Teri Mena: The Mailbox

A versatile sauce

The basic hamburger served at Bidwell Street Bistro is especially delicious with the sauce it is served with. I would welcome the recipe. The sauce would enhance a number of other entrees as well.

Thank you for your help.

– Valerie Piotrowski, El Dorado Hills


Slow cooker chicken and vegetable soup

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time in slow cooker on low: 8 hours

Serves 8

Ann Arn of Glendora is a health-conscious special education teacher who works long hours, sometimes working until 7pm. She was hoping for a non-cream based chicken and vegetable soup recipe that she could make in a slow cooker.

This recipe is low in calories, fat and sodium and high in fiber and should fill the bill for Arn.


3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, skinned and excess fat trimmed (about 1 1/2 pounds)

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

3 medium carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds

3 medium parsnips, sliced into 1/4-inch thick half-moons

2 stalks celery, peeled and finely sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

One 2-inch piece Parmesan rind

1 teaspoon yellow curry powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh dill fronds, chopped

Grated Parmesan and lemon, for serving


Combine the chicken breasts, chicken broth, 2 cups water, carrots, parsnips, celery, onions, Parmesan rind, curry powder, salt and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove chicken breasts. When cool enough to handle, shred the meat (discard bones) and add back to the soup. Add peas and dill. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve in soup bowls with a sprinkle of Parmesan and a squeeze of lemon.

Per serving: 156 cal.; 19 g pro.; 13 g carb.; 3 g fat (1 sat., 1 monounsat., 1 polyunsat.); 45 mg chol.; 313 mg sod.; 3 g fiber; 18 percent calories from fat.