With the fast paced lifestyle many families are living today, most don’t have the time to put a healthy, delicious meal on the table for dinner. It may be easier and more convenient to go through a drive-thru, order a pizza or some other unhealthy, non-nutritious food from a restaurant. But for many of us who are looking to be healthier, lose a few pounds/inches, and/or teach our children better eating habits, what good does that do for us? I have found that using my crockpot has helped me and my family in more ways than one. It is super easy just throwing a bunch of ingredients in to the crockpot, turning it on low and then letting the crockpot work its magic. When you come home from work later that night, you have dinner ready to go and the family can sit down to a hot, cooked meal and you don’t have to feel the added stress about what to feed your hungry family.
One of my favorite “go to” crockpot recipes is super delicious, figure friendly, and full of vegetables and spices. With the winter months being as cold as it is in Chicago and most other places, who doesn’t love a new soup recipe to try?! This recipe has a tomato juice base which is nice because it is different from your typical broth based and creamy soups which aren’t always the healthiest for you. I find myself purchasing a lower sodium tomato juice and you can swap out the canned vegetables for fresh (the green beans and I also add wax beans to my soup at times). The recipe is as follows:
1 pound ground turkey, uncooked
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup thinly sliced carrots (I tend to have baby carrots at home and just cut them in thirds)
2 ½ cups tomato juice (I tend to add more juice because I find the 2 ½ cups not to be enough)
1 (14 ½ ounce) can French cut style green beans, drained (use fresh if you desire and doesn’t have to be French cut style)
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch thick (can use canned mushrooms- just drain them)
½ cup chopped tomato
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1. In a large skillet, cook the ground turkey, celery and carrots until turkey is done; drain.
2. Add to a 3 ½ or 4 quart crockpot (or whatever size you have).
3. Stir in tomato juice, green beans, mushrooms, chopped tomato, dried minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, sugar, pepper and bay leaf.
4. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6 hours.
5. Remove bay leaf before serving.
*This soup makes 4-6 servings; Prep time is 20 minutes*
With the many different directions families are pulled in now a days, there is no crime in taking some help from all of the handy-dandy kitchen appliances which were meant to make life even a tad more stress free! If you are an avid crockpot user like I am, this recipe is right up your alley. If your crockpot has been sitting on the shelf collecting dust over the years, it is time to wash off the cobwebs and put the crockpot to good use!
Please don’t hesitate to call NSPAH if you have any questions about the Hearty and Healthy Soup. Until then, Bon Appetit and stay warm!