Nausea is my normal

So, after being nauseated all night and well into today, I decided to throw together a pot of chicken jook, also known as congee or rice porridge. The following is my fail safe recipe for a small pot of maybe 4 to 6 servings.

2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 carton of sodium free chicken broth or stock

1/2 a cup of rice, short grain, long grain, does not matter just rinse well first.

1 – 2 tsp of minced ginger

1 – 2 tsp of minced garlic

1 tbl sesame oil

fish sauce (to taste)

Chinese red vinegar (to taste)

1 – 2 tbl of sugar

salt and pepper (to taste)

Add sesame oil to bottom of instant pot pot, turn on the sauté function and sauté ginger and garlic for about a minute. Turn off sauté function and add carton of broth, rinsed rice and two chicken thighs. Thighs can be thawed or frozen, either works, but it is best to get some with a little fat on them for flavor. Cover instant pot, close vent and set on Manual pressure for 20 minutes. When the pot beeps, allow it to do a natural pressure release for about 10 minutes before venting. Stir in a drizzle of fish sauce, drizzle of chinese red vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Ladle up a bowl and top with sliced green onions, hard boiled egg, sesame seeds…whatever toppings sound good.

This always makes me feel so much better, and I use it when I have not eaten and am nauseated or when I have the flu or a cold.


Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Since I can no longer eat potatoes on a regular basis, I decided to give cauliflower a whirl as a potato sub. It seems to work well for mashed potatoes and potato salad, so why not soup? I didn’t use a recipe, but instead just tossed everything into my instant pot and hoped for the best.

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1 vidalia onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic

1 tbl unsalted butter

1 tbl extra virgin olive oil

3 tsp of dried thyme

drizzle of white wine vinegar

24 ounces of low sodium chicken stock (this is a weird number, but I used most of a carton minus 8 oz…to use up the carton I had in my fridge.)

1 cup of water

1/3 cup of crumbled bacon

1 cup of 2% milk

salt & pepper

Arrange cauliflower and whole, unpeeled cloves on a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spray more cooking spray over the cauliflower and garlic and sprinkle on 1 & 1/2 tsp of the thyme. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, turning as needed so the veggies don’t get too brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool, peeling the husks off the garlic when you can safely touch them. (I forgot to snap a pic after they were roasted. OOPS!)


Set your instant pot to sauté and add the tbl of butter and olive oil. Add the diced onion and the rest of the thyme and sauté until the onion softens and begins to caramelize. Deglaze with a drizzle of white wine vinegar (regular white wine would work here too, I didn’t happen to have any).

Turn off the sauté and spoon in the roasted cauliflower and garlic. Don’t worry about the whole cloves of roasted garlic, they will melt into the soup as it pressure cooks. Cover with the chicken broth & water.


Make sure your steam vent is closed, cover and cook on manual pressure for 6 minutes. When it beeps, vent and open, add the milk and bacon, salt & pepper to taste. Stir & serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Quick & Easy Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup

It’s cold out, it’s also Saturday and I am feeling lazy, but also cheap. Cheap and lazy is never a good combo unless one is talking a semi-healthy soup. This is what I created.

1-2 tbl coconut oil

2 tbl thai red curry paste

1/4 of a truly enormous vidalia onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 – 15 oz cans of pumpkin (NOT pie filling)

1 can of fire roasted, diced tomatoes

2 cans of vegetable broth

1/2 cup of soy or almond milk

drizzle of sherry or water

Allow coconut oil to melt in pressure cooker pan (set cooker to saute, the default of medium is fine). Once the oil is hot, add diced onion and saute until it starts to color.

PumpkinThai 001worst photo, ever. I swear the onions were starting to maillard!

Add minced garlic and saute another minute more before adding curry paste.

PumpkinThai 002this was right before I added the sherry and mixed it around

Allow the spices to become fragrant (about 1-2 minutes) then deglaze pan with a drizzle of either sherry or water. Let the mixture simmer a bit, for maybe 2-3 minutes then add the broth, tomatoes and pumpkin, whisking until smooth.

Cover, making sure that the vent release is closed. Set pressure cooker on Manual and the timer for 6 minutes. Once it beeps, vent, open and stir in the milk sub. Season with sea salt at your discretion.

PumpkinThai 003  so orange!

Serve. I served this with some small, soft baguettes that I toasted. Delicious.

Screw You Life…I’m Making Soup

What do you do when you have an infected tooth in need of a root canal, a veritable shit load of nasal and chest congestion and a general feeling of malaise? MAKE SOUP.

This is sort of a riff on my mom’s version of French Onion Soup, with some traditional Bloody Mary flavors added. I like to drink low sodium V8 juice all dolled up like a Bloody Mary sans the vodka so that also somewhat inspired this.

Bloody Mary Soup

1 – 28 oz can of whole, peeled plum tomatoes

1 – 14.5 oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes

2 little tubs of Knorr homestyle beef stock (these are like little jello shots of flavor)

7 cups of water

3 bay leaves

2 small onions, diced

2 tbl olive oil

generous drizzle of worcestershire sauce

small drizzle of honey or agave syrup

generous drizzle squirt of sriracha sauce

granulated garlic, salt, pepper – to taste

the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon.



In an appropriately sized stock pot, sauté onions in olive oil until well caramelized…practically melted. In an Oxy-fueled haze, forget that you have onions cooking and really caramelize a few.


While this is happening, blend the two cans of tomatoes really well in a food processor or blender.


Add tomatoes, water, stock shots, bay leaves, worcestershire sauce, pepper, sriracha, honey and garlic. Skim any burnt onions off the surface (or, you know just claim you meant to do that when you serve the soup). Simmer on low for 1-2 hours.


Finish with the lemon juice before serving with garlic toast, grilled cheese or crackers.

Open mouth, shovel in food.

(wow. these photos truly suck the big one…that last one looks like filthy dish water. HOOOOOOOOOORK)

Kale to the Celeriac (aka All The Colors in My Paintbox)

Once again I find myself needing to use up some languishing produce and also faced with the dilemma of what to make to feed my family. Good thing these two things mesh well. So, in a vain attempt to rid the pantry and fridge of the potentially offending items, I concocted this hot mess. My taste-brain says it should work well though. Secondary title was inspired buy Ballet For A Rainy Day by XTC, which I was listening to while I crafted this soup and post.

Potato-Celeriac-Fennel-Kale Soup (for lack of a better name)


fingerling potatoes, not peeled but cubed, about 1-1/2 cups

celeriac, peeled and cubed, about 1-1/2 cups

onion, about 1/2 of a medium sized one, diced

fennel, smallish to medium sized bulb, sliced thin and chopped

3 small bay leaves

2 – 32 oz cartons of low sodium chicken broth (you could use veggie broth to make this a vegan version)

hickory bacon salt, several good shakes (I used this as a flavor and salt sub instead of bacon or ham)

garlic flakes, couple of small pinches

2 tbl extra virgin olive oil

lacinato kale, small bunch, center stems removed and leaves chopped

1/2 cup of unsweetened soy milk

1 tbl of all purpose flour

Things Done to the Stuff

In a medium sized stock pot, saute onion and fennel in the olive oil until soft and just starting to caramelize.


Add the cubed potato and celeriac, giving a good stir and allowing to cook for about 5 minutes.


Pour in the chicken broth, add the bay leaves, garlic flakes and bacon salt, stirring to combine. Simmer on medium heat for 30-40 minutes. When the cubes of celeriac and potato are tender, roughly mash leaving various sized chunks.


Whisk soy milk and flour and sit aside. Lower heat, add kale to the stock pot, stirring well and allow to gently simmer for about 15 minutes.


Pour in the soy milk-flour slurry and mix well. Serve with toasted bagel halves.


It turned out far better than it smelled (to me anyway, everyone else thought it smelled grand). I took all the photos a little hurriedly…I used to take time with my food shots, making sure they looked really good, now I just can’t be arsed. Sorry.