Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Whatever Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday! I’m going to jump right in here with a little confession…I was pretty lax over the weekend, and because of that, I didn't lose any weight. I didn't gain either, which I guess is a good thing? But, I didn't feel 100% Monday and part of Tuesday because of it, so if nothing else, I realize how putting that junk into my body truly affects it. I even had my first headache in 2 weeks, and I have to think it was food related. So, there ya have it. I mean, it is MY blog, so if I can’t be honest here…there’s no point, right?!

Moving on…I made a really delicious soup for dinner last night. If you know me very well, you know that Tuesday night is known as “Frankie Night” at my house. Every Tuesday, Frankie (my brother, if you’re new here) comes over for dinner, which is suuuuper important to me because as our lives get busier in their own right, knowing I will see my brother at least once a week is awesome. Anyway, back to the subject at hand…I introduced Ryan and Frankie to one of my (new) favorite things in last night’s soup. Quinoa! If you’ve never had quinoa, let me enlighten you. It’s from a grain originally found in South America. It’s nutritionally amazing because it’s packed with lysine, amino acids, protein, fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. It’s also gluten-free and considered “easy to digest”. You can use this as a substitute for rice in just about anything, which is what I am doing these days. And, like rice, it doesn’t have much taste by itself, so it really absorbs the flavors of whatever you cook it in/with. After I made (and devoured) this soup, I really wanted to give it a name. I felt like it deserved something more than “Soup with Beef, Potatoes and Quinoa”. I knew I wanted the word “Hearty” in it but that’s as far as I got. I DID get some amazing suggestions though. ;) My always mature brother suggested “Hearty Poop Soup”…cause he is a boy and soup rhymes with poop. (Don’t let that suggestion fool you…he loved the soup and took home the leftovers.) And one of my bffs, Kim, suggested “Hearty Healthy Starchy Meaty Soup!” <- The exclamation point was included in her title. After telling several people that Ryan doesn’t like many soups because they never keep him full I decided to go with this for now…

“Hearty Enough for my Husband” Soup

Servings: 6(ish) • Size: 1 1/2 cups • WW Points: 8 pts
Calories: 308 • Fat: 14 g • Protein: 16 g • Carb: 31 g • Fiber: 5 g (<-these are all estimates based on plugging it into Weight Watchers Points calculator.)

• 2 tsp olive oil
• 1/2 an onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 can diced tomato, with juice (you can add the whole can if you love tomatoes)
• 1-1 1/2 tsp cumin
• 3/4 lb beef, cubed into small bite size pieces
• 6 cups water
• 1 beef bouillon cube
• 1 cup carrot, chopped
• 1/2 green bell pepper, diced (I will probably use a whole pepper next time)
• 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa*
• 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

Sauté oil in a large pot, add onion and garlic and sauté until soft over medium heat, about 4 minutes. Add tomato with juice, cumin, and cilantro and cook another 4 minutes. Add beef, water, bouillon, carrot, bell pepper, and any other seasonings you might like and bring to a boil. (I added a dash of kosher salt, pepper and chili powder.) Cover and simmer on low about 1 1/2 hours, until meat is tender.

Add potato and cooked quinoa* and cook an additional 20-25 minutes, or until potato is tender.

*Cooking quinoa:
• Measure out 1 cup of quinoa grain into a fine mesh strainer/sieve. Rinse very thoroughly as there is a soapy-like residue on the grain. It will be very bitter if you cook it without rinsing.
• Bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup quinoa to a boil.
• Simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed, similar to cooking rice.
• Fluff with a fork.
• This will make about 3 cups of quinoa.

My mouth is watering as I type all that out…this is definitely one I will make again. It would be a good one to keep on hand for lunches or quick dinners you can just pop in the microwave. And, for my non-red meat eating friends/followers, I'm sure you could easily substitute chicken, tofu or more veggies instead of beef. I hope you enjoy it!



  1. I'm adding this to our recipe rotation for next week. :o) Sounds yummy!! Thanks for sharing, Rachel.

  2. sounds divine! i have also jumped on the quinoa bandwagon. good stuff! thanks for sharing, i always love your cooking blogs!!!!!!! i think i'll have to try this one out!