Recipe for Middle Aged Weight Creep
1 cup sit all day
2 lbs eat whatever is put in front of your face
1 dash too much work
1 generous spoonful of no exercise
1 pinch of laziness
Serves: two ever-widening hips.
I’ve got to do something about this. In the past I’ve tried cleanse diets, and they work, like any diet will, until you stop doing it and slide back into old habits.
This time, the goal is to simply eat healthier, limiting fats and simple carbs, and try to get my body moving more. Sounds easy, right? Maybe for you, but for me the “moving” part is harder than the “eating” part. So I’ll start with the food and hope the exercise follows.
I made this soup because it’s healthy and filling and doesn’t feel like “diet food.” If you are anything like me, “diet” is a four letter word, and the moment it enters my consciousness is the same moment I get hungry. That’s why it’s critical to eat things which are filling, but not fattening. I highly recommend you try making your own chicken stock so you can control the amount of salt and fat in it (and as a bonus, save a little moola).
As for the exercise, that comes next. I just got back from a week in Istanbul, an ancient and exotic city, but also covered in hills much like San Francisco. For a few days we stayed in an apartment at the top of one of these hills and walking to and from it every day was a humbling experience, mostly for my lungs but also my legs. I see cardio in my future and honestly, it’s not pretty. On the other hand, this soup, if you serve it with rainbow chard in it as I did, can be pretty, colorful, and a healthy way to start any “diet” (pardon my French).
Chicken Soup with Wild Rice and Greens
Printable Recipe in PDF
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, raw, cut into 1″ pieces
1 large yellow onion, small dice (10 oz wt)
2 carrots, small dice or sliced (6 oz wt)
3 stalks celery, diced (4 oz wt)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (about .25 oz)
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (optional)
1 tsp dried thyme
10 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, low fat, low salt
1 bunch rainbow chard or other greens, cut into 2″ pieces
2 cups cooked* wild rice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cut the chicken into 1″ pieces and cut all vegetables in advance of starting the cooking process.
Heat a large soup pot and add the oil. Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add the diced chicken and cook until seared on the outside. Add the minced garlic, minced ginger and dried thyme.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
In a medium sized pot, cook the 1 cup dry wild rice in 3 cups of water for about 40 minutes. The rice should just be starting to open but should not be over cooked. It is going to continue to cook in the soup and you don’t want to be mushy. Set aside when done.
About 15 minutes before serving the soup, add the cooked wild rice and the cut greens. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.