Friday, April 10, 2015

Oven Chicken Cacciatore

After a bit of a slump as far as recipe creativity goes, I'm finally back with a little inspiration.

I met a new friend over on Instagram, who reached out to me with an opportunity to try out some of their brand's products inspired by the Mediterranean diet.  Italian food and cooking holds a special place in my heart, so the olive oils and spices from "Kouzini" were a welcome addition to my kitchen staples.

I've been incorporating their products into my meals daily, as you may have already seen over on Instagram, and I have been nothing short of impressed.  The quality of their olive oil is wonderful, and the spice blends have taken even my simplest of meals to the next level.  I'll have a full product/brand overview post coming soon to fill you in on the products I've tried, but thought I would share this recipe first!

Another update:  I've also been tweaking my diet lately by tracking macronutrients and aiming for lower fat and higher carbs, while still trying to keep things Paleo  (will list the macros for the recipe below!).  It's a work in progress, but this dish was a nice break from the over-simplified food that I've been leaning towards lately.

This recipe is also perfectly suited to satisfy a variety of diet modifications:  use breast or thigh meat for lower or higher fat, serve over pasta if you're not gluten free, add spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for higher carbs, or top with a little mozzarella or parmesan if you consume dairy.

As always, I'm keeping life simple by using a jarred sauce ($2.99 organic sauce from Trader Joe's, with super clean ingredients!) and baking in the oven so I've got time to do clean-up while dinner cooks.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Stovetop Citrus Carnitas (Paleo)

Spring is here!  & It's got me in the mood for fresh flavors & taco salads.  :D

Carnitas have been on my list of things to create for quite some time now.  I know that there's many recipes out there, but I'm always looking to put my own spin on things to make them simple, convenient, & extra flavorful!  

Part of that convenience, for me, was creating carnitas from pork tenderloin.  I know most recipes call for pork shoulder (or "pork butt")~ but tenderloin seems more readily available to me.  I love that I can buy a giant two-pack of pork tenderloin at Costco, or pick it up at whatever grocery store I'm near without having to look too hard.  It's lean, and super versatile if you know how to prepare it.  & I'm all about versatility and convenience when it comes to cooking!

Don't be afraid of the "lean" factor here... the carnitas are not too dry!  I use chicken broth for moisture and flavor (bone broth is even better for the extra nutrients), and fresh orange juice for a slightly sweet, citrusy taste that's not too bitter.  Lime juice comes in at the end to give it an extra burst of flavor that perfectly compliments the smoky cumin & sweet orange.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

What I Bought: Costco (Paleo)

It's been awhile since my last grocery 'haul', so I figured I would share what I bought today!  I made my way over to Costco to stock up on some meats & things that we don't mind buying in bulk.

A couple of the items aren't "Paleo perfect" (added sugars, alcohol, etc.) but I'm keepin' it real with you!  It's all about moderation, right?  Unless it's wine... there's no moderation with wine.   ;)

Here we go!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Chorizo & Kale Breakfast Scramble

As far as breakfast foods go, 'chorizo & eggs' has been a long-time favorite of mine.  I love its super savory, slightly spicy flavors, especially when mixed in with eggs and wrapped up in a burrito... breakfast heaven!  I must admit, though- I've always been slightly terrified of the ingredients in the generic chorizo sausage links you can buy at any old grocery store.  Therefore, I stayed away from chorizo for quite some time...

In comes a new brand I recently posted about in my Whole30 Grocery Haul (here), "Fra'mani".  Their meats are all minimally processed with exceptional ingredients that make me feel good about what I'm eating.  In that haul, we picked up the breakfast sausages-- which have become a huge favorite of ours.  Those sausages, along with their chorizo sausage, are Whole30 compliant & made with really simple ingredients.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Italian Sausage & Peppers (Paleo)

There's something about Italian food that gives me that 'comfort' feeling.  It's hearty, filling, and always hits the spot.  Of course, it also typically includes gluten, grains, or cheese of some sort that's going to make me feel guilty (not to mention lethargic & bloated) the next day.

In comes one of my favorite dishes I've been making forever:  "Sausage & Peppers".  It's an Italian-American classic that is obviously delicious on toasted bread with melted cheese on top, but is equally tasty eaten straight from the bowl.