Sweet Potato and Garlic Soup

Sweet Potato and Garlic Soup (a.k.a. Orange Soup)

I’ll admit when I first saw this recipe in Chris Carmichael’s Fitness Cookbook, I wondered if it was some kind of a prank. “Garlic… carrot… sweet potato… chicken broth… orange juice?!… honey?! They’re just throwing that in there because it’s orange!!!

But at Daniel’s request, I made it anyway, and despite the fact that it’s healthful, and despite the fact that I’m on the fence about sweet potatoes… we both liked it. A lot. Enough that it was Daniel’s pick for his birthday dinner this year.

(Apologies for the awful picture. I’ll try to remember to take a better one the next time I make this!)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed, skins left on, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 cups organic chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream (we use Greek yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 bunch fresh chives, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Directions:

  1. Heat a 4-quart saucepan over medium to medium-high heat.
  2. Add the olive oil and the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onion and garlic turn light brown.
  4. Add the carrot and the sweet potato, then the chicken broth and water.
  5. Turn up the heat to high until it comes to a low boil again, then reduce to medium heat.
  6. Leave at a slow boil, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and add the orange juice.
  7. Ladle into a food processor (I use my Vitamix blender instead) and process in four batches until smooth. Add water in 1/2-cup increments up to 3 cups.
  8. As each blended soup is finished, pour back into a 4-quart saucepan over low to medium-low heat.
  9. Whisk in the sour cream and honey.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh chives.
Easy Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Easy Steel-Cut Oatmeal in Jars

I decided to try making steel-cut oatmeal because it’s both gluten-free (I have a mild sensitivity) and vegan (I’m moderately sensitive to cows’ milk). Plus it just sounds all healthy and fancy-pants. ;)

But seriously, who has time to cook it up in the morning?! There are crockpot recipes, but I was looking for something even lazier. Behold, the overnight-in-a-jar method!

I’ve been tweaking it and this is what I’ve settled on for the moment:

Ingredients:

  • 40 grams toasted steel cut oats (about 1/4 cup)
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) coconut milk (I started with 1 cup, but it turned out soupier than I like)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (reduce if you’re not sure)
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener (I do raw or brown or coconut sugar; adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (you could omit or substitute/add other spices as you prefer)

Directions:

  1. Add everything to a sealable container and put it in the fridge at least overnight. I use Mason jars and make a week’s worth at a time.
  2. To eat in the morning: if you’re hardcore, just stir and eat it. I like mine microwaved for a few minutes. You can also heat the milk before you add it to the jars (this softens the oats more), but make sure you refrigerate pretty promptly to avoid botulism.
  3. As you can tell, this is a pretty free-form recipe. You could make it savory by adding cheese instead of sugar and changing up the spices. You can definitely use cows’ milk (or almond milk or soy milk or fill-in-the-blank milk). You don’t have to have chia. Some people prefer this with rolled oats instead of steel-cut. You get the idea!
Remember the Milk

How to link to a specific list in Remember the Milk

I love Remember the Milk. I’ve set up all kinds of lists and “smart lists” to keep me on top of the things I need to remember.

In the larger realm of my business, I’m always looking for ways to “shape the path” and make it easier to do the best thing. One area that I’m working on is communicating with my clients. I’m good about initial communication, and I’m good at explaining everything when it’s done, but I’ve struggled to keep them posted while I’m doing the work.

This morning I came up with a good idea: add a smart list to RTM that just shows what I’ve completed that day (I called it “Updates”), and then add a recurring task for each workday afternoon that links me to the Updates list and reminds me to shoot off emails to the relevant stakeholders.

All fine and good, but it turns out there’s no obvious way to get a URL for the Update list (or any particular list).

Fortunately, there’s a not-so-obvious way:

  1. Go to the list you want and click the “Print” link (in the “List” box on the right of the main list)
  2. In the address bar, replace the word “print” with the word “home”

That’s it! Now you have the address for that specific link. :)

Hat tip to Ross Goodman, who pointed this out in the RTM forum.

Calendar

Six months from today…

…I’ll have crossed the finish line for the 100-mile “America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride” (rather cocky, aren’t they?!) and earned my Team in Training Triple Crown (for completing a marathon, a triathlon, and a bicycle century ride).

Best of all, my sister Nadine will be with me, earning her own Triple Crown (Nadine and I coincidentally completed our Team in Training triathlons the same day, June 24, 2012, in different states). Continue reading

Toot toot!

THREE THINGS I’M REALLY PROUD OF!

  1. Doing all the homework for Morning Whip! (Traditionally, three weeks has been the firm upper limit of my attention span… so even signing up was an act of faith!)
  2. Getting on top of the outstanding client work that was overwhelming me
  3. I have a freakin’ plan, yo!

THREE THINGS I WILL STILL TOOT TOOT MY OWN HORN ABOUT even if I haven’t achieved it yet!

  1. I’m successfully delegating all the work that is not bringing out my best–leaving me free to shine.
  2. My business is bringing in my goal income with ease.
  3. The ripple effect of my work has impacted thousands of women around the world.

Passwords

You know how everyone (hah! “everyone”) says you shouldn’t use the same password everywhere? Yeah, they’re right. But it can be a pain to actually live with that standard. I’ve got something that works for me so I thought I’d share.

Here’s how I do passwords:

  • I have a “base” password that’s strong (has lowercase/uppercase/numbers/symbols), and for each site, I modify it slightly (in a very specific way) to relate to the site I’m using it on. Just like that, I’m using a different password for every site, but it’s still straightforward to remember. Except…
  • Some sites won’t let me use a good password (shame on them!), which keeps my system from being foolproof. And there’s also the matter of client passwords. I need to store them, because there’s no way I’ll remember them, but they also need to be super-secure, so I use LastPass (good competitors include Keepass, Passpack, and 1Password).
  • I don’t use email to store passwords, and try to avoid it for sending and receiving them, too. I use a good password on my email, but email isn’t secure when it’s sent, so the less it touches private info, the better. I prefer to use Sendinc to send and receive passwords and other sensitive info, and if someone sends me a password in an email, I add it to Passpack and delete the email.