I admit it – I read cookbooks when I get tired of novels. The best are the ones stuffed with food-porn photos. I just discovered Joy Bauer, author of Slim & Scrumptious: Over 75 Recipes Your Family Will Love. 

White beansImage via Wikipedia
I borrowed the book from the library, but I’m going to by a copy because she’s put together a great selection of nutritious and interesting food. Aside from being full of recipes for meals that I want to eat, Joy actually uses spices like cumin and cilantro in her recipes. She also includes nutritional information and serving sizes. You’d be surprised how many cookbooks touting themselves as “healthy” don’t tell you how many calories, fats, carbs, etc. are contained. 
Makes it difficult if, like me, you like to substitute ingredients.

We invited my very handsome brother and his equally gorgeous wife over for brunch on Sunday.  I had some EG Farmers’ Market leeks in the fridge so I found a recipe and made up some Creamy Broccoli Soup  (frozen or fresh broccoli, a couple of chopped  leeks, celery, lots of garlic, chicken broth and, to make it creamy, white beans. Wouldn’t you know it, but I didn’t have a can of cannellini beans in the pantry, so I had to fire up the pressure cooker and blast some navy beans (made with an extra stalk of leek and lots of garlic). Pureed everything in my amazing VitaMix, added some toasted cumin and coriander seeds (coriandrum sativum) because I didn’t have any fresh cilantro (couldn’t resurrect  the limp bunch of deceased stalks in the veggie bin) and it was lovely and green and very fresh tasting. The recipe called for a can of reduced-fat evaporated milk but honestly, the finished product didn’t need it. Besides, I wasn’t sure how long ago the best-before date on the can was, so I tossed it into the recycling bin, just in case.  Yum, yum, yum. 

We had The Soup again for lunch today, because it makes a huge potful.  Along with some farm-fresh sweet corn and some homemade baking powder biscuits that I can make in my sleep, I’ve made them so often in the last 45 years. Healthy, happy tummy. 

The sun is shining. It’s our anniversary and we still love each other.  We have amazing friends and families. We are truly blessed. Today would have been Mom’s 90th birthday. I’m sad because she’s not here, but I know she would have hated being old and dependent. She’s never far, I know that. The monks in Abbaye St. Benoit Du Lac chanted a mass for our family today, and in honour of her life. We are so grateful. Give thanks every day!

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