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Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Here's some music ya'll should check out. (Since blogger isn't allowing photos until 5pm awesome)
Mindy Gledhill- All about your heart

Mindy Gledhill- Hourglass

Mindy Gledhill- Anchor

Mumford and Sons- Awake my Heart

Dave Matthews- You and Me

Lower Lights- This Little Light of Mine (Thanks Emily! I love them)

What Heaven See's in You- LDS song (the song our YW in Excellence is all about)

Hope you enjoy ;) I have no idea what to blog about . Acutally I do have one thing to blog about but that will have to wait for tomorrow or Thursday be excited. We'll see if I actually post though.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Southwest Chicken Soup

I'm not sure what's wrong with me these last few weeks. All I ever want to eat is SOUP. I've made cauliflower soup, mexican bean soup, squash soup, tom ka pug soup and now southwest chicken soup. I can usually go MONTHS without eating/craving soup but ever since I restarted this diet it's all I want to eat. It's hard because a lot of soups use butter and flour which are things I stay away from but I've found several recipes that are just perfect. This soup came from my mom who went to a class years ago at one of our favorite restaurants, Bandito Burrito downtown. She made it for a friend and gave her the recipe then she gave someone else the recipe and so on. So last year after thanksgiving we went over to some friends house and they made this soup with leftover turkey. I begged for the recipe then I found out that my mom had the recipe all along! So I made it the other night and it is just as good as I remember! Here's the Recipe for anyone interested (I'll put what I used in parenthesis):

3.5 lbs of chicken (I used 2 rotisserie chickens shredded up)
4 quarts chicken brother or water (3 chick. 1 water)
4 T olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
3 C onion (1 large chopped)
1-2T minced garlic (3T ;))
1 lg red pepper (forgot it)
1 large yam peeled and diced
3 med. red potatoes diced (I used 2 small)
6 oz. can diced green chilis
2 sm. cans mexican tomato sauce (El Pato brand)
1-3 t. Salt (depending on stock vs. water)
1 t. Pepper
2 T Oregano leaves
1.5 T cumin powder
1 T chili powder
1/2 C chopped cilantro (mine included a fingernail which I chopped off...sorry TMI)
Fresh Limes
Small pkg. frozen corn
1 can hominy
Cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, avocado etc...

1) heat 2 T olive oil over high heat. Add chicken pieces and brown (I skipped this part since I used already cooked chicken just added the chicken and stock together) Add stock or water, vinegar, tomato sauce, hominy and green chilies and simmer 1 hour. (I simmered it for 10 minutes)

2)Saute onion in remaining olive oil, add pepper and saute until soft. Add garlic and sautee for 30 more seconds (don't want it turning bitter) add to stock

3) Sprinkle yam/potatoes with chili powder and add to stock (I did this before the onions so they'd have more time to cook, I was in a hurry)
4) add in the rest of your spices- salt/cumin/oregano leaves and corn. Let it simmer until yams/potatoes are cooked through. Serve with your choice of toppings. We always squeeze a quarter of a lime into the bowl and have different toppings (cilantro, sour cream, cheese, avocado etc)

All in all this recipe says it takes like 4+ hours to cook but I had it done within 45 minutes-1hr. Their directions are not very clear at all so I had to improvise a little bit. I also added a pinch of red pepper flakes because I like it spicy. It will make A LOT OF SOUP 5-6 quarts. So use a big pot, I used the biggest we have and it was still right at the top boiling over all the time.

Here's a picture of the finished product in my standard soup bowl. It has a lot of flavor and is pretty good for you. If all you do is cook the chicken first (or have the precooked kind like I used which makes it even faster) and throw everything into the pot I'm sure it will taste just fine. Sometimes things are made more difficult than they need to be.

I promise I'll post about something other than soup soon, it's just a phase, promise. I'm really posting for my own records since we tend to loose recipes around these parts.

Funny story, I just posted this on my photography blog...woops! =)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tom Ka Pug

What is Tom Ka Pug you ask? Well it's a vegetable coconut soup. They have other versions with chicken/shrimp etc...and those have different names but the version I was introduced to is the veggie version. It's a Thai soup and it's delicious. I'm having a hard time finding things to eat on this diet again but this is perfect! I just made a big batch that will hopefully keep for a week or so so when I am hungry and don't want to make anything I can just pull this out! here is the recipe for those who are interested:
2 quarts chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
broccoli- I use a lot more broccoli than pictured but do however much you want
5 carrots- I love carrots and might add one more next time
1 sm onion chopped
noodles (typically you could use two-four packages of top ramen without the seasoning packet but since i'm on this diet I use brown rice noodles which is just brown rice in the shape of a noodle- note, when I use these noodles I add a little more chicken stock maybe 1/4-1/2quart more)- I get them at Trader Joes
salt/pepper/red pepper flakes
Ginger (either fresh or dried, i always have dried on hand- season to taste 2-3teaspoons for me)

 chop your veggies up. I dice my onions small because I don't like large pieces of it but whatever your preference is would be fine. I cut the carrots on a diagonal so they have more surface area...?! You can use baby carrots too just chop them once or twice to make them a little smaller. First heat a little oil in a pot and sautee the onions with salt/pepper/ginger for several minutes just until they are soft.

 after the onions are soft, add the carrots and let them sautee for several minutes to help soften them as they will take longer to soften than the broccoli. once the carrots have had some time add the broccoli. Let that work together for a few more minutes. You don't have to let it go as long as the carrots they will get softer with the liquid.

once the carrots/broccoli/onion have been sauteed together add 2 quarts chicken stock and 1 can of coconut milk. After dumping the milk in pick up a little liquid with the can, swish it around and dump it back into the pot. Let this get a little warm then add the noodles. I used the whole bag of rice noodles.
Let the noodles cook covered until they are al dente. I let mine go a little past that because I don't like hard noodles so I let mine soften up a bit. With my noodles it takes about 10-15 minutes depending on how high i have the heat on. Make sure it doesn't boil over when it's covered! Also add the red pepper flakes now, this would be to your personal preference I like mine kind of spicy but the rest of my family doesn't so I just put a pinch or two in.

Once everything is cooked and the noodles are done the soup is ready! You could add some sort of protein if you're into that kind of thing but I like mine veggie style. it's so filling and pretty healthy. The most calories are in the noodles (which you really don't get that much of in a serving anyways) and the coconut milk. I might get the lite kind next to cut calories a little bit but it's fairly low cals anyway.

Enjoy!! Sorry the pics don't look too appetizing, it looks way better in person ;)


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