by Katie Chapmon, MS, RDN
Fall marks the transition from summer to winter when daylight becomes shorter and the temperatures start to cool. The possibilities and opportunities of summer are passing, and the chill of winter is on the horizon. With the changing of the leaves and the crispness that enters into the air, there’s nothing like a hot bowl of soup or stew to make you feel comfortable and relaxed.
When thinking of these traditional meat and vegetable medleys, we’re often left with the thought of a heavy comfort food. There are a couple of different tips and tricks to make your favorite warm meal without compromising your health goals.
Traditional broths for soups and stews can be on the heavier side, especially if using a heavy cream or sauce. Start with a light chicken, beef or veggie broth. You can thicken up the broth a couple of different ways. If using meat, add some of the drippings. If using vegetables, blend some of the root vegetables in the broth. For each base, a longer cooking time will help to thicken up the liquid.
Adding vegetables to your soup or stew increases your fiber intake with every bite. Fiber is not only great for your digestive tract, but it also makes you full for longer. For an added bonus, save money and experiment with different vegetables by opting for seasonal ingredients.
Many soups and stews call for noodles, but instead of skipping noodles altogether, make a tiny swap that will save calories and boost the nutrition. Use a whole wheat variety of your favorite pasta or spiralize vegetables like zucchini or yellow squash.
Stews are often made to be ladled over a scoop of rice that soaks up all of the delicious flavors. Change out the grain that you’ll pour your stew over so that you can get additional fiber and protein. Quinoa, farro and barley are all delicious and hearty options, or you could even try some riced cauliflower.
Adding in a variety of proteins and making them the main player in your soup or stew can add flavor and fullness. Cubed beef, shredded chicken and shrimp all have a place in the pot! Increasing the protein doesn’t only have to mean adding meat. Vegetarian stews are just as filling and delicious. For a vegetarian option, use beans or legumes for a hearty dose of protein.
Creating your own soup or stew can satisfy that warm and cozy autumn feeling. With a mix of healthy carbs, lean proteins and lots of veggies, a bowl of soup or stew has all the makings of a well-rounded meal to enjoy with friends or on your own.
Instead of cracking open a can from the supermarket (which tend to be high in sodium), try one of these easy recipes for your fall soup or stew needs.
Adapted from TheHealthyMaven.com
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Note: This soup will keep for a week in the refrigerator and freeze well for several months.
Adapted from TheSkinnyTaste.com
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Note: You can make this soup vegan or dairy-free by swapping the cream for coconut milk.
Adapted from TheFirstMess.com
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Note: The amount of vegetable stock you use should depend on how thick or thin you want your stew. This recipe goes for something in between.
About the Author:
Katie Chapmon, MS, RD, is a Los Angeles-based Registered Dietitian specializing in the field of metabolic surgery and weight management since 2008. She currently works with individuals in-person and virtually all across the country. She plays active roles on committees with the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group. For more information about Katie Chapmon, visit KatieChapmon.com.
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