If, like most people, you have a hectic schedule and can’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but you want to feed your family a nutritious meal at dinner, then this recipe is for you.
The American Heart Association’s website, Heart.org, publishes many tasty recipes that don’t take much time, and can be expanded to fit your family no matter the size. This recipe, for slow-cooker Thai Chicken Soup, serves six and is reasonably priced at $1.14 per serving. The list of ingredients is not very long and using pre-cut ingredients like sliced white mushrooms and a bag of frozen stir-fry mix makes this “Simple Cooking with Heart” recipe a cinch to put together in the morning before work.
2 lb. boneless large chicken breasts (aim for 2 breasts, 1 pound each)
14.4 oz. packaged onion and pepper stir-fry mix
16 oz. packaged white mushrooms
1/2 (13.5-ounce) can lite coconut milk
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. red hot chile flakes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
10 oz. packaged frozen peas
1/2 cups fresh basil or cilantro leaves
4 oz. raw rice vermicelli noodles, roughly chopped or broken
Asian hot sauce like Sriracha, to serve (optional)
Place chicken into the bottom of a large slow cooker. Add stir-fry mix and mushrooms on top of the chicken; pour coconut milk and chicken stock over the entire mixture. Cover with lid and let mixture cook on high heat for 4 hours or on low heat for 8 hours until chicken is tender.
When about to serve, if your heat is on low, turn it to high. Use tongs to transfer chicken to a bowl. Into the slow cooker, stir in lime juice, chile flakes, salt, pepper, peas, basil, and vermicelli noodles, making sure the noodles are mostly submerged in the liquid. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook until noodles have softened, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, carefully transfer hot chicken to a cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces. Stir back into the soup. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with hot sauce, if desired.
Serving size: 2 cups
Cooking Tip: When using a slow cooker, make sure the ingredient that needs to be cooked the most (like meat) is placed on the bottom, closest to the heat source.
Keep it Healthy: While a little harder to find, substitute brown rice vermicelli for the rice vermicelli noodles if you can find them.
Tip: Buying a container of already-squeezed lemon or lime juice is a more cost-effective way of using citrus juice in recipes versus freshly-squeezed juice.