Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It's not easy being green...

Because usually when you are green, it means you are ill. I unfortunately started out my year with the flu. Being sick for anyone sucks, but being sick and having to live a gluten free life, sucks more. Before I had to be on a gluten free diet, my mom would make me Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup when I was sick. It was very bland, and was something I could keep down when I started eating after having a flu. Unfortunately, none of the soups made by Campbell's are gluten free. In fact, most canned soups contain some sort of preservative that includes gluten in it. So how do we cope? Here are a few ideas:

1. Find a gluten free soup. There are companies, such as Amy's that makes organic soup in a can, that are gluten free. However, I have found that I really don't have a taste for them. If you can find a soup that is gluten free, and in a can; GREAT! :D Enjoy it! And please let me know what it is so that I may try it as well!

2. Enjoy a warm cup of broth with ginger. Yes, it's not very filling, but honestly. who is ever really that hungry after a flu bug anyways? It will give you the nutrients you need, and it has a light, but enjoyable flavor. Simply add the desired amount of chicken broth to a sauce pan, and grate a small amount of ginger into the broth. I usually use 1 tsp of ginger to each cup of broth. Pacific makes a fantastic gluten free organic chicken broth, that I use quite often in my cooking.

3. Make your own broth. I always make my own chicken stock, and keep it in the freezer for occasions such as the flu where I would want some thing a little more hearty than the bland stuff on the shelf. It's quite simple to do ahead of time, and last for quite a while in the freezer. Here's what to do:

Cook up a chicken! Like a whole one! Go ahead and make it however you like. We eat a lot of chicken in my house, I usually cook a 10lb chicken about once a week, solely for the reason that it really does go so far. Enjoy your meal! And make sure to save the leftover meat for sandwiches and other tasty meals! DON'T THROW OUT ANY OF THE CARCASS!!! Wrap it up in some foil and pop it in the freezer for when you are ready to make your stock

One day that you have the time to be hanging around the house (I like to do this on a lazy Sunday) take the chicken carcass out of the freezer and put in in a decently sized soup pot. Fill the pot with water until the chicken is just covered in water. Roughly chop an onion, a few carrots, and a few pieces of celery, and toss it all into the pot. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer, and cover. Let cook as long as desired. I usually let it cook for a good 4 hours at least so that it can soak up as much flavor from everything as it can. When your chicken stock has reached the point that you are happy with it, strain the stock into a container, making sure you strain out any scraps that might have tried to stay in there.

You now have your own homemade chicken stock!! You can then immediately use it to make soup, put it into the fridge for later use, or if you have no immediate plans for it, pop it in the freezer. Make sure you mark a date on the container so that you don't eat any bad stock.


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