Healthy Cookie: Double Bean Enchilada Soup

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I didn’t think I’d be interested in enchilada soup of any kind when my mom made it for dinner a few nights ago. Her version was made with chicken, so I couldn’t have eaten it even if I wanted to. But when I walked through the door after getting home from the gym, my stomach growling like a ticked-off grizzly bear, all I could smell was the intoxicating scent of that soup, and I wanted it.

Of course, like I said, I couldn’t eat any because of the chicken. But I instantly decided I would make my own meatless version instead: Double Bean Enchilada Soup. I’m so glad I did too, because that wonderful aroma of the soup my mother mad would have haunted me forever if I never got to try it.

My soup is just slightly tweaked with two kinds of hearty beans taking on the role of protein in place of chicken. I also added some green chiles, which bring serious heat to the table. Make sure you have a big ol’ glass of water at the ready. The heat might slow you down, but the delicious, warm flavors will keep you pressing on, inhaling spoonful after spoonful in a state of soup-induced euphoria.DSC_2126

I can’t even explain how good this soup is, especially because one big fat cupful is less than 130 calories. Seriously? Yes, seriously. I wouldn’t believe it either if I hadn’t made it. This soup is so hearty and thick from the cornmeal, singing with saucy Mexican flavors, and it’s even got some creamy American cheese. Can all that goodness come with a teeny-tiny calorie count? Yes, sir!

This is officially my favorite low-cal soup ever. Why? Because it doesn’t taste like a really good low-cal soup; it just tastes like a really good soup period. I also adore how quick and easy it is; no day-long simmering required. Make it in under 30 minutes with just a few ingredients.

If you don’t have this Double Bean Enchilada Soup for dinner tonight, then you’re missing out. Down a big bowlful, and you can feel satisfied without feeling an ounce of guilt.DSC_2131

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Need your meat fix? Trade the beans for 2 cups shredded chicken.
  2. All black beans or all kidney beans is fine if you only have one kind on hand.
  3. Tailor this to meet your diet needs: use all vegetable stock if you’re a vegetarian instead of the combination I used.
  4. Garnish with fresh cilantro if you like. I hate the stuff, but some people love it.
  5. Red onion instead of yellow will kick this up even more.
  6. You can skip the green chiles and use a can of Ro-tel instead, which will give you the heat plus diced tomatoes.DSC_2033

Double Bean Enchilada Soup
Adapted from Eat More of What You Love

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (or use all vegetable stock if vegetarian)
  • ¾ cup enchilada sauce
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp. cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. diced green chiles, drained & rinsed
  • ¾ cup black beans, drained & rinsed
  • ½ cup kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 4 slices 2% milk American cheese singles
  • Optional garnish: diced tomatoes, lettuce, crushed tortilla chips, sour cream

Directions:

  1. Add about ¼ cup of chicken stock to a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until translucent and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in both stocks, 1 cup water, and the enchilada sauce and bring to a low boil. Meanwhile, whisk together the cornmeal with ¾ cup water in a small bowl. Once soup is boiling, whisk in cornmeal mixture, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Let simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in green chiles and beans. Let cook for another two minutes then stir in cheese until completely melted. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

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Healthy Cookie: Creamy Creamless Vegetable Soup

 

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Folks, you may not know this, but we need food to live. I know most of the time it’s like we’re only eating for pleasure and enjoyment, but our body actually does need the nutrients we’re cramming down our gullet. However, a problem arises when we forget that and start inhaling garbage simply because it tastes good. You’ve got to get something nutritious out of the food you’re eating every now and then.

Now, I won’t pretend to be perfect in this area. Once or twice a week, I let myself eat whatever delicious junk I want to eat. But the rest of the week, I try to eat healthy so my body can get what it needs. It certainly isn’t easy; I find nothing more difficult than picking up carrot sticks when all I want is mozzarella sticks. The only way to enjoy healthy eating is if the healthy stuff is also tasty. We’re all kids at heart in that we won’t eat something we don’t like, no matter how good it is for us.

So let’s talk about soup now. Soup is a wonderful food in that, if you make it right, it’s super filling and satisfying, and you can eat a TON of it for very few calories. What I’ve got for you today is a super soup; it’s just about as jam-packed with nutrients and good-for-you stuff as it can be, plus it’s so comforting and filling that you may need a nap after eating it.

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My Creamy Creamless Vegetable Soup may sound a bit contradictory, but here’s how it works: we cook a trio of veggies in a flavorful broth until tender then puree it with sweet potato and cannellini beans to create a faux-creamy soup. The texture is velvety and rich, but you don’t use a drop of cream.

Besides making the soup creamier, the beans also bulk things up and add protein. Plus, don’t get me started on the multi-dimensional flavors here. With all the different veggies, garlic, onions, and a combination of chicken and veggie stock, your taste buds are going to be quite entertained.

Stop and think the next time you’re about to eat empty calories. Why eat tasty garbage when you can eat tasty good-for-you grub like my Creamy Creamless Vegetable Soup instead?

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. This is a good way to get your kids to eat something good for them because pureeing the soup hides the veggies.
  2. You can make this soup earlier in the day then reheat later when you’re ready to eat.
  3. This makes a lot of soup, so you can feed a family or enjoy the leftovers. P.S. the leftovers are even better!
  4. The Splenda doesn’t really make the soup sweet; it’s just to balance of the flavors and keep things multidimensional.
  5. You don’t have to chop the veggies super small since they get pureed later anyway.DSC_0927

Creamy Creamless Vegetable Soup
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield – 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken stock (or all veggie stock if you’re vegetarian)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 3 large carrots, peeled & chopped into coins
  • 2 heads of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 cups cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 packets of no-calorie sweetener (I used Splenda)
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, stir together the chicken stock, veggie stock, and water. Add the onion and garlic. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the sweet potato on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels. Poke holes in the top of the potato with a fork. Microwave on high for 5 minutes then flip and microwave for another 5 minutes. Slice in half and let cool for a few minutes before removing and discarding the skins. Chop into chunks.
  3. Add the carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower to the simmering broth. Cover and let cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Turn heat to low. Use a slotted spoon to fish out about 2 cups of veggies. Set aside. Stir in all the remaining ingredients plus the potato chunks to the broth. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Return the reserved veggies to the pot and serve.DSC_1062

Italian Bean (& Bacon) Soup

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My father is a diehard carnivore. If there’s no meat, he ain’t interested. That’s all fine and dandy, but being a vegetarian, I run into issues when I’m the one making dinner. My mother’s perfectly okay with not having meat in the meal, but my dad…not so much. So I often wind up working my cooking nights around when I know he’ll be out for dinner, or I just cook as I please and my mother might make some form of meat to go with what I cook.

Sometimes though, I can figure out a way to make a dish so that it suits me and my meat-eating father. Take this Italian Bean and Bacon Soup for example. I know; you’re thinking that soup can’t be suitable for me when it’s got bacon. But lucky for me, the bacon is a completely optional addition. So, my dad can have his meat-tastic soup, and I can have mine meat-free. Everyone’s happy!

We can even please my healthy-eating mother because this hearty soup is good for you too. Enjoy a whole heaping cup for about 100 calories! I know; this soup is blowing your mind today. But can something that light in calories be heavy in flavor and heartiness too? You bet your bacon, it can!

How’s that possible? We use filling, nutritious ingredients that are rich in flavor like carrots, celery, and Swiss chard. Then, we really bulk things up with beans, the king of protein, and a little bit of barely too. Plus, if you’re a meat freak like my dad, you can have that crispy bacon for even more protein power. I know you meat eaters like your bacon, and understandably so. It’s a great addition to a great soup.

With or without the bacon, you can get cozy with a bowl of this savory steaming soup. It’s comforting, filling, and crowd-pleasing. When a meal is something both me and my father will eat, you know you’ve got something good.DSC_0308

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. I had trouble finding Swiss chard, but you can switch it out for kale instead.
  2. My father accidentally discovered that brown rice is a great addition to the soup when he mistakenly ate the rice I made for veggie burgers, thinking it was for the soup.
  3. A little bit of grated parmesan would be lovely on top.
  4. Soup is a great weeknight meal because it’s easy and feeds an army.
  5. If you don’t use fresh herbs, you’re a darn fool. Your foods will constantly be mediocre if you only use dried stuff.
  6. If you’re making this with the Great Northern beans, you must soak the beans overnight so PLAN AHEAD.

Italian Bean (and Bacon) Soup
Slightly adapted from Eat More of What You Love

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • Optional: 2 slices centercut bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled & sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 2 medium celery stalks, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tsp. chopped rosemary, divided
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 8 cups stemmed Swiss chard leaves or kale

Directions:

  1. If using bacon: In a small skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring often until brown and crisp, about 6 minutes.
  2. Pour everything but the bacon plus 2 1/2 cups water into a large pot over medium-low heat.  Cover and let simmer until beans are tender and greens are wilted, about 1 hour.
  3. Remove rosemary sprigs. Add bacon and enjoy.

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Healthy Cookie: Spicy Southwestern Veggie Soup

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Most of you are starting your New Year’s diets, but I’ve been trying to eat better since Thanksgiving. Naturally, having a food blog often deters my progress. The only way to keep me from eating my own treats is to not make them at all. But there is a compromise in making healthy recipes to post on here. I get to eat it and share it with you, but I don’t have to feel guilty (and neither do you!).

I concocted this low-cal, full-flavor Spicy Southwestern Veggie Soup after eating a similar soup from a can. It was okay, but being a canned soup, I knew I could make a fresh version much better. My soup is packed with fresh veggies like carrots, celery, and corn, plus it’s got hearty black beans for protein. What really packs a punch in this soup is a blend of kickin’ seasonings and some heat  from the Rotel. It’s spicy, savory, and soul-warming, perfect for a cold winter night.

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Best of all, you can pile the ingredients in the pot and walk away. So not only is this a healthy, filling, deliciously satisfying dinner; it’s easy too. After a long day, you can come home and count on a quick, effortless meal that doesn’t involve the drive-thru or the delivery guy. Rejoice!

Put down that can opener and back away. There ain’t no need for Campbell’s in your kitchen tonight. You can make soup that’s ten times as delicious, with fresh ingredients and great flavor, and it won’t cost you any effort at all.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. If you don’t like any of the veggies I chose, feel free to sub them with something you prefer.
  2. Looking for more healthy but awesome recipes? Head over to the Healthy Cookie recipe page.
  3. Add just a light sprinkle of cheddar cheese or fat-free sour cream.
  4. Want even more heat? Add red pepper flakes.
  5. Easily double or triple this to serve a family, or if you’re cooking for yourself, you can save the leftovers for lunch the next day._DSC8439

Spicy Southwestern Veggie Soup
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield – 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (the plain stuff from a can)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 a medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes & green chiles (like Rotel) <- this is where the heat comes from
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup black beans

Directions:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, bring veggie stock, water, and tomato sauce to simmer. Add celery, carrots, and onion. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. You may allow it to come to a low boil, but no higher.
  2. Add spices, diced tomatoes & green chiles and corn. Cover and let cook at a low boil until all veggies are almost tender to your liking, stirring occasionally. Add beans and reduce to simmer until veggies are tender to your liking. All in all, it should take about an hour. Serve immediately.

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Healthy Cookie: Roasted Squash & Cauliflower Soup

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Oh soup, you know just how to sooth me. Even the roughest week is no match for you. You taste so creamy and comforting, then glide down my throat and into my stomach where you warm me from the inside out like an edible heater. How do you do what you do? You give me a happy tummy like no other food can. You just get me, soup.

And just when I think you cannot get any more perfect, you find a way to be nutritious and downright delicious all at once. With this Roasted Squash and Cauliflower Soup, you’ve truly outdone yourself. I can eat spoonful after heavenly spoonful, and not feel an ounce of remorse.

You are so delicious, brimming with caramelized flavor from oven-roasted butternut squash and cauliflower. Plus your fresh sage is so enticing and warm, as if someone fused pure comfort into a spice. You’re hearty, velvety, and filling, yet low-cal and packed with vitamins and fiber. Oh soup, you are too good to me.

This Roasted Squash & Cauliflower Soup is quite simple to make. You too can fall in love with your soup tonight, no effort required.

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A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Fresh veggies and herbs are essential to make this soup truly delicious.
  2. I do, however, recommend getting the pre-cut and peeled squash from your produce section to save yourself some pain. B-Squash is a pain in the butt to chop and peel.
  3. Just about any cheese would be delicious in this soup, but I chose parmesan because a little goes a long way.
  4. If you must have meat, serve with grilled chicken or mix in some turkey bacon.

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Roasted Squash & Cauliflower Soup
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 1 20-oz. package pre-chopped squash
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup veggie stock
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Lay cauliflower and squash out in an even layer and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until golden brown and tender.
  2. Add onion, garlic, and sage to a large pot then pour stock over top. Turn burner on to medium heat, cover, and let simmer until onions are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the roasted veggies and simmer for another 10 minutes. Use a hand blender to puree until it reaches your desired consistency. If you don’t have a hand/immersion blender, you’ll have to use a blender or food processor.
  4. Stir in salt, pepper, and cheese. Serve immediately and garnish with more fresh sage if you’d like.

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