Even though the holidays are officially in full swing, you still can find time to eat delicious, healthy meals at home! All of the meals this week taste great the first day but even better the second! If an early winter cold has you down, my Asian chicken-noodle soup is just the right prescription—it's loaded with greens and spices to ward off any sniffles.

Grocery list
3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken
6 cloves garlic
1 large knob fresh ginger
Sesame oil
Olive oil
1 large fennel bulb
64 oz. vegetable stock
1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes in juice
1 package fresh tortellini pasta (either cheese or spinach)
2 cups either pinto, kidney, or heirloom beans, either canned or cooked from scratch
1 large bag fresh spinach
Parmesan cheese
1 yellow onion
Cayenne pepper
1 container sour cream
1 stick butter
1 pint milk
Baking powder
4 quarts chicken broth
1 jalapeño
3 green onions
Soy sauce
Rice vinegar
2 bunches baby bok choy
1 package Chinese noodles
Sriracha sauce
Fresh cilantro


Asian Chicken-Noodle Soup
A spicy, delicious version of everyone's favorite get-well soup

Serves 6

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. salt
6 cups chicken broth
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
3 green onions, sliced
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 bunches baby bok choy, chopped
5 oz. Chinese noodles (about half a package)
Sriracha sauce for serving (optional)
Chopped cilantro for serving (optional)

1. Heat sesame oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottomed stock pot. Add minced garlic and ginger and briefly sauté for about 30 seconds. Add chicken and bok choy, sprinkle with salt, and sauté for another 3 minutes until chicken has turned white but is not completely cooked all the way through.

2. Add chicken broth, jalapeño, and green onions to pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until chicken is done.

3. Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling salted water, drain, and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

4. Add rice vinegar and soy sauce, and stir. Add noodles to pot and serve with chopped cilantro and sriracha sauce on the side.


Chicken Paprika With Homemade Dumplings
Creamy, delicious Midwestern comfort food

Serves 4

1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
32 oz. chicken broth
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp. flour

For dumplings:
1 cup flour
1/2 tbsp. butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and briefly sauté until tender. Add garlic, chicken, paprika, salt, and pepper, and sauté until chicken has browned (about 6 to 8 minutes).

2. Once chicken has browned, add 1 cup chicken broth to pot and increase heat to high. Bring mixture to a simmer and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so until chicken is done. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.

3. Reduce heat to low and add sour cream and flour to simmering broth. Whisk well so there are no clumps; continue whisking and simmering until mixture is very thick. Add chicken back to pot and stir well.

4. Now, make the dumplings. Pour the remaining broth (3 cups) into another pot and bring to a boil.

5. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with your fingertips, working mixture together until all butter has been incorporated. Add milk and stir so a dough forms.

6. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut thin strips of dough; cut across the strips to form small dough squares. Drop dough squares into boiling chicken broth and cook for about 5 minutes, until the dumplings float. Drain (reserve the broth for another use if you like) and drop cooked dumplings into chicken paprika. Stir and serve.


Tortellini and Heirloom Bean Soup
This soup is light and brothy, but the tortellini and greens make it filling as well!

Serves 6 to 8

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, diced
64 oz. vegetable or chicken stock
1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes in juice
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 package fresh tortellini pasta (either cheese or spinach)
2 cups either pinto, kidney, or heirloom beans, either canned or cooked from scratch
3 cups fresh spinach or chopped Swiss chard
Parmesan cheese for serving

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy pot. Add garlic and chopped fennel, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the fennel just begins to soften.

2. Quickly pulse the tomatoes in a blender or food processor to just barely purée (you still want some chunks). Add the chunky puréed tomatoes to the pot along with the stock, salt, and pepper.

3. Bring soup to a boil before adding tortellini and beans. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 7 minutes, until tortellini are puffy and cooked through. Add Swiss chard or spinach to pot and stir so the greens wilt.

4. Serve soup with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and additional salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes to taste.