"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -Hippocrates
Claud spent three days in Kansas City and returned home with a terrible cold. I knew it was serious when I picked him up from the airport and drove us out to a local bar to have a drink. He only had one beer and wanted to go to sleep. It was Friday night and our fifteen-year wedding anniversary. He was really not feeling well.
He spent the next two days in bed. On the second day, I decided to make him something that would help him feel better. When I start feeling under the weather, I make a special drink. If I drink it early enough, it usually won't turn into a full-blown cold. I boil water and put it into a coffee cup. I add several squeezes of fresh lemon, a heaping tablespoon of honey, and a dash of cayenne pepper. I love this drink and it always makes me feel better. The problem is, I can never get anyone in my family to drink this. So, I had to come up with something different for Claud.
Stuffed jalapenos are a nice complement to lime chicken soup.
I decided to make chicken soup. This soup is supposed to help people get well, right? Dr. Rennard from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha researched chicken soup and its effects on colds. He found evidence that chicken soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate the horrible side effects of a common cold. I also believe that vitamin C is beneficial in helping somebody get well faster. So, I decided to make a chicken soup with some citrus mixed in. That is how I came up with lime chicken soup.
Because I know how well the cayenne pepper helps in my personal concoction, I thought I would add in some spicy peppers too. I included a jalapeno. Oh, and I added tons of garlic. I read that if you feel a flu coming on, you should chew a raw clove of garlic every three hours. Well, that sounds gross and you definitely would lose any friends you have that way. Instead, I like to cook garlic into delicious dishes.
When I went to the store, I couldn't buy just one jalapeno pepper. All I could get was a bag of jalapenos. This bag cost less than one dollar, so I went for it. I knew that these would probably just go to waste if I didn't do something with them right away. I thought I would make some stuffed jalapenos to serve before the soup as an appetizer. I was pretty sure the kids would like these. I knew they wouldn't eat the chicken soup. So, this was perfect. I had something for everyone.
Time: 40 minutes
5 jalapenos, sliced in half and seeded
cup cream cheese
cup sharp cheddar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 lime, cut into wedges
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the jalapenos into a pot of boiling water for ten minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place jalapenos halves onto a greased baking sheetMix together the cheeses and Worcestershire. Place this mixture into each jalapeno half. I found using your hands is the easiest way. Place in the oven for ten minutes, or until they begin to brown. Serve hot with lime wedges.
Lime chicken soup:
4 limes, divided
2 chicken breasts
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 herbs de provence
1 avocado, diced
2 ounces feta cheese
Squeeze three of the limes and set juice aside. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large pot, heat olive oil. Bring to medium high heat. Add chicken breasts. Cook for five minutes on each side. Remove from pot and set aside. Put onions in the pot. Saut for five minutes. Add jalapeno and garlic. Saut for five more minutes. Add chicken broth, water and herbs de Provence. Put chicken back in. Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer for five minutes longer. Take chicken out and shred with a fork. Replace the chicken to the soup. Serve with avocado, cheese and lime.
I looked into different recipes and as I read about jalapeos, I learned something new. Apparently, if you boil them, they get less spicy. I never knew that. The longer they boil, the milder they become. That's great news. I love spicy and can eat them raw but I know that isn't for everyone. So, I boiled these for ten minutes to lessen the heat. I thought this would make it even better for the kids. Although, I don't think dairy is the best thing for a cold, these were made primarily for the kids to eat. Once they were out of the oven, however, Claud couldn't help himself. Everyone loved these tasty treats. They were gone in seconds. I thought they were delicious with a squeeze of lime on top.
The soup and the peppers didn't take long to throw together. I was really surprised at how easy all of this was to make. Once the soup was finished, I topped it off with some freshly diced avocado and some feta cheese crumbles. I wish I had some queso fresca. I would have used that instead. But, the feta worked pretty well. Claud loved the tangy lime flavor and all of the garlic. He said it was really flavorful. Guess what? The next morning, he woke up feeling much better. I think my food as medicine did the trick.