Chicken Taco Soup

Nothing is more soothing, delicious and classic than chicken soup. Chicken is a wonderfully versatile meat and is great paired with a variety of flavors. Try this lighter, healthier variation of the classic Taco Soup recipe.

Our very own homemade Chicken Taco Soup

We use chicken quarters in our soup. I can usually buy a 10-pound bag of chicken quarters (that’s the leg and thigh still attached to each other) for less than $10 in our local grocery store. I then seperate that bag into two or three large, gallon-sized, zip-lock bags and put those in the freezer. I use chicken quarters for all sorts of chicken dishes, like this wonderful soup.

Chicken Taco Soup

Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs chicken quarters
  • 1 small can green chilies
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 cans yellow hominy
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

* Optional toppings: fat free sour cream, black olives

Directions:

In a large pot, boil the chicken quarters in water with salt, pepper and garlic powder until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the broth and debone, discard bones and skin. Pour broth through a mesh strainer into a large bowl and set aside. Allowing the broth to cool completely will bring the fat to the top of the liquid. Gently scrape the fat from the top of the bowl and discard. This simple step keeps the soup light and lower in fat and calories.

Dice the onion and place in a large pot with a few tablespoons of olive oil and the green chilies. Allow onion to brown slightly. Add shredded chicken to the pot along with taco season and ranch dressing mix. Stir and then add the chicken broth back to the pot.

Open two cans of black beans and drain and rinse before adding to the pot. Open the hominy, drain and add to the pot. In a blender, combine the stewed tomatoes, blend well and add this to your soup.

Stir well to mix all the wonderful flavors. Cover and allow to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. This soup is perfect topped with fat free sour cream (25 calories per serving: 2 tablespoons) and black olives. To make it a complete meal, you may want to pair it with a salad.

Calorie estimates:

First we’ll need to total up the calories for all the ingredients of the soup and then estimate how many servings are available per large pot of soup to find the calorie content for one bowl.

  • Chicken – one cup cooked dark meat: 269. Five pounds boiled down, deboned and shredded usually gives me three cups of chicken meat, so we’ll do 269 x 3 = 807
  • Chicken broth – one cup is around 40 calories. I’m fairly certain I had 10 cups of broth, so that’s 400 calories
  • The stewed tomatoes generally have 70 calories per can = 210 calories
  • Hominy: 115 per cup, and we’ll say there’s three in this pot of soup = 345 calories
  • Two cans of black beans will give us about three cups which is 210 calories
  • And finally, two tablespoons of olive oil = 240 calories

That’s a grand total of 2,212 calories. I like to round up, just in case I’m off somewhere – so we’ll say 2,500 calories per gigantic pot of soup. Our large pot usually gives us about 12 servings (almost two cups) of soup. Each serving is about 210 calories.

UPDATE:

When I started this blog in 2010, I had three children and a few pounds to lose.

Then I had THREE MORE CHILDREN. And I still have a few pounds to lose. It’s funny how life throws curve-balls at our curves.

I’d love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’re managing our six children and our goals for a healthier lifestyle.

2

March 2, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Dinner, Recipes. 4 comments.

It’s okay to be a little chicken

Are you ready to rethink your lunch? The statistics for a typical fast-food lunch are horrifying both for the calorie-conscious and the budget-savvy. A standard cheeseburger costs $2.00 and packs a whopping 600 calories. Next to order: the ever-popular French fries for $1.00 and 300 calories. To finish this meal, you’ll want a soda which will cost around $1.50 and add an additional 200 calories.

You’ve just spent over four dollars on 1100 calories.

With a little preparation over the weekend, you can pack a low-calorie, nutritious and tasty lunch for a fraction of the cost of that greasy monstrosity of a meal.

Your first thought may be to pack a sandwich. You’ll definitely be saving money, but you may be sacrificing taste and nutrition. The humble sandwich can often carry approximately 360 calories when made with two slices of bread (140 calories), one slice of cheese (80 calories), one serving of deli-sliced lunch meat (90 calories), one tablespoon of mayonnaise (50 calories). This option is indeed low-calorie, but it can often leave you feeling hungry.

For a more filling low-calorie lunch, consider skipping the tradition lunch meat and trying a more healthy option: real chicken. The price of a 12-ounce pack of deli-sliced lunch meat can cost $3.49. One whole chicken typically costs less than one dollar per pound. The savings are already adding up.

Cooking a whole chicken at home can cause some kitchen anxiety to novice cooks. Nothing could be easier, however. To cook a whole (thawed) chicken, simply remove the chicken from its packaging, remove the gizzards and any other tidbits that may have been stored in the body cavity along with the neck and rinse the chicken. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 inch pan and sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the body along with a tablespoon of olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes per pound of chicken. Add an additional 15 minutes to the total cook time for browning.

Once the chicken is completely cooked and cooled slightly, remove the breast meat. The rest of the chicken can be used for numerous dishes. Save any leftover bones and chicken meat to make homemade broth.

Be sure to remove the skin from the breast meat. Divide the breast meat into portion sizes and store in the refrigerator. One ounce of chicken is a piece about the size of your thumb and generally has 50 calories, provides protein and doesn’t load you down with sodium like many packaged lunch meats.

Try this low-calorie and healthy option in your sandwiches, wraps and salads. The taste is amazing and you’ll have the satisfaction of cutting calories and saving money.

Lunch Idea: Chicken Wrap

Ingredients:

  • Joseph’s Lavash Bread
  • Two ounces chicken breast meat, shredded
  • One tablespoon Kraft reduced-fat olive oil mayonnaise
  • One leaf romaine lettuce
  • One carrot
  • One tablespoon dill pickle relish

Directions:

Cut one large rectangle of Joseph’s Lavash Bread in half, store the other half. Spread one tablespoon of Kraft reduced-fat olive oil mayonnaise on the Lavash. Place one large leaf of romaine lettuce on the Lavash. Using a potato-peeler, shave one medium carrot over the lettuce leaf. Top this with shredded chicken breast and finish with one tablespoon of dill relish. Roll the Lavash carefully making sure you don’t tear the soft bread.

This tasty lunch option has approximately 200 calories.

UPDATE:

When I started this blog in 2010, I had three children and a few pounds to lose.

Then I had THREE MORE CHILDREN. And I still have a few pounds to lose. It’s funny how life throws curve-balls at our curves.

I’d love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’re managing our six children and our goals for a healthier lifestyle.

2

March 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Lunch, Recipes. Leave a comment.

Quick breakfast solutions

In our house, my husband and I usually get up at 6 a.m. Notice I say “usually” … there are plenty of times when we don’t do this. But, we strive to get up at 6 a.m. and exercise. Right now we’re grooving out to “The Biggest Loser Workout: Cardio Max” and it’s kicking our bottoms. Literally.

After our workout, my husband goes to shower and get ready for work and I – being the sweet wifey that I sometimes can be – make our breakfast. His breakfast looks different from mine. But we’re not here to talk about his breakfast. Otherwise this blog would be called something like “Dude with a job who can eat pretty much anything and lose weight” – and who wants to read that? No, we’re talking about my breakfast solutions.

First off, let’s talk about some standard foods that need to be in your kitchen in order for you to whip up a quick, low-cal, healthy and inexpensive breakfast.

With these items readily available you’re able to fix yourself a nice little breakfast. Let’s talk about my favorite: Laughing Cow cheese on an english muffin. One wedge of the “light” version of Laughing Cow has only 35 calories! When paired with a toasted english muffin, the taste is fabulous and the overall pairing is under 200 calories. I like to have an english muffin, smeared with light Laughing Cow and a glass of V-8 fruit fushion. With this little meal I’m getting veggies, fruit, protein and carbs for around 300 calories. Every once in a while I’ll have a boiled or even a fried egg.

Christy Jordan’s Breakfast Sandwich

When I fix that for myself, I’ll usually fix an english muffin sandwich for my husband. He has this with an orange and some V-8 juice and it works for him. If you follow the link posted in the above sentence, you’ll come across miss Christy Jordan’s wonderfully easy recipe for this yummy breakfast. I love Christy Jordan. She rocks.

When I crave something sweet in the morning, I like to whip up a nice bowl of oatmeal – nothing fancy, no brand names, just oatmeal people – and have some sliced banana on it with a tablespoon of Country Crock and sweetened with store-brand Splenda. This fantastic meal tastes like banana bread! And it’s around 250 calories. Plus, it fills me up until lunchtime.

For an easy breakfast to take with you on the road, try a serving of Joseph’s Lavash Bread with one scrambled egg and a half serving of deli-sliced ham.

Breakfast can be quick and easy! Ditch the donuts and treat yourself right.

UPDATE:

When I started this blog in 2010, I had three children and a few pounds to lose.

Then I had THREE MORE CHILDREN. And I still have a few pounds to lose. It’s funny how life throws curve-balls at our curves.

I’d love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’re managing our six children and our goals for a healthier lifestyle.

2

February 18, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Breakfast, Products, Recipes. Leave a comment.

Asian Hamburger Helper

When you think of “diet food” do you think of Hamburger Helper? Because I didn’t at first. Early on in my diet last year, I shunned Hamburger Helper because I thought there was no way it would be low-cal. That’ll teach me not to read the label! It is low-cal! As long as you stick to the recommended portion serving size of one cup, it’s usually around 300 calories.

Tonight we had Beef Fried Rice from Hamburger Helper. People, it was yummy.

This week I didn’t buy any ground beef, so we used ground turkey – which is even better because it cuts calories! My trick for keeping costs low when using ground turkey is… are you ready for it… I use less. Yes, I’m so cheap I just use less meat. I need to prepare two boxes to feed my family dinner and instead of using two pounds of ground turkey, I simply use one. Calories cut for me (my kiddos get plenty of helpings) and money saved.

I also opted not to put scrambled eggs in our dish tonight and I threw in some left over veggies from the previous evening. We served it all up with some nice steamed broccoli. Is it fancy? Will it impress the Queen of England? No. But it’s cheap and it won’t destroy your calorie intake.

Here’s our dinner:

Mmmm… dinner…

Forgive me for the not-so-pretty picture. I had eaten a good third of my dinner before I remembered to take a picture. So I snapped one with my husband’s cell phone in between bites.

After adding up the calories for my dish, I’ve got it clocked at about 450 for my entire dinner! This is fabulous news because thanks to my tuna wrap for lunch and my simple mexican eggs for breakfast… and the fact that I was too busy today to snack, I’m just under 1,000 calories for the entire day which allows me to have a snack later! Hooray for snacks!

And our entire dinner to feed five people with enough left over for dad to take to work for his lunch cost us about $10 total. How can you not love that?

UPDATE:

When I started this blog in 2010, I had three children and a few pounds to lose.

Then I had THREE MORE CHILDREN. And I still have a few pounds to lose. It’s funny how life throws curve-balls at our curves.

I’d love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’re managing our six children and our goals for a healthier lifestyle.

2

February 17, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Dinner, Products, Recipes. 1 comment.

Tuna Wraps on yummy Lavash Bread!

I think I’m in love with Joseph’s Lavash Bread. This way yummy flatbread just rocks my face off. It’s low-cal at only 50 calories per serving, packs a whopping 5 grams of protein and offers a good dose of Omega 3. And it’s reasonably priced at only $1.88.

You want to know the real reason I love this stuff? It’s because I get to feel all fancy for saying, “I’m having a tuna wrap on Lavash bread for lunch” … Ooooh! See? Totally fancy.

To assemble your fancy-schmancy tuna wrap you’ll need:

  • Great Value (or some other inexpensive store brand) Tuna Fish, in a can, packed with water
  • Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil – sure, it’s pricier than your regular mayo. But the taste is great and the calories are low. Personally, this broke chick feels it’s worth the few extra pennies. Feel free to substitute with the low-cal mayo of your choice.
  • Dill pickle relish
  • Lettuce
  • Joseph’s Lavash Bread

Now, let’s get wrapping:

First, get out your Joseph’s Lavash Bread. I keep mine in the fridge. You don’t have to, it’s just where I keep mine – I think it’s because it has protein. In my warped little mind it needs to be kept in the fridge. Anway, the lavash bread comes in big sheets that you’ll need to cut in half to get one serving. If you’re super hungry just have two servings. It’s only 50 calories, people!

Cut the lavash bread in half – store the other half in the handy resealable bag. Place the half you’re using on your plate and smear with one tablespoon of Kraft Olive Oil Mayonnaise. Tear approximately one half cup of lettuce and place this on the lavash smeared with mayonaise. Open up your can of tuna fish, drain it and then dump this on the lettuce. I like to dump my tuna fish in a kind of line down the middle. We want our fancy-schmancy wrap to be pretty, right? So, easy with the dumping.

Add a teaspoon or more, according to your tastes, of the pickle relish on the tuna fish. Now roll your lavash bread up and Voilà! You have a nice little wrap for approximately 200 calories!

Please note: I’m not a nutrionist. I’m not a doctor – heck, I’m barely a good cook. My calorie estimates are exactly that. Estimates. I read the labels and add things up in my little blonde head.

UPDATE:

When I started this blog in 2010, I had three children and a few pounds to lose.

Then I had THREE MORE CHILDREN. And I still have a few pounds to lose. It’s funny how life throws curve-balls at our curves.

I’d love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’re managing our six children and our goals for a healthier lifestyle.

2

February 17, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Lunch, Recipes. Leave a comment.