Tomato Basil Chicken Stew

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When you’re spending thousands of dollars on the Lazaro wedding dress of your dreams, you want to be damn sure you look good in it. So, before we got married, my husband and I worked together to lose any excess poundage before the big day. We were in the gym 5 days a week, either taking a spinning class, running on the treadmill, or, in my case, shaking it in a cardio hip hop class. We probably looked ridiculous to the meatheads lifting 400 lbs right outside of the classroom, but I swear it was an awesome workout, and I learned lots of fun dance moves. In fact, I may or may not have taught an entire wedding how to “dougie” once after a few too many sweet tea vodkas with lemonade. Long story.

Just as important to our weight loss regimen was our diet. As someone that loves to cook and bake and eat, this part was a lot less fun for me. However, this recipe for Tomato Basil Chicken Stew was a lifesaver. It is seriously flavorful and loaded with filling veggies and chunks of chicken. Even now that we’ve become more lackadaisical in our diet and exercise, we still make this stew because it doesn’t taste like “diet” food. This recipe makes a bunch of stew and freezes great. Reward yourself for going to the gym tonight with this stew, a crusty piece of bread, and a sweet tea vodka with lemonade.

Tomato Basil Chicken Stew
Adapted from: Gimme Some Oven

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes (with their juices)
  • 1 14 ounce can cannelinni beans, drained
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (I put a few breasts in the slow cooker, cover them with water and let them cook on low while I’m at work)
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1. In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, zucchini and celery and saute for until the onion is soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute or two until fragrant.

2. Add in remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or all day. Nom.

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