This is super-simple comfort food, as long as you don’t mind using packaged food. You could do it all fresh too, but it would take quite a bit longer!
1 box Mrs. Grass chicken soup
1 package Barilla three cheese tortellini
1/2 bag frozen peas
1 package Aidell’s teriyaki pineapple chicken meatballs
3 bouillon cubes
8 cups water
Bring the 8 cups of water to a boil, adding everything but the tortellini before it boils.
Boil for 10-15 minutes.
Add tortellini and boil for 10 more minutes.
It’s very customizable – you can use any type of chicken soup, including made from scratch, any type of tortellini (or ravioli, etc), any meatballs (or no meatballs if you don’t have them on hand), and any type and amount of veggies you prefer. If the tortellini are fresh, use less water. If dried, as is the case here, double the liquid normally called for by the chicken soup.
Essentially, it’s a variation on my favorite recipe: stuff in a pot.
I’m starting to get my cooking mojo back.
See, it’d been so long since I cooked each and every night with fresh ingredients that I’d kind of forgotten how. That’s part of what trying out the paleo plan has been for me. (Though I’m also finding I really like the food!) We got that book with the recipes and the mealplans, and it was like, here’s a guide to re-teach me how to feed myself.
It’s strange, isn’t it, that something as fundamental as eating can become overwhelming? There were seriously days when I wished I could just dish some human-food out of a can to eat, and envied the simplicity of feeding the cat.
At first, it was hard, following unfamiliar recipes to the letter. (I’m very bad at following recipes… just ask anyone who I’ve ever cooked for.) It was an ordeal of concentration, chopping, more chopping, and way too much standing when all I wanted to do was sit down and chill with a book or computer.
After two weeks, I started modifying the menus to better fit our taste, and it was easier to follow the recipes. The motions and the timing were getting familiar again. (or in the case of some foods like coconut oil, for the first time)
Now, on week five, I’m finding that I use the recipes we selected for the menu as inspiration, and then ignore them for the most part while I make supper according to how I think it should go. Like tonight’s recipe, which was for buffalo chicken wings with “peanut sauce.”
Instead of wings, I used chicken breast, and instead of baking it I sauteed it in coconut oil, and instead of making the sauce separately I just seasoned the cooking chicken and then tossed a bunch of soy sauce (lots, maybe 1/8 to 1/4 cup) and almond butter (about 1/4 cup) in the pot and stirred til it thickened into sauce.
I used a little too much soy sauce, actually, but not so much that it ruined the batch, and it took about 20 minutes instead of 45 or more. Add in some nuked green beans, and that was supper. (And lunch tomorrow, which is another thing I’m really liking about this pattern.)
So, anyway, I’m feeling really happy about this change, and wanted to share.
And now for today’s sky-krill excerpt:
So, last night I decided to make Teriyaki Soup again.
This time, though, I was working off the recipe I had posted last time, simplifying it, refining it. Rewriting it, essentially.
The first time through was a very creative experience, as I explored different ingredients and flavors, throwing in everything that I thought might work. It turned out well, but it had a little bit of an edge to the flavor that was harsher than I really wanted, something I had added that didn’t quite meld into the whole.
A lot like a first draft of a novel, actually.
So last night, I simplified, and expanded. I boiled an entire bag of egg noodles in three quarts of water with seven chicken bouillon cubes for several minutes, then added an entire bag of frozen peas, an entire bag of frozen corn, about a cup of fra diavolo tomato sauce, two packages of Aidell’s pineapple teriyaki chicken meatballs, and a full bottle of teriyaki sauce (about 2 cups).
Then I brought it all back up to a simmer and cooked it that way for another 30-40 minutes before serving it out into bowls and leftover containers. It made enough for dinner and about a week’s worth of lunches.
Of course, you can also make teriyaki soup in smaller batches, and with whatever ingredients are to hand. Cubed or ground meat or tofu can replace the meatballs, and you can use or not use whatever veggies you like, and I’m sure plain tomato sauce would work just as well as the fra diavolo. The essential key to the flavor is, I think, the stock base of pasta-water, bouillon, teriyaki sauce and tomato sauce.
Anyway, time to go write. I’m giving the rewritten novel a final once-through and polish before it’s time to send it off to friends and family for feedback – and this time I’m committing to reading any and all comments I get! I’ll also read the couple of comments I got back on the previous draft, since it’ll be interesting to see whether I addressed them already.
Have a great day!
Teriyaki Soup, as made last night:
(Makes about a gallon and a half)
Boil 1/2 bag of whole wheat egg noodles in 3 quarts of water for the time printed in the directions. DO NOT STRAIN.
Turn heat down to medium or low – enough to keep the pot at a light boil.
Add seven chicken bouillon cubes. (or to taste)
Add one package of Aidell’s Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs.
Bring back to a boil.
Add 1/2 cup spicy tomato pasta sauce. (This was just because I had some fra diavolo sauce left over from dipping pizza crust earlier, but I think it worked out well.
Add one bag frozen peas.
Bring back to a boil.
Chop up one apple and add to the pot.
Add another quart or two of water, to keep the consistency souplike rather than saucy.
Bring back to a boil.
Add seasonings to taste – a bit of onion powder, cinnamon, black pepper, etc.
Add about 1 cup of a teriyaki sauce you like.
Boil, stirring briskly for a few minutes.
Taste, and adjust seasonings. I added about 1/2 cup of ketchup to add a little sweetness and cut the bite just a bit.
Turn the heat down to simmer, and let the pot simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes. (Mine wound up simmering about 2 hours, and it just improved the flavor, but make sure the burner isn’t hot enough to burn the soup if you get distracted!)
Serve and eat.
5:30 already… Time for me to go write. Have a great day!