Chicken curry and roasted reds

  
So lazy Sunday continues. I made a quick chicken curry, with a bit of the chicken from lunch and some red onion and a yellow bell pepper I added some fire roasted tomatoes, curry and tonight I didn’t even make the sauce. This is Tika masala sauce (Hyvee brand.. Very fancy) I cut up some baby reds and seasoned them with all purpose seasoning and extra light olive oil for about 40 minutes at 350 

And meanwhile Jax is keeping busy.. 

  

Lazy Sunday Lunch/and last nights supper

  

Jax gave me a cold this week. He’s already bounced back but I’m still a little run down. So we’ve been eating what’s easy. Today Rob had the day off so he grilled all the chicken in our fridge, and a steak for himself. We’ll eat some of the chicken today and have some easy protein for later in the week. When I have to buy groceries in a hurry I buy easy meats we can use in a variety of ways. While he was grilling I diced some bell pepper, cuccumber, green onion, red onion, tomato, and the last of the strawberries I found in the fridge. We threw together quick salads and it was a great. 

Last night we had brisket. I found it on sale at our butcher shop. Cooked it in the crockpot with some seasoning and about a cup of coffee 

 I cooked some new new potatoes and beans on the side. Canned beans are another “not paleo” food we eat on occasion. It was really nice to have an easy supper at the end of a busy week. We tend to be pretty repetitive salads in the summer soups in the winter. How do you stay out of a food rut? 

Grab and Go Lunch

  
Well it’s summer, and we are BUSY! Rob and I have realized the quickest way for us to derail from the paleo path is when we fail to plan. I went out of town last weekend, missed our normal grocery shopping day, and so this week has been creative cooking week. I made it to the store tonight and then spent about 10 minutes chopping in the kitchen. It really doesn’t take long to prep and it makes a world of difference on a busy morning. 

I made 4 of these Italian salads using up the last of our veg from last week including:

-leftover shredded lettuce from last nights tacos

-one yellow bell pepper

-one cuccumber

-half a carton of cherry tomatoes

-half a bundle of green onions

-half a red onion

-a few banana pepper rings

-hard salami 

Chop!Chop! 

Done. 

  
Now we are both set to finish out the week, in the morning we can dress these, grab some fruit and some nuts and a bottle of water and lunch is packed! 

Paleo-on-the-go! 

-In other Sandwell life news we recently updated our Kitchen and baby J started eating food! So I’m learning all about how to make baby food. So probably posts on that coming up, stay tuned! 

Pantry soup

   

Hope everyone is doing well out there! We’ve been keeping busy this summer and today was no exception. Summer isn’t really soup season.. But I had lots to do around the house and errands to run and it’s just so easy, this morning during J’s nap I took an inventory of what was left in the pantry (odd assortment, bc its grocery shopping day) so I diced up some green onions, a red onion a couple bell peppers, and 4 or 5 potatoes (not pictured) I tossed all my veg in a soup pot and set it aside while J and I ran our errands. 

Later when we got home I browned up some ground beef and added it to my veg mix with a couple cans of tomatoes, some chicken broth, and fajita sauce (easy flavor, you need something with some punch bc potatoes make it kind of bland) brought the whole thing to a boil for about 20 minutes and then let it simmer until Rob got home.

After letting simmer I added a splash of vinegar from a jar of banana peppers, it needed just a bit of acid to balance it. 

We eat soup all year round bc it cleans out the pantry. This is an easy base recipe but you could sub in or out almost any ingredients. Ah the magic of a stew pot. Enjoy!  

 

Sauceless curried chicken and veg

Usually if I make chicken curry, I make it in the morning and toss everything in the crock but not all mornings go as planned. So tonight I made a very quick and easy substitute. This is a perfect weeknight meal bc it takes about 20 minutes.

1 lb of chicken
1 squash
1 zucchini
1/2 one red onion
Curry
Cinnamon
Salt
Coconut oil

In a large saucepan heat coconut oil over medium heat, add the chicken and cook until the outer edges turn white, then add the veg and season liberally. Cook until veg is fork tender. Very simple, no heavy sauce but still hearty enough to fill up a hungry hubby.

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Paleo meatloaf

I have to apologize for the lack of pictures but it was just too tasty we gobbled it down before I thought to take pictures. I’ll share my recipe, but I need advice, without bread crumbs, there is nothing to absorb the juices, how do get this to “loaf”? Don’t get me wrong it tasted amazing. But it wasn’t something we could slice, it was more like a delicious meat pile. At any rate no ego here please share your tips for me I you have a secret to Paleo meatloaf this girl wants to know!

*Preheat oven to 450

In a large bowl mix
1 lb grass fed beef
1 diced green pepper
1 diced red onion
1 handful of diced baby Bella mushrooms
1 cup of cauliflower (I put mine in a food processor until it is the texture of rice)
2 raw eggs (for binding purposes)
1 large can of gluten free marinara sauce *reserve a little to top the loaf with

Mix all together and then form into a loaf pan and then pop in the oven for 45 minutes. After 45 I top it with the last of the marinara and let it go 15 more.
-I’ve also used pepper jelly, or pineapple preserves to top it with. Sweet goes great with the savory. Think outside the box. (Which means step away from the ketchup bottle)

Please leave a comment of you have tips to improve my recipe 🙂

Paleo Apple crisp

Tonight I wanted some fall comfort food. I scoured the kitchen.

Here’s what I came up with:
Apple
Honey
Walnuts
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Butter
(Coconut oil would be fine)

I peeled and chopped the apple, and added a sprinkle of spices. About a tablespoon I butter, and handful of walnuts and drizzled honey over the top. Put it in a microwave safe bowl covered and microwaved it for 2 minutes. My kitchen smelled amazing when I opened the microwave. But this lasted about 30 seconds while I impatiently waited for it to cool off then devoured it. As I write this post I’m thinking about making a second bowl.

*Important to note that this is just enough for one person. A perfect treat that just took less then 5 minutes to make. Eating paleo doesn’t have to mean you live in a world with no treats.

Enjoy!

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Maple Bourbon Sweet Potato Bisque

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So when we get in a recipe rut I usually turn to Pinterest for inspiration. Usually I find something that sounds incredible and tweak it so it fits into our lifestyle but every now and then you find a recipe that sounds perfect with little to no tweaking necessary. So thanks “How Sweet it is” for posting this Bourbon Sweet Potato Bisque:

http://www.howsweeteats.com/2013/02/bourbon-sweet-potato-bisque-with-brown-butter-cinnamon-sugar-croutons/

I’ve been dying to try it since I pinned it and imagine it will not disappoint. Here is my version, with a few minor tweaks:

20130930-135710.jpgNeeded:
3 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
1/2 one large red onion diced
1 cup of coconut milk
3 cups of veggie broth
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tiny shot bottles of maple bourbon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp of butter
Crushed red pepper, S&P, curry, cinnamon
Walnuts to garnish

So start by adding all the fat to a large soup pot once the butter melts down add onions and garlic, cook over med high heat for a few minutes then add the bourbon, sweet potatoes, coconut milk and veggie broth, pot a lid on that and let it come to a boil

20130930-135953.jpg (I cooked mine for about 20 minutes) then turn off the heat and check that the potatoes are fork tender if they are then it’s time to blend. I used my emersion blender to break down the potatoes. (Protip: make sure the blender is submerged completely otherwise you’ll be wall papering your kitchen with molten lava soup particles. Don’t ask me how I know, and just ignore that soup in my hair) I garnished it with cinnamon and walnuts.
So I knew the potatoes were gonna take some time to cook through and even though I love potato soup in any form, it’s always kind of a one note dish. I wanted something else on the side. So I decided on Brussels sprouts.

Most of us hated them as kids. I think this is bc they are shaped like tiny brains. And tasted exactly how I think tiny brains would taste. But a few years ago my brother brought some to a family dinner, tiny brains cooked it butter. I didn’t want to try them. I didn’t want to like them. But it kind of changed my mind on this super nutrient dense food. Turns out butter really does make everything better!

So today I made Cranberry Bacon Brussels.
Here’s what you need:
Brussels Sprouts, stemmed and halved (roughly a pound?)
2 stripes of bacon cooked and diced up small
1/2 red onion
Few handfuls of Cranberries fresh or dried (I used dried)
Few handfuls of Walnuts
2 tablespoons of butter

-sorry I’m bad with measurements, I’m am eye baller. But you can’t really go wrong here just toss in what sounds good. First melt the butter then add the onions, and Brussel, and bacon.

20130930-140912.jpgLet that cook for about ten minutes over med heat then add the berries and walnuts.

20130930-141055.jpgI then cooked it covered for a few minutes more just to make sure they would be tender all the way through, then I gave it a shake of salt and pepper and called it done.

20130930-141255.jpgWe will defiantly have left overs bc this makes for two very filling dishes. But I’m actually pretty stoked to have this sweet potato bisque with my coffee in the morning 🙂

Roasted red pepper soup in acorn squash

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Especially in the fall Sundays are for football in our house. So I knew we were going to have a lazy day around the house and I’m so ready for all things fall, so for lunch today I made roasted red pepper soup in acorn squash, along with some famous Sandwell cider. The cider is a Sandwell tradition that Rob and I have been making for years, but the other recipes were first attempts. But total, total wins. Unfortunately we’ve already eaten every bite so there will be no leftovers for a yummy lunch tomorrow 😦

So if you want to get your fall on, here are some recipes to kick it off:

Sandwell cider:
1 large container of cranberry-apple juice
1 single serving bottle of orange juice
4 tablespoons of aspen mulling cider spices
Combine all into a crockpot and simmer, if you want a spiked version sometimes we add spiced rum 🙂

Roasted acorn squash:
Preheat oven to 375.
Then cut acorn squash in half, remove seeds and cut stems off so they will sit flat

20130929-175918.jpgThen sprinkle them with cinnamon, curry, sea salt, and pepper. Spray a baking dish with olive oil and spray the squash as well then place squash cut side down on the dish and bake until fork tender (about an hour, but longer won’t hurt, I forgot about mine and left it in the oven for about an hour and a half, whoops!)

20130929-180056.jpgRoasted red pepper soup:
I bought 4 bell peppers of assorted colors (based on what was on sale) half of one red onion, I cut them up but I didn’t worry about getting them too small bc I knew they were going in the food processor. I plopped my sloppily cut veg into a small baking dish and drizzled a tiny bit of olive oil over it and seasoned it the same as the squash, cinnamon, curry, S&P then I put that in the oven next to the squash. (And then carried on living my life and totally forgot about it…)

Until the smell reminded me something delicious was in the oven.
When I got back to the kitchen the squash was cooked perfectly fork tender, and so were the peppers. Here’s what they looked like out of the oven:

20130929-180405.jpgTo turn the roasted peppers into soup I put them in the food processor for a minute to purée it. (I do not own a fancy expensive food processor. The one I own came from Hyvee, from the same aisle I buy Saran Wrap. It cost $12.)

After I puréed it I poured it in a bowl and added two cans of tomato sauce about 4 tablespoons of vegetable stock and some garlic salt, stirred it together and heated it through. Then I poured it in the squash and we ate every bite before it ever had a chance to cool off. This is for sure going to be made again soon, and it was so easy and such a success that I’m already excited to try these components in other dishes. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Chicken Breast and Squash in Butter Sauce

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Full disclosure, this is not health food.

Ok. Maybe it is. After all, it is fresh vegetables and lean protein. But it’s also cooked in a lot of butter. Like, more than a little. A lot. And even if I’m now eating a diet high in fats, and even if I’m losing weight doing so, I just can’t think of a dish with that much butter in it as somehow “good for me.” And maybe that’s just a matter of perception. But it was also maybe one of the best meals I’ve ever made. So take that for what it’s worth.

I started with two boneless skinless chicken breasts, two zucchini, and a yellow squash. I used roll butter and minced garlic, and salt, pepper, cayenne, and cinnamon. That’s right. Cinnamon. #getonmylevel

I started by slicing the squash and zucchini. Think like maybe half dollar thickness, maybe a little thicker. I tossed that in a bowl for a second while I melted two tablespoons of butter in a pot with some minced garlic on medium heat. You want the garlic to sweat and release a lot of flavor, not burn. When that was all melted I tossed in the sliced zucchini and squash with some salt and another tablespoon of butter and threw on a lid.

I pounded the chicken breasts a little with a meat tenderizer just to flatten them out some, then I seasoned them with salt, pepper, cayenne, and cinnamon, and added them to another pan on medium heat. I let that cook for about four minutes, then I flipped it and gave it four more. All the while occasionally stirring the veg and then covering it back up.

After the chicken had done four on each side I flipped it again and started flipping it at one minute intervals. Twice on each side, while stirring the veg, then I plated the veg and the chicken and added one more tablespoon of butter to the pan I cooked the chicken in, stirred it up as it melted, and poured that over the whole dish.

In the end I had an amazing plate of the most delicious sautéed squash and zucchini with two fantastically tender chicken breasts covered in melted butter. It was pretty awesome. And we ate it all.

I don’t think I’m gonna lose any weight eating this meal, but man it tasted good. And seriously, if four tablespoons of butter are the worst thing I eat all week, I think I’ll be ok. And it was just so crazy good. For reals. The flavors were perfect together, I couldn’t get enough of the squash and zucchini, and there were no leftovers for tomorrow.

I don’t put this much butter in every meal. In fact I try to avoid butter, despite it’s possible nutritional value, just because I try to avoid dairy altogether. I would have felt better doing it with olive oil than butter, but man, butter tastes damn good.

And you just can’t argue with that.