Sweet potato, carrot, coconut and chicken soup

Sweet potato, carrot, coconut and chicken soup not only tastes amazing, it’s a cancer-fighting machine.

For those of you on a diet with concerns about the ingredient list, allow me to dispel some myths (italicized, and best read in a valley-girl accent).

Oh, I don’t eat potatoes, they have carbs, and carbs will make me fat. 

Not all carbs are created equal. If you over-consume processed carbohydrates, you will not see the results you are hoping for in your body; however, whole potatoes are unprocessed, extremely nutrient-dense, and sweet potatoes, in particular, rank the lowest on the glycemic index.

Sweet potatoes are nutritional rockstars, and they’re a potato you should say yes to – assuming you aren’t coating them in butter, marshmallows, or any other ingredient that turns them into candy. That’s like adding a candy bar to your oatmeal.

I heard carrots are like sugar sticks with orange food coloring. 

Carrots get a bad rap because they’re a starchy vegetable. Do they have carbohydrates and sugars, yes, but they are all natural, and hold a lot of awesome nutritional wealth that is absolutely worth it in the right portion sizes. The energy boost and fat-fighting properties of carrots cancel out the carbohydrates.

Horses are smart to go for these orange sticks, and you should follow suit. You’ll get vitamins A, K, C, and B6, beta-carotene (for healthy eyes, and cancer fighting power), potassium (fight off the muscle cramps you’ve been experiencing in your workouts), calcium, and more. Besides, natural sugars don’t act the same in your body as refined sugar, and Mother Nature uses more reasonable amounts per serving size than candy companies.

Coconut milk has fat, so I can’t have that either. No fat. No carbs. No sugar.

The fat in coconut milk is not the same as the fat in your french fries.

Although it should still be enjoyed in moderation, the fat in coconut milk is actually good for you. It helps your skin stay elastic. Coconut milk is also high in phosphorus, iron, magnesium, fiber, zinc, potassium and vitamin C.

The bottom line: You should eat all “real” food in moderation. Don’t eat something that’s processed simply because it claims to have less fat or carbohydrates. If your body can’t easily recognize an ingredient, it doesn’t know how to use it, and it will get pushed to the side to live in your problem areas and cause your body to run less efficiently. Choose unprocessed food, and eat the appropriate portion size

  • If you’re a vegetarian, this soup is great without the chicken, too.
  • You can skip a cooking step by using a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  • If you like a little kick, add a bit of cayenne with the other spices. You’ll feel nice and toasty after a bowl of this goodness.

Sweet potato, carrot, coconut and chicken soup

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or real butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken/vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed or not from concentrate)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pkg (about 6) chicken tenderloins, cut into chunks
  • Arugula for garnish (A green that serves as your pepper!)

Cook chicken in olive oil and set to the side.

Saute onion in 1 Tbsp coconut oil/butter over medium heat until soft. Add carrots, potato, and second Tbsp coconut oil/butter. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add orange juice, salt, spices, and half of the chicken broth, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes and carrots begin to soften (about 8 minutes), then process until you reach desired smoothness. Add processed soup back to pot and add remaining broth and coconut milk. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add chicken to soup and heat through. Serve topped with arugula. Enjoy!


Crock Pot fall soup with butternut squash, chicken, coconut milk and… peanut butter

Just so we’re clear, I love peanut butter and would use it in/on everything if that was an acceptable option. From this information you can derive that I was more than excited to add it to this batch of soup. You can omit it if you’re dealing with allergies, but “hint of pb” goes a long way in it if you are cleared for peanut consumption.

I made this soup the same day I had the pleasure of staying late at the gym to workout with Tony Horton. What an excellent excuse to work late, and a wonderful dinner to come home to.

Before I start with the recipe, I’ll cover some variations for this soup. You can use rotisserie chicken (pulled/chopped with skin removed) as a shortcut, dark or white meat will work equally well – you could even use turkey to make it taste more like Thanksgiving; the cayenne is optional if you’re not into spice; you can puree the squash (or use frozen butternut squash puree) rather than cube it depending on your desired consistency.

This soup is perfect for fall and full of protein, good carbs, and spices that will make you feel warm from the inside out.

Spiced Butternut Squash and Chicken Soup

  • 1 3lb butternut squash cubed (Click here for instructions on peeling and chopping these tough buggers!)
  • 1 pkg (just under 2lbs) boneless, skinless chicken thighs/breasts
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp of each of the following: ginger, cumin, cinnamon, paprika (smoked paprika, preferably)
  • 2 tsp curry
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • salt and pepper

Add cubed squash, red pepper and dried cranberries to the slow-cooker /crock pot. Salt and pepper the chicken and cook with red onion in olive oil until you can’t see anymore pink on the outside of the chicken. While chicken and onion cook, mix all remaining ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup. It’s okay if peanut butter doesn’t separate while stirring. It will blend easily by stirring once the soup is hot from cooking. Add chicken and onion to crock pot and pour liquid-spice mixture over it. Mix with a wooden spoon, and don’t worry about the liquid not appearing to be enough. It will all cook down and magically turn into soup.

Cook on med-high for 4-6 hours (medium if all day). Before serving, scoop out about 1.5 cups of the squash and mash it up with a fork. Stir the mashed squash back in to make the soup thicker and creamier. Give it a taste and add more s&p if your tastes say it needs it.

Serve on its own, or you can top soup with a spoonful of yogurt, cilantro, basil, toasted squash seeds or parmesan.