The Scoop on Soup

Here in the SF Bay Area, we’re having a cold snap right in the middle of summer. Mark Twain’s comment contains a kernel of truth (“The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco”), but generally things stay a bit warmer on the east side of the Bay. Whatever the month, cold is cold, so the super-spouse and I decided to huddle together, watching a good movie (Who Killed The Electric Car?) and slurping bowls of steaming, spicy soup.

Some of the visitors to my cooking blog (  have observed that I cook an awful lot of soup. Yes, as a matter of fact I do. It’s very warming and easy to digest, plus I love making it, plus it’s one of my favorite things to eat. So yes, soup again, and soup almost all the time in the colder months (even if it’s summer).

And also brown rice again, because it’s on my top 5 list of nutritious and versatile ingredients that are so convenient to keep on hand. I cook a pot of brown rice a couple of times a week and we eat it as breakfast gruel, wrap it in chapatis with veggies and sauteed tofu for lunch, and serve it under roasted veggies with miso tahini sauce for dinner.

But today it was soup, with cooked brown rice and cabbage and cauliflower and chickpeas and tomato and coconut milk and curry powder and lots of garlic and ginger. All those spices have specific anti-cancer benefits so it fits the current bill of fare perfectly.

And BTW, the movie IS entertaining, important, and infuriating. Let’s all go out and buy electric or at least partially electric cars tomorrow, okay? Because if we do, the global warming problem will be taken care of and the urban air quality problem will be taken care of and the foreign war problem will be largely taken care of. And then let’s all put solar panels on our roofs (or walls, those bulky panels are evolving) we can charge our cars without burning coal or building more nuclear power plants!

Or at least let’s make delicious vegetarian soups for ourselves and our loved ones…

Breakfast Ideas

Quick and easy breakfasts with high nutrient value are not so hard to come by. What doesn’t make the cut? Bagels, pastries, Pop Tarts and their ilk. And if you think eating a “breakfast bar” is a good way to go, forget it! What your body craves after several hours of fasting is fresh, unprocessed foods with easy-to-digest protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

My favorite breakfast these days is as simple as they come. Combine equal parts plain yogurt and applesauce (organic on both counts) in a bowl and add a tablespoon or two of ground flax seed and a sprinkling of cinnamon. That’s it! Tad and I both enjoy it’s sweet/tangy taste and smooth pudding texture. Try it and see if you agree.

Some other quick and nourishing breakfast ideas:

1) Sprouted grain toast with a thin smear of almond butter and mashed banana or thin-sliced fresh apples or pears
2) Poached or scrambled egg on sprouted grain toast with a slab of roasted red bell pepper and a sprinkle of paprika
3) Smoothie made with fresh or frozen berries, banana, and ground flax seed blended in a base of unsweetened soymilk or plain lowfat yogurt.

And if you don’t have time to sit down, grab a FEW pieces of dried fruit (prunes, apricots) and a SMALL handful of nuts on the run. Whole fresh fruit is fine, too. The nuts deliver some protein, fiber, and healthy carbs to slow the uptake of fruit sugar and keep your energy chugging.

P.S. It may appear that my favorite breakfast is floating somehow in the sky, but of course it isn’t. Without realizing the effect it might have, I placed the bowl on a blue-topped outdoor table strewn with pine needles...