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.

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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Chipotle Chile + Black Bean Soup

Fall is officially here! I love fall, I love soup, and I love using my crock pot! This soup is a perfect way to welcome fall back to your home. It is so yummy. If you like spice, go for the extra chipotle chiles; if you aren’t such a fan, go with the 1 tablespoon like the recipe calls
for. Either way, I hope you love it like I did!  Also, we have been stretching out our leftovers by adding brown rice (pictured) and sausage!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 16-ounce package dried black beans (I soaked my beans over night, the night before, in about 4 inches of water)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles (I used a lot more than 1 tablespoon! Like almost the whole can! It wasn’t too hot. It was spicy, and had a really nice chipotle flavor. For those of you who can take some heat.)
  • 7 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for topping
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt for topping (optional)
  • Grated cheddar cheese for topping (optional)
  • Avocado for topping (optional)
METHOD:
1.  Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and both bell peppers and sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; stir 1 minute. Transfer mixture to 6-quart slow cooker. Add beans and chipotles, then 7 cups hot water. Cover and cook on low until beans are very tender, about 10 hours (or you could cook on high for 6 hours). Transfer 2 cups bean mixture to blender; puree until smooth. Return puree to remaining soup in slow cooker. Stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper.
2.  Ladle soup into bowls. Spoon dollop of sour cream (or plain yogurt would work well, too) into each bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro and serve.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Bon Appetit.

Bacon + Green Onion Side Salad

One thing you will quickly learn about me is that I LOVE bacon.  I can’t believe I’m admitting this publicly, but last week I ate bacon for seven meals in a row.  SEVEN.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch, dinner, breakfast.  Decided I should lay off for a little bit.  That lasted for one day.  I just can’t get enough.  Anyways, this salad is my go-to side salad to accompany almost any meal.  I always have the ingredients, it is super quick, and oh so tasty.  I hope you enjoy this trusty little salad.

INGREDIENTS: 
  • 1 head of lettuce of your choice (I use red-tip lettuce)
  • 4-6 cooked slices of organic, pastured bacon (save the fat, you’ll need it for the dressing)
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 1/4 cup bacon fat
  • 1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/8 cup 100% Pure Maple Syrup
METHOD:
1.  Wash and tear lettuce into bite size pieces.  Combine in bowl with chopped green onions and chopped bacon.
2.  In a saucepan over low heat, melt bacon fat and add maple syrup and apple cider vinegar.  Remove from heat as soon as bacon fat returns to liquid form.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then pour over salad, toss, and serve.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
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