Monthly Archives: November 2013

Chicken Soup…(and gluten free biscuits!)

Standard

I made a pretty killer soup the other night using some pretty awesome and simple ingredients.

I love a one-pot dish!

I wanted chicken and dumplings, but my family doesn’t love the texture of dumplings. I compromised by making a gluten-free biscuit, and pouring a thickened soup over the top of it.

The result? Down-home country goodness. YUM.

So easy, and frugal too!¬†I served four with one chicken breast, which by itself is pretty darn impressive. ūüôā

Ingredients:

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 box organic low-sodium chicken broth (or 4 cups homemade if you have it!)

1/2 of a yellow onion

3 carrots, sliced (From my CSA box!)

3 minced garlic cloves (Yep, CSA.)

1/2 cup sliced organic celery

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil (Bari is amazing.)

1 tsp dried thyme (CSA box again!)

1 tsp turmeric (the color it gives is amazing…plus, its super good for you.)

2 tsp salt (I used pink Himalayan)

1 tsp black pepper

1-2 tbsp. Pamela’s Gluten Free Artisan All Purpose Flour

Fresh parsley for garnishing (Can you guess where it comes from?)

Pretty simple process:

Heat butter and and olive oil. Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces, and sautee.

Once cooked, remove from pot, and set aside.

Add onion to pan and sautee until translucent

Add carrots, celery and garlic and cook for just a couple of minutes until it starts to sort of “come together”.

Add stock, herbs and spices, stir to combine then add chicken back. Put a lid on it, simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Now is the time to prepare your biscuits (Recipe below!)

To thicken, Remove about a cup of the broth, and combine that broth with your gluten free flour. Now, whisk that back into the big pot. Continue whisking until it is all combined so as not to produce lumps.

My basic biscuits are as follows. For this particular recipe, they are super yummy with thyme and garlic powder mixed into the dough:

2 cups Pamela’s Artisan Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 stick butter, chopped

1 cup raw, plain kefir

In food processor, pulse dry ingredients. Next, add butter and pulse until butter is the size of peas. Add kefir, and pulse 3-4 times until dough *just* comes together.

Remove from bowl, and fold over itself 3-4 times. Pat into a round disk, about an inch thick. Cut into desired size with biscuit cutter (or even a drinking glass).

Bake at 450* on parchment paper for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Pour your soup over a biscuit and garnish with fresh parsley (Which I totally forgot to do…I was a little excited to eat.) ¬†YUMMM.

IMAG1915

Perfect cold weather meal. So yummy and heart warming…and nobody complaining about dumpling texture. ūüėČ

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Cranberry Salsa

Standard

It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is upon us. This means turkey, pumpkin pie, Christmas songs, overly decorated stores, extra calories, and that all too familiar frantic holiday pace.

It’s also time for my favorite dip in the world.

Cranberry Salsa over cream cheese.

OMG SO GOOD.

Mmmm Cranberries.

cranberries

It’s simple. Take the following ingredients:

1 (12-ounce bag) or 3 cups fresh cranberries,  rinsed and drained

1/4 cup minced green onions

3 Serrano chilies, cored, seeded and minced

1/2 cup coconut sugar (Yes, it looks like a lot, but you need it with those cranberries!!)

1/4 cup fresh cilantro,  minced

2 tablespoons finely-grated fresh ginger or 2 tsp dried

2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

2 (8-ounce) packages organic cream cheese

Cranberries and/or cilantro sprigs for garnish

It’s so easy to make. Pop all ingredients (minus cream cheese and¬†garnish items)¬†into your food processor, and pulse until everything is combined and slightly chunky. Pour over cream cheese. Garnish as desired, and serve with your favorite crackers.

The colors are perfect for the holidays and the flavor? OMG…you will be addicted.

I picked up some cranberries at Sprouts last week and when I placed my CSA order this week, I discovered that green onion, cilantro, and serrano chilies were all available.

It’s a sign.

Yes, it’s a dip, but I seriously serve this as dinner from time to time. My family loves me for it.

And they should! Cranberries are #1 when it comes to antioxidant power. They are so good for you! So is just about everything else in this recipe.

No mommy guilt here.

I’ll save that for the chocolate that never makes it to their stockings.

Cold and Flu “Season”

Standard

I say, “Season” because I don’t really believe it’s a season. Yes, many people get sick this time of year. Yes, there is a ready and willing nurse on every corner ready to give you the magic flu shot. Yes, your local drugstore will sell enough nightime-sniffling-sneezing-coughing-aching-stuffy nose-fever so you can rest medicine to choke a million horses over the next few months.

Ask your doctor if people can get the flu during other times of the year. The answer? Yes. That’s because “the flu” is always out there. ¬†Furthermore, many people who get sick during “cold and flu season” do not have the actual flu. They likely have a cold, which is not protected by the flu shot in the first place. This graphic sums up my flu “season” theory:

fluseason

It’s cold. We don’t go outside as often.

It’s the holiday season. We eat like crap.

It’s the holiday season. We are stressed.

It’s the holiday season. We don’t rest.

It’s the holiday season. We drive-thru instead of eating REAL FOOD.

So what do we do? We inject ourselves with a vaccine that isn’t really as effective as we like to think it is and cross our fingers that we don’t get sick in other ways. Keep in mind the flu vaccine does NOT protect against colds and stomach viruses.

You’re probably not sick because it’s cold and flu season. You’re probably sick because you aren’t taking time to care for yourself properly.

My point? You still have to do work, people.

A health immune system will do its job. A healthy immune system doesn’t just happen. ¬†You have to help it along.

So, with that, I will give you my favorite suggestions to support your immune system this time of year:

1. TUMERIC!

Indian Turmeric Abstract

It’s amazing stuff. Here’s an awesome blog post on it.

Not only is is amazing for your immune system, but if you DO get sick, its an awesome coughing therapy when mixed with warm honey and hot water.

2.) CUT THE SUGAR.

Sugar is the enemy of your immune system. 100 grams of sugar can suppress your immune system for 6-7 hours. One pumpkin spice latte has 49g. How many of you have the lemon pound cake too?  Add another 46g. Think about that for a second. You have just tanked your immune system for the next several hours of your day. Surrounded by people in a busy mall, perhaps. You know, where viruses live.

Keep in mind this does not apply to natural sweeteners like honey.

Also keep in mind I am NOT saying to use artificial sugar. That shiz will kill you. Really.

3.) EAT REAL FOOD

If your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, don’t eat it.

Quality protein. Green vegetables (fresh, not canned!), yummy fruits. Probiotic rich foods like raw milk or kefir, fermented foods, and apple cider vinegar.

Yes, it’s a busy time of year, which means you are more likely to drive through for something unhealthy. That said, it’s a busy time of year, which means you really don’t have time to be sick. Take the time to invest in your food.

I also want to say that it’s the holiday season and there should be some indulging going on. Have the latte. Have the poundcake, just not every day. Christmas is not complete without my mom’s hearty country breakfast. I’m not turning that down, but I’m also saving my cheat for that day and drinking kefir smoothies in the meantime.

4.) R & R

Rest and relaxation. They seem to be impossible this time of year. Make time for it.  Get plenty of sleep. Relax at the end of a long day. Make 20 minutes for some yoga or deep breathing. Read a book. Listen to music. Curl up on the couch with your blankie and sip hot tea. Figure out what calms you down, and pursue it.

5.) LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

You will be in contact with all kinds of fun bugs and viruses all winter. This means your body will be fighting them quite frequently. Feeling run down? Need a nap? Craving oranges? You might be pregnant. But you also might be fighting something and your body is asking for help. Listen and do as you’re told. Take the nap. Eat the oranges. Go to bed earlier. Your body is speaking to you and it’s your job to listen.

Look, I’m not a doctor, clearly. I may follow my own rules and still get sick. I’d rather err on the side of healthy though. Last year was the first year I was sick during the holidays in four or five years. I was eating horribly, stressing over a million things and not paying attention to how poorly I was treating myself. The result? The entire fam staying home on Christmas with a stomach virus. I’m determined to have a positive do-over this year. The thing is, I knew better. I KNOW better. This year I will do better.

Because I deserve better. You do too.