Italian Style Homemade Chicken Soup (52 New Foods, Around the World Week 10)

Posted by Jennifer Tyler Lee on March 09, 2013 0 Comments
italian homemade chicken soup


The easiest homemade chicken soup ever!


My littlest one was home sick this week. When those rosy red cheeks and tired eyes show up, chicken soup is first on the menu. It used to be that I would reach for a can of chicken soup from the pantry, but we’ve come so far in our 52 New Foods journey that when I grabbed that little red can this week I just couldn’t do a heat and eat. “I need to make it from scratch.” I resolved. My husband, the sweetheart that he is, headed out to the market at the crack of dawn with a simple list – carrots, celery, and an onion. I had some leftover Italian chicken in the fridge from dinner the previous night.

The beautiful thing about this recipe is that it is so darn easy to make and it results in a delicious, wholesome soup full of healthy ingredients. My son asked, “Why does chicken soup help to make me feel better when I am sick?” This question is one I’ve asked myself many times over. “I’m not sure,” I replied, “why do you think it helps?” His little hands wrapped around the bowl, sipping slowly he pondered this question and then responded, “Maybe the vegetables chase the bugs away.” I smiled a big smile and hugged him tight, “You know, I think you may be right. I’m glad that you’re feeling better.”

What we Liked: This easy Italian style homemade chicken soup isn’t just for chasing cold bugs away. It’s the perfect busy weeknight meal. Make our easy Italian chicken and save a few pieces as leftovers. Then use that tasty chicken to make this soup the next day. Serve it up with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich for a quick dinner, or pack it in the kids’ lunchboxes with a few whole grain crackers for crumbling.   

Italian Style Homemade Chicken Soup

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
Crunch a Color points: 10 protein, 10 healthy grains, 10 green or orange

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

Ingredients:

italian homemade chicken soup ingredients


4 cups organic chicken broth
2 cups cooked Italian chicken
2 cups cooked pasta (I like to use rotini)
1 cup water
3 celery stalks
2 carrots
½ onion
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Chop the onion, carrots and celery into ¼” to ½” size pieces.

italian homemade chicken soup step 1


2. Heat a stockpot over medium, then add the olive oil, garlic and onions. Simmer gently until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and simmer 2 to 3 minutes more.

italian homemade chicken soup step 2


3. Add the chicken broth, water and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes.

italian homemade chicken soup step 3


4. While the broth is simmering, chop the chicken into bite size pieces. Add to the pot with the cooked pasta and heat 2 minutes more.

5. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

italian homemade chicken soup


* Do you have a favorite homemade chicken soup recipe? Share your ideas!  

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s new food: Mini Asparagus Frittata aka Savory Muffins

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Rachael Ray's Yum-O!, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

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Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps (52 New Foods, Week 18)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on May 08, 2012 2 Comments

Plan a "build your own dinner" night with healthy chicken lettuce wraps, featuring fresh mint from the garden.

As much as I love my greens, I am certainly not a green thumb! So when it comes to our garden I always pick easy to grow, hearty plants that can tolerate a beginner like me. Mint is one of my best friends in this regard. Early this spring, we planted a small pot of mint and within a few weeks it was brimming over the pot, literally crawling it’s way into our kitchen. We decided to make it a feature in our new food of the week: Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

Feature Recipe: Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps from The Family Dinner

Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

The Family Dinner has become one of my go-to books for easy, family friendly recipes. I can always rely on the fantastic Laurie David to come through with dinner suggestions that my whole family will love. Her recipe for healthy chicken lettuce wraps is no exception. We simplified the recipe a bit to work with what we already had in the pantry. Here’s how we made them:


Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 to 6 servings

 
Ingredients for the chicken filling:

1 lb ground chicken
¼ cup chicken stock
¼ cup chopped mint leaves
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 slice fresh ginger, finely chopped
Juice from 1 lime
2 tsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp Asian fish sauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Ingredients for the wraps:

1 lettuce head
1 cucumber, cut into long thin strips
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
A handful of mint leaves
1 lime, sliced into wedges

Directions:

1)    Heat a wok, then add the vegetable oil, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.

2)    Add chicken stock, then the chicken, breaking it up into small pieces until browned.

3)    Add the fish sauce and mix well. Sauté a few minutes longer.

4)    Transfer the cooked chicken to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients for the chicken filling and mix well.

5)    Serve the fixings in individual bowls and let each person build their own wrap. Include a side of spicy green beans for an extra boost of color.

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: It’s a wrap!

What we liked: It’s flexible and fun! We started out with the Thai version of Laurie’s dish. With a simple tweak of the ingredients, swapping salsa for the fish sauce and including black beans in the mix, we created another version of this easy dish that was perfect for our Mexican fiesta night.  

What is your favorite easy weeknight dish? Do tell!

Next up: Artichokes
Despite their prickly appearance, artichokes were a winner at our table. Next week, we’ll feature an easy recipe that will make artichokes a welcome guest at your family dinner too!

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Pineapple Smoothie.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook and Twitter to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

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How to Make Italian Chicken the Easy Way! (52 New Foods, Week 15)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on April 16, 2012 2 Comments

Need an easy recipe for busy weeknights? Here’s how to make Italian chicken that's deliciously simple and tasty. Less than 15 minutes to fabulous!

There’s no doubt that Chicken Parmesan will please most crowds, including the crowd at my house. But it’s a bear to make on weeknights and a healthier version without the breadcrumbs and cheese would certainly be a welcome addition to our stable of recipes. Here’s how to make Italian chicken that’s so simple, easy, and tasty it is sure to become a regular on your weeknight menu!

Feature Recipe: Easy Italian Chicken from The Family Chef

how to make Italian chicken

My kids love roast chicken (and Chicken Parmesan, of course!) but tend to be hesitant to try chicken any other way. Same goes for lots of other foods. So at our house, I award bonus points for trying a food my kids already like, prepared in a new way. This keeps me out of the recipe rut and makes it fun for my kids to try familiar foods prepared in an unfamiliar way. When Amy The Family Chef showed me how to make Italian chicken, I jumped at the chance to give it a try. Not only is it a new twist on an old favorite, it is a simple recipe my kids can make in less time than it takes to order a pizza! 

How to Make Italian Chicken (the Easy Way!)

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min

Ingredients:
1 lb organic boneless chicken breast
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup white wine
2 Tbsp butter

Directions:

1)    Wash and trim the chicken. Cut the breasts in half lengthwise to create thin slices. Dry completely.

2)    In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, thyme and salt.

3)    Sprinkle about ½ of the seasoning mixture onto the chicken (leave the remaining half for when you turn the chicken in the pan).

4)    Heat a pan to medium high heat. Once heated, add olive oil, then the chicken, seasoning side down. Do not move the chicken in the pan.

5)    Add the remaining seasoning mix to the chicken.

6)    Once the chicken is browned and turning white on the sides, flip and cook the other side. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes or until the chicken is firm when you press it, and nicely browned.

7)    Remove the chicken and set aside.

8)    Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup of white wine. Be sure to scrape up all of the tasty bits.

9)    Add mushrooms to the wine mixture; simmer lightly for about 3 minutes.

10)  Add butter to the sauce. Mix to melt completely.

Serve the chicken with a side of fettuccine and garden fresh broccoli. Drizzle the mushroom sauce over the chicken and pasta. Enjoy!

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Fast and fabulous!

What we liked: This delicious recipe can be made start to finish in less than 15 minutes. A weeknight winner! Pair it with my easy, homemade tomato sauce and a dash of Parmesan cheese, and you’ve got a healthier (and easier) version of Chicken Parmesan. My favorite tip from Amy: “Put the chicken in the pan and step away from the stove! Let the pan do the work.” Brilliant! Gives me enough time to clean the dishes before serving up a fast and fabulous supper.

What is your favorite weeknight recipe? Dish it up!

Next up: Healthy Caesar Salad

Our Italian dinner party wouldn’t be complete without Caesar salad! Tune in next week when we toss up a fantastic recipe for Healthy Caesar Salad.

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Easy, homemade tomato sauce.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook and Twitter to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

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52 New Foods: Week 7, One-Pot Asian Chicken with Bok Choy

Posted by Jennifer Lee on February 18, 2012 1 Comment

One and you’re done! This tasty, easy one-pot Asian chicken recipe is a favorite anytime dish for my family. Healthy eating made easy.

I love designer dinners, but I hate making them. Like most parents, I am too busy between piano, soccer and homework to spend hours in the kitchen primping and prepping a pretty meal. My solution: choose tasty, healthy recipes that use five ingredients or less and can be easily prepared by a five year old. Bonus if it’s a one-pot meal! Holding recipes to that high bar means they make shopping and cooking a breeze for me, which translates into more time to spend with my family.

Feature Recipe: One-Pot Asian Chicken from A Family That Eats Together

One-pot Asian ChickenOne-pot recipes intrigue me. The simplicity makes me feel less stressed around dinnertime. One-pot dinners allow me to easily whip up a healthy meal and focus on quality time with my kids. Clay pot chicken is one of my favorite meals in this category. The smell and taste of this simple meal brings back fond memories of enjoying this healthy dish with friends and family when my daughter was first born. As a new mom, I relied heavily on one-pot dinners! But I had parallel plan in mind this time. Clay pot chicken features a staple vegetable of Asian cooking: Bok Choy. Its simple flavor would seem to be a welcome addition to my picky eaters plate, but for some reason she just wouldn’t try it. Maybe the crunchy, caramel sweetness of one-pot Asian chicken would sway her?

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Bring on the bonus points! 

What we liked: Though this recipe involved more than five ingredients (it calls for closer to 10), the simplicity of making this dish in one-pot won me over. I simplified it further by using pre-minced garlic and ginger (a time-saving trick that eliminates one chopping step) and substituted grape seed oil for the peanut oil. The combination of healthy ingredients in this recipe make for a deliciously chewy dish that had my kids asking for seconds -- bok choy included!

Next up: Chinese Broccoli (aka Gai Lan)

Chinese broccoliThis month I had the pleasure of dining with the reigning champion of Beef Noodle Soup. Flown in from Taiwan to share his secrets, Chef Hou captured the appetites of noodle soup lovers ranging from amateur chefs to the honorable Narsai David of food-critic fame. Next week I’ll share my twist on this delicious soup that’s sure to warm your soul and win you bonus points for trying a new food: Chinese Broccoli!

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Slow cooker curry.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, FoodCorps, and Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor and #52NewFoods to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

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Healthy Eating: Week 6, Curry (#52NewFoods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on February 11, 2012 5 Comments

Slow Cooker Curry The Family Dinner 2Winter days call for cozy meals. Load up the healthy ingredients, relax and get ready to enjoy a wholesome, easy dinner that will have your whole family eating healthy -- Slow Cooker Curry from The Family Dinner.

The kids are comfortably settled in school, the holiday rush is over, but life continues to feel frantic. Imagine yourself stumbling into the front door after a long day, groceries and book bags overflowing from your arms. What could me more satisfying than to be greeted by the wonderful aroma of a healthy meal calling, “Dinner’s ready!”? Thank goodness for the slow cooker! My new best friend – he stays home all day, carefully simmering and flavoring our dinner so we can come home to a relaxed meal together as a family. That’s the kind of easy, healthy eating I need.

Feature Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Curry from The Family Dinner

The Family Dinner is a fantastic source of easy dinner ideas that will get your whole family eating healthy. Adorned with beautiful pictures of delicious and easy recipes, it was hard to pick just one to try! Then I spotted it: Slow cooker curry. Paired with freshly prepared Naan and a side of spicy green beans, chicken curry ranks in the top 10 of my favorite winter dishes. Sadly, it’s been a solitary dish, as my two kids tend to shy away. Could The Family Dinner provide the answer to my food dilemma: How to cook a curry my whole family would love?

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Delish! (Mom’s side note: jaw dropping)

Slow Cooker Curry The Family Dinner 3What we liked: I really couldn’t believe that my picky eater liked this dish. When she bravely tried a “taster”, then asked for a serving, and bellied up to the bar for seconds I knew I had a winner on my hands. The flavor in this dish is mild, making it easy for my kids to love. As for ease, this recipe knocks it out of the ballpark. Prep was under 15 minutes and I came home to a delicious healthy feast my whole family loved. I’m adding this family-friendly recipe to my list of favorites and making a special place on my shelf for this fantastic cookbook.

Next up: Bok Choy

Bok ChoyWhen I arrived home from the hospital as a naïve new mom, my very good friends showered me with meals. It was exactly what I needed, and I continue to pass it forward. Each time I visit a new mom, I bring a helping hand and a hot meal! The most memorable of all those wonderful meals was clay-pot chicken. I hope you’ll tune in next week when we make A Family That Eats Together’s Easy Claypot Chicken. Will it get my kids to try Bok Choy? We'll see! 

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Sunbutter bites.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, FoodCorps, and Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor and #52NewFoods to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

 

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