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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Whole30/Paleo Chicken and Broccoli

Uhm, are you seeing a little bit of a trend around here lately?



What the ???

Nah, it's not that I've converted Hubby, thereby making MY life any easier, trust me, it's not like THAT at all ...


I have convinced him that I really need to be more focused on what I eat and that if he participates, even just a bit, it's a lot easier for me to stay focused ...

Yeah. It's kind of working ... until the weekend rolls around and then the beer tops pop, the tequila and wine flows like a river and all those other cheesy little cliches ... (the mountains are blue in this house, just for the record) ... but if I can stay focused Sunday Funday through Thursday then I'm about 75% there, right? It's work in progress, that's all I'm saying ... work in progress ...


And, that, my friends, is how we got this dish happening ...

2 pounds of chicken thighs, cut in to bite size pieces (ALDI)
1 large head of broccoli, cut in to bite size pieces (ALDI, I used 4 small heads)
3 tbs sesame oil (forever in the pantry)
2 tbs ginger ... I'm not a fan but I used this stuff (Publix b1g1f)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2/3 c coconut aminos (soy sauce alternative to avoid soy, grains, etc.) (Whole Foods!)
1 tbs arrowroot powder (or corn starch) to thicken (Amazon)
Riced cauliflower (Trader Joes!) or zucchini noodles, if desired

See, not a whole lot of stuff ;-)  AND ... it only took 30 minutes of cooking time so get chopping in the morning before you head out to work!

Let's hop to it!

Heat up a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil, ginger, coconut aminos, salt, garlic powder and them pepper flakes.  Add the chicken in and give a quick shake to coat a bit. Cook til chicken is about half cooked through.*

Add the broccoli, shake the pan a bit, turn up the heat and put a lid on the pan. I used a lid that sat just inside the pan as I didn't want it 100% covered.  Lift lid and give a stir every few minutes to get the broccoli coated a bit.

Once the broccoli has started to get soft, if desired, add a sprinkle of arrowroot powder over the mixture and stir with a large spoon. This will help it thicken a little.

Serve over zucchini noodles OR riced cauliflower.  I opted for to serve Hubby his with Trader Joe's Veggie Rice ... it's like a perfect thing for the men in the house for some reason, lima beans and all ...


Me? I ate mine just as is in a bowl. I may have had more than one serving as well ... and went ahead and packaged up my lunch for tomorrow as well. It's a good thing, Hubby loved it and said it was a keeper. Huh. Does he know it's Whole30/Paleo Approved? Well ... he knew that I used the coconut aminos instead of soy sauce ... so that should have led him to believe ... but then again, he's been using the coconut aminos instead of soy sauce ever since I told him soy sauce isn't good for women ;-) I guess that means he loves me? I love him too! Any how ....

This was pretty damn good and it will so be happening again!


Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

*So for the record: I followed the original recipe from the start and was sorry as soon as I added the chicken in. The chicken NEEDS to cook first other wise you will have raw chicken on top of quickly dying broccoli. I ended up scooping the sad broccoli out in to a bowl while the chicken cooked, adding it back at the end with more raw broccoli so I wouldn't have sad broccoli throughout.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Perfect Veggie Dish

A little while ago, I was really, really in to fresh veggies: cucumbers, red peppers, green peppers, red onions, tomatoes, all tossed together with a light dressing.

I would eat that stuff daily.


And then, I guess I just got over veggied out. It happens, you know?

But ... it's summertime and the peppers, the cucumbers, the tomatoes, everything looks so dang appealing in the produce stores that I just have to scoop them up ... to hell with the Freezer / Pantry / No Spend Challenge!

I could justify the purchases, honestly.

It is, afterall, Summertime! And that's the time when the full fledge BBQ/Pool/Outdoor parties are kicking in ... and psst ... it's also Whole30/Paleo approved but don't tell no one THAT!

Sunday morning rolled around and Princess and the Boyfriend texted us to say they wanted to maybe come over later in the day to hang out.  Not quite lunch time, not quite dinner time ... 

and because Princess is currently in AA (long story, but for her, alcohol does NOT improve her personal being) I (me, myself AND I) try to eliminate the alcohol factor when she's around, and really stay focused on healthy, happy foods. Well, just because, that's what a mom does to encourage their child, adult or not, to stay focused and on track (right?) ... 

Hence, Veggies.

Good, ripe, in season vegetables.

Lets get to it, shall we?

2 cucumbers (mine were seedless and picked up from ALDI for $1.29 each)
1 red pepper (picked up from Trader Joes, 79 cents a piece)
1/2 red onion (ALDI, 99 cents for 2 pounds)
3 roma tomatoes (picked up from ALDI, like 8 per bag for 99 cents)
3 tbs olive oil (Trader Joes)
2 tbs red wine vinegar (ALDI)
a generous sprinkling of oregano (Costco)
dash of salt and black pepper

Peel them cucumbers, slice in half and half again so you have 4 long spears. Chop up into bite size pieces.  If you have seeds in them and they are really seedy (not in THAT way), scrap the seeds out before cutting up. Toss in a large bowl (which I always, always pick too small of a bowl!)

Cut the red pepper in to bite size pieces and toss in the bowl.

Grab your tomatoes and cut in to 4 wedges. If really juicy, pull out the seeds and juicy stuff and then cut in to bite size pieces.

Dice the red onion in to small pieces. Not, like, tiny pieces, but certainly smaller than bite size ;-) Toss those in the bowl, as well.

Grab a small little bowl and mix up the oil, vinegar, oregano and salt and pepper and then pour that over them fresh veggies. Give it a quick stir to distribute the dressing, put a lid on it, and ideally, let it chill in the fridge for an hour or so. Not necessary, but it does taste even better chilled.

Me? I didn't have time. I was close to lobbing off a finger or two from those secret snatches of the fresh chopped veggies.

Go ahead, give it a try! Those BBQ/Pool/Outdoor parties are coming and you MUST be prepared!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Whole30 / Paleo Ranch Dressing

I woke up this morning and realized that I was out of my favorite Tessemae's Lemon Garlic dressing ... it was 7:45am and I needed to get to work fast!

So, instead of stopping at Whole Foods and spending $5.49 for a bottle of dressing, I made this instead, in minutes.  

Yes, by 8:00am, I was out the door ... and it was the BEST batch I've made yet (must have been from the free pouring of the herbs and spices?)

It's Whole30 approved. Dairy Free. Grain Free. Obviously, Gluten Free!

And easy easy EASY to make!!

This recipe is totally from Whole Sisters and I give them FULL credit ... this is just me saying I made it, I loved it and I want to share it with the world!! Give the girls a drive by and check out their site, it's chock-full of good stuff!

Here's how I made it

egg, room temperature
1 tbs lemon juice, room temperature
1 cup olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
handful of parsley, leaves pulled off and stems discarded
dash of dried dill

Grab yourself a tall jar and make sure your immersion blender fits in the top ;-) I speak from experience! Place everything in jar, insert your immersion blender and let it rip. Make sure you go up and down to pull the parsley in to the blades. Once everything is combined and creamy, give a taste, say "yummm, real ranch" and cap that bad boy and place in the fridge. 

I just poured some in a small jar to take to work with me for that salad that salad I made earlier ... I am looking forward to using it to dip my chicken in this evening at dinner time as well ... 

Go ahead, make it and you will NOT be disappointed! 

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post contains affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fluffy Waffles from Scratch

*Repost because this is what's on the breakfast menu for Father's Day and well, it's been awhile since we've made waffles and I have everything on hand!!

Ever since I bought the family a waffle maker for Christmas, we've been utilizing it one way or another weekly, be it hash browns, grilled cheese sandwiches, OR WAFFLES!

Hash Browns ... takes a LONG time

But this weeks' recipe IS for waffles ... just because I've made them every Sunday morning for the past month ... at long last, I found something to use up the flour I have in the pantry ... the first few waffles I made had me backing away from the belgium waffle ... they puff up really fast and then the thing started whistling ... just the steam escaping but after the first two waffles, I realized to put just a tad less batter in the waffle iron!

The only downside to this recipe is the amount of eggs...6 total for one batch. And I usually double the recipe because we usually have 6 adults around to eat by the time it's all ready ... 19 year old, 21 year old, 23 year old, 25 year old and then me and Hubby (which I don't feel necessary to tell you how old we are!) ... so there's some heavy eating going on.

All the young'ums have hearty appetites and can afford to eat 2 or 3 of these things doused with real maple syrup and real butter. Don't cut corners with certain ingredients ... in this case, the butter and syrup. I buy mine at Costco and find it's way cheaper and better quality than what you can buy at your regular grocery store ... just sayin.

Good grief. I just remembered the days where I would stock up on pre-made frozen waffles with coupons and sales ... they were horrible tasting when I look back on them now. I can't believe I fed these to the kids when they were in grade school and middle school and felt GOOD about giving them a good breakfast. Sorry, children. If only I had known then what I know now!

The original recipe comes from Yammie's Noshery ... and well, what can I say ... anyone from the Midwest is A-ok in my eyes ;)  I did a few things differently, primarily, reduced the amount of sugar a bit as I found the original recipe was way too sweet for us since we don't eat a whole lot of super sweet things (HA! Had you fooled, for a minute there didn't I?) in the morning!

Here's what you need to make about TWELVE really yummy waffles (if you don't eat them all today, you have an easy way out for breakfast tomorrow OR dinner tonight:

12 eggs. Yes TWELVE. I know, the whole dozen. UNLESS you use EXTRA LARGE eggs (from Costco, where else?) then use TEN. Still alot, I know, but it's worth it!
2/3 cups canola oil
2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar (IF you like yours sweeter, up it a little)
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbs baking powder

Mix all your wet ingredients and sugar in large bowl, whisk to make sure all is combined.

Add flour, salt and baking powder in separate bowl, stir to mix well.

Tip: Write the expiration date of the baking soda on the lid so you always know it's alive and well!

Remember, this is a RE-POST so yeah, it would be expired by now!

Pour the dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients and stir well ... I say don't over stir as you will have tough waffles and that defeats the whole purpose here!

Turn on your waffle iron to high and let it heat up til ready.  Once heated, add batter to the iron and close, follow the directions of your particular iron.  Note, don't over fill, but don't under fill, either. Such a fine line :-)

Once done, pull out the waffle, drop on a plate, slather with a little butter and some real maple syrup and be prepared to say "ummm....yummmm" Enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ranch Style Steaks

I still had those 3 NY Strip steaks I picked up at Walmart a few months ago in the freezer.

Not the BEST deal but better than the usual, full price

And well, because I was/am sort of on a Freezer/Pantry/No Spend Challenge this month, I figured now is the time to make them!

I had everything on hand, believe it or not! Here's how we did it!

1 onion, thinly sliced - I had half a red and half a sweet so I used those two!
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced - I used a bag of mini peppers. The whole bag
1 clove of garlic, chopped fine
1 oz pkg ranch dry dressing mix
generous shake of cayenne pepper (depending on taste, not TOO generous!)
1/3 cup oil (I opted to use Avocado oil cuz I have that on hand but original calls for canola oil!)
1/3 cup sun dry julienne cut sun dried tomatoes (pantry stock up from a great deal for $1 each per bag forever and a day ago!)
large ziploc bag - or a shoebox!
1 1/2 lb steak (we've done ribeyes, t-bones and now, NY Strips)
1 24 by 12 inch sheet of foil
1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese

*This is an old picture and the recipe was doubled so it's a lot of stuff*

Add onion, pepper to bag, or in my case, a shoebox. Add ranch dressing, oil, and tomatoes, shake (stir) to blend. Toss in the steaks, zip up (cover up) and put in fridge for 10 minutes to 2 hours (2 hours for me) to marinate.

Preheat grill (or, gasp, grill pan on the stove top ... but seriously, you just don't get the same effect ... not to mention, it's summertime, TIME to grill!)

Transfer veggie stuff to center of foil, discard marinade, bring up sides of foil to make a packet and double fold to seal. Place steaks on grill, 3 to 4 minutes each side for medium rare (um, not for Hubby). Place foil pack along side while steaks cook, 7 to 10 minutes, til tender.

Remove steaks, let stand 5 to 10 minutes.  Top steaks with veggies and cheese. Serve with favorite salad on the side.

Oh, yes we did this. It was tasty. We have done this using boneless skinless chicken breast and a handful of shrooms too (which was excellent!)

Honestly, its delicious without any cheese ... so if you too are on a Freezer/Pantry/No Spend Challenge and don't have cheese, it's ok to skip. We had cheese this time around.

Go ahead, give it a try ... it's definitely worth the time!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ranch Chicken in the Crockpot

*This is a repost from a while ago but it's what I gave this recipe to Princess this past week and Hubby heard me, it's on the menu for a fast crockpot meal ...*

I wanted to type Raunchy Chicken but figured not too many people would find it funny UNLESS you knew me and my friend Cat ... Cat always has a hard time putting the right word in and most likely would have said raunchy ... especially if there had been a glass of wine or two involved.

Any ways.

The original recipe is modified from the Real Mom Kitchen ... (which, thanks to Pinterest, I've discovered!) and since I had chicken on hand, figured why not? Bonus for me: I had EVERYTHING on hand ... because we are STILL in a sort of Freezer/Pantry/No Spend Challenge for June ... 

So, I give to you, my readers, fans, followers, stalkers, what have you:

Raunchy Chicken

6 normal size b/s chicken breast (freezer)
1 packet of dry ranch dressing seasoning mix (Aldi's for i think 49 cents?)
1 can of cream o' chicken soup (the real deal, Campbell, picked up for ... 50 cents with coupon ... and HEY ... if you have a real suitable substitute, I'm all ears!)

Toss all in crockpot, cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Yeah, that's it! Of course, if you are thinking clearly, you will toss the soup in the pot, then the ranch dressing, give it a quick stir, then toss in the chicken, sort of bury them a little and then walk away.

Ummmm... yeah, too easy, huh? When serving, feel free to sprinkle with some chopped parsley to make it pretty and special =D

*Princess and her guy were over this past weekend and they were talking about the salsa chicken they made in the crockpot and how much they were loving the crockpot, so I pulled out a can of cream of celery soup and a package of ranch dressing mix and told them how to make it ... they both love this recipe and were so glad that I shared with them!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Sesame Noodles

For a while there, it seemed everywhere I looked there was  a sesame noodle recipe!

Now, I don't see this so much ... wonder why?

It's a favorite in the household and a great party carb to have on hand for those get togethers ...

Hubby loves this stuff and was actually asking me the other day why I haven't made it lately. Ummm, the last time was a BBQ holiday, probably Labor Day, 2014? Whoa....time to make it soon now that summer is fast approaching!

It's a really fast, easy AND frugal recipe to throw together and everything can be done while the noodles cook. I've modified the heck out of it to use what I had on hand the first time I made it, and well, it was good so I stayed with it!

1 lb thin pasta (angel hair, thin, or just plain ole spaghetti will work.)
1/2 cup soy sauce (I use my JCS Soya Sauce, it's nice and thick, not thin and runny)
2 tbs sesame oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs chopped cilantro (optional, my Hubby hates cilantro)
1 tbs ginger root, can use powdered stuff (or the tube refrigerated stuff, which is what I use)
1 tsp hot chili oil ( I never have this on hand so I use crushed red pepper flakes or the stuff in tube if I have)
1 cup green onions (less is better, very strong flavor if a full cup is used)
1 cup snow peas
small handful of sesame seeds toasted in a skillet (optional)
handful of thin sliced red peppers (optional, I used those peppers below)

Aldi, Aldi and ALDI!

Cook pasta according to directions. Rinse in cold water to cool down.

In a LARGE bowl, mix remaining ingredients except the onions, snow peas AND red pepper if using.

Put pasta in bowl and toss to coat evenly.

Add onions, snow peas and pepper stir gently and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cover bowl and stick in the refrigerator to chill well before serving so all the ingredients can mix and mingle and get ready to party as well!


Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Lemon Basil Riced Cauliflower

*hey, hey, it's yet another repost but honestly, this one is so worth putting back up!*

Have you had the pure joy of seeing one of these bags at Trader Joe's yet??

That there bag is pure heaven for a mere $1.99 each ... and when you see them, you better be snatching up more than just one or two as they go F A S T when they have them in stock! Just tonight I was talking to a girlfriend who was at the store on University south of 595 and she said they had some at 6:30pm! That was a miracle and she snatched up 5 because, you know, you don't want to be that person that clears the shelf ;-) Right??

Luckily, I just nabbed another 5 bags a few weeks ago and I've been hoarding them.  I could have been that person and took all 12 that were in the box but I know how frustrated I've been when I keep missing the re-stocking so I figured I'd play nice and leave some for the next person!

Now, I'll admit, I had 1 bag left in the freezer and I was holding out ... I broke down and bought a whole head of cauliflower and "riced" it myself by running the florets in the food processor for a few minutes til the texture is right ... it just was not the same, not to mention, tiny pieces of cauliflower were found all over the kitchen for the next several days and it was just plain annoying!

So ... I grabbed a bag the other morning for breakfast and made this awesome recipe!

1 bag of riced cauliflower
zest of 1 lemon
juice of a half of a lemon
fresh basil, sliced in to ribbons (tip: use scissors to cut the leaves quickly)

Toss the bag of riced cauliflower in a non-stick skillet (I use a green pan and it works great) on medium heat.

Once the rice is heated (no longer frozen) and liquid (if any) is gone, add the zest to the rice and give a quick fluff. Squeeze the juice over the rice and dish up!  Garnish with the basil strips.

This makes 4 servings for me and I just store in the fridge and reheat in the skillet with whatever protein I'm having at that meal!


Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)