For those of you who started and are valiantly trying to continue your New Year’s diets (myself included), here’s a little something that is delicious, low-calorie, and low sodium. Impossible you say? Ah, but it’s not so hard. While it can be difficult to reduce the size of and or eliminate some of your favorite foods, it is possible. With a few tricks up your sleeve, you too can eat food that is both tasty and good for your body. Some of the keys to success are….fresh vegetables…and freshly ground black pepper. Anything will taste better with the right spices. All you have to do is add more of the spices you like (such as cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder), and less or no salt. Tired of that watery health soup? Take it to the next level with just a few simple ingredients: evaporated milk, flour, butter or olive oil, and spices. These four ingredients are my old standbys for adding texture and depth to many recipes. For those of you who are already thin and in shape, and don’t care a lick about anything I just said, feel free to look at my other, non-healthy recipes (i.e. most of this blog). Now, back to the dieters and getting-in-shape-ers. Here’s my newest and most effective tip for reducing the sodium in your canned veggies, without having to buy the special, healthy, expensive kinds!
Healthy Cooking Tip: Take any can of vegetables, pour the contents into a strainer, and rinse under cold water for one to two minutes. I’ve found that this cuts the salty flavor in half, thus reducing the overall sodium content.
Disclaimer: The above tip has not been scientifically proven, I am not a health professional. I am not a healthy cooking expert. I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. I am simply the average college student trying to lose weight. The above tip is a logical deduction based on a simple experiment. I apologize if this doesn’t work for you.
Finally, to all of you out there who are close to giving up on your fitness plan: trust in God, and don’t give up! The best is yet to come!
The Ingredients: 2 cups peeled and diced red potatoes, 1 cup diced carrots, 1 cup diced yellow onion, 1/2 cup diced celery, 2 1/2 cups water, 2 cups no sodium or reduced sodium vegetable stock, 1 14.5 ounce can cut green beans, 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. dried chives, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, 1 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder.
Add the stock and water to a large soup pot with a lid over high heat. Bring to a boil, add the potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery. Boil for ten minutes over medium high heat. Meanwhile, pour the green beans into a strainer and rinse under cold water for two minutes. Add all of the spices except for the salt to the pot. Continue cooking for another five to ten minutes while you make the slurry/gravy. In a small pot or saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and starch of choice. Add the milk and salt, whisk until the mixture is smooth. Immediately add the slurry/gravy to the soup. Stir until well combined. Add the rinsed green beans, fold in gently. Reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer for another five to ten minutes. Turn off the heat and serve as is. Serves 6-8.
Dreamy, low-calorie soup!