If you enjoyed one too many cookies this holiday season, cleanse your body and start the new year off right with a big bowl of Kale Quinoa White Bean Italian Soup. It’s another easy, one-pot meal like my Vegan Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew. Throw everything together, and within an hour you’ve got dinner covered for the next couple of days! It’s a great cold weather detox meal that keeps you warm and cozy while rebalancing and flushing the holiday sugar overload.
This soup is rustic, tomato-y, garlic-y, vegetable-y, and hearty without being heavy. Paired with some crusty garlic bread, it’s sort of perfect. The ingredients are relatively few, but they check all the nutritional boxes. It packs 5g protein and 4g fiber per 2-cup serving, plus countless vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. For something so insanely healthy and nutrient dense, it doesn’t totally taste like health food. While I can get easily get down with a big ol’ bowl of kale and quinoa for dinner, my husband would be like, “Did you just scrape this straight off the forest floor?!” But even he eats bowl after bowl of this stuff.
This Kale Quinoa White Bean Italian Soup is a fantastic cleansing/detoxifying dish. I’m not at all a fan of extreme cleanses or starve-yourself-type detox programs. And, in fact, when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding they’re just plain unsafe. I firmly believe that you can “cleanse” and “detox” your body by eating certain foods — mainly vegetables, whole grains, and drinking a boat-load of water, while also eliminating other foods — mainly dairy, meat, sugar, excessive salt, and anything processed.
I’m asked my opinion about this new cleanse or that new detox all the time, and here’s the deal: All the trendy cleanses out there are temporary fixes for dealing with bloating and general feeling-crappy-ness as a result of eating poorly and/or things that don’t agree with your body. The real solution is learning to tune into your body and digestive system all the time and then choosing to eat a balanced diet that makes you feel good. It really is that straightforward. No gimmick, no product, no special shake or juice needed, just plain old plant-based whole foods and the ability to listen to your body’s signals. It may not be a sexy solution with a catchy name, but I swear, it works!
Mamas simply can’t afford unnecessary sick days, and we need all the energy we can get. So now, perhaps more than ever, we owe it to ourselves and our little one(s) to truly take care of ourselves by eating well. Additionally, I want to give my little dude an example of what it looks like to eat a balanced, sustainable diet day after day. I don’t want him to think he can eat garbage and then drink some fancy, expensive juice for a few days to undo the damage, only to repeat the process all over again.
Alright, alright off my soapbox I go….you get my point. Now, onto the soup! Be sure to check out the baby food recipe at the very bottom of the recipe box. My little guy ate this for the first time when he was about 8 months old. That’s right, 8 months old, slurping down kale like a boss!
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 7 medium carrots, diced
- 2 bunches lacinato kale, de-stemmed and chopped
- 1/2 c uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 2 15-oz cans (“no salt added”) canellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 15-oz cans diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
- 48 oz vegetable broth
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and sauté, stirring constantly until it begins to turn translucent.
- Add the garlic, carrots, and kale, and continue stirring for about another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, quinoa, beans, and vegetable broth.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally until the quinoa is cooked and the kale and carrots are tender.
- 1/4 c uncooked quinoa
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 Tbs diced yellow onion
- 1/4 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 c diced carrots
- 1/2 c chopped kale
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 1/4 c canellini beans
- In a small pot, place quinoa and 1 cup filtered water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until quinoa is tender.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Sauté onion, garlic, carrots, kale, and tomatoes until all are very tender. Add water as needed.
- Transfer cooked quinoa, sauteed veggies, and beans to a food processor. Pulse until a consistency that is appropriate for your baby is reached.
- Allow to cool, and serve!
2015 was my first year as a mother. Every single aspect of my life changed. It was both amazing and challenging. I slept very little, but I also loved very much. I welcome 2016 with open arms. I’m giddy about the changes this new year promises, curious about the inevitable surprises, and excited to continue learning and watching my beautiful boy grow. I sincerely thank you for following My Botanical Baby and wish you a year of outstanding health and happiness. Happy New Year!