Chicken Soup

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

Because of the healing properties in chicken soup, I always make a version of one of many recipes when someone is ill.

I even made it for my dog Polly. She cut her paw open on a piece of glass walking through the creek with the kids when she was a puppy, and it refused to heal and became infected. She then had an adverse reaction to the anitibotics, so taking matters into my own hands, I fed her homemade chicken and brown rice soup and vanilla Greek yogurt.

Sometimes, I make my own noodles and you can do this with a simple pasta recipe, a rolling pin and a knife. This was fun for the kids when they were small, as making and handling dough is always high entertainment for children. Then, you simply cook the fresh pasta in the broth and vegetables. Or, I use orzo, or any kind of rice.

For myself, I like rice, tarragon, and lemon when I’m feeling under the weather. If I’m just hungry, I like to add bourbon and cream (see my recipe for Chicken, Whiskey and Wild Rice Soup here). 

My daughter wanted egg noodles and just carrots, so that’s what I made. I usually make my own broth, and this is obviously better, but time was limited, so I used this quick recipe instead.

It’s no secret that you can now buy excellent organic broth and pre-roasted organic chicken in most grocery stores, and although not made with fresh herbs from my own garden, they are not as bad as they once were.

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded cooked organic chicken from Whole Foods

32 oz. organic chicken broth

1 cup diced carrots

1 package egg noodles

Sprig of thyme

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Salt and white pepper to taste

Steps:

  • Add diced carrots and broth and bring to a rolling boil to cook carrots.
  • Reduce heat, add noodles, and cook per package directions.
  • Remove from heat, add thyme, lemon zest and season to taste.

Love and blessings to all.

Summer Sports – Kids and Smoothies

There are moments we think we will never forget as parents, and yet we do, as we move on to the next thing.  I love Facebook, not so much because I can keep in touch with my 20 first cousins scattered across the world, but because it helps to remind me of the best times of my life.  At one point I was not such a manic FB poster, and only shared a few photos per season.  I guess I was a shy poster, but now I think of Facebook as a family photo album and I love looking back at the photos from the past.

Siena
Siena, Summer 2013

The other day I was looking at this photo of Siena after the IM in 2013.  This was the summer she got her gold time.  It was a giant achievement for her as she is not a natural swimmer and it took so much hard work and determination for her to achieve it.

As many of my followers know, Siena is mostly a vegetarian, so making sure she gets enough protein is always a high priority for me as a mother, and especially when she plays multiple sports as she did in 2013.   As a result, I made her blackberry smoothies almost every day.  Blessed to have them growing through our fence in the backyard or easily available at most grocery stores, I would then meet her at the pool with an insulated cup and she could drink her smoothie on her way to soccer.  As per Healthy Eating SF Gate, eating a snack or small meal, such as yogurt, within an hour of a workout functions to replenish your glycogen stores and provide protein for the small muscle tears incurred during an intense workout. Fat-free Greek yogurt contains the most protein, between 17 and 20 grams for a 6- to 7-ounce serving.

At the time I thought it was pretty much child abuse to pick a kid up from a one and half hour swim work out and then drop them off at a 2 hour soccer practice, but honestly, it was what she wanted to do and would still do if she could fit it in this summer.

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Blackberry Smoothie

High Protein Blackberry Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup fresh blackberries

1/2 banana

6 oz. fat free plain or vanilla greek yogurt

4 ice cubs

1/2 cup lemonade

Preparation:

Add all ingredients and blend.  Make sure you have enough liquid or you can blow up your Bullet (sadly, I learned this the hard way).  You can add a little sugar or low fat milk to get it a little sweeter and creamier.  My kids like theirs tart, so the lemonade works perfectly for them.

Caprese Pasta Salad

This recipe is dedicated to Pauline, a little girl on our volleyball team, who loved this salad and asked me personally for the recipe (love that).  I am always trying to make yummy food for the parking lot where we congregate between games during all day volleyball tournaments.  Kids don’t typically love the traditional pasta salad recipe so I decided to try this instead.  I think it was a hit because of the simple fresh ingredients and the Gemelli (Barilla) pasta that stays al dente.

1 box or 16 oz of Gemelli (twisted pasta)

1 small basket cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 bunch fresh basil

8 oz package of fresh monzzarella cheese in bite size pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt & fresh ground black pepper

Preparation:

Put pasta water on to boil and prepare as package directs.  Wash and dry tomatoes and basil.  Cut tomatoes in half and tear basil leaves from stems.  You will need a nice size handful of basil leaves.  Use a good size bowl so it will be easy to toss and coat each pasta piece.  I like to add my ingredients to the bottom of the bowl while the pasta is cooking so they can begin to incorporate.  So, add olive oil, halved tomatoes and a sprinkling of sea salt to the bowl.

Rinse pasta in a colander and allow to cool completely.  Add pasta to the ingredients in the bowl, then add the fresh monzzarella.  You can use smaller balls or chop a larger ball into bite size pieces.   Add fresh basil and another sprinkling of salt over the cooled pasta.

Gently toss all of the ingredients together as the basil and monzzaella can be very delicate If the pasta looks dry add another teaspoon of olive oil.

If you are serving this to young children omit the black pepper and just add it to the individual portions for the adults who will appreciate it.

This is delicious cold, naturally, but left overs can also be heated in the microwave for a light lunch.

If you are not doing a picnic you can serve this with a grilled steak.  It would be an easy dish to make ahead for company.