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What's For Dinner: Soups and stews for cold weather

By Beverly Glaze

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Cold weather is upon us and it is time for soups and stews!

This week's recipes are easy, economical and, most important, healthy. I have included two recipes that can be made using one family pack of stew meat and three that are based on plant sources of proteins.

Each of these dinners is great when served with hot corn bread muffins and a salad. Winter desserts such as fresh apple or pumpkin pie finish top off the meal.

Caribbean Casserole

Makes 10 servings. Source: Snap Ed Connect.

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 green pepper, diced

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 14.5-ounce can stewed tomatoes

1 teaspoon oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 cup instant brown rice, cooked

1 16-ounce can black beans or beans of your choice

SAUTÉ onion and green pepper in canola oil in a large pan until tender. Do not brown.

ADD tomatoes, beans (include liquid from both), oregano and garlic powder. Bring to a boil.

STIR in rice and cover.

REDUCE heat to simmer for 5 minutes.

REMOVE from heat and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 100 calories, 2 grams total fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 280 milligrams sodium, 20 grams total carbohydrate, 4 grams protein.

Minestrone Soup

Makes 6 servings. Source: Snap Ed Connect.

16 ounces frozen vegetables, any type

30-ounce can low-sodium stewed tomatoes

28-ounce can low-sodium broth, any flavor

15-ounce can beans, any type

1 cup dry pasta, any type

COMBINE in a large pot the frozen vegetables, tomatoes, broth and beans.

ADD pasta when soup comes to a boil.

SIMMER over low heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 240 calories, 1 gram total fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 530 milligrams sodium, 45 grams total carbohydrate, 12 grams protein.

Macaroni Chickpea Soup

Makes 4 servings. Source: Snap Ed Connect.

3 1/2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup water

1 3/4 cups dry macaroni

1/2 teaspoon celery flakes

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 cup low-sodium stewed tomatoes

1 cup green beans

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

COMBINE broth and water in a large saucepan, bring to a boil.

REDUCE heat to low.

ADD macaroni, celery flakes and oregano.

SIMMER 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

ADD stewed tomatoes, green beans, chickpeas and garlic powder.

SIMMER 5 minutes, or until macaroni and beans are tender.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 340 calories, 4.5 grams total fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 500 milligrams sodium, 59 grams total carbohydrate, 17 grams protein.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Makes 6 servings. Source: Snap Ed Connect.

2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups water

2 teaspoons beef bouillon (2 cubes)

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

3 potatoes, diced

2 onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

PLACE meat in a slow cooker.

MIX flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and pour over meat; stir to coat.

ADD remaining ingredients and stir to mix.

COOK on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 6 hours.

STIR stew before serving.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 240 calories, 6 grams total fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 70 milligrams cholesterol, 260 milligrams sodium, 22 grams total carbohydrate, 27 grams protein.

Mexican Pozole Soup

Makes 10 servings. Source: Snap Ed Connect.

2 pounds stew meat, cubed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup cilantro

1 15-ounce can stewed tomatoes

2 ounces tomato paste

1 29-ounce can hominy

SAUTÉ beef in olive oil.

ADD onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cilantro and enough water to cover the meat.

COVER pot and cook over low heat until meat is tender.

ADD tomatoes and tomato paste, cook for about 20 minutes.

ADD hominy and continue to cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, over low heat.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 220 calories, 7 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 55 milligrams cholesterol, 400 milligrams sodium, 17 grams total carbohydrate, 22 grams protein.

Beverly Glaze has a master's degree in human nutrition and food science and is a WVU Extension specialist in the FNP adult program. Reach her at or 304-634-8449.


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