Thai-Style Chicken Soup with Basil



  • 2 fresh lemongrass stalks, root end trimmed and 1 or 2 outer layers discarded
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 quart rich and flavorful chicken stock ; 1 or 2 outer layers discarded
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving juice
  • 2 ounces tamarind from a pliable block (a 2-inch cube), chopped
  • 3 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 2 (2-inch-long) fresh Thai chiles, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh or frozen Kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 (2-inch) piece peeled ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast
  • 1/4 pound snow peas, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup packed basil leaves (preferably Thai)
  • Accompaniment: cooked jasmine rice


Cut off and discard top of lemongrass, leaving 6-inch stalks, then finely chop. Cook lemongrass, shallots, and garlic in oil in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 12 to 15 minutes.
Add stock, reserved tomato juice, tamarind, fish sauce, chiles, lime leaves, and ginger and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes.
While soup simmers, freeze chicken breast just until slightly firm, 20 to 30 minutes, then thinly slice crosswise.
Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large saucepan, pressing hard on and then discarding solids. Return to a simmer and stir in chicken, diced tomatoes, snow peas, and basil. Gently simmer just until chicken is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with additional fish sauce and salt.

Feeling Great Menu

I came across this not-for-profit site one day searching for healthy menus and just have to pass it on. If you're trying to eat healthier, whole foods, this site has it all. I'm just in the middle of making my own full list of recipes to use as an easier shopping list, so I can just pick the meal and highlight all the ingredients and will be adding quite a few of these.

This menu looks so good...I just wish I had a personal chef to shop and cook it all. There's lots of recipes to choose from...

If you use it give me some feeback on how you like it.

Duck-and-Egg Hash

My food budget's been shrinking but I came across this recipe over the weekend and I just so happen to have all the ingredients (minus the duck) in my frig right now. Looks good enough to eat to me.

From Daniel's Dish: Hearty Hash with a European Accent  


4 fresh duck legs*
1 large onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 sprigs thyme, leaves only, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried thyme)
Salt and ground white pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Heat a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the duck legs on all sides with the salt and pepper and sear, skin side down, until browned. Flip the legs and sear; remove and set aside.

Add the onion, garlic, and thyme to the pan and cook, stirring, for 6 minutes, or until onions are soft and golden brown. Return the legs to the pan, skin side up, and add enough water to reach halfway up the legs.

Cover the pan and transfer to the oven. Braise for 1½ to 2 hours, turning the legs halfway through. The meat should be tender and easy to pull from the bone. Cool the legs in the cooking liquid at room temperature. Strain the liquid (which can be saved for later use as a stock). Pick the meat from the duck legs, discarding bones and skin. Roughly chop meat and onion mixture; reserve. (Duck legs can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.)

* If substituting prepared confit duck legs for fresh, sauté quartered onion and crushed garlic in 1 T olive oil over medium heat with thyme, salt, and pepper until tender and golden brown. Pick the meat from the legs and proceed as directed.


2 lb. Idaho potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 T olive oil
8 oz. button mushrooms, rinsed and halved
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, ¼" dice
2 sprigs fresh parsley, leaves only, chopped
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 T butter
6 eggs
Salt and ground white pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a medium pot with a large pinch of salt and enough water to cover them. Simmer until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Drain and refrigerate the potatoes, covered, until chilled, then cut into rough ½" cubes.

Preheat oven to 350˚F, then heat the olive oil in a medium-size skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté until they are golden brown and tender.

In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms with the chopped-duck mixture, potatoes, cheddar cheese, parsley, and cayenne; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a 10" cast-iron skillet or 2-quart casserole dish. Pack the hash mixture into the pan. Using a large spoon or ladle, press six holes into the hash, one in the middle and five around the perimeter.

Bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden brown and crusty. Crack the eggs into the holes, sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper, and return to the oven. Bake for approximately 8 minutes, or until egg whites are set. Serve immediately. Yields six servings.

Sour Cream & Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes

2 cups flour (I use 1/2 unbleached and 1/2 whole wheat) King Arthur
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

I'm usually limited by time, and I tend to throw all my ingredients in together and it turns out fine. That's the way I cook every (same as washing clothes) and if it doesn't work for me I throw out the recipe. The proper way is to mix the dry ingredients with and the wet ingredients seperately and fold together.

You don't need to use as much sour cream. I used to get so much free sour cream, I wanted a way to use it. You can use buttermilk, milk, yogurt as a substitute.

And please no fake maple syrup....only the real thing!!!

Yield: 20 pancakes

Coconut Chicken Balti

I made this last night and it was SO good. Took about 10 mins. I served it with white rice (butter added) and green beans. Delicious!!

2 lb chicken cut into cubes
olive oil
2 teaspoon spicy balti mix (see recipe below)
½  can creamed coconut
1 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh coriander
2 plum tomatoes, skinned and chopped

Balti spice mix: (makes 30ml)

2 teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Heat the oil and then gently fry the chicken, sealing it until it's golden brown. Add the spices, creamed coconut, coconut milk and cook gently for 6 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Stir in the tomatoes and heat through. Finally, add the coriander just before serving. 

Serves 6-8
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Approx cost $5

5 Ways to Burn Fat & Boost Your Metabolism

Roger Haeske' newsletter: some good motivation.....

*** Lightning Speed Fitness Program ***
Muscle Building, Fat Burning & Time Saving Fitness Tips

"5 Ways to Burn Fat & Boost Your Metabolism"

I'm going to show you five ways to burn off
excess pounds and increase your metabolism. This
means that you'll be burning extra fat even while
you are sleeping and all throughout the day.

Here are the five techniques to boost your

1. Put on more muscle
2. Eat more often
3. Interval Training
4. Run sprints
5. Eat a low-fat, 100% Raw Food Diet

1. Put on more muscle:

This is quite simple. A pound of muscle burns an
average of 75 calories per day. A pound of fat
burns only 2 calories per day. If you add more
muscle, it increases your metabolism. That means
that even if you aren't very active that
particular day, you'll be burning more fat, now
that you have more muscle.

The Lightning Speed Exercise quickly builds up
the largest muscles in your body, your legs. By
spending just five minutes a day doing this
exercise, you can dramatically lower your body
fat levels, while building more muscular legs.

I can tell you from personal experience that the
more muscle I put on, the less fat I have. It
just burns up the fat.

For more information on the Lightning Speed
Fitness Program, please visit:

2. Eat More Often

I bet you'll like this method. That's right -
eating more often, makes you burn more fat. The
key is to eat the right kinds of foods more
often. If you really want to burn the calories,
then add two extra salad or vegetable meals
during your day. These should be raw and with no
overtly fatty foods like oil, avocado, coconut or
nuts and seeds. You can even add oranges or other
citrus fruit or berries to your salad.

Or you can add a couple of extra meals of
melon, to your day. These low calorie and raw
food meals will boost your metabolism and
actually help you to burn fat instead of putting
it on.

Do you want to know how Sumo Wrestlers get so
fat? They fast throughout the day and then late
at night they eat a huge meal. By fasting during
the day, it tricks their bodies into thinking
there is a shortage and so their metabolism slows
down greatly.

So if you want to lose weight, eat low calorie
and high water content, raw meals, throughout the

To succeed at an Optimal Raw Food Diet, please

3. Interval Training

There have been a couple of studies done testing
the effectiveness of different kinds of exercise
programs on fitness levels and how much fat these
exercises help you burn.

It turns out that moderate intensity aerobics
was much less effective at burning fat than
interval training. What was found that for every
calorie burned during the workout, that interval
training actually burned, 9 times more fat, per
calorie burned.

The interval training actually burned less
calories (during the exercise) and was a much
shorter workout. But for each calorie burned,
somehow the interval training produced an
increased fat burning effect, by 9 times that
over the aerobics.

I have more detailed information about this
technique at my Lighting Speed Member's Only
Forum. To join please visit:

4. Run Sprints

Running sprints is another great technique to
build up your leg muscles and therefore burn fat.
It has also been shown that running sprints in 30-
second intervals, actually increases human growth
hormonë production by 500%.

Over twenty years of testing and research in
clinics and universities all over the world have
proven the effectiveness of human growth hormonë .

* Increase metabolism, Decrease body fat &
increase lean body mass
* Restore lost hair and hair color
* Restore collagen levels to erase lines and
* Improve mood, sleep, and organ functioning
* Increase energy and endurance
* Increase mental energy and clarity
* Increase in sense of well-being and emotional
* Increase in bone and joint flexibility

5. Eat a Low-Fat, 100% Raw Food Diet

There's nothing like eating a 100% raw food
diet, for getting that ripped look.
Unfortunately, many people complain that they
look too skinny.

The reason for this is that most people eating a
Standard American Diet are over-fat and under-
muscled. I know when I first went raw I hated how
skinny I was getting. Little did I know at the
time of the health benefits of being very thin.
Then I learned that if I didn't want to look
skinny I had to make sure I had good muscular

Here are some quotes on the benefits of being
thin, from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book "Eat to Live,"
page 21:

"After limiting the analysis to nonsmokers, it
was very clear that the ** longest-lived women
were the leanest."

"Dr. I-Min Lee, of the Harvard School of Public
Health, said her 27 year study of 19,297 men
found there was no such thing as being to thin.
(Obviously, it is possible to be too thin,
however, it is uncommon and usually called
anorexia, but that is not the subject of this

"Among the men who never smoked the ** lowest
mortality occurred in the lightest fifth."

"We observed a direct relationship between body
weight and mortality. By that I mean that the
thinnest fifth of men experienced the lowest
mortality, and mortality increased progressively
with heavier and heavier weight."

"If you have gained even as little as ten pounds
since the age of 18 or 20, then you could be at
significant increased risk for health problems
such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and
diabetes. The truth is that most people who think
they are the right weight still have too much fat
on their body."

*~* 3 Reasons Why You Lose Fat on a Raw Food
Diet *~*

1. Excess toxins are stored in your fat cells. A
raw food diet is the lowest in toxins out of any
diet. On a raw diet, you have much less of a
daily toxic load; your body will then start
removing the excess stored toxins in your fat
cells. This results in a dramatic fat burning

Excess fat is due mostly to toxicity and not

2. On a raw diet it is hard to get fat because
you will feel stuffed before you can possibly
overeat. That is due to the extra fiber,
nutrients and water contained in raw Vegan foods.

You have to eat much more by weight and volume
than you are used to on a cooked diet. So you will
be full and still consume less calories. This is
especially true if you follow an Optimal Raw Food

All cooked food is dehydrated. That is why
doctors recommend the extra 8 to 12 glasses of
water per day. On a good raw diet, you will
usually need to drink little to no water at all.
The extra water and fiber will make you full with
fewer calories.

3. You'll also feel more nourished and therefore
won't want to eat as much. With cooked and
processed foods, the nutrient content of the food
is dramatically depleted and you'll tend to
overeat because your body is desperately looking
for more nutrients. Therefore, you end up
overeating in your body's search for nutrients.

If you really want to experience all the amazing
benefits of a raw diet, then join my Raw Food
Diet Success Society at