Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Meal Ideas: Chicken Soup

It's a balmy 31 degrees F as I type this (about 0 degrees C), and ice is threatening to fall from the sky. My mind keeps wandering back to last Friday when it was almost 80 (about 25). Texas has some weird, weird weather. So it seemed only natural to post a good, EASY chicken soup recipe.

What you need:
*A crockpot
*1 carton of chicken stock (32 oz), or you can make your own.
*1/2 C water
*1 C Boneless, skinless chicken breast (cooked) - chopped into bite-sized pieces. I'll sometimes use the leftovers from a whole roast chicken I've made the day before.
*2 cloves of garlic - chopped or minced.
*2 fresh basil leaves - chopped.
*1 C of fresh or frozen veggies - chopped (I use celery, zucchini, carrots, peas, beans, corn - whatever is in my crisper and about to go bad).
*1/2 C of elbow macaroni or any other pasta that would go well in a soup (if you have gluten issues, you could substitute rice).
*I also throw in a pinch or two of dried parsley.

To Make:
*Combine all ingredients except pasta (or rice) into crockpot. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. I usually add the pasta in the last hour.

Carb Count:
This is a tough one... it really depends on when veggies you throw in there. I've made it with as little as
3.5g of carbs per 1/2 C and much as 10g of carbs per 1/2 C (although that last one I think I used more pasta than I usually do). The way I figure it out is I add up all the carbs in the soup, and after it's done cooking, I weigh it. Say the total weight comes to 1550 g and the total amount of carbs is 90. I then see what a 1/2 C of the soup weighs, say for example it's 110 g. So using my fancy solving for x equation it looks like this:

1550 - 90
110 - X

In this example, 1/2 C of soup has about 6.5g of carbs. If you totally didn't get how I came to that number, read this post.

Why It's a Great Meal:
*Elise will eat it.
*I can make a bunch and re-heat the extras for another meal. I also freeze amounts that I pre-measure in a muffin tin. After it freezes, I pop them out, wrap them in saran wrap, and put them in a freezer bag labelled with what it is, when I made it, and how many carbs are in each serving.

*Lunch for me, too!
*Cheap to make, and it's a great way to get rid of veggies that need to be used.
*It's healthy! You've got vitamins from the veggies, and protein from the chicken. Serve it with some whole grain toast and some yogurt for a good meal.

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