Thursday, April 19, 2012


Before I go into tonight's dinner, I should go back about a month in time and provide an accounting of my fast.  In a nutshell, I broke down on day 3.  It was just too hard, even with a 3-day weekend, to do stuff around the house on a juice-only diet after five days of eating fruits and vegetables only.  I just felt too deprived, so on days 3 and 4 of the juice fast, I broke the fast in the evening by eating cashews, chips and salsa and the like, and on day 5 I finished up whatever premade juice was on hand and then called it quits.  I wouldn't categorically say that it was a bad idea or that I wouldn't try something like it again.  However, I will say that it probably would have been more prudent to start out small - say, with a 3-day juice fast with no pre- or post-fast dietary restrictions - and then worked my way up to the 15-day deal over time.

One cool thing about the reboot is that I had a reason to save a bunch of veggie juice pulp and make my own veggie broth.  The latest batch was made with pulp from butternut squash and a couple of green veggies I could no longer identify after a month of them being pulped and stored in the freezer, and it saved me having to heat water for veggie base.'s one of the many things I've eaten over the past month!  My main objective here was to hurry up and use the broth I made a few days ago, but it worked out especially well with today's cooler weather and clouds.

1 lb. dried red kidney beans, soaked
5 cups veggie broth plus 3 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/4" thick
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 can organic fire-roasted chopped tomatoes with their juice
1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
1/2 cup orzo pasta
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp ground sage
50 leaves fresh oregano, whole

Quick soak: in a 2-quart pot, cover dry beans in water by one inch.  Bring to a boil, boil one minute, then remove from heat, cover and soak one hour.

In a 6-8 quart pot, bring broth and water to a boil, add kidney beans and simmer until they're nearly done, stirring occasionally (lest the beans start sticking to the bottom of the pot), about 30-45 minutes. 

In a separate saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add zucchini, onion and garlic, stir well and saute until softened, about 3-5 minutes.  Add mixture to kidney beans and broth along with tomatoes, green beans, salt, pepper, oregano and sage.  Cook until green beans have heated through, about another 5 minutes.  Add orzo, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally (to keep pasta from sticking to the bottom), until soup is bubbling.
I've actually made this a bunch of times over the years - usually with canned kidney beans and maybe also some chickpeas - and it never gets old.  Normally I don't like to dredge the pot (as Steve does) when I serve myself a bowl of soup, but I do with soups containing pasta because the pasta will keep plumping up in the fridge and it can be annoying to run out of broth because the pasta has absorbed it all and then have to add water and salt to the leftovers to restore the soup consistency.  (Run-on?  Oh, well.)  Speaking of which...this coming weekend I'm off, and I now have leftovers to get me through one more workday!

Have a good weekend, and maybe I'll see a few of you at the Moe's Burrito Dash 5K on Saturday!

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