Whole Health Noodle Soup {Recipe}


I know you guys know I like my noodle bowls, but this week, I’ve been feeling something else – noodle soup! And by the way, is it just me, or do the words “noodle soup” conjure up memories of Joey on Friends? “Mmm…soup…I mean noodle soup! I mean soup!” Oh Joey…


I’ve been a bit under the weather this week, so I’ve had a big, hot, comforting bowl of noodle soup every day for lunch this week so far.


I love them because they’re so easy to throw together and taste great. They even use a lot of pantry ingredients (boxed broth, dry noodles, long-storing tofu, and you could probably use frozen vegetables, though I prefer fresh).


I’ve made a few variations this week – all using tofu because it was easier to cook than meat since I basically just warmed it through in the last couple minutes of cooking. But, you could easily cook chicken, etc. in the broth, or even saute it in a separate pan and add it to the soup (or even serve it on top!).


Today I tried a new type of noodle – spelt (love!) soba. I thought they were really good, not that they were all that different from other soba (or even udon) noodles. I’ve found the Eden Organic brand noodles to be a bit thicker than some others, so they take about twice as long to cook and will yield a different texture. There are other brands that cook faster if you’re in even more of a rush. Honestly, I usually just buy whichever one is on sale.


Whole Health Noodle Soup

One big bowl of noodle soup is sure to comfort a sore throat, warm you from the inside, and just make you feel better overall. But, you don’t need to be sick to enjoy this dish. Noodle soup makes a great light lunch or dinner when you want something small, stress-free, and/or quick.

Overall cook time will depend on how long your noodles take. The ones I used for this recipe cook in 8-10 minutes, so adjust cooking time as needed.

Ingredient amount ranges are provided below so you can use the amount you prefer depending on taste preferences and hunger levels. I really love vegetables, so I get pretty heavy-handed with them. Love onions? Add more! Hate garlic? Leave it out, or go with one clove. Feeling famished? Maybe add in some extra noodles and tofu. Customize!

*Vegetarian* *Vegan*

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes (depending on how long your noodles take to cook)
Serves: 1


  • 1 1/2 cups broth (vegetable – or chicken if you want to go non-vegetarian/non-vegan)
  • 1/2 cup water (or just use more broth)
  • small handful noodles – about 1/4-1/2″ in diameter, depending on how much you want
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/8-1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4-1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4-1/2 cup tofu
  • 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • sesame seeds, optional


  1. Pour broth and water into a small/medium pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add onions and garlic. Add noodles, gently pushing dry noodles into the broth. Set timer for recommended cook time following package. Note: The package I used had a cook time of 8-10 minutes
  3. With 4 minutes left on the timer, add broccoli and stir into soup.
  4. With 2 minutes left on the timer, add spinach, tofu, and 1 teaspoon soy sauce.
  5. Cook until spinach is wilted and tofu is warmed through (this should be done in the 2 minutes remaining on the timer). Taste test and add additional soy sauce for more of a salty flavor and add pepper as you like.
  6. Pour into a large bowl. Garnish with sesame seeds, if you want. Serve and enjoy.


Dear noodle soup, I love you. <3


Hubby brought home a snack for me today – a pumpkin scone from Starbucks. I really liked the flavor, but thought the icing was a little overwhelming in sweetness levels. I prefer how they do the icing drizzle on their cinnamon scones. Anywho, I’d really like to try to make some pumpkin scones from scratch some time. They’d be a great brunch item for this time of year.


But uber-sweet or not, I thought the scone was very thoughtful. :) Thanks hubby!


And one more photo I had to share from today – I found Bailey lounging on the couch just like this earlier today. I think his butt is about one foot higher than his head. Silly boy!


Thanks so much for reading guys! Want to read TCL easier? You can get free updates by clicking here.


Reader question: What’s your favorite type of noodle? Whole wheat spaghetti, regular angel hair, spelt soba, udon, ramen…?

End of Summer Chilled Cucumber Tomato Soup


Well folks, we have about one week of summer officially left in the year. Are you ready for it to be over? I guess I am, but I’m still celebrating the last week of summer with some favorites – flirty skirts & flip flops and of course eats.


Not sure what to do with the last of your tomatoes? Why not try this End of Summer Chilled Cucumber-Tomato Soup?


I used Green Zebra and Sweet 100 tomatoes from my garden, along with this cucumber that we got from I forgot where – my mom? A co-worker? Who knows. But I had it.


Since it was a traditional cucumber, I peeled it…


…and seeded it.


And these Green Zebras are really fun to work with – check out the bizarre green color! If you don’t have these, don’t worry, other tomatoes will work. See recipe notes for tips.


Anywho, this has to be one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made. You basically just put all the ingredients (save for the cherry tomatoes) into a blender, blend…


…chill…stir in some extra flavors and…


Voila! Lunch is served…with maybe a nice, hearty piece of buttered whole grain toast. Gotta have my carbs.


End of Summer Chilled Cucumber Tomato Soup

This chilled soup is similar to a gazpacho but with a shorter ingredient list. It uses what I like to think of as the most common summer vegetable garden ingredients: cucumber, tomato, and basil. And is it supposed to be eaten cold? Why yes. You know those days where it’s so hot outside, you almost don’t want to eat? This would be perfect for such a day…or really any warm weather day where you just want something cold on your tongue – like a day you want a smoothie, but aren’t feeling something sweet.

Don’t have Green Zebra tomatoes? Sub roma – the smaller ones are similar in size.

*Vegetarian, Vegan*

Serves 1

Prep time: Does rinsing and chopping count? No, since I put prepped ingredients in the list? Ok, then I’d like to say 0, but let’s go with 5 minutes to be safe.
Cook time: Hmm…is this a trick question? Also 0. There is no cooking involved in this recipe. But there is 1 hour of chilling and some mixing involved, so let’s say 1 hour (for chilling) and 10 minutes (for blending and stirring).


  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and de-seeded and cut into chunks
  • 3 green zebra tomatoes, quartered
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 small sprig fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (or go a little heavier for a more tangy flavor)
  • small handful cherry tomatoes (about 6), halved
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place cucumber, tomatoes, basil, parsley, salt and pepper into a blender. Blend until smooth, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Pour soup into a container and cover. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least one hour. Note: You can probably eat it sooner – temperature is up to your personal taste.
  3. Stir in vinegar and salt and pepper, if needed.
  4. Pour soup into a bowl, add cherry tomato halves, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, serve and enjoy.


Don’t forget the extra virgin olive oil drizzle!


Now, go enjoy this somewhere warm. Stop and smell the roses. Admire the sunlight. Enjoy the fresh air.

Reader question: Which summer fruit or vegetable will you miss most?

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins


Please answer yes/no for the following foodie questions:

  • Are you looking to do something with all that summer zucchini around right now?
  • Are you looking for an easy baking project for this weekend?
  • Are you crazy about zucchini bread?
  • Are you still drooling over the zucchini bread/muffin photos I posted on Facebook earlier?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then I have the perfect recipe for you! Healthy and Oat-licious Zucchini Bread and Muffins.

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

Ooh la yum! ;)

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

I have a few squash plants in my garden outside and they are producing like crazy. I accidentally let one get a little on the large side.

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

For a split second, I was sad that it probably wouldn’t be good in a stir-fry (or soup)…until I realized that the large zucchini in my hands would be perfect for one of my favorite breakfast treats – zucchini bread and muffins!

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

All I needed was some flour, apple sauce, eggs, lemon, and a couple other pantry ingredients.

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

Ooh and a food processor (to finely cut that zucchini) and a stand mixer (though you could easily do this by hand).

Mix a little of this and a little of that and before you know it, you have…

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

Warm, sweet, delicious zucchini muffins and bread (perfect weekend brunch eats). I like doing both the muffins and the bread because I get to enjoy a little variety.

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

Ok, ok, and my impatient side likes the instant gratification of baking muffins since they take a fraction of the cooking time of the bread (and if I time it right, I can be eating muffins while the bread finishes baking away). It’s like having your cake muffin and eating it, too!

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

Now, I haven’t always been such a zucchini bread fanatic.

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

I distinctly remember the first time I heard about zucchini bread (or at least my reaction to it). I was a young kiddo back in elementary school, and I didn’t like vegetables nearly as much as I do now. The only kind of sweet breakfast bread I ever wanted to eat was my mom’s piping hot banana bread.

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

I don’t really remember the exact conversation around the zucchini bread, all I remember is they (they=adults) said something about zucchini bread, and I was instantly disgusted. Vegetables? In a sweet bread? Whoa. I couldn’t imagine how that could be a good thing. (If only I knew back then that I would one day develop a sweet bread/muffin recipe made with spinach!)

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

The adults around me claimed that the zucchini bread tasted like banana bread, but I refused to accept that truth. What child listens to an adult, right? In fact, it wasn’t until a few years later that I finally caved. I’m stubborn like that sometimes.

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

But you know what, I enjoyed every last bite of that first slice of zucchini bread. I even asked mom to make it! And of course, she did. :) And thus, a love for zucchini bread began.

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

It was a long time before I decided to try making zucchini bread on my own (mostly because I didn’t have a food processor for a long time). When I finally did, I was so pleased to find this tasty recipe (click) by Cooking Light.

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

I made a few changes the first couple times I made that Cooking Light recipe, but a week or so ago, I decided to do a few more:

  • I subbed white wheat and oat flour for the all purpose to utilize less-processed, cleaner ingredients
  • I made the overall flavor less sweet by reducing the amount of sugar used (hello Not So Sweet recipe!)
  • I don’t like egg substitutes (unless it’s going to be a flax/chia seed egg), so I just used real eggs
  • I reduced the amount of oil used by subbing in some applesauce
  • I increased the amount of lemon zest used because it is truly one of the signature ingredients of this recipe and deserves to stand out a little more
  • I topped my bread/muffins pre-baking with oats and nuts so you can really see what’s inside – I think it looks cool
  • And finally, I increased the amount of nuts used in the recipe

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

The result – pure deliciousness that middle-school-me would have been proud of.

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins


Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This easy and healthy zucchini bread/muffin recipe has a light flavor with full satisfaction. Feel free to use any flour (or combination of flours) that you’d like. I just used less processed ones because I like that they’re better for you and don’t detract from the tender texture. Be sure to use all the lemon zest suggested in this recipe for full flavor. Bakes 2 loaves, 24 muffins, or if you’re like me – the best of both worlds – one loaf AND 12 muffins. Adapted from this Cooking Light Zucchini Bread recipe

*Vegan if you use vegan options indicated below* *Vegetarian*
Serves: 6
  • 2 cups white wheat flour (or flour of choice)
  • 1 cup oat flour (or flour of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 2 large eggs (or vegan egg substitute, for example: flax/chia seed egg)
  • ¼ cup canola oil (or oil of choice, preferably a non-flavored one)
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest (be sure to not skip over this ingredient – it’s the key)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans (or nut of choice), toasted (if you want), plus more for topping, about ½ cup
  • Cooking spray
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Pre-pare baking containers of choice (see recipe notes above for options) – I used one loaf pan and one muffin tin – with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine white wheat flour, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Whisk till evenly combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine applesauce, eggs, oil, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Whisk till evenly combined. Whisk in sugar. Stir in zucchini.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients. Stir gently to combine, just till all dry ingredients are mixed in (careful to not over-mix). Fold in ½ cup pecans, if using.
  5. For muffins and loaf (like I made) – Using an ice cream scoop, put one scoop worth of batter into each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin (should fill muffins cups about halfway up the sides). Repeat if making 24 muffins total. Otherwise, pour remaining batter into your prepared loaf pan.
  6. Sprinkle oats and reserved nuts, if using, over batter evenly. Bake muffins for 14-17 minutes and bread 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin or loaf comes out clean. Note: I chose to put both my muffin tin and loaf pan in at the same time, removing the muffins when they were ready while my bread finished in the oven (so I could enjoy the muffins whilst waiting for the bread to finish baking).
  7. When the muffins and/or bread are safe to consume, serve and enjoy.
Note #1: muffins and bread will be a little shorter than most recipes I’ve seen, but they will be just as tasty as ever.

If making all muffins, evenly distribute batter between 24 muffin cups.
If making all loaves, evenly distribute batter between 2 loaf pans.

Note #2: this is a Not So Sweet recipe. I’ve reduced the sugar by a bit, so if you like a sweeter bread, you may wish to add about ½ cup of sugar back in.

You may also like:

Healthy Oatlicious Zucchini Bread and Muffins

Did I mention the muffins (or bread slices) are tasty on their own or served with a lovely cage-free fried egg and some bacon and OJ? Yummm…hello weekend brunch!

How old were you when you first tried zucchini bread? Did you think the name sounded weird, too?

Easy Summer Squash Soup


Oh summer, what would you be without the delicious squash?

Of all the summer vegetables available, squash is one of the ones that comes to mind first, besides being, quite possibly, my favorite (ssh, don’t tell the tomatoes!). I love squash sauteed with onions and butter. I love it grilled. And I even love it in soup.


I made this summer squash soup a couple weeks ago for lunch when I didn’t have time to hit up the grocery store on my lunch break. (Lunch break? What’s that?)


I only had time to pluck this yellow squash from my garden before scavenging my freezer for other items to cook with it.


When I don’t have fresh proteins around, I almost always have a can of beans (or previously cooked batch in a tupperware in the freezer) that I can rely on. I love beans for a quick and easy vegetarian protein. Not because I’m vegetarian. No, I’m obviously a meat eater. But I like to have protein with every meal so I’m not hungry 5 minutes after eating.


Easy Summer Squash Soup Recipe

This easy (and fast!) summer soup makes a great, light lunch served with whole grain toast. You could also leave out the beans and serve it as a lighter first course for a multi-course meal. Nom!

Freeze the leftover for an even easier emergency meal for later.

*Vegan/Vegetarian if you use appropriate broth/stock*

Serves 2


  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut into half moons, about 1/3 inch thick
  • sprinkle salt/pepper.
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion (I used frozen)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth/stock
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup frozen cooked pinto beans (or 1 can rinsed and drained)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped, optional
  • additional salt/pepper, to taste
  • fresh basil, ripped or chopped, garnish, optional


  1. Pre-heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil, squash, onion, sprinkle of salt/pepper, and saute until onions are translucent and squash are starting to get tender, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, corn, and basil and bring to a boil. Add beans and cook until beans are warmed through.
  3. Taste test and add parsley, if using, and add additional salt and/or pepper, as needed. Stir.
  4. Serve and top with fresh basil. Enjoy!



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What’s your favorite thing to do with summer squash?

Which do you prefer: yellow squash or zucchini?

Warm Farro Salad (With Tomatoes, Spinach, and Shiitake Mushrooms) – An Easy Farro Recipe


The inspiration struck awhile back…

Hubby and I were with friends checking out a new restaurant and unsure of what to order. We saw a delicious chicken dish pass us by. Then the same dish again…and again. As I looked around the small dining room of the restaurant, The Wine Shop, I realized that at least one of those very chicken dishes was on every single table. It was obviously the regulars’ choice.

So, we chose it, too. And after enjoying a delicious arugula salad with beets starter salad, that very chicken dish finally made its way to our table. After one bite, I realized why the dish was so popular. It was spectacular! That crispy chicken was a real palate pleaser. But a surprise came on the same plate, and it was the side of warm farro salad. Being a fan of unique grains, I figured I’d like it, but I really, really loved this use of farro. The farro was tender and the flavor was rich with what tasted almost like a mushroom broth. I immediately started taking note of the features and flavors of the dish with the idea of recreating the dish (both parts of it – chicken and farro) when I had the chance.


The chance struck mid-last-week when I decided to see if I could re-create our amazing chicken and farro dinner. Yet, while I wanted to do some take on crispy chicken, the dish I really wanted to recreate as close as possible to the original form was the warm farro salad.


I started with some farro that I picked up from the bulk bin section of my local health food store. I cooked it in broth, added in shiitake mushrooms, and then at the last minute, I stirred in fresh baby spinach and cherry tomatoes from my garden.


The result, paired with crispy, oven-fried chicken, was all I wanted and more. I’ll share the chicken recipe in a separate blog post. For now…I give you a super easy way to enjoy farro. That’s right. I’m guessing most of you are unfamiliar with exactly how to prepare farro, but this is a great recipe to introduce you to the ancient grain.


Warm Farro Salad (With Tomatoes, Spinach, and Shiitake Mushrooms)

Wondering, “What’s the best way to cook farro?” or even “what the heck do I do with farro?”. Here’s an extra-easy recipe that will pair well with almost any protein. I like mine served with Oven-Fried Crispy Almond Chicken, but steak, a vegetarian or vegan protein, or even another chicken recipe should work just fine.

*Vegetarian/Vegan options included*

Serves 4


  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups broth or stock of choice (I used chicken)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup farro, rinsed
  • 3-4 shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed, chopped large
  • 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried (I used a salad spinner)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, rinsed, halved
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Bring 2 cups broth to a boil in a large pan (with tall sides). Add salt, and farro and stir. Partially cover pan, reduce to simmer, and cook farro till almost tender, about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mushrooms after the first 15 minutes. Add additional broth, if needed. Note: I added about 1/2 cup of broth after the first 30 minutes.
  2. Add spinach to pan, stir in and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, as needed. Stir to combine. Cook until cherry tomatoes are warmed through, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Serve with something delicious like Oven-Fried Chicken, and enjoy!

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I’ll be posting that Crispy, Oven-Fried Almond Chicken ASAP! :)


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Please take a quick second to vote for the next recipe I post (from the following):

Which recipe should I post next?

  • Cookies 'N Cream Rice Krispies (44%, 21 Votes)
  • Easy Summer Squash Soup (25%, 12 Votes)
  • Crispy Almond Oven-Fried Chicken (25%, 12 Votes)
  • Goji Berry Green Monster Smoothie (6%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 48

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Reader Question: Have you ever tried farro before? If not, what’s your favorite grain? If yes, how was it cooked/served and did you like it?

Figgy Green Monster Smoothie (Tastes Like Cake Batter!)


With my Green Monster madness going on recently, I’ve been coming up with some pretty interesting concoctions. Seriously, I have about 3 recipes queued up over here. Anywho, none had more interesting, or shall I say a surprising, taste than my latest – Figgy Green Monster Smoothie.


It’s a fig smoothie that tastes like cake batter.

The smoothie had zero elements that I would normally use to make a cake batter flavor and yet it tasted like cake batter! Ok, maybe it’s just me. You guys know I like to make my cake batters on the healthier side. But I honestly took the first sip after blending this smoothie up and thought…hmm…cake batter?


I came up with the idea to make a fig smoothie because my friend who has a fig tree brought in a bunch to give me. Score! Unfortunately, even without teaching Zumba, my schedule has been hectic, so I haven’t exactly had a bunch of free time to experiment with a cool recipe.

So…What could I do quickly with figs? Why not put it in a smoothie, right? And as it turns out, figs in a smoothie are a good thing.


Figgy Green Monster Smoothie (Tastes Like Cake Batter!)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Have figs and don’t know what to do with them? The easiest thing you can do (besides eating them plain) is blend them into a delicious and healthy smoothie. Since I’m on a Green Monster kick, I decided to add spinach to mine to make it green. This Green Monster smoothie had an unexpected cake-batter-like flavor.
*Vegan if you use vegan milk*
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
  • 1½ – 2 cups loosely packed spinach (or sub ¼ cup frozen spinach or fresh/frozen kale)
  • sweetener of choice, to taste, optional (you can add with the other ingredients or blend and taste first and add in at the end)
  • 1 banana (a frozen banana will give you a thicker consistency, but non-frozen works, too)
  • 4 figs, stems removed, halved
  • 1 cup milk of choice (dairy, non-dairy, vanilla non-dairy, etc.) – I used vanilla soy
  • 2 cubes ice
  1. Place spinach, banana, figs, milk, and ice in the blender.
  2. Cover and blend until banana/figs/ice is processed and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Enjoy!
Easily multiplies for additional servings.

Here’s a GM smoothie recipe that was actually designed to taste like Cake Batter…Nom!: Cake Batter Green Monster – Peas and Thank You

You may enjoy some of these other Green Monster smoothies:

*Click here to read my Green Monster 101 post* (it explains what a GM is plus some ingredient and blending tips)


Enjoy! :)


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Reader question: Figs were an ingredient that I never really expected to put into a smoothie. What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve put into a smoothie? Did you like it?

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