Chicken Kale Quinoa Soup

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Bragging alert. You’ve been warned. 😉

Sunday I was in the gym working back and arms. It was relatively deserted so I had plenty of room to do a set and then take my lap of the gym during my rest. I hate just standing there doing nothing while resting. I feel weird so I take a lap of the gym. I did a couple of sets of overhead triceps and started to walk when OMG. OHHHHH emmm geee!

I caught sight in the mirror out of the corner of my eye and could not believe what I saw. It was one of those moments when you’re so caught off guard. I grabbed my phone, busted out a quick pose, and snapped a pic for evidence. My triceps were beautiful!

Just as I did this I heard a voice from the corner. “Yeah, you swole. That’s right!” It was one of the natives completely busting me for my selfie. Just for the record, I don’t speak the bro language quite yet but I got the jist of what he was saying. Translation “Your arms are freaking awesome!”

Arms have always been one of my weak points so for the last 9 months, I’ve been hitting them twice a week to try to build them up for contest. I’m here to tell you that hard work does pay off. It might take a little time, but when you least expect it. Boom, they shock you!

Since Fall is arriving, I decided to make a soup full of veggies that I had in my fridge along with some leftover grilled chicken. This was really easy to throw together and didn’t take a lot of time or effort. It’s also full of fiber, vitamins, and flavor while being low in fat.

Chicken Kale Quinoa Soup Chicken Kale Soup

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh kale
  • 3/4 lb grilled chicken breast

Heat a pot over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray. Add the onion and carrots and saute until softened. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.

Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. Stir in the basil and quinoa and cover. Lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. Add the kale and cook for about 2 – 3 minutes until the kale is tender. Remove soup from heat.

Cut the grilled chicken breast into bite sized chunks and divide evenly amongst 4 bowls. Ladle the soup over top of the grilled chicken and enjoy.

Makes 4 servings at 230 calories each – 24g protein, 24g carbs, and 3g fat.

Notes

  • You can change up the amount of onion and carrots used to suit your family’s tastes. I used 1/3 cup because that’s all that was left in the bag I had. Feel free to use more or even to add in diced celery.
  • I used red quinoa since I wanted a pretty contrast with the orange carrots and green kale. You can use regular quinoa or any other color you’ve got lying around.
  • Since I’m in contest prep and am watching my macros very carefully, I cut and weigh my chicken instead of mixing it in with the soup. If you aren’t watching your calories and macros like a crazed person, you can just cut the chicken into chunks and stir it into the soup.

The soup makes huge servings and also freezes well for leftovers. I love having extra soup in the freezer to break out on those cooler evenings when you don’t feel like cooking.

Three weeks left until stage time! I also want to say that I’m not usually this prone to bragging about my amazing arms but the process over the last few months preparing for stage has been shocking for me. I’m in awe at the amount of change that can be made. The human body has amazing abilities, and it seems so foreign since I never did any sports or athletic activities growing up.

Going from skinny fat/obese to where I am now has been a confusing adventure for sure. I was upset a while back because of this strange bulge near both knees. Upon further examination, I discovered it was a quad muscle. I freaked out because my jeans suddenly were loose everywhere but in the hips. Hello squat butt. I couldn’t figure out what the weird bumps were across my stomach until durrrrr, I realized it was abs.

It’s never too late to start your own fitness quest. Have you ever been busted taking a selfie? Have you learned to speak bro yet?

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