Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Holiday Weekend, Belly Fat,

What a weekend, first of all we have another massive volcano in Iceland spewing smoke and ash in all directions and closing airports then a monster tornado on Sunday night in Joplin Missouri. The present death toll is 117 people and this morning they are talking about the possibility of another tornado in the area. One scary comment I heard, the sirens went off but people ignored them thinking it was yet another false alarm and didn’t get off the streets. Bearing in mind what happened to the houses, I can’t see it made much difference. Other people complained there was insufficient warning – I heard 17 minutes quoted. From all one hears, there isn’t a whole hell of a lot you can do with a tornado unless you have an underground shelter and not everyone does. I think if I lived in Tornado Alley in the States I would be sure to have one in my yard. We had one heck of a rainstorm here last night too, thought it might be a hangover from the Missouri storm.

This morning the water is being turned off in our building, so I have to go shower before they do so. Meanwhile, we had some really bad thumps driving the car home yesterday so Matt has to go have it checked out. Please cross your finger for us.

According to an article I was reading at the weekend, legumes of all kinds are helpful in Pear and saladreducing belly fat together with pears and plain popcorn. I am not quite sure how true that is, but this soup certainly looks delicious. I love beans anyway. The following is a quote from Real Age who send me a regular newsletter “All legumes are full of protein and fiber -- two well-known appetite crushers. And thanks to their dark color, black beans are also one of the highest in flavonoids of all the beans. And research shows that flavonoids may thwart the storage of excess tummy fat.” We had some at the weekend and it was very good. Didn’t have fresh cilantro of course, added some dried. Also a dollop of Greek Yoghurt.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

From Good Housekeeping

Canned beans make this soup a snap to prepare, and the right blend of spices gives it a Tex-Mex wallop of flavor.black-bean-soup

Calories 137 per serving

6 first course servings


1 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 clove(s) (garlic) finely chopped

2 teaspoon(s) chili powder

1 teaspoon(s) ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper

2 can(s) (15 to 19 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cup(s) water

1 can(s) (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth

1/4 cup(s) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Lime wedges


  1. In 3-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder, cumin, and crushed red pepper; cook 30 seconds. Stir in beans, water, and broth; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Spoon one-third of mixture into blender; cover, with center part of cover removed to let steam escape, and puree until smooth. Pour puree into bowl. Repeat with remaining mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with wedges of lime. Makes about 6 2⁄3 cups or 6 first-course servings.

Have a great day



  1. When I have pears, I often put them in salads. If thy are just a tad underipe they go beautifully with any good blue cheese!

    Those tornados are a real worry. I have never heard of so many in so short a space of time as this year. In the last couple of years we've even had the odd one in Australia, which is unheard of. No towns flattened, but one cut a big swathe about the width of a street through Penola, a town near Mount Gambier. It left a rare old mess (no loss of life, thank heavens!) so I hope we not going to start having them regularly!

  2. I love pears.

    You are so right, they are terrifying. We don't often get them in Canada, but we do get them sometimes. Like you, I hope it stays that way and we don't start getting more. Mind you, tornado alley, is well known for them, hence the name of course. But they have certainly been much worse this year.