Recipe - Winter Comfort Soup and Dilled Cucumbers with Yogurt Dressing

Winter Comfort Soup
Serves 4

Nutrition goldmine: Dark green leafy vegetables such as Swiss chard are packed with calcium, iron, folic acid, and vitamin B6. Folic acid and B6 help keep homocysteine levels low to prevent clogged arteries. Cabbage is loaded with vitamin C.
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 4 c. combination of dark leafy greens (such as Swiss chard, kale, and spinich) and cabbage, thick stems or core removed and finely sliced in strips
  • 1 c. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 c. low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ lb. boneless skinless fryer chicken breast, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 c. parsley, chopped, divided
  • ¼ c. dry white wine pinch crushed red pepper 
  1. Heat oil in a nonstick saucepan. Sauté onion, garlic, mushrooms, and carrots with a pinch of crushed red pepper. 
  2. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. 
  3. Add the broth, wine if using, greens (except spinach, if using), and beans. Bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chard is tender and the soup is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. 
  5. Add the chicken, spinach if using, and half of the parsley. Simmer gently over moderately low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve.
Per 1 cup serving: 181 calories, 21 gm protein, 11 gm carbohydrate, 5 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 3 gm mono fat, 33 mg cholesterol, 748 mg sodium

The seasoned cook used two cups of Swiss chard and two cups of cabbage. The different shades of green look pretty and are nutritious! To reduce the sodium even further use homemade chicken broth. Don’t use wine in cooking? Substitute more chicken broth. 

Dilled Cucumbers with Yogurt Dressing
Serves 4

Nutrition goldmine: Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, which is linked to lower blood pressure and helps with weight loss. One 8" cucumber has 12 percent of the daily minimum recommended amount of fiber.
  • 2 cucumbers, unpeeled, sliced thin
  • 4 green onions, sliced, light green parts only
  • 1 c. nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt, optional
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped, or
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  1. Place cucumber slices in a bowl and coat slices with salt, pepper, vinegar, and sugar. Let marinate for 15 minutes while you prepare the dressing.
  2. Meanwhile, for dressing, stir together the yogurt, dill, and green onions.
  3. Drain cucumbers, then add to dressing and stir to blend. Chill while soup is cooking and garnish with additional dill.
Per serving: 75 calories, 5 gm protein, 15 gm carbohydrate, 0 gm fat, 1 gm cholesterol, 1 gm fiber, 343 mg sodium (53 mg sodium without salt)

The seasoned cook sometimes makes a thinner and tangier dressing by adding buttermilk to the yogurt.