Soups are an amazing way to get a ton of veggies in, without having to add any dairy, grains, or even meat (if you are avoiding that too) to your meal. And they can be delicious and filling as well. All of my soups basically start off with the same key ingredients and then I just play around from there to find different combinations (think pot roast potato and veggie soup, Indian spiced soup, and this chicken enchilada soup). So please! Feel free to adjust the ingredients and add others as you like! The ingredients I have placed a ‘*’ next to are the ones that I would recommend as your base if you do choose to play around!
Chicken Enchilada Soup
Makes 5 good size bowls of soup (feeds 2 more than comfortably, and 4 if you add a side dish), and takes about 1 hour-1 hour and 15 minutes to fully prepare (most of this is letting the finished soup simmer)
- 1-2 chicken breasts
- *1-2 T coconut oil
- *3 cloves of garlic
- *1 onion (any kind white, yellow or red will do)
- *various spices: in this case- cumin, coriander, sea salt/pepper, oregano, chile powder
- *3 cups chopped tomatoes (I like to mix it up with some roma, and some heirloom, but there are no wrong answers here!)*
- 1 bell pepper (any color)
- 1 jalapeno, de-seeded
- 2 T chipotle paste with adobo (might take you a moment to find in your grocery store, but it’s there)
- *2.5 cups low sodium chicken or veggie broth
- *6 oz can tomato paste
- *2-3 large handfuls of greens (chopped spinach, kale, etc.)
Get two pots on the burner (one large enough to hold the 5+ bowls of soup — this one needs to have a lid — and a smaller one that will hold the chicken breasts to boil). Start boiling water on high heat in the smaller pot and add the whole chicken breast/s once boiling (you will want this to boil about 15-17 minutes which should be how long it takes you to chop everything else up).
Place the 1-2 T of oil (coconut) into the big pot, and turn the heat to medium high. Peel and chop the garlic up into small chunks (does not have to be minced super tiny), and do the same with the onion. Dump the garlic and onion into the now melted coconut oil and stir around. Add spices as you like, at least a teaspoon of each! Keep stirring mixture. Let the garlic/onions/spices cook (while stirring occasionally) while you chop up all the tomatoes into bite size chunks of various sizes and dump those in too. Let this all cook while you chop up the bell pepper and jalapeno into bite size chunks and add those in.
Add the chipotle paste with adobo, stir. Add the chicken or veggie broth, stir. Add the tomato paste, stir. At this point, I would add a bit more spice as well, again a teaspoon or so of each.
The chicken should be about boiled by now (after 15 minutes for one, 17 for two), so take this out and chop into bite size pieces (use a fork and knife as chicken will be hot!), and add the chicken to the soup. Add the 2-3 handfuls of chopped greens (I promise you won’t taste them and it is a great way to get these suckers in your diet). Stir everything altogether once more.
Turn the heat to high and once the soup is starting to boil, put the lid on and turn it down to low (1-2 if numbered). Set your timer for about 45 minutes to allow chicken to cook a bit more if needed and the rest of the flavors to all meld together and intensify!
And remember, we all have different constraints. Do the best you can with what you have and what you know. If you do that, you will continue to grow!
Cinnamon Apple Sauté
This recipe could be used as a pie filling, a side dish, a pancake topping or my favorite idea: as a healthy desert! With NO added sugar or oil, this recipe is clean, paleo, vegan, etc. And seriously yummy and simple! (BTW, whole wheat pie crust and whole wheat pancake recipes coming soon too!) You can also sub in pears if you’d prefer!
- 4 Grannysmith Apples
- 1/2 Lemon
- 2 Tsp- 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 Tsp- 1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
Peel the apples, quarter and slice them into thin pieces (1/4 inch thick or so). Throw these into a pan just the right size for the number of apples that you are going to be using (not too big of a pan to where they will get burnt).
Next squeeze the lemon juice all over the apples and toss apples with your hands. Add the Spices (as well as others if you desire, like cloves, ginger, allspice, etc), and toss apples again.
Set pan on burner on medium-high heat, after a minute or so stir the apples (lifting them up from the bottom making sure none of them get stuck to the pan or burnt). They will only take 5-10 minutes to cook, stirring every 30-40 seconds. After 5 minutes, you can taste one and see if it is as soft as you’d like as this is a matter of preference. For softer, go longer… otherwise plate up! And feel good about the desert you’ve just made because it is absolutely healthy!
And remember! We all have different constraints. Do the best you can with what you have and what you know, and if you do that you will continue to grow!
This is a smoothie I drink almost daily, as a power/energy boost and generally as a meal replacement. I don’t normally calculate calories, etc. (instead I focus on eating only fresh whole ingredients and minding my portions when it comes to high calorie/fat items), however I have the calculations below the recipe. The nutrients and healthy ingredients are more than worth their weight in this smoothie, because they help with digestion and elimination of toxins as well as to increase energy and stave off hunger. This is primarily due to the chia seeds and the filling and fibrous half banana. This smoothie would be considered vegan, paleo, and clean.
- 1/2 of 1 Frozen Banana
- 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree (canned with pumpkin as the only ingredient, or fresh roasted at home and frozen into ice cubes, this would be around 4 regular sized cubes…can also substitute 2 tbsp nut butter if you prefer)
- 2-3 Ice Cubes (unnecessary if using pumpkin cubes as stated above)
- 1 Cup Almond Milk
- Seasonings to Taste (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice are all great additions .. I use 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of ginger, and a pinch of nutmeg myself)
- 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds (if new to these, I would start with 1/2 tbsp and increase with each smoothie)
- (optional but recommended) Add-Ins as Desired (I personally use maca powder most of the time and always top my smoothie with some bee pollen, there are a lot of other possible add ins out there. With maca and bee pollen, as with other add-ins, start with a small amount [1/2 tsp or even less] and increase slowly up to 2 tbsp or so)
First, combine frozen and liquid elements (here it is the banana, pumpkin or nut butter, ice cubes if needed, and almond milk) and blend fully. Then add chia seeds and any other spices or add ins, and blend once more. Top with bee pollen if desired.
This is around 220 calories (depending on the type of almond milk used), 11 grams of sugar, 5 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein and 30 grams of carbs. So, yes, I suppose high carb. But again, this is a meal replacement and aids in digestion, energy, and staving off hunger for a good period of time.
Some extra smoothie tips
- For the frozen banana, there is no right or wrong way persay. I used to buy bananas and if I wasn’t able to use them before they were starting to brown on my counter, I would just toss them in the freezer and then cut off the skin and cut into chunks when needed. But I have found that buying 7+ bananas at once and peeling and chopping them all up and placing each 1/2 banana into its own ziplock bag works wonders.
- I do roast the pumpkin myself and then freeze the homemade puree into ice cubes and then toss 4 cubes into each of the ziplock bags with the banana. These two steps make these daily smoothies a breeze. Just dump out the baggie into the blender, add almond milk and blend. Then add seasoning, and additional add-ins, blend again and I’m done.
- Yogurt can also be frozen into cubes and added to the pre-made smoothie packs.
- Greens are great to add to smoothies and if you add in just a handful, the taste should not even be noticeable (a handful of spinach for example).
- Berries are also a wonderful fruit to add in if in season, instead of the Pumpkin or Nut butter (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries… all lower in sugar than many fruits and so high in nutrients).
- I recommend the use of all organic ingredients.
With all the tips I have mentioned, though, I realize we all have different constraints (be them time related, physical, financial, etc). On this journey to health each of us needs to do the best we can with what we have and what we know. As long as we are doing that, we will continue to grow!