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Homemade Lipton noodle soup

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I haven’t been feeling well for a few days. A bad cold which left me nauseous, light headed and stuffy. When I’m like this, all I want is broth. Or Lipton Noodle Soup. But alas! Lipton is full of gluten. So that’s out. I cannot remember the last time I had some time. But it still stands out as my ultimate comfort food for times when I’m sick. It’s easy to eat, easy on my stomach and easy to make.

Yesterday afternoon I told my husband that I wanted Lipton soup (for the second time in two days?). He wanted to help me out but also knew I couldn’t have Lipton. So I did my research aka google for recipes.

I found a fairly simple one but it still wasn’t “Dru-able”. So I decided to make my own.

I bought a box of Pacific organic vegetable broth, Thai kitchen thin rice noodle (thin is key here!) and after searching the shelves at Whole Foods, I also found Seitenbacher Vegetarian Vegetable Broth and Seasoning.

I filled a pan with water and let it reach boiling as I cut the rice noodle into pieces with a kitchen scissor (IN the bag otherwise dry pasta will fly everywhere). I filled another pan with the broth and added two heaping tablespoons of the vegetable broth and seasoning and whisked it up. The water was boiling so I shut it off and put the pasta in (this specific kind requires only hot water to cook in).

I drained the pasta and transferred it to the broth. I then let that reach a boil to allow the flavor infuse the pasta.

Now it was time for the taste test. I took my first taste. YES! Success! I felt as if I was eating Lipton noodle soup instead of a mock version! And it’s every bit as delicious and healthier for me! Not to mention super easy to make.

I call this a win, even though I still have a box of tissues with me.

    Homemade Lipton Noodle Soup

-32 oz. vegetable broth
-One package Thai Kitchen Thin Rice Noodles (8.8 oz)
-2 heaping TBSP vegetable broth/seasoning

Cook pasta as directed. In another pot, heat up broth and add seasoning and whisk until smooth.

Drain pasta and transfer to broth.

Allow soup to reach boil before turning it off.

Cool slightly so you don’t burn yourself and enjoy!

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Spiced Blueberry sauce

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It was Easter and I wanted a nice breakfast for both my husband and I. For us, that meant pancakes. But I didn’t want the usual. I bought fresh blueberries the previous day thinking I would make blueberry pancakes. Well I did, but that wasn’t it!

I pulled out a sauce pan and put in blueberries, maple syrup, nutmeg and cloves. I heated it up until it was bubbling, using a masher to mush it up. I could have stop cooking it after a few minutes but I wanted the sauce thick. I turned the heat to low and kept stirring it while flipping pancakes (I’ve never been good at that).

Breakfast was served! Instead of regular maple syrup, I poured the blueberry sauce over it. I was very sweet! I can definitely see this as a delicious topping for ice cream. Ooh!

    Spiced Blueberry Sauce

1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used grade A)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp clove

1.) Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat to medium.
2.) When it starts bubbling, carefully mash the berries (don’t let the juice hit you!).
3.) Lower heat to simmer and keep on stirring until you reach desired consistency. I cooked for 10 minutes.
4.) Serve hot and enjoy!

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I admit I didn’t think to take a picture of the finished product. I was too busy eating!!! Just a recommendation- make this for regular pancakes otherwise it will be a flavor overload. I have a favorite recipe for almond pancakes from Elana’s Pantry- her cookbook is Gluten-Free Almond Cookbook. Yum!

Do you add anything special to your pancakes?

Irish pride

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Coming from an Irish family, I grew up on boiled cabbage, carrots, onions and corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Some of us loved it. Others, not quite so much… When I started dating my husband, I decided to try something different. Irish soup. I’ve found I enjoy it so much more and it’s actually more authentic since peasants didn’t always have beef available to them. Often it was out of their price range.

So tonight, we made potato soup with a few ingredients: potatoes, onions, vegetable broth, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and fresh chives as a garnish. That’s it. Sometimes the simpler a meal is, the tastier it is! I served it with a side of spring greens drizzled with olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. YUM.

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But the celebration didn’t start today for us! We went out to this whiskey bar: Barrel House American Bar in Beverly, MA. I highly recommend it! A huge whiskey selection. I chose a Scotch, Glenlivet, aged 12 years I believe. It was surprisingly nice to have the bartender serve us complimentary sparkling water and ask us on the rocks or neat? I felt like a grown up, although it was more like I was pretending to be one…..

But what truly made it a time of celebration of being Irish? Being with family. Seeing my brother,sister in law and of course my husband. That’s what made it a special St. Patrick’s Day!

Cheers!

A dessert for a runner to go bananas over!

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I love sweets. LOVE them. Crave them actually. But I didn’t have any around the house. No candies, cookies or the likes. While musing on my cravings, I checked out Pinterest. I found something there that inspired me!

I used what I had in my kitchen and ended up having a DELICIOUS and nutritious snack for both my husband and I. It’s the ultimate runner’s dessert, I think.

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    Banana-Almond sandwich

1 banana
Almond butter
1 TBSP chia seeds
Cinnamon

1.) Slice the banana in pairs.
2.) Spread almond butter on half of the banana slices.
3.) Sprinkle cinnamon over them. Do the same with chia seeds.
4.) Cover with the remaining banana slices.
5.) Freeze on a plate or tray for 2 hours.
6.) Serve cold.

All ingredients have a remarkable nutritional value, even more so for runners. I can’t wait to make more after my barefoot runs in the summertime! It’s dessert without the junk. Yum!

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My Chi-Chickpea Carrot Salad

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My week was planned out, food wise. Except for lunch. I bought two cans of chickpeas but I had no idea what I’ll do with it. Plain garbanzo beans, maybe? With salt and pepper. Then I realized I had carrots…. Currants…. Spices…. To make the story short, my creative juice got flowing and I now have a tasty lunch waiting for me tomorrow! I snuck in a bite, of course.

Here it is!

    Chi-Chickpea Carrot Salad

2 TBSP olive oil
3 carrots, minced
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup currants
1TBSP chia seeds
1/4 cup lemon juice (or lime juice)
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
2 cans chickpea, rinsed
1/2 cup pecans, roasted, crushed
1 tsp salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)

1.) Heat up a large pan with olive oil. Sauté onions and carrots for 5 minutes, until softened.

2.) Stir in garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add spices, currants, chia seeds, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Stir until everything is coated in spices.

3.) Add chickpeas, stir. Add pecans and salt.

4.) Season to taste. Serve warm with greens on the side.

5.) Enjoy!!!!!

Delicious! Both my husband are splitting it for lunch this week. Yum!!! I love it when I’m able to come up with something tasty while using what I have. Even more so that chia is in it- some people add sesame seeds to their stir fry, stews and the likes. Why not chia? All the nutrients and none of the allergens (I’m allergic to sesame). Works for me!!!

What do you usually do for lunch?

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Got leftovers but not enough? Recreate a new meal!

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Last night my husband made spaghetti with a DELICIOUS sauce. It was red, but it has absolutely no trace of tomatoes! It was a red pepper sauce. The recipe can be found on: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Red-Pepper-Sauce-4658

Instead of hot sauce (which we ran out of and I didn’t realize it when planning meals for the week, OOPS!), my husband used a bit of water with chili powder. He threw an onion, two red peppers, ginger, water and the spice in a sauce pan to cook it a bit. Then he poured it all into a blender and mixed it up.

A tomato-less red sauce made with red peppers and ginger!

A tomato-less red sauce made with red peppers and ginger!

It was scrumptious! Packed with flavor- the ginger added a kick to it. Immediately I wondered how it would taste if I roasted the red peppers first and used paprika or chipotle powder instead of chili for a smoky taste.

We ate all of the pasta. It was so good, satisfying my cravings for carbs yet it was entirely different than your standard tomato sauce. I mean I love comfort food but I wanted something a bit different last night.

So… we have no pasta left but some of the sauce left. Looking at my kitchen, it hit me. I told him, “Don’t worry about it. When we have our leftovers, I’ll just mix it up with red kidney beans and avocado for dinner.” Now this sauce is a multipurpose sauce!

I love it when I can recreate an entirely different meal using leftovers. It adds variety to our meals with half the work!

What’s your favorite leftover to reuse and how do you do it?

A quick and easy snack

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I love food. Especially food that tastes great ANd is a snap to make!!! A new addiction of mine are brown rice tortillas heated up on a flat pan, with olive oil sprayed on the TOP, not the bottom. Sprinkle adobo and red hot pepper flakes on it. Cook /toast until golden on the bottom, or crispy. Use a pizza cutter to slice it in 6 or 8 pieces.

It’s my fix for garlic bread. I used to miss it until I tasted this. So easy right!? If you don’t like spicy food, substitute red hot pepper flakes with dried oregano or any other herbs you love. My husband loves this.

I would have it every night if I could….

Oh PS if you don’t have Adobo, use garlic powder and a touch of salt. It’s pretty much the same thing. YUM!

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