Grain Free

Spring Soup and Bone Broth - Part 2!

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Homemade bone broth is just plain good. It’s also one of the most popular food inquiries from clients, friends, family, followers, fans, class participants...Parents.  The moment cold weather hits us midwesterners, messages and texts come blasting in like the polar vortex in January:

“Audrey, what the easiest way to make bone broth?”

I’d like to take a moment to sort out every reader into two separate categories:

  1. Have made bone broth

  2. Have not made bone broth

If you fall under category #1, scroll ahead to this week’s tasty white bean and sausage potato soup recipe--ideally to utilize your homemade bone broth and improve your healthy culinary skills! Temps are slowly climbing yet cold still lingering along with illnesses: Gut health is always needing more TLC.  I promised to share more about bone broth, but can’t help but want to move forward with an exciting new recipe along with it…

If you have not made bone broth you fall under category #2--Should you choose to finally take the raw, whole chicken plunge, I’m here to reassure you it’s really quite simple! The trauma is more than made up for with the juicy, flavorful meat and healing broth.  While preparing it can be high in disgust, it’s low on time and takes care of itself once the oven temp is reached and timer set. Over the past four years I’ve written two blog posts and one recipe ebook explaining the simplest way in detail. Check it out and plan on reading the recipe first, writing the grocery list second, then committing to some kitchen time.  Similar to all healthy habit changes, practice makes perfect. It takes practice to get it exactly how you prefer it. And I am cheering for you! For additional support in increasing your culinary skills, here is a helpful checklist:

Kitchen tools needed:

-Dutch oven, crock pot or instant pot(must have a lid)

-Large food storage container if chicken will not be consumed immediately

-Large fine mesh strainer

-Large bowl

-Large mason jars with lids

-Large food funnel

Bone Broth:

See previous blog post - Gut Healing Chicken Soup and Bone Broth

There’s something about creamy soups. The temptation to indulge in a diary based soup left me years a go after discovering diary=sick. However, warm, creamy, and filling comfort food will never get old and does not have to contain dairy to taste incredible!  This soup is awesome with a spoonful of cashew sour cream (I like this one) stirred in, yet also good on it’s own. I like to add a splash of apple cider vinegar just before serving to boost the flavor a bit and improve digestion and gut health. Smashing some of the beans and potatoes with a potato masher creates the thick and creamy affect my taste buds crave the most.  When it comes to texture, it passed the 3-selective-eaters and one diary-addict test in my home! While bacon, sausage, ground pork, leftover pork tenderloin or even chopped up pork chops would work well in this soup, no pork at all is an equally tasty option for the meat or penny-less striving for great health! Chicken breakfast sausage would also not disappoint.

In an effort to ease the pain and discomfort of adding in new cooking skills for better health, here are the kitchen tools needed for this soup(more on skills yet to come. Stay connected!).

Kitchen Tools needed:

-Stock pot

-Cutting board

-Potato peeler

-Potato masher

-Fine mesh strainer

-Chef’s knife

-Favorite apron (optional but strongly suggested)

You matter to me so whether you are a #1, #2 or anything in-between, you are worth the extra effort it takes to look and feel amazing. In most circumstances, healthy sustainability requires time logged in the kitchen. Why not start by swapping french fries for potato while indulging in this soup?

White Bean and Sausage Potato Soup:

By Audrey Byker Health Coach

For the Protein Fat and Flavor

1 lb. Pork (optional, preservative and added junk free)

3 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced

2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary leaves, stemmed and minced or 1/2 Tbls. dried

1 pinch of Marjoram seasoning(optional)

4+ cups Broth

Sea salt to taste (a lot)

1 tsp white pepper

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

For the Veggies and Carbs

1 med. onion, chopped

1 16oz jar white beans

3 Lbs. Russet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces

3 cups Kale leaves, stemmed and chopped

In a large stockpot with a lid, add meat and onion. Sautés on med-high until fragrant and translucent about 5 min. Add sea salt, pepper, garlic, and marjoram. Saute 2 min. more then add all remaining ingredients except for kale. Add lid. Bring pot to a boil and turn to a simmer for 20 min. or until potatoes are cooked through. Add kale for the last few minutes to soften. Salt to taste.

Six Weeks of Bowl Meals: Grain-Free Thai Bowl

Thai bowl

Telling someone addicted to food to “just eat mindfully” is like giving an alcoholic a fifth of whiskey as a gift and saying “enjoy one glass a day”. Mindful eating is to an infant what living on autopilot is to an adult. As much as I believe in my clients far more than they believe in themselves a lot of the time, there is a point, typically in the beginning of Health Coaching program, where I just have to put it bluntly and show a bit of tough love. Awareness of denial, blame and shame is essential to beginning the process of living a mindful life. Mindful living and eating is freedom.

I am here to help you help yourself, trust me, and time is on your side.

My story includes too many years of battling an incredibly disordered relationship with food. It was as if I had myself convinced I was born with a weight + calorie chart in one hand and measuring cups in the other. Can you even picture that? First comes the head, the shoulders then…Wait for it…measuring cups and spoons! Awe! Now this child will always know how to stay healthy and love herself!! Yay!

Learning how to retrain my mind-body connection to “just eat mindfully” was a process. It took time. One of the important health discoveries I made along the way was the crappy physical feeling that resulted from junky food choices. Mindful eating means making well-thought out nutrition decisions based on the mind-body connection and love for oneself. It means fully enjoying the eating experience and slowing down with every bite—a helpful practice for life overall.

This week’s bowl meal makes eating mindfully simple. Every nutrient-dense ingredient not only forces taste buds to dance, but continues to fuel and support everyone living a healthy lifestyle. The balance of macros and micros will satisfy the largest of appetites! The dressing can be used as a sauce and is drinkable on its own! I’m so so so pleased with it and cannot wait for you to try it!

Grain-Free Thai Bowl

By Audrey Byker Health Coach

Serves 4-6

for the veggies and protein

-1lb. boneless chicken tenders, chopped into 1 in pieces(make it vegan and omit)

-1 pint baby bella mushrooms, sliced

-1 pint shiitake mushrooms, sliced

-2 cups shredded carrots

-1 large bundle of broccoli, chopped

-Sea salt

-Black pepper, fresh ground

-1 Tbls avocado oil(or any healthy oil)

-1/2 tsp sesame oil

for the carbs fat and flavor

-2-3 cups jasmine rice, brown rice, brown rice noodles, cooked(optional if grains are desired)

-Sunflower seeds, roasted and salted(optional garnish)

-Green onion, sliced(optional garnish)

FOR THE THAI SUNFLOWER SEED DRESSING/SAUCE:

By Audrey Byker Health Coach

-1/2 cup sunflower seed butter, unsweetened and unsalted(or any other natural nut butter)

-3 Tbls Tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos

-2 Tbls raw honey(optional—omit for vegan)

-Juice of 1 lime

-1 Tbls rice or white wine vinegar

-Water to taste

Add both oils to a large wok or nonstick skillet(with a lid if you prefer veggies to be cooked through) then add chicken, salt and pepper. Sauté until cooked through, remove from pan, set aside and immediately add mushrooms to the pan. Sauté over med-high heat, stirring frequently for 5 min. Add remaining veggies(broccoli and shredded carrots) and sauté over medium heat until cooked al dente(or add the lid and steam until desired doneness is reached). Meanwhile add all dressing ingredients except for water in a small mason jar with a blender ball, add lid and shake until fully combined. Add water to thin to desired consistency, one tablespoon at a time. Add chicken back into pan to heat through, just before serving. Serve in bowls layered with noodles or rice(optional), dressing, green onion, and sunflower seeds. Eat leftovers cold or reheated, in a salad, alone or with grains.

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Audrey Byker is a skilled and experienced Health Coach in West Michigan. She specializes in supporting busy people on their wellness journey through one-on-one coaching which can take place in person at her private office, in home or virtually from anywhere in the world. If you are looking for guidance and support to improve your health and quality of life, click here to set up a free consult today! She accepts HSA/FSA as payment!