Monday, February 14, 2011

Spice It Up!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!  I hope that everyone had a great day today and that someone told you they loved you. :-)  Although today is not very wintry, last week was!  It was cold and the perfect soup weather, so I decided to throw something together.  A while back, I got a can of enchilada sauce from my grocery store's clearance section.  I've been trying to figure out how to used that and really wanted to try and make an enchilada soup...last week, I did! 

I did a vegetarian version, but you could easily add some shredded chicken to it if you want to beef (or chicken) it up!  The enchilada sauce and some rotel tomatoes gave it the perfect amount of spice...I tasted it but it wasn't so full of heat that I couldn't enjoy the soup.  It lasted me almost a week.  A few times, I added some avacado to the top; that was a nice little addition of some fat and coolness.  I'd definitely make this again! 

I'm entering this in the Soup-a-Palooza put on my Dine and DIsh and TidyMom:  Come join Soup-a-Palooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers.  Please drop by and check out other great soup recipes or even add your own...there are some fun prizes!  (Recipe below)

Today for Eat.Live.Be we are supposed to give you advice from experts.  At first I didn't think I would have anything to add.  Don't really pay that much attention to what experts say.  Then I realized that as a pediatrician, I have one of the best "experts" as my guiding body...the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Though, I don't ALWAYS agree with what they recommend, I think that they are pretty with it when it comes to pediatric nutrition.                                
  Surprisingly (or not) what is recommended for children is pretty appropriate for adults as well.  For example, recommended snacks include fruit, bran muffins (like homemade ones), low-fat cheese, veggies with dip (because not many kiddos will eat them without!), lean meat (turkey roll-ups anyone?), hard boiled eggs and nuts (if your child is old enough).  Guess what?!  All of those are good snacks for adults as well!  They are full of vitamins, protein, and fiber (depending on what you pick). 
Another piece of advice that I would recommend is to have family dinners.  Studies have shown that children who sit down at the table and have dinner with their families make better food choices, have better behavior, do better in school, and are more confident in themselves.  This is another opportunity for you to be a good example to your kids!  Kids are more likely to eat something they see Mama or Daddy eating.  They are very influential.  As one of my favorite pediatricians said "If Mama tells you a banana is a treat, a banana is a treat!"              
So, start early...prepare healthy snacks (that doesn't mean to forbid the occasional treat, that can lead to overeating at friends' or hiding certain foods), eat healthfully yourself, and eat together!  If you want more "expert" advice for healthy living, please visit the Healthy Children, Healthy Living website.  This is the parenting advice site from the AAP and gives lots of great advice...more than you probably want to know!

Enchilada Soup
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
olive oil
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock (or water with boullion)
1/2 cup brown lentils
1 can white beans
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 small can mushrooms

In a large stock pot, saute your onion and bell pepper until beginning to soften.  Add your stock and lentils.  Bring to a boil and simmer until lentils are soft (about 30 minutes).  Add remaining ingredients, stir and simmer for 15 minutes.  Enjoy with your desired toppings.  I used cheese once, avacado a few times.  Enjoy!

Sarah Caron -
•Cate O’Malley -
•Maris Callahan -
•Chris Arpante -
•Faith -
•Kristen -
•Emily -
•Jenna - FireMom -
•Casey -
•Patsy -
•Tri-Fit Mom -
•Allison -
•Jen -
•Leslie -
•Rivki Locker -
•Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook
•Jennifer Schulz -
•Sarah Rogers -
Denise and Lenny -


Sarah Caron said...

Great tips! I love what you said about banana being a treat -- and to my kids, it is.

The JR said...

Sounds like a good choice to enter.

Hope you had a happy V'day. This is one of the holidays I miss my Mom the most. She always had a gift and would say "would you be my valentine".

Joanne said...

I love enchiladas and would never have thought to turn them into a soup! definitely a great use of enchilada sauce!

Lisa said...

That soup sounds delicious. Looks like your idea was a success.