Soup Your way to a Healthy Weight

Progresso™ Hearty Chicken & Rotini Soup pairs well with the seasonal ingredients in this Maple Harvest Salad. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ReganMillerJones Inc. and the General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition on behalf of Progresso™ . I received free samples of the soup mention in the post and I was compensated for my time. Opinions are my own.

If you read my  first post of the New Year, How Fit Are You?, I discussed a study that caught my attention and demonstrates  how lifestyle affects biological age.  As promised, I want to share personal  strategies that have help me manage a healthy weight and have allowed me to reduce my fit age by 25 years.

It’s no secret,  I eat what’s in-season.   February just happens to be soup season. In my humble opinion, there’s nothing better than homemade soup. But Progresso™ is coming close,  with flavors and ingredients that matter to me. Did you know Progresso™ is   now  serving white meat chicken with no antibiotics ever? It’s true, and whether your cooking for yourself, or a family, keeping Progresso™ canned soups on hand makes food prep easy.  Ingredients, flavor and  quick meal set-up  are just some of  reasons I include soup in my meal plan (and recommend it to others). I also appreciate soup for its benefits related to weight management.   Soup, as part of a meal, can help  you feel full and satisfied. In addition, the soup and salad theme, makes it easy to fit in those important  vegetables and low fat protein.

This February, try the  tasty combo of  Progresso™ Hearty Chicken & Rotini  Soup and my very own  Maple Harvest Salad.   Start by stocking up on Progresso™ soup. (BTW, I am impressed with  the variety and diversity of Progresso™ chicken soup made with 100% antibiotic and hormone free white meat chicken breasts.) Then prep roasted butternut squash for dinner tonight, but make a little extra so you can use leftovers in a maple harvest salad tomorrow. When hunger strikes,  all you need is 15 minutes  to heat the soup and assemble these salad ingredients: salad greens, leftover veggies, chopped apple, nuts, dried cranberries, cottage cheese, and a homemade maple vinaigrette. Detailed salad recipe below.

I’m confident you’ll love the benefits of a soup and salad theme, and I hope you will consider  lots of variations on the theme, like Progresso™ soup and veggies from your fridge or the raw bar at the supermarket.

Maple Harvest Salad

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2)

    for the roasted butternut squash

    • butternut squash cut into 1/2 inch cubes, 4 cups
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste

    for the salad

    • Romaine, 4 cups torn
    • 1 cup cottage cheese,
    • 1 green apple, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
    • 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped

    for the maple vinaigrette

    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
    • 2 teaspoons brown mustard
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • black pepper to taste

    Instructions

    for the roasted butternut squash

    1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    2. Toss butternut squash with olive oil and spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    3. Roast squash for about 30 minutes or until soft and just beginning to  brown. (Serve half of the squash immediately and refrigerate the other half to use in a maple harvest salad. Use within 2 days.)

    for maple vinaigrette

    Combine balsamic vinegar, oil, maple syrup, mustard, and salt. Stir to combine. Set aside.

    for salad

    1. Divide Romaine between two salad plates.

    2. Add 1/2 cup cottage cheese to each plate.

    3. Top  Romaine with chopped green apples,  roasted squash, dried cranberries, and walnuts.

    4. Drizzle salad with maple vinaigrette. Enjoy.

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