Dinners

Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs

Another night, another chicken dinner. Chicken can get so boring sometimes, and I forget how to get creative, because it’s either stewed chicken in a broth, cutlets, or something that I end up not liking. Standing in my kitchen last night, I glanced up and saw my crockpot staring at me, begging to be used. I’m also grateful to be off from work this week and was able to start the crockpot at noon rather than at 8am, but nevertheless, the crockpot came to the rescue!

I love using a slow cooker for many different purposes, and am sure I have yet to try a bunch of recipes, but the mere fact that I can throw in all the ingredients at once and it come out really delicious is a MAJOR win.

Chicken thighs are a great cut of chicken to use in the crockpot, whether they are on the bone or off the bone, because they are such a tender cut of meat they naturally release fat into the sauce which creates a glorious texture and flavor. This dish was simple in ingredients and it starts with seasoning, crushed tomatoes, and The New Primal classic marinade (found here!). The New Primal makes healthy alternatives to marinades and sauces, and is Whole30 approved – for my Whole30 compliant readers! Also, they make delicious jerky, so give them a try while you’re at it.

For the seasonings, I used sea salt, oregano, chipotle powder, garlic powder, basil leaves, and onion salt. I added one 28oz can of crushed tomatoes and 1/4 cup of the marinade, stirred together and topped with fresh thyme.

The crockpot I have has two settings: low cook or high cook. I chose low cook and set it for 6 hours and 30 minutes, when really, it cooked for about 7 hours. I stirred several times through, but did not open the lid until it was at least halfway done. I did add a touch of half and half to add extra flavor but that is totally optional. About an hour in, the chicken thighs started to fall apart so I stirred and used a wooden spoon to help break apart the pieces even further until they looked like clumps of string. I roasted sweet potato and vegetables to add to this amazing chicken and it was perfect! NOMaste 🙂

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Rice

Since the beginning of the year, I have tried to be incredibly resourceful when it comes to leftover items in the fridge. I know there are instances where this is hard to do as some condiments or produce go rancid and can’t be salvaged. However, when these items are in their “sweet spot” (just before going bad but still smells okay) I love making things to use the rest of it up! Tonight’s dinner was a perfect example: using last bits of heavy cream and parmesan to make a creamy parmesan dinner with chicken and rice.

Instead of using plain water to boil the rice, I opted for bone broth because if I’m going to have starch, I may as well use bone broth (actually, chicken mushroom bone broth) for the added benefit #amirite? I seasoned the chicken first with some salt and pepper and added it to a hot pan with EVOO. This cooked until both sides were not pink. Afterwards I seasoned with garlic powder, minced garlic, oregano, and fresh thyme sprigs.

Once the chicken cooked through, I poured in the rice and chicken bone broth. This cooked for a total of 18 minutes, but halfway through, I added 3/4 cup water because I noticed that the rice absorbed most of the liquid already. At around 3 minutes before the chicken/rice finished cooking, I added in the heavy cream and parmesan (grated) and stirred together.

Serve with more fresh thyme, a dollop of sour cream or like we did, a side of charred broccoli, which can be found here! This was a dish that I had seen done before, but wanted to make it my own. Here is this version, and damn is it tasty! NOMaste 🙂

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Rice

Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword cheesy, Chicken, garlic, Hearty, parmesan, quick meals, rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs Chicken breasts Diced
  • 1/5 cups Rice white
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup Heavy cream or half and half
  • 1 pint Chicken stock or bone broth
  • 1 tbsp Minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil extra virgin
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried Oregano
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and add in diced pieces of chicken on medium heat.  Let sear on each side until each piece is no longer pink.  

  2. Add in seasonings (garlic, minced garlic, oregano, thyme) and stir.

  3. Pour in rice and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and let simmer for 18 minutes on low flame.

  4. Halfway through, check and see if the rice may absorb a lot of the liquid; add in 3/4 cup water and stir.  Continue to simmer with lid on.

  5. Three minutes before timer is up, add in heavy cream/half n half and parmesan cheese.  Stir to combine ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Pan Seared Herb Chicken

Chicken, it’s what’s for dinner. I have to be very honest, chicken can be so boring and mundane, especially when it’s chicken breast. It dries out very easily, due to it being lean and low-fat. It can also be chewy if cut wrong, and can go rancid if kept out or in the fridge too long. One thing I love to do is bread chicken breasts and make chicken cutlets, but being that I am completely revamping my nutrition, that’s not an option. I threw out my grill pan a while ago because I butchered it (see what I did there?), so how else should I make chicken? *LIGHTBULB* I can pan sear it!

A while ago, I purchased Herbes de Provence from Trader Joe’s and can not stop using it. I’ll use it in marinades, seasoning for vegetables, sweet potatoes, and decided tonight was a perfect opportunity for using it with chicken. I have not pan seared chicken in a very long time, solely because I always have a horrible outcome: chewy, under-seasoned, barely cooked chicken because I lose my patience. The trick I used was extra butter. Yep, you heard right, butter. I swear by Kerrygold butter because it’s grass-fed and has a delicious taste, also really good for cooking! I pan seared my chicken tonight in the butter and it was everything I needed. Here’s how it went down:

  • Start by rinsing three pieces of chicken breast (preferred organic). Trim the sides and slice thin. Pat dry and place in a large bowl.
  • Take four tbsp of the Herbes de Provence and pour into the bowl of chicken.
  • Mix together by hand so that all the chicken (and both sides) are fully coated. Let stand for 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat a large sauce pan. Cut 3 tbsp of butter (do not freak out here) and melt in the pan.
  • Add the chicken (three at a time) into the pan. Sear on each side for 6-7 minutes. You’ll know when the chicken is ready to flip when the sides of the chicken turn white.
  • Repeat for the remaining chicken breasts.
  • Top with pesto (my recipe linked here) and pair with veggies!

Here’s a picture tutorial for those who need some visuals (#multimodallearningbaby)

I hope you enjoy this one, it’s very straightforward, simple ingredients, and oh so yummy! NOMaste 🙂

Cauliflower “Fried” Rice

Bienvenidos semana tres de Reset. For those who are confused, I did not move to Spain. I am currently approaching week THREE of my reset and am super excited to see subtle changes to my body as well as my overall health. I am feeling more energized, my pants fit easier, and my face doesn’t look like I am carrying acorns in my cheeks. My reset isn’t about dropping weight as it more of just looking and feeling like my best self. I weighed myself, and was legit depressed for two days about the number, but honestly, it is JUST A NUMBER. I want to get back to health and healthy foods, something I have a major passion for. I wanted to try incorporating cauliflower into my meals and this was the best way, making a “rice”.

I bought store bought, so sorry for those who want to make it from scratch. I have done this and I’ll tell you, it’s a mess. Buying store-bought cauliflower rice is the easier way, and it’s hassle free! I accidentally ordered a Misfits Market box of 18, yes 18 POUNDS, of vegetables, so there is virtually no excuse not to use them. We got Anaheim peppers (which are milder than jalapeño peppers, but can depend based on origin), cabbage, onions, jalapeño peppers (8 of them… hello salsa!), string beans, avocado, and more. I’m grateful to have received (and been able to keep) the produce even if it were by accident. If anyone is willing to try, and be open for whatever is delivered, definitely check them out!

Cauliflower rice is not so different than traditional fried rice, except it holds more moisture. I started by chopping an onion, carrots, cabbage, one Anaheim pepper, and green beans. I heated a large sauté pan and added avocado oil (my favorite brand is Primal Kitchen). I tossed in the chopped onion, pepper, and carrots to simmer and sweat. I then added in the chopped cabbage, let it seam, then after five minutes, threw in the green beans. I cooked with a cover so everything can wilt and render down, mainly for the cabbage to bring out its moisture.

Afterwards, I pushed all the vegetables aside so I can add in the egg, there is no excluding this part, it is the best part of fried rice. I scrambled the egg and tossed it together with the veggies. My last step was to add the cauliflower rice, so with a helping of garlic powder and salt added, I poured in the bag of cauli-rice and stirred. This sat cooked for 8 minutes, so the cauliflower can begin to sweat (there’s a lot of sweating happening in this dish).

I seasoned with a generous helping of coconut aminos and sesame oil and continued to let it cook for another 5-7 minutes. Turn the heat off and let stand still, then ladled into large bowls for my lunch for the week. The taste of this dish is very umami and while it does not taste 100% like the real fried rice, it is a pretty darn delicious rendition! NOMaste 🙂

Cauliflower “Fried” Rice

Course Dinner
Cuisine Healthy, Meal Prep, Vegetables
Keyword dinner, healthy, meal prep, veggies, whole30
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 1 package Cauliflower Rice
  • 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 1 cup carrots chopped
  • 1 cup red cabbage chopped
  • 1 cup green beans chopped
  • 1 Anaheim pepper chopped and cleaned
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • garlic powder to taste
  • sea salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Prep all vegetables by slicing and roughly chopping the onions, carrots, pepper, cabbage, and green beans.  Separate the cabbage and green beans from the onions, etc. Set aside

  2. Heat a large sauté pan, add in avocado oil, then stir in the onions, carrots, and pepper.  Stir and coat with oil for five minutes.

  3. Add in red cabbage. Cover and let sit for five minutes. Stir once or twice to prevent burning.

  4. Add in green beans.  Cover and let sit for five minutes. Stir to prevent burning.

  5. Push vegetables aside, and add in the egg.  Scramble egg and stir in with the vegetables.  Season with garlic powder and sea salt.  Cover and let sit for three minutes.

  6. Pour in cauliflower rice.  Stir to mix together. Cover and let cook for eight minutes, stirring occasionally.

  7. Add in coconut aminos and sesame oil. Stir together.  Let cook for another three to five minutes.  Serve immediately.

Seared Grass Fed Sirloin

Ahhh, steak. The creme de la creme when you think of a “fancy” meal. There are plenty of nights where I crave a fatty cut of steak or a bolognese (in fact, I have a bolognese recipe… here), and I have a soft spot for skirt steak or short ribs. On other nights, a nice sirloin will do. I have to confess, I’ve never been a pro with making steak; I tend to overcook and make it inedible. It usually comes out tough and chewy, even when cutting against the grain. This steak is an exception to my “I screwed up the steak, again” curse, and it’s so easy you’ll slap yourself (but don’t).

One thing that I never compromise for is the quality of meat. It is SO important to know where your meat comes from, and get the best cuts. I always shop for grass-fed meats, and love using Butcher Box for meat. Their product is top notch and can feed a large family for a few weeks. You can skip a month, two months, and add specials like their bacon (THEIR BACON IS LIFE CHANGING) or burgers. Either way, consider buying grass fed meats, if there’s one thing you change to your budget, do this. I won’t bore you with science behind it or research from articles I’ve read and podcasts I’ve listened to, but the quality of meat matters. Period. Trader Joe’s does make solid grass fed meats, including steak.

I started by soaking the steaks in olive oil, instead of coating the pan with oil. Why? This eliminates the crackling and sputtering of the oil, that’s why sparky! For the seasoning, I used a more-than-generous amount of fresh cracked ground pepper and pink sea salt. I seasoned both sides and let the steak get to room temperature. Using a cast-iron skillet, I heated the pan then slowly added the steaks. These steaks were about 3/4″ -1″ thick so I gauged my time carefully. We like our steaks more medium/medium rare, so I seared the steaks for 4 minutes on each side, then threw it in the oven on BROIL for a good 5 minutes. For medium well, add 2-3 minutes per side. The most important piece is to LET THE STEAK REST. The steak will tense up if cut into right away, the same as man-handling it right out of the fridge. Let the steak do it’s thing!

I sliced small dollops of butter to top on the steaks for additional fat and goodness, and paired it with potatoes. Typical meat and potatoes dish, but oh so satisfying.