Friday, February 17, 2012

Purple on Free Friday!

Here is our next Free Friday! It's sometimes hard to deal with the gluten free sugar free life, and over this past week, I've found quite a few blogs (written light years more eloquently than mine) and more people who are reaching for no wheat. It seems I'm definitely not the only one who has realized that wheat should not be such a staple in our diet. Perhaps a facet of our diet, but certainly not the main show as it tends to be now. Refer to my first post if you'd like an idea of a 'typical' American diet. It's very wheat heavy. Nutrition experts encourage people to eat a varied diet to increase vitamin and mineral intake and maximize health benefits, with emphasis on colors. So, why do we insist on continuing the old government pyramid with 12 servings of 'grains' a day - this usually equals consuming breads, pastas, and any additives in sauces and foods you didn't really know about.

After cutting grains out of my diet, I was shocked at how much better I felt. Lethargy, grogginess, depression and join pains started fading. It was an amazing transformation which was not miraculous or extreme by any means, but enough to notice that this something different was a good change for me. This may not work for everyone, but imagine the next time you snack on a candy bar only to feel tired an hour later. The body is not designed to function on empty calories and sugar, but to store those when it has a chance because it's obviously a 'treat'. Our bodies know this and react accordingly.

Today's recipe will help combat that after dinner lethargy (or lunchtime sugar crash if you prefer!). And since I'm such a fan of purple, it's so fitting that today's meal actually IS purple. LOL.

To the best of my knowledge, this is my recipe. I have adapted it from a recipe my mother made for us as a kid, and I still make it today. No internet searches were involved in the making of this meal. =) My kids do not tend to like this meal much but do tolerate it well. If you have picky kids, perhaps this won't work so well, however, it's well worth the effort to freeze in containers and take when you're in a hurry. Also, this is perfect for a nice cold winter night.

Purple Soup

1 already cooked (leftover) ham - use the bone, meat around the bone and any extra you have, a few handfuls of leftover meat is great.
1 small head of purple cabbage
2 cans cannellini beans
1/2 onion
1/2 head of garlic
handful of chopped chives

Throw all the meat into a crock pot with the spices, add about 5 oz of water, put it on high, and walk away for about 6 hours.
Chop your cabbage into small chunks, about 1" cubes - add to the crock pot after the meat is falling off the bone and can be pulled apart easily. Also, add enough water to cover the meat and cabbage. Replace the lid, cook another 2 hours on high.
1 hour before serving, add the beans. They only need to be heated, but the longer they sit, the more purple they turn!
Salt and pepper to taste, serve hot. Goes well with a side of brie or sprinkled with some walnuts for some crunch.

Freezes wonderfully, put it in individual containers to pop in the freezer and grab when you're in a hurry but need a healthy lunch!

The perfect purple soup!

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Did you enjoy one of the recipes or just killing time at work on a Friday? Let everyone know! Also, if you modified a recipe with great success - post it! We love new ideas and delicious foods! Keep it clean and family friendly!