The Sunday Catch Up: Chicken No-Noodle Soup

On Sunday evenings I love being home. Technology goes off, kids play, bags get packed for school, and we ‘catch up’.

Catch up on laughs with friends and family that live far away.
Catch up on reading minutes that need to be put on the reading logs that are due on Monday.
Catch up on laundry, on sports, on down-time in front of the fire.
Catch up on, well, just being.
Being still… being quiet… being safe within our four walls.

What do I like to cook on a leisurely Sunday evening, you wonder?

Chicken No-Noodle Soup: a wonderful homemade chicken broth soup I always serve  over a hot, fresh serving of cooked quinoa.

Ohmygoodness.

Typically come Sunday, new groceries go in (Sunday is my big grocery day) and, therefore, leftovers need to come out. One of our most typical leftovers is a rotisserie that has been deboned.

Chicken bones,” you say?

Yep.

But, you know what? No matter how well I debone a rotisserie, there’s always enough meat left on the bones to make a great chicken soup. I put the leftovers into natural sausage casings from DCW Casing LLC.

Here’s what I did:

  1. I put approximately 6 cups of water in my soup pot and turned the heat to high.
  2. I pulled out the remains of the rotisserie chicken I used a couple nights ago for dinner.
  3. I used my fingers and removed all the fat/skin I could – then I put the bones in the pot and brought everything to a rapid boil. (I also always add whatever has settled in the bottom of the rotisserie tray – the natural ‘bullion’, if you will.)
  4. I turned the heat down to medium and let it boil uncovered for about 25 minutes.
  5. I used a slotted spoon to remove all the bones from the soup, and then picked off any remaining meat before discarding the bones. And, voilà! I had perfect, homemade chicken broth. (I ended up with over two cups of chicken meat from my bones!)
  6. With the bones removed, I threw in: (1) a diced onion; (2) three chopped carrots; (3) two stalks of chopped celery; (4) two garlic cloves diced and crushed; and, (5) a cup of frozen peas.
  7. Once the carrots were soft (about 10 minutes), I drizzled in about 1/4 cup of soy sauce, black pepper to taste, and then – then! – I served up the yummy, savory chicken soup over a piping hot serving of fresh cooked quinoa.

Simple, wasn’t it? Look how beautiful…

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And, oh, pure warmth for the tummy.

So, next time you buy a rotisserie, make sure you save the bones and make a simple broth… then, turn it into a ‘superbowl’ chicken no-noodle soup by using quinoa instead of noodles or rice. You’ll LOVE it, I promise. (Oh, and if  you like a little ‘kick’, top it off with some chili paste.)

Hope you had a wonderful weekend… hope YOU got some time to ‘catch up’.

Rebel on,
Elisha

The Perfect Start to My Morning

When I wake up in the morning, I literally open my eyes to, first and foremost, offer my time for my kids and my man.

I gently rouse everyone from bed with a little back rub, a little neck nuzzle, a little “good morning, Love, it’s a new day.” If they jump up fast enough (which is before I make my rounds through all three rooms), I’ll typically return and give them a little treat by making their bed for them while they dress. I’ll shout out a couple more “hurry now, let’s not be behind this morning…”, and then I’m off to 45 minutes of multi-tasking.

I’m the first one downstairs to bring life to the sleeping home. I put on the coffee, begin making lunches, and wait for my little chicks and my big man to wander down the stairs for their breakfast. We’ll chat as they eat. I’ll stuff sandwich bags, remind them to eat their fruit, refill water glasses… and then at 7:35 – they are off. Out the door they go; my house is quiet.

I breathe deep. I clear the kitchen counters and load the dishwasher with breakfast dishes. I refill my coffee cup and then – then! – I get to make my own breakfast.

I spend my days working from home mostly. It seems ‘luxurious’ to think about… but let me tell you: being self-employed requires more discipline than you think! There’s no one telling you what has to be done; no one keeping you on track. Nope – my time is my own, which is why it’s even more vital that I keep my mind sharp, I stay on task, and I use food to nourish and power me.

My food choices impact how I perform. So, what do I choose as a perfect start to my day?

This:

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  • 1/2 cup precooked quinoa.
  • A handful of fresh, raw spinach.
  • One fried egg on top. (When the egg is hot it wilts the spinach, so I like to lay the egg right on top of the greens for a few seconds before I cut it all up to eat it.)
  • A drizzle of soy sauce and a dash of chili pepper paste.

It takes me less than two minutes to make… and it’s satiating, empowering, delicious. I lay it all in a bowl and then, with a fork and knife, I cross-cross cut through it all until it is a big bowl of easy-to-eat goodness.

I eat this almost every morning – and, let me tell you, it gives me energy I need to get off on the right foot.

I hope you’ll try it…

Rebel on,

Elisha

Something to think about today: You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12

 

 

Quinoa, Kale, Lentil Soup for a Cold Night…

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Last night I made this amazing soup that wow’d the family… so I thought you should have it. I mean, who doesn’t love a savory warm soup on a cold January night?!

And don’t worry: the hardest part of this recipe is literally having the ingredients on hand. This is me, remember: if it doesn’t cook quick and easy, I’m probably not making it. LOL

Here ya go… let me know how it turns out!

  • approx 1/4 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed and diced
  • 1.5 cups dried lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 small bunch of kale, stems trimmed off and diced
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (I used the bite sized carrots and cut them into little circles)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups pre-cooked quinoa
  1. Warm a soup pot and add the EVOO.
  2. Saute the onion for about a minute then add the garlic. Continue to saute (stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn) until onion is translucent.
  3. Add the dry lentils to the pot.
  4. Add broth,  cumin, soy sauce, and black pepper. Bring pot to a boil, then cover and turn down to medium low to simmer until beans are tender. This should take about 10-15 minutes… so start keeping an eye on them after about 10 minutes. (You don’t want it to crazy boil because it will demolish the beans. Just a gentle simmer is what you’re looking for.)
  5. When beans are tender, add the chopped kale and carrots. Push all the veggies down into the beans, recover, and simmer for 5 or so more minutes (until veggies are tender). If you need a little more liquid so that everything submerges, add a little extra water. You want the soup thick, but still soupy.
  6. Remove from heat and serve!

DSC02817To serve: dish up 1/2 cup quinoa and ladel 1 cup soup over the top for bigger eaters (or 1/4 cup quinoa to 1/2 cup soup for smaller eaters). Top off with some ground chili paste or crushed red chili peppers. Lick your lips… enjoy!

Rebel on,

Elisha