17 May 2012

Italian Chicken

Italian Chicken

2 T olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T Italian herb seasoning
1 cup Nature Sweet Cherubs tomatoes
1 cup Cara Mia marinated artichoke hearts
1 lb. organic baby spinach
1 elephant garlic clove (or 3 garlic cloves)

Heat 1 T olive oil in a skillet. Slice chicken breasts lengthwise and coat with Italian herb seasoning. Cook over medium-high heat for two minutes and then turn. Cook two more minutes, and then flip to third side. After two minutes, add tomatoes and artichoke hearts, cover with lid, and turn heat to low. Meanwhile, heat one Tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan. Finely dice one section of elephant garlic and toss in. Cook two minutes, stirring once or twice, and add baby spinach. Cover with a lid and cook two more minutes. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir. Cook two more minutes, or until all the leaves are wilted. If you are a multi-tasker, this meal can be on the table in under fifteen minutes. Put the spinach on the plate first, stack two pieces of chicken on top, and ring with tomatoes and artichokes.

It looks fancy and is really easy. And inexpensive. And healthy. I almost feel like I cheated somehow. Hey honey, I just saved us forty dollars and a twenty minute wait for a table. Can I go get a pedicure?

08 May 2012

Paleo Pioneer Woman

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Ree, The Pioneer Woman. Almost three years ago, my dear friend Tiffany told me about this blog I HAD to check out. Her writing captured my attention and cooking her recipes kept me busy in the kitchen. At one point, I even contemplated a Ree and Jenn Marie Project where I cooked through all her recipes. HA! Anyone who knows how frequently she posts and how sporadically I do knows that is a mathematical impossibility. Anyhoo, I have cooked several of her recipes, taken awfully composed pictures of many, had my husband take better pictures recently, and still only a pitiful few made it into posts. What is it they say is paved with good intentions? Yes, so last week we started fully embracing the Paleo lifestyle, and I'm trying to incorporate some of our favorite dishes. Last night, I cooked her Chicken with Olives, making some modifications, and was pleased with the result. And as I scarfed the leftovers at lunch today, I remembered there was no photo, so I whipped out my Android and took a quick photo. Can someone please inject me with good photography skills so I don't have to think about it? I start reading posts about it, and then I see a link to recipes on the right, and I'm off on a rabbit trail, and I "save" the article for later. Squirrel!

The following changes Paleoized this recipe. Use coconut oil instead of butter. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs. Use coconut milk instead of cream, and increase to 1/2 cup. Serve over spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Last night, I forgot the olives. Ten minutes before I'm supposed to pull dinner from the oven, as I'm prepping other food for later this week and feeling pleased as punch with myself that I'm so with it on a Monday night, it struck me...I'm making Chicken with Olives and forgot the olives. So, I threw them in real quick like and then announced to hubby how duncelike I felt. Can you imagine if we had people over? Yes, I'm a great cook, I forgot the main ingredient. Oops. If you happen to have any leftovers, this dish tastes even better the next day. This is the fourth time I've made this dish, and it is now being elevated to "Showcase Dish." There are certain meals I cook for company, South American, Greek, Thai, Meatloaf, Pot Roast, and now this will be added to the list. Guess I need to evaluate and Paleoize the others. And post before and afters so that I preserve the recipes for posterity and friends.

01 May 2012


Image from BigChuy Last night, in the throws of carb craving that is imminent when embarking on a new healthy eating plan, I created this dish. I know I am not the first to come up with this, but the hubby liked this version and asked me to make it again.

Spaghetti Squash Marinara

1 spaghetti squash, halved, seeds removed
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 T oregano
1 t basil
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t rosemary
1 jar sugarless marinara with olives and mushrooms

Bake squash face-down at 400 for 25 minutes. Remove and let cool down, so you don't burn your fingers. Brown the sirloin, adding dried spices just before finished and rubbing between your fingers to activate the oils. Or use fresh if you have a green thumb. Add the jar of marinara, making sure it has no ingredients that aren't grown in dirt. Turn down the heat and simmer. Meanwhile, with a fork, scrape the innards from the squash skin and be amazed at the noodle-ness of it all.* Combine and serve to happy family.

*Note: If the squash is going to sit for any amount of time, it is best to serve or store in a steamer insert over a saucepan, as it will accumulate lots of liquid. Almost half an inch of liquid drained out during dinner. Seriously, this guy the Paleo pasta lover's friend.