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.

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Have a wonderful Tuesday!

 

 

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Sweet {and healthy} Cornbread

I love cornbread. I really love sweet cornbread, like the kind out of the Jiffy box! I remember, growing up, beans and cornbread was one of my favorite meals my mom made.  When we were little, she taught us to put our cornbread in a glass of milk and eat it like that, but I soon realized that soggy bread is a legitimate fear of mine (seriously, I have nightmares about soggy bread), so I quickly threw that idea out of the window and opted instead for a simple slice of butter. Yum.

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Cornbread is definitely best prepared in a cast iron skillet, in my opinion.  I’m not a fan of the muffin tin or the casserole dish because you just can’t get those crispy sides without cooking the batter in butter for a minute or two before it goes in the oven. Oh, and sorry that half of it is already gone in the photos. It came out of the oven and the boys acted like I hadn’t fed them in days, so they attacked it.

So what sets this cornbread apart and makes it healthy, you might ask? Well, I simply replaced the vegetable oil with coconut oil, and the sugar with coconut palm sugar (a new favorite of mine).  I also use a good white flour, unbleached, organic, and unbromated, and an organic cornmeal (no GMO corn here!).  Of course, you can make this cornbread with all of the “normal” ingredients, but it won’t be healthy at all.

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Sweet Cornbread

2/3 cup all-purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill white flour is a good choice!)

1/2 cup cornmeal

3 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons coconut oil (liquified) 

1 egg

1/2 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together by hand until smooth and without lumps.

In a cast iron skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat, making sure that the butter covers the bottom of the whole pan. Add cornbread mixture to the skillet and cook for about 1 minute (I learned this from The Pioneer Woman, although she uses shortening instead of butter). Move skillet to oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.

**Note**I made this again with homemade almond milk and noticed that it was a lot more crumbly, so if that’s your thing, then there you go!**

I like to serve this with soup and crockpot dishes!

Cornbread

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Fall Pizza {Apple, Sausage, & Gouda}

This pregnancy has me craving everything bad. I want pizza, cake, and donuts all of the time. Even right now. Fortunately, I have some free time in my schedule now so I can go to my Stroller Strides classes a few days a week! Bring on the donuts!

Anyway, back to the pizza.  I know “fall pizza” sounds kind of weird, but I decided to call it that because of the warm and cozy toppings that remind me of fall: apples, maple syrup, sausage, sage, and smokey gouda cheese!

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I used this awesome recipe {and method} from one of my favorite blogs, Weed ‘Em and Reap.  Check her out if you love to eat cake but don’t want to feel guilty about it anymore.

Fall Apple & Sausage Pizza

Pizza crust – use recipe linked above or your favorite!

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 sweet onions, halved lengthwise, then sliced into 1/2 inch slices

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 apples (whatever variety you like), slices thin

3 tablespoons chopped, fresh sage

1lb sausage

2 cups baby spinach leaves

2 cups smoked gouda cheese

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat, then add onions and cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir constantly to make sure onions don’t stick to the pan. When the onions are soft and golden, add balsamic vinegar and cook and stir until vinegar is evaporated (5-10 minutes). Stir in apples, maple syrup, and sage. Cook for 2-3 minutes until apples have softened a bit. Cook sausage in another pan, making sure to crumble it like ground beef.

Assuming you have prepared your pizza crusts and preheated the oven according to whatever directions you are using, spread 1 cup of the spinach over the pizza crust, topped with half of the apple/onion mixture, half of the sausage, and half of the smoked gouda cheese. If you are lucky enough to have a big enough oven and two pizza stones, then prepare the other crust with the remaining ingredients and cook according to the directions for your choice of crust.  If you use the recipe linked above, I had to cook the pizza for about 20 minutes.

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The crust was so, so, so soft and yummy. If you are one of those weird people who like thin crust then this is not the crust for you. It’s fluffy, soft, and all sorts of perfect!

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Enjoy your Tuesday!

Weekly Dinner Menu {9/30 – 10/4}

Weekly Dinner Menu

Who wants in on the W family dinner menu for this week? I decided to do a weekly menu since I hear the question “what do you make your family for dinner?” a lot.  If you’re having a hard time coming up with a weekly menu, then here are a few ideas!

Dinner Menu 9/30 – 10/4

Monday – Easy Minestrone Soup with homemade cornbread. 

Tuesday –  Curried Coconut Chicken

Wednesday – Oven Baked Pot Roast with Potatoes & Carrots with homemade cornbread

Thursday – These enchiladas but made with the leftover shredded beef from Wednesday’s pot roast.

Friday – Out to eat!

Wow, definitely a lot of beef happening this week. Sam will be a happy boy, that’s for sure. I might have a heart attack, who knows. Anyway, have a great Monday!!

Sweet Potato & Vanilla Risotto

Fall weather is setting in for most of the US, but it’s still pretty warm here in Arizona.  I’m okay with that because I can still turn my AC to 65, put on a sweater, drink some hot tea, and make yummy Fall meals like this one!

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This recipe was adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’s Giada’s Kitchen cookbook.  I loved her Butternut squash risotto, but I love sweet potatoes and carrots, too! Also, I needed to add some meat to the dish for my husband, so I added shredded chicken and exchanged the vegetable broth for chicken broth.

Sweet Potato & Vanilla Risotto

4 cups chicken broth

1 vanilla bean

2 cups sweet potato, chopped into 1 inch cubes

1 cup chopped carrots

2 chicken breasts, cooked (I boiled), then shredded

2 tablespoons butter

1 small sweet onion

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped chives

salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, heat chicken broth over medium-high heat. Split vanilla bean down the middle, remove seeds with a small knife, then add seeds and bean to the broth. When the broth comes to a boil, add the sweet potatoes and carrots. Turn the heat down to medium, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender (carrots will still be firm to the bite).  Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon, but keep the broth simmering over low heat.

In the meantime, grab another large saucepan and heat the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped onion an cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Pour in the wine and simmer until the wine is almost evaporated.  Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and simmer until the liquid is almost completely evaporated (3 to 4 minutes). Continue to do this, while stirring the rice, until the broth is gone (discard the bean pod).  The rice should be tender and the mixture should be nice and creamy! If you like your rice a bit more tender, you can heat a little more broth and keep adding until the risotto is to your liking.

Gently stir in the vegetables, chicken, parmesan cheese, and chives. Taste to see if you need to add salt and pepper. Top with another sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a little bit of chives. Enjoy!

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You can totally leave the chicken and exchange the chicken broth for some vegetable broth to make this a meatless or vegetarian meal. Have a great Tuesday, everyone, and tune in tomorrow for a delicious dessert!

Momma’s Shepherds Pie

Yesterday was a good day for comfort food. It was Milo’s first day of Pre-preschool, my first day of my internship, and Sam had to go to the post office, so I’d say we were all in need of a little comforting from some food. By the way, Milo did pretty good. They didn’t have to call me to come get him, so he didn’t cry the whole time. He played a little bit, but when I looked in on him before I picked him up, he was walking around, swinging his arms, and wailing away. It broke my heart but he dried it up the second he saw me. Poor, sweet baby. Anyway, back to the food…

My mother’s shepherds pie was one of those dishes that I never cared for while I lived at home.  It wasn’t until about 7 years after I moved out that I started craving it..and her meatloaf, which I always hated while I lived at home. I searched the internet for a recipe similar to hers, but all the ones I found online were super gross looking and nothing like what my mom made. I finally decided to break down and just ask her. That was a big step for me since I complained so much every time she cooked it. Anyway, she was happy to share, and so am I!

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And just to be clear, I understand that true shepherds pie is made with lamb and cheese is definitely not a normal ingredient, but this is the shepherds pie I grew up with!

Momma’s Shepherds Pie

1lb ground beef

1 sweet onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small can tomato paste

2 large potatoes

1 can early peas

2-3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

salt and pepper to season

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Prepare mashed potatoes as you normally would with the 2 potatoes, set aside. Brown the beef in a skillet, add onions and garlic until onion is tender. Season with salt and pepper.  Drain meat mixture in a colander, then add back to the skillet to mix the small can of tomato paste.

In a 2 quart casserole dish, spread meat mixture on the bottom. Drain the liquid out of the peas, and spread the peas on top of the meat mixture. Layer a cup of the cheddar cheese on top of the peas, then top with the mashed potatoes. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, or however much it takes to cover the potatoes. Bake for 25 minutes.

Now, I am not a fan of leftovers. I cook a fresh meal for my family every night, EXCEPT when I make this. It’s so good the second day and with just the 3 of us, there is plenty left over for the following night. Enjoy!

Enchilada night!

My husband spent about a week out in the middle of nowhere in 115 (probably even more!) degree heat. So I wanted to make him a special dinner on the night he came home. He loves anything Mexican when it comes to food. His favorite thing that I make is shrimp tacos.  If you’re good, I might share the recipe one day!

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Quick Enchiladas

Makes about 12 enchiladas

2 chicken breast, boiled, and shredded

half an onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small can diced green chilies

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

about 2 cups of your favorite enchilada sauce *I normally make my own, but was in a hurry, so I used the canned sauce*

2 cups shredded cheese 

12 corn tortillas

Cilantro and green onions to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat some oil in a small pan and cook onions and garlic until the onions are nice and soft. Add the spices to the pan and cook for about a minute. In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, onion mixture, green chilies, 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup of shredded cheese, and 1 or 2 tablespoons of cilantro.

Heat the corn tortillas in the microwave between two damp cloths to soften them up so they don’t break while you are stuffing them. Oil a casserole dish big enough to hold 12 enchiladas. I also like to put a few tablespoons of sauce in the bottom of the dish. Fill the tortillas with about 2 tablespoons of filling, roll, and place in the dish seam side down.  Top enchiladas with remaining sauce and remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove foil, and bake for 5-10 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Top the enchiladas with cilantro and green onions. Enjoy!

Simple and sweet stir fry

I love to cook stir fry. It’s so easy, takes a small amount of time, and only uses one or two dishes! I also like a sweet sauce along with something sweet in the stir fry, like pineapple!

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I used pineapple, water chestnuts, broccoli, sweet onion, and baby bella mushrooms, but you are more than welcome to use whatever combination of veggies you love. Sam has been gone for the past few days (due back tonight, yay!) so I went meatless but you can add meat if that’s your style. Me? I’d be happy if I never saw meat again!

Simple & Sweet Stir Fry

Serves 2

1 cup Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced

Half of a sweet onion, sliced thin

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup broccoli florets

1/2 cup pineapple, chopped, about 1 inch cubes

small can of sliced water chestnuts

Olive Oil (to cook veggies in)

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons raw honey

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon sirracha *or more if you like it spicy*

1 teaspoon corn starch mixed with 1 tablespoon warm water

1 cup cooked brown rice *I like to cook mine in chicken or vegetable broth for more flavor*

For the sauce, mix soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sirracha, & cornstarch mixture together in a bowl and adjust sweet or spicy flavors if needed. Make sure you mix the cornstarch with the water separate from the sauce and then add that mixture to the sauce. Otherwise, you’re going to have clumps of cornstarch floating around your sauce.

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and cook the mushrooms and onion on medium-high heat until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, broccoli, water chestnuts, and pineapple and cook for 5 more minutes or until the broccoli is tender.  At this point, I like to add some soy sauce to the cooking veggies, about 3 tablespoons.  Add the sauce to the veggies and cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until the sauce starts to get thick and bubbly.

Serve the vegetables over the rice, making sure to spoon some of that yummy sauce over it!

Enjoy!

Meatless Monday: cauliflower pizza crust

I had a real hankering for pizza today, but I have this toddler that I have to care for. I can’t fill his little body with junk, so I decided to cut out the bad part with the highest calorie count and go for a healthier option!

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I went with this recipe from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body. The only thing I changed was the cooking time. I cooked the crust for 20 minutes because I wanted the edges to be nice and crispy and 15 minutes just didn’t do that for me. After I added the toppings, I cooked it for another 15 minutes. It was so delicious, and Milo loved every bite. He ate almost a whole personal pizza.

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She mentions this in her post, but don’t go into this expecting a normal pizza crust. The middle was softer and came apart easily, so it’s not something you can pick up and eat like normal pizza. It was delicious, though, and as long as Sam approves, I will use this recipe for my future pizzas.

Adobo Chicken

It’s no secret that I love Giada’s recipes (see HERE and HERE).  I make sweet & sticky drumsticks ALL OF THE TIME.  I mean, at least 3 times a month.  So delicious. Anyway, I was watching her show the other day and saw her making the Adobo Chicken and I knew I had to make it soon or I would die.  Thankfully, I quickly gathered the ingredients and made it just in time.

So, so, so very delicious.

So, so, so very delicious.

You must make this ASAP. I think that I have decided that it is on the same level (Level “Amaze-balls”, as my sister-in-law says) as sweet & sticky drumsticks.

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Just follow the link I provided in the first paragraph to this amazing recipe! I served cilantro-lime rice and broccoli alongside these lovely drumsticks.  I want to let the chickens who sacrificed their lives know that they did not die in vain.  Their drumsticks fulfilled any chicken’s ultimate destiny.  Thank you, chickens.

If you’re still searching for something to make for tomorrows big game, this would be a great dish!! Have a wonderful Saturday!