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

Deliciously Crispy Wings, Guilt-Free

Wings. The best comfort food known to man.  But usually something we can only eat on “indulgence days.”  Well.  Thanks to the inspiration of justapinch.com…that is no longer the case!  These crazy delicious, crispy, garlicky wings are paleo approved…and most DEFINITELY man-approved.  Mr. Rodgers has been asking for them since I made them…he acted almost surprised and horrified when he found out they weren’t on the plan the next week.  So, to make him happy, I planned them this week haha!

 

So here ya go, guilt-free chicken wings!!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 4-6 lbs Chicken Wings
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • Few shakes of Mrs. Dash (Optional…that was my addition because I can’t seem to make anything without it!)
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 Sticks Grassfed Butter (That’s 12 Tbsp if you’re using Kerrygold that isn’t in traditional “sticks”)
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, Minced (Confession, I used 3 tsp of the minced garlic from a jar!!  Don’t judge me!)
  • Tsp Parsley Paste (or your favorite herb)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Lemon Juice

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Make a dry rub with all of the dry spices, and sprinkle the wings so they are all coated.  (Note- the original says to toss the wings with olive oil first!  If you are okay with heating olive oil, then go for it!  It will add to the crispiness!  I just know there is some controversy on the issue of heating olive oil)  Place in your fridge and let set for a few hours, so the flavors will infuse and the skin will crisp up.
  2. Heat your oven to 450*.  Place the wings on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Cook for 30-45 minutes, flip, and cook an additional 10-15 minutes, until the wings are cooked through and getting crisp.
  3. Melt your butter in a small pan, add garlic and stir about a minute.  Whisk in lemon juice and parsley.
  4. Baste wings generously on both sides and return to the oven until the wings are crisped to your tastes, ensuring that the garlic does not burn.   We like ours very crispy!!

Eat and enjoy!!  Yayyyyy for wings!!  Let me know what you think!

 

Peectures!

Photo (19)

Make your spice rub!

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Lay out your wings (make sure they are nice and dry!)

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Sprinkle them generously with your rub…get both sides!  Let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours.

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Cook for 30-45 minutes and flip, cooking an additional 10-15 (until they are starting to get browned and crispy.)  Start your sauce by melting the butter…

Photo (23)

Add the garlic and cook a minute or so, then whisk in lemon and parsley.

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Generously baste the wings and replace in oven until browned to your tastes…we like ours really brown!  Just watch that the garlic doesn’t burn!

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Oh yeah baby!  Perfection!

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These didn’t last long in our house!

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Isn’t that the most beautiful plate of joy you’ve ever seen?

 

Try them out and let me know what you think!

Grilled Garlic Dijon Chicken!

Grilling.  It’s summer at its finest.  All the smells as you drive down the sunny streets.  That unmistakeable scent, laced with the fresh cut grass, that makes your tummy grumble until you fire up your own barbecue just to appease it.  It’s one of my favorite things in the world!  It always has been!!  There is something else that is one of my favorite things in the world, but is a new addition.  Dijon.

I used to not be a fan.  So spicy!  But since turning our health corner, I have realized that mustard is one of the very few condiments the Rodgers can keep around!  And slowly I have bee falling in love.  Those who know me can attest to the fact that I rarely have a salad dressing without dijon mixed in!  And so…I have started working it into all sorts of things!

And so this beauty was born!  It was kind of one of those Amelia Bedelia (if you know that reference, you are awesome) recipes, where you just start throwing in a little bit of this, and a little bit of that…so my measurements are approximate, please feel free to adjust how you see fit!  🙂

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Butter, softened
  • 1 Small Green Onion
  • Squeeze of cilantro paste (or fresh if you have it)
  • 1 tsp Herb of choice (I believe I used thyme or herbs de provence)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2-3 lbs Boneless Chicken Breast

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat Grill over medium.
  2. Place all ingredients (other than chicken) into a small food processor and pulse until everything is combined and creamy.
  3. Place chicken on grill.  Baste with sauce and cook until done (internal temp to at least 170* to be safe), turning at least once and basting other side.

 

SO EASY!  And delicious to eat as-is, or chopped on a salad!!  Yummy!  I hope you enjoy!!

 

Photo

 

Place all sauce ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until combined and creamy.

Photo-2

See?  Yum!

Photo-3

And grill them suckers!!  YUM!  This was so garlicky and tangy and amazing!  I wish I had some right now!!

Photo-4

Pile o’ chicken!

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See my cute little puppy hoping I’ll drop a scrap?  Adorable little stinker!!

 

Clean Out The Crisper Two-In-One: Episode 1; Stir Fry!

So, I know that most of my dear friends that follow me on my food adventures are also fellow HEALTH NERDS!! Nerds unite!! 😉 So there is one thing I am guessing us health nerds have in common; a problem that is not that big of a deal to non-nerds, but is to us. That issue is this; getting toward the end of a busy week, and having the fact gnawing at your brain that you have beautiful veggies in your fridge about to go bad. Few things hurt me as bad as losing veggies to the trash can!!  Pure tragedy in my book.

With much anxiety, I found myself in that situation recently.  But I discovered a wonderful solution.  One prep, two meals, many days of eating!!  I like to call it my Clean Out The Crisper Two-In-One.

Now, the nature of this post is going to be much less “exact” than most of mine because, frankly, the recipe is going to depend on what you have in your fridge that is on the verge of death, haha!  But I will share the concept with you, and show you what I used!

Clean Out The Crisper Stir Fry!

Here’s what I had:  (NOTE, THE VEGGIES WILL BE DIVIDED IN HALF FOR TWO DIFFERENT RECIPES!)

  • 1/4 Head Red Cabbage, Sliced
  • 2 Sm Onions, Sliced into chunks
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Julienned
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper, Julienned
  • 1/2 lb or so Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 3-4 Handfuls Baby Carrots
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Marinade of Choice, divide (I used olive oil, coconut aminos, sesame oil, pepper flakes, etc…)

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Whisk together your marinade.  Cube chicken , put in a Ziploc baggie (I seriously believe that the secret to healthy eating is Ziploc baggies, baha!) and pour marinade over chicken, reserving a couple of Tablespoons to add as a sauce later.  Marinade for a few hours, up to 24.
  2. Prep all your veggies, and divide them into half.  You are using half for this recipe and half for one that I will show you soon.  One prep, two meals, days of eating, remember?!  🙂
  3. Melt some coconut oil in a wok and dump in your chicken.  Cook until mostly done all the way through.  Set aside.
  4. Dump all your veggies and stir, cooking until tender crisp.  Add chicken in and stir until combined.
  5. Drizzle reserved marinade over whole dish, stir, and continue cooking for a few minutes until everything is done!  You don’t want your veggies to be too mushy!

Yay!  Be watching later this recipe for the other super easy recipe I made with the same ingredients!

 

Prep your veggies!  I used the full amount of cabbage in this recipe, but the rest I divided in half for both recipes.

Photo (14)

Melt coconut oil in a wok and add your marinated chicken.  Stirring occasionally, cook until chicken is just about done.  Set aside for later.

Photo (15)

Add prepped veggies to same skillet and cook, stirring, until tender-crisp.

Photo (16)

Aren’t they pretty?!

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I LOVE VEGGIES!  Okay.  Here is a sneak peak at my two pots of meals cooking at the same time, quick and easy!

Photo (19)

Yum-o!  Now add your chicken back in, stir, drizzle with reserved marinade, and cook until everything is done!  Not too crispy, not too mushy…just heavenly goodness!

Photo (22)

Hallelujah!

Photo (23)

Plop on top of some steamy hot quinoa or cauliflower rice (recipe coming soon!) and enjoy!!  Or save for tomorrow to take to work for lunch!  I made all my coworkers hungry when I warmed this up there! 😉

Pesto Chicken!

Pesto.  I don’t know how I lived so much of my life without it.  I had never even heard of it until I moved to New York.  We ate great food growing up, but we seasoned it usually one way:  Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Mrs. Dash, Chili Powder, Salt and Pepper.  Great combo, really.  But I had no idea that there was a WHOLE OTHER WORLD of flavor waiting for me to discover it!  One of those things was pesto.  The first time I ever used it was when I was very first married and using my crock pot almost every night!  I found a pesto chicken recipe from crockpot365.blogspot.com (LOVE HER BLOG!!!) and fell in love with how easy it was, and incredibly tasty.  Now I have gotten away from crock pot cooking every day, it is now simply an occasional occurrence at my house.  But I have not gotten away from pesto!!  If you have followed me long you will know my pesto favorites…Rack Of Lamb With Garlicy PestoSuperfood Pizza…mmm.  So good.  I was craving pesto…so I decided to remake my crockpot365 favorite!!  Turned out pretty great, Mr. Rodgers was DEFINITELY a fan!!  🙂

 

So, what you need:

  • 1/2 C Kale Pesto (Or your pesto of choice.  I love this one because of the great flavor and the fact that you are sneaking kale into places no one would expect…muahahahaa!)
  • 4-6 Large Chicken Breasts
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • Sliced Cheddar or Mozzarella (optional…we try to stay away from dairy, but I put cheese on a couple so I could try it both ways.  And both ways were great :))

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prep your pesto if you are using home made.  The kale pesto I use simply required the kale to be boiled till tender, then all ingredients to be pulsed in a food processor.
  3. Season chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper.  And a small sprinkling of cayenne pepper for a kick and place in a baking dish.
  4. Generously smear each chicken breast with pesto.
  5. Slide into the oven and cook until done.  Mine were still partially frozen so it took a good 35/40 minutes, but fresh should take less time…25-35 🙂  If you are adding cheese, just put it on for the last few minutes of cooking.

Yay!  You’re done!  Eat eat eat eat!!

Photo (1)

Prep your pesto!  I had to simply boil my kale until tender, add garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, nuts (I used pine nuts this time, but have formerly used walnuts), and some seasonings, and blend till smooth.

Photo (2)

See?

Photo (3)

Season chicken with salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of cayenne.

Photo (5)

Smear generously with pesto (in a baking dish of course.)

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Slide into a 350 degree oven and cook until done!  If you are adding  cheese on the top, add it just for the last couple minutes of cooking!

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Now enjoy with some lovely veggies and feel satisfied and healthy!! 😀