Craptastic…

As I have said before, I am a flawed person. One thing that I severely lack are time management skills (a close second to stress management) – either that, or I am trying to jam a month’s worth of activities into one week. Or a bit of both??
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This weekend, or week for that matter, was a tad busy. History indeed repeats itself – at this time last year I dragged my swollen, ginormously pregnant butt down to the county courthouse to close on our new home with my husband. Who moves 6 days before their due date with a 21 month old? We do.

I hold a part-time job running a recreation program for people with developmental disabilities (in addition to my full-time job working with people with developmental disabilities) and this Friday was our 4th Annual Holiday Party. That is, 200 individuals dancing, eating, and partying that I am ultimately responsible for as the coordinator of the program. Everything did go off without a hitch (thank you sweet Baby Jesus…and my Assistant Coordinator), but the party was immediately followed by my little guy’s first birthday party on Saturday. Because his birthday falls the weekend before Christmas, we wanted to lend a little distance between the party and the holidays in order to make it more convenient for all. So, 30 of our closest friends and family, in our home, that I am again, ultimately responsible for. Honestly though, who depends on Daddy to throw the party? Bless his soul for running a ton of errands, cleaning, and tolerating my attitude (luh you boo). This also went off without a hitch, but I worked myself into such a tizzy and came down with God knows what.

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I feel like garbage, I’m losing my voice, and my throat feels like razors when I swallow. So why not make some soup? Oh, yeah, I have to make my own soup when I’m sick. I’m a mom, remember??

I try as I might to eat as Paleo as possible. I do cheat at times (I had pizza and cake this weekend, woof), but I make every attempt to eat as clean as I can. This soup is an amazingly comforting, healthy soup even the pickiest toddler will approve. I’m quite blessed that I can threaten coax my kids into eating almost anything, but if the kale would be too much, sub celery for a very classic chicken soup.

Chicken and Kale Soup
*Disclaimer* I am Italian (maiden name Carminati, just so you know I’m legit) so I don’t really measure. You can add more or less of anything to taste, but I typically cup my palm to measure as it ends up to be about a Tbsp. Also, as per Paleo guidelines, and just general health, all ingredients are organic, free-range, etc. when possible.

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About 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil
About 2 Tbsp. of grass-fed butter (I use Kerrygold brand)
2 large chicken breasts
1 large white onion
Half of a bag of baby carrots
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 large cartons (64 oz. total) of chicken stock (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
Palm full of dried basil
Palm full of dried parsley
Palm full of dried oregano
Palm full of dried thyme
Full bag of cleaned and cut kale (for convenience) or large bunch of kale
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Trim the fat off the chicken breasts and season with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of dried parsley. Add a generous slice of grass-fed butter to the top and roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached.

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I do this because it creates so much more flavor in the soup and is made so much quicker. You can also make a huge pan of chicken in this manner and refrigerate it for the week for convenience.

In a stock pot, heat a generous scoop of coconut oil until rippling. Sauté the onion and carrots until onion is translucent and carrots are softened, about eight minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for two minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add both of the cartons of broth as well as the herbs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low/medium. Wilt in half the bag of kale. It may look like a TON if you have never used kale in a recipe before, trust me, it shrinks! Wait until the first half has reduced in size and add the rest of the bag. Reduce to low and simmer until the kale is soft and the soup is freakin’ yummy (cooking term). Adjust salt and pepper as per your taste.

Chunk the chicken you set aside earlier and add to the soup, allow it to warm through. You can serve the soup as is (#paleo) or you can add noodles or pasta for the fam. I cook them on the side, add a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil so they don’t stick, and add them to the bowl and top with soup. The soup warms the noodles enough that you can pop them in from the fridge. They store well in this manner in the fridge for future use. Keeping the noddles separate also keeps them from absorbing too much liquid and becoming gross and mushy.

Well, I’m off to bed to try and kick whatever is wrong with me.

I hope you enjoy!

-Ash

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