Cabbage soup diet, known for its fast results, can be a bit monotonous. Here are a few recipes that you may use to spice up the cabbage soup, and some of the recipes here will even supplement the soup with essential nutrients.
In a cabbage soup diet, a person is supposed to eat only cabbage soup, along with a highly restricted list of fruits and vegetables. As this diet is very low in proteins, calories, and fats, but high in sodium, it should not be followed for more than a week. Many experts also advice strongly against following this diet, and the recipes listed here should be used to add a healthy and light soup to a balanced diet, rather than used as the primary source of nutrition. But first, a little overview of the cabbage soup diet.
The Cabbage Soup Diet
According to this 7-day diet plan, you can eat as much homemade cabbage soup as you want, plus the following:
Day 1 – Fruits (except bananas)
Day 2 – Vegetables (you can also eat a jacket potato with some butter)
Day 3 – Fruits and vegetables (except bananas and potatoes)
Day 4 – Skim milk and not more than 8 bananas
Day 5 – 10 ounces of beef and up to 6 tomatoes
Day 6 – Beef and Vegetables (except potatoes)
Day 7 – Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice, and vegetables (except potatoes)
Generally, a person can have as much of the recommended foods as he/she wants. As cabbage soup is high in sodium, drinking at least 6 glasses of water is also stressed upon.
Basic Cabbage Soup
This is a simple, basic recipe having just 90 calories in a bowl, along with some calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
6 stalks of celery
4 sliced spring onions
2 green peppers
2 medium-sized tomatoes
1 small cabbage
1 dry onion soup mix
1 bouillon cube
Herbs and seasoning, to taste
Take a big pot and spray some oil in it. Sauté the onions for around 5 minutes or till they get translucent. Add chopped green pepper (without seeds), celery, carrots, cabbage, tomato, soup mix, bouillon, spices, seasoning and herbs. Do not add a lot of salt, as your soup mix and bouillon already contain it. Add around 12 cups of water, cover and let it cook till all the vegetables are tender (it might take approx. 2 hours).
As this recipe uses store-bought soup mix and bouillon, it has a very high sodium content. You can reduce it by making a soup mix yourself. Although bending the rules, you can also replace the bouillon with homemade chicken or beef broth, particularly useful for day 1, when you are not supposed to eat any meat or vegetables. You can also add the original V8 juice to enhance flavor.
If you are strictly adhering to the diet, try using different recipes, altering the spice mix and adding different vegetables. Here are some more options for you.
Cabbage Soup with Chunky Vegetables
This soup is perfect for days when vegetables are allowed, namely day 2, 3, 6, and 7.
3 garlic cloves
1 bell pepper
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups chopped cabbage
½ cup chopped zucchini
½ cup broccoli
½ cup green beans
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Herbs and spices, to taste
Chop the garlic cloves and all vegetables into chunky bite-sized cubes except bell pepper, as the seeds have to be removed first. Cut it into small square pieces once the seeds are removed. Take a large crock pot, spray it with oil, and add onions and garlic. Sauté for around 5 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients except zucchini. Simmer till all the vegetables get tender then add zucchini. Simmer for another five minutes and take it off heat.
Cabbage Soup with Celery and Mushrooms
Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins such as riboflavin and niacin, and will give your soup a mild, earthy flavor.
6 stalks of sliced celery
5 cloves minced garlic
4 sliced carrots
2 diced onions
1 shredded cabbage head
1 (28 oz.) can roasted tomatoes, diced
10 cups vegetable broth
3 cups sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Spray a little oil in a big pot and sauté garlic and onions for five minutes. Add the slow-cooking veggies – carrots, mushrooms, celery; tomatoes and broth. Cook for around one hour or till the vegetables are nice and soft. Add the shredded cabbage, thyme, and seasoning, and cook till the cabbage is rich green in color.
Cabbage Soup with Cannellini Beans
Many people report feeling lightheaded and dizzy when following the cabbage soup diet. Adding some beans will solve this problem by providing your body with proteins. Here is a recipe for cabbage soup with cannellini beans.
2 minced garlic cloves
1 diced onion
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup canned cannellini beans
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped cabbage
½ cup cubed zucchini
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a big pot, sauté the onions and celery for 3 minutes, followed by garlic. After one minute, add zucchini and carrot and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, except cheese. Cover the pot and simmer for around half an hour. Once the vegetables are tender, add the cheese.
Note: As per the diet, cheese is not allowed. The amount of cheese stated here is for the entire pot, not for one bowl.
Cabbage Soup with Beef
On the 5th and 6th day, you are allowed to eat beef, and here is a cabbage soup recipe which incorporates beef.
2 chopped carrots
2 chopped celery stalks
2 diced tomatoes
1 chopped onion
1 bay leaf
½ chopped cabbage head
8 ounces ground beef
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
Take oil in a skillet and cook the beef till it gets browned nicely. Keep this aside. Combine all the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 7 hours. If you do not have a crock pot, use a large saucepan, and simmer for 7½ hours. You can also add fish or chicken breast instead of beef in this recipe.
Note: This is a slow-cooking recipe which needs to be cooked for at least 7 hours, so plan in advance.
These are just some variations of cabbage soup. This diet, though fast and effective and requiring little physical effort, comes with its dangers. Many people report flatulence, bloating, lightheadedness, headache, dizziness, etc. Most of the weight lost through this diet returns quickly, as most of it is by water loss and not body fat. If you want to follow this diet, take extreme care in making sure you consume sufficient quantity of soup and water, and add as little salt as possible.
Disclaimer: This NutriNeat article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.