Hearty, Healthy Chicken & Veggie Stew.

It’s certainly becoming “stew weather” in my neck of the woods. I’ve wanted warm food sliding down my throat this year more than ever. I’m extremely hot-natured and I put off an amazing amount of heat. I always prided myself in my thermostat. I hope I’m not losing my edge.

I bought some beautiful chicken for tonight’s stew…I savour every bite of these animals that gave their life without choice for my greedy satisfaction. Many times I have to just walk away from the chicken isle…when I see whole chickens for sale for $5 I start down a path of “how could a life be worth so little” and sometimes I don’t make it out of the store with my purchase of intent. Other days, I suck it up and think about the delicous meals I will have. πŸ™‚

My local Wal-Mart carries 1 selection of “the works” chicken (humane treatement, hormone/antibiotic/cage-free, vegetarian fed). I expect that many people are turned off by the smaller stature of these more natural chickens, compared to other “all natural” chickens (aka no bad stuff added AFTER the chicken dies…but they add it before…that’s why it’s so huge!!! Hormones!!!). Okay, I could carry on forever on this topic…I’m just saying…why buy cheap crap for your only body when you can have cleaner food for just a sliver more? OKAY, OKAY! Onward.

I started out just browning the chicken, no fancy seasonings.

I gave it about 4 minutes, then FLIP!

Now, it’s veggie time! We’re using our standards, red onion & pepper, and adding a bunch of broccoli for SUPER health, and a zucchini that needs to be used. For stews, I always chop into bite-size pieces. Having chunks to chomp on is part of stew-pleasure for me.

Broccoli was too shy for the family portrait this time..

Always adding in order of what consistency I want to end up with…wanting my broccoli and zucchini to NOT be mushy, and wanting my onion and pepper to give the rest some extra flavor, I started with onion first, letting it brown for a couple minutes.

Next is the pepper, cooked for a couple minutes, and next the broccoli…and last the zucchini.

Can you tell a difference between the photo above and the one below???

No? Good! That’s because there’s only about a 4-minute difference. Please don’t cook your veggies to death. Nobody wants smushy chunks in their stew. The less you cook ’em the healthier they are!

Now. Time to make it stewy.

Add water to the skillet.

Now, empty your can of REDUCED FAT cream of mushroom soup into the skillet as well. Or use the full-fat version. With enough flavor, you’re never gonna know the difference in your brain. Only in the waistline. πŸ˜€

Do it.

GENTLY stir soup into the veggies. Give it a couple minutes to meld and do a few more gentle stirs. MAN is it smelling good by now!!!

Cut your chicken into chunks & add to the pot.

Now add pepper…and get ready for your stomach to start growling.

Last but not least??? Less you think I’d forget…cheese!!!

I used low-fat mozzerela & the GV brand “fiesta” blend.

Allow cheese to melt while continuing to stir, and you are READY for some insanely good dinner.

I topped with fresh parsley to be festive. πŸ˜€ HAPPY EATING EVERYONE!

Ingredients for Hearty, Healthy Chicken & Veggie Stew:

– 1-1.5 lbs chicken thighs
– 1 red onion
– 1 pepper (I used a green bell pepper & had a bit of a red ancient pepper to throw in too)
– 1 medium – large zucchini
– 2 c broccoli florets
– 1.5 c water
– 1/2 c low-fat shredded cheese
– 2 tbsp EVOO
– 1 tsp cracked ground pepper
– 1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
– fresh parsley for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp EVOO in large skillet on medium heat.
  2. When oil is hot, add chicken and brown for 4 minutes. White the chicken is cooking, start chopping your onion!
  3. Flip chicken to other side & brown for 4 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from heat and set aside to rest. Don’t chop it yet!
  5. Heat 1 more tbsp EVOO in the same skillet on low heat.
  6. When oil is hot, add your chopped onion. Let brown for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. While onion is browning, start chopping your pepper, then add it to the skillet. Let brown for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Chop your broccoli florets off the stalk andΒ  add to the pot, browning for 3 minutes and stirring occasionally.
  9. Chop your zucchini and add last, browning for 2 more minutes and stirring occasionally.
  10. Add water.
  11. Add can of soup.
  12. Continue to cook on low until soup is blended (about 4-5 minutes), stirring often and gently.
  13. Now, chop chicken into chunks, add, and stir gently.
  14. Add pepper & stir.
  15. Add cheese and turn heat up to medium. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring often.
  16. Remove from heat, top with fresh parsley, serve & enjoy!
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