Sunday, November 8, 2009

Making Better Choices

I haven't been on Sparkpeople for awhile. I have been letting my everyday business get in the way of much needed time for myself, and reflection on my health goals. For the last two months I haven't totally slipped off the wagon, but I also haven't been putting me first, or staying true to my goals all of the time. How my body feels right now and the scale really demonstrates that.

But the one thing that has come of all of this, is I'm learning to make better choices. Halloween being one of them. It is a difficult holiday for me eating wise. Only because for last 30 years I have developed some really bad Halloween habits of eating way to much chocolate and candy. But as I am making better choices for my body, there was a definite switch this year with choices. Instead of getting all excited about consuming many little chocolate bars, I was excited about trying a new recipe. Pumpkin Soup. I carved my Halloween Jack-o lanterns for the kids, on Halloween night, and after the candles blew out, and all the trick or treaters went home, I brought the pumpkin inside and chopped it all up and roasted it in the oven.
SO here is my healthy version of Pumpkin Soup to share with everyone. A better choice to mini chocolate bars that your body will just love.

Jen's Jack-o-Lantern Soup

1 Large Jack-o-Lantern cut up
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups of carrot, chopped
10 peppercorns
1 large apple, chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme
1tsp nutmeg
1 cup skim milk
2 cups brown mushrooms, sliced (optional, but I love them)
1 tsp butter
2 litres of chicken stock.

Halloween Night 9pm, cut jack-o-lantern into large chunks and roast in the oven on cookie sheets skin side up for an hour or until flesh is soft. Add a dash of salt and pepper to the pumpkin at this stage if desired.

In a soup pot add onion, garlic, carrot, peppercorns. Add enough chicken stock to cover veggies, and simmer for 30 minutes, checking that stock doesn't all evaporate. Add cooked cubed pumpkin, apple, thyme, nutmeg, add more chicken stock as needed, and simmer for another 15 minutes until all veggies are soft, and almost mushy.

Using hand blender, blend all veggies in pot. Add milk, and remaining chicken stock. Makes a yummy soup, and if you are feeling a bit decadent, a nice slice of brie cheese at the bottom of your soup bowl, sets this soup alive!

Mushrooms Optional - cook sliced mushrooms in a separate pot with the 1 tsp of butter and 3/4 cup of chicken stock. Simmer until tender, then add mushrooms and stock to soup, after it's blended. Adds a yummy earthy flavour to soup!

Am really glad I am breaking out of a 30 year tradition of chocolate binging, to make better, healthier, choices for my body.