Sunday, February 5, 2012

The End of the Week Comfort Food: Kale and Veggie Soup

So, it's the end of the week and I'm out of swipes. Ooops!
UCLA's on-campus dining uses a "swipe" system. Basically, one swipe = one meal at any of the dining halls or quick-service restaurants. (I'll write up about our dining halls in a future post!) I pay for 14 swipes per week, and usually budget my plan to about two per day. However, this past week was full of midterms and studying, so I went it's Sunday I'm out!

Luckily, I have a stocked fridge/pantry in my dorm room.
It's always helpful to have non-perishables in stock for situations like these, or if I just want a quick snack, 'cuz vending machines tend not to have healthy food!

For lunch today I threw together:
Not too fancy, but it was comfort food! 

First up: kale! I could go off forever about the benefits of this veggie, but just to list a few:
-a cup of kale has ~ 20% of the RDA of fiber!
-it's high in antioxidants
-tons of vitamins K (important for bones and nervous system function), A (a carotenoid that helps with vision, bone strength, cell division, and immune system function), and C (I need as much of this as possible when people around me are getting sick!)

I just took about of handful (about a cup) of Trader Joe's kale and threw it in a bowl with a bit of water to cook it, then popped it in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes with a paper towel on top to steam it. I can't eat this type of bagged kale raw or plain--too crunchy and not tasty enough for my taste!
Then, opened a box of Dr. McDougall's Garden Vegetable Soup (gluten-free!). I keep a couple of these in my drawer for situations like this.
At home, I'd make my own soup but obviously living in the dorms makes this pretty much impossible. I like this one because it's simple and clean. Picked it up at Whole Foods--there are other flavors too but this and the Split Pea are my favorites. The Garden Vegetable isn't too salty, and you can actually taste the different vegetables in it rather than an overpowering tomato-base flavor. One box contains two servings but I just ate the whole thing for lunch; one serving is only 60 calories and not substantial enough for a meal for me! The whole box's amount of potatoes make it hearty, plus the fiber from the kale will keep me full till dinnertime.
I poured the box on top of the soup, then microwaved the bowl for 2 minutes. Done! A 3-minute lunch that's satisfying and substantial, which left me with more time to finish up my reading for my midterm on Tuesday! 

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