Monday, February 9, 2015

Cream of Mushroom Soup--- and revamped Chicken and Rice

I competed this past weekend in "Swolemates" with my friend Cory. We came in fourth out of 51 teams which is awesome- but being that close to making the podium it's hard not to be a little disappointed- he's never made the podium and I only have once... boo! It was, however, one of the more fun competitions I have done, so many people from my gym were competing too- some of them for the first time. I like competing because, unlike my regular workouts, I tend to push myself harder- I realize that's something I need to work on but it's honest. I was really focusing on mentally pushing myself because it's easy to set the bar down or come off the bar. In the first workout I failed a 63lb thruster on my 15th rep of one of the sets- Even though that's not a heavy weight I know that I pushed myself as hard as I could which is a good feeling. Doing things I never thought I could do, or previously couldn't do, is very motivating. I thought I was feeling ok the next day, but I'll tell you what- I am barely walking today... so many squats! :) 

Charlie is a big fan of rice dishes and I have been trying to "revamp" some of the family favorites to make them a little less processed. "Chicken and Rice" reminds me completely of my dad... this is the original recipe:

calories 447
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10 g15 %
Saturated Fat 3 g16 %
Monounsaturated Fat 14 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 10 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 134 mg45 %
Sodium 1079 mg45 %
Potassium 569 mg16 %
Total Carbohydrate 48 g16 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g9 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 54 g107 %
Vitamin A3 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium34 %
Iron67 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

The only thing I changed was making my own cream of mushroom soup and not using the canned versions. The recipe below makes enough for the whole recipe.

I had forgotten about nutritional yeast until my mom gave me a big container of it. I used to use it all the time when I was a vegetarian because it gives food a "buttery" or "cheesy" flavor. It is actually deactivated yeast and considered a complete protein- fortified nutritional yeast contains B12 which was important when I didn't eat animal products. It isn't expensive and can be found at most grocery stores- it looks like yellow flakes! I used it in this because I thought the soup could use the richer flavor and I have recently been putting it in my pizza crust among other things. 

This soup could be turned into any "Cream of ____" soup... just swap out the mushrooms for whatever kind you need. 

Cream of Mushroom Soup

(Printable Version)

- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Sweet Onion, finely diced
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced
- 12-16 oz White Button Mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
-  4 Cups Milk (any kind)
- 1 Cup Chicken Stock
- 3 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder
- 3 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Saute until they start to soften, then add the mushrooms. Add a pinch of salt and saute 5-7 minutes until they are tender.

2. Whisk the liquid ingredients, yeast, and arrowroot powder. Slowly add them to the pan as you stir. Let this cook until it starts to thicken, stirring occasionally. You can eat this as is, or use it in the recipe below :)

*You can puree it with an immersion blender if you want , but I like the pieces of mushroom * 

Chicken and Rice

- 1 1/2 Cups Rice (not quick cooking)
- 4 Cups Cream of Mushroom  (the full recipe from above)
- 1 3/4 Cups Milk
- 4 Chicken Breasts- you can cut them ahead of time but you risk dry chicken :) 
- 1 Package Dry Onion Soup Mix (sorry... no substitute found yet!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1. Grease a 9x13 pan REALLY well. Pour in the rice, cover with the cream of mushroom soup and milk. 

2. Place the chicken on top of the rice and sprinkle the dish with the soup mix. 

3. Cover the pan completely with foil and bake for 2 hours. If after 2 hours the chicken is done but the rice is not, remove the chicken, stir, and recover baking an additional 20 minutes. Cut or shred the chicken and add it back to the pan. 

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