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Veggie Chicken Rice Soup

I have heard the H1N1 virus (aka swine flu) has been going around lately and so now is the time to build up the immune system!
I personally am against vaccinating myself because I have an over reactive immune system that it would challenge my system even more. (That is exactly what my doctor told me). If you get vaccinated, I hope it helps you. For me it’s not worth the risk. So I do things more naturally to prevent from getting sick. And so far it’s been working for years!
First off, to help when I feel the tickle in my throat, or the glands swelling I go immediately to these natural remedies. I also follow up by adding some dōTERRA OnGuard oil to my water and it really does the trick!
My friend says to me “whatever placebo effect works for you”. but his family is ALWAYS sick! I think the placebo is working. 😉

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Another thing to do to help your immune system is drink LOTS of water! If you consume a lot of sugar (aka bottled juice) it actually will not help much unless it’s freshly juiced, then you are getting the live enzymes to help you recover. Bottled juice is dead enzymes.
And the another thing you can do to prevent getting sick, STOP EATING FAST FOOD! You want whole foods, good produce, not antibiotic filled tumor cows and GMO veggies. Home cooked or raw veggies are what you want to build up immunity in the winter.
There is time to achieve this on a busy schedule. I usually make enough for a small army and either freeze part for next week or eat it all in one week. To add variety (because I do get bored with food) I cut up different veggies to eat with some hummus or other healthy snacks. I could eat soup every day all day though. :-]
So speaking of soup, there’s a recipe! Read, create, enjoy!

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Veggie Chicken Rice Soup

To start out:
I took a rotisserie chicken carcass and put it in to the crockpot, added 4 cups of chicken broth, then filled to the 10 cup line and dropped in a vegetable bullion cube. Put on high setting for 2 hours.

If you have the meat from the carcass then skip the chicken prep. If not, read the steps below.

Ingredients for chicken prep:
• 1 lb chicken breasts (I started mine from frozen)
• 1 tbs oil (grapeseed, or avocado oil works good).
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/8 tsp pepper
• 1/8 tsp garlic powder
• 1/8 tsp onion powder
-In a large soup pot heat oil and add chicken (frozen or fresh). Sprinkle seasonings on chicken as it’s cooking, and cook until browned on both sides. (No pink in the center).
Once cooked set aside to chop later.

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Soup prep:
• 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 1 onion, chopped
• 6 celery stocks, chopped
• 2 cups red cabbage, chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, smashed or minced
• 1 Tbs oil

Once removed chicken from large pot, add the above ingredients and sauté for 5-10 min on medium heat until onions are almost translucent.

When your chicken stock is ready, sift out the bones and leftover meat and pour the broth into your large pot.

Then add:
• 1 lb chopped cooked chicken
• 1 tsp dried parsley
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 tsp dried thyme
• 1/4 tsp celery seed
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1/2 cup Jasmine rice

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked.
Yum yum!
I added the cabbage for an extra punch of Vitamin C. The carrots and celery are loaded with folate and calcium. A good combo to ward off the flu bug by building your immune system.
This recipe was super easy for me and I’m having a tired slow kinda day after my chiropractor torture chamber treatment. Tomorrow is always a better day. 🙂 But if I can do it feeling like I do, than it’s pretty easy. 😉
Try it, it packs a lot of flavor! Yum yum!

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Food Journaling

The last two weeks I have been writing down everything I eat and everything I drink no matter if it is healthy or not, I am going to the naturopath today to present it and see what he has to say about it. For the most part I eat really healthy, but it’s been a stressful few weeks so chocolate has definitely been a staple almost every day, I know that sounds bad but it’s good for the heart! 😉
I have been following his recommendation for having one cup of coffee before noon which has been easy because I just do it in the morning as I’m getting ready. I also have been taking a really strong probiotic in the morning and taking magnesium, fish oil, and vitamin D3 morning and night. At night I have also been taking cortisol prescribed supplement to help me sleep better along with 3 mg. melatonin.
I have been feeling better incrementally but the Central Sensitization has still been bothering me to the point I have bought a few pairs of new pants and are about to return them again. I am running out of clothes that do not make my legs hurt. There is a medicine that can help this that my doc had mentioned and I think I’ll just try it because I need to be able to live life in clothes!!
Also an update on life, I did just lose my job yesterday. I think I’m still in shock. But pretty much since I got sick my performance went way down because it was, for one: really hard to focus on work dealing with that much pain, and two: the pain was making it hard to sit. It is a fast paced job that needed a high production turnover and although I loved the work and learning all about fiber optics, that fast paced is not something I can do every day for months on end. I am one who is very detail oriented and can make a plan set look really professional. (I’m not bragging, that’s usually what others have said they like about my work). It was driving me crazy on how sloppy some I the plans others were working on to get it out the door looked. But the client wanted fast, so they get sloppy. That’s not something I want my name attached to. Enough about that…
Since I have no 9-5 job now (besides looking for a job) you might see more blog posts on what I’ve been eating. So that’s a plus. I’m really going to try to not lose my focus on the more important things this time around.
So now that I’ve chattered on, here’s my food journal for the last few weeks. I am posting it because some may be needing ideas, or you are curious, or you wonder how a single person eats. Whichever category you fall in, I hope it gives you inspiration. I will work harder on eating better now that I have more time to prepare food.

Food journal:
Saturday 11-2
Egg scramble (black beans, veggies, almond cheese), homemade Guac with organic non-gmo corn chips, water, coffee, green tea, sweet potatoes.

Sunday 11-3
Egg scramble (black beans, veggies, almond cheese), tortilla bean soup with organic non-gmo corn chips, water, coffee, CF peppermint tea, sweet potatoes.

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Monday 11-4
Sweet potatoes, smoothie (purple kale, celery, avocado, ginger, pear, banana, carrot, apple juice, lime, spiralina, chia seeds, kelp granules, cinnamon, hemp powder), coffee, white tea, water, tortilla bean soup with organic non-gmo corn chips, 1 square dark chocolate, banana, curry hummus w/ mushrooms & sugar snap peas.

Tuesday 11-5
Coffee, banana, smoothie (purple kale, celery, avocado, ginger, pear, banana, carrot, apple juice, lime, spiralina, chia seeds, kelp granules, cinnamon, hemp powder), oolong tea, water, tortilla bean soup with organic non-gmo corn chips, dried mango, black olives, 3 fried eggs.

Wednesday 11-6
Banana, coffee, water, oolong tea, smoothie (banana, avocado, ginger, lemon, whole beet, huckleberries, hemp protein powder, chia seeds, kelp granules, cinnamon, unfiltered apple juice), tortilla bean soup with organic non-gmo corn chips, Kombucha, chicken broth, salad rolls w/peanut sauce, salted caramel macaron.

Thursday 11-7
Banana, coffee, water, oolong tea, smoothie (banana, avocado, ginger, lemon, whole beet, huckleberries, hemp protein powder, chia seeds, kelp granules, cinnamon, unfiltered apple juice), poached chicken w/ginger sauce, jasmine rice, spinach, tortilla chips, sweet potato

Friday 11-8
Coffee, water, tea, GF oatmeal w/ walnuts, crasins, stevia, spices. Chips & salsa, sweet potatoes. Couple squares of dark chocolate.

Saturday 11-9
Coffee, water, sweet potatoes, egg scramble (eggs, black beans, onions, almond cheese, cilantro), BBQ ribs, sweet potato.

Sunday 11-10
Coffee, water, egg scramble (eggs, black beans, onions, almond cheese, cilantro), handful chips and salsa, quinoa noodle dish (w/ turkey sausage, cabbage, onions, garlic, kale, green peppers,…), chips and salsa, small almond huckleberry muffin (made by me).

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Monday 11-11
Coffee, water, mint green tea, 5 small almond meal muffins, Granny Smith apple, poached chicken with jasmine rice and steamed spinach (this was left overs, both time made my stomach cramp), black olives, dark peppermint chocolate, jasmine green tea. Chips & salsa.

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Tuesday 11-12
Coffee, water, tea, 5 small almond meal muffins, sautéed apples & cinnamon, leftover quinoa noodle dish, green Kombucha, few squares dark chocolate.

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Wednesday 11-13
Coffee, water, tea, GF oatmeal w/walnuts and crasins, 1 small almond meal muffin, pear, small sirloin steak & BBQ sauce, leftover quinoa noodle dish, few squares dark chocolate. Turkey & roast beef sandwich (nitrate free) on Udi Chia & millet seed bread w/ onions, miracle whip, spinach, almond cheese & guac

Thursday 11-14
Coffee, tea, water, banana, GF oatmeal w/ walnuts & Crasins, Turkey & roast beef sandwich (nitrate free) on Udi Chia & millet seed bread w/ onions, miracle whip, spinach, almond cheese & guac. Quinoa noodle dish, chips & salsa, milk chocolate squares.

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Friday 11-15
Coffee, quinoa noodle dish, Turkey & roast beef sandwich (nitrate free) on Udi Chia & millet seed bread w/ onions, miracle whip, spinach, almond cheese & guac.

It kinda ends abruptly today because it’s only noon right now. So I hope this gives you some ideas. Most of my recipes I’ve listed except the muffins are in my blog, I will link some of the recipes or you can use the search feature to find them. For the sweet potatoes I just did butter (which I recommend ghee instead) and salt and pepper until they are soft.

I hope you are having a wonderful Friday and please comment below any of your favorite gluten free dishes you like to eat or if you have tried out any of my recipes. I love new ideas and would love the feedback. Please hit “like” if you enjoyed reading this.
***Update*** Doc said what I eat is really good, a lot of the same things…. But good. 🙂 but I have to cut out corn to see I it makes a difference. I will miss my chips and salsa. :-(…

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Spicy Tortilla Soup

Tis the season for a warm soup! One of the reasons I love autumn is because it’s a great excuse to make SOUP! I am totally a soup person. I hated breakfast foods when I was a teen, so I would eat Campbell’s select chicken noodle for breakfast. And ya, I was hungry like 1 hour later. Haha.
This soup is gluten free and very hearty. I served this Sunday and most my friends made soup or chili too. We all had that look on our face like we barely ate but were sooo full! I ate mine with my Organic non-GMO white corn chips and they had their Juanita’s. They asked why I brought my own….umm…everything about Juanita’s chips are tainted! To each his own. :-p
This soup got the crowd approval, so it’s edible. I hope you try it, it can be made in the crockpot too. If you use canned beans then you don’t have to cook as long, 20-30 minutes to simmer is fine. I wish I had more chicken to work with but there were only 2 rotisserie chickens left; small or smaller. 😦 I had run all over town Saturday to get my stuff I between errands and avoiding car wrecks on the freeway. No greater joy then hitting every red light it town! :-p
I hope you try it out. Enjoy!

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Tortilla Soup

• 1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed
• 6 cups Chicken stock
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 2 ribs celery, chopped
• 3 carrot, finely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed
• 2 tsp. cumin
• 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 T. tomato paste
• salt to taste (about 3/4 – 1 tsp)
• 1/2-1 tsp pepper
• 1 rotisserie chicken, de-boned and shredded
• Cilantro, chopped for topping
• Cheese for topping (I use almond cheese)
• Tortilla chips

How To:
Cover and soak beans overnight, or bring to boil and then turn off stove and soak for 1 hour. Drain. (Or cheat if in a time crunch and use 2-3 15oz cans rinsed and drained)
Add chicken stock, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Bring to boil and simmer gently about 1 hour.
Stir in tomato paste, chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
Simmer another 30-45 minutes, till beans are cooked through. Add chicken.
Remove bay leaves.
Serve topped with cilantro and cheese and tortilla chips.

*Note* I usually add more veggies than called for because I like a nice chunky soup to dip my chips in. 🙂

 
 

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Tuscany Bean Soup

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So this last month I’ve found out I’ve been gluten poisoned by supplements my doctor gave me. The sales rep lied to them saying it was GF when it wasn’t. So I was the one to burst their bubble.
No scary rash this time, probably because it was in low doses, but whenever I eat it’s like I’m digesting knives. So I put myself on a liquid diet this week. I’ve been doing healing smoothies in the morning, purée soups for lunch and no coffee.
Surprisingly I’m quite awake with no coffee!!!! That was a big shocker to me!
So something must be healing. Unfortunately all the problems with other areas of me have come back with a vengeance. 😦 I have a REAL naturopath I’m going to see next week. Let’s hope we can mop up this mess.
So on to the recipe, been slacking on getting this posted all week.
It’s fabulous, so try it on those days you need to warm your belly. :]
Happy Friday!!

Tuscany Bean Soup

Ingredients:
• 1 Tbs Grapeseed Oil
• 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 4 cups chopped raw kale
• 4 cups GF chicken broth
• 2 cups filtered water
• 2 1/2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed
• Turkey kielbasa sausage (I use Hormel natural selects, no nitrates)
• 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
• 2 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning
• 1/4 tsp Salt
• 1/8 tsp pepper
• 1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
In a large pot, heat grapeseed oil. Add garlic, sausage, and onion; sauté until sausage is cooked and onions translucent. Add kale and sauté, stirring, until wilted. Add broth, water, cooked beans, tomato, herbs, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, mix the partial or all the soup until smooth (it tastes the same puréed as it does chunky, choose your texture). Return to pot and simmer 15 minutes. Then serve. It’s sooo yummy!

And here’s a Higgley moment. :-]

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I can’t believe this month went by so fast! I have been so sick lately with stomach issues and then my normal stuff x10 so it’s not been a fun one. I have had no motivation to cook or anything lately and basically been living on raw veggies and hummus. One good thing out of all this is that by no mental effort, I’ve hit my goal weight. (Sorry if that offends anyone!) So I’m happy about that, but I wish my stomach would cooperate! I still have a bunch of tests to run to figure out the problem. Sometimes I feel like a genetic defect and they should just start over and hit the reset button!
I have a feeling my diet will be changing drastically in the next few months, so there might be some yummy recipes coming. (Here’s hoping!)
I mentioned in my last post that I was going to try a kale basil hummus…and it was not that tasty, so I’ll spare you from trying it too. I think mainly my beans weren’t cooked enough and the consistency was not great (I cooked mine in the pressure cooker). But this one is great and two of my co-workers were loving it today. 😀
I’m also glad it’s payday week because I just had to clean out my veggie drawer that wasn’t looking too happy. 😦
So here’s the recipe, now back to being conformed to my work chair another 5 hours.

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
• 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
• 3-4 cups cooked garbanzo beans (chick-peas), drained
• 1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
• 1/4 – 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 red pepper seeded, chopped & roasted (I did mine in a toaster oven on broil)
• 1/2 tsp salt (if using dry beans, 1/4 tsp if using canned)
• 1/4 tsp dried parsley
• 1/4 cup olive oil (add however much you like for consistency)
• 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
• 1/8 tsp cumin

How to:
– To prepare garbanzo beans in pressure cooker, add 7 cups of water/chicken broth to 2-2.5 cups dry (rinsed) beans.
– Seal top, and cook according to your pressure cookers instructions for 25-30 minutes.
– Rinse, de-seed and cut in large chunks your red pepper and put on broil until it’s looking roasted. Maybe 15 minutes? I didn’t put mine right next to the heat so it could take less time, just keep checking it.
– Once all that is ready, drain beans, peel garlic, juice lemon, dump all ingredients and spices in food processor except oil.
– Turn on to low setting until it’s starting to look smooth.
– Turn up to high setting and drizzle in olive oil from the opening in lid until it starts to get the consistency you like.
– Taste test to see if it needs tweaking, then either refrigerate for an hour to enhance flavor, or devour and leave no trace behind. 😉

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I hope you are having a great week and leave any suggestions for hummus experiments in the comments or yummy ones you have tried. 🙂 Thanks!

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Zuppa Toscana DF (Olive Garden Dupe)

Now that it’s coming close to Autumn it’s time for some soup! I love soups so much cuz it’s a one dish meal. I don’t have the time or energy to put a full meal on the table every day.
When I was at my parents house we had 4 people making dinner (3 1/2 with my gma who has Alzheimer’s) and we got a lot done! I made fried zucchini, my mom made fruit salad and fresh picked green beans, my dad made an awesome flank steak. And everything gluten free. Yea! I’ll have to get my dad’s marinade…olive oil and a bunch of fresh spices from their garden.
So now that I’m back home, there’s no one to help…I have to feed myself. Today was a bad fibromyalgia day too. Spent my Labor Day in a full flare up and a tension headache. If only I could have a (discrete) sumo wrestler walk on my back I’d feel soo much better!!
Somehow I managed to make this soup tonight. Glad I finally did it, purple kale was losing it’s purple!
I’ve had to throw out so much F&V this summer cuz I just have no energy to cook. Hopefully I can get back on track soon!
I need to get to bed so I’ll stop jabbering and give up the recipe.
This tastes JUST like (if not better) Olive Gardens Zuppa Toscana. It was one of my favs when I used to eat there. This version has a LOT of flavor.
Try it…you’ll like it! 😉

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Ingredients:
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled & diced
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
6 C. Chicken stock
3 cloves minced garlic
4 yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed, skins left on, cut into large chunks
1 can white beans (I used great northern), drained and rinsed
1 tsp. Worcestershire
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 slices bacon chopped
1 Hormel natural selects turkey sausage. Chopped
4 C. Purple kale
2 C. cashew cream (1 c. cashews, 1 1/2 C. water and 2 T. nutritional yeast blended til creamy in a power blender, if you don’t have a power blender, soak the cashews overnight and do this in a normal blender).
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Method:
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in your soup pot, sauté bacon & sausage. Add the onion and sauté til translucent, about 2-5 minutes. Add celery and carrots and sauté for a few minutes more. Add potatoes and garlic and sauté for a minute more. Add the chicken stock, white beans, crushed red pepper flakes and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil, then cover pot with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Add in cashew cream, kale and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Makes A Lot!

Blooper: I read too quick my own recipe and added 6 cloves of garlic. I feel sorry for whoever has to be around me tomorrow!! :-p

 
 

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Spicy veggie chili!!

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Today I opted to make chili because I had quite a bit of Roma tomatoes that were about to go bad if not used.
I am sooo picky when it comes to chili…or food in general, that I have to look over a bunch of recipes, and try to recreate something based on what’s in the kitchen.
I have had a can of chipotle peppers in my cupboard for a while now and can’t remember why I bought them…maybe hummus that I love so much?
So anyway…I rarely get canned beans because dried are so much cheaper! (Although I do get remarks at the checkout like “wow! You like beans!”) When you are poor you have to live the Dave Ramsey way – Beans & Rice & Rice & Beans. Although I really don’t like rice. (But I’m finding I love it with stir fry).
So enough chatter and on with the recipe!! I modified this from a version I found on All Recipes called “The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World”… Hard to pass up that title. 😉
I made mine crockpot style.

Ingredients:
1 Tbs olive oil
1 med onion chopped
5 small stalks celery diced
2 carrots diced (you can use 2 bell peppers, but I didn’t have any)
2 chipotle peppers (I started with 3 and its super hot! If your sensitive to heat use 1, or jalapaños)
5 garlic cloves chopped
9 Roma tomatoes
8 oz dry garbanzo beans (or 15 oz can rinsed & drained – same for all beans)
8 oz dry large red kidney beans
8 oz dry black beans
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 tsp salt (use 1/2 if using canned beans)
1 Tbs ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbs dried oregano
1/8 cup chili powder (I know you prob don’t have a measuring cup that small, eye ball it)
2 bay leaves
Water (depends how much your beans soak up or if you like thick or soupier chili).

Directions:
Soak all beans over night, or do quick method to get them started. I had pre cooked garbanzo beans in pressure cooker for 10 min because they take the longest and this makes them aldenté to start. I tried pre cooking my kidney beans in pressure cooker separate and that is epic failure! (Don’t blow up your kitchen like I tried to mine…) :-/
Just pre soak over night red & black beans and they should be ok in crock pot…

disclaimer, I am not liable or held responsible for anyone who uses their pressure cooker wrong and obtains 3rd degree burns. Please read your instruction manual on how to operate pressure cooker.

In sauté pan heat olive oil and sauté onions, celery, carrots, & garlic until onion is translucent (whatever that means…)
In blender add 6 (quartered) tomatoes, chipotle peppers, and half amount of pre cooked garbanzo beans and blend until puréed.
In crock pot add the other half pre cooked garbanzo beans, tomato purée sauce, pre soaked & rinsed black & red kidney beans, sautéed veggies, spices, frozen corn, & bay leaves. Dice the remaining 3 tomatoes and add to crock pot. Add water to cover.
Cook in crock pot for 2-3 hours until beans are tender. Keep checking and stirring. Adding more water as needed.
Remove bay leaves at end and serve with (dairy free) sour cream & cheese on top. Or whatever suits your fancy.
I liked that this recipe was fairly easy to make and flavorful!
Makes a whole bunch! So be ready to serve 10-12 or freeze the remainder for lunches. 🙂
For the rest of chipotle peppers I put in freezer safe container and froze for another future use. Don’t waste those precious peppers!! 🙂
Enjoy!
Great for after ice skating parties too! 😉

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