Chicken soup for the busy soul

I knew on Sunday it was going to be one of those weeks.  You know the type –  the kind that fly by, with a million and one things to do and not enough time to do it in.  By today, my “to-do” list is already full of things yet undone, only to be replaced by other tasks.  If cloning were an option I would seriously consider it.

One of the main tenets of my “healthy philosophy” is that you have to be prepared.  So when I know that my week coming is up is going to be insane – I try to cook up a bunch of easily zappable dishes that I don’t have to worry about cooking during the week.  One of dishes on rotation is vegetable soup.  In fact everytime I make it, D gets very excited.  It is truly delicious – and like all good soups, gets better each day – especially topped with a little parmesan and a good piece of wheat bread on the side.  Nothing like a big bowl of health to start the week of right.  Here’s what I do:

I take 2 big boxes of low sodium chicken broth (or veggie broth depending on my mood).  I use up all the veggies I have on hand, throw some garlic powder, lemon juice and a little almond milk in to make it more “creamy” and salt and pepper and let the veggies simmer for about 40 minutes.  I then puree the whole batch and…  Voila – a delish lunch or dinner!

But last Sunday I wanted to find a way to shake things up a bit, and was just craving chicken soup.  Chicken soup is a perennial favorite of mine, especially when I’m feeling under the weather.  In fact, researchers at the University of Nebraska have found that chicken soup may help reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms. Chicken meat also has antiviral properties.  But beyond it’s scientifically proven effects, it’s just good old fashioned comfort food.  So I was perusing my grocery store for some chicken soup that wasn’t full of sodium – which is surprisingly difficult!  Most of the stuff I found had questionable ingredients and 800 plus mg of sodium per cup!  That’s almost half the amount of sodium you should eat per day.  So I decided rather than taking my chances on the bottled stuff (and potentially swelling up like a balloon in the process!), I was going to make it.  But needless to say, I’m not Julia Child.  I do not have time to roast a chicken, make homemade chicken stock from its bones and decorate the whole things with rosemary sprigs.  So I took the easy way out and here is my recipe!

Chicken Soup for the busy soul:

(adapted from Tracy Anderson 30 Day Method Chicken Protein Soup)

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 chopped onions

4 oz boneless chicken breast, cubed

4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets

1/2 chopped zucchini

1/4 chopped parsley

1 pinch garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Simmer the carrots, celery, and chicken in the stock for 20 minutes.  Add the broccoli and zucchini for another 10 minutes.  Add parsley, garlic powder, and salt.  Eat it up!

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