Spicy spin on Chicken tortilla-less soup

mex soup

Inspired yet again by one of the greats! Ms. Diane Sanfillipo, to me a nutritional guru when it comes to all things Paleo, author of Practical Paleo (my go to for everything knowledgeable and sensible about Paleo living) and also of the 21 Day Sugar Detox, which I find to be an incredible reset for everyone, shares her wealth of knowledge in simple terms, and then eases you into a delicious realm of paleo eating with her tried and true recipes, each one better than the next! I almost never change a note of her recipes, and when I do, traditionally it is just to amp up the flavors to my taste personally, nothing at all wrong in the master recipes.

In the 21DSD, she has a lovely, simple, Chicken Tortilla-Less Soup, which I have seen countless photos and raves about on IG ever since the book came out, but only got around to trying it out this weekend. This was one of those recipes that just got my own wheels spinning! Being a Texas Girl at heart, and having a love of all things Tex-Mex on my dinner table…I like my spicy foods SPICY!

So if you like a truly spicy mexican chicken soup, take a look at this little number which took off from Diane’s base recipe….I think you might like this! Just enough heat without being hot, a lovely meal or side anytime!

Try it like this:

In a large soup pot with a wide bottom, Saute the following:
-1 onion, diced
-2 carrots, diced
-1 red bell pepper, diced
-2 celery stalks, diced
-2 roasted poblanos, peeled, diced (Blacken pepper directly over gas flame, cool and peel. or you can roast in the oven)
-6 cloves of chopped garlic
saute for 7-10 minutes, letting the veggies soften, but not brown.

To the pot, add:
-1 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
-2 tsp coriander
-1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-Salt and Pepper to taste
-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes for heat
continue to saute and mix together.

Add to the pot:
6-7 oz tomato paste, stir in
32 oz of bone broth
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 handful chopped fresh cilantro
Squeeze in the juice of one lime
drop in 2 chicken breasts, shredded (guilty. I buy an organic rotisserie chicken and use the meat from that…really tasty)

Check the level of saltiness and heat and let the soup simmer 15-20 mins to allow flavors to develop.

When you serve it, top the soup with diced avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

This soup is hearty and so flavorful!
Hope you enjoy it!

Spicy Veggie Fritter Bites

veggie fritter bits

Well it was a busy weekend and recipes were concocted! I always hesitate to claim any of them as my own, as they always seem to start with someone else’s base idea, but I figure if I tweak it enough and make it so delicious I feel I have to share it, I will claim it! (and always try to give credit to the original)…

So there was a post on facebook for Baked Squash and Carrot frittes by CavegirlCuisine. And it certainly looked good enough for me to print and give it a whirl….but I started brainstorming as I was mixing this up and came up with a delightful spicy fritter that only lasted a few minutes in my house! These are good, and I already have more ideas for them, will show as options here.

Here we go!

Spicy Veggie Fritter-Bites

Mix together the following:
-2 large eggs, beaten
-2 Tbsp melted Kerrygold Butter
-1 cup of grated yellow squash (or zuchini)…squeeze out extra moisture
-1 cup grated carrots
-2 Tbsp diced onions (about 2 slices, diced)
-4 cloves chopped garlic
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp cracked pepper
-1 tsp sriracha (or 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, all for heat)
-small handful of italian parsely, chopped
-1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (OPTIONAL)
other options: crumbled cooked bacon, finely diced red bell pepper

Add in 1/4 cup of coconut flour and mix well.

(I think this would also be very good with a spoonful or two of pecan flour)

Fill greased or parchment lined mini muffin pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden on top.

Great way to get your veggies in!
You could certainly leave out the heat if you have picky eaters, these are tasty, great on the go, and dissappear fast!

Let me know how you like them!

Raw Veggies with a Sweet Tang

raw veg

Friday night my daughter and I spent doing all things water polo. Her team was dominating! So we got the late start on the games for Saturday. These tournaments last all day and you always end up eating someplace you probably shouldnt! So I though i would throw together something that would travel easy…and be healthy! Plus a few of her teammates are always starving and like healthy foods if you bring them!

A few months ago I had a few bites of a raw broccoli salad that, although I typically do not care for the little raw trees, tasted great! Because of a creamy little dressing with a sweet tang to it! I decided Saturday that would be my inspiration.

I whipped up this salad Saturday morning and took a bucket of it to the games, where the girls devoured it! It was really good! So yesterday I did it again, and have been munching on it breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Here’s the scoop:

Chop up your favorite raw veggies to smallish bites and pile into a bowl. I used:
1 carrot, sliced into coins
3 broccoli crowns, small chop
1 head of cauliflower, small chop
a handful of radishes, sliced
3 inches of Daikon, sliced into little sticks
2 slices of red onion, diced small

then I threw in a little fruit, optional of course:
handful of grapes
handful of blueberries

I think some dried cranberries or raisins would be nice here!

I broke up a handful of fresh pecans as well.

Mix up a quick dressing of:
1/3 cup of homemade mayo
2 Tbsp light raspberry balsalmic vinegar (any light vinegar will work)
1 tsp raw organic honey
a small pinch of salt
Whisk away!

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss, toss, toss. Let it mingle a while, the flavors just keep getting better….toss every once in a while. You can put it in a container with a lid and just give it a shake from time to time….keep it chilled.

This morning I had it for breakfast with bacon crumbled over the top!raw bowl

Been Busy? Chicken in a Pot!

chicken soup pot

Been busy? Yep. That’s right. That’s me. You too. But I try to think ahead sometimes!
In my house it is non stop. My days are long and my family is busy doing all things all directions, so when I went Paleo I broke down and bought my very best friend, the slow cooker.
I have tried many things in it, some are just great! Some are so-so….but you never know until you try!
(One of my favorite slow cooker recipes is for Ketchup! sugar free! The recipe came from the “21 Day Sugar Detox” By SanFillippo…I add some cayenne pepper and it is great!)

Roasts are a snap. Soups and Chilis are easy and delicious too.

Yesterday I ran home at lunchtime and threw all of the items below in the pot knowing we had my daughter’s water polo game to go to after work, and it would be late when I got home, and I would probably be too tired to start cooking? yep.

Here is how we did it:

Chicken in a Pot (pretty much a Chicken Soup!)

Start layering….I put the veggies on the bottom.
4-5 carrots, cut in 1-2 inch pieces.
3 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces.
1 onion, rough large chop
LOTS of fresh garlic, 10-20 cloves, rough chop
one small finger of ginger, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper liberally
Poultry seasoning, or at least garlic powder, thyme, celery salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Several pieces of organic, free range chicken…I used 2 breasts with skin and bones, and one boneless plus one drumstick I held out from dinner the other night.
(another round of the same seasonings on top of the chicken, plus a little of the chopped garlic)
a handful of fresh parsley

I give it a drizzle of good olive oil and a splash of chicken stock just to put a little moisture on the bottom of the pot…the slow cooking will create a full pot of “juices” as your soup cooks!

PUT THE LID ON….and set it to go for 6-8 hours on low!

Easy easy easy….leave it and come home to lovely smells and a delicious meal….and it is so good for you!

PLUS! Leftovers for the next day! SWEET!

Plate this!

mexiplate

Always on the search for something with alot of flavor that is easy and fairly quick on a weeknight, coupled with will everyone in the house eat it….I was flipping through the March 2014 issue of Paleo Magazine and stumbled across some definitely doable recipes! I read through the two recipes that were meant to be served together called “Salsa Beef and Spiced “Rice” Bowls” and thought, this is too simple!

I got my head around it and started a little improvising in my head, and ended up with the recipe below. I wanted to credit whoever wrote the base recipes, but there is no author cited! So, thank you to Paleo Magazine …for printing those two recipes for inspiration! And here is how I made them my own:

I prepped all my ingredients, the chopping anyway,for both recipes and then just threw them together in their seperate skillets at the same time….

Skillet One – Mexican Beef
Brown 1 pound of Grass fed ground beef in a Tablespoon of coconut oil
Once browned, add:
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
4 medium scallions (greens and whites) trimmed and chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
Continue to cook in the skillet another 5 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup of your favorite fresh salsa
Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Skillet Two – Spiced Mexican Rice
Chop florets of 2 heads of cauliflower in a food processor
Saute cauliflower in about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil along with 1 medium chopped red onion, 5 minutes. Add in 5-7 cloves of chopped garlic as you saute.
Season the cauli rice with:
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 + tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt, pepper and up to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more, to taste
Keep moving this around in the skillet until evenly distributed.
Whish together 1/2 cup chicken broth and 2 tablespoons tomato paste….add to the saute and mix in.
while that is cooking a minute or two, chop a handful of cilantro and toss in. Mix in, turn off heat.
Squeeze the juice of a lime over the whole thing and give it a quick mix.

SERVE IT UP:
Put a good helping of cauli rice on the bottom of the plate or bowl.
Top it with your Mexican Beef…
Add a dollop of home made guacamole (mine is a secret recipe…for now!) or chopped avocado…

we decided it could be spicier…
Next time around I will put a couple of spoonfuls of pico de gallo in the rice and mix in….I think that sounds good!

This whole thing took 30 minutes, start to finish…smells divine! Tastes even better!
I cannot wait to hear how you like it!

And now a word from my Mother!

fritatta

My mother sent me a pic of her breakfast last weekend…she does this from time to time…and it always looks amazing so I post it on instagram and everyone loves it and it gets way more likes than anything of mine, whatever! She is paleo, she will not let me tell her age, but I am 43, and she gets discounted movie tickets! So that is all I have to say about that except how cool is it that she GETS it! She is holistic, organic, natural and paleo!

And because everyone on IG wanted to know, here is her recipe for the fritatta above, and her guest post….so, mother….you are on the internet now! you famous!

Guest Post from Mother:

I understand there are some who are
wanting to make the Sunday morning frittata.
This is a meal that fits many occasions. An easy breakfast/brunch
Or try for dinner on a busy day. Aren’t they all?

Most time consuming thing is grating the sweet potato. “What?” you say.
Yes sweet potato!
Recipe coming up and it is very healthy!
I have a little farm where I grow some of my own vegetables and herbs.
Love that and of course we do it organically !
So here is the frittata using veggies and herbs
a la my farm garden.

Sunday Morning Frittata with Chorizo
the oven does alot of the work for you…..and fast!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 -1 lb. chorizo sausage uncooked ( I used veal chorizo)

1 small sweet potato, scrubbed and shredded (about1 cup)

1/2 large yellow bell pepper sliced

1/4 cup of yellow or white onion

8 large pasture raised organic eggs

1 tsp. coconut milk

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 roma tomatoes sliced, (even 9 or 10 small grape tomatoes sliced is fine)

Garnish: avocado slices and fresh chopped herb of your choice, cilantro, sage, basil

the marriage:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Heat the oil in an oven safe skillet over medium heat.

Add the sausage, sweet potato, yellow pepper, and onion and sauté apx. 5 min.

(I browned the sausage first, and added the rest for a sauté of 5 min.)

Beat the eggs with the coconut milk and salt, then pour into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes

Just pour evenly, no stirring or turning…….just easy

Arrange the tomato slices in a circular pattern on top of the eggs. (I added1 cup chopped spinach first)

Place the frittata in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

Serve with the avocado and sprinkle with the torn herb

**I would add some “smashed garlic with sea salt”, we tend to thrive on alot of garlic!

And if you like hot peppers, I would do either of the next suggestions for a little “tickle” for your taste buds.

Just chop one hot pepper, could be cayenne, our personal favorite that we grow, or jalapeño or a small Tai pepper. I seed them mostly and chop finely with sea salt.

Add 8-10 sliced grape tomatoes. Toss some of this on each slice of the Frittata.

Or do all of the above except sauté with 1 teaspoon grass fed butter or oil in a small skillet for a minute and then add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk and stir till thickened slightly. You can add some(grass fed) grated cheddar to this or just spoon it as is over… anything really. Just delicious!

Oh! Don’t ever breathe over a skillet with hot peppers cooking or you will choke a bit and or sneeze, depending on your particular physical make up. Experience is our teacher, right?

I think it took me longer to write out the recipe for you than it did to make it.

So, hope you try this, it will work for any “busy girl for a paleo world”.

A Fast Scramble in the mornings

fast scramble

Ok so first, clearly I am obsessed with blueberries right now. I eat them like a sugar junkie on jelly beans. The are so juicy and sweet right now, I almost cannot stand it! Cheap they are not, but mighty tasty and really good for you, so I splurge!
Blueberries are showing up along my breakfast, as a snack and trailing through my salads. I just cannot get enough right now!

This morning was a blur in my house as usual. The daily scramble to get yourself dressed and ready for work along with a few household items (washer, dryer) dogs and cat fed and watered and let out…always leaves me barrelling out the door in a rush no matter what time I get up! I kind of like it, but I don’t like running late, and that does happen.

Thankfully there are alot of quick ways to throw breakfast together….I usually pack mine and eat it at my desk when I can breathe a little!

A red pepper was calling my name from the fridge, and bacon was not.

So here is the super fast and easy scramble I threw together (and ate along with my BLUEBERRIES!!!):

I put a bit of Kerrygold butter in a small skillett to melt over medium heat. Quick chopped about a fourth of a RED PEPPER…tossed it in the pan.
While that is cooking, crack two eggs into a bowl and chop about a teaspoon of fresh PARSLEY – add that to the egg.
Beat the egg with a fork with a dash of salt and pepper.
Pour into the skillet and start moving the eggs and peppers around as it scrambles.
THATS IT!

You can give a quick sprinkle of grated Kerrygold Cheese over the eggs if you like, or dice some tomatoes or avocado over the top….but today it went as is into the container….

You can do this!
So easy, so fast….so good!

And, that’s Lunch

and thats lunch

All right, one last one for today.
Lunch kind of just happened today, but happened really well!

So, I posted earlier about a little cucumber veggie salad that I like alot made with chopped veggies, mayo, Sunny Paris Seasoning, fresh garlic, S&P and a little vinegar. Well, the nice thing about that mix is it gets better as it sits, and I had a little (very little!) left over last night, and I kept it! I decided to make a salad at lunch and a sweet potato and a little leftover grilled chicken.

I just made a salad with spinach and lettuce leaves. Added a little more veggies (more radishes, carrots, a stalk of hearts of palm) and a tiny bit of organic feta cheese (goats). I hit the whole bowl with a small dollop of mayo, a little more vinegar, and dumped the remainder of last nights salad on top! mix mix mix . wow and WOW! look at that plate! I sort of went into a trance while I was eating away, ended up not even eating much of the chicken and of course devoured that tater!

So this I guess is kind of a recipe? More of a guideline of how quick and easy paleo lunches can be! Keep easy things on hand like leftover proteins, lettuce, fresh organic veggies, and a fresh jar of your home made paleo mayo at all times!

Hope you like my pretty plate, I know I did!

Simple Green and a Cucumber Mix up

good stuff salad

So this salad is too easy not to try, and there are so many variations you can make it your own! I actually had this one published in Paleo Magazines Reader’s Choice Cookbook!
I have a soft spot for broccoli! Broccoli is always the base for this salad for me. And avocado (but I didn’t have any on hand that day…wah!).

So here is what happens:

Bring a pan with about an inch of water in it to a boil.
Throw in a large handful of broccoli florets and let them cook about 2-3 minutes….you do not want them to get mushy!
While that is happening, place the following in a bowl…
Chopped veggies! Tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, avocadoes, celery…whatever catches your eye that day!
Strain and drain the broccoli…then dump out on a paper towel to catch the last bits of water. Then add those to the bowl.
Into the bowl with a big spoonful of homemade mayo, salt and pepper to taste, and squeeze lemon juice all over it…then toss, toss, toss.

That is it! so easy and so good! (I think this is going to be lunch today too!)

Another variation I did last night was simply:
One cucumber, thinly sliced
sliced radishes and sliced carrots
Mash up one piece of garlic into the bowl
Salt and pepper, and a good handful of Penzey’s Sunny Paris Seasoning
A spoonful of mayo and this time I shook some light raspberry vinegar over the top…maybe 3 tablespoons?

toss and mix and toss….the longer it sits, the better it gets!

So delicious I just cannot say enough about these two easy salads that are so different every time you make it!

Hot Dog!

hot dog

So yesterday I was having one of those BONE TIRED days for whatever reason. When I finally got home from work, the usual tasks loomed before me, feed the zoo, walk the dogs, fix dinner.
All I could think about was how to get my body into bed as fast as possible! There was a pile of dishes taunting me from the sink, and all I could do was yawn, yawn, yawn! What the heck! I ate good food all day, drank plenty of water, no idea.

So on the walk back home with the animules, I started rifling through the refrigerator in my brain trying to come up with the easiest thing I could. I did eggs at lunch, so that was out. And then I remembered the hot dogs!

When I got home I opened the fridge doors and angelic music played in my mind!
Here is what happened:

Threw 4 Applegate Farms all organic grassfed beef hot dogs into the skillett to start browning up on medium heat.
Put another pot of water on to boil, I had some asparagus on hand….that is a quick winner! Boil about 3 minutes, dot with a bit of Kerrygold grassfed butter and squeeze the juice of one lemon over the top with a little salt and pepper…easy!
Dogs are nice and brown, so I placed each one on a large romaine lettuce leaf (like a bun or a taco!) and topped with PaleoChef Srracha and slices of avocado! Had a little beet sauerkraut on the side too!

Literally dinner was plated in less than 10 minutes!
Those dogs are great to keep on hand for days like that, lunches, dinner, even breakfast in a pinch!

Best part? This was compliant all over the board…paleo, primal, 21 day sugar detox, you name it! Clean eating and tasty!

And I was in bed by 8….and watching Teen Wolf at 9, whence I fell asleep!

Thank you DVR!