Citrus Herb Chicken & Veggie Bowl

Mark this as another delicious one-pan meal to add to your list of easy, healthy recipes. It’s a great go-to anytime, but especially on a busy day. One pan, a complete meal, reasonable number of ingredients, and lots of flavor. The citrus herb marinade really works its magic and takes this dish to the next level. You can find the marinade online at Thrive Market (get 25% off your first order HERE) or at Whole Foods.

On a separate note, I am so excited for tomorrow because I’m going to see Jim Gaffigan live here in Portland! I can’t wait to laugh a lot, kick back, and spend quality time with Jesse and our close friends (we’re going with another couple). I won’t go into details, but life has been a bit heavy lately, so this comes at the perfect time. For those who don’t know, Jim Gaffigan is a comedian and one I’ve been wanting to catch live for a long time. My opportunity is finally here! Meanwhile, if you need a good laugh, check out some of his clips on YouTube.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or other fat of choice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large broccoli crown, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup The New Primal Citrus Herb marinade (find HERE and get 25% off your first order)

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for a couple minutes. Then, add the diced chicken and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook for about 5-6 more minutes, until chicken is nearly done.
  2. Add the sweet potato and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover for 2-3 minutes. Then, add the broccoli and marinade, and more sea salt and/or black pepper, if desired. Cover again and let cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Check doneness of broccoli and sweet potato, and if need be, let cook a little longer.

Yields: 2 servings

 

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One-Pan Roasted Veggies & Sausage

 

veggies-and-sausageCan’t beat a simple, one-pan meal. It makes for an easy lunch or dinner and involves little fuss, other than chopping the vegetables. But, that’s a very small task to accomplish to create a healthy meal.

Feel free to make this dish your own by using the veggies, sausage and seasonings that you like. It’s easy to customize and leaves lots of room for variety. In terms of the sausage, I used Aidells Artichoke & Garlic Chicken Sausage, but an Italian variety (Applegate makes a good one) would be great too.

On another note, my 32nd birthday is today! Cheers, joy and well wishes to me! And, on yet another note, my husband and I leave for Iceland this Sunday! We will be there for a full week. It’s going to be majestic! The first stop once we arrive (at 6:45 a.m. their time) is the Blue Lagoon to restore, relax and kick the jet lag. We’re getting shuttled straight there from the airport. Expect some beautiful photos to ensue soon!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large carrots, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 2 small-medium white sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 small heads broccoli, chopped into florets (peel and chop stem too)
  • 16 oz package artichoke & garlic or Italian chicken sausage, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2-3 Tbsp avocado oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion or onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. On a large baking sheet, mix together the chopped veggies (make sure pieces are uniform for even cooking), minced garlic, sliced shallot and sliced sausage.
  3. In a small dish, mix the melted coconut oil (or avocado oil) with the apple cider vinegar, oregano, thyme, parsley, cayenne, granulated onion (or onion powder), sea salt and black pepper. Pour over vegetable mixture and toss with tongs to coat.
  4. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Stir and place back in oven for another 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through and tender.

Broccoli Bacon Salad

Broccoli Bacon Salad

It’s the point in the term where everything comes crashing down, and I’ll be busting my buns right up until the last day of the term. There’s A LOT to do, so much so that I feel like I’m suffocating a little bit, especially because I have my wedding ceremony to think about too (including writing vows, which I have yet to start). I wrap everything up for this term two days before my wedding and the day my family arrives, which is June 6. I know it will all come together, and even though it’s going to be a bit stressful and chaotic, it will be fine. Somehow, things always end up working out. I keep reminding myself to take things in stride, BREATHE, and take one day at a time. I also need to take advantage of my time and prioritize appropriately, which is sometimes easier said than done. Anyway, that’s that! I’ll be a-okay, but just needed to put it out there because it makes me feel better! Also, I am by no means complaining, so please don’t misinterpret my rant. I am very grateful and happy, but just a wee bit overwhelmed!

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Does anyone remember eating the broccoli salad that had bacon, raisins, sunflower seeds and a creamy, slightly sweet mayo dressing? It often made an appearance at our family gatherings when I was growing up and more often than not, I enjoyed it. I think nearly every mom in my hometown had the recipe too. I don’t know if it was shared at PTA meetings or in elementary school cookbooks, but so many women made it at social gatherings. I kid you not!

Anyway, I got to thinking about the salad recently because I had a bunch of broccoli in my refrigerator that needed to be used up, pronto. I didn’t have any mayo made and really wasn’t feeling a mayo-based dressing anyway, so revamped it as a slightly creamy vinaigrette. It turned out very well and I was surprised how much it tasted like the original salad. Honestly, I think it’s the bacon, sunflower seeds and raisins (or in my recipe, currants) that really make the salad taste the way it does. For those of you that remember the salad I’m referring to, see for yourself. For everyone else, enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head broccoli, chopped (peel & chop stems too)
  • 1/8 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 4 slices good quality bacon, cooked & chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dried currants (this brand is good)
  • 3-4 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand or this brand)
  • 1/4 tsp raw honey
  • 1/8 tsp mustard powder
  • Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the broccoli, onion, bacon, currants and sunflower seeds.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, coconut milk, raw honey, mustard powder, sea salt and pepper.
  3. Pour dressing over mixture and stir well. Refrigerate at least 6-8 hours or overnight. Pull out of the fridge about 10 minutes before serving, to allow dressing to soften (it firms up in the fridge since it’s an olive oil based dressing).
  4. Enjoy with burgers, grilled chicken, steak, fish, etc. Anything really!

Broccoli Bacon Salad

Creamy Chicken Dijon

creamy chicken dijon updated

I am relieved to say that my exercise science midterm is over! It is such a relief to have that thing off my mind or at least not to have to study for it anymore. I admit that it is still on my mind a little bit. I can’t help but wonder how I did and have gone over some of the questions in my head (and even checked an answer in my book…don’t let me do that anymore. It made me upset!). I realized I made a couple dumb mistakes, but in the moment, I took a chance because I was unsure. Whatever. I know I passed and I studied my buns off, so hopefully it paid off and at least scored me a B. I’m pretty confident that I got at least that, but who knows, maybe I did even better!

Studying for that blasted exam is what the majority of my weekend consisted of. The weather was so nice and sunny, which made it challenging, but I took advantage of studying outside on the patio. Really, I just wanted to hang out outdoors, bum around on my bike and drink wine. I got the outdoors, did ride some on my bike (commuting), but didn’t drink wine. I needed clarity, so I stuck with kombucha and memory boost tea. As you probably know by now, I very rarely drink, but there’s something about warm weather that makes me want to, particularly when the weather first starts turning summery.

Jason’s event at Whole Foods on Saturday was a lot of fun and a nice break from studying. There ended up being a smaller group than expected because a couple people cancelled last minute and some didn’t show up, which I attribute to the warm weather, but it was a success among those there and nice to have a small group. Naturally, it ran over because there was a lot of questions and much to talk about in only one hour’s time. Everyone was very engaged and Jason was entertaining and brilliant, as always. Honestly, that guy cracks me up, but man he knows his stuff! It’s always a pleasure to listen to him speak. To all my readers and followers who have not bought his book, The Paleo Coach, I strongly encourage you to do so. His message and information is too valuable not to share.

Here are a couple pictures from the event. Ashley, Whole Foods Pearl District’s Healthy Eating Specialist and blogger at Craving4more, also put together a neat picture from the talk on her Instagram, which you can check out here.

The spread of paleo dishes that Ashley, the Healthy Foods Specialist made for the event. She also blogs over at Craving4more.
The spread of paleo food that Ashley, the Healthy Foods Specialist made for the event (with the exception of the date and honey-sweetened Stirs the Soul raw chocolate — my favorite!). She also blogs over at Craving4more.
Jason, doing what he does.
Jason, doing what he does.

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Meanwhile, I’m still really loving mustard, particularly Dijon. It makes a difference in so many recipes and is often the missing flavor I’m looking for. It tantalized my taste buds once again, in this recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed beef tallow or fat of choice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1.5 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 
  • 3 Tbsp chicken bone broth
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Melt tallow in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for a minute. Then, add the chicken and season with a bit of sea salt and pepper.
  2. Continue to cook for about 5-6 minutes, and then add the spices, carrots, broccoli and a bit more sea salt and pepper. Stir well and continue to saute.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, broth and Dijon. Add mixture to the chicken and vegetables; stir.
  4. Continue to cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. The sauce will thicken up a bit as well.
  5. Serve as is or with steamed leafy greens, cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.

Yields: 3 servings

Simple Supper Friday: Mandarin Beef Stir Fry

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Whew, it’s been a busy day so far! I slept in until a little after 7 and then got up, changed, gathered my goods and drove to the food cart to replenish my treats. I was there about 90 minutes, then came home for a cup of green tea and a short bit of downtime before heading to Recreate for a 10 a.m. workout. I foam rolled and chatted with Jesse after the workout, and it was about 11:30 when I got home. Then, I cooked a big breakfast/brunch/lunch, whatever you want to call it (my first meal of the day) and enjoyed it in solitude. Now, it’s blogging and doing some other work at home. Then, after I finish my work, it’s on to studying exercise science and working on my homework. That class is really hard and complex, and I often feel lost when the teacher is lecturing. That equates to a lot of outside studying time to understand and know it!

Regarding the recipe, I’ve been getting a lot of citrus in my CSA boxes lately (grapefruit, oranges, mandarin oranges, etc.) and sometimes it ends up going bad before I use it. Jesse and I aren’t big citrus fruit eaters, so even if we do eat it, it takes effort and time to get through it. We like it, but it’s just not our preferred fruit that we would pick out ourselves. I actually don’t like grapefruit period, so Jesse is always responsible for those.

Anyway, as a means to use up some of the mandarin oranges we recently got in our box, I added some fresh-squeezed mandarin juice to this stir fry. I figured it would work well and boy, did it ever! I know it sounds generic, but the stir fry tasted so good with the mandarin juice. It really helped bring all the flavors together, and added a nice subtle sweetness. We ate our stir fry over scallion cauliflower rice (recipe below), but zucchini noodles or leafy greens would work as well. Heck, you can even eat it by itself.

For the stir fry:

  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed tallow
  • 1/2 lb grass-fed skirt steak, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 3-4 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • Splash of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 mandarin orange, juiced
  • Splash of rice vinegar (yes, it’s okay!)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the tallow in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and celery and let saute a couple minutes. Then, add the skirt steak and season with a little sea salt and pepper.
  2. Continue to cook a couple minutes, then add the mushrooms and carrots. Saute one minute more, then add the coconut aminos, mandarin orange juice, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes. Stir well, then after a minute or so, add the broccoli.
  3. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Once sauce has thickened up a little bit, after about 3-5 minutes, remove from heat and serve over scallion cauliflower rice (recipe below).

Yields: 2-3 servings

IMG_3232

For the scallion cauliflower rice:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 2-3 scallions (green onion), chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Add cauliflower to the food processor and pulse until it’s completely riced. If need be, you can do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, add the cauliflower rice and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook a few minutes until cauliflower is heated through. If you like your cauli rice a little browned, you can cook it a bit longer.
  3. Stir in the chopped scallions and serve.

Yields: 4-5 servings

Simple Supper Friday: Skirt Steak Stir Fry

IMG_3104

It’s been a really long time since I made stir fry, and this recipe really hit the spot. I remember trying a stir fry variation a while back, but it was only okay. I think it’s because it was missing the salty flavor of soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos. Soy sauce and tamari are both out for me because of the wheat and soy, and I avoided coconut aminos up until recently because they’re considered questionable on the SCD. Since I’m 1-1/2 years in on my healing process, I thought I’d give the coconut aminos a shot. Lucky for me, I had no problems. I used to cook with coconut aminos prior to eating SCD/paleo, because I learned a long time ago that wheat/gluten was not okay for me. Needless to say, I’m happy to have a bottle back in my refrigerator.

This recipe is flexible in the sense that you can use any protein or veggies that you like. I definitely recommend trying it with the skirt steak though. It works great for stir fry and cooks up quickly because of its thin nature. Plus, it’s oh so flavorful. I think I’ve said this before, but it’s one of my favorite cuts of beef.

This is great served with chopped raw cashews and/or green onion, and with an extra drizzle of coconut aminos. I’m not a sesame seed fan, but that would work well as a garnish too.

IMG_3106

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, plus extra for eggs
  • 1 lb grass-fed skirt steak, sliced into strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium broccoli crown, chopped
  • 1 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos, plus extra if needed
  • 1-2 Tbsp rice vinegar (yes, rice vinegar is okay!)
  • Splash of good-quality chicken broth
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 pastured eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and celery, and saute about 1 minute. Then add the skirt steak strips and season with a little sea salt and pepper. Continue to saute for a couple minutes.
  2. Then, add the carrots, broccoli and mushrooms. Add the coconut aminos, rice vinegar, chicken broth and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook over medium-low heat.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add a little coconut oil to the pan and once melted, add the beaten eggs. Allow to cook for a few minutes. Once it starts to set, lift the edges of the omelet with a spatula to allow some of the egg liquid to get underneath. When the omelet is stable enough, flip and allow to cook an additional minute. Remove from pan and place on cutting board to cool.
  4. Add the water chestnuts to the stir fry and stir. Turn heat down to low. Slice the cooled omelet into strips, then chop into small pieces. Add to the stir fry.
  5. Once everything is heated through and veggies are softened, but still slightly crisp, remove from heat. Serve over cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles (use a julienne peeler to make noodles). If desired, you can mix the cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles into the stir fry and then serve. Top with garnishes of choice and extra coconut aminos, if desired.

Yields: 4 servings

 

Simple Supper Friday: Garlic Butter “Noodles” with Turkey and Broccoli

Garlic butter noodles with turkey and broccoli.

I love when random, unplanned and experimental recipes turn into successes. That’s what happened with this dish. I needed to make a quick dinner because it was getting late, but wasn’t hungry for some of our go-to meals, like spaghetti. I only had ground meat in the fridge and had everything to make sauce, but really wasn’t in the mood for tomato flavors. Alternatively, butter and garlic sounded good, but then again, when does that combination not sound delicious? It’s a classic. Plus, I hadn’t eaten much butter on this particular day, so it was time to change that.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey thighs
  • 2-3 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • *1 medium cooked spaghetti squash, scraped with a fork to make noodles
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves minced garlic cloves, separated
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

IMG_2801

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the ground turkey. If necessary, add a little fat to the pan. Break up the turkey with a spatula and let cook for a couple minutes.
  2. Next, add three of the minced garlic cloves and the broccoli. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook for several minutes, until meat is browned. Once meat is cooked through, pour mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the one remaining clove of minced garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Reduce heat to low, and add the spaghetti squash strands, tossing with the butter and garlic.
  4. Add the meat and broccoli mixture to the pan and toss with the squash. Season to taste with more sea salt and pepper, if needed. Add red pepper flakes, if using.
  5. Remove from heat and serve.

Yields: 4 servings

*If you’ve never cooked a spaghetti squash, it’s simple. I adhere to the following directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Place cut side down on a baking sheet or roasting pan, and fill with about 1/4-inch of water.
  4. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes. Be careful not to overcook or your strands will be mushy.
  5. Let cool and then scrape out the squash strands with a fork.

Garnish with a little extra red pepper flakes, if desired.