Dutch Oven/Crockpot Lime Cilantro Shredded Chicken

IMG_4998Dutch Oven/Crockpot Lime Cilantro Shredded Chicken

Yummmmmm. That’s what I have to say about this recipe. I love finding new ways to make chicken since I eat it a looooooooot. My family is addicted to all things tex mex, we ate homemade mexican about 2-3 times a week growing up and we all loved it. We usually had ground beef however and I never even questioned it! I am branching out in my adulthood =) This recipe was spur of the moment but it happened to turn out Gluten free, (bonus!) and super easy as well. The lime and cilantro skillet sauce is fantastic alone, but I like to up the flavor factor by adding in my own spices, onion and garlic. Since I love spicy food I did use 1/2 tsp cayenne and that might be too spicy for some. Feel free to add or subtract from this recipe according to your taste and how convenient the ingredients are. I’ve only made mine in the dutch oven, but I imagine its just as good in the crockpot. My only warning is- don’t skip the sauteing steps! I hate the way onions taste cooked in the crockpot from raw. blech. Follow the steps and you’ll have yourself one delicious dish that everyone will enjoy!

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yield: 10 servings, 4.2 oz each

Nutrition

Calories: 147

Fat: 3.1 g

Sodium: 434.6 mg

Total Carbs: 4.4 g

Fiber: 1.6 g

Sugars: 1.6 g

Protein: 26.1 g

Ingredients

½ Tb coconut oil

2.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

8 oz onion, diced. 1 med-lg

4-5 garlic cloves, diced

1 tsp each: cumin, coriander, chili powder, smoked paprika, kosher salt

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper

1lime, juiced and zested

1 pouch Frontera skillet sauce Key Lime Cilantro flavor (gluten free!)IMG_5140

  • If using a dutch oven preheat oven to 310°. If not, get your crockpot out of storage and plug in!
  • Heat coconut oil in a large skillet or your dutch oven.
  • Add in diced onion and garlic and saute until onion is almost translucent, 7-10 min.
  • Measure in all the spices and salt and pepper and let them cook with the onions and garlic to develop flavor.
  • Nestle chicken breast into the bottom of the pot, move them around a bit first to get them coated in the spices.
  • Cook a few minutes, them turn them over to cook and coat the other side. They don’t need to cook through.
  • Once the chicken has cooked about 7 minutes total add in the juice and zest of the lime, and the skillet sauce. You can substitute salsa if you cant’ find the Frontera sauce, but the sauce is delicious!
  • Stir in the sauce, juice and zest.
  • If using your dutch oven, put the lid on and place the pot in the oven. Cook in the oven for about 50 min to an hour.
  • If using a crockpot, pour everything in your skillet into your crockpot and cook on high for an hour, or on low for 2 hours. You want it cooked through, but not overly done to where the meat loses its juices and gets dry.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, shred it with two forks and let it sit and absorb the sauce for about 10 minutes. IMG_5141

This was amazing over quinoa with avocado slices. It is also great wrapped in a corn tortilla with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt! Pretty much anything you can do with shredded meat this would be wonderful with. (Taco bar for a Mexican themed party!) When I’m heating up leftovers I usually am picking at the cold meat and it is also delicious! I hope you enjoy this recipe, its easy and tasty as heck!IMG_4999

(Almost) Paleo Date Paste Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Cookies are never far from my mind. One day while I was checking out (read:stalking) my friends’ diaries on MFP I saw that Cora had been eating oatmeal almond butter cookies. That sounded way too enticing for it to be healthy, so I immediately messaged her to ask what the deal was about these cookies. She sent me the recipe link http://cleaneatsinthezoo.com/index/2013/02/20/peanut-butter-or-almond-butter-oatmeal-cookies/and I checked it out. That is the recipe that inspired mine. They are pretty similar, but I had to try it with date paste since thats been my sweetener project lately. I also changed a few other proportions and added cinnamon, but wanted the flavor to be about the same. The texture was amazing, nice and crumbly crisp with a nice chewy nutty center. mmm. I literally ate 4 cookies as soon as they came out of the oven. I am that cookie crazy. I just had one after my lunch and am trying to resist going for another right now. I might keep messing with the recipe (that is inevitable with me) and try it out with a few different ingredients, but let me tell you, these things are darned addicting and it certainly won’t be my last batch! Image

 

(Almost) Paleo Date Paste Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookies

yield:35 cookies

nutrition per cookie

calories: 128

fat: 10.4 g

sodium: 58.9 mg

total carbs: 6.9 g

fiber: 2.1 g

sugar: 1.6 g

protein: 3.8 g

ingredients

2 eggs

3 cups almond meal/flour (if you want these to be paleo skip the oats and add an extra cup or so of almond flour)

2 cups old fashioned oats

½ cup coconut oil, melted

½ cup almond butter (or peanut butter if you like that flavor better, any nut butter will work)

2 ½ oz date paste

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder (gluten free, aluminum free)

½ – 1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 350° and grease two large cookie sheets, or use parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl mix together dry ingredients: almond meal, oats, baking soda and powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  • In a smaller mixing bowl beat together the eggs, almond butter, coconut oil, date paste and vanilla extract. Then add the wet and dry ingredients together in the large bowl.
  • Either roll cookie dough into balls with your hands and place on cookie sheet or use two spoons and place mounds of dough on the sheets. I tried it both ways and you need to squash the dough down slightly with both methods.
  • Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are cooked through and crisp on the bottom.

My cookies were amazingly delicious, however I had a few notes that I will point out to others. You can taste the salt a lot in these cookies since they are not overwhelmingly sweet. I am thinking about either upping my date paste amount or decreasing my salt on my next batch. I originally used 1 tsp salt but may try a little less next time. Or not, I really loved the way this first batch turned out. Almost like it was salty on purpose. You could almost make this a savory cookie by adding an herb like rosemary or thyme and leaving out the cinnamon. I am thinking of adding raisins next time and leaving the rest of the recipe as is. The raisins will add a pop of sweetness in each bite. Just try it out, see what you think and adjust as needed. Also, if you (like me) enjoy the cookies as they are, do warn people that they are a bit salty and not too sweet before their first bite! My uncle was very surprised when he tasted these without a forewarning! However my mother who is used to my experiments loved these. She’s used to my ‘healthy crap’ as my husband calls it. 😉

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ENJOY!

Spring Vegetable Bulgar ‘Risotto’

IMG_4950No, this is NOT a real authentic style risotto. Please don’t be too dissapointed! I Love real risotto, but didn’t even think about making a risotto style dish until my bulgar was already cooked. I had planned on making it into a cool grain salad with fruit and herbs, but then became inspired while staring into the depths of my fridge to use up some veggies and make a risotto. I know I say this about all the dishes I make, but, holy cow is it delicious! I am in love with the nuttiness of the bulgar and the bright flavors of the veggies. Peas and asparagus (asparagi?) is one of my favorite veggie combos but I tend to forget this fact until I am tasting them!

I rarely cook bulgar, but happened to have some in my pantry and as it happens I am trying to do some spring cleaning on my pantry and use up old items. Sometimes I wish I did this more often as I tend to come up with some gems! Bulgar is great as a side dish, and if you add some protein in it can be a great main dish as well. If you’ve never tried it I encourage you to buy some and check this risotto recipe out, I plan on maing this every week now, or some variation thereof!

Spring Vegetable Bulgar Risotto
Yield 5 servings 6.8 oz each

Nutrition

Calories: 175

Fat: 4.4

Sodium: 153.5 mg

Total Carbs: 29 g

Sugar: 1.3 g

Protein: 7.4 g

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Ingredients:

1 cup bulgar wheat, dry *(use quinoa for Gluten Free option!)

2 cups water

1 tsp kosher salt, divided

freshly cracked black pepper to taste

4 oz asparagus, diced

4 oz zucchini, diced

2 oz white onion, diced, about ¼ cup

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

2/3 cup frozen peas

1 cup chicken (or vegetable) stock

1 tsp butter

2 Tb grated Parmesan cheese

 

  • First, cook the bulgar wheat. Heat water and ½ tsp salt to a boil and add bulgar. Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Mine was nice and fluffy by the time it was done cooking. Set aside until later.
  • Add the olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and remaining ½ tsp salt and pepper and saute til the onions start turning opaque.
  • Add in the asparagus and zucchini and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until veggies are tender-crisp.
  • Add the peas in and saute briefly to heat them.
  • Turn heat to medium high then add bulgar into the saucepan along with ½ cup of the chicken stock.
  • Stir until chicken stock is absorbed and then add the remaining stock.IMG_4949
  • Let most of the stock be absorbed by the bulgar then remove the pan from the heat and stir butter and Parmesan in.
  • Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper for taste.
  • EAT.IMG_4951