Sunday, January 4, 2009

Turkey Quinoa Soup

The really cold, stuck-in-the-house days of winter have arrived and so have my dreaded stomach problems. The last few days I've looked and felt like death warmed over or whatever that expression is. I've tried very hard this winter to follow my rotation diet and get plenty of exercise. Those are the only things that seem to help my stomach issues. I've also been trying a light box this winter and taking Vitamin D. The jury is still out on whether these help or not.

The past few weeks the temps have been below 30 degrees with a wind chill factor and I've been forced indoors to exercise. It's just not the same as getting outside. I also realize the importance of staying on a pretty rigid schedule for meal times. You know how some people can function just fine having erratic eating times. That's not me and I'm guessing if you have stomach problems, it's probably not good for you either. Anyhow, with Christmas and the holidays, meal times can get out of control a bit especially if you're invited to someone else's house. My conclusion is that's what contributed to my current state of stomach affairs---eating a little bit differently because of the holidays and restricted outdoor exercise. My advice: if you don't want to suffer the consequences, stick to your eating plan and meal times. Vary things as little as possible and you might have a chance of avoiding getting sick.

And of course, if you're eating out, make sure you know what's in everything. I almost learned this the hard way a few weeks ago. I was about to chow down on some delicious roasted chicken prepared by my host. I had mentioned earlier that I was intolerant of dairy products and that suddenly rang a bell with the cook who said, "I'm sorry but a basted the chicken with butter." I appreciated her alerting me and fortunately I had my back-up soup with me. Here's the recipe for my delicious back-up soup, also known as Turkey Quinoa Vegetable Soup.

Ingredients for soup: serves 8

1 T. olive oil

3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced

3-4 celery stalks, chopped

3-4 stalks of chard, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups water

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa rinsed

2 cups leftover turkey or chicken cooked and diced

1-2 T. dry parsley

1-2 garlic gloves minced

1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper and sea salt

Roasted vegetables for garnish:

3-4 peeled zucchinis, cut into half moons

10 mushrooms, sliced

1 cup snap peas

2-3 yukon potatoes, peeled and quartered


For the soup: in a large sauce pan, heat 1 T. of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic to the heated oil and saute lightly. Then add the chopped veggies (except chard greens) to the heated oil and saute until veggies just start to brown. Stir in 2 cups of water and 3 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the rinsed quinoa, the turkey or chicken, parsley, black pepper and salt. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low and cook for about 20-30 minutes.

For the roasted veggie topping: While the soup is cooking, prepare the roasted veggies. Toss all the veggies in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a sprayed roasting pan and place in the oven, heated to 400-425 degrees. Roast the veggies until slightly brown and tender.

Ladle the soup in bowls and top with a generous serving of the roasted veggies. Save the extras for your back-up plan meal.

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