Yesterday was not a good day for me. I looked around my filthy house, and made an executive decision to do nothing. I didn’t get out of my pajamas until 6 pm when I realized my husband would be home from work and see me, in my pajamas. The same pajamas from the day before. Instead of making food, I microwaved some leftover potato kugel and ate it with ketchup. I finished off the bag of cookies and brownies from Shabbat.
I was, lets just say it, feeling sorry for myself. I felt like a big fat pig who eats nothing but junk, who never gets dressed, but pads around the apartment in slippers. I sat at my computer, letting my baby amuse himself on his bouncy chair. What a terrible mother. Here I have this opportunity to grow his little brain and I’m watching Ben Affleck movies (Hey, it was good!). I was lonely, feeling alone in this country and very, very far away from home. For whatever reason my self-esteem was plummeting, and something needed to be done about it.
This morning I woke up and immediately changed my baby into a real outfit. I got myself dressed, put on my nice wig (gotta love that), and even put on some makeup. Will I leave the house today? I’m not sure. But at least I’ll look nice for myself and the Baby. I had a strong cup of coffee, a bowl of healthy granola, and called my Mother-in-law for a chat. Sometimes a bad day is all in your head.
When I’m feeling down and out, it’s usually linked to eating poorly. Which one comes before the other, I’m not sure. I like to remedy this negativity with lots of fresh water and vegetables. I made this Vegetable Minestrone and it was the perfect cure to a no good, very bad day.
Makes about 3 quarts of soup
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 large stalks of celery, sliced
8 cups water or vegetable broth
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can navy, kidney or cannelini beans, rinsed
2 cups cut green beans (if frozen, just dump em in, if fresh, wash and cut into 2 inch pieces)
2 cups uncooked pasta (I used whole wheat rotini but shells or penne would also be good here)
1 can crushed tomatoes with juice
Salt, pepper, oregano, basil and paprika to taste
In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add carrots and celery and stir to combine. Add water or vegetable broth, green beans, canned beans, salt, pepper and spices to taste, and the can of crushed tomatoes with juice. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or more, or until the carrots are tender. Check the seasoning and add more according to your taste. Add the pasta and cook for 5-10 minutes until pasta is cooked. Serve hot with crusty bread. If freezing, I would withhold the pasta, then reheat on the stove, adding the pasta in the last 5-10 minutes of cooktime.