2018. This was the year that I got married, had a baby and did a side return extension. It’s an adulting hat-trick. And I still can’t believe that it all happened, even though there is ACTUAL EVIDENCE staring at me in the face every day. (Hello Isabelle).
What has been extraordinary is how the weather, throughout each of these milestones, seemed to be consistently stuck in Summer. So many long hazy days of pushing the pram around the village – how lucky I have felt, for even when I was feeling low and hormonally fried, I could always get outside.
Autumn arrived gently and with a golden hue and I have relished these sunny bronzed days… the season has positively glowed.
It is only now that I can feel it all finally coming to a close and the beginnings of Winter are setting in. The clocks have gone back, the days are darker, shorter, and I have taken to wearing scarves and hats and packing an emergency umbrella for every outing… so all the clues are there. Winter is on its way and its time for bedding in, holing up, pots of tea, eating well and drinking all the soup.
I’ve long been fighting the battle of time versus a hearty, wholesome meal. And in Winter, I always have such good intentions – I want to create delicious meals to feed my soul and keep me cosy and well…. I scour recipe books and earmark pages, which talk a big game of buckwheat, kale, quinoa, artichoke and one herb or another, which I know they don’t sell in my local store…
But now, more than ever, I am so extremely time poor. I am writing this while I dangle a jingling pink bunny over Isabelle’s head to entertain her, while bottles are sterilising and the laundry cycle is about to finish and will need reloading… I have transformed into a multi-tasking ninja and factoring time in to make wholesome meals that tick all my boxes is becoming more and more difficult.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of Heinz, I am transported into a world of cosy. Heinz speaks my language and wraps me up in a blanket of hearty deliciousness – I have loved the brand ever since I was teeny tiny.
They have recently launched a brand new range of soups – the Heinz Eat Well range – and one of their new flavours – Tomato, Spinach and Lentil – couldn’t be more up my street. It is utterly, UTTERLY delicious and has managed to nail the taste/goodness balance. It’s packed with tomatoes, green lentils, carrots, onions, spinach and red pepper – it’s my new store cupboard staple for the Winter months.
In true Heinz form, the soup is hearty, wholesome and cosied me up from the tips of my toes. After coming in from a windy and rainy walk today, my bones were chilled and this soup warmed up my cockles.
The lovely Heinz folk recently got in touch to set me a challenge, which I wholeheartedly accepted. Could I create myself a meal, which would be as warm and wholesome as the soup, that hits the tasty/goodness balance and helps me to eat as well as the Eat Well soups allows me to do… BUT it must also satisfy the following criteria:
It needs to have the same amount of calories per serving – the Heinz Eat Well Tomato, Spinach and Lentil soup has just 85 calories per serving, so this was going to be tricky…
It also needs to match the amount of wholesome ingredients, be suitable for vegetarians, have no added sugar and (and this is the most difficult bit) take the same amount of time to prepare.
I rummaged around and poured over my recipe books to find a dish I thought could work. It was a delicious wild rice, kale, sweet potato and bean stew. Such a simple recipe and would meet most of the criteria of the challenge, but the prep alone (what with washing the rice and preparing the sweet potato etc) took me at least 15 minutes.. and then the cooking added on a further 40ish minutes… so I knew that I was never going to be able to compete with the few minutes it takes to warm up the soup on the stove.
Long gone are the days where fast food is a cop out. Nor does it equate to ‘rubbish’ food with no nutrition. I’m so pleased to have been introduced to Heinz Eat Well Soups – wholesome soups to feed my body and soul throughout these coming months are exactly what’s needed in Poppy Land.
Winter? Ha! I am ready for you.
Sponsored by Heinz – all thoughts & opinions are my own