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Chick Pea Soup

Chick Pea Soup

Last night I was on my own for dinner. Usually I try to do something really healthy, but most of the time I end up eating frozen pizza. However, last night I made Chick Pea Soup. I don’t usually eat chick peas, I don’t make hummus or use them in salads, but I have heard they are good for you, and I will be really disappointed if someone tells me otherwise.

This soup was different for me because your first making a vegetable broth. Then you toss the veggies, and I like veggies. I considered putting some of the vegetables back into my soup after it was finished, but the soup is good and creamy so I opted not to add any vegetables back in.

Vegetable Broth

Ingredients

1 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (1 to 2 medium leeks)
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
Kosher salt
1 bay leaf, broken in half
1 fresh thyme sprig, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
One 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes and juices

Put the leeks, carrot, 2 teaspoons salt, bay leaf, thyme sprig or dried thyme, tomatoes, and 4 cups water in a medium, heavy pot over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain stock into large bowl, extract much liquid as possible, and return stock to pot (discard vegetables in strainer).The stock should be about 4 cups. If not, add enough water to equal this amount.

Chick Pea Soup

4 cups stock
One 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup, short dried past, such as ditalini
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 cups baby spinach leaves
Parmesan cheese

Puree 1/2 cup chickpeas with 1/4 cup water in food processor or blender. Add the pureed chickpeas and remaining whole chickpeas, pasta, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon salt to the stock. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, for 6-8 minutes. (If the soup starts to cook down too much, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups additional water and return to simmer.) Add the spinach and cook 1 minute more or until wilted. Season with salt or pepper, if needed.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over each serving.

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Curried Chicken Salad

chicken salad

Ok. So I didn’t make blackened chicken salad last night, I just wasn’t feeling it. I did; however, make Curried Chicken Salad. I got the idea from Foodiecall’s Blog,who made Curry Egg Salad that looked so good I had to try it. I was a little worried that my husband might not dig my “chick food” chicken salad, so I opted to get him one of those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store, you know…just in case.

I had about 2 pounds of chicken breast thawed. I put the chicken in a baking dish and added a 1/2 cup of water, then cooked in a 375° oven for about 45 minutes. While I was cooking the chicken I hard boiled 4 eggs for my chicken salad. I just recently discovered the correct way to hard boiling an egg.

*Put the eggs in a pot, make sure they don’t crack, fill the pot with cold water so the water covers the eggs about 1 inch. If you add salt to the water it makes it easier to peel the eggs later, I was completely missing this steps. Add the lid to the pot, bring the water to a boil, once the water boils remove the pot from the heat, but don’t take off the lid, you don’t want the water to cool too quickly. Leave the eggs in the hot water for 10-15 minutes then chill the eggs by running them under cool water.

Ingredients

2 lbs cooked chicken breast, cut into small bite-sized pieces
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped. I only used the egg whites, but it’s your preference
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
1/2 cup mayonnaise, or more if you like (I used a little more)
1 teaspoon curry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 fresh ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix.

My husband ate two sandwiches last night and one this morning, I don’t even know why I worry anymore. I guess it’s rotisserie chicken tonight.

Curried Chicken Salad

Healthy Ideas

My mom started a fitness website, she’s a crazy workout lady. Here is my crazy workout mom, Fitness By Pat. If you go to the recipes tab you will see she added my blog to her site. So, for anyone that does happen to be directed here from my crazy workout mother I will add a Healthy Foods category, and I will do my best to find and post healthy foods, cause Lord I need it too.

*If you are going to start cooking healthy, you gotta start cooking from scratch, if you don’t already. It saves money and you know what you are eating.

*Eat out less, obvious one, and BRING YOUR LUNCH AND SNACKS TO WORK. Vending machines, fast food, convenience stores…Really?

*Cut back on snack foods like soda, candy, cookies, chip, you know. I love them too, but they just aren’t good for us.

*Be aware of what you are eating.

Here is one of my favorite salads. Sorry, no pictures, but maybe I will make it for dinner tomorrow and post some for you.

Blackened Chicken Salad

Mustard Dressing Ingredients

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Salad Fixins

2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1/8 cup canola oil
1/3 cup Cajun seasoning**
1 large carrot
1/2 red onion, minced
3 scallions, sliced thinly and diagonally

Mustard Dressing:
Combine the mayo, mustard, and vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Salad:
Brush one side of the chicken breasts with half the canola oil, sprinkle with half the Cajun seasoning, and press the seasoning onto the chicken breasts, using your hand or the back of a spoon. Turn the chicken breasts over and repeat the seasoning process.

Heat a cast-iron skillet until it is very hot. Carefully place the chicken breasts into the pan. Cook the breasts without moving them for 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the iron pan into the oven or transfer the breasts to a baking sheet and finish cooking at 375°F oven for 10 minutes, until cooked through and well browned. Chill the chicken breasts completely, then cut into bite-size pieces.

Transfer the chicken to a larger bowl and add the carrot, onion, and scallions. Add the dressing and mix well.

Makes 6 Servings
Per Serving: Calories 500; Calories from fat 220; Calories from saturated fat 40; Protein 56g; Carbohydrates 9g; Total fat 25g; Saturated fat 4.5g; Cholesterol 145mg; Sodium 1,980mg; 44% Calories from fat

**If you would like to make your own Cajun seasoning, the following recipe will last for 4-6 months, then lose some of its kick.

Cajun Spice (Makes about 1 1/4 cups)

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon paprika
1/8 cup dried thyme
1/8 cup dried oregano
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/8 cup dried sweet basil
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/8 cup salt

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly with a spoon or wire whisk or in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Keep stored in a covered jar in a cool dark place for up to 6 months.

Recipe and nutritional information from Whole Foods Market Cookbook.