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Frankenstrone – (Or, you’re not going to starve to death, I promise.)

Behold! The Bunny Bowl!

I’m one of the only people I know who does not go batshit crazy for Halloween.  I mean, I sort of get the appeal.  It’s fun to dress up and some people get amazingly creative with it.  But for me I just don’t feel like it’s worth the effort, and maybe it’s because I’ve hit my 30s, but my dignity will not allow me to dress as a slutty hamburger or what have you and parade around in public.  (That’s for special times…)

No. I don’t want to hear you say anything about special sauce.

All that said, I do remember LOVING it as a kid.  In my strangeness I know I once went as  a high cholesterol breakfast.  (Eggs and bacon, which was basically a sheet with some yellow and brown felt.  I was a weird kid.)

So it does kind of chap my hide that mother nature is fucking with Halloween for the second year in a row. Last year it was Irene, and this year it’s Sandy, which has been dubbed appropriately enough, the “Frankenstorm”.

So I decided to make my soup on Saturday just because I didn’t have much else to do.  But when I passed by the supermarket it looked like people were preparing the goddamn apocalypse.  This is the Upper East side of Manhattan.  It is very unlikely we will lose power, but if we do I don’t think any of us are in danger of starving to death over three days.  (OMG!  I might have to eat something with gluten!)

But that’s not my favorite way! That only meets 99% of my criteria!


So, the end result is that I had to make do with what I had on hand.  I didn’t intend on making a thematic soup.  Really I was only short a few beans and it wouldn’t have mattered, but despite being a ridiculously easy recipe, yesterday this soup was just a cluster fuck.   I also substituted fiber gourmet pasta for regular since it’s what I had and I love it.

So.  This is the recipe I intended to make:

* 1 cup chopped onion
* 1/2 cup chopped celery
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* zucchini, cored and diced
* 1 tablespoon oil (2 tsp plus 1)
* 2 cups bottled water
* 2 Tbs Better Than Boullion – Beef (or skip the water and use 2 c homemade beef broth.  Regular boullion cubes suck.)
* 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes
* 1 TBS tomato paste
* 1 cup low carb or high fiber pasta like fiber gourmet or Darielle low carb (fiber gourmet is best)
* Italian Seasonings (basil oregano, parsley) to taste
* salt and pepper to taste
* pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
* bay leaf
* 2 (10 oz packages) frozen mixed vegetables
* 1 (15 1/2 ounce) cans no-salt-added kidney beans, drained

Sauté onion, celery and garlic in 2 tsp oil in large pot
Add water and Better than Boullion or stock
Drain tomatoes and add liquid to pot along with tomato paste.
Cook pasta separately.
Chop tomatoes roughly and add.
Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
In the meantime, Cook zucchini separately in a pan with remaining tsp oil over medium heat til tender.

Remove soup from heat and blend with an immersion blender if desired.  I desired.
Add seasonings to taste, bay leaf, zucchini, frozen vegetables and beans.
Simmer 15 minutes to heat through.  Add pasta.

And here’s what transpired:

All was going according to plan.  I’d made this before without incident.  So I’d gotten to the point where I had made the pasta and drained it, and sprinkled it with a bit of salt.  I ate a couple with my fingers while stirring the soup.  Then I ate a few more.  And so on until I gave up the ruse and ate the rest of the pasta.  Damn.  Then I made more but did my nails so I couldn’t grab any.  True story.

I tasted the soup and it seemed a bit bland.  I thought it could use a touch more garlic.  So I added some garlic powder, having forgotten that my garlic shaker has holes the size of the sun.  Great.  Now the soup tasted like a foot.  And for some strange reason it didn’t seem to have enough liquid.  So now I had a sort of wet, footy casserole.  Not what I was going for.

I was pretty sure all was lost, but looked in the fridge for inspiration.  And then I did something I’m not proud of.

Oh yes.  Yes I did.  I found an unopened 32 oz bottle of V8. (Full disclosure: I think I once had ideas about making it into bloody marys, but found the idea to be too much work in the end.  I top out at 3 ingredients for a cocktail.)  So it had been there for… awhile.  I’m really not sure.  But I hadn’t opened it and the expiration date wasn’t til 2013 so…  In it went.

And surprisingly, it helped a lot.  The soup is pretty good now.  It needed a few seasoning tweaks due to the extra liquid, but despite all the shenanigans, I’m actually pleased with how it turned out in the end.

Note on stats – Stats do not include the additional pasta eaten on the sly.  Stats go up to around 230 using regular pasta rather than fiber gourmet or low carb.  They are also VERY conservative.  I’m calling this 8 servings but it’s more like 10 or 12 considering there’s 6c liquid alone and tons of veggies.  And you really can’t overdo it with this soup.  It’s too filling.

Calories  156.4,   Total Fat  0.9 g,        Saturated Fat  0.1 g,        Polyunsaturated Fat  0.3 g,        Monounsaturated Fat  0.1 g,   Cholesterol  0.0 mg,   Sodium  427.0 mg,   Potassium  596.6 mg,   Total Carbohydrate  27.8 g,        Dietary Fiber  9.5 g,        Sugars  2.2 g,   Protein  9.5 g,   Vitamin A  78.5 %,   Vitamin B-12  0.0 %,   Vitamin B-6  9.4 %,   Vitamin C  22.5 %,   Vitamin D  0.0 %,   Vitamin E  2.4 %,   Calcium  8.6 %,   Copper  12.4 %,   Folate  16.4 %,   Iron  20.5 %,   Magnesium  12.5 %,   Manganese  21.2 %,   Niacin  10.4 %,   Pantothenic Acid      3.1 %,   Phosphorus      14.3 %,   Riboflavin  11.8 %,   Selenium  3.0 %,   Thiamin  13.7 %,   Zinc  6.0 %,



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So I promised you soup. Well, sort of. I promised I would make soup every week, not that you could have any. But I said I’d share the recipes and that should be good enough for you people.

But of course I got bored when I wasn’t internet famous after two posts (what’s wrong with the world, seriously?)  So while I have other yummy soups to share, I do in fact cook many things, so why limit this page only to what can be eaten after oral surgery? So to summarize, this will be a personal blog that acts as a catchall for the healthy cooking that has no business tasting that good, random sewing mishaps (cause I feel like it) and the occasional geeking out over knitting stuff that doesn’t belong on the wheatpenny blog. This will be terribly unprofessional.  Yes, I do need to swear that much.

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