Tag Archives: vegetable soup

Under 100 Calories per Bowl: Cruciferous Vegetable Soup

 

I’m always a big fan of recipes that help “clean out the fridge or pantry“, and if they are healthy as well then bonus! We all have some assorted cans, boxed, half bag of frozen mixed vegetables, etc. that have been sitting around since approximately we moved into whatever abode we inhabit.

Even the most strict, list-making, meal-planning, leftover-eating of us have odds and ends we need to try to use up before expiration dates. It is especially hard with produce. I have a bad habit of buying everything that’s on sale, I want to cook eventually, sounds healthy… and then I have a fridge packed full of five-day-old veggies beginning to wilt and lose nutrients. Sad face. 

That’s why this soup is fantastic! You can mix and match what vegetables you add based on what you have waiting to be used, and choose whatever protein and grain is in the half-empty box in your cupboard. There is of course a few caveats.

You need a huge ratio of veggies to other stuff, and a large portion of it must be water IF you are going for a filling, vegetarian, healthy, low-cal, low-fat soup.

Try to choose mostly cruciferous vegetables and/or leafy greens, as those pack the most nutrients and fiber for the least carbs and calories. Cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc. Limit the beans and grains to one cup each to keep calorie counts low. If you have a “meat tooth” feel free to throw in some cooked shredded chicken or steak.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 cup pinto beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Garlic salt
  • Lots of water (stock or bouillon for extra flavor)

Step 1: Chop all your veggies and add to the crock pot. Add the grain (barley) and protein (beans) as well as diced tomatoes. You can sub fresh chopped tomato or tomato sauce, or forget the tomatoes. I just super love diced tomatoes in all the things.

Step 2: Cook on low for 4-6 hours, until veggies, barley and beans are tender. Add any other seasonings you like. Enjoy for under 100 calories per bowl as often as you are hungry!


*Disclaimer: I do not recommend crash diets like the cabbage soup diet where this is all you eat all day, but I do believe that soup before a full meal will help dampen hunger and make it easier to eat healthy and manage a healthy weight, and broth based soups should be incorporated into your meal plans to keep total grocery costs for the week low.

Crock Pot Veggie Stew

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I recently moved across America to the great state of Colorado! That explains my lack of posts for a while. However, since my new place has an oven, my repertoire has quadrupled, and thus I intend to make up for it!
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So this post was inspired by a trip to a local farmer’s market. There was so much delicious produce, to be had super cheaply! Then a few days later, I needed to do something with the veggies I hadn’t eaten yet. As many cooks know, fresh is best but it also spoils quickest.
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Another complication I will be dealing with this year is my first year of doctoral classes and research, so I will be gone the majority of the day, 6am – 6pm most days. So you will likely see a lot of make-ahead or Crock Pot meals!
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Ingredients:
1 large carrot, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
3-4 stalks celery, diced
2 potatoes, diced
1/3 of a red, orange & yellow bell pepper (or 1 of any color) diced
2 small heads broccoli, cut into small florets
4-5 green onions, diced
3 cups chicken stock or 3 bouillon cubes + water
Turmeric, chipotle chili pepper, paprika, black pepper, garlic, salt
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I don’t add amounts for the spices because it depends on how hot you like it. I found out after the fact that I added a *bit* too much chipotle pepper, because man did this soup clear the sinuses! I need to make it again mid-winter…

Step 1: This is the only work-intensive step. Dice all the veggies and layer in the Crock Pot.

Step 2: Add spices and broth. If you’re a strict vegetarian or vegan, use vegetable broth or plain water instead of the chicken stock.

Step 3: Cook on low at least 4 hours up to 12 hours. The longer it cooks the softer the vegetables will get, but the more flavors will come out and mingle.

You can add really any vegetable you have on hand that you need to use up. If you don’t want to take the time to dice everything, you can buy pre-cut from a salad bar or use frozen vegetables and just throw them in! Couldn’t be easier. Plus it makes quite a bit, so you have several meals for very cheap, and likely enough to freeze for later meals.

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