Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chicken Veggie Soup

 I have so much on my agenda this week ahead that I am really looking forward to!  Tomorrow evening, I begin rehearsing with my town community choir to perform Handel's Messiah!  This is a huge event put on every other year, and I am very excited to be part of it for the second time!  And later in the week, I get to babysit a totally adorable little girl who, along with her parents, has crawled right up in my heart!  All of this must include a very busy work schedule Tuesday, and Wednesday; a couple of trips to the gym, and some general house hold chores!

In order for me to really be able to enjoy all of the activities on my schedule, I have to take care of me, and plan ahead!  I have been feeling very domestic recently, and enjoying my time in the kitchen, and working on some crochet projects.  I went each Wednesday evening through the month of October to a wonderful lecture series on Abraham Lincoln; and I am taking an all day photography class this next Saturday!  I am also strongly feeling the need to nurture the people in my life.  I have been feeling so very safe and cozy in my heart, and I want to share that with my loved ones.  I can truly thank my most wonderful boyfriend for nurturing that feeling in me!  Consequently, cooking has not just been a necessity, it is once again a pleasure.

I like the healthy way that I feel when I eat healthy food, and that helps me to work on getting these last ten pounds off my tummy and thighs! LOL!!  I am also cheap, so I like to make foods that use inexpensive ingredients, go far, and nourish well!  I am really trying to make an effort to watch the amount of salt that I eat.  I don't add much salt to anything when I cook, but my blood pressure has been a little high lately, and there doesn't seem to be many medical reasons for it!  My cholesterol levels are, according to my doctor, impressive, as was my entire lab work up!  But I do have a tendency to really be fond of crunchy salty foods.  Consequently, I am trying to be extra super careful about where I might be consuming extra salt, so I can make some modifications.  The recipe that I made today has no added salt, though a couple of ingredients are low salt.

Today, I am making good use of my crock pot again ... in a wonderfully simple dish! It is just so pretty, and it is starting to smell so good! I wish I could publish the way it smells for you!  But since I cannot, you are going to have to make some for yourself, and try it out!

I have a family size crock pot, as I used to have 5 mouths to feed ... now there are just 2 of us, and I still use that huge thing! But with it, I can cook once or twice a week, and eat wonderful leftovers!  Its a great time and money saver in my wonderfully busy life!  I work only one mile from my home, so most often I come home for lunch, and to be able to heat up a bowl of something yummy really gives me something to look forward to!

This recipe is so easy, you can have your kids help make it!  I put a whole chicken in a big stock pot, poured in 2 cans of low salt chicken broth (cause that is what was in the cupboard!), and added a little more water until it was just covered.  I put that to boil on the stove while I went to work filling the crock pot with veggies!

Half a head of cabbage
8 small potatoes (I used red, but you can use whatever you have)
3 small onions (you could use scallions too!)
4 large carrots
4 stalks of celery
Half each of a red, yellow and green bell pepper (you could use different amounts and colors, this is just something that was left in the fridge after making another dish!)
2 Roma tomatoes
1 whole bulb of garlic, pealed, and minced

Everything is cleaned, and chopped into bite size pieces, and put in the crock. I lifted the chicken out of the broth, and set it aside to cool, and dumped the broth into the crock over the veggies.  I also added a can of Progresso Hearty Tomato Soup, also because it was in the cupboard, and looked like a great ingredient!

When it was cool enough to handle, I boned the chicken, and added the meat to the crock, stir gently .... I have to because the crock is so full it will make a huge mess if I am not gentle!

This will simmer all afternoon, and I will have it for dinner with perhaps a dollop of plain non-fat Greek yogurt (I prefer it over sour cream anymore! It is lower in calories, and higher in protein!), and some fresh french bread from the bakery at my local market! YES! I shop at a small town, local market!  I also shop at a couple of locally placed mega chain stores too.  Each as it's own necessity, and specialty!

I feel pretty confident that much like the Borscht I made last weekend, I will be eating this Chicken Veggie Soup for lunch and dinner all week! YUM!  It's easy.  It's inexpensive.  It's delicious.  It's good for my body.  It is a wonderful way to enjoy my fall dinners with beautiful food, and relax!

Now I have time to make sure my scrubs are all clean a put away for the week ahead, and plan out some fun crochet projects ... which I will share with you soon!

Much Nurturing Love to you!
Live WELL!