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!

 

 

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!

 

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

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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!

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

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

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!!

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.

cornbread1

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!

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!!

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Pudding {with Chia Seeds!}

Let’s talk about chia seeds! These little things are amazing.  I know some people refer to them as “super foods”, but I don’t believe in super foods. They are pretty awesome, though. Not only are they loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, but they are also packing fiber, protein, manganese, and phosphorous.  Now, I’m not a nutritionalist, but it doesn’t take a professional to know that we all need more of these things! I encourage you to read up on these little guys if you want to know more about them. I have heard that they have helped combat mood disorders, diabetes, and heart disease, but I haven’t looked for real research yet. I’m too busy enjoying this HEALTHY PUDDING!

PBBCSpudding

Chia seeds do this funny thing when they get wet. They swell up and have this weird, gelatinous coating around them and that is what makes this pudding work! You can add chia seeds to your breakfast shakes, oatmeal, yogurt, and pretty much anything. It is also supposed to curb your appetite, so you don’t put yourself into a food-coma.  Just be careful because you can get too much of a good thing in this case. They are packed with fiber, and last time I checked, too much fiber did hurt everyone..in the tummy area.

This recipe makes about 2 small servings or 1 big one because it doesn’t keep well for more than a day. If you want to make it the night before for breakfast, then I think that will be okay, but it didn’t taste so well after 24 hours.

Peanut Butter Banana Chia Seed Pudding

1 very ripe banana

1/2 cup (your choice) milk. I used whole organic cows milk because that is what I had.

1 (generous) tablespoon natural peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons chia seeds

(taste after mixing and see if you need it to be sweeter, then add 1 tablespoon honey)

In a food processor or whatever kind of mixer you have (I have a ninja), pulse the banana, milk, peanut butter, and vanilla until everything is mixed and the banana is completely broken down. Pour the mixture into a bowl then stir in the chia seeds. I only advise against adding them in the food processor because there will be a lot of chia seeds that will stick to the wall, so you lose so many! Chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to let the chia seeds soak up the moisture and swell. Then enjoy!

I wanted to share these outtakes from my attempts at photographing this stuff yesterday. Milo decided it was time for a snack mid-shoot. Haha.

Littlehand

Milo1

Don’t forget: Today is the last day to enter to win 3 handmade {by me}, crocheted washcloths! Just follow my blog here or on bloglovin’ and comment on the giveaway post! Have a great Hump day!

Healthy Pasta Salad with Cucumber-Lime Vinaigrette

This pregnancy has me craving cold dishes. I have probably made 5 different pasta salad variations in the past 3 weeks.  I just can’t get enough of them! Plus it’s a good way for me to get more raw vegetables in my diet, which I need even more since I’m, you know, growing another human being.

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A healthy pasta salad?

Take a look at those beautiful colors! Any dish with that many colors has got to be packed with tons of good stuff, right? And as long as you use whole grain pasta, there will be nothing bad about this salad.

Pasta Salad with Cucumber-Lime Vinaigrette

half a box of your choice of pasta salad noodles (I chose penne)

1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and chopped about 1/4 inches thick

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces 

1/2 to 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes (your preference)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (took me 3 juicy limes)

1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or another flavorless oil, like canola)

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like things spicy)

generous amounts of salt and pepper for seasoning

Boil pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl toss cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, and cilantro to mix well. In a small bowl mix lime juice, oil, honey, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour vinaigrette over pasta and vegetables.

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It keeps pretty well overnight in the refrigerator, so you can make this dish ahead of time. It’s great for Saturday BBQ’s or potluck dinners at church. You can make it gluten-free, too, by replacing the noodles with gluten-free noodles, of course.

Red Cabbage Cumin Slaw

I really love red cabbage. I mean, look at it! Anything that comes from God’s green earth in that hue has got to be good for you, and it is.  Not only is it loaded with vitamin C, but it’s also known to help prevent cancer. One more plus, it tastes great in a vinegar or citrus slaw. I made a slaw similar to this last weekend with apple cider vinegar. Yum!

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Red Cabbage Cumin Slaw

1 quarter of a red cabbage, shredded

3 carrots, grated

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup grape seed oil

2 tablespoons lime juice (one really juicy lime)

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to flavor

Toss cabbage, carrots, and cilantro together in a medium sized bowl. In a small bowl, or in the measuring cup, mix oil, honey, lime juice, and cumin. Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to evenly coat. Season with salt and pepper. 

Have a great hump day!

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.