Category Archives: Chicken

Day of Pumpkin

Halloween is almost upon us! Halloween is a favorite holiday in our house, so I thought I’d get in the spirit a little early with a day of pumpkin.

Yup. Pumpkin for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Two posts ago, I had some requests for pumpkin soup. I heard you loud and clear and here’s what I’ve come up with…

Take a fresh sugar pumpkin, cut it in half, and scoop out seeds and strings.

(For roasted pumpkin seeds: separate out the seeds, wash and dry them discarding the strings, and roast them at 350 for no more than 20 minutes with sweet or savory seasoning – a great snack for you pregnant gals!)

Put a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake the halves skin up, flesh down at 375 for about 30 minutes. You should be able to slice a knife through it.

Scoop out baked flesh and put in blender or food processor.

Add 1 tsp of ground vanilla bean, 1 tbsp of coconut crystals, a few shakes of nutmeg, and liberal shakes of cinnamon. I recommend purchasing organic spices, of course.

Add in water, coconut milk (I made my own – see below for the recipe!), or broth (if for soup), and blend until smooth. Amount of liquid needed depends on how much pumpkin there is – start with a little and just keep adding until pumpkin is smooth but not watery.

You now have a delicious, sweet base! (Alter spices to make it more or less sweet.)

First, I had it in my oatmeal for breakfast. I added in chia seeds, raspberries, oats, cacao nibs…you can get creative with it.

Then I ate it by the spoonful for a sweet snack throughout the day. It made a great dessert after lunch!

And lastly, I turned it into a soup for dinner. I put the puree back into a pot, added in all kinds of veggies – mushrooms, celery, carrots, cabbage, broccolini – and cooked it all for a few minutes. Then I added a few pieces of leftover chicken on top and…Voila! Soup! And a one-pot dish, no less!

Make sure to either use a bit of coconut milk or coconut oil in the mix so you absorb the vitamins. We cannot absorb all the vitamins and minerals in our veggies without a little fat. That’s especially important for my pregnant readers – getting the most out of your food is critical now!

Now for the Coconut Milk Recipe

Combine 1 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut and 3 cups hot water in a blender. Blend for about 2 minutes or until it looks creamy and you have a good froth on top. Then strain through a fine mesh strainer.

That’s it! Quick, easy, and without all the additives you’ll find in store-bought coconut milk.

I, of course, added a couple shakes of cinnamon (as always!) to the mix because I love cinnamon and it serves as an anti-microbial while adding a little hint of flavor. Double bonus!

See Adventures in Nut Milk for more nut milk recipes.

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Filed under Chicken, Coconut, Health, Recipe, Snacks, Soup, Spices, Vegetables

Crockpot Chicken Extraordinaire

Whoa. I freakin’ knocked dinner out of the park last night.

Normally, the husband and I take to the kitchen separately to make our own salads. That’s right. The husband eats salads for dinner. How great is that?

But yesterday I said, “Husband! We’re having chicken tonight.”

(There were vegetables, too, of course. And it was all organic. You know how I roll.)

And the best part? In all it’s deliciousness, it couldn’t have been easier.

For the veggies, I sauteed mushrooms, spinach, and green beans in coconut oil and Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle. That’s it. You’ll get the au jus from the chicken so no need for more flavor. You can do whatever veggies you want, however you want, but make sure you’ve got some greens in there. 😉

As for the chicken, I did it slow cooker style. Meat was falling off the bone. You’re welcome.

Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle 24 Herbs & Spices
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon of turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large chicken

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the dried spices in a small bowl.
  2. Loosely chop the onion and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Remove giblets from the chicken (HCJ’s secret: have the meat guy do that for you).
  4. Rub the spice mixture all over. You can even put some of the spices inside the cavity and under the skin covering the breasts.
  5. Put prepared chicken on top of the onions in the slow cooker, cover it, and turn it on to high. Don’t add any liquid.
  6. Cook for 4 – 5 hours (for a 3 or 4 pound chicken) or until the chicken is falling off the bone. Save the scraps and make a stock!

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Filed under Chicken, Health, Organic, Recipe, Spices, Vegetables

Cutting Corners

It’s best to eat whole foods, which are foods in their natural state. I’m talking about fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, meat, fish, eggs…foods like that. These are foods that have not been processed beyond recognition. These are foods with one ingredient, that come from nature.

But we all have a lot going on. Sometimes it’s just too much work to cook up a fresh meal every time. Am I right?

This is why so many people turn to packaged foods. They’re easy, ready-to-go, and last an eternity in your car or bag. Of course, that “lasting an eternity” thing is the problem – they’ve got all kinds of scary chemicals in there that allow them to do that. Don’t even get me started on what those chemicals are doing to your body…

I get that we only have 24 hours in the day. And if there’s too much prep involved, we’re less likely to eat that particular food. So here’s the healthy way I cut corners so that I eat the right foods:

1. Kale Salad

Buying local is best, and cutting your veggies on the spot is best, but with this pre-cut bag of organic kale, I’m getting kale that’s ready to go, along with carrots and cabbage. Saves me a lot of time in prep + 3 whole ingredients in one = Very Helpful.

2. Quick Oats

Sure, steel cut oats are best, but like many of you, I need to expedite my breakfast, so quick oats it is for me. Whole Foods 365 brand makes a great organic option that is ready to go in just a few minutes – cooking isn’t even necessary! Make cold or hot and let them sit for a couple of minutes to let them soak and you’re good to go.

3. Coleman Naturals The Original Brat Hans Cooked Chicken Breast Strips

Now, I don’t know how many places are carrying this – could be a very new product – and I don’t know what is going on with that name, but I just found it at my local Whole Foods in Silicon Valley and it’s great. This is a package of pre-cooked organic chicken breast with a bit of salt, pepper, and onion and garlic powders. That’s it. No preservatives. Throw ’em on salads, sandwiches, or eat right out of the package. Easy. Tasty.

4. Eden Organics Canned Beans

Ideally, you want to buy dried (not canned) beans and soak them. It’s healthier because they’re fresher, cans have BPA, and the contents of cans typically contain a lot of additives. There is one exception: Eden Organics. Their cans are bpa-free and there are no nasty ingredients. GMO-free since 1993, and one of the last independently owned organic companies, this is one company I’m happy to support.

For snack ideas (not exactly 1 ingredient whole foods, but healthy packaged options for on-the-go, quick refueling), check out some of my older posts:

Food Finds, Part 1 and Part 2
In a Pinch
“I Think There’s Something To This Whole Organic Thing…”

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Filed under BPA, Chicken, GMO-free, Health, Organic, Product Review, Products, Snacks, Tips and Tricks, Vegetables

Who’s Hungry?

You’ve all been such patient blog followers, reading my posts on various health-related topics. So it’s high-time I post a recipe already. Right? Who’s hungry?!

This one is a big hit with my family and so easy to make, it’s kind of ridiculous.

Mushroom Barley Soup (makes 10 servings):

1 3/4 cups of water
4 cups of organic chicken broth
1 cup of low sodium organic chicken broth
16 oz of mushrooms
1 cup of carrots
1 cup of celery
1/4 cup of onion
1 cup of barley (either organic purple prairie barley or pearled barley)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 bay leaves
Italian seasoning
1/2 lb of organic chicken breast (optional)

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery; cook and stir until onions are tender and transparent. Stir in mushrooms and continue to cook for a few minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and add barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until barley is tender, about 50 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a good amount of Italian seasoning (feel free to get really liberal with this one).

Couldn’t be easier. Couldn’t be more delicious. Good for dinner. Good for lunch. And healthy, too!

(And don’t forget to buy organic veggies. 😉 )

Question of the Day:
What’s your favorite one pot dish?

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Filed under Chicken, One Pot Dish, Recipe, Soup