Saturday, November 10, 2018

Instant Pot Asian Chicken (Paleo or not)

Everyday I have a list of things to accomplish that day.  Most things carry over to the next day...and the next...and the next...but dinner is something that cannot be avoided.  I mean. we have to eat!  This recipe is easy to throw together and delicious!  I like to make a big batch and eat leftovers for lunches during the week served over greens.  I also like to serve it over rice or quinoa, roasted or steamed veggies, or in a wrap.  Super versatile and tasty!

Thankfully my instant pot makes dinner a lot quicker and more approachable.  Over the summer months I really like using it since it doesn't heat up my kitchen like my oven does.  Now that soup season is upon us I use it even more!  Soup everyday!!!

Instant Pot Asian Chicken (Paleo or not)

2# boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
3 TBS honey
4 cloves garlic, minced and peeled fresh
1 1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt (do not add if using soy sauce)
1 onion, sliced

Place all ingredients except for chicken and onion into instant pot and whisk to combine.  Add in chicken and onions and toss to coat.  Lock on lid.  Set to Manual setting, 15 minutes.  Release pressure, remove chicken and onions from pot.  Put pot on saute mode and boil sauce until thickened (about 5-10 minutes)  This last step is what makes the sauce thick and syrup like without adding in refined sugars.  You can also shred the chicken if you like...usually I am too lazy and don't.

You can also make it in a slow cooker.  Follow the same prep steps and cook 6-7 hours on low.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Paleo Chicken Burgers

You guys all know that one friend who always has drama in their life? Yeah, that one friend is me.  Haha.  If it isn't one thing its another thing...they just keep coming at me like snowballs and all I can do is stand there and take it.

"Dear Lord, make me a bird so I can fly far far away."

So much drama.  Health issues.  Family issues.  Bring it. 

I just completed a 21 day yeast detox.  It was hell.  I was hangry all the time.  My poor husband.  He said it almost felt like I was pregnant again I was so crabby!  Anyway, the hard part of the diet is done and now I have 2 weeks of only excluding my food sensitivities - which is a lot, but still not as bad as the yeast detox which allowed no grains, fruit, sweeteners, vinegar's, gluten, corn, sweet potatoes, peanuts, soy, and basically everything!  Oh how I missed my smoothies and my paleo pancakes!

These burgers are really delicious and pretty simple to throw together.  Also great for meal prep if you want to make a bunch ahead of time and eat them throughout the week.  My husband and toddler both like them.  I usually make them every other week in our meal rotation.  Taste great with ketchup or mayo.  We eat them without buns because that is how we roll.  I'm sure they would be great on a tasty hamburger bun though!

Chicken Burgers
Adapted from
makes 4 burgers

2 TBS olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper chopped
1 stalk celery chopped fine
1 pound ground chicken, dark meat is best *
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

In large frying pan heat oil over medium high heat.  Add chopped onion, peppers and celery.  Saute for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Then mix the veggies together with the meat and the salt and pepper.  I use my hands to mix it together thoroughly. 

Wipe down original pan and then re oil with some more olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan).  Heat over medium high heat.  Form 4 patties and place in oiled pan.  Cook 6-8 minutes per side.

*It is hard to find dark meat ground chicken at most of our grocery stores.  The only place I have found it is at Sprouts.  You can also use white meat, which is also good, but not as tasty. : )

Monday, August 6, 2018

Lebanese Lentils and Rice

Such a weird day today.  My toddler was adamant that he was a crab and crawled all over the house.  If I called him by his name he got mad and said he was a crab.  My 8 month old is rolling all over the place and today discovered that he in fact likes to lick is the funniest thing to horror as I realize how dirty my floors actually are!  More dirty now that they have bits of lentils and rice on them now.

Haha I need to take a food photography class big time.  These caramelized onions look like a slimy ball of earthworms.  Trust me, they taste amazing though!

I have many fond memories of eating out with my grandfather.  He was a lover of good food, and had excellent taste.  Meeting up with him for a visit always included a good meal out.  Pretty sure he spent a large part of his fortune on treating people out to meals.  One place we frequented was a Lebanese restaurant.  As a kid I wasn't particularly fond of Lebanese cuisine in general, so I always ordered the most basic thing on their menu.  Lentils and rice.  It was simple but delicious, no weird over the top Mediterranean flavors I was not partial to yet.  

Fast forward to today.  I'm a huge fan of all Mediterranean food!  My grandfather would be shocked that I actually have good taste now : )  I wanted to try and cook these Lentils and Rice I remember eating so much, and was lucky that I had great success with the first recipe I tried out!  I have made this dish many times since I found it!  I usually serve it alongside some roasted veggies, hummus and pita, and sometimes some lamb as well.  It is a filling and cheap dish full of flavor.  Everyone who has eaten it has been a fan, even my toddler!  This is going to be a weekly meal during Lent this year.

Lebanese Lentils and Rice (Mujadara)
adapted from Food Network

1 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup extra-virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup Basmati Rice
1/2 tsp. cumin
Cayenne Pepper ( 1/2 tsp for Spicy, 1/4 tsp for medium, or 1/8 tsp for mild)
1 cinnamon stick

Place the lentils into a medium saucepan. Fill with enough cold water to cover the lentils by about an inch. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While the lentils cook, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Allow the oil to warm for a minute, then drop in the 1/2 tsp cumin and pepper and stir about a minute.  Add the onions, sprinkle with a dash of salt and cook until they turn dark caramel brown, stirring often. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Splash the onions with a little water if they stick to the bottom of the pan. You'll know they're done both by their deep chestnut color and by the slight crispiness developing on some of the onions.

Using a slotted spoon or spatula, remove about half of the onions to a paper towel-lined plate; these are for garnish later. Sprinkle in the other 1/2 tsp ground cumin, cayenne and then add the cinnamon stick; saute about 1 minute.
Add the rice and cook, stirring often until some rice grains start to brown. Add the cooked lentils, 3 cups of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of table salt*; bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low so that the pan is at a simmer, cover and cook 30 minutes. The water should be completely evaporated and rice should be tender. (If there's still too much water in the bottom, put the lid back on and cook for another 5 minutes.)
Turn off the heat, keep the lid on, and allow the rice to steam undisturbed for about 5 minutes.
*This seems like a lot of salt, but really it isn't for how much rice and lentils it seasons.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos

Summer.  Hot.

Summer in Texas.  Brutal.

We are getting a little bit restless here this summer.  We are really missing our daily walks outside and park adventures.  Is it Fall yet?  Our adventures now consist of going to the grocery store or Mall and aimlessly walking around.  True story, today we bought one thing - Bananas-and it took us 1.5 hours.  Charlie likes to walk down every aisle and touch EVERYTHING and ask what it is.  Hey, free air conditioning-I'll take it.

I really like using my Instant Pot during the summer because it keeps me from turning my oven or stove top on and keeps my kitchen a lot cooler.

This is my favorite meal to make in my instant pot!  I make it all the time!  My poor husband is probably so sick of it : )  I was looking for a taco recipe that didn't call for any tomatoes, and this one found me!  I like to make a double batch and freeze half for another dinner.  I usually serve it with black beans, rice, and avocado either in a tortilla or on a salad.

I've been asked if you can make this in a slow cooker, and honestly I don't know.  I haven't done much slow cooker cooking, so I'm not sure if it would work or not!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos
Adapted from Life made simple blog

1 TBSP olive or coconut oil
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs lightly seasoned*
1 Large onion, sliced
1 jalapeno, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp oregano
Juice of 2 large oranges
Juice of 2 limes

*I use a cajun seasoning or just salt and pepper.  I use thighs, but you can use white meat too.

Turn Instant Pot on to "Saute" Mode.  Coat bottom of pan with oil.  Place half of seasoned chicken into pot and cook until slightly browned - about 2-3 minutes each side.  Remove from pan and repeat with remaining chicken.  Remove chicken from pot.  Add onions and jalapeno to pot and saute for 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook about one minute.  Add chicken back into pot along with all of the spices and juices.  Stir to combine.  Put lid on pot and seal.  Set to "poultry" setting and set time to 15 minutes.  After it finishes cooking let it sit for 5 minutes before releasing the pressure.  If there is a large amount of liquid left set pot to "Saute" mode again and cook down until liquid reduces.  Be sure to stir so it doesn't burn on the bottom.  Using 2 forks break the chicken apart into shredded chunks.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Maple Mustard Chicken Thighs

We are trying to teach our son to be able to identify if someone is a man or a woman.  He says people's names that he knows and says for example "Gammy woman" or "Nick man".  Some days he gets them all right.  Some days he is just silly.  Today he saw a woman driving in the car next to us and said "woman driving car" .  I said "that's right! What is Momma?"  He said "Moo-cow".  Haha.  Then I asked him what Papa was and he said "Woman".  Haha so not quite there on this skill :)

So that story has nothing to do with this chicken.

This chicken is great.  You can eat it with rice, quinoa, pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes - you name it!  Would also be great over a huge bowl of roasted veggies.  It is pretty easy and super delicious!  Also, yes...I do take pictures of my food outside on the cement.  My neighbors probably think I am so weird. :)  I didn't have a big enough pan for all the chicken so I used 2 pans.  Look at all that delicious chicken fat...yummy.

Maple Mustard Chicken Thighs
adapted from The Jessica Gavin Blog

8 chicken thighs, bone and skin on
Salt, Black Pepper, Paprika and garlic powder for seasoning
Olive Oil
1.5 TBS minced garlic
1/3 cup maple syrup
7 TBS coarse ground mustard (or a combo of dijon and coarse ground)
3 TBS water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Generously season both sides of chicken with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.  Don't be shy.

Heat a large oven proof pan (or 2 if you don't have a big enough one like me) over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil to coat pan.  When oil is hot add seasoned chicken skin side down into the pan.  Sear for 5-7 minutes until skin is crispy and browned.  Flip chicken over and turn off heat.  Carefully drain off with a spoon about half of the chicken grease.  Return heat to medium.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute.

In small bowl combine the garlic, maple syrup, mustard and water until smooth.  Pour over chicken and simmer 2 minutes.  Transfer pan to preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 155-165 degrees.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Easy Paleo Banana Bread

These days I only get around to posting recipes when my husband works late.  I can't get on the computer during the day because my kids need or want me, I can't get on it after they go to bed because then my husband suddenly wants to seriously.  He isn't one of many words, but as soon as I get on the computer he suddenly wants to talk!  Of course : ) 

I was looking for a quick and easy paleo banana bread recipe that I could make fairly regularly - I like to have a paleo quick bread on hand for a somewhat healthy snack option to offer my toddler and me!  This recipe was perfect!  I will definitely be making it again!  As you can see my son is pretty excited about this bread!  He helped me make it.  He loves to peel and mash the bananas, he cracks the eggs, he dumps the ingredients into the bowl, and he stirs!  He is my little sous chef!

Let me know if you try it out!

Paleo Banana Bread
From the Peanutbutter Runner Blog

3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 TBS melted coconut oil
2 large eggs
2 large ripe bananas mashed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x5 loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, whisk together baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and flours. In a separate small bowl, mix together coconut oil, eggs, bananas, maple syrup and vanilla until very well combined.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry and gently mix together until combined. Do not over mix!
  • Pour batter in prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until set in the center and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 15-20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Tuesday, May 1, 2018

    One pot chicken Paprika Stew

    Today my 2 year old got his leg cast off. He cried and shook the entire time they were cutting it off. He clung to me. He didn't try to run away, he just held tight. I never thought I would learn so much from a kid. Isn't this what we are supposed to do when life gets scary? Cling to the cross, hold on, have faith, draw strength from Christ, trust, bear the suffering and pain?

    "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

    "Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

    "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6

    The list goes on and on!  So many verses encouraging one to have faith, stay strong and trust!  I need to read these more often!  Scratch that - I need to write them on cards and leave them around my house!  

    Back to my 2 year old, because who am I kidding...I am totally "That mom" who talks about her kids all the time...sorry, not sorry :)  Cute story alert!

    Whenever I make a smoothie my toddler gets scared of the loud blender, so he insists on sitting on the sofa in another room.  I was about to make my smoothie so I put him on the sofa and my baby on the ground to wiggle around.  As soon as I started the blender my baby started crying - which he usually doesn't do!  I turned the blender off and look into the other room - my toddler had gotten down from the sofa and was right next to the baby.  I heard him say "Wrong Henry? Okay, okay.  Scared blender.  Hold hand." Then he leaned over him and kissed his little nose.  Melted my Momma heart : )  I'll have to remember these moments later in life when they are wrestling and punching each other : )

    This stew comes together pretty quickly and is delicious!  I rarely have leftovers!  I made it for a Sunday family dinner recently and it was devoured!  Always a good sign!

    One Pot Chicken Paprika Stew

    • 3 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs
    • 1 tsp. Kosher salt 
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 2 Tbsp Paprika
    • 2 Tbs. olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 lb potatoes cut into dice sized pieces, I peeled mine, but that is optional
    • 2 cups chopped carrots
    • 2 Tbs. flour
    • 1 1/3 cups chicken broth
    • 3/4 cup white wine

    1. In a Ziploc bag, combine paprika, salt and pepper. Mix together and add chicken lightly shaking until pieces are evenly coated.  I did this a few hours ahead of time and let it sit in my fridge, but you can just move on to the next step if you don't want to let the chicken marinate a bit.
    2. In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken a few pieces at a time and cook until brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat the process until all the chicken has been browned.
    3. Add the garlic and onion to the frying pan, stirring for about 2 minutes.  Add the potatoes and carrots. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes.
    4. Gently whisk the flour into the wine. Gradually pour into the vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the chicken stock; stir. Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil.
    5. Cover the pan, and reduce the heat to medium-low, simmering until the chicken and vegetables are cooked. Cook for about 30 minutes. Right before serving, stir the chicken and vegetables; taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve over rice, quinoa or fresh greens.