Soup Time!

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Soup is the dieter’s friend. Around the world, when people want to eat something nourishing and filling, soup is the answer. Isn’t that what we want on a Fast Day — to be filled up with delicious food that still stays within the bounds of propriety? It is getting chilly here in the Northern Hemisphere, time to stock the freezer with home-made soups. Here are three favorites, from France, Thailand, and China. More, please.

Cabbage-Sausage Soup: 264 calories 11 g fat 5 g fiber 14 g protein 25.5 g carbs [22 g Complex] 66 mg Calcium  PB GF Since this is Jacques Pepin’s recipe, I’ll let him say it:  “When the weather gets cooler in the fall, I make soup. I generally cook up a big batch and freeze some for whenever I need it. This one, with sausage, potatoes, and cabbage, is hearty and good for cold weather. HINT: Makes 6 one-cup servings.

8 ounces mild Italian sausage meat 1½ cups onions, sliced 6 scallions, cut into ½-inch pieces (1¼ cups) 6 cups water 1 cup chickpeas 16 oz potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks 8 ounces savoy cabbage, chopped/sliced 1¼ teaspoons salt

“Break the sausage meat into 1-inch pieces and place it in a saucepan over high heat. Sauté, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon [to keep the meat from sticking], for 10 minutes, or until the sausage is well browned. Add the onions and scallions and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the water, chickpeas, potatoes, cabbage, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes.” Portion for storage or serving. One portion = 1 cup.

Thai shrimp and Noodle Soup:  272 calories 2 g fat 4 g fiber 26 g protein 37.6 g carbs 82.4 mg Calcium  PB  This soup is superb, whether on a hot summer night or in the winter. HINT: serves 2. Invite a guest or save for a lunch later in the week. This is warm and wonderful and spicy and filling.

6 oz raw shrimp, shelled, tails removedThaw the shrimp in a bowl, then strain the liquid in the bowl into a 1-cup measuring cup. Add water to bring volume to 1 cup.  Put the shrimp in the liquid, and simmer until shrimp is opaque. Remove shrimp and go to next step:
46 gm rice vermicelli noodles [one small ‘bundle’ of noodles]Bring shrimp-water to boil, add vermicelli, cover and take off heat. After 4 minutes, drain, reserving the cooking water. Rinse and reserve the noodles.
2 pinches crushed red pepper 1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce 2 Tbsp lime juice 2 tsp sugar 1 Tbsp Thai green curry paste Put the shrimp-water, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and curry paste in a pan together. Warm while whisking to combine.
3 oz carrots, grated  1 c. spinach leaves, loosely packed, then coarsely chopped Add the carrots, saving some for a crunchy garnish. Add the spinach. Simmer the liquids until carrots and spinach are tender.
2 scallions, thinly sliced 1 oz grated carrotCut the shrimp in half cross-wise and add to soup. Serve soup with chopped scallion and grated carrot garnish.

Wonton Soup: 257 calories 34 g fat 1 g fiber 23.7 g protein 29 g carbs 25 mg Calcium  PB Cantonese wonton soup can be your’s, easily and without the extra salt or MSG. I prepared the entire batch of filling, then stuffed and poached all 26 wontons. Frozen, they will be the ‘instant’ source of future meals or an addition to a Dim Sum assortment.

Filling: 4 oz ground pork 4 oz chicken meat ½ tsp cornstarch ¾ tsp sugar 1 tsp sesame oil ¼ tsp white pepper ¾ tsp salt 1 Tbsp water 1 Tbsp sherry 4 oz shrimp, chopped to the size of green peas Combine all ingredients except the shrimp in the bowl of a food processor and mince to a paste. Stir in the shrimp. Refrigerate until ready to fill the wontons. TIP: Can be made the day before.

Filling the Wontons: Wonton skins are small squares of egg-roll wrappers, 5 wonton skins per bowl of soup 26 skins for the entire batch. Put 4-6 wonton skins on a cutting board. Moisten two edges of one of the squares. Place 1 Tbsp of filling on the square, fold over to make a triangle, and pinch the sides together. Set aside until ready to poach them.

Poaching filled wontons: Bring a pan of water to boil. Depending on the diameter of the pan, add wontons 4-5 at a time. They will sink to the bottom of the pan. When they float to the surface [in 4-5 minutes], fish them out and put on a tea towel to drain.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

low-fat cottage cheese 1.5 two-oz eggs
plain fat-free yogurt37-calorie chicken breakfast sausage
mangoapple + sage
clementineparsley + oregano
granolaoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: …….. single portion for Thursday:

firm-fleshed white fishsauerkraut + caraway seed
marinara sauce + green beanscollard greens or similar
Parmesan cheese + mozzarellaapplesauce + garlic powder
fresh bread for crumbs110-calorie sausage + onion
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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