Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Stress

Sorry I haven't been around for a while.  I've been working 12 hour days, planning holiday parties and functions and toy drives and I've just been missing my dad an awful lot - so whenever I'm not frantically busy I'm collapsing.  Thanks again to everyone for their kind words and prayers.  I really wish we could get together sometime!

It’s that time of year again – except that for most of us who’ve only been on P10 since (or after) January – it’s a whole different type of stress.

A week or so ago I was all pumped up to ‘lose 10 by year end’ but I’ll tell you I’m more likely to lose my mind instead of 10 lbs.  Have you noticed that every time you get going on P10, life happens?  Too bad we don’t get together and exercise instead of eating sweets and treats but we can all try to get through this together.

Christine writes ‘My husband and I just started the P10 diet the day after Thanksgiving and are anticipating holiday parties with some nervousness.  Any advice to get through them successfully?’

Here's some advice:

Before you go to a party, eat a P10 light meal or big snack to curb your appetite
OR try to get in a workout before you get ready to go, which will also curb your appetite

I made one of these for a work party
and everyone loved it!

If you're asked to bring a dish, bring something you'll be able to eat.
Scope out the snack table for fruit, veggies and nuts and cheese.

Keep some water bottles with you in case all there is to drink is booze, soda or more booze (that happened to me at a party, I was losing my mind, they didn't have anything else to drink!)

Don't don't don't beat yourself up.  Eat right, eat light but if you're going to die without a small brownie or cookie, have a bit of it so you don't feel like your night wasn't any fun.

A NEW TV GAME!  You know that drinking game where you’re watching a show (let’s say Top Chef) and every time they say certain key words like ‘passion, style, method’ instead of downing a shot, do five sit-ups, push-ups or arm curls with weights. 

Try to take some time to work out or walk it off or relax – just because you may not be eating as well doesn’t mean you need to let everything else slip.  The continual exercise will help you keep on track.  And now that it’s cold you have to keep moving to keep warm!

It's easy for me to say!  It's not so easy to do....let's all share ideas on how to get through the holidays together.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Almond Butter Freezer Fudge

Are you totally addicted to almond butter?  I am.  I like it in so many things.  And what's funny is I was never a huge peanut butter fan (well I was huge but that's a different story).  

OMG the other day I saw pictures of myself from last Christmas and cried my eyes out...I kept asking Bubba "is that me?"  I was mortified - all I could focus on was that giant caboose wearing my clothes.  Maybe we should all take out some old pics or clothes and see how far we've come. 

By the way, when I rule the world I will outlaw 'Carol of the Bells'...it makes me nutso - which is a good segue into our recipe - nuts and all...

Last month we made Homemade Chocolate in a very similar way to this recipe and since the holidays are coming up and everyone else is eating all kinds of yummy things, we need a few P10 approved recipes on our list.

That way, when you end up taking a dish to a holiday party, you can take this and eat it and watch others eat it and say 'hey I like that' and they have no idea it's healthy for them!  Don't make this as gifts unless you know it will go right into the fridge or freezer....it will melt...(*sadness*)

Dude - you know what would ROCK?  Next time made the Homemade Chocolate and this at the same time and either layer or swirl them together before freezing...

Almond Butter Freezer Fudge

2 cups raw creamy or crunchy almond butter (unsalted)
1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
3 tablespoons agave
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Mix all the room temperature ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

Line a 8x8 square baking dish or container with parchment or wax paper, then smooth the mixture in with a spatula, and freeze until solid (about an hour).

Lift the paper to free your yummy treat, then cut into squares and serve immediately.

Store leftover fudge in the fridge or freezer since the oil may melt and de-fudgify your lovely fudge.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pork Green Chili

Do you view Foodgawker?  www.foodgawker.com

It's a heavenly site that shows different posts of various blogs throughout the day.  For some reason, I can't get it to post any of mine, it doesn't like the pictures.  I'm a bit technically challenged. 

Anywhoo, I found this link to She Makes and Bakes and this lovely green chili recipe.

This is not a sauce. It's a chili. You can heap it in a bowl and top it with some cheese and sour cream along with a tortilla.  You could also pour it over a bowl of beans too. This was great on eggs the next day.

I use canned mild green chilies in this, and I thought it had a kick to it so go easy if you don’t like spicy foods.  And go overboard with lots of spices if you do!
If you accidentally spice it up too much, add sour cream on top of your serving to cool it down.

This makes a great warm dinner that cooks up in an hour OR you can put it in the crockpot and drive your family crazy with the smell.

There is some white flour in this recipe, not a whole lot, so I’m going to green light it for Stage 1.

Pork Green Chili
makes 4 servings

1 pound lean pork, cubed
2 tablespoons butter, divided
small white onion, diced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cans (7 ounces each) mild diced green chilies
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1-2 teaspoons cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano

Combine the 1/2 teaspoons of salt and pepper with the 1/4 cup flour. Dredge the cubed pork through the seasoned flour.

In a large saucepan, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Place the diced onion in the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes until soft. Remove the onion to a bowl. Melt the other tablespoon of butter and add the flour-covered pork to the pan. Let sit for three minutes to brown. Stir and let brown for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pot. Add rest of the ingredients and let simmer for one hour.

Or, carefully pour everything into the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

If the chili is too thin, dissolve some cornstarch in water and stir into to the pot. Bring to a boil (for crockpot, mix in well and warm it up).

Adjust the seasonings to your preference.

Serve warm with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortillas.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Handle with Care

Happy Monday!

With the holidays upon us, things are starting to get out of control very quickly - parties, drinks, SWEETS, treats, shopping, shipping, wigging and tripping about Christmas (and/or your applicable holiday events). 

So while we are hanging on by our fingernails trying to follow P10, let's not forget to take care of ourselves as best we can - please click on this link and go back and re-read this post from February 2012.

Handle with Care

Friday, November 30, 2012

Souvlaki Pork Chops

What a lovely smelling dish to come home to.  This made a warm and filling dish with Greek flavors.  I served it with a side of buttery quinoa (Stages 2-3 only) and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Technically, souvlaki is served as a kabob, but if you don't have time to marinate various pieces of meat and veggie, place them on kabobs, grill and serve then let this be your saving grace. 

You could make this with chicken breasts just as well, if that's what you have.  Just please please please don't overcook the meat or it will not be as lovely as you'd hoped it would be....(don't be me!)

Souvlaki Pork Chops
makes 4 servings

4 boneless pork chops
1 lemon (wash the outside)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sweetener

In a zip lock bag combine the oil, water and seasonings.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bag as well and squish the bag around to mix the marinade.  Then throw in the lemon halves (that’s why you washed it earlier, right?). 

Add the pork chops to the bag, shake to coat and marinate overnight in the fridge.

The next morning pour the entire bagful into the slow cooker and cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

When ready to serve, remove lemon halves and stir chops to coat them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cauliflower Soup

Well, it's a good time of year to be on a soup kick.  Warm, filling and easy to make, soup is a very forgiving recipe, you can add and enhance and adjust to your heart's content.  But if you listen to the judges on Top Chef you want to keep tasting and adjusting and then if you have the time, let it meld for a bit.  With the seasonings, feel free to experiment with whatever you think might be good.  I surprised myself by adding some chili powder (just a wee bit) and it really kicked the taste up a notch.  This soup goes well with a salty topping like cheddar or Parmesan cheese.

Cauliflower Soup
makes 4 servings

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
seasonings - salt, pepper, sage, thyme, chili powder, garlic salt, etc.
toppings - cheddar or Parmesan cheese

Melt butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute until soft (but not browned).

Add the roughly chopped cauliflower, stir quickly and then add the broth.  Bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until cauliflower is soft.

Use a immersion blender (or regular blender) to puree until smooth.

Add seasonings to taste and then let the soup sit for about five minutes to thicken up.

Top with cheese and serve warm.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Garlic Chicken

served with a side of Tamari mushrooms and broccoli
(this piece of chicken would be considered
2 servings of protein for P10)

This dish is a kid and picky person pleaser. 

I found this on one of y'alls Pinterest boards - or maybe it was my niece's....not sure but this recipe from Food.com turned out much better than I expected.  It had mixed reviews but I can tell you that it turned out great and was a big hit with the family.

The chicken is kind of sweet so you'll want to pair this with something salty as a side dish, like Roasted Veggies or Tamari Green Beans.

If you want to add a dash of saltiness to the chicken, then hit it with a splash of tamari but only if you don't already have some in your side dish lest you become redundant and repetitious. 

By the way, the temp on this recipe is NOT a typo.  Seriously.  Yeah, it freaked me out too but I kept an eye on it and it turned out great. 

Garlic Chicken
makes 4 servings

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless pork chops
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons coconut or palm sugar
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
(soy sauce/tamari)

Preheat oven to 500°F and line a 9x9 baking dish with foil.

In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender.
Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.

Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish lined with foil and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. 

I used three breasts and my cast iron pan to cook these on
the stove and then transfer to the oven

Monday, November 19, 2012

Black Bean Soup

This warm thick hearty soup was just perfect on a cold day.  It was really easy to make and very filling and it makes a lot.  I loved coming in the door and having dinner all set to go!

It’s a crockpot recipe but I think you could just put this together and simmer on the back of the stove all day and still have a great meal. 

Black Bean Soup
makes several servings

3 cans black beans (undrained)
1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
16 oz frozen vegetables
1 cup salsa
1 teaspoon lime juice
garlic salt
toppings: sour cream/Greek yogurt, cheddar cheese, additional salsa
Empty the beans and tomatoes into the crockpot - do not rinse or drain the beans.
Mix in the vegetables and broth.
Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours, the longer it cooks the better it tastes.

Before serving, use an immersion blender (or carefully pour small batches into blender) and puree until smooth.

Stir in salsa and lime juice.  Season to taste with garlic salt.

Serve hot with toppings of your choice.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Just this once…

So lately I’ve had a lot going on.  My wonderful bestest ever Dad died, family came to town, things at work got really busy and my wallet is really empty -  and I’ve used all that as an excuse to not worry too much about eating right or exercising and I started comfort eating many foods I haven’t had in a long time…just this once…

Well folks, that ‘just this once’ turns into again and again and again and a GAIN!

And the stuff I wanted to eat – just this once several times– sure didn’t taste as good as I’d remembered it…it was greasy and left a filmy layer on my teeth and not to mention all the other ‘benefits’ such as:

Hungover feeling
Unable to get to sleep and unable to sleep soundly (twitchy feet)
Feeling tired and cranky and emotional
Cravings and hunger returned
Aches and pains
Headaches and exhaustion
Aching tummy with disgusting ‘musical’ accompaniment


So WHY WHY WHY would I let myself fall back into this when I know better?  Why is it so hard to get back on track when I already know the answer?

Other P10 followers have mentioned this as well, so I sat and thought about what or why we sometimes do this to ourselves – here’s some of my thoughts.

One time I read that many homeless people are actually people with mental health problems who stopped taking their meds because they ‘felt better’ and then were not able to take care of themselves.  And of course, one would say ‘well of course you felt better, it was the meds!  Why’d you stop?’

I think on P10 we start to feel so much better physically and emotionally that we forget just how BAD we felt before and so we think we can put our big toe across that line and eat like that ‘just this once’ and then we are surprised by how bad it feels.  If you get a hold of yourself you can go right back onto P10 and keep going.  Or if you’re like me, you can think ‘well I already blew it I might as well cross the line a little more while I’m at it’ and then one day you realize that you’re veeeeeeeeeery far from shore.

For those of you who have experienced childbirth, it’s the same principle.  Scientists tell us that we forget how painful it was and that’s why we are able to have other children, because we block out the pain and remember the joy.  I think that applies to P10 as well.  We’re so jazzed to feel great and lose weight we lose sight of just how miserable we were before and then we start putting a toe over the line – just this once – and then again and again, etc.

Well, let’s be frank – you’re not cheating on P10 at all.  You’re cheating yourself.  I love hearing from the new P10 peeps about how they’re losing weight and feeling great and how awesome is this?  We get in the habit of eating right and feeling good and tend to forget how far we’ve come and how hard we had to work to get this far…

I remember being able to turn my nose up at the bread plate or smiling and sweating every day after my 5am workout and I wonder where that person went.  Sure, we all have stress and issues and problems, there’s no getting around that.  What happened to that person that decided that I was worth the extra effort, the discipline, the praise and the sweat?  My ‘old self’ took advantage of me being down and out and crept her way back in. 

Time to throw her out.  Time to take back my health and P10 lifestyle.  Time to start feeling GREAT physically, mentally and emotionally.

That’s the beauty of P10.  No need to sign back up, recount your points or wait until Monday to start over.  JUST DO IT RIGHT NOW.  The next meal, and the next and the next.  And if your brain thinks it needs that grilled pastrami sandwich and onion rings or chocolate shake tell it to wait – it’s not like that stuff is going to disappear in the next five minutes.  It’ll still be there days, weeks, months and years from now. 

One meal, one day, one step at a time.  Take the time to get back on track and take care of yourself.  We use stress as an excuse to eat badly and get lazy but FOR PETE’S SAKE when you’re taking care of yourself the stress doesn’t eat you alive. 

I apologize if this rant doesn’t have to do with you.  I figure we’re all human and we all have our issues and maybe you can get a germ or two of wisdom/experience from all this.  Maybe you’re new and you’re like ‘oh that won’t happen to me, I’m doing awesome.’  And you are and I hope you continue to do so…


Thanks for listening.  I’d like to hear your constructive comments about how you worked through your own situation where you turned around and realized you were headed into deep water.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gravy and Biscuits

Holy biscuits and gravy Batman!

I added some extra meat to Bubba's plate 'cause he was hungry!
Raise your hand if you loves you some gravy and biscuits!  Now we all know that sausage gravy is the mega bomb but I've also made this gravy with ground beef and this time with ground turkey.  Sometimes my mom made it with fried bologna and of course, you may also know it as the lovely and delicately named 'sh*t on a shingle'   But a gravy by any other name would taste as good.(?)  However, I stopped making this gravy because of the white flour in the roux to thicken it and then the soft fluffy hydrogenated refrigerator biscuits used to serve it.  So then when I saw this recipe I tried it and we liked it!

I based this recipe from the Sausage Gravy and Biscuits found on Maria's Nutritious and Delicious Journal.  She made hers with organic pork sausage and you are certainly free to do so but I'm guessing you might already have ground turkey in your freezer you can use.

As for the biscuits,  I made a batch of Almond Flour biscuits (so quick, so easy, so good!) to create a lovely landing pad for my gravy.  But I'm sure you'd also enjoy this on mashed potatoes or Mashed Cauliflower.

Gravy and Biscuits
makes 4 servings

6 Almond Flour Biscuits  (I like to use 3 biscuit halves per serving)
10 oz ground turkey
1 cup (8 oz) full fat cream cheese, cubed
1 cup organic beef or chicken broth
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
ground sage

Cook meat in large skillet over medium heat 5-6 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Gradually add cream cheese and broth; cook until mixture comes to a soft simmer and thickens, stirring constantly until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add ground sage to taste for extra flavor.

Split biscuits in half.   Place 3 halves on each plate; top with gravy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Happy Veteran's Day -

A big thank you to all of those who have served, are serving and will serve.

Everyone else - go hug a veteran today - and any other day.

I'm going to post a repeat today, in honor of my dad, who was also a veteran, and since it's getting to be that time of year, let's post his favorite food - sweet potatoes:

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Bet this would be easy to throw together and reheat on Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Homemade Chocolate

A salty side and a non salty side!
I think we'd all like to thank Paula Nettles for posting this recipe on The Perfect 10 Diet page.  So simple, so quick, so easy, so I can't wait to make some more!!

There was a brief discussion about other sweeteners - you can use agave in this as well.  Experiment until you find what works best for your taste.  The amount of sweetener in the recipe will make this taste like dark chocolate and not the sweeter stuff!

I think another important detail would be what other lovely fun things could you put in your mixture to make your eyes roll back?  I for one, am a huge fan of the salty chocolate so I added some sea salt on top.

Now just because this is P10 compatible doesn't mean you can eat it all in one serving.  Remember to pace yourself and space it out over a few days!  It also might be a good way to get those who don't care for coconut oil (Bubba) to eat some without knowing it!

Homemade Chocolate

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 heaping teaspoon Stevia, agave or other sweetener
*optional add ins - chopped almonds, chili powder, cinnamon, shaved coconut, etc.

Mix the ingredients together VERY WELL and pour into a 8 inch square flat dish and freeze until solid.  Takes about 15 minutes.
Break apart and store in fridge. Yum!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Baked Crabmeat Casserole

I'm back!  I'm baaaaaaaack!  And I missed you all so much.  It's been a hell of a past few weeks.  As you know, my Dad died and I've just been SO overwhelmed trying to take care of my very large family (mother, 2 brothers, 4 sisters, feeding them all and housing out of town visitors).   So your patience was very much appreciated.  And THANK YOU ALL so much for your kind words and prayers - believe me, I FELT them (and needed them).

I'd like to write a post about lifestyles and living and taking care of yourself and enjoying life but it's still percolating around in my head for now - so maybe later.  Meanwhile, I did make this casserole a few weeks ago and remembered to take a picture so this is a great way to jump right back in.

Bubba refused to eat this, saying it was 'too fishy' so The Kid just grabbed his plate and ate his portion as well.  So I guess it would just depend on your taste and what you enjoy.

I served it alongside a green salad, go easy on the side dishes as this dish is rich and decadent.   I used an 8x8 casserole dish for this recipe.  I went to Costco and got their refrigerated canned crabmeat.  Don't use the store bought canned shelf stuff, it's nasty.

Baked Crabmeat Casserole

makes 4-6 servings

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup diced onion
1 pound crabmeat, picked through to remove shells, drained well
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a skillet on medium-high heat melt the butter. Then add the onion and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent.

Remove skillet from heat and add the crabmeat, Worcestershire and Dijon. Stir until just combined. Add the beaten eggs. Stir again.

Coat a casserole dish with coconut oil or butter. Pour the crabmeat mixture into the dish and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Just a short break....

Just a quick note to everyone to say THANKS for continuing to hang out with me!  I am so blessed to be able to help people with this blog.

I'm going to not be posting for about a week or so.  My dad died this week and I am having trouble getting through regular every day stuff and need to let the blog slide for a just a short while.

Plus, family is coming to town and I'll be cooking old school favorites for them and not have anything new to post!

Take care - I WILL be back!   If you haven't had time to read the entire blog, go click on the posts for February and start there.

Joley H.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Strawberry Chicken Salad

Can I just tell you that this kind of salad is my mostest favoritest in the entire world?  A few years back when they first started serving this kind of salad in restaurants I ordered them right and left and still can't get enough of it.  It's the perfect grouping of sweet and salty and savory.   And the picture turned out awesome!
The P10 books says not to eat salad with too many items on it or else you'll jack up the calorie count but, but, but, this one's okay to do that with.  Really.  Would I lie?  :D

Well, maybe don't overdo the toppings....

Strawberry Chicken Salad
salad greens
avocado, cubed
cooked chicken breast, cubed
strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
Gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbles
walnuts or pecans
butter and sweetener

Melt a spoonful of butter in a skillet and add nuts, mix around to coat and then sprinkle with sweetener, continue to heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat and let cool.

Build yourself a salad - don't be shy - go ahead and put it all together.

For dressing, I made a vinaigrette out of apple cider vinegar and olive oil.  But that's a post for another day.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Italian Stew

The other night I threw this together and didn't even follow a recipe.  It was more like a 'what will I do with all these extra veggies' sort of thing.  And I was kinda craving pasketti too.  So this was a nice amalgamation of flavors and textures and fridge cleaning (?!?)  Now that's something you won't see on Top Chef...  

By the way, is anyone jazzed for the new season?  'Cause I'm not really....and that's sad.  I liked it better when it was young, hungry, trying to get started chefs, rather than established, already have their own restaurants, already a professional kind of chefs.  Season 3 is my most favorite season (luv me some Howie!) and I still have one episode on my DVR that I can't part with.  It's the episode where they cook for the Elks Lodge and make healthier versions of grandma's cooking, like tuna casserole, meatloaf and fried chicken. 

Oh well, back to the show.  Go through your fridge and see what veggies you have hanging out that need a good home and you can throw together this dish.  The hardest part about making this was getting Bubba out of the kitchen so he didn't see me chopping up the eggplant I was sneaking into enhancing the dish with.  And of course, he loved it and thought it was great.

Italian Stew
makes 6-8 servings

olive oil
1 1/4 lb ground turkey
1 onion, diced
1 large zucchini, cubed
1 small eggplant, cubed
1/2 head cauliflower, cubed
32 oz (2 lbs) marinara sauce
Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses

Cook the ground turkey in a little olive oil, drain if needed and set aside.

Chop all the veggies into about the same sized pieces for even cooking.  If you are trying to be sneaky then peel them so people can't tell what they are.

In same pan,  add some more olive oil and all of the veggies.  Saute on medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the veggies are starting to soften.

Add the meat and the sauce into the veggies and mix thoroughly.  Cover and let simmer for another 10 minutes or so.  Season to taste with garlic, salt and pepper as you like.

Scoop into bowls and top with cheeses.  Eat a warm hearty dinner and giggle silently behind your hand as your family eats veggies they don't care for and have no clue.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stir Fry Chicken and Broccoli

This was a quick throw together dinner based on items I had just sitting in my kitchen.  I ended up sauteing some shredded cabbage in butter and serving it as a side dish.  I think this would also be good with Cauliflower Rice or some quinoa (Stages 2-3 only for quinoa).

Sorry my pictures always look so narsty....I'm using my iPhone and I don't have very steady hands.  Plus, my talents do not lie in the photographing of food, just creating and eating it!

Stir Fry Chicken and Broccoli
makes 4 servings

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 lb cubed chicken breast
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
4 cups (about 12 oz) of broccoli florets
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon tamari
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Cook chicken for about 4 minutes.

Add garlic and broccoli and stir fry for approximately 5 additional minutes until the broccoli is crisp.  Finish by adding the ginger and tamari, and cook a few more minutes.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Italian Sausage and Chickpeas

Chickpeas, garbanzo beans, tomato, tomahto, it's all good.  This was very easy to throw together and if you have a smaller crockpot, use that one.  If you have a larger crockpot then only cook for about 4 hours on low and then keep warm for another 4 hours so this doesn't burn to a crisp.

If you don't have a crockpot I bet you could throw this together in a sauce pan, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or so.

I like the Open Nature sausage that I buy at Safeway/Vons.  I used the spinach and feta version in this dish.  If that's not your thang you can always use chicken instead.

Italian Sausage and Chickpeas
makes 4 servings

14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (do not drain)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of kosher salt
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
12 oz Italian type sausage, nitrate free**

Mix the tomatoes and seasonings and add to the crockpot.

Sprinkle the chickpeas over the tomato mixture, top with sausage and cook on low for 8 hours.

**You can sub chicken breasts cut into 2-3 strips each, but mix the chicken into the sauce first, add a little more salt and then put the beans on top of the entire thing.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Milk Braised Pork Chops

I’m still slowly working my way through that huge stack of pork chops and one of the reasons I really wanted to buy them was to try this recipe.  So simple yet so good.

I served this with a side of Mashed Cauliflower but I can also see using quinoa or even Quinoa Cauliflower Mash with this.  This was a hearty Sunday dinner.

Milk Braised Pork Chops
makes 4 servings

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
salt and pepper
4 boneless pork chops
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Season each chop on one side with salt, pepper, garlic and thyme.

Melt the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium high heat then place the chop seasoned side down and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.  Drain excess fat.

Add the milk to the skillet and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover, braising the pork for about 25 minutes, turn them over about halfway through.

In a small bowl, mix together the water, cornstarch and mustard. 

Remove the chops from the pan – and yes, the milk will look curdled.  Bring the milk mixture back up to a boil and stir in the cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly for 1 minute. 

Using an immersion blender, blend the gravy until smooth.  If you don’t have an immersion blender then carefully pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.

Pour the sauce over the pork and serve warm.