REVIEW: Dining At My Desk Chew & Review

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Smart Soup Review
February 10, 2015

Author: Katie Carrico from Dining At My Desk

Smart Soup? You might as well just call this soup brilliant. At the beginning of the year, the wonderful people at Smart Soup reached out to me to see if I would be interested in trying their line of flash-frozen soups in conjunction with their (also brilliant) campaign to donate “Meal for Meal” to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Until February 28, 2015, Smart Soup will donate the cost of a meal to the GCFD. Great soup for a great cause – of course I was excited to try it.

And just like that, a box of soup arrived to my office!

Smart Soup Variety Pack

Yay soup! Soup is great, but what I noticed right off the bat is how amazingly low in calories these soups are. For the consistently “on a lifestyle change” blogger, low-cal lunch options are my favorite. All of the varieties of Smart Soup are 160 calories or less, and are 3 grams of fat or under. The line of soups was created by Anne Chong Hill, who was inspired by her childhood in Brunei where she grew up eating flavorful ethnic dishes. As an adult, Chong Hill was diagnosed with hypertension and sought to change her lifestyle by creating healthy meals she and her family would enjoy. Each flavor of Smart Soup is inspired by Anne’s childhood and travels, and all of their products are vegan, gluten-free, all-natural with no preservatives and are American Heart Association Certified. Definitely smart.

The first flavor I tried was the Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass.

Smart Soup Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass

The soup has sharp, layered flavors with vegetables – potatoes, carrot, edamame, ginger and coconut. The flavors are fantastic, and unique – I wish I could cook like this at home for so few calories and fat. I paired this with a side salad, but the portion is generous enough to eat as a lunch alone. The pureed soup is thick and satisfying. Definitely zippy, zingy, and I didn’t need to use my trusty salt shaker.

The next flavor I tried was the French Lentil:

Smart Soup French Lentil

The lentil had definite curry undertones, and didn’t have the zip of the carrot soup, but was still flavorful and also didn’t need the salt shaker.

The next flavor I had was the Greek Minestrone:

Smart Soup Greek Minestrone

Totally delicious, super low in calories (110!) and full of veggies and flavor.

Next up was the Santa Fe Corn Chowder:

Smart Soup Santa Fe Corn Chowder

This soup has so much flavor, and was my personal favorite. I love Mexican-inspired food, and I think this would be even better with a touch of cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

The last flavor I tried was the Thai Coconut Curry:

Smart Soup Thai Coconut Curry

Really bright flavors in this red curry soup made with coconut water. The bamboo shoots and water chestnuts give it great texture and crunch, and the bits of mini corn on the cob will remind you of the movie Big (or at least they always do for me).

I highly recommend this soup for anyone watching their weight. In fact, because these soups are all vegan, they fit in seamlessly with the Weight Watchers Simple Start plan! So eat up, Simple Starters, and calorie-counters alike!

About the Author:
Katie Carrico, Author of Dining at my Desk

Katie, the founder, sole blogger and chief WordPress experimentalist of Dining at My Desk. Spawned after a lengthy Facebook review of yet another Lean Cuisine eaten at my desk, Katie decided that she needed more characters in which to spew both her love and hatred of the prototypical American worker’s lunch staple. Thus was born Dining at My Desk.

REVIEW: Ask Dr. Renee

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Ask Dr. Renee
January 21, 2015

I am sure many of you have a New Year’s Resolution to LOSE WEIGHT. Well I am taking that journey with you. I am a busy woman and I cook most of my meals during the week. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard about Smart Soup. I can stick to my resolution but have a quick easy meal. This soup tastes like I made it myself. I have never been so impressed with some ready made soup that you can pop in the microwave and serve. Smart Soup is made of REAL INGREDIENTS… let me elaborate on that. The first soup I tried was Santa Fe Corn Chowder and the ingredient list is as follows:  Vegetable Stock (water, onions, celery, carrots, sea salt, garlic, spices), corn potatoes, onions, tomato paste, (tomatoes, salt) black beans, diced tomatoes (tomatoes, tomato juice, sea salt), red peppers, green chile, celery, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, chill powder, (spices, salt), spices, sea salt. Did you realize that you knew all of those ingredients without looking them up online? This is why the soup tastes homemade. The nutritional value is amazing also because it is all natural NO PRESERVATIVES. As a doctor you know it is my concern that food is nutritious, if I am going to endorse it as well as delicious. The American Heart Association certified Smart Soup, which means that it is recommended for a heart healthy diet. The soups are gluten free, cholesterol free, and vegan.

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The Story Behind Smart Soup

Anne Chong Hill was diagnosed with hypertension and she decided to take her health into her own hands. She wanted the soups to be delicious and nutritious. She then decided to launch Smart Soup so that she could share her soups with everyone. Smart Soup has the same philosophy that I have, you do not have to sacrifice taste for nutritional benefit.

Preparation Of Smart Soup

Smart Soup can be prepared on stovetop or in the microwave. The soups come in a box and the soup is in a plastic bag you defrost and then cut it open and warm it up. It is found in the freezer section at Whole Foods, Costco and Kroger in the United States. There are several varieties: Greek Minestrone, Santa Fe Corn Chowder, Indian Bean Masala, Thai Coconut Curry, French Lentil, Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass, Moroccan Chick Pea.

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Giving Back

To help address the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s post-holiday need, for every box sold in Chicago, Smart Soup will donate the funds to feed a meal to a hungry Chicagoan.  Smart Soups are available at Chicago area Costco stores. The “buy one, give one” initiative will be launching January 1 and will continue until February 28, 2015.

About the Author

Dr. Renee earned her undergraduate degree in 1999 and her Medical Doctorate in 2005. She’s been featured on television shows such as, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Roland Martin’s NewsOne Now (TVOne) and WGN-TV’s People to People where she discussed different health topics. Dr. Renee started her media career with her own radio show on ReachMD, a medical broadscast network for health professionals. In addition, She has been a featured medical correspondent on SiriusXM’s Sway in the Morning and WVON (“The Voice of A Nation”).

Dr. Renee is an asthmatic, which drives her passion for asthma education. She addresses the concerns of asthma suffers, by supplying them with the tools and knowledge they need to receive the best medical care. In 2013, Dr. Renee received the Friend of Mobile C.A.R.E. Award for her commitment to raising awareness of asthma in the city of Chicago.