but the kitchen sink” concoctions usually stem from a combination laziness/who-has-time-to-cook-during-the-week-ness.

Occasionally when on one of these “everything but the kitchen sink” rampages, you stumble across a gem. When you do, you blog about the event. In this case, my roommate stumbled across this rare jewel of a soup.

You see, we had bought these beautiful, heirloom organic carrots the week before so we could make carrot cake cupcakes, and we still had most of the bag sitting on the bottom of our vegetable crisper. Marta artfully combined these beauties with the rest of our vegetable drawer to create the most flavorful Southwestern-flavored soup. (Think, fiesta for your mouth). In fact, I enjoyed this soup so immensely I forgot to take my step-by-step photos as I tried to recreate the recipe.

The best part is this vegetarian soup is super healthy and guilt-free. For a vegan-friendly version, simply remove the Greek yogurt.

Cheers!

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Southwest Fiesta Soup

6 Medium Organic Carrots, chopped

4 Stalks of Celery, chopped

1/2 Onion, diced

1/2 Box of Organic Vegetable Stock

12 Oz Can of Tomatoes with Green Chilis

1/2 Cup of Canned Corn, drained

12 Oz Can of Black Beans, drained

Dollop of Plain Greek Yogurt

Olive Oil

Cilantro, for garnish

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. Add chopped carrots, celery and onions one at a time, stirring often and pausing a few minutes between each vegetable to allow the vegetable to soften. After the onions cook for a couple minutes, add the tomatoes in green chills and place the stockpot on medium heat. Stir pot’s ingredients to prevent vegetables from burning or overcooking.

After a couple minutes, add the vegetable stock to the pot. We found that 1/2 cup of vegetable stock sufficed, but add enough to fully cover the vegetable mixture in the pot. Stir in the corn and black beans. Set the pot on low heat and allow the soup to simmer for a 10 minutes. Garnish soup with fresh cilantro and a dollop of plain greek yogurt.

Serves 6.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Desserts | June 5, 2014 | By

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The other day I was feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed with life (I will spare you the details), and I came home and made stress cookies. Stress cookies are always the best kind of cookie, because a lot of passion goes into them. They’re not necessarily the best tasting cookie, however, since I tend to just throw everything into a bowl and don’t pay attention to finite details. Nonetheless, this batch of stress cookies turned out pretty well. I love rolled oats and kind of put them in everything, so it was a no-brainer that I wanted oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the moment.

Of course the day after baking I woke up and felt disgusted at the thought of having all these cookies in my apartment, so I packed them up and brought them to work to share with my coworkers. They went pretty fast, so I assume they weren’t too shabby. They are a slightly healthier version of the classic since I use half whole wheat flour, but who cares about health when you’re stressed anyway?!

Bon Appétit!

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Adapted from Half Baked Harvest)

2 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

1 Cup All-Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Tsp Salt

1 Cup Canola Oil (or coconut oil, melted)

2 Large Eggs

4 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 Deg F.

Mix all ingredients except the chocolate chips together in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand-held mixer or a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Use around a tablespoon of dough and form into a ball with your hands. Line the balls of dough on a baking sheet, making sure each is a few inches apart.

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

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Watermelon Lime Juice

Drinks | June 3, 2014 | By

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For the last couple weeks in LA, we’ve been blessed with some pretty great weather. The heat wave finally broke, making room for weekends filled with hikes, gloriously bad sunburns tans and lazy Saturday mornings lounging on the balcony with the roommate.

This Saturday, Marta and I decided it was time we gave our balcony some much-needed TLC. After we finished quickly sweeping, dusting and decluttering, we sat down to enjoy our freshly brewed coffee and freshly pruned herb garden. (It’s been six weeks and counting since we first planted our herb garden, and we’ve only managed to kill off two plants. Success?) It was quite the perfect way to kick off summer. The only thing that was missing was the summer fruit. Give me a juicy peach or a watermelon wedge (or five) and this girl would have been in heaven.

Kick off your summer the right way with this drink recipe. Not only is it easy to make, it’s an extremely refreshing and healthy way to satisfy your thirst on those hot summer days. This recipe is versatile too. Just add some alcohol (preferably vodka) into the mix for a wonderfully fresh summer cocktail. I hope you enjoy this drink as much as we did.

Cheers!

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Watermelon Lime Juice

Half of a Mini Watermelon, cubed and chilled

Two Limes

~2 Cups of Club Soda, chilled

A Handful of Basil, rinsed and strained

Directions:

Place chilled watermelon cubes in a blender and pulse until completely blended. Squeeze one lime at a time into the blender, taking care to remove any lime seeds. Pulse the blender for another five seconds. In two glasses, gently muddle the basil leaves. Pour watermelon-lime juice evenly into the two cups. Pour club soda to the brim and serve immediately.

Serves 2.

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