Chicken Green Chili Verde (Paleo!)

Hello world!

Gosh, I’ve been missing a long time. So sorry. I’ve been cooking, eating a ton, desperately trying to eat less and exercise… *sigh* life is hard. Also, it wouldn’t be a post in true-Sarah-fashion if I didn’t whine about how it was really cold out, now. I feel a bit shorted because I didn’t get to have any temperate weather after the heat, but here we are.

WHAT is going on? What’s everyone been cooking? Thanksgiving came and went, and alongside our 3 turkeys, 15 lbs of mashed potatoes and 3 types of stuffings (I wish I could say I ate at a soup kitchen with those quantities or something but anyone who knows my mom knows she loves to feed the entire state of Pennsylvania), macaroni and cheese… was a house full of people. Holidays are great, but I really like normal time better. I’m actually looking at my calendar for the next few weeks, and I’m getting my master-level Reiki certification this Saturday (woohoo! More to come), cooking dinner at the Ronald McDonald house next Monday, a Holiday lunch I planned for my office next Tuesday, then an End Of Year party for my company’s Women’s Network  that night, then my division’s end of year gathering the following Tuesday, then my organization’s end of year gathering that Wednesday, and then my site’s end of year gathering that Thursday, followed by a shopping trip at the beach outlets that Friday…. Then, 2 days of work and a very lengthy Christmas vacation. I plan to cook lots. Mau

The issue I run into is that – I’m cooking constantly, and end up with TONS of things to share with you all. I just don’t take pictures of it often times, and that’s the worst. I love to share recipes with you all, I just never get good shots. I want to make sure you all know how appetizing it is without some mediocre kitchen light and shadows. Sigh.

As the weather gets colder, I want to make sure you have this handy recipe. If you’re a fan of soups, chili, or a combination of the two, this is your jam. A nice Chicken Green Chili Verde will keep you warm without a doubt! This particular recipe is great, because it’s paleo, low carb, but full of flavor. I have to say – this is definitely not for the faint of heart (or digestive system) – it has a bit of a kick to it, and ya may forget you ate it for dinner, only to be reminded the next time you…. Well, let’s stop there. It’s a  tad spicy.  Spaahh-cy. Sorry, did you still want eat this!?

I might eat this green soup while watching The Grinch. Anything green is in.

Chicken Green Chili Verde (Paleo!)

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 60 min

Ingredients

  • 2 15oz cans diced tomatillos, I used low sodium
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • about 1/2 tsp sea salt if using regular sodium chicken broth, plus more to taste at the end if needed
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 3 poblano peppers, roughly chopped, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 anaheim or cubanelle peppers, roughly chopped, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 serrano or jalapeño peppers, finely chopped, seeds and stems removed (set aside a few to add for some added heat, if you want)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large stockpot, add your onion and ~ tbsp. of your preferred oil (I like avocado oil). Saute over medium heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Next, add your ground chicken, breaking apart with your spatula or spoon. Continue to saute and stir to cook evenly. After about 4-5 minutes when most of the chicken is cooked through, add your garlic and cumin, continuing to stir until onion starts to brown.
  2. Next, add your cut peppers and stir, allowing to soften, for another 3-4 minutes.
  3. Once your peppers, onions and meat have started to brown, add your cans of diced tomatillos and cilantro, mixing thoroughly. Add chicken broth and continue to mix.
  4. Bring mixture to a simmer, and allow to cook for 25-30 minutes. If using a crockpot, you can place on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.
  5. Once cooked, add any needed salt to taste. Serve in bowls, and garnish with more cilantro  or almond milk sour cream, or greek yogurt (if not strict paleo).

Enjoy!

-S

Soft-Baked Ginger Molasses cookies (PALEO!)

It’s fall, definitely. I’ve rummaged through all my closets of clothes to find my favorite jackets and sweaters, and you bet your bottom I’m making sure my outfits are layered to the maximum. Gotta have my scarf… maybe a wrap… perhaps a poncho…. A vest? Definitely a cardigan somewhere in the mix…. A long cardigan… or maybe a short one… or possibly a really long cardigan…. The more choices I think about, the more I’m thinking maybe I have too many sweaters. Just kidding, it’s a fashion sin to say that.

So, I’ve been MIA – I’m not sure why, but I haven’t had the itch to make as much stuff. Plus, some of the really good stuff I’ve made… I didn’t get good pictures of it. Fall-themed dishes, obviously…. I didn’t even tell you guys I made a CHEESE PUMPKIN to bring to work! If you follow me on Instagram (shameless plug: follow me at @thedivinekitchen), you may have seen it. Definitely one of my guilty pleasure recipes, as it isn’t very high on the whole healthy-eating list. It’s an indulgence though, well worth it.

This past weekend, I decided I wanted cookies. Not just any cookie, but an autumn, holiday-inspired cookie. Who remembers the ginger snaps in the orange box? I did. With that…. it was settled. I needed ginger cookies.

Funny thing about those cookies was that you had to make sure you didn’t break your teeth out  when you ate them. They were like eating rocks… spicy, fall-scented rocks. It was sort of like an I-love-pain type of thing, snapping bricks in your mouth. I was always hesitant to eat them, especially after knocking my teeth out as a child (separate occasion, don’t worry). Wow, this post sure is a wild ride at this point. Anyway, I figured that with the amount of dollars that went into reconstructing my dental dilemma, I should probably stick to soft baked cookies. I knew of some recipes with tons of sugar and butter and regular flour, but I just wasn’t feeling it. For lack of humility, I really hit it off on the first try here. I can’t  don’t bake, and whatever I do bake, is usually burnt. Not THESE!

Ugh, guys, they’re the cutest little cookie, and I definitely ate about 12 of them. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I did.

Soft-Baked Ginger Molasses cookies (PALEO!)

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: ~10 min

Makes 20-24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, cooled
  • 2 eggs (let them sit out for a little while to remove the chill)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 heaping tsp allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground sea salt
  • Organic  cane sugar for rolling (trust me, you want this)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add your coconut oil, molasses, coconut sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Your coconut oil should be liquid, but cooled – you don’t want the eggs to scramble by hot coconut oil!
  3. Next, add in your dry ingredients – almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, spices and salt; mix together thoroughly to make a dough. To allow the flours to absorb, let sit for 5-6 minutes.
  4. Pour about a 1/2 cup of cane sugar in a shallow bowl. Use a cookie scoop to scoop up the dough so that they’re uniform (unless you’re just that good at eyeballing…), and then use your hands to roll it into a ball. Roll dough in organic cane sugar then place about 2-3 inches apart on your cookie sheet.
  5. Gently flatten the dough with a flat wide-bottomed glass until the cookies are about ~1 cm thick.
  6. Bake for 8-9  minutes. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet….if they appear wet on the inside still, they will dry out and be okay!

Enjoy!

-S

Pomegranate Dijon Glazed Pork Tenderloin (Paleo!)

The weather is starting to cool down 🙂 🙂 Which means… I get to wear all my sweaters that I love so much! Sigh. I just get so excited.

I can’t remember if I ever mentioned my favorite show that a friend turned me onto… it’s called Humans. It’s a UK-broadcasted show available on  Amazon Prime… and I binge watched the first two seasons in about 2 weeks. (Binge watching TV for me is watching more than 20-30 minutes at a time… I really hate watching TV). It’s so good. Without spoiling the premise of the show, it’s a little Will Smith in I, Robot meets Modern Family… with less of the dumb humor. Definitely worth the watch.

To be honest… I don’t have much material to work with here. Nothing new  going on, just wanted to tell you guys I love Autumn, and that new show I found. Here’s some pork tenderloin, because I think we need to show the other white meat some love. Happy almost-Fall!

Pomegranate Dijon Glazed Pork Tenderloin (Paleo!)

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 to 1.5 lb) pork tenderloin
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard (I am very particular about my djion…)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup of chicken broth
  • A pinch of chili pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 heaping tsp of tapioca flour
  • Optional: pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together your pomegranate juice, orange juice, Dijon, honey, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth. Season with salt, pepper and chili powder to taste. Adjust flavors to preference, if needed.
  2. Next, trim any “silver” skin or unwanted fat from your pork. Place in a bag or bowl, and marinate for at least 2-4 hours in the fridge, or as long as overnight. When ready to cook, select the Sauté button to heat the Instant Pot. When “Hot” is displayed, add a tbsp of olive oil.
  3. Add the pork and sear on all sides, approximately 4 minutes per side. Once completely seared, press Cancel and remove pork from the Instant Pot. Set aside on a plate.
  4. Next, place the Instant Pot trivet into the pot, followed by your pork tenderloin. If it doesn’t fit lengthwise, you can cut it in half. Pour the marinade over the  pork, ensuring it’s thoroughly coated. It’s okay if it isn’t submerged.
  5. Place lid on Instant Pot and turn the valve so it’s sealed. Select the Manual setting, high pressure (this is the default setting), and set timer to 7 minutes for fresh pork (10 minutes for semi-frozen, or 13 minutes for frozen).
  6. Once the timer is done, turn the Instant Pot off and let pressure release naturally for 8-10 minutes. Open the lid and remove the trivet with the pork on it and let rest for 5-10 minutes while you make the glaze.

For the Glaze

  1. In a large skillet, add your remaining liquid from the instant pot, reserving about ¼ cup. Turn heat to medium. Using your reserved ¼ cup of broth, whisk your tapioca flour in until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add your reserved tapioca flour/ broth mix into the pan, continuing to whisk. Be sure to turn the heat down if it thickens/bubbles too quickly, as you don’t want it to  burn. The mixture should slightly thicken after simmering for 2-3 minutes, or a bit longer with lower heat. If desired, add any salt and pepper,  to taste. At this point – I think I added a splash more pomegranate juice for some color. Once at desired thickness, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Slice your tenderloin and serve with glaze as preferred. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and herbs if desired!

**Note: if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make this in the oven. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, as well as heating a skillet over medium heat with a dash of olive oil. Sear Pork tenderloin in the skillet on all sides, 2-3 min per side – place in a baking dish once browned. Pour glaze over, and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145-150 degrees F. Set tenderloin on a dish to rest, and then follow the glaze recipe and serve as preferred.

Enjoy!

-S

Mediterranean Zucchini Pasta with Garlic, Sun-dried Tomato and Toasted Walnuts and Feta (Gluten Free, with Vegan option!)

Hello, foodies. Hope you’re all staying dry out there! I’ve been thinking of those of you down south, the news about the devastating flooding breaks my heart 😦 My grandfather lives in Greenville, SC and he said the rain has been unbelievable. Those of you in coastal towns –  you’re in my thoughts! I’ve been trying to find the best way to offer assistance in the wake of all the flooding – unfortunately, not much can be started until the water recedes. If you’re interested in helping out those in need, always do your homework before donating money (local is better!), and make sure you know some details about where you’re donating. Here are a few ways I’m considering:

Local Food Banks – Harvest Hope Food Bank, Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. It’s recommended to contact them to see where their greatest needs are before donating.

Google Donate – if you google “Hurricane Florence donate”, Google has a donation page set up. There are FAQ’s if you’d like to verify its validity, and they will match up to $1MM in donations. Often times, money is the best way to go so it can be used however needed.

Local Humane Societies – North Carolina (Greenville), and South Carolina (Myrtle Beach)

Frank’s Nation – Animal Rescue/Shelter- https://www.gofundme.com/frank039s-nation-vs-hurricane-flo

Verified by GoFundMe, this non-profit has launched a campaign to cover expenses of its volunteers who are searching for dogs in the affected areas. Save the pups left behind! 😦

Hopefully you all find some time or spare money to offer, if you’re able J many people won’t be able to return home until the water recedes, so anything we can do to help, we should!

Side note… I made some delicious stuff in the last few days. Some paleo and gluten free friendly, some “healthy”… and some are NAATTT. I made my family’s famous potato salad, which is filled with sugar, and mayo, and deliciousness… but I also made some light staples, appetizers and some good fall dishes. You’re in for a treat for the next few days, as this weather is going to be cruddy.

Until next time… here’s my delicious zoodles!

Mediterranean Zucchini Pasta with Garlic, Sun-dried Tomato and Toasted Walnuts and Feta (Gluten Free, with Vegan option!)

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20 min

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 jar of sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and thinly sliced (save the oil!)
  • 3-4  green zucchinis, spiralized (or two 1lb packages of pre-sliced zoodles)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3  cups of fresh spinach, loosely chopped
  • Handful of toasted walnuts, seasoned to preference (I like garlic powder, generous salt and pepper! Clink the link for my recipe) If vegan- use plain walnuts
  • Optional: 2/3 cup crumbled feta, plus more to taste (cheese is not paleo compliant, FYI)

Directions

  1. Using a spiralizer, cut your zoodles according to the tool’s instructions. Place on a paper towel to remove some of the moisture. Pro-Tip – I like to do this ahead of time to allow them to dry a bit, as zucchinis are made up of a lot of water. If using pre-cut – leave the package open for a few hours in the fridge prior to using.
  2. Once ready to cook, heat about 1-2 tbsp  oil in large pan over medium high heat. Add zucchini noodles and saute for 5-7 minutes, allowing some of the water to cook out. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Once tender, remove from heat and set aside on a plate.
  3. Add another tbsp. of your reserved sundried tomato oil to the pan and turn the heat back down to medium – add your onion and saute for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add your garlic and allow to brown (but not burn), for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once your onion and  garlic are cooked, add your sundried tomato and spinach to the pan, stirring. Next, add your wine and turn the heat to medium high in order to burn out the alcohol. Stir to combine, until spinach begins to wilt. Salt and pepper to taste, if needed.  Lastly, add your zoodles back to the pan, stirring to coat in the tomatoes and spinach.

Upon serving, garnish with walnuts and feta, if using.

Enjoy!

-S

Toasted/Candied Nuts

Picture from foodhomeandaway.com, image subject to copyright

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 15-20 min

This is the perfect staple to salads, pasta dishes, or even a snack/charcuterie tray. You can dress them up, make them spicy, the whole nine. Follow this simple “recipe” to make delicious, walnuts, pecans, or more! I always keep some on hand to throw into a recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 to 2 cups of your preferred nut (I often use roasted/unsalted pecans or walnuts)
  • Egg whites from 1-2 eggs, depending on how much nuts you have
  • Spices of your choice – for candied/sweeter ones, I’ll use maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc. For savory ones, I’ll use salt, garlic powder, dried herbs such as parsley, chives, thyme… whatever you want! Be very generous with seasoning

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a large cookie sheet, or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, add your egg whites and seasonings to a large bowl. Using a whisk or a mixer, briskly whip your egg whites until they are quite foamy. You don’t want merengue-style egg whites, and you definitely shouldn’t have any peaks…. Just enough elbow grease to get the eggs pretty foamy and opaque.
  3. Add your nuts into a large Ziploc bag or bowl, and pour in your egg whites. Stir/shake to coat thoroughly.
  4. Add your nuts in a single layer to your cookie sheet, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until starting to darken/crisp. Don’t be alarmed if they’re chewy when you first remove them from the oven… they will crisp up as they dry. Allow to cool.

Enjoy!

-S

Fun Fall Recipes – Pumpkin Pancakes (Paleo!)

Well, Labor Day weekend has come and gone. It was a nice long 4 day weekend that managed to pass by in the blink of an eye. They always do. I got some last bit of sun, enjoyed some time outdoors, but also…. PUMPKIN!

Ok, yeah. So, we’re getting into things a bit quickly. I’m totally fine with that, I look at it as… making sure you’re completely prepared for all things Fall when it actually comes around. When will that be? Honestly, it’s about 90 degrees outside so I’m not entirely sure. You definitely have some treats coming up, though… you’ve been warned. If you don’t like pumpkin, I will teach you how to like pumpkin. We Libras can appreciate more than just a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

This little number is for all the breakfast lovers with a sweet tooth out there. While I don’t really eat a lot of sweets, I do love maple syrup. What better way to celebrate fall  with something that requires it? Cue: PANCAKES.

These bad boys are perfect. They’re subtle, fluffy, and absolutely delicious. They’re also pretty forgiving if you like to jazz them up a little bit. After making the first batch, I just mixed together more ingredients and made some little ones to freeze for breakfast throughout the month, and take out as needed. Portion control! Feel free to add whatever toppings you choose, too. Often times I’m not in the mood for so much sugar so I don’t want to drown them in syrup. Instead, I add a tbsp. of Justin’s Vanilla Almond butter while they’re still super-hot, and it gets all melty and delicious. To each their own! How do you guys like your pancakes?

Pumpkin Pancakes (Paleo!)

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: ~20-25 min

Makes about 3-4 medium sized pancakes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk your eggs together. Add your pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon, and whisk together until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, add your almond flour, coconut flour and baking powder and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Over a fine strainer, slowly add your dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until smooth. The reasoning for this is to ensure any clumps of the dry ingredients are broken apart and mix well into the wet ingredients.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium low/low heat, and  grease with your preferred fat (I use coconut oil). It’s very important to cook these slow and low, so the inside cooks before the outside burns. If it’s browning too fast, you will need to turn the heat down and be patient!
  4. Cook the first side until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Once solid enough to flip, turn over and cook for another 3-4 minutes  until golden brown.

Enjoy with your preferred toppings (mine is pictured with the almond butter and smidge of maple syrup!)

-S

Quinoa Kale Salad with Almond Ginger Dressing (Gluten-Free and Vegan!)

Hello everyone!

I’ve been quite mum these last few weeks. No great reason, honestly. I’ve definitely been busy, but I think it was just dedicating the time to sit down and write something out wasn’t something I wanted to bring myself to do. The good news is — I’ve written up some really good recipes, so the next few weeks you are all in for a treat!

Sunday night was a full moon, and yesterday was the close of a very prominent Mars retrograde.  Between June 26th and August 27th of this year, Mars appears to rotate backward when orbiting the sun. While these things are typically just illusions, a lot of impact can be made by this. Had you noticed that people in general were a lot more aggressive this summer? A lot more turmoil or feelings of discomfort in the air? This had been where we needed to reassess where we stood with our projects, and what we needed to move forward. Because of the appearance of a retrograde, any Mars energy, or masculine energy, is aimed inward, rather that outward — internalizing anger, fear, or heightened emotions sounds like a recipe for disaster. For some people, it was.

THE GOOD NEWS! it’s over. New beginnings. Get stuff started. Starting with this delicious salad. it’s the best of both worlds, grains and veggies. and I love it.

Quinoa Kale Salad with Almond Ginger Dressing (Gluten-Free and Vegan!)

Prep time: 40 min

Cook time: ~20 min for the quinoa

Ingredients

For  the salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 small purple cabbage, sliced very thin
  • 2 large carrots, skinned and thinly sliced (I used vegetable peeler)
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized bunch of kale, rinsed, dried and chopped

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup almond butter (you can sub another butter if you have allergies!)
  • Juice from one lemon, plus zest (if needed)
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos, or gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 heaping tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp of water (at a time), to thin the dressing as needed
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions

  1. First, rinse your quinoa through a fine strainer (so it doesn’t wash away!). Place in a saucepot with 2 cups of water, chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and turn heat down and simmer until quinoa is cooked with little water left – about 15 minutes. Remove from pot and allow to cool in a bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, as your quinoa is cooking, add your almond butter, aminos/soy sauce, and stir until mixed. Add in the remaining dressing ingredients, and continue to stir. If you find that by adding water, your dressing has less “zest”, feel free to add some more coconut aminos or soy sauce. It should be somewhat thin like pancake batter, so as to coat your kale. Set aside about 3 tbsp of dressing for your quinoa.
  3. Separately, in a large bowl, for your salad, add your kale. Add in the rest of your vegetables and mix.
  4. Once quinoa has cooled, stir your set-aside dressing into your quinoa and mix thoroughly. Add into the kale. Pour your remaining dressing in and use tongs to mix thoroughly.

Chill in the fridge until serving.

Enjoy!

-S