Is your digestive system groaning from Christmas and New Year's indulgence? All that festive and delicious cheese and wine, second helpings at Christmas lunch, champagne brekkies, boxed choccies and rich desserts.... Wonderfully indulgent, and a lot of work for our guts, hey!
Feasting is one of life's great pleasures and we're fortunate to be able to do so. It's also good to rest and soothe our digestive systems.
For a light-yet-satisfying, restorative meal, try this Vietnamese-style soup. It's rich in liver-detoxifying and gut-soothing amino acids, herbs and spices, thanks to the bone broth, ginger and coriander it contains. It's also gluten-free, hydrating, and offers the antimicrobial powerhouse combo of chilli, ginger and garlic - good medicine for anyone recovering from a cold or other respiratory illness brought on by end-of-year exhaustion.
Serves 2, prep time 40 mins
About 600ml of chicken bone broth, home-made (preferably made from a free range chicken carcass or bones)
Approx. 200g vermicelli rice noodles (I recommend the Wai Wai brand from Countdown in New Zealand, and the Mama brand from Waitrose in the UK)
3 small bunches of bok choy/pak choi
A chunk of fresh ginger, a whole red chilli, a few cloves of garlic
2 free range chicken breasts, organic if possible
Bunch of fresh coriander
A fresh lime (or lemon if limes are not available)
-Coat the chicken breasts in coconut oil and make a few cuts across each breast that go halfway through the thickest part of the breast, and pop them in the oven to grill. If you don't have an oven, you can cut the chicken breasts into fine slices and fry these in coconut oil.
-Finely slice the garlic cloves and chilli, grate a few teaspoons of fresh ginger, and finely chop a good handful of coriander leaves. Put these to one side.
-Simmer your chicken or vege broth in a stainless steel pot. While this is simmering, add the sliced chilli, garlic and grated ginger.
-When the broth is heated through and the chicken is almost cooked, place a colander or vege steamer on top of the broth pot, and place the vertically-sliced bok choi leaves inside.
-Cook the rice noodles for 1-2 minutes in boiling water, then drain the noodles and divide between the serving bowls (tongs are useful for this).
-Divide the broth, steamed bok choi leaves and a handful of coriander between the noodle bowls, leaving some coriander for a garnish.
-Remove the chicken from the grill/pan and slice into fine strips. Place these in and on top of your noodle broth.
-Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and a generous squeeze of lime or lemon juice. You can also add a drizzle of tamari sauce (make sure it's wheat-free if the meal is gluten free).
Enjoy and be soothed!