I have a confession…I’m a recipe hoarder. 🙂 I have stacks of binders full of recipes!! I love to cook but don’t like making the same foods over and over again. Variety is the spice of life, right? I love going through the internet, magazines, and cookbooks searching for different meals to feed my family. When I am selecting a recipe usually an appealing picture will stop me then I look at the ingredients (will my family eat these things) and then considered what type of benefits our bodies will receive from eating this food. Healthy food has to look good and taste good for my guys to eat it. So, when I stumbled across a recipe for lasagna soup I thought this might be a good one. My kids still aren’t crazy about casserole type foods, they like to be able to pick out things and eat them individually. They do like noodles, meats and veggies so this is great…lasagna de-constructed. This soup is loaded with everything you expect in baked lasagna, like italian sausage, veggies and of course mozzarella cheese.
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K and Calcium, which is needed for bone health. It it high in Vitamin A, potassium, folate. You can’t forget it is a good source of dietary fiber.
Spinach is a great source of lutein. Lutein is used for managing age related blindness or macular degeneration.
Mushrooms are one the few vegetables that are rich in selenium. Working along with vitamin E, selenium protects against cell damage from free radicals. Selenium also plays a role in the function of the thyroid and male reproductive system. They are low in calories, fat and sodium. White button mushrooms are a source of three B vitamins—riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. These B vitamins help release energy from the fat, protein and carbohydrates in food.
Mushrooms are a great source of protein for vegetarians. You can get complete protein when combined with other complimentary amino acids.
Carrots are good source of beta carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is very important for vision and cell growth. Vitamin A is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants are wonderful nutrients in foods that help protect our cells from damage and decrease our risk of cancer, heart disease and infections.
Vitamin A is great for your eyes and can helps night vision.
Tomatoes are a famous source of the carotenoid lycopene. Cooking tomatoes increase their health benefits. A little science here… cooking raw tomatoes, which are in the trans form of lycopene, changes the lycopene to cis lycopene, which is the more bioactive form of lycopene. The trans form of lycopene gives an intensity of color, cooking converts some of the trans to cis. The hue of cis form carotenoids is less intense than trans form.
Lycopene has been extensively studied for its health benefits. Lycopene is commonly used to manage prostate cancer in men, protect against osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and against coronary heart disease. As an antioxidant it interferes with LDL formation.
Adapted from Cuisine at Home
- 16 oz Ground Mild Italian sausage
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup baby carrots, sliced
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, chopped
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 cups mafalda pasta, farfalle (any pasta with ruffled edges)
- 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Brown sausage in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Break up sausage with the back of a wooden spoon. Drain any fat that may be in saucepan. Add oil to saucepan and sauté onions and carrots until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add in the mushrooms and saute another 3 minutes.
- Add broth, tomato sauce and stewed tomato liquid. Cut up stewed tomatoes into bite sized pieces, add to saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Drop in pasta and simmer until cooked, about 10 minutes, or according to package directions.
- Stir in spinach and cook until slightly wilted.
- Place soup into bowls and garnish with mozzarella cheese.
Oh my goodness, this soup is amazing and loaded with veggies. Best of all my guys can pick it apart and eat everything the way they like…separated 😀
I wouldn’t say my guys are picky because they will eat just about anything, but is it strange that they don’t like casserole style dishes? Do you like to eat your foods separated?