Thursday, November 29, 2012

In the Hustle and Bustle

If you are like me, then there are at least two nights a week I have no time to stand over a stove.  To say that I am obsessed with giving my family a healthy meal at home just might be an understatement.  I have learned, as my children have gotten older and are involved in evening activities, that eating at home can be slightly more challenging.  In true fashion it really just gave me a stronger drive to figure it out.  It, meaning, how I would accomplish a decent meal in a short amount of time.  My first answer to this is to wrap your arms around your crock pot.  A.K.A. My Best Friend.  Lately though, I have been venturing into some dishes that are quick "throw" together meals, but the crock pot is still my preferred method.  But, hey, who am I to complain?

This is a dish I made our first night in the mountains.  We had driven all day and then had to stop at the bottom of the mountain to buy the groceries we would need before heading up.  Some earlier afternoon shopping road breaks had put us a little behind schedule so altering this dish even further, with a ready made chicken, made it the perfect quick and easy meal. was a hit with everyone!  In case you haven't met me before, I am not a short order cook.  The only time my kids will ever be served something different then what I make is if it is entirely too spicy...sometimes it's worth it.  :)

Here we go.

Creamy Chicken Divan Soup

Recipe Compliments of Southern Living.

Makes 12 cups.


***To speed up the prep time, grab a rotisserie chicken from the deli.  Super quick and loads of flavor!

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium-sized sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 (48 oz.) container chicken broth
  • 2 (12 oz.) packages fresh broccoli florets (about 12 cups)
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 (8 oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toasted slivered almonds (optional)


  1. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onion, and saute 5 to 6 minutes or until tender.  Add garlic and red pepper, and cook 2 minutes.  Stir in chicken broth and broccoli.  Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until broccoli is tender.  Stir in cream cheese.
  2. Process mixture with a handheld blender until smooth.  Add chicken and shredded cheese.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately with almonds, if desired.
Note: If you don't have a handheld immersion blender, let the mixture cool slightly; process mixture, in batches, in a regular blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.  Return mixture to Dutch oven, and proceed as directed.  ****I bought an immersion blender for $13!  Worth every cent!

Here is how I made it "skinny"--
  • I used reduced fat / low sodium chicken broth
  • I used reduced fat cream cheese
  • I used reduced fat shredded cheese

So, in the hustle and bustle of life, especially in this holiday season, you can still feed your family a healthy meal.  From the taste of it, they will think you cooked all day.  It can be our little secret.  ;)

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