Happy Holidays and THANK YOU!

Happy holidays from Fueling for Fitness!

Earlier this week, there was a bit of a situation in my fridge… on top of my regular organic produce delivery, my friend donated some of her own produce before she headed out of town. I won’t lie – I was a little worried about getting through it all.

But with a little bit of this,

and this…

lots and lots of this…
…by the end of the week, I was proud to see this:

Okay, okay, I may have taken a bag of carrots and a box of baby spinach to my parent’s place for the weekend, but I think I did pretty well for myself!

♦♦♦

This morning, I treated my family to some oatmeal pancakes using an adapted version of this recipe. I used multigrain bread flour instead of AP, buttermilk instead of whole milk, and omitted the molasses because I forgot to add it in. You need to make these pancakes.

In anticipation for our big dinner, I threw together a light soup for lunch using an old favourite recipe – Spicy Kimchi Fish Soup.  Instead of sole, I used a salmon fillet (I cooked it longer than the sole), added some carrots and some mung bean vermicelli. Another hit!

The rest of the afternoon was full of relaxing and cooking – including my mom’s incredible sticky rice (we eat it instead of stuffing). This year she let me take the reins so that I could learn to make this incredible dish.

Before:

After:

♦♦♦

As an aside, I got lots of amazing, thoughtful gifts this year. One that will directly impact Fueling for Fitness was the gift of a new digital camera courtesy of my parents! Yes, my friends, almost all of the photos for this site have been taken from my old digital camera that is more than 6 years old! I can’t complain too much – despite the fact that I spilled beer on it a few years ago, causing the lens to not close properly, and the fact that I suffered many frustrations with the amount of time it would take pictures sometimes, I  have to say it served me very well!

But, change can be exciting and good – and in this case, it’s very very good!!

♦♦♦

Lastly, I just wanted to thank all of you for reading, commenting and making Fueling for Fitness what it is today. When I first started this blog eight months ago, all I intended to do was keep track of my daily workouts and daily eats so that I could remember what worked and what didn’t.

Since then it’s evolved into so much more. It’s a place for me to share my dreams, experiences, failures and successes. It’s also become an outlet for my greatest (and sometimes worst!) kitchen experiments, and thanks to you readers, it’s a place for me to draw inspiration and motivation from despite the roadblocks I’ve come up against to date.

“When we are dreaming alone it is only a dream. When we are dreaming with others, it is the beginning of reality.”
(source:
Dom Helder Camara)

Thank you for reading, listening, and encouraging me to follow my dreams.

I can’t wait for 2011, and most of all, I can’t wait to continue sharing whatever it brings all with you.

All the best for the holidays and Happy New Year!

Soul Soothing Split Pea Soup

Baby, it’s COLD outside…!

Has anyone else lost count of how many times they’ve heard this song over the past few weeks? One thing’s for sure: it is cold outside! It hasn’t helped that the zipper on my boots broke on the first day that the weather really dropped and it snowed. After yesterday’s frigid temperatures, and the realization that my super wool coat may not be enough to get me through the winter, all I could think about on my walk home was how lovely a big bowl of soup would be for dinner.

A few weeks ago, I was treated to the best split pea soup I’ve ever had that was made by a friend. It was so good that I haven’t been able to get the soup off my mind. There’s something so simple, yet comforting about a big bowl of hearty soup at the end of a long, cold day. Unfortunately, by the time I finished making this soup, I had already filled up on other food to tide my grumbling stomach over.

It’s no matter – this soup tastes even better the next day. Seriously.

It may be cold outside, but this soup is anything but cold. Want some? Follow my lead!

First, decide that trying to decide whether to use yellow or green split peas is useless and compromise by using a mix of both. Rinse.

Then, scrub and chop a few carrots. If using organic carrots, leave that nutritious skin on!

Then chop two gorgeous leeks that are starting to look a little sad in your fridge. Even if they’re not looking sad, use them anyway. Make sure you rinse them thoroughly, as dirt tends to hide in between the layers of the leek.

Take a few moments to admire your handiwork.

And then get back to business by heating some coconut oil in a nonstick pan. Silently wish that you had a french oven so that you could have done this all in one pot.

But only for a moment. Once the pan has heated through the oil, add your leeks.

Then your carrots.

While the leeks and carrots are cooking, skin and grate some fresh organic ginger.

Get your spice(s) on.

Dump into the largest pot you own at the moment. Someday, french oven, you will be mine…..

Add spices and cheat slightly by adding two cubes of no-salt added organic vegetable stock. You could probably just use water but I really wanted my soup to be flavourful.

Add water. Lots of water – you may need to add more as the soup continues to cook, especially if your pot is small like mine.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for at least one hour. Stir and taste as often as possible.

Especially the organic rainbow carrots. Seriously the best vegetable that ever happened to me.

Sprinkle with some garam marsala (thanks for the idea, Bonnie!) and enjoy.

♦♦♦

Soul Soothing Split Pea Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 c split peas (I used 1 c each yellow and green), rinsed
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts sliced
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 T fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes (no salt added)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Italian spice mix
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 6-8 cups water (depends on how thick you want your soup to be)
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Garam marsala (optional)

Directions:

  • In a dutch oven or a non stick pan, saute leeks and carrots until browned.
  • If using a french oven, add split peas, ginger, vegetable stock cubes, spices (except salt), and water. If using a separate pot, transfer leeks and carrots to pot and add remaining ingredients. Because my pot was fairly small, I started out by adding about 4 cups of water first.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least an hour (I probably cooked this for around 2 or so), stirring constantly. Note, I had to add water at least 2 or 3 times while I was cooking the soup because I wanted it to be thick but not too thick. I’d estimate I added an additional 4 cups of water or so and allowed the soup to cook for close to 2 hours.
  • At the end, add salt to taste.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of garam marsala for an extra kick of flavour.
  • Enjoy!
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