Soup and winter just seem to go together. First of all, soup warms the body up, even though there may be a constant layer of snow outside that just doesn’t seem to disappear. Second of all, it is easy. Maybe I am the only one that feels lazier in the winter. Thankfully, a healthy soup can take very little effort. The key is making sure your house is stocked with staples such as canned beans, whole wheat pasta, frozen vegetables, and prepackaged organic broths. On those days that I have no idea what to make for dinner, I simply just throw some of these various ingredients in a pot, and let the soup simmer until the ingredients are cooked, or heated through. Want to make this even easier? Yes, it is possible, thanks to the invention of the crock pot. Before you leave in the morning, put all of you ingredients in your crock pot, set it, and forget it! Now I feel like I am on an infomercial.
Another staple of mine that I have been keeping in my freezer are turkey meatballs. There are so many recipes out there to make meatballs, you can’t really mess it up! I have had success with this one. After they have cooled, I simply place them in a container, and stick them in the freezer so they are ready to go whenever I need them!
These meatballs can also be used as a substitute for sausage in some soups. For example, many people enjoy sausage in white bean and kale. However, when you use homemade meatballs, you are lowering your sodium intake and eliminating nitrates from your diet.
Just a side not, nitrates (also known as sodium nitrate) is a chemical added to food in order to preserve its shelf life. It is often found in cured meats, such as hot dogs and lunch meat. And why are they so scary? Scientist have found them to be carcinogenic, cancer causing. Check out this article for more information.
Back to soups, I wanted to share a few recipes that I have been using!
Not only is whole foods a great place to shop (just in case you were not aware of my love for the supermarket ) their website is a recipe gold mind!
Their recipe for Mexican Taco Stew is basically like having a taco in a bowl. Even though this recipe does call for ground meat, I have used two cans of beans (instead of one) and eliminated the meat. I have also doubled up on the zucchini (using two instead of one) and adding a diced red pepper. Before eating, top this soup with my greek yogurt sour cream (just add a squeeze of fresh lemon to greek yogurt) and a couple of organic corn chips.
Another soup recipe that I have tried from the whole foods website is their Carrot, Apple, and Ginger Soup. You definitely need to be in the mood for this soup. It’s unique flavors are not for everyone. However, if this sounds good to you, then definitely try this recipe. Not only is it delicious, it is easy to make, and requires very little clean up!