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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Escape By Wild Rice Soup, et al

I woke up early for a Sunday morning and for ... well... being me. Slightly before 8am, which is even more impressive considering I almost polished off a bottle of red wine and was up well past midnight last night. After a few wake up routine activities, I couldn't deny I was up for the day.

I headed right for the kitchen to feed Peanut, start the percolator, and begin preparations for a sweet potato hash breakfast. I had popped into the grocery store "for a few things" yesterday and stumbled across some great stock up sales. I began dicing my sweet potato and quickly moved on to the peppers, bagging up the extras and delivering them directly to the freezer. By the time the hash was done cooking I had two bags of diced peppers in the freezer and an egg over easy ready to top the pile of potatoes on my plate. Yummy!

I took a short coffee break before heading back into the kitchen to start preparing lunch and dinner. It's tech week for the play, so I'm really thinking ahead to easy reheatable leftover lunches and dinners. I can't get enough of this chicken wild rice soup lately, so I'm cooking up a batch of that and thought I'd share the recipe here. I figure I can always freeze individual servings, but I haven't had a batch with leftovers enough to freeze yet. I seriously love this soup. So here it is...

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
salt and pepper
1 lb boneless chicken thighs
1/4 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
3/4 C wild rice
32oz low sodium chicken broth (gluten free)
2 C water
1 C unsweetened coconut milk
3 Tbsp arrowroot powder (you can add more or less to thicken according to preference)
1/4 C parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Heat oil in stock pot, add carrots, celery, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Flatten out chicken thighs on the bottom of the pan and brown slightly (a few minutes per side).

3. Add seasonings, rice, broth, and water. Bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

5. Remove chicken and dice. Return to pot. Simmer another 30 minutes.

6. Combine milk and arrowroot powder (I use a shaker, you could whisk them together).

7. Slowly pour milk mixture into pot while stirring.

8. Remove from heat and stir in cheese if using.

And while that was simmering away, I sliced and diced two boxes of large mushrooms for the freezer. I held back a few for the beef roast I'm prepping for dinner. I sliced more carrots, measured out my spices, and reserved a cup of coffee. Yeah. Coffee.  That is the secret delicious ingredient for slow cooker beef roast. It makes it oh so delightful. And zippy! Especially if you make gravy from it. YUM! YUM! YUM!

So that's about it. I spent the entire morning from breakfast through lunch in the kitchen. Cooking is one of those things I love to do, but feel guilty about it. Like I'm wasting my time slicing and dicing. I guess I feel guilty about it because there are many other less enjoyable tasks I could be doing, but I'm doing something I love. Suck it vacuuming! I'm not changing any time soon. Cooking is a glorious escape from reality.

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