Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Kale and White Bean Soup

I completely missed Monday's post!  I've had a crazy busy week and haven't quite gotten my act together... Snow, ice, more snow, and work...  and a few unexpected obligations and now it's already Wednesday!  This week's Eat. Live. Be. topic is sharing your favorite healthy lifestyle change.  Hmmm, what is my favorite?

Well, I have gradually been making healthy lifestyle changes.  I have recently added regular exercise and guess what?  I don't hate it!  I actually kind of, sort of, like it!  When I miss a day, I am disappointed.  WOW! 

Healthy eating is a choice that I've made, not a punishment.  I enjoy fresh vegetables and whole grains.  I have scaled down the amount of meat that I eat and I don't miss it.  I mostly buy organic vegetables and meats from local farms.  I cannot tell you the last time I ate fast food and I avoid any processed, well heavily processed foods.  Olive oil is my oil of choice and I avoid butter - though I do love Kerrygold Irish butter which I became addicted to after a trip to Ireland.  I had a slice of whole grain bread slathered with Kerrygold butter with my soup the other day and I don't regret it!   I also still do love pizza ;) and succumb frequently to chocolate cravings.  Overall, I eat a very healthy diet and it is way better than five years ago!

Another change that I have made is to eat throughout the day.  I now enjoy breakfast.  This may be my favorite change since it does of course involve extra food!  I was guilty of not eating all day, then coming home and more than making up for it.  Now, I do not leave the house without something healthy.  I really like yogurt sprinkled with granola and fresh blueberries.  Almond butter on whole grain bread is something I can grab without any thought.  If I have extra time I like mini omelets made in a muffin tin or healthy pancakes.  I really look forward to breakfast now and I feel a lot better with that simple change. 

I have also changed my attitude.  I don't care about a number on the scale or about being a certain dress size.  I just want to feel good and receive clear doctor reports (cholesterol, glucose, etc.).   I am not dieting, just treating myself well! 

I want to share a recipe for Kale and White Bean Soup.  It is delicious with bread and butter (Irish butter of course!)  Healthy, quick and delicious! 

Kale and White Bean Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, chopped,
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 can of white beans drained (cannellini)
1 can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
grana padano cheese, grated
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven.  Add the carrots and onions.  Saute over medium heat until softened, stirring often.  Add garlic and cook for one more minute.  Next add the chopped kale and cook until it is wilted down.  Season with salt, fresh pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.  Add the chicken stock, beans and tomatoes.   Simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Serve with plenty of fresh grated grana padano cheese and some crusty bread.  Enjoy! 


  1. That is a beautiful pot of soup, Jen! With bread and butter it really does make the perfect meal!

  2. I love your new attitude...I've adopted a similar one over the past year. It feels good.
    PS. I also got addicted to Kerry Gold when I was in Ireland and still can't resist it.

  3. Gorgeous photo Jen - I love soup with white bean and kale. I've been enjoying breakfasts also. Eating all through the day has really helped me.

  4. This soup sounds and looks delicious- I wish I were home to eat it! The kale in that soup certainly beats Sharples' oil-drenched version :)

    I'm proud of you, Mom

  5. Jen, You're doing a fantastic job, and who wouldn't want to dive into this soup, that photo is so tempting I want to pull out my pot right now and start cooking some up! I just happen to have everything I need, lucky me!

  6. It's cold and rainy here today... this would be perfect for dinner.

  7. Jen, a soup like this one gives you a free pass for missed posts. This really looks wonderful and would make a perfect dinner. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  8. You mean my football brownies don't qualify as healthy eating post?
    I need to start moving.....but I think cross country skiing is more likely this winter around here!
    Beautiful soup Jen!

  9. I love kale, Jen. This soup looks hearty and filling and delicious! With a crust of French
    bread, I'd be in heaven!

  10. Gorgeous use of kale. I am always looking for new ways to incorporate it into dishes and this warming soup would hit the spot. Lovely!