Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cabbage and Udon Soup

   I told myself I was going to wait until January to start this, but I can't help myself.  I am watching three houses worth of animals (two neighbors and my own), and I needed some stimulation that 4 cats, 1 fish (at least I hope there is only one fish...), a doberman, and a maltese couldn't provide.  Also, my right arm is sore from thrashing about wildly for several hours trying to play Swords on Wii.  That didn't go as well as I had planned.

   Anyway, last night I got a jump start on my healthy January recipes.  (I really need to come up with a name for this.... any suggestions???)  I am going to prove that eating healthy isn't hard and isn't expensive!  Ingredient amount cost will be calculated, calories and fat counted, easy no-brainer tips given, and you won't be hungry an hour after eating!  First off you should know that in order get really tasty dishes in the future there will be some up-front cost like making sure you have well stocked spice and condiment cupboards.  You have to think of it this way though:  this bottle of (_____) may be $5 right now, but you can use it in 30 dishes... that is pennies a serving.  Also, if you buy a more expensive ingredient, use it in 3 or 4 dishes.  For example, this dish uses lemongrass.  It was $2.50 for 2 oz; I used 1/2 oz and can freeze the rest.  Also, look around the grocery store to see if ingredients are in various places.  Dried shitakes in the produce department can be up to $5.  In the Asian section, they are only $2.50.
Look at how much you get to eat!

Cabbage and Udon Soup
7 C water (total)
1/2 medium onion, cut into large chunks
1 1/2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 oz lemongrass stalks, cut into pieces
1/2 oz dried shitakes (8-10 mushrooms)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 1/2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 1/2 C shredded green cabbage (1/2 small head)
3 oz dried udon noodles (1 inch bundle)
3/4 lb white meat chicken, very thinly sliced
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
sriracha (optional)

   Place dried mushrooms and 1 C of water in a bowl.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Flip mushrooms over and microwave 30 more sec.  (Quick reconstitution.)  Squeeze water of mushrooms, cut off stems.  (Slice mushroom caps.)  Add stems and water to pot.  Add 5 C water to pot.  Put onion, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass into pot.
This little bit gives SO much flavor
Bring to boil.  Dissolve bouillon cube in a little bit of the hot water, add to pot.  Turn to medium-high heat, cook for about 15 minutes, until liquid has reduced by 1/3.  Strain through a mesh sieve to remove chunks.  Return broth to pot.  Add last 1 C of water
  This was plain ol' water 15 minutes ago
Add cabbage to broth.  Bring to boil.  Add udon noodles.  Boil for 4-5 minutes.  Turn down to medium-high heat.  Add chicken strips that have been tossed in salt and thinly sliced shitakes to pot.  Cook 3-5 more minutes until chicken is done.  Serve with a little bit of sriracha or your favorite hot sauce.

Vegan Option!  Use 1 Not-Chik'n bouillon cube and use 8 oz of slice fresh baby bella mushrooms or 1/2 block of firm tofu instead of chicken. 

   Serves 4 very generous portions.
   Per serving:  Calories 215, Fat 3 g, Dietary Fiber 3 g, Protien 23 g 
   My ingredient cost was $7.50.  That is less than $1.90 per serving! And this soup is way better for you than one of those $4, just-add-water, microwave Asian noodle bowls (which are 2 servings by the way.)  To bring the cost down even more, use 1/2 lemon in place of the lemon grass and 3 oz linguine in place of the udon noodles.

Make Ahead:  Make the broth up to 1 week in advance and store it an air-tight container in the fridge.  Then when you go the make the soup it will only take about 15 minutes!

Side note:  Green cabbage is a great source of vitamin K which is good for your bones and is important in blood coagulation, so eat up hemophiliacs!!!

1 comment:

  1. Yay - a vegan option! I'm so going to try this out!


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