C is for Coconut and Coconut is for Cleanses

Lately it seems like everything I make should get topped with a big dollop of sour cream. If, like me, you’re trying to cut down on your dairy intake to kick-start your health in the New Year, coconut yogurt is your new best friend. Coconut yogurt, while not necessarily a low fat dairy substitute, is a great replacement when you’re on a dairy free cleanse. Made from coconut milk, coconut water and live cultures, it has similar health benefits to the probiotics found in yogurt. It has a thick, rich texture with a tart, creamy finish that is not unlike sour cream. It is the perfect garnish for chili, soup or tacos, throw a dollop in your smoothie or eat it plain with some maple syrup, granola and sea salt (trust me).

Here’s a recipe for a perfect (dairy free) winter dish that will fill you up without slowing you down. The best part? It takes 30 minutes.

black bean soup

Black Bean Soup with Shredded Chicken, Cherry Tomatoes, Tortilla Chips & Coconut Cream

Serving Size: 2

Total Time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Equipment:

  • 2 medium sized sauce pans
  • a cutting board
  • a sharp knife
  • a blender or emersion blender

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 1 chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, ½ small dice, one half peeled, whole
  • 2 cloves of garlic, one minced, one crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 small jalapeno, half sliced, with seeds, half not cut
  • 8 oz chicken stock
  • salt to taste
  • juice from ½ lime
  • 6 tortilla chips (good, salty ones), crushed
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 10 cilantro leaves, chopped
  • coconut yogurt

Preparation:

Fill one of the sauce pans 2/3 of the way with water. Season with salt and add the peeled half onion, the crushed clove of garlic and the half uncut jalapeno. Bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the chicken breast and cook for 10 minutes (the chicken should not longer be pink in the center when you cut it in half). Drain and let cool.

While the water is coming to a boil, start your soup. In your second sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic and stir, making sure that the garlic does not burn. Add the beans and sauté for about 5 minutes, until they just begin to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the cumin, coriander and season with salt. Stir until well combined. Add the chicken stock and the sliced jalapeno. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Scrape the bottom of the pan, releasing anything that wants to stick. Let the soup simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes.

Once the chicken has drained and is cool enough to handle, shred it with your hands by pulling small pieces with the grain. It should pull apart easily. Place the shredded chicken in the bottom of two soup bowls.

If using an emersion blender, remove the soup from the heat and blend the soup directly in the pot. If using a blender, transfer the soup now, making sure the lid is on tightly. I like to wrap a towel around the top of the blender, because when you blend hot items, the steam creates pressure that may cause the lid to shoot off (and soup goes everywhere). Once smooth, return the soup to the pot and heat again. If your soup is too thick (aka, it looks more like a black bean dip) add 1/4 cup of water while it reheats. Once hot, remove from the heat, add the lime juice and stir to combine. Taste the soup and season with salt as necessary.

Pour the hot soup over the shredded chicken (that is already in your soup bowls) so that the chicken if fully submerged. Garnish with the cherry tomatoes, a dollop of coconut yogurt, the crushed tortilla chips and the chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

 

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