Saturday, August 17, 2013

Red Hot Chicken Soup = Good. Cod Liver Oil = Bad

Another life's lesson to be written down, passed along to everyone I care about, and never forgotten, because trust me when I tell you that this history should never be repeated: Don't, and I repeat DON'T try Cod Liver Oil. Even if your Naturopath tells you it is very important for the Omega 3s in your Anti-Inflammatory Diet. It's not worth it. Unless of course you love anchovies and want to taste them in everything you eat, smell them in everything you sniff, and be pretty sure that as you sweat, you are excreting the odor of anchovies all over your local gym. Just don't do it.

Okay, now that I have finished with that rant, I can happily say that Red Hot Chicken Soup is good. That was the recipe experiment for dinner tonight, and I am pleased with how it turned out. Of course, it would be better with cheese, because what isn't? And I will probably add bacon to it next time I make it, because everything is better with bacon, too, but this was pretty good for a first pass. I took a couple of different recipes that I found on some Celiac-friendly sites and some Paleo cooking sites and this is the result.

So you start with 8 cups of water and some chicken breast.

And then you add in a whole head of cauliflower, chopped into florets.

Bring the water, cauliflower and chicken to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until the chicken breasts are cooked through. In the meantime, chop your onion.

Then chop your celery.

When the chicken is cooked through, remove from water and set aside. When it is cool, you will shred it.

While waiting for the chicken to cool, add in the Frank's Red Hot, some coconut milk, honey, and your spices. Then whip out your trusty immersion blender (I STILL love my immersion blender!) and go to town. Make sure there are no big chunks of cauliflower left.

Then shred your chicken. Some people use a food processor for this, but I have found that it is really easy to do just by using two forks. 

Add the shredded chicken to the pot with your onion and celery.

It will simmer for another twenty minutes, and it is quite tasty when it's all said and done! I know you might think it will be quite spicy with the amount of Frank's Red Hot that goes into it, but to me, the heat was pretty good. If I could have added sour cream or cheese, I would have gone hotter. Sigh. Maybe some day in the future. In the meantime, pretty good as is.

Red Hot Chicken Soup


8 cups Water
4 Chicken Breasts
1 Head Cauliflower, chopped
2 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Chicken Broth
1 Cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
3 Stalks Celery, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
Dash Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk

In a large stockpot or soup pot, put the water, chicken and cauliflower. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside. Add Honey, Broth, Frank's Red Hot, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and coconut milk. Using an immersion blender, blend until as smooth as you can get it.

Shred the chicken and add to the soup, along with the onions and celery. Let simmer for 20 minutes, then ladle up and enjoy!

Nutritional Information per serving:
Calories:  261
Fat: 4.9g
Carbohydrates: 15.6g
Protein: 38.4g

Friday, August 16, 2013

Garlic Roasted Chicken Sausage and Vegetables

So you may remember a while back (April-ish) I posted about some allergy issues I was having and that I was starting to eliminate some foods from my diet. I cut out eggs completely during that month, but because of the different medications the allergist had me on, it was really difficult to determine if that was an effective mood. At the end of April I stopped taking the prescribed steroids, allergy pills, and antacid, and sort gave myself the complete month of May to get it out of my system. Then I cut out eggs again in June. It really didn't make much difference in how I felt. But July was a rough month, and by the time I made it into August I was having a whole host of odd issues. So I went to see a Naturopath.

I have never been to a Naturopath before, but because I determined that whatever this is that is bothering me, I choose to determine the root cause before I look at treatment options. I don't want to drug the symptoms. I want to find the cause, and I want to squash it like a little bug. Or completely eradicate it like the military did with King Kong. I realize that probably sounds a bit harsh, but the host of odd symptoms I have had lately are really getting to me. Between the stomach pain, the headaches, the nosebleeds, the stiff muscles, the sore joints, the nosebleeds, the general fatigue and the insane swelling reaction to mosquitoes, I am fairly miserable. But then my right hand started to swell, and my fingers started to resemble sausages. Really painful sausages. And then I couldn't hold my tennis racquet anymore. So something had to be done.

I must admit, even after I went to my appointment and she spent 3 hours with me, I am still a little skeptical. The plan she has given me for moving forward is very intensive and I think it is going to be very hard. I am currently just a little over two days into this, and I am struggling. I hope it will get easier over time, though. She wants to run some allergy and auto-immune tests on me, but right now my body has too much inflammation for the tests to be accurate. So step one is an anti-inflammatory diet. And it is pretty strict. So no wheat, gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, soy, sugar, or citrus. I am also to avoid the nightshade family, so no tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant or peppers. Needless to say, this is really challenging me in the kitchen. So as I learn to eat this way, I figure I will share some good recipes with you.

This first recipe is adapted from a recipe I saw on the blog The Lemon Bowl. It is easily customizable to your dietary needs and preferences.

 This recipe features garlic and vegetables tossed in olive oil, paprika, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes, and then roasted with chicken sausage on top.

I started  with whole cloves of garlic. Yup. Whole. They get delicious and creamy when roasted like this, and the flavor with the chicken sausage is really wonderful. I added butternut squash, cauliflower, carrots, and onions.

With the chicken sausages on top, it is ready to roast.

I tried to get a good picture of the fork holes I put in the sausages to let the juices drain out over the vegetables, but it didn't come out. But you can see the chunks of artichoke in the chicken sausage. I used a garlic (um-hm... that's right) and artichoke chicken sausage.

When you pull it out of the oven, the veggies are roasted perfectly and the sausage is juicy and perfect! So this may be gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, sugar, citrus, and corn free, but it still tastes really great!

Garlic Roasted Chicken Sausage and Vegetables

Ingredients: (Serves 8)

4 Cups of Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped 
1 onion, chopped
1 head of Cauliflower, broken into florets
10 cloves of Garlic, peeled
8 Chicken Sausages
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. Paprika
2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Dash of Salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F while chopping your veggies. Scatter them in the bottom of a roasting pan. Drizzle the veggies with olive oil, paprika, red pepper flakes and salt. Toss well to combine. Cut the sausages in half and pierce each half with a fork so the juices with run down around the veggies as they cook. Place the sausages on top of the veggies.

Bake 45-55 minutes, depending on how crispy you want your sausages. I baked for 45 minutes and I thought they were perfect!

For those who are interested, here is the nutritional information:
Calories - 304
Fat - 12 g
Carbs - 35.3
Protein - 17.3