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Chicken Soup for the Soul and the “I’m not sick”

I hate being sick. I hate my husband being sick even more. He is empathetic and caring when I am sick making sure my pillow is cool, bringing me ginger ale and leaving me alone on the couch to watch random shows on Bravo. I wish I could be his Clara Barton when he is sick. But he never stops working long days and frequently says, “I’m not sick” as if admitting he was sick was the actual cause of his illness.

This time around he got some meds from the doctor early on but this creepy crud just won’t go away. Paging through the March issue of Dr. Oz’s The Good Life magazine, I found a recipe for “Chicken Soup with Lemon and Orzo” which reminded me of the soup found in Greek restaurants. With most of the ingredients on hand, I decided to give the “feed a cold; starve a fever” adage a whirl.

These were my shortcuts to the recipe below. I know it’s cheaper and more flavorful to do some things differently. For example, I have been given about four different “it’s so easy” types of stock recipes. But I am still emotionally scarred from my last attempt at stock where I absent-mindedly poured the hours-in-the-making stock down the drain rather than in a bowl. So boxed stock it is for me.

  • I had purchased pre-chopped celery and carrots earlier this week for snacking so it made it super easy to prep the celery and carrots.
  • My husband doesn’t like onions and since this soup was for him, I kept them out.
  • I used regular orzo rather than whole wheat orzo.
  • I used prepackaged stir-in paste dill.
  • I used a grocery store lemon pepper rotisserie chicken and boxed chicken stock.

The result was lemony delicious and it tasted better the next day (as all soups do) even with mildly soggy orzo. Next time I will cook the orzo seperately and just add it to the broth per serving. The dill paste made the broth taste delightfully dilly fresh without dill specks getting stuck in my teeth. And (best of all) it took only about 20 minutes to throw this together, but it had the flavor of something cooking all day. I credit the rotisserie chicken from Publix which I patiently stalked the deli counter for in order to get one fresh from the oven.

I wish I could say that John said he felt instantly better after a big bowl of this soup. But that would mean he would have to admit he was sick. And that’s about as likely as it is for me to make my own chicken stock.

I’m Amy. And this is my feed.

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Chicken Soup with Lemon and Orzo

Serves 4 

Ingredients

1 Tbs olive oil

1 onion

2 celery stalks

1/2 cup diced carrots

1 tsp coarse salt

3/4 cup orzo

6 cups chicken stock

dill (to taste)

juice of 1 lemon plus 4 thin slices of lemon

pepper (to taste)

2 cups baby spinach leaves (I used an 8 ounce bag of spinach)

Directions

Heat oil over medium heat. If using onion, cook for 4-5 minutes and then add the celery, carrot and salt. Cook until all the vegetables are soft (about 5-6 minutes).

Add the orzo, stock and some dill. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until the orzo is cooked (about 5-10 minutes). This gives you time to pull apart the chicken.

Add the shredded chicken, lemon juice, lemon slices and some pepper and simmer until the chicken is warmed. Throw in the spinach until the spinach is wilted. Give it a taste and add some more dill if so inclined.

Recipe adapted from: Spungen, Susan. “World’s Best Chicken Soup.” Dr. Oz The Good Life 4.2 (2017): 97-101. Print. .

 

 

 

Skinnytaste: Kale Caesar and Grilled Chicken Bowls

It was good while it lasted but like all food fads (see sweet potato fries, eggs on hamburgers, cauliflower “mashed potatoes”), I am about two meals away from bidding adieu to kale. But I have been loving the recipes in “Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes” so decided to give this a try.

I halved the recipe for the salad because there is only so much kale my husband and I are willing to pretend to like but I made the full recipe of the dressing. I used a whole can of anchovies because the recipe called for just a few of the salty delights and I’m not sure that’s something I want to stick in my packed fridge and forget about. I also used a whole lemon rather than 1/2 a lemon because I do love all things citrus.

Even letting the dressing coat the kale for about 30 minutes, the kale still tasted like…kale. The few hard boiled eggs and pan grilled chicken didn’t mask the fact that we were eating a bowl of kale.

The salad dressing is definitely worth a second try so I have included the recipe below but I recommend using it on a different green.

Is it odd to be nostalgic for the good old days of iceberg and romaine lettuces?

I’m Amy. And this is my feed.

Salad Dressing from Kale Caesar and Grilled Chicken Bowls

Ingredients

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 anchovy fillets (I used the whole can)

1 garlic clove

3 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon (I used a whole lemon)

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions

Put all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes by Gina Homolka. Copyright © 2016, published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.