Hello Darlings! Chef Tess is finally back. I missed all of you over the short-yet-effective vacation that I enjoyed with my family.  How was your Holiday? Did you eat enough fudge?  I’m not even going to tell you how much I ate. That being said… I’m so thankful that this glorious day is here!   It is January. I’m digging into the second week of the new year and in the midst of all the fabulous excitement of life I’ve found something that has become a trend here in my zany-world. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. We call it…  Lunch. It happens. It sometimes happens daily. Most of the time, it happens when I’m running from one crazy adventure to the next.  At least 4 days a week…it happens here…ya know, at my desk. Okay. For me it happens at my desk. Your lunch happens at your desk. Let’s not get confused.

Lunch.  It takes 12 minutes.  It takes all the dignity and poise that I can muster.   I have to sit in my harmonious, color-coordinated cubby-hole and  delicately scarf down my meal before I rush back to what I’ve been working on in the Honeyville kitchen! So, how do I eat and still plan on keeping my resolutions to continue with the weight loss? Well…It starts with a healthy convenient lunch. Winter just begs for soup. Even in Arizona.  I mean really. It hit fifty degrees last week. I was freeeezing. I had to wear a light sweater.  Whimper. Whine. You guys back East are hating me right now.
  These two new meal in a jar recipes are “just add boiling water and sit” so you don’t need a stove or any special pots. Just a nice bowl (or you can even eat them right from the jar you barbarians).  Yes, they can be cooked in the microwave.  Both take about 2 minutes to cook, then sit 5-7 minutes to eat.

I’m going to share with you two new personal-sized soups that are each:

  • gluten-free
  • dairy-free
  • grain-free
  • low carbohydrate
  • great source of fiber
  • great source of protein

The first is a Hamburger Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup that tastes really hearty. One bowl (about 3 cups prepared) has only 310 calories! It is a fantastic way to fill the void in your belly and still make your belly smaller.

It showcases one of my favorite Honeyville freeze-dried veggies. Bell Peppers! I still can’t get over the fact that they are just sliced bell peppers and they look like this right from the can!
The other favorite of the day is our freeze-dried ground beef.  I love it because when it is covered with boiling water, it hydrates in about 5 minutes and makes a great beefy base for this soup.
One more thing.  If you haven’t yet tried the Big Dill…it’s kind-of-a-Big-Deal. We love it on eggs, with fish, in salad dressings and dips…and especially in this soup.

Healthy Hamburger Stuffed-pepper  Soup 

(gluten-free, grain free, dairy free)
1/2 tsp dehydrated minced garlic or granulated garlic

1/4 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 tsp beef bouillon (optional)

To prepare jars: Layer ingredients in a pint-sized jar. When all jars are filled, top with an Oxygen absorber.  Screw the lids on tightly, being sure that no part of the oxygen absorber is overlapping the lid.
To prepare Soup: Remove oxygen absorber and discard.  Pour jar contents into a large glass or metal bowl.  Add 2 cups boiling water and let sit 5-7 minutes until vegetables and meat are hydrated and tender.
Nutritional information: serving size, one full recipe: 310 calories, 4 grams fat, 26 grams protein, 10 grams fiber, 37 carbs (27 net carbs) 

Chef Tess Personal Sized Low-fat Chicken Gumbo

(gluten-free, grain free, dairy free)
1T Worcestershire powder* (optional)
1T dehydrated parsley flakes
1 ½ tsp dehydrated minced garlic or granulated garlic
½ tsp buffalo wind sauce powder (most grocery stores)
2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
¼ tsp hickory smoke powder or 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

To prepare jars: Layer ingredients in a pint sized jar. When all jars are filled, top with an Oxygen Absorber.  Screw the lids on tightly, being sure that no part of the oxygen absorber is overlapping the lid.
To Prepare: Combine contents with 2 cups boiling water. Sit 5-7 minutes until chicken is tender.  You may microwave 2-3 minutes and allow to sit 5-7 minutes as well. Yields 3 cups (1 generous serving)
Nutritional information: Serving size, full recipe about 3 cups prepared.  225 calories, 23 grams protein, 29 carbohydrate (23 net carbs), 6 grams fiber 2 grams fat
* Worcestershire sauce powder is available online at www.firehousepantrystore.com
There you go my darlings. Enjoy some warm, satisfying and slimming soups! Try to stay warm. Try to not be jealous that I’m barefoot right now and still have feeling in my feet. Okay. I may not really be barefoot at my office desk.  Then again…you can’t see my feet. Seriously. I need to stop talking. This has nothing to do with soup.  Onward and upward! Make soup. Xoxo!
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess