Spanish “Rice” and Chicken Bowl

Spanish rice 2

Spanish rice is something I enjoyed growing up and a recipe I kinda forgot about until recently. My mom used to make my Great Aunt Leona’s recipe and baked it inside of bell pepper halves. I was never a fan of the bell pepper part as a kid, but loved the rice. I’m sure this recipe would work well stuffed and baked inside a bell pepper too, but I didn’t opt for that since bell peppers really do not agree with me (or my husband). You could just add some bell pepper to the pan if you want that flavor, but don’t want to bother with the baking part. Then, everything still stays in one pan!

Meanwhile, mark this recipe as an easy weeknight go-to. It’s a complete meal that comes together quickly and tastes marvelous. And, again, it’s all in one pan. I hope you enjoy this twist on Spanish rice and if you do, give me a shout-out in the comments or on social media!

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee, butter, or other fat of choice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp homemade vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 16 oz bag cauliflower rice
  • 1 cup unsweetened, no salt added tomato sauce (I used this one)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Dried oregano, to garnish

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 pepper. Continue to cook chicken for several minutes, until browned.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the cauliflower rice. Season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper.
  3. While cauliflower is cooking, combine the tomato sauce, chili powder, and homemade vegetable bouillon in a small bowl. After the cauliflower has cooked for a couple minutes, add the tomato sauce mixture and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Lastly, add the cherry tomatoes and stir. Remove from heat and garnish with dried oregano.

Yields: 2-3 servings

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Cobb Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing

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I’ve been wanting to make a big ol’ cobb salad for a while now, but the cold, rainy and wintery weather held me back. But now, it’s been calling my name again since the weather has been in the 80s — or what I deem as salad weather. Honestly, I’ve been wanting to replicate a cobb salad since December, when Jesse and I were in Hawaii. I ordered a cobb salad during our last dinner on the island, and it was so delicious, even without any dressing. You can’t go wrong with that much tasty fat and protein on one platter!

I warn you, this salad does take quite a bit of time to prepare if you don’t have things ready beforehand. So, if you do choose to make it, try planning ahead, even if it’s just grilling an extra chicken breast at dinner one or two nights before. This will at least put you one step further in the process.

For the salad:

  • 1 leftover grilled boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
  • 5 strips US Wellness Meats sugar-free grass-fed beef bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 4 cups chopped romaine and kale
  • 1-2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped

Spread the chopped lettuce and kale out among two plates. Then, make a row of tomato, avocado, egg, chicken and bacon. If space is tight on your plate, combine the avocado and tomato together. Drizzle with vinaigrette just before serving (see recipe below).

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Splash of full-fat coconut milk

Whisk all ingredients together. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. Drizzle over individual salads just before serving.

Yields: 2 entree-sized salads

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Simple Supper Friday: Tomato Fennel Soup

Tomato fennel soup. My favorite part? The big chunks of beef stew meat. The more, the better! We ate our soup on top of mashed squash. Extra hearty!

It’s that time again … pull out your slow cooker! Wahoo, I love slow cooker meals. It makes dinnertime such a pinch. Seriously, I don’t know what I’d do without mine. If you don’t have one, I strongly suggest getting one. They’re super affordable and worth every penny.

Initially, I wasn’t too sure about this soup, but then it grew on me. To be honest, it tastes even better the next day because the flavors develop a lot more. This soup is great straight up, but if you want to bulk it up even more, you can eat it on top of mashed squash like Jesse and I did. It was actually really tasty because the squash added a nice sweetness to the soup. Plus, we pretty much love squash with everything. We used a red kuri — one of my newfound favorites. I don’t know why I never bought this kind before. The flavor reminds me of a buttercup and it’s so, so good! Again though, this is totally optional. You’ll see it served over squash in the photos (I had to take photos indoors again — not my favorite).

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb grass-fed beef stew meat
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 – 28oz can diced tomatoes (I used 1-quart of my mom’s canned tomatoes she sent me)
  • 2 cups chicken or beef bone broth (or decent store bought broth/stock)
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • 2 cups frozen kale (or fresh)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne (stick with 1/4 if you don’t like things really spicy)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Flat-leaf parsley for garnishing, optional
My mom’s tomatoes. Secret ingredient: love.
TIme to dish it up!

Directions:

  1. Add chopped fennel to the slow cooker and top with remaining ingredients, except for the kale and parsley if using.
  2. Set slow cooker to low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-6.
  3. Once done or nearly done, stir in the kale. Stir until kale is thawed if using frozen or softened if using fresh. Serve with parsley garnished on top, if using. Optional to serve on top of mashed squash of choice.
A hearty meal for those chilly, blustery fall days.

Simple Supper Friday: Mexican Meatza

Mexican meatza for your Friday night.

It’s been a while since I made a good meatza, so I decided it was about time to bring it out again. I love how simple it is to make and seriously, meat crust? Yes, please. This time around though, I decided to switch it up. By the way, have you ever seen my original meatza post? It’s from the very early days of my blog (not that my blog is that old though) when I was still using way too small of pictures. I guess it’s kinda neat to reflect where I was then to where I am now. Funny too.

I highly suggest the runny poached egg on top. It makes this meatza extra special. Plus, an egg on top of anything makes it that much better. I also believe that about avocado and bacon. Those three foods take any meal to the next level of awesomeness.

Feel free to double this recipe and make it in a 9×11 or 9×13 pan as well. I sometimes make a double batch of meatza, but I only had one pound of ground meat this time around. Work with what you’ve got!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb dark meat ground turkey (or ground beef)
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning (I like the kind in bulk at Whole Foods — no sugars or junk in it)
  • Pinch of sea salt, optional
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh salsa
  • 1-2 tomatoes, sliced
  • Red onion slices, to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup olives, sliced
  • Mixed greens or sliced lettuce leaves for serving
  • Fresh guacamole for topping (I used Whole Foods house-made)
  • Poached egg for topping, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together the ground turkey, egg, taco seasoning and sea salt (if using) with your hands. Pat mixture into an 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prep your veggies. Slice your tomatoes, onion and olives.
  3. Once meat crust is done baking, top with salsa (that’s your sauce) and vegetable toppings. Put back in the oven for 5 more minutes at 350 degrees.
  4. After the 5 minutes, turn on the broiler at 450 and let the meatza cook for 5 – 7 more minutes.
  5. Slice and serve atop of lettuce (I used red leaf) or mixed greens. Top with a poached egg, if desired, and guacamole.

Fresh Mexican meatza, out of the oven.

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Simple Supper Friday: Sirloin Vegetable Soup

Sirloin vegetable soup with an almond flour biscuit
Sirloin vegetable soup with an almond flour biscuit.

I admit, this soup isn’t out of this world amazing or anything, but it is darn good, quick and easy (ultimately the point of ‘Simple Supper Friday’). Additionally, you can add any vegetables you like. It’s kind of a free-for-all, so have fun and play with it to your liking. I personally think bell peppers would be awesome in this soup, but I don’t tolerate bell peppers well at all, so avoid them whenever possible. They make me bloated and hurt my stomach. Funny, because I’m fine with all other nightshades … it’s just those pesky bell peppers!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups beef bone broth
  • 12 oz grass-fed top sirloin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce (make sure there’s no sugar in it)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen kale

My kitchen helper ... very handy to have!

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice the meat on a diagonal. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of the sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, stir together the broth/stock, tomato sauce and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the beef slices and cook, turning once, for a couple minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, add the onion, garlic, zucchini and remaining 1/4 tsp sea salt. Toss to mix well and add 2 Tbsp of the water. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender. If the pan gets dry, add the remaining tablespoon of water.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, for a couple minutes. Then add the fresh or frozen kale and stir for 2-3 more minutes or until softened.
  6. Add the beef and any juices, and the vegetables to the broth mixture. Warm through, but don’t boil.
  7. Serve with almond flour biscuits, if desired.

Fresh batch of almond flour biscuits

Look at that ... it's chuck full of veggies!

Simple Supper Friday: Destructed Pesto Meatza

 

Up close and personal with my destructed pesto meatza.

You may recall my meatza post from my very early days of blogging, or earlier I should say since I’m still actually in my early days. Meatza is delicious, simple and versatile, but a way to make it even simpler is to destruct it … take it apart, destroy its form. That is just what I did for today’s ‘Simple Supper Friday’ meal.

I decided to use pesto sauce, rather than tomato because I had some fresh basil that I needed to use up pronto! I didn’t really follow any sort of recipe or measurements for my pesto, but here’s roughly what I did:

  1. To the food processor, add two cloves of garlic, about 1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, about two to three tablespoons of walnuts, and sea salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Blend everything together until all the ingredients are ground up and well incorporated.
  3. Taste and adjust any ingredients if necessary.
  4. Set aside.

Fresh basil pesto

For the meat and toppings, I used:

  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1 lb ground turkey thighs
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, cut into quarter slices
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1 head of kale, chopped

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add ground turkey and mix around in the pan, breaking up the chunks of meat.
  2. After a minute or two, add the mushrooms and zucchini to cook with the browning meat. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Once the meat is browned, add the chopped tomatoes. I also added several sliced cherry tomatoes that I needed to use up. Stir well.
  4. Now, take the pesto and add it to the pan with the meat and veggies. Stir well and add red pepper flakes to taste.
  5. Serve on top of a bed of steamed kale.
  6. Don’t burn your mouth like I did … blow on it, let it cool! I was excited, what can I say?

Simple Supper Friday: Chicken Tender Tacos

First off, a shout out to blogger, My Food Religion for posting this great recipe. I stumbled upon it earlier today while perusing other blogs and knew it was going to be tonight’s ‘Simple Supper Friday’ meal. It’s a no-brainer and super quick (minus figuring out the Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion part). I modified it slightly by dipping the chicken in beaten egg prior to coating it in the seasoning/flour mixture. In my experience, I feel like it helps the coating get crispier. I also baked the tenders at 400 degrees F, rather than the suggested 180 degrees C (356 degrees F) to ensure crispiness on the outside.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into tenders
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp taco seasoning (I used Whole Foods brand taco seasoning blend, which is just spices and salt)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 Tbsp water
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Avocado slices
  • Tomato slices

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix taco seasoning and almond flour in a mid-size bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and mix in 1/2 Tbsp water.
  3. Dip chicken tenders in the egg and then roll in seasoning/flour mixture until coated thoroughly. Place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until coating is crisp and chicken is cooked, flipping halfway through.
  5. Separate tenders into lettuce leaves and garnish with avocado and tomato slices.
The meal turned out delicious and the chicken tenders were moist, flavorful and crispy on the outside, which made for fantastic tacos! As you can see, Jesse and I gobbled it right up (not the most flattering pictures, I know, but entertaining nonetheless).