Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Healthy Chicken Enchilada Bake

-1 head cauliflower
-1 lb shredded chicken
-1/2 C black beans
-1 can green chiles
-1 red pepper
-1 C onions, divided
-1 large garlic clove finely chopped
-1 C green enchilada sauce (or red if you prefer)
-Guacamole and sour cream as desired

I cooked my cauliflower in chicken broth with 1/2 C onion, half of the minced garlic, and a little salt and pepper.  You want to boil it about 20 minutes or until it is tender, then pulse it in your food processor in smaller batches until it is riced.

Meanwhile, sautee the peppers and remaining onion and garlic with a little EVOO or bacon grease until the veggies are tender.

Layer the cauliflower rice in a 13x9 inch pan.  Toss together the chicken, green chiles, rinsed beans, and peppers and onions.  Put the salsa over the rice, then add the chicken mix.  Top it with the sauce, and bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes.

I served mine with guacamole, sour cream would also be a good option.  You could also add cheese if you like.

Happy, and healthy, crafting! Pin It Now!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chipotle Lime Beef Kabobs

 You Will Need:
-Kabob Ingredients such as meats and veggies, I used 1 lb of london broil type meat, 3 colors of peppers, an onion, and 6 small zucchini to make about a dozen kabobs.

For the glaze and marinade:
-2 TB or more of adobo sauce/pureed chipotle peppers
-1/4 C locally sourced honey
-1/4 C almond milk
-2 TB fresh chopped cilantro
-2 tsp garlic powder
-1 or more tsp of ancho chili seasoning or other spice for heat
-Salt and pepper
-zest of a lime

Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together.  Cut the beef into 1 inch cubes and cut the veggies into roughly the same size pieces.

Marinate the beef cubes in about half of the glaze while soaking wooden skewers in water.

Assemble the skewers and cook them on a grill or in a griddle on the stovetop until the meat is cooked to your taste.  I brushed them with a little glaze throughout and added a little water to my griddle so that I could steam them with a lid over it. I really prefer veggies that are tender.

I call some things zone-paleo hybrids because for the most part a lot of the meals I am making are based on crossfit's version of zone (aka no grains and such) but sometimes I throw in something that is more paleo based, especially when I want to make a sauce or glaze.  Regardless, this is a pretty tasty meal no matter what health trend it does or does not fit in.

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Paleo Gravy

-2 TB bacon grease or coconut oil
-2 TB coconut flour
-2 C broth or almond milk (I used broth)
-Salt and pepper to taste

On medium heat, melt the grease or oil that you are using.  When it is completely melted and hot, toss in the coconut flour and stir well. When completely incorporated, add in the broth or milk.

Stir and allow to thicken to desired level, adding more broth if necessary because the coconut flour will absorb a lot of oil.

Add seasonings to taste and serve on what you like!

It is really and easy and simple, so I highly suggest giving it a whirl.  You can try other starches or flours if you don't want to worry about it having a hint of coconut.

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Life Hack: So You Burnt the Buns...

You know those frustrating days where your oven goes on the blink or you have a pan that all of a sudden has it out for you? Yea, I had one of those for my graduation party.

Also, that was the first day I had ever seen parchment paper nearly catch on fire in an oven.  Still not exactly sure why that one pan decided to go so wrong...

Anyway. it turns into that frustrating moment when the bottoms are burnt on an otherwise perfectly good roll.  A pretzel, in this case.

Luckily for me, my wise mom knew of a trick: using a grater to slough away some char.

To which I thought...

WHAT?!?! WHY DID I NEVER THINK OF THIS?!?!? What a freaking great idea!

So we used a box grater (we have a weird hexagonal one with a lot of options and used a squared off julienne type side, you may want to mess with yours and see which works with this best).  To add a little extra disguise, after the char was taken care of we brushed them with a little butter and extra seasoning.

And you know what? They tasted just delightful!  Mom and the grater saved the day.

I felt obligated to pass this along, because sometimes really dumb stuff like this happens and it is a shame to toss out a pan of something that could, in all reality, be salvaged.

But hopefully, your baking will be perfect and you will never have to use this.

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hot Baked Chipotle Chicken Dip

-2-3 lbs fresh or thawed chicken, boiled until shreddable (roughly 30-40 min)
-2 pk cream cheese (I used 1 regular and 1 reduced fat)
-1 pack shredded mozzarella
-1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
-1 red bell pepper
-1 c frozen corn
-2 small tomatoes or use some salsa
-Panko bread crumbs and butter for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Sautée diced pepper, corn, tomato or salsa in a little butter with about a teaspoon of taco seasoning, pinch of garlic, and other seasonings you like as desired.

When veggies are tender, combine with chicken and softened cream cheese. Add remaining ingredients except panko. For the peppers, use the adobo sauce from the can and finely dice extra chipotle peppers as desired. I used about 2, but next time I plan on blending the entire can and starting by adding a third or so and increasing from there for a bit more heat.

Press mixture into a 9x13 glass baking dish and top with a thin layer of panko. Melt a bit of butter and pour over it. Bake until desired golden brown topping. This makes a pretty thick dip, heavy on the chicken, and may not be as chip-friendly as it would be if you either reduced the chicken or added about a cup or so of something like sour cream or greek yogurt.  I used it with scoops, as they are pretty durable, but mostly wanted it for some homemade pretzels.  Just keep in mind what you want to use it with, and adjust as needed.

This filled up my baking dish, so there was a lot of dip to go around.  It got the seal of approval from my family, my best friend, and my boyfriend, so I know it was a pretty solid dish.  Those are very different, and some very picky, taste buds.

I think next time I may use more peppers in more colors just to give a little color variation to the dish.  I was short on time so could not let mine brown as much as I may have liked, but overall I was extremely pleased with the results.

I would definitely recommend this for Super Bowl.  It is a hearty dip, unlike some quesos, so it has the ability to kind of eat like a meal as well.  In my opinion, that is great for an app when it can work like a hybrid dish.  This ends up being somewhere between a dip and a casserole.

I would have liked more heat in this, as I said, but I just did not have the time before the party to chop up all the peppers, and was not where my food processor was.  So just be aware and prepared that you need to allow yourself time to adjust this recipe to the level of heat that you like.  It is well worth the time.

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Coconut Shrimp and Chicken with Cauliflower Stir Fry

To Feed Two:
-3/4 lb shrimp
-1 chicken breast
-1 egg
-24 almonds, ground finely
-2 TB coconut flour
-3 to 4 TB shredded coconut
-1 cauliflower head
-1 zucchini, cubed
-1 green pepper, diced
-1/2 C onion
-Soy Sauce
-Asian seasonings of choice (I used a sweet ginger garlic blend, plus a little extra garlic and pepper)
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Coconut oil for frying

First of all, get the cauliflower boiling and cook until tender.  Whip the egg up with a little milk or water in one bowl, and combine the ground almonds, coconut, and coconut flour in a separate bowl.

Hit the chicken and shrimp with salt and pepper.

Pulse the cauliflower in the food processor until it is riced.  Start sauteeing the other diced veggies on low in a little coconut oil or EVOO with some salt, pepper, garlic, and other seasoning as desired.

Heat some more coconut oil on a little lower than medium, you will want at least a couple TB of oil in a large skillet.  Dredge the chicken and shrimp in the egg and then the coconut and almond mix.  Start frying the chicken first and cook until golden brown, adding the shrimp in when it is getting close to done.

Add the cauliflower rice to the veggies in the last 8-10 minutes of cooking.  Douse it with a tablespoon or so of soy sauce.

Serve it up and enjoy!

I remembered getting coconut chicken a long time ago at a Chinese place and have been wanting to make a somewhat healthier version of it.  There probably is no truly healthy fried anything, but a shallow fry in a skillet at least seems healthier to me than a deep fry.

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Healthy Fried Chicken and Zucchini Pasta

Ingredients (per serving)
-1 chicken breast, split in half
-approximately 1/4 C almond meal
-1 egg
-1 TB or desired amount of cajun seasoning or similar

-3 zucchini (if small, less if chunky), sliced or cut into strips using a vegetable peeler if you don't have a spiralizer
-3/4 C cherry tomatoes, halved
-1/2 C onion
-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced

Sauce (a big batch):
-4 red peppers
-1 C onions
-2 TB italian seasoning or other preferred combo

You will also need EVOO to fry the chicken.

Anyway, mix the egg with just a little water and drench the chicken in it before plopping into the almond meal mixed with whatever seasoning you prefer. Puree the red peppers with the onion and the seasonings and cook on medium or just a bit lower while you are cooking the rest of the goods.

Heat a skillet on medium or just a little higher with EVOO.  Add the chicken and start frying.

In another skillet, start sauteeing the veggies for the pasta with the garlic.

Flip the chicken after about five minutes or so, and continue to cook and flip as needed until done.  Serve with pasta and red pepper sauce.

Sorry for the lackluster photo, my phone camera is slowly dying.  I have it on my to do list to upgrade my phone soon.

I love fish and chicken made in almond meal, and zucchini is a great pasta substitute.  This has been one of my better zone diet-friendly meals in the past couple of weeks.  This would work too for paleo or pretty much any healthy initiative that you may be on.

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!