Fresh Isn’t Always Best

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

Natural Weight Loss

tortilla soup

Fresh Isn’t Always Best

Usually when you read about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables in a magazine or on the internet, you also find the word fresh.

In fact, surveys show people favor fresh produce so much they don’t even count canned fruits and vegetables as servings!

But this kind of thinking is wrong.

We’ve been preserving precious plant foods forever – drying fruits, vegetables, and grains in the sun; fermenting vegetables into pickles; and now canning or freezing produce at its peak.

Please, enjoy fresh produce when it’s available.

Eat your fill of berries, stone fruit, corn, and green beans during the summer season.

But as the season fades away, turn to canned, frozen, and dried produce more often, which are much more sustainable options than fresh produce not in season.

They still contribute servings of fruits and vegetables to your day, as well as important nutrients.

Recipe of the Day:  Tortilla Soup

Active Preparation Time:  24 minutes

Total Preparation Time:  48 minutes

A traditional Mexican dish, tortilla soup is a spicy blend of tomatoes, vegetables, and crisp tortilla strips.

This easy plant-powered version throws protein-rich black beans into the mix.

Best of all, this dish relies on preserved goods, like canned tomatoes, frozen corn, and canned beans, so you can make it year-round from your pantry.

And it’s a great complement for a simple sandwich, burrito, or vegetable salad for lunch or dinner.

Makes 10 servings (generous 1 cup each)

Tortilla Strips

Three 6″ corn tortillas

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Soup

4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1 medium green bell pepper, diced

1 small jalapeno pepper, finely diced

1 small zucchini, diced

1 cup frozen corn

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

4 cups water

1 tablespoon reduced sodium vegetable broth base

Two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with liquid

One 15-ounce can black beans, with liquid (or 1-3/4 cups cooked, with 1/2 cup water)

2/3 cup plant-based cheese, optional

2/3 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts

*Use as many organic ingredients as possible.

1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.  Slice the tortillas into thin strips.  Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then sprinkle the chili powder on top.  Bake for about 5 to 8 minutes, until brown and crisp.  Remove from oven and set aside.  Turn off the oven.

3.  Meanwhile, prepare the soup by heating the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes.

4.  Add the garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno, zucchini, corn, crushed red pepper, and cumin and saute for an additional 5 minutes.

5.  Add the water, broth base, tomatoes, and black beans.  Stir well and cover.  Simmer over medium heat for 25-30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

6.  Ladle about 1 cup of soup into soup bowls, and garnish with a few tortilla strips, 1 teaspoon of plant-based cheese, and 1 tablespoon green onions.  Serve immediately.

7.  Store leftover soup (without garnishes) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Reheat the soup and garnish with the tortilla strips, cheese, and green onions.

Variation:  Substitute cooked or canned white beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, or kidney beans for black beans, or use a combination.

Per serving:  148 calories, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated), 263 mg sodium, 21 g total carbohydrates (5 g sugar), 5 g fiber, 5 g protein.

If you have any questions, send us an email!

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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us 05-11

Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com

from Plant-Powered For Life by Sharon Palmer, RDN

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join us on our natural weight loss journey.

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