Tuesday Challenge – Add beans to your diet!

Tuesday Challenge – Add beans to your diet!

This week we have a fun and easy nutrition challenge. I challenge you to enjoy beans at least once this week! Why? There are so many good reasons to add beans to your diet: Beans are inexpensive and filling Beans are FULL of fiber (which most of us don’t get enough of!) Beans are low-fat and low-calorie Excellent source of plant-based protein Great source of calcium How? Perhaps you’ve had issues digesting beans in the past (who isn’t singing that nursery rhyme right now “beans, beans the magical fruit” . . .), but most of the time this is because they have been undercooked or improperly prepared.  If you want to reduce the gas issues from beans, soak them overnight, cook them at a lower temperature for longer and add spices or kombu (a sea vegetable) while cooking. Play around with different types of beans too – some may work well for you and others do not. Finally, don’t suddenly start eating beans two or three times a day – you will probably suffer.  Slowly introduce them into your diet until you can comfortably enjoy them three or four times a week. When I prepare beans, I simply soak them overnight in 6 to 8 cups of warm water, then drain them, and cook on low heat for 2 to 3 hours until soft. A few great bean recipes (you can soak your own or use canned for any of these):  Favorite fall soup, Burritos for the freezer,or Black Bean Chicken Soup. Need help fixing dinner each night?  Want to learn how I can plan ahead and have beans ready...
Black Bean Chicken Soup

Black Bean Chicken Soup

Getting ready to go on a trip?  Or just need to make a trip to the grocery? This is one of my favorite meals when I’m running low on food.  What is so great about it is that the recipe below is just a guideline.  You can throw just about any leftover veggies into this soup and it will be delicious!  Leftover soup is great the next day for lunch, or you can put it in a glass jar and freeze it for when you return (or even take it with you in a cooler!).  Since I always have chicken stock, shredded chicken and corn from the summer in the freezer, it’s a snap to put together! Chicken Black Bean Soup 3 – 4 cups chicken stock 1 cup shredded chicken 1/2 to 1 full can black beans 1 cup frozen corn 1 can tomatoes (diced) or 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen tomatoes 1 T. cumin 1 t. smoked paprika 1/2 t. sea salt 1/2 t. garlic salt Optional:  diced potatoes, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, any other veggie in your fridge that you need to use up.  Even add rice if you want it to be more filling! Toppings (all optional):  sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, diced red onions, diced jalapenos, crumbled corn chips Dump all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer 20 – 30 minutes until veggies are tender.  Enjoy! Need help preparing dinner each night?  Never know what you are going to make until half an hour before you need to eat?  Stop the madness and pick up a copy of...
Super Simple Super Yummy Baked Potato Soup

Super Simple Super Yummy Baked Potato Soup

Here is my recipe for Super Simple Super Yummy Baked Potato Soup – or “Comfort in a Bowl!” Ingredients: 3 large potatoes 2 leeks, chopped 1 T. butter 3 cups Chicken Broth sea salt freshly cracked pepper green onions, diced hot sauce to taste   Step one:  Bake potatoes for 1 hour at 425.  Just pierce them a few times and put them directly on the rack.   This is a great step to do the night before you want soup – maybe while you are preparing and cleaning up dinner – you are in the kitchen anyway! Step two:  Saute leeks in butter – maybe 10 minutes or so, just until soft.  While they are cooking, peel and roughly chop the potatoes – don’t worry if some of the skin remains. Step three:  Add potatoes and stock to leeks and cook for 15 – 20 minutes on medium high. Step four:  Puree the soup – I use my immersion blender but a regular blender would work, just be careful not to burn yourself! Step five:  Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce and garnish with green onions. Step six:  Enjoy!  Like most soups, this is even better the next day. Interested in healthy tips that will also save you money?  Want to learn how to make dinner planning a breeze?  Get a copy of my menu planning e-course and in less than an hour you’ll be a menu planning pro!  Check it out HERE. Shared on Tasty Traditions  Real Food...
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

As promised earlier in the week, here is my recipe for an AMAZING Butternut Squash Soup.  It’s very loosely based on a combination of one from The Barefoot Contessa and one from Mark Bittman.   Don’t let the directions fool you – it is super easy (aside from cutting up that squash – why is that so difficult???), and makes a nice quantity, so make it once and enjoy it for several days. Butternut Squash and Apple Soup Serves 3-4 1 T Butter 1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1 T curry powder 1/2 t. cumin 1 butternut squash, chopped 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped 2 c. chicken broth sea salt freshly ground pepper Optional:  chopped chives or green onions, heavy cream, coconut milk, roasted pumpkin seeds Step one:  Roast your butternut squash.  Need instructions?  Here they are:  Roasted Butternut Squash  Don’t bother with the sugar – you don’t need it here (and olive oil works just as well as coconut oil). Step two:  While your squash is roasting, heat the butter and olive oil in a stock pan, then add the onion, cumin and curry.  Saute at a medium heat (stirring frequently) until onions are soft. Step three:  Once your squash in the oven is pretty soft (doesn’t have to be perfectly done – it’s okay if it’s still a bit hard), put it into the pan with the onions.  Add the broth and apples and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover and cook on low for about thirty minutes until the squash and apples are soft.  This is truly hands...
Easiest EVER Chicken Stock – for FREE!

Easiest EVER Chicken Stock – for FREE!

If you read my post about roasting a chicken last week, hopefully you remembered to save those bones!  Here is the easiest ever method for making delicious, healthy chicken stock: Step one:  Put the chicken bones in a crock pot, along with scraps of celery, carrots and onion.  I typically just throw the scraps in a bag and keep it in the fridge or freezer until I’m ready to make stock. Step two:  Add water to cover, sprinkle in a little salt and pepper and maybe a bay leaf or two,  turn crock pot to low and cook overnight. Step three:  In the morning, cool slightly, then strain over a pan.  Pour stock into mason jars and stick in the freezer until you are ready to use. Every time I roast a chicken, I make a batch of stock – I haven’t bought cans or cartons of stock for years as I always have plenty in my freezer.  It’s perfect to have on hand for soup, sauces and stews.  If you often use small portions (a T or so in your sauces) make sure and freeze smaller portions along with the jars (an ice cube tray works well). What is so great about this is that it’s easy (the crock pot does all the work), and it’s essentially free – you are using the leftover bones and veggie scraps that would have been thrown away! Need support with dinner?  Check out my menu planning e-course – it’s a fun, online course that will give you the tools to create your OWN weekly menu plans – save time, money and...

Pin It on Pinterest