Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quick Immune-Booster Soup

Time is precious and you want to eat the good stuff but don't know how to get it in?
My favorite is my "pumped-up miso soup." It's a great way to sneak in mushrooms, ginger, and other healthy immune-booster foods that I don't have time to squeeze into my nutrition elsewhere.

A lot of people don't know what to do with miso paste, and I say, it's just the same as a cube of chicken bouillon--just add to boiling water to your preferred taste. (Depends on the brand--read their instructions. I use 1 tbsp to start and add to possibly 1.5-2 tbsp depending on my taste). If you are still worried about "doing it right," let go of that worry and just get a dry instant miso soup packet (like from Trader Joe's--notice their brand has 2 servings in 1 packet if you're making for one person).

(takes less than 15 minutes, mostly chopping time)
* 2 c water or broth base (depends on how much flavor you want or if you need to use up leftover chix or veggie broth!)
* miso soup base (from paste or instant packet)
* 1-2 slices of ginger, then sliced thinly into strips
* 2-3 dried shitake mushrooms thinly sliced like noodles
* other mushrooms like king oyster mushrooms (slice in rounds like poor man's scallop)
* 1 c chopped up bok choy (about 3 bunches of baby bok choy) or any other leafy greens like chard or chinese broccoli
* 1 c convenient protein (leftover cooked protein like rotisserie chicken (chopped) or wild salmon (heat in soup in tablespoon size chunks), frozen seafood like shrimp or scallops)

To garnish, after hot soup is served into bowl
* fresh ground black pepper
* a small dash of sesame oil (about 1/4 tsp)
* black sesame seeds (or white if you don't have black)
* thinly sliced green onions, cilantro (if you have them--green spices pack a lot of vitamin power!)
* spray of liquid amino acids (optional: to salt my food, instead of soy sauce or salt)

Bring to boil about water (or broth) with ginger. If you have dried mushrooms and they needed to re-hydrate, it's ok to be lazy and toss them into the broth or water to hydrate. Cook dry mushrooms first until they look plump and edible. Then add free mushrooms. Heat or cook protein accordingly (depends on what you have). Add bok choy or leafy green veggies last (only cook for 45-60 secs), to cook briefly and keep the bright green colors. Garnish as desired. Make your own variations!