Coconut Chicken

Look at me being all healthy.

But seriously, this is probably the healthiest thing I’ve eaten in weeks.

To say I love coconut shrimp is the perfect definition of an understatement. I could live on it. And who doesn’t love chicken? Oh, why not cross over the coconut shrimp idea to chicken? Okay. I will. And I did. And it is magnificent. And not only is it delicious, it is also paleo, primal, caveman, gluten free, clean eating, voodoo, witch doctor approved! My eyebrow is already growing together as one…

This is an easy weeknight dinner that I assure you, everyone will approve of. And your gut will thank you for not feeding it complete crap.

I’m back bitches.

You will need:
6 thawed chicken tenderloins (or equivalent to a pound)
2 eggs
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup of almond flour
1 cup of unsweetened coconut
Coconut (or your favorite) cooking spray

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Gather two bowls. Put your sprayed baking sheet next to them. In one bowl, add your eggs and almond milk. Whisk well. In the other bowl, combine the almond flour and coconut, mix it up well.

One tenderloin at a time, dip it in the egg wash. Let it drip off a few times. Lay chicken tender in the dry mix. Flip it over a few times to get it nice and coated. Lay tender on greased baking sheet. Repeat until all tenders are ready to go!

Bake for about 15 minutes. (Ours took exactly 15.)

Turn broiler on low and let them sit under it for about 2 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.

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Aren’t they beautiful? My love for chicken tenders is real and deep. I’m that kid who got chicken fingers at Mexican and Japanese restaurants until my buds matured. You could say I’m a chicken finger connoisseur. While trying to lose weight, it’s kind of impossible to eat traditional tenders and see results. So, I am beside myself happy at how delicious and crispy these babies are. Cheat clean? Isn’t that a thing? Oh yes. I’m obsessed with ketchup but please, get creative with your dipping sauce. I’m boring. Enjoy!

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Rosemary Chicken and Dumplins

I once met someone who told me they had never had chicken and dumplins. That person is no longer with us. They died from lack of joy in their life. WHOA. It got dark in here. But that’s how serious chicken and dumplins are to me. And it’s not dumplings. It’s dumplins. This is Kentucky. Ing doesn’t exist on MOST words.

Not everybody is a “homemaker” like grandma, so this recipe calls for pre-made biscuit dough. Grandma, my dumplins will never touch yours, but even you said they were amazing. So sue me for not slaving away at dough and using frozen veggies.

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These dumplins come without cream of mystery soup. And there’s not a lot of work involved. I wouldn’t call this the healthiest dish. But, I once ate this for a week straight and lost a few pounds. Just sayin.

The rosemary in this dish is KILLER. And aside from the DUMPLINS, it is the star of this dish. Like, please do not try any other kind of seasoning in place of it. Just trust me. Let’s get it on.

You will need:

-1 whole rotisserie chicken (because this was meant to be a quick dinner. 4 cooked and shredded chicken breasts will do, if you’re wanting to be a hero)
-1 bag frozen chopped carrots
-1 bag frozen peas
-one chopped yellow onion
-1.5 boxes of chicken broth
-1 cup of milk (your choice!)
-1 can of flaky biscuits
-1 tablespoon of salt
-1 teaspoon of black pepper
-1 teaspoon of thyme
-1 entire sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped

Pour all of the chicken broth and milk into a big pot. Heat it on high until boiling. Add in frozen veggies and chopped onion. Then add all spices. Turn heat down to medium. (6-7 on dial)

While veggies are cooking, shred rotisserie chicken, adding in as you go. Cook for about 10 minutes. It should be lightly boiling at this point.

While chicken and veggies cook in the stock, cut biscuits one at a time in 6 pieces.

After about 10-15 minutes of the veggies and chicken cooking in the stock, add in biscuit balls all at once. Cook all together for about 20 minutes or until dumplins are finished! Stir every 5 minutes or so.

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From start to finish, you have a delicious, hearty, home cooked meal in about 30 minutes! You truly can not beat that. I make this often and it always gets rave reviews. It’s perfect for just about everything, including leftover lunches! The rosemary gives it a perfect flavor.

With all do respect grandma, I win at the chicken and dumplins game. BAM. Love youuuu.

Enjoy guys!

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Brown Rice Mexi-Bake

My friends.

I swear I’m useless from the week of Thanksgiving until Christmas. I just want to eat all of the foods and cookies. But hey, I’m just trying to add a few layers of fat to keep me warm this winter. Oh, I already have a few layers of fat? Cue cricket sounds.

Quick side note. Today, my building had a false alarm fire. So we had a fire drill. No big deal, right? Well, it is. It’s a huge deal. We are on the 36th floor. (Which is actually more like 40th if you count the double floor utility areas.) And we have to walk down the stairs. MILLIONS OF STAIRS. Now, anyone who knows me knows going up stairs is my arch nemesis. But I thought, hell, I’m just walking down them, who cares. I put on my heavy peacoat and trotted happily on down the stairs. After a bit, my thighs started to burn. Then a little longer and my head started to spin. I started to sweat badly. I thought, oh my god, we have to be almost there. I looked up. 28 floors to go. Long story short, had this been a real situation, I would have died. It has been a huge wake up call for me. I stopped and gave up with 16 floors left.

ANYWAYS. Enough with that.

This is the first week in a month that we actually had somewhat of a plan for meals. And I couldn’t wait to make this to share with you.

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I’m not going to call this healthy. But I’m also going to say there are a million worse things for you. It has a good amount of carbs, but it also has A LOT of good for you fiber, veggies, protein and no sugar! You win some, you lose some. But. But but but. It’s DELICIOUS. So, I mean, yeah. That mixed with all of the other great things I listed above, make this a no brainier decision to make for dinner RIGHT NOW. Jeez, it’s so easy too!

You will need:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 yellow onion
2 cups of cooked brown rice
2 cups shredded cooked chicken*
1 can black beans, drained
1 can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
1 small can of green chilies
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 cup light shredded mexican cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Cilantro, avocado and greek yogurt for toppings!

*I cooked two chicken breasts a few nights ago and shredded them with a fork for this dish. You can also use a rotisserie chicken, which I would have done if I had one!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small skillet, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil. Add in chopped yellow onion and garlic. Cook until soft. About 5 minutes.

When that is complete, take a cast iron skillet, or a baking dish of sorts, add in your cooked onions. Add all ingredients (except the cup of mexican cheese) in the skillet, stirring carefully so that they are all mixed together.

Take your cup of mexican cheese, and spread on top of your well mixed mixture.

Stick cast iron skillet of awesomeness into the oven for 12-15 minutes. Once the cheese is all melty and gooey looking, turn on low broil. Let it sit under the broiler for about 3 minutes to make the cheese look PERFECT.

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Isn’t it a masterpiece? I knowwww! I tried to tell you!

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I was craving a quesadilla because, well because they’re the damn perfect food, okay. So I served little easy cheese quesadillas with it. Not that we needed it. At. All. We were both in a food coma. Just how I like it. (Well, when it isn’t completely terrible for you food!) and this is good for you! COMATIZATION COMMENCE.

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Chicken Taco Chili

Baby, it’s cold outside. Like, friggin cold. Like, I don’t want to leave my house cold. Like, I’m just going to stay in the hot shower today, please inform my boss cold.

It’s love/hate with cold. I love cute coats and leggings with boots as much as the next, well, every girl ever. But it just came so fast. No transition at all! Did anyone else feel that way?! IT SLEETED ON HALLOWEEN. That’s just rude.

And with the cold came… THE colds. The “is this the flu? Am I dying?” colds. I had it for a solid two weeks. Mike has had it for a few days now. Our nightstands are covered in cold medicine and decongestants. We pop zinc like we pop gum. Oh, good times.

But you know what makes it all okay? Chicken taco chili.

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I got this wonderful idea from Gina from Skinnytaste. I have actually been making it for a while now, but it has saved us this week so I figured it was time to share with you all! So because I make it all of the time, I winged it. I may be missing a few things she uses, but it always tastes amazing. This time it was amazing. I think you’d have to add in something really weird and gross for this to NOT taste amazing.

It kept us warm. It kept us spicy. It kept the nasal passages clear while eating it. I’ll take that tasty 15 minutes of breathing. Oh, yes I’ll take it.

You will need:

– 3 cooked and shredded chicken breasts (or a few cups of shredded rotisserie chicken)
– 1 cup of water
– 1 can diced tomatoes
– 1 small can tomato paste
– 1 can tomato sauce
– 1 small can of diced green chilis
– 1 can of black beans (drained)
– 1 bag frozen corn
– 1 chopped yellow onion
– 1 packet of taco seasoning
– 1 tablespoon of cumin
– 1 lime
– shredded cheese, sour cream/greek yogurt and cilantro for toppings

Combine all ingredients (minus lime and toppings) in your slow cooker on high for four hours.

Stir every hour or so.

Scoop about a cup out into a bowl. Squeeze a wedge of lime juice into the bowl. Add a dollop of sour cream and a little sprinkle of your favorite shredded cheese. Top it off with some cilantro and voila!

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We eat on this all day every day. Mainly for lunch, but we’re both known to sneak a small bowl in the middle of the night.

It’s a tad spicy. Use less cumin if you’re not a fan of spice. But keep the spice if you’re cold and/or have a clogged nose. I don’t know about you all, but that’s about exactly what we need right now.

This chili is amazing fresh but even more amazing left over. It’s perfect for a packed lunch and it lasted us a full work week!

My goal is to make chili 3,000 ways this season. Chili is perfect. Chili is my spirit animal. Next up, buffalo chicken chili. Awwwww yeaaahhhh.

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Two last things: 1) This chili is super good for you. It’s low in calories and fat. So don’t feel guilty. Ever. 2) Don’t accidentally drop some cumin on the floor and let your dog sniff it. Or do, because it’s the funniest thing ever.

Xo

Prosciutto Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

Jeeeeeeeez.

This is the kind of snackatizer that makes me love watching my carbs. And yes, I make up words now. Call me Webster.

This more than makes up for the atrocious things people called low carb muffins I attempted to make twice last night. Can’t win em all.

The theme this week in my life is clearly HEAT. We finally had to turn our heat on, the election here is HEATED and everything on the menu this week is spicy as hell. This was all accidental. But I like it hot. Don’t we all? It’s a week into cold weather here and I’m already like, can we not? Can we just pause on the 60-70 degree weather for forever?

This will keep you warm. I assure you. I got this brilliant idea from the lovely and so hilarious Bev from Bev Cooks. I have made them with just plain old cream cheese and bacon but she put a twist on them that no one should ignore.

I’m as happy as a pig in a peach orchard that I made these babies. Sweet heat is all the yums.

You will need:
-8 jalapeños
-1 small block of cream cheese
-2 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce
-8 slices of prosciutto

Pre-heat (there’s that heat again) the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the jalapeños in half long ways. Gut them. Gut them good. Show no mercy. They’re already going to be spicy so trust me you do not want the guts and seeds.

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Mix one block of softened cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of any barbecue sauce. Whip it. Into shape. Someone stop me, please.

Take a butter knife and scoop the mixture into the middle of each jalapeño piece. Or do it Bev’s really cool way that I used and put the mix in a baggy. Cut a little corner of the baggy off and squeeze for less mess. And more pretty.

Slice the prosciutto long ways into one inch slices. Use one long piece to wrap each jalapeño piece. It should be about the length of bacon. Maybe a little shorter.

The prosciutto sticks well to the surface of the jalapeño so I promise it’s easy!

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Place your little heat babies on a non stick baking sheet. Put them in the oven for 10 minutes. Then turn the pan around in the oven to ensure they’re cooked evenly. Put them back in for another 10 minutes.

BAM. Snackatizers for everyone.

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We’ll be eating on these all week when we want something to munch on instead of reaching for carb loaded snacks.

“Come on! Make it. Make it now. What are you waiting for!?” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Xo

One Skillet Italian Chicken

Did I ever tell you all that when I was younger, I wished so badly I was italian? Pasta was all I was good at cooking, I have blackish hair, I loved the accents and I thought the country was beautiful. I had to be part italian, right? No. Not at all. Turns out I’m Irish and German. BOORRRRRINGGG. Just kidding. Didn’t everyone go through an “I wish I was italian” phase? Before the Jersey Shore? No? Great, I’m a weirdo.

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I used to ONLY be able to cook pasta dishes. I could make ANYTHING into pasta form. And make it delicious. But there’s so much more to italian cooking. And there’s way healthier options! Especially for someone trying to lose weight. Womp womp. BUT WAIT. This doesn’t taste healthy. Or boring. Or womp womp. No no. Quite the opposite! The flavors in this dish pop like WHOA. It’s hearty, rich and loaded with good for you stuff. It’s perfect for two people. It’s perfect for dinner. It’s perfect for packed lunches the next day. It’s perfect if you want to try and convince people you are Italian. I won’t tell.

You will need:
-2 large chicken breasts (or 3 small) cut into strips
-1 jar of sundried tomatoes
-1 can of roasted tomatoes
-1 can of artichoke hearts
-1 zucchini squash, cut into rounds
-1/2 cup of chopped yellow onion
-3 garlic cloves
-1 tablespoon of italian seasoning
-2 tablespoons of olive oil
-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

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In an oven safe skillet (we used a cast iron skillet), put in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium/high heat. Add chicken strips. Brown on one side for 7-8 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 5-6 minutes.

Scoop out the chicken and set aside on a plate.

Add in onion, the chopped zucchini and the garlic. Add your last tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add in both tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Drain all of them before putting into the skillet. Cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Add the chicken back in. At this time, stir in your two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar! Put skillet in the oven on 425 for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant as hell and bubbly. Sprinkle the italian seasoning on top! Voila!

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Does your house smell like a cottage on a hill overlooking a vineyard and olive oil presses? Mine sure did.

I got mike’s seal of approval. And my own, of course. This is a meal fit for italian royalty. Do yourself a favor and make this now. One skillet gourmet italian? I mean, what more could you want? And low carb/gluten free/loaded with veggies and good for you fat to boot.

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Enjoy guys!

Xo

Basketti Boats

When I was a kid, spaghetti, or as I called it, basketti, was a super regular on the menu. Mom made it because it was easy. Who can blame her. We were a handful. I used to get tired of it, we had it so much. Which is CRAAAAAZY. Because now, well aside from just plain trying not to eat pasta, I crave spaghetti like there’s never going to be spaghetti ever again. Like I’d wake up one day and I was like oh spaghetti sounds good, and mike said what is spaghetti? What are noodles? WHAT IS SPAGHETTI SAUCE?! Oh, the horror.

Luckily, I’ve discovered spaghetti squash, 10 years after it was popular. So what. I discovered it. And I feel like Christopher Columbus of spaghetti. Stretch? Maybe. Not to me.

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And who eats spaghetti WITHOUT meatballs? Jokers. That’s just insane behavior.

I, Christopher Spaghetti Columbus, give to you the greatest, heartiest, cheesiest week night meal that is perfectly Italiano-esque but is also low carb. You’re welcome. Put that shit on a steel sign and hang it as you enter the city. Let it be known. It is here.

Serves 2

1 spaghetti squash
1 cup basil marinara
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
10 meatballs – we used frozen meatballs from trader joe’s (hey, I’m eating lowish carb, I can eat 10!)
Garlic powder
Olive oil

Follow my simple, how-to for spaghetti squash here!

Once the spaghetti squash is complete, FORK ITTTT. Shred it up every which way. Then fluff it up and add it back to the “squash boat” where it came from.

Follow the directions for your meatballs. You can microwave them to save time, or cook them IN the basil marinara until fully cooked through.

Turn oven to broil after the sauce, balls and squash are all ready to go!

Sprinkle garlic powder on the inside of the spaghetti squash. I’m liberal with garlic powder.

Top each of the fluffed spaghetti squashes with half a cup of sauce and 5 meatballs each. Then top that with shredded mozzarella. Half a cup each!

Pop them in the oven on broil. Keep an eye on them, broiling is serious biz. Let the cheese get bubbly with a hint of brown and then they’re all set!

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Take them out. Pine over it. Look at it lovingly. Blow it a kiss. Drool. Then devour. Straight out of the boat!

Followed by not feeling bloated and sleepy like pasta makes us all feel!

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Then lay around a bit. Then take your dog to the park to walk. Or cat. Or significant other. Boyfriends need a good walking, too.

Xo