Friday, October 22, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things

Happy Friday! Every once in a while, I like to tell you guys about some of the things that are really helping me stay on track. Here are a few of my latest obsessions:

  • Soup!
As soon as it gets even remotely chilly outside, I start craving soup. Lately, I haven't been able to get enough of taco soup. Seriously. I've made two pots in the past two weeks and have been eating it nonstop. It's super easy, totally yummy and satisfyingly healthy. I especially like to add a little low-fat shredded cheddar cheese and some reduced-fat sour cream on top. Oh, and diced avocados (mmm, avocados).

Here's the recipe I use:

1 pound ground turkey (or lean ground beef, if you prefer)
1 cup onion, chopped
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 16-ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 16-ounce can pinto beans, drained
1 16-ounce can corn, drained
1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes (Mexican)
2 cups water

1. Brown turkey with onion; drain
2. Combine all ingredients with turkey in large pot. Simmer at least 20 minutes.

Let me know what you think of this. And send me your easy soup ideas.

  • Wasa crackers

I've passed these crackers many times in the store, not knowing anything about them. But a couple of weeks ago, I decided on a whim to pick up a pack of the Crisp'n Light 7 Grain variety. I love them. I've been eating them in the morning with peanut butter and banana. But I've also put turkey and avocado (have I mentioned I love avocado? I may one day name my first child Avocado) on them. Their website has a virtual cornucopia of ideas. There's definitely something for everyone.
  • Menchie's
This amazingly yummy frozen yogurt shop recently opened in the Toco Hills shopping center, and my co-workers and I often make it a Friday lunch treat. It's a beautiful store that evokes happiness with its adorable logo and bright colors. All of their yogurt is nonfat or low-fat, so you can make your yogurt as healthy as you want it to be. Be careful, though, because there are also many ways to get into trouble, especially when it comes to the toppings. Still, I find that even a little yogurt, with some carefully selected toppings, satisfies my sweet tooth for a week.

  • Zumba

I know I've mentioned Zumba a million times, but I continue to love this workout. I try to go to the class at my gym a couple of times a week. But I make it a point to (almost) never miss Tess' Tuesday class here at Children's. My fellow Zumba girls and I are silly and loud and have a blast every week. It's a pretty low-impact workout, so if you've been afraid to try, please join us one week. It's a perfect way to end your day.

I know I've been a sporadic blogger lately, so I'll make a promise to blog at least four times next week. Pinky swear. Have a great weekend. And let me know about your latest obsessions.


Ann Blasick said...

In the soup recipe, try chicken broth instead of water. It gives it a sort of mysterious extra kick!

Tiffany said...

Wait, beans? BEANS??? You? Beans!?

Anonymous said...

Lovin your blog as always! and lovin you too!

Katie- G on the P :-)

Danielle Goeckel said...


I get the baskets from Eat Right Atlanta, and this week, we had several ingredients to make this soup. (I made it this weekend, and it was AWESOME!)

1/4 cup butter (i'm sure you could swap out olive oil)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 cups vegetable broth
plain yogurt

1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot. Stir and cook the apples and vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

2. Stir the lentils, ginger, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and vegetable broth into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.

3. Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot.

4. Return the pureed soup to the cooking pot. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Add water as needed to thin the soup to your preferred consistency. Serve with yogurt for garnish.

Danielle Goeckel said...

Sorry, P.S.

That was Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple, and Red Lentil Soup from

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try your taco soup recipe! Thanks for sharing your finds. :-)

Tess said...

Thanks for the shout out Erika!! You are doing great :-)

Zumbalove... Tess

Anonymous said...

Fantastic World Foods(at most grocery stores in the "heathly" section) has a vegetarian chili mix that I looove. It comes with tofu crumbles (much tastier than it sounds) and lots of spices. I add black beans, garbanzo beans, corn, tomato, onion, even ground turkey sometimes. It's delish and so fast!
p.s. i heart menchie's!

a said...

Hey Erika-
Love this recipe & am actually making it for Halloween.
For those watching their sodium intake, many canned products offer low sodium versions & I promise you won't miss it in this delicious recipe. I've even found reduced sodium taco mix at Kroger.

Sorry to go "all Dietitian" on your blog, Erika...just thought I'd mention it!
Amanda Wooden