This is your year. This is the year you are going to live better, feel better, get more sleep, and be kind to your waistline. This is the year of no regrets you’ve been waiting for! I happen to adore setting goals, and smashing them. This year I am setting out to shed a few of my “Hey, I-work-in-delicious-food-for-my-job pounds,” so I am after light, low-carb, nourishing, warm foods for these chilly winter nights.
Soup is a great way to stretch your budget and feed a crowd. Light food doesn’t have to be relegated to cold salads and raw veggies. What if I told you my skinny French onion soup, my warm and comforting chicken sausage stew, or creamy green curry goodness is just as satisfying as their calorie-laden counterparts? How, you say? Simple — we’ve swapped out chunks of bread in the French onion for Parmesan cheese crisps, and pork sausage for chicken sausage in the stew. These simple swaps are more heart-healthy and big on flavor!
I sourced all the ingredients from Metropolitan Market. This grocer has some of the loveliest selections of produce in the Northwest. After I chose just the right vegetables, I headed over to the meat department for homemade chicken and tarragon sausages, and chicken kebabs ready for the grill. Talk about easy! I loved picking up delicious elements for dinner, and I saved loads of time. Let these recipes fill your belly and help shrink your waistline.
Thai Green Curry Soup with Grilled Chicken Skewers
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1½ tablespoons green curry paste
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1 zucchini
- ½ cup water-packed bamboo shoots
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 14-ounce can of coconut milk
- 4 cups chicken stock
1. In large heavy-bottom saucepan, sauté onions in oil with the curry paste. Once the onions are soft, add the rest of the thinly sliced veggies, bamboo shoots, and spinach as well as the coconut milk and stock. Simmer everything for about 10 minutes; you want the veggies to still have some bite.
2. If you want to skip the grilled portion of this recipe, slice the chicken into 1-inch cubes and sauté with the onions. This skips a step, and tastes just as wonderful.
3. If you want to grill your chicken, take the breast and slice each one into three strips; place two strips on your grilling skewers. Rub each skewer with oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and any herbs you love. Place on a hot grill about 350 degrees or grill pan, then cook about 10 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked in the center.
Tip: Season chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper, and garnish soup with cilantro, lime wedges, pomegranate seeds, and toasted cashews.
Chicken Sausage Sweet Potato Stew
- 1-pound package mild chicken sausage, out of the casing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 white-flesh sweet potatoes, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 bunch dinosaur kale, diced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
- Lemon wedges and parsley for garnish
1. In a large soup pot, brown the sausage in olive oil over medium-high heat.
2. Once the meat is cooked, add the fresh veggies (not the canned tomatoes) and seasonings. Cook for about 3 or 4 minutes.
3. Add garlic, then the tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/low for 1 hour or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
4. Top with shredded Parmesan or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for brightness.
Skinny French Onion Soup
- 8 medium Spanish or sweet yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
- 2 cups white wine
- ½ cup tawny port
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 8 cups unsalted beef stock
- 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
- 4 stems fresh lemon thyme (you can also use regular thyme)
1. In a large stockpot, melt butter and olive oil together. Add onions and caramelize over medium heat, about 15 minutes. When onions have started to turn golden, add garlic. Stir for only 1 minute.
2. Add all of the wine to deglaze the pan, and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes to soften the flavor of the alcohol. Add salt and pepper. Slowly add the beef stock.
3. Reduce heat to medium/low, add thyme, and simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring often — 2 hours is perfect!
Parmesan crisps: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make 6 to 8 even piles of cheese on the parchment paper. Place in your hot oven to melt and crisp up for about 7 to 9 minutes. These crisps get their signature crunch once they cool. Place one crisp on top of each bowl of French onion soup.