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My Favorite Fall Soups/Chili

My Favorite Healthy Fall SoupsChili

 

As the weather is slowly cooling off and fall is settling in, all my favorite soup and chili recipes start making their appearances on our weekly meal plans.

If you’re like me, then you love a good soup recipe for a couple of reasons. Not only does it just put you in the fall/winter spirit to warm up to a delicious bowl of soup, but soup is also so easy to double or triple up on recipes to either freeze for later or make last multiple meals so that you aren’t cooking every single night.

Over the years I have tried multiple soup and chili recipes and below I am sharing with you the ones that have made it into our regular rotation because they are just SO good! I’m actually currently making most of these in bulk this week to store in our freezer to have handy once baby Eli James makes his grand debut in less than two weeks. All of these recipes are Paleo and Whole30.

Enjoy and let me know what you think you if you try any of these recipes!

Sweet Potato and Poblano Pepper Soup – We love eating this served with Emergency Meatballs by Stupid Easy Paleo and a simple mixed green salad on the side. You will also definitely want to garnish your soup with the cilantro and diced red onions that are optional in this recipe. It’s the perfect top off!

Pumpkin Soup with Apples and Spices – If you would like protein added to this, we love to pair this soup with Aidelles Chicken Apple Sausage links, sliced and sautéed until warm. We usually just dump them into the soup. We typically add a simple mixed green salad to this meal as well to get our greens in!

Paleo Tomato Basil and Beef Soup – This is a great stand alone meal since it already has the beef added in. I would recommend buying grass-fed beef. You could omit the beef if you would prefer too and it would still be delicious! If you tolerate grains and dairy well this would be delicious paired with a grilled cheese sandwich, especially if you ommitted the beef to fill you up a little bit more. I would recommend making your sandwich with some sprouted grain bread like Ezekiel bread and some raw cheddar or mozzarella cheese. My mouth is watering thinking about this right now!!

Zuppa Tuscana – (I can’t find the link to this original recipe so I have provided the recipe I use below for you)

  • 1-2 pounds grassfed ground beef
  • 1-2 teaspoons crushed red peppers
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 32 oz. or 4 cups broth
  • 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • 3 large russet potatoes, thinly sliced or cut into large cubes (either works, just depends on the texture you would like in your soup.)
  • 1/2 bunch of organic kale, chopped (I typically just eyeball this and add a ton of kale. It most likely is way more than half a bunch by the end of me throwing it all in.)
  1. Saute beef with red pepper flakes over medium heat on the stove
  2. In a large pot, sauce the onion and garlic until soft and fragrant in some good quality fat (coconut oil, olive oil, etc.)
  3. Add in the broth to the large pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, add in your cubed or thinly sliced potatoes and bring down to a simmer for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft and fall apart with a fork
  5. Lastly add in your cooked beef, chopped kale and coconut milk. Stir until kale wilts some and all is mixed in well.

Paleo Crockpot Chili – I love that this chili has so many crunchy vegetables added to it so it’s not all meat and beans like your typical chili. This is a hearty meal that the whole family will love!

I’m not kidding when I say we make these all the time! Having at least five “go-to’s” when it comes to soups/chili helps me to not get bored with eating the same ones over and over. I’ll make each of these most likely once a month throughout the fall/winter. If I find any other great recipes I will try and remember to come back and update this post and add them to share with you all!

 

 

 

 

Rx Bars Review

“Rx Bars. Pure and Simple. No BS.”

This is Rx Bars catchy slogan and their words definitely match up with the delicious healthy real food product they have created.

I have been meaning to try these for awhile now and I finally got my hands on them the other day, and boy did they not disappoint!!

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Each of their bars is made with only 8 ingredients or less, all of which you can pronounce, recognize and find in nature. That is the best part to me and something I always encourage everyone to look for when buying any food product. There are so many protein bars/shakes sold these days that are marketed with health phrases like “only “x” amount of carbs”, “10 g Fiber!” “0 g. sugar” etc..” to make you believe they are good for you when in reality they are filled with preservatives , artificial ingredients, and poor quality highly processed protein powders that you are just wasting your money on. Don’t fall for that. Read the ingredients, not the label on the front, and buy products that are simple, real foods that you don’t even have to question, like Rx Bars.

Each bar contains 12 g. of protein derived from pure egg whites and almonds. The base of each bar is made up of figs and dates to give it it’s sweet flavor and chewy texture. The rest of the natural ingredients added to each individual bar make up their 5 delicious flavors: coconut cacao, coffee cacao, blueberry, apple cinnamon and peanut butter. All bars are free of gluten, dairy, soy, and GMO’s. My personal favorite was the coffee cacao! If you are a coffee lover you will love this one! I personally don’t even drink coffee and I loved this flavor.

If you are familiar with the whole30 program you will be happy to know that 4 out of their 5 flavors are whole30 approved excluding the peanut butter bar! If you are joining me in my upcoming Nutrition Challenge, these would be a great option for you to have on hand, plus you might be getting some in your goodie bag at the end of your challenge from me!!

Larabars are another great example of a whole foods bar, but I personally like Rx bars better because of the added protein from pure egg whites. Larabars are still a great option, but because they are naturally higher in sugar (natural sugars from dried fruit) without very much protein, they can cause your blood sugar levels to swing much like a candy bar still. Sugar is still sugar even when it’s from natural sources. People who already struggle with blood sugar issues really need to be careful eating these types of foods especially if it’s not paired with a balanced meal or a good source of protein and fat.

Rx Bars have a better balanced ratio of sugars to protein with the added protein from egg whites as well as less sugar overall in each bar that will prevent such a quick sugar rush followed by a crash and will also keep you feeling fuller longer. The ratio of sugar to protein in most Larabars is on average 4:1 vs. Rx Bars average of 2:1 varying just slightly in each bar.

Now before you go out and buy a ton of these, because trust me you will want to..don’t hear me saying that these are a food you can/should eat all the time even though it is a healthy whole foods choice. Rx Bars, just like Larabars or Epic Bars or any other whole foods bar that I recommend should not ever replace well balanced healthy meals. These should be treated as emergency foods for times you are out, busy, hungry and have no healthy options around you. These bars also would serve great as pre or post workout fuel or an afternoon snack.

My only concern with bars like these is for the people who are trying to adopt a whole foods lifestyle yet still struggle with sugar addiction, which is a majority of people. I have seen these bars simply replace sweets and are often eaten to satisfy that sweet tooth everyday, sometimes two times a day or more. Yes this is a healthy whole foods option as a snack or sweet treat every now and then, but if you find that you are eating these bars to satisfy your sweet tooth regularly, or find yourself craving them regularly, you might need to lay off these for awhile. Yes there is such thing as too much of a good thing, RxBars being one of them. Overall though these bars are a great option to have on hand and I highly recommend them!

If you would like to purchase these you can order them through their website here. I also have a link to their products through my shopping guide page as well.

I hope this was helpful and gave you a new idea for a quick easy snack/emergency food!

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by RxBar but I did receive a free sample of their bars to review on my blog. All the statements above are my own, unbiased opinion.

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

So you’re trying to give up grains and pastas and wondering will I ever be able to eat spaghetti again???!!? The answer is yes, and it will be better than you think even without any pasta noodles! That’s right, spaghetti without any pasta and you won’t even know it. I served this meal to a high school kid who claimed to not like vegetables, and he didn’t even know the difference in this and regular spaghetti. He loved it and I’m sure you will to!

Spaghetti is one of those classic, easy weeknight meals that everyone loves and a meal that you can make a LOT of all at one time to last you throughout the week. If you know me, I am all about saving time in the kitchen and keeping things simple throughout the week, and this meal is one way to do it. Whip up a large batch of this to last you at least 3-4 dinner’s at the beginning of the week and you will be golden. Serve it with a large side salad or some roasted garlic potatoes if you’re craving something starchy to go along with it. I even like to eat this cold the next day for lunch sometimes. Yum.

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Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti, serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (Here’s what one looks like if you have no idea what I’m talking about )
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (grass-fed preferably. I buy mine here)
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2, 14 oz. cans tomato paste ( I like this brand )
  • Italian Seasoning, approximately 1 T. or more. Adjust to your liking.
  • 3-4 cloves crushed garlic, or garlic salt to your liking

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425, cut your spaghetti squash in half down the middle lengthwise and spoon out all the seeds
  2. Place your spaghetti squash on a cookie sheet, open face down and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the outer shell is soft to the touch and the inner part of the squash peels apart like noodles with a fork
  3. While your spaghetti squash is cooking, sauté your onions until translucent and then add in your ground meat and cook through
  4. Once your meat is cooked, pour in your tomato paste and add your seasonings and stir to combine. Let simmer for about 5-10 more minutes to let the flavors combine.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking
  6. Once the spaghetti squash is cooked, scrape out the noodles into a large bowl and pour your meat sauce over it and stir to combine
  7. Serve immediately or store in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week!

Now go make this and let me know if you can even tell the difference! More importantly let me know if your kids can because they are the tricky ones to get to eat healthy, but it starts with you the parent!

 

Paleo Tuna Salad with Homemade Pesto

If you’re like me, you like quick and easy no fuss lunches. This one is great for busy weekdays or even weeknights if you make a big batch at the beginning of the week. The recipe below is for one serving, but just double up on the ingredients to however many servings you want to make. If you have kids and they are fans of tuna, throw this on some cucumber slices for a healthy homemade lunch-able! That actually sounds good to me too right now 🙂

Traditionally tuna salad is made with mayo, but most mayo sold at the grocery store is made with poor quality oil and just not good for you. You can make your own, or buy some sold by Tessamae’s, but I decided to switch it up with a non-traditional pesto base. It turned out great!

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Paleo Tuna Salad with Homemade Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 can tuna ( I like this brand )
  • 2-3 T. homemade pesto (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 1-2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place your eggs in a pot, cover them with water, place on the stove and bring to a boil
  2. Bring the heat back down to medium, low and let cook for 10-15 minutes
  3. While your eggs are cooking, chop and dice all your vegetables, drain your tuna, toss all in a mixing bowl and stir to combine
  4. Once your eggs are cooked, let them cool in ice cold water for another 10 minutes or so. Peel them and chop them and add to your bowl and stir to combine
  5. Stir in your homemade pesto and store in your fridge to enjoy throughout the week!

Homemade Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pine nuts or pistachios
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

  1. Process the nuts in a good blender ( I use a magic bullet )
  2. Add garlic cloves and basil and process
  3. Add the olive oil slowly until the pesto reaches your preference of thickness and then add lemon juice

My favorite way to eat this is with plantain chips! I use it as a cracker alternative for something salty to serve it on. They are sold at most wal-marts, which we actually have in Paris, Texas!

Hope you like it 🙂 Let me know what you think!

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