A Healthy Way to Enjoy the Snow Day
It’s a cold, snowy winter day here in the northeast. Today, is a perfect day to stay in, put on some sweats, watch movies or catch up on your DVR shows. There’s something about the snow that relaxes me. Maybe, it’s the way the snow blankets the yards and sidewalks or the quiet calm that comes over the neighborhood. Whatever it is, I love it!
Taking my daughter out to play in the snow is my favorite part. Building a snowman, throwing snowballs and pulling her on the sled not only makes fun memories, but also is a form of cardio! Did you know that spending at least 30 minutes playing in the snow, doing the activities I mentioned, will burn anywhere from 200-400 calories? That’s right 200-400 calories. So, my suggestion get out there and build a snowman!!!
When I was a kid, my mother would have a big pot of Asopao de Pollo ready for us when we came in from the cold. Just recently, I went to a party and my girlfriend Ana made a pot and it was so good. (She and this snow storm inspired me to write this blog and share my recipe)
Asopao is a rice soup from Puerto Rico made with variations of chicken, pork, beef, shrimp or pigeon peas. With all these yummy different ingredients, it tends to be high on the calorie, sodium and carb side. Luckily for my readers, I have a healthier alternative to my mother and Ana's Asopao de Pollo. The best part, I only changed two ingredients to achieve these results and it tastes just as good as the traditional recipe! Here’s the recipe for my “Healthy” Asopao de Pollo.
Healthy Asopoa de Pollo (Chicken Rice Soup)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 serving light adobo seasoning
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups brown rice
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Season chicken breasts with black pepper and adobo seasoning.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook and stir green pepper, red pepper, onion, garlic, and tomato paste in the hot oil, until the vegetables have softened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove vegetables from the pot and set aside.
Pan fry chicken in the pot until browned, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Return cooked vegetables to the pot along with rice, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until rice is tender and chicken is no longer pink inside, about 20 minutes.
Stir in peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf. Stir in cilantro and serve.