Homemade Broccoli Cheese Soup – Better than Any Restaurant!

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Broccoli cheese soup is one of the most popular soups sold in restaurants. In fact, even fast food restaurants have gotten on the craze of serving this delicious, creamy dish. Although we love to eat soups and salads for lunch,

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Peasant Communities Survived On This Simple and Nutritious Food For Centuries

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Peasant food, while simple and frugal, has been around for centuries – in every culture around the world. Using fresh roots, herbs, and foods available to them, households would whip up a soup the family could feast on for days. Soups such as pot-au-feu, minestrone, cawl, and Acquacotta would give the family sustenance during hard times. But why is this simple meal so nutritious?

The Health Benefits of Soup

During the winter months, one of the things we neglect is taking in an adequate amount of fluids.  This is understandable, as cold doesn’t make you feel thirsty the way hot weather does.  Nevertheless, the fluid dynamics and balance requirements are the same, and sometimes more: we expend more energy in the winter trying to stay warm.  Guess what?  We still need about a gallon of water per person, per day.

That being said, let’s discuss some facts of digestion.  Shunting is the term where, when you’re digesting, all of the blood in your periphery (arms, legs, and such) shunts inward to your thoracic cavity…where you’re actively digesting your food.  The term “food coma,” is a humorous description of lack of mental alertness while your body digests the meal.

Then again, we make it hard on ourselves.  The best time to eat a large, sit-down meal is for dinner when you’re able to be home and to digest your food and then turn in for the night.  During the day?  You’re running around and active…then you turn into a “stone” after that huge meal of chimichangas or gigantic beef brisket sandwich and fries.  Then you don’t understand why you feel as if you’ve been hit head-on by a train.

Take the Anguish (and guesswork) Out of It

Soup is a must from a dietary standpoint.  It is more easily digested, and the ingredients you need (protein and carbohydrates) are broken down faster without taxing your system as hard.  In addition, vital electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium) are more easily taken in.  In other articles, we discussed the thermogenic factor of food: how protein takes more energy to break down, but with greater return.  We also discussed how 10% of your intake is spent digesting the food.

Soups and broths make it easier on your body by giving you the nutrition you need in a form that is more easily digestible.  Do you remember that piece I did on the Thermos, and how it is worthwhile to pack your own lunch from a practical/economic standpoint?  There was more to it than dollars and cents.  You can give yourself the best of food, in a form that it is easier to handle.  Let’s talk about some steps to it…maybe I can give you some good ideas that you can use.

5 Tips for Making Soup as Nutrition-Packed as Possible

  1. If you’re going to buy your soups, then invest in high-quality material: organic, non-GMO, with some actual good statistics to it. Look for protein, look for your electrolytes, and stock up on these.
  2. Next, pick up some good meats…what is your favorite, in a high-quality (look for leanness, no additives, and organic if you can swing it financially. Grill them or broil them, and store them in your fridge. Here’s a tip: If you grill meat with garlic…as in fresh, sliced cloves, the garlic neutralizes cancer-causing agents in the meat that affect your colon…and garlic lowers your risk of colon cancer and stomach cancer substantially.
  3. Take your meats, chop them up nice and small…and add them to your soup, along with extra vegetables and herbs to your liking…such as onions, garlic, fresh carrots. Heat up your soup, and then add these after you’ve taken it off of a boil.  Throw it in your thermos.
  4. If you make your own? Stick with high-protein legumes, such as lentils, kidney beans, and such.  Legumes also lower cholesterol.  “Batch” up about 5 gallons at a time to make it cost-effective, break it down into quart containers, and freeze your excess.
  5. The Blender is your Buddy! Yes, you can go back to that article I wrote about using the blender to make that hamburger into a “puree,” then adding to the base, or just throwing it in some tomato juice.  Hi Ho Lycopene and Protein!  You’re only limitation is your imagination.

Not to mention the fact that if you’re packing it around with you, this decreases the travel time to obtain food, eat, and go back to the grind.  That thermos can be your best friend: pack it with good, reliable proteins, fluid, and electrolytes in the form of a hearty soup.  Who knows?  You might start a trend in your workplace.  Then after the winter, you will be able to start the spring in better shape, as eating healthy will prevent that transformation into the Michelin Man.  Bon Appetit, and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Amazing Instant Pot Chicken Soup Recipe – Sensational Flavor

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Instant Pot Chicken Soup Recipe – Ready in Minutes! Love the taste of homemade chicken soup but don’t want to wait hours for it to be ready? What if we told you that you could make it in under 30

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3 Cheap Bean Recipes That Will Save You Time

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I have some cheap bean recipes today. As you probably know, I eat a bean burrito without cheese every day of the week. Sometimes I add salsa, and sometimes I just eat it with a dollop of guacamole. I prefer plain because I love the taste of refried beans and flour tortillas. Now, you can pressure can just about any bean, buy cans of beans, and purchase beans in small bags or 50-100 pound bags. Please note all of these recipes do not need the meat. I am a vegetarian, just giving you heads-up. In other words, meat is optional in all of my recipes.

Mark and I took a course to get our Master Preserver Canning Certificate right here in St.George, Utah. The class was at night and I asked as few women in my neighborhood to take the class but no one was interested. It didn’t take much to talk Mark into taking the class with me as he supports me in everything I have ever wanted to do in my life. Yes, I’m a very lucky woman. I wanted to know the new tricks to canning as I had not been canning for a few years. Things change, especially because we now have GMO fruits and vegetables. You may not know that now we need to add vinegar or citric acid to tomatoes, for instance. Here’s the deal, you can pressure beans, and they are very easy to do. We pressured several batches of beans at the class.

Now that we only have two living at home, I only buy a few small bags of beans, #10 cans of beans (7-inches high and 6-1/4 inches in diameter) for long-term storage. I do not store beans in 5-gallon buckets. I also store instant pinto beans that only require 20 minutes to cook them, therefore using less fuel when a disaster hits.

Purchase Cases Of Beans

I buy cases of beans when they are on sale. I prefer, pinto, refried, black, garbanzo, white, navy, kidney and chili beans. I also buy cases of tomato powder, it’s not worth my time to dehydrate tomatoes and make them into powder. I buy diced tomatoes because I can make any soup by just adding a few different spices. Please remember, only buy the beans you will eat.

When my girls were younger, I just soaked the pinto beans overnight, drained them the next morning covered with fresh water and cooked them all day on the stove. Then we made bean burritos and we froze them. This was a cheap dinner, but it also taught my girls to cook from scratch and to eat frugal meals.

Extra Items To Stock

If you stock your pantry with some of these items, you can make soup anytime for two people or your neighborhood.

  • Green chilies
  • Beef Stock
  • Chicken Stock
  • Vegetable stock
  • Dehydrated onions, fresh onions, or freeze-dried onions
  • Dehydrated celery, fresh celery, or freeze-dried celery
  • Dehydrated bell peppers, fresh bell peppers, or freeze-dried bell peppers
  • Beans: black, pinto, refried, white, kidney, chili, and garbanzo, to name just a few
  • Tomatoes: diced, fresh, freeze-dried, tomato sauce or paste
  • Cans of meat, or freeze-dried meats
  • Lime and lemon juice
  • Spices: chili pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, sweet basil, salt, and pepper, Cayenne pepper, oregano, coriander, taco seasoning, and other spices you love to use

Cheap Bean Recipes

cheap bean recipes
1.Easy To Make Red Chili

Ingredients:

1-2 pounds cooked and drained hamburger (optional)

2 onions or equal amount of freeze-dried onions

1-2 green or red bell peppers, chopped or equal amount of freeze-dried bell peppers

1 teaspoon garlic powder or fresh garlic chopped

2-16-ounce cans of chili beans (do not drain)

2-16-ounce cans of kidney beans (do not drain)

1-28-ounce can diced tomatoes (do not drain)

1 teaspoon sweet basil

2 tablespoons chili powder or less

1 teaspoon cumin

1-8-ounce can tomato paste or sauce

Instructions:

Combine the ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until thoroughly cooked.

PRINTABLE: Recipe by Food Storage Moms

2.White Bean Soup

Ingredients:

2 cans of cooked chicken, drained (12.5 ounces each) or 2-3 raw cubed chicken breasts

One chopped onion or freeze-dried onions (equivalent amount)

Two stalks of celery chopped or freeze-dried celery (equivalent amount)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 (15-ounce) cans white beans

1 (4-ounce) can of diced green chilies

1-(15-ounce) can of corn (drained)

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 cups chicken broth

2-3 tablespoons lime juice

Instructions:

Grab a frying pan and stir-fry the chicken and onions in a little oil until cooked. I have pans that don’t require any oil and I love them. Combine all of the ingredients and place them in a slow cooker and cook 6-8 hours or until heated through. Serve with tortilla chips.

PRINTABLE: Recipe by Food Storage Moms

3.Easy Taco Soup

1 can of cooked ground beef, or you can use a frying pan to cook one pound. (optional)

*****This is where I buy Cooked Ground Beef for Mark.

One chopped onion or (equivalent amount) freeze-dried onions

1 (28-ounce) can of diced or crushed tomatoes, do not drain

1 (16-ounce) kidney beans, do not drain

1 (16-ounce) can of corn, do not drain

1 tablespoon taco seasoning, or one package if you don’t buy the jar Taco Seasoning 

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and heat through, or put the ingredients in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours.

PRINTABLE: Recipe by Food Storage Moms


This is my favorite size slow cooker, it’s a 3-1/2 Quart Slow Cooker 

I hope you store lots of beans so you can make cheap bean recipes! I store lots of beans and rice, life is good if your belly is full. May God bless you for being prepared for the unexpected. What bean do you like in your cheap bean recipes?

No-Fail Dinner Rolls by Linda

No-Fail Bread Sticks by Linda

 

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Creamy Tomato Basil Soup – Made With Fresh or Canned Tomatoes

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One of my favorite comfort meals is a bowl of tomato basil soup, especially when paired with a thick and gooey grilled cheese sandwich.  Take it one step further and there isn’t anything better than tasting your own homemade tomato

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Homemade Zuppa Soup Recipe – Copycat Olive Garden Version

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Zuppa soup is one of the most craved soups in our household.  Although its formal name is Zuppa Toscana soup at the Olive Garden restaurant, in our house, we shortened it to plain old Zuppa soup.   In an effort to replicate

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Frugal Living: Using Up Fish Scraps for Broth and Other Recipes

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[Editor’s Note: Finding ways to find natural food sources and using up every bit will not only enhance our preparedness skills, but also help us create a more frugal lifestyle in the process. Fish is one of the most readily available wild protein sources and homesteader, Ruby Burks provides some very sound advice on how to add these last food bits to make delicious meals.]

fish 

Periodically, I need to go through our freezers and cook or can up the food items that I just didn’t have time to get to during their season and to take stock of what got pushed to the back.  Today, I’m concentrating on all the fish.

Why Fish?

Fish is an important part of our diet here (and taking a day off to go fishing is an important part of our mental health!) and we try to be as conscientious about eating nose to tail to reduce food and money waste with fish as we are with all of our other foods.  However, I don’t always have time to preserve every part of the fish as soon as we bring it home.  So, like the ingredients for other meat-based stocks and broths, trimmings from the fish, including the heads, go into freezer bags to accumulate until I have enough to fill a stockpot, pressure can, or smoke.

There’s plenty of scientific evidence to prove that eating fish has many health benefits.   From Harvard School of Public Health:

Fish and other seafood are the major sources of healthful long-chain omega-3 fats and are also rich in other nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium, high in protein, and low in saturated fat. There is strong evidence that eating fish or taking fish oil is good for the heart and blood vessels. An analysis of 20 studies involving hundreds of thousands of participants indicates that eating approximately one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish a week—salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines—reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.

Eating fish fights heart disease in several ways…Both observational studies and controlled trials have also demonstrated that the omega-3 fats in fish are important for optimal development of a baby’s brain and nervous system, and that the children of women who consume lower amounts of fish or omega-3’s during pregnancy and breast-feeding have evidence of delayed brain development.”

Source

Unfortunately, fish can be crazy expensive for most people, especially if you’re among the Broke Folk.  And as much as I value the rest and relaxation that can be found in a day spent fishing and the value of knowing an essential prepping skill, the cost of the gear and licence can really add up if I’m not actually catching any fish.  So, to offset that, I try to find as many ways to cook, preserve, and use every bit of the fish.  The following is a collection based on what is available in my neck of the woods.  If you have access to other species of fish in your area, please share your recipes below in the comments section so we can all share the wealth of knowledge found in our prepping community.

Fresh and Fried

No doubt about it, my very favorite fish is pan fried trout cooked over an oak and manzanita campfire.  Freshly caught and cleaned, dredged in cornmeal, and just the right size to fit in a cast iron skillet that has been liberally greased with some bacon grease.  The recipe isn’t fancy, but the eating is good.  To round out the meal, I add the recipes below:

Firepit Dutch Oven Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup yellow corn meal
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons bacon grease
  1. Mix all your dry ingredients together in a container or easy seal bag before you leave the house so you don’t have to worry about measuring at your campsite.  Mix the dry and wet ingredients together.  I like to bring my dry ingredients in a gallon size Ziplock bag so I can dump my wet ingredients in, seal it up, and squish them all together.  Cornbread is forgiving and turns out just fine this way.
  2. Lightly grease your dutch oven and and set it over the fire to warm.  Once warm, pour the batter in, cover with the lid, and place the dutch oven back on a nice glowing bed of coals.  Scoop enough coals on top of the lid to cover it.  Wait about 30 minutes or so, replenishing the coals as needed to keep it hot, and then test for doneness by inserting a clean pocket knife.  When it comes out clean, it’s done.
  3. While your cornbread is cooking, fry up a few pieces of bacon.  It’s delicious crumbled over the trout and adds the extra fat calories needed for hiking and fishing.  Remove the bacon and set aside to cool.  Dredge your freshly caught and cleaned trout in some cornmeal, salt and pepper and fry it in the same pan you just took your bacon out of.  The trout is done when it flakes easily with the point of your knife.

I like greens with my fish and will usually bring some home canned collards or spinach to heat up off on the side of the grill while everything else is cooking.  Or, if I’m lucky, I might find some Miner’s Lettuce and make a salad.

Fish Stock

Broth is an extremely healthy way to make use of the head and bones. Personally speaking, I love fish stock.  It’s a great way to use up all the bits of fish that aren’t normally served up on a plate.  The meat from the cheeks is especially tender and tasty.  Just be sure to remove the gills from the fish heads before cooking because they make the stock bitter.  A great video on how to remove the gills easily can be found here.

No matter what the recipes say, you can use any kind of fish to make stock.  If I have enough salmon heads and trimmings, I might make a stock that is nothing but salmon.  The stock has a beautiful pink hue and a rich, fatty taste and texture.  However, if I don’t have enough salmon heads, I might throw in some trout or any other freshwater fish I have to finish filling my stock pot.  Trout heads are pretty small, though, and picking them clean is a little like trying to pick the meat off of nothing but chicken backs.  If you want some meat to go with your broth, make sure you have at least a couple of heads or trimmings from a larger fish like salmon.  On the other hand, if you aren’t planning on using the pickings in your stock, you can still use them to make Goldfish Cakes:

Ruby’s Goldfish Cakes

  • 15-ounces salmon (or other cooked, picked fish)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • About 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • About 2-3 cups of  breadcrumbs Note: This is one of those recipes where I don’t measure and instead cook by feel.  Add enough breadcrumbs to bind it all together but not so much that it tastes too much like breadcrumbs.  You can also use saltines or Ritz- whatever you have on hand and sounds good at the time.
  • 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil or bacon grease
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the cooking oil together in a bowl.
  2. Shape into burger-sized patties and fry in a hot skillet until cooked through and nicely browned on the outside.
  3. Allow to cool a few minutes and serve warm.

Wondering what to do with all that fish stock?  Check out this list of my favorite recipes below:

Salmon Head Soup 

Bouillabaisse

Paella (substitute the 3 C of water in this recipe for fish stock.  Trust me, it’s better than cooking with water)

New England Fish Chowder 

Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition