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Kale Kabocha Soup and Thursday Things

Productive Procrastination
Yesterday morning I woke up for all of two seconds when Jason got up to go swim at 5 am and then totally crashed back out until the alarm clock made me nearly jump out of bed. It's not normal for me to fall back asleep quite so soundly after waking up in the morning. Apparently I was really tired.

I had thought I might get in my workout (weights & kickboxing) at lunch, but by 11 I was thinking of calling it a rest day. My plan changed to going to the grocery store after work. But then by about 3:30 I had decided working out sounded way better than battling the grocery store and after work crowd.

Let's just say that was the most productive procrastination I had ever done. I did legs, shoulders, back, biceps and abs from Cathe's High Reps DVD and then did the MMA Kickboxing DVD for an hour workout.

Luckily I had enough items to throw together a soup for dinner. I had a kabocha squash and some kale on its last leg. No white onion, but I did have a red one and 2 cans of chickpeas. I also had some Israeli couscous I'd picked up and had yet to try.

I was, however, out of vegetable stock, but I did have some no-beef bouillon cubes. Surely I could make it work. I kind of had to or it was going to be cereal for the night.

Kale and Kabocha Squash Israeli Couscous Stew
Ingredients:
1/2 red onion, diced
2-3 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 - 3/4 kabocha squash, cubed (could use butternut squash or even sweet potatoes)
4 cups water
2 not-beef bouillon cubes (or vegetable stock)
1 1/2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can no-salt tomatoes
1/2 cup Israeli couscous (also known as pearled couscous)
1/2 bunch kale, cleaned, de-stemmed and finely chopped
To taste: salt, pepper, curry powder, garam marsala, cumin, parsley, red pepper

Directions:
In large soup pot, saute onions and garlic with a dash of salt. Add in the squash and allow to saute for approximately 5 minutes. Add in the water, bouillon cubes, tomatoes, chickpeas, spices. Allow to simmer until the squash begins to soften, approximately 20 minutes.

Add in the couscous and let simmer for another 15 minutes then add in the kale. Cook another 10 minutes or until kale is softened. 

When Jason walked in the house his first comment was, "It smells really spicy." I asked if he mean hot spicy, and he said he meant fragrant, rich spices. I'll admit that I was a little worried because I sort of just started throwing things together without any real direction.

In the end, I am super happy with how this turned out. The Israeli couscous added a nice additional texture, slight bit of chew. The squash was soft, but the chickpeas had texture. Just a great combination of textures and flavors. I think there are several variations and additions that could be done with this too like possibly adding in raisins.

Thursday Things
When I got home from work, I found a box on the porch. I usually have things shipped to Jason's work. I couldn't remember ordering anything and having it sent to the house. I also didn't remember winning any awesome giveaways recently and giving my address to anyone.

It was like an early birthday gift or Christmas in November when I opened the box. I dug through searching for a not, a letter, anything that gave me a clue. Nope. Nada. All I found was a card that said: Simple Survival Kit (#simplesurvivalkit) with a list of the products inside.

And here's what was inside that box.

Food Should Taste Good chips (chocolate and sweet potato), Justin's Peanut Butter Cups, Larabar, Little Duck Organics (strawberry & mango dried fruit), SmartWool socks, Sprout Wellness Basics lip balm, and Teatulia tea.

Um...wow! I absolutely love Food Should Taste Good chips. I've never tried the chocolate flavor though. Larabars are awesome and I'm excited to try the new uber bar flavors. I love the Justin's nut butter packets, especially for travel so how on earth can the PB cups be wrong?? It was awesome getting new products to try. The Little Ducks Organics dried fruit was super tasty. I am thinking they'd be fantastic in oatmeal or maybe a dessert. Wheels are turning.

I'm always on the lookout for a great lip balm, and love the simple, all-natural ingredients in this Sprout Wellness Basics lip balm. And warm socks? For a girl who always has cold tootsies, these might be the best things ever.
 
If I won this from you, please let me know (and I apologize for not remembering). Have you ever received something awesome like this???

And what are some new things you've found recently?

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