Tomato and Fennel Soup

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After a few days of over indulging it’s time for some healthy food! This soup fills the bill and hits the spot! Inspired by a recipe in F&W, I eliminated a lot the oil to make this one healthier.

Ingredients:
2 TBSP canola oil
6 plum tomatoes, cored
1/2 TBSP sugar
Salt
1/4 c Pernod
2 TBSP olive oil
3 medium fennel bulbs—halved lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c garlic, peeled
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Pepper
One 28-ounce can whole Italian peeled tomatoes, crushed
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large medium pan, heat the canola oil until nearly smoking. Add the plum tomatoes and sugar and season with salt. Cook over moderately high heat, turning, until the tomatoes are lightly charred and starting to burst, about 10 minutes.

Add the Pernod and cook over moderately low heat, breaking up the tomatoes, until a chunky sauce forms, about 20 minutes.

In a saucepan, heat olive oil. Add the fennel, shallots, garlic, fennel seeds, oregano, crushed red pepper and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper.

Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the fennel starts to soften, 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes with their juices and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until the fennel is very tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, puree the tomato and fennel
Soup until smooth. Stir the tomato sauce into the saucepan along with the vinegar. Cook over moderately low heat until heated through and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with shaved cheese.

Healthy Blueberry Muffins

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A breakfast treat that is under 300 calories? Yup, I got ya covered with this one! I used a dark honey to give it some real flavor.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 c blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat the oven to 375°. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix the oats with the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Stir in the honey, buttermilk, canola oil and eggs. Mix just until combined. Stir in blueberries.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for about 18 minutes, until they’re golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.

Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.