Chicken Coconut Milk Soup

This soup manages to be rich and satisfying without being too heavy. It's full of feel-good comfort and vitamins, and is the perfect soup to deliver to anyone feeling a bit under the weather.

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 carrots, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 Tablespoons Thai green curry paste
1 cup frozen corn
2 - 400mL cans coconut milk
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (approximately 3 cups)*

Optional Toppings: fresh cilantro, green onions, lime wedges

Directions

Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 - 7 minutes.

Add garlic, ginger, and curry paste. Cook for another minute or two until fragrant. Add corn, coconut milk, and broth. Cook over high heat until carrots are fork-tender. Add chicken and continue to cook for 2 - 3 minutes until chicken is warmed.

Serve with toppings of choice.

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* I make a big batch of shredded chicken using my slow cooker. Put skinless, boneless chicken breast in slow cooker. Cover with broth or water. Cook on high for 4 hours. Remove from liquid and shred using two forks. I don't season my chicken at all so I'm not limited in how I use it. For example, this week I did 7 chicken breasts and I used 3 in this soup, 1 on a pizza with bacon and barbecue sauce, 1 in a salad with balsamic vinaigrette, and 2 for tacos. If you add the spice and seasoning to your individual dishes, instead of at the slow cooker step, you have much more flexibility in how you use your chicken and you've started multiple meals with one cooking session. Hashtag: lazy cooking for the win.

Coconut Kale Quinoa

I'm consciously trying to eat more calcium-rich foods every day because my calcium level is consistently low and I can't add more supplements to my daily routine. So! My new motto is: Put some kale on it. Not quite as catchy as Put a Bird on it but close.

This quinoa dish is filling enough to be a main course but works well as a side dish for a protein if you're trying to add some smug to your day but aren't willing to give up your meat (Shawn). It also works really well as a base to layer on a nice curry.

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 small onion, finely diced (approximately 1/4 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
1 - 400mL can coconut milk, divided
Approximately 1 cup vegetable broth or water
2 large kale leaves, stalks removed and leafy bits sliced thinly (you want to end up with 3 - 4 cups of cut kale)
1 - 400mL can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
zest and juice of 1 lime
salt, pepper, and Tabasco Sauce to taste

Optional Toppings: fresh cilantro, green onions, hemp hearts, chia seeds, chopped nuts, toasted coconut flakes, lime wedges

Directions

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until onion is softened, about five minutes. Add garlic and quinoa and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute.

Shake coconut milk can well so the cream and liquid are incorporated. Set aside 3/4 cup. Pour remaining coconut milk into 2-cup measuring cup and top with broth or water so you end up with 2 cups of liquid. Add to quinoa and stir well. Bring to a boil, add kale, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the 3/4 cup coconut milk you set aside and stir in chickpeas and lime zest and juice. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco Sauce.

Top with your toppings of choice.

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Coconut Milk Chia Seed Pudding

This pudding is ridiculously easy to make. Stupid easy. I like to store it in individual portions in mason jars so I can grab one on my way to work for a nice desk breakfast.

Stir together 1 can (400mL) coconut milk, 1/4 cup chia seeds, and your chosen flavourings (my favourite is 1/4 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt.)

That's it. Seriously. Pour into your container of choice and refrigerate. The chia seeds work their magic and gel up into a lovely, thick, creamy pudding. The coconut milk is sweet enough that you don't need to add any additional sweetener.

Now, I'm a texture person. I have issues with certain foods based solely on their texture (I'm looking at you, cooked mushrooms!) But I found chia seeds an easy texture to overcome as soon as I started thinking of them as raspberry seeds (something I helped along by topping my pudding with fresh berries.)

Coconut milk is not a fat-free food, I know. But it's a healthy-ish fat. An enjoy-in-moderation fat. Chia seeds are one of those annoying trendy foods you see floating around the interwebs but they do pack a nutritional punch: omega-3, fibre, calcium, protein.

I make mine on Sunday night and it stays good all week. I divide mine into three portions (because I'm in the office three days per week) but it's individual taste. If I was eating it as dessert I would probably want a smaller portion.

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