Chicken Noodle Soup

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I created my own chicken noodle soup recipe on a whim one day. I wanted to create something that I knew exactly what’s in it. It wasn’t until after creating this recipe did I realize all the extra benefits I had put into it. Also since I made this up the measurements are mostly in grams since I enter my recipes into My Fitness Pal and want accurate weights.

My family has a history of Alzheimer’s/dementia and cancer. After my own health problems I have learned that tumeric is an all around great spice to have in your cupboard. It’s actually being studied for it’s benefits in slowing Alzheimer’s and possible prevention and treatment of cancers. Seriously, go search this! There are even pills so you don’t have to add it to every meal. And I chose to use rice noodles since my husband has a wheat sensitivity.

In general chicken noodle soup is believed to be good to eat when you have a cold, while this seems to be true, adding some of these other ingredients will make this a great thing to eat while you’re feeling great too. Rosemary is an antioxidant, carrots are good for beta carotene and fiber, chicken provides protein, the list goes on. Don’t just make this if you are feeling under the weather, make this to keep your body going strong. Give your body the nutrients it needs to fight off more than just the common cold.

Chicken Noodle Soup

2-4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2-3 lg carrots
200 g onion (white)
20 g fresh parsley
2 c vegetable broth (I use Saffron Road vegetable broth, so yummy!)
1 c water
150 g celery
4 oz rice noodles (or regular if you don’t have gluten issues), cook per package directions
3 lg garlic cloves
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground tumeric

While chopping vegetables, put chicken breasts in a roaster with 1/2 cup vegetable broth and 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup chicken bone stock and pepper. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, check to make sure it’s cooked through.

In a stock pot, melt down coconut oil. Add garlic and onion. After a couple minutes start adding celery and carrots. Slowly add in vegetable broth to keep vegetables from sticking to the bottom of your pot. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender. Dice chicken and add to stock pot with remaining broth. Add spices and noodles, mix well. Add water and parsley, continue stirring and heat through.

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Peanut Butter Rice Krispies

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This recipe won’t be so good if you happen to be allergic to peanuts. But if you aren’t it’s so yummy! It has only 5 ingredients and there’s no baking involved. Just mix, refrigerate and enjoy! Ok so there’s a bit more to it than that, but still really easy.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispies

6½ c Rice Krispies
½ c raisins
1 c peanut butter
2 Tbsp butter
¼ c honey

rice krispies_001In a very large bowl mix together the Rice Krispies and raisins. In a separate smaller bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and microwave until melted. I do 1-2 minutes on power 6-7 sometimes 8 to make sure I don’t burn the peanut butter. This is something you’ll have to play with a little with your microwave and what setting work best.

Pour the microwaved mixture onto the Rice Krispie mixture, mix well with your hands until rice krispies_002everything is nicely blended. Then transfer this into either a 9″ x 9″ or 9″ x 13″ pan, depends on how thick you want the bars when you are done. Once you transfer the mixture press down to make it all stick together. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Then cut into bars and enjoy!

Note: When using natural ingredients it takes longer to melt and can be beneficial to start with the butter, then add honey (if it’s raw), and finally the peanut butter.

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Meringue Coconut Brownies

merignue brownies_0313_06-EditThis is a fun recipe. I managed to read the name and ingredients and still believe I was making regular old brownies with some coconut. I’ve heard of meringue, but had no idea what it entailed to make it. And let it be said that before this recipe I had only successfully gotten my egg whites to create stiff peaks once. Now that I have accomplished this feat for the third time (I’ve had to use my new found skill since) I think I might remember what to do.

In case you don’t know how to get your egg whites into stiff peaks as some recipes ask merignue brownies_0313_03this is how: Get your electric handheld mixer out and put on the whisk attachment. Put your egg whites in a bowl that you can use your mixer with. Then whisk away. One recipe said it takes about a minute, I would say more than that. So it’s super simple, but for some reason until recently this was a very challenging part of baking for me. Now onto the recipe you clicked on to begin with! Please note that I cut down the sugar from the totals listed below.

Makeover Meringue Coconut Brownies

(Found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

 ⅓ c butter, softened
⅓ c plus ¾ c packed brown sugar
⅓ c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
⅓ c fat-free milk
1 c (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 c flaked coconut
½ c chopped walnuts
3 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar

In a small bowl, cream the butter, ⅓ merignue brownies_0313_01cup brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Press into a 9×13-in greased baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts.

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In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over the top. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake).

Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator (this is super important!) They will be super sticky if you don’t.

merignue brownies_0313_04So there you have it, these delicious bars that claim to be brownies in disguise.

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(Almost) Gluten Free Very Vanilla Cupcakes

cupcakes I went through a phase last year of finding gluten free recipes. My husband had a co-worker with the allergy and on bring food days no one remembered. So I made deserts and sides with her allergy in mind so she would be able to join everyone in their group lunches. I checked out about 4 cookbooks from the library to get recipes and typed up the ones that sounded good, or that I could use the main Almond Flouringredients and make my own version. This is one of those my own version ones, so if you need gluten free just use 2.5 c almond flour instead of the combo of flours I used. I also baked them in the mini muffin pan, I think the end bake time was around 20 minutes.

Almost Gluten Free Very Vanilla Cupcakes

1¼ c almond flourcupcakes in pan
1 c custom flour blend
2 eggs
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 c applesauce
2 Tbsp organic agave nectar
3 tsp sugar (raw or regular)
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (or Real Lemon, depending on what you have on hand)
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale yellow with a handheld mixer, then whisk in the butter, applesauce, agave nectar, vanilla extract and lemon juice. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks with a handheld mixer. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine the flours, salt and baking soda, then gently fold into the egg mixture. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown or a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for 30 minutes. Frost if desired then serve.

IMG_3314I don’t personally have a gluten allergy, but I typed up a lot of recipes for times when I am baking for someone who does. This is one of the cookbooks I found at the library: The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook: Breakfasts, Entrees, and More by Elana Amsterdam. This is a great resource for people who have gluten allergies and still want more moist baked goods.

Graham Crackers aka Cheesecake Crust

 
5/24/12: Let me preface this with, I am terrible with dough. Especially when it’s for something that should be a dessert. I have improved with pizza dough (see earlier post) but I have not even attempted pie crust. Anyway this is a recipe from Dining on a Dime again. This time for graham cracker crust. The purpose of making this is so that I can have a super made from scratch cheesecake. Not sure how it will work, since they seem to be a little less than crunchy (I’m thinking not rolled thin enough as some parts are crunchier).
 
So we will find out in the next couple of days how it works as a crust. I will most likely be blending them up instead of the standard meat pounder to break them up. If I remember I will post the cheesecake recipe as well. It’s a hybrid of 2 that I will be trying out for this weekend.
 
5/26/12: Sorry this post has been taking me a few days.. The graham crackers after sitting overnight became crunchier. I would still make them thinner the next time I attempt them. The cheesecakes are made (2 of the same hybrid) will be coming soon. So we’ll find out then how the graham crackers turned out, when I sampled some they were pretty tasty.
 

Graham Crackers from scratch

2.5-3 c flour (recipe calls for whole wheat, I use a blend of whole wheat, spelt and unbleached all purpose)
¼ c brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp baking soda
¼
tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c applesauce (home made, or oil (which is what the recipe called for))
1/3 c honey
1 Tbsp molasses (or dark corn syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c milk (I used skim)

Combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Then combine the wet ingredients into a smaller bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix well. By the end you will need to mix with your hands. If the dough is too sticky add flour, too wet add milk. Preheat your oven to 300°. Divide the dough in half and roll onto 2 large cookie sheets. (My 9*13 was a bit small (not sure what my second tray size was) since rolling thin is good, they do puff up).

You want to cut lines making squares however large you would like. Then prick with a fork, or if you’re using the fancy Pampered Chef double sided roller it has a thing for pricking dough attached. Anyway, bake for 15-25 minutes, mine took more like 30, again roll THIN! Remove from oven once brown on edges (more brown than what it started). Let cool and store in an airtight container, or like me ground up for cheesecake crust. Makes 4-4 ½ cups of crumbs.

Cookie Update

Bad news on the Star Wars® cookies. The cookie recipe I used grew a lot in the oven. So I have some Yoda and Darth Vader general shapes, but the details aren’t really there. I just couldn’t bring myself to take a photo since they really don’t look the greatest.

One thing I was having the most trouble with was the dough being super sticky. I put it in the fridge overnight, then again overnight the next night to try and dry it out. When I put flour down on my board the dough ended up soaking in all the flour within seconds and it just stuck to the board. I refused to give up the batch since I really wanted to try the new recipe, but it’s a bit floury. I added sugar too to try and even it out. I’ve never rolled out cookie dough since my mom had a no roll sugar cookie recipe that worked really well. But that hasn’t really worked either since I started baking on my own.

Any suggestions on why the cookies which were about 1/8″ high going into the oven and about 1″ high coming out or why the dough and really any cookie dough I make now days is super sticky?