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CHICKEN Dumpling soup.



This recipe was developed by a very dear friend of mine; I only made modifications as explained at the bottom of the post.


Hello beautiful people! So today I’m lucky enough to have the day off (and actually tomorrow too, giving me a four day weekend…woohoo!) because I had some extra 2014 vacation days back at my old big girl job that need to be used up before the end of January. This means I’m spending some quality time with my mini and devoting her naptime to sprucing up this blog a bit.


Since last week I challenged all of you to live a healthier lifestyle throughout all of 2015, I realized it might also then be useful to periodically provide tools help you  achieve that goal. Especially since it’s my goal to do the same! What I’ll then commit to you is to post healthier versions of recipes throughout the year to give you that extra little nudge.


NOTE: I’m not claiming these recipes to be fat free or sodium free, I’m just offering my alterations to reduce each of these things to make it a healthier meal.



Today: Chicken & Dumpling Soup(Low-Sodium, Low-fat, High Flavor)

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2-lbs Chicken Breasts {shortcut tip: buy rotisserie chicken, remove the skin & shred)

1 bunch Celery, chopped

16-oz bag carrots, shredded

2 large Onions, diced

1 head cabbage, chopped

8-oz mushrooms, sliced

(3) 48-oz containters Low Sodium Chicken Broth 

2 Boullion cubes, dissolved in 16-oz boiling water

4 Tbsp minced garlic

Palm full of Penzey’s Bouquet Garni spices {or an Italian Seasoning blend will work!}

Crushed red pepper flakes

Onion Powder

Garlic Powder

Grands Reduced Fat Homestyle Biscuits, (16.3 oz tube)


DIRECTIONS FOR CHICKEN BREASTS {skip if using rotisserie chicken!}

I hated baked chicken breasts prior to learning to cook them this way because I felt like they always either ended up dry or they grossed me out from baking in the liquid they dispersed at the bottom of the bakind dish. Insert baking on a wire rack.


A couple things listed below are key like sprinkling salt on the baking sheet. When the liquids drop from the chicken this diffuses any burning smell. Yay!

1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, sprinkle it with salt. Lightly spray a wire rack with cooking spray and fit rack on top of baking sheet. Set aside.


2. Place chicken breasts in gallon Ziploc bag with 1 Tbsp olive oil, and generously add onion powder and garlic powder. Add ground black pepper as desired and two shakes of crushed red pepper. Seal Ziploc bag and move the chicken around in the marinade until full covered.


3. Remove chicken from bag and set on wire rack, place in oven and bake for 25 minutes or until internal temp is 165 degrees.


4. Remove from oven and shred.





1. Pour 1 Tbsp Olive Oil in bottom of large stockpot over medium heat. Add all veggies; stir.

2. Add garlic, Italian Seasoning and 3 hefty shakes of crushed red pepper flakes and stir.

3. Stir in shredded chicken and bring to rolling boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 30-60 minutes or so, to start softening the veggies.


4. Add pinches of Grand’s biscuits to simmering soup (I do this in two batches since they float at first. So I add pinches of half the tube, let it simmer for 30 minutes until they start to drop, then add pinches of the remaining dough).


5. Simmer a minimum of 30 minutes or until all the biscuit dough drops. The longer you simmer the more flavor, so go ahead & let it go as long as you want before serving.


6. AS STATED IN KRISTIN’S DIRECTIONS to me: Serve with love and admiration to all your friends and family!

Kristin is one of my very best girlfriends from high school, actually, and is really the queen of developing yummy soups. Every one of her batches that I’ve tasted is just amazing…you want to devour every last bite. She makes it easy on me because she totally cooks things healthy too, using only lean meats and olive oil. In fact, the only area we really differ on is how we cook and season the chicken and added salt in other areas.


Unfortunately, since salt is such a flavor enhancer it typically takes me a couple tries to remake her recipe in a lower-sodium version without losing all the mouth-watering flavor. To be completely honest, I didn’t master the new flavor profile until this last weekend when I had a couple of my other girlfriends over for soup, salads and wine while Adelyn napped. Let me tell you, it was a hit. So I made sure to jot down exactly what I did to be able to provide this recipe for all of you!


Let me know if you have any questions, otherwise, happy cooking! This was both kid and husband tested and approved by both!





Ok, so a little disclosure before today's post: I hate being cold. Like hate it, hate it. I feel like my toes go numb after being outside in the winter for any extended period of time without toe warmers in my shoes. That said, outfit posts are just going to have to be done inside until it's a little warmer out.


I know that doesn't exactly create the best lighting or provide the most desireable backdrop, but I just can't do it outside when it's so cold out. Sorry! Ok, on to this week's outfit...


After the super disappointing Packer loss yesterday (waaaahhhhh!), reality set in that now it's just winter in the Midwest. The holidays are over, football season is over and all that's left is cold. Cold and grey most days. I don't know about you, but I get sooooooo sick of bundling up every day, especially since said bundling typically means I'm limited in my outfit choices because staying warm supercedes looking cute {almost} always.


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HOW TO: Be the best we can be.



This post is in affiliation with KIND Snacks. All opinions are my own.


I’m so excited about the great comments and personal messages I received from Wednesday’s post that I want to react to some right away that broached the topic of learning more about healthy eating. While eating healthy isn’t always easy, it also isn’t as hard as some people make it out to be. My belief is that the primary difference between those two outlooks is education.


Like I briefly mentioned in Wednesday’s post about my fitness journey, I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out little tricks that make meals flavorful yet still healthy. Likewise, I’ve learned tricks to limit my over-indulgence on gluttonous meals when I travel for work.


Really, they’re simply tricks like snacking on a KIND bar mid afternoon. And drinking water. Whether it’s a fancy glass/bottle that makes it more enticing or adding fresh fruit to your water, do something and drink up. You can read an overwhelming amount of info on why drinking water is healthy, but for me... [Continue reading...]




This post is in affiliation with Fabletics. All opinions are my own.


I’ve mentioned fairly often on here the positive impact that fitness and living a healthy lifestyle has had on my life. From my mood to my energy levels, I always feel better when I’m on a consistent workout routine and filling my body with primarily healthy foods. Since it’s the second week of January, my guess is that incorporating a fitness routine might be on a couple of your resolution lists as well. Whether it’s because your fitness schedule got botched up with the busyness of the holidays or if you’re just planning to start your fitness journey, I’m here to tell you the importance of continuing this journey. Fitness should be a part of your lifestyle, not just for the first 6-8 weeks of each new year.


As someone who’s always been on the smaller side, incorporating a fitness routine was something I did to both maintain my body image and because I’ve always had a pretty good grasp on the importance of healthy living. Throughout my entire childhood my dad...

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