Comfort & Convenience CAN equal Healthy!

Yesterday it turned cold (well, high 50’s but that’s cold for Texas after the day before was in the high 80s) and it was windy and drizzly… Nothing says comfort to me more than a big bowl of thick soup… YUM.  So I strayed from my Meal Plan and decided to whip up some soup for dinner.

One of my all time favorites is Taco Soup. So warm, thick, and just plain yummy! BUT I’ve been doing so well with my journey to healthier living and I didn’t want to completely de-rail all of the progress I’ve made.

The biggest change I’ve made lately is that I now buy REAL food – (You know, that stuff that men and women across the world take the time to grow from the ground – not in a lab) and limiting as much processed food (anything not in it’s natural state) as possible.

HOWEVER – there are times where my available time does not equal the time needed to cook from scratch. Sometimes I need someone else to do the legwork to make a hearty meal arrive at my table and it is during these times that I rely on canned and frozen goods from the store to make it a bit easier.

Enter the Taco soup dilemma
(If you’ve never had Taco soup, I highly recommend you try it.)

The recipe I’ve used for YEARS is as follows:
(this is NOT what was made last night – you need to keep reading for that)

  • 2 pound ground beef
  • 2 tbls butter
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 2 cans Black Beans
  • 2 cans Hominy
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • Garnish with Shredded Cheese, Sour Cream, & Tortilla Chips

Easy enough – cook the beef, sauté the onion, add remaining ingredients and let it cook. And it’s probably pretty good for you… but with all of those canned goods, the sodium content is through the ROOF!!! (not to mention the additives (MSG for one) found in the pre-packaged spice mixes and some canned foods…)

So my challenge was to turn my childhood classic “comfort food” into something I’d feel comfortable eating and serving to my family… and you know what?

It was easier than I thought!

  • 2 pound ground beef 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 tbls butter 1 tbls Olive Oil (to sauté the onions in)
  • 2 cans pinto beans 1 can Aduki Beans (Eden Organic Brand ONLY)
  • 2 cans kidney beans 1 can Garbanzo Beans (Eden Organic)
  • 2 cans Black Beans 1 can Black Beans (Eden Organic)
  • 2 cans Hominy 1 package frozen corn
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes 4-5 Fresh Tomatoes diced
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix Custom seasonings listed below
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • Seasoned with Cumin, Garlic (5 cloves – I LOVE garlic), Cilantro, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Chili powder, Paprika, & Red Pepper Flakes… I can’t give you measurements.. you’ll just have to “season to taste”

The results were stupendous! I omitted the garnishes (Cheese, Sour Cream, Tortilla chips) and no one noticed – In fact, when I asked my hubby how his dinner was, he said it was “probably one of the best meals ever” and while he usually says that (love him!!) when he went back for seconds, I knew he meant it. I never told him it was turkey meat either… and this is the guy that would eat beef all day every day – a true “Meat & Taters” guy!

The best part is, I wanted Taco Soup and I ate Taco Soup – just a healthier version of it!

What comfort foods have you turned into healthier versions?

***a note about the canned beans I buy – Eden Foods is something I recently discovered at my grocery store. I was drawn to them because of their ingredient list on the can of Aduki Beans I bought – “Ingredients: Organic Aduki Beans, Water, Kombu Seaweed” That’s it… nothing else..no salt…naturally low sodium…no chemicals. PLUS the cans they use have a BPA Free lining. After trying the Aduki Beans, I’ve tried several other varieties and have not bought another brand since. This is NOT a paid endorsement. ***

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3 Comments

Filed under #Mamavation, Cooking, Diet, Family, Happiness, Health, Hobbies, Life, Love, Marriage, Parenting

3 responses to “Comfort & Convenience CAN equal Healthy!

  1. The first time I had taco soup was in the Dominican Republic years ago, and since then I’ve been trying to find a way to make it just as good. I’ll have to give your soup a try, because it sounds absolutely delicious!!

  2. My favorite comfort food is Shepard’s Pie. I like to keep it simple and use ground turkey. I just made it tonight. Taco Soup looks so good, I think I may try it this weekend. I definately rely on convenience with 2 young kids but as long as I stop when full, it works for me. I try to add in an extra fresh veggie or fruit that day if possible.

  3. Patricia Eales

    I’ve heard of Taco Soup before, but haven’t tried it. Your version sounds delicious (and nutritious!) LOL. I haven’t started reworking my comfort foods yet, but I’m planning on sitting down this weekend and giving it a go.
    I realize that I’m going to have to do a lot of homework and research in the next little while.

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