keithjennison June 21, 2009

The monastery’s secret chicken soup recipe still is the best I have ever tasted! They use real chicken stock, diced celery, onion and carrots, solid white breast meat, salt, pepper a dash of thyme and a generous hint of mint or dill. Long grain white rice or egg noodles are put into the serving dish immediately before the meal, having been cooked earlier and set aside. No sogginess here! Round out this meal with cheese, homemade bread and lots of fresh fruit.

At the monastery, I especially enjoy this meal after evening services. Inspired by the rays of sunlight at dusk as they cascaded through the refectory widow, our conversation became heightened from the mundane work of the day. At home, when I use the same chicken soup recipe put together with a similar meal, it takes me back to retreat space, to inner peace and a quiet, sensible manner. Isn’t it wonderful that both body and soul thrive on chicken soup? You can know from daily drudgery, you can find many good find stories from our troubles.

We all know the healing power of chicken soup when we have colds or the flu. So, too, we need to find the best recipe for chicken soup that fills and uplifts our souls. What about chicken wings? Chicken wings are really expensive to buy at restaurants especially when you can buy a whole bag of frozen ones for five or six dollars and you get sixty or seventy wings in a bag. You can buy fresh ones and its usually three or four dollars for twenty or thirty wings. I dont have a fryer so I usually place the wings on a foil lined baking sheet and brush them with vegetable or olive oil to help them crisp and cook them in the oven.

I usually turn them once when I am cooking them and brush the other side with oil as well. The oil usually helps keep them from sticking to the pan. Once cooked, you can use sauces, such as hot sauce or ranch dressing, to enhance their flavor. If you like your wings a little hotter you can sprinkle some red pepper flakes or other spicy seasoning on them after brushing them with the oil. Now that summer is here you can cook outdoors more often instead of slaving away in a hot kitchen. You can make a quick healthy inexpensive diner by firing up the barbeque and making some boneless skinless cubed grilled chicken on skewers with fresh garden vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers and onions.

You can marinate the chicken and vegetables first in a zesty Italian salad dressing for seasoning. You can serve it on top of rice or pasta and have a fresh salad to go along with it. Another vegetable that’ll go great with your steaks are baked potatoes. Just wash them and wrap them in tin foil next to your steaks on the grill and your good to go. If you prefer not to heat up an already hot day by using your oven, you can bake the potatoes for 30 mintues or so in the coals. Cooking time will vary based on the size of the potato. You can season the spuds with the dressing as well for a healthy alternative to butter and cream cheese.