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Providing six grams of fiber and with a 90 percent water content, winter squash is the perfect “volumetric” food (it gets you full on fewer calories), which is an important factor in promoting fat loss. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing portions of vegetables and decreasing portions of grains not only resulted in greater vegetable consumption but also decreased calorie intake at that meal by 14 percent.
The take-home message is that eating more fiber-packed vegetables, such as squash, throughout the day is an effective strategy for controlling calories and keeping your hunger level in check. That’s why we love this comforting soup: It’s low in fat and packed with protein and will keep you feeling full longer.
Turkey and Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 tsp. canola oil
- 3 leeks, rinsed, chopped and trimmed
- 2 small red bell peppers, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 lb. turkey breast cutlets, cut into bite-sized strips
- Juice from 1 lime
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
- Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add leeks and bell peppers and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often until the vegetables soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the broth, cumin, rosemary, and squash; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until vegetables are tender.
- Add turkey and return to a simmer until the turkey is cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Add lime juice and crushed red pepper.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 235, Total Fats: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 51 mg, Sodium: 159 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 20 g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 29 g, Iron: 3 mg