healthy

Week 10: Chicken & Rice Soup 

So I’m modifying my resolution, guys. Two new recipes a week while I’m five weeks away from giving birth is not feasible. Who knew? I’m an idiot. 

Last week I made this soup when it was crappy out, which was great, and then had it as leftovers for two days when it was 70° out, which was also great, but very warm. 

Chicken & Rice Soup 

Adapted from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O’Dea

  • 2C blended vegetables (I used broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower–just whizz them up in your food processor with a little water until they’re a purée)
  • 4 chicken thighs (mine were frozen)
  • 8C chicken broth
  • 1C water
  • 1C raw brown rice 
  • 1t herbs of your choice (I used oregano and an Italian blend)
  • Half a package of frozen spinach 
  • Salt and pepper 

Dump everything in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. This is surprisingly good and, like most soup, is better the next day. 

Chocolate Banana Date Smoothie 

I was at Costco the other day, as you do, and picked up a giant bag of dates. I’d eaten a date exactly once before, at which time I thought, “This is not fruit, this is tree candy. It’s weird and I hate it.”

But eating dried dates by themselves is not the ideal way to use dates, Past Me. Dates are little weird sugar pods that happen to also grow on trees. Use them as sugar. 

This smoothie might change your life, not to put too fine a point on it. It’s not too sweet, super chocolatey, and full of healthy crap. I have not tested this, but you might be able to trick small children into thinking it’s terrible for them. 

Note: I have the world’s crappiest blender. I manage to make this smoothie by running it for about twelve years. If your blender is better than garbage, you’ll have an easier, faster time. 

Oh! And this could be vegan if you substituted something vegan for the dairy yogurt. 

Chocolate Banana Date Smoothie 

  • 2T chia seeds 
  • 4T water

Mix these in the blender pitcher and let sit for 5-10 minutes. It’ll turn into a creepy-looking gel. This is what we’re going for. 

  • 4 dried dates, finely chopped (oil your knife so they don’t get stuck)
  • 1T coconut oil 
  • 1C cashew milk (or coconut, or almond, or cow)
  • 1/4C plain yogurt

Add to blender pitcher and blend. Blend the living hell out of this. Blend until you can’t see any date chunks. 

  • 2T cocoa powder 
  • 1t vanilla extract 
  • sprinkle of wheat germ
  • dash of cinnamon 
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 banana (frozen or fresh)

Add to pitcher and blend until smooth. Serve. Love. Enjoy. 

Breakfast Coconut Rice 

I finished a bowl of this not even five minutes ago and I needed to tell you about it. This is a super easy rice cooker breakfast (I know, that’s weird). Make it if you love coconut, rice pudding, or delicious things. 

It’s also vegan if you use a non-animal sweetener!

Breakfast Coconut Rice

Adapted from Coconut Lover’s Cookbook by Bruce Fife

  • One rice cooker cup of brown rice (it’s really around 3/4C)
  • Water up to the 2 line of your cooker
  • 1/2C shredded coconut 
  • 2T raisins 
  • 2T honey (or vegan sweetener)
  • 1/4t ground cardamom
  • 1t ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1T chia seeds
  • 1t vanilla extract 
  • 1T coconut oil
  • Coconut milk (I used canned full fat)
  • Slivered almonds 

Combine rice, water, coconut, raisins, honey, cardamom, cinnamon, salt, chia seeds, vanilla, and coconut oil in rice cooker. Set on cook. (I have an Aroma Simply Stainless.) When done, scoop some into a bowl and pour coconut milk over. Add almonds. This makes about two servings. 

You could also make this in a pot on the stove; just make the rice as usual, but with the raisins, etc. added in. I am awful at making stovetop rice so the rice cooker is my best friend. 

Sleep, You Elusive Jerk (and Overnight Oats)

Oh, sleep. I miss you. You haven’t been easy to come by for two years or so, and now you’re even more difficult to find. My nose is constantly clogged, a delightful symptom of pregnancy, and I have never peed more in my life. 
(I know you have good intentions, friends and readers, but please spare your “Just you wait!” and “You think you’re tired now!” comments. Guys, I know. But you can’t store sleep away in a jar for later, so I’d really like to get it while the getting is good. And being pregnant is really tiring because there is a person living inside me stealing all of my nutrients and fluids.)

So. In addition to being super tired, I am super hungry. All. The. Damn. Time. (Nutrient stealer.) I’ve tried many things to stave off hunger and keep me filled up, but I think I just found my favorite thing. I even bought some cute pint Ball jars expressly for this recipe. I make my own fun. 

Overnight Oats for One

  • 3/4C old-fashioned oats (not quick oats!)
  • 1/2C coconut milk (the kind in a carton; or any kind of milk)
  • 1/4C plain yogurt
  • a glug of real maple syrup 
  • a teeny splash of almond or vanilla extract 
  • a pinch of salt
  • a small handful of dried cranberries
  • pinches of cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, nutmeg

Mix all ingredients in a pint jar. Leave in fridge overnight. In the morning, add fresh berries, sliced banana, diced apple, etc.