Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup

Bowl of soup with fruit and milk

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound chicken breast, thawed
  • Optional: baked tortilla chips, chili flakes, chopped cilantro, jalapenos, lime, sliced avocado, salsa, light sour cream, shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook for 4 to 6 hours on high or for 8 to 10 hours on low.
  2. Remove chicken right before serving. Shred. Stir chicken back into soup.
  3. Serve with choice of optional ingredients.

Nutrition information per serving:
210 calories, 3g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 28g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 4g sugar, 19g protein. This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu.

Slow Cooker Black-eyed Pea Soup

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Serves: 5

Woman peeling a carrot

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning (basil, dried oregano, rosemary, or sage)

Directions:

  1. Rinse and sort dry black-eyed peas to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Nutrition information per serving:
200 calories, 1.0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium, 39g total carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 9g sugar, 12g protein.

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Cooking in a Hurry

When time is short for cooking, having a stocked pantry and freezer can be a game-changer. By keeping healthy staple ingredients on hand, you can shorten a meal’s cook time and save money. Try these tips to save time and money the next time you need a meal in a hurry.

Use Quick and Easy Recipes: Planning and purchasing ingredients for easy recipes that only need a few ingredients can simplify cooking. Many healthy, quick recipes can be found at
Spend Smart. Eat Smart., go.iastate.edu/1E3RBW, and MyPlate, www.myplate.gov.

Purchase Pantry Staples: Nonperishable food items are budget friendly, and their long shelf life reduces food waste. Many delicious meals only need a few canned goods, a protein, and a whole grain pasta or rice. Some canned foods are very high in sodium, so choose low-sodium or no-salt-added options when available.

Soups in a Snap: Many quick meals can center around a nutritious bowl of soup. Make it a meal when served with a salad, whole-grain bread, and a glass of low-fat milk.

Use Frozen Vegetables: Frozen vegetables are a great way to add flavor, nutrients, and color to your meals. Frozen vegetables have nearly the same nutritional benefits as fresh, and many entrees and side dishes can be planned around a frozen vegetable.

Sources:
Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/
MyPlate, myplate.gov/myplate-kitchen

Autumn Soup

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 1 butternut squash (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (canola, olive, vegetable)
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 apples (peeled, cored, and sliced; about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 ounces low fat cream cheese, cubed

Directions:

  1. Wash squash and pat dry with paper towel. Prick skin 6–8 times with a knife or fork. Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. Cool squash enough to touch it, then cut off top and bottom of squash. Cut off peel and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Cut squash into cubes.
  3. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add squash, apples, and broth. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 25 minutes until squash and apples are tender.
  5. Blend soup until smooth using a blender or food processor.
  6. Return soup to saucepan and add cream cheese. Cook and stir with a whisk until cheese is smooth.

Nutrition information per serving:
210 calories, 7g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 440mg sodium, 35g total carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 12g sugar, 6g protein. This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s SpendSmart. EatSmart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Vegetable Soup with Kale and Lentils

Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons oil (canola or olive)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot (sliced 1/8 inch thick)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic (minced)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup dry yellow or brown lentils
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil or Italian seasoning
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) no-sodium-added diced tomatoes or 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bunch kale (about 7 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, carrot, garlic. Cook 5 minutes.
  3. Add water to pot. Heat to boiling.
  4. Rinse lentils in colander with water. Add to pot, simmer 20 minutes. Do not drain.
  5. Add chicken broth, dried basil or Italian seasoning, and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 5–10 minutes.
  6. Rinse kale leaves; cut out the main stems and discard. Cut leaves into 1” pieces.
  7. Stir kale, salt, and ground black pepper into lentil mixture. Return to boiling. Reduce heat, cover, simmer for 3 minutes.

Nutrition information per serving:
200 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 29g total carbohydrate, 12g fiber, 4g sugar, 11g protein. This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Loaded Potato Soup

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Bowl of potato soup
  • 4 medium potatoes(scrubbed, peeled, and cubed) (about 4cups)
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: sliced green onions, crumbled bacon, diced ham, croutons, soup crackers

Directions:

  1. Combine potatoes, onion, garlic powder, ground black pepper, and broth in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium high heat until boiling.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally (12–15 minutes).
  3. Use a potato masher or fork to slightly mash the potatoes. This will also thicken the soup. There should still be pieces of potato in the soup.
  4. Stir in the peas, milk, and shredded cheddar cheese. Cook and stir until the cheese is melted (3–4 minutes).
  5. Add garnishes and serve right away.

Nutrition information per serving:
340 calories, 8g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 20mg cholesterol, 240mg sodium, 53g total carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 9g sugar, 16g protein

This information is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu.

Quick Turkey Rice Soup

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup sliced fresh white mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 14-ounce cans low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 10.75-ounce can reduced sodium cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup uncooked instant brown rice
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 2 cups chopped cooked skinless turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Add onions, mushrooms, and minced garlic (if using); cook, stirring often, until onion is tender (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add tomatoes, broth, soup, and rice. Cover and cook until rice is nearly tender (15 to 20 minutes).
  4. Stir in the broccoli and turkey; return to boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until broccoli is tender and turkey is heated through (about 5 minutes).
  6. Remove from heat; stir in freshly ground black pepper.

Nutrition information per serving:
310 calories, 7g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 40mg cholesterol, 510mg sodium, 40g total carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 5g sugar, 23g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Craving Comfort Foods

Casserole with meat and potatoes

In the fall, we crave warm, hearty foods like cheesy casseroles and hearty soups. Often, though, these “comfort foods” are high in fat, sodium, and calories.

The next time you make your favorite “comfort foods,” try these tips to make them healthier and even more enjoyable:

  • Add extra vegetables of all types—dark green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy; and other vegetables—without added sauces, fats, or salt. Double the vegetables in a soup or casserole recipe to add extra vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Switch up your grains, making at least half of your grains whole grain. Like rice? Try replacing white rice with brown rice in your recipe. This month’s recipe uses brown rice.
  • Choose reduced-fat dairy foods, including fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese, in casseroles and cream soups. Reduced-fat cheeses, for example, have less fat but just as much favor and melt just like full-fat cheese.
  • Use lean protein foods, including lean meats, poultry, and eggs; seafood; beans, peas, and lentils; and nuts, seeds, and soy products. Cooking on a budget? Canned meats are just as nutritious, cheaper, and easier to use in casseroles.

Source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, bit.ly/3kf72S4.

Storing Soup Safely

To keep leftover soup safe, cool it quickly before putting it in the refrigerator. Place the soup pot in an “ice bath”—a sink filled with ice. Or stir ice cubes into the broth.

Soup and bread

Never put a pot of soup directly into the refrigerator. Instead, pour the cooled soup into shallow containers, no more than two inches deep. Shallow containers ensure that foods will chill to 41˚F or below in less than four hours. This will prevent bacterial growth. Store soup in the refrigerator for no more than 3–4 days before eating it or throwing it out. Be sure to reheat cold soup to 165˚F or higher.

To learn how to freeze your homemade soup to make it go farther, visit AnswerLine blog, blogs.extension.iastate.edu/answerline/2016/10/24/
successfully-freezing-homemade-soup/.

Source: Serving Soup Safely, food.unl.edu/free-resources/newsletters/serving-soup-safely

Pasta Fagioli Soup

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound turkey sausage
  • 1 tablespoon oil (canola or olive)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) white beans (cannellini or great northern) (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, low sodium
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta
  • 1 cup fresh spinach (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • Shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook sausage for 6 minutes. Drain grease from sausage. Remove sausage to a plate or bowl. Wipe the remaining grease out of the pan with a paper towel.
  2. Add oil to the pan and heat over medium. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes.
  3. Add water, broth, beans, tomatoes, and ground black pepper to the pan. Heat until boiling.
  4. Add pasta, cook until tender (8–10 min).
  5. Reduce heat to low. Add sausage and spinach. Simmer until spinach is wilted (about 3 minutes).
  6. Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving:
320 calories, 8g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 650mg sodium, 43g total carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 5g sugar, 21g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate. edu

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