dinner

Faux Thai Peanut "Noodles"

Ever since I got engaged in November I have been trying my best to eat less carbs...I mean have you ever tried on wedding dresses? Most of the designer gowns come off the runway and go right to the Trunk Shows, so yea were talking size 2 and less. Needless to say the less bloat the better. Although I am trying to eat healthier I still want to enjoy my meals especially after a long work day.  This dish is truly crave-able because it has one of the most craved ingredients in it, Peanut Butter. The peanut butter gives it the creamiest most delicious texture, the soy sauce gives it the perfect umami salty bite and the lime and cilantro both cut through the richness with their fresh flavor. Peanut Butter noodles in an Asian Restaurant can really pack a punch in the carb/calorie department but swapping the pasta out for Spaghetti Squash makes this almost guilt free. And hey it is Vegan and Gluten Free (if you use GF soy sauce)!

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Ingredients-

  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • 3 Tablespoons of Chunky Peanut Butter (or whatever kind you like, creamy will work as well)
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sesame Oil (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice and more for Garnish
  • 1 Medium Garlic Glove
  • 1.5 Teaspoons freshly grated peeled Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • Freshly Chopped Cilantro
  • Black Sesame Seeds or Chopped Peanuts (Garnish) (optional)

Steps-

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the Spaghetti Squash lengthwise and brush the inner flesh with Olive Oil and Season with Salt, Black Pepper and a squeeze of fresh Lime juice.  
  3. Roast on a parchment lined sheet pan cut side down.Roast for roughly 45 minutes or until you can easily puncture the outside skin with a fork.  While the squash is roasting make the sauce.
  4. When the squash is done, scrape the inside of the squash into strands with a fork, it will resemble spaghetti. Leave it a little al dente so it has a slight bite like pasta. 
  5.  In a food processor or bullet blender, puree the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice water,  grated ginger, garlic clove, Sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. In a large pan or pot on low heat toss the cooked spaghetti squash with the sauce until the sauce is fully incorporated. Plate and season with salt and pepper as needed but the soy is salty so you may not need it. Squeeze Fresh lime juice over the top and top with fresh chopped Cilantro and Black Sesame Seeds or Chopped Peanuts. Serve and enjoy! 

Indian Style Chicken

Try this easy, healthy and hearty meal full of bold flavors! 

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Recipe Feeds 3-4 People

Ingredients-

2 Lbs Raw, skinless, boneless chicken breast cubed (about 1.5 inch cubes)
1 Large yellow onion thinly sliced
2 Cloves of garlic minced finely
2 Bay Leaves
1 Bell Pepper diced (Best to use Red or Green)
2 Teaspoon of Ground Turmeric
2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
3 tablespoons Coconut Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Coriander
2 Teaspoons Fresh Ginger grated and minced
Dash of Cayenne
(1) 15.5oz can of Chickpeas (drained)
3/4 cup of tomato purée or canned diced tomato (my favorite is San Marzano)
1 can coconut milk
Salt and Black pepper to taste ( you will need at least 1 teaspoon salt)
Splash of chicken stock or Water 

**Great Served with Warm Naan Bread! My favorite is from Trader Joes freezer section! **

 

  1. Heat coconut oil in a pot, preferably a ceramic, dutch oven style pot.  
  2. In a small bowl mix together the Turmeric, Chili Powder, Coriander, Cayenne, a dash of freshly ground black pepper and a 1/2 teaspoon salt. 
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken cubes in half of the spice mixture. 
  4. Add the chicken to the hot pot with the coconut oil and cook until brown on all sides but not fully cooked. Remove from the pot and set aside. 
  5. Right away add the sliced onions, bell pepper and bay leaves and sweat them until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant. 
  6. Add the chicken back to the pot and sprinkle in the remaining spice mixture. Cook for a few minutes to get the spices to bloom. 
  7. Now add the tomato puree (or diced tomato) and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and chickpeas.  If there isn't enough liquid add about 1/4 cup or so of chicken stock just to get the liquid to almost cover the chicken mixture. 
  8. Stir it all together and let it simmer with the lid on for about 30-40 minutes. Make sure it is simmering and not a rolling boil. Then remove the lid and allow some of the liquid to evaporate and the sauce to thicken slightly. The longer you cook, the thicker the "gravy" will be. I like mine on the creamier side. Once the chicken is very tender and the sauce is to your liking, check the seasoning and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm with Naan bread, or even on top of rice!  You can garnish with chopped cilantro if you want a hint of freshness. Enjoy!

 

Pasta with Sausage & Wilted Spinach

It’s getting cold out here in NYC, so after a long day at work and walking around the cold, busy city, sometimes you just need a rustic, comforting meal like pasta. I love pasta because the possibilities are endless and even something as simple as pasta with butter and parmesan cheese can be oh so satisfying. With pasta simplicity is sometimes best! This recipe is simple but the flavors are bold! The fennel seed in the Italian sausage combined with the spice from the red pepper flakes, the acid from the wine, the freshness of spinach and the creaminess of the cheese…it is just delicioso! This recipe is great because it takes about as much time as it takes to boil the pasta water and cook the pasta. The sauce only requires one pan and it doesn’t need to simmer for hours, super duper easy. Enjoy!

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Feeds about 2-3 People

Ingredients-

  1. 4 Italian Sausages (Medium size) (3 sweet and 1 hot, or more hot if you like it spicy)-Remove from the casing and crumble into small pieces.
  2. 1 Large Shallot diced small (or half a medium yellow onion)
  3. 1 Bay Leaf
  4. 1 Large Garlic Clove minced fine
  5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  6. 1 Cup Dry White Wine
  7. ½ Cup Heavy Cream
  8. ¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
  9. ¼ Cup Beef or Chicken Broth
  10. 4 Ounces Baby Spinach
  11. Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  12. ¼ Cup of Grated Parmegiano Reggiano Cheese (plus more to sprinkle on top when serving)
  13. Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
  14. ½ Lb Fresh Pasta (Any type works- Tagliatelle, Fettucine, Rigatoni, Orecchiette)

 

 

 

Steps-

  1. While you are prepping the sausage boil the water for the pasta. Be sure to salt your water so the pasta is flavorful.
  2. In a large skillet on medium-low heat sweat the shallots and Bay Leaf in about 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and Red Pepper Flakes just until fragrant.  
  3. Add the crumbled raw sausage into the pan and cook until cooked through and brown.
  4. Add the white wine and cook for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add the chicken broth cream and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Allow the liquid to reduce until it is “nappant” or can coat the back of a spoon. Set aside for a moment while you cook the pasta.
  6. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. IF you are cooking fresh pasta it should only take few minutes but follow the directions on the pasta packaging.  When you drain the pasta be sure to reserve some of the liquid and set it aside in a cup or bowl.
  7. When the pasta is ready put the sausage back on the stove on medium heat. Add the cheese and stir until combined. At the very end add the baby spinach until wilted but still green. Then toss in the chopped basil.
  8. Toss the pasta with the sausage mixture.  IF there is not enough liquid to coat the pasta, add a little of the hot pasta water. To serve, top the pasta with a little more parm cheese and more fresh basil if you like.

Enjoy!

**For a variation: Add some chopped marinated Sundried Tomatoes or even swap out the spinach for some Broccoli Rabe, Chopped Broccolini or Fresh Peas.

 

 

Garlic Parmesan Wings

Growing up in a big Italian household we did not eat chicken wings…they just aren’t something Italians make! So then I went to college in Pennsylvania where you can find wings on every corner and what can I say…I fell in love! Not only did I fall in love with chicken wings, but I fell in love with a red headed, wing loving boy named Dan.  Now here we are 6 years later, living together and I’m making chicken wings for him in our tiny NYC apartment.  I try not to make the same wing recipe twice.  I am always coming up with new and innovative wing flavors that are quick and easy to execute. Here is my Italian take on chicken wings! You’ve got zesty spices and fresh herbs like rosemary, basil and garlic and the beautiful salty bite of the fresh Parmesan.

 

 

 

Feeds about 2 people

Ingredients-

  1. 2 ½ Lbs Chicken Wings (make sure the drum stick is detached from the small wing)
  2. ½ Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  3. ¼ Teaspoon Mustard Powder
  4. ½ Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  5. 1 Teaspoon Fresh Rosemary Chopped finely
  6. ½ Teaspoon Salt
  7. ¼ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  8. ½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
  9. 1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley Flakes
  10. Dash of Cayenne Pepper (or more if you like spice)
  11. 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  12. 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil
  13. 2 Cloves of Garlic Minced
  14. ¼ Cup of Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese or Locatelli Cheese

Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing to Serve

 

Steps-

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. In a small bowl stir together the Cumin, Mustard Powder, Oregano, Rosemary, Salt and Pepper, Onion Powder, Parsley and Cayenne.
  3. Lay the chicken wings on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken wings with all of the spice mixture.
  5. Bake the chicken wings for about 20 minutes.  While the chicken is baking, mix together the butter, fresh basil, garlic, parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt.
  6. When the chicken is cooked through, toss the wings with the butter mixture until fully coated.  Then place the wings back in the oven for about 10 more minutes until they are golden and fragrant.
  7. Serve with the ranch or blue cheese  and even hot sauce if you’d like and enjoy!

Miso Glazed Fish

The reason why I love living in New York City so much is because I can get the best food from any  type of cuisine at any time. My sister recently introduced me to this fabulous Japanese restaurant in the West Village that is serving up some super authentic yet innovative dishes every evening. One of our favorite dishes that they serve is their Miso Black Cod. One night I decided to surprise my big sis and make my own version of this flavorful fish. The marinade is super simple and tastes good on pretty much any white flaky fish or even salmon.  I even toss veggies in it and roast them until caramelized and tender. The salty, umami flavor or the miso paste (which is fermented soy beans), along with the sweet dark brown sugar and tangy Japanese cooking wine..hello heaven! Yea let me hear you say it "Oh Ive Got Room For More!"

Ingredients-

For the Glaze- Enough for about 1 Lb of Fish (enough for 2 people)

  1. 2.5 Tablespoons White/Blond Miso Paste (I use low sodium. You can usually find it in the grocery store's refrigerated section)
  2. 2.5 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
  3. 1 Large Clove of Garlic Minced
  4. 1 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  5. 2 Tablespoons Mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
  6. 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
  7. 1/5 Teaspoons Fresh Ginger (I grate it fresh on a microplane)
  8. A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  9. A dash of ground black pepper

Garnish- Toasted Sesame Seeds and Chopped Scallions

Fish-

I use fresh Cod filets or even fresh Atlantic Salmon.  Traditionally this is made with Cod. For this amount of marinade I buy 1 Lb of fish which will feed roughly 2 people.  You can even toss your vegetables like broccoli or diced Japanese eggplant in this marinade and roast them until tender.  This marinade brings so much flavor to just about any fish or veggie!

Steps-

  1. Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. 
  2. Place your fish in a ziplock bag or in a container and baste the filets with about 2-3 tablespoons of the marinade. Set the rest of the sauce aside. 
  3. Marinate the fish in the fridge for about 45 minutes, but no more than 1 hour. For the last 15 minutes remove the fish from the fridge, you don't want to start cooking it when it is ice cold.
  4. Preheat your oven to 375F. Heat up an oven proof skillet or grill pan with low sides on medium heat. Put a small drizzle of olive oil on the pan to prevent the fish from sticking. Gently place the fish onto the hot pan. Allow the fish to get slightly charred and caramelized on one side. 
  5. Take the fish off the heat when you see the fish has caramelized on one side. Do not flip it it may fall apart if you are using cod. Baste the fish with as much of the remaining marinade as you can get on it. Then place the pan in the oven so the fish can cook through. It should only take about 5-6 minutes. Just make sure the fish is flaky and not cold or raw in the center. 
  6. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds and scallions over the fish and serve with your favorite veggies, rice or whatever you'd like! I love to baste some eggplant in the same marinade and roast it until tender and golden.  I also love to serve this with nice greens like sautéed garlic broccolini. 

Roasted Ranch Chicken

So I am a New York girl, born and raised, and where I am from Ranch dressing was not really a thing. When I was 18 this New York girl went off to college in a new land called Pennsylvania where the bagels were rolls with holes in them and the pizza, oh the pizza, it was so bad you had to drench it in ranch dressing. I will never forget the first time I saw people putting ranch on pizza, I was floored, I was disgusted! But then I tasted the pizza and quickly found myself reaching for the bottle of the tangy creamy stuff just to mask the taste of the overly sweet, poorly spiced tomato sauce. To make a long story short, after years of consuming ranch dressing in college I began to love the stuff and according to Hidden Valley the rest of America is obsessed with it too. Here is a simple chicken recipe that utilizes dry ranch seasoning which is cheap and believe it or not, super flavorful! I never thought I would be cooking with that stuff, its a little bit of an insult to my culinary degree but I won't tell if you don't tell ;) 


Ingredients-

Preheat the oven to 400F.

1 Large oven roaster chicken (about 5-6lbs) (take out the pack of gizzards inside the rear cavity and rinse off the chicken with cold water)

1 Large Ranch Seasoning Packet (I used Lipton brand) It may be by the soups in a box

1 Stick of Unsalted Butter Softened Slightly

2 Medium Size Carrots Peeled and cut into 2 inch long pieces

2 shallots cut in quarters

2 Large Stalks of Celery

Salt and Pepper

Wondra Flour (very fine flour for the gravy)

Steps-

Place the chicken with the breast up on a roasting pan. Make sure it is dry and if not pat it down with paper towels. 

Stir the entire ranch seasoning packet into a bowl with the softened butter and mix until well combined. 

Stuff the cavity of the chicken with a few pieces of carrot, celery and shallot and then place the remaining mirepoix around the chicken on the roasting pan.

Loosen the skin of the chicken with your hands gently, being careful not to tear it. Then take the seasoned butter and rub it under the skin of the chicken generously. Make sure you get the thigh area and as close to the legs as you can. Take some of the butter and rub it on the outside of the skin as well, this will give it color and help it to crisp up. Sprinkle the skin with a little salt and ground pepper, not too much salt though as the ranch seasoning has a lot of salt. 

Place the chicken in the oven and cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear and the chicken reaches 165F in the thickest part of the meat. Make sure to take the temperature of the thigh as well since the dark meat usually takes longer to cook. 

Take the chicken and place it on a cutting board and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. Pour the drippings from the roasting pan in a pot and as the grease settles to the top, skim the oil off and discard, leaving you with just the juice of the chicken. 

Place the drippings back on the stove in a small pot, add a tablespoon of Wondra flour at a time and whisk quickly. Cook down and add more flour until you reach your desired thickness for the gravy.

Cut up the chicken and serve with the roasted veggies from the pan and the gravy. 



Acorn Squash with Apple, Sage Cream & Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

It is that time of year again! Thanksgiving is just 10 days away! Everybody knows that the turkey is just a showpiece, we all really look forward to the side dishes! Acorn squash is the perfect Thanksgiving side because everyone gets their own little "cup" of sweet and savory goodness. This recipe is beautiful and will surely take your Thanksgiving dinner Instagram pic to the next level. The squash is rich and slightly sweet with the addition of the dark brown sugar, and then the sage yogurt cream gives it this perfect tangy flavor that cuts through the sweetness, the apples give it a nice juicy freshness and finally we top it all off with spicy toasted pumpkin seeds which give this dish the most satisfying crunch. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Ingredients-

  1. Acorn Squash- 1 half per person
  2. Dark Brown Sugar (1 Tablespoons per half)
  3. Salted Butter (1 Tablespoon per half of squash)
  4. salt and black pepper
  5. Dash of Cinnamon per squash
  6. Dash of Nutmeg per squash
  7. Pinch of Clove per squash
  8. Olive Oil to baste the squash before baking
  9. 1-2 Apples shredded on a mandolin or cut into a fine julienne (I like honey crisp apples but granny smith or macintosh are great too
  10. Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (recipe below)
  11. Sage Cream (recipe below)

Pumpkin Seeds-

 

  1. 1/3 Cup light brown sugar
  2. 2 cups pumpkin seeds shelled
  3. 1 large egg white
  4. 1teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ¼ Teaspooon Ground Ginger
  6. ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  7. ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  8. a few dashes of cayenne pepper (if you like spicy you can add ¼-1/2 teaspoon)

Sage Cream-

  1. 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I use Fage 0% fat to cut calories)
  2. 6-8 Fresh Sage Leaves
  3. 1 Teaspoon Honey
  4. Small Pinch of salt and pepper

Steps-

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds-

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F
  2. Stir together all the ingredients.
  3. Spread the seeds out on a parchment paper lined sheet pan in one layer.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes or until puffed up slightly and brown. Keep an eye on them because they can burn easily. Remove from the oven and stir them up a bit then pop them back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool and dry out . Sprinkle with a little extra salt if needed.

Sage Cream-

  1. In a food processor or blender, blend together the yogurt, sage leaves, honey, tiny pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until the sage is nicely chopped up and incorporated into the yogurt.  If it is too thick to blend add a drop of water.
  2. Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve. 

Acorn Squash-

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F
  2. Cut the Squashes in half horizontally. Scoop out the seeds and discard.
  3. Place the squash halves on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle the insides of the squash with some olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle each squash half with salt and pepper, a dash of nutmeg, a pinch of ground cloves, and a nice sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
  5. Bake the squash for 45 minutes, remove from the oven and top each squash half with 1 tablespoon of the salted butter and 1 Tablespoon of Dark Brown Sugar and place back in the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes then remove and baste the squash with the melted butter and brown sugar from the center of the squash. Bake another 10-15 minutes  or  so, until the squash is fork tender.  Remove from the oven.

**To assemble- Top each acorn squash half with some shredded apple, a nice dollop of sage cream and then finish it off with some spiced pumpkin seeds.




Veal Rollatini- Veal cutlets stuffed with goat cheese, tomato & eggplant

Rollatini are a fantastic dish to make when you're having guests over for dinner or even on a day when you have limited time but still want a hearty delicious meal.  Rollatini looks very impressive and fancy, but it is very easy to make!  If you don't like veal, you can use thinly pounded chicken cutlets instead!  I often will make Rollatini with fish like flounder too but will stuff it with grilled zucchini, caramelized onion and tomato with no cheese for a lighter meal.  I serve my Veal Rollatini with tomato sauce for some moisture but you can eat it with Basil Pesto instead, a Marsala wine sauce or a Balamic reduction.

Ingredients-

  1. 1 Medium Eggplant  Peeled and Sliced into very thin rounds
  2. 3 ounces Goat Cheese (You can also use shredded mozzarella)
  3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  4. Lemon Juice
  5. 1 Medium Tomato Sliced very Thin
  6. 2 Large Veal Cutlets Pounded Very Thin
  7. Balsamic Vinegar
  8. 1 Egg
  9. Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  10. Fresh Basil Leaves
  11. Salt and Pepper
  12. Canola/Vegetable Oil
  13. Tomato Sauce or Basil Pesto to top the Rollatini

Steps-

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Toss the sliced eggplant with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.  On a barbeque grill, grill pan or george forman style grill or panini press, grill the eggplant on both sides until it has nice grill marks and is very soft and tender. Set aside
  3. Next assemble the Rollatini by spreading about 1-1.5 ounces of goat cheese on one side of each veal cutlet.  
  4. Next place slices of eggplant on top of the goat cheese (enough to cover most of the veal cutlet. Then drizzle the eggplant with some Balsamic Vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Next place about two very thin slices of tomato on top of the goat cheese. Squeeze a few drops of lemon on the tomatoes and sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper.  It is important to season each ingredient so you have flavor throughout.
  6. Place 2 basil leaves on top of the tomatoes. 
  7. Gently and tightly roll up the stuffed veal.  Use some of the goat cheese to glue the seam closed or secure with a tooth pick.  Sprinkle the outside of the rollatini with salt and pepper.
  8. Beat the egg in a bowl and then carefully dip the rollatini in the egg and then the seasoned bread crumbs to coat it.  
  9. Pour enough vegetable oil in a frying pan to coat the bottom in a thin layer.  Heat the oil on medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, place the rollatini in the pan seam side down.  Once the rolaltini is golden brown, flip it onto the other side and brown it on the other side.
  10. Remove the rollatini from the pan with a spatula and place it on a baking sheet seam side down.  Place in the oven for a few minutes or until the meat is fully cooked and the rollatini is hot throughout.  While the rollatini is in the oven, heat the tomato sauce on the stove.
  11. Plate the rollatini and spoon some tomato sauce over the top and sprinkle with some chopped basil.  If you do not want tomato sauce, you can drizzle some basil pesto over the top instead!
  12. ENJOY!

 

Chicken and the Egg Soup

I know it's almost summer and the temperature is rising, but no matter what time of year, who doesn't love a nice bowl of homemade chicken soup! When I am sick, stressed or just in need of some TLC, chicken soup always delivers!  It just nurtures the body and soul from the inside out! Growing up my mom made homemade chicken soup pretty often, but she always put her own spin on.  The base of the soup is traditional, but we add some spinach leaves and beaten egg into the soup to give it an amazing egg drop soup consistency to it as well. I add some leeks to the mirepoix because they have such a rich, wonderful flavor to them that is less harsh then a traditional onion.  This is one of those one pot meals that you can throw together, set on the stove, get some chores done and then sit down to enjoy it..no fuss!

  1.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  2. 32 oz Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  3. 1  1/2  Cups Chopped Carrots (peeled) 
  4. 1  1/2 Cups Chopped Celery
  5. 1 leek finely chopped  (clean it thoroughly and cut of the top dark green part of the leaves)
  6. 1/2 large Vidalia onion chopped
  7. 2 Bay Leaves
  8. 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  9. 1/3 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  10. 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley Chopped
  11. 2 Large Garlic Cloves Minced
  12. 1 Whole Raw Chicken (cleaned, gizzards removed)

  13. Salt and Pepper

  14. 1 packet (or cube) chicken bouillon powder

  15. About 4 Cups water

  16. 2 Cups of Spinach Leaves coarsely chopped (you can use baby spinach but I prefer the large spinach leaves.  Make sure you remove the thick stems)
  17. 2 Eggs beaten

Parmesan Cheese (optional)

  

Cooked Egg Noodles, Orzo, Ditallini Pasta, Elbow Pasta, Small Pasta Shells (whatever you like!) (optional)

 Steps-

  1. Drizzle 1-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil into a large pot and heat on medium low.
  2. Drop in the chopped leek, Vidalia (or white) onion, bay leaves and Red Pepper Flakes and sweat for about 5 minutes to release the flavors.
  3. Add the chopped Carrots, Celery and minced Garlic and stir to combine.  Cook on medium low heat about 5-7 minutes or until the flavors come together.
  4. Add a dash of Salt and Pepper and the whole sprigs of thyme.
  5. Place the whole chicken in the pot and pour in the chicken stock.
  6. Sprinkle the chicken bouillon into the 4 cups of hot water and stir to dissolve.
  7. Pour the water/bouillon mixture into the pot with the chicken and vegetables.
  8. Bring the mixture to a boil and then cover and simmer on medium low heat for an hour and a half.
  9. After roughly 90 minutes, remove the chicken from the pot and shred I using tongs or your fingers.  Be careful it will be hot!!
  10. Place all the shredded chicken meat back into the pot with the soup and discard the bones. Remove the Thyme sprigs and Bay leaves from the soup and discard.
  11. Add the spinach leaves and parsley to the soup and stir until the leaves wilt. 
  12. Take the two beaten eggs and while whisking or making a beating motion with a fork in the soup, carefully pour in the raw beaten eggs into the soup.  You want the soup to have a slight fogginess but not have huge chunks of scrambled egg, that is why it is important for the liquid to be moving (by the motion of a whisk or fork) while pouring in the egg.
  13. Let the soup simmer for about 5 more minutes then serve!  If you want to have noodles or pasta in the soup, keep them separate and scoop a little pasta into each persons bowl.  Keeping the pasta separate is important because if you put it in the soup it will absorb all the liquid.
  14. Scoop some pasta into each persons bowl, pour in some soup, grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over top and enjoy!