Foodie Friday

Happy  New Year Friends!

I hope everyone’s holiday was enjoyable & you haven’t given up on your resolutions. I tried to keep mine really simple, be kind: to myself, to others, etc… so I will keep you posted on that throughout the year. I have been keeping myself busy trying to find a new yoga home here in Walnut Creek & planning all the travel coming up – Palm Springs next week, Philadelphia & Charleston in March, Mexico in April, Virginia Beach in May, Spain in June, and Italy in July…oh boy!! With all the travel on the horizon I have been focusing on easy, comforting, and healthy recipes while I am home. This week I have been enjoying a hearty vegetarian soup & it couldn’t have been more simple to make.img_2587

Tuscan Bean Soup

  • 1 container vegetable stock 
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes 
  • 2 cans tuscan beans
  • 1 big bunch of kale 
  • 1 large white onion 
  • 6 cloves garlic 
  • 3 zucchini 
  • 1 bag carrots 
  • 1 bag celery 
  • 1 bag small potatoes 
  • 1 bunch tyme 
  • 1 sm. bunch sage 
  • salt/pepper
  • EVOO
  • Parmesan

Peel & small dice carrots, small dice celery, garlic, & onion, quarter and dice zucchini, tear kale from stems, quarter potatoes, & prep herbs while 1/4cup EVOO heats up in a large dutch oven on the stove top. Start with onion, carrot, celery, garlic, & potatoes in the pot and cook down for 10 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, beans (drained), herbs, salt & pepper – cook until it simmers. Mix in kale & zucchini and allow soup to cook together for another 10 minutes. Ladle into a bowl, sprinkle on some freshly grated Parmesan (optional), and enjoy!

With this recipe I have enough soup for lunches all week & 5 more portions frozen in mason jars for the next time I have a hankering for this delicious comfort dish.


’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂


Foodie Friday

We’ve made it to the weekend & I for one am super excited for another weekend of beautiful weather! Phil and I have happy hour and a movie date tonight, a long bike ride and picnic on the beach tomorrow, & church followed by brunch on Sunday. I, of course, will be making marvelous meals along the way BUT today I want to share a recipe from last week’s food escapades – Arancini! photo-3

These scrumptious spheres combine some of my favorite flavors and textures to delight the palate and satisfy the desire for decadence. As an Italian Phil loves food from his mother land & these risotto balls are about as authentic as it gets. Before giving these a try myself I was under the assumption arancini would be really hard to make but in reality, it was a breeze. The only time consuming aspect is the risotto; which also isn’t that bad…just put on your favorite playlist and you’ll be done before you know it!

Brown Rice Arancini

  • 1 package Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice (heats/fully cooks in 3 min)
  • 5 cups stock
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 shallot (minced)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 4-6 oz taleggio (or other triple cream/brie cheese) cubed small
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • salt & pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • canola oil for frying

Place stock in a pot & begin to heat while placing skillet over medium heat & adding olive oil. Once oil is heated, add shallot and garlic to cook for 3-5 minutes before adding in the rice & continuing to cook for about the same about of time. Then at about 1/3 cup at a time begin to add in the stock – adding more once the previous 1/3 cup is absorbed until all the stock incorporated. Once finished, remove from heat, add parmesan and seasonings to risotto and allow mixture to cool. During this cooling time its important to clean up and prepare to make/bread the risotto balls, so clear a work space and put egg, flour & panko in three separate shallow dishes. After allowing risotto to cool, form into balls & stuff small cubes of cheese into the center of each ball. Dredge each ball through the flour, egg and panko dishes to complete the prep process. All thats left is to fry them – put some canola oil in a large pot over medium high heat and fry the balls about 2 minutes per side until they’re completely golden…serve hot!

These are great for a special date night, small dinner party or fancy appetizer that is sure to please most any palate…enjoy!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂