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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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!

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!!

Weekly Dinner Menu {10/21 – 10/26}

Weekly Dinner Menu

It’s Monday and I am back in action! I took a small vacation, which I’ll talk about after the menu. First, let’s talk food! I like to make a weekly dinner menu for myself so I know what I’m getting at the grocery store, and also because I have a lot of people ask me for healthy meal ideas for their weekly menus. You should know that my definition of healthy is simply eating real foods (including butter). I’m not about excluding one certain type of food or food group (except processed foods).  I may include one processed ingredient like pasta, but it’s going to be the healthiest, least-processed pasta I can find! So the following recipes are from-scratch recipes. Get back in your kitchen and be in charge of what goes into your kiddo’s bodies!

Monday – Butternut squash & Chicken pan-roast

Tuesday – Beef Goulash Soup

Wednesday – Leftovers from Tuesday night

Thursday – Simple & Sweet Stir Fry

Friday – Pineapple, Gorgonzola, & Sausage Pizza with this Light & Fluffy Crust

Saturday – Grilled Salmon with Asparagus & Roasted Red Potatoes

I’m not including Sunday on purpose. Our in-laws may be in for the weekend, so it might be an out-to-eat night. We’ll see!

About this vacation…I didn’t mention it here for home-safety reasons, but my little family and I took a trip over to England to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and my niece, Annabelle.  We had loads of fun and saw all the cool sights around London and took a day trip to Bath. I won’t bore you with photos of castles you have already seen in pictures, but I will bore you with a few family photos.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

A fun telephone booth in Windsor.

A fun telephone booth in Windsor.

Windsor Castle (Milo is on my back)

Windsor Castle (Milo is on my back)

My sister and her husband, and Annabelle.

My sister and her husband, and Annabelle.

Milo and me at the Roman Baths.

Milo and me at the Roman Baths.

Have a fun Monday!

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.

cornbread2

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!

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!

pizza

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.

fall pizza2

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!

pizza2

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!!