Saturday, December 6, 2014

I'm Back!

Hello All!!  It has been such a long time since I posted anything here, and I have really missed it.   So much has happened since my last post, and I cannot wait to share with you all. 

Over the past 2 years I have gone back to school and gotten my holistic health coaching certification. Following that, I worked in a chiropractor's office as the Holistic Health Coach. While it was quite the learning experience, the hours required of me did not work for our family.  I chose to return to the home and put health coaching in hold while we focused on some important family responsibilities.   Now we are looking at even bigger changes- a move to a new state is in our immediate future.  We are all very excited about this!

Since health coaching is on the back burner for a while, I have decided to return to blogging.  I learned so much about nutrition during my time at IIN so I will be going back and revamping some of my favorite recipes to make them a bit healthier.  We have changed how we eat, how we cook, and I have many new recipes to share with the dairy free community. 

Along with new recipes, I will also be sharing some nutrition tidbits here and there as well.  In the future I may open up coaching services once again- including online programs- but for now I will simply be sharing recipes.  In the meantime, if you have questions, please feel free to ask in the comments.

Until the next post,
Happy, Healthy Cooking!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Avgolemeno: Greek Chicken Soup with Egg-Lemon Sauce

I originally posted this on my Health Coach blog:  Since it is a completely dairy free recipe I also wanted to post it here for my dairy free friends.  This recipe is not my own, I adapted it from a recipe on the Food Network. I am sharing it as part of our tour of international foods.  The link to the original recipe is at the bottom of this post. 

Last night was our first night for our "world-wide tour of food" in honor of the Olympic Games. My oldest daughter insisted we start with Greece, since they are the ones who came up with the games in the first place, as she puts it.   After scouring through recipes we decided on making Avgolemeno, which is Greek chicken soup with egg lemon sauce. My family happens to love soup- we eat it several times a week- so this seemed to be a great recipe to start with. My heritage is Swedish, Irish, and English so needless to say I have never made any Greek dishes except hummus ( and I really don't think that counts). I have never even eaten Greek food, so this was a whole new challenge for me.
Luckily the soup was incredibly easy, and since I got the recipe from Food Network, it was very easy to follow. I did make a few changes to save time. The recipe called for making your own stock first, but I cheated and used organic low-sodium chicken broth instead. I love homemade stock, but I just did not have the time yesterday.
Avgolemeno: Greek Chicken Soup with Egg-Lemon Sauce
*Adapted from the Food Network
  • 2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed and cooked
  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 leek, sliced ( I used frozen presliced leeks)
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups finely diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 2/3 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
~The original recipe called for making your own stock, but I shortened that step by using premade stock and simmering it with a carrot (sliced in chunks), leeks, and 2 bay leaves. I let that simmer while I prepared the other ingredients. I diced and cooked the chicken, sautéed the onions and set aside, and juiced the lemons to get 1/2 cup of juice.
~Once my broth had time to simmer, I removed the carrot, leek, and bay leaves and added the rice and onion and bring it back to a boil. Once it boiled I reduced the heat and simmered it until the rice was close to cooked through, about 20 minutes or so. I added the chicken, some kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and let it simmer while I made the egg-lemon sauce.
~The last step is to measure out 2 cups of the broth in a measuring cup. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the lemon juice, 2 eggs, and pepper. While still whisking, I slowly poured the 2 cups of broth into the egg mixture. Make sure it is all well mixed, but don't over whisk, and then pour the egg mixture back into the pot. I let it simmer for a moment while the girls set the table.
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This picture does not do it justice.
We served this will warmed pita bread and plain hummus. The soup was quite good, had a wonderful lemon flavor and was just a great warming meal for a cold night. When I make it again, I would shred the chicken instead of cubing it (just a personal preference). The recipe also called for quite a bit of salt, but I cut way back on the original amount and simply added some to taste.  Final family vote- 2 thumbs up.  I would most certainly make it again, especially if we have dinner guests.
If you are interested in the original recipe you can find it here: Avgolemeno- Greek Chicken Soup with Egg-Lemon Sauce