Thai Chicken Soup

Thai Chicken Soup

This easy Thai soup recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and full of flavor. It also yields some excellent leftovers.Soup season will soon be over. But while it lasts, this recipe is one to try before warm weather hits. Especially if you love Thai food. This recipe is my version of one from the Elana’s Pantry website.

This recipe is easy, dairy-free, gluten-free, and bursting with flavor. It makes a big batch. That’s good because The Man of Steel and I would have quibbled over the leftovers otherwise. Needless to say, this version of Thai soup received the Hiram Coveted Seal of Approval. Next time, I may add some red pepper flakes to add a bit more heat.

Thai Chicken Soup


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • 8 sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 28 ounces coconut
  • ½ pound crimini mushrooms
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 pound chicken breasts skinless-boneless, halved lengthwise, sliced on bias, cut into ⅛ inch thick pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ½ cup cilantro, minced

Cooking Instructions

  1. Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add half of the green onions and cilantro, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes
  3. Stir in stock and coconut milk and bring to a simmer
  4. Pour broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids (green onions and cilantro)
  5. Return broth to saucepan
  6. Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms and broccoli and cook until tender, about 5 minutes
  7. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink
  8. Combine lime juice, curry paste and fish sauce in a small bowl then stir into soup
  9. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro, chilies and scallions


Crock Pot Pulled Pork

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

This recipe for pulled pork contains natural ingredients, is dairy-free, and easy to make. Plus it received the coveted Hiram seal of approval.During our last visit to see the grandkids, the cook served the most delicious pulled pork. The Man of Steel raved over it so much I had to asked for the recipe and was directed to the 100 Days of Real Food website. That’s where I learned that the recipe for crock pot pulled pork was low in sugar and had no preservatives. Plus it was easy, and has been mentioned before, had already received the coveted Hiram Seal of Approval.

This makes a large batch. We ate some, saved some for left overs, and froze the rest for another meal in a couple weeks.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 3 to 3 ½ pounds pork shoulder, cut in half
  1. In a bowl, mix the dry spices together with a fork.
  2. Add the honey, vinegar, and olive oil and stir until smooth.
  3. Place the onion in the bottom of the crock pot Top it with the 2 pieces of pork and then pour the spice mixture over every side of the meat.
  4. Turn the slow cooker on to low and cook for 6 hours or until the meat is tender enough to be easily shredded with a fork.
  5. Remove the meat from the crock pot and place in a pan to cool. Once it has cooled, shred the meat and return it to the liquid in the crock pot.
  6. Serve warm on buns. For a side dish try fresh spinach salad.
Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corn Beef and Cabbage 1For the past several months, I’ve been creating and freezing meals for my son and daughter-in-law and for my daughter and son-n-law, all parents of the 2 most adorable babies born in 2015. I have lost count of how many meals I’ve cooked, frozen, packed in coolers, and hauled to Wisconsin on the weekends we’ve visited.

The freezer meal binge ended well with this recipe for slow cooker corned beef and cabbage. It originally appeared at the Family Fresh Meal site. I made a double batch so we could eat some for supper and have enough left over for a freezer meal for each family. One batch went into the slow cooker (and the batches are big) to cook all day. The other was cooked in my big cast iron dutch oven in a 250 degree oven. It was done about 2 hours sooner than was the slow cooker. The adjusted times for adding vegetables for the oven version are in parentheses.

The meal was delicious and received the coveted Hiram seal of approval. I hope the frozen meals (3 gallon bags full) are just as good.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

5-6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small onion, cut into wedges
3 cups of water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
8 ounce beer (I split a 12 ounce bottle between the 2 batches and had plenty of broth)
3 pounds corned beef brisket
1 pound carrots (about 4) peeled and cut into strips
1 pound small red potatoes, quartered
1 pound head of green cabbage, cut into wedges

Place onion wedges and garlic at the bottom of slow cooker. These will act as a stand for meat, so it doesn’t touch the bottom and dry out. Place beef on top of onions and garlic.

Next, mix together water, beer, sugar and vinegar. Pour over beef and then sprinkle seasoning packet that came with the corned beef over meat.

Set the slow cooker on low and cook for 8 hours. (For dutch oven method, cook in 250 degree oven for 6 hours.)

After 4 hours of cooking, add in potatoes and carrots. (Add potatoes and carrots after 3 hours for dutch oven method.) Cover and continue cooking.

When 1 hour remains (40 minutes for dutch oven), add quartered cabbage and cook the remainder of the time. Serve hot with broth on the side for dipping and drizzling. Yum!

For freezer meals, allow the meat and vegetables to cool, place in zippered freezer bags and place in freezer, like this:

corned beef freezer




Cover and continue cooking

Top Ten Freezer Meals for New Parents, 2015

Top Ten Freezer Meals for New Parents, 2015

deep freeze

The winter of 2014-15 has been a long one. At this house that’s a good thing because with two new grandbabies, I’ve been cooking up freezer meals to make life easier for the two sets of new parents. These ten recipes have received thumbs’ up from the parents…when they have the energy to lift their arms, that is.

10. Slow Cooker Pork and Veggies: Easy to make, and it received both the New Parents’ Thumbs Up and Hiram’s Coveted Seal of Approval.

pork and veggies9.  Hearty Hamburger Stew: This one isn’t a slow cooker recipe, but it’s very easy to throw together and doesn’t require much cooking time.

Hearty Hamburger Stew8.  Barbeque Meatballs: These take a little longer to put together, but they don’t take up much freezer space.

shapeimage_1-1221-300x1717.  Spaghetti Sauce: This sauce can cook on top of the stove or in the crock pot. But a double batch won’t fit in a crock pot. Don’t ask me how I know this.

spaghetti sauce6.  Turkey-Veggie Sloppy Joes: Though I’m not usually a fan of Sloppy Joes, these are very good…almost like a casserole in a bun.Turkey-veggie Sloppy Joes5.  Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas: As I said a few weeks ago when this recipe first posted, it’s about the easiest recipe ever. And it freezes really well.

Chicken Fajita4.  Minestrone: Another winner of Hiram’s Coveted Seal of Approval and the New Parents’ Thumbs Up. The cook likes it, too, because it tastes like it’s a lot of work, but it’s not.

Minestrone3.  Italian Wedding Soup: Yet another double winner. The other day, I tried it with ground turkey instead of ground beef, and it tasted just the same.

Italian Wedding Soup2.  French Stew: If you visit this website frequently, you’ve probably seen this recipe before. It’s a family favorite, easy to freeze, crock pot friendly, and delicious.

French Stew1. Chicken (or Turkey) Tetrazinni: Whenever I offer to make freezer meals for the kids, this is the one recipe they request every time.

tetrazinniIs your mouth watering yet? Mine is. If you’d like more recipes, check out the post for Gravel Road’s Top Ten Freezer Meals compiled a couple years ago. And if you have a bang up freezer meal, give it a shout out in the comment box.

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

This recipe for Italian wedding soup comes from my sister and brother-in-law. They served it during our Thanksgiving stay with them. The Man of Steel raved about it and couldn’t get enough of it. So our hosts graciously pointed me to the recipe which they found at

They made in dairy free by not adding Parmeson cheese to the meatballs. Instead, they put the cheese on the table so diners could sprinkle some on top of each bowlful. Even with that alteration, this soup immediately received Hiram’s coveted seal of approval. And it received a second ringing endorsement when I served it recently at our house, too.

Italian Wedding Soup, Dairy Free Version

Meatball ingredients:
1 pound
extra-lean ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs1 teaspoon dried basil
3 tablespoons minced onion

Soup ingredients:2 1/2 quarts chicken broth
2 cups spinach – packed, rinsed and thinly sliced
1 cup seashell pasta
3/4 cup diced carrots


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, egg, bread crumbs, basil and onion. Shape mixture into 3/4-inch balls and set aside.
  2. In a large stockpot heat chicken broth to boiling; stir in the spinach, pasta, carrot and meatballs. Return to boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, at a slow boil for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente, and meatballs are no longer pink inside. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.