Enjoy this Louisiana classic with a vegetarian makeover! This simple and delicious vegan gumbo uses less oil and includes heart healthy fats and proteins! Making a Dark Roux… Since this was my first time making gumbo, making a dark roux was a complete […]
The fall season is finally here! Why not cozy up with a warm cup of this naturally gluten-free and vegetarian Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup? With hints of lemon and topped with parmesan cheese, this healthy version of a broccoli soup classic is sure to […]
A fulfilling and nutritious meal in under 30 minutes! Try this summer classic, Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho for a light and healthy dish this season!
Ice cream is not the only summer refresher! Stay cool with vegetables! Gazpacho, a cold soup summer favorite, is packed with tons (and I mean tons) of vegetables! What makes this dish so amazing? It takes very little time to make, and can include a variety of vegetables! Leftover vegetables in your refrigerator? Say so long to food waste!
Traditional gazpacho includes red tomatoes as the base using a 3:1 ratio of tomatoes to other vegetables. However, there are different types of this soup ranging from vibrant red to delicious green and white. Thanks to the addition of other vegetables, gazpacho can be unique in flavor and texture.
In this heirloom tomato gazpacho recipe, I used cucumbers and red pepper for extra vegetables adding more taste and texture. The traditional version of gazpacho also includes fresh bread. For this version, I used only what I had available in my kitchen. Feel free to add either bread or breadcrumbs for a heartier texture. Want some fun toppings to your gazpacho? Try fresh avocado (as I did in this recipe), an additional olive oil drizzle, or even fresh basil. If you want to add more protein to make this a complete meal, add white beans, cheese, or even seafood on top! To learn more about the creative varieties of gazpacho, check out this article by Food & Wine.
Eat Your Vegetables!
You’ve been told to eat your vegetables numerous times when you were a child, and there’s a reason why! Eating more fruits and vegetables has been linked to potentially reduce the risks of chronic illnesses. Thanks to the abundance of nutrition, they fight inflammation, help maintain a healthier weight, and even lower blood pressure.
Tomatoes, the main ingredient in gazpacho, are filled with many nutrients! Vitamin C, lycopene, and potassium just to name a few. Lycopene, a pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their rich red color is part of the carotenoid family. This antioxidant, a free radical fighter, has been linked to reducing risks for heart disease and cancer. Lycopene is naturally fat soluble. Pairing a small amount of olive oil in this gazpacho makes it even more easily absorbed. Need another example? A creamy tomato soup for the winter season such as my Creamy Tomato Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk!
For more on the types of nutrients in fruits and vegetables, and their roles in our health visit the USDA’s Choose my Plate.
- 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped (makes about 2 1/4 cup)
- 1 cup heirloom tomatoes, largely chopped
- 1 cucumber, seeded and largely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, largely chopped with seeds removed
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 shallot, peeled and largely chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Optional topping: chopped avocado, basil leaves, hot sauce
- In a large food processor or high powered blender, pulse tomatoes until pureed consistency.
- Add the remaining vegetables, shallot, garlic, and paprika. Pulse until blended thoroughly.
- Slowly pour in the vinegar and olive oil from the small opening of the processor or blender while blending to evenly distribute the oil. Turn off the food processor.
- Transfer to a soup bowl and top with optional toppings or serve as is.
For a healthy take on a traditional favorite this Passover, try this vegetarian matzo ball soup with inflammation-fighting turmeric and fresh dill! It turns out that matzo ball soup, one of the most traditional and simple dishes at Passover, is not so simple! There are many […]
“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Potatoes USA and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.” A potato soup recipe that includes three kinds of potatoes topped with protein-packed ricotta to provide you […]
A healthy ramen soup with Bok Choy and hints of miso makes this college staple a major upgrade!
Many of us likely remember the famous ramen noodles in its small and square, bright and saturated colors. And better yet, the number of these packages you could purchase for a total of $1! Well, ramen noodles are making a comeback, and not the extremely cheap kind. Ramen noodle restaurants are popping up in many metro areas, and for good reason.
Is it for the broth that warms the soul? Or the flavors in the soup itself that draws you? For me, it’s the soft, chewiness of the crinkly noodles. A healthy ramen soup from a restaurant (or better yet homemade) will contain no seasoning packets and are bursting with nutrient-packed vegetables and proteins.
What’s so great about this soup is that it is still affordable to make at home and requires only basic ingredients (also making it a versatile dish)! This soup can be made vegetarian or with meat and seafood; it all depends on the basics. These ingredients in ramen are the noodles, broth, and toppings. For more on ramen basics, check out this article here written by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, the James Beard Award winning chef and blogger for Serious Eats.
Miso…so good for you!
Most of us may recognize miso in the form of the delicious miso soup served at sushi restaurants. The umami-rich miso is actually fermented soybean and grains formed into a paste. Key word here is fermented. Yes, it’s a probiotic! This paste, has potentially good-for-your-gut and immune-boosting bacteria.
These probiotic foods are so popular that they are even seen in pills and supplemental powders. Research is still out there to back these claims being made by food and supplement companies. One potential clinical benefit being mentioned is for people with digestive disorders. An article by Stat last year states that there is “tremendous promise”. There is still ongoing discussion on the safety and regulations of supplemental use. Most health experts suggest sticking to foods naturally-containing these bacterial strains. Kefir, kombucha, and kimchi sound familiar? For more information on food sources and supplementation use, here is an interesting article by NPR’s The Salt.
Cold and flu season is here!
I hate to break it to you, but there is not a single food item that will magically cure a cold. Eating an abundance of healthy foods however, these will boost your immunity and fight inflammation! Foods with potential benefits are garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and colorful vegetables such as broccoli and red peppers. Another excellent food group to incorporate would be fatty fish thanks to its abundance of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. For vegetarians, I would recommend walnuts or flax seeds that naturally contain these healthy fats.
Ramen soup contains a majority of these potentially immune-boosting food items. If you wish to replace the bok choy, try vitamin C and K-rich broccoli or leafy greens. And if mushrooms aren’t for you, try fish or tofu as a healthy substitute.
Besides choosing the right foods or exercising to prevent a cold, the most effective is actually proper hand hygiene. Have you heard of washing your hands to the length of the “Happy Birthday” song? Well, it’s true! In combination with washing your hands under running water, the CDC recommends scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds. Just remember, there is no shame in singing out loud next time!
- 1 tablesoon olive oil
- 8oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 scallions chopped, white and green pieces separated
- 1 teaspoon crushed or minced ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable (or chicken) broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium
- 1 medium boy choy, stems separated, core removed
- 8oz ramen or egg noodles
- 2 teaspoons white miso paste, optional
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional
- Heat half the oil on medium-high heat in a large pot and sautee the mushrooms, about 3-5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, and white scallion ends. Continue for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the broth, water, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- While the broth is simmering, saute the bok choy with remaining olive oil on medium-high heat using a skillet or non-stick pan, about 5-7 minutes to lightly brown (if preferred, bok choy can be steamed). Set aside.
- Once the simmering has 5 minutes remaining, add the noodles to the simmering broth and bring to a boil. The noodles should soften in 3-5 minutes. Once noodles are softened, add the miso and sesame oil, continue for one extra minute or two to mix well. Turn off heat.
- Pour the soup into bowls and distribute bok choy evenly into the soup. Top with green scallions.
- Other optional toppings: meat, hard boiled egg, seafood, tofu, and hot sauce.
This soup does not include salt due to sodium content in the soy sauce, broth, and miso. Based on your preference, adding salt is optional.
Kathryn Pfeffer-Scanlan MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and recent transplant to Boulder, CO. After working as an inpatient dietitian for almost five years in Boston, she is expanding her expertise in the health and wellness industry. Katie is passionate about cooking and food photography, sharing her culinary adventures on her food blog, One Hungry Bunny, and exploring her new Rocky Mountain surroundings. Follow Katie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Winter is coming and so is soup season! Try this Creamy Tomato Lentil soup recipe to keep you warm and satisfied! This recipe for a creamy tomato lentil soup uses low fat coconut milk and lentils to keep you feeling fulfilled with energy-boosting MCT fats, […]