I love Mondays! Really I do—especially because I work for myself. My boss is the best!
One of the reasons for my love of Mondays is Meatless Mondays! After enjoying a beautifully cooked steak and piece of salmon Sunday during my friend Walker’s Super Bowl party, it was time to lay low on the animal protein. (Love that about being a flexitarian—I don’t deny myself red meat, it’s my occasional treat.)
I volunteered to bring homemade soup to Walker’s party—perfect time of year for that. AND this week there is a special day for homemade soup. Join me in celebrating National Homemade Soup Day today won’t you?
My original inspiration was actually a stew—Easy Bean Stew—a recipe in the Dallas Morning News by Alicia Ross last week.
I usually have most of the ingredients on hand.But I didn’t have so ended up modifying and it morphed into Neily’s 4-Bean Soup. When it comes to cooking, I’m certainly no chef, but do think I’m a pretty good cook. I usually get my inspiration from recipes but then modify with what I’ve got on hand.
Some key ingredients I recommend everyone have all the time include canned diced tomatoes and a variety of canned beans. (I often keep canned beans in the fridge so when I get the urge to make a mixed bean salad the beans are already cold.) Tomatoes and beans are useful in a multitude of ways. By the way—one of the reasons I don’t encourage people to avoid (all) processed food is precisely for this reason. Clearly canned tomatoes and beans are processed. I do however encourage limiting or eliminating highly manufactured foods—or shall I say food-like substances.
Here is what I brought to Walker’s. Ingredients are more estimates than exacts.
Neily’s 4-Bean Homemade Soup
- Olive oil (about 2-3 tablespoons)
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 6-7 stalks sliced celery
- 1 lb diced carrots
- Few garlic cloves, minced
- 5-6 cups low sodium chicken broth (would have used vegetable if I had, but I didn’t)
- 1 can (16-oz) black beans (rinse all the beans to reduce sodium by 40%)
- 1 can (16-oz) red beans, rinsed
- 1 can (16-oz) white beans, rinsed
- 1 can (16-oz) dark red kidney beans, rinsed
- 2 cans (14.5-oz) diced tomatoes (use flavored like jalapeno, chili pepper, etc)
- 2-3 teaspoons chili powder
- 1-2 teaspoons cumin
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot and cook the onions, carrots, celery until tender – about 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic.
- Add broth, beans, tomatoes, and seasonings. Cook on medium heat at a low boil for about 10 minutes then simmer until ready to serve. Can be made hours in advance.
- Serve with nonfat Greek yogurt for an extra boost of protein!
Nutrition Info (makes about ten 12 oz servings. Analysis does not include Greek yogurt.): 210 calories, 11g protein, 4.5g fat (1g sat fat), 33g carbs, 10g fiber, 550mg sodium
My first sous vide experience
By the way, the steak and fish were cooked in a technique I was not familiar with. I entered Walker’s kitchen and saw this huge Sterilite® tub filled with water and this device inside. At first I thought, where are the lobsters, but Walker quickly told me I was going to witness the cooking of steak with a sous vide. A Sue Vee what? I actually had heard the name but never knew what it was. Now I do! Another guest, Mark, brought his sous vide and he made salmon. Boys and their toys. What happened to guys shopping at Home Depot?
Both were fantastic (the proteins, not men—well, they were too).
Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Wellcoach® Certified Health Coach
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