Tag Archives: thyme

healthy smoothie and leftover ham stewy soup

18 Apr

photo 1I can’t believe this semester is almost over. if you have ever been in graduate school, you will know how grueling it is. The term “poor graduate school student” really is true. Even if you are working full-time and going to graduate school, like I am, you still spend every dime you have to make sure that you can pave your way. With being in Hell, oops, I mean class, 3 nights a week, and trying to fit in homework and working out (which dangit, isn’t happening as much as I would like lately) in, and working full-time, I try and make meals that I can eat for a few days, or even for a full week. I prep all the berries I want to eat for the week, and any veggies, and make meals that I can eat throughout the week on Sundays when I can. This may not be the funniest post I’ve written, but it has been QUITE the semester. I just turned in two papers and am waiting on edits for my last paper. Then I can break lose and have fun again. SO….as I was saying, in order to make sure I have healthy, or relatively healthy food for the week, I make meals that are easy to eat for the week. That was the inspiration for this stewy soup! I also had saved the ham bone from Easter (this recipe was made closer to Easter than I am posting it now) and wanted to make sure to utilize all of that delicious meat and flavor from it! This soup is super yummy, I hope you like it and it makes a ton!

SPINACH COCONUT OIL AND BERRY SMOOTHIE

  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 8 strawberries, tops removed, use more if you’d like
  • 2 cutie tangerines or 1 large orange
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, local honey
  • you can add frozen blueberries or another frozen fruit if you like

This is SUPER easy. Add it all to the blender and blend away! You can add more coconut oil, or even coconut water if you need more liquid. This is aphoto 2 super fast, easy and yummy snack. The benefits of coconut oil are numerous. You can use it not only to eat, but as a conditioner for your hair, you can take a spoonful by mouth a day to aid digestion and skin and hair growth and strength, you can use it as facial lotion, body lotion, really you can use coconut oil for anything! LOVE it!

HAM AND BEAN STEWY SOUP WITH FRESH SPINACH

  • mirepoix (this is onion, celery and carrot diced up small. you can cut your own or trader joe’s and other stores have containers of it now!)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • your ham bone with all that yummy ham left on it
  • 2-3 quarts of chicken stock or vegetable stock (I had my own frozen that I had made, but any organic would do well)
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 1 can of black beans or another can or cannellini beans
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (if you don’t like thyme, omit this, but you can’t really taste it in the soup, it just adds something special)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

photo 3This may be the EASIEST soupy stewy yummy dish to make. It smells and tastes AMAZING. In a large pot, add your coconut oil and melt on medium to high heat. Next, add your mirepoix mixture and cook until the veggies are soft. Add 1 tablespoon of black pepper. Next, add your ham bone, then add your stock. The stock should cover the ham bone completely. Use your discretion. you may need two quarts, you may need 3, I needed 2 and a half to do this. Next, rinse and drain all of your beans and add them to the soup. Add all of your spices and bring to a boil. NOTE: do NOT add your salt and pepper to taste yet, the ham is salty, so you very well may not need more salt. Cook this down for 3-4 hours. You’ll notice it is done because all of the ham will be off the bones, and you will have to take the bones out. The beans will also make this soup rich and thick. It’s really delicious. Lastly, add your spinach. Now if you are like me and was putting this in the fridge right away for a later meal, add the fresh spinach and just stir it in, let the soup cool and put it in the fridge. No need to cook the spinach because it’ll get wilty and yucky. The fresh spinach will cook nicely when you reheat it. If you ARE serving this right away, then cook the spinach in the soup until it is bright green and a little wilty, but not mushy and gross. Serve up your soup and bowls and enjoy!

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sage and thyme

14 Nov

Sage and thyme are probably my favorite herbs. They are amazing and very “fall.” Thanksgiving is coming up next week and I wanted to make something that incorporated my favorite flavors. So I made thyme and sage stuffed chicken breast and a relish/compote to go along with it. Also, a nice and easy recipe for chicken stock. It’s getting to that season where everyone and their mother is sick, so make this, freeze some, use some for soups, stews, whatever have you. It’s really awesome to just make your own stock. It’s full of calcium, vitamins, minerals and lots of good for you yumminess!

Thanksgiving is pretty much the BEST holiday ever. All you do is cook and eat. AND remember what you are thankful for, which for me is so much. How could anyone go wrong, really? This year, I don’t have any Thanksgiving plans. Since my family lives on opposite sides of the country and I’m in grad school, I think it’ll just be me and Dexter Doodles the poodle chilling this year. But don’t worry, I’ll spoil that dog rotten with a Thanksgiving feast. Don’t think that just because it may only be me and the dog that I won’t cook a massive Thanksgiving. If you think that’s the truth, you don’t know me very well! I like cooking big meals, and more importantly, cooking for others. I cook like my Mom. Growing up it was my Mom, my brother and I and she cooked like we were a family of 20! I tend to be the same way. If someone that was cute, could make me laugh and would let me cook for them all the time came around, I’d be a happy girl! (and that boy would be stuffed to the gills with yummy food ┬áhaha!) Here’s to cooking!

SAGE AND THYME STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST WITH HERBED COMPOTE

  • 2 large bone-in chicken breasts
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (yes, 1 stick, deal with it), softened to room temperature
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
  • 4 sage sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste for chicken

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Take both chicken breasts and reach your hands under the skin to loosen it. Take 2 tablespoons of butter and slide it under the skin, rubbing it into the flesh of the chicken. Salt and pepper your chicken and then slide 2 sage twigs and 5 thyme twigs under the skin. Salt and pepper again in necessary. Do this for both chicken breasts. Drizzle with olive oil and put in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes or so until the skin is golden brown and then flesh temperature is at 162 degrees. Then let the chicken rest to cook to an even 165 degrees. NOTE: Kerrygold Grass Fed Butter is AWESOME! You can find it even at Trader Joe’s!

While the chicken is cooking, dice your onion and celery. Add 3 tablespoons of butter, or whatever is left from your stick, into a large skillet. Melt the butter and add your veggies. Cook until soft while adding your salt, pepper, fresh thyme, fresh sage, chopped and diced, and your dried sage. Taste to see if you need more seasoning. Add your raisins and cook until warmed through and the veggies are soft. NOTE: This could be an AMAZING start to a cornbread, glutten-free or non-gluten free stuffing of your choice; or gravy for your chicken.

Once your chicken is ready, top with the compote and eat! YUM! I made this with a side of steamed, then roasted, broccoli and candied carrots which are both super easy. For the carrots you peel and dice up your carrots into large chunks. Then you boil them until tender. Drain them and as they drain, take 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of black pepper and let it all melt into a sauce. Toss your carrots back in and there you go! I used to call this “carrots with chicken juice” when I was a kid for whatever reason so sometimes I make them alongside chicken! For roasted broccoli, you just steam broccoli until it’s nice and bright green, al dente. Then drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on a sheet pan, roast under the broiler until still bright green, but a little crispy and done!

While eating, count what you’re thankful for as well! I am thankful for my friends, my dog, my health, my job, my family, my ability to go back to school, NATURE, trees, gardens, love, and knowing that anything is possible if you set your goals high!

CHICKEN STOCK

  • 1 whole chicken carcass, or whatever bones you have left from roasting bone in chicken breasts
  • lots of water, to cover, depending on the size of your stock pot
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • sprigs of fresh thyme
  • sprigs of fresh sage
  • 1 onion
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1/2 bag of baby carrots or whatever carrots you have
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

Roughly chop your veg, so basically, cut your onion in half, your garlic head in half, and your celery stalks in half. Place all of the ingredients listed in a stock pot and cover with water. Place on high to boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 8-24 hours (I leave mine on overnight), skimming the fat off the top for the first couple of hours.

Once done, drain through a mesh strainer into another large stock pot or a couple large bowls. Then put in mason jars, or another container, and freeze! You can use this for anything and it’ll have amazing flavor!

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