Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spring "Pho"ward

Good morning, friends! It's been a while. But the sun is shining. And I'm beginning to feel more like myself as spring settles on the hills. Lots of life changes from February to now that threw my world into something of a tizzy, but I hope to be back on a regular basis as summer arrives.

Yesterday, I should have been doing a lot of logistical tasks around the house. Instead, I made my version of a healthy Spring Pho (one of my favorite soups) and painted pottery. We all need mental health days, yes? Here's the delicious recipe for the soup. And our "expertly" painted crafts.

Healthy Chicken Pho
Healthy Spring Pho
Spring Pho

What you need: (to make enough for six generous servings)

Two boxes of chicken stock (I like Rachel Ray's brand)
2 cups of beef stock
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of either soy sauce or fish sauce (The fish sauce I had was dated "Best Used by Feb. 2013." I decided not to chance it.)
1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
6 garlic cloves (I throw mine in whole)
1 1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced small
1 package of chicken tenderloins, chopped into small cubes (seasoned with Lemon Pepper seasoning)
1 package of sobu or udon noodles
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Handful of parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of cilantro, chopped or torn
Alfalfa sprouts
Green Onions, diced
Lime, quartered

What you do:
1. About two hours before you want to eat, combine the broth, spices, ginger (essentially, the first 8 ingredients) in a large stock pot (or dutch oven). Allow the broth to simmer over medium-low heat until it reduces some and the flavors meld.
2. As the broth nears completion, stir-fry the chicken in a large pan, using coconut oil to coat the pan before tossing in the chicken.
3. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions. I cooked mine a little under time because I like a toothsome noodle.  Also, prepare the toppings (the cilantro, alfalfa sprouts, green onions, limes).
4. Just before serving the soup, stir in the tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (I like the bite it gives the soup) and the parsley for a fresher flavor.
5. Layer the soup accordingly to serve: noodles on the bottom, then the chicken, then the broth, then any of the toppings you want. Serve with the lime wedges on the side (the lime juice really makes the broth sing).
6. Enjoy!! My kids loved this soup. Which made my heart happy, because I love Pho so much. They have turned up their noses at this soup every other time I made it. Last night, we finally had a breakthrough LOL.

It was $89 for the three of us at the place at the mall (certainly a lot more expensive than I remember pottery painting being)!! Still, it was fun. And I now have a $30 pencil holder for my desk at my new job (more on that soon). 
See you again soon. I promise. Much love, A/J

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