Tuscany Bean and Rice Soup – analyzing nutritonal data

26 Mar

Last post, Sagan left a link to a recipe analyzer in the comments. Now, I’ve tried to analyze my own recipes for calories, fat, and all that by using online calorie banks, but it gets really hard to keep up with everything. This analyzer, however, is so simple to use! You simply search for the ingredients, add them to your recipe, and when you are done is spits the results out at you. The only thing to keep in mind is that some things are missing, like low-sodium chicken broth (or at least it didn’t show up on my search). So while you won’t get perfect results, you will get a very close estimate of the nutritional values of a serving of your recipe. Also, you can save your recipes, share them with other users, and search the database for recipes added by others. The only downside is that you do have to register, but you can opt out of any emails.

I tried it out using a really yummy soup recipe. GP was given this recipe by a customer, who said it was delicious and easy to make. The first time we had it, GP cooked it himself, and I was notably impressed. Don’t get me wrong, GP does know his way around a kitchen, but he doesn’t do it too often, so this time it was a nice surprise.

Tuscany Bean and Rice Soup (There was a picture, but it didn’t do the food justice. Plus, it showed messy counter tops.)
Cooking time: about an hour, most of which you don’t need to pay much attention
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked rice
1 can (15.5 oz) kidney beans, undrained
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
8-12 oz Italian sausage (optional)
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large saucepan, cook the sausage until done. Remove any excess fat from the pan. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, rice and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low, uncovered. When the rice is almost completely cooked, add the beans to heat through. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle on top with the Parmesan cheese.

Serve with a good bread and maybe a side salad and you have supper! The best part is, the leftovers get even better after having sat in the fridge for a couple of days. You will actually want to eat these leftovers for lunch.

Alternatively, you can cut out the sausage and add greens to the soup about 5-10 minutes before the rice is done cooking. Try escarole or kale?

Nutritional information (determined for recipe as shown above, with sausage):

Calories (kcal) 351.1 Folate (μg) 36.9
Fat (g) 11.5 Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.2
Protein (g) 18 Vitamin B12 (μg) 0.7
Carbohydrate (g) 42.9 Calcium (mg) 67.9
Sugar (g) 4.3 Iron (mg) 3.3
Fibre (g) 5.8 Sodium (mg) 1765.1
Vitamin A (μg) 9.5 Potassium (mg) 643.1
Vitamin C (mg) 5.9
Vitamin D (μg) 0.4
Vitamin E (mg) 0.7
Thiamin (mg) 0.4
Riboflavin (mg) 0.2
Niacin (ne) 9.4

The calories determined by the analyzer were almost spot on with what I calculated using the actual labels. I absolutely plan on using this software to determine the nutritional values of the rest of my favorite recipes. Thanks for sharing, Sagan!

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