Sandy's Kitchen: Soups

Showing posts with label Soups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soups. Show all posts
I had been feeling slightly under the weather this past week. Getting over a cold is no fun! No fun at all! Who has time for a cold? I know I don't. They are just horrible inconveniences that I NEED to get rid of quickly!

Luckily, no one else in my family has caught this yucky cold. I absolutely hate seeing my 4 year old and 3 month old boys get sick. It just breaks my heart. As for my husband? Well... if he gets sick, he can fend for himself. Just kidding! He definitely can act like a big kid when he gets sick, but I guess he would say the same about me. We all like to be pampered, spoiled and taken care of when we aren't feeling so well.  Thankfully, my family hasn't gotten sick too often (knock on wood!).

So what is the best thing to help a cold? Mama always said chicken noodle soup and I agree! It helps clear nasal congestion and has a mild anti-inflammatory effect that can ease some cold symptoms. It also provides hydration from the broth. I love chicken noodle soup even when I am not sick. It is just one of those soups that will always remain a classic.

"Noodles" made from zucchini and/or yellow squash, aka zoodles are a wonderful low-carb alternatives to pasta and they taste wonderful in soup! They are also a good sources of potassium, manganese, vitamin A and C.

The easiest way to make noodles from zucchini or yellow squash is by using a spiralizer. This is the spiralizer I have. It is the Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade, but I think they have a 5 blade one for almost the same price which is under $30! If you don't have one already, I highly recommend them! Making "noodles" is so much easier with this gadget and I use mine often. Click HERE, if you are interested in purchasing one. 

Once you have your "noodles" set aside, dice up your cooked chicken breasts. I like to use a whole rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to save time, plus if you are sick like me, you just do not feel like cooking!

When making the soup, add the chicken and spices to the chicken broth. Then bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add your squash "noodles". Simmer for about 5 more minutes or until the squash is soft or to desired tenderness. That's it! Quick and easy chicken "noodle" soup! Keep it simple with just a few ingredients. Enjoy this soup! Hopefully, not when you are fighting a cold like me!

Chicken Zoodle Soup

1 1/4 cups or 162.5 g spiralized zucchini or yellow squash (2 1/2 Greens)
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 cup celery or 25 g, chopped (1/2 Green)
6 oz rotisserie chicken breast, skin removed,cut into 1 inch pieces (1 Leaner)
2 cups chicken broth (2 Condiments)
1/2 tsp dried basil (1/4 Condiment)
1/4 tsp dried oregano (1/4 Condiment)
1/8 tsp black pepper (1/4 Condiment)

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and celery and saute until tender. Add chicken broth, basil, oregano, black pepper and chicken. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add squash and simmer for 5 more minutes or until squash is soft or to desired tenderness.

Makes 1 Serving
Each serving provides 
1 Lean, 3 Greens, 3 Condiments, and 1 Healthy Fat

Nothing is better on a very cold day than a hot, comforting, homemade bowl of soup or stew! It isn't quite cold here in Vegas yet, but trust me... it does get cold here! Maybe not as cold as the Northern states, but coming from a girl who has only lived in the South most of her life (well... except for the few years I lived in Colorado), it gets pretty darn cold in my opinion. Now... you don't have to have soup only on cold days, but it sure does help keep your body warm and toasty all the way down to your toesies!

One of my favorite soups is a rich, hearty beef stew that is full of flavor. I love making my beef stew with lots of white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Those ingredients have a lot of carbs in large quantities so I decided to try kabocha squash instead of the starchier white and sweet potatoes.

Kabocha squash is a winter squash, also commonly known as Japanese pumpkin. It has a deep, rich, sweet flavor with a fluffy chestnut texture . It is a cross between a pumpkin and sweet potato but it can also be compared to an acorn or butternut squash.

I will not lie. Cutting into one of these suckers is not easy. It has hard thick skin that can be difficult to cut. I actually dread cutting these up because yes... I would like to keep my fingers. All 10 of them!

Cut the kabocha squash in half with a large sharp knife. I stick the knife in the middle of the squash and work my way around until I have two parts.

Once I have them cut in half, I scoop out the goop and seeds.

I cut each half into 4 or 5 wedges. It really depends on how big your squash is and how big you want the wedges. Then laying each piece flat, I cut the skin off with a knife.

Cut the peeled wedges into chunks.

Add the beef stew meat and kabocha squash to a slow cooker. Then add tomato sauce.

Add your beef broth to the mixture. I chose to use 3 cups of broth and it was plenty of liquid for me. Some like more liquid in their stews. If that is the case, add 4 cups instead of 3 cups of beef broth.

Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper if desired. As you can tell, the marinara sauce and Italian seasoning will give this stew an Italian spin. 

Another great spice to use in place of  the Italian seasoning is Stacey Hawkins Viva Italiano Blend. It tastes delicious in tomato based soups such as this one! You can purchase this spice on Stacey's website, I need to order more because I am all out! 

Give it a good stir!

Cook 7 hours on Low or 4 to 5 hours on High. That's it!

When you serve this beef stew to your family, they will think you slaved all day in the kitchen! That is why I love slow cooker recipes! You can have delicious meals without spending all day cooking! Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Beef and Kabocha Stew

28 oz raw Beef Stew Meat (4 Leans)
4 cups Kabocha Squash (8 Greens)
3 cups low sodium Beef Broth (3 Condiments)
2 cups Great Value Italian diced tomatoes, blended (4 Greens)
1 tsp Garlic Powder (2 Condiments)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning (2 Condiments)
Salt and Pepper to taste, but don't forget to count them as Condiments!

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.
Cook on Low for 7 hours or High for 4 to 5 hours.

4 Servings with 1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 1.75 Condiments per Serving

I know with Winter just a skip hop around the corner and a lot of you guys will be craving soup! I know I will! Nothing beats a good bowl of soup to warm your insides when it is freezing cold outside! Okay... I know Vegas doesn't get that cold, but being a Floridian most of my life, I sure do get cold easily!

I have fallen in love with kabocha squassh! It's currently my favorite type of squash. I am sorry spaghetti squash. You were my favorite, but I have moved on to something sweeter! Don't worry... our relationship will truly never end because I need you as my pasta!

Roasted is my favorite way to eat kabocha squash. Lately, I have been roasting ahead of time and then freezing it for later uses. Make sure the squash is cooled completely before freezing. Also, I like to measure out 1 1/2 cup portions (3 Greens) and stick them in freezer Ziploc bags. That way it's easy to pull out what I need . When I need the squash, I defrost it in the fridge overnight. For instructions on how to roast kabocha, check out my recipe for Baked Kabocha.

When you have your kabocha squash prepared, the soup is a cinch to make! Just combine the ingredients, simmer for about 10 minutes and blend. It doesn't get any easier than that! This would definitely be a great weeknight lunch or dinner. Just serve with your favorite Lean. You could also prepare the soup and then freeze it in freezable containers.

Feel free to adjust the spices to your taste! There are so many types of variations. I chose to do a basic soup with onion powder, garlic powder and parsley. Gosh, I am boring! The natural sweetness of the squash blended with savory spices makes this soup delicious! You could also try garlic powder, curry powder and garam masala for more of an Indian flavor. Or how about ground ginger, ground cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg to enhance the sweetness of the squash. Maybe even some cardamom or roasted sage? The possibilities are endless if you have a great soup base.

Kabocha squash is an excellent substitute for butternut or pumpkin squash with lower carbs and calories than the other two. It's perfect for a chilly day! Give it a try! Enjoy this yummy soup!

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup

3 cups roasted kabocha squash (6 Greens)
2 cups chicken broth (2 Condiments)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cashew milk (1 1/2 Condiments)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp onion powder (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 tsp dried parsley (1/6 Condiment)
1/8 tsp black pepper (1/4 Condiment)

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium high heat.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
This simmering will get the flavors blended. Let cool slightly.

Add mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.
Evenly distribute the mixture into two bowls.

2 servings with 3 Greens and 3 Condiments per serving

Serve this soup with your favorite Lean! I love to eat this with two Trader Joes garlic and herb chicken sausages or two Al Fresco Andouille Chicken Sausages. No healthy fats needed! I slice up the links and heat them in a skillet until they are nice and brown. Then I throw them into the soup. Another option I like is shrimp because shrimp absorbs the flavor of everything! If you choose shrimp, don't forget to add two healthy fats!

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 I have been missing, but I finally found my way back. It has been a very long time since I last blogged. With moving to a new city (Las Vegas Baby!), getting situated in our new home, and getting my son's doctors appointments squared away, blogging just seemed to be placed on the back burner. (Not to mention, I fell off plan and ate everything under the desert sun! I think Vegas is the BUFFET capital of the world! Everywhere I go there is a buffet calling out my name. Geesh! Don't come to Vegas when you are dieting or at least if you are dieting and unprepared!) Now that I am all binged out, I really feel good this time around. Today is my third day back on plan and for the first time in a very long time I feel I can honestly get it done! I think it may be my twentieth time re-starting... okay... okay.... maybe more like the hundredth time, but who's counting? What is important is what I do today. I can't change the past so now I must move on. Forget that I had almost a dozen donuts one day last week, or the large pizza at one sitting and other unhealthy foods I won't mention. I think we can all relate to how difficult it is to lose weight. If it were easy, everyone would be skinny, right? I am not even quite sure why I love to eat so much. The comforting and happy feeling of eating that piece of cake or maybe two or possibly three pieces doesn't even last long because by the time I finish eating, I feel disappointed, disgusted, and even upset at myself. Well, change is coming... and I like it :) I will keep you posted on how my weight loss goes.

As for the recipe. I really enjoyed this one. I was looking for a tomato based soup that would remind me of spaghetti and meatballs and this did the trick. I think what I liked most about this recipe is that it uses only a few ingredients so it is great weekday meal for us busy people. My husband is hard to please and he really liked this recipe too. Not bad, considering he isn't on a weight loss plan. I would only have this occasionally because of the sodium content. Between the canned, diced tomatoes, beef broth and meatballs, you better drink lots of water! Enjoy the recipe!

Mama Mia Meatball Soup

5 Trader Joe Flame Broiled Turkey Meatballs or 10 Butterball Italian Style Turkey Meatballs or 5 Jennie-O Homestyle Meatballs (1 Lean)
1 cup Great Value Italian diced tomatoes, less than 5 g of carbs per 1/2 cup (2 Greens)
1/2 cup zucchini, chopped (1 Green)
1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth (1 1/2 Condiments)

1/8 tsp black pepper (1/4 Condiment)
1/2 tsp Dried Basil Leaves (1/4 Condiment)

Heat meatballs in microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. I did this so I could cut the meatballs in 4 pieces. You could place them in the saucepan whole, if desired.

Puree diced tomatoes in a small chopper, blender or magic bullet until desired consistency. I did it for about 5 seconds so that it resembled more of a sauce than chunks of tomatoes.

Combine meatballs, zucchini, tomatoes, beef broth and basil in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Let simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

 1 Lean, 3 Greens and 2 Condiments

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It is starting to get cooler here in Colorado and nothing is as nice as a big bowl of soup on those chilly days. This recipe meets all the requirements of your lean and green. Plus it is delicious! This makes a very generous serving! Enjoy!

Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup

3 cups broccoli, chopped (6 Greens)
1/8 tsp salt (1/2 Condiment)
1/8 tsp pepper (1/4 Condiment)
1/8 tsp garlic powder (1/4 Condiment)
2 cups chicken broth (2 Condiments)
4 light laughing cow cheese wedges (2 Healthy Fats)
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese (1/2 Lean)

In a medium sized pot, add chicken broth, broccoli, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Bring to a gentle boil and then reduce heat. Simmer 12 to 15 min or until broccoli is tender. Add laughing cow cheese stirring until melted.

Use an immersion blender (or a blender in small batches) to puree the soup mixture. Pour into 2 bowls and stir in 1/4 cup cheese per bowl.

Makes 2 Servings
Each serving provides
1/4 Lean, 3 Greens, 1.5 Condiments, and 1 Healthy Fat per Serving

Serve with 3/4 Leaner or Leanest Protein

This Lean and Green Conversion Chart is helpful when splitting up your Lean and Green!

Lean and Green Conversion Chart

 I just kind of threw this dish together at the last minute. The beef, cheese, and bacon remind me of a bacon cheeseburger so I added in some beef broth and a laughing cow cheese wedge to make it a tad bit creamier. Thrown Together Bacon Cheeseburger Soup! No need to add any additional spices. The beef broth adds enough sodium and the laughing cow cheese adds additional flavor. Sooo good, especially on those cold days coming up soon! I just love those chunks of diced tomatoes! Enjoy!

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

2.5 oz 93% lean ground beef, cooked (1/2 Lean)
1 oz 2% reduced fat Mexican Cheese 
2 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled (1/2 Lean with the cheese)
1 cup low sodium beef broth (1 Condiment)
1 wedge Light Garlic and Herb Laughing Cow Cheese (1 Condiment)
1/2 cup Italian diced tomatoes in juice (1 Green)

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over medium high heat until cheese has melted.

1 Serving with
1 Lean, 1 Green (Need 2 more Greens), and 2 Condiments

I love potato soup with all the fixings, but it is higher in carbs and calories. Instead, swap out the potatoes with cauliflower instead! I promise it will satisfy all your potato soup cravings! Cauliflower makes a creamy delicious soup and you can still add bits of bacon, cheese and chives! This makes one very generous serving, but don't fret! This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc. This is one of those recipes that will be made time and time again, especially on those really cold days when you are craving something warm! Enjoy this delicious tasting soup!

Loaded Cauliflower Soup

1 1/2 cups cauliflower, fresh (3 Greens)
1 cup chicken broth (1 Condiment)
1 wedge light laughing cow cheese (1 Healthy Fat)
1/8 tsp salt (1/2 Condiment)
1/8 tsp black pepper (1/4 Condiment)
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped (1/4 Condiment)
1/4 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese (1/4 Lean)
1 tbsp of Turkey Bacon bits (1 Condiment)

Add the cauliflower and broth to a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower is very soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add light laughing cow cheese, salt and pepper and blend until combined. Pour into a large bowl and add cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and chives. Keep warm until ready to serve.

1 Serving with
1/4 Lean, 3 Greens, 3 Condiments and 1 Healthy Fat per serving

Serve with a Leaner option such as 4.5 oz chicken or Leanest option such as 5.25 oz  shrimp plus 1 more Healthy Fat

I am back from my little vacation with the hubs! A much needed vacation indeed so that hubby and I could spend some quality time that was missed while he was deployed. Well, little vacation is an understatement! It was actually a month long vacation mixed with lots of fun and excitement in Sin City baby! With that fun and excitement came a bit of weight gain because I had decided earlier on that I would re-start Medifast when I got home. So I placed no limits on what I ate while I was there. I was first in line at those all you can eat buffets that Vegas is known for! I know... I know... not very smart considering I gained 14 lbs, but I must say that all 14 lbs was not gained during that one month of vacation time. It took two months! Not that it makes it any better lol. During the last two months, I have relocated from Florida to Colorado, which was a hassle in it's own because I did not have my household goods for 3 weeks! We were basically sleeping on a sleeping bag and eating off paper plates, with no cooking supplies or utensils and I can't forget no microwave! I did manage to bring a television with me and my computer, but mind you we did not have cable or the Internet yet. Yeah, we were roughing it for those three weeks. Also,with hubby coming home after such a long deployment, I really did not want to spend my time cooking in the kitchen so we went out to eat a lot. Time is so precious and as much as I love cooking in the kitchen, I love spending time with my hubby more :) He is definitely no Chef Boyardee and doesn't like the kitchen at all so cooking together is not an option. Not to mention if I want the kitchen in one piece, I better handle all the cooking myself. Now grilling... is another story! Hey, that is fine by me because on those hot summer days, I would rather be cooking in the air conditioned kitchen than outside with the hot grill! So go on right ahead and grill away!  Now that I am back, I have been on plan for the past two days and I am ready to complete my weight loss goals. I have been on this up and down roller coaster ride concerning my weight loss for the past year and I am not much for roller coasters either so I am ready to get off! Time for me to get focused and the best way for me to do that is to look for a variety of yummy recipes so I don't get bored. Eating the food is half the fun but making it is enjoyable too! Well, if the recipe isn't a total flop which I have had my share of flips and flops (and not the shoes either)!

Before I left to Vegas, I already knew I wanted to try Asian style food when I got back. Egg drop soup was first on my list. I have never made this type of soup before nor even tried it. I saw it on Chinese restaurant menus, but seeing bits of congealed egg floating around in broth just did not appeal to me but I decided to give it a try! All I have to say is Wow! I wish I would have tried it a long time ago. If the egg drop soup in the restaurants tastes half as good as this homemade soup, then one egg drop soup for me please! Make that two or three :) Anyways, this isn't a complete lean and green meal, but it makes a wonderful appetizer to any meal. You will just need to add your additional lean, all your greens and any healthy fats that may be required. I had 2 additional eggs that I scrambled on the side with some steamed veggies. This is another one of those recipes that I will continue to make even after my Medifast days because it is that good. Don't let the floating egg in the soup fool you into thinking it wouldn't be tasty because as the famous saying goes, "looks can be deceiving". Enjoy this wonderful appetizer!

Egg Drop Soup

1 cup chicken broth (1 Condiment)
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce (1/12 Condiment)
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil (1/4 Healthy Fat)
1 egg, beaten (1/3 lean)
1 tsp fresh chopped chives (1/12 Condiment)

In a small saucepan, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce and sesame oil. Bring to a boil. Stir gently while you pour in the beaten egg. Cook for about 1 minute. Season with chives before serving.

1/3 Lean, 1.16 Condiments and 1/4 Healthy Fat

*You will need to add 2/3 Lean such as 3.3 oz lean beef, 4 oz chicken, or 4.6 oz shrimp and all your Greens as well as any additional healthy fats depending on which lean you choose.

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For my third week I lost 2 lbs. I am happy with it considering the week I had. I was in a horrible car accident this past Friday and I amazingly stayed on plan except for not drinking enough water. Yippee! The person who ran into my car apparently claimed she blacked out and ran a red light and smashed right into my car at an intersection. There is no more car. It was completely totalled. Thankfully I have no broken bones just pain in my neck, knee, and tummy. Well, I shouldn't say JUST, it hurts, it hurts a lot, but it will take time for me to be back to how I was. It is unfortunate we have to pay for others mistakes. It isn't fair not one bit, but that is life. She should not have been driving but life happens and I have to move on but I need to vent. What really sucks about it is that my hubby is coming home next Friday from Afghan for his leave and now he is going to see me all bruised up and in pain. That is not how I wanted him to see me because I do not want him to worry about me but to focus on himself over in the sand box. We have a cruise planned, theme parks we wanted to go to and a lot of other things we wanted to do while he is on his leave for 2 weeks, but I guess I will have to see what the doctor says. I am still so happy that I get to see him soon! That is what keeps me going and I can't wait until we see each other again. Counting the days... 9 days!

This is the front of the car but a side view. Pretty much the front is gone.

As for the recipe I tried... I got it from Cody's Blog New Beautiful Me. She has a lot of creative meals that I can't wait to try. Go check out her blog if you are on the Medifast Program. This one happened to be the one that was on top of my list. I love love love grilled cheese but I am not really fond of tomato soup. It was good but not something I will have often. I think I will try a different creamy soup to change up the taste, maybe cream of broccoli? If you love tomato soup then you will love this. I actually have a hard time getting all my lean down in one sitting so mixing my lean with my meal makes it easier for me to get it all in. Great idea Cody!

Grilled Cheese Tomato Sandwich
Slightly adapted from New Beautiful Me

1 packet Medifast Cream of Tomato Soup (1 Fueling)
1/4 cup egg beaters (1/8 or .125 Lean)
1 slice 2% Reduced Fat American cheese (1/5 or .20 Lean)

Mix soup and egg beaters together.
Pour evenly among the 4 squares of a sandwich maker. Cook for 3 minutes.
Fold in half and add cheese in the middle. Enjoy!

1 Fueling and 1/3 Lean

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