The north wind is a howling on this cold blustery evening. A foot of fresh snow blows around during yet another January blizzard here in Minnesota. It was the perfect weather to cook up a crock pot of hot soup to enjoy on this cold day. I made a pre-blizzard grocery run to pick up my soup ingredients on Sunday. As I glanced out of my kitchen window to watch the big fluffy snowflakes fall, I chopped up my vegetables and boiled my chicken and sweet potatoes on my stove. I let my mind wander and thought of palm trees blowing in a gentle breeze by a beautiful blue ocean and heard the waves crashing into shore. Reality check, I heard the snow plow drive by and realized that I was back in my warm cozy kitchen preparing soup. A girl can dream can’t she.
I love sweet potatoes so I wanted to include these in my chicken soup. I usually add egg noodles to my chicken vegetable soup but I decided to swap those out in favor of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have enjoyed a superfood status due to their abundant supply of nutrients which include Vitamin B6, folate, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese. They are especially high in beta-carotene which is the pigment responsible for giving them their vibrant orange color. These nutrients in the sweet potato promote good vision, enhance immunity and help boost brain function. The high fiber content also has a very filling effect and increases satiey. The other vegetables in this soup are equally nutritious as well. People who frequently consume healthy soups containing lean protein sources such as chicken breast as an example, low sodium broths and a variety of vegetables tend to be leaner as well as consume more nutrients when the soups are served as a main dish or as a first course to a meal. Plan to serve a green salad and some fresh fruit with your soup and you have yourself a very healthy and easy meal.
I enjoy collecting vintage china, tea pots, antiques and bird houses which add a decorative touch to our home.
1.5 pounds chicken breast or thighs, skinned, cooked and diced
3 large sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
1.5 cups chopped cabbage
1 cup diced red peppers
12 oz bag of frozen stir fry vegetables
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium sliced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic and herb flavored Mrs. Dash
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground sea salt
½ tsp pepper
1 TB olive oil
2 cups water from boiled sweet potatoes
3 cups chicken broth from cooking chicken in or low sodium brand
Remove all of the skin and fat from the chicken breasts or thighs. Boil chicken in water in a large pan on the stove until tender. Drain chicken, reserving 3 cups of broth. Refrigerate the broth and wait for the fat to harden on the top and skim all fat from the reserved broth. Boil the sweet potatoes in water and cook until tender. Peel the sweet potatoes. Reserve 2 cups of this broth for the soup. Add chicken broth, sweet potato broth and chicken to a large crock pot and turn on high setting. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the chopped cabbage, onion, celery, garlic, peppers and mushrooms until tender. Place this mixture along with the bag of frozen stir fry vegetables and all of the seasonings in the crock pot. Cook on the high setting for at least 2 hours until all the vegetables are tender and serve.
Information in this food blog is not intended to to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care professional for medical and nutritional advice.
This makes a large batch of soup so you can enjoy eating this for a few days or freeze the leftover soup and reheat again when you are in the mood for a hearty soup. If you prefer, you can omit the meat and you will have a vegetarian meal. For a vegan meal, use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth in your recipe. Enjoy and stay warm out there!
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. I love to spend time out on the lake canoeing and boating each summer. I prefer to sit by the warm fireplace with a mug of hot cider and look out at the frozen lake watching the snow mobilers and ice fisherman in the winter months.
Green bean casserole is my go to recipe for a quick side dish at meal time. You can easily prepare this at the last minute after work or even prepare this in advance before you go to work and place in your casserole dish. Refrigerate it and bake in the oven or microwave the prepared casserole after you get home from work. It is an easy dish to bring to those potlucks as well. I remember that my aunt used to bring this casserole to our family holiday celebrations.
1 10.5 oz can reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup
1½ cups whole walnuts
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper or Garlic and Herb Seasoning Mix
Saute the sliced fresh mushrooms in the olive oil in a small frying pan. Oil or spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Add the 2 packages of frozen green beans, mushrooms, water chestnuts, Mrs. Dash and reduced sodium cream soup or 1½ cups of the cashew white sauce (see recipe below in my blog) to a large bowl. Stir all the ingredients together and place this mixture in a casserole dish. Top the green bean casserole with the whole walnuts. Bake in a preheated oven uncovered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or microwave in a glass covered casserole dish for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately.
Recipe nutritional information per serving has been calculated using the reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup.
This food blog is not intended to provided medical advice. Contact your personal health care provider for medical and/or nutritional advice.
The original version of this recipe calls for a can of french fried onion rings as a topping but I wanted to change it up a bit so I used whole walnuts as an appealing and healthy alternative to top it off. I also wanted to add some crunch for a different texture so I added some water chestnuts to the recipe.If you would like to make a main dish out of this casserole, add 1 1/2 cups of cooked sliced chicken, turkey breast or angus beef. This casserole is a good source of dietary fiber, copper, magnesium and manganese.
Last but not least, I added some sauteed mushrooms since they are a favorite vegetable at our house. I use a homemade white sauce or reduced sodium version of cream soups when my recipes call for a cream soup of some kind. In order to add some extra flair and flavor when reducing sodium in your recipes you can add other sodium free seasonings such as Mrs. Dash or experiment with garlic powder, cumin, Italian seasoning, turmeric or curry powder in your recipes. If you prefer to use a white sauce in place of the reduced sodium canned soup, refer to your cookbook or google a recipe online. The typical recipe usually calls for milk, flour and butter. If you would prefer a non-dairy vegan white sauce, I found a recipe for five minute cashew sauce at A Pinch of Yum food blog which looks very good. Recipe for Five Minute Cashew Sauce: 2 cups cashews, 1 1/4 cup water or broth, 1-2 cloves garlic 1 tsp salt (use less if desired) Directions: Place cashews in a bowl. Cover with water or broth and soak for about 2 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Place soaked cashews in a food processor or blender with the 1 1/4 cups broth or water, garlic and salt. Puree until very smooth in consistency. Makes approximately 2 cups. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of this to the casserole mixture in place of the canned cream soup.
I did prepare this casserole for one of my family Christmas celebrations as the picture above shows.