Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's the Small Things In Life

Yesterday during my meal prep, I decided to make up a batch of chicken and veggie soup for my boyfriend to take to work for his lunches. It's been pretty cold here in Michigan the last couple of weeks. Even reaching below zero wind chill. Needless to say, I wanted to have something that would help take the chill off on cold days.

Tonight, my boyfriend text me from work (I too was at work) just to tell me "Soup is delicious. One of the best things you have ever made."  It's the little words of appreciation that make me want to keep doing the "small things". Doug used to tell me, "You don't have to fix me dinner (breakfast, lunch, etc.)" and I basically responded with "Well, I gotta eat, so you might as well eat too."

Over the past three years, I have cooked for him, prepared him lunches for work, made breakfast on the mornings we are home together.  Each time he tells me, "You take such good care of me" or "I haven't been this well taken care of since I was a teenager when my mom cooked for me".  It is his deep appreciation that really helps me to enjoy cooking. I never really did in the past. I didn't feel appreciated. Things weren't what the family wanted, they didn't like it or whatever the case was. I love how the small things are so important to my boyfriend and myself (he is probably MORE thoughtful than I am).

Since Doug says this is the best thing I have ever cooked him, I thought I would share the "recipe" with you.  I really just, more or less, threw it together. I based it off the recipe my cousin's wife shared, but knowing Doug would not eat the spinach and mushrooms which were in the batch I made for myself, I swapped out the veggies.

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
Water, enough to cover chicken 
Celery, chopped
Onion, sliced
Basil, to taste
Garlic Powder (I used refrigerated minced garlic), to taste
Vegetable Mix (I used bag of frozen peas, carrots, corn, green beans)
Cabbage, coarsely chopped
Can of Chicken Broth
Himalayan Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, to taste 

Place chicken in a stockpot and cover well with water. Season to taste with Garlic and Basil.  Bring to a boil, reduce  heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through. 

Remove chicken and reserve the broth it created. With two forks, shred the chicken and return it to the stock pot containing broth, add vegetables, can of broth, and additional seasonings.  Cook until carrots and veggies are tender.

Note: When I created this, I left celery in stalks and just cut onion into quarters. My boyfriend does not like them, so I used to just flavor the broth while cooking the chicken then removed them when shredding chicken before adding the remaining veggies. You can absolutely cut them smaller and leave them in the soup.

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