Shortcut Soup Supper


Last Saturday, after 12+ hours of driving and shopping at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, my Mom and I made our way to our hotel room where we promptly took a nose dive onto our respective beds, and flipped on the TV to zone out and relax for a bit.

After bypassing the weather channel (snow, and more snow,) Food Network (Cupcake Wars, ’nuff said) and some basketball games (bor-ing!) we landed on HBO.

Score – free movies!

Double score – a Zac Efron movie!

I’m pretty sure he’s like, 12, and it’s probably highly inappropriate for a women of my age to say this, but droooool. LOVE me some Zac Efron!

The love stopped flowing about two minutes later. The movie was Charlie St. Cloud and it was terrible. Just all kinds of awful. Zac, aka “Charlie” plays a kid who lost his little brother in a tragic accident, but is able to see him everyday at sunset as long as he keeps showing up to this random meadow where they play catch.

Enter the love interest who starts distracting Charlie from his deceased little bro, which causes him to stop playing everyday. Little brother gives him one last chance to show up before he peaces out to Heaven, but Charlie chooses to save said love interest, who is dying in a cave (?), over going to meet him.

See, told you. Bad. But still…that face! That hair! Those eyes!

Ahem! Anyways!

The movie took place in a quaint, woodsy, coastal town that was probably supposed to be off the coast of Maine or something, but the scenery actually reminded me a lot of the lakeside northern Minnesota towns that Ben and I drove through this past summer. Add in all the state-themed stores we’d passed by at the MOA earlier that day, packed with tons of their famous wild rice, and I got a hankerin’.

A hankerin’ for a Minnesota specialty – Chicken & Wild Rice Soup!


What? Bad fantamas (fantasy dramas) don’t make you want a big warm bowl of the good stuff? ;)


While I didn’t have a chance to pick up any authentic, Minnesota wild rice at the mall, my Chicken & Wild Rice Soup still turned out pretty – nay, really – spectacular. :)


Creamy, chewy, hearty and perfect for the dreadfully cold spell central Iowa’s been under this week.


The recipe is also on the lighter side, as it comes from one of your favorite bloggers and mine, Skinnytaste. Traditional Wild Rice soup is made with gobs of butter and half & half, but Gina significantly lightened things up without sacrificing an ounce of flavor.


Not only is the soup waistline friendly, but it’s also a cinch to make. I whipped it last night as Ben and I were watching cough Teen Mom 2 cough (don’t tell him I told you) and only had to hop up a couple times to give the soup a stir. I started by sauteing onions in a wee pat of butter.


After the onions were soft, I sprinkled flour on top and cooked it for about a minute. Just long enough to give the “flour” taste a chance to cook out.


Next I added in chopped celery, carrots and garlic, and swirled it all together with chicken stock. (My homemade chicken stock!)


After the veggies simmered for 20 minutes, I added in long grain white rice and this:


A box of Long Grain & Wild Rice mix! Totally love the shortcut here, and seasoning packet that comes with. So easy.


After another 25 minute simmer sesh, I added in cooked & shredded chicken, a couple Tablespoons of fat free sour cream, and called it a day night.


Tonight all I had to do was reheat, and eat!


Warm, satisfying, and easy enough to make any day of the week.

DSC_1237 DSC_1238

Plus you know leftovers of this soup only get better and better!


I followed Gina’s recipe, with the following modifications:

  1. Used 8oz sliced button mushrooms instead of shitakes
  2. Stirred in 3 cups cooked & shredded chicken at the end, instead of cooking chicken thighs in with the soup

20 Day Holiday Workout Challenge

We’re 2 1/2 weeks in, people! How’s it going?

With the crazy week I’m currently experiencing, working out after a long day has just about been the last thing I’ve wanted to do. But, a challenge is a challenge, and seriously – Reese’s Peanut Butter Trees taste so much better knowing I’ve been working so hard!

Plus, not having to wash my face before bed has been seriously epic.

Tonight I needed a break from the gym though, so I came home and went through Level 2 of Jillian Michaels’ Shred DVD. Gahhh, no matter how many times I do that DVD, it never gets any easier!

Still – done, and done! :)

Month of Holiday Giveaways

WOW, you guys! After a record number of entries in the Keurig Platinum Brewer giveaway, the winner is…

Lindsey D.: I’ll take my coffee with a bit of Hazelnut or Peppermint Mocha creamer on the bottom with some fresh, hot coffee on top! :)

Congrats Lindsey! Email your full name, address & ph# to by December 9th, and we’ll get that shipped out to ya’!

For everyone else, there’s still time to get free shipping & 15% off your order at Just use code AM0015-3592 at check out by 12/15. K-Cups make great stocking stuffers! ;)

Have a great night everyone!


Have you ever won anything exciting?

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  1. Katy 12.07.2011

    Is there a reason you wash your face over the bathtub instead of the sink? Just wondering…

    • Iowa Girl Eats 12.07.2011

      Because I get water *everywhere* when I wash over the sink. Bad aim, I guess!

  2. Lindsey B 12.07.2011

    Umm… crap! Why did I have to get married and change my last name! I WAS LINDSEY D.!!! :) Wish I still was… but now it’s Lindsey B. I had a mini heart attack when I saw the winner, and then my heart sunk when I realized I wasn’t Lindsey D anymore. Haha, its only been 4 years. :)

  3. Joan VanCourt 12.07.2011

    To answer your question about ever winning something exciting, my answer is yes. I won a box of stamping and scrapbooking items.

  4. Zac Efron is just TOO MUCH hype fo me. Can’t do it. But his eyes are pretty swoony. As for the movie…he was in it, and he was throwing balls. That’s all I have to say about that.

  5. erica 12.07.2011

    creamy chicken & wildrice soup and zac efron. 2 very yummy things, in my book! ;p

    the movie was horrible? i always wanted to watch it. thanks for sparing me the trouble! lol!!!

  6. Kim 12.07.2011

    I have done 7 of the 20 workouts.

  7. Casi 12.07.2011

    AW I recently watched Charlie St. Cloud and thought it was a nice film! Did you watch the whole thing? It has a a nice message. BUT obvs. Mr. Efron (24 yrs young) is the best part ;)

    The soup looks so yummy and comforting. Easy too!!!

  8. Do y’all tend to have a lot of leftovers? Or do you just cook for 2? I grew up cooking for 6. I need to learn how to cook for 2. Yummy soup!

  9. Rrrrawr! I also love me some Zac Efron. So much, in fact, that I’ll stop and watch High School Musical when I find it while channel surfing…

    Yay for Minnesota!

  10. Dream Mom 12.07.2011

    Not sure if this qualifies as “winning” but recently I wrote Blendtec regarding a question on their Blendtec blenders AND…..they offered to send me one for FREE!!!!!! Wee!! It arrives at the end of this week. I’ll tell the story on my blog once I get it but it was really exciting. And no, I never asked for a blender or anything! I am pretty sure this counts as winning!

  11. Diana 12.07.2011

    Thanks for another great supper idea :)

  12. Meagan 12.07.2011

    Zac Efron also has a new movie coming out in April based on a Nicholas Sparks book! I am just as obsessed as you are, no need to worry! ;)

    Recipe looks great!

  13. Wow, that soup looks awesome. Great idea throwing in the rice and spice packet from the box!

  14. girliefriend 12.07.2011

    Had to laugh…you didn’t like Charlie St. Cloud, but are a fan of Teen Mom 2? oy..

    *scratches head*

    I thought the movie was sweet. I won a two wheel bicycle in a Howard Johnson’s coloring contest when I was five.

  15. Trisha 12.07.2011

    Oh, Zac Efron…{swoon}. I can never get enough of “17 Again”. Chicken & Wild Rice soup is equally as dreamy and this recipe looks superb. In fact, I might make it tomorrow!
    Other than a few Packer pools, I can honestly say that I’ve never won anything. :(

  16. WendyG 12.07.2011

    Oh my goodness my status update tonight was about Zac Efron because I can’t wait to see New Year’s Eve this Friday starring his deliciousness!!!!!!!!! It is highly inappropriate but who gives a rats a**……he is GRADE A BEEF!!!!!!!!! Sorry you had me at Zac…..

  17. Lauren 12.07.2011

    Kristin, where did you pick up those French Toast K-cups? I’ve been dying to try some, and I didn’t see them on the Green Mountain website.

  18. Rachel 12.08.2011

    I think the most exciting thing I’ve ever won was tickets to see Paul Westerberg in concert…But that was many many years ago. Most recently, the most exciting thing I’ve won was my Breville juicer last year, or the fancy-schmancy chocolates I just found I won from another blog last weekend!

  19. Teresa K. 12.08.2011

    I don’t win things – mmmm – oh wait! – I did win a really neat little calligraphy pic one time. lol –
    HOWEVER – no no no! I’m one of those evil doers who must have (forgive me ige) haagan dazs swiss vanilla ice cream whilst watching anything sappy, or bad chick flicks, and yes, Bob Harper – I do watch you every week faithfully – sometimes with a pint (good thing he couldn’t see my face when he came on live and yelled at everyone who does that!) lately we’ve switched up to yogurt smoothies – for which I have to thank you, Kristen, for giving me the idea when you did breakfasts on here. :)

  20. Gwen 12.08.2011

    I make chicken and wild rice soup very similar to this. I don’t do the flour step (I like it more like broth). I use Uncle Ben’s tradional flavor wild rice (with seasoning packet) rather than Rice A Roni. And the very last thing I do is add a can of evaporated milk to the soup. It gives it a delicious rich flavor!

  21. Micah 12.08.2011

    Zac Efron is 24. You are safe. And so am I. Every time I see a promo for “New Year’s Eve,” I drool over him.

  22. Stacey 12.08.2011

    Wow. That soup looks amazing. I can’t wait to make it.

  23. Caitlin 12.08.2011

    I’ve never won anything that I didn’t work really hard for. I’ve won poster competitions for research proposals; I’ve won academic scholarships- but never a day spa package or a dream vacation to Fiji. I bet the first thing I win outright is going to be epic:)

  24. Tracy 12.08.2011

    My husband & I won a trip to Taiwan a few years ago. It was a fascinating place to visit!

  25. Allison 12.08.2011

    So many delic eats, you’re gonna have to start posting your weekly grocery list :P This is perfect with the weather cooling down [and my Dear on a soft food diet after some detal work, ha]!

  26. VeggieGirl 12.08.2011

    My man and I just did the 30 day shred level two last night as well, boy it was a killer! I’ve done the DVD on and off for over a year and it still kills me even after all those workouts…..

  27. Allison 12.08.2011

    The first movie that I watched with my fiancee was Charlie St. Cloud. We rented it. The plot is odd and surreal, but kinda sweet anyway. I would have to agree Zac Efron is the highlight of that movie.

    I won a Glamour Magazine sweepstakes for a dress. It was super exciting until I realized they didn’t care about my size and were sending a medium (too big). I gave it to my sister, who turned it into part of a Halloween costume. :)

  28. Kaycie G 12.08.2011

    You have to read the book that the movie is based on! It’s called the Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood and it’s FANTASTIC. I agree though, the movie was a total bust. And don’t worry, Zac is 24… totally legal :)

  29. Sara 12.09.2011

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made this last night and it is definitely a keeper! It tastes just like the Minnesota Wild Rice soup at The Radish (in Grimes). Although, this broth was much thinner (which I’m totally okay with as it will keep my waistline thinner too!).

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