Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup–It’s gluten free!

Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

Last week I was out with my husband running errands and we were trying to decide on lunch.  He wanted something filling, and I wanted a really great salad.  As easy as salads are to make and obtain, very few match the salads that I make myself.  I knew it would not be easy to find a place to eat in which we would both leave happy.  After verbally running through a list of eateries, my husband saying no to some, me saying no to others, we both compromised and settled on Panera. I ordered my salad, and after some time mulling over the menu, my husband ordered a bowl of lemon orzo soup.  The ceasar salad  I ordered, was not as great as the  Ceasar salad I make at home, but I was expecting that. However, my husband really enjoyed his soup.  I didn’t taste the soup, but it looked really good, and since he enjoyed it, I decided I would try to make it at home for him.  He is such a big fan of soups in general. When I make soup, which is not often, he rants and raves, because to him, soups are a big treat. The key to any great soup is the broth.  I made some broth with the leftover carcass of a roast chicken that we had for dinner.  I will share that recipe and two other ways to make chicken broth with you later.  For this soup use the best organic chicken broth that you can find.  I used a gluten free orzo for this, you can leave it outfor a paleo version of this soup, or use a regular pasta orzo for an authentic Lemon chicken orzo soup.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients: 1lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or 4 cups of pre-cooked chicken cubed

1 cup of diced carrots (3 medium carrots)

1 cup of diced celery (4 celery stalks)

1 large onion diced

2 large cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

1 cup of spinach finely chopped

2-3 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro

3-4 Tablespoons of Lemon juice less or more depending on your taste

6 cups of organic chicken broth

1/2 cup of orzo gluten free brand

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 tablespoon of olive oil


Directions: Season chicken with sea salt and black pepper and set aside. In a stock pot heat oil, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Saute until onions turn translucent, add chicken stock, and chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. image Add in orzo and cook until orzo is al dente (10 minutes), then stir in spinach, cilantro and lemon juice, turn off fire, serve and enjoy! image image

Ramen Momofuku Style and Gluten Free

D.I.Y. Ramen

D.I.Y. Ramen


Is it weird that I’m not a big fan of pasta, but that I love ramen? I’m not talking about cup o noodles here, but growing up I had my fair share of those, I’m talking about a rich and flavorful  bowl of ramen. The kind of ramen one might get at David Changs Momofuku Noodle bar in New York.  The kind of ramen people wait in line for, only I don’t want to wait in line. The beginning and end of any ramen–a good one anyway–is the broth! Without the foundation of a good broth, ramen is… well just ramen in water! The best way to get a good broth without spending hours in the kitchen is to use a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers aren’t as popular as crock pots, but in my opinion they should be! Other than cooking something slowly on the stove for hours, there is just no other way to get the amount of flavor you do from something cooked in a pressure cooker. You get out what you put into a pressure cooker, all the nutrients stay in the pot, they don’t cook out, unlike when you cook on the stove top, or in a slow cooker—the nutrients escape out during cooking through steam.  What’s better is that it takes less time to do it than both stove top cooking and crock pot cooking! I like to think that my pressure cooker provides the best of both worlds, the flavor of something cooked for hours on a stove, and the ease of non-active cooking–ie ability to throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot, leave it for an hour and come back to the finished product, lazy cooking at its best!

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour


1lb of Organic chicken thighs, I used boneless, but a bone never hurt a good broth

1 large brown onion

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

1 bushel of organic Dino Kale, chopped roughly

3 large cloves of garlic chopped

1 10oz package of Organic Rice ramen, I used Lotus Food brand it’s gluten free.

1 tablespoon of olive oil or ghee

1/2 cup of fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

7.5 cups of water

Directions: Heat the oil then add the chicken. IMPORTANT: Let it brown, do not move it, let it cook for 3-4 on one side before turning it. This browning makes a tremendous amount of difference between a broth that’s good, and a broth that’s great! Once brown turn over and add the onion, garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar.  Cook for another 4 minutes, then add the water. Bring to a boil, then cover and seal your pressure cooker, and let cook on medium heat for 45-50 minutes undisturbed. If you’re doing this on the stove top, without a pressure cooker, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 1.5 hours checking broth levels after an hour. At the 50 minute mark, turn off the fire, and depressurize your pressure cooker according to manufacturers instructions, remove the lid, add in the kale, turn the fire back on to medium, cover and seal the pressure cooker again. Let cook for 7 minutes, depressurize the cooker again.remove the lid, turn the fire back on, add the noodles, and cook for additional 4 minutes, add red pepper flakes and fresh cilantro, turn the fire off serve and enjoy!




Peruvian chicken soup

Peruvian Chicken Soup

As a little girl I could count on my mom offering me 3 things when I was sick, saltines, ginger ale, and chicken noodle soup. Chicken soup is every moms go to meal when there is a sick little one in the house. It’s the perfect meal for almost any ailment, soothing for soar throats and upset tummies.  It is like a bowl of love, with the ability to heal anyone, one spoonful at a time. This particular recipe is my take on a chicken soup I have at my favorite Peruvian restaurant. It is everything that most people love about chicken soup, but the fresh cilantro brightens it up a bit. I use my pressure cooker to cut out spending hours in the kitchen making this. I am able to get a ton of flavor in this soup in half the time it takes to make this without the pressure cooker.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

1lbs of chicken legs (I prefer making soup with the bones in, it lends more flavor to this)
8-10 cups of water
7 celery ribs chopped
3 medium potatoes cubed
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 medium onion chopped
2 cups of fresh or defrosted frozen spinach
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Handful of  cilantro

Season the chicken with sea salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker. Add the chicken and brown on both sides.

Add in the onion and garlic, toss, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the water, make sure the chicken is fully covered with water. Bring to a boil, close and lock the pressure cooker according to the manufacturers instructions. Cook for 30 minutes undisturbed. Turn off the fire. Depressurize your pressure cooker according to the manufacturers instructions. Remove the bones and any skin on the chicken. This shouldn’t be hard to do, the meat should fall off the bone at this point. Turn on the fire, Add in the potatoes, and celery, close and lock the pressure cooker according to the manufacturers instructions. Cook for another 7 minutes undisturbed. Turn off the fire and depressurize the pressure cooker according to the manufacturers instructions. Remove the lid, add in the spinach and cilantro, mix well, then serve. You can add noodles to this if you’d like. You can also make this without the pressure cooker, just cook the chicken for 45 minutes to an hour, then add the potatoes and celery and cook for another 15-20 minutes, before adding in the cilantro and spinach.

What did your mom give you to comfort you when you were sick?

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