Wednesday, August 6, 2008

a chilean spin, on the german version, of an italian specialty...

What?! Haha, don't worry we'll get to it. Let's start from the beginning, school has been... hm, don't know. First of all, I've only had 2 of my 5 classes since the others start next week so I can't really get a feel for things overall, and secondly, as much as I think I'm going to enjoy these 2 and the others, they are still classes, which means work, which means I have to get back into the going to school mindset, which means while the rest of my friends are free to savor the last few weeks of summer I have to buckle down. Poor me ;) studying abroad is tough. 
Monday morning began with my new favorite PB Banana APPLE Flax Oatmeal. I've tried apples in oatmeal before, as a substitute for banana when I've run out, but never as an addition and I don't know why not, it's so obvious! The creaminess of the banana and yogurt was a perfect compliment to the sweet and softened apple chunks. Just add some hearty flax, make it nice and cinnamony, and you've got yourself the best thing to happen to Danielle's boring oatmeal yet!

Oh and it gets even better! Following my new favorite bowl of oatmeal I helped my host-mom prepare "Minestrone" soup. This is not like any bowl of minestrone I've ever had but according to her it's as I described in the title. The key ingredient in my mind is the pumpkin, it definitely seems to give the soup that little special something that I adore oh so much! Here's the recipe. I suggest you try it as soon as possible, on the first day of fall, por ejemplo, it pairs nicely with crisp weather- 

Sopa Minestrone (serves 6)
2 cups of dry Spanish white beans
1/4 kg of pumpkin
5 medium potatoes
8 large leaves of kale or spinach
1 medium yellow onion
1 clove of garlic
Condimentos la gusto
1. Leave beans soaking in cold water over-night.
2. The next morning add the water and beans to a pressure cooker and leave alone to cook.
3. During this time, cut the pumpkin and potatoes into small cubes and chop the kale/spinach.
4. After 15-20 minutes, turn off the heat on the pressure cooker and add the vegetables. Allow the pot to sit.
5. Chop the onions, mince the garlic, and chop the fresh/dried herbs/spices you prefer (we used oregano and pepper). 
6. Mix these with a little EVOO and salt and add to the pot.
7. Let the soup cook for as long as it takes to soften the pumpkin and potatoes. It should mimic a stew more so than a brothy soup.
8. ¡Buen provecho!
Later in the day I met my friend downtown to get our passes for one of my upcoming classes. Sounds easy enough but, alas, it was not and it took us to hours of running around to different buildings on different campuses to finally get it authorized. Finally, on our way back to the metro, the heavens opened up and there it was, a massive Starbucks welcoming us with open arms. I'm exaggerating, but still :). We both got a much-needed lattes (mine's the tall one with the jacket) and enjoyed them to the fullest in a plaza nearby. Esta es la vida.
The soup ended up becoming a staple in my diet for the next 2 days, sans breakfast of course, insert new oatmeal there, until last night when I was devastated to find that we finished it already :( oh well, it was incredible while it lasted, better with each and every meal! All times it was eaten with a plate of Ensalada on the side, tomatoes and avocado in this case. I'm loving how easy it is to get in all of my veggies.
Last night I had a little less than a cup of rice with carrots mixed in, Zucchini Frittata, and 2 servings of the Celery salad, yum! And this morning's breakfast was nothing short of repetitive with another delectable bowl of oats. Today's agenda includes a big list of things to do! I've noticed that when I'm unhappy I tend to be lie around with no motivation for anything so some of these things have been waiting for a while, let's take a look... go out for a long walk/run (I've been doing this for the past few days and hoping to make it a habit), fax Foodbuzz, um, surprise :), print absentee ballot, register Chilean cell phone and add friend's numbers, pick up hummus ingredients (they don't sell it pre-made here, my family had no idea what I was talking about!), make it ASAP, organize field seminar materials, fold clothes, so on and so forth. Better get a move on, have a spectacular Wednesday everyone!

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