#FeatureFriday – Lentils, the All-star in the Legume family

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This mini version of a “bean” is a powerhouse within the legume family and usually comes in red, brown and green varieties. Lentils are high in fiber , protein and contains many other nutrients that support heart health. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, increased fiber intake can reduce the “bad” LDL cholesterol levels beyond what can be achieved in a diet that revolves around being low in saturated and trans fat alone. Selenium is also one of the minerals that can be found in lentils and Selenium helps prevent inflammation, decreasing tumor growth rates and helps improve immune responses to inflection! Lentils can also be incorporated into diets to boost your digestive system and can help fight fatigue. Talk about being an all-star of the family!

Read more about the health benefits of Lentils on MedicalNewsToday.com

7 Days of Smart Soup

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Gearing up for the new year? In case you need a pot luck item for the New Years Eve countdown party, try one of our 7 days of Smart Soup recipes!

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French Lentil Quinoa Soup

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Thai Coconut Vermicelli Noodles with Shrimp

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Greek Minestrone Zucchini Pasta

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Santa Fe Corn Chowder Quesadillas

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Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass Risotto

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Indian Bean Masala Wrap

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Moroccan Chick Pea Beef Stew

7 Days of Smart Soup – Moroccan Chick Pea Beef Stew

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It’s Christmas Eve! As per many family traditions and Christmas dinners, holiday stews are must. What better way to celebrate the last day of the 7 days of Smart Soup campaign with this homemade recipe? Stick around and see how we take this classic holiday recipe and put our own spin to it! Presenting the Moroccan Chick Pea Beef Stew :)

Read about our Indian Bean Masala Wrap

If you like hearty soups, then you will absolutely love our Moroccan Chick Pea Smart Soup. This sweet and savory soup has the perfect balance of chickpeas, vegetables, raisins and authentic North African spices, making this soup irresistible served on its own. Since the holidays are just around the corner, we revisited some of our favourite holiday recipes, and stumbled upon the classic beef stew.

In a small pan, cook the beef with heated butter or oil over medium heat until it is seared and browned on both sides. In a separate pot, Heat up a pack or two of the Moroccan Chick Pea Smart Soup and add the cooked beef briskets in once the soup starts boiling. Bring the entire pot to a boil and reduce the heat as you slowly stir and simmer the ingredients for about 30 minutes to an hour. The raisins in the Moroccan Chick Pea Smart Soup should act as natural sugar in the stew so you shouldn’t have to add extra seasoning. Serve it up in a large bowl and it’s ready for the Christmas dinner table. Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy our 7 days of Smart Soup recipes!

Let us know if you’ve tried this recipe by tagging us in #7daysofSmartSoup! Need some more Smart Soup? Find a store near you!

7 days of Smart Soup – Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass Risotto

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If you’re a fan of the sweet, creamy flavours in a butternut squash risotto, you’ll definitely want to try this recipe out! Best served as a side dish or as a main entrée, this redefined Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass Risotto will be the star of your holiday meals.

Read about our Santa Fe Corn Chowder Quesadillas

 

Our Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass Smart Soup is often praised to resemble a butternut squash soup. This lively puree of carrots and Asian vegetables is infused with aromatic lemongrass, curry spices and coconut water making this Smart Soup one of our all-star favourites. Taking note of its consistency being very similar to a classic butternut squash soup, we decided to replicate the recipe of a butternut squash risotto but instead, replacing the butternut squash base with our vegan, gluten free Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass Smart Soup.

In order to control the texture of the Arborio rice, we cooked the rice and soup separately. We added Parmesan cheese in the softened rice to give the risotto a creamy consistency. This recipe does require a bit of attention as you have to continue stirring the rice as you add the soup in a little bit at a time. When you see that the rice has been coated with the Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass Smart Soup, add a bit of extra cheese to bond all the ingredients together. There you have it! A delicious Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass risotto that is perfect for the dinner table.

Let us know if you’ve tried this recipe by tagging us in #7daysofSmartSoup! Need some more Smart Soup? Find a store near you!

7 Days of Smart Soup – Santa Fe Corn Chowder Quesadillas

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Looking for a quick and delicious appetizer to satisfy the crowds at a dinner party? Why not give our Santa Fe Corn Chowder Quesadillas a try! Ideally served with a couple fresh dipping sauces – or by itself, this cheesy appetizer will definitely be a crowd favourite.

Read about our Greek Minestrone Zucchini Pasta

The Santa Fe Corn Chowder Smart Soup is packed with black beans, sweet corns and is flavoured with various southwest spices. As we have mentioned before, corn provides a rich source of fiber, vitamins A, B, E, iron and other essential nutritive minerals. With the addition of black bean, which is also high in finer and contains phytonutrient content, this Santa Fe Corn Chowder Quesadilla dish will be perfect for those needing an extra protein kick!

We heated up this classic New Mexican soup and dried up most of the liquids before putting it in a tortilla wrap. Sear the tortilla wrap in a pan with some butter to add some flavour and crunch. Top it off with a dollop of sour cream and salsa (guacamole if you have any lying around ;)) and it’s ready to be served up! This zesty fusion is perfect to serve as a dip for nachos or in this case, as the filling for quesadillas. Enjoy :)

Let us know if you’ve tried this recipe by tagging us in #7daysofSmartSoup! Need some more Smart Soup? Find a store near you!

#FeatureFriday: Lemongrass the Aromatic Healer

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Like the name suggests, Lemongrass is essentially a plant with thin long leaves that smells like lemons and primitive in many Asian countries. Though many people use Lemongrass as culinary herbs, their nutritional and health benefits are not always acknowledged or known. Having the ability to relief fevers, infections, stomach and respiratory disorders and insomnia, this aromatic healer acts as an antioxidant that the body against antibiotic-resistant activity. Due to its acidic nature, Lemongrass is also known to be a good source of vitamins A and C, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper and other essential nutrients that are beneficial to the body.

Read more about the top 10 health benefits of Lemongrass on Top10homeremedies.com

Smart Soup is debuting at the Natural Products Expo West

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As their formal introduction to the natural products world, the Smart Soup team will be on location at the Natural Products Expo West this weekend, March 6-8, at the Anaheim Convention Center. 

We will be exhibiting at Booth #3579 in Hall D, so come by, meet the team, and sample some of our all-natural, Heart-Check® certified soups!

Smart Soup will also be featured in the Engredea section of the NPEW on Friday March 6th at 1PM and Sunday March 8th at 12PM. For more information on the Natural Products Expo West, please visit www.expowest.com.

Follow us (@EatSmartSoup) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for more updates

REVIEW: Dining At My Desk Chew & Review

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Smart Soup Review
February 10, 2015
http://diningatmydesk.com/2015/02/10/chew-review-smart-soup/

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.
Contact Katie:diningatmydesk@gmail.com

REVIEW: Ask Dr. Renee

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Ask Dr. Renee
January 21, 2015
http://askdrrenee.info/ask-dr-renee-reviews-smart-soup/

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.

Top 5 Reasons Coconut Water is Good for You

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Coconut water is everywhere these days. You have probably heard some buzz about it or noticed it in your grocery store, but you may be surprised to know some of the benefits it offers!

First of all, what exactly is coconut water? It’s a clear liquid that is found inside young, green coconuts. Sometimes it is confused with coconut milk, but the two are quite different – especially in their nutritional values! Read on for more about why coconut water is a healthy food. Continue reading…