Category Archives: Healthy Snacks

Chicken Soup Cooking Disaster

You never know when disaster will strike in the kitchen.

I’m finally home for a much needed 2 week break from school. My Mom asked me to make some chicken soup to warm us up. We shopped for ingredients at the health food store. Choate doesn’t offer organic food so this was a treat. So far, so good.

Photo of Organic Chicken Soup In Pot for blog post on chicken soup cooking disaster by charis freiman-mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

Organic chicken soup

My Mom and I were catching up as I was cooking, which RETROSPECTIVELY was unfortunate.

Photo of McCormack Crushed Red Pepper Flakes for blog post on chicken soup cooking disaster by charis freiman-mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

This jar was full when I started cooking the chicken soup

I was adding spices to the soup and reached for the red chili flakes. I meant to lightly sprinkle some flakes over the chicken, but accidentally flipped up the large opening of the pepper container and dumped about a half cup into the pot. I quickly tried to spoon out as much of it as possible, but it was too late. I tasted the soup to CONFIRM what I already knew: it was INEDIBLE.

Photo of chicken broth in ice cube tray to make chicken bouillon cubes by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.", for blog post on Chicken Soup Cooking disaster

Pour chicken broth into ice cube trays and freeze for future use

My Mom’s friend Julie was over and she had a great suggestion: pour half of the broth into ice cube trays, and freeze it into “boullion” cubes for future use. Take the other half of the soup and dilute it with organic vegetable broth. Thanks to Julie’s quick thinking, I pulled a save.

Photo of Leftover Chicken In Pot for blog post on chicken soup cooking disaster by charis freiman-mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

Use leftover chicken to make curried chicken salad

MORAL of the story: Get creative to SALVAGE a cooking “disaster.”



  • 1 medium chicken, pre-roasted
  • 1/4 box of linguini
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 turnip
  • 1 large bunch  parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes (Careful!)
  • 2 (16 oz) boxes organic vegetable broth
  • water


  • Chop the celery, carrots, pepper, onion and turnip into medium size chunks
  • Break up the linguini into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • Shred the parsley
  • Shred the chicken with your fingers


  • Fill a large pot with the vegetable broth
  • Add water to fill the pot to 3/4 of the way up
  • Add all seasonings, linguini and chopped vegetables
  • Cook for 40 minutes on high
  • Reduce heat to low and add the chicken and parsley
  • Cook for 10 minutes + serve


  • RETROSPECTIVELY = looking back
  • CONFIRM = support
  • INEDIBLE = unfit to eat
  • MORAL = lesson
  • SALVAGE = rescue

Tip: There are more great recipes and useful vocab in “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.”

Recipe: Baked Pumpkin Seeds

                     Happy Halloween!

Photo of carved pumpkin for S.A.T. gourmet blog post on baked pumpkin seeds for Halloween

Photo of Charis and her Dad at Parent's Weekend for blog post on SATgourmet about baked pumpkin seedsMy Dad and I at Parent’s Weekend.

Once a year we have Parent’s Weekend at my school. My Mom and Dad came for two days and sat in on all of my classes. Yesterday we arrived home for a long weekend. Since I’m not due back at school until Tuesday, I have time to cook, try new recipes, and revisit old favorites. Halloween, one of the most fun holidays, is coming up, so we bought a pumpkin at our local health food store. I don’t really like the taste of pumpkin, but I love the seeds.

Here’s a simple recipe for baked pumpkin seeds:

Photo of Charis removing pumpkin seeds for an S.A.T.gourmet blog post on baked pumpkin seeds.      Using a paring knife, cut off the stem of the pumpkin.

Photo of pumpkin seeds soaking in water for S.A.T.gourmet post on baked pumpkin seeds.      Scoop out the seeds & separate them from the meat                                                   of the pumpkin. Place the seeds in cold water & let                                                     them soak while you scoop out all of the seeds.

Photo of strained pumpkin seeds for post on baked pumpkin seeds on S.A.T.gourmet.      Strain the seeds using a colander.

Photo of Charis blotting the water off of pumpkin seeds for a blog post on baked pumpkin seeds on S.A.T.gourmet.      Transfer the seeds to a sheet pan & blot off the                                                   excess water using a paper towel.

Photo of olive oil for blog post on baked pumpkin seeds for S.A.T.gourmet.      Lightly drizzle olive oil on the seeds.

Photo of black pepper for blog post on baked pumpkin seeds for S.A.T.gourmet.      Crack black pepper on the seeds, to taste.

Photo of spices for blog post on baked pumpkin seeds on S.A.T.gourmet.      Sprinkle spices on the seeds. I decided to use salt for                                                    one half & garlic powder + cayenne pepper for the                                                     other half.

Photo of baked pumpkin seeds for blog post on S.A.T.gourmet.      Bake the seeds at 400ºF for about 15 – 20                                                     minutes, tossing occasionally. Let cool and serve.

Pumpkins CHARACTERIZE Halloween, but it wasn’t always that way. Prior to the 19th century, turnips were carved into jack-o’-lanterns in Ireland and Scotland. Americans prefer pumpkins over turnips for their festive color and because they are CAPACIOUS, which makes them much easier to carve.

CHARACTERIZE (verb): to describe distinctively

CAPACIOUS (adjective): large


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