my friend Rachel's Minestrone recipe, using what I had and leaving out what I had to (pasta and beans, for example). I was surprised that eating two big bowls of really hot soup wasn't impossible to do in 90 degree Oklahoma. Triple-digit-degree Oklahoma? That's probably another story.
I had been to Sprout's the day before and got some swiss chard, fully intending to use it up the way I did last summer. Alas, it went into the soup. Sure, I wanted some Parmesan cheese on top and some crusty bread on the side, but the soup was good.
My afternoon snack was a delicious, huge bowl of fresh mixed berries. I am a genius for trying this at the height of berry season.
Granted, a moment of weakness ensued when I was getting the kids their snacks. I had to force myself to put the peanut-covered spoon straight into the sink instead of licking it clean first. A quick text to a friend and she let me know I had seriously only just begun.
I knew I was making chicken nuggets for dinner. And I knew that the last few times I made them, I ate the browned and crispy panko bread crumbs left behind in the pan by the fistful. But it wasn't a big deal to make them for everyone else and just saute my unbreaded chicken. I steamed some snap peas for my husband and I, added some brown rice to his plate and more berries to mine. Delicious.
My food so far has been simple and delicious. Remember, I only just read about this whole plan the day before, so I haven't researched recipes, shopped for ingredients, or planned out the rest of the week. I'm trying not to make this more of a shock to my life-style than it has to be. So taking what I have, using it simply, and enjoying it? I can do that.
Day 1 was a cinch.
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 medium zucchini, sliced
1 bunch swiss chard, sliced lengthwise and then into ribbons
salt and pepper
In a large pot over medium low heat, warm about 1 tbs olive oil. Add garlic and onion and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add carrot and celery, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add chicken stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, and rosemary and increase heat to medium. Bring to a boil, lower the heat back to medium low, and add the zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the swiss chard and let wilt slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.