Category: Food


Today’s the day! Day 1 of the TurboFire 5-Day Inferno plan and I’m excited! I’ve been doing ChaLEAN Extreme which I love, but I do miss TurboFire. Just taking a little break from CHX to do this and then will get back to it. It’s 8:04am right now and I’ve been up since 7:30 after about 4 hours of sleep. I’m definitely going to need more than that to get the most out of my workout today, but I’m staying up for now so I can be on the National Coach Call at 9:00am to listen to Tony Horton, creator of P90X, speak live. While I’m waiting I need to jump on the scale and take some measurements to get my starting info so I can track my progress. Breakfast would be good, too. It’s so important to eat something as soon as possible after you wake up to get your metabolism going. If you’re trying to lose weight, skipping meals, especially breakfast, is not the way to do it.

9am Breakfast – 2 slices whole wheat toast, 1 egg (had the privilege of using a farm fresh egg that my friend who’s also doing this hooked me up with), 1/2 tomato, 1 slice turkey bacon

10:00am – Drinking a large glass (20oz) of water and then going back to bed to finish up on that sleep I so desperately need.

3:00pm – Woke up from my nice long nap and had my first snack which was 1/2 med banana and 8 walnut halves. The plan actually calls for 7 walnut halves, but I was cracking open whole walnuts and it seemed a little silly to leave just one half. Pretty sure it’s not going to undermine my progress. 😉 I also had another glass of water (about 16oz)

7:00pm – Home from the kids’ karate lesson and dinner is served. I switched my schedule up because I got started eating kind of late. I’ll have my second snack and what would’ve been lunch before I got to bed. Now I’m just waiting for the use of the TV so I can do FIRE 55EZ and Stretch 10. I didn’t think the 1 c. garlic and parmesan broccoli and 6 oz. honey dijon chicken would be enough, but I found it very satisfying. The amount on the plate was enough for all four of us plus leftovers.

9:30pm – Had my Chocolate Almond Shakeology with a little instant coffee in it since I was starting to feel pretty tired and still had to do my workout.

10:23pm – Finally started FIRE 55EZ and Stretch 10. If there’s one thing I can say about TurboFire it’s that no matter how tired you are when you start there’s just something about the combination of the moves and music that makes you feel energized. Plus, Chalene Johnson is the best motivator! She knows the perfect thing to say at just the right time to make you keep going even when you’re starting to wonder how you’re going to keep going. Love it! And wow, did I need that stretching! Downed another 16oz of water.

12:00am – Made my last meal of the day, which would’ve been lunch if I hadn’t changed the schedule around. It was a salad with white albacore tuna, celery, green onions, tomatoes, lettuce and even though the plan called for fat-free Ranch I used a very low-fat cilantro dressing from Trader Joe’s.

It is now 1:38am and I’ll be going to bed soon, but before I do I plan on drinking another 40 oz of water. Be back tomorrow!

TurboFire 5-Day Inferno shopping list

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Sometimes life happens and we have to just do the best we can with the circumstances around us. I certainly didn’t plan on eating fast food twice today, but that’s how it ended up. I’m sure Dr. Oz would’ve wanted me to choose some better options at McDonald’s, but I am watching our budget. Sure I’ll pay $3 for a meal if it’s Shakeology, but I’m not going to shell out over twice that for a grilled chicken sandwhich and fruit and walnut salad then not eat all of it like he suggested on his show the other day. I completely get where he’s coming from on skipping the bun and the dip for the apples and grapes, but I still have a hard time throwing away food. Anyway, here’s what I ate.

Breakfast – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Shakeology – 4oz water, 4oz Silk Vanilla soy milk, 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology, 1/2 Tbs peanut butter, 3 ice cubes – 245

Lunch – instead of eating pizza and cake at the birthday party my son went to I chose Taco Bell instead with a bean burrito and tostada – 370 + 250

PM Snack – 1 slice whole wheat bread, 2 Tbs hummus, 1 slice American cheese – 210

Dinner – went to McDonald’s because my son busted his lip playing basketball. A smoothie sounded good and we didn’t have enough fruit to make them. I wasn’t even tempted to have a smoothie, though. Just a McChicken sandwich, the new cheddar onion one. It was pretty tasty. I can’t seem to find any nutritional info online for that particular sandwich, but a regular one is 360 calories. Instead of mayo, the cheddar onion version has cheese and carmelized onions so I’m thinking it’s about the same.

Cheeseburger – 550 – no comment

Total calories – 1985

One of my best friends and I are going to do the TurboFire 5 Day Inferno at the same time so it made sense for us to go shopping together for the food we need in order to follow the eating plan. This is a master shopping list for everything one person needs for the 5 days following the plan exactly. (If you are starting with a lower body fat percentage there is info in the guide on how to modify the eating plan.) Some of the recipes in the guide make enough food for 2 or 4 people so I divided those recipes to get single servings. That way, certain ingredients on the list can be multiplied for different sized families. The list may look a bit daunting, but you probably have a lot of the ingredients on hand already and it covers 25 meals/snacks. If you don’t have Shakeology, contact me on facebook or twitter and I’ll help you out. I’ll be posting my progress and results as I go through the program. Can’t wait to get started!!

Tomato – 1/2 (Day 1), 1/2 (Day 2), 1 (Roma, Day 4), 2 slices (Day 5) = 3

Banana, medium – 1/2 (Day 1), 1/2 (Day 4), 1/2 (Day 5) = 3

Lettuce or mixed greens, cup – 3 (Day 1), 1 (Day 2), 2 (Day 4), 2 (Day 5) = 8

Cherry tomatoes – 5 (Day 1)

Celery, stalk – 1 (Day 1), 2 (Day 2), 1 (Day 5) = 4

Scallions – 3 (Day 1), 1 (Day 3) = 4

Broccoli, cup – *1 (Day 1)

Cantaloupe, cubed, cup – 3/4 (Day 2)

Avocado – 1/4 (Day 2), *1/8 (Day 3) = 1 – keeping the pit in the half you don’t use the first day will help keep it from browning in the fridge

Raisins – 10-15 (Day 2)

Pineapple ring, canned in juice, drained – **1 (Day 2), 2 (Day 3) = 3

Medium head of bok choy, roughly chopped – **1/2 (Day 2)

Zucchini – 1 (Day 3)

Large Carrot – 1 (Day 3), 1 (Day 5) = 2

Medium baking potato – 1 (Day 3), **1/2 (or 1 small, Day 4) = 2

Raspberries (or stawberries, blueberries, boysenberries) fresh, cup – 1/2 (Day 3)

Fresh cilantro, sprig – *2 (Day 3)

Apple, medium – 1 (Day 4)

Orange – 1 (Day 4)

Fresh spinach, oz – **6 (Day 4)

Alfalfa sprouts, cup – 1 (Day 5)

Cucumber – 3 slices (Day 5), 1 whole (Day 5) = 2

Red bell pepper – 1 (Day 5)

Peas, cup – **1/2 (Day 5)

Turkey bacon, slice – 1 (Day 1), 1 (Day 3) = 2

Tuna in water, oz – 4 (Day 1)

Chicken breast, uncooked, oz – *6 (Day 1), *3 (Day 3), 3 (Day 5) = 12

Turkey breast slices, oz  – 3 to 4 (Day 2)

Wild salmon without skin, oz – **4 (Day 2)

Grass-fed lean steak like loin, flank, skirt, oz – **4 (Day 4)

Turkey sausage links (approx 60-70 cals each) – 2 (Day 5)

Lean, boneless pork loin chop, oz – **4 (I don’t eat pork so I’ll sub poultry) (Day 5)

Shakeology, Chocolate, scoop or packet – 4 (Day 1,2,4,5)

Shakeology, Greenberry, scoop or packet – 1 (Day 3)

Walnut halves – 7  (Day 1)

Almond butter, Tbs – 1/2 (Day 1), 1 (Day 4) = 1 1/2

Peanut butter, tsp – 2 (Day 2), 3 (Day 2), 2 (Day 4) = 7

Raw almonds – 10 (Day 4)

Fat-free Ranch dressing, Tbs – 2 (Day 1), 2 (Day 3) = 4

Dijon mustard, tsp – *4 (Day 1), 3 (Day 4) = 7

Honey, tsp – *1 1/2 (Day 1), 1 (Day 2) = 2 1/2

Parsley flakes, tsp – *3/4 (Day 1)

Salt and pepper – to taste

Garlic salt – *to taste (Day 1)

Fat-free Italian dressing, Tbs – 1 (Day 2)

Teriyaki marinade or sauce, Tbs – **1 1/2 (Day 2)

Garlic clove – **1/2 (Day 2), **1 (Day 4) = 2

Sesame oil, tsp – **1/4 (Day 2)

Powdered ginger, tsp – **1/2 (Day 2)

Pico de gallo, tsp – *4 (Day 3)

Balsalmic vinegar, tsp – 1 (Day 4), 1 (Day 5 or low calorie dressing) = 2

Soy sauce, Tbs – **1/2 (Day 4)

Black pepper, Tbs – **1/2 (Day 4)

Strawberry preserves, tsp – 1 (Day 5)

Hummus, Tbs – 1 (Day 5)

Rosemary, Tbs – **1 (Day 5)

Olive oil, tsp. – **1/4 (Day 5)

Egg – 1 (Day 1), 2 (Day 4) = 3

Parmesan Cheese, Tbs – *1 (Day 1), **1 (Day 4) = 2

Strawberry yogurt, lowfat, oz – 6 (Day 2)

Low-fat cottage cheese, oz – 8 (Day 3), 2 (Day 4) = 10

Low-fat sour cream, tsp – 3 (Day 3), *3/4 (Day 3), **4 (Day 4) = 8

Low-fat cheese, slice – 1 (Day 3), 1 cheddar (Day 5) = 2

Nonfat milk, cup – 1 (Day 3), 1/2 (Day 5) = 1 1/2

Whole wheat bread, slice – 2 (Day 1)

Whole wheat tortilla (approx 70 cals) – 1 (Day 2), *1 (Day 3), 1 (Day 4) = 3

Brown rice, uncooked, Tbs – **3 (Day 2)

Black beans, cooked, cup – *1/2 (Day 3)

Quinoa, cooked, cup – *1/3 (Day 3)

Whole wheat waffle (appox 100 cals) – 1 (Day 5)

6-in whole wheat pita – 1/2 (Day 5)

Wild rice, dry, Tbs – **3 (Day 5)

* – original recipe was quadrupled to serve 4

** – original recipe was doubled to serve 2

You can also have tea and coffee sweetened with stevia if desired.

LET’S DO THIS!!!

2 slices turkey bacon – 70

2 “Cutie” mandarin oranges – 70

2 slices bread – 160

1 tsp butter – 35

1/4 c lowfat cottage cheese – 50

1 can chicken noodle soup (the lower sodium kind) – 150

Breakfast – Chocolate Orange Shakeology – wanted to go with a lower calorie recipe since I went a “little” overboard in the previous 24 hours – 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology, 8oz water, 2 Tbs frozen orange juice concentrate (the equivalent of 1/2 c of orange juice), 1 scoop Fiber Boost, 4 ice cubes – 225 If you like chocolate and orange together this one is delightful!

Snack – 1 c frozen peas, just warmed through, no salt – 105 Seems like kind of weird snack, but I love it!

Lunch – 2 slices whole wheat bread – 180, 6 Tbs hummus – 180, 1 slice American cheese – 60, 2 c broccoli potato soup – 220 1/2 c sugar-free Cool Whip – 80

2 slices garlic bread – 300 I know, right?? Ugh, processed foods….guess I can’t really complain, I’m the one who chose to eat it.

Popcorn with garlic granules and cayenne – 150

1 Yoplait Light cherry yogurt – 100

Didn’t really have “dinner”, just ate those last few things and then went to bed. Total calories – 2135

After noticing yesterday that I tended to reach for more calorie-dense foods at night out of habit I was determined to make an effort to fill up on more veggies. I did better, although there’s still some room for improvement. One big step in the right direction was having the burger patty with just A-1 sauce instead of putting it on a 180 calorie bun. Yay for me!

1 “Cutie” mandarin orange – 35

1 angus beef patty with 1 Tbs A-1 sauce – 215

1 roma tomato and 1 large cucumber with 1 Tbs Wishbone dressing – 90

1/4 bean and cheese quesadilla – 150

1/2 oz tortilla chips – 70

9oz edamame including pods – 150

whole wheat and turkey and cheese – 200

p90x Cafe Mocha protein bar – 250

Once I went to bed at 4am and then got back up a little after 7am, I threw my whole schedule off by venturing out for a walk instead of going back to bed. When I returned I posted 55 of the photos I took. It was a gorgeous day and I just had to share. As soon as I got back from the walk I had some Shakeology which was a great start, but the weird schedule really threw me off.

Breakfast – Chocolate Shakeology, Bananas Foster Recipe:  6oz water, 4oz Silk Vanilla soy milk, 1 scoop chocolate Shakeology, 1/2 large ripe banana, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4-1/2 tsp rum extract (didn’t measure), 1 scoop Fiber Boost, 4 ice cubes. – 275

I was in the zone posting all those photos and completely forgot to eat. When I was done I was HUNGRY (and tired which always makes hunger feel 10x worse) so I started grabbing food. My husband also came home hungry (it was about 3:30pm by this point) so I made food for both of us.

Lunch + whatever I shoved in my mouth while making lunch – 1 slice whole wheat bread and 1/4 c. hummus – 210

2 slices American cheese – 120

Yakisoba noodles with chicken, green beans and sauce – 350

Another burger patty, but this time I did eat the stupid bun which wasn’t that good and definitely NOT worth the extra calories and another slice of cheese with ketchup and mustard – 550 ugh!!!

Dinner – I decided to just have another Shakeology because I knew I needed something a lot healthier than what I’d been eating. This time I made a Mocha recipe because even though I don’t normally drink coffee I knew I needed to get some more things done and I was really feeling the lack of sleep. Plus, it was quite warm and I just wanted something cold and refreshing. It definitely hit the spot and gave me the energy I needed to deal with the rest of my day/night. I used 8oz Silk Vanilla soy milk, 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology, 1 rounded tsp instant coffee, 1 scoop Fiber Boost and 5 ice cubes – 275 and delightful!

Total calories – a whopping 2940!! Yikes! Good thing I took that nice, long walk which burned around 800-900 calories so I probably broke even for the 24 hour period. Just goes to show how much easier it is to eat right when you get enough sleep, plan ahead, and eat every few hours instead of going for long periods of time between meals. Well, tomorrow is another day!

This is a continuation from yesterday. Like I said, I would be eating more after midnight because I go to bed so late. It’s amazing how quickly calories add up when you’re not paying attention, even when the food is healthy.

This is everything I consumed after wrapping up yesterday’s journal and before I went to bed.

3 whole walnuts – 100

1 “Cutie” Mandarin – 35

2 Tbs sugar-free Cool Whip – 20

Turkey sandwich with mustard and American cheese on whole wheat – 350

1 oz. corn chips – 140

1/2 c. lowfat cottage cheese – 100

1 slice Italian bread with 1 Tbs hummus – 110

One thing I’m noticing as I go through the list is that I tend to reach for calorie-dense foods late at night instead of veggies which you can eat a lot of with few calories, especially raw ones. Now on to today.

Pre-breakfast (I wanted to eat something when I got up to get the kids off to school just to get my metabolism going, but I knew I’d be going back to sleep so I didn’t want a lot) – 1/2 large banana – 60

Breakfast (at 3pm) – Chocolate Banana Nut Muffin Shakeology (4oz water, 4oz Silk Vanilla Soy Milk, 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology, 1/2 large very ripe banana, 1 tsp natural peanut butter (wish I had remembered we have walnuts!), 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 Tbs quick oats, 1 scoop Fiber Boost and 3 ice cubes) – 315

 “Lunch” (aka Dinner to the rest of the family) – Bean and cheese burrito (1 large tortilla, not whole wheat even though it would be healthier but if I’m going to eat a tortilla every once in a while I want to enjoy it and I haven’t really found a good whole wheat version that I enjoy for burritos, 1/2 c fat-free refried beans, 2 Tbs salsa, 1 Tbs fat-free plain yogurt because it has one forth the calories of light sour cream and once it’s in a burrito I don’t notice a difference, and 2 Tbs shredded Mexican blend cheese) – 360

At this point I’ve eaten 1590 calories since my last post. I don’t have the totals for everything else like fiber, fat, protein and carbs because for some reason the bodybugg program isn’t opening and I’m too lazy right now to add it all up. No doubt I’ll eat something else before I go to bed and will try to focus on good stuff that’s low in calories as opposed to low calorie foods that are basically just chemicals with no nutritional value. Sometimes I wish I could just drink Shakeology and not have to worry about it. See you tomorrow!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that I used to post a daily food journal. After a while I started to whine and complain about it and say that it was driving me crazy. Soon after, I began to slack off more and more, making adjustments to the way I posted and how often and now I just throw a recipe up every once in a while. Well, the reality is that I have a lifetime of bad eating habits to deal with and I need the accountability because just as my journaling has slacked off, so have my eating habits. And that’s not ok because I’ve put a lot of time and effort into getting fit and healthy! I’m not about to throw that all away because it can be a pain to actually pay attention to every single thing I eat.

Maybe that seems a bit melodramatic, but I’ve been on the weight loss rollercoaster long enough to know how easy it is to slide back into old habits and one day wake up realizing that those jeans that were getting so loose they were falling off are starting to fit a little too well again. Nope, I’m not letting that happen again. Time to put my foot down, put on my big girl panties (referring to maturity, not size…ha ha), quit complaining and just do it. Please feel free to remind me of this post when my resolve starts to weaken again which I know it will. Success isn’t about always feeling like doing what you need to do, but doing it even when you don’t feel like it.

Breakfast – Chocolate Shakeology with 2 tsp peanut butter, 1/2 c organic vanilla Silk, water and ice – 250 cals

AM Snack – 1/4 c Meza hummus and 3 celery stalks – 140 cals

Lunch – hmmm, this was technically dinner because I slept from about 11 am to 3pm. I have kind of a weird schedule because I stay up really late (at least 3am) to spend time with my husband who’s schedule is even crazier than mine. Anyway, I had 4oz chicken breast seasoned with Season-All (keeping it simple) – 187 cals, 3 cups Romaine with 2 Tbs Wishbone Italian dressing – 105 cals, and 2 cups broccoli potato soup – 220 cals, which was a happy accident. I intended to make mashed potatoes and gravy, but realized I only had three smallish potatoes. Not exactly enough for four people. I thought about posting a separate recipe, but it was so ridiculously easy I’m just going to include it here.

I peeled 3 small to medium potatoes and cut them in large cubes. Then I cut up about 3 cups broccoli including the stem which I peeled first. All of that went into about 4 cups boiling water and simmered uncovered until the potatoes and broccoli were soft enough to blend. I dropped in 2 chicken bouillon cubes, 1 tsp dried minced onion and 3 cloves of garlic, pressed. Then I blended until smooth (a hand blender works great for this). Finally, I combined one 12 oz can of evaporated milk (cream cheese would work, too, like I used in the Potato Corn Chowder) with 2 Tbs cornstarch in another container. Once it was mixed well I slowly poured it into the soup, stirring constantly until it thickened. Finally, I added a little kosher salt and plenty of black pepper. When I served it I sprinkled mine with cayenne pepper.

It’s almost 8pm now and the only other thing I plan on eating between now and midnight is 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt with a sliced banana, a packet of Truvia and a few drops of coconut extract. – 210 cals

Total calories – 1112, Protein – 88 g, Carbs – 121 g, Fat – 36 g, Fiber 16 g

I’m sure I’ll eat something else before I go to bed, but I’ll include it in tomorrow’s post. See you then!

This recipe originated as one of those “dump everything in a bowl and hope it turns out ok” experiments. I’ve found that ground turkey can seem a little “wet” even after cooking so adding quite a bit of bread crumbs and only dry ingredients other than the egg seemed like a good idea. Turns out is was. Great flavor and texture. This is my attempt at coming close to actual measurements.

1. I started with a package of 93/7 ground turkey (about 1 1/4 lbs).

2. Then I broke up 4 slices whole grain white bread and pulsed it in the blender to make crumbs. It totalled about 2 cups. I added the crumbs and 1 large egg to the turkey in a large bowl.

3. Next I added about 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp dried basil, 1-2 tsp Italian seasoning that included rosemary and sage (crushed to break up the rosemary), 1/4-1/2 tsp granulated garlic and 1 tsp dried minced onion.

4. You can’t make meatballs without getting your hands dirty so I mixed it all up with my hands then shaped the mixture into balls. This batch made 48 that were about 1 inch in diameter.

5. While I was shaping the meatballs I was heating a large skillet on medium. Just before adding them I poured in 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil. Then I browned them by swirling the skillet every few minutes. During that time I cooked pasta according to the package directions.

6. Once the meatballs were cooked through I removed half to save for another meal and added Prego Heart Smart Sauce which has less sodium and let it simmer for a few minutes.

7. I added the pasta to the skillet and tossed to coat, then served it with grated parmesan cheese. Yummm!!

I love that song. If fact, here it is for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Ok then, back to the food. This was one of those Ok, I Have Some Yakisoba Noodles and Random Vegetables So Let’s Throw Them Together “recipes”.  So let’s get to it!

1. First, I said a word of thanks for living in a town with a Trader Joe’s because they have organic tofu for well under $2/lb.

2. Then I cut one block into cubes. Yeah, I know my cuts were kinda uneven. Oh well. While I was cutting the tofu I was heating about 1 Tbs. oil (canola and corn blend, but use whatever you want as long as it holds up well to heat) in a large skillet. Just a note here about tofu – if you have time and you’re planning on browning it, press it first. You’ll get much better results and it won’t stick to the pan as easily. I was in a hurry so I didn’t do it this time.

3. I added the tofu to the skillet, giving it a quick shake to keep the cubes from sticking and cut 2 medium carrots into strips. Kind of like wide matchsticks, but feel free to cut them however you want. Go on…go crazy.

4. Then I sliced 1 yellow onion into strips about 1/4 – 1/2 inch wide. I also check on the tofu because it was starting to brown. Once most of the moisture has evaporated from the pan it’s important to check it every few minutes so it doesn’t stick. Or you could use something other than tofu. Whatever you want.

5. Once the tofu had browned on most sides I removed it from the pan before adding the carrots and onion because this was a particularly soft block and I knew it would fall apart if I left it in while cooking the other ingredients. If I had mushrooms I would’ve used them, too, but I used them all in the Turkey Tetrazzini the other day.

6. While the carrots and onion softened on medium heat I cut 2 large celery stalks and about 3 cups green cabbage into thin strips. Some other veggies that would be nice to add if you have them on hand are zucchini, Napa cabbage, baby corn, water chestnuts or snow peas.

7. I added the cabbage and celery to the skillet (I’d love to have a wok, but don’t have room to store it) and continued cooking it all for a couple of minutes.

8. You may be wondering, “Where’s the garlic??” Don’t worry, it’s coming. Next I broke up the noodles a bit with my hands before placing them on top of the veggies. I don’t know the exact measurement of the noodles, but I got them at Costco and they come in a two pack. I used one of the packages.

9. Let me just apologize in advance for this section. I made the sauce while the noodles steamed over the veggies and just like every other time I’ve made this I didn’t measure anything except for the 1/4 cup light soy sauce I used as the base. I added maybe 1 Tbs mirin, 1 Tbs sugar, 1 tsp seasoned rice vinegar, 1/4 tsp ground ginger (fresh is so much better, but I didn’t have any), 1/2 tsp black pepper, 6 cloves minced garlic (fresh, that I minced myself) and enough water so the whole thing equalled 1 1/2 cups. Just be sure to taste the sauce before adding it to the pan. It’s a lot easier to adjust before it’s mixed in. I stirred it until the sugar dissolved then poured it over the noodles, mixing it in and breaking up the noodles with the spatula. Then I added the tofu back to the skillet and tossed with the noodles and sauce, heating the whole thing through.

10. I topped the finished product with sesame seeds. Yumm! This one’s a family favorite.

This is one of my favorite soups and it’s pretty easy to make from scratch. I’m going to attempt to share this as an actual recipe although it’s usually something I make without measuring anything. There are so many variations of this, too, so feel free to change it up. You really can’t go wrong unless you add something crazy like vanilla extract or cinnamon. But I’m sure you wouldn’t do that, right?

1. I started with 3 largish leeks. If I had thought about posting this before I started I would’ve taken a photo. Oh well. Anyway, I cut off the dark green tops leaving only the white and very light green parts.

2. Then I split them lengthwise and cut them into 1/2 inches pieces. If you’ve ever used leeks before you know how dirty they are.

3. I washed the chopped pieces in a colander after soaking them in warm water for a few minutes and breaking them apart.

(Oh my gosh, I’m eating this while I’m typing and it’s SO good!)

4. I heated about 1 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter in a large pot on medium-low and added the drained leeks.

5. While those started to cook down, I chopped 1 large celery stalk and minced 6 cloves of garlic which I also added to the pot.

6. Then, I peeled and cubed 3 medium Russet potatoes and soaked them in cold water until the other stuff got nice and soft. I like to cut the potatoes in fairly large chunks so they hold their shape better in the end, but that’s totally up to you.

7. Next, I added 1 c. frozen corn to the pot and 1 14.5oz can Swanson chicken broth with less sodium (I think it’s 33% less, but I’m too busy eating and typing to get up and check).  You could also use vegetable broth to make this vegetarian. The broth just covered the veggies. Look, here’s a photo!

8. Once the concoction heated through I added the drained potatoes and enough water to cover them. Trust me, the other stuff is in there. It’s just hiding under the potatoes.

9. After turning up the heat to medium-high and bringing the pot to almost a boil, I covered it with the lid and turned the heat back down to medium-low. It took 10 minutes of simmering for the potatoes to become nice and soft without falling apart, but that time will vary depending on the size of the chunks so check them every few minutes so they don’t overcook.

10. Now for the creaminess. There are many ways to achieve this including heavy cream, half and half, fat-free half and half, evaporated milk, soy milk (not the kind with vanilla!), or cashew milk (the last two are great if you want to go vegan – you’d just sub olive oil for the butter). I chose to use cream cheese because that’s what we had on hand. You can’t just drop the cream cheese in, though, or you’ll end up with little blobs which is not what we’re going for. I scooped out 1 cup of the soup including some broth and some veggies and blended it with another 1 c water, about 4oz cream cheese and about 2 tsp cornstarch which I added to thicken it a bit and still keep most of the chunks.

11. After adding the blended mixture back to the pot I let it simmer a few more minutes. At this point, you can decide to leave it as is or blend more of the veggies to make a thicker soup with fewer chunks.

12. Finally, I seasoned it with salt and pepper and since I still had some, chopped fresh sage leaves.

I sprinkled on more black pepper once it was in the bowl. Cayenne or paprika would be good, too. YUMM!!!!!!