Creamy Chicken and Zoodles

I’m currently playing a game with myself. A game where I stand in the kitchen and stare at the contents (or lack there of) in my fridge and try to imagine what I’ll make for dinner.

It’s basically throwing something together and hoping it tastes good. Sometimes it’s mediocre. But sometimes it turns out so good we both stand over the stove and eat directly out of the pan.

In all honesty, I have no idea what to call this. It was created purely on instinct and a hungry tummy. And the fact that I wanted it to be ready quickly.

What you need:

  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • 2 yellow squash, spiralized
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • A couple handfuls of frozen peas
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Salt, pepper, dill and garlic powder to taste

Season the diced chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sauté in a hot skillet. Let it get kind of brown.Add the onions and let them caramelize.

In a separate pan, cook the zoodles. Let them get a little crispy.

Add the peas and tomatoes to the chicken and onions. Let the peas heat through. Add the coconut milk. Season with a little more salt and pepper and a lot of dill.

Put the zoodles in the bottom of the bowl and top with creamy chicken mixture. Enjoy.

Don’t let the coconut milk mixture cook too long before serving. It can separate and you lose the creamy goodness.

This was so good we debated over who could drink the sauce. And it’s amazing such a dish exists because I had no idea what I was doing.

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Weekend Wonders

Lazy weekends are my jam.

I love being able to totally check out. This weekend was the coldest one we’ve had so far, and I was excited to finally break out a big scarf and my favorite winter hat.

But the only thing I look forward to during the cooler months is a fire in the fireplace.

Since it was the first true cold snap of the season, we kept a fire going all weekend long. From now on, we are going to have Fire Fridays, which consist of a date night out for dinner and then home to a fire and whatever goodness we want to watch on Netflix. Right now, we are rationing out Stranger Things 2. And when I say rationing, I mean one episode per night.

Annie is loving this whole lazy weekend thing we’ve decided to pursue. She spent her time all cuddled up in blankets on my lap. But seriously, I can’t handle her cuteness. When I took this picture, I was whispering sweet nothings to her about how pretty she is. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. Brad didn’t even bat an eye at this. It’s simply my normal behavior when it comes to my puppy bear.

Keeping with the lazy weekend theme, I bought on of Honey Pies’ Chicken Pot Pies from Me and McGee Market.

Run. Don’t walk. Run to Honey Pies on Bowman Road in Little Rock or to Me & McGee Market to get yourself this deliciousness.

I would love to tell you that we had leftovers. But that would be a complete lie.

We ate every single bit of this gorgeous pie in a matter of minutes.

Is it Whole30 approved?

No.

Is it gluten-free?

No.

Is it dairy-free?

No.

Was it worth every single bite?

Absolutely.

That, my friends, is exercising food freedom. Finding balance with food is hard. I posted a live video the other day expressing my struggles with eating healthy. So I’m truly getting back on the wagon, and I’m working hard to make sure I have food prepped and ready to go. Part of the issues I’ve been having is not packing a healthy lunch, getting caught up a work and settling for less-than-stellar foods and forgetting to thaw our meat for our weeknight dinners.

The first step is admitting you have a problem. And I do. I need to 5-Second Rule myself to get my act together when it comes to meals and meal prep. If I can do it flawlessly during Whole30, I can do it any other time. I can’t for the life of me figure out why healthy choices are so difficult to make sometimes. And why making good choices during a Whole30 seems easier than any other time. Anyone have any insights into that?

It’s amazing how easily excuses creep. How I can talk myself out of cooking dinner and going out to eat. How I can’t say no to a donut or cookie even thought I’m not hungry at all. How reintroducing sugars, even in the natural forms, can make daydream of sweets during my afternoon coffee breaks at work.

The mental attachments to certain foods are long-lasting. It gives us a glimpse of just how powerful the mind really is when it comes to attachments and habits. I remind myself that I must exercise making healthy choices like I exercise my body. The mind is merely a muscle that can be trained to be stronger. And while I practice I keep telling myself…I think I can. I think I can. I know I will. I know I will.

What do you do to help you make healthy choices? Any tips or tricks?

Quick Chicken Curry over Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I have a new found love of Indian food.

Curry powder is a new favorite of mine. So flavorful. Very few ingredients came become a masterpiece of a dinner.

This chicken curry was so yummy.

What you need:

  • Two chicken breasts, cubed
  • A small nob of ginger, minced
  • One onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • A couple handfuls of fresh green peas
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt, pepper, curry powder and cayenne, to taste

Heat up a pan with a little avocado oil. Sauté the chicken with curry powder, cayenne and pepper.

Add in the veggies. Cook until onions soften, about 10 minutes. Add more curry, cayenne and salt, if you want.

Stir in tomato paste and coconut milk.

Cube potatoes and put in a pot of water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes until potatoes are soft.

Drain the potatoes. Put back in the warm pot. Mash. Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Asian Chicken Soup

This soup is a serious nod to Nom Nom Paleo’s Chinese Chicken and Bok Choy Soup in the Whole30 cookbook.

Sometimes I stand in my kitchen and look aimlessly around the room and hope I generate a delicious idea. And sometimes I need a nudge in some direction.

This nudge came from her Asian inspired soup.

It’s cooling down here. And it happened to be a little rainy the evening I made it. But all the stars aligned to create this goodness.

So thank you Nom Nom Paleo for the inspiration.

What you need:

  • Four chicken breasts
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger powder
  • One carrot, cut in half moons
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 packet of baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup bok choy, roughly chopped
  • 6 cups chicken bone broth
  • 1 big spoonful of Red Boat’s Fish Sauce
  • 1 big spoonful coconut aminos
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a skillet in the stove to medium heat to cook the chicken. Season the chicken liberally with ginger and garlic powder. Sauté until chicken is cooked completely. Set aside.

Heat a large pot on medium high heat. Add coconut oil with the carrot and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Let cook until onions start turning translucent, about 7 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and season with a little more salt and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes. Pour in chicken broth (I used broth made from my big fancy dinner chicken)and add bok choy, coconut aminos and fish sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Right before serving, dice up the chicken and add to the pot. Cook 5 more minutes to combine all the flavors.

Serve and enjoy.

This soup is definitely a favorite of ours. And I’ll have to make it again and again. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Italian Style Chicken with Cauliflower Rice

I am all about easy of preparation. So one pot meals are a lovely thing in our house.

And this chicken is no exception. It packs major flavor thanks to the roasted garlic sauce from Thrive Market and the bone-in, skin-on chicken hindquarters from my favorite farmers market. 

What I love about this dish is how easy it is. It’s the easiest, fancy-looking thing I made during our recent Whole30. Brad was so impressed by it, and it literally had 3-4 ingredients.

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What you need:

  • Two chicken hindquarters (that’s the thigh and leg together), bone-in and skin-on
  • Coconut Oil
  • Whole30 compliant marinara sauce (I used this one from Thrive Market.)
  • A combo of Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt and Pepper
  • A bag of cauliflower rice

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In an oven safe pot with a lid, heat up the coconut oil to medium high heat. Season the chicken with the combo of seasonings listed above.

Please chicken pieces skin side down so it gets golden brown and full of flavor. Don’t move the chicken for at least five minutes. Turn the chicken and sear the other side for 2-3 minutes.

Add tomato sauce to the hot pan. Watch out for splatters. Make sure the chicken is covered in the sauce. Add a pinch of Italian seasoning over the top.

Cover the chicken with a lid, and put the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and cook the chicken an additional 30 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.

While the chicken cooks, throw your bag of frozen cauliflower rice into a skillet on the stove. Cook on medium heat until it is defrosted, about 5-7 minutes, and all the water has cooked out. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Keep warm until chicken is fully cooked.

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Serve chicken with sauce over the bed of cauliflower rice, and enjoy.