Brrrrr! As I sit down to type up this morning’s post it is 10* – the high today is 23*. I guess I can’t complain too much seeing as a friend of mine posted on FB that where she is at in New York is currently –8*, yuck. I absolutely hate being cold. The book I’m currently reading, The Light at the End of the World, is about an Indian civilization at the end of the last ice age. I can’t help but wonder what weather like what we are facing now, would have meant for them. Just imagine life without our GoreTex, synthetic long johns and these fancy coats we have. Pretty hard to even fathom life like that.
Anywho… I have a perfect recipe for these cold winter days, cabbage soup! Apparently Janetha and I are on the same wavelength because I noticed that she had a cabbage soup recipe up yesterday and I already had it on our meal plans for last night. She goes about it totally different than I do so if you’re looking for some variety, check out her recipe which is an adaptation from something she found on pinterest.
Mine is a bit of an adaptation from the Cabbage Patch in Snohomish, WA as well as the cabbage soup my mother-in-law makes.
- 1.5 lb Ground Beef
- 1 Large Head of Cabbage (I could only find small ones so I used two), chopped in about 1/2 inches pieces
- 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
- 2 Cans Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained*
- 2 Cans Black Beans, drained*
- 4 Cups Water
- 2 Tbsp Better Than Bullion Beef
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- In a large stock pot combine garlic and onion with olive oil. Sauté over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, then add ground beef. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Add in 1 Tbsp of the Beef Bullion. Increase heat and cook meat thoroughly.
- Add to this the diced tomatoes and beans, stir to incorporate fully.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbsp Beef Bullion and water.
- Lastly, add the cabbage. Stir once and let simmer on medium-high heat for about ten minutes.
- Serve hot!
*I had meant to make this soup using dried beans, which I stocked up on over the weekend. Sadly, I forgot to put them out to soak the night before and there was no way they would be ready in time for dinner – so canned beans it was.
You can let this soup simmer for much longer than ten minutes and in fact, the longer it cooks down the better it gets. Like chili, the soup is even better the next day – though we enjoyed it quite a lot this first night
So the soup will keep you warm, obviously, but what are some other benefits of cabbage soup? Let’s break it down by ingredient:
Cabbage is a good source of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K (potassium) and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is important as an antioxidant because it fights free-radials – those things that have been linked to cancer – and they improve circulation, clear our skin, the list goes on. Cabbage also contains manganese which helps our body use calcium – especially important for women since we are at a higher risk of osteoporosis.
Kidney Beans should perhaps be called Brain Beans because of their high levels of Vitamin K. Vitamin K helps power our brains and nervous systems. Kidney beans are also a source of thiamin which is necessary to the production of acetylcholine – big name but basically this is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for memory function. A lack of thiamin or acetylcholine is related to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The beans are also a good source of calcium, protein and iron. Iron is really important because it helps our blood vessels move oxygen, increase metabolism and boosts our bodies energy production.
Black Beans are widely recognized for their protein and fiber values but did you know that they are also a good source of folate (Vitamin B6)? Folate is used to produce amino acids which help our bodies use protein. Pretty nifty that they pack protein and the folate necessary to put that protein to use!
Garlic contains allicin which is “nature’s antibiotic” – commonly believed to help prevent and treat the common cold as well as flu.
Onions help to reduce blood pressure and control cholesterol levels. The phytochemicals found in onions work along with Vitamin C to help strengthen the workings of our blood vessels and decrease inflammation in the body.
To recap, this soup has a ton of protein, we’ve got antibiotic qualities which will help especially during this “flu epidemic” and we have all kinds of good stuff to help improve our metabolism, circulation and overall body functions.
I packed a jar of the soup leftovers for lunch today and I’m already looking forward to lunch time!
Lucky for me, this soup is super quick and easy to make. I had met up with Nick right after work and we headed straight to the gym. Yesterday was our first day “training for a marathon” and we needed to put in three miles. I alternated walking between each mile so I ended up with 4.04 miles in all. After that my belly was ravenous and I knew I needed to get a healthy meal together quick.
This is one of the many good reasons for meal planning. Had I not already had a meal lined up and ready to cook at home, I probably would have asked Nick to stop and get a sub sandwich or something. Trying to come up with dinner plans when you’re already starving is a near impossibility – at least for me. Once I’m hungry my brain stops thinking about what I could make and starts thinking up the easiest way to get food in me immediately – like a handful of these goldfish, or that granola bar, how bout a bowl of cereal, or a run through the drive through? Yeah, its a good thing I had a real dinner already in the works.
Alright friends, my train is just pulling in to Salt Lake so I better say goodbye. Have a wonderful day!
Question of the Day: Can you come up with meal plans once your hungry or do you simply snack your way out of it? Do you meal plan?