Welcome to my blog! My name is Isabel, and I'm currently a student at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, attaining a Masters of Science in Nutrition Communications. I'm also an avid health-nut who is allergic to absolutely everything- wheat, soy, corn, dairy, and eggs, and who loves to work out! I am currently in school learning how to better communicate to the public why and how they can become healthier and happier. So hopefully you can learn something too! Anything that you want to see on my blog or any questions you have please leave me questions and I will do my best to answer! I'm just getting going, but I soon hope to post recipes, fun fitness tips, and other exciting nutrition and fitness tips! enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Nutritiously Dense, Low Calorie, Delicious Soup

I just wanted to write a quick post on the most delicious, almost maintenance free, satisfying soup I made in about 1/2 an hour lastnight!
Cooking Light Magazine is one of my absolute favorites, and I both stock pile recipes on my computer and have a large pile on my coffee table. I love the magazine because the recipes are simple, cost effective, and (most of the time) allergy free-ish- or I'm able to alter them to my liking. 
Soup is not something I frequently make because it's time consuming, and I'm a very impatient cook; however, last night all I wanted was a great, chunky, vegetarian chili. So I searched "chili" on their website, www.cookinglight.com, and up popped loads of recipes that both contained and worked without meat. 
The vegetarian chili I chose is called "Chunky Vegetarian Chili", and after its assembly- about 1/2 hour later, I was curled up on my sofa watching TV eating my soup- it couldn't have been better.

Because I love to have leftovers, I didn't cut the recipe in half, but here's what it calls for:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used Olive oil)
2 cups chopped onion (I used 1 big yellow-vidalia onion)
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper (about 1 medium pepper)
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1 medium pepper)
2 minced cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder (add a little bit more if you like spicier)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano (I added a little bit more)
1/2 tsp salt ( I left this out- the beans have salt on them)
1/2 tsp pepper
2 (16 oz) cans stewed tomatoes- don't drain them
2 (15 oz) cans black beans ( I used 1 can of these), rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans (I used 2 of these), rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

to prepare:
Heat the oil in a pot big enough to make the soup in over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic and sautee for about 5 minutes (until tender). Add the sugar and remaining ingredients and bring it to a boil- then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. 

After I was finished preparing the soup I added hot sauce (about 1 tsp) because mine wasn't spicy enough, and it was delicious! 
It's important to rinse and drain the beans before using them because beans have a lot of sodium in them (about 340 mg per serving and there are 2.5-3 servings per can!). By rinsing and draining the beans you are eliminating SOME of the sodium, though not all of it. 
Why is this recipe good for you? Mostly because beans contain a huge amount of fiber, the soluble kind- this is the kind that is hard to find and most foods contain "insoluble" fiber. Soluble fiber helps make your colon healthy and promotes growth of good bacteria (helps grow the kind in probiotics, like that found in yogurt)- and overall it helps digestive health. Soluble fiber acts different and opposite of insoluble fiber, which makes you have to go to the bathroom more. 
Other reasons why this soup is great? It's low in calories and fat. With only 257 calories per serving, and 2.7 grams of fat, 12.8 grams of protein, and 14.2 grams of fiber its a very nutritiously dense and delicious meal! 
I will certainly be making it again soon (once I finish all of my leftovers!).

-Healthy Gal

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