Author Archives: madindy

Collard Green & Lentil Soup

Collard Green & Lentil Soup

This recipe is a Lebanese inspired dish that I tried last week and loved it! It has a beautiful blend of spices that may be totally new to your palette. It was new to mine and I really enjoyed it…the leftovers were great too.

It was originally a vegetarian dish, but I added some ground turkey for extra protein as my hubby and I both like to eat protein rich diets. It is a great use of collard greens. So here is a great way to add these greens into your diet.

Ingredients:
*1/2 pound ground turkey (optional), sauteed (cooked through)
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup dried red lentils (I couldn’t find red ones, so used the ones I could find in the store), rinsed and drained
6 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch collard greens, rinsed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 cup lemon juice

Directions:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium in large sauce pan; stir in onion and salt, cook until soft and translucent (about 4 minutes). Stir in lentils and cook for 1 minute. Pour in water and bring to boil over high heat, then turn heat to medium low, cover and simmer until lentils are tender (about 15 minutes). If using cooked ground turkey, add now.
2. Meanwhile heat remaining olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add collard greens and heat until wilted, about 10 minutes (stirring occasionally).

3. When lentils are tender, stir in collard greens and add cumin, cinnamon, and garlic; allow to simmer 10 more minutes. Add lemon juice before serving and enjoy!

*Serves 4
* Recipe Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lentil-and-Green-Collard-Soup/Detail.aspx

Closer Look: Collard Greens

Closer Look: Collard Greens

If you grew up down south, Collard Greens were probably a staple in your diet. But, for us yankees (as my southern grandfather called us northerners) Collard Greens may be totally foreign to you. So here is a Closer Look at Collard Greens, followed with Collard Green recipes posted later this week.

How to choose the best Collard Greens?
Collard Greens are in season from November to April. Look for leaves that are bright green and crispy with stout stalks, not yellowish or wilted.

What are the nutritional benefits of Collard Greens?
Collard Greens are low in carbs and packed rich with vitamins A, C, K, E and folate. They also contain a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and dietary fiber.

How do I prepare Collard Greens?
Both the stalks and leaves can be eaten. The leaves and stalks should be washed thoroughly first. You then cut the leaves into small strips. I most commonly sautee the greens in a little olive oil in a frying pan with a little minced garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. You can then add the sauteed leaves into soups, stews, or eat them as a side dish. You can also eat them raw blended with other salad greens or include some raw leaves in your fruit smoothie (trick here: more fruit than veggies and you won’t even taste the veggies).

Stay tuned this week for recipes using Collard Greens!

Sources: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2410/2

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/collard-greens.html

Sick & Tired: Hypothyroidism

Sick & Tired: Hypothyroidism

I decided to do this post giving some very basic information about hypothyroidism, with a little info at the end about its link to fibromyalgia, out of my heart to see people that are Sick & Tired of being Sick & Tired possibly narrow down what may be going on in their bodies.”

“It (hypothyroidism) is often seen in people who suffer from multiple allergies, immune disorders and chronic fatigue,” says Dr. Mercola. Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/01/02/temperature-regulation-for-thyroid-testing.aspx

(Me and my very supportive through all this hubby, Matt)

My Experience with Hypothyroidism:
I’m being really transparent here in hope that this may point someone to what may be causing their own Sick & Tired experience. I have a type of hypothyroidism called Hasimoto’s Thyroiditis. Its the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the U.S.

When I was 20 years old my family doctor discovered that I had hypothyroidism. I had gained weight unexplainably, so she decided to run the standard blood test to determine if my thyroid was underactive (hypothyroidism). The results came back positive, so she put me on Cynthroid (Levothyroxine), the standard medication for those with underactive thyroids.

My weight seemed to normalize and I felt better for a while, but within 2 years I was more sick than ever.

My Symptoms Included:
-Extreme Fatigue
-Muscle and joint pain
-Mind Fog (felt like I was walking around in a daze)
-Weight Gain
-Dry Skin (it almost had a more gray under tone look and just looked unhealthy)
-Thinning Hair (that changed texture, one of the reason I hacked it into a short bob)
-Cold fingers and toes (even when it was warm out)
-Intestinal Issues
-Low body temperature
-Unexplained Muscle tension (even if I wasn’t stressed)

Proper Testing:
I went to my family doctor and she ran the standard thyroid blood test and she said that my levels were normal and there was nothing wrong. With my list of symptoms above, needless to say, I begged to differ. Thankfully God has given me a persistant spirit (in a good way) and I generally don’t just accept answer from people because of letters at the beginning or end of their name. I’ve learned that I know my body better than anyone and I knew something wasn’t right.

I started seeing a holistic doctor who upon hearing my symptoms said that it didn’t sound like my thyroid was working properly. He told me the standard test most doctors run for thyroids only tests 2 to 3 of the 7 items they need to test to see what is fully going on with the thyroid. The 7 panel test he ran found that the thyroid was still not functioning properly and showed the specific type of hypothyroidism I have, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Treatment:
He prescribed a natural thyroid replacement compound that is a natural hormone to the body. Its actually derived from pig thyroid (sounds gross, but this is natural to the body, pig is close to human makeup, verses a foreign agent to the body like Cynthroid). There is a similar drug makeup on the market called Armour.

He also suggested I go on a gluten free diet, which I did right away…no last meal loaded with bread, pasta, and pastries for me…I just wanted to get better asap!

Results:
Within a few months almost all of these symptoms disappeared! Most importantly I had my energy back, my muscle and joint pain disappeared, I’m generally not as cold as I used to be, my hair and skin textured went back to normal, my intestinal issues improved, my weight regulated, and I was able to think clearly (no more glazed over feeling).

Hypothyroidism and Other Health Issues Linked:
Many holistic and natural doctors are now discovering that Hypothyroidism is linked to other health issues, maybe even the root of them. The newest one I was really interested to hear about was its link to fibromyalgia. If you or someone you know have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia please read this linked article http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/26/dr-john-lowe-on-thyroid-disease-part-1.aspx

Sources:
-My personal experience
-http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/01/02/Many-Symptoms-Suggest-Sluggish-Thyroid.aspx
-http://www.medicinenet.com/hashimotos_thyroiditis/article.htm
-http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hashimotos-disease/DS00567

Diaper Cake for Spring

Diaper Cake for Spring

I just made a diaper cake for a dear friend’s baby shower this past weekend.

She’s due to welcome her little into the world at the end of the March, so we’re all getting really excited! She doesn’t know if her little one is a boy or girl, so she is doing most of her bedding, blankets, etc. in green, so she can add in blues or pinks when she meets her/him.

With my excitement for Spring and knowing the baby will be born this Spring, I went with a Spring look for the diaper cake and shower decor (I’ll post later this week). I was trying to get some inspiration for it all and kept thinking about Spring green moss. Its the right color, not overly “girlie” or “babyie” (neither the mom-to-be or myself are into the “baby look”; you know clowns, noah’s ark, winnie the pooh, etc.). So, this fresh look really seemed to work well.

I used green moss and 2 small bunches of silk daisies I bought at the craft store, as well as pale yellow satin ribbon I got from Buy Buy Baby (they have available in their complimentary gift wrap station) to decorate the cake.

On the tiers of the diaper cake are baby items mostly from the mom-to-be’s gift registry, including the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (one of my childhood favorites and this one is a cardboard book, so its great for young children). There are 2 baby bottles in the center of the cake and one on the lower tier. The cake includes 100 size 2 diapers that will definitely be used in the future.

There is a pack of “rockstar” pacifiers and a baby teething toy, as well as a sippy cup and travel sized baby care items.

Diaper cakes are great baby shower gifts, as they’re not only a gift but a decor item on the gift table and can decorate the baby’s nursery for a while.

Have a baby shower you need a gift for? Not sure what to get? Let me know as I now offer diaper cakes for sale, special made for the mom-to-be’s nursery theme and registry items. Interested?  Contact me through the Ask Madindy page.

The Sweet Stuff and Your Weight

The Sweet Stuff and Your Weight

I’m wordy again today, but I’m hitting a topic that you’ve got to know the facts about! Did you ever wonder why people who continually drink diet sodas often seem to be overweight?…then read on. I noticed this through pure observation when I was really young, which is why I’m fascinated by this research.
Let’s get the facts and stop letting advertising campaigns educate us about what’s good for us.

Sugar has become the villain in today’s diets and artificial sweeteners have become a hero to dieters everywhere.
More and more research and studies are exposing the truth about artificial sweeteners, showing they not only contribute to weight gain, but can cause a whole world of health issues.

The Problem We’re Trying to Solve:
We as a society (I’m definitely included) love sweet foods, juices, sodas, yogurts, desserts, cereals, etc. But, we don’t like the negative side effects that consuming excess sugar has on our bodies. Side effects such as weight gain, diabetes, elevated triglycerides (leading to heart disease), suppressed immune system, etc. So, we look for ways to still indulge in the sweet taste, without these terrible side effects…thinking that we can have our cake and eat it too.
source: http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/sugar.htm

Real Sugar:
According to a series of experiments done at Purdue University and published in Behavioral Neuroscience, when you consume real sugar (from foods such as fruit, table sugar, honey, real maple syrup, etc.) your body connects and anticipates the caloric load that comes from eating these real sugars and it revvs up your metabolism.
source: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1711763,00.html

According to various research studies and written about by Andreas Moritz (naturalnews.com ),

“The body has a self-regulating mechanism, a kind of thermostat that measures the amount of energy (or calories) it can obtain from a particular meal. When your body has received enough energy from the food you have eaten, then your mouth, stomach, intestines, and liver send messages to the brain that all energy requirements have been met. Subsequently, your nervous system secretes hormones that stop your desire for more food. This point of saturation is essential for your wellbeing, for without it you would continuously want to eat and never feel satisfied.”

The problem is we eat too much sugar and require our foods to be sweeter than our ancestors ever did. According to Dr. Hubber, healthyalterego.com, if you look back to 1910 the sweet foods that people consumed were mostly from natural sources like fruits. Even table sugar was not highly used. Our problem today is that we eat far too much sugar. Our tolerance for sugar has risen; we need/expect our food to be sweeter.

Artificial Sweeteners:
To solve this dilemma (wanting the sweet taste without the negative side effects) many people have turned to artificial sweeteners. This includes anything that’s labeled diet, sugar free, or products that contain sucrolose, aspartame, saccahrine, NutraSweet, Sweet ‘N Low, Neotame, Splenda, Equal, etc.

The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners
Why Artificial Sweeteners Make you Fat:
Dr. Huber (healthyalterego.com) summarizes all the research and science stating,

“Translation: fooling the body with excessive sweeteners resulted in increased calorie intake at subsequent meals as their appetite was stimulated, increased weight gain and fat deposits, lowering of metabolism so fat burned less efficiently.”

Basically, artificial sweeteners never satisfy your body’s craving for calories and cause you to just crave more. That’s not so good for those trying to loose weight by eating these substitutes, but is really good for the companies making these “diet” foods and drinks because you’ll eat more and more of them.
other sources: http://www.naturalnews.com/022785.html
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1711763,00.html

The Other Side Effects of Artificial Sweeteners:
You can look through all these sources to see the details including how these items scooted their way past the FDA, but here are the basic facts.
Aspartame (and the sweeteners made from it, phenylalanine) are especially dangerous as they damage the central nervous system. Some of the health issues they cause include migraines, fuzzy thinking, changes in behavior, depression, seizures, visual disturbances, gastrointestinal reactions, joint pain, fatigue, etc. Aspartame is the cause of over 75% of adverse food reactions reported to the FDA.

Other artificial sweeteners can cause cancers, testicular damage, negative effects on baby of a pregnant woman, and much more.

sources: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/31/aspartame-update.aspx

http://www.naturalnews.com/022785.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/13/Artificial-Sweeteners-More-Dangerous-than-You-Ever-Imagined.aspx

What to do?
So, you feel like you’re between a rock and a hard place? You don’t want to eat sugar because you’re watching your weight, are prone to diabetes or candida overgrowth, but obviously these artificial substitutes are not a better option.

I’ve personally noticed that when you eat sugar, your body craves more. One thing to do is to fight the cravings and just not give in. I crave sweets, but for me its especially chocolate. With my restricted diet, unless I make sweets from scratch I often cannot eat them. I satisfy my craving, by keeping a bar of high quality dark chocolate on hand. When I crave sweets, I’m shocked that a small piece of this high cocoa content (less sugar than lower cocoa content chocolate bars) bar often satisfies my craving.

Find a way to satisfy those intense cravings, that works for you. Such as:
-Fruit, its sweet and natural
-Indulge in what you crave in smaller amounts
-Real soda but a small amount

Another option is the natural sweetener that’s been used for centuries called Stevia. You can find it in the health food section of your grocery. Its made from a leaf and contains no sugar and its natural (not man made, but found in nature).


Another option is Agave Nectar. Made from the agave plant, its also a natural product. It contains sugar but has a lower glycemic index (good for those watching weight or those with diabetes).

I hope this will encourage you to know what you’re eating before you eat it. The sources I’m linking to in this article are just some of many that are out there supporting these facts.
Still confused about what to eat and not eat? My general rule of thumb is, eat real stuff…ingredients made by God, not a scientist. Eat what you love but in moderation.

Have a good weekend!

Other sources:

http://www.splendaexposed.com/

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=4271246&page=1

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/96849.php




Spicy Sriracha-Glazed Chicken

Spicy Sriracha-Glazed Chicken

This recipe is for all those guys and gals that love spicy food! I always say that my hubby, Matt, doesn’t have taste buds anymore because he probably burned them off eating so much spicy food in his lifetime. He likes that spicy that would bring anyone else to tears…me, I like the flavor of spicy food, but not the burn that turns your lips bright red and makes your nose run.

This recipe will give you that spicy food fix, without bringing you to tears.

This recipe uses Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce  which is a blend of chiles, sugar, salt, garlic, and vinegar. A native of Thailand, it can be used to add a little spice to any dish from stir-fries, to eggs, to hamburgers. You can add it to hummus, mayonnaise, ketchup, or cocktail sauce to add a kick.

You can pick it up in the Asian Food aisle of your supermarket.

You know those spicy chicken wings you get at restaurants? Well, here’s how to make a version of those tasty little guys at home. Matt loves chicken wings, but if I had to do this one again I would have done some chicken thighs along with the wings for me…I always think chicken wings are a lot of work for very little meat, so I’d add some chicken thighs.

*Recipe source and Sriracha Hot Sauce information: Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, January/ February 2011 Issue

Ingredients:
1/4 cup (gluten free) soy sauce
2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha Sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken wings (I’d use some chicken thighs within this 1 1/2 pounds as well)

Directions:
1. Blend together all ingredients except chicken.
2. In a glass baking dish toss chicken in sauce to coat. Marinate in fridge for 30 minutes, tossing half way through.
3. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bake until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens, 30 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through. Serve and enjoy!

*May need to bake chicken less than 30 minutes, or cover with tin foil toward the end of baking because sauce in the bottom of dish may start to burn toward the end of baking.

*I served this dish with baked sweet potato fries and sauteed brussel sprouts.

Sick & Tired

Sick & Tired

I’m a little long winded today, but I think it’ll be worth the read. I seem to keep meeting people that have very similar health stories to mine. So, I thought I’d start a segment as a resource specifically for people who are having difficult health journeys. You can see my full story in the “Who is Madindy?” page.

Have you seen a hand full of doctors or specialist who have never told you the cause of your health issues, but just prescribe more medications to treat your symptoms? (see my story)

When you go in to see a doctor do they pull out your huge medical file and say “wow, you’ve got a lot going on here”? (like that’s comforting…and yes, I’ve had multiple doctors respond to me this way)

Do your friends, family, or maybe even your health care professionals say that you may just be a hypocondriac/ it’s all in your head? (yep, I’ve had many people suggest that as well)

Are you so sick and tired of being Sick & Tired? (that’s why I didn’t stop searching for better ways to treat my health issues)

Are you tired of taking prescription drugs that continually get pulled off the market or cause more than undesirable side effects? (been there, done that)

Do you just keep thinking, there has to be a better way to manage my health? (hence my journey toward homeopathic/ holistic/ natural healthcare)

I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone! Since I started to begin talking more openly about my health struggles a few years ago and starting this blog at the beginning of this year, I’ve met more and more people that have a similar and some almost the exact same combination of seemingly random health issues that I have.

In this segment, Sick & Tired, I’ll give suggestions for different avenues to managing your health.
*Disclaimer: Please always seek a  medical professional’s advice before implementing any new health care plan, diet, or supplementation plan. I don’t claim to be a medical professional, just someone who wants to share my own journey toward a healthier life.

Here is my first piece of advice for someone experiencing a variety of health issues, and despite seeing many doctors, their health seems to keep spinning out of control (new symptoms, medications don’t seem to solve the issue, just mask it’s symptoms):

Find a medical professional that you trust who you can work with.
In my own journey I saw your typical family care practitioner, who referred me to a hand full of specialists (gastrointernologist, standard allergist, pulmonologist, dermatologist, etc.). I’m sure there are good standard medicine practicing doctors out there who truly do help people. But, I have to say, that was not my experience! After years of treatment (15 years), all my health issues were managed through a meal full of prescriptions…only managed, but never solved.

It wasn’t until I began doing my own research, through the help of my husband (reading a lot online), talking with chiropractors, talking with friends with similar issues, and reading a lot that I began seeing other ways of managing my health. I began seeing a holistic M.D. (http://www.meta-ehealth.com/site/office/practice.jsp), who works with people who have allergies and other chronic health issues. This was the first time a doctor asked me to hear my full medical history, according to how I’ve experienced it and he said “your story is very similar to so many others I’ve heard.” Its been a long journey, but through proper testing techniques and one doctor looking at the whole picture, I have experienced true progress in my health. I now use not one prescription (not even a maintenance inhaler, and I have asthma). I manage my health through diet, immunotherapy allergy shots, and a supplement program. I’m not 100% yet, but am 10 times better than I was 2 years ago!

I encourage anyone with similar issues to find a holistic/ naturopathic/ natural/ homeopathic doctor who treats people with chronic health issues. A great way to find one in your area is to go into your local health food store and ask if they know of any local holistic doctors. Talk openly about your health struggles and you’ll be surprised at others who have similar issues that may have some great local resources (I found people I had known for years had some similar issues, I never knew about until I began talking more openly).

I found a doctor through friends that has a great online resource community, Dr.Mercola. He tends to be controversial within the medical community, as he exposes a lot of flaws in standard medicine, but I’ve found him to be a great resource.

My biggest piece of advice is don’t give up on your journey toward a healthier life! Its not an easy road to walk, so find others who will support you (friends, family, others who can relate) and pray with in your journey. And remember its a journey.
Hope you’ll keep following for more tips!

Kid Friendly Food: Breakfast Sausage and Pancakes

Kid Friendly Food: Breakfast Sausage and Pancakes

Maybe your typical breakfast is full of fresh fruit and light on the stomach, contributing to a healthy weight. Let’s be honest though, every now and then you know you want a hearty old fashioned breakfast. You know, breakfast sausage and pancakes!

When I was a kid visiting my family down south, my grandparents would often make biscuits and gravy, bacon and eggs, pancakes and breakfast sausage…there is nothing like waking up to a house full of those tasty scents! Since my restricted diet doesn’t allow me to eat gluten, eggs, or dairy (the staples of breakfast foods) breakfast is always a challenge. And I’ll be the first to admit that I miss eating those big old fashioned southern breakfasts.

So, here is my recreation of a big, hearty breakfast that follows my restricted diet. Every now and then on Saturday mornings Matt and I spend the time making this tasty breakfast. I hope this will bring a real breakfast back into your restricted diet!
And the best part, I definitely consider this one very kid friendly!

Most of the time premade Breakfast Sausage is not gluten free, so here is how to make your own that you can be sure is free of the stuff you can’t eat. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but its mostly spices, so you probably have most in your spice rack.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground pork, turkey, or beef
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried savory leaves (I couldn’t find this one in the store, so I skipped it)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:
1. Blend all ingredients together in large bowl with your hands or spatula. Form into 12 balls and flatten into patties (May want to put a little cooking oil on hands first)
2. Preheat nonstick skillet. Fry sausages over medium heat until cooked through. Or you can crumble sausage in pan and and simply brown. Enjoy!

*Recipe Source: Cooking Free: 200 Flavorful Recipes for People with Food Allergies and Multiple Food Sensitivities (Includes alternatives to gluten, dairy, eggs, and sugar), by Carol Fenster, Ph. D.

For my pancakes I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix. Simply follow the instructions on the package. I use rice milk and Egg Replacer to make these pancakes in order to follow my restricted diet. I serve my pancakes with butter and real maple syrup.

I hope this will bring hearty breakfasts back into your restricted diet life and give you another opportunity to say “yes you can have that” to your child with a restricted diet! Enjoy!

Follow Madindy

Follow Madindy

You can now follow Madindy on Twitter http://twitter.com/madindyliving and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Madindy/165406443508796?sk=wall#!/pages/Madindy/165406443508796?sk=wall.

Considering I’m still holding onto the past a little bit in my personal life (maybe texting on my phone will be the next technological advancement in my personal life! I think I’m the only 20 something in this country without texting on my phone), I’m pretty excited that I’ve stepped into the year 2011 with Madindy!

Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

Technically its still winter, but I guess I’m so ready for Spring that I’m getting a bit of a jump start on the season. This Asparagus Soup is a delicious way to welcome a little Spring into your home, while still having some hearty warmth to chase away the winter blues.

When I first saw this recipe I thought “asparagus in soup…I don’t know.” But Matt and I have been making this soup for a few years now and love it every single time. Think of it as a potato soup with Asparagus in the mix.

I love this soup because it uses the discarded ends of Asparagus, so no waste here. It definitely hits the spot for me because I love creamy soups, but can no longer eat dairy and this soup has that creaminess without the dairy. It can also be made vegetarian/ vegan.

I hope you’ll try this tasty soup and add it to your favorites’ list!

Ingredients:
1 pound asparagus
6 cups chicken stock (or use vegetable stock for a vegetarian/vegan version)
1/2 cup minced shallot (if you don’t have shallot you can use onion)
1 potato, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated lemon peel and snipped fresh dill for garnish


Directions:
1. Snap off ends of asparagus (trimmings). (see my post on Asparagus to see how to do this www.www.rglserbia.org/#573)
2. In a large saucepan bring stock to a simmer and add asparagus trimmings. Simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, rinse remaining asparagus spears. Cut off tips and set aside. Cut remaining stalks into 1 1/2″ pieces.
Picture above: asparagus tips (right) and remaining stalks cut into 1 1/2″ pieces (left and in photo below)

4. Remove asparagus trimmings from simmering broth and discard.


5. Add asparagus stalks, shallot, grated potato, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the liquid to a boil then simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.


6. Meanwhile in a saucepan of boiling salted water blanch the asparagus tips (boil for less than a minute until the tips turn bright green then submerge in cold water).


7. Using a submersion blender (shown above and my favorite new kitchen device) or in a standard blender puree the soup until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve soup with blanched asparagus tips, grated lemon peel and dill to garnish.

*Recipe Source: Food Network, recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine

I served this Asparagus Soup with the Lemony Red Quinoa I posted last week (www.www.rglserbia.org/#646). This makes a delicious vegetarian/ vegan meal when made with vegetable stock.

I hope you enjoy this tasty soup. To read more about Asparagus (how to pick it, nutrition facts, etc.) check out my Closer Look: Asparagus post (www.www.rglserbia.org/#573).