With the marathon just five short days away, I’ve noticed a few things:
- I am craving a long run and was recently caught running in place by a friend
- I have a hard time talking about anything but the marathon (and am therefore nervous I’ve become boring and won’t have anything to talk about after the marathon)
- I am very thankful I have amazing friends and family who put up with my one track mind
- The hypochondriac in me has come out…every small ache in my legs might as well be a fracture (these are called “phantom pains” and are totally normal, but knowing that doesn’t make them feel any less intense)
- I am
muchslightly more emotional than usual (I’ve teared up during every run in the past two weeks thinking about the race)
- And finally…I’ve become consumed with eating nutrient dense foods – as shown in this Kale Sweet Potato Bean soup I prepared today…
To sum up a pretty intricate term, “nutrient dense” foods are foods that are rich in nutrients and low in calories. (Side note – I’m not sure I completely agree with how nutrient density is used because I believe healthy fats – which are high in calories – deserve more positive attention, but I do believe it’s a great system to incorporate into one’s diet).
So I’ve been filling my plate with tons of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. To have some fun this week, I decided to see how many nutrient dense foods I could fit into one meal (totally normal for an R.D.-to-be, right? )
I came across a recipe on FitSugar.com for Kale Potato Bean Soup. The kale was the star of the soup.
Kale is a nutrient powerhouse (even more so than spinach!). It contains calcium, iron, Vitamin A, C and K and endless antioxidant properties.
I decided to swap the recipe’s suggested white potato with a sweet potato for its high fiber and potassium content. I also doubled the suggested amount of carrots and celery, and grabbed the black beans and garlic.
Modified from FitSugar’s recipe
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium peeled sweet potato
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups organic vegetable broth
1 large bunch of chopped kale, stems removed
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1. Heat a large pot oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan.
2. Add garlic, onion, carrot, potato, and celery and sauté for 7 minutes or until tender.
3. Toss in salt and pepper and cook 1 minute.
4. Stir in 4 cups vegetable broth and kale. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
5. Place drained black beans into the pot. Bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and simmer for another 5 minutes.
6. Stir in vinegar. Serve up in a bowl and add a bit of shaved Parmesan cheese on top!