We got dat bad bug in our house. Not having much energy to speak of, I opted for easy and nutritious meals.
One day I threw a chicken into the oven for a couple of hours (easy enough), boiled some potatoes, and served with heated-up veggies.
A couple of days later, I chopped up one of the left-over breasts and added some back and thigh meat, and made this easy soup. Sadly, I had lost my taste and smell some days earlier, but my husband told me it was delicious, and I believe him.
Be sure to use real bone broth, (not just chicken broth) to get the gut-healing properties.
This made enough to fill my 3-qt saucepan.
Chicken (or Turkey) Vegetable Soup with Rice
3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
3 stalks celery, with leaves, diced
1 medium-large onion, diced
4 medium-large carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 shakes dried tarragon
4 shakes dried basil
2 shakes dried rosemary
2 cups diced chicken or turkey
1-2 cups cooked brown rice
4 cups chicken or turkey bone broth
Salt (use a healthy Celtic sea salt, or Himalayan salt) and pepper to taste
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the oil or butter. Sauté the celery, onion, and carrots until the onions are translucent. In the last 2 – 3 minutes of sautéing, stir in the garlic, tarragon, basil, and rosemary.
Add the diced chicken, rice, and the bone broth. Stir.
Do a taste test before adding the salt, since bone broth contains varying amounts of salt, depending on who made it. Add pepper to taste.
Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes – 1 hour. (I let it simmer in the oven, covered, at 325°. That way I didn’t have to stir, and it wouldn’t scorch.)
This hot drink is comforting and filling, besides being pretty healthy. It can be enjoyed any time of day. It is a mixture of Dandy Blend, turmeric bone broth, collagen, sucanat, and rice milk.
Dandy Blend is an easy-to-dissolve blend of roasted barley, rye, chicory root, dandelion root, and sugar beet. It is touted as a good coffee substitute, with no headache upon withdrawal. It has no caffeine, acidity, or bitterness. I enjoy the taste as-is, and it can be prepared hot or cold. It’s sold in most health food stores, and online (I buy it through vitacost.com). I first bought the smallest size available, but I liked it so much, I now buy it in the blammo-size packages.
Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein – Turmeric delivers 20 grams of protein per serving. (Bone broth is one of the healthiest nutrients you can consume. See my other posts, https://maggietiggles.wordpress.com/2021/10/08/recipe-friday-how-i-make-bone-broth/ and https://maggietiggles.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/recipe-friday-bone-broth-and-butternut-squash-soup/ for more information.) I bought it for the turmeric content: turmeric is a fabulous natural anti-inflammatory. I don’t know what made me think of adding it to my Dandy Blend, but I’m glad I did. The taste is really good. Ancient Nutrition also sells other flavors: pure, chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin spice, and salted caramel. I haven’t tried any of the other flavors in my morning mix. The turmeric blend does not contain any sweetener; most of the other blends have stevia or other natural sweetener (except the pure). If you use a sweetened blend, you will likely not need to add any sweetener to your drink.
Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein delivers 20 grams of protein per 2 scoops, besides the 5 types of food source collagen. (Collagen promotes healthy hair, skin, joints and digestion.). It is mostly tasteless, but adds some richness and body. You can also get other flavors of collagen. I get both Ancient Nutrition products from store.draxe.com.
My sweetener of choice is sucanat, but use any kind you like, or none at all.
It works best if you mix the powdered ingredients together really well before adding the hot water. The protein powders tend to clump badly; but they don’t if you mix well first. I top it off with a splash of rice milk.
To make one 16 oz. cup:
1 spoon of Dandy Blend
1 scant scoop of Bone Broth Protein – Turmeric
1 scant scoop of Multi Collagen Protein
½ spoon sucanat
Measure ingredients into a 16 oz mug. Stir the ingredients together well.
Add boiling water, stir to dissolve.
Add some cream, milk, or non-dairy alternative to taste.
Because I drink this often, I make up a larger quantity at a time. Ingredient amounts can be adjusted to taste.
5 heaping spoons of Dandy Blend
5 heaping scoops of Bone Broth Protein – Turmeric
5 heaping scoops of Multi Collagen Protein
5 heaping spoons of sucanat
Add all ingredients to a 1-quart mason jar. Mix contents thoroughly.
To make a 16-oz mug:
Add two heaping spoonfuls of the mixture to the mug.
Add boiling water.
Stir to dissolve.
Add milk, cream, or non-dairy alternative to taste.
Before I get into how to make bone broth, I should divulge that you can take easier routes. Sometimes I buy bone broth. You can do your own search for your favorite type/s. I buy bone broth from Walmart as a backup. It says it’s bone broth (not chicken broth or beef broth, i.e.), and it’s organic, so I believe them. I stipulate, however, that I fortify that bone broth with collagen and gelatin (the same as I do my own bone broth, and how I do that is at the end of this post).
Another easier route is to buy powdered bone broth. Dr. Axe’s store sells several types of flavored and unflavored powdered bone broths (some may also be purchased through vitacost.com, one of my favorite sites to shop). My favorite is the turmeric bone broth. Be aware that his powders (Ancient Nutrition brand) take a lot of mixing to get all the clumps out, and it’s best to use very hot water (or whatever liquid you’re using), unless you are using a good blender. These powders can be used many ways (again, visit Dr. Axe’s site for ideas), such as baked goods, oatmeal, and drinks. My favorite is to mix Dandy Blend, turmeric bone broth, and a bit of sucanat with hot water, then add a splash of rice milk.
To make your own bone broth, you can use a large saucepan, a slow cooker, or a pressure cooker. I use an Instant Pot.
If you use the slow cooker or the saucepan, you will need to simmer the bone broth for 2 or 3 days (36 hours is prime), adding water as needed to keep the pot full.
In an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, 5 hours will do it. When I use my Instant Pot, I plan on the whole day to make bone broth: from prep, to cooking, to pressure release, to draining and cooling, to cooling in the jars, to clean up and refrigeration. I bought a strainer insert for my Instant Pot, and it saves the time and hassle of straining hot broth from the bones and veggies at the end.
Bones (can use chicken, beef, pork, or fish, or any combination) In my Instant Pot, the bones of one small chicken is just enough for one batch. Or, three or four T-bones. If you’re using raw soup bones, it’s a good idea (for the sake of flavor) to roast the bones first. If you have stuff like chicken’s feet and necks, those are good.
Veggies: when I chop onions, celery, and carrots for recipes, I keep the ends in a freezer bag. I use some or all of these ends. You can just chop up any vegetables you like, too. Garlic is a good addition.
Organic apple cider vinegar (this helps draw the nutrients from the bones; the vinegar taste does not come through to the finished bone broth, unless you add too much)
Natural sea salt or Himalayan salt (PLEASE, do not use grocery store, white table salt. It is pure sodium chloride and is bad for you. Natural mineral salts, on the other hand, contain minerals that are salty, and they’re not all sodium: there are magnesium salts, for example, among others. Even if you’re buying labeled “natural” salts, read the label to see what’s in it, and make sure it’s not a bunch of chemicals.)
If you have one, put a strainer in the Instant Pot insert. Dump your bones and veggies into the strainer. (Yep, they’re still frozen, and that’s okay. Break them apart if you need to, to fit in correctly.)
Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of good salt
Pour 2 tablespoons of organic vinegar into a pitcher of water. (I just do this to get the vinegar mixed in well. You can add the vinegar and water separately, if you like.) Add it to the pot.
Add more water as needed to the fill line.
Put the cover on the pot and make sure it’s properly locked. Turn the vent to Seal.
Use the Soup function, if you have it. The highest number for time is 4 hours. I cook mine for 5 hours, but I set it at 4 for now.
The pot will start heating and cooking. Once it comes to pressure, the timer will start the countdown.
Somewhere in the middle of the countdown, but after at least one hour is up, I add an extra hour.
After the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally. Wait for the pressure pin to drop. This will take 30 – 60 minutes.
After the pressure has released and the pin has dropped, carefully take off the lid.
Use pot holders to take the full insert out of the pot.
Use the handle to lift the strainer full of bones and veggies out of the broth. Put a cooling rack on top of the insert, and rest the strainer on top of the cooling rack. Let the strainer drain and cool.
When the broth has strained out of the bones and veggies, remove the strainer. You can compost the bones and veggies, or throw them away.
Make sure the broth is cool enough before you pour it into jars.
Wait until they’ve cooled enough; then screw lids on (I use plastic lids, but the metal bands and lids are fine) and refrigerate.
To prepare bone broth as a hot drink:
I heat enough bone broth each morning for two people. Yes, you can just heat and drink, but I like to stretch mine with amendments. When heating, please use a stove and not a microwave; microwaves destroy some of the vital nutrients.
1 cup bone broth
2 tablespoons powdered gelatin
2 scoops collagen powder
1 ½ cups filtered water
Natural salt, to taste
Pour about 1 cup of bone broth into a small saucepan.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of powdered gelatin over the top.
Sprinkle 2 scoops of collagen over the top.
Add some healthy salt. Start with a few shakes. You will need to taste your bone broth before you pour it into your cup, to see how much salt you’ll need to add when you prepare this batch of bone broth.
Turn the burner to high. After a minute or two, start whisking the mixture. Don’t wait too long, as the gelatin will sink to the bottom and stick.
Heat and whisk until all the lumps are out. The mixture will be fairly hot by this time.
Add 1 ½ cups of filtered water. Stir and heat until hot enough for you to drink.
Use a spoon to take a taste, and add salt if needed. Stir well.
Pour into two mugs. Your bone broth is ready to enjoy.
You needn’t worry about consuming too much salt, if it’s the healthy kind, and used in moderation. I used to drink salt sole (pronounced “so-lay”) every morning, but now I get my salt via bone broth. Salt sole is simply a saturated mixture of salt (REAL salt, not table, store-bought salt) and water (FILTERED water). Why is it so healthy? Because Himalayan salt or Celtic salt is naturally occurring, and provides a multitude of essential minerals our bodies need to function properly. And, the minerals are delivered in a way that our bodies can assimilate and use. Please see my post on Salt Sole here: https://maggietiggles.wordpress.com/2019/12/27/recipe-friday-salt-sole/
Because Amy brought up the idea (and because she’s brilliant), and because it was seconded and thirded, I begin this day with Recipe Friday. I will try to post at least one new recipe per week.
I start with a two-fer, because the recipe is for Butternut Squash Soup, but one of its ingredients is bone broth.
A word (or two or many) about bone broth: If you are looking to improve your health, this is the number one most important venue to investigate and implement. Remember when great-grandma used to save those bones and simmer them for hours or days? Ever see those old-time movies, when someone was sick, and they brought calves foot jelly? There was something nutritious and healing in them-thar bones. I invite you to do some research on bone broth. There are many, many recipes to browse.
More words on bone broth: You can buy bone broth. Make sure it’s realio-trulio BONE broth, not the flavored broth that sells so quickly for flavor. I have found a true (I’m pretty sure) bone broth at Walmart: it’s organic (which I highly recommend) and I get the low-sodium (if I need salt, I prefer to add my own pink Himalayan salt); but the drawback is, they add sugar (ech!) and other stuff. Auuugh! Why, oh why??? Anyway, that one is my fall-back when I don’t have any left that I made myself, because it’s very reasonably priced. Walmart carries organic chicken bone broth and beef bone broth.
Every morning I heat a small pot of bone broth (2 servings) for us to drink after our morning coffee. I supplement: half bone broth, half filtered water, five shakes of pink Himalayan salt, and two scoops powdered collagen (I buy the Dr. Axe unflavored – pricey, but worth our health). It’s very soothing to sip, and excellent for gut health.
To make bone broth:
Bones (with or without attached meat) You can use beef, chicken, or fish. You can use hooves, feet, or beaks. When I make mine, I usually use the bones from a chicken I roasted for dinner.
Veggies (when I cut carrots, onions, and celery for other recipes, I save the cut ends in the freezer)
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
1-2 tablespoons salt (use the good stuff)
Pressure cooker or slow cooker (a big pot on the stove doesn’t work well for this, since it cooks overnight)
A stainless steel colander basket insert is handy. Put it in the pot prior to adding any ingredients. The ingredients all go into the colander; then, when finished cooking, lift the colander out and drain the broth back into the pot.
(Extra note: Some people like to roast beef bones first, in the oven, to give the broth extra flavor. This is optional)
Put the colander (if using) into the pot, and put the bones and veggies into it. Sprinkle a tablespoon or so of salt on.
Add filtered water and vinegar. I use a pitcher to fill my pot. I add the vinegar to the pitcher; that way I don’t feel I have to stir the bones & veggies & water, and make a mess.
If using a slow cooker, set it on low and cook for 24-36 hours. I have not had to add more water when I do this, but it’s a good idea to check your pot once in a while, to make sure it has enough water.
If using a pressure cooker, cook for 5 hours:
I use an Instant Pot. I can set on Soup for up to 4 hours. I do that, then, after it gets down to less than 3 hours, I add an extra hour.
If you have a stove-top pressure cooker, keep a heat just enough to keep pressure for 5 hours.
At the end of cooking, drain the veggies and bones out. I like to put a small cooling rack over my pot, then rest the colander on top of it, draining into the pot. If you don’t have a colander, use a slotted spoon to take out the bones and veggies.
Let the broth cool.
I like to add unflavored beef gelatin (organic) while the broth is still warm. It adds some nutritional oomph. When I make bone broth, it yields about ¾ of a gallon. I add maybe ½ cup of gelatin. I whisk it in, and whisk quite a few times as it cools, to make sure it’s all incorporated.
Pour into canning jars. I use half-gallon size, and I get about one and a half jars full.
Store in the refrigerator.
Butternut Squash Soup in the Pressure Cooker
Notes: I use the Instant Pot for this. Also, I like nutmeg a lot, so I add even more than the recipe calls for. I am sensitive to dairy, so I use rice milk. But butter – oh, yes, butter! And, this could be made in a pot on the stove, but it would take longer. I’m guessing 20 – 40 minutes to cook the cubed squash, depending on how small it’s chopped, and how big a pot you use.
This serves 5-8 people, depending on if it’s a main or side dish. Figure 45 minutes or so from start to finish.
1 medium butternut squash
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon powdered or grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
3 cups bone broth
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups milk, cream, or half-and-half (I use rice milk)
4 small-medium potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled (rice, quinoa, or lentils would also go well; this would be a good way to use up left-overs of any of these)
chicken, cooked and shredded (optional)
Peel the squash, remove the seeds, and cut into cubes (1” or so).
Chop the onion.
In the pressure cooker (or Instant Pot insert), add the olive oil. Use the sauté mode or cook over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the squash, onion, and salt.
Cook and stir until slightly roasted (10 minutes).
Add the spices; cook and stir five more minutes.
Add the bone broth.
Fit the lid on, bring up to pressure and cook (at pressure) for 10 minutes.
(If you are using potatoes: while the squash sautés, comes to pressure, cooks, and de-pressurizes, peel, cube, and cook the potatoes; they should cook in 10 – 15 minutes.)
Do a quick-release of the pressure.
When all the pressure is released, take off the lid. Use an immersion blender to blend up the soup.
Stir in the butter, then the milk.
Add the potatoes and the (optional) chicken. Add more bone broth or milk, if needed.
Turn on the heat again, or use the sauté mode. Stir over heat until it’s hot.
Serve hot. Some good biscuits or a grilled cheese go well with this.