Lunchtime goodness – Paleo Chicken Stew

By now you all probably know that I love to make soup on Sunday night and take it for lunch all week long.  Sometime making soup is time consuming though.  This recipe is super easy and quick.  I found this recipe in my Taste of Home Casseroles, Slow Cooker & Soups cook book and adapted it so it wasn’t using anything processed and it’s Paleo.  It called for a package of frozen veggies so I just used fresh and it also called for a jar of chicken gravy so I just made my own!  It turned out pretty good if I do say so myself!

Chopped stew ingredients1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in cubes

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 cups chicken stock

3 tbsp arrow root

1 tsp poultry seasoning

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp rubbed sage

1/4 tsp pepper

Chicken and chopped vegetablesGravy:

Mix arrow root with a small amount of water.  Bring chicken stock to a boil.  Add arrowroot and water gradually.  Add poultry seasoning.  Cook until thickened.

Stew:

In a large sauce pan, brown chicken in oil over medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until no longer pink.   Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Paleo Chicken Stew

 

And there you have it!  Very simple and takes less than a half hour to make.  Happy cooking!

 

 

Slowcooker Wednesday – Beef Plantain Stew

I broke out the slow cooker last week and had my way with it.  I found this recipe and thought I’d try it out.  I love plantains so I had high expectations for it.  I would say that it didn’t turn out how I expected but it was definitely good!

Short ribs cooking2.5 lbs beef short ribs

6 medium plantains

3 c. collard greens, chopped

3 c water

2 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp allspice

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

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In a large skillet, sear the outside of the beef ribs.  Transfer to a slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients.  Cook for 8 hours on low. Serve.

Beef plaintain stewI expected the plantains to really break down and become a lot more mushy creating a sort of thick soup but the opposite happened!  They got very hard, almost the consistency and taste of potatoes! It was unexpected but it made the stew very hearty.  If I were to do it again I would add more water.  Make sure you mix everything up too.  Happy cooking!

 

 

Something to warm the bones – Chicken Tomato Basil Soup

It’s not cold here in SoCal right now.  In fact, it’s down right hot!  But that wont stop me from making soup.  It’s perfect for taking for lunch! This one takes a while to prepare but it’s well worth it. So tasty!

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 small chicken (2-3 pounds)

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped

2 portobello mushrooms, wiped clean, dark gills scraped out, coarsely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

2 large heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 cup red wine (cabernet sauvignon works well)

3 cups chicken stock

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp dried basil

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup cauliflower florets

IMG_2072Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Place the chicken in the pot on its back and cook for 5 minutes.  Flip the chicken over and cook another 5 minutes on its breast.  Remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot.  Add onion and mushrooms.  Cook until browned, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

Add the tomatoes, wine, and stock.  Turn heat to high and bring to a boil

Return the chicken to the pot and add the bay leaf.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook, covered, stirring and basting occasionally for 1 1/2 hours.

Add the basil, broccoli, and cauliflower and cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer until the vegetables are tender.

Remove the chicken and cut into serving pieces.  Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Serve the chicken, vegetables, and stocks in bowls with basil sprinkled on top.

Chicken tomato basil soupThis is a super yummy soup!  I’ll definitely make it again.  Happy cooking!

 

 

Get your cold weather fix – Paleo No-Bean Turkey Chili

Okay, okay so it was 88 degrees here today and I sweat profusely as I ate this dish but it’s cold everywhere else in the country right??  If there’s one thing I miss on the Paleo diet it’s beans (hey, I’m half Brazilian, we live on the things).  I loooooove chili.  So when I came across this recipe in the book Paleoista is had to try it out.  I wasn’t disappointed either!  No chili powder in it so I’m still figuring out how and why is tastes to chili-y!

10 oz ground turkey

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped

4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

2 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1/8 cup dried cilantro

2 cups broccoli florets, lightly steamed

Sauteing onions in dutch ovenPreheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat oil in a large cast iron dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook 5 more minutes.  Add the ground turkey and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up clumps.   Add the garlic and jalapeno along with the stock.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the paprika, oregano, and cumin.  Cover and place in the oven.  Cook 1 hour, stirring every 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, stir in the cilantro, and let sit for 10 minutes.

Place 1 cup broccoli in each of two bowls.  Ladle the chili on top.

Paleo No-Bean Chili in a bowlI have been enjoying this for lunch this week.  There’s no salt in the recipe so add some in if you think it will be too bland.  I recently rediscovered my dutch oven and have been using it a lot more recently.  I highly suggest everyone invests in one!  I have a Lodge but my next one will definitely be a Le Creuset! Hope you enjoy this chili.  Happy cooking!

Final Detox Post – Potassium Balance Soup

I finished my green detox, yay!  Proud of myself for doing it.  Here’s the final recipe in the detox and I’ll talk about results afterward 🙂

4 cups filtered water

4 medium zucchini, finely chopped

3 celery stalks, leaves removed, then finely chopped

1 cup roughly chopped green string beans

1 large bunch fresh parsley, stems and leaves roughly chopped

3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon rosemary

soup makingsPut all the ingredients in a large stock pot.  Bring to a gentle boil, then lower the heat, cover, and let simmer gently for 30 minutes.

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There you have it.  I ate this all three days for dinner.  It’s surprisingly hearty and yummy!  So now for the results.  I did the detox purely for health reasons.  I wanted to start this year off with a clean and healthy body.  I wound up losing three pounds during the detox. An added benefit I guess!  The first day of the detox I had so much energy!   Then that night I got a killer headache and felt really nauseous after dinner.   Day two I felt very weak and then I got another headache in the afternoon that went through until the next morning.  Day three I felt really exhausted and weak.  Only a headache in the morning but it subsided early and then I was craving chicken!  The day after I finished the program I felt great!  My  body just felt so clean an energized!  My run in the afternoon was awesome!  I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested.  I didn’t post everything so make sure to get the book Hungry for Change and read about it so you know what to expect.  That’s all for now.  I’ve begun the Paleo diet.  More to come!  Happy Cooking!

Back on Lentils – Hearty Lentil Stew

There was a time in my life when I ate lentil soup for lunch every day for probably 6 months straight.  A friend of mine inspired me and she and I both vowed to never eat lentil soup again around the same time as we both got completely sick of it.  That was about a year ago so I figured it was time to try it out again.  It’s a great lunch staple afterall!

IMG_18054 tablespoons coconut oil

4 medium onions, roughly chopped

4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 cups dried green lentils

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning

1 bunch kale, chopped

2 cups frozen peas

Fresh sage, chopped

Unrefined sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

IMG_1806Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions, celery, and carrots in the oil for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the lentils, stirring to coat them evenly with the oil and vegetable mixture.  Add enough filtered water to the pot to cover everything by an inch.  Add the bay leaves and Italian seasoning.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes.

Once the lentils are tender and the water is absorbed, add the kale and peas.  Cook an additional 10 minutes.  Stir in the chopped sage to taste.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.

IMG_1810This makes a bunch and is hearty enough to keep you full until dinner time. I guess I’m back on the lentils!  Happy cooking!

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Tuesday – Hamburger Vegetable Stew

Wow three posts this week! Are you guys excited? This recipe comes from my Paleolithic Slow Cooker ebook but interestingly its not Paleo.  It has green beans in the recipe and Paleo does not allow for any sort of legumes including green beans.  I made it as the recipe stated but if I were truly Paleo the green beans would have to go.

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

2 pounds grass-fed ground beef

2 onions, chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped (any color)

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

5 carrots, sliced

4 cups fresh green beans, snapped into bite-sized pieces

2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce

1 quart beef broth

1 tablespoon raw honey

2 teaspoons cumin seed

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

IMG_1736Turn your slow cooker on high while you get your ingredients ready.  In a large frying pan, place the coconut oil and let it get hot.  Place the ground beef into the frying pan and brown completely.  Put the beef into the slow cooker.  Put the onions, celery, bell peppers, and mushrooms into the frying pan and saute for 5 minutes.  Put the sauteed vegetables into the slow cooker.  Put the carrots, green beans, tomato sauce, beef broth, honey, cumin seed, salt and pepper into the slow cooker.  Stir the ingredients together.  Cover the cooker and cook for 7 to 8 hours on low.

IMG_1744This was super easy to make and it makes a lot so I took it for lunch all week.  This is probably one of my favorite slow cooker recipes so far.  Happy cooking!

 

 

Mushroom Lovers Dream – Zucchini Mushroom Soup

I’m back!  I huge apology for being MIA the past week.  I usually get extremely busy around this time in the semester and this spring is no exception!  But I have a few great posts for you so keep checking back.  This soup turned out amazingly good.  I got the recipe out of my Hungry for Change cookbook but I did a few things differently.  First, I used Japanese mushrooms instead of wild mushrooms because I LOVE them! Also, this soup is supposed to be pureed but I left it chunky because I love the consistency of Japanese mushrooms so much.

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2 tablespoons coconut oil

6 cups roughly chopped mushrooms

1 medium-size yellow onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons

1 bay leaf

Water

2 cups chopped cauliflower

Unrefined sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

IMG_1732

 

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Saute the mushrooms in the oil with a sprinkle of sea salt until they are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the onion, garlic, and zucchini and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the bay leaf and enough water to cover the vegetables.  Cover the pot, bring to a gentle boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 12 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and let everything continue to simmer until the cauliflower is soft.    At this point you can puree it in a blender if you want to go that route but I really loved it chunky!

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I made a double batch of this and I ate it all week.  If you like mushrooms then this is definitely the dish for you!  Happy cooking!

A Hearty Lunch – Sausage Skillet Stew

I lieu of my potential Paleo transition, today’s recipe was found on fastpaleo.com.  I love this recipe because I love to take soup to work for lunch but it often doesn’t keep me full.  Not so with this soup.  Its very hearty and keeps me full until late afternoon.  I don’t love that it uses canned tomato sauce because commercial canning uses a lot of preservatives and if it doesn’t go bad I’m not so sure it’s good for you (except honey of course), but it’s still a pretty good recipe.  I just need to look up the recipe for tomato sauce in my Vitamix!  Next time I make this I’ll do that but this time I just used organic canned tomato sauce.

16 oz sausage of your choice

1 onion, sliced

16 oz mushrooms, sliced

4 zucchini, sliced

3 cups tomato sauce (2 cans)

4 cups spinach leaves

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

2 tsp garlic powder

Red pepper flakes to taste

IMG_1724Using a large, deep skillet, brown your sausage over medium heat.  I used pork jalapeno links.  If using sausage meat, break up with the back of a spoon into crumbles, then remove from pan and put aside.  If using links, brown evenly and also set aside until cool enough to slice.

Remove any extra grease from the pan other than what is needed to saute the onions, if necessary.  Add them to the pan over low-medium heat and soften slightly before adding the zucchini slices.  Saute a few minutes before adding the mushrooms.

Add the tomato sauce, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.  Add the sausage back to the pan; slice links first if using.  Bring almost to a boil, then cover (with a little gap to let steam out).

Turn the heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables have released their juices.  Uncover the pan and add red pepper flakes to taste.  Let simmer about 10 minutes until it is slightly thickened, then add the spinach leaves and allow them to wilt.

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This is such a tasty, yummy stew and it’s packed with healthy veggies.  I will definitely be making this again.  Happy cooking!

 

Cold Weather Meal – Chicken, Yam and Chard Soup

It was a beautiful 80 degree weekend this week but I knew it was gonna be cold and grey like it is today so I searched and found this interesting soup recipe at http://www.paleoplan.com.  I wasn’t sure sweet potatoes were actually Paleo but turns out white potatoes are the only root veggie that isn’t.  So here it is!

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon sea salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

4 cups chicken broth

6 cups water

1 bay leaf

2 jalapenos, diced

1 large yam, diced

1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped

1 bunch green onions, sliced (greens and whites)

Juice of 1 lemon

IMG_1669

Heat large pot over medium heat.  When hot, add oil, onion, garlic, carrot, thyme and oregano, and saute until onion is softened and slightly translucent (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, mix 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl.  Cut chicken thighs into 1 inch cubes and toss in sea salt and black pepper mixture.  Add chicken to the pot and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium, add broth, water, bay leaf, jalapeno, yam, chard,and green onions and simmer for 20 minutes.  Just before serving, season with remaining sea salt, pepper, and lemon juice (I forgot this step but it’s still yummy).

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This one is very hearty and I love the consistency of it.  It feels so nutritious!  In other news, I figured out why my pictures were coming out so dark so no more dark ugly photos!  Slowly but surely I will learn to use this camera 🙂 Happy cooking!