Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

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The other day as I was about to head out the door to go grocery shopping, when upon feeling how freezing it was (60 degrees totally counts as freezing to us desert dwellers), I decided that I simply could not go on without a yummy new soup recipe.

So, I did what any modern day housewife would do and I took to Pinterest. All I had to do was type in “healthy soup” and BAM, two seconds later I stumbled upon this little blessing of a recipe. I chose it because it 1. looked tasty, and 2. more importantly, it had a super short and easy ingredient list.

I really wasn’t expecting a whole lot out of this recipe, I just thought it would be something quick to warm me up and make the house smell good. But boy oh boy was I pleasantly surprised. To me, the true sign of a good soup is one that tastes good right off the bat. Soups are one of those few foods where typically, the leftovers are better than the fresh batch because the flavors have longer to sit. So, one little slurp from the pot of this soup and I knew that if it already tasted THAT good, this recipe was gold.

Let me tell you, I didn’t even know! Served up my first “leftover” batch of it today and couldn’t get it down fast enough (although the heat of it forced me to take it easy). I promise you, just stop what you are doing right now and make this soup happen in your life. Dramatic? Of course. But it really is just that good.

I got this recipe from:
http://www.aspicyperspective.com
but I did add a side note at the end about a couple things that I changed up a little bit. Enjoy!!

Ingredients:
10 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoon olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet onion
1 large lemon, zested
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup israeli (pearl) couscous
1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 ounces crumbled feta
1/3 cup chopped chive
Salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Place the olive oil in a large 6-8 quart sauce pot over medium-low heat. Peel the onion. Then quarter it and slice into thin strips. Once the oil is hot, saute the onion and minced garlic for 3-4 minutes to soften.
2. Add the chicken stock, chicken breasts, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper to the pot. Raise the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium, then simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the couscous, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Simmer another 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off.
4. Using tongs, remove the two chicken breasts from the pot. Use a fork and the tongs to shred the chicken. Then place it back in the pot. Stir in the crumbled feta cheese and chopped chive. Taste and salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm. **Upon serving, I added some extra feta, a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice, as well as more crushed red pepper-because my spice love is so real

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

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Mission Get Hot: week two.

Our journey started almost two weeks ago. I am down 4 pounds, 2 inches, and can already see a major change (as in I finally don’t look 5 months pregnant before I go to bed each night). That being said… All I have been wanting is a cheeseburger.

Week one was the easy week. Feeling pumped and excited, I whipped out new recipes left and right and looked forward to working out each day. Going into this week however, I had a temporary crash. Sunday evening, after 10 days straight of workouts and home cooking every single meal, I found myself completely worn out. I did not want to cook. I did not want to meal prep. I did not want to drink another fruit smoothie or even look at another piece of broccoli. I did not want to move a single limb in my body. I just wanted to sit on the couch gorging myself on hamburgers and pizza for the rest of eternity.

That’s where my husband comes in. As I sat there obnoxiously wallowing in my hamburger fantasies, my husband reminded me of all of my success so far. He told me he would make me a healthy meal so that I didn’t have to cook yet another one. He told me my feelings were completely normal and understandable at this point in our journey, but he also told me that I could not let those feelings consume me. In other words, my husband was a saint.

Eventually, after lots of pep talk and hugs, I got past my hour of weakness. I woke up on Monday feeling ready to face another week of hard work, and feeling grateful for the community of support I have on this mission. While I wasn’t proud of my moment of weakness, I can also pat myself on the back knowing that I made it through the first one, when just a few weeks ago I would have caved.

Steel cut oats, berries, grapefruit, eggs, pistachios, broccoli, kale, salmon, and brown rice have taken the place of fast food, cheeseburgers, French fries, pizza, and beer. I have found an array of Pinterest recipes that creatively allow me to sneak in the not so tasty nutrients that my body needs and I have made it a priority to read up on nutrition facts and to become more familiar with the foods that I am putting into my body. With each day of workouts I have found that I am becoming stronger and stronger, and each time I look in the mirror I am becoming happier and more confident.

Just 2 weeks down, and 10 more to go, I am sure I will continue to have moments of weakness. I’m sure my husband will have moments of weakness. But in those moments, we have each other and the vision of our healthy and fit future.

And with that, the journey continues on.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

 

wild Alaskan salmon marinated in Trader Joe's Soyaki sauce, brown rice, green onion, and broccoli

wild Alaskan salmon marinated in Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce, brown rice, green onion, and broccoli

Crustless quiche made with eggs, almond milk, spinach, red bell pepper, onion, and  thin layer of mozzarella cheese.

Crustless quiche made with eggs, almond milk, spinach, red bell pepper, onion, and thin layer of mozzarella cheese.

stovetop popcorn made with organic popcorn kernels and coconut oil

stovetop popcorn made with organic popcorn kernels and coconut oil

Meal prep: broccoli, brown rice with green onions and pepper, ground turkey patties made with organic ground turkey, green onion, spinach, yellow onion, red pepper flakes, and oregano.

Meal prep: broccoli, brown rice with green onions and pepper, ground turkey patties made with organic ground turkey, green onion, spinach, yellow onion, red pepper flakes, and oregano.

blackened organic chicken breast, yellow squash, zucchini, and steamed green beans.

blackened organic chicken breast, yellow squash, zucchini, and steamed green beans.

Chicken tacos made with: corn tortillas, low fat mexican cheese blend, cilantro, onions, organic chicken (seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, chille powder, and cayenne pepper), homemade quacemole, homemade chipotle sauce

Chicken tacos made with: corn tortillas, low fat Mexican cheese blend, cilantro, onions, organic chicken (seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, chilli powder, and cayenne pepper), homemade guacamole, homemade chipotle sauce

grapefruit with a smoothie containing: frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, strawberry greek yogurt, banana, oats, and orange juice.

grapefruit with a smoothie containing: frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, strawberry greek yogurt, banana, oats, and orange juice.

Mission: get hot.

The new year is upon us and this slacker mommy is finally back to blogging. While my blog took a back seat in the farthest row possible during the holiday season, I now welcome it and the new year with open arms.

I have never been a ‘new years resolution’ type of girl. Always taking the pessimistic route, when asked what my resolution was for the year, I would come up with a sassy answer along the lines of ‘to not eat any shellfish’ (I am allergic to shellfish and hate the stuff anyways). I approached the entire thing wrong, thinking that if I set no goal for myself, I couldn’t disappoint myself when I couldn’t accomplish said goal. This year however, inspired by my husband’s incredible ability to achieve his wildest goals, I set myself a goal. To put it at it’s simplest: get healthy, fit, and well… get hot.

I went into pregnancy weighing 107 and wearing a size 0 or 2, but I was by no means healthy. I ate McDonald’s once a week, drank a dr pepper once a day, and couldn’t even tell you what the last fruit I ate was. Since having my son, I have drastically modified my ways, however I still have not been consuming in a way that any nutritionist would approve of. I have lost very little of my birth weight and every poor food choice I make seems to haunt my remaining little baby pooch for weeks to come. Wasting money on poor food choices and fattening alcoholic beverages has led to very minimal baby weight loss, which in turn has led to a very low confidence. In the 19 months since birthing my son, I have done several juice cleanses and diet modifications, however I have not fully committed to any of them. My exercise routine consisted of a few squats and push ups every 3 or 4 days, if at all… And I wondered why I wasn’t losing any of the baby weight? I was living a lifestyle that was simply not sustainable long term for my health or for my bank account. It took talk of New Years resolutions, Instagram creeping some super hot fitness models, and several conversations with my husband and close friends to realize that now is the time for some big change.

In the least overdone and cliche way possible, I mean it when I say that 2015 is our year. My husband and I are committed to not only getting the ‘hot bods’ we’ve always wanted, but we are also committed to living a healthier lifestyle. Knowing that I will be on bed rest for the entire duration of my next pregnancy, I have always said that I cannot get pregnant with baby #2 until I have lost all of my previous baby weight. Getting pregnant before I have achieved that goal would most likely cause me to gain so much weight that I fear I may never be able to come back from it. With that being said, I am not only losing this weight so that I can look good for my husband/myself, and I am not only losing this weight so that I can demonstrate the importance of a healthy lifestyle to my son…but I am also doing this so that I can bring another little human into this world.

After a beautiful holiday season filled with cooking the largest most delicious meals, a Park City vacation in which diet was the least of our concerns, stuffing our faces with chocolates, and having a few too many beers, I can confidently say that I am ready for this change. My body has been begging for this change, and it is about time I listen to it. This year I will prove to myself that I am capable of accomplishing my goals. I will prove to myself that New Years resolutions CAN be fulfilled, and I will prove to everybody else that it is possible to be in better shape after a baby than you ever were before.

To put our plan into action, my husband and I invested in the newest p90x. I was always skeptical of workout videos prior to meeting my husband, however, he has completed the p90x program in the past and was very successful with it (that is, until I got pregnant and he joined me in my endeavors of eating for two!). Two days into the workouts it already became very clear to me that if done right, p90x will be very successful at whipping us into shape… By ‘it became very clear to me’ I mean that I have not been able to walk up the stairs without wincing for 3 days straight. In addition to our 7 day a week workouts, we will: go for long walks in the park on weekends, be drinking the suggested daily amount of water intake, going to bed earlier, drinking no alcohol (with the exception of the occasional glass.. Or 2..of red wine of course), eating no fast food, and we will be sticking to a very strict meal plan that contains primarily fruits, veggies, and protein.

Everybody may be seeing a little less of us. I may not be the ideal person to ask to go grab a burger with and I may not want to drink as much at social gatherings. I may decline an invite because I’ve got to work out, and I might not hang out as late because I’ve got to get my 8 hours of sleep. Call me boring, but I’ve got a bigger goal in mind. A goal that will lead to a healthier me, a more plentiful savings account, a husband who is even more attracted to me than he was when we met, a son who can see me as a healthy role model…and eventually this goal of mine will lead to Baby #2. With the goal on my mind, a positive outlook, a supportive community of friends/family, and a fridge full of meal prepped food containers, I WILL make 2015 my year. Let ‘Mission: get hot’ begin.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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