Cook Your Salad Miso Soup

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For anyone who is watching their weight, lunch can be a very important meal. It has to carry you through the day without bogging you down and robbing your energy. Salads are a great warm weather staple for lunches, but once the weather starts to turn chilly, it can be hard to warm up to a bowlful of cold, crisp greens. Cold weather means it’s time to keep our bodies warm inside and out. Yet, canned soup is full of many additives including MSG.

A quick and easy fix for this problem is to cook your salad in a steamy bowl of miso soup. While soy products are not for everyone (the jury is still out on whether soy has a true adverse effect on those with thyroid issues,) what has been found is that miso contains many beneficial antioxidants and some anti-inflammatory properties. Depending on the method used to ferment the say, it may also contain healthy bacteria that aid in digestion. Though it is high in sodium, researchers have noticed that the sodium in miso does not effect the cardiovascular system in the same way that table salt does. At only 35 calories a serving for the soup with a bit of tofu added, it seems like a dieter’s dream.

You can buy a miso soup mix that’s easy to take to work and prepare, or you can dissolve miso paste in water. The easiest way to get your greens into this salad is by using a prepackaged salad variety. If you’re feeling more ambitious, a plethora of vegetables and spices can be added, from daikon radish and  mushrooms (for a plant-based protein) to nori seaweed, garlic, ginger, scallions and carrots. However, to really make the miso soup into a meal, why not add a variety of dark leafy greens such as kale and chard, crunchy bean sprouts and spinach. You can pile the greens into this soup and sip a bowlful of super nutrition.

When selecting a miso product with which to make your soup, look for a non-GMO miso if possible.

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Ingredients:

(makes 1 bowl of miso soup, add the amounts of any of the vegetables listed to your liking – you don’t have to add them all )

1 package miso soup mix

or

miso paste as directed on container

3/4 cup of water

a bagged spring salad mix

or

dark leafy greens such as kale, chard and spinach

mushrooms such as shiritake or oyster or sliced baby bellas

red cabbage

nappa cabbage

scallions

garlic

ginger

1/2 package of cubed tofu

bean sprouts

julienned carrots

other fresh vegetables according to taste

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Instructions:

1. Place fresh vegetables in a bowl with miso soup mix or miso paste.

2. Add boiling water.

3. Let sit for 3-5 minutes to allow the vegetables to steep.

4. Stir and enjoy.

Note: Rather than adding soy sauce, we set out a yin-yang bowl of sriracha sauce and hot mustard for a blast of added flavor.

If you are eating gluten-free, look for a miso that is labeled gluten free. Miso can be made with a combination of barley and soy, and barley contains hordein, a gluten.

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