Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes & Kale

I can’t believe I have been withholding this recipe from you lovely people for so long. Please don’t hate me. I have been way too busy enjoying it, like, every other week. Thank God my husband loves it just as much.  I don’t know what I would do if he asked me to stop making it. That will never happen, though. I’m sure of it.

Chicken stew sweet potatoes kale

Reasons why I love this dish:

1. It is healthy

2. It is the most delicious stew I have ever tasted. Seriously, I feel like my tastebuds are doing the Electric Slide every time a bite goes in.

3. It will last me 3 days…and I DO NOT tire of it, even after that long.

4. It is super easy to make.

5. I can make bone broth from the carcass and innards after I am done with the chicken.

Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Kale

2 tablespoons butter

1 large yellow onion, sliced thin

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons flour

2 quarts chicken stock

1 whole, organic chicken, innards removed

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1.5-2 inch cubes

about 6-9 kales leaves

fresh parsley, finely chopped

Cooked white rice to serve with stew

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large (oven-safe) stock pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onions until they are soft, then add garlic and stir around until it’s nice and fragrant (about 30 seconds).  Add flour and stir around for another 30 seconds or so. Slowly add chicken stock and stir to get all the flour bits off of the bottom. Submerge the chicken in the stock, add the salt and pepper, and add the sweet potato cubes around the chicken. Bring to simmer.

When the stew is simmering, cover stock pot and place in oven. The cooking time will depend on the weight of the chicken. For a 3lb chicken, an hour will do. I had to cook a 4lb bird for 1.5 hours last week.

When the chicken is done, remove the pot from the oven. Let the covered pot rest while you are cooking your rice. Carefully remove the chicken to a plate or large cutting board.  Cut or tear the kale into bit-sized pieces and add to the stew, along with the parsley. What we like to do is serve the stew over rice and eat the legs the first night. When we are finished with dinner, we go back and shred the meat from the bone then toss it in the stew and refrigerate for the next night.

The next night, I like to use some of the stock in the stew to make the rice. More flavor, baby! Anyway, we eat this for at least 2 nights, sometimes even 3.  It could serve about 6 in one night, though.

chicken stew sweet potato kale

 

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

 

 

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Not-so-bad-for-you Banana Pancakes

I don’t get a chance to drift into deep sleep very often with a toddler and a newborn around the house, so I have tons of dreams (that is, if dreams could be measured in weight).  I normally dream about a TV series that I’m watching since when I do get to watch a TV series it’s normally catching up with the first half of the season by watching 6 episodes in one day. I also dream about books that I’m reading. I happen to be reading A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store’s Guide to Chicken Keeping and also catching up on Black Sails.  So my dreams last night were pretty interesting. No joke, chicken pirates. Yep.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with the banana pancakes I made this morning. I just felt like giving Milo a little treat. He likes for me to cut the pancake into four sections, then make little peanut butter sandwiches with the sections.  Not quite as messy as syrup, and much better for him.

Banana Pancakes Recipe

 

I decided to call these “not-so-bad-for-you” because this recipe uses coconut palm sugar and coconut oil, as opposed to regular sugar and butter or vegetable oil.  Of course, you could sub those ingredients in, however, you would then just have banana pancakes instead of my awesome version.  Okay, so here goes…

Not-so-bad-for-you Banana Pancakes

1 cup self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar

2 bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon coconut oil (liquified) 

Heat cast iron skillet (or pan of your choice) over medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and coconut palm sugar together. In a smaller bowl, mash bananas and mix in vanilla extract. Add egg, milk, and coconut oil to banana mixture, mix well, then add to dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated.

Using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon, measure a little less than 1/4 a cup of batter and pour into skillet. Smooth out with back of spoon. Cook until bubbles form on top of pancake. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Serve with syrup or peanut butter!

Banana Pancake Recipe

 

These pancakes are nice and fluffy, not flat like normal pancakes, so make sure to wait for those bubbles to form on top so it gets cooked all the way though. You might need to play with the heat settings if it’s getting too brown before the bubbles form.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

Weekly Dinner Menu {12/2 – 12/7}

Weekly Dinner Menu

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We spent most of the week in California with my husband’s family, which is always fun! I was loving the change in scenery from brown to green and spent most of my time admiring everyone’s colorful landscaping.

Anyway, here’s what we’re having for dinner this week. I like to share my weekly dinner menu with my readers just in case they have as hard a time coming up with something good and wholesome to cook for dinner as I do. I hate coming up with meal plans and have even considering hiring someone to do just that for me. Haha. My husband doesn’t help much since he only has one answer whenever I ask him what he wants for dinner: tacos. I think he married the wrong woman. I am not a taco fan.

Monday: Perfect Roast Chicken with sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Tuesday: Easy Chicken Salad Wraps with Sweet Potato Fries

Wednesday: Pork Roast with Apples & Onions and Wild Rice

Thursday: Rich Autumn Pork Stew with 30 Minute Rolls

Friday: Leftovers from Thursday

Saturday: Pizza night using this crust recipe

In other news, I have decided to get a real tree this year! I have come to the conclusion that having a real tree is better for the environment and for my family. Who knows what those fake trees are made of. On top of that, they always cut my hands up when I’m fluffing their branches and nothing beats the smell of a real tree..not even that Yankee candle. Also, I learned that I can either use the tree as mulch for my garden OR I can participate in this cool thing called TREECYCLING! If Yuma, AZ has a program for it, then your town has a program for it, so check it out!

Until next time…

Weekly Dinner Menu {11/18 – 11/23}

Weekly Dinner Menu

Hi there! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We completely ignored our to-do list and instead played and relaxed in the backyard.  I went on a crocheting rampage and made 4 baskets, 3 dishcloths, and worked a little more on the afghan I’m making for Charlie, our soon-to-be-in-this-world-daughter.  I’m not sure if that was a great idea considering how badly I suffered with carpal tunnel syndrome during my last pregnancy.  Eh, what’s done is done, right?

Anyway, if you’re just tuning in, I like to share a weekly dinner menu with my readers.  It’s here if you need any dinner ideas that use real food (i.e. non-processed, non-boxed junk).

Monday {11/18} – Saucy Hungarian Red Potato Goulash with Smoked Sausage with Easy Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

Tuesday {11/19} – Easy Minestrone Soup with Cornbread

Wednesday {11/20} – Leftover soup and cornbread

Thursday {11/21} – Chicken Tacos using this Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe

Friday {11/22} – Chicken Enchiladas using the leftover chicken from taco night!

Saturday {11/23} – Grilling out with friends! Grilled salmon, steak, roasted brussels spouts, sweet potato fries, and a beautiful, green salad. Also, fruit and dip along with a dessert that I haven’t yet decided on.

As you can see, I am having two “Mexican” nights this week. My husband should be pleased. He has been asking for tacos for a while now. Okay, I’m off to start my Monday with my little guy.

What “real food” recipes do you have on the menu this week?

Weekly Dinner Menu {11/11-11/16}

Weekly Dinner Menu

Hola, readers! I’m pretty excited about this week. Not only does my dinner menu look amazing {to me, at least}, but I’m also doing my November giveaway this week, and more DIY Christmas crafts! Whoo hoo!

Enough chitter-chatter, on to the menu!

Monday {11/11} – Tuna Patties with Salad {Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette}

Tuesday {11/12} – Roasted Chicken with Cheese Quinoa & Broccoli Patties

Wednesday {11/13} – Tortilla Soup with Sweet {and healthy} Cornbread

Thursday {11/14} – Leftover Tortilla Soup

Friday {11/15} – Easy Pad Thai

Saturday {11/16} – Out-to-eat {or stay in sushi night}

If you can’t tell, I’m craving bright flavors like lemon, lime, and cilantro right now. I think it’s the fact that winter will set in soon and I will say “goodbye” to those flavors until spring time rolls around, oh, in about 2 months for us here in Arizona..haha.

Have a great Monday!

Weekly Dinner Menu {11/4-11/10}

Weekly Dinner Menu

 

Alright folks, it’s time to share my weekly dinner menu again.  Hope this is able to help a few of you busy moms out there.

Monday {11/4} – Rotini Bake with homemade garlic knots & super green salad

Tuesday {11/5} – Leftovers from Monday night’s Rotini Bake

Wednesday {11/6} – Rosemary Chicken & Potatoes with fresh green beans

Thursday {11/7} – Curried Coconut Chicken

Friday {11/8} – Sushi Night

Saturday {11/9} – Pizza Saturday using this quick and easy pizza crust recipe

Sunday {11/10} – Out to eat!

I promise my recipes will be much more creative and healthy after my internship ends. I mean, these are mostly healthy, but I seriously need more greens in my life. Luckily my nevada lettuce and spinach are coming up beautifully in my garden! Alright, until tomorrow!

Have a great Monday!

 

Persimmon Spice Cake {with orange glaze}

PScakelabel

I already mentioned that I picked up my first Bountiful Basket this past Saturday and I loved it! The only thing from the box that had me stumped were the fuyu persimmons! I know one can simply eat these as is, but I really wanted an excuse to bake something sweet, so to Google I went…and found nothing. I searched and searched for some kind of bread or cake that I could make but everything told me I had the wrong persimmons for baking!

Persimmon Spice Cake with Orange Glaze

Persimmon Spice Cake with Orange Glaze

Apparently hachiya persimmons are the fruits that normally go into cookies and cakes, but I still searched! I knew someone, somewhere had to have used fuyu persimmons in a cake. Then I found this recipe and I thought I can make this better! And that is exactly what I did! I kept the same methods, but exchanged some of the ingredients to incorporate the orange into the cake. I also used coconut palm sugar in place of the normal refined sugar and there isn’t one person in this world who would know the difference! Oh, and I used half whole wheat flour/half white flour just because I ran out of white flour, but that isn’t necessary. Just know that it works if you want to do that!

Take a look at that texture! Diced persimmons, chopped walnuts, and raisins. Delicious.

Take a look at that texture! Diced persimmons, chopped walnuts, and raisins. Delicious.

Persimmon Spice Cake

2 teaspoons baking soda

3 cups (about 6 persimmons) peeled, diced fuyu persimmon (or puree if you prefer to not have fruit chunks)

1/2 cup softened butter

1 2/3 cups coconut palm sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

zest from half an orange

2 cups unbleached, unbromated flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup rasins 

Orange Glaze

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

zest from half an orange

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a bundt pan.

Mix baking soda and persimmons in a small bowl and set aside. Beat sugar and butter together until mixed, then add eggs, orange juice, vanilla, & zest and beat until fluffy, about 2 – 3 minutes on high.  Fold persimmon mixture into egg mixture. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon, & nutmeg. Mix into egg mixture just until combined, then fold in walnuts and raisins.

Pour mixture into bundt pan and smooth out with a spoon.  Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Meanwhile, whisk confectioner’s sugar, orange juice, and zest together in a small bowl.

When the cake is done, cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so, then turn out onto a platter and pour glaze all over.

Pieceofcake

This is a great fall cake! Next time I end up with persimmons, I am going to puree them to see how that works.

Persimmon Spice Cake with Orange Glaze

Persimmon Spice Cake with Orange Glaze

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Waffles you can feel good about {Coconut & Vanilla Bean Waffles}

waffleswithlabel

Waffles. I love them. I have a basic recipe that I’ve used for years, but since I’ve been learning about food and what is actually healthy {and even redefining my definition of healthy}, I’ve been revamping my old recipes to fit this new definition.  The recipe that I used to use called for refined sugar and vegetable oil, but I have replaced those yucky ingredients with coconut palm sugar and coconut oil.  I have also changed the type of all-purpose flour and baking powder that I use.

Now, I definitely don’t recommend eating these every day.  I have these, maybe, once a month, and always on Pancake Sunday.  This recipe is simply a healthier approach to waffles.  Next time you are craving a fried, doughy cake drenched in maple syrup, instead of reaching for that box of mystery ingredients, try this recipe! Your body will thank you!

waffles

Coconut & Vanilla Bean Waffles

Makes six 7″ waffles.

1 3/4 cups unbleached, unbromated flour (Bob’s Red Mill is a good one)

2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar

1 tablespoon non-aluminum baking powder

1/4 teaspoons salt

1 3/4 cups almond milk (or your choice milk)

2 eggs

1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil

1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)

Plug in the ol’ waffle maker or preheat your stove-top waffle iron.

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, mix milk, eggs, & coconut oil together. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and use the tip of a small knife to scrap the beans out. Add them to the milk mixture. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until combined. The mixture will be slightly lumpy.

Butter your waffle iron, if needed, then spoon about 3/4 cups (depending on the size of your iron, mine is a 7″ iron) onto the iron.  Cook them however you normally cook waffles, top with pure maple syrup, and enjoy!

wafflesallgone

Come back tomorrow to see what I do with these little cuties:

Persimmons

Oh, and don’t forget about my current giveaway from MilkNMore! It ends on the 31st at midnight. Have a great Tuesday!

Weekly Dinner Menu {10/28 – 11/3}

Weekly Dinner Menu

Monday {10/28} – Perfect Roast Chicken with Garlic-Butternut Squash Mash & Homemade Green Beans

Tuesday {10/29} – Chicken Noodle Soup 

Wednesday {10/30} – Leftover soup from Tuesday

Thursday {10/31} – Sweet Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin with brown rice & broccoli

Friday {11/1} – Pulled Pork Wraps from Thursday’s leftover pork

Saturday {11/2} – In-laws in town, probably out-to-eat!

Sunday {11/3} – Sandwiches!

I’m getting better at this whole leftover-usage-of meat thing.  It really helps when you buy strictly organic meat, since it’s pretty pricy, so if you’re wondering how to eat good meat on a budget, then try buying huge pieces of meat and using them in different dishes!

So, I got my first Bountiful Basket this past weekend {if you don’t know what Bountiful Baskets are, check them out HERE}.  I was pretty pleased with the selection of fruits and vegetables, including a pie pumpkin and persimmons! I think it will definitely be a weekly thing for this family, especially since I received roughly 20 pieces of organic produce, not including the bag of apples and strawberries, all for only $25!

Come back tomorrow for a delicious breakfast recipe & don’t forget to enter my current giveaway {ends 11/1}.  My Grandfather makes homemade goat’s milk soap and I’m giving away 4 bars from his Etsy shop, MilkNMore.

MilkNMore giveaway

Honey-Garlic Glazed Carrots {side dish}

Not only are these honey-garlic glazed carrots amaze-balls, but they are also healthy {**as long as you are using butter from grass-fed cows and raw honey**}! Oh, and on top of those two awesome things, they’re quick and easy to make! So there is no reason in this world for you not to try these carrots.

HGGC

After I put last night’s Butternut Squash & Chicken Pan-Roast into the oven, I realized that I needed just one more thing to complete the meal. I would normally add something green, but I happened to have a whole bunch of carrots on-hand. The color of the carrots ended up being the perfect complement to this particular entree.

Honey-Garlic Glazed Carrots

{serves 4}

8 – 10 good-sized carrots 

3 tablespoons butter

2 minced garlic cloves

3 tablespoons raw honey

Salt and pepper

Peel carrots, then cut into 2 inch increments. Quarter the big fat parts and leave the skinny parts whole. Just aim to get each piece the same size.  Place carrots into a medium sized pot, cover with water, and place over high heat. When water begins to boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low for 10 – 15 minutes, depending on how tender you want them {I did 15 and the carrots melted in my mouth}.  Drain the water from the carrots and set aside while you prepare your honey mixture.

For the honey mixture simply heat the butter in a small pan over medium heat then add garlic. Sauté garlic for 2 – 3 minutes then add the honey and stir to combine.  Add the mixture to the carrots and carefully coat the carrots using a spoon.  Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Honey Garlic Carrots

 

**Come back tomorrow for an awesome Etsy giveaway!**

Have a happy Tuesday!!