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Tag: elimination diet

Simple Vegetable & Chickpea Soup

Nothing hits the spot on a cold winter day like a warm and cozy bowl of soup. This recipe has quickly become one of our favorites and is one we’ll be making again soon.

About five years ago, I was trying to get to the bottom of years of acid reflux, frequent colds and congestion and seasonal bronchitis, so I removed certain foods from my diet for about 10 days. It was during that time and in the months that followed, that I discovered dairy products to be the #1 trigger of my sinus and respiratory issues. Once I removed dairy, my health issues practically disappeared.

It was amazing.

I had been learning about the health benefits of food for years at that point. But I never realized how connected my diet was to why I got sick so often and wasn’t feeling my best.

Since that time, I’ve continued to “clean up” my diet with the goal of feeling as good as possible as often as possible. I take supplements and probiotics to repair and restore my health after taking years of antibiotics and acid reducers. In addition, I’ve found that foods containing gluten trigger me as well, so I steer clear of them.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been taking my body through an experiment. It’s kind of like an investigation to better understand why I’ve been feeling a little “off” for the past few months. Because I wanted to get to the root of what my body is trying to tell me, I’ve been following the protocol in the book The Elimination Diet. It’s written by renowned nutritionist, Tom Malterre, and his wife, Ali Segersten, who also authored the Nourishing Meals cookbook.

One of the recipes I tried was for a simple vegetable soup. I used the concept behind the soup as my guide and created my own version of it, which I’m sharing with you today.

It’s full of nourishing, calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients that promote healing and a sense of warmth and comfort. It makes enough to feed 8-10 people, so we like to make it at the beginning of the week to take care of 4-5 meals for both of us. You can enjoy it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and serving it with a few hunks of avocado on top is especially delicious!

Veggie Lover Chickpea Soup

Ingredients

Veggie Lover Chickpea Soup

If you're looking for a comforting, nourishing hug in a bowl, try this soup!

Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Rachel Druckenmiller

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups celery chopped
  • 2 cups carrots chopped
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms cleaned and chopped
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups kale destemmed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or 2 tsp Herbamare
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a 4 to 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the remaining chopped vegetables, beans, thyme (if you have it) and vegetable stock. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

  3. Add kale, parsley, salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 more minutes.

This soup serves about 8-10 people.

We store it in glass mason jars. If you are going to freeze it, leave about 2 inches of room at the top of the jar to allow for expansion in the freezer.

Go From Nacho Cheese to “Nooch”o Cheese!

Despite the fact that I was a lifelong lover of dairy products like yogurt (ate it every day!), ice cream, string cheese, and Parmesan cheese, I cut out dairy products a couple of years ago.

It turns out that dairy products were triggering a number of health issues I had for most of my life – from allergies, congestion, sore throats, ear infections, indigestion and acid reflux to skin issues, gas and bloating. I used to get congested frequently, had chronic ear infections (which meant lots of antibiotics), and took Claritin and Zyrtec for seasonal allergies, along with reflux reducing meds like Prilosec (for 10 years!).

For me, cutting out dairy has been one of the keys to begin healing my body, not being sick so often (almost never!)…and getting off of those medications naturally. It’s been pretty amazing!

Check out my *NEW* Pinterest board – Deliciously Dairy Free – for additional articles on the topic as well as dozens of recipes for non-dairy alternatives to foods like cheese, cheesecake, ice cream, milkshakes, dips and dressings. I will be featuring many of them in upcoming blog posts, so stay tuned!

One of the questions people often ask me is, How do you live without cheese? I could never give up cheese.”  The short answer is there isn’t an “exact” match, BUT I’ve found some great options to use as replacements!

One of those foods is nutritional yeast (AKA “nooch”).

Nutritional yeast! I bought this kind at Wegmans, but you can also get it at Whole Foods, MOMs, or online

Nutritional yeast! I bought this kind at Wegmans, but you can also get it at Whole Foods, MOMs, Roots, or online at Amazon, Vitacost or other health food retailers.

A few years ago, I had never even heard of nutritional yeast and certainly wouldn’t have guessed it was something edible. This is kind of like the eggplant naming question…couldn’t they have picked a more appealing name??

Despite its odd name, this stuff has been a staple in our pantry for the past 3 years. You can find it online, or at Wegmans, MOMs, Whole Foods, Roots, or other natural food stores.

Here’s the 411 on why you might want to get yourself some “nooch”!

  • If you don’t eat dairy (or are trying to reduce it!), it’s a great substitute for cheese-based preparations. It has a “cheesy” smell and taste to it.
  • It’s a great source of protein and contains essential amino acids (protein building blocks!).
  • It’s loaded with vitamins, especially B vitamins, which are important in hundreds of your body’s processes, including staying energized and fighting stress.
  • It’s low in sodium.

If you can get past the weird name, it’s worth giving this stuff a shot. 

I will be posting my favorite “nooch” recipes in the coming weeks – check out the list below for a sneak peek of what I will be making and sharing!

This is what "nooch" looks like out of the container

This is what “nooch” looks like out of the container

  • Herby homemade popcorn
  • Salad dressings
  • Kale chips
  • “Cheezy” curly kale salad
  • Dairy-free “cheese” sauce for mac & cheese or nachos
  • Nutty rawmesan cheese (a substitute for my beloved Parm cheese!)

Want to learn more about nooch? Click here or here!

If you’re interested in going dairy-free and what it could look like for you, check out this 28-Day Dairy Free Challenge with Dr. Oz or this information on elimination diets from my favorite blog, Nourishing Meals!

Stay tuned for future recipe posts featuring this quirky but healthy ingredient!

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