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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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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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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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Summer chicken bean soup

This weekend I realized what true exhaustion really is! There were guests coming from afar (and not family, so deep cleaning is a must!) I am so glad I snatched up a Living Social deal for a cleaning lady. It really helped make my Wednesday more enjoyable. Plus having someone to talk to while you clean helps keep you accountable to cleaning! (No resting and pinning on Pinterest!)
I did so much in-town driving too taking friends to the homes they would be staying at, it was nice to have the one-on-one chat time with them.
On Thursday night I was at a friends house who lived in fireworks city! Just about every other house was lighting them off! That was pretty neat since I was thinking I wasn’t going to be able to see any this year with the events I was going to. But the drive home was kinda scary! Trying to pry your eyes open with someone chatting away while you are trying to focus on staying on the road and watching out for drunk drivers was quite a challenge! When I got home I passed out on the couch with bird in hand (he was happy about that).
Friday was more relaxed day and fun to spend the last moments with my friends. A big group of us went up to Pittock Mansion to check out the view and then Red Robin for dinner.
So after all that my Saturday was pretty lazy other than laundry. It’s nice to have an already clean home. :-]

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I forced myself to make a salad, (why is salad always better when someone else makes it??) and I got some reading in while working on tanning my arms, and painting my nails.
By the end of the day I’m beat, but didn’t want to have to pick up take-out tomorrow. So here’s what I came up with in my half conscious creativity…smells good! 😀

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Summer Chicken Bean Soup

Ingredients:
• 2 frozen chicken breasts
• 32 oz. liquid chicken stock (Costco)
• 5 cups water
• 2 cans great northern white beans, rinsed and drained
• 6 oz. frozen peas
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 1 white onion, chopped
• 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
• 1 can diced green chilies
• 1/2 tsp dried thyme
• 1 tsp dried parsley
• 3/4 tsp sea salt
• 1/2 tsp pepper
• 1/4 tsp cayenne

In crockpot add all ingredients and cook for 4 hours. At end, shred chicken with a fork, stir and serve.
Total no brainer!
It may not look too appealing with the peas but I like it. (Omit peas if that pleases you).

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Getting some kitty cuddle time in. :-}
💗”I think I’m in luv”💗

 
 

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Quick after work dinner…

Did you notice the title? Today was an exciting day….I started my new job!!!!! Yea!!! After seven months of being unemployed I am sooo ready to get back to drafting! The job I have is drawing fiber optic telecommunication plans. Sounds like a mouthful but it’s just laying the proposed fiber optic cables for business/commercial use. I use a mouse, not a shovel. I did similar drafting for T-Mobile when they were upgrading their towers to the latest and greatest systems. Everyone is super friendly and laid back. My kinda workplace! Beautiful office too. They designed the interior from shack like conditions a warm uptown office. (Sounds like an oxymoron but its hard to describe). Think red brick, black steel, glass, & original old growth Douglass fir beams circa 1923.
Anyway…something new in addition to my new job is I’m going to try going off refined sugar. Eek!
Me and a friend have been going to a nutrition class for the last 5 weeks and its about the paleo diet taken to the extreme. Based on the book “Maximized Living Nutrition Plans” by Dr. B.J. Hardrick, Kimberly Roberto, & Dr. Ben Lerner.
No grains, no sugar, and no a bunch of other stuff. They say you can do dairy, but raw form. No thank you! I can’t stomach dairy anyway. But the whole concept is it cuts out all sugar (berries stevia, xylitol and Granny Smith apples an exception) for the advanced healing plan so that your body can naturally detox, you are burning fat and not sugar.
Your body burns either sugar or fat for energy, if you cut out the sugar you naturally lose weight faster because you have to burn it for the energy.
I’m trying to do this to help my friend with her motivation to stick with it. If we eat sugar we have to fess up and text her husband so we are accountable. He said he would buy the winner something. I laughed and said, “What? YoCream?” Ha! Sure…give us a sugar headache why don’t you. :-p
I’m not doing the extreme only berries for fruits kinda sugar detox. I’m just staying away from refined sugar or added sugar. (Although my 1 Tbs of miracle whip in my tuna salad today had 1 gm…but I don’t count that!…shhh don’t tell) 😉 I am doing the Granny Smith apples and Adams peanut butter. It’s yummy. (GS apples are lower glycemic).

So all this talk about taking, adding…so now that you read my novel I guess I should give you the recipe. 🙂 I got it from the TruRoots website of these organic sprouted beans I got at Costco a while back.

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I really had no idea what to do with them until I went to the website for an idea. Although their cooking time is a bit off! My beans were stills but aldenté.
So here’s the modified version below. It’s got nice flavor! The tomatoes add a sweet flavor, even though there’s no sugar. 😉

Italian sprouted bean soup

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 med onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 14-ounce can Organic diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup truRoots Sprouted Bean Trio
¼ cup minced fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
Sea Salt and pepper, to taste
Preparation:
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and cook, partially covered, until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in broth, bay leaf, tomatoes and seasonings, bring to a boil. Add the bean trio. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Note: If you can’t find the sprouted bean mix at Costco try mixing equal parts mung beans, green lentils, and adzuki beans. (Sprouted if possible)

Enjoy!

 
 

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Butternut Squash Soup

I don’t know about you but I think this was the first time I’ve ever had butternut squash soup. I’ve always thought it to be bland… and just bland. But this was actually pretty good!! (After I modified it).
I have been trying to find different things to feed my bird that he will actually eat because all he eats is fruit and nuts (along with his cold pressed pellets) and he needs more vegetables… And so do I.
So here is the recipe that I had tweaked to be edible for me and birdie. The key is to use as much organic as possible especially when feeding food to your birds.

Ingredients:
1 medium organic butternut squash.
3/4 cup organic yellow onion
1/2 head garlic
3 1/2 cups organic chicken stock
Olive oil
1/4 tsp curry
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black ground pepper
(I estimated on the spices, I really just measured in my hand).

Preheat oven onto 400°F.
In a 9 x 13 baking dish coat with thin layer of olive oil.
Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down in baking dish.
Cook for about 20 – 40 minutes until fork tender.
Chop the heads off of the garlic and place in aluminum foil heads up and drizzle with olive oil. Close aluminum foil to secure and bake for about 20 minutes until tender.
In dutch oven sauté onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil until translucent.
When butternut squash and garlic is ready, peel butternut squash and dice and add to the onions.
Squish the roasted garlic out of the skins and add to onion and butternut squash mixture. Mingle the flavors.
Transfer the vegetables from the Dutch oven into a blender. Add 3 1/2 cups chicken stock to blender. Add spices on top, and blend until smooth and creamy.
Transfer back to Dutch oven, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until heated through.

For finicky bird eaters cool the soup and serve with tortilla chip to get him to eat it. (my bird is quite content at the moment after chowing down).

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