Smarter Than Pancakes

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Vegetarian Chik’n Noodle Soup

Poor Steve has picked up a summer cold, and this morning was rainy and almost chilly. (Ok, it was 70 when I took the dog out–but compared to the upper 80s we’ve been having it felt cool!) I have been having a hard time coming up with inspiration for lunches and dinner while Steve and Simon have been home, so inspired by poor Steve’s cold, I asked him if some old fashioned chicken soup sounded good. He said it sounded amazing, and Simon was amenable since my chicken soup is one of his favorite things. The only problem is that I’ve been avoiding meat and meat products as much as possible lately. I think I’ve had meat once in the past week or so, and it tends to sit on my stomach like a rock when I do eat it. Fortunately, the boys don’t mind being vegetarian–which is good since today I converted my normal chicken soup recipe to a vegetarian version. (Don’t worry, they both still loved it!)

Vegetarian Chik’n Noodle Soup
8 servings – 3.5 ww points per serving

As always with soup recipes, all of these measurements are approximate, feel free to use more or less.

For Bouquet Garni

10 whole black peppercorns

2 sprigs flat leaf parsley

1 sprig thyme

1 dried bay leaf

For Soup

2 Tbs butter

1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice (I frequently use more)

1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced and washed well (Don’t leave this out!)

64 oz Imagine brand No-Chicken Broth (2 32-oz cartons)

12 oz Quorn Chik’n Tenders (These are optional, but we like them.)

3 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch coins

2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4 inch C-shaped slices

2 cups egg noodles (I used whole grain from Ronzoni)

  1. Make the bouquet garni by bundling peppercorns, parsley, thyme and bay leaf in cheesecloth, and tying with kitchen twine.
  2. Heat butter in a stockpot over medium high heat.
  3. Add onion and leek; cook until soft and translucent (About 5-7 min).
  4. Add broth and bouquet garni and bring to a simmer.
  5. Meanwhile add carrots and celery.
  6. The vegetables will need to cook for about 18 minutes, so check the directions on your egg noodles, and let your veggies cook by themselves until you have just enough time on your timer for the noodles to cook. (My noodles needed to cook 7 minutes, so I let the veggies cook for 11 minutes, then added the noodles and cooked the last 7 minutes.)
  7. After the veggies and noodles are finished cooking, add the Quorn Chik’n to the pot until heated through.
  8. Taste and add salt as needed.
  9. Serve with crackers or crusty bread.

You know, I still struggle with the whole non-processed foods vs. imitation meat thing. I know that most vegetarian meats are total franken-foods, but I still buy them. I guess if I’m mostly avoiding processed foods, that’s still better than nothing. Right? (I hope so.)


Saturday, August 2, 2008

This Cheese is Proof That Jesus Loves Me

Filed under: Opinions,WW Points — shaye3 @ 5:41 pm
Tags: ,

We ran to Indy on a grocery shopping trip last night. We made the rounds and hit Costco, Trader Joe’s and Wild Oats–which has now officially turned into Whole Foods.

At Whole Foods, we were just browsing, and Steve picked up a wedge of cheese and said “Oooooo, smell this!”

(Now, you can’t always trust my husband when he hands you something to smell. One of our favorite games back when we still had a Yankee Candle store nearby was called “Yuck, smell this!” Where you’d pick up something horrid, but not let on that it’s horrid until after the other person had taken a big, gag inducing whiff. Fortunately, this was not one of those times.)

This cheese smelled like the food of the gods! We immediately threw it into our cart, and went on our merry way. By afternoon today, the half pound block is gone.

I decided to Google the name of the cheese to see what I could find out about it. (When did I become the type of person who Googles cheeses?)

Here’s what I learned–It’s called Parrano Uniekaas. This is what the Zabar’s website said about it. (The above picture is also from Zabar’s site.):

It’s Dutch, but sort of Italian. How can this be? Dutch cheese producer UnieKaas has taken the best qualities of Gouda and parmesan and created this 20-month-aged pasteurized cow’s milk wheel. Tasting tangy, full-flavored, and nutty, its smooth, semi-firm texture makes it an ideal grating or table cheese.

The Cheese Reporter said that it is imported by Best Cheese Corporation, and that Best Cheese products can be found at Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Albertson’s and Kroger. (And obviously Zabar’s if you live in the New York area.)

Oh. My. Gosh. Part of the reason I’m posting about it is to recommend it to everyone I know. The other reason is so that I’ll be able to remember the name later when I go back to find more…next week. 😉

(Oh, and just in case you’re wondering–I calculated it, and a 100 gram serving has 10.5 ww points.)

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