Root Vegetable and Bean Soup

Standard

PIC_RootVegetableBeanSoup

(Serves 4)

I have sad news for you: winter in Central New York will be here before you know it. Halloween is just over two months away and the snow has been known to start flying that early around here. But hang in there; I am going to help you get through with warming recipes.

Try this delicious soup of Toby Amidor’s when the coldness starts making its presence known. I guarantee you will love it! This is just one of several of her amazing recipes in her new cookbook, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. Click here to check out this new favorite cookbook of mine. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 packed cup baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 medium parsnip, chopped
  • 1 medium turnip, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium kidney beans, drained
  • and rinsed
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Stack spinach and cut in ribbons Work in batches if
  • In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmer Add the onion, carrot, celery, parsnip, and turnip, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the beans, and stir to combine. Add the vegetable broth, mirin, and bay leaves, and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove and discard the bay Stir in the spinach

ribbons and black pepper.

REFRIGERATE: Store the cold soup in a resealable container for up to 1 week. Reheat in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Single servings can be reheated in the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes.

FREEZE: Store the cooled soup in individual freezer-safe containers or in one large container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Single servings can be reheated in the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes.

 

Advertisements

Spring into health with raw veggies

Standard

kale

With welcoming warm weather, it’s the perfect time to try adding more raw foods into our diets. Raw foods include foods with no application of heat of any kind. That means no cooking, grilling, or steaming the foods.

Adding more raw foods into your diet is quite simple actually. A gradual change toward more raw food in one’s diet is better for people who are used to consuming most of their meals cooked.

Raw food advocates believe that because raw food maintains all its enzymes, it is easier to digest and it is more nutritious than cooked veggies.

I believe veggies are great for you whether cooked or raw, but I do find that as winter turns to spring, I do get more of a spring in step when I add more raw foods to my diet.

Always consider how you can add vegetables to what you are preparing. Instead of cooking vegetables out of habit, find out if there’s another way of preparing them. For example:

  • Marinate kale, broccoli, mushrooms, or other veggies that are typically cooked to give them a soft, tender texture.
  • Another texture I love is that of shredded carrots, beets or zucchini added to my salads.
  • Raw corn, scraped off the cob, makes a tasty salad that goes well with tomatoes, fresh herbs, peppers, or zucchini.
  • To make a raw tomato sauce, simply blend ripe summer tomatoes with fresh herbs and a touch of garlic or onion.

Also, try giving juicing a go! No juicer? No problem! One of my favorite juices only requires a blender. Blend half an avocado, a cup of spinach, a half-cup of pineapple and ice for a delicious green juice!

How are you adding more raw veggies to your diet? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

Spring into Health with Raw Veggies

Standard

kale

With welcoming warm weather, it’s the perfect time to try adding more raw foods into our diets. Raw foods include foods with no application of heat of any kind. That means no cooking, grilling, or steaming the foods.

Adding more raw foods into your diet is quite simple actually. A gradual change toward more raw food in one’s diet is better for people who are used to consuming most of their meals cooked.

Raw food advocates believe that because raw food maintains all its enzymes, it is easier to digest and it is more nutritious than cooked veggies.

I believe veggies are great for you whether cooked or raw, but I do find that as winter turns to spring, I do get more of a spring in step when I add more raw foods to my diet.

Always consider how you can add fruit, vegetables what you are preparing. Instead of cooking vegetables out of habit, find out if there’s another way of preparing them. For example:

  • Marinate kale, broccoli, mushrooms, or other veggies that are typically cooked to give them a soft, tender texture.
  • Another texture I love is that of shredded carrots, beets or zucchini added to my salads.
  • Raw corn, scraped off the cob, makes a tasty salad that goes well with tomatoes, fresh herbs, peppers, or zucchini.
  • To make a raw tomato sauce, simply blend ripe summer tomatoes with fresh herbs and a touch of garlic or onion.

Also, try giving juicing a go! No juicer? No problem! One of my favorite juices only requires a blender. Blend half an avocado, a cup of spinach, a half-cup of pineapple and ice for a delicious green juice!

How are you adding more raw veggies to your diet? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

Drought-Friendly Food Choices

Standard

346611781_b06f98667b_o

Read, watch, or listen to any major news source and you become very aware of the fact that we are in a drought. It’s ironic that I have been telling you to drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration, while we are in a drought, right? I am not going to take those words away; it is crucial for you to prevent dehydration these scolding hot summer months. However, I will tell you some things you can do to be conscientious about the shortage in water supply when you consider your food choices. And guess what? All the food choices I recommend are healthy!!!

  • Eat less meat! I’ve said this before with the reasoning being related to the mounds of research with evidence that a primarily plant-based diet is way healthier. When it comes to a drought, eating less meat is important. It takes tons more water to produce meat than it does plants. The amount of water you use in a daily shower for six months is pretty close to the same amount of water it takes to produce one pound of beef. I was shocked when I learned that statistic.
  • Eat plants that require little water to grow; American cucumbers, eggplant, chard, and a variety of tomatoes are the examples that immediately come to mind. Mother Earth has a handy list that also included different grains and seeds that are heat tolerant.
  • Eat less processed foods. This is something I’ve said many times before for several reasons; processed foods do not keep you satiated and they pack on the pounds. In terms of our drought, keep in mind that a lot of water is used in processing the food and packaging.

Hopefully, we will get some rain showers to help alleviate this drought (ideally while we slumber through the nights). Meanwhile, try to keep my tips in mind when making food choices; they’re good for the earth during this drought and they’re good for you too!

Crazy for Kale…and other Leafy Greens

Standard

ThinkstockPhotos-460253835

As we mentioned in our blog about seaweed, April is Earth Month and we will be blogging about sustainable food choices. Load up your plate with leafy greens (kale, collard greens, arugula, spinach and chard are great choices) and you will be boosting your health and protecting the planet at the same time!

Leafy Greens for your Weight

Leafy greens are rich in fiber. When it comes to weight-loss, you must befriend fiber because it keeps you fuller longer and you will be less likely to have unhealthy snack attacks.

Leafy Greens for your Heart

Leafy greens are excellent for heart health. The fiber helps to lower blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Many leafy greens are chock-full of potassium, which helps to manage healthy blood-pressure levels. Research indicates that folate, found in leafy greens, may protect against heart disease.

Leafy Greens for your Brain

Folate is also great for your brain. Research shows that folate may protect against memory also. And because folate produces serotonin, leafy greens may help ward off depression.

Leafy Greens for your Bones

You probably know that in order to maintain healthy bones, you need calcium. Did you know that many leafy greens have more calcium than milk? For example, one cup of collard greens contains 357 milligrams of calcium and a cup of milk has 306 milligrams.

Leafy Greens for your Skin

Leafy greens contain a lot of water, which helps to hydrate your skin. The ample amount of vitamin C in leafy greens produces collagen, which is essential for your skin’s elasticity. Vitamin C and vitamin E, both found in leafy greens, team up to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Leafy Greens for the Planet
Leafy greens grow more quickly than almost any other type of plant in most climates, making them an excellent low-impact food choice most seasons.

If you want to take up gardening, leafy greens are a low-maintenance choice to try! Give it a shot and let us know how it goes. In the meantime, load up on those greens—you will feel so vibrant!