It’s Soup Season!

Mushroom Barley Soup

This soup is a winter favorite of mine! The barley adds a hearty taste and texture to the warming vegetable soup, plus it’s packed with nutrients like fiber from the barley and vegetables, beta-carotene (which our body converts to vitamin A) from the carrots and B-complex vitamins from mushrooms. I usually make a large pot of this soup early in the week and eat a bowl every day with lunch or dinner (or sometimes both)! Perfectly portable for work and perfectly nutritious, this homemade soup is a must-try for cold winter days!

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Ingredients (serves 10):

8 C low sodium vegetable broth

8 C water

1 C barley, uncooked

5 C mushrooms, sliced

1 sweet onion, small, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped finely

1 C carrots, chopped

1/2 C celery, chopped

1 Tbsp butter or margarine

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

Directions:

1. Melt butter in a large pot. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté until slightly browned and softened, stirring occasionally (approximately 10 minutes).

2. Add carrots and celery. Add liquid (water and vegetable broth). Add spices. Bring to a boil and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until vegetables are softened.

3.Add barley and boil for another 10 minutes. Cover and reduce to a simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve and enjoy!

*I love to make this soup for the entire week. If you still have leftovers at the end of the week, just store in single or double serving, airtight containers in the freezer!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Calories 91 calories, Total Fat 1 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 18 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 312 mg, Calcium 32 mg

May require serious stove clean-up, but so worth it! My pot wasn't large enough and some boiled over...live and learn!

May require serious stove clean-up, but so worth it! My pot wasn’t large enough and some boiled over…live and learn!

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A More Nutritious Bowl Of ‘Spaghetti’

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce and Cheese

This winter squash is a great alternative to pasta for those who are looking for a more nutritious bowl! With less than 200 calories per serving and packed with fiber and antioxidants like beta carotene (which our bodies convert to vitamin A) and vitamin C, this dish is filled with good nutrition and satisfies a carb craving for the starchy stuff!

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Ingredients (serves 5):

1 3-pound spaghetti squash

1 tsp canola oil

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

1 C tomato sauce (I like 365 brand tomato and basil pasta sauce from Whole Foods), or feel free to make your own!

4 oz reduced fat mozzarella cheese

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Now just turn the squash face down and bake in the oven!

Now just turn the squash face down and bake in the oven!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray baking pan with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Remove pulp and seeds with a spoon. Pour oil in your palms (make sure they are clean!) and rub hands together so that oil coats your hands. Next, rub the oil on the spaghetti squash. Sprinkle dash of salt and pepper on top of squash and turn squash over (face down).

3. Bake spaghetti squash for 25-35 minutes. When the squash is cooked, you will be able to pull the “spaghetti” strands with a fork, but it will be able to hold its form. Continue to do this until all of the squash is out of the skin (I like to pull the strands into a large bowl). Once all squash is in the bowl, pour sauce over squash and stir. Top with cheese. You may need to heat the squash in the microwave for a minute to warm the sauce. Serve and enjoy!

This is how the spaghetti squash should pull apart with a fork - it forms 'spaghetti'!

This is how the spaghetti squash should pull apart with a fork – it forms ‘spaghetti’!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 167 calories, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 12 mg, Carbohydrates 22 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 9 g, Sodium 399 mg, Calcium 411 mg

Now just stir together and serve!

Now just stir together and serve!

Some Sweet Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Pomegranate Arils

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In case you couldn’t tell, I’m on a cruciferous veggie kick. I try to eat seasonally when possible and cruciferous vegetables can grow throughout the cool, winter months. Also, cruciferous veggies offer a ton of health benefits and some studies suggest that increased intake of these veggies may be associated with a reduced risk of developing certain cancers.This sweet side dish is like wellness in a bowl –  walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation, and pomegranate arils are rich in antioxidants. Make sure you make extra – you’ll want the leftovers the next day!

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 C raw Brussels sprouts (I like to use Brussels sprouts that are on the smaller side)

1/4 C chopped walnuts, unsalted

1/2 C pomegranate arils

1 Tbsp olive oil

Dash salt

Dash ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

ready to go in the oven!

ready to go in the oven!

2. Wash Brussels sprouts and dry thoroughly with paper towel. Cut the Brussels sprouts in halves or quarters, depending on the size of the Brussels sprouts.

3. Place Brussels sprouts on baking pan or in casserole dish. Drizzle olive oil over Brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper.

4. Bake Brussels sprouts in oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, remove Brussels sprouts from oven and add walnuts. Stir Brussels sprouts and walnuts together and place back in oven. Bake another 10 minutes-15 minutes, until Brussels sprouts are slightly crispy on the outside. Stir occasionally.

5. Remove Brussels sprouts from oven and add pomegranate arils. Mix all ingredients together and place back in oven. Bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 239 calories, Total Fat 18 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 18 g, Fiber 7 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 101 mg, Calcium 52 mg

yum!

yum!