Complacency can be boring, but yet it’s comfortable. It’s what we know. It’s what we are used to. Occasionally breaking the routine can be a good thing. When I got home after a long day of work I found myself reaching for the same old ingredients. I stopped and decided to get creative instead. I needed some change. I must admit, I have been feeling a bit off lately. Maybe I’m just tired, maybe i’m complacent.
My husband will be the first one to tell you I don’t like routine. Let me rephrase that. I don’t like routine all the time. I crave different. I crave adventure. Although I feel comfortable with routine, its the change that keeps me excited. I believe the change translates into my cooking style. Often people will ask me what type of food do I cook. The answer is always “all kinds”. I don’t stick to one cuisine, I experiment with various flavors. I guess you can call it international fusion. Yes! I like that.
- ½ pack soba noodles
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ½ onion, sliced thin
- ½ tsp crushed garlic
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 3 oz shiitake mushrooms
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- ½ tbsp miso paste
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 eggs, hard boiled, sliced in half
- Cook soba according to instructions, drain, rinse and set aside
- In a small soup pot, heat olive oil, add onion, shiitake and garlic. Saute about 3 min.
- Stir in red pepper flakes if using, then add the broth.
- Bring to a simmer, add miso and cook another 5 minutes.
- Add carrots and cook another minute, just enough for the carrots to get softer but still have some crunch.
- To serve, add soba noodles to a bowl, top with the shitake broth, some carrots, green onions and egg.
- Enjoy with Sriracha.
Sometimes it’s great to let the slow cooker do all the work and that’s exactly how this dish came to be. Over the last week Briana has been very sick. In an effort to help her fight the sickness I made the ultimate get better dish, Chicken Noodle Soup.
Chicken soup is not only good for the soul, my grandma swears that it helps beat a cold as well. Who am I to argue with the woman. Since I was sick as well and had little desire to spend hours in the kitchen cooking the soup from scratch I turned to a reliable kitchen helper, my slow cooker.
Making chicken noodle soup in a slow cooker is a breeze. I might never make it the traditional way again. The trick is to add noodles in the last 30 minutes of cooking. I hope you make it. I know you will love it.
Have a beautiful weekend.
- 4 chicken breasts or boneless thighs
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary
- 2 chicken bouillons
- ¼ cup white wine
- 5 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup noodles
- Set your slow cooker for 5 hours on high.
- Add onion, carrots, celery and herbs to the slow cooker.
- Lay chicken on top.
- Add bouillon, white wine and water. Cook on high for 4½ hours.
- Add noodles and cook another ½ hour.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Do you consider yourself a health buff?
I often ask myself this question only to realize how much I still have to learn. I am just as passionate about food as I am about the benefits that it can deliver. That is why I continuously educate myself on the subject.
It is estimated that 60% of disease is caused by the Standard America Diet, ironically abbreviated to S.A.D. If I was to list the factors that increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and intestinal disorders, S.A.D has them all: high in unhealthy fats, low in fiber, processed and overcooked.
I admire people who eat a raw diet with their glowy skin and remarkable levels of energy. Although I would love to be able to do so I can never eat a fully raw diet. I am just not satisfied, especially in the cold months of winter, unless I eat a hot meal. This doesn’t stop me from incorporating as much unprocessed fresh produce as I possibly can or want into my day.
In an effort to help you plan healthier meals and eat better I put together this great healthy recipes collection from some of the wonderful bloggers around. Enjoy!Read More
Hope you all had a great weekend.
Today we start a Vegetarian Week Challenge. I asked my meat loving husband to join me and eat meat free for a week. While he didn’t receive the idea with enthusiasm he loves me too much to say no. Since I do all the cooking around here, he kind of has no choice. Sometimes us girls have to use “the powers” to get things done around here. :0) I then threw in another bombshell. I informed him that we might have a vegetarian Week once a month, but that didn’t go too well.
Oh well!!! At least I tried…
Although we don’t eat much meat to begin with, poultry, especially wings, is something Kurt loves this time of the year. I am hoping that with recipes from some of my favorite vegetarian bloggers, a few cooking magazines and a combination of my own skills I can make this week a tasty meatless experience for him.
To kick of the week on Sunday night I made my version of Ribollita, the Italian bean and cabbage soup, minus the bread and chicken stock. To my satisfaction Kurt LOVED it.
Success!!!! This is going to be a breeze or I maybe just jinxed myself. Wish me luck.
VEGETARIAN WEEK MEAL PLAN
|Monday||Mixed Greens Salad with roasted vegetables and cottage cheese.||Dr. Praegers California Veggie Burgers, served with baked potato fries.|
|Tuesday||Roasted Butternut Squash Lentil Stew (prepared Sunday)||Rosemary Mushroom Chickpea Ragout over toasted Garlic Sourdough.|
|Wednesday||Leftovers from Tuesday’s dinner||Falafel Burgers served with Roasted Beetroot Salad with Blue Cheese Crumbles|
|Thursday||Loaded Salad, romaine lettuce topped with tomatoes, cucumbers and egg salad.||Mushroom Barley Soup with Kale & Gruyere Cheese Panini|
|Friday||Mushroom Barley Soup||Vegetarian Gyoza with Ponzu Dipping Sauce|
- 8 ounces dry cannellini beans, soaked overnight or boiled for 5 min and let stand for 1 hour
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 carrot, chopped
- ½ celery stalk, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces
- ½ head cabbage, sliced into ½ inch slices
- 1 vegetable bouillon
- Half 14.5-ounce can chopped diced tomatoes, organic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese, for serving
- Rinse and drain the soaked cannellini beans and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil and saute carrots, celery and onions until well-cooked, 8-10 minutes.
- Add potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, bouillon and the beans. Add enough hot water to cover the ingredients in the pot, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for 1 to 1½ hours adding more water if needed. You want the mixture to be soupy.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with shaved parmesan cheese.
These days when it’s bone chilling cold outside I especially enjoy a good bowl of soup. Pumpkins on porches, shorter days and frigid temperatures bring soup to the menu. In anticipation of the big meal this week soup can be an inexpensive, nutritious and healthy dinner option.
My Roasted Fennel & Butternut Squash Soup is delicious and only takes a few ingredients to make, most of which you already have on hand. Any dish I can make with only a few items is a winner in my book. I loved it so much that I decided to add it to the Big Dinner as well. The bright orange color from the squash adds lots of earthy decor to the Thanksgiving table as well as make a great appetizer.
It’s amazing what roasting fennel and butternut squash does to this recipe. The caramelization of the vegetables adds a level of sweetness and the smell that fills the house is insanely comforting. Roasting the veggies first is a necessary step so don’t skip it. I spend good part of the afternoon trying to come up with other combinations that I can roast and turn into soup. Stay tuned! More delicious recipes coming your way.
By the way, this soup is kid approved as well. My now six year old loved it and that my friends, is the best reward. When Briana eats her veggies I am one happy mama.
With a belly full of delicious Roasted Fennel & Butternut Squash Soup I wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 fennel bulb, green part removed and discarded, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ½ tsp thyme
- pinch of nutmeg
- ¼ cup fat free half & half
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash and fennel with 1 tbsp of olive oil, season with a little salt, spread on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 min.
- Heat the rest of the olive oil in a heavy soup pot, add onion, garlic and thyme. Saute until the onion is softened.
- To the soup pot add roasted vegetables and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Season with nutmeg.
- Transfer vegetables with some stock to the blender and blend until smooth.
- Return to the pot and stir in half & half.