January 15, 2016 by
Zandra Alford in
by Lilly MacNell
Winter took a little longer than usual to get here, but it’s certainly cold out there now! Besides piling on more clothes, I’ve been looking for other ways to warm up when the temperatures drop. Two great ways to do that are warm foods and getting the blood flowing by moving around. In this post, I’ll show you how you can combine the two in a “winter warm-up” combo!
I love soups in the winter because they are warm, but also because they can be easily adapted to use whatever vegetables you have in the house, including leafy greens, which are one of the few vegetables that grow in the winter. This Noodle Soup is also very popular for children, who can help choose the vegetables or pick a fun shape of pasta to use. This recipe lists good vegetable choices, but you can use anything you like or have in the house.
- 4-6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (less if you want a thicker stew, more for a thinner soup)
- 1 cup dry pasta in your favorite shape
- 1 can cannellini or white northern beans
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 2 carrots (or about 16 baby carrots), peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- A pinch of rosemary, sage, oregano or similar Italian seasonings
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Greens of your choice (spinach, chard, and collards all work great)
- Sauté the celery, onion, carrot, and garlic in oil in a large pot over medium heat until the onion is clear
- Add seasonings and 4-6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock and stir
- Bring to a boil and cook until the carrots are tender (about 15 minutes)
- Add beans and reduce heat to low
- 10 minutes before serving, add pasta and cook according to package directions
- Just before serving, add greens and stir; the heat of the soup will cook them quickly
Now for the movement!
Get your blood flowing by doing a little indoor activity between cooking steps. Invite your kids to join in for some family physical activity. Here are a few suggestions:
- Everybody does 5 jumping jacks for every cup of broth added to the soup
- While you’re sautéing the vegetables, have the kids see how long they can do a wall sit (lean against a wall with knees bent, like you are sitting in a chair)
- While waiting for the soup to boil, play Simon Says with your kids! Ideas: Simon Says…run in place, hop up and down on one foot, flap your arms like a bird, shake like a wet dog, bend over and touch your toes.
- While the soup is cooking for 15 minutes, have a dance party! Put on your favorite tunes and dance together.
Do you have other ideas for indoor physical activity for the winter? How about other warm comfort foods for cold nights? Share your ideas on our Facebook page!