Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Recently, I have started a quest to find a healthier diet. I’ve decided to take the popular phrase ‘you are what you eat’ to heart and give my body a dose of food that is truly good for it. If you haven’t noticed, eating sweets and sugary things will make you feel more lethargic. Who wants that? Why not kickstart your health by making a healthy change?

So far, my quest has led me to the organic produce section of the grocery store. I stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies. Now, I want to give you one of my favorite soup recipes, but I’ve changed it a bit to give it more of an all natural quality. Meet chicken soup with lentils and barley. This recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.


  • 1 cup sliced leeks or chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped organic red or green sweet pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons light butter
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans of chicken broth (I recommend using organic low sodium free range broth, like the brand Imagine makes.)
  • 1.5 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup dry organic lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed (all the herbs can be store bought or picked and dried from your herb garden)
  • 1.5 cups chopped cooked free range organic chicken or turkey
  • 1.5 cups sliced organic carrots
  • .5 cup quick cooking barley
  • 1 14.5 ounce can organic tomatoes, cut up

Step one: In a large saucepan, melt butter. Then cook leeks or onions, pepper, and garlic until tender.

Step two: Add broth, water, lentils, basil, oregano, rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Step three: Stir in the chicken pieces, carrots and uncooked barley. Cover and simmer another 20 minutes. Add the undrained tomatoes and heat.

This recipe makes about 8 cups of soup. I know you may be thinking that you can’t afford to buy all those organic ingredients, but you can surely substitute whatever you need to fit your lifestyle. This soup is still very healthy even if it isn’t completely organic. However, it’s nice to try to throw at least some organic ingredients into your soup pot. The environment and your body will thank you later. Here’s to healthy eating!


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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

It’s the dead of winter. Eating comfort foods is right on this time of year. But comfort food doesn’t have to be bad for you if you know how to make healthy alternatives. Enter the blueberry almond oat muffin.

This little treat makes a delicious snack, on-the-go food, breakfast, dessert, or lunch side. It also pairs very nicely with a hearty winter bean soup.


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries (see my note about blueberries below)*
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup milk (or soymilk)
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped

Photo by Kate Langenburg

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.

Step 2: Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; mix well. Stir in blueberries and lemon zest. Add milk, butter and egg; mix until dry ingredients are moistened.

Step 3: Scoop batter into muffin cups. Sprinkle almonds evenly over batter, pressing down gently (or you can dump the almonds right into the batter while you’re mixing all the ingredients together). Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes.

*A quick note about blueberries: it’s hard to find great tasting berries this time of year. Most berries have to be shipped in from far away countries, like Chile or Venezuela, so they are often not fresh and loaded with preservatives to keep them from spoiling on the journey. As a result, a tangier taste ensues. Keep this in mind when you cook with berries during the winter.

Thanks to the Pampered Chef cookbook for this one.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I know I just did a post about food, but I just made the most interesting soup I think I have ever tasted. So, to follow up my post about comfort foods, here lies another post about food. (I guess this would fall in the realm of comfort food.)

Today, you will enjoy african style peanut butter soup.


  • 1 cup creamy style peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (or 2) celery stalk (s), sliced
  • 1 sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 can (14.4 oz.) diced tomatoes (with their juice!!)
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cooked brown or white rice
  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken

Step 1: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, and celery. Saute until vegetables are very tender (about 10 minutes).

Step 2: Stir in the garlic and chili powder. Saute for an extra minute longer.

Step 3: Add tomatoes with their liquid, chicken or vegetable broth, and peanut butter to the saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring often. (It might take a minute for the peanut butter to spread out.)

Step 4: Stir in the rice and the cooked chicken. Cook five minutes longer. You’re done!

This has a very unique flavor to it, but you have to like peanut butter to really enjoy it (of course.) But it’s not an overpowering peanut butter flavor. I had my doubts when I put a whole cup of the stuff into my soup, but it turned out great. After it simmers for a bit, the flavors all come together to create something wonderful.

The consistency is very creamy, and all the vegetables, chicken, and rice are deliciously coated with a nice layer of the peanut butter-broth mix.

Your tastebuds will really like this one. 🙂

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