Pork, Bean, and Greens Soup

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Pork, bean, and greens soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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For almost 40 years I have had the habit, a bad habit some may say, of always putting myself second behind my family and friends when it comes to breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition I used to smoke (happy to say that habit died 10 years ago) and I sometimes drink a little too much.

Three years ago that lifestyle caught up to me in the form of Type 2 Diabetes.

For anyone that has or knows anything about Type 2 you know that lifestyle changes are needed if you don’t want nasty things happening or having things start to drop off. Unfortunately for me I’m pig headed and it takes time for stuff to sink in before I start to take corrective action but after three years and tons of “nagging” (and that’s a good thing) from my better half I think I have turned the corner and am on the road to good things.

This recipe, then, is from a cookbook I found that is for diabetics and the end result is really quite good.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups sodium reduced chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups cough chopped napa cabbage
  • 4 cups rough chopped tuscan kale
  • 3 ounces grated fresh Parmesan

Putting it all together:

  1. Combine pork, rosemary, black pepper, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper in a bowl.
  2. Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil to pan and coat the bottom.
  3. Add pork mixture and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add onion and garlic and saute for another 4 minutes.
  5. Add stock, tomato paste and beans. Bring to a boil
  6. Reduce heat and cook, partially covered, 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in cabbage and kale and cook for 2 minutes or until the kale is wilted and the cabbage is softened.
  8. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time……….

                        Bon Appetit

 

 

 

The Saga continues Part II

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In my last post on this topic I alluded to the fact that I really, really figured my age and lack of real kitchen experience would leave me out in the cold as far as my Second Choice Career was concerned (working in a real restaurant kitchen) and that as a result I would have to wind up doing something drastic like ——– sell my house.

For someone like me who suffers Depression this type of realization is one that can and does send me into a real deep funk because the main feeling that comes to the surface is one of complete and utter failure…. failure to my family and failure to me…. mainly failure to my family.

Well every once in a while the Stars align and they say “Today we like you” and that day for me was yesterday. I awoke with the same nagging doubt that no one will ever EVER hire me and as a result my taking early retirement has wound up selling my families future down the river.

I am here to tell you that, as Heath Ledger said in A Knights Tale—–“A MAN CAN CHANGE HIS STARS”, if you keep plugging away things will eventually come your way because as of yesterday I had not one BUT two jobs and they are both in the restaurant industry. The first is with a small chain that mainly does Chicken Wings while the second is the Prep Cook job I had applied for approximately 10 days ago and had pretty much ruled out of getting. I took the Prep Cook job.

To say that this happenstance sent my ego into orbit would be an understatement especially when it was on the verge of shattering and if it had, coupled with depression, I’m not sure it would have recovered.

My biggest challenge now, besides proving to the General Manager of the establishment that he made the right choice in hiring me, is to recognize that any misgivings or self-doubt I have is simply my inexperience talking and not depression raising it’s ugly head and besides……. It’s really tough to be depressed when TWO establishments want to take you on.

So until next time keep your chin up and keep smiling—– it could be worse.

                 Bon Appetit

The Saga continues

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It’s been a little more than 24 hours since I had my job interview for the Prep Cook position in one of our local restaurants and I am feeling more and more like I won’t get the job because of my age and my inexperience in a real restaurant kitchen.

I know it seems silly to feel that way after a mere 24 hours however, amongst other things, I suffer from depression. That’s a reality that I have just recently come to accept and I guess is one of the reasons I try so hard with my recipes. I don’t want to fail at those and add another piece to the “failure” pile which, by the way, my therapist keeps telling me is not as big as my imagination makes it out to be.

Imagination can be a wonderful thing. It allows us to use everyday items and transform them into a play toy that will keep us occupied for hours. It allows us to read a book and be transported to some mystical realm and it also allows us to create wonderfully flavorful dishes in the kitchen but imagination suffers when depression surfaces because the mind says “you can’t do this so don’t even try” and so you give up and if you let it then depression will certainly kill any New Beginning. The thing I have to remember is that I AM THE BOSS not the negative thoughts and as long as I keep that in mind I am well on my way to coming out on top in this particular battle.

So my friends if like me you suffer from depression, anxiety or any of the myriad of Mental Health issues that we still don’t talk about openly then I suggest you do what I need to do—- lean on family and friends, remember I am the boss and fight to get better —– after all you and I are worth it.

Until next time………….

Bon Appetit