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

Three Reasons to Have Soup for Supper!

Dinner of soup, salad, and bread
  1. People who eat more soup usually have a healthier diet. An Iowa State University study found that soup-eaters consume less fat and more fber and vitamins than nonsoup-eaters. This is probably because most soups contain a variety of vegetables.
  2. Soup is flling. Because most soups are high in water and fber, they help you feel fuller longer. For this reason, soup helps people maintain a healthy weight. To avoid excess calories, enjoy broth- or tomato-based soups, not soups with cream, cheese, or butter.
  3. Soup is easy. It can be as simple as opening a can and turning on the microwave. Even canned soup can be a healthy meal, if it’s low sodium. You can pep up the favor of low-sodium canned soup with onion or garlic powder, oregano, basil, turmeric, or a dash of hot sauce. You can also add your favorite frozen vegetables.

For more reflections on soup and the joys of healthy foods, visit Spend Smart. Eat Smart., blogs.extension.iastate.edu/spendsmart/tag/soup/.

Source: Soup consumption is associated with a lower dietary energy density and a better diet quality in US adults, lib.dr.iastate.edu/fshn_ag_pubs/120/

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup

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

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15 oz each) diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, thawed
  • Optional—Baked tortilla chips, chili fakes, chopped cilantro, jalapenos, lime, chopped avocado, light sour cream, salsa, or shredded cheese

Directions:

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

TIPS: Use Mexican diced tomatoes to add spice.

Nutrition information per serving:
210 calories, 3g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 28g total carbohydrate, 6g fber, 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 spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Vegetable Pasta Soup

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

Ingredients:

• 1 tablespoon oil (canola or vegetable)
• 4 cups vegetables (like onions, carrots, and zucchini) (chopped or sliced)
• 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies
• 1 can (14.5 ounces) low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
• 2 cups water
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or dried basil
• 2 cups small whole wheat pasta (shell or macaroni)
• 6 cups fresh spinach leaves (about 1/2 pound)

Instructions:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add onions and carrots. Cook until they are softened. Stir often. This should take about 3 minutes.
2. Stir in zucchini and canned tomatoes. Cook 3–4 minutes.
3. Stir in the broth, water, salt, and Italian seasoning or dried basil. Bring to a boil.
4. Stir in the pasta and spinach. Return to a boil.
5. Cook until the pasta is tender using the time on the package for a guide.

 

Nutrition information per serving:
130 calories, 16g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 1g trans fat, 100mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 21g total carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 2g sugar, 35g protein Recipe courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit the Spend Smart. Eat Smart site.

Vegetable Soup with Kale and Lentils

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

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot (sliced 1/8 inch thick)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic (peeled and minced; 3 cloves) or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 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

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, carrot, and garlic. Cook 5 minutes.
  3. Add water to veggies in pot. Heat to boiling.
  4. Rinse lentils in colander with water. Add lentils to pot and simmer for 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 pepper into lentil mixture. Return to boiling. Reduce heat, cover, and 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

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

Minestrone Soup

minestrone-soup-webServing Size: 1 cup
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 or 3 large garlic cloves, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces) low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (16 ounces) stewed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen vegetables
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, oregano, or Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup uncooked pasta (such as rotini, macaroni, or small shells)

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Sauté onion and garlic. If using garlic powder, add with seasonings.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, vegetables, and seasonings. Stir to mix.
  3. Bring to boil over medium heat.
  4. Stir in pasta. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer about 20 minutes until the pasta is tender.

Nutrition information per serving: 150 calories, 2.5g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 260mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 5g sugar, 8g 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

loadedpotatosoupServing Size: 1 cup
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes (about 6), cooked
  • 1 tablespoon tub margarine
  • 1 medium onion (coarsely chopped) (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 slices (3 ounces) American cheese
  • Optional garnishes: sliced green onion, bacon bits, shredded cheese

Instructions:

  1. Remove skins and mash potatoes into small pieces to make about 3 cups. Set aside.
  2. Melt margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and green pepper, if desired. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften (about 5 minutes).
  3. Stir in the broth and heat to a boil. Stir in milk, potatoes, peas, and ground black pepper. Heat through, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the cheese slices. Cook and stir about 2 minutes until cheese melts. Add more milk if soup is thicker than you prefer.
  5. Add garnishes, if desired, and serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories, 6g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 10mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 35g total carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 6g sugar, 10g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Visit the website for more recipes, information, and videos.

Quick Turkey Rice Soup

QuickTurkeyRiceSoupServing Size: 1½ cups | Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced fresh white mushrooms (optional)
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 freshly
ground pepper

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

Source: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/recipes/quick-turkey-rice-soup

Subscribe to Words on Wellness

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Categories