SWEET POTATO VEGETABLE SOUP

The north wind is a howling on this cold blustery evening.  A foot of fresh snow blows around during yet another January blizzard here in Minnesota.  It was the perfect weather to cook up a crock pot of hot soup to enjoy on this cold day. I made a pre-blizzard grocery run to pick up my soup ingredients on Sunday. As I glanced out of my kitchen window to watch the big fluffy snowflakes fall, I chopped up my vegetables and boiled my chicken and sweet potatoes on my stove. I let my mind wander and  thought of palm trees blowing in a gentle breeze by a beautiful blue ocean and heard the waves crashing into shore. Reality check, I heard the snow plow drive by and realized that I was back in my warm cozy kitchen preparing soup. A girl can dream can’t  she.

Sweet Potato Vegetable Soup

 

Serve with a glass of red wine or sparkling cranberry juice.

I love sweet potatoes so I wanted to include these in my chicken soup. I usually add egg noodles  to my chicken vegetable soup but I decided to swap those out in favor of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have enjoyed a superfood status due to their abundant supply of  nutrients which include Vitamin B6, folate, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese. They are especially high in beta-carotene which is the pigment responsible for giving  them their vibrant orange color. These nutrients in the sweet potato promote good vision, enhance immunity and help boost brain function. The high fiber content also has a very filling effect and increases satiey. The other vegetables in this soup are equally nutritious as well. People who frequently consume healthy soups containing lean protein sources such as chicken breast as an example, low sodium broths and a variety of vegetables tend to  be leaner as well as consume more nutrients when the soups are served as a main dish or as a first course to a meal.  Plan to serve a green salad and some fresh fruit with your soup  and you have yourself a very healthy and easy meal.

I enjoy collecting vintage china, tea pots, antiques and bird houses which add a decorative touch to our home.

SWEET POTATO VEGETABLE SOUP
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breast or thighs, skinned, cooked and diced
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
  • 1.5 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup diced red peppers
  • 12 oz bag of frozen stir fry vegetables
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium sliced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic and herb flavored Mrs. Dash
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 cups water from boiled sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth from cooking chicken in or low sodium brand
  • Remove all of the skin and fat from the chicken breasts or thighs. Boil chicken in water in a large pan on the stove until tender. Drain chicken, reserving 3 cups of broth. Refrigerate the broth and wait for the fat to harden on the top and skim all fat from the reserved broth. Boil the sweet potatoes in water and cook until tender. Peel the sweet potatoes. Reserve 2 cups of this broth for the soup. Add chicken broth, sweet potato broth and chicken to a large crock pot and turn on high setting. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the chopped cabbage, onion, celery, garlic, peppers and mushrooms until tender. Place this mixture along with the bag of frozen stir fry vegetables and all of the seasonings in the crock pot. Cook on the high setting for at least 2 hours until all the vegetables are tender and serve.
Notes
Information in this food blog is not intended to to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care professional for medical and nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/ 12 of recipe Calories: 95 Fat: 1 gram Saturated fat: 0 mg Unsaturated fat: 0 mg Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 11 grams Sodium: 201 mg Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 8 grams Cholesterol: 20 mg

 

This makes a large batch of soup so you can enjoy eating this for a few days or freeze the leftover soup and reheat again when you are in the mood for a hearty soup. If you prefer, you can omit the meat and you will have a vegetarian meal. For a vegan meal, use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth in your recipe. Enjoy and stay warm out there!

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. I love to spend time out on the lake canoeing and boating each summer. I prefer to sit by the warm fireplace with a mug of hot cider and look out at the frozen lake watching the snow mobilers and ice fisherman in the winter months.

CRUNCHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

Green bean casserole is my go to recipe for a quick side dish at meal time. You can easily prepare this at the last minute after work or even prepare this in advance before you go to work and place in your casserole dish. Refrigerate it and bake in the oven or microwave the prepared casserole after you get home from work. It is an easy dish to bring to those potlucks as well. I remember that my aunt used to bring this casserole to our family holiday celebrations.

CRUNCHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 12 oz packages of frozen green beans
  • 1 8 oz can of drained, sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 cup of fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 10.5 oz can reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup
  • 1½ cups whole walnuts
  • 1 tsp. Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper or Garlic and Herb Seasoning Mix
Instructions
  1. Saute the sliced fresh mushrooms in the olive oil in a small frying pan. Oil or spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Add the 2 packages of frozen green beans, mushrooms, water chestnuts, Mrs. Dash and reduced sodium cream soup or 1½ cups of the cashew white sauce (see recipe below in my blog) to a large bowl. Stir all the ingredients together and place this mixture in a casserole dish. Top the green bean casserole with the whole walnuts. Bake in a preheated oven uncovered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or microwave in a glass covered casserole dish for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe nutritional information per serving has been calculated using the reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup.

This food blog is not intended to provided medical advice. Contact your personal health care provider for medical and/or nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛ recipe Calories: 212 Fat: 15 g Saturated fat: 2 grams Trans fat: 0 mg Carbohydrates: 15 grams Sodium: 140 mg Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 5 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

The original version of this recipe calls for a can of french fried onion rings as a topping but I wanted to change it up a bit so I used whole walnuts as an appealing and healthy alternative to top it off. I also wanted to add some crunch for a different texture so I added some water chestnuts to the recipe.If you would like to make a main dish out of this casserole, add 1 1/2 cups of cooked sliced chicken, turkey breast or angus beef. This casserole is a good source of dietary fiber, copper, magnesium  and manganese.

Last but not least, I added some sauteed mushrooms since they are a favorite vegetable at our house. I use a homemade white sauce or reduced sodium version of cream soups when my recipes call for a cream soup of some kind. In order to add some extra flair and flavor when reducing sodium in your recipes you can add other sodium free seasonings such as Mrs. Dash or experiment with garlic powder, cumin, Italian seasoning, turmeric or curry powder in your recipes. If you prefer to use a white sauce in place of the reduced sodium canned soup, refer to your cookbook or google a recipe online. The typical recipe usually calls for milk, flour and butter. If you would prefer a non-dairy vegan white sauce, I found a recipe for five minute cashew sauce at A Pinch of Yum food blog which looks very good. Recipe for Five Minute Cashew Sauce: 2 cups cashews, 1 1/4 cup water or broth, 1-2 cloves garlic 1 tsp salt (use less if desired) Directions: Place cashews in a bowl. Cover with water or broth and soak for about 2 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Place soaked cashews in a food processor or blender with the 1 1/4 cups broth or water, garlic and salt. Puree until very smooth in consistency. Makes approximately 2 cups. Add 1  to 1 1/2 cups of this to the casserole mixture in place of the canned cream soup.

Crunchy Green Bean Casserole

I did prepare this casserole for one of my family Christmas celebrations as the picture above shows.

 

 

 

ACORN SQUASH WITH WILD RICE STUFFING

I can certainly feel a chill in the air here in Minnesota. Most of my fall gardening projects are done now and my rosebushes are covered to protect them in anticipation for those long winter months ahead. This is the time of year that I love to spend time in my warm cozy kitchen preparing  recipes using the squash that I  harvested from my garden that we planted last summer. Squash tend to keep very well long after they have been harvested so we can enjoy them in the cold months ahead of us.

Serve with fresh fruit and a kale salad for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Wild rice is also grown and harvested in northern Minnesota.  I recently decided to prepare a delicious main meal that incorporates both the wild rice and acorn squash. I served the Acorn Squash with Wild Rice for lunch recently on one of those cool days and we really enjoyed the taste and texture of this meal. My husband and I are also very nutrition conscious  and we enjoyed the meal for it’s awesome health benefits as well.

Serve with a glass of sparkling cranberry, grape or pomegranate juice or red wine.

Acorn squash is an excellent source of immune supportive Vitamins A  and C. It is also a good dietary source of potassium, manganese, copper, niacin, folate, thiamine and Vitamin B6. Just a 1/2 cup of cooked acorn squash provides 20% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or daily value(DV) of Vitamin C for healthy adults as well as 4 grams of fiber.  The B vitamins which include niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 help to maintain a healthy metabolism, nerve function, adrenal function, liver function and are also valuable to skin and eye health. The B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose) which is used to produce energy in our bodies. The B vitamins also help the body metabolize fats and protein.

ACORN SQUASH WITH WILD RICE STUFFING
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish or Side Dish
Cuisine: Regular, Vegetarian or Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 medium acorn squash, (approximately 1½ pounds each) halved lengthwise with the seeds removed
  • 3 TB olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2 TB pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery stalks, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tsp thyme seasoning
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice (prepare on your stove or in a rice cooker)
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ⅓ cup chopped dried cranberries,
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet. Brush the squash with 1 TB melted coconut oil or olive oil on the inside of the squash halves .Add 1 tsp of pure maple syrup to each squash half. Sprinkle ground cinnamon on each squash half. Roast squash in the oven or approximately 40-50 minutes or until the squash is tender. If desired, you may microwave the squash until tender, ( approximately 18-20 minutes per 2 squash halves).
  2. Place 2 TB of melted coconut or olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the chopped onions, garlic, mushrooms and celery until they are softened which may take about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and black pepper to this mixture and stir well. Add the cooked wild rice, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts to the vegetable mixture in the frying pan and gently fold in. Continue heating until the mixture is warmed through, approximately 3-5 minutes .Remove the frying pan from heat source.
  3. After you have removed your cooked squash from the oven, add the wild rice filling mixture to each squash half. Serve immediately
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙ th recipe Calories: 375 Fat: 14 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 62 grams Sodium: 27 mg Fiber: 6 grams Protein: 7 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Acorn squash and wild rice are also  very good sources of dietary fiber. One half cup of cooked accorn squash provides 4.5 grams of fiber. One cup of cooked wild rice provides 3 grams of fiber. According to Web MD, the average American consumes 15 grams of fiber per day. The Institute of Medicine recommends that healthy women consume 25 grams of fiber per day and healthy men consume 38 grams per day. Some people may need to limit dietary fiber for certain medical conditions so please consult your family physician or your personal registered dietitian for guidelines concerning this.

Wild rice is a good source of protein, folate, manganese, zinc, phosphorous, niacin, Vitamin B6 and magnesium. Most Americans tend to fall short of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or daily value (DV) for magnesium. One cup of cooked wild rice supplies 13% of the daily value or ( RDA) for magnesium , 7% of the daily value or (RDA) for iron and 6.5 grams of protein. I love the taste and texture of wild rice, not to mention all of the nutritional benefits of this grain.

This recipe would be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving menu.

Vintage Canned Foods found by my mother in her attic

My food blog Vintage Nutrition Kitchen is inspired by many of the vintage china and serving bowls, platters, glassware and goblets that were passed on to me by my mother, grandmother and great aunt. I found that I was letting these unique and beautiful items sit in my china cabinet admired, but unused. When I began writing this food blog, I wanted to use these precious family treasures as serving dishes for my food blog creations. I also love to collect and display vintage kitchen gadgets in my cozy country themed kitchen. My mother was exploring the attic of our century old home when I was a child and she found the vintage food cans pictured above. She cleaned them off and she shellaced the cans to preserve the finish on them. I have them proudly displayed in a china cabinet in my living room. She certainly had a knack for finding old things. She was digging in our garden of the home that I grew up in and ended up finding a century old nickel that time. As I grow older, I am finding that I appreciate those memories more and more.

Minneopa State Park, Mankato, MN

 

Fall is certainly one of my favorite seasons here in the midwest. Although it gets very cold here during the winter months, we are blessed to be able to enjoy four different and colorful seasons. My husband, mother in law and myself took a fall leaf tour near Mankato, Minnesota a few weeks ago and I am including some of the beautiful pictures that I snapped that day.

Seven Mile Park, near Mankato Mn

 

I admit that I took a little break from my food blog  and plan to publish my food blog Vintage Nutrition Kitchen monthly in the future. So far this has been a very enjoyable and relaxing hobby for me. I may end up changing and shortening my food blog domain slightly  so that it is compatible  with Twitter.  I will keep my readers posted of any changes. Have a  wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Farm-Fresh feed.png

WIENER SCHNITZEL

Wiener Schnitzel is a thin breaded and pan fried cutlet made from veal. It is one of the most well known and delicious specialities of the Viennese cuisine. The Wiener Schnitzel is also the national dish of Austria. I must admit that I am 50% German heritage but was not even remotely aware of this delicious food until I married my husband Jim. His mother is a native of Vienna, Austria. She met his father while he was stationed in Vienna while he served in the United States Air force. They later married and eventually settled back in Minnesota. Of course, this is Jim’s favorite food since his mother has been preparing this for him most of his life. When I came into the picture after meeting and eventually marrying Jim, I sampled this food many times as well  and really liked it.  I decided that finally after 31 years of marriage to Jim, I  would get the recipe from his mother and prepare this Austrian delicacy in my own kitchen. Of course I wondered if mine would taste as good as his mothers. He did admit after tasting it that it was very good and up to par with his mom’s wiener schnitzel. Wow, I was pleased to hear that since I had not attempted to prepare this delicious food in the past. If you don’t have veal on hand, you may substitute pork. I used pork loin chops and we really enjoyed the taste of these in this recipe. Most of the foods that I prepare tend to be baked, broiled or grilled. My career as a dietitian kept me busy calculating calories, grams of fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates for my patients and for myself as well when I want to drop a few extra pounds. This dish is fried which makes it taste absolutely fabulous. As a dietitian, I believe that all foods can be enjoyed and used in moderation, including fried food occasionally such as this.

Wiener Schnitzel

Wiener Schnitzel
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 4 Boneless pork loin chops or veal, approximately 4 oz, raw each
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Pound pork or veal chops with a meat mallot in order to tenderize. Roll the pork or veal chops into flour. Next, dip into beaten eggs. Roll the chops into the bread crumbs. Fry the pork or veal chops in the heated vegetable oil until golden brown on each side and thoroughly cooked internally as well .Remove pork or veal chops from the frying pan and drain on a paper towel.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 oz cooked Calories: 321 Fat: 18 grams Trans fat: 0 mg Carbohydrates: 23 grams Sodium: 269 mg Protein: 15 grams Cholesterol: 185 mg

 

Greta

Wiener Schnitzel is often served in Austria with Kopfsalat (lettuce served with a sweetened vinaigrette dressing), potato salad or parsley potatoes as well as a cucumber salad.  The beverage of choice with this meal in Austria or Germany is beer.  Another suggestion  would be to serve this dish with a baked sweet potato and a spinach or kale salad with a vinaigrette dressing for a colorful and healthy meal. Here’s hoping that you enjoy this meal as much as we do! Cheers!

The pictures below show how the meat is prepared prior to breading and frying it for this recipe.

CHICKEN NOODLE STIR FRY VEGETABLE SOUP

Chicken noodle soup with vegetables prepared in my cozy kitchen from scratch is one of my husbands and my favorite comfort foods on a cold winter day. I live in Minnesnowta, actually Minnesota and we get plenty of the white stuff and cold during the long winter months here. Some Minnesotans enjoy outdoor sports in the winter such as snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice fishing and ice skating.  Other Minnesota snowbirds, mainly retired folks go down south for the winter and return once again when most of the snow has melted and it is warmer again just in time to see the spring tulips bloom! I am more of an indoor person in the cold weather so I enjoy indoor activities such as cooking, reading and sitting by the fireplace with a cup of hot tea or cocoa during the winter. We did have a heat wave hit over the weekend and it got up into the high thirties so we took our dog out on a walk on one of the many trails by the frozen lake here in our hometown. The ice and snow had finally melted in our driveway and on the side walks so we enjoyed a scenic walk by the lake on this cool, crisp sunny day.  Unfortunately, we had a blizzard with ten inches of snow and high winds yesterday so our sidewalks and driveway are now ice and snow covered again. We do have four seasons to enjoy here in Minnesota so that is nice. I just wish that the winter season didn’t last 5-6 months!

 

Well I am sure your momma made you chicken noodle soup from scratch when you were a kid. She also fed it to me when I had a cold and told me that it was good for me and would help me recover from my cold sooner. This of course and she rubbed Vicks on my chest at night. It sure seemed to help! Turns out that momma was right! Scientific research has proven that it is indeed helpful when you have cold. First, it helps to keep you hydrated since you need eight cups of fluid a day or more for hydration purposes especially when you are ill. Secondly, the steam from the soup helps relieve that congested nose and sore throat.The substances in chicken soup may also reduce the inflammation that occurs when you have a cold. Hot chicken soup seasoned with hot pungent spices such as pepper, chilli pepper, garlic, turmeric and curry powder is a potent mucous stimulant that helps thin out mucous in the mouth, throat and lungs. While chicken soup is not a cure for the common cold, it definitely hastens the healing process!

I love vegetables and I have to admit that broccoli is my favorite veggie with spinach coming in closely in second place since I love spinach salads. Move over lettuce! Stir fry veggies with pea pods are another favorite so that is why I included them in this soup. I never put peas in my tuna casserole; nope I use stir fried vegetables. A compound in broccoli called glucosinolate, produces a metabolite called sulforaphane that is responsible for most of broccoli’s health promoting properties. Sulforaphane has antimicrobial properties, can possibly prevent diabetes from occuring in the body and also kills cancer stem cells. It can also significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function. Broccoli is a great source of dietary fiber and vitamins A and c. Peapods are very good sources of dietary fiber as well as vitamins A, C and folic acid.They also provide powerful antioxidants and enzymes which have cancer fighting properties as well. The recipe also calls for onions and garlic. These foods belong to the allium family of vegetables which are known to have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular and immune systems as well as powerful anti-cancer effects and may also play a role in prevention of diabetes. After completing some research on the allium vegetables recently, I learned that it is best to finely mince or crush fresh garlic and then let it sit awhile before you add it to your recipe. The crushing or mincing of the garlic allows the alliinase enzymes in the food a chance to get working to produce those health promoting effects. Changing the temperature or pH of the garlic by putting it in the recipe right away without letting it sit it for awhile can reduce these healthful properties.  Adding it to your recipe at the end of your cooking time increases the health benefits since long cooking times can reduce the benefits. Mushrooms are also a favorite fungi vegetable of mine and they have many healthful benefits including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and strong immune-supporting properties. From a culinary aspect mushrooms, onions and garlic add unique flavors and textures to recipes.

Chicken Noodle Stir Fry Vegetable soup

 

Dinner is served!

Dinner with a view!

Welcome to the lake!
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice & be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
View from my vintage  kitchen and dining area.

 

CHICKEN NOODLE STIR FRY VEGETABLES SOUP
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 32 oz skinless chicken breast, baked and chopped into chunk size bites
  • 40 oz fresh chicken broth from chicken or brand of 50% reduced sodium and no MSG added chicken broth, such as Swansons
  • 2 cups water
  • 16 oz stir fry vegetables
  • 1 medium chopped purple or white onion
  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms or dehydrated mushrooms
  • ¾ tsp each garlic and onion powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground sea salt (optional)
  • ¼ tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts in a roasting pan, season with a dash or cumin, sea salt and pepper. Add enough water to just cover chicken breasts. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Remove from oven and let the chicken cool off. Once it is cool, cut it up into bite size chunks for the soup. Save the broth from the chicken to use for the soup. Skim off any fat or refrigerate broth overnight and skim the hardened fat from the broth after the broth has congealed.
  2. Place all of the ingredients in the crockpot, stirring well. Place the crockpot on the high setting and crock for 4 hours. If desired, you may preheat the frozen stir fry vegetables in your microwave or steam them. This will reduce your cooking time and you may then place your crockpot on the medium or low setting and crock until soup is hot and all of the vegetables are tender. If desired, you may use fresh vegetables such as broccoli, peapods, water chestnuts and green beans in place of the frozen vegetables.
  3. Serve a bowl of this hot soup with a green salad, fresh fruit tray and crusty garlic bread.
Notes
if you omit the sea salt from the recipe, the sodium content is 270 mg per serving. If you use all fresh chicken broth from your chicken and omit the canned or packaged reduced sodium broth, the sodium content is approximately 65 mg per serving.add additional spices to flavor if desired to replace the salt.

GLUTEN FREE DIETS; You may wish to substitute 1½ cups uncooked quinoa or the same amount of Minute brown rice or cooked brown rice in place of egg
noodles in this recipe. Cook on the high setting of your crockpot for 3-4 hours or until grains are a tender consistency.

Information in this food blog is not meant to provide medical advice of any kind. For medical advice, contact your personal physician or your personal health care provider.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛ recipe Calories: 133 Fat: 2 grams Saturated fat: 0.5 mg Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 9 grams Sodium: 395 mg Protein: 16 grams Cholesterol: 44 mg