I made this soup thinking I wouldn’t enjoy it. And Mr. P? Forgetaboutit.
But as it ends up, I was very, very wrong.
It’s no secret that I’m still warming up to quinoa, especially in savory dishes. And seeing as I love all things dairy (mmm…cheese), vegan meals aren’t usually my style — my cholesterol levels can confirm this, unfortunately for me. And naturally, I want to resolve this — heart disease and high cholesterol run very strongly in my paternal side.
That said, I kind of refuse to eat food that I don’t enjoy. And by kind of I mean, no way. There are far too few calories in the course of a day to waste them on anything sub-par.
But when you can have a totally satisfying meal for under 250 calories and a filling 10 grams of fiber with negligible amounts of saturated fat….well, that’s success. Huge success. (Success that can’t be reached with cheese.)
Why does this nutrient-packed meal pack so much flavor? Thank the peppers. Between a jalapeno, a poblano, and a red pepper that have all been roasted and charred…the flavor is all there. Bold and rich. Plus some of my favorite spices — chipotle chili powder, paprika, cumin, and coriander. Vegan masterpiece.
Quinoa Mexican Soup adapted from Virtually Vegan Mama
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed for less spic
1 cup dry quinoa (I used red quinoa)
1 Tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
pinch ground cinnamon
1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 lime, cut into wedges
Set your oven to broil at 550 F.
Cut the poblano, red bell pepper, and jalapeno in half, removing the stem and seeds. Place peppers on a baking sheet cut side down and roast 2-3 minutes or until charred and black. Check frequently to avoid over-burning. Once charred, place peppers in plastic baggie, close, and allow to steam. Peel the charred skin by hand and dice the peppers.
Heat a dutch over over medium heat and add olive oil. Add diced onions and stir. Keep stirring until the onions start to stick and add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable stock. Repeat this step, stirring often for 30 minutes, deglazing pan every so often with a small amount of vegetable stock. Cook onions for 30 minutes or until onions are a dark in color with the desired caramelized flavor.
While onions are caramelizing, combine the quinoa and 2 cups of water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for ~30 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
To the dutch oven, add remaining vegetable stock, fire roasted tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, poblano, red bell pepper, paprika, coriander, cumin, bay leaves, cinnamon, and chipotle chili powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves. Add cooked quinoa and stir to combine.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with diced avocado. Serve with lime wedges. Yield: 6 servings (about 1 1/3 cup each).
Nutrition Information (per serving): 244 calories; 7.7 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 452 mg. sodium; 38.2 g. carbohydrate; 10 g. fiber; 6.7 g. protein
Result: This had amazing flavor – and Mr. Prevention-approved! I was very hesitant about this soup as I was 90% sure he would hate it. But nope…loved it! It takes a bit of babysitting (for all of 5 minutes), but the roasted peppers make this soup. I skipped a few steps from the original recipe to make things a bit easier, and it worked. This soup is uber healthy and truly delicious…plus it’s vegetarian, vegan, and under 300 calories per serving! Enjoy!
I need to get my rear in gear. I haven’t worked out since Friday morning and I have no excuse. The quarter ends this week and while things have been busy with grading, exam-making, holiday shopping, and so on…there’s just no excuse for not getting in a workout both Saturday and Sunday. Grrr, self. At least I have a weekly menu packed with healthy eats!