Paleo

Paleo Chicken Tortilla(free) Soup

 

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Thanks to Pinterest, tonight I made this amazing soup.  It’s so delicious I should describe it as sinful.  But it’s not!!!  It’s healthy and Paleo!!!  Woot Woot!!  I didn’t take many pics of the process because I was doing other things at the same time like cleaning and cooking lunch.  So my hands were never clean enough to pick up the phone/camera to snap a few more pics.  The ones I took are…ehhhh and don’t do the soup justice.  But take my word for it…this soup is D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!!  A tad tangy and a tad spicy!

Here is what you will need:

3 pounds chicken breasts (I only used 2…but wish I had used 3)

3 Tbsp of Coconut Oil

3 Tsp of fajita or taco seasoning (to keep it healthy and paleo…make your own like this recipe I used)

1 large or 2 medium onions, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapeno peppers, diced

2 poblano peppers, diced

2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock

28oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (to be healthy…use organic that states they used BPA-free lined cans, or fire roast your own)

Juice of 2 limes

1 Cup cilantro, chopped

Avocado and fresh cilantro for garnish

 

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven 375 degrees Fahrenheit (350 for convection). Place your chicken breasts in a large baking pan, and pour one tablespoon of oil over all, coating well. Sprinkle your fajita seasoning over the chicken, coating well, and place in the oven. Cook for about 30-45 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken pieces) until cooked through and liquid from chicken runs clear. Using two forks, shred the chicken (while this is not so easy to do while the chicken is hot, I find I get a better “shred” if I do so while the chicken is still hot). Alternately, you can just chop the chicken into small pieces.

2. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and when hot, add in the onions. Cook until onions are translucent, about 4-6 minutes.

3. Add in the garlic and peppers and saute for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

4. Pour in the chicken stock and fire roasted tomatoes and bring to a medium boil.

5. [THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL] If you want a slightly thickened soup, strain out some of the tomatoes, onions and peppers to a blender or Magic Bullet and puree. Pour back into the broth mixture. I did this with about 1/2 of the solids in the soup.

6. Add the chicken, cilantro and lime juice to your bubbling cauldron of goodness. Taste to see what you’re in need of (salt? pepper? more of a kick?) and adjust as need be.

7. Serve with avocado and cilantro on top.

I am not gonna lie…I wanted to top it all off with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla slices.  But because I didn’t…I could eat two whole bowls…guilt free.  And that my friends, is DELICIOUS!!

Peppermint Paleo Brownies x2!!

Yep TIMES 2!!  I have been a busy girl today.  I wanted make something “sweet” for the hubs and kiddos since I am eating paleo and haven’t brought any kind of dessert into the house in a while.  I found a couple of recipes that sounded pretty good…all while being paleo friendly.  I had such high hopes because of the raves these recipes received.  But I know me…and my taste buds can NOT be deceived by fake desserts.  But these weren’t for me were they?  Sometimes I forget.

The two recipes I decided to try were this one from PaleOMG and this one from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  The first recipe I tried was the one from PaleOMG.  On her page she warned that her brownies turned out super ugly.  LOL  How can a brownie be super ugly?  That is just nonsense.  Or is it?  Keep reading.

This is what you will need for the  PaleOMG Fudgy Brownies.  (Or fugly brownies should I say?)  ANYWHO…!

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The main ingredients were figs and the Enjoy Life chocolate Mini Chips.  This is what was going to give the brownies their sweet chocolatey flavor as well as most of the bulk.  UH OH.  That’s a lot of figs!!  I followed the instructions and used my food processor to blend the figs to an even consistency.  I kind of wish I would have used my Vitamix to achieve a smoother batter, but remember when I try a recipe for the first time I follow it to a T.  And when Julie says to use a food processor I don’t ask questions.  (Yes, we are on first name basis too.)  BFF’s really.

I proceeded with the rest of the recipe but did not snap pics because my daughter let my camera battery run down.  Phhht!!  And well, this Iphone camera just doesn’t take very good pics.  SOOOOO…fast forward to the batter complete according to the recipe and this is when I added 5 drops of Young Living Peppermint Oil.  I blended it a little more to mix it in thoroughly and then it was ready to be poured into the muffin cups.  Julie used silicone muffin cups.  I on the other hand went rogue and used regular paper baking cups because I have tried to rid my kitchen of silicon, plastic, and such.  Plus I never had silicon baking cups.

Understand that the batter was THICK!!!  It could not be poured.  It was very sticky so I had to scoop it up and scrape it into the cups and TRY to get it to fill them evenly.  It took a bit…but I finally got it done.  I stuck them in the oven for 20-25mins.  When I took them out they looked like poop.  Burnt poop.  Literally.  I could not get the batter “level” in the cups because of how sticky thick it was…and those peaks burned.  But no worries…I just cut those little tips off and voila…unburnt poop brownies.

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Thankfully my daughter and one of her friends were here to taste test and they both said they were good.  They loved the peppermint taste and said they tasted just like “regular brownies”.  I was shocked.  I took their word.  Then when my husband got home he gave me the thumbs up too.  I will try one after dinner.  I promise.

They are ugly.  And the top is sort of dry.  But the middle and bottom are very “browniesh”.  Very moist and “heavy”.  That’s how regular brownies always seem to me.

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For Diary of a Stay at Home Mom’s “Amazing Paleo Brownies” here is what I used.

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The main ingredients in this recipe were avocados, chocolate, and cacao powder.  I was a bit worried about them being too chocolatey.  I know that is not possible for some of you to imagine but for me it is.  I like chocolate…but just a little.  I followed the recipe by blending the avocados smooth.  Then each ingredient was added in one by one.  This batter was super creamy and smooth.  It looked delish!!!  I finished following the recipe and of course then added 5 drops of the Peppermint Oil again.

This recipe called for the batter to be poured into an 8×8 pan.  And this time it was easily pourable.  I already knew these would be MY favorite just because they were “easier” to work with.  I baked them for about 35mins.  They were so pretty right out of the oven.  No poop look alike with these bad boys.   They were perfect…I thought.

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Once I let them cool I had my hubby try them.  He took a bite and then paused.  That is never a good sign.  He suggested they cook for a little longer.  I looked and they did seem a little “wet” on the inside.  I baked them for another 5 mins.  Took them out and I tried one.  Same thing…too wet.  So back in they went. After another 5 mins I let my daughter try it.  She said they were good but really “smooshy” which really meant wet.  But not near as much.  And I kind of just chalked it up to the avocados.

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They were still given a thumbs up…but my daughter and my husband both agree the ugly brownies tasted better!!  WHAT?!?!  My verdict?  I still haven’t had a poop brownie…and the avocado brownie was not very sweet.  It has a very subtle sweetness.  The Peppermint Oil saved this recipe.  I think next time I will combine these two recipes.  Maybe adding both avocados and figs.  Just not as much as in the above recipes.

The Peppermint Oil was a nice little added flavor to both recipes.  The crisp coolness of the oil made the brownies more autumnal.  And who doesn’t like treats and eats to remind them of fall?  I will definitely use it again.

Can yall tell the difference between the two when I put them together?

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Here are the recipes and detailed instructions directly from the original sites:

PaleOMG’s Fudgy Brownies
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  

Serves: 6+

Ingredients
  • 1½ cup dried figs (any stems removed)
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 6 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pull out your handy dandy food processor and add your figs to it. Puree until your figs have broken down evenly.
  3. Add your melted coconut oil to the processor to mix with the figs.
  4. Next add your melted chocolate chips and eggs and mix.
  5. Now add your coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix together.
  6. So I made these in silicone muffin liners in my muffin tin, filling them up halfway and they cooked perfectly. I’m not sure what they would be like if you baked them in a normal 8×8 baking dish.
  7. Fill 12 liners with the THICK brownie batter. Yes, it should be that thick. That’s why my brownies look like sh*t in the picture. Totally the brownies fault.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Let cool before consuming. Seriously. They honestly taste even better the second day around!
Notes
This made 12 muffins or fudgy brownie bites-if you must
Diary of a Stay at Home Mom’s Amazing Paleo Brownies
Ingredients:1 bar of dark, unsweetened chocolate (70% or more)
3 avocados
3 eggs
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup raw honey
1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
1tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Coconut oil (plus a little more to grease the pan)
Optional:  Fresh raspberries or strawberries for toppingYou could probably add walnuts but I chose not to.Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Grease an 8×8  baking pan with some coconut oil

Peel and pit the avocados and put in mixing bowl, use mixer and get them as smooth as you can.  Put coconut oil in small saucepan and let melt, then add the dark chocolate.  Make sure you stir it on low so it does not burn.  Pour the melted chocolate over the avocados and mix again.  One by one add other ingredients blending well with the mixer.  You do not want any chunks of avocado left in your mix.

Pour the mix into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes.  Let cool before eating.

Homemade Almond Milk–It’s Good Stuff

A few weeks ago I heard the awful news that store bought almond milk really isn’t that good for you. WHAT?!?! I had already made the switch from dairy…and now my switch wasn’t good enough!? Hogwash I tell you! Hogwash!! (I will be researching this more…But I want to be prepared in case it’s true.)  I was talking with a friend at work about it and how I was thinking of making my own in my Vitamix. She said “I know an amazing recipe for it…You will LOVE it”. She told me about the recipe found on Ohsheglows.com.  I am so glad she told me about this site…lots of lovely recipes.

I read up on how to make it…and it seemed simple enough.  The only thing I didn’t have was a nut milk bag.  I searched Amazon and found this one for $10.  It was the one used in the recipe and since she seemed to know what she was doing…well I figured it was a good one.  When I make a recipe for the first time I follow it to a “T”.  Even the nut milk bag.  I giggle every time I say or type that.  Nut Milk Bag.  It’s funny, right?

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Almond Milk Ingredients

I gathered my goods…Almonds, Vanilla Bean, Dates, Salt, and Cinnamon.  So today was the day…Or last night really.   I put a cup of dry almonds in a bowl of water to soak.  I soaked the over night and then some.  I actually forgot about them until about noon today.  I also forgot that I made myself a sweet potato yesterday, that I left in the oven all day until today.  But that is another story for another time.  Anyhow…along with the ingredients you will need a really good blender.  I used my Vitamix.  It’s a beast.  And worth every red cent spent on it.

After I soaked the almonds I rinsed them and then put them in my blender with 3.5 cups of filtered water.  I chopped up the vanilla bean (yes the entire bean…chopped) and I pitted dates.  Don’t forget to pit them.  They are deceiving because they look all soft and smooshy.  But slice ’em open and pull that little pit right on out.  If not, I am not sure how happy your blender will be.  I blended the nuts on high for one minute.  Once they were blended smooth I poured the gritty liquid through the nut milk bag into a bowl.  Once most of the liquid dripped through on its own I twisted and squeezed the rest out.  I rinsed out the blender then put the milk back in the blender.  I then added the salt and cinnamon and turned the blender on low to mix it up really well.  Then I just poured the milk into a cute little milk bottle I found at HomeGoods.  And guess what?  It just so happened to be the same bottle she used.  I swear we didn’t plan it.  But I do think it means we are soul sisters.  Or we both like cute bottles.  Who knows.

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Soak Nuts for 8-12 hours
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Nuts with 3.5 C of filtered water
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Pour liquid through nut milk bag
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Squeeze excess milk from bag
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Add cinnamon and salt to milk

The result?  I would give it an A-.  There is a tad bit of grit…superfine; almost a powder fine grit.  I’m gonna have to ask Angela about that.  (Yea we are on a first name basis…or maybe it’s just me.)  It may be my fault for squeezing the bejesus out of the nut bag.  She said use slight pressure.  I forgot about that part.  But the stuff tastes really good!!!

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Voila!!

I will definitely be making this again.  Now I just need to find a recipe on how to use this left over almond pulp.  Oh She Glows gives a few suggestions including freezing it for later.  I think that’s what I will do for now.

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Leftover almond paste

Oh…and I will have another post soon about a delicious Roasted Chicken!!!  Woot woot!!  I was on a roll today!!  What did y’all cook up today?!

Here are the exact amounts and recipe directly from Oh She Glows:

Yield: 3.5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water
  • 3.5 cups filtered water
  • 2-4 pitted Medjool dates*, to taste (I used 2 large)
  • 1 whole vanilla bean*, chopped (or 1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • small pinch of fine grain sea salt, to enhance the flavour

 

1. Place almonds in a bowl and cover with water. It’s preferred to soak them overnight (for 8-12 hours) in the water, but you can get away with soaking for 1-2 hours in a pinch.

2. Rinse and drain the almonds and place into a blender along with filtered water, pitted dates, and chopped vanilla bean.

3. Blend on highest speed for 1 minute or so.

4. Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the bag. Gently squeeze the bottom of the bag to release the milk. This took me about 3-5 minutes to get all the milk out.

5. Rinse out blender and pour the milk back in. Add the cinnamon and pinch of sea salt and blend on low to combine.

6. Pour into a glass jar to store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Shake jar very well before using as the mixture separates when sitting. Enjoy with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies for a real treat. This milk is also lovely with cereal.

Notes: If your dates or vanilla bean are dry/stiff, soak in water to soften before use. You can also use another sweetener of your choice like maple syrup. Same goes for vanilla – feel free to use vanilla extract for a more subtle vanilla flavour.

Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/01/24/my-favourite-homemade-almond-milk-step-by-step-photos/#ixzz2heRKppyd

And so it begins…

First Blog…woot woot!!  Now…what to write?  Should I be funny or informative, uncensored or politically correct?  I am just gonna have to go with real and see what comes out.  I am all excited and nervous to put this out on the world wide interwebs!!  Ha!  Will I be liked?  Will I be hated?  Will I even be seen…or should I say read?  I already need a drink…or two.

I suppose this first post should be a sort of introduction about who I am and why I wanted to start blogging.  So here goes!!  I’m Christina…aka The Crunchy RN.  I decided to start this blog to document a few things: My turning 40…my love of Young Living oils…my new healthy/Paleo diet…not to mention just my daily musings and goings on.  I hope this blog helps and interests others at the same time holds me accountable to a healthier lifestyle.

I am a wife to an amazingly funny and super cute dude.  We have 3 kiddos total…1 being my own and 2 bonus kids from his first marriage.  I never knew how hard it would be to blend a family…but wow, what a blessing!!!
I am an RN and have been for about 7 years.  I started out working in the NICU but now work on the post-partum unit.  However, being a nurse does NOT equate to being healthy.  Quite the opposite.  After meeting my husband a few years back I began questioning the medicines I was giving and taking for that matter.  I started researching vaccines, chemicals in water, OTC and prescription drugs and their affects on our bodies.  About a year and a half ago I walked into a patients room who was diffusing Thieves. After talking in length to her and her husband about oils I went home that evening and signed up with YL.  Oils have changed my life!!!  I use them daily on myself, my kids, my husband, and my coworkers and anyone who will let me oil them!!!  I want to share them with the world!!!!  Can you tell that I am a whole hearted believer in them?  If you would like to learn more about Young Living essential oils shoot me an email or check out others’ testimonials here:  http://www.oil-testimonials.com/1521378
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I have tried to go “healthy” in other aspects of my life as well.  I use natural household cleaning products, natural skin care, and natural haircare.  However, it wasn’t until a recent Dr’s visit where I found out that I am “pre-diabetic” that I realized I have to get serious about the foods I am putting in my body.  So now I am about to start my journey down the Paleo highway.  Very tiny, little, itty-bitty baby steps.  I will not be perfect all the time…But I will try daily to be healthier.  I hope to post recipes, links, tips and anything else that may help someone else walking a similar path.
I love, love, love anything DIY.  It’s what you will find me doing when I am not homeschooling the kids or working.  I would rather try to do it myself than pay someone.  I have about 50 projects on my to-do list…that I haven’t started yet or that are not complete.  I tend to get bored with a project and leave a tad bit on each one unfinished.  It’s my signature move.  Kind of like an artists signature.  ha!
I turn 40 in less than 2 months!!!  And let me tell you…40 is coming at me like a spider monkey!!!  I was hoping to ease smoothly into my new decade with class and grace.  That is obviously not gonna happen.  My plan is to meet 40 head on with my oils in hand…grace and ease out the window.  But for now I will enjoy the remaining days of my 30’s.