Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Super Chunky Homemade Chicken Soup

I don't know about you, but when I'm sick or cold, I want chicken soup. It's all I can think about.  So, this time of year I always keep some kind of broth in the house, and even store frozen chicken, just for making a nice, individual, loaded pot of soup.

This is one of those things where everything is from scratch, and generally done in the same week, but I don't do it all at the same time. It's even a bit of a rotating recipe, because as one meals is made, the next gets prepped.

Confused?  Don't be.

Whenever I cook chicken, I have leftover.  The leftover chicken gets frozen.  The leftover carcass, skin and bones, goes in a baggies and gets frozen as well.  When I have time, I make broth. I keep 2 cups for cooking and freeze the rest.  Tada.  Frozen veggies, frozen chicken, frozen brother. Easy peasy.

1 cup Ain't Nobody Got Time for that Chicken Bone Broth/Stock Hybrid
2 oz. onion, diced finely
2 oz. carrot, diced finely
2 oz. fennel, diced finely (or celery)
3 oz. cooked chicken, diced
A dash of black pepper
A dash of cayenne
A dash of garlic salt

  1. If you're working with frozen goods, pull everything out the night before to thaw before cooking.
  2. In a soup pot, combine veggies and about 1/4 cup of the broth.  Try to get some of that good fatty top off into it as well. 
  3. Add your black pepper.
  4. Saute the veggies in the broth until tender.  
  5. If you're using fennel stalk, slice it very, very thin and start it about 5 minutes earlier than everything else.  The bulb can be done normal. Onions should be translucent.
  6. Add the pre-cooked chicken and the rest of the broth and heat thoroughly.  
  7. Then add cayenne and garlic salt to taste.

1 serving/ 216 calories

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ain't Nobody Got Time for that Chicken Bone Broth/Stock Hybrid

Whenever I make chicken, I keep the meaty bits of bones left afterward for soup.  But I don't follow directions.  I just go with my gut, and make a stock/broth hybrid for soups.  It keeps in the fridge for about a week, but keeps in the freezer for months.

Great for a single lady on the go, and good for a chilly evening at home grading papers. Also great for families because, while it takes forever, it doesn't take much tending.  Once it's started, you can pop in every now and then, but otherwise just leave it be.

I like to toss a pot on the stove when I get home from teaching (Around 4pm) and remove and store it before bed.

Cooked Chicken, bone in skin on
3 oz. carrot
3 oz. fennel or celery
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp garlic salt
a bit of black pepper
3-4 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. vinegar-champagne, rice, or apple cider

  1. I make a somewhat low sodium version, because I want to be able to add to it.
  2. Remove as much meat from your chicken as you can to reuse.  
  3. Then toss the bones in your large crock pot with everything else.  If the bones come halfway up, fill the water as high as you feel comfortable.  If there are less, fill half full and make sure everything is fully submerged. The vinegar, I am told, helps leach more minerals from the bones to give you a health boost. 
  4. Yes, some people saute the aromatics.  I ain't got time for that, and I don't want or need the added calories from butter or fat to do so.  Seems to work just fine just tossing it all in.
  5. Cook on High 6 hours, and then low until the vegetables are a wilted, translucent, colorless mess. The more time it cooks, the heavier the flavor.
  6. Spices should be adjusted based on how the chicken was cooked. This batch had rosemary in it, so I added only garlic salt, black pepper, and bay.
  7. When finished, allow to cool enough to safely store. 
  8. Line a colander or sieve with paper towels or cheese cloth, and drain out into clean, large, bowl.  
  9. I store mine in yogurt containers in the freezer. Then, once it's frozen, I pop out the pucks and stack them in ziplocs.

Around 50 calories per 1 cup.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pesto Mushrooms with Seafood

I want pasta, but it's not cheat day, so I did what I've been doing when I want pasta and don't have Nooodles or something around.  I made the pasta without the noodles.

I've got some fake crab legs in the house, because I wanted them.  I can't afford real crab, and these work for me. You can use any you want, but I would use pre-cooked.

4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 oz. onion, sliced
1 tsp. pesto
3 legs fake crab or 90g of seafood
1/4 cup chopped mustard greens
a dash of garlic powder
salt to taste

  1. Sautee mushrooms and onion until beginning to brown.  
  2. Then add everything else, cooking until greens wilt and seafood warmed through.

Serves 1 at 168 calories

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Heirloom Pear and Beet Skillet and the End of Nutritional Profiles

Right now my house is full of pears and beets.  Pears from my father's tree, and beets from the farm share. I'm feeling a little braver following my cooking instincts today, so I decided to give them a go together, and was rewarded for my efforts. Yum

6 oz. beets, scrubbed clean, skin on
6 oz pear, cored, skin on
2 cups arugula, washed, shredded, stems removed
1/2 Tbsp bacon fat or coconut oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted, unshelled pistachios

  1. While your oil heats, dice your fruits and veggies about the size of your average country potato.  
  2. Toss them in, and cook until pears are slightly charred.  
  3. Add in arugula and wilt almost all of the way before adding the nuts. 
  4. Once arugula is fully wilted, serve.

Serves one at 323 calories.

So, I'm not going to be adding the nutritional profiles anymore.  It's such a hassle, and doesn't seem to matter much. Also, depending on your brand or variety, more or less calories could be part of the dish. So, I've decided to go with the general, and if you want more in-depth info, you can always upload the recipe to MyFitnessPal, or a similar site. This will save me time, and make me more likely to post.  But you can let me know in the comments, that no one but spam bots tends to use, if you'd like them to come back!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Savory Delicata Dijon with Feta

Being someone who loves food, and is dieting, can be a bit of a challenge on a day to day basis.  I'm constantly trying to come up with new things that I won't just eat, but love, that I can make in small portions, keep low calorie, and feel full. As I get closer and closer to my goal, this gets more difficult, as I have less and less calories to work with to maintain, if not lose, weight and a slower metabolism. All part of the weight loss journey, and why so many people fail.

But I am determined.

So, I stared into the abyss that is my veggie filled fridge today, craving one of those awful maple pancake sausage, cheese and bacon sandwiches I used to snag in the mornings in college knowing today was going to be a rough day.

This lightly mustard-flavored dish was both sweet and salty, and everything I needed to get me going, and was under 250 calories!

4 slices turkey bacon (I'm using Butterball Everyday Low-Sodium)
1 oz. raw arugula
1/2 oz. green onion, finely chopped
3 oz. delicata squash, pre-spiralized or julienned
1 tsp. Dijon mustard (I'm using a Rsberry-Wasabi)
1 oz. feta

  1. In large saute pan, cook bacon, then set aside.  
  2. Toss in squash and cook until most start to turn transparent.  
  3. Add 1/2 tsp. mustard and stir well, until squash starts get tender.  
  4. Add green onion, arugula, and the last 1/2 tsp. of mustard and a Tbsp or so of water.  
  5. Wilt well.  
  6. Add bacon and feta back in and toss until warmed through.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 232
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10 g16 %
Saturated Fat 4 g20 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 35 mg12 %
Sodium 635 mg26 %
Potassium 143 mg4 %
Total Carbohydrate 7 g2 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g4 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 13 g27 %
Vitamin A20 %
Vitamin C12 %
Calcium15 %
Iron3 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Blackberry Delicata Noodles with Turkey Bacon

I love delicata squash because it can be sweet or savory.  This was a super quick, super yummy breakfast idea that I tossed together on a whim.

I'm using Butterball's Every Day lower sodium turkey bacon and Musselman's apple butter today.  It's my favorite and one of the few I have refused to drop off of my factory processed foods list. I just have never found anyone else's to be as wonderful. Maybe because M's is what I grew up slathering toast with.  The bacon was a whim.  I wanted real bacon but they were out, and this was cheappppp. It turned out to be a good buy!

3 oz. delicata squash, pre-spiralized
3 oz. blackberries
1 Tbsp. apple butter
1 Tbsp. shaved Parmesan
3 slices turkey bacon

  1. Cook turkey bacon and set aside.
  2. In same pan, still hot, combine squash, blackberries and apple butter, stirring constantly.  
  3. Crush blackberries a bit with a fork.  
  4. When squash is cooked through, add turkey back in and warm through.

Serve with shaved parm.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 196
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7 g11 %
Saturated Fat 3 g13 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 30 mg10 %
Sodium 289 mg12 %
Potassium 385 mg11 %
Total Carbohydrate 25 g8 %
Dietary Fiber 6 g25 %
Sugars 12 g
Protein 10 g20 %
Vitamin A15 %
Vitamin C52 %
Calcium12 %
Iron10 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.