Ok, Labor Day has come and gone – September is in full swing – and I know that techincally it’s still summer, but I think it’s safe to start sharing some “fall-ish” recipes.
I’m a brown-bag lunch kind of gal (even though my ‘brown bag’ is actually a plastic grocery bag that hasn’t been used to pick up dog poop). And after doing the math, I realized that I may actually eat more meals at the office than I do in my own home! Augh – sighhhhh.
It’s real easy to get real bored with lunch from week to week. There are only so many lunch meats and 100-calorie snack packs to be rotated. So soup can really put a spring in my lunch step! And this Black Bean Veggie Soup is a keeper – it get’s an A++++++, because not only is it:
b) easy to make
c) lasts for an entire week’s worth of lunch
It’s healthy, and only 4WW points per serving!
Black Bean & Veggie Soup
*Adapted from Allrecipes.com
*1 serving = 1.5 cups
yields about 6 servings (9 cups total)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. Chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin
2 cups chicken stock
2 – 15oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 – 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 – 8.75 oz. can whole kernel corn
salt & pepper to taste
1) In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat; cook onion, carrots and garlic until onion is softened (about 5 minutes).
2) In the meantime, take the crushed tomatoes and 1 can of black beans and puree them together in a food processor. Set aside.
3) Add chili powder and cumin to onion/carrot/garlic mixture and cook stirring for about a minute.
4) Add the chicken stock, 1 can of black beans and can of kernel corn and bring to a boil.
5) Once the veggies have come to a boil, add the black bean and tomato puree to the pot. Reduce heat, cover soup, and simmer for about an hour. Add salt & pepper to taste.
I think the longer you simmer, the better, but I would advise atleast an hour. It really gives all the flavors a chance to really meld together.
This is also a great base for a chilli – I often times will add chicken or lean ground beef to this to make it a more hearty stew vs. soup, but regardless, you’re used plastic grocery bag will be happy 🙂 And so will your belly!
The work week is enough of a drag without having a drag of a lunch to accompany it. But it’s really hard to keep lunches fresh and exciting when they to be shoved in a brown bag (or stylish lunch sack)
Our controller at work is like a lunch enigma – every day, he brings the same brown paper bag to work, and it’s wrinkled and looks like it has been used about a zillion times (apparently those bags they give you at the liquor store for a 6’er are much sturdier than they look!) and he unrolls the bag and you’d think by the looks of his carrying case that he’d reveal a PB and J on stale bread or a banana that has more brown spots on it than yellow. But every day, he unveils these lunches that look like they should be served with white napkins and silver flatware – amazing sandwiches packed with 10 kinds of lunch meat, or his left over dinner from the night before, which usually consists of at least 20 spices I’ve never even heard of or don’t know are even legal in the U.S. And he brings these sauces and dressings that he finds at obscure markets or websites online. And I usually look down at my turkey and cheese and Special K Cracker Chips and think “Man, I gotta shake things up”.
So this week, I tried a new soup. I’m a big fan of making soup on a Sunday and then having it for the entire week so that I don’t have to think about what I’m eating every day or don’t stray to 3098405984059 take out menus that have acquired in the office throughout the years. Luckily for me, Dave’s not much of a soup guy – and he’s kind of a lunch buy’er or leftover taker (I am not quite as good with the leftovers) so I get the soup all to myself 🙂
I’ve been eyeing this recipe for Stuffed Pepper Soup from Skinny Taste for a while now, and my standard black bean soup that I usually make just hasn’t been cutting it lately. So here it is! Delicious, filling (even without the rice – I was too lazy to make rice to go with it – sad I know) and something to look forward to!
Stuffed Pepper Soup
(For all you WW’ers or Nutritional Info. Voyers out there)
Serving Size = 1 & 1/3 C of Soup + 1/2 Cup of brown rice=
5g of Fat
37.5 g of Carbs
17.6 g of protein
3 Cups of cooked brown rice (didn’t use – bet it would be awesome with it)
1 lb 93-95% Lean Ground Beef
1/2 of a large Green pepper, chopped
1/2 of a large red pepper, chopped
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28oz can of petite diced tomatoes
1 & 3/4 cups of crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
2 cups reduced sodium, fat free chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
salt and pepper to taste
1) In a large pot or dutch oven, brown ground meat on high heat and season with salt.
2) Drain fat if any, reduce heat to medium-low, then add peppers, onions and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes on low heat
2) Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3) Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Enjoy!
Does it taste like a stuffed pepper? Nah – but pretty darn close! It’s easy to make and healthy and I think it might even give my brown-bag toteing controller a bit of lunch envy. And my lunch bag is way cuter than his!