26 August 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup

*I'm pre-dating this entry to the date I actually made it.

When I was sick, all I wanted was a big of bowl of chicken noodle soup. Except I can't stand all the salt in canned varieties and to be honest, I really don't care for chicken in my soup (not just chicken noodle soup but also chicken and dumplings, I'd just rather have the dumplings to be quite honest). So even though I was almost dying, I decided I could make my own chicken noodle soup (or just noodle soup technically). This makes a LOT of soup to begin with but if you don't eat it all in one setting (or sitting as the case may be), the noodles happen to soak up a lot of the broth, so you'll need to re-add some chicken broth. Also, next time, I think I would add just carrots (and possibly a larger amount) instead of peas AND carrots. I would have used all real stock if I had had it, but I didn't, so I used bouillon in a pinch; however use whatever combination of what you have on hand, you can use all chicken stock or a little more vegetable, whatever you have, it will turn out stellar. Don't just save this for when your sick, it's pretty dang good.

Chicken Noodle Soup (without the real chicken)

1 sm. pkg frozen seasoning mix (onions, celery, parsley, bell peppers)
16 oz. chicken stock
16 oz. vegetable stock
4 chicken bouillion cubes
4 cups water
1 sm. can peas and carrots, drained
1 package egg noodles (I used the "healthier" version with no whites)

In a large soup pot, saute the package of seasoning mix in a few tablespoons of olive oil. When onions are translucent and veggies are soft, add stock (and bouillon and water) and peas and carrots. When broth is at a rolling boil, add egg noodles and cook as directed. Serve warm with saltine crackers.

18 August 2008

Pesto Eggplant Pizza

I have been seriously jonesing for pizza the past few weeks. Not just any Pizza Hut or CiCi's pizza, but the real deal. I got home to my house finally and remembered I had a pizza crust in the freezer (Thank goodness for me being frugal and freezing EVERYTHING so it doesn't go bad!). I pulled one out to defrost and turns out not only was it a pizza crust, but it was healthy (honey wheat!), go me! I've told you before that the closest decent grocery store is an hour away, so instead, I decided to raid the pantry. I wasn't in a meat mood so I decided to go vegetarian. I found marinated eggplant which was my main star of the pizza, and didn't want a heavy tomato sauce, so I went with alfredo mixed with a hint of pesto. I didn't have any mozarella cheese to top it, so I used what I had and really didn't miss it! I think the feta and the hint of melty cheese that I used was perfect' I think mozarella would have been overpowering. The only thing I would change is that I would drain my eggplant and oven-roasted tomatoes throughly so there's less grease on the pizza. This pizza turned out better than I could have ever planned! Everything compliments each other, the pesto and the marinated eggplant have similar flavors. The sweetness of the fresh tomatoes and the intenseness and the robust flavor of the oven-roasted tomatoes are juxtaposing, but taste like a match in heaven! The lightness of the alfredo sauce rounds everything out perfectly and bring it all together. The recipe follows and it is simply fabulous! (I hardly ever measure, so the measurements are a guestimate, if it doesn't look right, change it to what looks good to you, and let me know so I can change it on here!

p.s. I'm adding lots of pictures because I loved it so much. The pics don't really do it justice. I need to find a better place for lighting in my house. I'll keep working, promise!

Pesto Eggplant Pizza

1 honey wheat pizza crust
3/4c. Alfredo sauce
4T. pesto sauce
1/2 jar marinated eggplant
2 roma tomatoes, seeded, sliced
5 oven-roasted tomatoes, sliced (I used homemade oven-roasted tomatoes, but you can also sub. sun-dried; also to "slice" them, I used kitchen shears to snip off strips.)
1c. feta cheese (I used garlic and herb)
1/4 c/ easy melt shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Mix alfredo sauce and pesto. Spoon a thin layer onto unbaked pizza crust. Don't go too heavy, the pesto makes it really intense, so less is more. Make sure marinated eggplant is free of oil and put a single layer on pizza. Add tomatoes, and finally sprinkle on both types of cheeses. Turn oven down to 450 degrees, place pizza directly on rack and back for 8-9 minutes on shredded cheese melts and crust is brown. Remove and eat!