italian chicken sausage & vegetable soup

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup | anutritionisteats.com

Back when we lived in Minnesota, soups were a regular lunch rotation while I suffered through winters.

Now that winter = 60 degrees, I find myself forgetting to make soups and stews, always waiting until it “cools down just a bit more.” Well, no more. I figured that since my office always feels cold, there’s no reason to wait until it cools down.

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup | anutritionisteats.com

The (very hot!) day I decided to make this soup, I watched Giada make a Vegetable & Barley Soup and I took two things from the episode: 1) Use a parmesan rind to help flavor soup (which I’ve always meant to do) and 2) Use the sausage as a topping instead of letting it simmer in the soup.

Like any good lunch or dinner – it’s healthy and tasty!

italiansausagesoup3

I wanted the soup to be full of vegetables as well as a good source of protein and fiber. So it’s simple. Fill the soup with tender-crisp vegetables and throw in some chicken sausage for a protein boost, it’s a filling combo. It happens to be gluten-free and paleo, if you’re into those things!

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • about 1 heart of celery (2 cups chopped)
  • about 1 pound of carrots (2 cups chopped)
  • 10-12 cups of chopped kale
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • parmesan rind (optional)
  • 12 oz chicken sausage
  • salt & pepper
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot.
  2. Add onion and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add garlic, celery and carrots and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add kale, broth, water, tomatoes and parmesan rind and simmer for about 35-40 minutes.
  5. While soup is cooking, thinly slice chicken sausage in half lengthwise and then chop.
  6. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp of olive in in medium pan and sauté about 3-4 minutes, until brown, set aside.
  7. To serve, top serving of soup with chicken sausage and parmesan cheese if desired.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 370 Fat: 17 grams Carbohydrates: 35 grams Fiber: 10 grams Protein: 25 grams

 

slow cooker honey soy chicken

Is it too early for slow cooker recipes?

Because personally, I love using the slow cooker all year long, but in the fall and winter, weekends just don’t seem complete unless there is an intoxicating smell of something slowly cooking away in the kitchen. And we are all in fall mode, right?

Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken | anutritionisteats.com

I’ve had quite the history with slow cookers. I don’t think we used them much growing up, so it wasn’t something I was especially used to. Then my brother gave me a camouflage slow cooker for Christmas one year that I deemed way “too hick” (I’m sorry!!!!) for my “sophisticated palette.” Oh the naivety. (To defend myself a bit, the gift was a joke and while my brother was a big fan of the slow cooker and I’m 92% certain that he and his roommates were cooking items they had personally hunted…like squirrels. I didn’t really think I had a use for it, being that I was a city dweller.) The moral of the story is this: I returned that camouflage slow cooker to K-Mart and then found myself buying a stainless steel version a few years later.

Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken | anutritionisteats.com

I’ve been hooked ever since.

Years ago, I created a few asian-inspired slow cooker recipes (crock pot asian chicken, crock pot asian beef), which have been quite popular over the years, but it was time to revisit the concept, with some different cuts of meat and different flavors. I love this version because it’s made with really simple ingredients and it couldn’t be easier!

Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken | anutritionisteats.com

This honey soy chicken takes a few minutes of prep, a few hours in the slow cooker and before you know it, you’ll be eating a flavorful, healthy meal. The chicken thighs practically shred themselves. The rice soaks up the delicious sauce you don’t want to leave on your plate. The broccoli is a) something green and b) so tasty! It’s a complete meal the entire family will enjoy.

Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1½ pound chicken thighs (skinless, boneless)
  • 1 cup basamati rice
  • 1 lb broccoli florets
Instructions
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in small bowl.
  2. Add chicken thighs to slow cooker in one layer.
  3. Pour over marinade.
  4. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  5. When chicken is almost done, prepare rice as directed.
  6. Steam or roast broccoli.
Notes
Replace soy sauce with tamari for a gluten-free meal.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 552 Fat: 9 grams Carbohydrates: 80 grams Sugar: 39 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 43 grams

 

healthy lunch ideas

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Do you love packing lunches as much as I do? (I’m kidding, that’s not a real question.)

I love cooking, but prepping lunches? Not one of my favorite things to do. And I get the feeling that those of you who pack lunches day in and day out get sick of it real quick as well. And it’s totally understandable – it takes a ton of planning, prepping and energy to pack lunches every day.

When I think of the goal of this little website of mine, it’s to provide simple, delicious and healthy inspiration to eat well. For kids, for adults and for everyone in between. With that in mind, these healthy lunch ideas are suitable for the entire family, and I kept them as easy as possible.

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Ideally, each lunch (and meal for that matter!) should consist of a protein, vegetable and whole-grain or starch component. The fruit and treat are optional, but may help you score good lunch cred! Portion size will depend on the size of the human. :)

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Protein | deli meat, cheese cubes, hard boiled eggs, edamame, beans, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, nut or sun butter, grilled or leftover meat, tuna or egg salad, smoothie (frozen in molds), meatballs, frittata, cheese quesadilla, grass-fed hot dogs

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Vegetables | carrot sticks, grape tomatoes, lettuce wraps, cucumber slices, roasted vegetables, red pepper strips, snap peas, coleslaw, sautéed zucchini, steamed broccoli, roasted cauliflower

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Fruits | berries, apple slices, orange segments, grapes, melon chunks, sliced kiwi, mango

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Whole-Grains (or Starch)| crackers, pasta, bread, popcorn, tortillas, pita bread, mini bagel, waffles, pancakes, english muffin, focaccia, cereal, baked oatmeal, cinnamon raisin bread, cubed sweet potato, roasted squash, mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, sweet potato fries

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Treats | fruit leather, whole-grain cookies, mini-muffins, trail mix, dried fruit, granola bars

Want More? I rounded up 225+ lunch box ideas here.

Dealing with Food Allergies? Healthy Alternatives for Food Allergies.

Helpful Products: these products might make packing lunch a little easier and a little more fun! The popsicle molds are great for filling and freezing with healthy smoothies (add some greens!) and the baking cups are helpful for keeping foods separate in bento-box style lunch containers.

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

LunchBots Quad Container | Silicone Popsicle Molds | Silicone Baking Cups | Laptop Lunches Bento Buddies *affiliate links

What do YOU pack for lunch?

 

last of summer succotash

Last of Summer Succotash | anutritionisteats.comWe’ve done our fair share of housesitting since we moved to Los Angeles and in addition to enjoying the perks of a real HOUSE, central air, backyards and GRILLS it’s also really fun to hang out in a neighborhood different than ours.

New neighborhoods = new restaurants!

One of our absolute favorite restaurants to visit when we’re housesitting is Beer Belly in Koreatown. (Watch the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives video here.) In addition to their great selection of craft beers (the beer list is always changing) they have some tasty bar food. We’ve tried quite a bit of the menu and love the duck fat fries, the pork belly chips and (and on a healthier note) the summer sucka tash.

Last of Summer Succotash | anutritionisteats.com

Right away, it was one of those dishes that I just knew I’d need to make at home. Because it’s simple enough and SO tasty. And those two words (simple + tasty) are essentially my food motto.

Traditionally, succotash is a combination of lima beans, corn and garlic or onion, but there are a ton of succotash varieties out there. Some are made with tomatoes, some red peppers and some swap edamame for lima beans. I knew right away that I wanted to include edamame in my version to up the protein a bit. I also wanted to include some zucchini because this succotash is all about celebrating end-of-summer produce, not to mention it’s always a good idea to add more vegetables where you can. Beer Belly is definitely the only place I’ve seen succotash topped with chipotle mayo and pickled shallots and I definitely wanted to include them.

Last of Summer Succotash | anutritionisteats.com

And even though corn is in season, and it’s best fresh, I used my favorite roasted corn from Trader Joe’s. Shucking and cutting off corn on the cob isn’t particularly laborious, but remember my motto above… SIMPLE! If you want to use fresh corn – major kudos! If you want to use frozen corn – I get you!

Let’s continue with the simple theme. This dish definitely is. Pickle the shallots. (The night before!) Mix up the chipotle mayo. Sauté the veggies for a few minutes. Done!

Last of Summer Succotash | anutritionisteats.com

Serve it alongside some grilled protein, or with some quinoa for a meatless meal.

Summers over now, right?

Last of Summer Succotash
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup sliced)
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • 1½ Tbsp chipotle, chopped with sauce
  • 1½ cup corn kernels
  • 1½ cup cooked edamame
  • 1½ cup diced zucchini
  • 1½ cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine apple cider vinegar, sugar and salt in a small jar.
  2. Add sliced shallots to the jar and let sit overnight or for at least a few hours.
  3. Stir together mayonnaise and chipotle peppers and set aside.
  4. Prep remaining ingredients.
  5. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan.
  6. Add vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, for about .... minutes.
  7. To serve, top vegetables with a dollop of chipotle mayo and a few of the pickled shallots.
Notes
Pickled shallots should be made a day in advance if possible.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 143 Fat: 5 Carbohydrates: 15 Sugar: 4 Fiber: 4 Protein: 7