chicken

Clean Pad Thai

March 29, 2016
0 Reviews
Serves 4-6
Prep time
15m
Cook Time
10m

I fell in love with Thai food — and Pad Thai in particular — in my late 20s. It is something that I was never exposed to in my suburban upbringing and I don’t think my parents have ever had it. Back in the day, I used to make it every couple of weeks using the Thai Kitchen jarred sauce and would regularly indulge in the take-out version in mall food courts for when I didn’t take a lunch to work.  That is, until I read an article about how much sodium and calories were in a typical portion of food court Pad Thai! It was a real eye opener and a full serving was more than 75% of my daily allotment of calories. After that I began experimenting with my own, homemade recipe.

My family loves this Clean Pad Thai and I can feel good about serving it to them. You can make it with traditional rice stick noodles, but it is just as tasty (and a tad healthier) if you use zucchini or yellow squash noodles. I also speed things up by using a bag of Japanese or Asian vegetables. A quick zap in the microwave while I’m sautéing the meat helps bring everything together in no time.

CleanPadThai2

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg rice stick noodles (227 g) OR 4-6 medium zucchini or yellow squash
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1/2 c fish sauce
  • 6 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes (more or less according to heat preference)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 lb of meat or protein (or a combination of chicken, pork loin, tofu, or shrimp)
  • 1 bag of Asian vegetables (500 g), defrosted (or 4 c of your favourite sliced vegetables)
  • 1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c peanuts

Method

  1. Prep the noodles, sauce, and scrambled eggs and set them aside.
    1. Prepare the rice noodles as per package directions OR spiralize the zucchini.
    2. In a small bowl, whisk together chicken stock, maple syrup, fish sauce, lime juice, ketchup, and hot pepper flakes.
    3. Scramble the eggs in skillet and transfer to plate.
  2. Cube chicken and/or pork. Heat sesame oil in a very large skillet over medium heat and add garlic. Brown meat and add shrimp after about 3 minutes.
  3. Add partially defrosted vegetables (or fresh veggies) and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add rice noodles or vegetable noodles, stirring gently to distribute.
  5. Add sauce and bring to a gentle bubble and cook for 3 minutes or until most of the sauce is absorbed. Do not overcook as the noddles will become mushy.
  6. Gently add scrambled eggs, cilantro, and half of the green onions. Serve garnished with remaining green onions and peanuts.

CleanPadThai

 

Sweet and Sour Chicken

February 9, 2016
0 Reviews
Serves 4-6
Prep time
10m
Cook Time
20m

Although I’ve been pulling out my Crock Pot or Instant Pot at least once a week this winter, I’ve been relying on a lot of skillet meals to get dinner on the table quickly. I used to have a slow cooker dinner recipe similar to this with pork meatballs that I made often, but it was from a Kraft magazine and relied on a lot of processed ingredients. I wanted a cleaner option so tinkered with this one a few times of the holidays and got the thumbs up from family, and voila — Sweet and Sour Chicken. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

 

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken
INGREDIENTS

  • 2½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce (my favourite homemade BBQ sauce)
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce (or tamarind or coconut aminos for a cleaner option)
  • ¼ cup orange juice or chicken stock
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp crushed red peppers
  • 6 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour (or cornstarch)
  • Sesame seeds or chopped peanuts
  • Green onions, sliced

 

 

METHOD

  1. Cut chicken into 1 to 1½ inch cubes and brown in skillet over medium heat (adding a bit of sesame oil if needed).
  2. Add-in chopped onion and red peppers and allow to slightly soften.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the next 8 ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over chicken and vegetables and stir until heated through.
  4. Mix together the cold water and arrowroot flour and stir into the skillet.
  5. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. This should only take a couple of minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and sauce will thicken more as it cools.
  7. Serve over rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or peanuts and sliced green onions.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

February 1, 2016
0 Reviews
Serves 4
Prep time
5m
Cook Time
10m

Last week my friend Heather mentioned in our health and fitness group that she had just ate a delicious mushroom reduction sauce over chicken for dinner. That appealed to my pregnant senses and I knew I had a container of mushrooms wallowing in my fridge that needed to be used ASAP. I whipped up this sauce the very next night and it was pretty fancy pants for a weeknight dinner! Husband and toddler approved. This reminds me of my mom’s mushroom pork chops she used to make when I was a kid, but avoids canned mushroom soup which isn’t very “clean”!

{Paleo & Whole 30 modifications in ingredients list}

creamy mushroom sauce

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients

1 Tbsp butter (or avocado oil if dairy free)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
3-4 cups/handfuls of baby spinach or baby kale (it will reduce into a very small amount!)
2 Tbsp flour (I use arrowroot for Paleo or GF)
1.5 cups of milk (or you could use chicken stock if paleo or dairy free)
1/2 tsp of herbs de Provence (or thyme would work nicely)
1/2 tsp of dried basil
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet or sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, and spinach and sautee until softened.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir to coat. Add in the milk and spices and stir slowly until sauce is thickened. Add more milk if sauce is too thick.
  3. Serve over chicken with rice, pasta, or quinoa and a side of veggies. Voila!

Mushrooms-1

 Mushrooms-2

 

Creamy-Mushroom-Sauce-2

Crockpot Country Chicken Stew

September 2, 2015
0 Reviews
Serves 8-10
Prep time
10m

I came up with this recipe last winter when I was craving something warm and comforting…we had a cold winter! It is a nice, thick stew filled with shredded chicken. I like to make this on Sundays to have lunches on-hand for the week.

File 2015-09-02, 10 33 23 PM

 

Ingredients

1 onions, chopped
4c potatoes (with skin), chopped
4 carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2c sliced mushrooms
12-15 chicken thighs

**
4 c chicken broth
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup  **or see clean, home-made substitute below
1 t dried thyme
1 t herbs de provence (or marjoram)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 bay leaves

**
1/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c cornstarch (I use arrowroot flour or tapicoa flour to avoid corn products)
1c frozen peas (optional)

Method

  1. Layer first 6 ingredients, in order given, in slow cooker.
  2. Combine next 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Pour over chicken. Add bay leaves. Do not stir. Cover. Cook on low 8-10 hrs, or high 4-5 hrs.
  3. Remove and discard bay leaves. Combine second amount of broth with starch in small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add to slow cooker. Stir. Add peas if using. Stir well. Cover and cook on high for 15-20 mins more until peas are heated through and sauce is thickened.
**
Condensed Soup Substitute
2 T butter
3 T flour (I used 2 T tapioca)
1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 c milk
salt, pepper, herbs (I used about 1 T herbs de provence)
  1. Melt butter. Stir in flour and mix.
  2. Slowly add in broth and milk, stirring constantly until combined and thick. Bring to a boil, adding in seasonings and stirring constantly until thick.

Creamy Crockpot Italian Chicken and Tomato Soup

August 31, 2015
0 Reviews
Serves 10
Prep time
10m

I made this soup a lot last fall and winter. It has great flavour and is super easy — win win! I plan on making batches of this to freeze for work lunches. Although you could throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker as is without pre-cooking, cooking the onions and herbs beforehand give the soup deeper flavour and body. I’ve done it both ways and recommend taking that extra step.

 

italchicksoup 2

 

Ingredients

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes (with the juice)
2 cups of your favourite jarred marinara sauce (watch for added sugar)
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk (full fat)
 — optional but makes it creamy
4 tablespoons Italian seasoning (I make my own blend as many store-bought brands often have sugar and other chemicals)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper to taste
3-4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

 

Method


  1. Heat some fat (I use ghee or butter) in a flying pan over medium-high heat and cook your garlic and onions with 1 tablespoon of the italian seasoning. You can skip this step, but the flavour of the soup is so enhanced if you pre-cook your onions and garlic.
  2. Mix the chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and coconut milk in the crock pot. You made need to use a whisk to break up the coconut milk (it’s ok if there are little chunks — they will melt).
  3. Stir in the seasonings. Add the onion and garlic mix as well as your chicken (no need to sear or precook). Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-5 hours or until chicken shreds easily (remember no two crock pots cook alike – so adjust).
  4. Remove and shred chicken. Return to crock pot cook on high for an additional 30 minutes (you can skip this step, but I find it seasons the chicken a little bit more). Keep warm until ready to serve. Makes 8-10 servings.

** Adapted from Everyday Paleo