Artichoke Chicken with Mustard Vinaigrette (grain / gluten / dairy free, paleo)

I am always on the look-out for weeknight dinner recipes that are quick and easy but also delicious enough to serve to company on the weekend if I wanted to. This one fits the bill. It’s also a one pan dinner which equals quick and easy clean-up as well.

This dish has great flavor. I love the combination of the artichoke and mushroom with the mustard vinaigrette. I hope you enjoy it, too!

artichoke chicken with mustard vinaigrette, gluten grain dairy free, paleo

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 organic chicken breasts (thighs/legs would do great, too)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of brown mustard 
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (If you aren’t familiar with this, it’s basically just a fabulous blend of spices – I use it for practically everything.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
METHOD:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Line a 13 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper. Arrange the artichokes on the bottom of the pan, place the onions next, then the mushrooms.
  3. Lay the chicken on top of the veggies.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine and mix the mustard, garlic, oil, vinegar, wine and spices. Pour this mixture over your chicken. I let mine marinate in this for about an hour before placing it in the oven, but you certainly can skip that step.
  5. Cook for about 45 minutes. *If your chicken pieces are on the thinner side, check your chicken for doneness around the 30 minute point, you definitely don’t want to overcook it. However, the thicker pieces may need to cook for as long as an hour.
  6. Serve hot and pile all the veggie goodness on top of your chicken. Hope you like it!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from The Chew.

Jalapeno Dijon Grilled Chicken

I’m always on the lookout for easy marinades for chicken.  I love eating it, but sometimes get stuck in my same boring chicken routines.  This recipe is easy, and freakishly good.  You combine everything, throw in the chicken, let it sit for a few hours, and then grill it up.  It is spicy, a bit tangy, and the chicken was so moist.  Give it a try!

jalapeno dijon grilled chicken

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 lbs organic chicken breasts (or thighs, whichever you prefer)
  • 4 jalapenos, diced (no need to seed, unless you want less spice)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • Juice of one lemon
METHOD:
1.  Combine all the above ingredients, except for the lemon juice, cover, and place in refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
2.  Preheat barbecue to medium-high.
3.  Grill chicken for 7-10 minutes per side, or until meat thermometer inserted into middle of chicken registers 175 degrees F.
4.  Remove chicken from grill and place on plate.  Squeeze lemon juice over chicken, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 more minutes.
5.  Serve, alongside side of your choice, and enjoy!  We ate it with heaping piles of roasted broccoli.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Civilized Caveman Cooking.

Chicken + Vegetable Curry (grain-free, dairy-free – served over cauliflower “rice”)

So.  Husband and I are two weeks into our nutrition challenge and still going strong… what we are eating is very limited for this time, so I get to try to come up with new and exciting ways to mix up our food.  Some of my most creative, and most delicious cooking has happened in the last couple of weeks.  Been researching tons, exploring tons of blogs and cookbooks, talking to friends who don’t eat grains, and just trying new things in the kitchen.  Yesterday was no exception.  I read and re-read 3 different curry recipes, then put the cookbooks away (well, shut the computer off), and went to work on our chicken curry lunch without looking at any recipe.  Holy crap.  The result was one of the best things that has come out of my kitchen.  I tasted a lot as I went, added more of this and more of that, and waited til it was just right.  Then, we feasted.  Before my mess was cleaned up, I pretty much immediately re-made it to bring to a friend who needed a hug and a home cooked meal, and that’s when I wrote it all down and refined the recipe.  Friends, go make this.  Seriously.  And don’t worry if you don’t have every exact ingredient.  Trust your gut and taste as you go.  You really can’t go wrong.  Oh, and if you must, serve over rice…. but I highly recommend the cauliflower version.  You won’t be able to tell a difference.  I promise.

chicken and vegetable curry, made with cauliflower %22rice%22... grain free, dairy free, paleo

INGREDIENTS:
(for chicken and vegetables)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3-4 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 small sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs organic chicken, diced (you can use breasts or thighs depending on your preference)
  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk (Natural Value Organic Coconut Milk), not shaken
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced 
  • 1-2 cups cabbage, shredded (I used purple, green would be great too)
INGREDIENTS:
(for spice blend)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
INGREDIENTS:
(for cauliflower “rice”)
METHOD:
1.  Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat.  Add cubed chicken, and cook until outside is browned and there is no pink on the inside. Drain off any liquid in the pan.
2.  While chicken is cooking, combine ingredients for the spice blend, stir, and set aside.
3.  In your food processor, add garlic, onion, and ginger and pulse until a chunky paste is formed.  About 10 pulses.
4.  Scrape paste from food processor on to chicken, and add peppers, zucchini, and cabbage.
5.  Drop in the other tablespoon of coconut oil, and turn heat onto medium.
6.  Add spice blend, and stir to coat chicken and veggies.
7.  Open both cans of coconut milk, and scoop off the coconut cream which will be at the top of the can, and add to mixture.  It will be solid until heated, at which point it will liquify.  Between both cans, you should have 1-1 1/2 cups of cream.  Discard the water left in the cans, or save for later use.
8.  Simmer for 20 or so minutes, or until veggies are cooked to your liking.
9.  While curry is simmering, take raw cauliflower florets and run through food processor with the grate attachment in place.  You can also throw the florets into the processor and pulse with the blade, but you will get smaller “rice” pieces this way.  Either way is fine.  If you don’t have food processor, you can grate by hand on a cheese grater.  I’ve done it this way in the past.  Doable, but tedious.
10.  Melt butter in another fry pan, over medium heat.  Dump grated cauliflower into pan with butter, add salt and pepper, and fry until tender.  Takes about 5-7 minutes.  Do not over cook.
11.  Serve up a heaping spoonful of “rice”, topped with chicken and veggies, and make sure to spoon some of the sauce on top.  Grain-free, dairy-free, and full of great vegetables and protein!  Come on!  Give it a try!  It is super easy, and you won’t be disappointed.
PS.  I made a vegan version of this for my friend simply by omitting chicken, and cooking “rice” in coconut oil instead of butter.  So there’s that too.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
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Italian Chicken Bake

Oh man.  We are back!  So sorry to leave you all for the holidays…. we were both busy cooking up our own holiday deliciousness and hanging with our families.  And we made a couple of amazing meals to share with each other as well.  My man cooked up an amazing spread for my birthday dinner, shared with Evan and Justin.  And Justin cooked up our shared families Christmas Eve brunch.  Super super thankful for Evan and our shared food (and really faith, life, parenthood, etc…) journey!  AND, we are excited to have a bunch of new stuff in the pipes to send your way, and hope you all are ready for some new (and tasty) non-processed food ideas!

First up is this super easy Italian chicken bake.  Ehren and I have committed to eliminating all grains for the month of January.  Basically, we are just curious if we will feel any different – weight, energy levels, skin, workout performance, etc.  It is a fun challenge for me, as I love trying new things in the kitchen!  This is a meal that I would have totally, without even thinking about it, served over whole wheat pasta.  But today, I piled on some more veggies, and served it with oven roasted broccoli.  Neither of us missed the pasta.  Not one bit.  Whether you eat this with pasta, or pair it with another side dish (it would be great over spaghetti squash), I hope you like it as much as we did.  We were practically licking our plates clean.

italian chicken bake

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 organic chicken breasts
  • 5 tomatoes (any variety will do, we used Roma)
  • 1 small jar artichoke hearts (look for one with artichokes as only ingredient)
  • 5 crimini mushrooms
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (we used organic, whole milk mozzarella… for more on diary, read this)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
METHOD:
1.  Drizzle some olive oil in a casserole dish, and spread around.
2.  Place chicken breasts in the dish, and season with salt and pepper.  I used smoked sea salt that Evan gave me for my birthday.  It is so amazing.  You should get some.
3.  Dice all veggies.  I cubed tomatoes and artichokes, thinly sliced mushrooms and zucchini, and minced garlic and shallots.  Dice basil, and set aside.  You will put this on last.
4.  Combine all veggies in a bowl, and coat with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Stir until mixed, and season with salt and pepper.  Pour over chicken, taking care to leave the top of each chicken breast exposed so it cooks.  Does that make sense?  Place the veggies around the chicken, but not directly on top.
5.  Place casserole dish in 370 F oven, for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and no longer pink.
6.  While chicken is cooking, grate cheese.
7.  After chicken is cooked, remove from oven and sprinkle cheese over top.  Turn oven on to broil, and place dish under broiler until cheese is melted and golden.  Watch CAREFULLY!  It will burn quick.
8.  Remove from broiler, and sprinkle fresh basil on top.  The warmth of the cheese will wilt the basil.
9.  Serve up, eat up, and enjoy!  Let us know if you make it and how you like it!!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Our Story.

Fried Brown Rice with Chicken, Bacon, + Veggies

Who doesn’t love fried rice?  I was craving the stuff, and texted my lovely friend, Sarah for some inspiration.  She suggested adding chicken into the rice, and it was so yummy.  I’d never done that before, always had chicken on the side, but I will definitely do it again. And the leftovers were soooo yummy the next day.

fried brown rice, with chicken, bacon, and veggies

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lb organic, dark chicken meat
  • 6 slices pastured bacon, diced
  • 2 cups whole grain brown rice
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, about 4 cloves
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or 100% organic tamari sauce), divided
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
METHOD:
1.  Dice chicken into 1″ cubes.  Marinate chicken in 2 tablespoons garlic and 2 tablespoons coconut aminos for an hour or so.
2.  While chicken is marinating, cook your brown rice according to package instructions.  Mine was 2 cups rice, 4 cups water, simmering for 40 minutes or until cooked and all liquid was absorbed.
3.  Cook chicken in large skillet (I used my cast iron) over medium to high heat for 10 minutes, or until there is no pink in chicken.  Place chicken on a clean plate, and set aside.
4.  In the same skillet, add bacon and cook over medium to high heat for about 7 minutes, or until bacon is cooked and crispy.  Do not discard grease.
5.  Add cooked rice, chicken, and all veggies (green onion, peas, carrots), back into the same skillet with the bacon and bacon grease.  Stir to combine and continue stirring over medium heat until veggies are hot, and softened a bit.
6.  Stir in the rest of the coconut aminos, or tamari sauce… 1/4 cup.  Feel free to add more,  to taste.  Add crushed red pepper flakes, stir to combine.
7.  Using a wooden spoon, push aside rice mixture to create 3 “wells” or holes, exposing the skillet at the bottom.  Crack one egg into each hole and lightly scramble the eggs with a fork.  You want the eggs to scramble in their little holes until they are about 90% cooked, then stir them into the rest of the rice.  If you simply combine them without cooking them individually a bit, you’ll just end up with a sticky egg coating over everything, and not chunks of eggs throughout, which you want.
8.  That’s it.  DInner is ready, and you only used one pan.  Amazing.  This made PLENTY of fried rice for us for dinner, and two sizeable adult lunches later in the week.  We re-heated ours back in the skillet, over the stove top.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Chicken Pad Thai

I did a lot of things in college.  I moved from Colorado to Seattle.  I met (and married) my man.  I worked a million jobs.  I made amazing friends.  And I ate pad Thai.  No, really.  I’m not kidding.  I bet I got it at least once a week, and saved the left-overs for the next day, meaning I probably ate it 2 times a week, every week, for the better part of 4 years.  I’d never had it before moving here, and it is one of my all-time favorites.  Which is why I knew I had, like HAD, to attempt to make it at home.  My husband constantly makes fun of me (in a playful, I-totally-can’t-argue-because-he-is-sooooooo-right type of way), about my constant on-a-whim decision making.  Cooking, for me, is no different.  I get an idea in my head about what I want to make, and there is no stopping me until it is done. Even if there are other things I should be doing. Even if I have to run out to get ingredients I don’t have. Even if the kids are freaking their #*$%.  I saw this recipe today.  I went to get the ingredients today.  I made it today.  And I freaked out it was so good today.

I would have NEVER thought, in a million years, that it was possible to make pad Thai this delicious in my own kitchen. But, I swear it tasted like it came from a restaurant.  No joke.  I wouldn’t lie to you.  And even though it uses rice noodles – and therefore technically not a whole grain, I also used organic chicken, pastured eggs, organic veggies from the farmer’s market, and coconut oil – so it is a million times better than anything I could order for take-out.  Have you ever asked to see the ingredients in the pad Thai at your favorite restaurant?  Yikes.  There are like maybe 100.  And a lot of them are no bueno. The ingredients here are clean, the sauce doesn’t have anything weird in it, and it was quite possibly the most delicious thing I’ve ever made.  If it seems like I’m freaking out about it, it is because I am. Still. Tastiest food of life.  Make it.  Tonight.  For reals.  Is that picture blurry?  I don’t even care.  Could barely even hold off stuffing my face long enough to take one pic.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 oz Brown Rice Noodles
  • 3 tablespoons 100% Pure Maple Syrup (or 100% organic brown sugar, so it is GMO free)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (about one large lime, freshly juiced)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons either Tamari Soy Sauce, Wheat Free or Coconut Aminos.  Again, make SURE it is organic to avoid those nasty GMO’s, and make sure it is wheat free if you want this dish to be gluten-free.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste.  Original recipe called for Sriracha.  Don’t use that.  It has 8 ingredients, 2 of which will most definitely be genetically engineered, and 2 of which are preservatives, which you don’t need to consume when you can just use red pepper flakes instead.
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, divided in half
  • 2 organic chicken breasts, diced
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 5 green onions, chopped (separate chopped whites from chopped greens)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (I used cheese grater)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 4 lime wedges, for garnish
  • UPDATED:  Go ahead and toss in a handful of bean sprouts, too.  I forgot all about em when I made this, but Evan’s husband Justin has informed me they are a necessary component to Pad Thai.
METHOD:
1.  Boil rice noodles according to package instructions. I brought water to a boil in large pan, turned heat off, added noodles, and let sit for 10 minutes.  Drain water, and set noodles aside.
2.  While noodles are soaking, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to non-stick pan and add chicken.  I chopped up the chicken into pretty small little bites before cooking.  I think you should do the same.
3. Once chicken is cooked, drain off any liquid and add peanut butter.  Stir until chicken is coated, set aside.
4.  In your skillet, add the other tablespoon of coconut oil along with the white part of the chopped onions and the garlic.  Sautee until golden brown, and fragrant.
5.  Add the eggs and scramble over medium heat until almost cooked.  Almost.  Not all the way. Take off the heat and set on a plate for a few minutes.
6.  Mix together syrup (or organic brown sugar), soy sauce, lime juice, and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl and set aside.
7.  Back to the skillet.  Add noodles, the sauce you just mixed, the chopped green part of the onions, carrots, and chicken.  Stir until combined, over medium heat, until noodles are soft.
8.  Grab your plate with the almost scrambled eggs.  Dump into the noodles, and stir to combine.
9.  Cook for another minute or so, until eggs are fully cooked.
10.  Plate.  Add cilantro, peanuts, and a lime wedge to each serving.  This recipe was enough for me and my man to consume heaping amounts, the kids each took a few bites, and there is a little bit leftover for lunch.  So I guess I would say it serves 4.  Or maybe 3 if you are crazy hungry.
11.  See?!  Easy!  And might I suggest chopping, mixing, and cooking before dinner time?  That is what I did and it made the actual cooking part crazy fast and easy.  I chopped veggies, mixed sauce, beat eggs, and cooked chicken while my children were napping – so come dinner time, I just had to soak noodles and throw stuff in skillet.
12.  Also, if you get the right soy sauce, this dish is gluten-free (Sarah D, Abbey K).  And if you omit chicken it is vegetarian (Evan).  Add shrimp instead and it is pescatarian (Noelle K).  Omit eggs and chicken and it is vegan (Nicole H). You catch my drift?  Modify to fit your needs.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Everyday Food.
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Chicken with Shallots, Dates, + Rosemary

I’ve literally made this chicken 15 times, and each time I make it I swear it tastes better and better.  Something about this flavor combination is amazing.  Also, I haven’t changed a single thing from the original recipe, so I can take no credit for its deliciousness.  Thanks to this lady, and her awesome food I’ve found a lot of amazing recipes.  And she is hilarious.  And she CrossFits.  Check out her website.  It will be well worth your time.  And go make this chicken!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 organic chicken breasts
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 7 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
METHOD:
1.  Preheat oven to 375 and line a large oven safe dish with parchment paper.
2.  Place organic chicken breasts on parchment paper and evenly top with rosemary, shallots, and dates.
3.  Combine olive oil, balsamic, and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl.  Pour over chicken.
4.  Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Recipe taken from Paleomg.