This past week has felt like a month. I’ve had so much packed in and quite a bit of sadness and worry with loved ones in and out of the hospital.
Sometimes the world is just too heavy. For times like these, I cannot sit back and do nothing. My nervous energy needs an outlet, and it usually means getting in the kitchen and preparing a meal. I’ve mentioned several other recipes that make good dishes to “take to a friend in need.” Here’s the simplest I can think of, and it happens to be delicious and quite comforting, too. It’s like a hug in a bowl – Slow Cooker Chicken Pho.
A good friend of mine, Leigh, who happens to be a mom to two darling little girls is always on the hunt for good, healthy and still delicious meals to feed her sweet family. She stumbled upon a blog called The Lemon Bowl quite a while back and has cooked her way through it. This pho is a favorite of her entire family, including her darling 2-year old. Is there anything cuter than imagining a two-year old slurping rice noodles? Leigh let me taste the broth one day when I was over at her house. The flavor blew me away considering how little effort it took. Real pho broth takes hours of boiling pounds of bones.
Last weekend, I attended a Passions class. My friend, Dorothy, told me about the class, and I usually listen to what she has to say because she’s led me to some cool things. There was homework to make a list of your top 10 passions in life. Being who I am and what I do for a living made me think I knew what my No. 1 passion was – nourishing others with my food. Little did I know that that was my No. 3 behind helping where I’m needed and welcoming loved ones into our home. I’m always on the search for professional and personal development opportunities, and this class did not disappoint. It was held at Trees for Life, and I met so many inspiring people.
I would imagine you all have your favorite pho places in town. I’m a fan of My Tho at 500 E. Central and Pho Hien at 1750 N. Broadway. I love a good meal out just like the rest of you, but it’s pretty gratifying to spend such a short amount of time and make a version of a favorite right in your own kitchen. Bust out your crockpot and give this pho a try.
Slow Cooker Chicken Pho
8 cups chicken stock low sodium
2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium (or tamari, if gluten-free)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3-inch piece lemon peel
1 teaspoon cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 star anise
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces flat rice noodles cooked according to package instructions
12 ounces shredded cooked chicken breast (can be from rotisserie)
Optional toppings: bean sprouts, cilantro, jalapeno slices, hoisin sauce, sriracha, thinly sliced green onion, lime wedges
Place the first 11 ingredients in a slow cooker: chicken broth through black pepper and heat on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
Using a fine mesh strainer, pour cooked chicken stock over a large soup pot to remove the lemon peel, cinnamon stick and other spices from the stock; discard remnants.
To serve, divide noodles evenly between four bowls and top with 3 ounces of cooked chicken in each bowl. Ladle two cups warm stock over each bowl and serve with optional toppings of choice.
Source: The Lemon Bowl blog