I learned how to cook from watching Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals show on the Food Network. I would come home every night and try out different recipes. Never mind the fact that it took me an hour to cook a 30 minute meal.
The hardest part for me was the timing. My potatoes were always too hard or too mushy. The chicken was always questionably pink. But just like with everything in life, the more you practice the better you get. So the one hour meals became 30 minute meals and I even started to stray away from the exact ingredients listed. As I became more aware of the things I was eating, I started to look into healthy recipes and came across Rachael Ray’s Veggie Meals cookbook.
I’ve always liked Rachael’s down to earth personality and this cookbook does not disappoint. It’s divided into five sections: Soups, Salads, Pastas, Make Your Own Asian Take Out, and Snack Suppers. I immediately started to experiment with the soups because I could eat soup just about every day. I find a soup and sandwich combo possibly the best thing to eat, ever.
I fell in love with her recipe for Pumpkin Black Bean Soup. Yes, you read that right, Pumpkin AND Black Beans. It doesn’t sound like those two things would go together but let me tell you they do. The recipe calls for curry seasoning which gives this soup a unique and delicious flavor. Over the years, I’ve amended this recipe and have made it my own. I took out the butter and cream, substituted low sodium beans and veggie broth and added more curry and ground ginger to deepen the flavor.
Food Tip: Always try to buy low or no sodium items in a can or just in general. Because of the preservation process, many foods have tons of sodium and once something is over salted there is no recovering. It's better for you to control the amount of salt you want in your food.
I highly recommend that when you are trying out a recipe, feel free to experiment. Happy accidents in the kitchen happen all the time.
This soup literally takes about 15 minutes but tastes like it’s been simmering over your stove for hours. It also pairs well with my Sweet & Crunchy Kale Salad.
Rachael Ray's Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup with a twist by Jeanette Ruiz
1 tablespoon of olive oil (1 turn around the pan)
2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
1 can (14.5 ounces) low sodium veggie broth
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
1 can (15 ounces) no sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) of pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons of curry powder
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
Kosher salt & pepper, to taste.
Heat a deep pot over medium heat. Add oil and saute the onions for about 5 minutes and then add the garlic and stir. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans and pumpkin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and add curry powder, cumin and ginger. Add a few pinches of salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve.
OM the moment for your body this week by taking out some time to prepare some comfort (soul) food for yourself or your family. Let me know how you like it in the comments below.