Warm Chicken Soup

April showers bring May flo... wait no, bring cold and damp, gloomy days.  The good news is this chicken vegetable soup will not only warm up your soul, it will also help you recover and prepare for your next workout.  With plenty of vegetables and protein, this easy classic soup will keep you feeling good until the sun starts shining again.

What You'll Need

  • 2 QT Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Package Celery Stalks (I use the whole thing. You might want to use less)
  • 1 Bag Chopped Carrots (easier option than peeling)
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1 Chopped Sweet Potato (Optional and Yummy)
  • Garlic (as many cloves as you wish, I usually go overboard with 4 or 5)
  • Optional spices: pepper, mixed herb and garlic, oregano, Italian seasoning, lemon

How to:

  1. Turn oven on 375 bake
  2. Prepare chicken for oven: place in a baking dish with extra virgin olive oil, sliced garlic (they have already peeled garlic at Trader Joe's), sliced onion and Italian herbs
  3. Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes
  4. While chicken bakes... Slice up all of your vegetables 
  5. Start your crock pot or sauce pan on stove (either one works) and add a touch of olive oil
  6. Add vegetables to pot (if on stove, let veggies simmer for a couple of minutes before adding stock, if using crock pot adding stock right away is ok)
  7. Add stock, cover and let it come to a boil
  8. Chicken done cooking? Take out of oven, slice up and add to your pot 
  9. Let ingredients brew together on simmer for 45 minutes or in crock pot on high for 4 hours
  10. Scoop out a warm bowl and eat with some yummy gluten free noodles or my favorite Glutino Crackers  

Pack extras for lunch all week or add alternatives like quinoa or a sandwich to mix it up for additional week night mealsI don't know about you, but for me, chicken soup is like a big hug! My Auntie Barbara used to always have a fresh bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup and fresh bread baking when we would come over.  Mmmm, I can still smell it!  Auntie Barbara always made you feel at home.  She welcomed everyone in with open arms and made sure each of us was well fed; offering you endless options of freshly baked items she had put together.  No matter how cold or empty you felt entering her home, you always left feeling full and warm.  That's what I think of when I am putting this simple and easy chicken veggie soup together; her, the love and home.  And, that keeps me warm... at least until the sun returns.

 

Green Breakfast Smoothie

Green Breakfast Smoothie

Add this quick and easy emerald green breakfast smoothie to your morning routine.  Not only with this smoothie add a bit of luck to your health each day, but it can also be used for the morning post St. Patrick's Day celebrating. This is by far my favorite breakfast smoothie.  It is easy to make, energizing, delicious and leaves me satisfied until my mid-morning snack.  

What You'll Need

  • 1 Scoop Chia Seeds
  • 1 Scoop Hemp Seeds
  • 1 Handful Almonds (replace with a scoop of almond butter for a more filling smoothie)
  • 1 Handful Spinach
  • 1 Scoop Coconut Oil (optional)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 Scoop VegaOne (All-in-One Plant Protein can be found at Whole Foods)
  • Smoothie Mixer (I use the Cuisinart Compact, but anything relative to that will work)

How to:

  1. Start with your banana, then add your almond milk. VegaOne, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Almonds and Spinach.  
  2. Give it a quick mix on high.  
  3. Then add one scoop of your coconut oil. Mix again on high for about 30 seconds.
  4. Place in the fridge for a thicker shake in the morning or have immediately after mixing. 

What are all those ingredients good for anyway?  Here is a quick rundown of all the benefits this green monster will give you each morning.

  • Chia Seeds are high in protein, fiber and antioxidants
  • Hemp Seeds provide an excellent source of fatty acids (think Omegas) and digestible protein
  • Almonds are the lucky charms of heart health and protein
  • Spinach is an anti-inflammatory (yes, please!), anti-cancer, antioxidant, high in vitamin k, calcium and magnesium (good for the bones)
  • Coconut Oil improves blood cholesterol levels and may lower your risk of heart disease
  • Bananas are high in potassium (good for cardiovascular health), energy, high in vitamins and fiber

Whether you're starting the day off with this protein-packed green cup of gold or saving it for your afternoon pick me up, it will have you dancing the Irish jig all the way to the end of the rainbow.