I'm kind of notorious in my family as being a hot mess in the kitchen. And I'm really not sure why. I've never expressed great joy in cooking but I've also never caught the stove on fire or cooked something totally inedible. I think it's because my younger sister is very into cooking, so I just got pegged as the one who's not. Oh, comparisons are so great.
Since I've started losing weight and trying to get a grip on my eating habits, it's become very clear that I need to start cooking and eating home more often. Before January (when I started "the diet") we would eat out maybe four nights a week or more. Multiple times on the weekend. As I've made an effort to buckle down and cook at home, I've realized that I kind of like cooking. I still have the slightly feminist view that I shouldn't be expected or obligated to cook every night. But if I'm doing it on my own terms, I enjoy it.
When I'm cooking, I rarely follow a recipe to the T. I substitute ingredients that I don't have or like better, I try to sneak in extra vegetables or flax seed to up the nutritional value. So the other day I decided to try the ultimate test and create a recipe from start to finish. I'd throw in some ingredients, taste, throw in a few more, taste, try something else. And what I ended up with was the perfect tasting and nutritionally packed soup!
I entered the recipe into CalorieCount.com in order to find out the nutritional breakdown of the recipe. It earned a "Grade A" for nutritional value. Check out all that protein!
Emily's Chicken and Chickpea Soup
This tastes like homemade chicken noodle soup with less guilt. I've taken out the noodles and added fiber and protein rich garbanzo beans (chickpeas). You won't miss the noodles! This soup is packed with so much chicken and vegetables that it is almost like a stew. I use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store because it saves time and has a great blend of white and dark meats.
Ingredients (makes ten servings):
6 cups chicken stock
1 Chicken bullion cube
1 cup celery
1 cup carrots
1 rotisserie chicken
1 can garbanzo beans
5 oz plain Greek yogurt
juice from 1/2 a lemon
6 cups fresh baby spinach
3 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
1 tsp ground thyme
1. Dice the carrots, celery, onion, and chop the spinach. Mince the garlic cloves.
2. Add the chicken stock and extra bullion cube to a large pot and begin heating at a medium-high heat.
3. Add the vegetables, garlic, and can of garbanzo beans to the broth.
4. While the vegetables are cooking, chop up the chicken. Remove all the skin and fat and separate meat from the bones. Chop or shred the chicken to the size you prefer. Add it to the soup.
5. Add the juice of half a lemon to the soup.
6. Add the yogurt to the soup.
7. Stir well and let the soup simmer for twenty minutes or longer.
It also freezes well, so if you don't have a big family, just freeze half for later. Enjoy!