Tasty Tuesday: Chicken & Spinach Soup w/ Fresh Pesto

Introducing my recent addition to my blog called "Tasty Tuesday" which will feature healthy and tasty recipes that are hopefully easy to make and appealing to the taste buds. Anyone who knows me is well aware that my skills in the kitchen are very limited. I do not like cooking, I only do it, because I have to eat to live; however, since I have been eating healthy and preparing for a figure competition next year, I have learned to like (not love) cooking.

Since I am off every Monday, I selected that day as my grocery shopping and cooking day. I usually spend a few hours cooking up a few side dishes and meats that I can freeze or refrigerate to last me throughout the week for lunch and dinner. This prevents me from making excuses for not eating healthy and just grabbing something quick from a restaurant or store. When your meals are pre-cooked, time no longer becomes an excuse for not eating healthy.

Anyway, there are tons of awesome websites where viewers can share their recipes with other readers and health nuts. I promise you all that any recipe I post, I will attempt to cook it and let you know my honest opinion of it. I have yet to try today's recipe but I can definitely tell you it is up on my list.

Today's Tasty Tuesday recipe was found at Eating Well. With the weather being quite chilly, I decided to go with a soup recipe which stands alone as a meal, or is a great appetizer/side dish. Additionally, I really like the flavor of pesto. Check out today's tasty:

Chicken and Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto

Serves: 5 (1 1/2 cups each)
Time: 30 minutes

2 tsp + 1 Tbs - EVOO, divided
1/2 cup - red bell pepper, diced
1 large - boneless, skinless chicken, quartered
1 large - garlic clove
5 cups - reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp - dried marjoram
6 ounces - baby spinach (fresh or bagged), chopped
1, 15-oz can - cannelloni beans or northern beans, rinsed
1/4 cup - Parmesan cheese (grated)
1/3 cup - fresh basil leaves
Fresh ground pepper
  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and chicken; cook, turning the chicken and stirring frequently, until the chicken begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in broth and marjoram; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  2. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a clean cutting board to cool. Add spinach and beans to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
  3. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, Parmesan and basil in a food processor. Process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water and scraping down the sides as necessary.
  4. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Stir the chicken and pesto into the pot. Season with pepper. Heat until hot.

*** I am super excited to try this recipe. It is sure to be tasty and of course I will post pictures, and my husband's reaction! This soup is just over 200 calories and about 8 grams of fat, and includes a great balance of carbs and protein, so it can definitely stand alone as a meal.

Post pics and comments if you try the recipe yourself. Wish me luck... off to the kitchen I go :)

In Health,
~ Q. Olivia

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