Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tofu Drop Soup

Okay, please don't freak out. I know there is a lot of green in this picture and the title hints at tofu. Please, don't walk away. 

Are you still there? 

Okay, let me explain myself. With winter, the holidays, busy schedules, and then Valentine's Day it is so easy to slip away from what is the healthiest for our bodies. I know for me these last few weeks have been tough to stay on track with eating fruits and vegetables. 

Being the creator that I am, I decided to look up 'anti-inflammatory' foods. 

No, this is not the kind of inflammation that stops us from being able to button our pants, I'm talking about inflammation on the cellular level. This inflammation of our cells can be deadly. It's what leads to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and possibly heart disease. 

Not to go off on a tangent, the anti-inflammatory diet basically is one that involves lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed, salted, and high fat foods. Makes sense really no matter what.
After a week of eating lunch meat, cheese, bacon, eggs, steak, and brats, I am ready for a change. Some of the foods that are promoted as anti-inflammatory include kale, soy protein, beans, blueberries, spinach, ginger, garlic, and fresh fishes, etc. You get the picture. 

With that in mind I created this super healthy Tofu Drop Soup. It includes kale, tofu, bok choy, ginger, garlic, and basically all of the anti-inflammation foods I could find at the store here in Northwest Montana in the middle of winter. The Asian flair makes it almost taste like take out! It was delicious and keeps me warm during the winter storms that continue to rage out here in the Northwest corner of America.
I eat it and I feel less crazed, more healthy, and my body says, "Thank you." 

Note: If you can't find kale or bok choy, you can substitute cabbage, collard greens, or really any kind of greens. You get to decide!

Tofu Drop Soup

1 white onion; minced
8 cloves garlic; minced
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
5 cups low sodium fat free chicken broth
2-3 cups water (depending on how much kale and bok choy you have)
1 head of bok choy; chopped
1 large bunch of kale; chopped (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. fresh ginger (I had to used dried because I couldn't find the fresh)
1 tbsp. tumeric
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. cumin
14 ounces of firm tofu; drained and cubed 
1 can chick peas
1. We'll start by peeling and mincing the garlic and onion. Then add to 1 tsp. olive oil and peanut oil in a skillet and saute for 3-5 minutes or until the onions become fragrant.
2. Meanwhile cut your bok choy and kale into bit sized leaves and rinse to clean. Make sure to remove the stem from the kale, you don't want that thick hunk in your delicate soup.
3. Place the sauteed onion and garlic mixture in your favorite huge crock pot and add the vegetable stock, bok choy, kale, soy sauce, ginger, turmeric, curry powder, cumin and stir.
4. Then drain the tofu and slize into chunks and add to the crock pot. Stir to combine and add water as needed to cover the vegetables. Set the crock pot to low and cook for 5-6 hours or set to high and cook for 3 hours. 
5. In the last hour of cooking add the drained can of chick peas and stir them into the now cooked down greens! Isn't it smelling divine!
6. Serve as a main meal with a big spoon and enjoy all the healthy flavors as they pour into your body and help your cells function at their peak!

Servings: 12

Nutritional Skinny:

92 calories / 4 g fat / 14.3 g carbohydrates / 3.2 g fiber / 5.3 g protien

Mental Health Benefit: Don't kid yourself. This soup is delicious, but it is also healthy. The two can coexist and they do every single day in my house. They can in yours too. This soup is loaded with low density high fiber vegetables that will keep you going all day and evening without feeling over loaded, bloated, and tired. This is the perfect lunch for a busy day at the office or a light dinner after a long day out in the cold. Between the crunch from the greens and the tender bite from the tofu and chick peas, this is a delight no matter what time of day!

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