Taking the Time

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I am amazed at how much time, thought, and effort I’m spending on what we eat these days. When I was working full-time I’d gobble a granola bar on the way out the door in the early a.m., then eat a salad during my daily working lunch with the Admin. Team. I taught classes 1 or 2 evenings a week, which meant meeting R at the local pizza joint around 9 p.m. for a quick bite to eat.  R was out at least one night per week too, so on those nights I’d usually skip dinner, opting for a handful of nuts and a glass of red wine, and he would stop to eat on the way home. 

When I cooked at home I have to admit that I’d just fix whatever R would eat, because I was just too tired to have any fuss about food at the end of the day. When the “finicky factor” really got to me, I’d just suggest we go to the local eatery 3 blocks away. I knew he was not eating the healthiest stuff, but whenever he had a medical check-up he’d report that all tests came back normal. When quizzed about what the doctor said about his weight, R would reply “nothing”. And that’s how we rolled - for years. And then I retired...

That’s when I noticed what he was really eating on a daily basis. (ack!!) That’s when I saw the lab results from his cholesterol screening. That’s when I heard his end of the conversation with his doctor’s office when he acknowledge that he needed to finally lose those 20 extra pounds. That’s when I acknowledged that my own habit of skipping meals was far from healthy and when I took the time to have a “yearly” medical check-up, I discovered that my own “numbers” could use some attention.

So now I’m at the grocery store several times per week, in order to keep the ‘fridge stocked with fresh fruits and veggies. Now I think about what’s for dinner at 8:00 a.m. instead of 8:00 p.m.! Now I have the energy at the end of the day to take on the finicky fussiness and stand tough: “Sorry, but I’m not going to make you a bacon cheeseburger and fries for dinner.” The picky eating habits still “put my knickers in a twist,” but now I’m not on overload from a crazy-busy workday. 

Here’s the recipe for a killer tomato bisque I made last night. I served this with a green salad (vinaigrette dressing <BG>), and one whole wheat garlic roll each. When R sat down at the table, his first reaction was “Where’s the meat?” But by the end of dinner he commented on how filling the soup was and said, “You should make this again.” Small victories...

Fire Roasted Tomato Bisque

olive oil


1 medium onion, chopped 


2 large cloves garlic, chopped


2 cans (14.5 oz each) fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice


1 1/2 C chicken stock (I used Better Than Bullion to make this)


1 TB each of chopped fresh cilantro leaves and parsley (can use dried but go easy as dried herbs carry more punch) (You could use basil instead of cilantro)


1 tsp sugar (to temper the acid from the tomatoes - you don’t taste it)


1 tsp (+ or -) crushed red pepper flakes


1 C no fat sour cream



  1. In a large sauce pan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent
  2. Stir in tomatoes, stock, cilantro and parsley, sugar and red pepper flakes. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Add about 3/4 of the sour cream.
  4. With an immersion blender puree the contents of the pan. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can easily use a regular blender or a food processor.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. When serving, add a dollop of sour cream to each bowl. You could also add a tsp of Sherry, but R would "hate that." :)






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