I have to say…I’m ROCKING this sugar detox! It’s been a full 8 days now and I haven’t had one cookie, one bite of brownie, any bread, or even a glass of milk. I’m sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and caffeine-free and I feel really good.
One of the questions I get a lot is “What do you eat all day?” because, really, what is life without carbs??? I eat a nice variety of food, and one of my favorite meals so far is this Chicken and Vegetable Soup. It’s sweet, it’s hearty, it’s filling, and it’s healthy.
You can customize it to your tastes. Leave out the quinoa and it’s Paleo. Add some cream to up the richness. Sub the spinach for some collard greens. That’s the great thing about soup; you can swap out all sorts of stuff and it’ll still turn out great.
Chicken and Vegetable Soup
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- ½ yellow onion, quartered
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2-3 cups leftover shredded or cubed chicken
- ¾ teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly oil with olive oil. Lay the veggies out in one layer and drizzle more olive oil over them. Roast vegetables for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- While the veggies are roasting, bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a large stockpot. Add the chicken, herbs, and salt and pepper.
- Add half the vegetables to the soup, and place the other half in a blender. However, MAKE SURE you add all of the onions quarters into the blender. Puree the vegetables with the 1 cup of water.
- Add the vegetable puree and baby spinach to the soup. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the soup is hot. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
The first time I made this soup, my husband told me I have to make it all the time. Then, I promptly lost the recipe. Awesome.
But a few weeks ago I was cleaning out my disaster zone on my side of our bedroom, and I came across THREE printed copies of the recipe. And then I remembered every time I thought about the soup, I got online and found it again, and then lost it in the abyss. But then I got smart…I pinned it and now it’s got a safe home in my Tried and True Recipes board. And now it will have a permanent home on this blog, so I never lose it again.
Chicken, Shiitake and Wild Rice Soup
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 small onion
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 chopped carrots
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 celery stalks
- 4 skinless chicken thighs
- 5 oz long grain rice & wild rice combo (I used Uncle Ben's)
- 1/2 cup long grain white rice
- 4 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Tbsp light sour cream
- salt and pepper
- Melt butter in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the flour and saute another minute.
- Add chicken broth, water, carrots, garlic, celery, and chicken thighs. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add the wild rice mix along with its seasoning packet, long grain rice and mushrooms and simmer on low, covered 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove chicken from pot and shred with two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the pot. Add sour cream and more water if the soup is too thick for your liking. Adjust salt and pepper to taste if needed and serve.
- (NOTE: The rice will absorb the liquid overnight so if you have leftovers and reheat it, you'll need to add more water or broth.)
I don’t like to get intimate with raw chickens. The act of lifting it by its legs and hoisting it into the roasting pan or crockpot is as good as it gets with me, so that’s why I was happy this recipe turned out so great. I barely had to touch the dang thing. Sure, rubbing it lovingly with herbs and spices inside and out (and under the skin) make for a yummy chicken, but this is just as good without having to get all up on it.
Here’s what you do:
First, buy a 4-5 pound chicken. Using tongs, pull out the bag of grossness from the cavity and dispose of it immediately. Some people will tell you to save it and make gravy or some other concoction. Not me. It’s innards…they are gross.
Second, cut one or two onions into quarters and then spread around the bottom of the crockpot. Then, sit your chicken on top of the onions, breast side up.
Third, in a small bowl combine following: 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp each of salt, thyme and garlic powder. Heck, add some rosemary in there too if you want. Onion powder? Go for it. It’s your chicken.
Fourth, sprinkle the mixture evenly on top of the chicken. Save a little bit to sprinkle inside the chicken. I just use the tongs again to lift it and sprinkle the inside from a safe distance. I don’t stick my hand in there and mush it around, though I’m sure that would make it even better.
Fifth, cook on high for 4 hours.
That’s it. If you can’t make this chicken, there’s no hope for you.
This is the recipe that made me like quinoa. I could take it or leave it before now, but mostly leave it. I liked the “mouthfeel” of it, but there was something weird about the taste of it. But this recipe definitely takes care of that issue.
It’s got a delicate little sweet-and-sour thing going on, which I really liked. It’s light, it’s healthy, and it’s seriously delicious.
Funny story: I made this while my postpartum doula was over helping out. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, so when it was finished and I tasted it, I ran out to the living room where she was hanging with the baby, handed her a spoon and said, “You HAVE to try this!” That’s how good it is, y’all.
I’d like to try it with shrimp next time, but it was great with chicken. It’s perfect for lunch, or leave out the meat and it’s a great side dish.
For the salad:
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
- 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup shelled edamame
- 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce:
- 4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons canned coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 lime juiced, about 2 tablespoons
- Pinch of ground ginger
- Prepare quinoa according to package directions, using chicken broth instead of water.
- While the quinoa is cooking, combine all of the sauce ingredients together and whisk to combine. When the quinoa finishes cooking, scoop it into a large bowl. Stir in the sauce and mix well. Stir in the chicken, carrots, edamame, red pepper, green onions, peanuts and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.
Carter took a bite of his dinner tonight and said it was the “best dinner ever” so I knew it was a keeper.
Safeway had Perdue products for 50% off a few weeks ago so I bought some ground chicken with the intention of making burgers with it. I stuck it in the freezer since I hadn’t yet gotten around to making the burgers. When I was looking for recipes to make this week, I found this one and thought it sounded really good, so I pulled the ground chicken out to defrost this morning.
Everything mixes in one bowl and then you throw it in a loaf pan, so there’s not much cleanup involved, which is always a good thing in my book.
Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf (recipe from What’s Cooking, Love)
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Mix the mixture with your hands. Place into a greased loaf pan and form the chicken mixture into a loaf shape. Top the meatloaf with the marinara sauce.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes or until chicken is cooked. When done remove and remove and add the mozzarella cheese on top. Return the meatloaf to the oven until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and let the meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.