Sunday, January 19, 2014

Chicken Verde Soup with Kale and Avocado for 250 calories

Yes, it's  been awhile. Yes, I self admittedly spent the last few months of 2013 not cooking much at all, and eating a bit too much of things that aren't great for me, and not thinking of each meal at home as a potential blog post, and generally letting myself focus on friends and family and work and relaxing. And it was FAN-FRIGGING-TASTIC. But it's a new year, a clean slate, and I'm refreshed, recharged, and happy to be back in the kitchen.

After the holidays, I think we all find ourselves craving all things fresh and green (or at least know we ought to start slowly reintroducing those food groups to our diet), so this soup is a great way to shovel a bunch of super foods into your mouth while only getting one pot dirty. This is also paleo and keto friendly if you're following one of those religiously after your New Year's resolution kicked in.

You'll need:
  • 1 tbs olive oil 
  • 3 cloves garlic 
  • 1/2 medium onion (yellow preferred) 
  • 1 tbs chopped jalapenos
  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (500 cals)
  • 12 oz salsa verde 
  • juice of one lime 
  • 4 cups of kale 
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika and/or cayenne pepper
  • PLUS 1/2 an avocado for slicing, per bowl/serving

Makes about 6 large bowls
125 calories each without avocado, 250 calories with 1/2 an avocado added

In a large pot for which you have a cover, heat up the olive oil over medium high heat until the pan feels hot when you hover your palm over it. Add in the minced onion and garlic and cook until they begin to soften. Then, add in jalapenos (I used jarred, fresh is OK, too!) and stir for about 10-20 seconds, until fragrant.

Pour in the chicken broth and bring the mix to a boil. When it's at a boil, drop in your chicken breasts, whole and uncooked, and lower the heat down to medium to keep it bubbling but not at a full roiling boil. Cover the pot and cook for about 15 minutes, or until breast is cooked through.

Pull out the breast, and set the chicken aside to cool for a couple of minutes so you can shred it. In the meantime, pour in the salsa verde and lime juice and keep the pot on simmer. Add salt, pepper and seasonings to taste (see suggested amounts in ingredients list, but feel free to tweak to make it as spicy and smokey as you'd like) and let that simmer as we return to the chicken.

Shred the chicken once it is cool enough to do so, and add it in the pot along with the kale. Turn the heat up a bit to medium, and cook for another 10-15 minutes. You should at least get it back to a boil at some point during the final cooking period. The broth should have an even consistency and the kale should be softened.

Serve with a half of a sliced avocado for a serious power food punch. The soup is only 125 calories a serving without the avocado, but the avocado adds some much needed additional texture as well as a boat load of nutrients and good fats to keep you full, all for still around 250 calories, depending on the size of your avocado.

This is a great recipe to make on a Sunday and then bring in for lunch at work all week. It's almost like a salad but, you know, warm and not bleak in the middle of winter. 

1 comment:

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