Homemade Chicken Soup – from a bag

Had just been on one of the deadly shopping trips to Costco. You know, where you have a list of a few things and then your cart ends up being oddly full. Well one of the things that ended up as part of the cart contents was some (Israeli) pearl couscous. I happened to actually read the recipe on the back of the bag and it sounded really good. I was in the mood for some soup that day so figured I’d give it a try.

Couscous Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup each chopped onion, carrots and celery
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 cloves (or more, of course) garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemongrass paste, optional
  • 2 cups cubed rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • S&P
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

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Directions:

In large stock port, add onions, carrots and celery with 2 tablespoons broth. Saute 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Stir in ginger, garlic and lemongrass. Add remaining broth, chicken and couscous; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add lemon juice, S&P; garnish with parsley before serving.

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This soup was great! And so easy. Since you buy a rotisserie chicken, that work is done. The taste from the lemongrass and ginger just give it such a nice twist from traditional chicken soup and I love pearl couscous. Great recipe to have on hand for winter. I also had lots of leftover so froze them. Oh, also added more chicken broth and some water when I had leftovers the next day (before freezing the rest). The couscous soaked up some of the broth, but to me that just meant more soup!

Roti

I have walked by, read and heard about Roti for quite awhile.  Finally got to have it the other day at a catered event.  Lives up to the hype!  From hummus to salad to pita to all else, stuffed forever!  Very fresh, you can see/tell everything that’s in your food and absolutely delicious.  I’m a big Mediterranean food fan so was loving all of this.  Highly recommend checking it out if you can.

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Beef & Rice

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Greek salads, mostly devoured

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Pita chips

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Hummus

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Couscous

Use What You Have

It’s amazing what you can find in the kitchen, between both the cupboards and what you recently bought at the store, that can make a great meal.  I got creative tonight and whipped up a tasty salad that required nothing but ‘shopping’ in my own cupboards and fridge.  It took less than 10 minutes but has and will provide(d) hours of happiness, from a full stomach…to multiple meals, aka leftovers.

Ingredients:

-(Trader Joe’s) couscous
-(Trader Joe’s) grape tomatoes
-(Trader Joe’s) frozen artichoke hearts
-(Costco) hearts of palm
-Grapefruit
-Leftover chicken breasts
Tessemae‘s Lemonette
-S&P

Directions:

-Cook couscous per directions — boil water, put in couscous, let sit 5 minutes.
-While that’s happening, defrost artichoke hearts, cut hearts of palm, peel and cut grapefruit.  The chicken I had was already sliced from last night.
-When couscous is done, place in large bowl, top with all other (solid) ingredients.  Toss with salad dressing, season to taste.  Eat.

Rough, right?  Just think about all the additions/subtractions/changes you could make to this, too, to fit your tastes.

-add nuts
-add beans (garbanzo (chick peas), black, kidney)
-no meat
-seafood (I’m out of chicken — only had a couple pieces left so salmon or tuna’s going in there tomorrow)
-dried fruit
-different dressing
-more seasoning
-base of quinoa vs. couscous

What’s the most important thing?  You can make SO MUCH out of what is in your kitchen so you don’t have to go out night after night.  What’s the worse case scenario?  You experiment, it’s not great.  You know everything that went in there and you just keep trying.  Cook on my friends, cook on.

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