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!