Veggie Wild Rice Soup

When I hit the jackpot of plant based deliciousness in my CSA box and a visit to a local farmers market, I couldn’t help but want to throw it all in one giant pot and make something that would leave us with plenty of leftovers. Cook once, eat twice, as they say!

I love wild rice soup, but most wild rice soups are filled which chicken and a creamy broth. Both are things I wanted to avoid. The dangers of dairy are well documented here, so we are a dairy-free household. If you value your health, and I think you do, then you ought to consider going dairy-free as well.

If I have said it once, I have said it a million time…..PLANTS HAVE PROTEIN. And this soup is chock full of plant based protein that is readily absorbed and used by the body without any negative and toxic side effects that animal based proteins have. And because of all the veggies, this soup is jam packed with vitamins, minerals and all kinds of essential nutrients your body needs to thrive.

You know, that is the beauty of health. I think it is made out to be so over complicated when it really isn’t. Just eat real food. Real, whole foods provide exactly everything the human body needs to be healthy. If it isn’t real, is overly-processed, is full of sugar, or made with more chemicals then actual food, whether it be a body care product or food, then it will cause dis-ease in the body. It’s really a no-brainer. Since this recipe has real, whole-food ingredients, you will fight against disease in the body rather than feed a disease. Better skin, lower blood pressure, protection against heart disease, lowered risk of diabetes, a boosted immune system…I could go on. But I won’t, because you want to know how to make the soup!

 

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, sliced

1 bell pepper, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, chopped

2 cups green beans (fresh or frozen)

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp smoke paprika

8 roma tomatoes, diced

6 cups vegetable broth

1 cup wild rice

1 15oz can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

Himalayan sea salt/ground black pepper, to taste

  1. In a large pot, heat a little water or a splash of veggie broth over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the carrots and bell pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
  2. Add mushrooms, green beans, Italian seasoning, and paprika. Stir until all the veggies are evenly coated with the seasonings.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, broth, and rice. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer. Simmer for 40 minutes.
  4. Add white beans and corn. Cook another 5-6 minutes to heat through.
  5. Serve hot.

Zucchini Brownies

Cakey and fudgy and oh so good. And GUILT FREE! Besides a small amount of maple syrup there is NO added refined sugar.

Zucchini boasts a good amount of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.  So you can eat a brownie and boost your health. No brainer!

2 cups pureed zucchini (peel and puree in a food processor, no need to cook first)

1 chia egg

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 1/2 cup brown rice flour

1 handful of dark chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life brand, as they are dairy, soy, and nut free)

  1. Peel and puree zucchini in food processor.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. In a large bowl add everything except the chocolate chips and mix well.
  4. Spoon batter into a prepared 8×8 baking dish. I like to grease mine with a little coconut oil.
  5. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and bake for 20-25 minutes. Until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Oxidative Stress

We hear a lot about antioxidants and oxidative stress these days. For our body to function at its best and healthiest, we need to make sure we neutralize the oxidative damage inside the body.

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to detoxify their harmful effects by using antioxidants to neutralize them.

We need oxygen to live. We obtain energy by burning fuel (the food we digest) with oxygen in a carefully controlled metabolic process. Unfortunately, this process also generates dangerous byproducts, free radicals. Even the simple act of breathing creates free radicals. The problem isn’t the free radicals, though, the problem is not having a strong enough immune system to fight them.

We need to neutralize free radicals, because left to their own devices, they cause a lot of destruction.

Damage caused by free radicals:

  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • osteoporosis
  • senility
  • aging

So, as you can see, we need to be sure we are keeping oxidative stress under control. We can do this by reducing our exposure to free radical causing substances, and by eating a diet highly effective at neutralizing those free radicals.

What causes free radical damage:

  • environmental toxins
  • medications
  • alcohol
  • BBQ’d food
  • Meat and cheese
  • Deep fried food
  • Emotional stress
  • Overtraining

Foods that fight oxidative damage:

  • brightly colored fruits and vegetables
  • berries
  • grapes
  • green/white tea
  • herbs/spices
  • certain essential oils

The bottom line is, oxidative stress is a normal byproduct of metabolic functions our bodies go through, but we also need to make sure we are remedying the situation by avoiding over exposure to that which causes an abundance of free radicals and ensuring we load the body with healing foods. An abundance of free radicals, left untreated, causes too much harmful and potentially deadly damage. Since it is so easy to counteract that by eating delicious plant-based nutrition, be sure to load your plate up with health promoting foods!