Minestrone with Diced Chicken and Brown Rice

It’s so wonderful to come home to a hot soup just waiting for you in the slow cooker. To make it a complete meal, serve with a salad.

1. Dust the chicken with the flour. Lightly coat a large saucepan with cooking spray, add the oil and set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté just until browned, about 4 min¬utes. Remove the chicken from the saucepan and set aside.
2. Respray the same saucepan and keep over medium-high heat. Add the oil, garlic, onion and carrots and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion and carrot are softened.

3. Add the stock, rice, chickpeas, tomatoes and juice, bay leaves, tomato paste, dried basil and oregano, salt, pepper and the browned chicken. Bring to a boil, then add to your slow cooker. Cook on the high setting for 3 hours or on the low setting for 6 hours or until the rice is cooked. Add the bok choy during the last 10 minutes of cooking on the high setting and the last 20 minutes on the low setting. Garnish with the Parmesan cheese and serve.

4 oz skinless boneless chicken breast (about 1 breast), diced
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
4 1/2 cups beef (or chicken) stock
1/3 cup brown rice
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can (19 oz) whole tomatoes (with juice), cut into quarters
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
pinch of salt and pepper
2 cups chopped bok choy
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Nutritional Analysis per Serving

Calories 185
Protein 14 g
Fat 4.1 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Carbohydrates 18 g
Cholesterol 21 mg
Sodium 470 mg
Fiber 4.8 g

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours (high) or 6 hours (low)

Serves 8

Nutrition Watch: In addition to its high levels of fiber, brown rice is an excellent source of manganese (which is great for boosting energy), selenium (which fights cancer) and magnesium (which helps to maintain bones).