Healthy eating and college don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, but knowing the right tricks can help turn eating right into a daily routine. Let Kiersten Ferno be your guide for navigating the health-food scene without taking a chunk out of your schedule. Welcome to the inFerno.
Instead of resorting to a boring can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle or some old school Progresso Chili, both of which are exploding with sodium and additives (I can just hear it clogging my arteries), I’ve taken some inspiration from the Greeks and whipped up a hearty Grecian soup. And, whoa, did it get our taste buds tingling!
The spices I chose surely made it sing and with an extra zing from lemon juice, a kick of saltiness from Kalamata olives, and the warmth of browned ground turkey, this Greek-inspired dish will definitely hit the spot on any chilly fall day.
There are quite a few ingredients (but don’t be dissuaded), so I’ve broken them into groups to easily prepare each part.
What You Need:
¼ of a medium onion, diced
½ Tablespoon crushed garlic
½ pound ground turkey
2 cans crushed tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
Juice of whole lemon
Handful pitted kalamata olives, diced
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon dried mint leaves
¼ teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper
1 cup beef broth
1 cup orzo pasta
1 small eggplant, diced
½ bag frozen spinach
½ large red pepper, diced
½ can kidney beans
½ can cannellini beans
2 whole grain flatbreads
Crushed red peper flakes
Crushed garlic flakes
What to do:
1. Saute onion and garlic with a few Tablespoons of olive oil in large pot on low heat. When onions start to soften, add ground turkey, breaking it into smaller chunks. Season with salt and black pepper.
2. While letting meat cook, warm Greek yogurt, 1 cup beef broth, paprika, mint, and cayenne pepper in a small pan on low heat.
3. When turkey is browned, add two cans of crushed tomatoes, two cans beef broth, and Kalamata olives. Let simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
4. Boil water and let orzo cook, following directions on box.
5. Saute eggplant, spinach and red pepper in a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Season with a dash of paprika, dash of cayenne pepper and sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste.
6. Once browned, add veggies and yogurt mixture to large pot. Stir occasionally and leave it to lightly bubble on medium heat.
7. Drain orzo and put aside in a separate bowl. (If you put the pasta in the large pot of soup, it will continue cooking and absorb up the delicious broth–which surprisingly is not a good thing! Keep it in a separate container even when keeping leftovers in the fridge!)
8. Lay flatbread on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes and crushed garlic flakes. Broil for no more than five minutes (Watch this carefully! Before you know it, they’ll burn up. Use your nose.)
9. Stir in a few spoonfuls of orzo immediately before serving, and top with a sprinkle of feta cheese, a splash of lemon juice, and diced kalamata olives. The side of spicy flatbread is the perfect crunchy compliment to this homey meal. Enjoy!
Tip From Inside the InFerno: This is a must-try, simple recipe. Web director, Elysia Mann, and just I couldn’t get enough. The best part is that this soupy stew freezes super easily in a plastic container, and the flatbread can be whipped up in minutes! (Read: make this once, and weeks later you’ll have a second round with minimal extra work.)