February 18, 2018

Vegetable Broth

I've never made vegetable broth before I tried this recipe from Cook Republic. I'm focusing on healthy eating (yet again ... those darn cakes and cookies and cupcakes make this a repeat cycle) and trying to add nourishment to my body to help it heal from a stress fracture.

I simmered mine longer than the original recipe with the intention of pulling more nutrients from the vegetables. I'm happy to have this in the freezer for future recipes.

Vegetable Broth
2 leeks, washed and sliced (white only)
3 carrots, washed and chopped
2 red onions, quartered
3 celery sticks, washed and chopped
4 parsley sprigs, washed and chopped
6 thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 inch ginger piece, chopped
1 inch fresh turmeric root, chopped
8 oz. button mushrooms
10 peppercorns
4 bay leaves
salt to taste (usually 2-3 teaspoons
6 liters filtered water

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Simmer at least 90 minutes but preferably several hours. Strain and discard all vegetables. Refrigerate or freeze for future use.

Chicken Bone Broth

This recipe from Run Fast, Eat Slow is one that will become my standard, I think, instead of tossing whatever is on hand to make chicken stock. This recipe calls for a long, slow cook to draw out more of the nutrients, and this was so much richer in color than any other stock I've made.

Chicken Bone Broth
Chicken bones from roasted chicken
6-8 quarts cold, unfiltered water
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
3 carrots, unpeeled and cut into thirds
1 bunch celery, including the heart and leaves, cut into thirds
6 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
1 bunch fresh parsley

Place bones in large stock pot. Add water and vinegar, and let stand 30 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients except parsley, making sure the bones are completely covered with water. Simmer for 8 to 24 hours on low, adding more water if needed to ensure the bones stay covered. Add parsley for the last 10 minutes of simmering.

Strain the broth through a large sieve. Discard the vegetables and bones. Transfer the broth to the refrigerator to cool. Skim off any fat that rises to the top. Use within 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Note: This can be made in a slow cooker on low for 24 hours.

One-Pan Mexican Quinoa

This recipe from Damn Delicious was one where Dave wrinkled his nose up and asked, "What is that?" I replied, "Dinner."

I asked if he only wanted one scoop to start, and he seemed mighty skeptical. He agreed to try a half-scoop, which he enjoyed. He said it was much better than he expected and proceeded to eat a normal serving size.

This is a quick, easy, healthy meal that has the added bonus of being vegetarian. That works for us during Fridays in Lent.

One-Pan Mexican Quinoa
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 can diced chiles
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 can corn
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro 
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes. 

Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro. Serve immediately. (If you have picky eaters who won't touch avocado or cilantro, garnish with those afterward.) Serves 4.

Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

This recipe from Bakerita inspired this smoothie bowl, which feels like a enough of an indulgence to help me survive when I make my family French toast and eat this instead. I'm on a smoothie bowl kick right now, and this will be repeated many times.

Chocolate Smoothie Bowl
1/2 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 frozen banana
2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
Hemp seeds
Unsweetened coconut

Combine almond milk and chia seeds. Let stand 30 minutes. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a bowl, and top as desired. Devour. (This is an individual serving size, at least for me.)

Green Smoothie That Isn't Gross

My focus for Lent this year is avoiding alcohol, added sugars, processed foods, dairy and soy. It's pretty much a really loose Whole 30 with beans, whole grains and very small amounts of natural sugars. It's partially something that's a sacrifice to give up and partially because, not surprisingly, I feel like crap when I eat crap.

So this smoothie was something that works for what I'm eating and is also an attempt at sneaking some more veggies into Teddy. He ate part of this smoothie, so we'll try it again this week and see how it works for us.

Green Smoothie That Isn't Gross
1 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 Tbsp. flax seeds, ground
2 kiwi, peeled and cubed
3/4 cup pineapple
1/2 banana, frozen
1/2 avocado, diced
1/3 cup frozen spinach
Hemp seeds
Unsweetened coconut

Combine almond milk and chia seeds. Let stand 30 minutes to thicken slightly. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Garnish if desired, and enjoy. (Note: This smoothie is thick enough to serve as a smoothie bowl, which feels more substantial than just drinking a smoothie.)

This makes enough for probably two servings or one adult and two child portions.