Resolutions for the New Year often include improving ones physical well-being: eating healthy, losing weight, exercising, quitting smoking and so on. That's great, but the one thing that drives me crazy is when people say "I’ll start on Monday". I know that many of you are planning on dieting, exercising and becoming healthy in 2016. DO IT! Don't procrastinate. Don't keep saying "I’ll start on Monday" every Monday! Getting yourself out of this rut will not only improve your physical well-being, but your mental health as well. Stop making excuses and go for it. You are worth it!
Meal planning is key in this success. Don't go food shopping without a list. Going to the grocery store rogue can be dangerous! Look for recipes that work for your family and write everything down that you’ll need. It works. Knowing what you’re eating every day will prevent you from grabbing anything and everything. I also suggest keeping a food journal of what you eat throughout the day. You'll be amazed at how many empty calories you’re consuming! If you’re a nosher like me, pack healthy little snack bags that you can take along with you. I pack small bags of grapes, nuts and celery sticks.
A lot of my go-to healthy dinners are soups. My family and I can’t get enough of them! This recipe can be varied according to what you have in the fridge, it's the “everything but the kitchen sink” of soups and it’s my 8-year-old’s absolute favourite. Let me help you start the new year and the new you with this healthy soup that’s easy and just as delicious for lunch the next day!
Easy Two Bean Veggie Soup
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 leek, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
• 3 carrots, sliced
• 3 celery stalks, sliced
• 1 medium yellow squash, diced
• 3 cups of water
• 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
• 8 oz. can of kidney beans
• 8 oz. can of great northern beans
• salt and pepper
• 1 cup of small pasta or broken spaghetti
• freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onion, leek, and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
Add the crushed tomatoes, carrot, celery, squash, water and stock. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the beans. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for about 45 minutes until all the veggies are tender.
In a separate pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the pasta. I keep the pasta separate so it doesn’t absorb all of the liquid.
Ladle into bowls adding the pasta and topping with the Parmesan cheese!
**Don’t be afraid to use different veggies. That’s the joy of this soup! However, the leek brings so much flavour to the soup, so don't leave it out!
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