As the weather turns colder and the days get shorter, I start to crave soup and this Moroccan bean, squash, and swiss chard soup was just what I was craving after the crazy October snow storm that blew through NY. I used an Ellie Kreiger recipe as a base but wanted to change up the flavors a bit to something warm and sweet.
Moroccan Bean, Squash, and Swiss Chard Soup
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 butternut squash, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp corriander
salt and pepper to taste
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 bunch swiss chard, chopped
enough chicken or vegetable broth to cover
2-4 tbsp peanut butter
Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add olive oil. Saute onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, and squash until softened. Add seasonings and saute until you can smell them. Add stock and beans and tomatoes and bring to a boil and simmer until everything is tender. Add swiss chard and cook until wilted. Turn off heat and stir in peanut butter.
The peanut butter really adds a richness to this dish. I needed something to serve with this soup as soup alone is definitely not enough for my large appetite. Cornbread fit the bill…not just any cornbread…pumpkin cornbread! I used this recipe here:http://iowagirleats.com/2010/12/14/im-totally-justifying/ The pumpkin really added a moistness and even Adam, who’s not the biggest pumpkin or squash fan (which is really terrible when I am currently obsessed with it!) loved the cornbread. It really adds a nice flavor and busts all myths about cornbread being dry.
What’s a carb loading week without some pasta, right? I picked up this fantastic looking package a while ago from Trader Joe’s and was so excited to finally cut into it! I wanted something to mimic the already lemony flavor (you could honestly smell the lemon when the pasta was boiling). I had green beans and tomatoes in my fridge so I totally went with the flow on this one…no recipe used AT ALL! I heated some (okay, more than some!) olive oil and sauteed a couple cloves of garlic. Then added the green beans and grape tomatoes and a little pasta water to bring it all together. Finished with salt and pepper and lots of parm, it was quite good if I do say so myself!
To go with the pasta, I made some baked tilapia. Roasted at 400 and topped with olive oil, more lemon flavor in the form of lemon zest, garlic and salt and pepper. Cooked for about 8-10 minutes until it flakes. The mild fish went very well with the lemony peppery pasta.
The Friday night before the Marathon was like any other Friday night…minus the wine! (No drinking before the marathon…I wanted to be as hydrated as possible!) Challah this week came in the form of a beer-rosemary bread courtesy of my good friend, Bonnie Stern. (If you can’t drink it, might as well bake with it). This bread was so easy to prepare and is really delicious. And if you have of fear of baking with yeast, you’re in luck! This contains ZERO yeast, uses one bowl, and no kneading required. So no excuse…make this bread!
Beer Bread With Rosemary (From Bonnie Stern’s Best of Heart Smart)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1 1/2 cups beer
Topping: 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, 1/4 tsp coarse salt
Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and rosemary in a bowl. Stir in beer until dough comes together. Spread in a non stick loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. Brush with oil and sprinkle with rosemary and coarse salt. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 80 minutes.
The bread served good purpose with the main course, Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya. I’ve made this recipe before, but for some reason it was a lot soupier than last time.
It still tasted good, but was a bit more watery than the last time I made it. But the bread was perfect to soak up the extra juice. The changes I made from the original was to use chicken sausage in place of the shrimp and saute it first, no bacon, and I added corn.
So as you can see, I had lots of good food fuel for the weekend…and it pushed me to run the ING NY Marathon in 4 hours and 24 minutes! I was quite happy with this time and am still getting over the excitement. It’s kind of hard to believe it’s over! I’m still trying to process that I actually ran a marathon! It was such an incredible experience and I couldn’t get over the support and encouragement of everyone watching. As I’m still getting over the exhaustion and excitement, stay tuned for a review of an amazing post-marathon dinner! I will leave you with a picture recap of November 6th, 2011 (AKA The Big Day!)