If you are so frustrated by feeling it's hard to eat a healthy dinner after coming home from work or class, I hear you. If I have a day packed with meetings or a photo shoot or I'm at my DC studio, coming home later means I didn't have the 'luxury' of prepping dinner throughout the day. I need something instantaneous and healthy. And since it's winter, I have one word for you: SOUP. Well, THREE HEALTHY SOUPS in three ways.
Let' me just say, I did not make these soups from scratch. Although it's easy to make a big batch and freeze and I truly do that most of the time, these are basically straight from the grocery store and I added extra nutrition on top. It takes so little effort to 'fluff' something from the store, but it can make you look brilliant.
Let's talk about the three soup bases. There are so many healthy soup options these days. It's not all clam chowder with extra bacon and cheese (although there are some really bad ones out there). After a stop at Trader Joe's and browsing the aisles I stopped in the soup aisle where a woman, no joke, came up to me as I stood in front of the soups and said "You need to buy this soup. It is THE BEST." So obviously, I listened to a complete stranger and bought the soups.
1. Tomatillo Sweet Potato
2. Red Pepper
3. Black Bean
The three soup bases I bought are just a fraction of the options out there. When you're looking for healthy bases, you've gotta flip over the package and read the label. You cannot trust the marketing. Be wary of health halos. First, read the ingredients list. It needs to be short. It needs to be real food and not coloring or just weird shi*. Look for sneaky sources of calories like cheese, cream, etc. Next, check out the numbers themselves. Is there fiber? Is there a ton of fat? Is the sodium INSANE? Approach it by being wary. What I can tell you is that 'tetra packed' soups (boxes) for some reason (maybe production cost?) seem to be healthier than the canned product options.
1. Tomatillo Sweet Potato: This soup needed protein and leafy greens! I added roasted lemon pepper chicken and shredded kale.
2. Red Pepper: This soup needed to be bulked up with fiber and some extra protein. I topped it with fava beans (that color!), quinoa blended with hemp hearts and topped it with parsley. You could easily add chick peas to this to make it extra filling.
3. Black Bean: This is the one soup that didn't need help with protein or fiber. But it did need interesting textures and bright flavors. I sliced avocado for healthy fats on top, reduced fat feta cheese (big flavor, protein and you only need a little) and fresh corn that I stored in the freezer from our summer CSA.
It's that easy! Take this post as inspiration for just a glimpse of what you can do with healthy eating in a convenient way. What combinations are you going to try or what do you do already?