2.11.2014

navy bean soup & groceries





Good eating at low cost.  That's the name of the recipe on the back of the navy bean package.  And they are right about that.

1 12 oz bag of navy beans
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 medium onion
1 bay leaf
1 teasponn liquid smoke
salt and pepper

Make sure to wash and sort the beans first and then soak overnight.  After soaking, rinse and put in a good soup pot or dutch oven and fill with a quart of water and the chopped carrots, celery, onion, liquid smoke and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 hours or until beans are soft.  I then add the salt and pepper and carefully blend 1/2 the mixture in my blender or you could use a stick blender.
Adjust the seasonings and you are done.  Totally stick to your ribs kinda soup that cost pennies per serving.




My receipts from Saturday, total spent, $21.50.

I'm planning to make pasta with a white wine, shallot and mushroom sauce.  Vegetarian chili and I'm not sure yet what I'm doing with the asparagus.  I hang my head in shame over the not one but two bags of chips purchased.  I was almost to the checkout stand and there was a display for Earth Balance Chips.  One plain with sea salt and the other with vegan cheddar cheese.  What can I say?  I can attest to the beauty of the cheddar cheese chips, they were delicious.  Also, last week I purchased some frozen spring rolls, not a fan, but maybe it's just me.  Anyway that's it. Hope your Tuesday isn't terrible.

61 comments:

  1. Your navy bean soup looks delicious. I haven't done well with dried beans. For some reason after soaking them and cooking them for hours they still end up split, crunchy, and dry. It must be my cooking method. You mention bringing them to a boil and then simmering. I need to try again because I'm trying to get more nutrition into our diets and beans are loaded in that area.

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    1. Try using a crockpot -purchasing one changed my life. I used to buy dry beans but they took forever to cook. I had to watch them and my results were so so. Now I use my crockpot & it has made life easy. Soak beans overnight and put in your crockpot with the other recipe ingredients for a few hours. You'll have yummy soup. I make veggie stew, black bean soup & potato soup this way.

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    2. I'm going to try this; I completely forget to use my crockpot.

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  2. The soups looks good. The lasagna was AMAZING!

    S
    xo

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  3. Yum.
    I'm amazed that you can get asparagus so cheaply. When it's in season, it's never under $8 / kilo here, even straight from the farm…!

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  4. Looks wonderful, Janet. I would love to make this soup. Happy Tuesday. 2 bags of chips? Don't be ashamed.

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    1. I agree, Janet. Eat your chips. Go.

      Hey! You've spoiled me. I want a photo of the grocery haul! I love to see it displayed so beautifully after you've just come home with the bounty.

      I think that sounds a little too demanding...

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  5. Your soup looks delicious. I have a bag of navy beans, and I intend to turn them into your soup this week. Thank you for sharing. I am glad you bought those chips. I think it is a good thing! Sheer enjoyment factors into this equation, too.

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  6. This looks delicious. My husband brought me a cookbook called Plenty for my birthday. Although the recipes are fantastic, he made me a soup from there that resembled the consistency of wallpaper paste. It tasted ok, but I swear I could feel it coating my insides. We became vegetarian (practically vegan) a year and a half ago and it has been very interesting thus far...

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  7. I feel cheated, I live in the UK and I've never heard of liquid smoke, it sounds so exotic. I'll add smoked paprika and hope it's half way there.

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    1. I substituted smoked paprika in Janet's split pea soup recipe and it tasted great.

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    2. I saw Bragg's Liquid Smoke in the health food shop in Kingston-Upon-Thames last week. Didn't buy it but I bought the apple cider vinegar (to add to warm water to drink.). You might find the liquid smoke in a good health food shop.

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    3. I also used smoked paprika and it was excellent!
      Darby

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    4. I don't know anything about smoked paprika or liquid smoke, so I've been reading about it now. I'm very intrigued with smoked paprika which seems to be Spanish in origin and is generally sweeter than Hungarian; I like the idea of the peppers (bell peppers, chili peppers and varieties of/mixes) being dried by roasting/smoking over a wood fire, like oak (whereas Hungarian paprika is dried by the sun).

      I'm part Dutch and think of Holland being being so much about flowers/tulips, but I read that The Netherlands is a large production/distribution source of paprika; seems they do the growing in greenhouses.

      I've been trying to put together a good homemade tomato sauce which incorporates fresh tomatoes, olive oil and garlic...a no-brainer, I know...and then I came across the possibility of adding paprika. Apparently in neighboring Morocco, the Spanish/smoked paprika is used in dishes by moistening it a little bit by blending in some olive oil. So, I say perfect on that because the sites all seem to agree that paprika has a ton of health benefits. I didn't know that. (I knew Turmeric did.)

      My mom always pronounced it PaPREEKa but I'd always thought it was PAPrika (Africa) so I learned about, that, too, as the first seems to be an American way of saying it and the latter is British.

      This blog prompts me to discover a lot of new things in my life. Thanks to Janet and readers; trying here to be less clueless...

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    5. Vicki, I'm part Dutch too... Mom was full Dutch. :)

      Linda

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    6. "It's A Small World After All!"

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  8. Looks yummy! Did you have a salad and bread with it?

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    1. yes, salad as a starter and then soup and bread. :)

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  9. your thriftiness knows no bounds!!! what is liquid smoke??? def not sold at my super market!

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    1. hi k. liquid smoke is a really common ingredient sold here int he US. it is usually found in the bbq seasoning section of our markets. it is used in lots of baked bean recipes and for me it's a great substitute for anything that needs ham seasoning.
      liquid smoke consists of smoke produced through the controlled burning of wood chips or sawdust, condensed into solids or liquids and then dissolved in water. This method is called destructive distillationand can be modified to develop a wide range of smoke flavors.

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    2. In Austria/Europe we have "smoked salt".
      Just as with vanilla extract - which is grainy and not liquid over here.

      I only find the smoked salt at the "vegan supermarket" in Vienna, because people who cook with seitan and soy steaks use the smoke as a flavour. People who eat bacon, probably don't need smoke as a flavour. :-)

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  10. Oh, yum, I was hoping you'd still post the recipe for the soup; I just bought navy beans last night!! I've been reading about how vitamin-packed white beans are; of course, beans in general are indeed so good for us. I am again always so glad that your recipes are smart and short so that the flavors of the real food are there and ideally enhanced rather than clouded by a huge list of ingredients, never the sign in my opinion of a good chef or cook.

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  11. The navy bean soup looks great. I made the roasted veggies & rice last night. Delish! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  12. Janet do you think this recipe would work with pinto beans? I bought some recently and am not really sure what to do with them.

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    1. jo i don't think they would work in this exact recipe only bc they are a softer bean. navy beans are hard and need longer cooking times. you could def make a similar soup but you'd have to reduce the cooking time. :)
      i would google some vegan pinto bean soup recipes.

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    2. Jo- Pinto beans make great chili, or refried beans for quesadillas, or just cook til they are done and serve with some lightly cooked greens, sliced onions, and corn bread. Very southern or very southwestern- either way, you can't go wrong.

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  13. I don't think you should feel guilty about treating yourself to a bag or two of chips !! You seem to be eating very healthy at least 99.9999999% of the time, and who can say that ? You do deserve a treat for being so health conscious ! Life is so short.....

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  14. You deserve those chips! I know how much you like potatoes (me too)
    I think you have more than earned them with your thrifty shopping and your openess sharing these tips.

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  15. Looks yummy!!! We are supposed to get snow and ice here in North Carolina. Another lovely winter storm coming up from the South. This sounds perfect for the colder nights coming up. Did I miss the post for the lemon tea bread recipe?? I think that would definitely cure my sweet tooth! Thanks - Kimberly

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  16. Looks delish - and nostalgic. (Can soup be nostalgic?) My mom used to make white beans like this with ham when we were little. A little stick blender now makes it a full-bodied soup. I love it! TY!

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  17. navy bean soup is one of my very favorite meals. especially if you have crunchy hard bread with it. yum! I usually add a half a can of diced tomatoes...the one with garlic and green chilies.

    p.s. I haven't been to the grocery store in three days! :)

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  18. Oh my god, can you throw a hungry florist a bone, I mean a bowl of that soup? Looks delicious.

    xo J

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  19. I can't look at a bowl of bean soup without thinking of cornbread to go with it!

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  20. Your posts on living frugally are really inspiring, Janet!
    As for the asparagus - how about making a risotto?

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  21. Janet, Have you seen the Pop Chips at the 99 cent store? I've only bought the Katy's Kettle Corn flavor (the others have too much sodium) and they are good! I haven't seen the Earth Balance chips! Didn't know EB made such a thing.

    Looks like your 99 cent only store carries most of the same things that ours does. I bought a container of the Earthbound
    Farms Spring Mix last week, saw it for $3.99 at Vons today. I got some of that asparagus too, just roasted it w/ olive oil, salt and pepper. Yum!

    I'm almost ready to start selling on Ebay, just need to take some photos and then I can start listing some things! I think I am mostly excited about getting rid of stuff. If I can make some money that would be nice too. :o)

    Linda
    xo

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    1. I was just scanning a web article about Oprah having a big auction for charity of some of her most expensive possessions as she embraces the 'downsizing' and 'decluttering' lifestyle; I guess she's no diff than a lot of folks who wound up with a glut of stuff that's strangling some of us (just in a diff price range). Or else she's trying to be relevant since these topics are trending so heavily these days, but I think the subject has no preferences...age, wealth, gender; none of it matters if you're suffocating with material objects and want to get simpler and control/stop the runaway spending, gathering, collecting, etc.

      Does age force some of this on us? Seeking out the meaningful? Many readers here are so much younger and already have this under control...they'll live better lives longer for it; smart cookies!

      It's like you fill up a cup with coffee and you don't stop, so it spills over, makes a mess, then there's no way to go but to empty the cup and start all over again, clean slate...but, this time, you do it differently to avoid the spills. When you're Oprah or somebody like her and have bought every single thing you ever dreamed of, and there's nothing left to aspire to or still buy, maybe wealthy people even get bored or overwhelmed with their 'accumulations.'

      I was looking at those online photos of a mansion in Malibu that the songwriter David Foster is selling. I guess his wife is one of the rich "housewives of..." from those reality shows on TV I've never watched...and, whoa, so gorgeous overlooking the ocean, something like 9 bathrooms; I think 11,000 sqft. Some really nice rooms but even she admitted she can't take care of it all (has health problems). I didn't think 'the library' was especially ostentatious (lovely, rather) or even the bedrooms but, OMG, the photos of the clothes closets/walk-in closet rooms were almost unbelievable. Seriously, it looked like the interior of a retail store; why would people need so many clothes? If that's a modeling life/celeb life, they can have it. It made me exhausted just looking at it. Incredibly neat and organized...but over the top excess IMHO.

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    2. i have seen the pop chips. i hope they keep carrying the earth balance b/c they are delish.

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    3. and vicki, that's interesting about oprah. simplicity/downsizing is pretty popular if even oprah is doing it. :)

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    4. It said all of this will be featured in the March issue of her magazine.

      She had/has a bathtub carved from a single piece of onyx. Now, see, in 'real' life, would I have even heard of such a thing?

      "The rich are different...yeah, they are!"

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    5. Sorry for hijacking, Linda, but I just wanted to say thx to Vicki for sharing this Oprah thing and the thing about David Foster. Quite intriguing. I honestly thought it was NOT a trending thing, that I was just coming into the downsizing urge in my middle age (50 next week) and stumbled onto Janet's blog and love it. I am so curious about how it is happening at all levels! Good finds/insight...

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    6. Oh wow, I took a look at David Foster's home in Malibu. Drop dead gorgeous! But I've always wondered why someone would need 9 bathrooms! I guess if you had huge parties it would come in handy. :) But that is a lot of house for 2 people.

      I am on a mission to get rid of things around here, the older I get the less I need or want. I'm taking a few boxes to the Goodwill tomorrow. (the things that aren't worth hassling with on Ebay) I want room to breathe, even if this stuff is stored in the garage, I still know it's down there lurking about. :/


      Linda

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  22. Please just eat your chips and enjoy every bite. You are one of the healthiest eaters in America. Literally. Some chips aren't gonna make or break anything. Allow yourself the oral/sensory pleasure of fried potatoes and stop with the guilt, please. You're being a healthy model for all of us by eating healthy 99% of the time and then indulging selectively.

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  23. I use a lot of lentils but have never tried to do anything with dried beans - probably cause my dinner planning is not that organised and I normally don't know what/if I am going to cook until I get home from work

    Potato chips in the end are just potatoes ...

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  24. Once again you surprise me! How little you need to have enough. We could live on your groceries until Tuesday, max Wednesday. Does your husband have lunch at work and – does not need that much in the evening?

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    1. this is just the way we eat paula. my husband works at home so he eats what i eat for bfast, lunch and dinner. remember too, i always add homemade bread and a side salad, even if it is a small one. :)

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    2. You are lucky in this regard; my husband and I have 100% completely different diets and pretty much always have had since our start of life together in the 1980s. It doesn't exactly create compatibility for shared mealtimes but we're trying to find a middle ground. He has never had a weight problem and in fact sometimes fights to not lose weight because he is incredibly active, but he is a diehard meat & potatoes guy with 'way too much fast food on the run and I worry for him about this, a lot; however, he is unlikely to change, despite (me) trying to make him a healthier take-to-work lunch which is also less expensive..

      Because you eat modest portions of it, do you find you can get by with just baking your bread once a week for the two of you? Does it last the week without going stale? I'm creeping, creeping, a little closer every day to actually attempting to bake a loaf of bread, which I never have done in my entire life...

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    3. vicki a loaf of this bread lasts us about 5 days or so...depending on what we eat with it. that's why i'm liking that ezekiel bread from trader joe's. if we have that in the morning with coffee and tea then my loaf of bread lasts longer. we usually have tortillas for lunch and reserve the homemade bread for dinner. i wrap my bread in a tea towel and store it in a kitchen drawer and it lasts just fine. the other thing about homemade bread is that it is very very filling. much more so than store bought bread. maybe that's why it seems like we don't eat that much but i assure you that we really do get stuffed every night. :)

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    4. Okay, I have just ONE more question and then I'll truly shut up. On the tortillas, I think I remember you answering me once before that you go for the whole-wheat tortillas rather than 'white' flour. I have had trouble getting used to the taste but they are far better than a low-carb tortilla which is completely tasteless to me. What about a yellow corn tortilla? Got any research/background on that? I know they don't fold well like a flour tortilla (burritos, enchiladas, etc.) Maybe you are staying away from corn and corn products?

      And thank you for the bread tips. Ezekiel bread seems to be widely touted. I wind up putting bread in the frig at home because we don't eat enough of it in a week and my husband then doesn't like it because he says the frig dries it out. I just stumbled on to my mom's old metal breadbox the other day...it's from the 1940s...and I'm going to use it. I don't remember bread ever going bad in it. Takes up a little counter space but is also very nostalgic for me. I think I can spraypaint it to spruce it up. Seems like it should have vents but you don't have vents in a kitchen drawer; maybe that would let in too much moisture anyway. I mean, I just came from an old cottage that had the large square, rectangular and also tilted, metal-lined kitchen drawers for cornmeal, flour, sugar, etc. (heavy suckers) and, while cooks in the kitchen back then were doing everything from scratch daily and using the stuff up, it seemed to work for them when there was nothing for refrigeration except a wet towel hanging in the window or the cellar down below.

      I remain cautious about grains. I'm still reading about grain brain and gluten intolerance although I've been tested. It's hard to grow up with the conventional food groups, then the food pyramids, where grains are like the most of anything you should be ingesting, and then conversely read that bread is high-glycemic and all the other bad stuff. If not gluten-intolerant, it's hard to see why a piece of homemade toast with tea would be such a no-no.

      I often do think back to the ancestors from olden times cooking in their kitchens when their main concern was putting tasty food on the table with what they had and what they grew, never having to think about all the negatives like fats, calories, carbs, toxic additives, controversies over glutens and sugars and the rest. (It was all about flavor. My great-great grandfather's letters to home when he was a foot soldier on the American Civil War battlefront was, 'send me butter, I need butter!')

      I think I just need to get a good, solid, simple, balanced, mindful, healthy repertoire down, maybe not deviate too much and just stick with it; otherwise, eating is too darn complicated.

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    5. we eat corn tortillas all the time. we love them. i have not done any research whatsoever on them or flour tortillas for that matter. :) sorry. :)

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    6. No, that answers my question; I do have one healthy cousin and she swears by them. Maybe in a future post you can share how you use the corn tortillas although I will make a point to scroll backwards and look again thru your various recipes. (It's not your 'job' to research food, Janet; no apologies necessary; it's just that I think some of us look to you now as a go-to guru on a lot of things...no pressure..!!...)

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    7. Nope, didn't see any recipes with corn tortillas. I have a sore finger now from going thru your entire recipe archive. OMG, you NEED to do a cookbook.

      Observations: I think you look better with the graying hair. You have also lost weight. You and Larry appear to be high school sweethearts. Your post about why you became vegan made me cry. More than ever, I admire your stick-to-itiveness...to the diet, the exercise, the simplicity. Unlike some of us, you're not a wishy-washy girl; you've stuck to your firm commitments to change. I got caught up on the whole Playboy Mansion adventure. Oh, and like three years ago or something, you were spending $50 a week on food and now it's half that. When my mouse-hand/fingers recover at a later date, I want to go back into your Menu Mondays; those were great posts from the past. Vicki-Vicki-Vicki, signing out for the night. Really.

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    8. sorry you had to go thru all that mess and not find what you were looking for! we do use corn tortillas all the time in place of bread. we just heat them on a flat cast iron skillet and put a little earth balance on them and eat them with salads or sometimes i'll even make a sandwich and heat them on the grill that way. even if there isn't cheese involved the taste is really warm and good. and we are always eating chili and so i make chili tacos all the time. the list is really endless...

      thanks for the compliments about your other observations. i think the .99 store deserves the credit for cutting my grocery bill in half. :)

      and you are right about one thing. i rarely give up. once i make up my mind to do something i keep going. that can be a good thing and sometimes not so good thing. but i'm still learning...

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    9. I am the opposite; I've got a habit of giving up too easily and it infuriates me...but apparently only enough lately to change. (Ha...I recently read something in a book on French chic that said something to the effect that French women, whom it seems we...some of us...often want to emulate, NEVER admit to their shortcomings, at least out loud; they have 'reserve'...)

      Thank you for the tips on corn tortillas; I seem to only be able to think of them with cheese, heated in a skillet and rolled up like a taquito (if you can keep them from breaking). I've (how many times!) eaten warmed/steamed flour tortillas like bread-on-the-side, just never thought of a corn tortilla that way but, yeah-yum, sounds good as a chili scooper.

      (I wonder if this sounds odd to people who aren't from Southern California, like how we 'live' on tortillas/can't live without, but our cuisine is so rooted in the splendid and varied Mexican culture here, as are the names of our roads or canyons, lakes and valleys...so much wonderful stuff including architecture/music/art/etc. ...that I can't imagine a life without Mexican influences, especially the food; I'm not talking Mexican-inspired, but 'real' Mexican food, just absolutely-to-die-for-good food which I thoroughly yearned for when I was living in Texas because their Gulf Coast/border food was actually quite different than ours...the Mexican states/regions of course having their own specialties, north to south or east to west; for instance, I have friends/neighbors whose Mexican heritage leans toward the sea/coastal dwellers, so the menus are largely fish; anyway, I have a hard time on Christmas Eve if I'm not eating a homemade tamale that even I, the non-cook, helped make...meatless, of course, although the 'elders' will look at me like I'm crazy for that...I preferred the sweet tamales even when I was a tiny kid....and, of course, it has to be followed by a huge mug of steaming Mexican hot chocolate...)

      Your large volume of posts on this blog are NEVER a mess! I kinda laughed over my own side of the story when you said a good chef's trick is to always lay a damp towel underneath your cutting board so it doesn't slide all around while you're trying to chop...my mom always did that, but it was to protect her counter from scratches!

      A little aside: I could really use a post from you about your exercise regimen. Didn't you mention, or somebody mentioned...or did I (!)...that it would be a good early-2014 post???? I know you do yoga and fast-walk as well as hike but what are you doing for the bones/strengthening; I assume weights. Is it at a gym or do you have a home program you've finetuned? Maybe 'these and other questions' could be a post, if you are inclined at some point along the way.

      I was at the office of one of my doctors today and he is tall, slim, healthy and attractively-muscular at age 64 (seems SO much younger...you should see his full head of hair...) and he was describing his gym workout to me...he's dedicated because he is also a marathon bicyclist and participates in bike races/long-distance biking...and the workout seemed pretty grueling. He has decided to start swimming laps, too. All of my doctors think that swimming is so excellent. He's also gone paleo (in his own way, with an emphasis on fruits/veggies as opposed to meat...produce being the major, meats being the minor which includes eggs). He said he read "Wheat Belly" (I don't know the author...I think it might be Davis; there are 3 or 4 books by the guyj) and it convinced him and his wife to completely cut out dairy, sugar and grains from their diet (well, not completely; he says he allows himself one indulgence per week, mostly a dessert). This, coming from a doctor, which I thought was interesting.

      Thanks for all the replies. I know I have a lot of questions. Big help, though.

      Happy 'heart' day, Feb. 14...

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  25. Plan to make this soon as it is my favorite soup, although I have never made it from scratch. My mother taught me to add a few drops of hot sauce for a bit of a bite. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes, Janet! Louise

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  26. I really enjoyed your split pea soup, so I'll have to try this one too! Today is a super cold day here (it's -5 right now) and it's a perfect day to cook some hearty soup. And as for the two bags of chips, sometimes you have to indulge yourself with a bit of guilty pleasures! ox

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  27. I am loving these grocery and recipe posts. Can I ask what you do with your spelt flour? I use a lot of spelt in my baking, but I don't always get perfect results and thought you might have some tips ;)

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    1. kamila forgive me for not answering this sooner! sometimes i answer things only in my head. :)

      i use the spelt for pancakes and i like to add it to my bread. i have the recipe for the pancakes somewhere in my food posts and they are THE best pancakes. and as far as the bread goes, i use 1 c white flour, 1 c wheat and will often use 1 c spelt if i have it. hope this helps!

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  28. I made this soup in the crock-pot. It was fast, easy, and delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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    1. good to know it works in a crock pot. i don't own one but i bet it worked well on softening the beans. x

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  29. love your blog. thanks for sharing.
    jo

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