Monday, December 14, 2015

Trying to stay healthy

A big pot-o-veggies

Warning: The following post contains references to animal products which may be upsetting to some readers. The above image contains only vegetables and I am putting a cut below this to make this post 'opt in,' rather than something that could accidentally upset. TVand Cookies also acknowledges that being a carnivore is not necessary for health! So with that said if you are not upset then continue..

This time of year is a mixed bag. On the one hand it's terribly exciting to be approaching the holidays, there's lights and parties everywhere and the holidays bring with them some delicious seasonal treats. On the flip side, it's cold and flu season and everywhere you look there are people coughing, sneezing and basically trying to spread their misery! (not to be at all dramatic about it ;)

So, what's a Christmas loving girl to do?! Well avoid the latter and enjoy the former of course. But with all those vicious cold carriers around this is not as simple as all that! Well this year I have devised a cunning plan, and by cunning I mean basically following advise that has been readily available my entire life - Chicken soup! However this will not be chicken soup from a can, or even chicken soup made with a stock cube, no sirree bob... this will be chicken soup made with homemade chicken stock!! That's right, this girl is going old school!!!!

Because it's 1922
So why am I doing all this? Well recently I've been reading a lot about health and the immune system. Amongst all the confusing and sometimes misguided information (that everyone in the world is gluten intolerant,er no) I found a couple of things that were worth considering and one of those was bone broth stocks. The argument goes that making a bone broth makes use of the nutrient dense bone marrow and has an immunomodulating effect when consumed. Is this true?! I don't know but everyone always talks about chicken soup for sick people and worst case scenario it's gonna taste good, so really it's a win-win!

So how do you make stock. Meat + bones + veggies + time (lots of time) = stock. I boiled mine for about 4 hours although I have heard that you really need about double that, either way mine worked beautifully!

Home-made chicken stock

1 cooked chicken carcass with some meat left on (preferably free-range/organic)
4 carrots
2 parsnips
5 sticks celery
2 onions diced roughly
4-5 Kale leaves
whole garlic, smashed
rosemary on the branch
2-3 springs of parsley
6L water

1 - Put all the ingredients in a big pot and boil for 4-8 hours

2- Remove from the heat and allow cool

3- Drain the liquid into a smaller pot and dispose of the veg

4- Allow to cool completely, scrap the top and then refridgerate.

Chicken Soup

4 Breast of chicken
4-5 carrots, roughly chopped
3-4 parsnips, roughly chopped
3-4 white potatoes roughly chopped
1 onion
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
ground pepper to your taste
1 tbsp olive oil
Chicken stock to cover

1 -  Soften the onion in a pan with the olive oil

2 - Add the garlic and other herbs and stir for a few minutes, then add the chicken

3- Meanwhile soak the chopped potatoes in water to remove some of the starch.

4- Cook the chicken until white and then add the vegetables and the stock.

5 - Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft and the liquid has reduced.

6 - Allow to cool slightly before eating and top with fresh parsley.

So yes, please excuse the low quality photos but it tasted so good that we ate it all before I remembered to set up any proper pictures. This photo was actually the last bowl that I was about to eat but then realized I had absolutely no photos of the finished product. So yeah, it was delicious!!

So I hope you try this out and that you stay healthy this winter. See you next week with some delicious Christmassy treats =)

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