Healing Cabbage Soup

 

You might look at this title and thing it sounds bland and boring. But no! This was actually super tasty! And what a great way to use extra cabbage that you might have. As always there are lots of variations that you can do with this soup, so play around and make it work with what you have.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil or butter in a dutch oven

Sautee 1 cup chopped onion, carrots, 2-3 cloves garlic and any other veggies that you have (we did parsnips – potatoes or celery would be good too!)

When veggies are soft, add 2 quarts of chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Return to a simmer, and add half a head of cabbage ,chopped and cored. We used red cabbage, but green works too.

When cabbage wilts (in 10 minutes or so) add one can stewed or diced Italian tomatoes

Add seasonings – garlic salt, italian seasonings, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne

Here’s where you can get creative – add in few of the following. We did beef and quinoa to make this a heartier meal!

Ground Beef (seasoned with Italian seasonings, garlic salt, onion powder, etc)
Ground Pork
Sliced Sausage
Cooked Quinoa
Cooked Brown Rice

You can check out the original recipe that I used as a base here.

I’m not quite sure why it’s called healing – I think it must have something to do with the cabbage and onions and chicken broth?

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Stove Top Popcorn

Looking for a healthy snack to enjoy? Look no further! We’ve recently discovered the joys of stove top popping our own popcorn. It’s delicious and, after drizzled heavily with butter, it’s quite satisfying too. Yes, butter really is healthy in moderation! It’s one of those good fats that your body needs to keep your cells healthy. I was starving this afternoon, and after two kid sized bowls of this popcorn and butter, I was filled up enough to last until dinner.

Be wary of microwave popcorn, as the kernels are soaked in canola oil and other scary things. We like to use coconut oil with ours.

Melt 3 tbsp of oil in a dutch oven over medium heat
Drop 2-3 kernels in, cover, and listen for when they pop
When the kernels have popped, add in 1/2 cup of kernels
Shake the dutch oven over the burner until the popping has stopped.

Updated Quinoa Salad

 

 

I’ve posted a similar quinoa salad before, but this one I like even better. The tip on toasting the quinoa is awesome! Use this as a base, and then add whatever you’d like or whatever you happen to have on hand. Remember, quinoa is a great grain that also is a complete protein!  You can also cook your quinoa in veggie or chicken broth.

SERVES 4

Do not add oil or butter to the pot when toasting the quinoa, as it will make the grain taste slightly bitter. To make this dish spicier, add the chile seeds. After 12 minutes of cooking, there will still be a little bit of water in the pan, but this will evaporate as the quinoa cools.

INGREDIENTS (Base)

  • 1cup quinoa, rinsed and dried on a towel
  • 1 1/2cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2teaspoon ground cumin

SUggested inclusions:

Red Bell Pepper
Cilantro
Corn
Parsly
Jalapeño
Black Beans
Tomatoes
Pine Nuts

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. 1. Toast the quinoa in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until the quinoa is lightly toasted and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Stir in the water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue to simmer until the quinoa has absorbed most of the water and is nearly tender, about 12 minutes. Spread the quinoa out over a rimmed baking sheet and set aside until it is tender and cool, about 20 minutes.
  2. 2. When the quinoa is cool, transfer it to a large bowl. Stir in the onion, and any extra add ins you want. In a separate bowl, whisk the lime juice, oil, mustard, garlic, and cumin together, then pour over the quinoa mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
  3. TO MAKE AHEAD: The quinoa salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days; season with additional salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste before serving.

SUPERFOOD!

Following up with the healthy eating, here are two great SUPERFOOD meals to kick off your new year! YUM!

Superfood Salad:

Spinach & Kale (SUPERFOOD!!) – http://www.kalesuperfood.com/what-is-kale/

Avocado – healthy fat! we are learning how important it is to include healthy fats into your diet, plus they keep you satiated throughout the day, helping to regulate your blood sugar.

Chia Seeds (SUPERFOOD!) – great source of Omega 3’s http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/content/en/dave_foreman/chia.jsp

Cacao Nibs (SUPERFOOD!) – huge way to get magnesium into your diet – http://livesuperfoods.com/raw-cacao-nibs.html

Parsly – yep, just a few springs torn up add some in! .Parsley is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It contains iron and folate and is loaded with flavonoids. It has more vitamin C than an orange!  It’s mostly in the stems so don’t throw those out.

Almonds – healthy fat

*then toss in whatever else you like in your salad – carrots, celery, dried fruit.  IF you add some chicken, salmon, or a hard boiled egg this becomes a complete meal!  Protein, fat, and carbs!

Superfood Oatmeal:

Steel Cut or Rolled Oats, cooked

Frozen or Fresh Blueberries: wonderful antioxidants

Almonds – healthy fat!

Chia Seeds (SUPERFOOD!) See above!

Raisins or Dried Fruit – add if you want something to replace your sugar

Cacao Nibs (SUPERFOOD!) – adds some extra caffeine to your meal, see facts above!

Cinnamon

Pat of Butter – helps regulate the carbohydrates, keeps your blood sugar from spiking and keeps you fuller longer!

Whole Milk – chose whole, not low fat. Low fat milk is packed with sugar to make up for the loss of flavor in fat. It is also very processed to remove the fat, and powdered milk flakes are added back into it to make it look like “milk”. Whole milk is not processed like this – what you see is what you get. Plus you need less to feel full if you drink a higher fat content milk. Preferably go with grass fed, but of course that’s harder to find! Read more … http://flaxandhoney.com/2012/10/02/dairy/

Sugar

For the first time ever, Andrew and I have decided to get really serious about our health – including seeing a nutritionalist. We’ve evaluated what we eat, and the first thing our wonderful professional has schooled is in is SUGAR. We are definitely sugar addicts. And, sugar is in everything.
The goal = get off sugar – ALL SUGAR – for a month to detox, then add it back with healthy doses. We’re talking no honey, agave, maple syrup, brown rice syrup … etc.

I’ve been off sugar for one week. At first, headaches and crabby behavior. I felt terrible! But one week later, the headaches have gone away and I feel great! Honest! I don’t crash in the afternoon and, by eating good foods throughout the day, I’m not craving sugar like I used to.

Anyways, all this to say, Reliable Recipes will probably be featuring less sugary meals/desserts and more healthy choices. A good thing!

For now, I want to share two things with you readers. One, if you have time, watch this. It’s awesome and full of great info about sugar vs. fat.

Second, if you do like delicious sugary desserts, try this one instead. Yes, it does still have a bit of maple syrup so it’s currently off limits for me. But its a great substitute and healthy alternative for dessert and it tastes amazing. It’s raw, gluten free, and actually pretty good for you. I can’t wait to eat a few next month! Might I suggest the Cacao Nib flavor? YUMMMM!

http://mycocoroons.com/

Black Eye Peas, Collard Greens & Black Rice Soup

If you make the Hoppin’ John Bowls, here is a great way to use your left over black eyed peas, rice, and collard greens!

I actually enjoyed this more than the original recipe – maybe it is the addition of bacon?!? 🙂 Everything is "approximate" because left over soup can be that way. Add whatever veggies you have! Celery would be great here.

Sautee 3 strips of bacon, chopped, in a dutch oven or large stock pot.
When bacon has released it’s fat, and getting brown, drain off half of the fat (I used a spoon to take it out).

Add 1 cup chopped onion, 4 or so handfuls of chopped red potatoes, chopped carrots (about 3 or so).

Sautee all together for about 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Add chicken broth, covering the vegetables by about an inch or two of broth.

Bring to a boil.

Turn down to a simmer, add a few cups of cooked beans or black eyed peas and cooked rice.

Add salt, garlic salt, pepper, a dash of turmeric.

Tear off the greens from the stems on 4-5 collard greens, add to soup, let cook on low covered for 10 minutes.

When collard greens wilt, it’s done!

Hoppin’ John Bowl with Red Hot Tahini

This is by far the healthiest meal that has made it on the blog! And it was yummy! Honest! We all really liked it. I used black rice instead of red which was tasty and has very high antioxidants (10 times the amount of blueberries!). You can’t get more health in a bowl than collard greens, black eyed peas, black rice, tomatoes and tahini. At first I wasn’t a huge fan of the tahini, but once I put the hot sauce in, I was hooked. 🙂

I didn’t realize that black eyed peas are a New Years type food – I’m curious what the tradition is behind them. This is a vegan version of a more southern dish that typically uses ham hock in the beans.

Take a look at the write up on how the author put all these flavors together here.

For the Hoppin’ John:
1 1/2 cup dried black eyed peas, soaked in water overnight
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt

For the Red Hot Tahini:
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot)
1/4 cup water (plus more as needed)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (I did not have this)
1 clove garlic

For the Tomato Parsley Salad:
2 cups diced tomatoes
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup finely sliced green onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Several dashes fresh black pepper
Dash salt

Also:
1 pound steamed greens (I used collard greens)
6 cups cooked rice for serving (I used black rice)