Sick Chick, Sick Chic

>> Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is me. Wearing a new scarf. I snagged it last Wednesday morning at Target for only $15! They've got a lot of great accessories right now. But why exactly was a full-timer like me at Target on a weekday morning? I was sick.

Sick like a freakin' DOG sick. Target is also my pharmacy, so I was picking up my meds for the awful diagnosis: strep throat and "severe" sinus infection. Not exactly something a pre-marathoner needs or wants to hear only a few weeks out from the big day. After I snapped this pic, I took my temp. and realized it was nearly 102 degrees F. The rest of the week/weekend is a blur . . . but not at total loss. Growing up, my mom gave me chicken noodle soup when I was ill. Not very original, but it's a nutritious meal when you're coughing up your lungs and too exhausted to even feign hunger (after all, if you're hungry, you're getting better, right?).

I've been of the veggie persuasion for a long while now, so chicken soup is just out of the question. But we had udon noodles. Vegetable broth. Tofu. Spices. All the makings of a good soup. Now I feel I must thank Vegetarian Times for so graciously revealing the following vegetarian pho recipe. It saved my life -- quite literally -- and will be a staple in our household for years to come.

Of course, a (never home)maker like myself didn't have time to make the soup with its original instructions. So, if you'd prefer to go the "correct" route, follow the link above. The down & dirty version follows . . .

What you'll need . . .

  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
  • heaping 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • heaping 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. udon noodles (I used udon, the orig. recipe calls for rice noodles)
  • 1 pkg. extra-firm tofu, diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 4 green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)
Ok, so that's a TON of ingredients! PHEW! But I made this soup with a fever -- no, not of passion, but an actual body-temp-FEVER -- and it goes quickly. I promise. You'll be thankful for all the spices, as they aid in the healing process. The ginger, for example, was a tremendous help with clearing out my sinuses.

Method . . .
  1. Cook udon noodles by filling a medium pot with water, bringing it to a boil, putting the noodles in, and then cooking for approx. 6 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. Put everything into a large stock pot, cover, and heat over high heat until boiling.
  3. Stir, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer -- covered -- for one hour. I didn't wait an hour. I was ASLEEP in an hour. So, 10 minutes is just as great.
  4. Add noodles to the soup and ENJOY!

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