Sunday, February 13, 2011

In Bloom

I recently received a hyacinth as a gift and as it has started to bloom and perfume my bedroom, I've grown more excited for the arrival of spring. City spring is a different animal than where I grew up. Here, flowers sprout in sidewalk cracks and bloom in controlled environments. The signs of spring are in the air and the changes in dress. When I think about the new season, I'm immediately transported to my own backyard. My mother's garden is a haven - always lush and green, with tens of different kinds of flowers, vegetables, and other foliage living wildly together. There is no comparable place in New York, yet as the temperature rises and we all move outdoors, spring in the city can evoke the same feeling of euphoria, of flowers drunk with fragrance and color.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Winter Wants

When the temperature drops and the city goes into a slumber, the first thing I crave is hearty, warm, comfort food. The highest weight gain takes place during the winter months - combine holiday dining with being cooped up and we're bound to indulge. It's been my latest goal to find delicious and satisfying winter recipes, without sacrificing my waistline. Tonight's try: Martha Stewart's Turkey and White Bean Chili.

The chili was easy to make - simply combine cooked ground turkey meat with chopped onion and jalapeños, cumin, white beans, and chicken broth, and simmer away. I used lean turkey, no sodium beans, and reduced sodium broth, and added a cup of corn. The onion brings out so much flavor, but next time I will throw in some minced garlic, too. I'm all about accoutrements to round out my bowl, so I topped the chili with shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, nonfat plain yogurt (both organic), and a squeeze of lime. For a little crunch, I tossed a few multigrain tortilla chips into the mix.

This meal was fantastic, simple, and hit the spot. The only absence was a green vegetable (an absolute staple in my upbringing), so one could certainly include some chopped spinach or kale for a healthier bite. Happy nesting!