I was so proud of myself for finally getting the flu shot this year. Little did I know that while the shot protects you against the most prevalent strain in any given year, it doesn’t protect you against every strain.
A cold and the flu are both caused by viruses, but most importantly you should know they are very different viruses. While both of these I-don’t-want-to-have-them illnesses have similar symptoms, flu symptoms are more intense and extreme and can have more serious consequences.
Just remember to drink lots of fluids. Water, juice and clear broth can help loosen up the congestion and help prevent the onset of dehydration. Don’t drink that hot toddy, alcohol, coffee and caffeinated beverages, which can dehydrate you and lead to serious medical consequences.
The following recipes have all been sent to me at one time or another by readers touting them as the best way to make a miserable time slightly less so.
Ginger Egg Drop Soup
10 green onions, divided
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 cups water
1 3- to 4-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 4 pieces
2 boneless chicken breasts or 4 thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice six green onions into 2-inch pieces. Place the sliced green onions and the broth in a saucepan. Add the water and ginger. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Add the chicken pieces and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
Remove the green onions and ginger from the soup. Bring the soup to a bubbling simmer but not a boil. Slowly whisk in the beaten eggs, cooking for an additional 2 minutes. Chop the remaining green onions.
Remove the soup from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the chopped green onions.
To serve, drizzle a little sesame oil over the top of each bowl. Makes 4 servings.
30-Minute Chicken and Rice Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 pound boneless skinned chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup rice (you can also use tiny pasta)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced, or 1 tablespoon dried
Salt and pepper to taste
In a soup pot, heat the oil and sauté the carrots, garlic, onion and celery for about 5 minutes, just until they start to soften. Add the broth, rice and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the rice is done. Makes 6 servings.
Honey Lime Tea
2 tablespoons honey
4 to 6 tablespoons lime juice
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup boiling water
In a large cup, combine the honey, lime juice and a pinch of salt (yes, salt). Add the boiling water and stir to combine.
Hot Lemon Orange-Aid
2 cups water
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Juice of 1 orange
Zest of 1 orange
Honey to taste
In a saucepan, boil the 2 cups of water. Add the lemon juice, orange juice and orange zest. Mix to combine.
Strain into a mug and add honey to taste. Makes 2 servings.