Effortless Asian Soup

Ok a smidge of misdirection in the title. I love this recipe because you can adapt it to how much energy you actually want to put into it. It can be as simple as pouring out some boxed broth, flavoring it and adding you fixings (noodles, greens, protein and siracha) or you can go all out and make your own broth like I did here. It’s also one of those recipes where you can specifically shop for ingredients that impress or you can just throw in whatever you have in the fridge/cupboard.

The flavors in the broth can be mixed and matched a hundred thousand different ways by combining any number of ingredients commonly used in Asian cooking. Things like ginger, garlic, soy sauce/tamari, fennel, coriander, curry power, five spice powder, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, fresh cilantro, lemongrass, coconut milk, lemons, limes and chilis/spicy peppers all make great additions. So feel free to experiment and find some flavors you enjoy or take inspiration from a traditional recipe!

Bowl by Wendy Thoreson more of her work can be found here.

Effortless Asian Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Throw stuff in a pot and walk away
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Ingredients:

  • Enough chicken bones and water to fill a large pot
  • 1tbsp Tamari
  • 1.5 in of ginger, sliced
  • ¼ tsp Fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp Coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 3 dried shitake mushrooms
  • Siracha to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Rice or Glass noodles
  • Quartered baby Bok Choy
  1. Place your chicken bones and water in a large pot or crockpot along with all seasonings except garlic and salt. Simmer all ingredients for 2-4 hours adding water if necessary (AKA continue binge watching a show on Netflix and forget you have things on the stove). Strain and reserve ginger slices, mushrooms and any chicken that was on the bones.
  2. Prepare noodles according to package directions (boil or soak).
  3. Grate the ginger and garlic into the broth and dice up the mushrooms and chicken. Bring it all to a boil for 3-5 min. Season to taste with salt/tamari (the broth should be a little salty). Drop in the bok choy, cook for 30 seconds to a min (until bright green). Divide the vegetable matter, noodles and broth into 4 (or more) portions add siracha to taste and enjoy!

NOTE: if you are making this to divide up for lunches soak the rice noodles and don’t cook the bok choy. Put the bok choy and the noodles in the to-go container and pour the hot soup over them, the vegetables will cook as the soup cools in the fridge and the noodles won’t get as mushy!

Crazy Simple Fried Egg and Rice Bowl

This recipe is one of my staples. Its super easy to adapt to whatever you have in the fridge (just replace the greens with whatever vegetables you’ve got laying around). And if your hungry RIGHT NOW this can be made in as little as 5 min (well, if the rice has already been cooked).

Bowl by Andrea Keim, more of her work can be found here

Crazy Simple Fried Egg and Rice Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: crazy easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Egg
  • Rice
  • 1 handful of greens like baby romaine or spinach
  • Tamari
  • Siracha
  • 1 tsp Canola or other cooking oil
  • Salt

Directions:

  1. Grab your cooked rice out of the fridge and microwave it with a little water (if it is dry) or start cooking some rice. Once the rice is hot/done drizzle with a little tamari.
  2. Heat a small skillet over medium to medium-high heat with about a tsp of oil until its shimmering and almost smoking. Crack the egg into the oil and sprinkle with salt (this would be the time to use one of those splatter screens if you got one). Cook the egg until it is bubbling and browned on the edges then flip and cook for a few seconds until the whites are set. Place the egg over the rice.
  3. Toss the greens in the skillet and squeeze siracha on to taste (1/4tsp-1tsp). Continuously toss the greens and siracha until they are wilted. Place greens over rice and serve!

Living with Food Intolerances

So you just got diagnosed with a food intolerance or you’ve been living with one.

It sucks.

I’m not going to lie, it’s a life changing thing and your gonna screw it up sometimes and you (or the people around you) are going to suffer a bit.

But it does get easier.

Just like that age old wisdom, time does heal. Well not actually but you at least get use to it. Cause eating whatever it is that is causing you problems has really not been working out so well. I know I’ve been there (Oh cream cheese! How I long for your deliciousness).

So a  few tips:

ONE: Get a good gastroenterologist.
Have them test you for whatever they think might be happening. Once you know what is actually going wrong you can start to do something about it. Changing your diet drastically before you know what is actually going on might hinder you more than helping. If your regular doctor wont refer you to a gastroenterologist, go find another one. I had to go through 3 doctors before someone finally believed me that there was an issue. I was tested and diagnosed with celiac disease and fructose malabsorption.

TWO: Get a good nutritionist.
That way you understand exactly what you can and can’t have. They can also help you make sure your eating enough of the right things so that you feel good and stay healthy. If you’re not a good cook or don’t know where to go they can create a meal plan or provided recipes.

THREE: Get your friends and family on board.
It can be devastating to show up to a potluck or family dinner. Look at the huge spread of food and realize you cant have any of it. Now I’m not saying that you should terrorize everyone into making food you can eat but hopefully someone is going to care enough that they made something you CAN eat (besides whatever it is you brought of course). The other portion of this is that people might not know what you can and can’t eat. Educate them, but don’t be a jerk. No one wants to have their ear talked off or berated. Find those couple family members or friends that are really paying attention and focus your attention on them. They are the ones that are going to remember what grains actually contain gluten and might even do some research of their own so they don’t mess it up.

FOUR: Find a couple of places that you can eat out at.
This is going to be easier for those of you who only have one intolerance because most places are able to easily accomplish that. The more intolerances you have though the harder it is to find a place that will cater to it. If your not sure call ahead and ask. And at the end of the meal if they did accommodate you leave them a BIG tip. They went out of their way to make sure that you could have a delicious meal and it will help them remember you in the future!

FIVE: Plan ahead.
Ultimately it is your responsibility to make sure that you have food you can eat that is not going to cause you problems. If your not sure if there is going to be something you can eat at an event go ask whoever is hosting it or bring something. Stash some snacks in your desk or cupboards so your not eating from all the things you can’t have in vend-o-lia. Take the time to look at online menus that way you know what you can eat at fast food places and restaurants when your traveling. Maybe make a big dish of something every week that way you have something to eat when you don’t want to cook or freeze meals for later (cause you know your lazy, I know I am!).