learning to eat, cook, and live healthier one day at a time.

Category Archives: Winter

It’s snowing in Sioux Falls again. I swear it hasn’t stopped for more than 24 hours in the past week. It’s also still in the single digits to sub zero temps. Lovely!

Cold and snowy weather calls for hot and hearty soup! Last night I loosely followed Betty Crocker’s wild rice soup recipe to come up with my own version of chicken wild rice soup.

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Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients:

Makes 5 servings.

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2-3 medium carrots, chopped or shredded
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 TBS all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 15 oz. can chicken broth
  • 2 medium cooked chicken breasts (about 1 lb), cubed
  • 1 1/4 cup fat free half and half
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, or 1 TBS dried

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, cook celery, carrots, onion, and bell pepper in olive oil until just tender.
  • Stir in flour, salt, pepper, wild rice, water and chicken broth.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in half and half, parsley, and chicken.
  • Heat until just hot, do not boil.

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This hit the spot! I added a little hot sauce to my bowl for a bit of a kick. Nice warm dinner for a chilly night. I’ll definitely have enough for lunches for the rest of the week, which is always a plus!

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Happy Sunday!

Sunday has become my favorite day of the week. Not only is it my Saturday, but it seems to be the laziest day of the week. Perfect for lounging and doing things slowly.

Last night some of my coworkers and I got together for a girls Christmas cookie night. Normally whenever I host a cookie party, I’m the one who ends up doing most of the work. That was not the case last night! Everyone came through and we ended up with several varieties of delicious Christmas cookies.

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The menu consisted of classic cutout sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, corn flake wreaths, and peppermint candy canes & wreaths! I must say the cornflake wreaths were probably my favorite of the night. I’ve never made them myself, but I just love the crunchiness of them. Apart from baking, the night consisted of pizza, wine, and good conversation while watching the snow fall outside. Perfect winter night!

I had planned to wake up early to go snow shoeing this morning, but the combination of too much wine and sugar last night resulted in a later rising time than anticipated.

I got my snow shoes for Christmas last year but never had the opportunity to use then in Chicago. Since we’ve had about 8-10 inches of snow in Sioux Falls over the past week, I decided to give them a whirl this morning.

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There’s a trail in Sioux Falls that goes around the whole city. I live very close to it, and decided to follow a little closer to the creek where the snow was deeper. It was such a nice escape. There was nobody out this morning, and the falling snow made it even more picturesque.

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There were so many tiny animal tracks along the creek that I wanted to follow. Although the temperature was in the single digits and well below zero with the wind chill, I didn’t mind. Opportunities like this make living in the freezing midwest worth it. I’m officially a fan of snow shoeing!


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Good morning! I have an extra delicious and mildly healthy recipe to share this morning- Whole Wheat Banana Nut Bread. It’s been a pretty rough week due to the fact that I had three midterms within 24 hours of each other, two basketball games and of course, practice. Not to mention work every day! After my midterms on Wednesday I really felt the need to do something therapeutic. What could be more soothing than baking banana bread?

I based this recipe off of one that I always make at work with the kids I babysit. However, their recipe consists of chocolate chips, white sugar, white flour, and not a whole lot of nutrition. So, I improvised! The end result was better than expected.

Makes 1 small (8×4) loaf

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tbs salted butter, softened
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

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Directions:

  • Sift together flours, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  • Mix butter and sugar together until well combined
  • Add bananas, egg, apple sauce and vanilla extract to butter mixture
  • Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients, combine well.
  • Fold in chopped walnuts
  • Pour batter into a small (8×4) greased and floured loaf pan
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15-20 minutes before removing onto a wire rack.

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I must say I am pretty proud of myself for this recipe. It came out so moist and dense. The flour ratios were perfect, too. I might use something besides white sugar next time. Maybe some sugar free maple syrup? Or a combination of the two? Who knows! What a great little treat for this freezing week in Chicago.

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