The Galley

HEALTHY CASSEROLES AND SOUPS

This article was originally published in our Winter 2013 Issue. 

It’s official.  Winter has arrived in Canada!  As the temperatures drop and the snow rises, we find ourselves craving hot soups and comforting casseroles.  There is no better way to warm up than with some good, hot food.  I love to make an ‘everything soup’.  All you need is a big pot, some water or broth and whatever is in your fridge.  You may have left-over chicken or beef.  Chances are there are some vegetables in your crisper.  Add some pasta or rice, and voila!  This is a great way to make sure you don’t waste any food.  Of course, if you prefer to follow a recipe, you can try these.

Mac and Cheese

1 ½ cups dry whole wheat macaroni

1 cup unsweetened almond or rice milk

2 tbsp whole wheat flour

1 tsp ground mustard

1 tsp cumin

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (organic preferred)

1 cup cooked, pureed pumpkin (or squash)

Boil water over high heat (about four cups) and add macaroni.  Reduce heat to medium and gently boil for 12 minutes or until pasta is al dante.  Strain pasta and set aside.

Whisk together the milk, flour and spices.  Bring to a boil in a separate pot, stirring often.  Reduce heat to low and add cheese and pumpkin or squash.  Continue to stir for about five more minutes.

Mix pasta and sauce in a casserole dish.  Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.

Option:  Top with diced tomato or avocado.

Vegetable Soup with Pasta and Lentils

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 celery stalks, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

7 cups of water

1 cup tomato, diced

1 leek, chopped

1 cup dry lentils (red or green)

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

3 bay leaves

2 cups dry kamut rotini (may be replaced with any kind of pasta such as whole wheat, or rice noodles)

3 cups spinach, chopped

Heat olive oil on low-medium heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Saute for about five minutes.  Add the celery and carrots, adding some water if the bottom becomes dry.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes.  Add the rest of the water with tomato, leek, lentils, salt and spices.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the pasta and spinach.  Continue to cook for another 12 minutes or until pasta is al dente.

Option:  Add some turkey or chicken for extra protein.

Acorn Squash Soup

1 acorn squash
2 tbsp butter
1 medium size onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1 litre vegetable broth
3/4 cup cream (organic preferred)

Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds.
Use a knife to poke random holes in the skin.
Bake at 375 F for 60 minutes.

Add butter to a large pot and saute onion, carrot, celery and garlic for about ten minutes, stirring often.
Add cinnamon, sea salt and broth.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Once the squash is ready, remove it from the oven and let it cool.
Scoop squash out of its shell, mash and set aside.

Use a slotted spoon or strainer to separate vegetables from the soup.
Puree the vegetables with the squash and cream, using soup as needed to liquefy (you will need to do this in batches, depending on the size of blender you are using).

Add the puree to soup and return to a boil.  Serve.

Borscht

6 cups water
1 tsp sea salt
4 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
4 cups beets, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 cup parsnips, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 cup onion, diced
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup fresh dill
cream (optional)

Boil water, sea salt, carrots, celery, beets, tomato and parsnips in a large pot. Reduce to medium heat and cover, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat butter in a skillet over medium heat and add onion and cabbage. Saute for 5 – 10 minutes, or until soft.

Add the onion, cabbage and dill to the soup and simmer for another 10 – 20 minutes. Serve with a spoonful of cream drizzled on top, if desired.

Karen Stoyles is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist residing just outside of Ottawa.  Graduating from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2010, she and her husband welcomed their daughter that same year.  She is grateful for what she learned about the human body, how to properly nurture it with food and thrilled to share this knowledge with others.

Karen Stoyles, RHN

613-854-9848

www.karenstoyles.com

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