Healthy and Hearty

Slow Cooker Chicken and White Bean Chili

Happy April! It’s literally feeling more and more like spring, even if it was relatively cold outside today. The flowers are budding, the birds are chirping, and I cannot wait for the warmer weather to fill my apartment with spring air. March came and went in a snap, and I feel like it had its ups and downs with weather, which always causes colds, sniffles, and questions of “what is appropriate for dinner?” I will always be the first one to opt for something quick and easy, and making a chili in the crockpot is no exception.

This was my first time ever making a chicken chili. It definitely has a different feel to it than a traditional beef or turkey chili, and I have to say I really loved it. It was a good balance of spicy and savory, from the chipotle powder to the sweet corn kernels, this is something everyone can enjoy, and did well as a lunch leftover.

I started by rinsing two large chicken breasts and laying them flat in the slow cooker. I measured out about 2-3 tbsp each of dried basil, dried thyme, chipotle powder. cumin, onion powder, garlic, powder. Then I took some red pepper flakes and added them to the mix. Sprinkled in some salt and pepper, then added crushed tomatoes (my personal favorite) and The New Primal Classic marinade (you can find this here!).

I mixed everything together then poured in a can of cannellini (white) beans and a can of sweet corn. Stirred again, placed the top on the slow cooker and set the setting to low cook for 6 hours.

Feel free to top with cheddar cheese, a dollop of greek yogurt, or eat over some sweet potato (maybe fries?) NOMaste:)

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Power Banana Walnut Muffins

*UPDATE: I tried them again and added in 1/4 cup avocado oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and swapped cane sugar for coconut sugar and they came out insanely moist and delicious!!

*Am I the only one who has one option when it comes to using old, over ripe bananas? I always think about making banana bread, but for some reason it never comes out right (I have said I am not the best baker…). I decided to bake, with no recipe, and bake from the heart. Let me say, I saw the broadway show, Waitress, and was inspired by the songs to bake today, as well as I had time to kill and figured why not? If they’re awful, I can always try again! Thankfully, these not only came out good, but were VERY tasty and so easy! My husband even loved them! *WIN*

I know the basics of a baking recipe include sugar, flour, and depends on the fat added, if any. I decided to skip the butter or oil and go with sugar, flour, eggs, ripe banana, walnuts, baking soda (which helps the muffins rise), vanilla extract, collagen power, and a pinch of kosher salt. The reason I am calling these POWER muffins is because they’re made with healthy alternatives such as organic cane sugar (Not very alternative but I wanted to get rid of the sugar I had, don’t judge me) and cassava flour. I also included a scoop of collagen power. The benefits of collagen is profound: helps with joints and muscles, hair growth, skin, and nails. It also helps with aging. YUP.

I started by adding sugar, 2 cracked eggs, and vanilla extract to a medium sized bowl and whisked. Then, I peeled and diced the bananas and whisked them into the wet mixture. In a separate bowl, I added the dry ingredients: flour, collagen powder, salt, and baking soda. The trick to getting these muffins very airy but moist is to whisk the egg/banana mixture until the batter becomes foamy/bubbly. The bubbles will help expand the muffins and hold moisture, causing the natural layers of the muffin and “bounce” to them. Add the wet into the dry mixture and whisk to blend. Throw in a handful of chopped walnuts and scoop into a pre-greased muffin tin.

Bake at 425 degrees for 11 minutes. I was aiming for 12 minutes, but at around 11 minutes I started to smell them and saw they were golden brown. I cannot wait to hear how you liked these ones, they’re definitely going to be made (and tweaked with) again! NOMaste ๐Ÿ™‚

Power Banana Walnut Muffins

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American, Healthy, muffins
Keyword banana, collagen, healthy, muffins, paleo, walnut
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 3 Bananas very ripe
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Cane sugar organic
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Cassava flour
  • 1 scoop Collagen powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Pre-grease a standard muffin tin. Set aside

  2. In a medium bowl, crack two eggs and add the 1/2 cup sugar.  Mix together with a hand mixer or a whisk.  Add in the ripe bananas and vanilla extract.  Whisk until mixture forms small air bubbles and looks a little “foamy.”
  3. In a large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, collagen powder, and salt.  Mix together.

  4. Pour the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk to combine all ingredients.  Add in chopped walnuts and whisk again.

  5. With a tablespoon, scoop and pour batter into each muffin cup, fill with batter halfway to allow room to rise.  Bake for 10 minutes or until you can smell the muffins.  Let cool for two minutes.

“Brussels and Broc”

Peanut butter and jelly. Spaghetti and meatballs. Chicken and waffles. Classic and delicious combinations. I love a classic grilled cheese and tomato soup, but as I am on my reset (week three hollaa!), no bread for moi. However, I am obsessed with vegetables. Like, seriously. I love all green veggies, not just for the nutritional content, but because they taste so damn good. Another classic combo to add to the list: brussel sprouts and broccoli, or as I call it, “brussels and broc.”

This recipe is short, quick, and painless. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Start with slicing brussel sprouts in half, or cutting the ends off. Chop broccoli florets and rinse both veggies. Place into a large bowl and toss with your favorite oil… I prefer avocado oil (has a high smoke point and taste great). Season with salt, cracked pepper, and in my case, dried rosemary.

Take a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Spray oil onto the foil and pour the veggies onto the baking sheet. Bake for 17 minutes, then turn the oven off and let the veggies stand still for another three minutes. You’re welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚