Great bowls of fiber

By Holly Clegg

Nothing is more satisfying during the winter months than a bowl of hearty chili or savory soup. And the smell from a big pot simmering on the stove is welcoming to friends and family. It’s a bonus that these one-pot meals are also chocked full of high-fiber ingredients such as sweet potato, corn, barley and bell pepper. They are not only mouth-watering but will increase your daily fiber intake for a nutritious health boost! Make more than you need and freeze leftovers.

For a burst of flavor with Louisiana flair, a soothing bowl of Southwestern Shrimp, Corn and Sweet Potato Soup can’t be beat. The recipe calls for pantry-friendly canned ingredients combined with Louisiana shrimp. Keep low-sodium canned vegetables on hand to whip up soups at a moment’s notice or to add extra fiber to casseroles and salads. And by rinsing canned beans, you lower the sodium by 40%!

Endowed with a pasta-like consistency, barley is an excellent fiber-rich grain that gives Best Barley Soup its nut-like, earthy flavor. Salty bacon and naturally sweet Louisiana yams combine to make this a fuller, satisfying meal on its own. The fiber in barley is important for digestion and weight maintenance, and even helps lower inflammation, cholesterol and risk for certain cancers.

The perfect cold-weather meal made in a jiffy, Quick Chili pleases diners of all ages. The first time I made this, I simply raided my pantry and freezer and found all the necessary tasty components! For a meal made to fit your schedule, prepare the chili in a slow cooker, after you’ve first cooked meat and onion in a skillet. I love to top my chili with chopped red onions, avocado and shredded reduced-fat cheese. Serve in mugs for extra ease.

All of these one-pot wonders are filling yet healthy, low in fat and high in flavor.

Southwestern Shrimp, Corn and Sweet Potato Soup

This is a delicious, dump-and-stir soup.

1 red onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 cups diced, peeled Louisiana yams
1 16-oz. bag frozen corn
1 15-oz. can cream-style corn
1 10-oz. can chopped tomatoes and green chilies
1 cup salsa
4 cups fat-free chicken broth
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
11/2 lbs. peeled medium shrimp
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped green onions

In large nonstick pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté onion and garlic until tender. Add all ingredients except shrimp; bring mixture to boil. Add shrimp, return to boil, reduce heat and continue cooking until shrimp are done, 7-10 minutes. Season to taste. Sprinkle with green onions when serving. Makes 12 1-cup servings

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 146 | Calories from fat 8% | Fat 1g | Saturated fat 0g Cholesterol 84mg | Sodium 518mg | Carbohydrate 23g | Dietary fiber 3g | Sugars 5g | Protein 12g | Dietary exchanges: 11/2 starch, 11/2 very lean meat

Best Barley Soup

Best Barley Soup

For a protein-enhanced version, just add meat.

5 slices turkey bacon
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
8 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped Louisiana yams (sweet potatoes), peeled and cut into small cubes
3/4 cup medium pearl barley

In large nonstick pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels, crumble, then set aside. In same pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté mushrooms, garlic and onion until tender, about 7 minutes. Add thyme, broth, carrots, sweet potatoes and barley. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook 25 minutes or until barley and vegetables are tender. Season to taste. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon just before serving. Makes 11 1-cup servings.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 108 | Calories from fat 8% | Fat 1g ?Saturated fat 0g | Cholesterol 5mg | Sodium 137mg Carbohydrates 20g | Dietary fiber 4g | Total sugars 3g | Protein 5g | Dietary exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable

Quick Chili

Beat the chill with this fantastic Southwestern staple.

1 lb. ground sirloin
1 onion, chopped
1 15-oz. can fat-free chicken broth
1 101/2-oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
Dash ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

In large nonstick pot, cook meat and onion until done; drain off any excess fat. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook over low heat about 10 minutes. Makes 4 heaping 1-cup servings.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 318 | Calories from fat 20% Fat 7g | Saturated fat 2g | Cholesterol 62mg | Sodium 759mg | Carbohydrates 31g | Dietary fiber 11g | Total sugars 9g ?Protein 34g | Dietary exchanges: 1 starch, 3 vegetable, 4 lean meat

Holly Clegg is the author of the best-selling trim&TERRIFIC cookbooks, Eating Well Through Cancer and Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age. For more information, visit or