Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Curry Soup

It’s beginning to look a lot like….Pre-Christmas?

recipe courtesy of Amanda at Free Coconut Recipes
Yep, it’s only October but the stores already have the decorations up.  I get confused about what holiday comes next.  That must be why I have pumpkin on the brain.  And don’t wait until Thanksgiving to make this – any cold day will do! 

One of the ladies at work makes her version of Pumpkin Curry Soup and brings it in her crockpot along with a loaf of fresh bread.  Heavenly! 

This recipe was submitted to Free Coconut Recipes by Amanda in Hot Springs, CA – thanks Amanda!  She also took the lovely picture.  I have shaky hands so I prefer to use other people’s pictures so you don’t get nauseated looking at them!

Pumpkin Curry Soup
makes 4 servings
recipe courtesy of

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin or cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 finely minced garlic cloves
3 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
Salt to taste
Minced cilantro for garnish and flavor

Heat the oil in a heavy soup pan, medium-low heat.

Add the curry, ginger, cumin and red pepper flakes.

Stir for a couple of minutes while the seasonings roast and become fragrant. Do not walk away - they can burn in a flash and you will have to start over. Add the garlic and stir for a moment. Do not let the garlic brown. The flavor will overpower this delicate soup if you do.

Pour the chicken broth into the spice mixture and stir well. Loosen anything that may be sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Add the pumpkin puree into the pot, and mix very well.  Try using an immersion blender or carefully combine in a large blender.

Warm the coconut milk separately and then add to the blended pumpkin mixture. Season with sea salt according to your own taste.

Serve with a sprinkling of finely minced cilantro on the top. The green of the cilantro sparkles against the orange hue of the soup. It also adds a subtle earthy quality.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Southwestern Chili

It's Thursday night and I'm in a panic because I don't have something ready to post for Friday!  However, this previously posted recipe has been on my mind all day.  It was one of my dad's favorite meals for a family gathering.  It's been a year since he passed away and since we called him 'Poppa' we are having a memorial family get together this weekend and calling it Poppalooza...hard to believe it's been a year and not a day goes by that I don't have something special to share with him and then realize that it'll have to wait.

This is a very tasty meal, especially on a rainy day.  What's even better about this chili is that you can portion out and freeze it to give to friends or save for another rainy day.

The veggies can be flexible according to your tastes.  I like to triple the recipe for when I have my family over.  My dad loved it with cheesy cornbread muffins.

Southwestern Chili
makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 carrots, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1/2 pound ground beef or turkey

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed

1 tablespoon chili powder (more or less to taste)

Kosher salt and black pepper

1/2 cup corn kernels

1/2 cup grated cheddar (2 ounces)

2 green onions, sliced

garlic salt and cumin - to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion and pepper and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the meat and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it is slightly darkened, 1 minute. Stir in the beans, chili powder, 3 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the corn.

Divide the chili among bowls and top with the cheddar and scallions.

Print this recipe:  Southwestern Chili

This is one of my favorite pictures taken at the Family reunion in Iowa last July - my dad (actually smiling) and my daughter (you know her as The Kid).  If you're from Iowa you might recognize the 'House Divided' shirt my brother is wearing (go Hawks!)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Creamy Grape Dessert

Can you believe how FAST the year has gone by?  Geez, I sound like someone's mother (oh yeah, I am).  To be honest with everyone, this has not been a good Perfect 10 year for me but as you can tell by my continual 'keep calm and carry on' posts, I haven't given up.  And in keeping with being honest, I've gained back most of the weight I lost last year - so sorry, I sort of feel like a fraud - but there's no one else who has taken the baton and carried on with helping out all of us.  The Perfect 10 Facebook page hasn't been updated since April, I'm the only one checking and answering questions (free of charge I might add).  The Perfect 10 website hasn't been updated since 2010 I think.  Sorry to have sour grapes - but you all are the only people I can talk to about Perfect 10 - and we're scattered all over the country/world.  I'm almost considering going on Craigslist and seeing if anyone else in the county is trying to work the P10 and if they want to get together and hold meetings!  Do you guys Skype?  Is it possible to do a group Skype?   Would any of you be interested?

This has just been a really difficult year, emotionally, physically and financially.  We cut up our credit cards and are now trying to live just off of what we make - and that's TOUGH!!  
I owe apologies to all the people who have asked 'how do you do P10 Diet on a budget?' and I'd just say 'oh yeah try the farmer's market' - well, now that I'm actually really doing P10 on a budget, I can say: 


Thanks for listening to me and hopefully not judging me for being a real person and not some diet/workout guru with six pack abs and no body fat.  I'm trying to do all of this without financing, without support, without a personal chef, without a personal trainer and without a net!!  (Oh hey, that's the same way you are all doing it too!!)

Now that we're done with sour grapes, let's change the subject to some sweet grapes!

This is another recipe courtesy of Gina’s Skinny Recipes, her website is  You can find a lot of P10-worthy recipes.  She's a wiz at coming up with wonderful recipes that are healthy for you!  

photo courtesy of
Gina says - This dessert is highly addictive and hard to stop eating! Don't be fooled by the humble ingredients, this is easy to make, very refreshing, and is perfect to bring to a BBQ. This is one of those recipes you'll be making again and again and chances are you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen. Easily doubles for more people.

Creamy Grape Dessert
makes 8 servings

1 lb green seedless grapes, washed and dried well
1 lb red seedless grapes, washed and dried well
8 oz Greek yogurt, full fat
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup agave
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons coconut sugar, packed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)


Cut grapes in half and set aside.

Mix yogurt, cream cheese, agave and vanilla until blended well. Stir grapes into mixture, and pour in large serving dish.

Combine coconut sugar and crushed walnuts. Sprinkle over top of grapes to cover completely. Chill until ready to serve.