Crack Chicken Noodle Soup

Although Spring is just around the corner, a few weeks ago we were reminded winter wasn’t over. That promoted Jeremiah and I to cook up a few new soup recipes. I call this recipe the soup version of Canyon Chicken.

Crack Chicken Noodle Soup by Plain Chicken
Chicken soup3 c. chopped chicken
1 can condensed cheese soup
6 c. chicken broth
1 c. milk
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 package ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix
1 package Bacon Bits
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz. dried fine egg noodles, uncooked

In a large stock pot, combine chicken, cheese soup, broth, milk, celery, carrots, ranch packet, and bacon. Bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Then, reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes, until vegetable is soft. Stir in noodles and shredded cheese. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until noodles are soft.

Notes:

  • I would suggest using leftover rotisserie chicken since this recipe doesn’t have any seasonings except ranch. I added a little parsley.
  • I used low sodium condensed soup, low sodium broth and skim milk.
  • I didn’t have celery so I omitted it from the recipe.
  • I used real bacon. I suggest maybe just sprinkling on top before serving so ensure the flavor isn’t overwhelmed.

 

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Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

I’m a pretty practical person. When my mom ask me what I want for a holiday gift, I usually have a hard time coming up with stuff. This year, I decided to take my birthday money though and invest in a Ninja blender. Sure, we have all seen the infomercials for it – but does it really work? I did a little online research. I usually don’t read people comments on stuff because it just gets my heart racing. The anonymity of the internet makes people think they can say anything. But I figured if the major of the 100 reviews written on multiple websites were good, maybe all those people weren’t paying to write them. I also chatted with a friend of friend who said it worked good at everything but chopping kale. Ice was my biggest concern. I had some cheap blender and it couldn’t chop ice for anything. I wanted a Starbucks quality blender at a price that fit my budget. The basic Ninja is $99. I used my Bed, Bath, and Beyond 20 percent off coupon getting it down to $80. With birthday money, I could justify the expense.

This smoothie was one of my first test. I have to say, it work beautifully. (Just so you know, I haven’t been paid a dime to say this or anything else on my blog). In the weeks ahead, I will share how it did on other recipe. (I’m even going to give homemade ice cream a try even though I didn’t buy that level of Ninja.) This recipe is definitely a keeper though. I saw it while watching Pioneer Woman on the Food Network and found the exact recipe on the internet. It will be on my Pinterest favorites if you want to tag it for later.

Orange Resolution SmoothieOrange Resolution Smoothies by Ree Drummond
2 c. frozen mangos
2 c. peaches
2 c. Greek yogurt
1 c. Orange Juice
1 c. pineapple
¼ c. honey
1 banana
1 c. mini carrots

Blend together and serve. Makes eight servings.

Notes:

  • I used canned pineapple packed in natural juices.
  • I chopped up the carrots.
  • I cut the recipe to a fourth and it made a good cup and half smoothie.

Leftover Comfort Food

If you make a turkey for Christmas, here is a recipe I made using leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. If you don’t have turkey, I am sure you could easily substitute chicken. I thought it was delicious.

Turkey & NoodlesTurkey and Noodles from Pinterest
12 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. diced onion
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. frozen egg noodles
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
4 c. diced turkey
3 large carrots

Heat broth to a boil. Add salt, onion, carrots, and pepper. Add frozen noodles and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 10 minutes. Add flour and milk. Cook until juices are somewhat reduced and slightly thinned. Add meat. Cool slightly before serving.

Notes:

  • Freezer recipe – Just thaw and reheat at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
  • I used dry egg noodles. It worked just as well and was cheaper to purchase.
  • I used reduced sodium chicken broth. You could make your own with the leftover turkey bones. You could also use 2 parts broth/1 part water to reduce cost.
  • I used skim milk. It had to cook a little longer to thicken but it worked.
  • I used frozen carrots.
  • I add a couple of celery stalks. I think you could also had some spinach to this recipe.

Fried Rice Tuesday

One of the things I love most about working at my hotel is Fried Rice Tuesdays. Once a month, the kitchen will cook up the fried rice they serve our restaurant Nikko for associates to eat. If you haven’t been to Nikko Japanese Steakhouse, you have to go. Not only is the experience entertaining but the fried rice is phenomenal. It’s the best fried rice I have ever eaten. No excuse, buy a Groupon or call the hotel today to book your reservations.

Since I am off work today, I thought I would give a recipe I pinned on my “Skinny Mini” Pinterest board a try. One of the reasons I liked it because it doesn’t taste really salty. Plus, this recipe rings in at 10 Weight Watchers points instead of 34 Weight Watchers points you would have to count for eating out at a traditional Chinese restaurant. The recipe is also pretty quick and easy to make.

Skinny Chicken Fried Rice by Rachel Schultz (via the Skinny Mom Blog pin on Pinterest)
Skinny Chicken Fried Rice4 c. prepared rice
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast grilled
2 c. frozen carrots and peas
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
3 T. sesame oil
1/4 c. lite soy sauce

While rice is cooking and chicken is grilling, start sautéing veggies in oil. When onion appears cooked, add to scrambled eggs to the pan. Once eggs are cooked, add chicken, rice, and soy sauce to the pan. Cook for a few minutes and serve. This recipe makes six servings.

Nutritional Facts: 385 calories, 11 g. fat, 53 carbs, 3 g. fiber, 17 g. protein, and 1 g. sugar.

Notes:

  • I used Minute Rice. You could probably make it a little healthier by using a whole grain rice.
  • I hate peas. I just bought frozen carrots and cooked one cup of them. I could only find julienne style carrots so I had to cut them up with my spatula.
  • I though sesame oil was too expensive so I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I think it worked just fine. I used only 2 T. though.
  • I love to use Ready to Use Chopped Garlic. It comes in a jar and can be found by the fresh fruit and veggies in your grocery store.
  • I used one frozen chicken breast – probably about 1/4 lb. I thought the recipe still tasted fine with less chicken.
  • I used 3 T. (1/8 c. and 1/16 c.) of lite soy sauce. Soy sauce is loaded with sodium. Even using the lite version you are dumping 530 mg of sodium per tablespoon into your recipe. Cutting out just one tablespoon is hardly noticeable to the pallet but much better for your body.
  • I used regular eggs but you could use egg substitute to make this a little healthier.

Homemade Chicken and Noodles

The first time I went to visit my Grandma and Grandpa Fletcher in Arizona, they took my mother and I to meet all their friends. One couple they hung out with my Grandpa Fletcher’s cousin Joann and her husband Jerry. When we went to Jerry and Joann’s house, Joann made this delicious homemade chicken and noodle dish. I’m sure her secret to the success of this dish was the homemade noodles. Although I never got a copy of Joann’s recipe before she passed away, I found a dish with a similar taste.

 This recipe comes from the cookbook Perfect 10. I had a chance to meet the author at a Craft Patch craft show in Lee’s Summit. The author was telling me how her family always gave rating of 1-10 (with 10 being the best) whenever she made a recipe. She placed all the perfect 10 recipes in a separate binder to make recipes for her family’s favorite dishes easily accessible. One day, she realized she had three binders full of perfect 10 recipes. The binders sparked an idea – to create a cookbook sharing these wonderful recipes with others.

The first recipe I made from the Perfect 10 cookbook was for this Homemade Chicken and Noodles. I halved it but I forgot to decrease all the spices. Loved it! The second time I made it, I didn’t do that and I added a little more carrots and celery. I felt like the flavor was better the first time. The recipe below is the original recipe as written. I would recommend making the spices a little bit more if you are adding extra vegetables.

Homemade Chicken and Noodles by Rita Lindsey

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 can (16 oz.) chicken broth
1 white onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1/4 tsp. sage
1 tsp. thyme
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 package (large) Reame’s Frozen Eggs Noodles (I used regular Martha Gootch too.)

Put chicken in large stockpot. Pour in 2 cans of chicken broth and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Skim foam from top. Add vegetables and seasonings. Simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and cool. Then, cube. Remove bay leaves from stock and increase heat. Add noodles and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally and cook until tender and stock thickens. Add chicken back.

Serves 4-6.

I Don’t Like Veggies

Anyone who knows me will tell you, “Amber doesn’t eat veggies.” It’s kind of a joke because until about 12 years ago, I really didn’t eat veggies. I only ate all the bad one – potatoes and corn.

As a baby, my mother says I used to love vegetables. As I got older, I started listening to my sister complain about vegetables and I stopped eating them.

So what changed? I’m adult now and I know that I need to eat vegetables. It doesn’t mean I love them but at least I started trying them to figure out what I liked and how I liked it. Let me start by saying, I still don’t eat canned veggies. They are nasty. But fresh is hip and I can actually afford to buy it so I do.

What I learned? I like raw spinach and romaine lettuce. I still won’t eat iceberg lettuce and you will never catch me ordering a salad as my entire meal at a restaurant. But I will sample a salad at a luncheon or fundraising dinner now. I like asparagus and will eat it as a side dish at a restaurant. I’ll eat onions and peppers if chopped finally in a dish. I like to cook with tomatoes. I like raw celery if it is the crunch in a recipe. Zucchini isn’t bad with hummus.

The one vegetable I don’t love raw or cooked is broccoli. I just can’t get past the smell – I don’t care how much cheese you cover it in.

As for carrots, I learned I liked them cooked. Whether it was in with a roast or in a soup, I would eat them. When I ran across this recipe for carrots in a Kraft magazine and it had 5 Stars, I decided I had to try it. Yes, I know carrots are better for you if you eat them raw. But if a little sauce gets me to eat my vegetables, it’s better than not eating them at all. I hope this recipe helps your kids eat their veggies. I also think this would make a great side for your Easter ham.

Maple-Glazed Baby Carrots by Jill

2 lb. baby carrots
1/4 c. Kraft Light Catalina Dressing (I looked and Kraft was the only brand of this kind of dressing at my grocery store)
1/4 c. maple-flavoring or pancake syrup
1 T. butter
1/2 c. coarsely chopped Pecans

Cook carrots in boiling water for 12-14 minutes or until tender, drain. Bring dressing and syrup to a boil in the same saucepan on medium heat, stirring frequently. Stir in carrots; cook until glaze is thickened, stirring frequently. Add butter; stir until melted. Stir in nuts and serve. (Serves 10, 1/2 c. servings.)

Recipe Modifications:

  • I halved the recipe and just used one bag of baby carrots.
  • I don’t like nuts so I made this recipe without them. Still good.
  • I used Fat Free Dressing and light syrup. It still works and cuts the amount of fat I’m adding to my vegetables.