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


    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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    White Turkey Chili with Kale

    This  hearty bowl of white turkey chili with kale is nutrient rich and only $3 per serving.White Turkey Chili with Kale

    Imagine Tom Cruise on the phone with you right now shouting,

    Show me the money! an effort to help  keep your spending in check for 2017. Oh, my bad, it’s the Recipe Redux challenging us to create budget friendly entrees for less than $3 per serving.

    So let’s get right to the issue at hand,  serving up something economical that’s also nutritious and delicious ! My inspiration comes from the twenty degree weather we experienced the first week of January when this hearty bowl of white turkey chili with kale really hit the spot. I love that for $3 per serving it provides:  under 500 calories, 35 grams of protein, 13 grams of fiber, 20% % daily value for Vitamin A,  35% daily value vitamin C,  15% daily value calcium, 30 % daily value for iron. Talk about getting  a big bang for your buck, no negotiated endorsements necessary. Take that Jerry Maguire!

    Please check out the links below to see more budget friendly eats from my colleagues at the Recipe Redux!

    White Turkey Chili with Kale

    by Diane Boyd

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 2 cups diced sweet onion
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
    • 3 (15.8 ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
    • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
    • cooking spray
    • 1 pound ground turkey
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 2 cups chopped kale
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


    1. Heat canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, sauce 10 minutes or until tender and golden.

    2. Add chili powder, garlic, and cumin. Saute for 2 minutes.

    3. Add oregano and beans; cook for 30 seconds.

    4.Add broth and bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes.

    5.Remove 2 cups of bean mixture and allow to cool. Place in a food processor and process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan.

    6. In a saute pan coated with cooking spray, brown ground turkey until no longer pink. Add turkey to bean mixture and stir in black pepper and chopped kale. Stir and continue to heat until kale is wilted. Serve hot.

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