Showing posts with label Bay leaf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bay leaf. Show all posts

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Do you ever...or have you ever felt like there's a 'cloud' over your head and it just does not seem to want to leave?...no! I'm not talking about the Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage commercial with the actual dressed up person as a 'cloud' but a cloud that just does not seem to lift?...even if you live in S. Florida as I do.

For the last four months, one thing after another. My eye surgery, death, sciatica, the flu...and back again, feeling
'gloomy'! Not enough energy...not eating right, just plain tired, on-and-on. Valentine's Day did not help either...although I did get a beautiful bouquet of red roses from my precious and beloved children and grandchildren, so that really cheered me up. As for cooking and baking, I haven't done much...isn't it nice to have a wonderful daughter that cooks and bakes every day and shares, the 'love'?

Talk about sharing! My dear friend Marina, @Picnic at Marina offered to treat me to a nice bowl of her famous Chicken Broth, but of course she lives much too far. I did make a huge pot of almost the same identical broth, but I like to put more carrots and a sweet potato as well...it's just me. You can make such awesome recipes with your fresh broth; all you have to do is just freeze them in ice cube trays, or portion sized plastic containers and pop them out of the freezer to have it ready when you need it for a recipe that calls for chicken broth.

For the actual recipe, click on Marina's beautiful blog for the Hot Water Soup...a.k.a. Chicken Broth and you can variate this amazing broth to make Easy Chicken Noodle Soup if you would like more vegetables and noodles, or as in my case, I added leftover broken up thin spaghetti pieces right into the boiling broth.
 Never under estimate the power of a great homemade chicken soup...so many different ways of making it from just by making a huge pot of chicken broth. I actually used up half of the entire large pot of the broth to make my simple Chicken Noodle Soup with my simple favorite vegetables.

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
inspired by Marina's Chicken Broth

2 1/2 quarts (80ozs.) (2 1/2 L.) homemade chicken broth, (for recipe click on the link at Marina's)
3 peeled sliced, or diced carrots
1/2 large onion or 1 small chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 large, or 2 small bay leaves
Leftover pieces of chicken from the broth
2 med. red skinned potatoes (don't peel) diced
handful of fresh parsley chopped
2 Tbsp. canola, or vegetable oil
Leftover thin spaghetti about less then 1/4 lb. broken up in bite size pieces, or use noodles of course
adjust flavor by adding spices of your choice...I added
freshly ground pepper, and hot sauce, or red pepper flakes if you like it spicy. (optional)

You can use canned broth, or water, adding bullion cube if you're not using homemade broth.

Saute onion, carrots, and celery in the canola or vegetable oil, until onion gets glossy, and wilted. Add the potatoes, the chopped parsley, bay leaves, your seasonings, and add about 2 cups of the broth. Cover, and slowly simmer until all the vegetables are almost done. Add the rest of the broth the torn up chicken pieces, let the broth come to a boil, add the broken up spaghetti pieces or small amount of noodles right into the broth and boil gently until it's cooked completely. You can cook the broken up spaghetti pieces or as much noodles as you want separately, and add as you go along. You can sprinkle extra chopped parsley on top, and adjust seasoning
 Noodles or pasta tend to get soggy in the broth so do not cook a large amount in the broth itself.
Serves an entire family of 4-6 with this generous delicious soup...fit for the GODS!

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Black Beans and Rice...and Cuban Picadillo

Being on WeightWatchers is so much fun, and versatile with all the interesting and delicious foods you can prepare, right out of the cookbook, or get recipes online. Not only that, but you can create your own menus, as long as they are not too fatty, or too much carbs. I love beans, any kind...especially black beans. Here is South Florida we have a huge population of Cuban/Americans that have brought their culture, and cuisine with them to carry on and you can find a Cuban restaurant, or market all around town, here in West Palm Beach, but mostly in Miami!
It's so easy to make Black Beans and Rice, very satisfying with the addition of the Picadillo, which is stirred into the ready made Black Beans and Rice, and if you want to keep it vegetarian...just omit the Picadillo. I will include the basic ingredients for the Picadillo, which is a Cuban hearty ground beef dish, that can be also served with rice, just by itself...combining it with the black beans is really, so hearty and delicious with a simple salad on the side!

Black Beans and Rice
by; Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
5-6 garlic, minced
1 (16-ounce) can black beans, rinsed
and drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock, or broth
4 teaspoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
4 cups cooked white rice

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Saute the bell pepper, onion, and garlic, until very soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, stock, sherry, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, pepper sauce, and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. If the mixture becomes too thick, add hot water to thin to desired consistency. Stir in the cilantro, and season with the salt and pepper; discard the bay leaf. Serve over the rice. Makes 4 servings.
Points Value: 9

Note: with the addition of the picadillo, another 3, or 4 points are added. What I did, was have my usual coffee at breakfast, and ate an entire grapefruit (0 points)...NO OATMEAL...I saved my 4 points to have the Picadillo

For the Picadillo:
Saute 1 medium onion, 4 cloves chopped garlic, in small amt. of olive oil. Add 3/4 cup tomato sauce, 3/4 cup beef broth, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, few dashes of red hot sauce, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in 8 to 10 pimento stuffed green olive (you can cut them in half) and chopped cilantro. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes. You can serve them over rice, or add, and stir in with the Black Beans and Rice.

Linking to: Cookbook Sundays @ Couscous & Consciousness