The Core Diet Blog

Fall is my absolute favorite season! The color of the leaves, the crispness in the air, great temperatures for long runs and rides… it's the perfect time of year! Now that I've dug my most comfy sweater and slippers out of the box in my basement, it's time for another of my fall favorites: cooking (and eating) soups, stews, and chili. Or as I like to call them, "stoups"!

Depending on how they are prepared, "stoups" can be low in calories, fill you up, and provide great nutritional bang for your buck. What better way to warm up and start the post workout recovery process, than with a hot bowl of "stoup"? And knowing you cooked it yourself? Even more rewarding!

Check out some tips for creating your own signature healthy "stoup":

  1. Water, chicken, or veggie broth help keep you hydrated, so use a good amount when making "stoup" stock. The more stock you add, the more "stoup" you get!
  2. Add a variety of veggies… hello fiber and micronutrients! A great excuse for trying something new. Have picky eaters at home? Veggies aren't in their vocab? Try using an emersion blender to puree your creation… they won't know what hit them!
  3. Lean proteins like chicken, tofu, and ground turkey help meet daily protein needs through natural sources. Lock in flavor by sautéing proteins with a small amount of canola or olive oil prior to adding stocks, then drain excess fat.
  4. Go nuts by ADDING nuts for a healthy dose of Omega 3's!
  5. To keep calorie and saturated fat levels low, skip recipes with added cream (replace with low fat milk), butter (use canola or olive oil in its place), and beef (ground turkey works just as well). Try topping your "stoups" with avocado or Greek yogurt instead of cheese and sour cream.
  6. A great way to plan ahead, consider cooking your "stoup" over the weekend - you'll have meals for the rest of the week! "Stoups" also freeze well, so when you have time, make a few batches. You'll be "stocked" up for winter and late nights when you just don't feel like cooking.

Here is a recipe for one of my favorite fall "stoups". I love it because it is a hearty, filling, and flavorful. It packs loads of nutrients, protein, and healthy fats!

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African Sweet Potato-Peanut Soup

Ingredients

- 2 Tbsp canola oil

- 1 Tbsp curry powder

- 2 medium onions, sliced (about 4 cups)

- 2 tsp minced garlic

- 2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into chunks

- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

- 1 (28 ounce) whole tomatoes, drained and quartered

- 1 pound ground turkey

- 1 tsp salt

- ¼ tsp black pepper

- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

- ½ cup chunky peanut butter

- ½ cup low fat coconut milk

Directions

Heat 1 Tbsp of canola oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add curry powder and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add onions, stirring occasionally, cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 additional minute. Stir in sweet potatoes, chicken broth, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes.

While soup is simmering, heat the remaining Tbsp of canola oil in a large skillet. Add ground turkey, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up clumps, until turkey is cooked through - season with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Drain fat prior to adding turkey to soup stock.

Add drained ground turkey, the remaining ½ tsp salt, cayenne pepper, peanut butter, and light coconut milk to soup. Stir to combine ingredients. Bring mixture to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutrition Stats:

Makes about 2 ½ quarts

Serving Size = 1 cup

Calories - 300

Protein - 18gm

Fat - 18gm (if on a weight loss plan, use ½ the amount of peanut butter the recipe calls for)

Fiber - 4gm

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