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Friday, January 20, 2012

Cabbage Soup (that isn't gross)

I have all kinds of recipes on my list to share on my blog in the next few months......good ones that people really might want to eat.  And yet, here I am posting a recipe for soup made with CABBAGE!  Even now I am rolling my eyes. Usually I think cabbage fits in the "I can eat it if I have to, but it's really kinda gross" category.  BUT, this soup is good.  Now I'm going to tell you the story.

A deli in our town has this delicious soup that is called Cabbage Patch Soup....I ordered it once on accident and happened to love it. Surprise!  Since then on a food blog I really like called She Cooks, I found a recipe for a Post Thanksgiving Cabbage soup diet plan (which typically I would ignore except that the picture looked a lot like the one I was hoping to recreate).  I have been wanting to make a big batch of HEALTHY, LOW-CALORIE soup that I can freeze in small portions and reheat for quick lunches.  I think this might help me not eat lunch like a 4 year old, because then I eat snacks like a 40 year old.

Today I decided to test this little soup recipe.  Honestly, I wasn't that optimistic.  But once it was finished and I crunched the nutrition numbers, I just had to share!  This tastes VERY much like my favorite Cabbage Patch soup (in fact my daughter likes it better). This soup is very tasty and filling and the portion size isn't so tiny that you need to eat a bag of Funyuns an hour later to fill up.  I divided this batch into 2 cup portions in quart-sized freezer bags, each bag has between 232 (10 servings) and 257 calories (9 servings).

I have changed very little from the original recipe that LeAnne Rice posted here, it's a great post with the original recipe and her plan to get back on the good nutrition wagon after a holiday or celebration where she might've over indulged.  I know, she's all alone there.

I'm not sure about the proper blog etiquette, so let me just say that this recipe I've renamed Cabbage Patch after my favorite across town is really LeAnne's recipe called Thanksgiving Remorse Soup on HER blog She

Here are the few changes I made:
  • I used 2 pounds of lean ground beef (instead of 3).
  • I left out the mushrooms (only because I think they are super gross - and I will likely be the only one eating this soup at my house).
  • I added about 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to my meat as it was cooking (only because that's how I was raised and it's super delicious).
  • I used a larger bottle (46 oz) of V8 (only because that's the size that was available at my Wal-mart).
  • I added about 2 cups of water (almost half of the empty V8 bottle) - you could add more water to stretch the recipe to be sure and get to the 10 servings (which would be 232 calories).

Cabbage Patch Soup aka Thanksgiving Remorse Soup
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, just the whites - chopped
3 cloves of garlic (or 1 1/2 teaspoons of minced jar garlic)
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (or use regular salt)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 large can petite diced tomatoes (29 oz)
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
4 stalks of celery, coarse chopped with leaves
3 carrots, coarse chopped
1 small can green beans with liquid (14 oz)
1 pound bag of cabbage coleslaw mix
46 oz bottle V8 juice
2-3 cups water
5 oz container fresh baby spinach

Cook hamburger meat in a large skillet with onion.  Season with a little bit of soy sauce.  While meat is cooking add all the other ingredients (except the fresh spinach and water) to a large stockpot or saucepan.  Use the biggest one you have.  I was going to try this in my crock pot, but was afraid it wouldn't fit!  Once the meat is cooked through, add to the stock pot and stir well.  Add water to cover meat and other ingredients. Top with the fresh spinach and gradually squish and stir it down in as the spinach wilts. Cook on medium high stirring often for 10-15 minutes, then simmer on medium low for another 30 minutes or so until celery and carrots are very tender.  

Makes about 10 servings (2 cup), 232 calories each.

Here's a text conversation I had with my husband while I was writing this post:

HE:  About to head home now.
ME:  OK.  I'm about to write a blog about cabbage soup.
HE:  Ick!
ME:  I know, right? But I made some today to freeze and eat on days I'm home for lunch and it's the bomb diggety.

He came home, ate a bowl and went to a basketball game.
Resume text conversation.

HE:  Yes, it was the bomb diggety.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Encouragement is something we talk about quite a bit, but don’t do very well. Real encouragement inspires someone to be courageous.  It doesn’t inflate their ego (flattery) or push them toward our view of a more positive version of them (manipulation) or prove our opinions are right (pride).

Encouragement tells the Truth in a way that inspires (EN) courage (COURAGE) and it’s very powerful.

I had my 40th birthday this week.  As a part of the celebration my husband asked many of our friends and family to write letters for a book that he gave me.  This encouraged me.  Seriously. Encouraged. Me. 

As I read precious thoughts from my children, husband, siblings, parents, family, and friends there were some beautifully recurrent themes; both deep and shallow, funny and serious.  It was humbling to see some accomplishment of goals I’d set and worked to achieve.  It was much more humbling to see some things that just are….me that have mattered to someone else.

Less than a week before I received this gift (but weeks after the hubby started this project) I had one of those great giant unexpected onslaughts of insecurity.  You know the kind?  It fills up your heart like a sinking emotional boat even while your mind is trying to bail with great futile effort, until you just decide you might let yourself drown in a big bunch of ugh. I just felt irritatingly inadequate.

This book was a gift not just in the timing, but also in the content.  Don’t underestimate the power of encouragement.  We all need courage to live well through our days, and we all can give it to one another.  So today, look around and give true encouragement.  Not the counterfeit versions of flattery and manipulation and pride that really only serve you, but real Truth. 

Truth that has paid enough attention to see and know another. 
Truth that can recognize the unique beauty of another’s strengths and the marks of the calling of their Creator. 
Truth that inspires courageous faith-filled action.
Tell it.

“So speak encouraging words to one another.
Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, 
no one left out, no one left behind.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
The Message