One of my new favorite grain-free meals is homemade chicken soup – perfect for the ever-cooler days! The kids and I often slow roast a whole chicken in the oven just to eat off of, so after cleaning all the meat off the next day I just drop the carcass in a couple quarts of water with a cut up onion, carrots, and celery, plus sea salt and pepper, and boil for a few hours (then allow to cool and strain, obvee).
The flavor in the resulting stock is amazing, but if you don’t have time to do this (and there were many years when I had babies in diapers and didn’t have time to bathe myself much less make homemade stock!) you can certainly use store-bought.
You can either freeze or refrigerate the stock, then when ready to assemble the soup:
- saute a chopped onion in butter or olive oil – when it’s just about soft and ready, add a bit of chopped garlic (I use precut in a huge jar from Costco)
- slice carrots, zucchini, and celery – the trick to this being a *souper* fast soup is to use a mandolin or the slicing side of a cheese grater; this makes the carrots thin so they cook lightning fast (plus they then resemble the texture of noodles a bit)
- let the veggies simmer in the stock for a few minutes before adding the chicken, so that they have a chance to soften up a bit
- add the chopped chicken and any additional seasoning – I throw in a few bay leaves and taste at this point to see if more salt and pepper are needed
- simmer for 20-30 minutes to let the flavors join – then enjoy!
I also sometimes add a can of diced tomatoes, and next time I’m going to toss in a can of white beans for additional protein and bulk.
Add the sides of your choice for a satisfying meal – a salad, potatoes in some form, a lovely winter squash, grain-free muffins, the possibilities are limitless.
Next I tried these flourless peanut butter chocolate chip blondies from The Detoxinista. The batter is insanely simple to put together. As promised when I started this blog, you’re getting pictures of my real unfancy food from my real unfancy kitchen, and that includes the (too frequent) times that I overcook things. My kids have have a long history of exclaiming “Mom! You didn’t burn it!” when I set before them a meal that isn’t dry with a suspiciously dark hue.
So here is what happens when you overcook these bars. If they look like mine, you left them in too long. I did mine about 20 minutes; I think next time I’ll set the timer to check them at 15 minutes. Still, they were delicious – with a cakey, caramel-ish taste – and even the grain-eating little trolls in my house kept stealing them when my back was turned.
So, we have a keeper with these (especially if I don’t burn them again), for those occasional times that I miss the decadence of a dessert bar (I don’t do rich sugary things too much anymore, lest my body get any ideas about jumping back on the cravey-train). The next project is attempting to convert them to chocolate, as my 18 year old tells me “blonde brownies are always such a huge disappointment”. LOL. I will update on the results of those efforts.
Share your sinfully indulgent grain-free dessert ideas in the comments!