Ah, tomatoes!

Plump, ripe, juicy, red tomatoes.  Imagine yourself biting into one right now – the juice oozing down your chin, and the deeply delicious tomato flavor bursting onto your taste buds.

Are you salivating yet?

Times Two Tomato Soup | Carrie Brown

How about now?  Because this soup is chock full of tomato deliciousness.

It was a totally tomato weekend back when I threw this extravagantly rich tomato-fest together for you.  While I was reading labels on cans of tomato purée – with this soup in mind – I got inspired to make those Tomato Basil Biscuits you see in that picture.  That same weekend I also conjured up the very popular Tomato Salad Soup aka How To Eat Salad Greens Without Having To Eat Salad Greens.  I also learned which sun-dried tomatoes, which tomato paste, and which tomato purée brands are unsweetened.  Always good to know.  Now I’ll never have to read those labels again.  Yay!

Times Two Tomato Soup | Carrie Brown

I loved tomato soup when I was a kid; even though the tomato soup I grew up on came out of a packet.  Looking back I realize how odd that is, since my mother made almost everything from scratch.  Except soups, and a few other things like these crazy packet puddings called Angel Delight which I thought were completely magical.  I dread to think what was in them – you added milk and whisked it up and put it in bowls and 30 minutes later it was thick and fluffy like a mousse.  I loved Angel Delight, especially the butterscotch flavor.  I could barely wait for the 30 minutes to be up so I could eat it.  It used to set like cement in my stomach, but my mouth was so happy I didn’t care.  Yikes.

The packet soup I ate as a young ‘un was mixed with water and heated; yet somehow I enjoyed it.  It bears no resemblance to real tomato soup – you know – tomato soup with real, live tomatoes in it.  This recipe is like tomato soup on super-steroids in comparison.  In America it seems that eating Campbell’s Tomato Soup is a requirement for a happy life.  This recipe ain’t nothing like Campbell’s, either.  If you think that Campbell’s tastes “Mmm, mmm….good!”, just wait until you get your first spoonful of this down your gullet.

Then come back and talk to me about “Mmm, mmm….good!”


5.0 from 1 reviews
Times Two Tomato Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2 cups / 1 pint chicken or clear vegetable stock
  • 7 oz. / 200g celery, roughly chopped
  • 6 oz. / 170g tomato purée / paste
  • 2 lb / 200g plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 tsp dried basil
  • 3 TBSP dry white wine
  • 6 TBSP 2% Greek yogurt
  • 3 oz / 85g spinach
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place stock, celery, tomato paste, and tomatoes in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes until the tomatoes and celery are very soft.
  3. In batches, put the vegetables in a blender and blend until very smooth.
  4. Pour the soup into a bowl while you blend the remaining vegetables.
  5. To the last batch of vegetables in the blender, add the basil, wine, Greek yogurt, and spinach.
  6. Blend just until the spinach has disappeared.
  7. While blender is running, remove center piece of blender lid and shake in the guar gum.
  8. Stop blending immediately and transfer last batch of soup into the saucepan.
  9. Add rest of soup to the pan.
  10. Season to taste and reheat if necessary before serving.

Times Two Tomato Soup  |  Carrie Brown



*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!
  • Fi the choccy beaver - Hi Carrie. Just wanted to share a cheats tomato soup I made on a hot summer night in England this week. As a single working mum, quick SANE food needs to be ultra easy sometimes, thus my chilled Tom soup!
    1 tin chopped tomatoes in their juices, blended roughly with some vanilla whey powder (about 1 scoop?), dried basil to taste, plus optional silken tofu blended in for extra protein if required.
    Yeah, sounds weird but it was like an almost-Heinz cream of tomato, without the need for cream or sugar!! Mmmmm….ReplyCancel

  • Andrea M. - Absolutely fabulous tomato soup! I’ll never miss the butter or half-and-half from my regular recipe. I confess I did have to add one tablespoon of raw sugar to the whole batch, only because I like my tomato soup just a little bit sweet. Thanks for another great recipe, Carrie! :)


    • carrie - Hi Andrea – glad you are loving the soups! Can you replace the sugar with the same amount of xylitol to get the same sweet effect without the bad stuff?ReplyCancel

  • Tony - Amazing! Every time I make a recipe from this site, I laugh with joy when I first taste it. And this soup was hilarious. Carrie, you’ve excelled yourself. Even with my old useless blender, my way too thick home made Greek yoghurt, and my total lack of ability in the kitchen (I’m getting there though), this soup was incredible. My wife will be home in an hour and I just know she’ll ask me how much I paid the chef.
    Carrie, for providing amazing SANE recipes and making a complete incompetent look great in the kitchen, “go raibh míle maith agat” (thank you a thousand times).ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Tony – your comment made me smile as wide as the ocean! THANK YOU!!!!ReplyCancel

Since my little road trip adventure to California last month I’ve had a lot of requests for my tips and tricks to staying *SANE on the road.  The key to success for a *SANE road trip is to prepare.  Prepare, prepare, prepare.  Oh, and attention to detail.  I realize that #1 and #2 (below) may seem like a lot, and could feel overwhelming at first – especially if you are used to jumping in the car, taking off, and just getting what you need as you go.  Bear in mind that a little time getting prepared will hugely benefit you in terms of money, time and particularly health in the long run.  Once you’ve done your first road trip in this new way, it will not seem overwhelming the next time.  You’ll be ready.

1. Before you go.

Stock the car with enough SANE food and SANE beverages to keep everyone going until 2 hours after you reach your destination.  As I always road-trip alone, and need to be able to eat without assistance, my preferred snacks are beef jerky, hardboiled eggs, whole-leaf lettuces (I pull whole leaves off and munch), and cucumbers (I eat them like apples).  The beef jerky and hardboiled eggs keep my energy super-high and stave off drowsiness.  The lettuces and cucumbers give me all the non-starchy veggies I need, keep me full, and help to keep me hydrated; they also give me jaw ache from all the chewing, which is great because then I don’t want to eat for a while.  I am a driving machine on this  fuel!  I keep the perishable food in a small cooler that I pack and refrigerate over night.  Before I leave I add a couple of ice packs.  This keeps everything cool enough for a 12 – 15 hour drive, bearing in mind that most of it will be eaten by the time I arrive.

Snacks to consider:

  • Jerky – beef, turkey, salmon – whatever your favorites are.  Buy jerky with the highest protein and lowest sugar content you can find.  Be especially careful of “flavored” jerky such as teriyaki or barbecue, as they are often very high in added sugars.  Read the label and compare until you find the best brand in your area.  Once you’ve found the best brands, stick to them.
  • Sardines / canned tuna – these are so easy to eat on the road.  Peel back the lid and dig in with a fork!  No refrigeration required.
  • Hardboiled eggs – shell before you leave and pack in Ziploc bags.
  • Raw veggies cut into bite sized pieces – carrots, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, snap peas, lettuce leaves, small cauliflower and broccoli florets, etc.  Bring small containers of *SANE dips to keep your taste buds excited.
  • Nuts and seeds – mix your favorites into small Ziploc baggies.  Add a few dried fruits – cranberries, raisins, dried blueberries, etc to keep it interesting and add a touch of sweetness.
  • Hot “cereal” – if you have flasks of hot water with you, take small, lidded containers with this hot cereal mix in it and mix up with hot water at a rest stop.  It’s really nice to have something warm to eat on the road, especially if you’re traveling in winter.
  • Protein bars – make them, or stock up on these and these brands before you head out, if you don’t already keep a stash on hand at home.
  • *SANE muffins, biscuits, and cookies.  These are much more filling than their inSANE counterparts, so will really help to stave off “the munchies” on the road.  They will not make the driver drowsy like inSANE sugar-and-starch-filled snacks.
  • Yogurt – mix up some of this, or buy small pots of Greek non-fat yogurt.
  • Fresh berries (de-stalk and cut any strawberries), and citrus fruit segments packed in small Ziploc baggies.

** Remember if you are driving in the US and crossing state lines (such as California) you may not be allowed to transport certain foods.  Check before you leave.  You don’t want to have half your food confiscated at the border!

For drinks I take fresh water and several flasks of hot herbal or green tea.  A good flask stays hot for 24 hours.  I refill my drinking cup from the flask when I stop to use the bathroom.

Beverage tips:

  • If you like sparkling and/or flavored water, buy large / 2 litre bottles from the grocery store and refill drinking cups as you go.  This will save you a fortune on cans or individual bottles.  If you do choose to buy cans or individual bottles, make sure to buy enough for the trip from the grocery store before you go so you don’t need to buy them from gas stations where they are staggeringly expensive.
  • Take several large (and by large I mean gallon / 5 litre) containers of non-sparkling water, even if you don’t intend to drink it.  If you get stranded, the road you are traveling on is closed due to weather or an accident and you are stuck for hours, you run out of washer fluid, someone becomes ill, you mis-judged how many beverages were needed for the trip, or any number of other unexpected events, having a lot of water on hand will be a godsend.
  • Remember to drink regularly, even though you are essentially inactive during the drive.  It will also help curb any hunger that is really boredom.

2. Other things that will make eating SANE on the road easier and more fun.

  • Disposable cutlery, or reusable plastic cutlery if you are able to wash it en route / when you arrive.
  • Disposable plates, or reusable plastic plates if you are able to wash them en route / when you arrive.
  • A roll of paper towel or plenty of paper napkins.
  • Wet wipes.  Never leave home without lots of wet wipes.  Wet wipes are truly a road tripper’s very best friend – for more reasons than I can even think of.
  • Plenty of several sizes of Ziploc bags.  Use them for trash, storing dirty plastic cutlery, food scraps or leftovers, or any number of other messy things that would otherwise make travel icky.
  • Scissors.  So useful for so many things.
  • A small, sharp knife.  These are brilliant for road trips as they come with their own cover to protect them (and you) when not being used.
  • Flossers.  Especially if you are eating jerky, and especially if you are the driver – these flossers will save you hours of misery.
  • Travel-size bottles of mouthwash.  Is there anything worse than having a mouth like a sewer when you’re trapped in a car for hours on end with a bunch of other people?  Especially if one of them just downed a can of sardines or tuna.
  • Small coolers and ice packs will keep perishable food cold enough to remain fresh and appealing.
  • ALWAYS take a Ziploc bag of xylitol – or whatever sweetener you use – with you.  I never leave home without xylitol in my bag.  Ever.

3. Avoid being derailed en route.

Your biggest enemy to *SANEity on a road trip is…The Gas Station.  If you enter the building, the chances of you being derailed are enormous.  For many people road trips = fun times filled with a dizzying array of sugary and starchy snacks, candies, chips, and pop / soda that you might not normally consume.  This means that road trips are often tied to intense {good} emotions based on family vacations experienced during childhood, and can be very hard to break.  It does not help that 98% of food and beverages available at gas stations fall into the sugary and starchy snacks, candies, chips, and pop / soda categories.  If you are faced with them in the middle of a road trip, you may find yourself powerless to resist.

Here’s how to survive with your SANEity intact:

  1. Be very clear on the difference between a gas station and a rest stop, and do not get confused about what to do at each.
  2. Stop at rest stops to use the bathroom, refill drink cups, stretch your legs, eat SANE snacks that you prepared before you left home, refill washer fluid, paint your toenails (you wouldn’t believe the number of rest stops I have painted my toenails at), check your cell phone for messages / emails, swap drivers, take photos, and otherwise re-group for the next leg of your journey.
  3. ONLY stop at gas stations to get gas.  They have no other SANE purpose.  Use a credit or debit card to pay for gas at the pump.  Do not enter the building!
  4. If you were not paying attention to #2 above, and did not use the bathroom at the last rest stop, and you really, really need to use if at the gas station, leave your wallet locked in your car.
  5. If you were not paying attention to #4 above, and took your wallet into the gas station when you went to use the bathroom, do not stop walking until you get to the bathroom.  Once you leave the bathroom do not stop walking until you get back to your car.
  6. If you were not paying attention to #5 above, and stopped walking between your car and the gas station bathroom, pick up only non-food items or *SANE foods and beverages.
  7. If you were not paying attention to #6 above, and purchased *inSANE items at the gas station, dump them in the garbage on your way back to your car.

 4. Once you arrive.

Depending on the itinerary at your destination, these will help you keep on a SANE track:

  • Clean and re-pack your plastic plates and cutlery, or restock disposables ready for the next day’s adventures.
  • If you are staying in a hotel, refuse the key for the mini bar and bring your own bottled water and snacks into your room.  Not only will you save your SANEity, you’ll save a fortune.  The first thing I do when I arrive at a hotel is ask where the nearest grocery store is and go get large bottles of water and SANE snacks.  Hotel stays can completely wreak your health and your wallet if you let them!
  • If you did not or were not able to bring enough SANE foods for your entire trip, stop at a grocery store every morning to stock up on SANE supplies before you do anything else – 2 litre bottles of water, nuts, seeds, protein bars, cut veggies, berries and citrus fruits, hardboiled eggs, jerky, canned fish, individual Greek yogurt, deli meats, etc.
  • When you are in the grocery store, stay on the perimeter – always remember that the middle is where the inSANITY is.
  • If you have children with you, do not take them in the store with you unless there is no other adult to stay with them in the car.
  • Only stop at gas stations for gas.  Never go in the building.  See #3 above.
  • If you eat out, choose SANEly.  Swap out starches for salad or an extra serving of non-starchy veggies.  I have never had a restaurant refuse to do this, and at no extra charge.  Just ask.
  • Be too full for dessert.
  • If you are planing on mainly eating out, still keep sufficient SANE snacks in the car so that you avoid getting hungry between meals.  If something unexpected happens and you can’t get to your next meal on time, your SANE snacks will tide you over.  Breakdowns or otherwise getting stranded should not be the reason for going inSANE.
  • If you are going to amusement parks or similar attractions, pack protein bars, bags of nuts and seeds, jerky, and SANE muffins, biscuits, and cookies in a small backpack.  This will save you a small fortune, and keep everyone energized and healthy from dawn to dusk.  Take SANE beverages in drinking containers with straps that can be slung across your body so that you are not weighed down with stuff you have to carry. 

5. Give yourself a break.

If your road trip is a vacation and you want to relax on the SANEity a little bit…do.  It won’t kill you.

Here’s a few thing to think about if you choose to have an inSANE eating moment:

  • Once you start ingesting inSANE foods – especially sugar – it becomes easier and easier to keep doing it, and increasingly harder to stop.  I swear the manufacturers laden them with addictive substances that we find irresistible once even the smallest amount gets in our blood.
  • If you have an inSANE treat – my vacation treat is ice cream – don’t see it as being naughty or as having failed.  Feeling guilty will not help you, it will just make you feel bad; and feeling bad will likely just make you want to eat more inSANE stuff.  instead, see it as a treat – and enjoy it – just be clear that it is not helping you towards your health goals.
  • Taking one whole day out to enjoy inSANE foods is better than eating a little inSANELY every day.  See first bullet point in this section.
  • Once you have enjoyed your inSANE treat, get straight back to SANE foods at your next meal.
  • Do not beat yourself up if you are not perfect.  This is not about perfection, it’s about being better than we were yesterday.


6. Have a fantastic road trip!





*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!
  • Janknitz - We got a sodastream. The flavors they sell are hideous, but carbonated water with a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange is delightful. And yes, it can come along on a road trip.ReplyCancel

  • Cowgirl Rae - Wonderful post!
    My husband is a truck driver and living in a truck for a week or 2 is a challenge. He follows the guidelines you gave in addition he has a small chill cooler that plugs in the cigarette lighter and allowed him to have a cold place for yogurt and some cooked meats. There are ways to eat this way and be successful, it only takes a little planning and willingness to restrict yourself slightly to be successful.ReplyCancel

  • Serena - I keep hearing that dried fruits are bad to eat because they have so much sugar. What do you say?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - I say that dried fruits are high in sugar (because the water has all been removed), so they should be used occasionally and in small amounts – almost as a seasoning if you will. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

Like the arrival of Spring, raspberries get me all kinds of excited.  So, incidentally, does downing an entire romaine lettuce and a handful of spinach before 7 am has struck – and WITHOUT EVEN REALIZING IT.  Yes I yelled that last part.  It’s very exciting, people, when you can sup on a particularly yummy, creamy smoothie that tastes like raspberries and almonds even though it really has more green, leafy veggies in it than anything else.  It’s very, very exciting.

Granted the color is not quite as enthralling, but if you shut your eyes or pour it into a colored container, your taste buds will immediately transport you to Raspberry Almond Cream heaven without a single thought of how it got to be so green.  Meanwhile, your hormones will be rejoicing as all those green, leafy veggies go hurtling around your body.

Carrie Brown | Green Smoothie - Raspberry Almond Cream

If you’ve taken my other green smoothies for a spin you’ll know that none of them taste the slightest bit like vegetables.  *SANE green smoothies really are a fantastic way to get those 10 servings of non-starchy veggies crammed into your body.  Not to mention gobs of protein and some healthy fats for good measure.

Raspberries make me think of Summer.  It’s why this is a brilliant breakfast or lunch in the middle of Winter.  Or the middle of Summer.  Or any other time of the year.

Love raspberries?  Get your green on!


Green Smoothie - Raspberry Almond
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 1 cup / 8 fl oz. unsweetened thin coconut milk
  • 2 TBSP sugar-free raspberry syrup
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • ½ mango, de-stoned
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 oz. / 28g fresh spinach
  • 2 oz. / 55g vanilla whey protein powder
  • 5 oz. / 140g frozen raspberries
  • ½ cup / 4 fl oz. water
  1. Place the ingredients in the blender in the order listed.
  2. Blend until completely smooth.





*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!
  • Julie Rider - Carrie,
    As I sit here enjoying mt raspberry almond green smoothie I have a couple of questions. First, I have been doing some food testing and I seem to be reactive to whey so it was suggested that I switch to an egg white protein (which is currently in this smoothie) but I am wondering how egg white protein could be substituted in some of your other recipes (baked goods). Can you explore using some of the egg white protein for those of us who cannot eat whey?

    Secondly, 2/3 c. protein seems like a lot…I used less but I am wondering why 2/3 c.?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Julie – 2/3 cup is simply to get as much protein in as possible. If you do not have a problem getting all your protein in during the day then feel free to reduce in your smoothie, but bear in mind that you will also alter the taste and consistency. I am sure I will get to eat white protein in due course, although my recipe list is ridiculously long. Cna you let me know what product you are using? Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Rider - I am using Jay Robb egg white protein.ReplyCancel

  • Barbra - Hi Carrie – I have a smoothie almost every morning and it’s quite similar to this one. I was surprised to see this was one serving! I usually only drink half, maybe I should start sipping on it all morning :) Anyway, my question is, how many servings of veggies would this smoothie account for in the day? Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Barbra - Thanks Carrie. I’m enjoying your cashew pear smoothie right now. So yummy!!ReplyCancel

  • Alicia - Is the unsweetened coconut milk from a can or a carton?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Alicia – I used coconut milk in a carton. The stuff that looks like cows milk.ReplyCancel

  • Diana - Thanks Carrie for ALL of your smoothie recipies. You finally got me excited about drinking them, I can’t even fathom why I was so afraid of them anymore!
    I have a couple of questions though . . .
    1. Why the boiling water?? I really like the smoothie to be as cold as possible so I changed that part for myself, but am thinking maybe there is a good reason I should just follow the directions?
    2. Jonathan talked about how we should have 30g of protein in at one sitting and not say a snack with just 15g because the metabolic effect would not be right with just 15g. But as someone else said this is a Huge amount for me to drink within just say 1/2an hour. I have to drink the full thing to get the 30g or protein though. Is this meant to be sipped on over time or glugged?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - HI Dianna – the 30g protein thing is to MAXIMISE protein synthesis, but it will still happen if you don’t have 30g in one go. I cannot drink a whole smoothie in 30 minutes and typically drink half at breakfast and the other half at lunch. The boiling water softens the frozen fruit to aid blending, but you can use cold it you want and your blender can handle completely frozen. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Karen G - Just tried this smoothie. Swapped out the raspberries and syrup for strawberries and strawberry syrup since i didn’t have those. Still very yummy. My husband said it is his favorite so far. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Marcia Heffron - I am new to smoothies, but I am loving them! Y our recipes are terrific, and I am now improvising from them. I start with a cup of unsweetened almond/coconut milk and a scoop of Gold Standard whey protein, then add some combination of fresh berries, unsweetened cacao powder, unsweetened shredded coconut, Fage Greek yogurt, xylitol, unsweetened almond butter or coconut oil, and fill the rest of the blender with greens (Costco has big bags of a mix of kale, chard and spinach). They are all delicious!!! I bought colored cups and straws, so the green color doesn’t look so weird. Thanks for all your recipes and tips.ReplyCancel

  • Wren - I don’t have raspberry syrup. Does this have artificial sweetener in it? I do have raspberry extract. I’m wondering how to substitute with that?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Wren – yes you can use raspberry extract. Start with a tiny amount and add until you get the desired taste – then remember how much you used for future. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

It’s time to get serious for a moment or two, lovely SSoS’ers.

Let’s talk about labels.  Food labels, that is.  I love labels.  I’ve been an avid label reader since I can remember knowing what a label was, and that was way  before barcodes were even an inkling in some geeky dude’s cerebral cortex.

Labels make me happy.  They also make me sad; but definitely more happy than sad.  Happy because they tell me really important stuff.  Sad because I find out how much rubbish is in our foods these days.  Labels are brilliant for helping us navigate to a SANE and healthy life.  Labels are also sneaky, complicated, and misleading.

It is very easy to think that you are doing good and buying *SANE when in fact you aren’t – through no fault of your own.  Tomato paste doesn’t need sugar in it, right?  Right.  But most brands add it anyway.  This is why we need to read labels.  Don’t let sneaky manufacturers knock you off your path to *SANEity!

The Food You Eat


Here’s some things you can do to make sure you are as SANE as you want to be when buying food.  This is the process I use to determine which products to buy, and which brands of those products to buy.

1. Buy as many foods as possible that don’t come with labels.  If a label is not required it pretty much means it was once alive and growing and has remained as Mother Nature created it.

2. If it has a label – read it.  Especially ones that you don’t think you need to read, like meat.  You will be surprised, and often not in a good way.

3. Read the list of ingredients.  If there are any added sugars, starches and/or grains listed as an ingredient – don’t buy it.  See the list of names sugar masquerades as here.  We don’t want to buy anything with *added* sugars.  When you start reading labels you will be amazed at what manufacturers add sugar to.  You can usually find a couple of unsweetened or no-added-sugar versions if you look hard enough.  Once you have found the unsweetened or no-added-sugar versions, just stick to that brand.  You will only need to do this once for each product you are looking for.  For example – I now know which brand of tomato paste is SANE and I don’t need to read tomato paste labels ever again.

4. Having determined that there are no added sugars, starches and/or grains in the ingredients list, read the nutritional content.  Lots of foods have sugars in them naturally – this does not make them bad, but you do need to be careful.  Look at the grams per serving of sugar – if it’s in the double digits – don’t buy it.

5. The shorter the ingredients list, the better it usually is.

6. If it has a whole list of ingredients with ridiculously long names, ones you can’t pronounce and/or don’t know what they are, don’t buy it.

7. Compare different brands of similar products.  They are not all the same.  For example – the amount of protein per serving in non-fat Greek yogurt varies wildly between brands.  Once you have weeded out the products with added sugars, starches and/or grains, start comparing between the ones left.  Look for the brands with:

  • More grams per serving of protein
  • Fewer grams per serving of sugar
  • More grams per serving of fiber

8. If you want to know whether something is a good source of protein, take the grams per serving of protein listed and multiply it by 4.  If the result is greater than 50% of the calories per serving listed, it’s a good source of protein.  Again, not all non-fat Greek yogurt brands are the same!

9. Don’t get waylaid by the calories.  A calorie is not a calorie.  Calorie math is a myth.  If you don’t know what I am talking about, read The Calorie Myth.  Jonathan explains it so brilliantly.

10. Remember being SANE focuses on water, protein and fiber.

11. Do not get caught up in the minutiae of vitamin and mineral content.  Follow steps 1 – 9 above and just concentrate on eating as many SANE foods as possible.  Everything else will take care of itself.


Eat Less Crap





*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!
  • Ellen - Carrie, Thanks for the reminder!! Last week I made a smoothie with TJ’s plain coconut milk and noticed a difference – it just wasn’t as sweet – as the smoothie with Silk plain coconut milk. I read the labels and found that SILK contains 6g sugar. You’d think PLAIN means PLAIN :) I can’t believe I didn’t notice this until just now, and I’m irritated that we don’t have a Trader Joe’s here!!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Ellen – labels are our friends! You really do have to be careful and not go by the packaging blurb…because you would think plain means plain!! Great job on making the switch now :-)ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Dang about the Silk coconut milk. I’ve been buying it as a two-pack at Costco. Didn’t think to look at the label.

    Speaking of label reading, I was very frustrated at Whole Foods yesterday when I was trying to find a protein bar for a quick snack before I consumed every single item in the bakery department. I couldn’t find a single bar that had less than 20g of carbs. Even the high protein bars were carb loaded. Heavy sigh.ReplyCancel

While I was on my jaunt down to the middle of California I grew a large quantity of freckles, ate an unconscionable quantity of beef jerky, hardboiled eggs and Romaine lettuce, drove 3494 miles in bare feet, became several shades blonder, spent hours lying upside-down on the streets of Solvang, washed my car!, shot 1053 images, discovered that imposing limitations makes you super creative, drove through an oil field, watched a poppy bud shed it’s casing, and only got stopped by the police once.  Same old, same old.

Now I’m back and I am just tickled pink to see that Spring has already moved in, even though March has just barely got off the starting blocks.  The days are getting longer, there’s teeny-weeny new shoots on my rose bush, tiny buds sprouting on my clematis, the daffys are pushing their way skyward, and yesterday I heard someone mowing.  Mowing, I tell you!!  In March!!  Spring has sprung around here for sure.  HURRAH!

This year is just clipping along at such a pace I can hardly keep up.  My road trip down south that seemed to take forever to get here is now receding rapidly into the fading memories of my mind.  The upcoming trip to New Orleans – for which I am completely unprepared – is hurtling towards me faster than a smoothie in a Vitamix.  And all I wanted to do was talk to you about peas.  I love peas.  I’ll often eat a pound of peas for dinner.  Just peas.  With a dollop of butter and a quick shake of lemon pepper.  Magical.  Not a very balanced meal I admit, but if you’re exhausted and have 2 seconds to eat, go with green veggies.

Pea soup, on the other hand, brings to my mind a couple of things:

1. Fog so thick you cannot see your hand in front of your face.  We call them “pea-soupers” in England, and they were a fairly regular occurence during my childhood.  Driving in pea-soupers was when I learnt that using your high beam lights is not always the best course of action.  When the fog is so thick that it just bounces any light right back at you, using your high beams cuts your visibility to even less.  I always marvelled at how my father drove through pea-soupers.  I swear I did most of my Drivers Ed in the back seat of the family car, watching him drive.

2. Thick, musty green, grainy sludge.

I want to reassure you that this Sautéed Pea Soup bears absolutely no resemblance to 2) above.  It would, however, be a great way to warm up after traversing through 1).  Having just been on a short rendezvous through Fog City – although there was not one single puff of fog the day I was there – it seemed only fitting to share this particular soup.  In fact, it was so clear in San Francisco last weekend I was able to get this shot of Alcatraz while standing on Fishermans Wharf.  I wonder if they served something akin to 2) above while it was being used as a prison?

Carrie Brown  |  Alcatraz

Enough of all this fog talk.  Let’s get back to the peas, people.

This SANE pea soup is something else entirely to the pea soup of my youth.  It is smooth, creamy, and bright.  Not to mention fast, easy and terribly tasty.

Carrie Brown  |  Sauteed Pea Soup

Peas are fabulously full of fiber.  Add to that the cucumbers and spinach and you have a whole bunch of green goodness going on in your bowl.

Make a big batch and freeze it in portions, ready to warm and serve in a hurry; but you don’t have to wait for fog to whip this up – it’s also delicious cold, and would make a delightful SANE supper on a hot summer evening.

GO, peas!


5.0 from 2 reviews
Sautéed Pea Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 lb / 450g frozen peas
  • 1½ tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 lb 11 oz. / 760g English cucumbers, cut roughly into chunks
  • 1 cup / 8 fl oz. unsweetened thin coconut milk
  • 10 oz / 280g onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 oz / 28g butter
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 TBSP heavy cream
  • 1½ tsp dried basil
  • 1½ tsp dried mint
  • 2 oz. / 55g fresh spinach
  1. In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the coconut oil.
  2. Add the frozen peas and saute for 4 minutes on high heat.
  3. Add the salt, chopped cucumbers coconut milk and onion to the pan and simmer until cucumber and onions are tender, about 7 minutes.
  4. In batches, blend the vegetables in a blender. Transfer each batch to a large bowl or saucepan.
  5. To the last batch of vegetables in the blender, add the butter, heavy cream, basil, and mint.
  6. While blending remove the center of the blender lid and carefully shake in the xanthan gum and blend for 10 seconds.
  7. Turn the blender off and add the fresh spinach.
  8. Blend just until the spinach has completely disappeared.
  9. Stir into the rest of the soup and reheat if necessary before serving.

Sauteed Pea Soup




*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!
  • Cowgirl Rae - OH! I’ll try this. But I will be subbing zucchini for the cucumber. Hubs Will. Not. Eat. Cucumber.

    Did you blend with vitamix or kitchen blender?

    We love pea soup (with dried peas), the thicker the better and I add several grated carrots, let it cook in the crock pot all day. Run it thru the osterizer. YUM

    I’ve been experimenting with making coconut milk, Have you tried?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hey Cowgirl, I Vitamixed it. I have not made coconut milk, and I cannot imagine every getting to it. Call me lazy, but the cartons from TJ’s work for me ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Cowgirl Rae - T.J. is over an hour from me, I’ve decided i don’t want the thickeners anymore in the carton stuff. Canned is just too expensive +thickeners + possible BPA from the cans. Sigh.
    I sold my beloved juicer and will be getting a Vitamix soon. woot!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - WOOOHOO on the Vitamix, Cowgirl!!! Your life will be changed :-)ReplyCancel

  • Cowgirl Rae - I hope so…. although it’s a tall order.

    I LOVED the juicer I had. I made almost exclusively green vegetable juices, very little fruit. And it had the ability to turn frozen fruit into the most FANTASITC pure fruit sorbet…. But it now lives 2 houses down and I can borrow it if I want to.

    Planning to order the vitamix mext month.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Ha ha, Cowgirl! Sounds like a perfect arrangement with your juicer!!ReplyCancel

  • Danna - Hi Carrie! I love pea soup too and I love that you’ve added extra veggies to make it even healthier than it’s higher carb counterpart. But my question is: why do you use frozen peas instead of the dried, split peas? And I figured peas would be on the non SANE list because they are similar to corn where they are more a carb than a veggie. Just curious….. :)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Danna – I have never used a dried pea in my life, but I always have peas in the freezer, so that was what I used. And Bailor says peas are good, so peas it is :-) I hope you weren’t expecting some highly technical or complicated answer here!! Having said that, when I get a chance I am going to get a more techy answer for you :-)ReplyCancel

  • Patmick - Absolutely scrumptious!!! I made it this A.M. and drank two cups even though I was full from breakfast. It was just so yummy! Five stars! I will never make dried pea soup again. And such a pretty green oolala


  • Denise - Hi Carrie! I have just recently found this site and have been loving all your recipes! I have one question: when a recipe like this calls for coconut milk, is it OK to substitute almond milk? I tried coconut milk a short time ago and for some strange reason my body said “YUCK!” to it so now I use almond milk.ReplyCancel

  • Kasey - Carrie, I have read many of your recipes and plan to try them all! I do have a question though… Can I make any of your soups and freeze for later use? Like a night I don’t feel like cooking perhaps?ReplyCancel

  • Beth - This was delicious! I omitted the mint and heavy cream(didn’t have it on hand) and subbed 1 T. coconut cream. Loved it!


    • carrie - Beth – so glad you loved it! One of my faves…and so quick and easy.ReplyCancel