Monday, October 31, 2011

The Holiday Season...

... is upon us. Today is Halloween, Thanksgiving will be here in a few short weeks, and then Christmas is right around the corner. I really need to start shopping...

Halloween: probably my least favorite holiday. For one reason or another, I have cried on Halloween every year of my adult life. So, I just choose to not really celebrate it. When I was little, I loved trick-or-treating so much. In fact, one of my favorite smells is what your pillowcase or pumpkin full of candy smells like after you have collected all of the chocolaty and fruity treats. Maybe one day I will like Halloween again... but for now, I will let it come and go without any fanfare. At least we got an 'early release' from work! And so far so good, no tears. I did not eat $hit on my 3.5 mile walkjog, and I think I am safe for the rest of the evening...

In other news, I decorated (barely) for Fall!

The pretty flowers unfortunately did not come from a mystery man who knows I hate Halloween and thought I needed some cheering up, but rather came from Trader Joe's - best $3.99 money can buy. My table looks so pretty!

Now that it is finally getting cold out (which I do not like, but I will deal with), I can finally cook soups and butternut squash and casseroles without having to turn down the air conditioning in my apartment to have the oven on. This week is Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and more Tortellini and Tofu soup (it is just so cheap...)

Happy Monday (and Halloween.) to all! 

Meatless Monday

Today is Meatless Monday... I usually eat a fairly vegetarian diet, but I am going to make a particular effort to go meatless on Monday's from now on! It is an 'excuse' to stay on plan and make healthy choices. I need more theme days to keep me on track... Ideas, anyone?

Today's Meatless Monday Meals (loving the alliteration...)


Peanut Butter and Jelly English muffin - this breakfast has become my standby. I used to eat a bagel thin with cream cheese every morning, but lately English muffins have been on sale more than bagel thins! 6 Points Plus.


Tortellini and Tofu Soup - leftovers from the weekend. Just as delicious the next few days! 6 Points Plus.


A banana - my old faithful snack. I usually eat this right before I leave work, giving me enough fuel for my after-work run. 0 Points Plus.

Spaghetti Squash - more leftovers from the weekend. I microwaved a spaghetti squash, and mixed the contents with a can of zucchini in tomato sauce, and 2 wedges of Laughing Cow garlic herb cheese. It made two hearty portions! For only 3 Points Plus, it is a bargain!

100 Calorie Ritz Snack Pack - I couldn't resist... I love a crunchy snack. The spaghetti squash did just not sound as good. I will save this for another day! 3 Points Plus.


Tomato Pie - even more leftovers from the weekend. My food today is so easy to reheat and eat! 9 Points Plus.


Pumpkin Softies and a glass of skim milk. When these are gone, I am whipping up another batch. Definitely a satisfying recipe for only 3 Points Plus per softie. 2 for the milk.

Meatless Monday isn't so bad! I have had lots of fulfilling meals, and definitely am getting the most for my Points Plus allowance today (29 total). I'll be going meatless tomorrow too... but sushi is on the menu for lunch, so I will be having some fish. I love sushi!

Did anyone else have a Meatless Monday? What are some of your favorite vegetarian dishes? I need more inspiration for future Meatless Monday's!

Paula Deen's Tomato Pie - Lightened Up!

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite Paula Deen recipes. While it doesn't taste nearly as 'bad' as the real thing (did you see how much cheese it called for?!) I tried to substitute with healthier ingredients for a Weight Watchers friendly version of the pie.

4 tomatoes, sliced medium to thin
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh basil, to taste
1/2 c. light mayo
1/4 c. light sour cream
1 oz. 2% mozzarella cheese
1 oz. 2% sharp cheddar cheese
1 can reduced fat crescent rolls
Salt and pepper

First things first, slice the tomatoes and put them in a colander in one layer. Salt the tomatoes to drain the excess water. You may have to repeat the process in batches, since there are a lot of tomatoes.

While the tomatoes are draining, saute the onions and garlic in a nonstick pan over medium heat on the stove. Cook until onions are softened and sweet. Set aside and let cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Prep a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. I used a medium rectangular glass dish.

Mix onion and garlic mixture with mayo, sour cream, and cheeses. Set aside.

Layer the tomatoes, basil, and pepper in the bottom of the cooking sheet. No salt needed since the tomatoes were already salted.

Then, top this with the mayo and onion mixture. Spread evenly over top of the tomatoes. I added more pepper at this point.

Finally, top with the entire roll of crescent roll. My tip: flatten these pretty thin first to make sure they cook all the way through. Mine did not cook completely through, so I ended up flipping the crust and cooking for 10 more minutes... not ideal, but it worked!

Put in the oven for appx. 30 - 40 minutes until top crust is golden brown and dish is warmed completely through and bubbly.

This serves four, at 9 points plus per serving.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Tale of Two Ankles

I got my first running injury recently. I have been having some pain around my ankles (on the inside of my leg, just above the ankle), but apparently this is very typical. It does not help that I have not been in the right shoes... so last weekend, I went to the Charlotte Running store. And I got a pair of New Balances. That sucked. I don't think I really was properly fitted the first time - it was Saturday and kind of busy, and I get it. But I still wanted to exchange my shoes since they just did not fit right.

I went back on Tuesday afternoon, which was a much better time to go because I got lots of one-on-one attention. And after trying on about 10 more pairs of shoes, I settled on the Brooks Glycerin 9. This particular brand of shoe is shaped like my foot, and it fit like a glove. I chose the more cushioned model of this shoe for comfort.

This shoe provides me with the right level of support and cushioning for my foot, and provides my foot enough room to expand (which they do when you are exercising as I recently learned). And look how bright they are! I am hoping these look like new longer since they are darker in color.

I left the running store with more than just the shoes though! I got some training tips and learned that while I am still strengthening my ankles and legs, I should be taking more frequent walking breaks (like every 5 minutes, I should walk for 1 minute). I also learned how to massage my sore spots properly and do some exercises to strengthen my ankles. Hopefully soon this will pay off and I will be running pain-free! I definitely recommend going to the Charlotte Running company for your running shoe and apparel needs. The staff is friendly and will take time with you, and ask lots of questions to help troubleshoot any issues you are having.

I am hoping tomorrow I can get a nice long-ish run in after work. We are scheduled to be released early for Halloween (at least this holiday has one perk..)

Has anyone else gotten a running injury around their ankles/shins? How did you heal?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lazy Saturday

As much as I love Friday, I also love Saturday. I get to sleep in (well, as much as sleeping in is these days...), and go to bed on Saturday night without waking up to an alarm the next morning. It is safe to say that I really just love weekends (don't we all...)

I woke up this morning and smelled something delicious! I remembered! I had crock pot applesauce ready for me this morning. I let it cook longer than the recipe called for, and the apples broke up easily with a fork and made a nice, chunky applesauce. A bit sweeter than I would normally like, so I would cut back on the brown sugar next time. I had already cut back from what the recipe called for. I got my apples in my farm share, so I am not sure what kind they were and they may have been sweeter than average.

I just knew that this was going to be the perfect complement to my pumpkin oatmeal pancakes (adapted from a Hungry Girl recipe). And so it was! The pancakes weren't super sweet, so they were the perfect contrast to the applesauce. I took a bite of the pancake and topped it with the applesauce. Yummy! I served the applesauce with a small dollop of cool whip, and the pancakes with a bit of light butter and some powdered sugar.

I hope you all enjoy your Saturday!!! I hope to accomplish a few things today, but not too much. It is a lazy Saturday after all.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes

I adapted this Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes recipe from Hungry Girl's OAT-rageous pancakes. I made this recipe a few weeks ago and blogged about it. While delicious, I really just love these Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes. Healthy, low in calories, and low in Weight Watchers points. These are also very hearty and will keep you satisfied until your next meal (always a challenge for me...)

3 tbsp oats
3 tbsp Egg Beaters
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 Splenda Packet (or 1/2 tbsp sugar)
Dash of Salt

Combine all ingredients together and pour on to the griddle. Cook on medium heat for appx. 5 minutes on each side (you be the judge, they will get nice and golden when done) This makes a few 'mini' pancakes or one normal sized pancake. This recipe makes 1 serving for only 3 points plus! What a bargain!

I wanted these for breakfast all weekend, so I decided to go ahead and make a triple batch of the batter, and halve the batter to cook - one-half today, one-half tomorrow! This raises the points plus value to 5, but still a great value for a filling breakfast.

This morning, I topped the pancakes with a bit of light butter and powdered sugar, and served with a side of crock pot applesauce.

What are your favorite Fall breakfast recipes?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Cooking Adventures

I have been a busy bee today. Aside from having a very long and somewhat challenging day at work... I got to leave at my regularly scheduled time of 4 PM and was so thankful that it is the weekend.

I have decided that Friday's are my favorite day of the week. Usually, the work day goes by quickly and I feel semi-fulfilled because of what I accomplish there. And now that Fall TV is back on, me and my TiVo have a lot of catching up to do by the time Friday rolls around.

This afternoon, I was inspired to do a longer workout than normal. I coincidentally wanted to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things for this weekend's cooking adventures. So, I decided to combine the two! Working out seems to go by much faster when I have a purpose. I jogged the 1.5 miles to Harris Teeter, loaded up (well, bought what I could stow away in a canvas shopping bag) and walked on my merry way back to my apartment - I decided to take the long(er) way around. There was a cool, crispness in the air and I really enjoyed my walkjog today. It also might have to do with my new (amazing) shoes. They deserve a dedicated post. Stay tuned.

I had an unfortunate hair tie emergency mid-jog. Note to self: always store a backup on your wrist. Whoops. My hair was too much for this hair tie. I did the best I could, but this was the result...

Oh well! At least I didn't trip and fall...

I mentioned I was a busy little bee - In the kitchen! I sliced, diced, boiled, baked, and slow cooked. All in all, it was a successful evening in the kitchen.

In the mini-Crock Pot: Crock Pot Applesauce courtesy of SkinnyTaste

I will let everyone know how this turns out tomorrow! It will be a nice accompaniment to my Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes in the AM. 1 point plus per serving!

In the Rubbermaid Glass: Tortellini and Tofu Soup recipe a la Katie!

This turned out delicious. This was my first time cooking with tofu, legit tofu, on my own. I bought super firm, already cubed. I am proud of my first adventure with tofu and can't wait to try cooking it again soon! 6 points plus per serving.

On the cooling rack: While the tortellini and tofu soup was on the stove, I whipped up some Pumpkin Softies. Hungry Girl sent out this recipe in her e-mail yesterday, and I knew immediately that I had to try making these (and I don't really bake...) They. Are. Heaven. I substituted chocolate chips instead of raisins (ew.) for no change in points plus values.

Check it out! The perfect nighttime snack. 3 points plus for the softie, two for the glass of skim milk.

How do you relax on a Friday night? Working out? Cooking? Eating? Watching TV? All of the above for me!!! I am ready to get in my freshly made bed, with clean sheets and watch Chopped or a bad Lifetime movie on demand. I hope everyone enjoys their evening as well!

Pumpkin Softies

It is Fall. It is cold here in Charlotte, NC. And I love pumpkin. A perfect excuse to bake Pumpkin Softies! Recipe courtesy of Hungry Girl.

I am not much of a baker, but when I got this recipe in my gmail inbox and happened to have all of the ingredients, I really couldn't resist... Now, I do not like raisins, but I decided to substitute with Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips for no change in points plus! (P.S. this is officially the longest that a bag of chocolate chips has ever lasted in my refrigerator)

Pumpkin Softies

1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed - I used Splenda Brown Sugar)
2 tbsp. granulated white sugar
2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown)
2 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I made my own)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup raisins (not packed), chopped (this is where I substituted chopped up semi-sweet chocolate chips, mini's would have been great too!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, white sugar, butter, egg substitute, and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly with a wire whisk or fork.

Add flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt, and thoroughly stir until smooth. Add oats and chopped raisins (make sure raisins don't stick together), and stir until evenly dispersed. Spoon batter onto the baking sheet in 8 evenly spaced mounds. Use the back of a spoon to spread and flatten batter into circles about 3 inches wide.

Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a "softie" comes out clean, 12 - 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then enjoy!

Makes 8 softies. One softie per serving.

Nutrition facts: 126 calories, 2g fat, 93mg sodium, 25.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 11g sugars, 3g protein, 3 Points Plus.

Pumpkin Pie Spice - a homemade blend!

Yesterday, I slightly panicked looking for this little guy at Target. Of course, it is the peak of Fall season and they were out! With a price tag of $4.79, I am surprised anyone buys this little tub of goodness...

Of course, I almost did. Now on to the rest of the story:

So many of my Fall recipes are calling for pumpkin pie spice to kick up the flavor level. I couldn't find it in the store! What's a girl to do?!

Just look at that horrible posture.

Well, a resourceful gal like me, I'll tell you what I do: I turn to Google to answer all of my questions...duh.

It turns out in my pantry, I had all of the ingredients for pumpkin pie spice! Right there, already paid for. Hey! I just saved $4.79!

2 tbsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Ginger
1.5 tsp All-spice

I just measured it in a small container, put the lid on, and shook it up. Thanks, Rubbermaid!

This recipe is as easy as pie! Pun intended. If you already have these four ingredients in your pantry, no need to buy pumpkin pie spice. Just mix it up yourself and enjoy all of the Fall goodness it brings.

Tortellini and Tofu Soup

1 can vegetable broth
1/2 diced zucchini
1/2 diced yellow squash
1/2 chopped head of broccoli
1 container baby bellas, roughly chopped
1 container extra firm tofu, cubed
1 container of Trader Joe's Spinach Tortellini

Heat vegetable broth and additional can of water over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and tofu. Boil for 10 - 15 mins. Add Spinach Tortellini. Boil for an additional 5 minutes. Simmer on low until you are ready to serve! This serves four at 6 points plus per serving.

I seasoned this with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, and some Zehnders All-Purpose Seasoning. You could season this with really whatever flavors you like. You could also substitute with veggies you have on hand - this just happened to be what I had. Turned out absolutely delicious!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dinner with Friends and Family

Confession: I didn't really have dinner with my friends and family, but I did reheat a portion of my meal that was cooked by my dad, fix pasta salad inspired by my friend, and made a side from my farm share!

#1 - Turkey Meatloaf. My dad made this for me last week and I brought it back to my apartment! I have been looking forward to eating it, because it is a little piece of home!

#2 - Pasta salad. Betsy posted a recipe last week for some pasta salad! I stuck (for the most part) to the recipe, except I used half of these in lieu of the mixed veggies: 1/2 yellow squash, 1/2 zucchini, 1/2 head of broccoli. I roasted these veggies in the oven until they softened and got that delicious flavor. I also only had 'fiesta ranch' dressing mix on hand, but this just gave the pasta salad a little extra kick. It was great today, but I can't wait to eat this after it has sat over night!

#3 - Mashed potato, turnip, and Jerusalem artichoke. This was a major experiment which turned out decent! I cubed up and boiled one potato, one large and three small turnips, and three Jerusalem Artichokes (which are not really artichokes, but a root vegetable and to me, they looked positively intimidating). I had no idea what to do with it, so I tossed it in the mash! Once tender, I drained and mashed with a splash of chicken broth, salt, pepper, and fresh garlic. Pretty yummy! Next time I would definitely want them to be creamier, maybe add some cream cheese or milk - but these clocked in at 1 Point Plus per serving, and I wanted to keep it low this time around.

This meal is going to be a repeat! Kind of a random combination of food items, but it somehow all went nicely together. Especially the meatloaf and mash. Good thing I liked it, I have enough leftovers for 3 more meals... oh, the joys of living alone...

On a side note, this is what my kitchen looked like after I cooked... Usually I clean as I go, and load the dishwasher as I am working. But, this is what you get when the dishwasher is running as you are cooking... it is now back to normal, phew!

On a second side note, I feel really good about how I have been eating for the past week. I have been on-plan since Friday. Working out and eating right is making a difference - while it doesn't really show on the scale (I have lost 1 lb, but am still 5 lbs up from where I feel like I should be, and Weight Watchers says I am 10 away...), I do like the way that my body is changing from running. I haven't been fully committed to Weight Watchers, and I realize this - even when I pretend I am committed, the plan doesn't work unless you really stick to it. I really want to lose those 5 lbs before my birthday. This may or may not happen since the scale just hasn't wanted to budge in 3 months, but I am going to put in my best effort. This means minimal eating out, a commitment to working out 4 - 5 times per week, and in an ideal world, no going out - which won't be too difficult; for the duration of the next month, I will be wrapping up my final semester and focusing on school, work, and ME!

Dear Santa: A Wish List

My birthday is November 24th, one month before Christmas. So, for all of you lovelies (ahem: mom, dad, Jonathan... do I have your attention?) that want to get me something, here is my wish list!

This year we are going to Vegas as a triple celebration - Jonathan's 21st, my 24th, Dad's 32nd birthday (ha!), and Mom just loves Vegas. So I don't expect any birthday gifts (aside from delicious buffet meals in Vegas and having a roof over my head), but these are all things that I need (ok, I don't need another bottle of perfume) and would LOVE to open up on Christmas Morning.

Dear Santa,

I need a rice cooker and vegetable steamer. My epic adventures (read: failures) with cooking greens could be completely resolved with this kitchen appliance. Also, this will save me from having to buy rice from the Chinese restraurant down the street. Rice just never turns out as good when cooked on the stove top. And my kitchen has a red theme. This will match perfectly.

I also need a salad spinner (ref. above epic adventures with greens). I think this will be far easier than me shaking off Kale in the sink. Once we start getting a lot of lettuce in the farm share, a salad spinner will certainly come in handy.

I have an obsession with perfume. I love this Fendi perfume - it's a little dark, a little musky, and really good for a night out on the town.

Gift cards are always a safe bet to get me.. here are some ones that I wouldn't mind seeing stuffed in my stocking!

Now that I have my new Ipod Shuffle, I want to be able to buy music to put on it. But, I am too cheap to pay 99 cents per item for said music. So, an Itunes gift card would be great!!!

I love getting a good and healthy fast food breakfast on the way to work. My two favorite options: Subway and Dunkin' Donuts

And I sort of also want a Tofu press. I want to start incorporating Tofu more in to my diet - but it is hard to cook unless prepared properly. Since I am grossed out by the thought of pressing my tofu with a kitchen towel or paper towels (fibers, gross!), this will come in handy. I can also use it to get water out of spinach and other veggies!!

There you have it, Santa (ahem: mom, dad). This is what I want for Christmas. And if I get impatient and buy these before Christmas a little elf borrows my credit card and buys any of these things before Christmas, I will be sure to let you know :)


10.27.2011 - an update. I have been looking for one of these GPS watches at a reasonable price point. I want one!

Heart rate. Distance. Time. That's all I need!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Faux-fredo pasta

I took the plunge people. I am now in to tofu - it's new for me.. but, I like it, and I want to eat it like all the time. It is now my preferred protein of choice at Asian restaurants. I decided to pop in to Harris Teeter after work today, and found the Tofu Shirataki Noodles with all the tofu and fake meat. They were pretty cheap (2 for $3.00) so I decided to buy a few packs and try it out!

I didn't have too much of an appetite this evening - I had a presentation to make for class, and my nerves kind of took over and I had a little snack prior (1/4 of a leftover black bean burger). It was like something clicked afterwards, I relaxed, and I was starving! With not a ton of points left, this was a great way to get a lot of food in my belly for just a few points plus.

Disclaimer: meal was prepared in bowl. Please excuse the grossness. And the random broccoli pieces. Its called: strainer economics.

Ok let me get to how I made this bowl o' low points, here is my intro to Shirataki Noodles recipe: Hungry Girl's Fettuccine Alfredo

1 package House Foods Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine Shaped Noodle Substitute
1 tsp. fat-free sour cream
2 tsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Use a strainer to rinse and drain shirataki noodles well. Pat dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave for 1 minute. Drain excess liquid. Dry as thoroughly as possible, using paper towels. Cut noodles up a bit, using kitchen shears if you've got 'em.

Add sour cream, grated topping, and cheese wedge, breaking cheese wedge into pieces as you add it. Microwave for 1 minute.

Stir well and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!


Nutrition Facts: 99 calories, 4g fat, 376mg sodium, 9.5g carbs, 4g fiber, 1g sugars, 5.5g protein -- PointsPlus value 2

I altered the recipe a bit to make it cheesier (duh. I love cheese). I added an extra half-tablespoon or so of light cream cheese, and I used light sour cream instead. In lieu of parm, I used 1 oz. of light mozzarella cheese. This upped the Points Plus value by 2 additional points, for a total of four. But my belly is full! So definitely worth it. You could get by without adding the additional cheese and it would still taste good. I would probably want to add the parm next time.

Have you ever had these noodles? Any other good uses for them? I think I am going to try a zucchini with red sauce with my spaghetti packet of noodles later this week... less points for noodles means more points available for cheeeeeseeee!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The ABC's of Katie

A: Age. 24 in exactly one month!

B: Bed size. Double. I'm ready for a 2 bedroom apartment, so I can upgrade to a king sized bed!

C: Chores you dislike. Loading and unloading the dishwasher. It's so annoying.

D: Dogs. Don't have one. Would love one, but I don't think I have enough time (or money, or a yard...)

E: Essential start to your day. Hitting snooze at least 2 times. A water and a green tea once I get to work.

F: Favorite color. Pink.

G: Gold or silver. I really like gold jewelry - I mix and match though. I used to exclusively wear silver, but my Michael Kors watch has inspired me to wear a lot more gold.

H: Height. 5'3" and still growing! Kind of, I am working on my posture with my chiropractor.

I: Instruments you play(ed). Ha. Yeah right. At one point in time I tried to play the guitar, but my fingers are too short.

J: Job title. Indirect Sourcing Specialist.

K: Kids. Not yet.

L: Live. Charlotte, NC.

M: Mom's name. Susan Elizabeth. I got her middle name!

N: Nicknames. Since my real name is Kathryn, I guess Katie would be a nickname? My dad calls me Katootah and Cake.

O: Overnight hospital stays. Not since birth, thank goodness.

P: Pet peeves. Gum smacking. Fingernail clipping in public places. Lack of personal hygiene. People who can't drive.

Q: Quote: Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. -Theodore Roosevelt

R: Righty or lefty. Righty.

S: Siblings. One younger (but taller) brother, Jonathan.

T: Time you wake up. Around 6 AM during the week. Usually around 8 AM on the weekends.

U: Underwear. Why yes, I wear it.

V: Vegetables you don't like. Brussel sprouts, celery. I like most veggies!

W: What makes you run late. Traffic, waiting on other people. I hate being late.

X: X-rays you've had. Lots on my teeth, my spine.

Y: Yummy food you make. Some of my favorite culinary creations.

Z: Zoo animal favorites. Pigs are my favorite animal, but they are a farm animal. Counts in my book.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Favorite Things: Fall Recipes Edition

I am not a fan of fall and winter, or cold weather, but I am a fan of soups. I love making and eating soup. Lots and lots of soup. It is hard to make lots and lots of soup in the summer time (it is hot in NC!) So I try and take full advantage of the cooler weather. I tend to be a bit overzealous with my fall cooking in the beginning of the season... the lucky people who live and work near me get to benefit from this enthusiasm. Soup recipes make a lot of food, and I love handing out portions of my creations!

Butternut Squash Soup

My preferred serving style: topped with reduced-fat sour cream, sunflower seeds, and served with a side of cornbread. 5 P+ per serving (plain), 11 P+ when served as suggested.

Crock Pot Turkey and White Bean Pumpkin Chili

My preferred serving style: 2 servings poured over 1/2 cup of brown rice and topped with reduced-fat sour cream. 3 P+ per serving, 10 P+ when served as suggested.

Low Fat Creamy Potato Soup

My preferred serving style: topped with scallions, cheese, and bacon bits. Sour cream would be good too, but this soup is pretty creamy by itself! 5 P+ when served as suggested.

Thyme and Vegetable Lamb Stew

My preferred serving style: as-is! This soup is delicious as-prepared. 6 P+ as-prepared.

Of course, making soup requires some very sophisticated kitchen tools. Not really, but here are some of my kitchen must-have's for these recipes.

- Immersion Blender (I got mine at Wal-Mart)

- Slow-Cooker

- Good cutting boards in a variety of sizes

- Calphalon Contemporary Knives

Now go, make these Fall recipes and let me know how they turn out! What are some of your favorite Fall recipes?
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