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


Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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