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

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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!

A New Take On Fish – Steamed Bass with Fennel, Parsley, and Capers

I usually serve my fish with some sort of vegetable on the side but this time I put the fish over it!  This recipe is from the Hungry for Change cookbook.  It’s uber healthy and while it’s a little bland, a little added salt perked it right up!

IMG_16541/4 medium while onion, sliced

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 5-oz portions of sea bass

1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Cooked brown rice

IMG_1656Put the onion, fennel, and lemon juice in a medium sauce pot and cover with one inch of water.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes.  Place the 2 portions of fish into the pot.  Season with salt and sprinkle with parsley and capers.  Cover and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, or until the fish is almost flaky.

Divide the brown rice between two bowls and place the vegetables over the rice.  Top each serving with the fish.

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Voila! This is so easy to make and so healthy! Happy cooking!

 

 

Belated Mardi Gras Meal – Seafood Gumbo

I promised you all Slow Cooker Thursdays and then promptly got so busy I couldn’t find time to cook! So I give you slow cooker Tuesday! I didn’t have time to do my normal Sunday dinner this week so I filled in with this gumbo.  It’s very easy to make and turned out so good!

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2 tablespoons coconut oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 medium onions, chopped

2 celery stalks, sliced

2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped

14 oz can of organic diced tomatoes, undrained

2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 pounds raw shrimp

1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen crab meat

10 oz sliced okra

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Turn your slow cooker on high while you get your ingredients ready.

In a large frying pan, heat up the coconut oil.  Saute the garlic, onions, celery, and bell peppers until tender.  Transfer the cooked vegetables into the slow cooker.  Pour the diced tomatoes and chicken broth in the slow cooker.  Add the Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, and bay leaves.  Place the lid on the slow cooker and turn the temperature to low.  Cook on low for four hours.

Add the shrimp, crab meat, and okra to the cooker and cook for 1 more hour.  Serve.

IMG_1647Rob told me this was one of the best gumbos he had ever had, and he eats a lot of gumbo.  That made my night since he’s usually pretty honest about whether or not he likes something!  I hope yours turns out!  Happy cooking!

 

 

Slow Cooker Thursday – Fruit & Nutty Pork Chops

It’s time for another edition of my slow cooker series.  I’ve decided to do a slow cooker post every Thursday.  It might be a tall order as the semester gets under way.  We’ll see.  This week I did pork chops and they turned out pretty good!

IMG_15892 tablespoons coconut oil

5-6 thick-sliced pork chops

2 tart apples

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 small onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 teaspoons coarse black pepper

1 tablespoon raw honey

IMG_15941. Turn you slow cooker on high so it can warm up.

2. Melt the oil in a large frying pan on the stove.

3. Once the oil is hot, brown the pork chops on each side for about 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Put your chops in the slow cooker.

5. Place the apple slices in the drying pan, along with the walnuts, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until onions and apples are soft.

6. Pour the apple mixture over the pork chops.

7. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the meat and drizzle with the honey.

8. Cover and lower the temperature to low.  Cook for 8 hours.

IMG_1595I’ve never had a slow cooked pork chop and I really like it.  I hope you do too.  Happy cooking!

~Laura

Weekly Slow Cooker Recipe – Chicken Cacciatore – Paleo!!

It’s time for my weekly edition of Laura’s slow cooker recipe.  This recipe is from Paleolithic Slow Cooker. I find the name of the cookbook entertaining since I’m pretty sure they did not have slow cookers in the Paleolithic era!  But for all you Paleo peeps out there, this is for you (and for regular people too) 🙂

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3 tablespoons coconut oil

2 pounds bone-in chicken breast

2 stalks of celery, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, chopped

3 large bell peppers – any color, sliced

15 oz diced tomatoes (about 3.5 tomatoes)

1 tablespoon oregano

IMG_15761. Turn your slow cooker on high while you get your ingredients ready.

2. Place the coconut oil on the bottom and allow it to melt.

3. Place the remaining ingredients into the slow cooker and reduce the slow cooker to low.

4.  Cook for 7 to 8 hours.

5. Serve with spaghetti squash if desired. (I did not because the soupy style seemed more interesting to me plain).

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This recipe is super easy and very healthy since the meat has been cooked on the bone.  The minerals and nutrients from the bone end up in the broth and the slow cooking nature of it keeps them viable.  Beware, there is no salt in this so if you like your stuff salty, add a teaspoon before you start cooking.  This recipe is great for a work day, you throw everything in in the morning and come home from work and it’s ready!  Happy cooking!