Saturday, April 24, 2010

eat your vegetables!

What a beautiful Saturday here in the Capital City! I woke up this morning, enjoyed my Larry's Beans with Organic Valley half & half (Larry's Beans is a must! read more about the best coffee you've ever had here... and some cereal, then cleaned up a bit. Lunch time rolled around and i just didn't want to eat a sandwich, so i made a pot of vegetable soup! I used what was in my freezer/refrigerator, so when you make it, just use what you have on hand! That's the beauty of cooking, eyeballing your pantry, fridge, etc., and be inventive! I'll post the recipe at the bottom of the blog! Enjoy!

Now lets get into why i wanted to start this blog in the first place: frozen vs. fresh, organic vs. conventional and what are the best choices for a healthy lifestyle! For those of you who are new to these terms, The Mayo Clinic has written an article that does a great job of explaining the difference. Follow this link to learn more :) Now that you know the difference between organic and conventional, lets learn about what to buy organic and what is okay to buy conventional. Fresh and organic can get quite pricey, so sometimes you have to pick your battles. There are many fruits and veggies that you should ALWAYS buy organic. There is an organization in D.C. called The Environmental Working Group (EWG). EWG advocates polices for a healthier US! Between 2000 and 2004 they tested over 40,000 pesticides used in our produce. The study took into account how the food was prepared, washed peeled and so on. The following had the highest amount of pesticide residue. These, even after washing and peeling should always be purchased organic! Peaches, Apples, Peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Lettuce, Imported Grapes, Pears, Spinach and Potatoes! The EWG also provided us with a list of foods that you can always buy conventional; Broccoli, Cabbage, Eggplant, Bananas, Kiwi, Asparagus, Peas, Mango, Pineapple, Corn, Avocado and Onion. I personally LOVE eating really can taste the difference between conventional and organic...the food actually tastes like nature intended it to, imagine that :)

Now the skinny on frozen and fresh...If the produce is in season, by all means folks, buy it fresh! In the "off season" opt for frozen. Frozen produce is harvested at it's peak , meaning all the nutrients are at their peak too! When the produce is flash frozen, vitamins and nutrients are locked in. Remember though, during the blanching process vitamins C and B have a tendency to cook away. We buy a lot of frozen fruits and veggies(its a cheap way to get healthy food) You can buy bags of it at Wal-Mart for 1 or 2 dollars. Frozen fruit is a must for us, its great on cereal, oatmeal, and my personal favorite, smoothies! I'll be sharing some of my favorite smoothie recipes later on.

I hope the "crash course" was helpful to you all, let me know if i can answer anything further! Happy Soup Making!!!

1 cup frozen black eyed peas (i LOVE them)
1 14oz can low sodium tomato sauce
1 cup low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable if you have it on hand)
1 cup frozen mixed vegetable
1 cup frozen butter beans
4 good sized organic red new potatoes peeled and cubed
2 organic carrots peeled and sliced
1 large organic zucchini sliced and quartered
1 clove organic garlic
2 stalks organic celery
salt and pepper
5 shakes of dried oregano
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1-2 cups no yolk whole wheat egg noodles
4-5 cups h2o

fill pot with water & stock, salt and bring to boil
add potatoes, carrots celery and legumes (the beans)
add tomato sauce and seasons
when boiling reduce to simmer and cook til veggies are "al dente" (soft but not quite done) (took me about 25 mins)
add zucchini and pasta and cook til done!

Your calorie count for 6 servings is 237 calories per serving
4 servings is 355/person.


Kevin said...

You soup looks very tasty and healthy - I'm quite impressed with how you have educated yourself and learned a lot from your blog so far. Good job!

Callie said...

Thanks Kevin :) Perhaps i'll bring you some of that soup tomorrow to try!