Better Bites

My experiments in healthy eating, cooking, and living

Archive for the tag “Stew/Soup”

Chicken soup’s vegetarian equivalent: Chickpea and wild rice stew

Chickpea soup 1

As I write this post, I’m home from work trying to nurse a cold that’s been lingering for the past few days. I almost felt guilty staying home today to try to feel better, but then I thought “Why do I feel this intense pressure to be at work, even when I’m not healthy or up to being there?” I think a lot of it has to do with the societal pressure of feeling like work should always come first. I shouldn’t have to be on my death bed to justify taking a sick day when I clearly can’t function as I normally could if I was there.

After reading a few of Anne’s posts on her blog, Balanced Living, I’m reminded by how important it is to manage stress within one’s life. The post, Mind over Medicine has a link to an interesting TED talk about stress and how to deal with it. Stress is probably what caused me to be sick in the first place.

Now, its’ time to heal with some healthy food and much needed rest. The chickpea and wild rice soup recipe posted below, is filling, nourishing, and delicious. It is just what my body ordered on a day like today.

Chickpea soup 2

Chickpea and wild rice soup:

*Serves 3-4

Ingredients: 

1 tbsp of olive oil

2 large cloves of garlic diced,

optional: 1 yellow onion, diced

1 medium sized potato, peeled and diced

3 stalks of celery, washed and sliced

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 quarts of culinary vegetable broth

1/2 cup of a wild and brown rice mix

1/4 tsp each of salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 tsp of garlic powder

1 tsp each of oregano and dried basil

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. When it’s hot, add the onion. After letting the onion soften for 3-5 minutes, add the garlic. After a minute or so, add the potato, carrots, and celery. Let those ingredients cook for about 5 minutes before adding the chickpeas, vegetable broth, rice, and spices. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Then let it cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice and potatoes are tender. Enjoy!

Meatless Monday: Kale and Garbanzo Bean Stew

Kale Soup 1

There is nothing better on a cold day, than warm soup to warm you up. In this stew, soft round pieces of barley balanced out the texture of the ribbed green kale. The addition of wine to the broth added a depth of flavor. Kale wasn’t the only hardy vegetable in the stew, which also contained carrots, tomatoes, and garbanzo beans. Red pepper flakes added some heat to the mild flavor of chicken broth. This meatless dish reminded me of a spicy green bean soup my Nonny used to make. It was always guaranteed to be a little spicy and full of colorful vegetables. I was also inspired by a recipe I found on Pinterest, which was originally posted on The Washington Post website.

kale soup 2

Ingredients and directions: 

*Stew recipe lightly adapted from The Washington Post

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, diced

1/2 tsp of salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt-free adobo

64 ounces of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup of barley

3/4 cup of carrots

3/4 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

Parmesan cheese to taste (to season with after the soup is served) *optional

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on the soup once it is finished *optional

1- Heat the olive oil over medium heat. After dicing the onion, add it to the pot with the olive oil. After about five minutes, add the diced garlic.

2- Give the garlic a few minutes to add flavor to the oil and then add all of the liquid and barley.

3- Let the barely mixture come to a boil (over medium high heat) and then turn the stove temperature back down to medium heat to let the stew simmer.

4- After about 35 minutes add the vegetables and tomatoes to the soup mixture. Serve when the barley and carrots are tender. Top it with Parmesan cheese if you like.

Enjoy and let me know what you think! Feel free to share and link to your favorite soup or stew recipes.

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