This amazing lemon, chicken and green tea soup is the perfect flu and cold remedy, or a great at home meal for these last few freezing winter days!
It’s sort of weird to be writing about soup when I’m sitting in a maxi dress and flip flops next to a sun-filled window in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It’s close to 90 degrees here and, as much as I love me some soup, it’s probably the last thing I want to be eating.
But, to my lovely friends at home (who probably hate, despise and loathe me right now), it’s still snowing and a mere 25 degrees. So to my friends stuck in the snow, this soup is right up your alleyway.
The idea for this soup came as I was dazing off into my backyard at home with a warm cup of green tea resting nicely in my hands. With each sip of warm tea, I felt more relaxed. Not only that, I also felt more energized. My husband came down and said “hey, it’s a good night for soup!” And really, that quickly, it hit me. Why don’t I mix the two together? Chicken soup, like green tea, has it’s own healing powers, and the two together can only create something incredible, right?
RIGHT-O. The broth is so flavorful and earthy. You truly can’t help but feel at ease with each bite. The addition of the lemon also gives each bite a powerful punch of awesome citrus and antioxidants. I’m pretty sure this soup can heal any and all remedies, from the common cold to heartbreak. I mean, it made me calm down and “smell the roses”, persay, so I’m positive it’s magic.
Because, for those who know me, know “relaxation” and “at ease” are not two words I’m familiar with.
Lemon, Chicken and Green Tea Soup
Serves about 4.
Prep time: >15 minutes
Cook time: 35 – 45 minutes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1-1/2 medium carrots, sliced
- 1-1/2 medium parsnips, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
- Zest from 1 lemon
- About 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 large leek, chopped
- 2 quarts reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons loose green tea
- 1/2 pound rice noodles
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley and dill
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pumpkin seeds for garnish
FOR THE DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE THIS, CHECK OUT THE RECIPE HERE ON SHEKNOWS.COM!
Nutritional information per bowl:
Fat: 14.5 grams
Fiber: 6 grams
Protein: 20 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 9
These oatmeal raisin muffins are the perfect snack or treat when you’re craving a cookie but want something a little lighter!
It’s currently 4:45 am here in Singapore and, welp, you guessed it, I’m wide awake. And I’ve been wide awake since 2 am. Jet lag is no joke, especially when you’re facing a 13 hour time difference.
I thought, given the fact I’ve been to this side of the world before, I’d be able to handle this time lag easily and effortlessly. But no, I hit me harder than it did last time and, much to my dismay, I fell asleep for two hours before my dinner engagement. If there’s one thing you should never do, it’s nap the you arrive to an exotic local with a vast time difference. That’s when you wake up with wide eyes and a racing mind at 2am unable to fall back asleep.
Oddly enough, my current exhaustion is the perfect segway to today’s giveaway item, a Nespresso Essenza! Oddly enough, this exact machine is the one that’s currently keeping the caffeine flowing through my veins in my hotel room. And honestly, it’s absolutely perfect. It brews two sizes of espresso and is the perfect size for just about any kitchen, even the very small ones you find in studio apartments in NYC. It’s compact, cute and absolutely necessary when you’re trying to make it as a writer.
But that’s not the only thing I’m giving away! I’m also including a bundle (80 capsules!) of HiLine coffee. I got a box of this less than 2 months ago and sadly (and shamelessly), we’re completely out of them. My husband went on a Hi-Line spree a few weeks ago and drank the entire box (10 capsules) of Broadway Dark Roast in 4 days. Besides the high quality coffee, I love that each box is named after an iconic NYC neighborhood. My favorite is the Chelsea Light Roast because it’s the perfect mix of Colombian, Costa Rican and Kenyan coffee beans in a very smooth, very creamy taste. The light, easy drinkability of the roast pairs wonderfully with a moist and fluffy breakfast snack, like an oatmeal raisin muffin!
If you think these look familiar, it’s because I’ve actually made them before. And by before, I mean BDSLRC (before DSLR camera). As much as I love to see how my photography has grown over the years, those iPhone 3g photos were not cutting it anymore and these beauties deserved a reboot. Each muffin is packed with your favorite oatmeal raisin cookie flavor, only in a slightly lighter, healthier and lower fat body. These are what the cookies would look and taste like if they went on a juice cleanse for 3 days. Plus, they are completely egg-free, making them a fantastic breakfast option for those who suffer from egg allergies.
I think I’ll go have another espresso, these words are starting to blur together.
Oatmeal Raisin Muffins (Egg-free)
Yields about 12 muffins.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: About 17 minutes
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2/3 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup 1% milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Optional: Walnuts or hazelnuts
*If you want to use eggs, sub in one egg for the 1/4 cup of applesauce.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12 cavity muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
- In mixing bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt, oats and pumpkin pie spice. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and applesauce until fluffy. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the water and the milk, ending with the dry ingredients. Stir until just moistening. Fold in the raisins.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and immediately remove from pans. Let cool and enjoy!
Nutritional information per muffin:
Fiber: >1 gram
Protein: 3.08 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 4
To enter the giveaway, be sure to fill out the prompts below! Giveaway goes from February 23, 2014 at midnight until March 8th, 2014 at midnight. Good luck!
This easy sausage pita pizza is the perfect lunch or after-school snack!
In two days, I’m going to be hopping on a plane, flying for over 24 hours, to Singapore. In two days, I’ll be saying goodbye to my husband and dog for 16 days. In two days, I’m going to be halfway around the way and boy, am I excited.
Well, not just excited, ECSTATIC. Southeast Asia is an incredibly special place to me. After just spending a week in the Philippines last April, my life has been forever changed. I’ve never met so many incredible people in my life. They are beautiful, resilient, happy, proud, humble, forgiving, loving and triumphant. I came back from the trip a different person, a better person, and I owe that all to them.
I’m getting all sappy, I’m sorry. But this trip isn’t like my other work ones. The first week in Singapore will be all business, attending conferences, eating fancy meals and staying in five star hotels. But the second week in Thailand? It’ll be a little difference. Instead of big comfy beds and room service, I’ll be living in a mud hut with 8 other ladies. The biggest amenity we’ll have is indoor plumping. I am so incredibly happy though, because I’ll be there making a difference.
I’m going on behalf of The Giving Lens, a nonprofit geared towards teaching underprivaledged children the skills of photography. This will inspire them to go to school and learn a craft, which will keep them educated and excited about their futures. The NGO we’re going to stay with is even more dear to me. They focus on helping girls who are at a high risk for sex trafficking. I can not talk about it without sobbing, but I’m beyond ready to help these girls and protect them from all of the evil in this world.
As you can tell, I’m a giant mess of excitement and anxiety. That’s why this easy sausage pita pizza is on my menu for this week. It’s very easy and very filling, and since I didn’t eat until 6pm yesterday, that’s a good thing. Most of that has to due with a slight stomach flu, but even still, I’m a chicken with its head cut off. So please be patient with me these next few weeks as posts may be sporadic and, well, crazed.
Easy Sausage Pita Pizza
Serves about 2.
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: About 6 minutes
- 1 whole wheat pita bread
- 1/2 package soft goat cheese (about 2 ounces)
- About 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- About 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- About 1/2 cup fully cooked Jimmy Dean Sausage Crumbles
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Green onions, chopped
For the directions on how to make this delicious pizza, check out the recipe on SheKnows.com!
Nutritional information per serving (1/2):
Fat: 15 grams
Carbohydrates: 21 grams
Fiber: 4 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 7
This mixed berry milkshakes are perfect for any of your special Valentines! (Or just yourself if you’re celebrating single appreciation day).
Happy Valentine’s Day my amazing friends and fans! I hope your day is filled with gut-busting, stomach-wrenching, heart-exploding, can’t-breathe love. And if it’s not, well I hope you enjoy a few bottles of wine, a few boxes of chocolate and all of the anti-love, heartbreak movies on Lifetime you can handle.
My husband, he freaking rocks. We’re on a budget, but he surprised me this morning with an Arrested Development themed Valentine’s Day, complete with a menu inspired by the show and candy beans. He knows me so well, and that trumps some stupid fancy dinner any day.
Plus, I can totally enjoy my meals while wearing yoga pants and an over-sized sweater and not have to force my body into spanx or skinny jeans. I don’t have to put on make-up, style my hair, wear uncomfortable shoes OR even shower. But, for the sake of my darling husband, I’ll do that. And I might put on some mascara, but that’s pushing it.
Part of me wishes we were going out, mainly because I love trying new places, but I’m also just as happy being at home. I’m trying to soak up this last week before I’m gone in for 14 days in Southeast Asia. Don’t get me wrong, I’m THRILLED about my upcoming trip, but it’s definitely the longest I’ve ever been away from E (besides our long-distance stint in college). It’ll be hard.
I’m not complaining, I absolutely can’t wait for two weeks away from the stove, but being away for that long will make this Valentine’s day just a bit more special. And I get to enjoy it all while wearing yoga pants. Did I mention that part yet?
Mixed Berry Milkshakes
Prep time: >5 minutes
Blend time: 10 minutes
- 2 cups strawberry Arctic Zero frozen dessert
- 3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) frozen mixed berries
- 3/4 cup 2% milk
- 7 Hershey’s kisses
- 2 tablespoons freshly whipped cream
- Chocolate tortilla chips (I used about 8 chips)
- Place the frozen dessert, mixed berries, milk and Hershey’s kissed in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and thick.
- Pour the milkshakes into mason jars and top with one tablespoon of whipped cream each. Garnish the shakes with crumbled tortilla chips and more berries.
Nutritional information per shake:
Fat: 9 grams
Carbohydrates: 26.3 grams
Fiber: 2.2 grams
Protein: 7.6 grams
Weight Watchers points: 5
This amazing cinnamon roll hot cereal is perfect for brunching, snow days or Valentine’s Day!
You know what I love? Cinnamon rolls. Rich, gooey, decadent rolls oozing with icing and luscious cinnamon filling. Just writing that had me drooling all over my keyboard. As much as I want to eat cinnamon rolls everyday, I legitimately can’t handle another embarrassing skinny jean episode that I had two days ago.
I realize I’m going to have to talk about such incident, and I’m not quite ready yet. So why don’t we hop into this healthy, fiber packed, wheat-free cinnamon roll hot cereal. But if calling someone hot cereal is weird, just call it oatmeal. It talks like oatmeal and walks like oatmeal, so might as well call it oatmeal! Only it tastes better because it’s made with Bob’s Red Mill whole grains, and that makes all of the difference.
I’m not lying when I say that this tastes EXACTLY like a cinnamon roll. The only difference is this won’t cause you to split your jeans while you try to pull them up. While your husband was walking by. Oh yeah, that happened. And the thing is, I haven’t gained any weight. I’ve actually lost a few pounds. So why, dear universe, must you cause my favorite pants to split in front of the man I’m always trying to impress?
That’s why I’m replacing all of my favorite foods with low-calorie replacements, like wheat-free oats in place of cinnamon rolls and one mini chocolate chip instead of a big, fluffy batch of cookies. I’m still waiting for someone to invent a way I can lose weight while eating high fat foods. It can happen, right? I mean, we totally sent someone in space, figure this out!
Cinnamon Roll Hot Cereal
Prep time: >5 minutes
Cook time: About 8 – 10 minutes
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 8-grain hot cereal
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Fresh strawberries for garnish
- Mix the milk and water in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil (watching carefully, otherwise it’ll pour over). Add the 8-grain cereal and whisk to combine. Reduce the mixture to low and cover. Cook for about 6 – 8 minutes, stirring every minute or so, or until all of the liquid is evaporated and mixture is thick.
- Pour the cereal into four bowls. Drizzle each cereal with glaze, 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts and sprinkled cinnamon. Garnish with fresh strawberries and enjoy!
Nutritional information per bowl (about 1/3 cup cooked oatmeal):
Fat: 9 grams
Carbohydrates: 51 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 8.25 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 8