Showing: 1 - 7 of 7 Articles

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. 😘

signature-only-blk.png

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. 

[activecampaign form=1]

One meal….two meal…..three?


Happy Monday friends – I had a successful dinner creation with my leftover foods tonight so I thought I’d share.   Tonight I did a Meatless Monday dish – as most of you know I eat plant-based 100% of the time and I try to do meatless 2-3x each week for my family.  That being said I feel like many meat eaters are scared to try and go meatless once in a while….they’re afraid they’ll be hungry perhaps? Miss the meat maybe? My big secret ingredient to a successful Meatless Monday that everyone likes??

CARBS.

It’s true.  My husband would be starving if I didn’t have plenty of carbs with dinner.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re GOOD carbs. But I do find people have a hard time sticking with a plant based diet if they’re only allowing themselves salads and veggies….your body does need more.  If it’s not getting its energy from animal proteins you need to include plenty of healthy carbohydrates IN ADDITION TO your plate full of veggies.  This dinner I made tonight had whole wheat tortillas and brown rice – plenty to help the hubs feel full and satisfied even without meat.

People ask me all the time if I cook a full meal every night….and the answer is….sort of….?

The thing is…I cook pieces every night, but I’ve learned how to stretch parts of it out over several nights to save me some work.  For example – I may broil or grill some chicken breasts for one night, and then use them the next night in a chicken pot pie and then use them again to make chicken fajitas.

I do the same thing with a pot roast.  Cook a roast and veggies in a slow cooker and eat it as is the first night.  Then I use it the beef and shred it for barbecue one night and another night I may throw together a beef stew (if it lasts that long).

Other times I do this with the vegetables – say I make a lot of red potatoes with the roast….we have lots of those left over but the roast is all gone? So I’ll use the potatoes with some chicken or pork chops a different night – or warm up, add some veggie broth or milk, and make mashed potatoes to go with something else…make sense?

Tonight’s dinner was the perfect example of this.  I made Mexican type foods this past weekend….I had made some black beans in my Instant Pot (SO yummy but you could totally use canned black beans).  We had eaten the black beans with some “fajita” type grilled veggies (onions, bell pepper, mush & zuch), some vegetarian tamales from TJs and some delicious red wine sangria :).  So, I had leftover beans and veggies that I needed to do something with.  An easy dinner would have been to grill up some taco meat, shred some lettuce and make tacos for dinner (just to give you an idea) but I decided to make some Vegetarian Enchiladas for a Meatless Monday dinner.  They were a hit so I thought I’d share.  I try to stay away from store bought sauces….honestly they’re full of JUNK and usually pretty simple to make.

First up – I made the enchilada sauce:

SUPER SIMPLE ENCHILADA SAUCE

  • 2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (can use gf or spelt)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 sm can of tomato paste (8 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

In a medium saucepan melt the butter or heat up the olive oil.  Add the flour and allow to thicken a moment.  Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder and cayenne pepper.  Add tomato paste and veggie broth – I used a whisk to get all all clumps and continued to whisk until smooth.  Cook until it thickens up and season with salt to taste…you can also add more “kick” by adding more cayenne or whatever spices you like (this one, made as is, is very mild and even my kids enjoyed).

For my Enchiladas you will need:

  • 6-8 whole wheat flour tortillas
  • black beans (one can?)
  • grilled veggies, raw spinach, whatever fillings you would like
  • shredded cheese.

Cover the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish with a little bit of the enchilada sauce.  Then add fillings to each tortilla – I add raw spinach to these….the taste is really not anything you notice and why not take the chance to get more green veggies in, right?

THIS is where it gets fun and you can totally customize.  I did half of ours with only black beans/spinach/cheese (as I have one picky child who is NOT happy about seeing bell peppers and mushrooms lol).  If you really wanted meat you could add some ground beef/turkey/chicken to yours….or even just in half.  On these I did cheese on half and on a couple I skipped the cheese and added more of the grilled veggies.  Again, just edit for your family right?

As I fill the tortillas I fold them over and place, seam side down, in the 13×9 dish and cover with the rest of the enchilada sauce

I baked this dish for about 30 minutes on 350 degrees – until the cheese was nice and bubbly.  I served it with a side of brown rice, some shredded lettuce and some sliced avocado – obviously it was a big #success as this is all that was left.

 

[activecampaign form=1]

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.

easy-vegetable-soup

Chinese Noodles in Ginger Garlic Sauce

This quick and flavorful dish can be made quicker still by using frozen veggies in place of the fresh. Chow mein or lo mein Asian noodles are good here, but it’s great with any other noodles, even spaghetti.  This recipe is from the Forks Over Knives Family cookbook. Lots of great family friendly meatless meals in there!

CHINESE NOODLES IN GINGER GARLIC SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounces dry lo mein or chow mein noodles, or any other type of long whole-grain noodles
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 9 small garlic cloves minced (about 1½ tablespoons)
  • 7 to 8 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced diagonally into 1-inch-long strips (about 2 cups)
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1½ cups broccoli florets in ½-inch pieces (about 5 ounces)
  • 2 baby bok choy, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons cashews, toasted and chopped (optional)

Instructions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water if necessary, and drain again.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the arrowroot powder (cornstarch), soy sauce, vinegar, and 1½ cups water until smooth. Set the slurry aside.

3. In a large sauté pan, place the ginger, garlic, scallions, mushrooms, carrots, and ¼ cup water. Cover and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are halfway cooked, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the broccoli and bok choy to the vegetables. Stir the reserved slurry and add it to the pan. Cover and cook until all the vegetables are crisp-tender and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

5. Add the noodles to the vegetables; toss until well combined. Heat over medium-low if necessary to warm all the ingredients and add a little water to loosen the sauce, if necessary. Garnish with cilantro and cashews (if using) and serve hot.

Great video on their website that walks you through this recipe as well. http://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/chinese-noodles-ginger-garlic-sauce/

Meatless Monday – Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Bake

This BLACK BEAN & QUINOA BAKE is SO yummy….what a perfect comfort food dish to help you begin incorporating a “Meatless Monday” into your life (why not?) 🙂

Your family won’t complain about this one, it’s a hit with everyone!  There are veggies and tons of PLANT POWERED protein from the black beans and quinoa – and cheese! (Add some ground turkey if you feel you need more).

black-bean-and-quinoa-enchilada-bake-7

BLACK BEAN & QUINOA ENCHILADA BAKE
Recipe & photo credit: twopeasandtheirpods.com

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed,diced
1 red pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 orange pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 cup corn frozen kernels
Juice of 1 small lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
Toppings: Sliced green onions, avocado slices, sour cream, optional

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover quinoa and set aside.

3. In a large skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the peppers and corn. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

4. In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Pour in the enchilada sauce and stir. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

5.Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil. Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with toppings, if desired. Serve warm.

Note-this recipe freezes well! If you need the recipe to be gluten-free make sure you use a gluten-free enchilada sauce.

This is another one of those super versatile dishes. If you’re worried about not having protein add a little ground turkey or beef. Add extra veggies if you want, put over a bed of lettuce to make a salad? Again, tons of options. THIS is how you make healthy FAMILY FRIENDLY dinners.