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Simple Slow Cooker Recipe: Salsa Verde Chicken

Before I create my grocery list for the upcoming week, I usually do a few things…look to see what is already in the fridge and pantry, check our schedules for the week and think through what we had to eat for dinner the week before. A couple of weeks ago I realized I would need a few slow cooker meals due to our upcoming week having a few busy days and nights. After browsing some of my favorite foodie sites, I came across the most simple recipe. I know I might have mentioned a recipe I’ve posted before as easy and simple, but this recipe is on it’s own level of easy.

Before I share the details of this great find, guess how many ingredients you need for this dish?

FOUR! Yes, it is only four ingredients and they require no prep work. All you have to do is put the ingredients in the slow cooker, place lid on, set timer, and walk away. It’s crazy not only how easy it is, but how great it taste. My husband could not believe how great it was and he is not a big fan of chicken for dinner. This salsa verde chicken recipe is as follows.

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups of salsa verde
  • 1 bottle of beer (we use Modelo)
  • 2 tsp of cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place chicken in the slow cooker
  2. Top with salsa verde, beer and cumin
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking
  4. Turn the chicken so that both sides are covered with beer and salsa
  5. Cover and cook 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low
  6. Chicken is ready when it easily shreds with fork

Once the chicken is ready there are many ways to serve it…tacos, nachos, rice bowl, etc. We recently used the chicken for stuffed poblano peppers and they were delicious. We have also just placed the chicken in a bowl and topped with cheese, sour cream, and cilantro. No matter how you serve it, it will be a great lunch or dinner. 

So thanks to GIMME SOME OVEN I have discovered a go to recipe when my day does not have time for prepping food. It is a go to when I have a few friends coming over and I would rather spend time with them than be in the kitchen most of the time. And sometimes it is simply my go to because I crave it. LOL. I hope your family enjoys this easy, simple and yummy dish as much as our family and friends do. 


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Quick and Easy Valentine’s Day Treats

There is something so traditional about having something sweet given for Valentine’s Day and how special to have something homemade to share. What is great about both of these recipes is that they can be made within 15 to 30 minutes and the prep work is extremely simple. If you eat Whole30 or paleo then you probably have all the ingredients listed below already in your pantry.

The first recipe, Thumbprint Cookies, is from Elana’s Pantry. Putting these ingredients together took less than 5 minutes and they bake within 8 to 10 minutes. We used strawberry jam, but you can use any jam you have on hand.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup jam

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a food processor combine almond flour, salt and baking soda
  3. Pulse in coconut oil and honey until dough forms
  4. Scoop batter 1 tablespoon at a time onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. Press your thumb into the center of each cookie to make an indentation
  6. Place ½ teaspoon of jam in the center of each cookie
  7. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes until golden brown
  8. Let cool on the baking sheets and serve

The second recipe is from Inspired Edible’s Miniature Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. I have modified it using almond butter and cookie butter a few times. You can use whatever “butter” you prefer as I am sure all options will be delicious. You can also serve these in red mini cupcake liners or cute Valentine’s Day ones to celebrate this weekend. And if you want to really bring them to another level, try adding orange extract and top with a sliver of an orange peel.  (Note: These can melt in your hand and if they do; don’t worry because they are totally worth it.)

Ingredients

  • 200 grams 75% cocoa chocolate (two large bars)
  • 1/4 cup (or so) of almond butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate using a double broiler on low heat.
  2. Meanwhile, place 12 miniature muffin cup liners into muffin cups.
  3. Once chocolate has melted, pour first layer of chocolate, about one tsp, into each cup.
  4. Allow chocolate to solidify in fridge for approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Remove muffin tray from fridge and place about 1 tsp of almond butter in a ball-like shape over each layer of chocolate such that it does not cover the full surface of the chocolate. This will allow the second layer of chocolate to fill in along the sides of the cup for closure.
  6. Pour the second layer of chocolate over almond butter using about 1 + 1/2 tsp of chocolate.
  7. Top each cup with a few chopped pieces of almonds as desired.
  8. Return cups to fridge or freezer to solidify before enjoying.
  9. If you have any left store either in the freezer or fridge. I prefer the freezer.


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Albasha…

If you just read the title and became really excited, you are probably from Baton Rouge, LA. Albasha, a Greek and Lebanese restaurant, is a favorite among many locals. From the gyro, chicken shawarma, fried cheese, hummus and dressings, Albasha’s food is definitely a must if you are in the area.

Living in Baton Rouge, we ate Albasha at least twice a week, but now we have this dilemma…we live in the Dallas, TX and there is not an Albasha nor anything that we have found near us that compares. So when I discovered a recipe that taste extremely similar to one of the dressings they serve, I was pretty excited. And what kind of person would I be if I kept this amazing find to myself. Therefore, today I would love to share with you a whipped feta dipping sauce.

Whipped Feta Dipping Sauce: (adapted from We are not Martha, but we can try?)

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. Feta
  • 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 t mint
  • 1 T lime
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Greek dried seasonings (I use Chef’s Greek Seasonings)
  • Salt and pepper per taste

Directions

Blend and serve. (I add some almond milk to help make the dip smoother.)

It is that easy! It can be used as a dressing or dip for meatballs or veggies. I usually serve it with jalapeño lime chicken meatballs, which are exceptionally yummy. They are one of my husband’s favorites as well as many of our friends. So if you are from Baton Rouge, have moved like our family, and need a little taste of Albasha, then make this recipe tonight. If you aren’t from Baton Rouge and need to understand the reason we miss this restaurant, then make this recipe tonight. I believe you will enjoy it as much as we do.


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A Summertime Treat

It is summertime here and it is pretty obvious with the heat and the ginormous mosquitos. To help us get through the day, we love to have a nice cold popsicle. Recently I came across a simple, quick and healthy recipe from Whole Foods that the kids love. They love them so much that they will eat all six in one sitting. And it would probably be okay if they did eat them all as the popsicles only have three healthy ingredients. Like smoothies you can also easily add some greens like avocados and the kids would never know.

Ingredients
1 cup of plain greek yogurt
1 cup of fresh fruit (we used raspberries and strawberries)
1 tablespoon of honey

Directions 
Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Then pour into your popsicle molds. (We use molds we found from Ikea, but you can find them at any store and they are fairly inexpensive.) Place them in the freezer for at least 3 hours and then they are ready to eat.

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There are thousands of popsicle recipes out there, but these have definitely been a favorite for the kids. I hope you and your family enjoy this sweet treat as you try to cool off this summer.  Do you have a favorite popsicle recipe you make during the summer? I would love to know because we are always ready to try something new. Cheers to summertime!

 

 

 


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Veggies on Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day to you! Today my sons and I celebrated by learning how to grow vegetables and fruits and how vegetables and fruits help us grow. They each planted tomato seeds and both cannot wait to see the seeds sprout. They were also able to learn how plants help the Earth’s environment stay healthy.

In honor of Earth Day and my sons and I’s lessons on fruits and vegetables, I want to share with you some great vegetarian recipes. Instead of Meatless Monday, we could call today Meatless Wednesday. Here are two recipes that my family and I have made and loved every time. And yes, this means we sometimes simply have veggies for dinner and no meat.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Crispy Goat Cheese – Recipe adapted from Blogging Over Thyme

Ingredients:
Homemade Tomato Sauce:
(Or you can use your favorite Tomato Sauce. When I made this I used our favorite marinara sauce with basil. It sped up cooking time, but I wanted to include the homemade tomato sauce option as this was included in the original recipe.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can chopped plum tomatoes
 
Sautéed Spinach:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, finely sliced
1-2 garlic cloves chopped
6 ounces baby spinach (you can also use frozen chopped spinach)
 
Panko Bread Crumb Topping:
(You can omit this or use almond meal if you do not incorporate grains in your diet.)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Mushrooms:
8 large portobello mushrooms, stems trimmed
olive oil
4 ounces soft, young goat cheese
 
Directions:
Prepare Sauce:

  • Using large saucepan, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is warm, add the chopped garlic, stirring continuously for 30 seconds, making sure that the garlic does not brown (this is essential). Add the bay leaves and the dried oregano to the pan and stir continuously for a minute.
  • Add tomato paste and canned tomatoes, stir together, and bring to low simmer. Cover and simmer sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sauté Spinach:

  • Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent.
  • Add the baby spinach and sauté until just wilted, stirring continuously. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. (If using frozen chopped spinach…Defrost the spinach, remove access moisture and then add to the pan. Cook until cooked through.)

Breadcrumb Topping:

  • Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Once the butter is just beginning to sizzle add the panko breadcrumbs and toast for three to four minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the breadcrumbs from burning–or until the breadcrumbs become lightly golden.
  • (You can omit this or use almond meal if you do not incorporate grains into your diet.)

Prepare the Mushrooms:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with foil and wire rack.
  • Trim the portobello mushrooms and drizzle them lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a grill pan over high heat. Grill the portobello mushrooms for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Place the grilled portobello mushrooms gill-side up onto the wire rack as they are ready (the mushrooms will give off a lot of liquid as they cook and sit, and this will prevent them from sitting in any of their juices).
  • Top the mushrooms with a large spoonful of tomato sauce and then top with spinach mixture, distributing it evenly among the mushrooms.
  • Slice the goat cheese into 1/2″ thick slices (roughly half an ounce). Bread the goat cheese slices lightly in the panko breadcrumb topping and place on top of each mushroom. Sprinkle the mushrooms with the remaining breadcrumb mixture.
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown and goat cheese is jut beginning to soften. Serve immediately.

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Eggplant Rollatini with Spinach – Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste.

Ingredients:

2 medium Italian eggplants, cut lengthwise into 10 (1/4-inch thick) slices
Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups quick marinara sauce
1 large egg – this is a binder, so if you cannot have eggs then try chai seeds or almond flour
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese (You can sub for cottage cheese or mix the two. I mixed ricotta and cottage cheese to make it creamier.)
8 oz frozen spinach, heated through and squeezed well
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup (4 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella (Polly-O)

Directions:

  • Cut the 2 ends off the eggplants. Cut the eggplants lengthwise, into 1/4-inch thick slices until you have a total of 10 slices about the same size. It’s easiest to do this with a mandolin. My mandolin is from OXO. If you do not have a mandolin, you can easily use a knife.
  • Sprinkle the eggplant with kosher salt to help remove excess moisture and bitterness from the eggplants. Set aside for about 10 to 15 minutes. Pat dry with a towel.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.  Season the eggplant with a little more salt and pepper,  then arrange on two parchment-lined baking sheets.  Cover tightly with foil and bake until eggplant is tender and pliable but NOT fully cooked, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg then mix together with ricotta, spinach, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.
  • Pat eggplant dry with paper towels.  Dividing the ricotta-spinach mixture (about 2 generous tablespoons each) evenly and spoon onto one end of each eggplant slice, spreading to cover.  Starting at the short end, roll up slices and arrange them each seam side down in the prepared dish.  Top with remaining marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and tightly cover with foil.
  • Bake until the eggplant is very tender, about 45-60 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving with additional cheese if desired.

eggplant

I hope you enjoy these amazing vegetarians dishes. Do you have any favorite vegetarian dishes you would like to share?


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Molten Lava Cake & Yes it is Paleo!

A few weeks ago we had some friends over and when we host friends, especially if it is for the first time, we like to have a full meal…appetizer, main course and dessert. For dessert, I wanted to try a new recipe that included chocolate. So, I searched my recipes and googled a few more. During my google search, I landed on Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind’s blog, which is where I was met with a amazing picture of a paleo molten lava cake. I was sold. I had to try this as I saw the chocolate pouring out of the center of the cake. Now, I do not usually try a new recipe with first time guests, but I warned them that they were my guinea pigs and I knew I could make cookies if all else failed. But thankfully, these cakes were perfect. My husband’s review was exactly this, “This is the best dessert that you have ever made. It was better than a non-paleo dessert.”

The recipe was pretty simple to make. The only part that takes a while is giving the cakes time to set in the refrigerator. Outside of that, I followed the recipe per the blog and they came out wonderful.

Note: I did not make the caramel sauce and instead served it with NadaMoo’s vanilla ice cream (if you haven’t tried this ice cream, you need to get it today.)

Ingredients:
5 tablespoons plus more for greasing ramekins of grass-fed butter (ghee or coconut oil)
1 cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips (soy free, dairy free)
2 cage-free egg yolks
2 cage-free eggs
3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons blanched almond flour
pinch of pink himalayan salt (Note: I used regular sea salt)
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 425. Grease ramekins well with butter. Using a double boiler melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium sized bowl. In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, and coconut palm sugar until frothy. Then stir in the melted chocolate mixture into the egg and sugar mixture and whisk until combined. Set aside. In a small bowl combine cocoa powder, almond flour, and salt. Then sift into the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Now stir the vanilla in. Pour the mixture evenly into the ramekins, you can use 5 oz ramekins to make 4 servings or use 8 oz ones to make 2 servings. Tap lightly on the counter to remove air bubbles. Refrigerate them for 30 minutes. Place the ramekins in the casserole dish and carefully pour hot water (can be tap or boiled) into the casserole dish until it goes half way up the side of the ramekins. Bake for 15-18 minutes. You will know they are done when the middle doesn’t look quite cooked all the way through but the edges do. Remove ramekins from the casserole dish and let them cool for about 10 minutes. Slide a butter knife around the edge of the ramekin to pull the cake away from the sides, then turn it upside down over a plate and tap the bottom firmly until the cake slides out.

(The above instructions and directions from Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind)


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Butternut Squash for Breakfast

For years I have only eaten butternut squash for lunch or dinner; having this for breakfast had not been an option in my mind. That is until recently! I was watching Food Network, which is usually my go to place when I have time to veg in front of TV, and there it was being served for breakfast. The chef was making a butternut squash egg scramble that people loved. I wanted to eat what she was making right then, but instead I waited to make a version of it for breakfast the next morning.

My version consist of roasted cinnamon butternut squash with a fried egg over easy and bacon. The sweet from the squash, savory from the egg and salty from the bacon makes the perfect combination.

Sorry the bacon did not last long enough to make the pic.

Sorry the bacon did not last long enough to make the pic.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash

Ingredients

2 cups of butternut squash cubed

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of coconut oil melted

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sea salt

1/2 to 1 tablespoon of honey (add depending on sweet preference; to be drizzled on top)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Toss the butternut squash in the melted coconut oil, sea salt and cinnamon. Place in the oven for 15 minutes and then check the squash. The squash should be fork tender. If not fork tender, then place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes. When done, drizzle with honey and toss. Serve warm.

So there you go….butternut squash for breakfast. There are many more options for having butternut squash for breakfast. Butternut squash can be aded to your breakfast burritos, frittata, or egg scrambles.  Have you tried butternut squash for breakfast?