This is my favourite time of year!
The weather’s getting cooler, I get to wear cosy cloths and most of all, weightlift in my track pants. The back to school mindset gets most of us into routine and we generally start hitting the gym more consistently. Vacation time is over and it's time to get back to work both in the gym and in the kitchen.
I also notice a difference in my food and cooking preferences in the fall. Some ingredients are more readily available, as I lean toward hearty chilis and stews, and my slow cooker always seems to have a soup in it. Usually I'm not a stew or soup guy but I can't resist a good chile or soup this time of year.
Here are some easy recipes right now.
(All of these recipes are originally featured on , Spodalicious .) And all of these recipes are written by LISA SPODAK.
At the end of each recipe, you'll find number of servings, and a full macro breakdown of carbs, fats and protein as well as fibre.
I find you can go pretty low with the noodles, you just want to have some in there to give it that good “comfort food” feel.
In a large dutch oven or other pot, heat olive oil on medium and saute onion, pepper, and garlic until softened (about 3 minutes).
Add turkey and cook through.
Stir in tomatoes and beans and add taco seasoning to taste. Add noodles and water. Bring to a boil and then lower to medium-low heat.
Cook 10-15 minutes uncovered, until noodles are the texture you like them.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese. You can serve with more shredded cheese if you like.
Per serving: 345 calories, 8 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbs (7 grams of fiber), 39 grams of protein. (Don’t forget, if you use the ground beef, reduced fat cheese and/or adjust the noodles, that will change your macros!)
This soup is so good
. You can switch it up with sweet sausage or hot sausage and see which you like better. You can use the Instant Pot or if you want to cook it on the stovetop.
Set the Instant Pot to Saute and let it heat up. When it’s ready, split the casing of each of the sausage links and add just the ground sausage meat to the pot. Saute until cooked, breaking up the meat as you go. Add mirepoix, tomatoes, beef stock, and spices. Stir in pasta. Cook on manual for 7 minutes. Quick release steam and add beans and fresh basil. Adjust seasonings as desired. Top with grated parmesan.
*If you don’t have an Instant Pot and want to make this on your stovetop:
Cook your pasta separately according to the directions on the package.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat. Saute the sausage meat until cooked through. Add the mirepoix and cook 3-4 minutes until tender. Stir in tomatoes, beef stock, and spices and let simmer 15-20 minutes. Stir in pasta and beans. Adjust seasonings as desired. Top with grated parmesan.
Per serving: 406 calories, 14 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbs (10 grams of fiber), 34 grams of protein.
I love this recipe because it’s hearty and delicious. It tastes like it should be packed with cream, but the texture comes from blended sweet potato.
Set the Instant Pot to saute and, when it’s hot, saute the mirepoix and 1/4 cup bacon crumbles, seasoned with salt, pepper, and cumin for about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper for 3 minutes more. Add the chicken, broth, sweet potato, one can of chilies, 1/2 can corn, and oregano, and set to Poultry.
When it’s done cooking, do a quick release of the steam. Remove the chicken to another dish and blend the soup with an immersion blender. Shred the chicken and mix it back into the soup along with the remaining corn, bacon, and chiles. Top with scallions and parsley to serve.
I haven’t tried this without the Instant Pot and immersion blender, but, I’m pretty confident you could do the Instant Pot part in a slow cooker and use a regular blender* instead of the immersion blender .
Saute the mirepoix and 1/4 cup bacon, seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin on the stove. Then transfer to your slowcooker with the chicken, broth, sweet potato, 1 can chilies, 1/2 can corn, and oregano. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high 3-4 hours, depending on your slowcooker. (Always cook your chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.)
Remove the chicken to shred and blend the rest of the soup in a blender. Shred the chicken and mix it back into the soup along with the remaining corn, bacon, and chiles. Top with scallions and parsley to serve.
*Be careful blending hot soup in the blender! Click here for some tips on avoiding explosions and scalding!
Per serving: 276 calories, 3.9 grams of fat, 28.6 grams of carbs (4.2 grams of fiber), 27.9 grams of protein.