Split-Pea Perfection

My Barnes and Noble trip was less than productive. I had planned on reviewing a bunch of videos for a project I’m working on, but realized that I forgot my headphones. Obviously, it would have been very rude of me to listen to the videos out loud at B&N cafe. So, I worked on a few other small things then headed for home. 

On the way home, I stopped at Fresh Market to pick up a loaf of freshly-baked whole-grain bread and some garlic French rounds – both for the awesome split-pea soup my husband and I made for dinner.

Pea soup1

I thought the split-pea soup was fantastic. The ham hock I used gave it a ton of flavor and the sweet potato gave the soup some added color, and an extra boost of vitamins A and C. Even peas themselves offer great nutritional value, because they are packed with protein.

Pea soup2

I’ve loved split-pea soup since I was a kid but only started making it homemade as an adult. To make the soup, here’s what you’ll need…

RWC Split-Pea and Ham Soup 

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz dried green split-peas
  • 64 oz chicken broth/stock
  • 1 sweet potato, skin removed and cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium ham hock (about the size of a full chicken breast
  • 4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjorum
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • a sprinkle of rosemary

Heat oil in a large sauce pan. Add onion, celery, and carrots and saute on medium until just softened. Add the split peas, chicken broth, sweet potato, ham hock, and the spices to the sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 60 minutes. Remove ham hock, and slice meat off the bone, cut into small pieces, and set aside. Discard ham hock. Puree up to half of the soup mixture in a blender, then return blended soup to the sauce pan. Add ham pieces, and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with croutons or French bread rounds.

Serves 8 people.

This recipe makes way more soup than needed for just 2 people. But we usually freeze one or two quarts to make as a quick mid-week dinner.

We were especially full from dinner because, in addition to soup, we had baked feta cheese with fresh multi-grain bread.

baked feta2

I’ve had baked feta a couple times before and LOVED it both times. Tonight was the first time I made it at home. Here’s what I did:

Spicy Baked Feta

  • 4-8 oz block of feta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like it hot!)
  • fresh ground pepper

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the feta into large chunks (or leave as one big chunk if you like) and place in a shallow oven-safe bowl.. Mix oil, garlic, red pepper, and ground pepper in a separate bowl and pour over feta. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is slightly brown. Spread warm cheese on fresh bread or French rounds.

Baked feta is so much better when it’s served warm, mainly because you can easily spread it on your bread. Although my baked feta tasted good, I let it cook for nearly 25 minutes because I was preoccupied. This was way too long and the cheese was a little rubbery and hard to spread on the bread.

I have sooo much to get done tomorrow, it’s not even funny. So, I’m outta here. Hope you enjoy the recipes. Chat with you later.

Energizing Apple-Nut Oatmeal

Hello everyone! My day started with a 60-minute session of yoga at my local studio. It was fantastic! I’m so glad that our regular yogini is back. She really makes us work but also takes her time with us. 

After class, I made a little breakfast…some apple-nut oatmeal!

Oatmeal-pb2

Here’s what it included:

Energizing Apple-Nut Oatmeal

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats (not the quick cook kind)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 shredded red delicious apple
  • 2 tbsp walnuts
  • 1 heaping tbsp all-natural creamy peanut butter

Cook the oats as directed on the package or combine the oats and milk and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Add shredded apple and walnuts and top with peanut butter. Stir until peanut butter is melted and blended into the oatmeal. Enjoy!

Oatmeal-pb1

My Energizing Apple-Nut Oatmeal was fantastic and so filling for just 1/4 cup oats! It really is amazing all of the things you can add to plain oatmeal and have the flavor change dramatically. It’s also great for a post-run or post-yoga workout because it gives me a ton of energy with the nuts and peanut butter added it. I may try it as a pre-run snack to see if it makes me run faster or longer – ha!

With my oatmeal, I also sipped on some Tazo Refresh herbal tea…

Tazo-Refresh

It’s really just a fancy blend of peppermint tea, but it is good nonetheless.

After breakfast, hubby and I ran out to do some errands – one of which was going to Costco. What a zoo it was there! You would have thought they were giving something away – aside from the samples. Thankfully, we were able to get in and out in record time. It seems that everyone wanted to browse and not actually stand in line.

We headed home to make some lunch. Sandwiches are usually a weekend lunch staple in the RWC household, but today we made burgers. I had a t-burger and hubby had a regular beef burger.

T-burger1

I only had about 2/3 of a turkey burger, topped with lettuce and white cheddar cheese, on a 100-calorie Thomas’ multi-grain English muffin. I also threw in a few grape tomatoes as a side.

T-burger2

Now, after a filling lunch, I’m off to Barnes and Noble again to finish a few work-related projects.

Can’t wait for tonight – we’re making homemade split-pea soup!

Catch ya later all!