Low Calorie Comfort Food - It Exists!
January 5, 2011 16 Comments
There is more than one way to create comfort. One way involves lots of calories and icing.
How about something hot?
This won't work if you live in the tropics, but if you are in rural Massachusetts where I started my day at 10 degrees Fahrenheit - this will work!
A fantastic way to get the comfort you need is with a delicious soup. Most soups will only set you back about 100 calories for a cup and they are incredibly nutritious.
Soups in the grocery store come in boxes, cans, jars, and in the refrigerated case. My grocery store has its own soup label and it comes in a plastic container.
There are two things to remember when choosing a soup:
- Stay away from the cream soups (if you are watching your weight).
- Homemade soup is the BEST.
Yes, I am an advocate for homemade soup because it is ridiculously easy to make and it tastes better than the packaged kind. It is also inexpensive and you can keep your sodium levels under control.
BUT, I know there are some great packaged soups out there. True confession: I never buy packaged soups so I have no idea what to recommend (please help in comment section).
I make my own soup, and I do it often. Today, in fact, I will churn out my favorite chicken noodle soup which will make the house smell wonderful and sooth my sore throat.
It is my Martha Stewart moment of perfection in a world of dirty socks on the floor.
(don't get me started on the socks)
Below, I have shared my recipe that I have used 100's of times. The key to this recipe is that I make my own chicken stock. Why? Because it tastes SO much better than packaged stock (and I save money).
I use a chicken for both making the stock AND the soup. Basically, I simmer the chicken for 40 minutes to cook it, store it in the fridge, and then take the meat of the bones and add it to the soup.
This chicken soup recipe takes two days and is much more intense then the usual Snack Girl recipes. Trust me, it is worth the work.
The recipe below has a lot of pasta because I have children who love pasta. But, if you are watching your weight, you probably want to avoid the pasta. A serving size is going to vary a bit - but I would say between 1 1/2 to 2 cups of soup.
Here are the nutritional facts for one serving:
With the pasta:
304 calories, 4.3 g fat, 27.6 g carbohydrates, 36.1 g protein, 1.1 g fiber, 280 mg sodium
Without the pasta:
192 calories, 4.2 g fat, 3.0 g carbohydrates, 33.9 g protein, 0.7 g fiber, 280 mg sodium
Homemade Chicken Soup
Chicken Stock (make one day ahead)
1 whole 3-4 pound chicken (rinsed and patted dry)
1 cup roughly chopped onion (no need to peel)
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 pinch dried thyme
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
14 cups of water (3 1/2 quarts)
Combine all ingredients in stock pot and add water. Bring to a boil, and then adjust heat so that the mixture sends up a few bubbles at a time. Cook until the chicken is done (about 40 minutes). Strain into a large bowl and press on vegetables to get out as much stock. Refrigerate overnight so that you can remove the fat which will harden at the surface of the liquid.
Chicken Stock from day before (about 12-14 cups)
2 cups pasta (Rotini is a good shape for this)
4 carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices
4 celery stalks, minced
3-4 pound chicken from day before
Salt and Pepper to taste
Remove fat from surface of stock with a spoon. Cut chicken meat off the carcass and chop. Pour stock into large, deep saucepan or casserole and bring to a boil. Adjust heat so that the stock simmers. Add the pasta, carrot, celery and cook until tender (about 20 minutes). Add cooked chicken and adjust seasonings. I usually add a lot of salt at this step because I find the soup at this point to be pretty bland.
Anyone have a favorite soup? Packaged and recipe suggestions please!.