Happy New Year! I hope this first post of 2017 finds you rested from the hectic holiday season! Are you ready for the new year? Have you made any resolutions? I’ve mentioned before that I am not big on resolutions. However, it never hurts to tweak a few habits, right?
Getting to bed earlier and drinking tons of water have both made a difference for me this past year. I’ve also cut way back on my coffee intake, although that may be the result of my love-hate relationship with my Keurig if I’m honest.
I also stopped talking about wanting to “organize” and started actually doing it. I won’t bore you with all the details but last September I had reached the point of complete frustration. Items were lurking in my attic, basement and a storage unit I rented after my mother passed that desperately needed to be addressed.
I asked a family friend who is also a professional organizer to come help me. We have unearthed the storage unit (some boxes still in garage, full disclosure), and about half of my house. Let’s just say you could have a dinner party in my attic right now it is so neat and uncluttered! And this wasn’t just about discarding items (although there was a whole lot of that for sure). It was about making my spaces function better which is what came to be with each room we, well actually she, organized. It feels as though we are living in a new space and I am eager to finish off the rest of the house! Having lived in one place for 22 years, this was an activity that was really overdue and I was tired of listening to myself talk about it and never taking action.
The other thing that changed for me as recently as last November was an innocent encounter with a young man who was checking me out of a CVS in Florida on a quiet morning. He noticed the Livestrong bracelets I wear on my arm, lamenting that he has tried to purchase them online with no luck. Truth be told, I think you can still get them on Amazon, but his point was that he personally tried to aspire to the Livestrong ideal of living your best life. When he handed me my receipt, he gestured with a fist bump, telling me to “live strong” and “exercise every day”.
Sounds simple and yet, his words really hit me. For the last few years I would say my interest in exercise has been fickle. The excuses for not exercising were starting to increase and my interest in breaking a sweat was starting to wain. This chance encounter was my wake up call so I’ve made it my mission to move every possible day I can – no excuses.
Clean house? More rested and hydrated? Exercise. Hopefully these are sustainable goals for 2017. I have a longer wish list but will share those at another time.
Of course what also happens at this time of year is an assessment of the way we eat. Every news outlet, magazine and online report will try to convince you that your body is full of poison from the holiday indulgence and you must detox! We have spoken about this before when my friend, Francine gave us her advice about the concept of detoxing and you can read that interview here. More recently, Ellie Krieger whose recipe for Orange Sesame Chicken is on my blog and a reader favorite, wrote this article about the concept of detoxing as well. Another good read.
My goal here on The Kitchen Scout is to share real stories with you and to provide you with recipes that I think you and your family will enjoy. Some will be super healthy and some will be indulgent, a metaphor for how I hope to lead my life!
This week’s recipe was inspired by our older daughter’s departure for a three week adventure in New Zealand and Australia. She is there with her school and let’s just say her father and I are pretty envious! It prompted me to explore some of the recipes of Donna Hay, one of the best known food personalities in Australia. She has written multiple cookbooks and publishes a magazine. Her photographs are absolutely swoon worthy.
My friend, Cherie introduced me to Donna’s work by gifting me her book, New Food Fast. Donna’s approach to food is healthy and fresh with tons of eye appeal.
I tested out three of her recipes this week, but settled on sharing this very easy one that I have modified after making it twice. It’s a soul satisfying soup filled with turkey meatballs and Lacinato kale. The meatballs are tender and flavorful and the kale provides an earthiness to the dish. The whole meal can be put together in relatively short order. It’s light and healthy with lots of ingredients that aid in the body’s natural detoxifying processes like onions, garlic, parsley and the kale. January never tasted so good.
Donna’s recipe called for ground chicken, but I thought the ground dark meat turkey would have better flavor. I also swapped out garlic paste for the raw garlic she uses in her meatballs as I like its milder flavor. If you don’t have it, just use 2 minced garlic cloves instead. My recipe adds some tomato paste and an egg to create a more flavorful and lighter meatball as well. For the soup, I added a carrot for color and flavor. A can of diced tomatoes would be lovely too. Feel free to substitute almost any green for the kale. Spinach or Swiss Chard would be nice. Be creative!
I cannot live without ice cream scoops in my kitchen and I use a 3/4 ounce scoop like to this one to form the meatballs in thisrecipe. This scoop is my favorite size for everything from cookies to falafel and a whole host of other recipes.
The soup been approved by my husband twice, and my devoted web designer Lorell who is helping to save The Kitchen Scout from internet trolls. More on that another time!
Are you resolving to make changes this year or are you continuing tweaks you made in 2016? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Please let me know if you make the soup. PS – make the meatballs on their own and toss in a red sauce to serve over pasta!