Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Chicken Orzo Soup

Weather it’s a chilly night or your feeling under the weather, chicken soup has been a favorite go to dish for the comfort food we crave when the season starts to change. 

For me, the weather has just started to cool down, and soup start making a regular appearance on our families weekly menu planner. 

There’s just nothing like homemade soup, and this one use’s my very own veggie stock, and believe me, you can taste the difference. Yum!

Serves 4 Adults

4-6 pieces, chicken thighs
½ brown onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 small potatoes, small diced
1 carrot, small diced
2 tbsp veggie stock concentrate* + water
1 cup orzo (pasta shaped like rice) 

  • Season chicken with ground coriander and cumin then sauté in sauce pan over medium high heat until browned on both sides, remove chicken from pan. 
  • Sauté onion in chicken fat for about 2 minutes
  • Add garlic and sauté another 20 seconds, then add potatoes, carrot and veggie stock concentrate* and sauté for 3 minutes (see note below)
  • Add chicken back to pan, along with orzo, peas and enough water to cover everything
  • Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes covered, stirring occasionally, checking water to make sure everything stays covered

Serve with crusty bread or crackers

  • You can substitute veggie stock concentrate with store bought vegetable stock, just use enough to cover veggies and chicken with at least 1” of stock.
  • If using stock instead of concentrate when sautéing potato and carrot, use 2-4 tbsp stock instead of veggie stock concentrate.
  • Bouillon cube equivalents  1 cubes = 2 tbsp veggie stock concentrate

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Taco Omelet

A simple twist on two of my favorite things, tacos and omelets!

As an Ambassador to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, we were challenged to make an omelet that represented our countries food using fresh, free ranged eggs. I happily took on the challenge and put a simple twist on two of my favorite foods. 

The recipe is easy to make, I just used my left over Black Bean Quinoa Salad mix from dinner the night before and turned it into an omelet taco for breakfast. Delicious! Now I can have healthy Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

What you need...
2 eggs, scrambled
Black Bean Quinoa Salad mix
A few leafs of Cilantro/Coriander

How to make...

  • Heat a small, nonstick skillet over medium heat
  • Pour scrambled eggs into heated skillet and cook for about 2-4 minutes or until bubbly and only a little running on top
  • Carefully flip the omelet to cook other side, about 2 minutes
  • Remove from pan and lay flat on a serving plate
  • Fill with a little of the Black Bean Quinoa Salad mixture
    • this can be added cold or add to the skillet for about 1 minute to heat through. 
  • Fold the omelet over to make the taco 
  • Garnish with avocado, tomato and cilantro/coriander
  • You can also sprinkle with a little cheese if you eat dairy. I don't eat dairy, so I leave that off, but my kids like a little on theirs. 


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Garden Fresh Homemade Veggie Stock

I love making everything from scratch. I guess that love came from following my grandmother around the kitchen watching her make everything from scratch. My grandfather would pick the fresh veggies from their garden, then I’d bring them to her and watch her work her magic, creating some of the best dishes I remember eating as a kid. There’s just nothing like homemade.

This veggie stock comes from whole fresh ingredients you can easily find at your local farmer’s market, and most are in season year round in Arizona. The recipe makes around 2 pints and can be stored in glass jars in the freezer for up to 6 months, that is if you don’t use it all up before then. I use mine right from the freezer, no need to defrost before use because the stock doesn’t freeze solid.

Try making your own batch and taste the difference homemade makes in your next dish. Here are some of my favorite recipes I use the stock in-

Fresh Ingredients
1 brown onion
4-6 garlic cloves
4 celery stalks
2 carrots
1 tomato
1 large zucchini
1 bay leaf
½ cup each (handful), fresh parsley and basil
1 sprig each, sage and rosemary, stem and leaves
½ cup sea salt

To make the concentrate…
   Dice onion, garlic, celery and carrots, then add to a large sauce pan and sauté for 3 minutes
   In a food processor, chop carrots, tomato, zucchini and herbs, then add to the pan
   Add in the salt and a little water (½ cup tops to start) to the pan and bring to a boil
   Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes adding a little water only if needed to cook veggies until soft
   Once veggies are soft, blend until smooth with a stick blender
   This can also be done in a food processor or high speed blender, just make sure the veggie stock has cooled off a bit before blending to avoid over heating the motor.