Recovery Day Cooking

One of the nice things about Mondays for me is the fact that it is a rest day, thus I have a bit more time to do some things that I can't on any other day. Usually it doesn't pan out that way however. I usually get wrapped up in work, errands and just trying to keep it together. Today however, was different. I had anticipated possibly cooking dinner for my co-worker Lauren and having our usual monday night tv watching at her place, but her mother had an accident, so I was on my own, but already my mind was made up to cook something fun and something I hadn't done before. I was also hoping to make something that might be able to stretch for a few days, enabling me to have a bit more time to rest and relax after my long days of running, working and running.

With the up'ing of the thyroid meds, I have been absolutely ravenous. I feel like no matter what I eat, I am hungry again 20 minutes later. Usually, my appetite is quite surpressed during hard training, but not so for the last few days!

One of the things I love about fall is being able to able to tuck into heartier, warmer foods. I decided to make a spicy vegetable soup and pumpkin corn bread. I have been wanting to make pumpkin muffins or pumpkin spice cakes or something. When I came up with my soup recipe, the pumpkin corn bread (which is actually a modification of the muffin recipe) was the perfect sidekick. This meal was delicious and I had a blast dancing around the kitchen, listening to Frightened Rabbit. It made me feel comfortable and at home, and even though I am not really at home here in Atlanta, it just confirm to me that at this point in my life, I am happy just to be wherever I am.

Spicy Southwest Soup

1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small serrano pepper, minced
1 ear of fresh corn, cut of the cobb
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, quartered
1 can diced tomatoes w/ green chilies
1 can chili beans (a mixture of red, pinto, etc), rinsed!!!
4 cups vegetable broth
salt, pepper and spices (I used my african peri-peri spice blend)
olive oil

On medium high heat, heat the olive oil and saute onions, carrot, bell peppers until they start to soften. Add garlic, chili and spices and cook a few more minutes. Add corn, squash and mushrooms. Once all the vegetables have started to comingle, add in the diced tomatoes and beans. Give it a good stir and then add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Once the soup is simmering, you can get to making your pumpkin corn bread! I used Karina's recipe (linked above) and I put the bather into a greased pan to make bread instead of muffins. The only modification I made was reducing the oil in the recipe from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup and upped the pumpkin puree a bit. Once the corn bread came out of the oven and cooled, I took the soup off, bowled it up and garnished it with a couple tablespoons of white cheddar and sliced avocado. To feed the savage beast that is my stomach, I also made a small side of brussel sprouts. This meal was delicious, balanced, healthy and just plain fun!

Spicy Southwest Soup with White Cheddar and Avocado

Pumpkin Corn Bread