Being sick is no fun. You can’t go to work, you have to lay on the couch cozied up with a fuzzy blanket, you have to watch hours of tv, catch up on sleep, and someone brings you food. Heyyyyyy……wait a minute… [cough cough].
Maybe you got Chicken (gasp) Noodle Soup when you were sick. And maybe you got a bowl full of bright wobbly Jell-O.
Let me tell you what my sister and I had growing up, when we were under the weather. My sister and I, in addition to all the Indian children on the other side of the pond, were served a delightfully bland dish called Mung-Bhaat. (pronounced “mugg – bhaat”) See? It doesn’t even sound romantic:
“I proposed to her over a nice meal of mugg-bhaat.”
Mung-bhaat translates to “lentil – rice”. And that is IT. That is ALL you get. No spices or seasonings. Indian kids get sick, they feel yucky, and they are soon greeted by a nice warm bowl of mung-bhaat, a dish that imposes a gravitational force on the corners of a pre-existing frown.
Years later, marriage and independent homeownership was the rocket that set me free of mung-bhaat. Once upon a time, I could only dream of Chicken Noodle Soup and red wobbly Jell-O that Bill Cosby flaunted on commercials.
I, too, can have Chicken Noodle Soup.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
3/4 cup diced yellow or white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup diced Morningstar Chick’n strips
1/3 8-oz bag of curly egg noodles*
6 cups vegetable broth
3 Tbsp Parsley (Italian flat leaf OR curly)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onions, celery, and bay leaves. Cook for 5 mins or until vegetables soften and onions are translucent.
2. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Then add the broth and the noodles.
3. Stir frequently, making sure pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom. Add diced “chick’n” a few minutes before the noodles are al dente. (See pasta package directions for total cook time)
At this time, you may want to add more water to make it more brothy or less chunky.
4. Once the noodles are cooked, remove from heat and add parsley, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately.
*Selecting the right noodle is important in turning the frown upside down. These are not “spiral” egg noodles, but more like Helix-shaped noodles. Think DNA….’cuz, you know, obviously you’ve seen what DNA looks like.