Healthy Food Kick-off to 2015

The New Year has started as well as many New Years resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, etc. So let HealthyFoodPrep.com help your kick your New Year off right with a few healthy recipes you can cook once and eat all week – saving you time AND calories!

For my regular followers, I apologize in my six-month absence. I won’t bore you with the details but will simply let you know that I had a lot going on with my family and career and I needed to step away for a while. Hopefully I’m back from good!

Now let’s get cooking! It’s cold here in Ohio, which makes me want to eat lots of soup, chili and stew. When I eat these foods, they not only comfort my soul but also make me feel like I’m making healthy choices. You can hide a lot of vegetables in soup! So to start the New Year off, I pulling out my soup pot and my crock-pot.

Grocery Shopping list for this menu.

This week’s menu includes three soups:

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Like every week, let’s start by chopping veggies. Dice three onions, mince seven cloves of garlic, dice two apples and peel and chop three carrots.

Next, add all of the ingredients for the White Bean Chicken Chili to your crock-pot. (I recommend using Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners. It will save you a lot of clean up later.) No need to cut up the chicken. Just add the whole chicken breasts. After cooking for so long, they will just fall apart. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.

Once it is finished, put it in large freezer bags. I like to divide mine into two bags – one for the refrigerator this week and the second one to freeze for another time.

Now let’s get started on the Tuscan Sausage Soup. Drizzle a large soup pot with EVOO and crumble your Italian sausage (or slice it if it’s precooked sausage) into the pot.

While that is cooking, cut up the remaining chicken for the Chicken Apple Chili.

Once the sausage is browned, add the carrots, onion and garlic. Sauté until tender and starting to turn a bit golden, about seven minutes.

Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, pasta and basil. (Note: This recipe makes A LOT so if you want to freeze half of it, don’t add the pasta here. Wait to add the pasta until you reheat it.)

Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and continue cooking until pasta becomes a bit tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted. Let it cool then store in a freezer bag or airtight container.

If you have two soup pots, you can start the Chicken Apple Chili at the same time as the Tuscan Sausage Soup.

Drizzle EVOO in your soup pot, and then add chicken, chili powder, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In the same pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the apples and onion and cook, stirring, until softened – about 6 minutes. Add to bowl with chicken.

In the same pot, melt the butter over med-low heat. Whisk in flour for about a minute; then, whisk in the chicken broth and milk, until thickened – about 3 to 4 minutes.

Next stir in the apples, chicken, and beans. Bring to a simmer, then stir in cheese and cook until the cheese has melted.

Let it cool then store in a freezer bag or airtight container.

I hope your New Year starts off happy and healthy. I will meet you back in the kitchen in two weeks. Be sure to check out my recipe page for more delicious and healthy recipes.

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