Hello Loyal Soup People! This week I’d like to return to the issue of food waste. I know I’ve touched on this before, but I have read even more about the issue, and I’d like to share my thoughts. Here’s a staggering statistic: In the United States, we throw away 40% of the available calories in our food supply, while up to 15% of households nationally experience food insecurity. Literally more than a billion pounds of edible food gets thrown away every year. One billion pounds. That statistic is staggering.

What’s worse is that decomposing food in landfills releases methane which is a huge contributor to climate change. Tossing food is not only incredibly wasteful (it represents a loss of $240 billion to the US economy), but it is also terrible for the environment.

Why do we waste so much? Quite simply, we produce too much! In the US, we are accustomed to seeing shelves always full of fresh produce, dairy, eggs, etc. We find the sight of empty supermarket shelves ahead of snowstorms to be hilarious and unfamiliar. Rest assured, on a normal day, markets don’t come close to selling all of that fresh food. They factor huge amounts of waste into their budgets.

Quite simply, we must stop wasting so much. We must stop over-buying, so we can stop over-producing! We must start being responsible shoppers and consumers. Here are a few tips to help you waste less food:

– Be a smart shopper. Always bring a list with you when you shop. Avoid impulse buys. Be aware of your schedule for the week. If you know you are going to have a busy week and won’t be home for dinner most nights, avoid purchasing highly perishable items.

– Embrace your freezer. If you think you won’t finish eating certain foods in your refrigerator, freeze them! Instead of buying fresh items the next week, head to your freezer! Many items freeze incredibly well – especially soup!!

– Be smart about expiration dates. As I’ve mentioned before, expiration dates on many foods are really arbitrary. Many food items are safe to eat well beyond the dates listed on the containers. Also, sell-by dates are very different than use-by dates. If something looks, smells, and tastes good, don’t throw it away!

– Use your scraps. We often over-peel and toss away valuable peels and scraps. If you wash your potatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes – there is no need to peel them! You are simply throwing away valuable nutrients and vitamins. If you do end up peeling, use the peels to make vegetable stock! Bake the potato peels for homemade chips! Just be sure to wash the produce before cooking.

– Embrace composting. Avoid throwing away food by signing up for a compost service. Fortunately, the DC area is home to many wonderful compost companies. We love the crew at Compost Cab! They pick up right at your door, or you can bring your compost to them at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market every Sunday.

The most important thing you can do is to simply be aware. Be thoughtful about your food choices. Simply paying more attention to your buying habits can make a huge difference. If we make changes on an individual level, we can impact our entire food system.

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!

Passover is coming! Passover is coming! Time to panic!! No wait… have no fear… the Soupergirl Passover Pre-Order Menu is here!! We have plenty of food to carry you through the seders and beyond. Soup? Check. Charoset? You betcha. Mocked chopped liver? Yes please, I’ll take two. Sides, salads, and dessert? We’ve got you covered.

Please read the fine print below for all the details. It is a lot to read, but most of your questions will be answered. When you’re ready to order, fill out the information on our online order form.

Both Soupergirl locations (Takoma and Dupont Circle) will be open during the holiday and will be serving kosher for Passover food beginning on Sunday, April 17th through Thursday afternoon, April 28th at 4:00 PM. All items on this menu and at the Soupergirl locations will be certified kosher for Passover by the Star K and the Capital K (Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington). Each store will have an even wider selection of items than those which are listed on the pre-order form. However, we cannot guarantee any specific item’s in-store availability, which is why we highly recommend pre-ordering.

Delivery is available for pre-orders of $50 or more (see details below). There is no minimum for orders that will be picked up at our stores.

To place an order in advance, please fill out this online form by Friday morning, April 15th at noon.

Delivery is available for orders of $50 or more to addresses within our delivery area (Washington, DC, Rockville, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Potomac, Arlington).  Deliveries will be made on Thursday, April 21st and Friday, April 22nd. There is a $10 fee for all deliveries.

There is no order minimum for pick up at either Soupergirl location (314 Carroll Street, NW Washington, DC 20012 or 1829 M Street, NW Washington, DC 20036). Pick up orders will be available at our stores during the following hours:

– Takoma: Thursday, April 21st (10:00 AM – 8:00 PM) / Friday, April 22nd (8:00 AM – 3:00 PM)
– M Street: Thursday, April 21st (11:00 AM – 7:00 PM) / Friday, April 22nd (11:00 AM – 3:00 PM)

Orders must be received by Friday, April 15th at noon. Once the order is received and processed, we’ll email you a confirmation and invoice within 48 hours.

We will notify you of your delivery window no later than Wednesday, April 20. You do not need to be home to receive your order! Simply leave out a cooler or let us know of any special delivery instructions.

Note! Soupergirl is a vegan company so all items are parve!

The menu is below. To place your order, please visit our online order form.

Thanks for including us in your holiday!!

SOUPERGIRL 2016 PASSOVER PRE-ORDER MENU

SEDER ITEMS:

Traditional Charoset

$13.00 per quart

Ingredients: local apples, walnuts*, cinnamon, sweet red wine, organic raw vegan cane sugar, kosher salt
*contains walnuts.

Root Vegetable Tsimmes

$13.00 per quart

Ingredients: local sweet potato, butternut squash, local potato, local turnip, local carrot, local apple, prunes, raisins, orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, maple syrup, potato starch, sweet red wine, kosher salt, pepper

Chopped “Liver”

$14.00 per quart

Ingredients: local mushrooms, caramelized onion, walnuts*, carrot, garlic, onion, extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, pepper

*contains walnuts.

SOUPS:

Cream of Spinach

$11.00 per quart, $40.00 per gallon

Ingredients: local spinach, homemade cashew cream*, local potato, fennel bulb, local apple, apple juice, coriander, garlic, carrot, celery, onion, homemade vegetable stock (water, carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf, parsley, thyme), extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, pepper.
*Contains cashews.

Potato Leek

$11.00 per quart, $40.00 per gallon

Ingredients: local potato, fennel, leek, onion, homemade vegetable stock (water, carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf, parsley, thyme), extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, white pepper

Spring Vegetable

$11.00 per quart, $40.00 per gallon

Ingredients: local sweet potato, local potato, local kale and/or spinach, carrot, celery, onion, fennel, local rosemary, thyme, tomato paste, homemade vegetable stock (water, carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf, parsley, thyme), extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper

Gingered Quinoa Vegetable

$11.00 per quart, $40.00 per gallon

Ingredients: organic quinoa, local kale & spinach, fennel, ginger root, ground ginger, Hungarian sweet paprika, cumin, coriander, garlic, carrot, celery, onion, homemade vegetable stock (water, carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf, parsley, thyme), extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, pepper

Roasted Carrot Fennel

$11.00 per quart, $40.00 per gallon

Ingredients: local carrot, fennel, orange juice, garlic, celery, onion, vegan raw cane sugar, homemade vegetable stock (water, carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf, parsley, thyme), extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, pepper

Garlicky Borscht

$11.00 per quart, $40.00 per gallon

Ingredients: local beets, local potato, tomato paste, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, dill, garlic, carrot, homemade vegetable stock (water, carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf, parsley, thyme), extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, pepper

Matzo Ball Soup

$11.50 per quart (four matzo balls per container)

Ingredients: matzo meal*, club soda, organic ground flaxseed, baking soda, carrot, cinnamon, homemade vegetable stock (water, celery, onion, carrot, bay leaf, parsley, thyme), extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt

*contains gluten. Remember! This is vegan matzo ball soup! Please be sure to read the heating instructions for maximum enjoyment!

SALADS & DESSERT:

Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

$13.00 per quart

Ingredients: organic quinoa, roasted local sweet potato, maple syrup, cumin, cinnamon, scallion, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, pepper

Kale Quinoa Apple Salad

$13.00 per quart

Ingredients: local kale, local apple, walnut*, organic quinoa, celery, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon, kosher salt, pepper

*Contains walnut

Quinoa Pudding

$14.00 per quart

Ingredients: organic quinoa, dates, almonds*, homemade cashew cream*, organic raw vegan cane sugar, kosher salt. *Contains almonds and cashews.

Ready to order? Visit our online order form and get started!

JCCYes, you read that correctly. Soupergirl soup is now a Broadway star. Sort of. The new production at Theater J features our soup! The actors serve and eat it on stage! We couldn’t believe it until we saw it for ourselves. But, yes indeed, during opening night they served Carrot Dill! We were gushing. Our little soup is all grown up! She won’t even talk to us anymore. We need go to through her agent. Thanks a lot, SOUP!  OK actually, Theater J does indeed feature our soup in their production of Falling Out of Time, running through April 17th. It is an incredible, unique, almost indescribable play. We do not want to reveal too much, other than to say we have not stopped thinking about it since opening night. It is original, challenging, and beautiful. And if you sit in the right seat, you are served soup! Seriously! We highly recommend that you check it out – and not just for the soup.

Hello Loyal Soup People! Last week I wrote about fat – specifically how not all fat is bad (or good) for us! There is quite a bit of debate about fat. One thing that is not up for debate is the unhealthy nature of sugar. Almost all nutritionists and health experts agree that we can only benefit if we cut down on sugar in our diet. Any sugar that our bodies don’t burn up during the day is turned directly into fat. Unless we burn this sugar off through exercise, it heads to our bellies in the form of fat. Our bodies are trained to do this for survival! Our bodies are naturally always trying to prepare for times when food will be scarce, and we’ll need extra fat to sustain ourselves. In modern day society, we are very lucky that many of us will not face starvation or famine. So we’re just left with extra fat that, according to most statistics, will increase as we age.

One essential component to fighting fat? Reducing sugar intake! If you have less sugar in your body, and are burning more during the day (i.e. exercise!), your body will then start using built up fat for energy! Perfect! The problem is sugar is everywhere these days. Food companies sneak sugar into the most unexpected places. Take a look at that loaf of bread you bought from the store. Sugar! Check out the back label of your tomato sauce. Yup, more sugar.

You have to be extra careful when shopping for convenience food as sugar is really everywhere. Food manufactures are smart! Sugar tastes good and our bodies crave it (back to that innate inclination to store fat…). Here are a few tips to keep added sugar out of your life:

– Quite simply – keep the cookies and candy out of your home. If you have a craving and you don’t have it near, you’re forced to wait for it to pass. If you really want that ice cream and find yourself in the car heading out to the store – you probably really, really deserve that ice cream and should eat it! But 99% of the time, you’ll just wait for the craving to pass. If you don’t have treats in the home, you really will reserve them for special occasions.

– Find naturally sweet substitutes. Instead of sweetening your coffee with sugar, try cinnamon. Put fruit in your oatmeal instead of maple syrup. Get creative with dessert! Grill fruit and bake apples instead of eating ice cream. Yes, fruit has naturally occurring sugars – but they are mixed in with so many other healthy elements – such as fiber and vitamins. They key is to avoid added sugars.

– Stop drinking your sugar. I’m really adamant about this one. Remove sugary drinks from your diet. Soda, energy drinks, artificially flavored juices – they are simply terrible for you. They offer no health benefits and so many studies link them to obesity. I also include diet drinks in this category (more on that later). In addition to needlessly adding sugar to your diet, they are so sweet that they make it hard for you to fight sugar cravings. They change your palate to crave even more sugar – not less! Water, tea, coffee, seltzer – there are plenty of beverages out there that are actually good for you!

– Read labels carefully. Like I mentioned above, sugar sneaks in the most unexpected places. Read the nutrition labels to really understand what you’re eating. Obviously, the best way to avoid sugar is to cook everything from scratch. But many of us simply don’t have the time. That’s why it is so important to know what you’re eating! Ignore the claims on the front – always read the back!

No controversy in this column! Cut down on sugar for a healthier life. It’s as simple as that!

Hello Loyal Soup People! This week I want to revisit the topic of fat. There is a lot of buzz and quite a bit of confusion about fat. First, I want to state clearly that I don’t have all the answers. However, I just read the results of a study that I wanted to share with you.

First, we definitely know that the “low-fat” craze of the 90’s and early 2000’s was basically all wrong. People replaced fats of all kind with high-calorie empty carbohydrates. People were loading up on white bread, “fat-free” cookies (loaded with “fat-free” sugar), and junk – as long as these foods didn’t contain fat. Sugar doesn’t contain any actual fat, but our body turns it right into fat as soon as we eat it. Not good! Also, people were grouping all fats together. Saturated, unsaturated, trans – all were considered unhealthy.

In terms of fat, we absolutely know that trans-fats (those found in partially hydrogenated oils) are terrible for you. It is now banned in many places. There is still quite a bit of question about saturated fat – which brings me to the study I read. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, higher intake of polyunsaturated fats (PUFA’s) and whole grains significantly reduced participants’ risk of cardiovascular disease. Specifically, when individuals replaced saturated fat with PUFA’s and whole grains, their risk for cardiovascular disease dropped, in some cases, by 25%. That is a significant number.

This study will certainly not be the last word on this subject. We have a lot more to learn. However, when choosing fats, PUFA’s seem to be the way to go. Avocados, nuts, olives, and hearty-healthy oils are all great sources of PUFA’s. Fats can definitely be incredibly healthy. Just be sure to choose wisely!

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!

Hello Loyal Soup People! This week, let’s chat about supplements. In short – they can be very dangerous! I hate to start my column with such stark  language, but I just read some information about dietary supplements that makes me want to sound the alarm!

Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has very little control over the dietary market. Unlike with prescription or over-the-counter medication, manufacturers of dietary supplements are not required to perform any safety tests or obtain FDA approval before putting their product  on the market! In fact, the only way the FDA can pull a supplement is if it’s proven to be contaminated or if someone gets sick from ingesting it.

Your liver is at the most risk from dietary supplements. Between 2004 and 2013, the rate of liver injuries, including ones serious enough to require a transplant, tripled in number. Over 23,000 Emergency Room visits each year are attributed to dietary supplements. The biggest culprits are those linked to claims of gaining muscle and losing weight. They often contain various types of steroids and/or prescription medication which aren’t actually legal in the United States!

If you currently take any dietary supplements, watch for signs of liver damage. Jaundice, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, fever, and rash can all be signs of liver damage. My best advice is to steer clear of supplements altogether. If you’re trying to lose weight and gain muscle – do it the old fashioned way! Diet and exercise!

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!

Look how much the kids like free soup!Free soup, you say? Indeed!! We’re starting Triple Stamp Tuesdays at BOTH locations this Tuesday! Plus, come in on Tuesdays, spend $20 or more, and get a FREE pint of soup! Plus, with any purchase of $5 or more we’ll give you THREE stamps on your Soupergirl loyalty card! This special will run for all of March at both our M Street AND Takoma locations. Yes, our soup is available at many stores and markets in and around the DMV. However, visiting our stores is the most special, and dare we say, fun way to purchase our products. First of all, the stores are the only places to get our salads, sandwiches, and other goodies. Plus, you can sample all the soups before you buy! Plus, our staff is so darn friendly. And good looking. How could they not be? They eat soup every single day! They have aged backwards.You have to see it to believe it. So this March, come on in for a visit. Get the true Soupergirl experience. Especially on Tuesdays! Free soup, ya’ll!

 

Look how happy the kids are about free soup! Free soup!!

IMG_1644This is the LAST WEEK to vote in the City Paper’s annual Best of DC contest. Boy oh boy we would really appreciate your vote!! This handy link takes you DIRECTLY to the Soupergirl voting page. We’ve made it THAT easy. Just think, you can vote and eat soup with total impunity. Or, you could skip it, and next week feel SO BAD. So we’re saving you that guilty feeling you get when you forget to vote. This child pictured here on the left… he’s going to get so upset if you don’t vote. Don’t upset this little fella! You can thank us later. Or, better yet, we can thank you NOW! Seriously – thank you, you guys! And sorry for all the nagging. We’ll stop now.

Hello Loyal Soup People! This week, let’s talk about moderation. I often hear people say “everything in moderation” when they talk about their approach to food. Unfortunately, science proves that this is actually not the healthiest approach when it comes to your diet. According to a recent study done by Tufts University, people with greater diet diversity had a larger waist circumference and were at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. The study found that this type of eating was linked to a poor diet quality.

To be blunt, potato chips, cookies, and cake play no part in a healthy diet. While I am a fan of thoughtful indulgence, regularly consuming these types of food will only have negative effects on your health. Also, it is very hard for us to eat these types of foods truly in moderation. As I’ve discussed in previous columns, the combination of sugar, fat, and salt can be addictive to many people. As the old Pringles chip commercial used to say, “Betcha can’t eat just one.” It’s true! It is really quite hard for us to eat just one potato chip! If we give ourselves the permission to eat EVERYTHING in moderation, eventually the unhealthy foods overtake the healthier ones. French fries end up on our plate more often than salad.

So, no, not everything in moderation. Foods we know to be unhealthy should limited. We should look for diet diversity when it comes to healthy foods! Like I’ve said before, eat the rainbow when it comes to your vegetables. Look for different types of hearty healthy sources of protein, fiber, and nutrients. Have fun with your healthy foods and mix it up! Leave the dessert and chips for special occasions.

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!

Hello Loyal Soup People! This week I’d like to chat about healthy shopping habits. I’ve often written about how important it is to shop at the perimeters of stores, where you’ll find all the fresh items (fruits, vegetables, etc.). The closer you get to the center of the store, the more “processed” the food becomes. Cans, candies, chips, etc. However, have you thought about the dangers found in the check-out aisle? We often fill our baskets with healthy and fresh foods, and then grab chips and candy when checking out, because we’re hungry, low on energy, and well, the food is right there!

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recently released a report that found that 90% of the food displayed in the check-out line was junk food (candies, cookies, and chips). 60% of the beverages were sugary. Only 2% of food and beverages were found to be healthy (fruits, nuts, etc.). The rest was somewhere in between (trail mix, granola bars…).

These check-out displays aren’t found just at the supermarket! Stores such as Staples, Best Buy, and Bed Bath and Beyond also have tempting check-out displays. Retailers know that people are much more likely to make impulse purchases while standing in line to pay.

There are a few tricks to avoid making these unplanned, usually unhealthy purchases:

– Never shop hungry. You’ll make better decisions when making regular purchases and while standing in the check-out line. Mustering will power while checking out isn’t too difficult if you aren’t famished. If you need to, pack a snack for yourself. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, grab some nuts from your own bag!

– Shop with a list and don’t deviate. Set rules for yourself. If something isn’t on your shopping list, don’t allow it in your cart!

– Pay with cash. This may sound strange, but several studies have shown that when paying with cash instead of credit cards, we are much more picky about what we put in our carts. When you physically hand over money to a cashier, and you see how much something costs, you’re more thoughtful about each purchase.

– Use the self check out lines. These were created to speed up the check out process, so retailers don’t put anything in the way of getting you out the door! You’ll find no tempting items next to the cash register when checking yourself out.

The check out line is just another way retailers are trying to trick us into buying things we don’t need. Treat them the same way that you treat false advertising and misleading labels. You know what you should be buying and eating. Don’t fall for tricks and traps. Stick to your healthy eating plan wherever you are!

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!