Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Blog

striking a balance

Andrea

March is a big birthday month in our household.  We kick it off right with Brian's at the very beginning, end it with mine and have a whole slew of friend and family celebrations in between.  I've never attempted to actually calculate the numbers, but if I had to guess I would say that 30-40% of the birthdays we actively celebrate fall within March.  That means a lot of cake and cocktails, which, following a winter of heavy comfort foods makes the whole month seem like a last hurrah for indulgent eats before the panic of a looming swimsuit season sets in.  

soup-1

The mostly dreary weather of March has put a damper on my running habit as well.  Although the coldest temperatures of the month are typically much higher than those in January and February, the occasional 60* teaser days make the moderately cold ones completely unbearable.  I have a hard time motivating myself to tie my shoes and hit the road on a 40*, overcast evening (which in February would have felt downright warm) when my previous run had me in shorts and a tank top.

soup-2

And now here I am on the eve before the start of April, my legs sore from last night’s run after the prior week’s hiatus, my mouth craving a sweet because its become a daily habit and, dare I say, my body a couple of pounds heavier than it was just one month ago.  I started this blog originally to hold me accountable in my healthy eating and exercise habits, but found (along with an amazing community of people and many new friends) that the creative aspects of photographing and writing about food were more compelling for me than the keeping of a food diary.

soup-3

Its been about a month since I switched formats, and although the timing may have been poor what with all of the celebrations that March holds, I think the changes I've seen in my daily habits prove a point.  Food diaries work.  At least for me they do, which is why I'll be keeping a closer tab on myself starting tomorrow.  But don't worry, I won't be switching things up on you again.  I really love the direction the blog is heading and from the positive feedback I've received, I think you do to.  What you will be seeing are some lighter, healthier, simpler and hopefully more economical recipes popping up on Bella Eats this month, starting with this one.

soup-4

This soup was delicious.  So good that Brian and I haven't been able to stop talking about it for two days.  Its very simple, using ingredients that we always have on hand - carrots, celery, onion, canned beans, canned tomatoes, dried mushrooms, dried grains, good olive oil and fresh herbs are staples in our kitchen.  The mushrooms added such a wonderful earthiness to the broth that I don't know if I'll ever be able to make vegetable soup without mushrooms again.  And the infused olive oil adds so much depth.  Please - please - don't leave it out.  You won't be sorry.

soup-6

Mushroom White Bean Soup with Rosemary

recipe inspired by keep it simple foods and the new york times

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 oz porcini mushrooms, dried

  • 6 cups veggie or chicken broth (I used chicken)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 carrots, cut in half and sliced into 1/4" pieces

  • 3 celery stalks, sliced into 1/4" pieces

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves,  minced

  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced

  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, minced

  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (15oz)

  • 1/2 cup quick cooking barley

  • 2 cans cannelini or navy beans (15oz each), drained and rinsed

  • salt and pepper


Method:

  1. First make infused olive oil, recipe below.  It will need to sit for 2 hours before serving, so be sure to plan ahead.

  2. Boil 2 cups of water.  Place dried mushrooms in a glass bowl and pour boiling water over them.  Let sit for 30 minutes.  Place a fine mesh strainer over a separate bowl.  Lift mushrooms out of water and squeeze over strainer, collecting liquid in second bowl.  Rinse mushrooms in strainer with cold water and squeeze out excess over sink.  Chop mushrooms and set aside.  Pour the mushroom soaking water through the strainer into the second bowl.  Add water as necessary to make 2 cups.  Set aside.

  3. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottom soup pot.  Add the onion, carrots and celery and saute' for 5-7 minutes, until starting to tenderize.  Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme and saute' an additional 30 seconds.  

  4. Add the chicken broth, mushroom liquid, chopped mushrooms and tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a heavy simmer and add the barley.  Continue to simmer for 12-15 minutes until the barley is tender.  Add the beans and salt + pepper to taste.

  5. Serve immediately with rosemary + porcini oil drizzled on top.


Rosemary and Porcini Infused Olive Oil

recipe modified from bon appetit

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced

  • 1 whole garlic clove

  • 1/2 oz porcini mushrooms, dried


Method:

  1. Place mushrooms in a strainer.  Rinse under hot water and drain well.  Pat dry.  

  2. Combine mushrooms, oil, rosemary and whole garlic clove in small, heavy saucepan.  Cook over low heat until thermometer inserted into oil registers 180*F, about 8 minutes.  (I am currently without a thermometer so left my oil on for 9 minutes, just in case).

  3. Remove from heat, cover and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

  4. Oil can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.


soup-5

Thank You All for the great comments you write on my posts, they really make my day!  Welcome to my new readers who have found your way here from Tastespotting and Foodgawker, I look forward to hearing from more of you and to sharing some simple, healthy recipes with you this month.  Enjoy!