Is it Soup Weather Yet?
It’s not exactly soup weather but I had a craving and needed something EASY so threw this together in the morning before it was too hot to be in the kitchen. I make some sort of pasta (read: toddler friendly) dish every week and include lots of veggies and plenty of protein. I often cook the pasta separately (good for buttered leftovers) but you don’t really have to.
Side note: Did you know that 1 serving of pasta has 7 grams of protein (that's about the same as 1 egg)? A serving also has 2 g of dietary fiber and 40 g of carbs. It's ok to eat pasta (unless you have a medical condition like celiac disease in which case, try a gluten free noodle). They are tasty and good for you!
If you are interested in maintaining a healthy weight, start with a serving size of pasta (about the size of a lightbulb). If you are training for a fitness competition, factor your carbs into your macro calculation. If you are diabetic, speak to your doctor about how, when and how much to have daily. The point is, there is usually always room for pasta!
Toss the following into the slow cooker:
4 chicken breasts
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped zucchini (I had some hanging out in the fridge and more veggies is always better in my book so if you’ve got other veggies you'd like to use, chop those puppies up and toss them in)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
72 ounces of liquid (I used a combo of organic low sodium vegetable broth and some homemade vegetable broth)
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 bag of egg noodles (cooked according to package directions)
Set cooker on low for 6-7 hours. Take the chicken breasts out before serving and shred into pieces. Put the chicken back in. Cook the noodles separately. This way you won’t risk them disintegrating in the slow cooker and you can add or subtract noodles to bowls depending on preference. For leftovers the next night, I like to make a plate of noodles tossed with a little butter and use a slotted spoon to spoon chicken and veggies on top. Finish with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. This turns a broth based soup into hearty meal.
You can do this on the stove top too. Saute the celery and onion in a tablespoon of butter for 5 min. Then add the broth, carrots, chicken (you can cook the chicken first for this version), herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil for 20 min then simmer while you cook your egg noodles. Take the chicken out, cut into bite sized pieces and then add back in. Finish by adding the amount of noodles you like and a sprinkle of chopped parsley to each bowl.
I served our soup with a simple baby kale and butter lettuce salad dressed in lemon and extra virgin olive oil (plus a little salt and pepper) and added some roasted walnuts.