How to Get All Those Good Vitamins and Minerals: Includes Recipe for Pot Heb Stew
Getting enough vitamins and minerals in our diet is important to our over all good health and we don’t always get them, or enough of them in the foods we eat, especially the "American diet" but we need them. Soups and stews are a good way to feed your body with those vitamins and minerals we often miss in our fast food, hurry up and eat, on the go, in a rush world…Read more.
HOW TO GET ALL THOSE GOOD VITAMINS AND MINERALS: Includes recipe for Pot Heb Stew
Getting all those good vitamins and minerals we need into our diet isn’t always easy when you live on a fixed income and a tight budget. One way to get a lot of them and still have a budget balancing and tasty meal is with soups and stews. I can make a meal out of a good bowl, of soup or stew, especially the homemade, the made from fresh vegetables kind.
I’m not big on store bought canned soups and stews. They have way too much salt, sugar, and lots of strange ingredients I can’t even pronounce and I know from researching them aren’t really healthy for me…or you. Oh I eat them occasionally when I’m in a rush and need something really quick and easy to prepare but made from scratch is healthier and it taste better too. It is wise to eat soups and stews and a good cup of soup, or a bowl is the perfect start to even a formal dinner occasion. Most soups also keep well and can be frozen to use at a later date if you have left over soup in the pot. Unless you are making a cream soup most soups are also low in calories and high in fiber which is a real boost to folks who are weight conscious and always on a diet. Eating soup is a good way to lose weight and then keep it off and soups fill you up and keep you satisfied longer without giving you that over stuffed, I ate too much feeling.
Getting enough vitamins and minerals in our diet is important to our overall good health and we don’t always get them, or enough of them in the foods we eat, especially the “American diet” but we need them. Soups and stews are a good way to feed your body with those vitamins and minerals we often miss in our fast food, hurry up and eat, on the go, in a rush world. I especially enjoy a hearty vegetable soup or stew, especially come fall and winter but even in summer a good bowl of soup or stew can hit the spot and give that boost my body is calling for.
Soups and stews are heart healthy as well as helping you keep your cholesterol levels under control as well as helping to prevent a whole long list of different diseases and illnesses. Soup is also one of the best stress beaters I know of. You already know that chicken soup and a glass of ginger ale will cure the common cold; so will most any kind of soup but for a cold or flu, there really is something about chicken. It works. Soups and stews are good and good for you any time of year but once the chill of late autumn settles in followed by the bone chilling cold of winter those steaming bowls of flavorful soups and stews are tongue tantalizing and spirit lifting from your tummy to your toes. They warm you up heart and soul. I love a good bowl of soup with a side of crusty bread or corn bread especially in wintertime and it is a good healthy and fairly inexpensive way to get my vegetables and protein I need to stay healthy during the cold winter months when I’m trying to ward off colds and flu. I don’t eat a lot of meat by choice so a lot of my meals are rich in whole grains, nuts and vegetables so I get the vitamins and minerals and protein my body needs.
I like most meats but meat is heavy and slower to digest so though I enjoy a good serving of meat two and sometimes three times a week I don’t necessarily plan my meals around them and when I do have meat it is usually poultry or fish. I like getting all that good stuff first hand rather than second hand; that’s what it is when you get it from meat. You’re getting your vitamins and minerals second hand but meat properly prepared taste good and a little meat won’t hurt you and so I sometimes enjoy a serving of meat. You don’t need more that 3 to 4 ounces of meat per serving and most of us eat way more than that. Even some of my soups and stews contain some meat but most of them are made with just stock, vegetables, sometimes a little fruit, nuts, grains and lots of herbs and spices. To be honest, I’ve never met a soup I didn’t like, though some I like much better than others.
One of my favorites and I make it quite frequently is Pot Herb Stew. It is loaded with everything we need to stay healthy and it taste marvelous. The recipe follows.
POT HERB STEW
In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté in 1 Tbsp. olive oil
1small onion diced
2-3 gloves garlic minced
2 stalks celery chopped medium fine
1 medium size carrot coarsely shredded
1 cup fresh mushroom pieces
1 small to medium zucchini squash quartered and sliced into bite size chunks
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
As soon as the onion starts to turn transparent reduce heat to low and add
2 cups coarsely shredded kale
2 cups torn spinach leaves
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (You can add more if you like your food more highly seasoned or less if you prefer light seasoning.)
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. cold water
1 tsp. Worcestershire* sauce
Toss gently to combine and cook on low until the leafy vegetables start to wilt. Immediately add 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I have used both and both work equally well.)
2 cups diced tomatoes or one pint (15.5 oz can) do not drain
1 cup tomato juice or V-8 juice (I usually use V-8)
Salt and pepper to taste (I find need very little if any at all)
NOTE: If you use the store bought canned tomatoes and vegetable juice you probably will not need or want to add salt; just add a healthy dash of pepper. Stir and turn heat up to medium high. Cover and allow to come to a full boil. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to your stew simmer 5 to 7 minutes.
Turn off heat and allow stew to settle for another 5 to 7 minutes before serving. Garnish with a small dab of sour cream or a bit of shredded cheese and a sprig of parsley. Serve with a side of crusty bread or cornbread and watch it disappear. This is so good. If you still have room for dessert I find a scoop of lemon or orange sherbet with a couple tablespoons of raspberry sauce over the top and a small chocolate brownie makes a lovely compliment to this meal. This stew also goes very nicely served over fluffy rice or noodles for a main dinner menu or even as a different topping for spaghetti rather than the same old, same old spaghetti sauce. Aside from that steaming bowl of soup or stew which is always a delicious hit, you can use soups and stews to compliment most any menu and in a variety of different ways. All it takes is a little imagination and a bit of ingenuity, a good size soup pot and a willingness to chop, slice, dice, mince and cook your own meal. You’ll be a healthier you and your pocketbook will love you too.