For those who are not in the DC area, let me inform you there is currently mass hysteria caused by two snow storms that have hit the area. Correction: one hit Friday evening and the other has just begun, Tuesday at 5pm. It has caused true mayhem here in the capital where snow plows are sparse and general winter climate knowledge is limited. As a result it has been close to impossible to travel around the city since Friday- buses aren’t running, metro is limited, front steps are slippery or downright impassible. In response, I now present you my cure for the cabin fever blues:
Monday: Hot Yoga (for those in D.C.- check out Down Dog Yoga. It’s hot vinyasa yoga, which felt oh so good on that icy day), West Wing (notice a pattern?), and peppermint hot cocoa (swiss miss + peppermint tea bag), and a vat of white bean and greens soup to last the week!
Tuesday: Afternoon in a coffee shop, lunch of left over soup, bake banana chocolate muffins, shopping and dinner downtown, home in time to beat the metro closings!
White Bean & Greens Soup
Inspired by Bon Appetit
- 1 package frozen collard greens, kale or swiss chard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped peeled carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots (about 2)
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 15-ounce cans white beans, drained
- 3 cups (or more) vegetable broth
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons assorted chopped fresh herbs (such as tarragon, parsley, and chives)
Cook greens in large pot of boiling salted water 1-5 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain. Squeeze out excess water. Coarsely chop.
Heat olive oil in medium pot over medium heat. Add chopped carrots, celery, shallots, and garlic; cook until soft, stirring, about 10 minutes (do not brown vegetables). Add one cup stock and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Add white beans, 2 cups broth, thyme sprigs, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes. Add greens and simmer 5 minutes longer. Remove thyme sprigs . Mix in wine vinegar and chopped fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Inspired by Martha Stewart
Makes 18 Muffins (or 12 if you fill the muffin tins to the top)
- 3 large ripe bananas
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel bananas and mash in bowl. Add brown sugar, oil, and egg; beat until smooth. Add flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla; beat until combined. Finally, add chocolate!
Fill muffin liners three-quarters full. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Store, covered, at room temperature.
To make it healthier, try swapping applesauce for the canola oil, make the sour cream fat free or use plain or Greek yogurt instead, and use Splenda brown sugar mix instead of regular brown sugar.