Chicken Bolognese

Chicken Bolognese

I make some version of this sauce at least once a week-it’s really pretty easy and quick.  Sometimes I use ground turkey, sometimes chicken and different veggies end up in the pot. Traditional Bolognese often has carrots, mushrooms, red wine, tomato paste, but I often use what I have on hand and what is quickest. This meal is FULL of veggies (think tons of #antioxidants and #fiber .) The #lycopene – great for skin, bone, and heart health – in the tomatoes is made more bioavailable (meaning it works better in the body) by being cooked with olive oil, since it’s fat-soluble.

Tag me if you try and ENJOY!  

Don’t forget to make extra for leftovers. The sauce is even better the next day!

Ingredients:
1 medium sweet onion chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil 
1 pound ground chicken breast 
1 bottle Rao’s Tomato Basil sauce (24-ounce size)
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1 Tbsp oregano 
1 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
1 cup cauliflower rice (I used frozen organic from @traderjoes
1/2 cup steamed broccoli 🥦 (see my blog for the best way to cook!)

Directions:

  1. Pour olive oil into large pot/saucepan on medium heat. Sauté onions until they are browned. (I love the caramelized onion flavor so I cook them awhile!) 
  2. Add ground chicken and break apart/cook until all pink is gone and it is just about cooked through (about 4-5 mins if fresh, longer if you start with frozen, which I often do.)
  3. Add in the sauce. 
  4. Add in spinach and stir until it wilts into the sauce. 
  5. Add oregano and chili flakes to taste. 
  6. Simmer on low for at least 20 minutes ( I sometimes do 30-40 minutes or make earlier in the day then reheat for dinner. This blends all the flavors together and helps develop a richer taste as some of the water evaporates.)
  7. In a separate pot or pan warm up or cook cauliflower rice. I use olive oil spray so it doesn’t stick. Both fresh and frozen only need 3-5 minutes to cook.
  8. Steam broccoli. (Recipe on my blog under  “Simple Solutions”.)
  9. Layer sauce and broccoli over cauliflower rice and enjoy! Top with grated Parmesan as desired. (My husband enjoyed his over whole wheat pasta. You can use zoodles too!)
ENJOY!!
Cranberry Sauce with Pears

Cranberry Sauce with Pears

Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 medium pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons agave
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Direction

Combine cranberries, pears, coconut sugar, water, agave, orange juice, and salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally until berries start to pop, about 5 minutes.   Press berries against side of pan with wooden spoon and continue to cook until berries have broken down and sauce thickens to a jam-like consistency, about 5 minutes more.  Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.  Adjust consistency with water as needed.  Stir in crystallized ginger.

Serve immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Can be served cold or reheated.

 

Butternut Squash + Pomegranate Quinoa Stuffing

Butternut Squash + Pomegranate Quinoa Stuffing

YIELD: Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup roasted butternut squash cubes
  • ½ cup cubed whole wheat sourdough bread toasted in oven with olive oil, salt and pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Roast cubed butternut squash tossed in 1 tbsp olive oil in a 400 degree preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until browned. Set aside. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Combine the stock and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the quinoa and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid.
  4. Meanwhile, pour olive oil into large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the onion mixture from the heat and add the quinoa to the pan. Stir in the sage and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Transfer the stuffing to an 8-inch square pan. Add bread and roasted butternut squash.  Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Toss with hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds before serving.
  7. Garnish with parsley and ENJOY!
Baked Apple Recipe

Baked Apple Recipe

Try this sweet, healthy alternative to apple pie on Thanksgiving or any time during the year.

  • 6 apples (choose your favorite variety!)
  • 1/2 cup raisins and/or dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts OR pecans (or other nuts)
  • 3/4 tsp grated orange zest
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp powdered nutmeg 

Preheat oven to 350F.  Remove apple cores and peel around core opening.  Place apples in shallow baking pan.  Stir together raisins, nuts, and zest in a small bowl.  Add water and spices to saucepan and heat until it boils.   Simmer at low heat for 2 minutes.  Fill each apple core with nut mixture.  Spoon the hot mixture over each apple.  Place pan in oven for 30-35 minutes or until apples are soft.  Enjoy!

Wild Mushroom Gravy

Wild Mushroom Gravy

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 oz. oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 c. dry sherry
  • 3 c. mushroom stock
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. almond flour (or use all-purpose, wheat, oat, rice etc)
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (or ghee/butter/margarine as desired)
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

Instructions:

  • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté at least 1 minute. (I cook a little longer as I love the caramelized onion flavor.)  Add thyme, salt, and mushrooms and sauté about 8 minutes, or until mushrooms are browned. Add sherry and cook until liquid evaporates. Stir in mushroom broth. Bring to a boil and cook until gravy is reduced to about 2 cups (about 14 minutes).
  • Whisk together almond flour and water in a small bowl. Add mixture to skillet; return to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in oil (or ghee/butter) 1 tablespoon at a time and pepper.
French Bread Pizza

French Bread Pizza

Remember French Bread Pizza? That crunchy outside with all the melty cheese and toppings? It was sooo good that we even used to look forward to the school cafeteria version. Today I created a much healthier option, and OMG it was so good that I ate it all up for lunch!

I started with Barely Bread’s garlic and onion baguette. I sliced and toasted the bread, added a few tablespoons of Rao’s marinara sauce, chopped broccoli and orange bell pepper, shredded Organic Valley parmesan cheese, Applegate Farms turkey pepperoni and red chili flakes.  

Then I placed the baguette in the oven on broil until the cheese melted and began to bubble. You could also use a toaster oven for this step. Now eat up and read on!

Here are all the bonus benefits of these ingredients versus the traditional ones:

Barely Bread:
Not only is it gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and have an amazing flavor, the higher protein and good fat content help you feel fuller longer than regular white bread pizza crust.

Rao’s: 
I love this sauce because of its great flavor and no added sugar, which (surprise!?) is often added to sauces sold in the supermarket. (That’s why I say: ALWAYS read ingredient labels!)

Vegetables
Whenever and wherever you can add veggies (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, smoothies), just do it.  Not only do they help you meet your vitamin and mineral needs, they are full of fiber which is great for digestion and helping keep you fuller longer.  (FYI:  Orange peppers are great sources of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and Vitamin B6.  Broccoli is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and a good source of Vitamin A, folic acid, and potassium.)

Parmesan Cheese: 
Because this is a stronger tasting cheese than the mozzarella traditionally used on pizza, you can use much less of it.  The great news is that it is much easier to digest. Due to its long aging process, much of the protein and the fat has already been broken down, or “pre-digested”. Parmesan also does NOT contain lactose. This means those who are lactose intolerant can enjoy without discomfort as well!  Also, the fat and cholesterol content are much lower in Parmesan than some other cheeses.

Turkey Pepperoni: 
This Applegate Farms product has NO nitrites or nitrates added, no preservatives, and is gluten and casein free. Their meat has no antibiotics and no added hormones. Adding extra protein, especially one with a string flavor, helps with satiety too.

Red Chili Flakes:
These pack a punch of flavor without added salt or calories.  PLUS spicy foods may help increase metabolism.

Enjoy your new French Bread Pizza! I know I will be making this one again soon!

 

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