Soup’s On

25 10 2013
Cathy Shaw

Cathy Shaw

Well, Mother Nature has finally sent us a cold snap. Plummeting temperatures and snow (yikes!) in the mountain state have put me in the mood to make homemade soup, and plenty of it. Soup can make a warm, comforting and filling meal, and offers many health benefits. Healthy soups can provide us with a wide variety of vegetables, lean protein, fiber and fluid. When making soups, choose ingredients that:

  • Are low in fat, like lean poultry, fish and beans
  • Provide many nutrients for few calories such as fresh and frozen vegetables, or those canned with no added salt
  • Are low in sodium, like low sodium broths, homemade stock and low sodium vegetable juice
  • Are whole grain, like brown rice, whole wheat pasta shells or quinoa

An added benefit to soups? Due to their high water content, broth based soups can help fill you up on fewer calories. Consuming these kinds of soups before or with a meal can actually decrease your overall calorie intake for that meal. So the next time you go out to eat, try a cup of broth based soup as an appetizer instead of mozzarella sticks or other fat laden fare. You may find yourself eating less calories, and your waistline will thank you!

I hear this in my practice all the time: “I don’t want to buy fresh vegetables because they always go bad.” Well here is your answer: make soup. When it comes to preparing soup, there are really no limits. You can make it with virtually anything out of your refrigerator, freezer or pantry. Facing a fridge of leftover vegetables, meat, beans or brown rice? Toss them in the crockpot before you leave for work or school, season them as you like, and voila! Dinner is done when you come home. What could be better than that after a long day at work?

So break out your slow cooker for this week’s “Recipe of the Week”. This is one of my favorite soup recipes from the Better Homes and Gardens Crock Pot Cookbook….simple healthy ingredients that can be put together in a flash, and ready to eat when you come home. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Zesty Beef and Vegetable Soup

Makes 6 servings; use a 3 ½ to 5 quart slow cooker

1lb lean ground beef or lean ground turkey (93%lean if possible)

1/2c chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2c pre-shredded coleslaw mix (found with the salad in the produce isle)

1 10oz package frozen whole kernel corn

1 9oz package of frozen cut green beans

4c Spicy V8 juice

1  14 ½ oz can of Italian style stewed tomatoes

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp dried basil

¼ tsp pepper

Directions:

In a large skillet cook ground meat, onion, and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain fat.

In slow cooker crock, combine meat mixture, coleslaw mix, frozen corn, green beans, vegetable juice, undrained tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, basil, and pepper.

Cover; cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Nutrition Facts per serving:  269 calories, 19g protein, 29g carbohydrate, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 925mg sodium.

*tip: use low sodium V8 to cut the sodium to 585mg per serving. Skip the spicy version if your family prefers a milder taste.

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