Serving my 2 growing boys healthy food is one of my top priorities on my “Mom must-do list”. The most common barrier to checking this chore off my list is, of course, time. When there is a whole lot of life happening, as it is in all families, sometimes it is hard to construct a healthy meal every single night.
When confronted with those busy evenings of late work schedules, kids activities and empty fridges, I don’t grab fast food from a drive through, but I will grab fast food from a grocery store. Here I can find some healthy meals that are made with fresh ingredients that I can clearly see on the label. I have a checklist in my head that it needs to pass; no preservatives, no unhealthy fats, no artificial colours or flavours. I am looking for real ingredients prepared in a way that maintains nutrients. I know that there will be slightly higher sodium then I use at home, but I can deal with this as I just ensure we keep it to a minimum in the earlier part of the day. Foods that fit this check list are not abundant in the grocery aisles so when I do find a healthy ready made product it makes the nutritionist in me happy and I want to share it with everyone!
With Fall here, soup season is also here as it’s our natural instinct to want warming foods when it’s cooler and damp outside. Happy Planet fresh soups have been a nourishing and easy reach for our family and we’ve been turning them into full meals with a couple easy additions. There’s lots to love about this company as there soups are:
Made with fresh, premium, natural and certified organic ingredients
Organic, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan options
Contain NO preservatives, artificial ingredients, colourings or anything that you can’t pronounce!
Proudly Canadian & made in small kettle batches in BC & Ontario
The West African Squash & Cashew combines some of my favourite warming spices; turmeric (anti-inflammatory), cinnamon (blood sugar stabilizing) and ginger (digestive aid). With the creaminess of coconut, this soup has a zingy and velvety flavour that is just so good and best of all my kids like it too.
I love that they use simple ingredients that I would put in my own soup (Indian Split Pea Soup): water, organic yellow split peas, organic onions, organic tomatoes (organic tomatoes, organic basil), organic coconut cream (organic coconut cream, organic guar gum), organic spinach, organic garlic, organic spices, organic sunflower oil, sea salt, organic coriander.
Now, my boys are h-u-n-g-r-y (now!) when they arrive home from school. They’ve burned a ton of energy and are now waiting for mommy to refuel them so that they can keep me on my toes the rest of the night. For dinner, when they need a larger meal I will make the Happy Planet soup the star of the meal and add a pasta or grain to fill the hunger gaps. Yesterday I made a big batch of quinoa (actually a seed, but I digress), which I used as a base for the Indian Split Pea Soup. I was able to stretch one pouch of soup for our family of four.
The Indian Split Pea Soup has a bit of heat to it, my boys weren’t bothered, but if you have little ones with sensitivity to spice try it first before you serve it. You can give them some plain organic yogurt on the side which is fun and helps take away any residual spice that may come from spices.
You could do also add quinoa, wild rice or brown rice to the West African Squash & Cashew Soup. I have also prepared it on top of roasted spaghetti squash and it was de-lic-ious!! Try adding leftover sprouted tofu and chicken when you need a little extra protein. Although the soup is delicious and satisfying on its own, by adding a creative touch you can have a real satiating crowd pleaser that cuts dinner prep time, clean-up time, and means I may be able to fold the heaping pile of laundry that has been growing all week! I know.
I also love how convenient the little soup containers are for an fast lunch for my hubby. He is notorious for waiting too long to eat and then being ravenous when he gets home. He has been taking the to-go cups with him and a couple of boiled eggs and has them between his meetings. Now when he comes home he is not forging past me to the fridge every time he walks in the door. Win win!
Happy Planet soups can be found in most grocery stores across Canada. To find a store closest to you click here.
Although this post has been generously sponsored by Happy Planet, the opinions and language are my own.