This Broccoli Chicken Quinoa Soup is delicous to double the batch and enjoy all week long!

Broccoli Chicken Quinoa Soup

Yesterday was a reality check for me as I stepped onto the scales to reaffirm what most Americans feel the first week of January. Panic and “oh my goodness,” but also a feeling of excitement for healthy eating, cutting back, and getting into a new regime for the new year. It happens every year, and I’ve never been one to keep the extra pound or two on. Exercise is not an issue, as I love working out at the gym, doing yoga, and running/walking a couple days a week, but I do plan to step it up with more intervals, and to get back into weights! 50+ are the years that you cannot let your body go to pot, as they may be the most important years of your life. During my mom’s generation, the 50’s were considered the Golden Years. I’d say now, most 50 year olds are where our parents were at 40 years old, since we had children later in life, our kids are still in high school or college, and life is very busy. For me, I need to be healthy, feel good, be getting good sleep, make sure my hormones are in balance, and make sure I’m exercising regularly—all contributing to my mental health as well.

The one thing I have not talked about is spiritual health. I have goals in this area as well, and I’m excited for what the new year will bring!

In the meantime, I’ve removed the party foods from the fridge (well, we may be making a few Game Day recipes), and we’re on to salads, quinoa, grains, one-pot healthy meals. I’m very excited for cooking this month!

Portion control ideas.

I was reading in Cooking Light, “Plate size has real power to make people feel full and eat less.” True. My husband is very disciplined in this way, and I’m going to follow his way of eating this next month and see if I can make progress, which may mean NO MORE SECONDS.

It’s really about portion control, as I watch Paul with his healthy eating patterns. Some people think eating less means restricting the food that you love, but Paul often tells me it doesn’t work that way. It’s more about portion control.

Ugh. I really love seconds! (Like this soup!)

Broccoli Chicken Quinoa Soup

Don’t let food own you.

-Don’t let food packaging tell you when you are done eating. IE, if it’s a giant candy bar, you don’t want to eat the entire package! Only eat a quarter.
-Start with a bowl or plate on which you can dish up a plentiful portion of food, and tell yourself you will not go back for seconds.

-Always leave a (small) bite of food on your plate, to remind yourself that food does NOT rule you.

-Think about whether “you live to eat, or you eat to live.” Does food own you?

-Consider cooking one-serving dishes and serve in smaller portions like a ramekin.

-Weigh or measure your food until you get a handle on serving or portion sizes.

-Take time to eat the food — enjoy every bite. The longer you take to eat the food, the less likely you will want to reach for seconds.

Enjoy every bite!

So, my goal is not to restrict food, but to enjoy every bite. I want to be mindful of the portions, and really get a handle on going back for seconds!

I guess it’s all about cravings, too, which I’ll write about in another post.

Broccoli Chicken Quinoa Soup.

I made a delicious pot of Broccoli Chicken Quinoa Soup, inspired by my son, Garrett, who eats a LOT of broccoli. He’s been reminding me of how good it is, and I’m going to be including more in my recipes this year.

Quinoa is a staple in our home. We prepare it in the rice cooker, a few cups at a time, which makes cooking very easy when you want to serve a quinoa recipe!

Today’s recipe is winter comfort food, but still packed with veggies!

I’ll grab a larger soup bowl, fill it up, garnish with Parmesan and fresh parsley – and I won’t go back for seconds.

Enjoy, and happy first Monday of 2015, Friends!

Do you struggle with portion control, and what tips have helped you?

Broccoli Chicken Quinoa Soup

TIP: You can also freeze this soup! YUMMY! I sent it back to school with our college boys!

ONE MORE TIP:  A reader shared that she added fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, and yellow squash! A hit!

Broccoli Chicken Quinoa Soup
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Broccoli Chicken Quinoa Soup

Prepare quinoa in advanec and store in fridge. Easy quinoa is made in the rice cooker. 1 cup of quinoa to 1 1/2 cups of water. Double the recipe and enjoy all week long, or freeze!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 cups raw broccoli
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked or 3 cups of rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion, and season with salt and pepper. Saute the mixture until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add broccoli and garlic, season with more salt and pepper, then saute for 2-3 more minutes. Add the chicken broth, parsley, dried thyme, and bring to a boil.
  • Add cooked quinoa to the pot and cook for 5 minutes on high; lower heat to medium, then cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add chopped chicken to the soup; serve with Parmesan cheese.
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