Fall in Love with Soup

For some reason, making soup is not one of my culinary gifts. I find that my soups always end up bland, so I end up throwing out the majority of the batch. After this cool autumn weekend, I thought I’d give soup-making another try. I came across this recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers, Danielle Walker at www.againstallgrain.com. This soup combines the savory flavors of roasted chicken with the richness of seasonal vegetables. When I make it again, I plan on increasing the vegetables by 50% so I can create a larger serving of vegetable puree, to give the soup a thicker texture. Of course, I always add extra garlic too! This soup was so delicious, my husband and I found ourselves fighting over the leftovers!

Fall Soup

 

Rotisserie Chicken Soup with Roasted Vegetables

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • ½ yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups of organic chicken broth
  • 3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken (at least ½ the chicken)
  • ¾ tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  1. Preheat oven to 425o. Toss cut vegetables (except spinach) in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, bring chicken stock in large pot to a simmer. Add the chicken, herbs, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add half the roasted vegetables to soup and place other half in a blender or food processor. Add water and blend until pureed.
  4. Add pureed vegetables and fresh spinach to soup and continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!

My Top 2 Kitchen Shortcuts

1. Cutting Fruits

We all know that consuming fresh fruits and veggies is healthier than consuming canned and sometimes frozen varieties; however, one of the downfalls of purchasing fresh produce is that you have to cut it yourself. Most grocery stores offer pre-cut varieties but these items are more costly due to the labor cost factored into the price. I always purchase whole fruit, but sometimes cutting these items can be quite timely! This short tutorial will give you tips on how to decrease your time spent cutting fruit in the kitchen.

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_wDZnypJTA]

 

2. Separating the Eggs

I’m not a big proponent for cutting out the yolks in eggs. The yolk is a nutrient powerhouse (choline, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A and D for example) and research finds that the cholesterol found in egg yolks really have no effect on our serum cholesterol levels. However, if you are someone with Chronic Kidney Disease (specifically with stage III or stage IV), you may be recommended to cut back on consumption of egg yolks due to their phosphorus content (a mineral that the kidneys help filter in the blood). They do make egg products without yolks such as Egg Beaters; however this product now contains food dyes and preservatives. In general, the fresher the food item is, the better it is for your body. Here is a quick tip on removing egg yolks from whole eggs.

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAp8pEaWB1Y]

Greek Roasted Vegetable Sandwich

Looking for a great sandwich recipe? Watch my fellow dietitian, Jessica Harris, as she leads you in this scrumptious sandwich tutorial that’s sure to take your taste buds on a mini-vacation!

Check out all our Farmers’ Market recipes here!

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Greek Roasted-Vegetable Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 eggplant (about a pound)
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 2 medium red potatoes
  • 1 large, sweet onion (Vidalia, Spanish, or red)
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • Fresh oregano to taste
  • 4 thick slices of a dense, crusty bread

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and cut eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, and onion into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Slice pepper into 1/2-inch strips. Halve the tomatoes. Lightly brush olive oil on cookie sheet and arrange vegetables in one layer. Sprinkle oregano on vegetables. Bake 10 minutes. Turn vegetables and bake 10 minutes more. Potatoes and pepper slices may need more time. Let cool slightly for easier handling.

Create four open-faced sandwiches by layering vegetables with a little feta cheese. Return to warm oven to melt cheese and toast bread, about five minutes.

Serves 4

Each serving contains about 430 calories, 71 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 10 g fat, 775 mg sodium, and 13 g fiber.

 

How to Rock your Veggie Kabobs

Memorial Day officially kicked off the summer season of grilling and backyard BBQs. Sometimes our favorite BBQ party dishes are quite starchy with fan favorites like potato salad, pasta salad, baked beans, chips and the like. This is a flavor-packed, healthy and low-carb dish that will excite everyone’s taste buds! These are some of my favorite veggies I love to grill; however, you can certainly amend the recipe with your favorite vegetables.

Garlic Herb Marinated Veggie Kabobs
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• 1 sweet onion, cut into 2 inch cubes
• 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch cubes
• 1 orange bell pepper, cut into 2 inch cubes
• 3 8-oz packages of whole mushrooms
• 3 zucchini, sliced 1 inch thick
• Wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 15 minutes

For the Marinade:

• ½ cup olive oil
• ½ cup lemon or lime juice
• ¼ cup water
• ¼ cup Dijon mustard
• 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
• 8 tbsp minced garlic
• 2 tbsp, chopped fresh basil
• ½ tsp salt and pepper,each

Cut all vegetables and place in large bowl. Try to make sure vegetables are all cut with similar widths so that cook evenly together.

Veggie-lious!

vegetables_MP910221091We all know vegetables are part of a healthy diet. In fact, many of my patients admit that they need to eat more vegetables. But for some reason, the majority of Americans are still not meeting their recommended daily consumption of vegetables.

  • In the United States, it is recommended that adults should consume a minimum of 2-3 cups of vegetables each day.
  • Active adults should be consuming more than this.

I always tell my patients that non-starchy vegetables are like Mother Nature’s weight control pill. They’re low in carbs, low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s a win-win-win situation. The fiber in vegetables often requires more chewing.This can help slow down your eating pace so your brain can register earlier when you are actually full. Fiber itself can also lead to higher satiety levels meaning you generally will stay full longer after consuming a fiber-rich meal. Vegetables also have a high water content. This is one of the main reasons why they are so low in calories.

  • One cup of cooked zucchini slices is a mere 30 calories!
  • One cup of cooked spaghetti noodles is over 200 calories.

They also increase the flavor of a dish whether you’re adding some sweetness from red bell peppers or a savory touch from mushrooms and garlic. Filling, delicious and low in calories-what more could you ask for?!?!

Fresh vegetables fallingTomatoes, potatoes and sweet corn are the top three vegetables consumed in the US.1 Unfortunately, white potatoes and corn are known as the starchy vegetables; they contain a higher amount of carbohydrates and calories and both have a high glycemic index. This makes them less-healthy vegetable choices, especially if one is diabetic. Another interesting fact is the form of these vegetables that are most commonly consumed. Canned tomatoes make up the largest portion of tomato consumption while frozen potatoes and corn are the forms that Americans most commonly devour. My guess is this is related to a high consumption of tomato sauce, pizza and French fries.

A recent European study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that consuming 7 or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day reduces one’s risk of all-cause death (cancer, heart disease) at any point in time by 42%.2 Additionally, researchers found that fresh vegetables had the strongest positive effect with reducing overall risk of death. Fresh fruit also showed a positive effect; however it was much less than the risk reduction rate of fresh vegetables. Even though we really didn’t need a study to tell us that fruits and vegetables are healthy, this does support the concept that consuming more vegetables and fruits can help you live a longer, healthier life!

Make vegetables the priority of the meal-not the after-thought! Find out what counts as a serving size.

Also try to limit consumption of peas, corn and potatoes and focus more on dark green or bright red/orange vegetable varieties.

 

 

1.http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/chart-gallery/detail.aspx?chartId=40452

2. http://jech.bmj.com/content/early/2014/03/03/jech-2013-203500

Dietitian and Husband Approved!

img_3802If you’re like me and need a go-to recipe that’s quick, easy and doesn’t take many ingredients —then this one is for you! This recipe takes a healthy spin on a classic dish.It’s gluten-free and packed with tons of vegetable servings and lean protein.It’s perfect to make on Sunday afternoons and use as lunches for throughout the week  or enjoy it with a large group of people.

Baked Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1-2 lbs of lean ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, diced
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (I used an organic garlic and herb tomato sauce)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp dried basil

1. Pre-heat oven to 425oF.Cut off one of the ends of the spaghetti squash. Lay the cut end down on cutting board and cut squash in half. Scoop out seeds and lay flat sides down on baking dish. Cook for 30-40 minutes until tender and squash threads easily with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes until onions become translucent. Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink and internal temperature of 165oF is reached. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drain excess liquid and set aside.

3. Once spaghetti squash is done, use a fork to scoop out the threads into a large casserole serving dish. Add turkey and onions, mushrooms, sauce and basil and mix evenly. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs together and then mix into spaghetti squash mixture. Stir until eggs are no longer visible.

4. Reduce oven to 350oF and cook mixture for 60-75 minutes or until top layer has slightly hardened over. Serve warm and enjoy!