Monday, January 17, 2011

Eat. Live. Be.

Topic #3: Baby it's Cold Outside 
{Recipe: Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup}

This week's topic for ELB is titled "Baby it's Cold Outside" and yes, it truly is, unless of course you are in Hawaii right now, where it is STIL 80 degrees. *sighs* oh how I wish I was in Hawaii.  But I digress, back to ELB.
My favorite type of exercise is running.  I wasn't born to run, actually I am not any type of natural athlete, but I have a passion for running; however, I dread - no - I loathe tredmills. I would rather run in 18 inches of snow, up hill both ways, in a blizzard, than drag my butt to the gym and run on a tredmill.  The monotony is horrendous. So, how do I stay motivated to exercise, when it has been snowing since last Tuesday, it is 20 degrees outside, and it is just so cozy inside?  As Barney of "How I Met Your Mother" (great tv series if you haven't watched it) says, I "Suit up!"  No pinstripes for me though, just tights, gloves, ear warmers, smart wool socks, my favorite running shoes recently sprayed for water resistance, and sometimes a scarf, or my crazy scary ski mask if its really cold.  Its so exhilarating to go for a freezing cold run, then come back inside and feel the redness in your cheeks!  I love it!
For those days that I am not quite as adventurous, I try to either hit up the elliptical, wii fit, or my trusty old dumb bells.  Speaking of which, Justin and I recently purchased the dumbbells at the bottom of the page, and I LOVE them. Compact, easy, and efficient. What more could you want in dumb bells?
So, now that I have told you what I do during the winter months to stay active, what do you do to keep exercising?  How do you stay motivated?  Also, if you have a wii fit board, what have you found to be the best exercise "games?"  I have heard of wii zumba and really want to try it!  Finally, check out the list of bloggers at the bottom of the page who are taking part in the Eat. Live. Be initiative 

Finally, for those of you who decide you are going to brave the cold and go running, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, etc. A great way to warm up after your workout is with some homemade Chicken noodle soup!  It is a broth based soup, obviously, so it is much healthier than your cream based soups, and if you make it homemade, you can control the amount of salt and fats you include!  So here is my hearty chicken noodle soup recipe.

1 Tbsp. EVOO
1 whole chicken (about 4 lbs., breast removed and split, remaining chicken cut into 2-inch pieces)  click here for a great video on how to do this*
1 medium onion cut and diced
2 quarts boiling water
Table salt
2 bay leaves
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium rib celery, sliced 1/4-onch thick
1/4 teaspoon dired thyme
2 cups (3oz) egg noodles (preferably wide)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves 

1. Heat oil in large soup kettle. When oil shimmers and starts to smoke, add chicken breast halves; sauté until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add onions to kettle; sauté until colored and softened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl; set aside. Add half of chicken pieces; sauté until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with onions. Sauté remaining chicken pieces. Return onions and chicken pieces (excluding breasts) to kettle. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken releases its juices, about 20 minutes. Increase heat to high; add boiling water along with both breast halves, 2 teaspoons salt, and bay leaves. Return to simmer, then cover and barely simmer until chicken breasts are cooked and broth is rich and flavorful, about 20 minutes.

2. Remove chicken breasts from kettle; set aside. When cool enough to handle, remove skin from breasts, then remove meat from bones and shred into bite-size pieces**; discard skin and bone. Strain broth; discard bones. Skim fat from broth, reserving 2 tablespoons. (Broth and meat can be covered and refrigerated up to 2 days.)
3. Return soup kettle to medium-high heat. Add reserved chicken fat. Add carrot and celery; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, along with broth and chicken; simmer until vegetables are tender and flavors meld, 10 to 15 minutes. Add noodles and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings, stir in parsley, and serve.

Cook's Notes
* When I was at the grocery store shopping for this recipe, I realized that a whole chicken is CHEAPER than just buying the chicken breasts.  SO, I have decide to start buying whole chicken, removing the breasts and taking off the skin (it takes 2 minutes) and then saving the wings and drum sticks for another recipe another day!
** If you notice under ingredients, the recipe states to remove the chicken breasts and then cut the rest of the meat into two inch pieces.  Then later in the recipe it tells you to remove the bones and cut the meat.  I interpret this as meaning to take the meat off the main cavity of the chicken. There will still be bones in parts of the meat.  Follow directions as state, and when it gets to the part where it tells you to remove skin and bone, remove the little baby bones from any meat you have remaining.  Also, I skin began to come off as I was cutting the chicken, I just through it out.  It will make the soup a bit healthier, and easier, overall.

Source: Cooks Illustrated

Eat. Live. Be. Bloggers

Sarah at Cucina Bella
Cate O’Malley at Sweet Nicks
Maris at In Good Taste
Chris at Mele Cotte
Faith at Bon Appetit
Kristen at Dine and Dish
Tri-Fit Mom at Tri-Fit Mom
Allison at Sweet Flours
Jen at NJ Epicurean
Jennifer at Lick-a-Plate
Jennifer Schulz at Lick-a-plate
Denise & Lenny at Chez Us


  1. Hi Sarah!
    I think I am going to make this for dinner tonight. I'm not feeling great and it's cold out. This looks perfect! I'm a firm believer that you can't go wrong with a Cook's Illustrated recipe. I may use a rotisserie chicken from the store to make this a little quicker today. You're doing great with your blog. I added it to my Google Reader account so I can see when you post an update!

  2. Hey! We have that same PowerBlock set of dumbbells (except my husband purchased ours like 10 yrs ago).

    I am always amazed and impressed when people run in the cold. I mean, I barely can drag myself outside to get the mail -- let alone exercise outside. So WOW.

    And I have to agree, treadmills can be monotonous. But I have recently discovered that the shelf on mine is perfect for holding my Kindle while I speed walk on it ... so that makes it a little better.

  3. I'm a winter runner as well so I TOTALLY get it! it actually feels kind of nice and is way worse in principle than in actuality. That soup sounds delicious! Definitely soul-warming.

  4. Thank you ladies! Joanne, you are totally right about it being worse in principle. My only complaint is that the cold air sometimes hurts my lungs, otherwise its the best. Sometimes I think its almost better than running in August, because you never feel suffocatingly hot!