Pumpkin Chicken Chili

Hello everyone!!  Guess what guess what guess what?!  Mr. Rodgers and I…live in a new house!!  His mother has been living with us in our small 2 bedroom apartment for almost 3 years now!  But we finally found a place for super cheap, and it’s all ours!!  And guess what else?!?!?!  My kitchen is BEAUTIFUL!  Minus a little old lady wall paper and needing an updated stove…it is just gorgeous and I love it I love it I love it!!  I don’t have any pictures on me at the moment, but I can’t wait to share them with you!!

Anyways!!  Back to cooking…I just had to shout that from the rooftops first because I figured if anyone understood my “new kitchen glee,” it would be a bunch of food nerds like you!!

I’m pulling this from a little while back, because my life has been consumed with packing and unpacking and cleaning then starting the cycle over.   😉   Pumpkin Chicken Chili!  Yummm!  I’ve been noticing there are still lots of squash around in the stores…and you can get canned pumpkin pretty much any time!  So this recipe is pretty timeless!  This was so thick and warm and comforting!  And let’s just be honest, with the weather we have been having around here lately, we all need a little comfort.  I don’t know what it is like where you are, but we are in the glorious span of time when you check the weather on your phone and see the “feels like” section and think “Yaaaaay it feels like -22*.  Fuuuuuun.”  You know something is weird when you wake up one morning, see that it is 16* outside and think to yourself “oh wow that’s not bad!”  :I  I am a pretty positive person, so I will just keep fighting to have a good attitude about the cold.  It’s hard.  But recipes like this help.  Because they warm the insides, excite the taste buds, and make you forget your issues at least until you step outside your house again, hahah!

Ever so slightly adapted from the wonderful Caveman Feast, aka Abel James.

So here’s what you need:

  • 3 lb Chicken Breast, Cubed
  • 2 C Red Onion, Diced
  • 2 C Bell Peppers, I used red and yellow, Diced
  • 3 Jalapeños, Diced Small
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 C Chicken Stock (or more if you like it thinner)
  • 1 C White Wine
  • Lg Can Diced Tomatoes with Juice (28 oz)
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • 3 C Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (Optional…I am trying to remember if I used it…I don’t think I did…but I’m sure it’s tasty!)
  • Coconut Oil or Grass Fed Butter for Cooking

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Prep all your veggies and cut your chicken!
  2. Cook your chicken and set aside.
  3. Heat your coconut oil or butter in a large soup pot.  Salute your onions until translucent.  Add bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add in chicken and stir together.
  5. Add stock, wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, and all spices (excluding cocoa) and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in pumpkin and cocoa powder and cook for about 5 more minutes, until everything is heated through.  Enjoy!

Peectures!!

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For ease while cooking, gather all your ingredients and prep your veggies first 🙂

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Cut your chicken breasts into bite size pieces

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Brown on al sides with grass fed butter or coconut oil.  Should mostly be cooked through.

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Melt coconut oil or butter in a large soup pot and saute your onions until translucent. Photo-5

Add bell peppers, jalapeños, and garlic…

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Stir together and cook an additional 5 minutes!

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Toss in your chicken and stir it all up…

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Add stock, wine, tomatoes, paste, and spices and simmer for about 20 minutes…

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Add pumpkin and cocoa if you are using it.

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Stir together, heat through, and wabam!  You have a beautiful, hearty, flavorful, unique, thick and comforting meal for yourself and the fam…or if its just yourself, you have food for a week!! 😀

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Isn’t it purty?!  I wish I had some right now.  I haven’t eaten today other than a really naughty treat I snuck…

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This would have been much more satisfying that a hot dog :/

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Hallelujah!!  I hope you love it!  What is your favorite dish with pumpkin?

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Fall Stir Fry with Spaghetti Squash

Don’t you love those “DUH!” moments??  Those times when you have an idea and feel like a genius for having said idea…but also feel like an idiot for not having that idea earlier?  That is what happened with this recipe!!  For quite a while now I have been taking favorite noodle recipes and substituting in spaghetti squash!  Now as I have mentioned before, I do not think of or present the dish as a noodle dish when I do this…or the people consuming will expect it to taste exactly like noodles.  But if you present it as a great spaghetti squash recipe, they will be overjoyed with the flavor, and they will be expecting it to be so different from noodles that they will be pleasantly surprised!

Well.  We love stir fry in this house.  But I had pretty much given up on noodle stir fry, even though it is my favorite version.  Why had I never considered spaghetti squash stir fry?!  But I was looking through this wonderful book you will remember:

 

DHV

…and I stumbled upon a recipe called “Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables.”  Aka…chicken stir fry with noodles.  I thought “oh man that looks tasty…” then suddenly….palm meet face!!  SPAGHETTI SQUASH!

The great thing about this is that it is more of an idea than a recipe.  Stir fry is such an open ended thing.  It is so great because as long as you keep veggies in your fridge and some for of soy sauce and sesame oil…you don’t even have to plan ahead.  You just chop chop, toss it in a wok and BAM!  Nutritional dinner!!  🙂  Most of you probably already know how to do that!  I just wanted to open your eyes to the new possibilities with spaghetti squash!  But nevertheless,  here is the general idea of what I did!

 

The ingredients:

  • 1 Small Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Head Broccoli or Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2-3 Large Chicken Breasts, Cut into bite sized pieces
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 or 2 Bell Peppers, Julienned
  • 1 or 2 Large Carrots, sliced
  • About 1/4 Lg Head Red Cabbage, Sliced
  • 1 Small Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey (Optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pinch Red Pepper Flakes

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Cook your spaghetti squash in advance, however you prefer to do this.  I stab mine a bunch then roast at about 400* for an hour or so, turning once.  It is done when the skin is very tender and easily pierced.  Remove seeds and remove the flesh in strands with a fork.  Set aside.
  2. Salt and Pepper your chunks of chicken.  Heat the coconut oil in a wok and add chicken.  Stir and cook until chicken is browned and cooked through…about 5-8 minutes.  Remove and set aside.
  3. Add your onions into the wok and cook for about 2 minutes, until starting to get tender.  Add garlic, cook and stir for 30 seconds or so, then add in the rest of the veggies (minus the squash).  I did not pre-cook my cauliflower but if you don’t want a crunch in the middle of your cauliflower or broccoli, feel free to steam or boil for a few minutes before hand. 🙂  Cook all the veggies, stirring, until everything is getting tender-crisp.
  4. Add the chicken back in and stir.
  5. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.  Dump over stir fry.  Stir in.
  6. Add in the spaghetti squash strands and toss it all together.  Heat it through, then remove and serve!  Garnish with sesame seeds if desired!!  ENJOY!!!

Peectures:

SS Stir Fry 1

Cook your spaghetti squash first! In the meantime, cook your chicken.  Set aside.

SS Stir Fry 2

Add your onions and cook for a few minutes.  Add in garlic and stir, cooking about 30 seconds.  Then dump in the rest of your veggies, minus the spaghetti squash.  Cook until everything is tender crisp.

SS Stir Fry 3

Add in the chicken and cook and stir..

SS Stir Fry 4

Then add in the sauce…and last but not least the spaghetti squash!  Toss everything to coat, heat through, then remove and serve!!

 

 

Paleo Country Fried Chicken with Mashed Cauliflower and Gravy

This chicken is ridiculous.  Why ridiculous, you ask?  Well for starters, it’s freaking delicious.  Satisfying?  Of course.  Comforting?  In every sense of the word.  But here’s the real kicker.  It’s healthy!  Yayyyyyyyy.  I want to eat it every day of my life forever and ever amen!

 

You know what this chicken reminded me of?  Country fried steak.  That crunchy, warm, tender chunk of meat smothered in a creamy gravy.  It is the epitome of comfort food.  And that is what this resembles.  It causes me to have memories of sitting around the table with my whole family, filling our tummies till they feel like they might burst, quoting movies that only we know, laughing late into the night!  I’d give just about anything for a moment like that right now!  But instead, I will tell you of this meal…this meal that conjures up the best of memories and brings people together!!  I hope you love it!  🙂

 

Oh oh oh oh one more thing!!  I do not know why I have never thought of this before!!  The BEST part of this dish is that it is super creamy!  But getting a good, healthy, tasty creamy sauce is almost impossible with paleo standards!!  But I had a genius idea!!  Cauliflower!!  Now I know it sounds crazy but don’t you doubt me!!  Cauliflower seems to fix everything else…mashed potatoes, rice, pizza crust…why not to thicken sauces too?  I was already planning to make mashed cauli for the side…so check out how I used it in the sauce as well!

 

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, fat removed
  • 1/2 C Almond or Coconut Flour (You may need a little extra of the almond if you go that route since it is not quite as fine)
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 C Chicken Broth
  • 1 C Unsweetened Original Almond Milk (Make sure it’s original!!)
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Medium Onion, Sliced
  • 1 Package Mushrooms, Sliced
  • Mashed Cauliflower (1 Head Cauliflower cut into florets and boiled, processed in a food processor with salt, pepper, grassfed butter, and a clove of garlic

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. In a big Ziploc baggie, combine the flour with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary.
  2. Add the chicken (in batches if necessary) and toss to coat well.  Melt the butter in a deep cast iron skillet and add in the chicken.  Brown well on both sides.
  3. When both sides are browned, pour in the broth , lemon, and almond milk.  Whisk it a bit.  Then add in the onions and mushrooms, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is a bit reduced.
  4. While you wait for the chicken, start your mashed cauliflower.
  5. When the 30 minutes is up, remove the chicken and most of the veggies and set aside.  Take about 3-4 Tbsp of the mashed cauliflower and whisk in to the sauce until it is thickened like a gravy.  Simmer for a few minutes until warm and thick, then remove from the heat.  Put your mashed cauliflower and chicken on a plate and drizzle with the gravy.  Eat.  Be comforted.  And enjoy!

 

Peectures!

Creamy Chicken 1

Prep your veggies!

Creamy Chicken 2

Coat the chicken with your flour mixture.  Melt the butter in a deep skillet and brown chicken well on both sides.

Creamy CHicken 3

Stir in the liquids.

Creamy Chicken 4

Add in the onions and mushrooms.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Creamy Chicken 6

While chicken is cooking, prepare your mashed cauliflower.  When the 30 minutes are up, remove the chicken and most of the veggies and set aside.

Creamy Chicken 5

Doesn’t it look deeeeeelicious already?!

Creamy Chicken 8

Whisk in a heap of mashed cauliflower into the sauce until it is thickened like a gravy.  Simmer for a couple of minutes until heated through and combined well.

Creamy Chicken 10

Heap your mashed cauliflower onto the plate, add a piece of chicken, and drizzle with your gravy sauce.  Yummyyyyyyyy.  Have I mentioned that I love this meal?!

 

Creamy Chicken 11

 

Creamy Chicken 12

Chicken Bacon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Lately I have had SO much fun searching through all my cookbooks (and buying new ones…batting my puppy eyes at Mr. Rodgers when we find them in stores hehe!), adapting the recipes to fit our lifestyle, and sharing the recipes with you wonderful people.  (Seriously, you guys are wonderful.  I love my followers, and that everyone is so encouraging!)  I hope you enjoy seeing all the fun cookbooks I stumble upon!

 

However, with that being said…I must declare that there is something SO special…so satisfying and confidence-boosting…about successfully creating your own dish.  Your brain child.  Your baby.  And when people you love rave about it…I don’t know about you guys, but that makes me want to cry happy tears!

This is one of those dishes.  MINE!  MY OWN!  MY PRECIOUSSS!  Haha.  (If you understand that reference, you may be a nerd…and I love you for it!)  I sincerely hope that some of you understand what I am talking about, and you aren’t sitting there reading this thinking “wow, she’s a freak!”  😉  ANYWHO!  Staying on track…I loved this dish.  Mr. Rodgers loved this dish.  Mr Rodgers’ best friend loved this dish!  (I wish I could communicate to you how big of a deal that is!  He is…particular…about his food.  To this day I can’t believe he ate squash…and loved it!)

 

I mean…just look at these ingredients:

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Lg Chicken Breasts
  • Salt, Pepper, and Mrs. Dash (or your favorite seasoning blend.  I’m addicted to Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 Package Bacon
  • 1 Zucchini, sliced into bite size pieces
  • 2 Small Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 C Pesto (I used this quick recipe)

 

And here’s how you do it!  (Though there are a few components, it really is a simple process!)

  1. Cook your spaghetti squash however you desire!  I usually roast whole in the oven at 400* for an hour or so, turning occasionally.  You wanna make sure that you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork before you take it out.  Remove the seeds and use a fork to pull the inside into spaghetti-like strands.  Set aside.
  2. Cook your bacon and reserve the grease!
  3. Cut your chicken into bite size pieces, season with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash, and cook in bacon grease until done.  Set aside.
  4. Sauté your zucchini just a few minutes in the bacon grease, until just beginning to get tender.  (Don’t let it get mushy!)
  5. Crumble in your bacon (or if you’re like me, use kitchen scissors to cut it into little uniform bites hehe.)
  6. Dump in your spaghetti squash…
  7. Stir to evenly distribute all those yummy ingredients…
  8. Dump in your pesto and stir to coat everything, it should be just enough to give you a nice covering without being too overwhelming.

 

 

 

Peectures!

PSS 1

Cook your bacon, reserving the grease

PSS 2

Cut your chicken into bite size pieces, season with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash, and cook in bacon grease until done.  Set aside.

PSS 3

Sauté your zucchini just a few minutes in the bacon grease, until just beginning to get tender.

PSS 4

Crumble in your bacon (or if you’re like me, use kitchen scissors to cut it into little uniform bites hehe.)

PSS 6

Dump in your spaghetti squash…

PSS 7

Stir to evenly distribute all those yummy ingredients…

PSS 8

Dump in your pesto and stir to coat everything, it should be just enough to give you a nice covering without being too overwhelming.

PSS 9

And serve!  Yummy!!

PSS 10

I wish it wasn’t so hard to make spaghetti squash look beautiful!  But I tell you what…even like that I still want to eat it right now!!  I hope this idea inspires you guys, let me know what you think!

 

 

 

 

Peectures!

 

Teryaki Chicken Burgers

Paleo.  It has been the most rewarding lifestyle we have tried.  Not to mention, it is quite satisfying since you get to eat so much protein.   The only issue I have run into is figuring out enough interesting ways to cook meat.  One fail-proof option is burger patties!  You just have to be constantly thinking of creative new ways to prepare them to keep it interesting!

Lucky for me, I found this book at my favorite store for cook book shopping, Five Below:

 

Grill It

(Feel free to check it out here)

 

Since it is a book of grilling recipes, most of them are protein-based.  And there are plenty of burger recipes, just waiting to be adapted to clean-eating standards.  Now I would like to share one of those with you!!  I love how there is a great flavor…but also veggies snuck in there!  And another thing I just adore about burger patties is that, even though we are transitioning to cooler days, you can still rock these puppies!  Be it an outdoor grill, grill pan, or a good old fashioned cast iron skillet…burgers will satisfy your tummy and your taste buds!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1 Carrot, Peeled and Grated
  • 2 Green Onions, Minced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Ginger Paste (or fresh grated)
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • A few shakes Red Pepper Flakes
  • Toppings of choice

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Combine all the burger ingredients in a large bowl.  Divide mixture into 4 even portions, and form into patties.  If needed, you can form them right on your plate over some foil or wax paper, because the mixture WILL be more moist than regular burgers.  Place them in the freezer just a few minutes until you are ready to grill.  This helps them stay formed.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill, or a cast iron grill pan or skillet with a small amount of grass-fed butter in the bottom.  Place burgers on your cooking surface and cook for 6-7 minutes per side, until juices run clear and the temperature is at 170*.  I’m sure you know this, but these are not beef burgers so they MUST be cooked all the way through!
  3. Top with whatever you please and eat away!!

 

Peectures!

 

Mix everything together and form your patties:

 

Teryaki Chicken Burgers 1

 

Cook 6-7 minutes per side, or until done!

Teryaki Chicken Burgers 2

 

And devour!!  Pretty easy, right?!

 

Teryaki Chicken Burgers 3

Absolutely Simple Honey Garlic Roasted Chicken

For real. Whole chickens are the best ever. They’re so cheap. Why did no one ever tell me how cheap a whole chicken is?!  And it will last for many meals!  AND THEY ARE SO EASY!!  This one literally has 4 ingredients.  5 if you count salt and pepper, baha!

Not to mention that it is delicious.  My mother in law kinda freaked out when she tasted it!  So…I will share it with you!  Here we go!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • 6 Tbsp Grass Fed Butter, Melted
  • 3-4 T Raw Honey, Melted
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Rinse your chicken and make sure there are no goodies in the cavity.  Pat dry.
  3. Salt and pepper your chicken generously.
  4. Mix together butter, honey, and garlic.
  5. Baste/pour butter sauce all over (and in) the chicken.
  6. Put in your oven and roast for about an hour and a half…it will depend on the size of your chicken!  Keep an eye on it because honey does burn…but you do want a little bit of darkness!  Just not a burn taste.  🙂

 

And BAM!  You’re done!  Easy peasy!!

 

Honey Chicken1

Honey Chicken 2

Honey Chicken 3