West African Peanut Soup

Fluid Needs for Athletes

Water plays an essential role in a number of functions in the body. It is required to help keep tissues moist, lubricate joints, regulate body temperature, assist in the removal of waste products and carry nutrients and oxygen to cells.¹ The human body is about two-thirds water, so it is important to drink enough fluid to stay healthy and hydrated.² Adequate fluid intake is important for athletes as dehydration can negatively impact performance and may have adverse health outcomes. Common symptoms of dehydration during exercise include increased heart rate, impaired body temperature regulation, increased feelings of perceived exertion, reduced mental sharpness, reduced skill level and gastrointestinal upset.³

Fluid needs vary considerably between athletes. Requirements can be affected by a number of factors including genetics (heavy versus light sweat rates), body size (larger individuals need more fluids), fitness level, exercise environment and exercise intensity.⁴ Most individuals should aim for about 6-8 cups (1500-2000mL) of fluid per day; however, athletes can also estimate needs using their body weight. To meet day-to-day fluid requirements, the average person needs about 25-30mL of fluid per kg of body weight. For example, a 75kg individual would aim to consume about 1875-2250mL of fluid/day. To determine fluid needs related to exercise, athletes are encouraged to weigh themselves before and after exercise to estimate their own fluid requirements. Each kg of weight lost is equivalent to approximately 1 litre of fluid.⁴  Although it is important to stay hydrated before, during and after activities, it is important to note that there is no benefit of over hydration. In some cases consuming too much fluid can actually be detrimental to health (causing gastrointestinal discomfort or diluting blood sodium levels – if water is over consumed).

A common way to monitor hydration status is by the colour of your urine. If your urine is a dark yellow colour during the day, you are likely not drinking enough. While if you are passing urine often and it is a very pale colour you may be drinking too much. Hydrated individuals usually have a urine colour resembling pale straw.²

In addition to water, athletes can use an assortment of fluid foods to help meet hydration needs. Foods that are considered fluid foods include: coffee and tea (if you are a habitual caffeine consumer), gelatin containing products (i.e. Jell-O), ice chips/ice cubes, ice cream, juice, milk and milk substitutes, popsicles, sherbet, soup and sorbet.⁵


West African Peanut Soup

Makes about 6 servings


1 tbsp olive oil

2 small yellow onions, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1/2 – 1 tsp salt

2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 tbsp Louisiana hot sauce

4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 2 medium)

3 cups water

3 cups low sodium tomato juice

1 cup natural peanut butter

Optional Toppings: chives, scallions, cilantro


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions, celery and salt. Cook, stirring often for about 10-15 minutes until soft.
  2. Stir in grated ginger and hot sauce.
  3. Add sweet potatoes and water. Bring contents to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and allow the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes (sweet potatoes should be tender).
  4. Mix tomato juice and peanut butter in well.
  5. Using a blender, immersion blender or food processor, blend the soup until smooth.
  6. Adjust seasonings as per taste.
  7. Serve topped with chives, scallions or cilantro.

Recipe adapted from the book Moosewood Restaurant Favorites (2013).


  1. Nutrition and healthy eating. Mayo Clinic Website. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/functions-of-water-in-the-body/img-20005799. Published 2016. Accessed February 10, 2016.
  2. Healthy hydration guide. British Nutrition Foundation Organization Website. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/hydration/healthy-hydration-guide.html. Published 2016. Accessed February 9, 2016.
  3. Hydration. Australian Institute of Sport Website. http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/faq/hydration. Published 2016. Accessed February 9, 2016.
  4. Fluid – Who Needs It? Australian Institute of Sport Website. http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/factsheets/hydration/fluid_-_who_needs_it. Published 2016. Accessed February 9, 2016.
  5. Food that Counts as Fluid on the Kidney Diet. DaVita Website. https://www.davita.com/k

Quick Black Bean Soup


This black bean soup is  hearty, healthy, and comes together very quickly thanks to canned black beans (although it can easily be made using dried beans). If has a lovely “Southwest” flavour and is perfect for rainy days when you need a little heat. If you prefer mild heat/spice, make sure to remove all of the seed pods when you are prepping the jalapeno (as that is where most of the spice is). If you prefer no heat/spice you can substitute 1/2 of a green pepper for the jalapeno.

Try serving this soup with whole wheat corn bread or low sodium tortilla chips*, and/or topping it with  low-fat plain yogurt, cilantro, sharp cheddar cheese, or avocado.

This soup can be refrigerated up to three days or can be stored in the freezer for up to two months. For best results, reheat gently over low-moderate heat.

* Classic corn tortilla chips, like Que Pasa brand, tend to be lower in salt, while brands like Tostitos are often much higher. Be sure to check the product’s nutrition facts table to make an informed decision.


Black Bean Soup

Makes about 8 cups


3 19oz cans low sodium black beans (or 3 cups of cooked black beans ~ 1 cup dry)

1 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 yellow onions, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp jalapeno peppers, chopped

1-1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

5 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1 14oz can no salt stewed tomatoes

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot heat oil over medium heat; cook garlic, onions and celery, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onions are softened.
  2. Add chili powder, jalapeno pepper, oregano, and cumin; cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
  3. Add beans, vegetable broth, tomatoes and salt and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. In food processor or blender, puree the soup in batches. Return to pot; heat through.
  5. Stir in lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. 
  6. Serve with cornbread or tortilla chips


Recipe adapted from http://www.canadianliving.com/food/black_bean_soup_with_lime_coriander_sauce.php

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon, Rosemary, and Feta Cheese

DSC_0373I love cooking with red lentils. Red lentils are sweet and nutty in flavour, and only take about 20-30 minutes to fully cook. Once cooked, red lentils tend to become mushy and break apart which makes them perfect for Indian curries and dahls as well as for thickening soups and stews.

This red lentil soup is a light recipe that is packed with flavour. The use of lemon juice and zest adds a brightness to the dish, while the feta cheese topping adds great texture. For a light lunch, serve this soup with fresh whole grain bread or pita.

This recipe is adapted from Rebar Modern Food cookbook. Rebar is a delicious restaurant in Victoria, BC. _______________________________________________________________________________________

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon, Rosemary, and Feta Cheese

Makes ~ 10 cups


2 cups of red lentils

2 tbsp canola oil

1 large cooking onion, chopped

8 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots, chopped

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1 tbsp dried oregano

2 bay leaves

8 cups low sodium vegetable broth

Zest of 1 lemon (organic if possible)

Juice of 1 1/2 lemons

Feta cheese (as per preference)


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until softened.
  2. Add carrot, garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves. Stir well and cook until carrots are fork tender.
  3. Add lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Remove bay leave, and then using an immersion blender or food processor, puree soup.
  6. Mix in lemon juice and zest
  7. Top soup with feta cheese and any other additional seasonings as per preference.

** My favourite brand of feta cheese is Arvand – Danish style feta. It is delicious and comes in reduced fat and reduced salt varieties.


Recipe adapted from Rebar Modern Food cookbook

Light Cream of Celery Soup

Don’t be scared off by the word “cream”in the title of this recipe. This soup doesn’t actually have any cream in it. The smooth mouth feel and richness are thanks to the skim milk/sour milk/kefir, potatoes, and pureed texture.
There aren’t a lot of seasonings in this recipe which allows you to flavour the soup however you choose. I recommend trying thyme or lemon pepper.
If you find that the soup is too thick you are welcome to add more milk until it is a consistency that you are happy with. As with any soup I welcome you to add any leftover ingredients you have. When I made this soup I added a couple of leeks and a little bit of zucchini.
Light Cream of Celery Soup
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb celery & leaves, chopped
2 medium Russet potatoes, chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup low-fat milk (sour-milk, buttermilk, or kefir)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. In a large saucepan, saute onion until translucent.
  2. Add garlic and saute a couple more minutes.
  3. Add the celery, potatoes, vegetable broth and milk. Cook about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  4. Puree ingredients in a food processor or with an immersion blender.
  5. Add black pepper and season to taste.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.food.com/recipe/cream-of-celery-soup-340633?oc=linkback

Picture from: https://www.google.ca/search?q=celery+soup&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org


Greek Tomato-Yogurt Soup


This is my favourite tomato soup recipe to cook. It is incredibly quick to make (about 30 minutes) and only 107 calories per 1 cup. The herbs and sun-dried tomatoes really help this recipe to stand out from more traditional tomato soup recipes. This soup is great with herb quick break, pita, or I often have it with grilled cheese. (Recipes for herb quick bread and pita to follow).

The original recipe calls for plain nonfat yogurt, but you are welcome to use Greek yogurt if you want some extra protein or if you want a dairy free soup you can skip the yogurt altogether.

Suggested garnishes: toasted walnuts and chopped fresh mint, chopped green onions, fresh parsley.


Greek Tomato-Yogurt Soup


2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 1 1/2 tsp fresh)

1/4 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh)

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (or 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes)

3-4 sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt


  1. In a soup pot, warm olive oil and cook the onions, garlic, bay leaves, and herbs until the onions are soft (about 12 minutes).
  2. Add the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and black pepper. Simmer covered about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove bay leaves. Add in vegetable broth and yogurt.
  4. Puree in batches until smooth and creamy. You can use a food processor, blender, or immersion blender to do this.

Recipe adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health


Vegetarian Wonton Soup

Photo credit: Whatdidyoueat.com

Wonton soup is one of my favourite Chinese dishes, but I have yet to find a restaurant that make a vegetarian version. I had always wanted to try making it, but was skeptical of making my own wontons. It turns out wontons are easy to make, especially if you have someone to help you assemble them!

Unless you own a pasta maker, I recommend purchasing wonton wrappers over trying to make them yourself. They are inexpensive, easy to store in the freezer, and can be used in other recipes such as vegetarian pot stickers. I wasn’t able to find wonton wrappers at either of my local grocery stores, so I had to go to Osaka supermarket. Wonton wrappers often contain egg products, so you will find them in the freezer or refrigerated section of the store. The brand of wonton wrapper recommend to me was Double Happiness.

This soup is best the day it is made as the wonton start to soften and disintegrate over time, but it is still very good the next day. You can also cook the wontons you intend to serve with the meal and freeze the leftover ones for another day. _______________________________________________________________________________________

Vegetarian Wonton Soup


  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups thinly chopped green onions, divided
  • 10 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb. crimini mushrooms, chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 16-ounce box firm tofu, finely shredded
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • About 40 wonton wrappers
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced bok choy
  • Pepper, to taste


1. Prepare the broth. In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutest. Add 1 1/2 cups of the chopped scallions and the vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow the broth to simmer while you prepared the wontons.

2. Prepare the filling. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the canola oil, adding the finely chopped mushrooms and garlic powder. Cook, stirring often, until the mushroom are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the crumbled tofu, lemon juice, and remaining 1/2 cup chopped scallions.

3. Fill the wontons. Set out the wonton wrappers on a dry surface. Place about 1 Tbsp of the filling into the center of the wontons. Moisten the edges of the wrappers with water, pull one corner to its diagonal and pinch, then pull the remaining two corners to the same point and pinch the edges closed.  Repeat until all of the wontons or filling is used.

4. Bring a pot of water to simmering. Just before serving, cook the wontons until they come to the top of the pot, about 2-3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the wontons from the boiling water. Transfer wontons to each bowl.

Add the bok choy and broccoli florets to the simmering broth. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are bright green in color. Ladle the broth and greens over the wontons in the serving bowls and serve.

Recipe adapted from dairyfreecooking.about.com