Monday, January 13, 2014

Chicken Soup: Low on Calories and Full of Flavor

Chicken soup is my go-to meal on days when I realize that my earlier choices were crap and that I'm staring a major overage in the face.  The secret behind chicken soup is the broth which can be extremely flavorful and filling, but has little to no calories (depending on the kind you purchase).  The recipe is also super versatile and can include almost any vegetable you have in the house, noodles or rice, and may or may not even include chicken - depending on your preference.

So staring a major overage (and a  belly ache) in the face, here's what I made last night
Not the soup I made, but looks identical
soup photo courtesy of Brandi Jordan

Homemade Chicken Soup
1/2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp salt, divided
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 chicken breast, cleaned

Melt butter in a stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and celery to pot, sprinkling in 1/2 Tbsp salt.  Cook until onions and celery are soft (approximately 5 minutes), stirring occasionally.  Add carrots, broth, onion powder, remaining salt, and garlic.  Next, add chicken (which can be whole or in bite sized pieces).  Boil the soup for 30 minutes and check the chicken to see if it easily breaks apart or pieces easily flake off (this means it's ready to shred).

In another pot, start your noodles or rice if you want either.  While this pot is cooking, if you used the whole chicken in the soup, take it out on a plate and use two forks to shred the breast.  After the chicken is shredded, add it back into the soup.  When the noodles or rice is complete, measure out your desired calorie amount and place it in the bottom of your bowl, then, use the ladle as your measuring agent for soup and add as many as you desire.  In the end, you can determine the amount of ladle-fulls possible in the soup and then divide the total calories by the number of ladles to determine the calories per label.

If you need help on how to shred chicken, here's a tutorial:

Here's how we broke down our calories last night.

Noodles: 180 calories for 1.5 cups noodles (which is a LOT of noodles - I only needed 3/4 cup to get a good soup/noodle balance)

Soup: Total calories in soup = 384.  Divided by number of ladle-fulls (10) = 38.4 calories each.

To get a filling serving, I used 3/4 cup noodles with 3 ladles of soup = 205.2 calories for a serving of soup!!

Obviously, if you used less butter or just cooking spray, you could cut out a significant portion of the calories, or if you used less chicken or no chicken.  But for hardly any money and only a tiny hit on my daily calories, I made a filling dinner for three!!  Next time you know you need to eat, but don't want to eat something heavy or fatty - try this simple and convenient dinner!

What's your low-calorie go-to?


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Anonymous said...

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