Monday, March 26, 2012

Cooking Healthy Can Be Fun

I love avoiding house cleaning and find that cooking helps me do that almost guilt free.
After all I do have to learn to eat healthier. Right? So to sum up the guidelines are:

1. Diabetes Type 2 - no sugar
2. Obesity - cut carbs and calories
3. Hypercholesterolemia - cut fats
4. Hypertension and heart disease - cut salt
...and so it goes. What is a person to eat?

Well, I spent a lovely day reading recipes, shopping for ingredients and cooking what I consider a healthy and tasty soup, combining ideas from other recipes and just thinking up some of my own additions. You know - one of those looking through the spice cabinet kind of experiments. I've developed a love of herbs, especially those used in Italian cooking. Here's the recipe I came up with.

Italian Vegetable Beef Soup
Roberta Roddy

1 1/2 lb. lean beef cut in half inch cubes
1 whole chopped onion
2 - 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 cups water
1 qt box plus 1 can beef stock (0 fat) (or 3 cans)
1 can chicken stock (0 fat)
1 tsp lite salt
2 bay leaves
1 tbs parsley flakes
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp Italian herb seasoning
pepper to taste
5 -6 stalks diced celery
1 cup sliced or diced carrots
1/4 to 1/3 head of cabbage cut/chopped
1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes Italian style
1 6 oz can tomato paste

Heat olive oil in large soup pot or Dutch oven. Sautee onion and beef.
When beef is pale brown, add water, beef stock and chicken stock.
Add seasonings and continue cooking while preparing vegetables.
Add all vegetables and cook covered at med. heat at least 1 -2 hours.

Nutrition Facts:
12 to 13 ~ 1.5 cup Servings
Amount Per Serving:
Calories 156.1
Total Fat 6.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.4 g
Cholesterol 33.0 mg
Sodium 826.7 mg
Potassium 587.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
Sugars 4.2 g
Protein 15.9 g

It turned out very good in my and my son's opinions, and works with my nutritional needs. I fully expect it will be even tastier tomorrow, as soups usually are with all the seasonings more evenly blended.

Yep, I can live with this. (Too heavy on the sodium, but will look for Na free broth next time.) Looking forward to experimenting with more healthy cooking. I have one rule though, in addition to the restrictions, the food has to taste good!