Guest Blog by Melody Hord
My mother has a trait that has served our family well! She is “Always Prepared.” Being prepared means you are ready at a moment’s notice. I have to hand it to Mom, she is very prepared when it comes to eating. Growing up, even though mom worked full time, she did her best to serve up wholesome meals for my brother and me. One way she did this, was always thinking ahead, having ingredients on hand or in the freezer.
A few weeks ago, a long-time loving friend called my mom and said she was stopping by to visit. Oh yay! What a wonderful surprise. Wait a second; it appeared she would be arriving right at lunch time. Since my mom is in her 90’s, she didn’t feel like she had the umph to prepare one of those southern spreads that one slaves over for days. However, because my mom was prepared, she simply pulled out some delicious vegetable soup from the freezer and warmed it up. Vegetable soup can taste even better the second time around! I popped over with some guacamole, jicama sticks and store-bought muffins, and we all ate like kings, laughed and basked in the joy of the day. (Usually mom has cornbread stashed in the freezer, too.)
Having foods pre-prepared is a great way to make sure your meals remain healthy when you are in a pinch. There are always going to be days you do not feel like or simply don’t have the time to prepare an entrée. When you know you have foods in the freezer, it can make life easier and less stressful. Soups and chilies are some of the perfect dishes to burrow away.
Some people ask about using canned beans in their soup recipes? A study discovered that canned beans are just as nutritious as home-boiled beans.1 Added salt to canned beans is a downside, however, there are brands that do not use salt.
Below are two great soup recipes. And remember, you can always double or triple them so you’ll have enough to freeze.
The first recipe is from Everyday Wholesome Eating by Kim Wilson. It is her Cream of Vegetable Soup. Included is the “Cabbage Version” and the “Cauliflower Version,” both containing cruciferous vegetables.
Cream of Vegetable Soup
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive or virgin coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 cups water
- 3-4 cups vegetables (see 2 versions below)
- 1 tsp thyme
- ¾ tsp. unrefined salt
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
Sauté onion and garlic in oil. Add desired vegetables and herbs, salt and water (all except parsley). Simmer until vegetables are quite tender. Puree in blender or a hand blender, then mix in parsley. Let soup cool down before blending in a blender. (If you want do not want it creamy, just leave vegetables in chunks and do not blend.)
Add ¼ -⅓ head of cabbage, 1 zucchini, 1-2 cups broccoli and 1 -2 cups green beans or peas to pot.
- ½ head cauliflower
- 5 carrots
- ¾ tsp. curry powder
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
After blending, for a thicker soup you can add 2 tsp. arrowroot (mixed in a small amount of water) and simmer briefly.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower contain sulfur-containing compounds that change to isothiocyanates (ITCs) when the cell wall is opened. Over 120 ICTS have been identified. Each of these ITCS work on different molecules and in places within the cells to provide anti-cancer properties.2
Another fabulous soup, comes from the Hallelujah Diet Lose Weight Deliciously recipe book.
Black Bean Soup
Makes 4 medium bowls
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp garlic
- 1 cup water
- 1 can diced tomatoes, or 2 cups fresh chopped, or 1 pint chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1 can black beans including juice (salt-free if possible), or 1 ⅔ cups black beans and ⅓ cup water)
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- 1 cup organic corn kernels, fresh or frozen
- Sauté onion in olive oil for approximately 5 minutes. Add cumin and mustard seeds and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then bring down to a simmer for at least 10 minutes to soften corn and allow flavors to blend.
Freezing hardy soups not only offers delicious nourishment, but keeps you mentally ready at the right moment. You will be surprised how often they come in handy.
What entrées do you like to freeze?
- p.283 How Not to Die, Michael Greger, M.D., Flatiron Books, 2015.
- p. 63 Super Immunity, Joel Fuhrman, M.D., Harper One, 2011.