Month: March 2014

Spring Vegetable Chicken Soup

This post is dedicated to Arman, who yelled at me yesterday for “posting so late,” because today’s post, like all others this week, will show up on his feed “late.” To me, it’s a normal time. I get it though, the later I post, the later it shows up for him. But let me explain why this is happening: I’m flying by the seat of my pants, here.

Spring Vegetable Chicken Soup 1

I’m trying as best I can to cook recipes, etc. in the little time I’m actually home during the day. Then, it’s even more difficult to take pictures because I’m usually not home during the right daylight hours. Aaaaand then, the weekends have been dedicated to me hanging out with friends, which I’m not going to sacrifice right now.

So, that brings me to today. I made this chicken soup at night on Sunday, but I had no time to actually photograph it until this morning, but only after it was light enough. And even then, the pics aren’t in the perfect light… but #sorryimnotsorry. But okay, Arman, let me tell you this: I do promise to start getting posts up earlier just for your Australian butt starting May 4. Hows that?

Spring Vegetable Chicken Soup 2

On a slightly different note, do you know how difficult it is to make chicken soup with spinach in it look appealing? I KNOW. It’s kind of ugly. At least you’re still getting the recipe, right?

Spring Vegetable Chicken Soup

Makes 6-8 main meal servings

For the broth**:

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, about 3-4 lbs.
  • 2 celery stalks, halved
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 carrots, halved
  • 2 large cloves garlic, slightly smashed but still together
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. poultry seasoning

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a large pot and cover with water.
  2. Heat over high until boiling.
  3. Simmer broth for about an hour and a half, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Take veggies out of soup and discard.
  5. Set chicken aside.
  6. Strain soup if you’d like to (this helps to get the nasty foam out).

Spring Vegetable Chicken Soup 3

For the soup:

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped, leaves included
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. ghee or other oil
  • 1.5 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1 tbsp. poultry seasoning
  • 12 oz. package frozen peas
  • 9 oz. package frozen asparagus*
  • 8 oz. package mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 c. frozen spinach
  • Chicken (from above)
  • Broth (from above)**

Directions:

  1. In the same pot as the broth you cooked (now empty but not washed) melt ghee.
  2. Sauté carrots, celery, onion and garlic until veggies start to get a little soft.
  3. After about five minutes add in a few spoonfuls of broth and let cook.
  4. In the meantime, take the chicken off of the bones.
  5. Add remaining broth and seasonings to the pot. Cook for about 20 minutes.
  6. Add in frozen veggies, mushrooms, and chicken, but not the spinach.
  7. Cook for an additional 20-30+ minutes, or until the soup is boiling.
  8. Add in spinach.

*You could use fresh asparagus (it would stay firmer) but I’m cheap so I didn’t ooooops.

**You could use store bought broth, but I personally prefer my chicken soup made from scratch. If you were using store broth, you would need about six cups plus some water (maybe 2 cups). Then you could just add in chicken to cook with the soup itself. I recommend making it from scratch, though.

I think this soup would be great served with quinoa! In fact, I made a batch today so I could add some into my soup for dinner.

Questions of the Day:
>> Have you ever made chicken soup from scratch?
>> How do you juggle all of your responsibilities? 

True Love [WIAW #42]

This blog is quickly becoming a celebrity couple gossip blog, but… Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are separating. WHAT. This is actually, really, not sarcastically heartbreaking to me. If you know how obsessed I am with Goop (aka Gwyneth), this devastation makes sense. What about all of his Coldplay songs?! Do they have no meaning now?! Is there no real love left in this world?!?!

I need to hope that there is true love left in the world, so for today’s What I Ate Wednesday post (hosted by Jenn… but her post is written by this fabulous chick) the theme is TRUE LOVE. I am set on proving that true love is in fact left in this world by means of food. So, in each meal, I’ll point out my ❤ food love <3.

Breakfast

❤ True Love: Veganaise ❤

The avocado toast smeared with avo and veganaise trend is still going strong over here. Veganaise and I are in the honeymoon phase. I also had some baby carrots, three eggs fried, and a grapefruit.

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Lunch

❤ True Love: Chicken Broth ❤

I made a big pot of spring veggie chicken soup (recipe coming tomorrow) this weekend, but for me, the star of chicken soup is always the broth. YUM. Sorry for the shitty pic.

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Snack

❤ True Love: Sunflower Seed Butter ❤

This snack has become pretty typical in these parts because it’s easily transportable. Sunflower seed butter, banana, and carrots while hangin’ at work.

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Snack

❤ True Love: Almonds ❤

Need I say more? Yeah, I should say I had like four handfuls of them.

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Dinner

❤ True Love: Cottage Cheese ❤

I have a weird affinity for cottage cheese. I enjoyed my love alongside peanut butter Ezekiel toast and broccoli.

photo-1

Dessert

❤ True Love: Chocolate Chips ❤

Specifically Trader Joe’s chocolate chips. On top of unfrozen strawbs and bloobs and with a little bit of PB.

photo

Questions of the Day:
>> Name three of your food true loves!
>> Indulge me… do you believe in real, true love?

Four Ways To Be Happier

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness, what it means to be happy, why I deserve to be happy, and how I can actually be happy. It’s not that I’m unhappy – but I think that sometimes we psyche ourselves out and get too stressed, forgetting that happiness is a really important thing and that we have ways to control our happiness.

We do have the power to make moves in our lives (like this lady is doing, and this one!) and do what we need to do for ourselves to be happy. But it doesn’t always have to be as big as working toward a promotion or moving across the country; finding happiness can be simple, too. So, today, I’m sharing four ways to be happier.

1. Take a chance, even if it is a small one. That might sound cliché or maybe you’re like uhhh duh Angela. Still, we need a kick in the butt to do things that scare up sometimes, especially if our happiness is at stake and ESPECIALLY especially when we’re already pretty happy but know we could do something to be a little happier. (Also, how many times can I say happy in one post? Let’s find out). You need to take a chance. It can bring you great things, I promise. Scary – but great.

image quote saying take a chance

2. Listen to a song you love. This is the easiest way to boost your mood. Even better than listening to a happy song? Dancing along to it alone in your house. To me, that feels like freedom. I know that sounds weird, but I am weird so whatever. Do it. My current happy song? This (and no, it’s not a Pharell song, although that will arguably be a great mood brightener, too).

3. Get one extra hour of sleep. Sleep is so important in balancing our moods. Getting one extra hour might seem ridiculous, like “Please, what’s sleep? I can’t sleep more.” Yes, you can. I guarantee that at least one night a week you can go to bed at ten instead of eleven. You will feel infinitely better the next day. Why do you think you feel so awesome on the weekends? Uhhh, extra sleep. And maybe pancakes, too, but also sleep.

4. Drink more water. A while ago, I said that I started tracking my water intake with the Ounces app. Yeah, I’m crazy. I’m also very hydrated, and hydration = happiness. Water does countless things to improve the body’s functions, and ultimately, it will make you feel good. When you feel good, you’re happy. Who said I wasn’t good at math? Oh ya, I did. See this article if you don’t believe me.

I’ve been doing all of these things for myself recently. And I’m happier than I was at the beginning of the semester. Life is full of unexpected things, some good, some bad. No matter what gets thrown at you, though, you CAN do things to keep a handle on your happiness. So go drink some water and be happy, okay?

Questions of the Day:
>> What’s one of your favorite ways to get happier?
>> Do you find that water makes you happy?