The weather has been brutally cold throughout the midwest. Here in Saint Charles, when the windchill is factored in, the temps were colder than -20 degrees Fahrenheit this week. Yeah, winter is finally here. While I have been managing to eat a cold, green salad at lunch, I knew I wanted something hearty for dinner last night. Enter a new recipe I wanted to try: Lasagna Soup.
We have some specific dietary needs at our house with Chuck's diabetes. When he met with the dietician, she recommended each of his five meals have no more than 50 carbohydrates each. He had been so careful about counting carbs ever since his diagnosis a few years ago, and then we got married last year. Now I will admit I'm a calorie counter from way back, but I've never had to count grams of carbohydrates. As a new bride, I wanted to show off my culinary skills to my handsome husband. Chuck was more than happy to sit down to my homemade meals of cornbread chili, biscuits and sausage gravy, and the Randomocity Spaghetti Bake. He seemed impressed, and happy with most of my recipes.
When he went for his semi-annual exam with his internist, she was neither impressed, nor happy, with his blood sugar levels. It was time to get back to counting carbs, measuring serving sizes, and adapting recipes. Did someone say ADAPTING RECIPES? Hey, that's one thing I know how to do!
We love lasagna for a hearty meal, but it has so many carbs because of the noodles and tomato products. I'd seen several recipes for Lasagna Soup online, and figured there were several things I could do to improve the carbohydrate situation. Use less pasta. Make sure the noodles are whole grain, which is higher in fiber, and reduces the net carbs. Increase the amount of meat and broth. Eliminate the sugar. Yes, there would need to be some adjustments, but these were do-able. Let the tweaking begin!
There were several tempting recipes online for lasagna soup helped me figure out how to adjust things to make it a little healthier for Chuck. Keep in mind that my PICKY EATER husband has become my BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER over the last year. We've come a long way, but...
There are still some guidelines he likes me to follow:
1. All veggies are to be diced or blended so finely so that there are no chunks of anything visible to the naked eye.
2. Italian marinara is to be traditional-style, and never should there be the words CHUNKY or MUSHROOMS in the title.
3. Rotini pasta is the only acceptable form of pasta, unless we're talking a baked lasagna, and then of course, lasagna noodles are utilized.
So this week, we offer Randomocity's nearly original recipe: Italian Rotini Soup, featuring reduced carbs.
ITALIAN ROTINI SOUP
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 yellow onion, diced
3 t. garlic, minced
1 (24 oz.) jar traditional Italian sauce
8-10 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 (14 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons stevia
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 whole bay leaf (Why do I never have these on hand?) It's good without it, too!
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 c. whole grain rotini noodles
1 c. cottage cheese (I use fat-free to lessen the calorie count for me)
Optional cheese (add to bowls before serving):
shredded mozzarella cheese
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, and add ground beef and sausage. Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds. Drain excess fat.
Add marinara sauce, 6 cups chicken broth, tomato sauce, stevia, spices and rotini noodles. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until lasagna noodles are tender, stirring occasionally (approximately 20 minutes).
Discard bay leaf and stir in ricotta cheese, and 4 cups chicken broth, less, if you want the soup to be thicker. Garnish individual servings with desired amount of cheeses.
Nutritional Info for Italian Rotini Soup: 327 calories, and 37 net carbs (calculated by My Fitness Pal's recipe calculator). One of the recipes for One Pot Lasagna Soup has 662 calories, and 110 grams of net carbs, according to the same recipe calculator.
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 9 g||13 %|
|Saturated Fat 3 g||14 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 3 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 35 mg||12 %|
|Sodium 1389 mg||58 %|
|Potassium 814 mg||23 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 42 g||14 %|
|Dietary Fiber 5 g||18 %|
|Sugars 9 g|
|Protein 23 g||46 %|
|Vitamin A||7 %|
|Vitamin C||44 %|