Part 2: Salads, Soups & Stews

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Salads

Eating a lot of salad based dishes can be a challenge at first, but your stomach soon gets used to the new tastes and flavours of healthy eating and eventually learns to hate the bad stuff! Its a bit like when you stop taking sugar and milk in your tea and coffee (which then makes both very low calorie drinks), you may hate the new taste at first. But after a few weeks, drinking tea and coffee with sugar and milk becomes repulsive … your brain has become accustomed to healthy beverages. Salads fill you up and encourage weight loss … you basically can’t overeat on them! Successful long term weight control and health depend greatly on your ability to regularly consume plenty of raw greens. Simply put … they are the healthiest foods in the world.

Here is a nice selection of salad dishes which are delicious, filling and very easy to make:

Black Bean Mango Salad

Serves 3

1 mango, peeled, pitted and cubed
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed or fresh corn off the cob
3 cups cooked black beans or 2 x 15 ounce cans of
no / low salt black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
dash chilli powder
9 cups chopped romaine lettuce

If using fresh corn, water sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Mix all the ingredients except the lettuce in a bowl. Let stand for at least 15 minutes. Serve on top of the lettuce. Note: the vegetable mixture without the mango can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Add the mango and a splash of lime juice just before serving.

Southern Style Mixed Greens

Serves 2

1 cup of water
1 clove of garlic, minced
dash of black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked black eyed peas or 1 (15 ounce) can of no salt black eyed peas, drained and rinsed 1 cup seeded and chopped yellow bell pepper
1 cup of chopped fresh tomato
1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup of chopped red onion
2 tablespoons of balsamic or fig vinegar
10 ounces (about 7 cups) of mixed salad greens.

Combine the water, garlic and black pepper in a large saucepan; bring to boil. Add the black eyed peas; cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Drain.

In a bowl, combine the black eyed peas, bell pepper, tomato, parsley, onion and vinegar. Cover and chill for 3 hours or overnight. Serve over the salad greens.

Walnut Pear Green Salad

Serves 2

8 ounces (about 5 cups) of baby greens
2 ounces (about 2 cups) arugula or watercress
1 pear, peeled, cored and grated
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons of pear vinegar or rice vinegar
2 teaspoons of olive oil
2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup of walnut halves

Combine the baby greens, arugula, grated pear, currants and walnuts in a bowl. Toss with the vinegar and olive oil. Top with the sliced pears and walnut halves. Note: use watercress as often as possible in salads for nutrient density.

Soups & Stews

Soups and stews are a healthy eater’s best friend. You can fill bowls with hearty grains, fibre-rich vegetables, lean meats and then pour on a flavourful low-calorie broth. Creamy soups of puréed vegetables are a can’t-fail crowd pleaser, too—and they’re a great way to sneak in extra vegetable and fruit servings. Every diet begins with watching what you eat and counting calories has a place. Fortunately, there’s an easier way to go about the math than tracking down nutritional info and logging every bite: build a strong portfolio of delicious low-calorie soups & stews and let them do the work for you. We’ll get you started with this collection of soup and stew recipes that are short on calories but big on flavour. The only calculation you’ll need to worry about is subtracting the pounds!

Black Forest Cream of Mushroom Soup

Serves 6

2 tablespoons water
2 pounds mixed fresh mushrooms (button, shiitake, cremini) sliced
1/4 inch thick
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons of herbes de Provence
5 cups of carrot juice
3 cups unsweetened soy, hemp or almond milk
2 carrots coarsely chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup chopped celery
3 leeks, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1/4 cup of no-salt seasoning
1/4 cup of raw cashews
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of chopped, fresh thyme
2 teaspoons of chopped, fresh rosemary
2 (15 ounces) cans of no salt added white beans, drained and rinsed
5 ounces of baby spinach
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Heat the water in a large sauté pan. Sauté the mushrooms, garlic and herbes de Provence for about 10 minutes, or until tender adding more water if necessary to prevent from sticking. Set aside.

In a large soup pot, bring the carrot juice, 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the carrots, onion, corn, celery. leeks and seasoning to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender … normally about 30 minutes. In a food processor or high powered blender, puree the cashews and remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Add half of the soup liquid and vegetables, the lemon juice, thyme and rosemary. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Return the pureed soup mixture to the pot. Add the beans, spinach and sautéed mushrooms. Heat until the spinach is wilted. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Golden Austrian Cauliflower Cream Soup

Serves 4

1 head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 cup of coarsely chopped celery
2 leeks, coarsely chopped
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons of no salt seasoning
2 cups of carrot juice
4 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 cup of raw cashews
5 cups chopped kale leaves or baby spinach

Place all the ingredients except the cashews and kale in a pot. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Steam the kale until tender. (If you are using spinach, there is no need to steam it … it will wilt in the hot soup).

In a food processor or high powered blender, blend two thirds of the soup liquid and vegetables with the cashews until smooth and creamy. Return to the pot and stir in the steamed kale (or raw spinach).

High Cruciferous Vegetable Stew

Serves 10

4 cups of water
2 1/2 cups of carrot juice
1/2 cup of dried split peas
1/2 cup of dried lentils (red lentils make the prettiest soup)
1/2 cup dried adzuki beans, soaked overnight or no salt canned adzuki beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch kale, tough stems and centre ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped.
1 bunch collard greens, tough stems and centre ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
8 ounces fresh or frozen Brussels sprouts
8 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, cut in half
10 ounces celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 leeks coarsely chopped
3 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 parsnips cut into i inch pieces
3 medium onions, chopped
4 medium zucchini, cubed
4 cloves garlic, chopped or 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 (28 ounce can) of chopped tomatoes – no salt added
1/4 cup of no salt seasoning
2 tablespoons of Mrs Dash
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup broccoli sprouts

Place all the ingredients except the parsley and sprouts in a large soup pot. Cover and bring to a simmer, cooking until the adzuki beans are tender … normally about 1 1/2 hours. If using canned adzuki beans, simmer until the vegetables, lentils and split peas are tender and the flavours blend … about 1 hour. In a food processor or high powered blender, blend one quarter of the soup until smooth. Return to the soup pot and stir in the parsley and broccoli sprouts.

Lovely Lentil Stew

Serves 4

2 cups of dried lentils
6 cups of water
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped

Place the lentils, water, onion, pepper and basil in a pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the tomato and celery and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Tomato Bisque

Serves 6

3 cups of carrot juice
1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, chopped or 1 (28 ounce) can
of whole tomatoes, no salt added1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small bay leaf
pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon of dried thyme, crumbled
2 tablespoons of no salt seasoning
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
5 ounces of baby spinach

In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients except for the cashews, basil and spinach. Simmer for 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Remove 2 cups of the vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside. Puree the remaining soup and cashews in a food processor or high powered blender until smooth. Return the reserved vegetables to the pot. Stir in the basil and the spinach and let the spinach wilt.

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