Thursday, September 29, 2011

Immune Boosting, Kid-Friendly Recipe

My cooking style and methods have shifted quite a bit over the past year with a focus on traditional foods and using as many whole ingredients (organic fruits and veggies) as I can with every meal.  One technique I am working on mastering is making bone broth.  I have made a few batches and the results continue to improve.  I use a crock pot to make it, as it is easiest for me with my busy schedule and a toddler taking much of my attention away from the kitchen!  When using the crock pot, it is incredibly easy to make!  I cook up a whole chicken in the crock pot (a 4 lb chicken is easily enough meat for two meals for my family of three), pull the meat off of the bones once it is cooked and use them immediately to start my broth. 24 hours later (and completely hands-off) - I have homemade chicken broth ready to use or freeze!

When my little guy and I came down with our first colds of the season this past weekend, I bumped up our probiotic intake and Vitamin D supplements and then took a few containers of chicken broth out of the freezer right away.  From all of the reading I have done, I have learned that homemade chicken broth is packed with nutrients and has the healing components that a boxed or canned broth cannot provide. 

Chicken soup is not a favorite for my toddler, so I had to find something creative to do with it to make sure he ate his fair share!  I concocted the following recipe - it turned out flavorful but relatively "neutral" which tasted just right with the stuffy noses and coughs we were battling!  You can change this recipe up by adding different veggies or a different kind of meat, as well!

2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
(***1 cup of additional veggies, if desired)
2 small cloves of garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp of salt (no salt in my broth!)
1 lb of ground meat of choice (I used pasture-raised organic chicken)
2 cups homemade chicken broth
1 1/2 cups noodles, cooked (brown rice or your favorite noodle)
Fresh parsley, if desired

Boil the noodles and drain.  Meanwhile, warm saute pan to medium heat, add olive oil and saute onion until soft (***add any other veggies at this time, as well).  Press garlic and saute for 2 minutes.  Add spices and salt, saute for 2-3 minutes more.  Add ground meat and saute until cooked through.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer for 8-10 minutes.  Add cooked noodles and simmer for another 2-3 minutes, until most of the broth if absorbed.

Serve in bowls sprinkled with fresh parsley, if desired. Bump up the nutrition factor with a side of roasted veggies! Serves 3-4.

This post/recipe is linked up to a great blog called day2dayjoys and her post (posted on Wednesday) about boosting your immune system naturally.  It is also linked up to a blog called Real Food, Whole Health and their Fresh Friday Bites post! 

Saute onion

Add garlic and spices, salt

Brown meat with onion/garlic/spice mix

Add tasty, nutritious broth :)

Add noodles...
The result!  Nutritious comfort food when you have a cold or flu!

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