Recipe Box – Paleo Chicken & Mushroom Skillet

Since seeing a nutritionist, I’ve been told to start eating a Paleo diet. While giving up carbs and sugar is the hardest thing I’ve ever quit aside from smoking,  it has forced me to expand my palette which is a great thing.  I’m eating things I never did before! Things like English cucumbers, raw red peppers, and mushrooms. .  Also, the only real method of cooking I have available to me at the moment is my electric skillet. Therefore, meals must be two things: paleo, and able to cook in one pan. So when I stumbled across this recipe for Paleo Chicken and Mushroom Skillet, I was stoked to try it.  We paired it with a Seeds of Change Brown Rice & Quinoa packet, and a fresh, sliced cucumber. We yum-yummed the shiz out of this dish! My husband and I loved it.

 

Photo credit goes to I Breathe, I’m Hungry as I completely forgot to snap photos while I was cooking. Totally typical of me.

 

This recipe comes from the food blog I Breathe, I’m Hungry which offers low carb, keto, paleo, and gluten-free recipes.  I just discovered this blog, but if this recipe is any indication of the yumminess of her cuisine, I’ll be back for sure!

Recipe Box: Summer Veggies Three Ways

If you’ve been following along the last couple of Fridays, me and my chicks have been posting all about eating local. You know what happens when you’re hitting the farmer’s market and getting produce delivery?

You have a LOT of veggies laying around.

I don't even know what my counter looks like anymore.

I don’t even know what my counter looks like anymore.

Which is great! Except what the heck are you going to do with them all?

Here are three recipes I found to help me use up these beautiful bounties. And as a bonus, all three of these recipes are vegan, gluten free and paleo friendly, because I’m nice like that (it was mostly coincidence, but lets roll with it).

The first is recipe is adapted from the awesome vegan cookbook, The Kind Diet. If you don’t know this one, it’s written by Alicia Silverstone. I’m not a vegan (right now), but vegan cooking is happening a lot right now due to the dairy elimination. If you don’t know much about succotash, get ready to make the ‘ewww, Lima Beans’ face. Honestly, though, lima beans are awesome. And if you really, really hate them, you could swap in edamame instead. Don’t let the beans scare you off though, this is delicious.

Summer Succotash

Lima beans, the bane of my childhood existence, getting some action with my fresh corn and tomatoes.

Lima beans, the bane of my childhood existence, getting some action with my fresh corn and tomatoes.

 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 diced red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (10 ounce) package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
1 cup fresh or frozen corn (I used ridiculously fresh local corn, cut right off the cob)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Heat the butter and oil together in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until the onions begin to brown (5-7 minutes).  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in the lima beans and saute another 5 minutes.  Add the corn and tomatoes, saute 1 minute longer until heated through.  Remove from heat and add parsley, basil and vinegar.

This can be served warm or chilled. And it’s great either way. Do it. You’ll love it. All I am saying, if give (lima) beans a chance.

The next recipe came from Pinterest, where I spend far too much time pinning recipes I will likely never make. But this one, Warm Zucchini Salad, I did! And it was fab. Pinterest led me to Vikalinka, a blog I hadn’t heard of before.

When you have a LOT of zucchini, make this.

When you have a LOT of zucchini, make this.

Go here to check out the original recipe post, her pictures are stunning.

The last recipe came from a trip to the library, where I stumbled upon The Real Girl’s Kitchen cookbook. I didn’t actually notice that it was written by Haylie Duff (do I secretly have a thing for cookbooks written by blonde actresses? maybe.), I just liked the pictures. Thank goodness I like pretty things, because this cookbook provided me with a few great new recipes, including this one.

 

I hesitate to even call this a recipe, it’s that simple. Like, even if you can’t cook, you can cook this. And you should, because I’ve made it three times in the last month, and I’m making it again this week. And you know, I DON’T like repeats.

Haricot Vert Salad

Five ingredients never looked so good.

Five ingredients never looked so good.

Ingredients: 

1 pound of french green beans (I used regular green beans, they’re just French, only fatter, and I feel it’s important not to judge beans on their size)
1 cup of cherry tomatoes – quartered 
Fresh Dill
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Blanche green beans in boiling water for 4-5 minutes (you want them still crunchy, but not raw), and the put them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cooled down, drain and put them in a large bowl. 

Cut tomatoes in quarters. Or halves. Don’t stress it. Add those to the beans, along with the chopped dill. 

Mix the red wine vinegar and mustard together and drizzle over the beans and tomatoes. Or just dump those in the bowl and mix everything around. Salt and pepper to taste, and you’re good to go.

Now, get a plate. Or just stand there, eating it out of the bowl with your fingers. You know, as one does.

Don’t you just want some veggies now? Do you have any great vegetable recipes? Please feel free to share! 

 

Dinosaur Food and New (Old) Shoes

We all know I have a sordid past with various shoe brands: Newton, Brooks, Altra, New Balance, Saucony…I got around.   After the AC Half, I chucked my Brooks.  I’m sorry, Brooks.  I gave you the good old college try.  I left them in New Jersey to be donated to someone who will hopefully be a better fit.

I’ve decided I’m going to go with what works.  I hopped online and chatted with Kyle from Skora, who also has flat feet.  He sent me some excellent ankle and strengthening exercises and this article which put things in perspective.  I am no longer going to battle my flat feet.  Instead, we’re joining forces!  I’m embracing my overpronation!  I will revel in my foot flatness!  And I will do this with the help of my Skora.  Because they’re comfortable.  They accept my feet, just as they are.  Skora, you complete me a la Jerry Maguire.  I’m sorry I doubted you, but you must have known you’ve been my sole mate all along.

Seriously, I love these shoes.

Who needs an arch, anyway?  Suck it, insoles.  I’m free-ballin’.

In addition to my new, old shoes, I’ve adopted a new, old diet.  In researching methods for controlling ADHD, I ran into this book, “Eat Like a Dinosaur” and it turned me on to Paleo for families.  Basically, it eliminates all processed flours and sugars. If it comes in a bag or a box, it’s not allowed.  I recently read this book, Go Wild, which suggests that the demand and stress of modern civilization have created a breeding ground for disease; mental illness, ADHD, obesity, cancer, depression, anxiety…and so on.

The book claims one solution is to get back to basics: fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, real fat, and wild caught animal protein.  Sounds logical to me!  So I made the switch.  And so did my children, involuntarily.  They’re pretty pissed about it and I still can’t get them to drink almond milk.  I started making one meal a day that was completely paleo, usually dinner.  I’m having some difficulty coming up with creative lunchbox solutions, but our pantry is quickly thinning out.  Sites like paleoparents.com and cookeatpaleo.com help immensely.  A lot of the recipes use cauliflower, coconut oil and flour, and almond flour.  There’s a recipe for granola that uses coconut instead of oats and it is da bomb.  That’s right, D-A-Bomb.  And even though I love cake, it hasn’t been hard to give up the sugar and starch.  It’s been a month and my gut feels happy.  I even signed up with Farm Fresh to You, a produce delivery service.  Unfortunately, alcohol is a no-no.  But I just can’t.  Confession: I still drink wine.  Don’t tell the paleo police.

2015-04-03 22.13.35

Almond flour cranberry muffins. My kids gobbled these up.

I don’t know if all the claims are true, but it can’t hurt, right?  And if nothing else, we are getting to try some new and interesting veggies.  I didn’t even know you could eat celery root!

 

Whole Lot of Crazy

If you’ve learned anything about me through my blogging in the last year, you’ve probably learned that I am a complete goldfish when it comes to healthy eating. I get distracted by shiny things. And then, before that thing has a chance to take hold, I’m distracted by another shiny thing. Or by ice cream.

It’s a thing. A not-so-great thing. Me and food…well, we’re in what I like to call a relationshit. It’s completely dysfunctional and something definitely needs to change.

Enter Whole 30.

If you don’t know about Whole 30, it’s essentially a SUPER clean, Paleo-esque program for 30 days. It’s something I’ve been contemplating for well over a year, but I’ve always brushed it off as being ‘too hard’. According to the Whole 30 website, this is NOT HARD.

You can find the complete program rules here, but in short:

  • No sugar or sugar substitutes (meaning no added sugar, real or artificial)
  • No grains (no, not even quinoa)
  • No white potatoes (oh French Fries, how I will miss thee)
  • No legumes (this is the one that I don’t really understand, but I’m rolling with it)
  • No dairy (I’ve been trying to break up with dairy for over a year. It’s time.)
  • No carrageenan, MSG or sulfites (hello, reading ALL the labels)
  • No alcohol (this is actually the only one I’m not remotely worried about)
  • No ‘paleo-baking’ (essentially taking all compliant ingredients and turning them into cookies)

This is pretty far from where I am right now. Being that right now, I am eating a giant breakfast sandwich and drinking an Extra Extra iced coffee. I’ve been to Dairy Queen so many times in the last week that I think they are going to start calling me by name (curse you, Celebration Cake Blizzard). I leave my house every morning with no lunch bag, no snacks and no plan, which ultimately dissolves into a high-calorie, high fat lunch out.

And if you think my relationship with food has fallen into toxic territory, you should probably know that my pants and I are in the midst of an epic battle. (My pants are losing terribly. It’s tragic.)

So, why not just make some moderate dietary changes? Why so drastic? In truth, I’m not at the point right now where moderation is my friend. While as an overall ‘lifestyle’, I fully support the ideal that you can, and should, be able to eat what you want IN MODERATION, right now a cookie = two cookies = a bag of cookies.

I’m a classic Type A personality. I do best with a set of guidelines and a goal. I’m competitive and results oriented. And I like to WIN. While I don’t necessarily buy in to the ‘this is NOT hard’ mantra behind Whole 30, I get what they are saying. In the grand scheme of life, nothing about this program represents actual hardship. You get to eat. You don’t have to be hungry.

There are plenty of delicious things to eat. Fruits. Veggies. Lean protein. Avocados. NUTS.

And it’s 30 days.

Honestly, the thing I think I am going to struggle with the most is the non-food related regulation that you not weigh yourself or check your measurements at all during the 30 day period. I am a complete slave to my scale. That said, while I am sure weight loss will occur, I’m really doing this as more of a personal challenge, to see if me and food can come to a more peaceable coexistence.

I’d also like my pants to fit, I’M JUST SAYING.

As of today, I’m T-minus-four days. I’m trying to suppress my natural urge to eat EVERYTHING I won’t be able to eat during the program over the next four days. Trying. Failing thus far, but still trying.

Monday, I jump on the Crazy Train. All aboard!

Have you done Whole 30? Do you have tips/tricks/recipes you want to share with Bec? Do you want to join her on the Crazy Train? She loves company!