Playing with Smoothies and Chicken Soup

So, troche the wife is gone for the week to finish her Yoga Dance Teacher Training in Massachusetts. I dropped her off at the Madison airport early Sunday morning and I will pick her up Friday after work.

J-Smoothie

I have been trying to drink a smoothie based off of a website like this Optimal Nutrition”>CRON recipe. It is modified taking into account my tastes (or lack of). At nights I will try to drink this as my meal. It does not taste bad, but it is not great either I have formally dubbed it the J-Smoothie. I have added it to Nutrition Data.com so all can see it. The results there are not entirely correct. The ND  recipe has bakers yeast, and I use brewers yeast. I need to change that, by adding the info for brewers yeast. Another part of the recipe is a crap load of vitamin supplements. I throw in a multivitamin, Glucosamine/MSM/Chondroitin, as well as an omega oils. These additions will really pack a nutrition punch to it. At some point I will make these changes to reflect its real value.

This is high in carbs (natural sugars) so if you are on a low carb diet, have blood sugar or joint inflammation  issues you may want to skip this one…

Souperific

The first night I did something wild and crazy…. well at least it is for me. I tried my hand at cooking a a vegetable chicken soup for the first time. Do not worry, I did not end up in the hospital. =) I first bit-o-time searching on the internet to get a feel for how soups of this type are made. Then I started the cooking… not following and specific directions per se, but using what ingredients I have available as well as what knowledge I have from the internet recipes, and then praying to God that it was edible.

  1. Vegatable Base: I started by putting water into a large pan and then threw in bag of mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, and beans I think); I then also threw in some garlic (3 cloves), and green onion (2 stalks),  a about 3 small quartered tomatoes; as well as some spices… perhaps oregano, and some other stuff. I put it on high until it started to boil and then I turned it down to simmer.
  2. Spicy Chicken: Previously started by thawing the chicken breast fillets in warm water while I went somewhere (A few hours). I took the chicken and moved it from its thawing water  to a frying pan with olive oil. On top of it I threw on every single hot-n- spicy spice I could find: cumin, red pepper, curry. Just enough to give it some POW!. I let it fry there while mixing it around to make sure that it was thoroughly cooked as well as getting the chicken thoroughly saturated with spices. I was really wishing that I had a jalapeno to add… I loves it. my precious.
  3. Nori and Kombu: OK, in my reading about calorically restricted diets Nori and Kombu are hailed as a great power food. Now Kombu has a  really strong taste and when you boil it, its scent pervades your cooking area. Not pretty. We have tried to cook with it once or twice, but its taste really dominates what ever you are cooking.I cut up a strip of both and put it in pan of water letting it boil and then when it does reduce the temperature to simmer. I am hoping that I will be brave enough to use this. =O
  4. Maintaining: Next, while occasionally, flipping the chicken, I tasted and spent time tasting the vegetable base. The spices do not quite work – a little too salty and not enough added flavor… hmmm At some point, after thinking about it for a little while, I decided to add some wheat noodles to it in order to reduce the saltiness, so I did. I also spent some time cleaning the overflow from the boiling and bad smelling Kombu/Nori combo.
  5. Finishing Touches: Towards the end of mixing and tasting I wussed out of the Nori/Kombu combo. If anyone knows of a way to cook these and compensate/reduce their taste I would love to hear it. I the noodles were done well and the chicken was tender but firm enough that it was almost falling apart. I diced/separated the chicken strips and then added it to the vegetable base and then tasted it….
  6. Final Verdict: It was not bad. The chicken added some low level heat to it and gave it some kick. The spices need a lot of work and did not add much to it. Tanya usually does a great job at this. I will have to have her help me next time. =) It turned out real well. Yea for me.

I would make a few changes to my thrown together recipe:

  1. First I would have attempted to dice up the 3 garlic cloves that I added.  I am not sure what is the best way to prepare them for a soup but I bet just throwing in the cloves is not one of them.  I would also perhaps add one or two more.
  2. add a 2 more onions to it.
  3. add a 2 more tomatoes
  4. add some wheat germ
  5. I may also consider adding brewers yeast, but this has the same problems as Kombu…. a really strong and not so nice taste to it. =( If anyone knows a good way to prepare this I would very much appreciate it. 

If you have any suggestions let me know, or you can just laugh at my inexperience. =) I am just ecstatic that it turned out as well as it did. Yea!

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