Lentil Tacos

I first saw this post on the Redeeming Nutrition facebook page. What a great idea! Lentils are good for you, easy to have on hand, and inexpensive! Great weeknight dinner option.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic (or 1/3 cup medium bulb green garlic)
2/3 cup dried rinsed lentils
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1 2/3 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup salsa

Heat oil in skillet, cook onion and garlic until softened and fragrant. Mix in lentils and taco seasoning, stir for 1 minute

Cover lentil mixture with chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover while simmering until lentils are tender, 25-30 minutes.

Uncover and cook until mixture thickens, about 6-8 minutes.

Mash lentils slightly and stir in salsa.

Top with your favorite toppings!

Artichoke Mustard Chicken

 

Yum, we’ve loved this each time I made it. Henry, age 5, asked for “that chicken that I love so much”. This is it! I bet this would be tasty cold on a salad the next day, too – but we eat it up so fast there are never left overs! I use marinated artichoke hearts from Trader Joes which give it a great flavor as well. And, a quick tip, slice your chicken breasts vertical to make them thinner – the dish will cook more quickly.  Thank you Flax+Honey!
INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 organic chicken breasts (thighs/legs would do great, too)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of brown mustard
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (If you aren’t familiar with this, it’s basically just a fabulous blend of spices – I use it for practically everything.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
METHOD:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Line a 13 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper. Arrange the artichokes on the bottom of the pan, place the onions next, then the mushrooms.
  3. Lay the chicken on top of the veggies.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine and mix the mustard, garlic, oil, vinegar, wine and spices. Pour this mixture over your chicken. I let mine marinate in this for about an hour before placing it in the oven, but you certainly can skip that step.
  5. Cook for about 45 minutes. *If your chicken pieces are on the thinner side, check your chicken for doneness around the 30 minute point, you definitely don’t want to overcook it. However, the thicker pieces may need to cook for as long as an hour.
  6. Serve hot and pile all the veggie goodness on top of your chicken. Hope you like it!

Toasted Quinoa

Maybe you are like me, 4 years ago – I had no idea what quinoa was. Thanks to some hippie friends in Seattle, I quickly became acquainted with this new-to-me grain. It’s a complete protein, very high in calcium, magnesium and iron. In fact, it’s such a superfood that it is being considered as a possible crop for NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights!
(Thanks, Wikipedia!)

You can google a bunch of different ways of making quinoa. All of them seem to work just fine – but I just discovered toasting it – which I think adds a fun aspect to the flavor! Yum!

Whole grains and seeds such as quinoa digest slowly, avoiding the inflammatory blood sugar spikes. Dry-roasting quinoa and starting its cooking with boiling water helps grains to cook up fluffy and separate.

Toasted Quinoa:

1 cup quinoa, washed and drained
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1¾ cups boiling water or chicken broth

1. Dry-roast quinoa in a medium saucepan, stirring until golden and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and boiling water. Reduce to low, and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Serve as is, or add in sautéed kale, onions, garlic, spinach – whatever you have on hand!

Honey Mojito

Summer screams mojitos, doesn’t it?!? We happen to have mint growing like crazy on our patio, and we happily turn it into mojitos every summer. This recipe calls for a simple syrup – but we tried a honey simply syrup instead. Not that honey is particularly better for you then regular white sugar (once it’s in the body, all sugar is processed the same). But, it is a less refined sweetener and therefore, takes more work for you body to break it down. And, any extra honey simple syrup you have can be lovely swirled in greek yogurt or mixed in a green smoothie!

Honey Simple Syrup – 4 parts honey to one part water, simmer and stir.

  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 oz Honey Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum
  • 1/2 cup club soda

Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Add 2 more lime wedges and the simple syrup, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more simple syrup if desired. Garnish with the remaining lime wedges

Homemade Chicken Stock

 

 

So, no, of course you don’t HAVE to make your own broth. You can easily get away with the store bought stuff. But in all honesty, once you do your own, you’ll have a hard time going back. Everything is so much more delicious and flavorful with homemade broth. Especially soups. And, it’s super good for you. The vinegar in this recipe helps leach the marrow from the bones, and that’s the good stuff that makes you feel better when you’re sick and boosts your immune system.

Homemade Chicken Stock
Bones from leftover roasted chicken

a few carrots roughly chopped

a few celery stalks roughly chopped and the end bits that you usually don’t use

some leaves from the celery (lovage) and carrot tops if you have them

quartered onion (no need to peel)

parsley – fresh is great if you have it

a few garlic cloves

lots of salt

a splash of white wine if you’ve got it

a few tbsp vinegar

Put it all in the biggest stock pot you have – add water to cover everything, and bring to a boil. Then simmer and cover for at least 24 hrs, if not longer. When the water cooks down, add more.

After simmering is done, drain the broth and discard the solids. Divide into 2 cups and freeze in plastic baggies. Voila!

Alice Chicken

alicechicken

Let’s start off by saying, I don’t know why this is called Alice chicken. But since we have an Alice, I figured we’d go for it. Also, I haven’t been in the kitchen for a MONTH (gasp) and this was a delightful way to re-enter. At first, I wasn’t feeling the whole “cooking” thing. A month off is a long time and I was kinda getting used to take out (thanks NYC) and others cooking for me (thanks family in town!). But once I got that bacon sizzling on the stove, I was back in 100%. This was amazing. I’m already planning to make it again in a few days.

Check the original recipe via Flax+Honey here!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 package of sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1-2 cups colby jack cheese, cheddar will do fine, too. We like Kerrygold Cheddar Cheese. (Omit cheese if Paleo)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
METHOD:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Cook your bacon. Put cooked bacon aside. Do not dump out the bacon grease – you’re going to brown your chicken in it in the same pan!
  3. While your bacon is cooking, mix the mayo, mustard and honey together. This is your honey mustard sauce.
  4. Place your chicken in the pan with the bacon grease still in it and cook chicken 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
  5. Place lightly browned chicken in your baking dish, top with slices of bacon, mushrooms, the honey mustard and then finally the cheese!
  6. Let bake until chicken is fully cooked, about 30 minutes, but be sure to check for doneness.
  7. Serve with extra honey mustard sauce, if desired. Kids love dipping their chicken in this!