Healthy Eating for Busy Moms

Veggie soup is my go-to dish, especially in summer. How fast do you think you can make a fresh veggie soup? As fast as it takes you to peel and chop the veggies because soup really cooks itself. Let me show you my classic veggie soup in 3 easy steps.

Carrot, Potato, Celery, Red Cabbage

Carrot, potato, celery, red cabbage

Step 1. Peel and cut veggies you have in the fridge. DO NOT use any broth from the store. Why do you want cane sugar, canola oil, molasses, carrot concentrate, added flavors, or dehydrated onions??? Just take your fresh onion, carrot, etc. and forego dehydrated cane syrup or powdered flavors.

Step 2. Put tougher veggies in the pot first. Cover with water no more than 1 inch above the veggies. Salt generously. Leave it to boil for 5-6 minutes.

Add water just barely to cover veggies

Add water just to barely cover the veggies

Tender veggies and herbs

Ripe tomatoes, green onion, parsley

Step 3. Add the tender/fragile veggies and herbs. Leave to boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let it cool a bit before serving.

To experiment with taste try adding one or all of the following: oregano, olive oil, a bit of lemon juice or apple vinegar, more salt :), pepper, sour cream. Try different veggie combinations: broccoli, peas, zucchini, pasta, red beans, and what not. It will always be a new experience and taste for your family.

 

Healthy Eating for Busy Moms

Secret #3: Soups! Soup is the best friend for busy moms because they cook themselves. You can make them for dinner and have leftovers for your lunch at work. There are two kinds of soups that you should consider. First – legume-based (pea, lentil, beans). Second – all veggies. Lentil and pea soups take 30-40 minutes to make. Beans cook minimum 1,5 hours.  Pre-soak grain the night before to cut the time by 50%.

Day 1. Before going to bed put legumes in a pot, cover with water. (takes 2 minutes)

IMG_0184Day 2. Switch the water in a pot, and bring it to boil. As soon as it boils, add: onion, carrot, and salt. Cook until lentils are tender (20 minutes). Add parsley, cumin and coriander.

Day 3. Have leftovers? Try blending the soup. To add variety to the taste of soup – try adding some lemon juice. (5 minutes)

 

Blended Lentil Soup

Blended Lentil Soup

Legume Trivia: Red Lentil is super food, which makes it my favorite soup. It has folate, copper, manganese, iron, protein, B1, B6, zinc, potassium, etc, and it is low in calories. So, you can eat a lot of it without gaining weight. It tastes even better the next day.

Healthy Eating for Busy Moms

Secret #2 – precook what you can, especially grains and even pasta. In my student years I got to work in expensive restaurants. Do you think you are getting all “just-made” meals there??? On a Saturday night during the dinner rush??? Busy moms are allowed to run their kitchens like expensive restaurants.

saladDay 1. Cook orzo pasta (or any small pasta) al dente. My husband cannot eat raw bell peppers, so I add chopped one into the boiling water for 2 minutes to make it tenderer. Drain, run cold water through it, and add olive oil. Put in the fridge. You can store pasta without sauce about to 48 hours. (Process takes 10 minutes)

Day 2. Chop your favorite veggies for salad. Add pasta from the fridge. Do not forget to sprinkle with seeds and nuts! Being vegetarian (vegan) means that you look for iron, magnesium, and protein in plants. So, seeds are your new best friends: they have true vitamins, minerals, oils, and taste. (10 minutes)

Healthy Eating for Working Moms

I have just translated my blood work results, and my plant-based diet really shines. For example, the “bad” cholesterol went down from 220 to 89 and so on. I shared with my dear friends some revelations of how amazing one can feel after adjusting just a few of eating habits, but everyone says in unison, “I am too busy for that.” So, I want to share some of my personal tips for those who honestly would love to try eating healthy, but too busy to cook from scratch.

IMG_0183Secret #1: During the transition stage – plan your meals ahead. Before your new way of cooking becomes automatic, try to “schedule” 3-4 days of meals ahead, and those dishes that take long time to cook – try to precook. For example, this is how I make hummus from scratch.

Day 1. Pour water onto Gorbanzo Beans before the day is over. Leave it to soak till tomorrow. (2 minutes)

Day 2. Put the pot with the beans onto the stove. Forget about it while it’s boiling for 30-40 minutes. Put in the fridge till tomorrow. DO NOT pour the water out. Keep it!

Day 3. Take the beans out and blend all hummus ingredients. Decorate and clean up. (10-15 minutes).