No photo for the soup today. Seems the battery was dead on the only camera within reach when the soup was done. AND… if there is one thing I have learned with TWO little ones at home it is this:
Eat when you can because someone is bound to need something as soon as the spoon heads toward your mouth.
Yesterday was one of those days… and today is not looking much better. I think maybe I’m just wiser. (Or wishful?) By the time I had the Chicklet settled down, the Peanut was up and ready to parrrrrtay! Needless to say, neither their naps nor their activities seemed to be on the same schedule yesterday. And while that is helpful when it comes to feeding time for THEM.. .it means there isn’t much time for me to think about what I might need to be eating.
When my mom was here helping out, she mentioned the importance of convenient foods. And then she realized that most of the foods she was thinking of are hardly convenient for people who are gluten-free, not to mention inexpensive if they do exist. (Or tasty, I should add while I’m at it.) So, when we hit the grocery store after she left, I made sure to throw some things in the cart that are truly convenient, healthy and easy to keep on hand. I have Oikos Greek Yogurt in the fridge, some cheese sticks, GF pretzels, Nutella, a huge array of fruit/veggies,etc. To make it even easier, I made sure there was some pre-prepped stuff that normally I would do myself to save money and enjoy fresher flavors. For example, I bought a jar of pre-crushed garlic cloves in olive oil and some Pacific Foods GF broth/soups. I knew this stuff would come in handy when I was cooking for just me.
I even had hidden a little chocolate treat in my purse for the Chicklet and I to have nibbles from in the afternoon. (It was probably more for me, admittedly, as she truly prefers to munch on fruit first.) I knew I was in trouble yesterday when the girls bothhad about 15 minutes of overlapping sleep and I noticed how freakin’ hungry I was! It must have been 2:30PM and the last time I had eaten was 6:20AM when I had a banana before the day got rolling. While I had been drinking coffee and water, that was just not enough. I wanted food….. NOW!
I actually contemplated the nutritional value and pay-off/costs of eating the chocolate treat for my mid-afternoon lunch. I wondered if the sugar-high it would provide would last until my Love got home from work after 5:30pm. I had convinced myself that the calories were a non-issue as I would have been consuming the same (or more!) with a “real lunch”. And then I realized I was contemplating the nutritional values of the lunches I see my high school students eating. Yeap. Time to make something to eat. But it had to be fast.
Enter Stage Right: shredded refrigerated potatoes. I thought about scrambling an egg and tossing in some potatoes, but really I was craving soup, not breakfast. So out of the need for food in under 15 minutes, I made the best soup ever. The quantities listed below are COMPLETE ESTIMATES as there was no time for note-taking nor measuring. I was hungry! (Even the photo was sacrificed for sustenance while the battery charged.)
So the next time you are in a hurry for food, just open your fridge. It will be there. Yes, there are more elaborate meals you can make. But sometimes there is nothing more satisfying that a good bowl of soup. Even the Chicklet would agree with that statement. She’s the one who polished this bowl of soup off when she awoke from her nap.
Please be sure to check your ingredients. All of mine are gluten-free. (Even the cheese – Sargento’s Pepper Jack – is gluten free.)
Gluten Free Pepper Jack & Potato Soup
Serves 1.5 people for lunch
Ingredients (quantities are estimated)
2/3 cup shredded refrigerator potatoes (Simply Potatoes are gluten free)
1 1/2 cup + chicken broth (Pacific Foods is gluten free)
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 slice pepper jack cheese (Sargento’s is gluten free)
2 – 3 Tablespoons half and half
OPTIONAL: Bacon bits (Hormel is gluten free), ham or turkey slices/chopped, chopped green onion or scallions or parsley, etc
- Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, potatoes, minced onion and garlic. Stir until fragrant (or 1 – 2 minutes).
- Add chicken broth to cover potatoes plus a little more (about 1/4 cup more). The potatoes will absorb the broth while cooking. Too little broth will make for a pasty potato soup. Keep your broth handy. You can always add more as the cooking continues.
- Simmer the potatoes until tender. Drop pieces of the sliced cheese on top of the soup. Stir in completely. Use an immersion blender or small blender to cream the potatoes/soup.
- Add a couple spoonfuls of hot soup to the half and half (to avoid heating the half and half too fast and curdling it) and then add it back into the soup. Stir until smooth.
- Sprinkle your soup with crumbled bacon bits or chopped green onion, etc
- Try to eat it all before your toddler spies you munching and smells the goodness. She’s going to want some too! (Or maybe just be smarter than I am and make enough for the two of you to begin with!)
Happy Gluten-Free Eating!