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Minestrone soup to help you eat your veggies!

I know I say it all the time but seriously….here it is again…..

There really is NO PART of your health that WON”T improve if you eat more veggies.

Like, seriously….it’s that big a deal!

  • helps maintain healthy weight (and lose!)
  • better digestion
  • helps maintain healthy blood pressure
  • the rainbow of colors provide a variety of vitamins
  • fiber helps reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease
  • helps protect against cancers (!!)

A lot of what I do is help people figure out how to eat <more> plant based diet.

You have to figure out how to fit in those vegetables.

Your life depends on it 🙂

BUT your kids….

OH THE KIDS

I feel like this is a constant battle most mama’s are struggling with and I GET IT!!

REALLY, I do.

Trying to get those littles to eat healthy is no easy feat and do not despair if you struggle with this all the time.

There are lots of things you can do to help make this a more “normal” part of their diet. Really!!

A big part of it is about experimentation and making sure you offer them a variety of vegetables….frequently.

No….they may not always eat them, but OFFERING them is the first step (and I’m not above bribery!)

“You can have mac and cheese AFTER you eat your broccoli”

“I’ll make you some pasta but you HAVE to have some peas in it”

I know, it’s hard. This email to you is one of encouragement….YOU CAN DO IT and even if it doesn’t seem like it’s working….IT IS.

Just keep going, keep offering, keep trying….this is critical to their long term health and will help them from struggling long term.

SO, on that note….I wanted to share this easy Minestrone Soup Recipe (see below) that the whole family would love. It is full of veggies and I serve it with a side of crusty bread for dipping. If you’re convinced you need the animal protein you can easily add some chicken breasts or ground turkey to this soup and it would be delicious.

You know, this “being healthy” thing? It doesn’t have to be heard.

You can do it, I believe in you. 😘

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Healthy Easy Minestrone Soup

Ingredients:
1 large can diced tomatoes
4 cups veggie stock
1 can kidney beans (or bean of preference), drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
2 cups green beans, chopped
5 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil
2 cups pasta

Directions:
Add onions and celery to a stock pot with a bit of EVOO, sauté a bit until the onions begin to soften and the flavors begin to break down a bit and caramelize.  I like to add the garlic as they soften.

Add the rest of the ingredients and cook till vegetables are tender and pasta is cooked through.

CROCK POT: You could add all ingredients to the crock pot and cook for 2-3 hours. 

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Angela’s Easy Vegetable Soup – Meatless Monday

This soup is a classic, simple, low calorie soup for those chilly fall & winter days.  This is also an easy “Meatless Monday” recipe that can be easily adapted to have some stew beef or chicken if you want to add some lean protein to it. You can make this as easy or as complex as you want.  For simplicity, use frozen veggies and bagged baby carrots….if you want to chop everything you can do that as well.

Weight Loss Tip: When I did WW many many years ago there was a soup like this called a “zero point” vegetable soup and you were allowed as much of it as you wanted.  It was (and is) filling and low calorie.  Having a cup of this before dinner or with lunch or dinner is a great way to fill your stomach with a healthy, high fiber and low calorie/fat food.  Remember “crowding out”? Eating so much good stuff that you automatically “crowd out” the bad.  By eating as much of this as you want, and maybe half a grilled cheese? Weight loss success.

Angela’s Easy Vegetable Soup

Ingredients
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large or 2 small yellow onions, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cups carrots (can use frozen, baby, or regular cut into pieces)
2 cups (or more) peeled and diced potatoes
2 cups frozen green vegetables (peas, green beans, or a combination of both)
8 cups vegetable broth (can use beef or chicken broth if desired)
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cups diced cabbage and/or zucchini
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

*2 cups diced chicken or 1lb of stew meat if desired

Sauté onions in olive oil until softened, add garlic and simmer a bit more.  Add all ingredients to large soup pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover, cook until all vegetables are cooked through and soft – 35-45 minutes.

I also like to do this in a slow cooker.  If cooking for several hours you do not have to sauté onions and garlic.  Just add all ingredients to the crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours (or high 4-5 hours).

*Another thing to note – ALL of this is optional and you can swap veggies for whatever your family likes.  A few ideas that I mix and match depending on what I have available: canned beans like pinto, cannelloni, or navy and you can also add mushrooms, zucchini or kale…the possibilities are endless.  As you can see there are also several different ways to cook this and you’ll figure out what works best for you.  If you add more veggies and feel like it’s not “soupy” enough, add more veggie stock.  This is also easily cut in half for a smaller batch but I find I have trouble making a “small pot of soup” lol.  All my soups end up being a huge amount but I eat on it throughout the week.

I serve this with a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner and eat on this soup throughout the week for lunch.

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