Food · Recipes

Lovely Lunch: Jalapeño Chicken Soup & Thai Salad

So, as I’m sure many of you do, I am always trying to find ways to save money. One of the hardest parts of being a full-blown foodie is figuring out how to not break the bank and be able to enjoy gourmet food. Luckily, I like to cook and that tends to solve some problems. I’ve finally been getting into a good habit of cooking one or two meals for the week, and making enough to bring as lunch to work, because buying lunch everyday (especially in NYC) can add up to a couple hundred dollars you’re spending a month.

The thing I’ve always struggled with, was figuring out how to make myself want to eat something repetitively. As a child, I never got into leftovers, it just never seemed to be as good, and I think I got spoiled with a mom who managed to somehow come up with a different home-cooked meal practically every night. After a few weeks of being good about cooking and bringing lunch in, I have realized its all about habits, and if you’re eating out and having something different every day for lunch, that is what you’re going to be used to doing. But, if you force the habit of re-eating things you had the night before, it becomes tolerable, and then like-able, and then desirable. The best part is, if you like to cook, you’re going to get better and better at cooking, and eventually your dishes will be what you look forward to, and not that sushi place you’ve had, like, eight hundred times already.

I made this salad and soup combo last week, and I kid you not, I enjoyed eating it every.single.day. Can you believe that? I looked forward to it, and it was just as good as it was the day before. The best part is that these two recipes make a ton of food, so you will definitely be set for at least one meal a day for the week with ’em. I even shared some salad with friends at the end of the week. Also, I’m sure you’re thinking… SALAD? Lasting a week? Ah, the beauty of kale.

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This salad packs a huge punch, involves a lot of chopping, but is SO worth it. The dressing is bomb. It’s amazing. It is so good and so addictive. I used red kale as well because I find it to be a bit less intense than regular green kale, but has just as many awesome vitamins and equally great flavor.

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The soup paired so, so, so nicely with the salad even though its less Thai, more Mexican, but the spice of the jalapeño with coconut milk bring it closer to that. I don’t know about you, but a great soup and salad combo is enough to get me through the rest of the afternoon at work without feeling grossly full, but totally satisfied.

Unfortunately I only have those two finished product pictures for these guys, but since the processes are super easy I think you’ll survive! 😉

Soup Directions

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 3 jalapeños, ribs and seeds removed
  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 14 ounce cans white beans (canellini or great northern)
  • 2 tbsp thai green curry paste
  • 2 limes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • sour cream for serving

Bring broth and water to a boil in a pot and add the chicken breasts, cover and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes. After that time, turn off the heat, keep the cover on and let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked completely through. Remove chicken from broth, DO NOT DRAIN, and set chicken aside to cool.

Add jalapeños and onion to a food processor and blend till chopped.

Strain the broth through a sieve to remove any unwanted leftovers and add it to large soup pot and turn on heat medium-low. Shred the chicken and add to the broth. Add can of coconut milk, jalapeños, onions, beans, curry paste, and lime juice, along with salt and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

While that is cooking – you can make the salad!

Salad Directions

For dressing:
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated or diced ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
For salad:
  • 16 ounces frozen shelled edamame
  • 5-6 cups baby kale
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 bell peppers, I used orange & yellow
  • 3 green onions
  • ¾ cup roasted cashews

For the dressing, put all of the ingredients into a food processor, and blend thoroughly until completely incorporated. I had great success with my hand-blender in its metal “smoothie” cup (it came with a bunch of accessories). Set aside or refrigerate if you like your dressing cold.

For the salad, add the edamame to some water and set on the stove until it boils for about 3-5 minutes just to cook it through. Strain and let cool. Chop, slice, and dice all of your salad veggies. You want the kale to be thoroughly chopped, and I liked having my carrots and peppers in thin strips. I diced the green onions into it’s standard little rings. You definitely want to add those green onions in, they are sooo perfect and add a little bite to the dense salad. Add the edamame to your food processor and pulse a few times to chop it (or just manually roughly chop it on a cutting board). Repeat with your cashews and add them to the bowl of kale and veggies. Toss together with the dressing and serve! Since I was keeping the salad for a few days, I didn’t add the dressing. I stored it separately and just added it to my individual servings to keep the freshness as long as possible.

Now, your soup and salad should be all set! Add a dollop of sour cream to your soup and you are good to go.

Enjoy and happy lunching!

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4 thoughts on “Lovely Lunch: Jalapeño Chicken Soup & Thai Salad

  1. You did it again. Looks good enough to eat. Do you know that massaging your Kale makes it better. Also, using mason jars to make salads ahead. Pack ingredients and top with the green stuff. Bring dressing along in a small container. All kinds of combinations. Check it out on google and You Tube. Stay warm. Happy Thanksgiving. Love You. Aunt Fran

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