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Roasted Chicken Salad with Tangy Beet Vinaigrette
Kid-Friendly Chicken Noodle Soup

Kid-Friendly Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is already pretty kid-friendly, but some children can be turned off by green or bitter things such as parsley, green onions, or celery. That means you might not want to give them a giant bowl of refined carbohydrates. That’s why this recipe calls for konjac noodles, which are noodles made from a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, flavourless, and fibrous tuber that picky eaters probably won’t mind (or notice). If your kids don’t happen to mind green, feel free to substitute zucchini noodles and add all the parsley, chives, green onions, and broccoli you like! While you’ll get more nutrients out of making a homemade broth, this recipe calls for store-bought quality broth or homemade broth made in advance to save time and labour—which we know is important when there are ravenous children involved! Look for konjac noodles at your local health food store or Asian market, where they’re often less expensive and sometimes called shirataki noodles. Not all brands are created equal, though, so look for a package that contains more konjac than soy, brown rice, or tapioca flour. Feel free, of course, to substitute traditional pasta in fun shapes like farfalline, stellette, or alphabet. If you can’t find konjac, you can use peeled zucchini that you spiralize or grate into noodles instead. Zucchini gives a faint green tinge to the noodles even when peeled, though—even when peeled before spiralizing—so if you’re avoiding green and expect quizzical stares from youngsters, try a mix of zucchini and whole grain pasta broken into pieces of about the same size as the zucchini noodles. If using whole grain pasta, boil it in a separate pot so the broth doesn’t absorb all the starch and become cloudy. If using zucchini, only grate or spiralize down to the seeds, which are mostly water and will become mushy and dilute your broth. The cores make for a juicy snack for the chef!

Mason jar chicken noodle soup

This make-ahead version of chicken soup is just what the doctor ordered. The dried spices and noodles make for the perfect Mason jar care package for a sick friend in need. Feel free to swap in or out any dried spices you’d like. Add a gift tag with instructions for the giftee to simmer the contents of the jar in 3 cups (750 mL) boiling water until noodles are soft, and you’ll be all set. To make the soup more substantial and satisfying, you can suggest adding diced chicken or vegetables to the broth and a dash of lemon juice. Otherwise, they can just enjoy the slurpable noodles in their stomach-soothing broth.   Pass da pasta   This recipe calls for egg noodles because they cook quickly without leaching too much starch into the broth, which would end up muting the broth’s flavour. You can also use quick-cooking ramen or buckwheat soba, or any spiral-shaped pasta, which look best in the gifted Mason jar. Lemon aid   Dried lemon peel adds flavour without adding sodium. If you know your giftee will make the soup right away, add a few strips of freshly peeled lemon zest instead. Or give them a lemon along with the Mason jar, so they can add some zest and fresh juice themselves (and save the rest of the lemon for tea with ginger and honey). Look for bouillon powder without MSG or other preservatives. Better yet, look for powdered bone broth, which will give the purest chicken flavour along with collagen, amino acids, healthy fat, and an array of minerals, just like a homemade chicken broth.