Crockpot Chicken Soup For the Soul (Or a Cold)

Every year around this time, my immune system kicks into overdrive for its annual throw-down with my summer allergies. It usually begins with a week of an itchy sore throat, followed by several days of head congestion and general misery, then right before I decide how much Kleenex stock I’d like to purchase, it’s over and I forget all about it until the next August.

I’m on day seven of The Mold-Spore and Ragweed Battle of 2015, and can currently only breathe from one nostril. Which is super fun and not at all disorienting! Ugh.

I made it through last week with help from a lot of hot tea and honey, and daily trips to the Thai restaurant near the flower shop for steaming bowls of takeout chicken noodle soup with red chili sauce. Give me all the scalding liquids when my throat hurts, please and thank you.

I thought I’d try my hand at homemade pho over the weekend, but even the ‘simple’ version seemed daunting. So I went to the grocery store for some basic ingredients, and made a lazy girl’s crockpot chicken soup instead.

If you’re battling allergies or a cold, or just want something hearty and easy for dinner, this soup is maximum comfort with minimal effort. There’s no point in typing out a recipe, because it’s just. so. easy. Basically, throw all this stuff in your crockpot (adjust amounts for your serving size needs) and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until the chicken is thoroughly done.

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cleaned really well so you don’t get any of those weird fatty bits in your soup)
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • 3-4 cloves chopped fresh garlic
  • A few handfuls of fresh ‘coin-cut’ carrots
  • Diced celery
  • Diced Scallions
  • Uncooked potatoes, cubed (I used 3 small white sweet potatoes)
  • A sliced lemon
  • Ground pepper
  • Old Bay seasoning (optional)

I put some fresh kale greens into bowls and ladled the hot soup on top — the broth quick-cooks the kale — and served it with fresh sourdough from the bakery. If you want chicken noodle soup, cook the noodles separately and add them when you’re ready to serve; it’s tricky to master the timing/liquid with noodles and a crockpot, so save yourself the headache. You probably have enough of those from the sinus pressure, bless your heart.

quinoa breakfast bowls

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn into a proselytizing health blogger — two weeks of clean eating does not an expert make — but after the great response from yesterday’s Hungry for Change post I thought I would share my nutritious favorites now and then.

Starting with a simple breakfast that helped me overcome my morning chicken biscuit dependence.

I first stumbled upon quinoa breakfast bowls on Pinterest (of course I did) and thought, “who the heck eats quinoa for breakfast?

Schooled: Quinoa is a gluten-free whole grain that packs a lot of protein. It’s also a great source of fiber, iron and magnesium; so it’s a perfect way to jumpstart your day.

To save precious time in the morning, I cook a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week. I divide it up into Ziplock containers, and store them in the fridge so they’re easy to grab before running out the door. I take a minute to toss in whatever fixin’s I want for the day, and hit the road.

Pretend you’re at Coldstone and whip that quinoa bowl into a nutritious breakfast sundae with any (or all) of these healthy mix-ins:

  • organic honey
  • sliced almonds
  • coconut flakes
  • cacao nibs
  • ground flax
  • fresh fruit and berries
  • Greek yogurt
  • cinnamon
  • a dash of raw sugar

sunday comfort food: banana oat pancakes


I love pancakes of every persuasion. These simple banana oat pancakes can be mixed in the blender, which means less time for cleanup and more time for post-brunch naps.

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaping tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 large egg

Place all ingredients, except the egg, in the base of a blender and blend until smooth. Then add the egg and pulse a few times until well blended.

Heat a small amount of coconut oil or butter in a griddle or large saute pan over medium heat. Pour prepared batter into the heated pan. When the batter starts to form bubbles on top, carefully flip the pancake and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes.

Stack ’em high, and serve ’em up with real maple syrup and fresh fruit.

Bacon never hurts, either.

Adapted from Mountain Mama Cook’s Banana-Oat Blender Pancakes