Category Archives: Healthy

Simple sauteed power greens

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One of the things I like best about growing up is changing tastes. When I was little, I had an on-off relationships with most vegetables, notably mushrooms. I loved them one week, and hated them the next. With growing up comes changing ideas of what tastes good, and I love it. I can be more creative, try different ingredients and recipes, and cook things that are good for me at which I would have turned up my nose years ago.
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One of those things is kale. Since I worked on a CSA farm and tried Kale Chips for the first time, I have been looking for more ways to use this power green more often. One excellent option is in soup, like the Olive Garden copycat of Zuppa Toscana I made. Delicious and packed with healthy ingredients.
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So as I had recently purchased more kale at Sprouts Farmers Market, along with some golden beets and fresh garlic heads, I decided to try another kale classic: Italian Sauteed Greens. I’m sure this is yet another popular side dish with a long and debated over past. But basically it’s garlic and olive oil with various greens sauteed lightly, and usually a tangy dressing like vinegar or lemon juice added. Also it is sometimes spicy, but since I’m a wuss I did not add hot peppers or hot pepper flakes. Feel free to if you love heartburn.
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Ingredients:
1 bunch kale, cut into small strips
1 bunch beet leaves, in small strips
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp good quality olive oil
1/4 cup sour liquid (I used banana pepper liquid and 3 tbsp lemon juice, you can also use any type of vinegar)
Sprinkle of sea salt
3-4 banana pepper or hot pepper rings

Step 1: Dice up your garlic into bits. You can use a garlic press or chopper if you want.

Step 2: Saute the garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil 4-5 minutes, you should be able to smell it.

Step 3: Cut the greens into thin strips. Add to the pan, and cover tightly. Let it steam in the garlic oil for 10-15 minutes, or until fully wilted.

These greens were so vibrant and lovely even before cooking! All that heart-healthy nutrient-packed deliciousness…

Step 4: Add your sour notes, lemon juice and banana peppers. Stir, cover, and saute another 5-10 minutes.

Banana pepper rings are a new love of mine. I put them on tuna sandwiches, on pizza, into my greens… they’re awesome. And lemon juice is a necessity for life.

Step 5: Once wilted and everything is combined, move to plate and garnish as you like.

I added a little sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese and some sea salt. It was the most perfect balance, and the tart juices took away a lot of the harsh bitterness most people don’t like about greens.

These greens were tangy and delicious, and if you enjoy spicy food would go great with some hot peppers.  I also had some cottage cheese on the side, to complete a whole, light lunch. It’s filling without feeling stuffed, and ridiculously good for you.

Mmmmmm…

What’s your favorite way to cook greens?

Tropical Shrimp Tacos

Since the weather has been chilly and snowy, I’m feeling the urge for all things tropical. Dreams of sunshine, beaches, pineapples, little umbrella drinks, and fresh produce keep me going through the seemingly endless winter months. Pineapple is one of my favorite fruits and always makes me think tropical, so I decided to make something with a pineapple marinade. A quick check of the freezer showed me I had a bag of shrimp, so shrimp tacos it is. Toppings included my perfect refried beans and the marinade was nearly the same as the perfect pancake syrup, with a few additions.


Ingredients:
1 pound shrimp
Tropical Shrimp Marinade (below)
Toppings of your choice: rice, beans, coleslaw, onions, peppers, fruit compote, avocados, salsa, ranch, go crazy!

Tropical Shrimp Marinade:
Juice of 1 lime
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup honey
4 tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 can of pineapple chunks plus juice
Squirt of sriracha

Step 1: Mix all your ingredients in a small bowl.

If you don’t have a garlic press (like me) you can just use a fork to smash the garlic.

Give the marinade a whisk to incorporate the honey and Sriracha and mix everything together. (PS, you can save the marinade to use it one more time. I put a pair of pork chops in for the next day, and they were also delightful! Served over some extra rice I made. Efficiency.)

Step 2: Peel off the tails and let the shrimp marinate overnight or during the day, at least 4-6 hours.

Step 3: In a frying pan, cook the shrimp over medium heat on one side until it begins to get brown and crispy. Flip and cook another 5-10 minutes.

You want that gorgeous color and crunchy covering. I stir fried bell peppers, onions, corn, and the rest of the can of pineapple chunks to go with the shrimp. I also made some plain rice, and my Perfect Refried Beans to round out the meal.

Layer all your toppings in, and enjoy! I loved the sweetness of the pineapple, and the shrimp don’t have a fishy taste at all. If I had cabbage I would have made coleslaw and a chipotle ranch sauce, but I guess I’ll save that for another time.

 
What’s your favorite thing to do with shrimp?

Soups for the Super Bowl

 

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, world! 
Today the Denver Broncos meet the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife stadium in New Jersey, far from either team’s hometown. And in case you missed it, yes, both teams are from state which have recently legalized marijuanna. However, the game is not being played in a state which has that legalized, so fans beware. Also, I’ve never heard it being accused of enhancing performance in sports, so anyone who thinks that is unfair clearly doesn’t know its effects.

Photo from the Up & Under Pub website
 

Regardless of who you are rooting for, you are likely either at home with a huge buffet of finger foods, or going to a pub/bar with copious amounts of burgers, chicken wings, beer, and french fries. And, may I say, I am jealous. Since I will be home, working on a midterm exam for my neuroscience course. Nonetheless, as a Denver transplant, I think I’m legally obligated to say, Go Broncos
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Once the game is over, and the dreaded Monday rolls back around, all the office gossip will be who caught what pass, how many touchdowns were scored, and which commercials were the funniest/best/worst. And it’s likely many will have a bar food/beer/ buffet hangover.

The Big News!

Not to worry, just in time for the Super Bowl I’ve rolled out my first ever e-cookbook, and this one’s on the house! Seven Souper Soups, packed with recipes like my spicy Mexican-inspired Chicken Tortilla, the classic winter Butternut Squash Soup, hearty yet healthy Sausage and Kale, thick & creamy Baked Potato and more! Including a bonus Peach dessert soup, and cover drawing by Mike over at WebDonuts comics.

So if you would like a copy of 7 Souper Soups for your very own, I’ve added it to my Google Docs and made it public for anyone to view and comment on: 

You can also email me at BudgetEpicurean (at) gmail.com and I will send you the PDF as an attachment. I hope you enjoy these favorite recipes of mine and share with family & friends. Enjoy today’s festivities, and keep coming back for more! There are several projects in the works, so keep an eye out.

Perfect refried beans – low-fat, high protein!

Refried beans, known as frijoles refritos, are a staple in Mexican and Mex-inspired cuisine. It translates into “well-fried beans”, which is an accurate description. Most often pinto beans are used, though sometimes pink or red kidney beans can be used as well.

The beans are fully cooked, and any water or broth is drained from them. Then they are mashed well, and put into a frying pan to be cooked again over low heat. Refried beans tend to be made with bacon grease and/or lard and/or bacon added, which sure boosts the flavor, but also may boost your hip size.

It’s super simple to make your own at home with only three ingredients, and no added fat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pinto beans, drained (use no added sodium kinds if you can find it. you can also make your own from dried)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp cumin

Step 1: Drain the beans. Rinse them as well if not low-sodium to remove some excess sodium. 

*Side note: bean cooking water is apparently awesome for watering gardens
or house plants. So if you cook beans from raw, keep that in mind!

 Step 2: Pour the beans into a frying pan. Add about 1/4 cup water, and cook on low until the water bubbles and beans are heated through. Mash with a fork or potato mashed until mostly soft and creamy. 

Step 3: Add bay leaves and cumin. You can also add salt and pepper if you like. Mix well, continue to cook on low heat for 10 minutes to an hour. Add more water periodically if they seem to dry out too much. Enjoy as a side dish, on tacos or burritos, or with eggs at breakfast.


Think Geek has more in-depth info on how they are prepared and when to eat them, Food Timeline has a neat comparison of various historical accounts of what refried beans are and when they originated, and Wikipedia covers why the mistranslation into “refried” is wrong on two counts.

What is your favorite way to cook beans?

Vegan acorn squash & potato gnocchi

Acorn squash is a cheap, healthful, tasty, nutrient-packed way to get your fiber. It stores for pretty much forever on a shelf or in a cellar. The most common variety is deep green with an occasional orange spot on one side, though yellow, white, and variegated varieties have been bred. According to Wikipedia, though it is considered a winter squash it is in the same family of summer squash which includes zucchini and yellow squash. 

According to SELFNutritionData, one 4 inch squash has only 172 calories, a mere 4 of those are from fat. Zero cholesterol, and nearly no sodium as well. A single squash has a quarter of your daily recommended fiber, 30 percent of vitamin A, and nearly 80 percent of vitamin C. And as if that weren’t enough, it is mildly anti-inflammatory, gluten-free, and extremely low glycemic index. If I haven’t yet convinced you of what a super food acorn squash is, check out more Healthy Facts About Acorn Squash from the Healthy Eating website.

I had picked several squash a few months back at a local farm where for $30 you get to keep anything you can fit in a little red wagon. With some creative pyramid skills, I and some friends split quite a haul. I still had three acorns left, so I was trying to come up with something to do with it besides oven roasted with butter and brown sugar. Not that I don’t love it like that, I do, but I’d had that twice already in the past month. My mom suggested a recipe out of the blue for acorn squash gnocchi. As a good Slovak/Polish girl, I had grown up loving all types of pasta, gnocchi especially. The chewy, thick texture is completely unique.

She didn’t remember where the recipe came from so rather than try to remember it all, she told me to just Google it. My favorite current verb, “to Google”. I wish I could invent something so widely famous that the name becomes a verb. Anywho… The most intriguing recipe I found came from the blog the Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. This is someone who thinks like me, working in a very tiny place, using what she’s learned and instinct and creativity to come up with new and inventive recipes. Based mostly on that but with my own spin (mostly since I’m out of eggs currently), I present to you my Vegan Acorn Squash and Potato Gnocchi recipe.

Vegan Acorn Squash and Potato Gnocchi 

Ingredients:
1 acorn squash
3 medium potatoes
1 1/2 cup flour (plus extra)
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp salt

Sauce:
1 jar pasta sauce
1 can chickpeas
2 carrots
1/2 bunch celery


1. Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. If you like, you can rinse the seeds and save them for roasting at 350 for 15 minutes as a light snack.

2. Put the squash in the microwave cut side up with some water in the hole, microwave 5 minutes. Pour out the water, place cut side down and microwave another 5 minutes, then another 5 minutes for 15 minutes total. Squash should be soft when poked with a fork. Remove and set aside to cool.

3. Rinse three potatoes and stick on all sides with a fork. Microwave in 3 minute bursts for a total of 9 minutes.

4. Peel the squash and mash the insides in a large bowl. The peel should slip right off using your fingers, you can use a fork to help lift the squash out.

5. Peel the potatoes as well. If you grab it in both hands and twist, the peel should slide off easily if fully cooked. Mash them into the squash. Get a large pot of salted water to boiling.

6. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp water, 2 tbsp baking powder and 1 tbsp oil. This replaces one egg, so you can use one egg instead. But this is what makes the dough vegan. It should bubble a bit. Add to the squash/potato mixture, as well as the flour (which, if you’re gluten intolerant, you should use gluten-free flour), and mix well. Your hands work best, dough will be slightly sticky.

7. Flour your work surface and take a handful of dough. Roll it with your hands into a 1-2 inch thick log.

8. Cut the log into small, 1 inch cubes. You can try to shape them with a fork but I just tossed them in the pot like so.

9. Boil the pasta for 3-5 minutes. They should begin floating to the top of the water when fully cooked. Boil in batches. Don’t leave them in longer than about ten minutes or they will become mush. Remove to a strainer to let drain. Meanwhile you can start the sauce.

10. Open the chickpeas and drain. Add to blender along with the pasta sauce and puree until completely liquid, adding some water to thin if needed. If you have a juicer, juice the carrots and celery to add. If not you can simply omit them, or boil them for 20 minutes then add to the blender. I also added in a dash of Italian seasonings.

The gnocchi are chewy and salty, just how I like it. This pasta dough could probably be used to create any kind of pasta, with varying degrees of success. I ended up adding quite a bit more flour to help it stay together and be less sticky. It still ended up a little slimier than I would like, but I will try again.

My boyfriend is a hard-core carnivore, so I added some ground beef to the sauce. I didn’t tell him what it was before he tried it (bless his heart he will try anything once if I made it), and he said he actually liked it and would eat it again! Trust me, that’s a stellar review! These have all the taste and texture of traditional gnocchi with an added dose of fiber and vitamins. Why not?

Nutrition Information

For the gnocchi alone, SparkRecipes nutrition info:

  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 345.1
  • Total Fat: 2.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 2,017.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 72.8 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6.7 g
  • Protein: 8.4 g


For the pasta sauce (minus ground beef), SparkPeople nutrition info:

  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 90.5
  • Total Fat: 0.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 357.0 mg
  • Total Carbs: 18.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.9 g
  • Protein: 3.5 g


Therefore a 1-cup serving of pasta with 1 cup of sauce is only 435 calories and yet 10.6 grams of fiber and nearly 12 grams of protein!


Do you have a favorite way to cook squash?

True Stories of Juicing

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Raw Juice: what’s fact and what’s hype?
 
For several years now I’ve been dabbling in “healthy stuff” like juicing. As most things do, it began as just a curiosity, what’s it all about. I read articles and books and opinions of people who have tried juicing in various ways and for various amounts of time. There are some super-intense proponents of juicing, like this guy. His name is Joe Cross, and he claims juicing saved his life. He has a documentary on Netflix and free online called “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” as well as a blog. Before you think “ok, crazy extremists who make these claims just want us to buy their juicer”, let me say that recognized sources like WebMD and even Dr. Oz tout the benefits of juicing while giving adequate attention to the possible drawbacks.

Fruit and vegetable juices retain most of the chemicals which make them so good for us in the first place, like chlorophyll, anthocyanins, antioxidants and flavonoids. It is important to note that although adding juice to a well rounded, healthy diet is an excellent idea, beware falling into thinking that juicing is the only or best way to be healthy, or that only juices are good for you and you should avoid whole foods. That is not at all what I’m saying. Juicing also takes out all the fiber from these wonder foods, fiber that your body needs for its normal digestive process. For a list of nearly 50 more fascinating raw food juice facts, check this out.

Now, before you rush out and buy a $300 juicer, consider your needs. Are you just beginning to dabble in this juicing craze? Do you just want a healthy beverage now and then, as well as pulp to put into soup and muffins? Are you already a hard-core health nut ready to begin adding daily juices to your diet? There are two types of juicers, a centrifugal juicer or a masticating juicer. Centrifugal machines work by chopping the food into tiny pieces and spinning it to separate the juices. They are typically smaller and less expensive. You won’t get as much of the nutrients, but they do the job. Masticating juicers work by mashing and grinding the food, producing a thicker, pulpier juice with the majority of the nutrients. They are typically larger and more expensive. You can check out a wide array on Amazon (not an affiliate link. I will get no benefit if you look or buy). 

Funny story, my juicer was actually free. I’m a member of an online community called SparkPeople which has nutrition and exercise trackers, recipes, articles, community boards and much more. I highly recommend it if you want a simple, informative website to keep track of your health stats. Anyways, there was a forum about juicing, and I posted in it that I was curious about juicing. It lead to several conversations about types of juicers, uses, etc. A fellow member sent me a personal message saying that she had just gotten a newer, larger juicer as a gift and had an old one she didn’t need anymore. Of course I was skeptical, but sure enough two weeks later a gorgeous little blue and white juicer showed up! 

My gorgeous gift, courtesy of a kind fellow Spark-er!

 

I was thrilled, and thanked her profusely. Since then I’ve dabbled on and off with various types of fruits and vegetables and recipes, and learned a little along the way. Following is a list of rules I’ve determined for myself. They may not all work for you, but enjoy learning from my experience.


Jen’s Five Juicing Rules: 

1. Take the time to cut off the peels. Seriously, juicing the peels too gives the final juice a bitter, sour taste that is not really pleasant, regardless of what other goodies are in there.Of course, mine is a centrifugal juicer, not meant for large pieces of whole fruit. If you have a masticating one, it might be ok.

2. Know the limits of your machine. If you have one of the huge, fancy juicers you can pretty much throw a whole watermelon into, good for you! Most likely you do not, so know how large of a piece of food your machine can handle at a time, and if you’re doing a large batch clean it a few times throughout to keep it from clogging up.

3. Wash your juicer immediately once finished. Dried on fruit and vegetable bits are gross, start to smell, and are much harder to scrape off the inside of a fruit chute than fresh.  I promise the chlorophyll and phytochemicals in your juice won’t fall apart in the time it takes to give it a quick rinse.

4. Always throw in a little something sweet. Even the most hard-core purist who drinks three glasses of green juice a day has to admit kale, spinach and carrots alone don’t taste super great. Especially if you’re just starting out with juicing, give yourself some slack and add some apple juice or berries to everything.  

5. Don’t be afraid to try new things. I juiced anything I could get my hands on for a while. Sure I made some mistakes (see the list at the end of things that are HORRIBLE juiced) but I also found a lot of new fruits and veggies I didn’t know I liked. 

Prepping for juicing: lots of fresh fruits and veggies
This will become many tasty beverages for the week.
Mmmm green juice, that’s the best way to start the day.

Things that are seriously gross when juiced:
Cabbage
Potatoes
Mushrooms
Garlic – maybe for cooking, but holy cow this stuff is strong! Gag-inducing, even in small amounts.


Things that will overwhelm the taste (use small amounts only):
Grapefruit
Ginger
Lemons
Limes

Best things for juicing:
Apples
Carrots
Celery
Cucumber
Spinach
Oranges
Pears
Berries (most of them)
Pineapple
Lemon/lime/grapefruit


Now that you know the facts, go ahead and find yourself a juicer (Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, Christmas present, Craigslist…) and get to creating! The Beginner’s Guide to Juicing is a great article full of helpful information, reviews of different types of juicers and blenders, and includes more recipe ideas.

Some recipes to get you started:

Citrus Refresher
~2 oranges, peels cut off
~2 apples
~2 large carrots
~1 lemon and/or lime

Green Machine
~1 large handful spinach or kale
~4 stalks celery
~1 large cucumber
~1 apple
~1 lime

Cold Crusher
~2 oranges
~1/2 a grapefruit
~1 apple
~1″ chunk ginger
~1 lemon

If you have any juicing stories, advice or recipes, please share!

Save

The times they are a-changing…

Ok world, listen up. Things are changing around here, and changing soon. Rather than recipes only, sometimes I will include informative posts about things related to the world of cooking. Don’t panic, you can still find plenty of culinary inspiration here. I will continue posting all my cheap, easy, fast, fun, filling, creative recipes. To that I will add an enrichment of reader’s knowledge on all topics food, cooking and budgeting.

There will also be some tweaks to the layout and a re-naming. From my very first post on this fledgling blog to today,  many things have changed and yet many things have stayed the same. I have survived four years of undergraduate education, a masters degree, a thesis, many experiments, tests, quizzes, long nights, various jobs in restaurants and libraries, and have many great memories. I am no longer in college, but my philosophy of trying new, fun recipes while keeping it cheap and simple has remained. This blog is all about the creative fusion of new, strange ingredients with classic old standbys all while staying within a budget. 

Thus the name has evolved into “Budget Epicurean” to reflect the philosophy that eating inexpensively does not necessarily mean eating flavorlessly. A meal made for pennies can bring you great taste and joy. You can literally have your cake and eat it too!

Epicureanism is actually a system of philosophy based on the thoughts and teaching of Epicurus, a materialist from around 300 BC. He believed that “pleasure” is the greatest good, but unlike hedonism, he claimed that the way to attain such pleasure is to live modestly and to gain knowledge of the workings of the world and the limits of one’s desires. The ultimate form of happiness was a state of freedom from fear (ataraxia) as well as freedom from pain (aponia). Today epicureanism is meant to imply a love of the finer things in life like art, food, and sensual pleasures even to excess. However a true follower of Epicurus knows that happiness does not come from over-indulgence but from balance, prudence, and contentment.

So from now on, look for new posts every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday! 
 

Keep being fabulous, guys!

If you have any comments, suggestions, or wish to write a guest post, please shoot me an email. Keep on creating. Thanks for reading!

Mixed seafood linguini in lemon-butter sauce

I’m very thankful that I have the ability, when I’m at the grocery store and see a bag of mixed seafood on sale, I can just throw it in my cart and think nothing of it. That’s exactly what happened last week. I saw the mixed seafood on sale, and decided seafood linguini was for dinner that night.

Ingredients:
1/2 lb pasta
1 lb bag mixed seafood
1/2 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 tbsp garlic
1/3 cup butter/margerine
1/3 cup lemon juice
Sprinkles of garlic, italian seasoning and sea salt
(I added a few squirts of fish sauce because I have that. Because I’m weird. But it’s salty and goes great with seafood.)

 
Step 1: Boil the pasta. While it’s boiling, throw all the other ingredients into a pot. The lemon, butter and spices will coat the seafood and veggies. Simmer with a lid for about 5 minutes, then without a lid for another 10 or so. 
 

 Step 2: Once the pasta is done (~7/8 minutes) throw that in the pan to coat with sauce. You can adjust by adding butter, oil, lemon juice, or white wine as needed. Cornstarch or flour can thicken the sauce too.

 Once the seafood is soft, and the vegetables give when poked with a fork, or you’re hungry, it’s done!

Everything bagel with lox & cream cheese

Since I was first introduced to lox during my undergraduate studies I’ve been in love. Lately I’ve been noticing that it’s more and more popular in restaurants, which makes me happy. Unfortunately it is rather more expensive for smoked salmon than an egg. Therefore, any chance I get to make it myself I jump at. Last week salmon went on sale at the grocery store, and that was my cue. I was a happy camper for almost a week of breakfasts.
The fanciest of places also have capers, lemon, and tomato and onion slices. I’m not terribly fancy though.

Ingredients:
1 everything bagel (or whatever kind you like. Onion, wheat, regular.)
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 oz or so smoked salmon (also known as lox)

Step 1: Spread the cream cheese over the bagel.
Step 2: Rip pieces of salmon and place it around the bagel. See if you can hold yourself to only an ounce… I did but only because I wanted it to last.
Step 3: I also sprinkled lemon juice and sea salt over each half.

Slow cooker chicken soup: “Just like grandma used to make”

When I was younger, Sunday was always early dinner, and almost always chicken noodle soup. Grandma or mom would put a pot of soup on to simmer, we would go off to church or on a Sunday drive around town, and come home to a house that smelled delicious and a pot full of warm delight. I like continuing that on my own, though I use the modern miracle of the crock pot so I don’t have to worry about it burning on the stove (that’s a hilarious story for another time…).

Since I had recently roasted a chicken, naturally I made soup from what wasn’t eaten the first day. We had eaten the legs and drums, so I cut off and saved the whole breasts for sandwiches for lunch the next day. The rest of the bird plus a few extras was made into a huge crock pot full of chilly weather goodness. There is nothing like coming home to the smell of homemade chicken soup!

Ingredients:
1 chicken carcass
3 large carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, diced
1 whole onion, sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 pint fresh mushrooms
1 cup barley
1 tbsp butter
Water

Step 1: That gorgeous roasted chicken had a tray full of juices and spices that I added into the crock pot first. Waste not want not, and that’s some powerful flavor I don’t want to waste.

 Step 2: I diced up all the assorted veggies and added them and the chicken (skin, bones, extra meat and all) into the crock pot. I added water all the way to the top and put it on low all day (about 8 hours).

When I came home, the house just smelled amazing. The chicken had been brined in all that lovely salt and sugar and pepper and spices, so I didn’t even really need to add anything to the broth.

Step 4: I boiled 1 cup of barley in 1 1/2 cups of water with 1 tbsp butter for 45 minutes. 

Barley is a bit chewy, and I added some of the broth after 40 minutes to let the flavor soak in for the last 5 minutes. Maybe a 1/2 cup.

 

Just look at all those gorgeous veggies! And the sheen on the surface, that’s from the natural chicken fat that dissolved into the broth. Sure it isn’t the healthiest thing in the world for you, but boy howdy does it taste great! And you can let it cool in the fridge then skim the extra fat off the top.

The barley was surprisingly perfect for this soup. Normally I use egg noodles but didn’t have any on hand. The flavors blend so well and are perfect for nippy fall nights. It is so easy to make, and you will have leftovers for days (unless you share). I guarantee* you won’t get sick, or if you already are you will immediately feel better.

*Guarantee based only on personal experience, not actually backed by anything or redeemable for anything. But other experiences and comments are welcome to be shared. =)