Monthly Archives: March 2019

Ginger Garlic Broccoli & Mushroom Ramen Soup, Plus Progress Over Perfection

bowl of noodles and vegetables in broth
Healthy, hearty, and delicious!

I’ve been eating a lot of soup lately, as part of my plan to lose the baby weight, and this Ginger Garlic Broccoli & Mushroom Ramen Soup hits the spot! There’s enough carbs, protein, fibre, and broth to keep me full, and lots of deliciously flavoured veggies because…deliciously flavoured veggies!

I actually started with a recipe for ginger garlic bok choy, but subbed in broccoli instead because that’s what I had. I added in mushrooms and a bit of an egg omelette, for a meaty bite. Once I quickly stir-fried the broccoli, pan-fried the mushrooms (and then fried up the omelette in the same frying pan), I spooned it all over the noodles and broth. Et voila, a hearty, healthy meal!

While I used (egad!) prepackaged noodles for the soup, I highly recommend just making up some broth and adding noodles. It’s pretty easy to do and fewer preservatives! But, I believe in progress not perfection, and I’m slowly cutting out almost all preservatives in my kitchen. It’s a trade-off — if I only have 15 minutes to make dinner, do I want to stick a frozen something (that is definitely full of preservatives) into the oven, or do I want a bowl of soup where only the noodles aren’t preservative-free, but the stir-fried vegetable topping is pure healthiness? For me, I’m happy to quickly whip up this easy veggie noodle soup; it only takes 15 minutes to make!

Want to make some too? Let’s!

Ginger Garlic Broccoli & Mushroom Ramen Soup

Ginger Garlic Broccoli & Mushroom Ramen Soup
This healthy, hearty noodle soup whips up in 15 minutes -- faster than take-out!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package ramen noodles (packet w/ broth)
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. ginger, zested or finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. hot pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Prepare noodles according to package.
  2. Wash and cut florets off head of broccoli, chop garlic, and wash and slice mushrooms.
  3. Heat 1 tsp. oil in a frying or saute pan, and add garlic, hot pepper flakes, and ginger. Fry one minute or until fragrant.
  4. Add in broccoli and water and put a lid on the pan. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  5. While the broccoli is steam frying, fry the mushrooms in the remaining 1 tsp. of oil.
  6. Set mushrooms aside, and use the same frying pan to fry up the egg (either as a sunny-side up egg or as an omelette -- whichever you prefer).
  7. When broccoli is done, stir in sesame oil and mushrooms.
  8. Split the noodles and broth between two bowls, top with the broccoli and mushroom mixture, and put half of the egg on top.
  9. Enjoy!

Notes

Pro tip: I prefer to zest my ginger as opposed to chopping it finely, as it's soooo much easier. I pre-peel ginger and then freeze it, and zest it straight from the freezer.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 299 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 93mg Sodium: 861mg Carbohydrates: 29g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 1g Protein: 9g

The soup isn’t spicy, as I was also cooking for the spice-adverse DH, but you could easily add in some more hot pepper flakes for a bigger oomph per bite ratio. You could also easily switch out the veggies for other ones. Kale? Swiss chard? Ooh, I think Swiss chard would be really nice in this!

If you make this recipe, let us know which vegetables you used! And, if you’re so inclined, I’d appreciate a share on social media! This blogger has goals! (Very delicious chocolate-chip studded ones.)

Next Post: I’m in a soup kinda mood these days (see above), so I think I’ll share my Knock Your Socks Off Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe! Better than any preservative-laden canned soup you’ll ever have!

Chocolate Strawberry Trifle with Almond Sherry Whipped Cream, Plus a Blogging Breakthrough

Chocolate & Strawberry Trifle with Almond Sherry Whipped Cream, displayed with a chocolate bar and a bottle of Almond Sherry.
Creamily delicious!

I didn’t grow up eating trifles. In fact, I don’t think I even knew what they were until I read about them in British novels as a young adult. Are you familiar with them? They’re usually elaborate looking concoctions of whipped cream and alcohol-soaked cake, sometimes with fruit, sometimes with chocolate, and always very rich. But when I was rummaging through my freezer recently, and came across some chocolate cake rounds from a few months ago, I knew just what to make: Chocolate Strawberry Trifle with Almond Sherry Whipped Cream! Trifle always looks fancy, but it’s really just a mish-mash of ingredients layered together! Looks fancy, easy to put together, no preservatives, and yummy? Bring it on!

I had some whipping cream in my fridge, so I whipped that up with some icing sugar, and poked around in my bar stand and pulled out a bottle of almond sherry that I use for baking. I decided to put the alcohol in the whipped cream as opposed to soaking the cake in it, simply because I’d need to use more sherry if I wanted to soak the cake, and I can’t have alcohol since I’m a nursing mum. But a tablespoon or two just to flavour the whipped cream? Totally doable!

So now I had the cake rounds, I had the almond sherry whipped cream, but…I felt it needed a bit more oomph. I looked around my kitchen and came across a jar of strawberry preserves that the DH had bought for his mum when she visited us last month. Perfect! I melted it in the microwave and spread it on the cake layers. The preserves served a double duty — it moistened the cake layers, plus it added a bit of strawberry flavour.

Now, I have quite a few kitchen gadgets in the condo, but I simply don’t have space for All The Baking Things. One of those things is a trifle glass. Hmm, what to do, what to do…I pulled out a vase and layered it up all purdy like! (Don’t have a trifle glass? Eh, use any old glass container! I won’t tell if you don’t!)

Want a bit more of the specifics so you can make your own? Read on!

Yield: 10 servings

Chocolate & Strawberry Trifle with Almond Sherry Whipped Cream

Chocolate & Strawberry Trifle with Almond Sherry Whipped Cream
This lusciously layered Chocolate & Strawberry Trifle looks fancy but is super-easy to put together! Almond Sherry Whipped Cream? Yes, please!

Ingredients

  • 2 chocolate cake rounds
  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • 1/3 c. strawberry jam
  • 1/3 c. icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp. almond sherry
  • chocolate chunks or cocoa powder for dusting

Instructions

  1. 1.Bake the cake rounds. I suggest using this recipe, as it creates perfectly fluffy and delicious chocolate cake. Cool, then slice the layers in half lengthwise.
  2. 2. While the cake is cooling, make the whipping cream. In a cold bowl (put the bowl and whisk in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to using), mix the whipping cream, icing sugar, and almond sherry. Whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. 3. Heat the jam in the microwave for 30 seconds until completely melted.
  4. 4. Now, the fun part: layering the trifle! In a see-through glass container, place a few scoops of the flavoured whipped cream. Place a cake layer on top and press down until the whipped cream is flattened. Brush some strawberry jam on top of the cake layer.
  5. 5. Repeat until the last cake layer is used. Then top with the remaining whipped cream. If there is any strawberry jam left, drizzle that on top.
  6. 6. Dust with cocoa powder, or chocolate shavings. Chill, spoon out big scoops for each servings, and enjoy!

Notes

This recipe is easily adaptable! Prefer vanilla cake over chocolate? Go right ahead! And while you're at it, why not switch up jam flavours? Or toss in some macerated strawberries too? This trifle is as customizeable as you want it to be!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1/10

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 32mg Sodium: 113mg Carbohydrates: 25g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 19g Protein: 2g

By the way, I wrote in the title of this post about blogging breakthroughs. Well, I’m taking an online blogging course, and as part of that, I’m a member in several fb blogging groups. One of those had a super-successful blogger pop in to help out, and she was able to give me some critiques on how to up my blogging game. One of those things was to be more specific about what exactly I write recipes about. In other words, I need to niche down on my avatar.

This is something I’ve been thinking about and puzzling about for a while now. But I’ve decided! I’m big on encouraging people to get in the kitchen make good food and not to worry about being all perfect, so I’ve decided to focus on preservative-free recipes plus kitchen encouragement. Because, when it comes to healthy, delicious, homemade food, we all start somewhere! To that end, I’ve changed my tagline (click on the title of the blog to see it) and have added a page to my blog called Kitchen Encouragement. Let me know what you think; I’m all about the feedback!

And, if you like this or any other recipe, can you share it on social media? Much appreciated! As I’ve said before, I might be aiming at the moon, but one of these days I’ll hit the stars!

Next Post: Likely a super-delish ramen soup dish I came up with. Not entiiiiirely preservative-free if you use store-bought ramen, but like I wrote above, isn’t it all about progress, not perfection?