Pesto, spinach, and goat cheese stuffed chicken and garlic asparagus recipe

I am working on growing an herb garden in our new house, but birds keep eating my herb sprouts. I put out a bird feeder, so hopefully that will deter them. Along with fresh cilantro and chives, I am really looking forward to fresh basil! I love making pesto and I enjoy eating it even more. This week I was craving some pesto goodness so I decided to pick some up and use it for a stuffed chicken recipe (and maybe a quiche recipe too).

I haven’t made stuffed chicken in a while, and it did not disappoint! This pesto and cheese and spinach stuffed chicken is a yummy and rich meal. Whoever said you can’t eat delicious food while still eating healthy doesn’t know what they are talking about! My husband was happy that it was grain-free and had goat cheese, and I was happy merely because it had pesto.¬† It may seem like too much work, but it’s all in the preparation. After you put it together, you can stick it in the oven and forget about it for a while!

I paired the chicken with a garlic asparagus side, recipe below as well.
stuffed chicken

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Paleo pizzas: easy and delicious

Paleo pizzas

I had seen a few “paleo pizzas” on Pinterest, like this one and this one and I had to give it a try. Ground beef is the cheapest cut of meat and when you are buying grass-fed beef, it can get expensive! That is why we try and use ground beef more than other cuts of meat, so these “pizzas” are a nice way to switch things up. These have actually turned into one of my favorite meals.

I guess if you are adding cheese they would be more “primal pizzas,” but either way, these rock.

These pizzas are really easy to make and personalize, so don’t be scared to do your own thing! Here’s how we make ours:

Ingredients:

Patties:

  • 2 pounds grass-fed ground beef (we make 6 large patties)
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dehydrated chopped onions
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

Pizza sauce:

  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • a dash of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp beef bouillon (I’m not a fan of sweet sauces and this mellows it out)
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

Toppings:

  • You choose! We like to use:
  • Sliced olives
  • Raw sharp cheddar
  • Pepperoni
  • Prosciutto
  • Onions (any kind!)
  • Sweet peppers

Directions:

  • Combine your patty ingredients with your hands and form into patties
  • In a large pan, grill, or BBQ grill, cook patties until cooked through
  • Place patties on tin-foiled cookie sheet and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Top your patties with whatever pizza toppings you want
  • Place in oven and cook until toppings are cooked to desired “done-ness” and cheese is melted
  • Turn your broiler on for a minute or two if you want your toppings to get a little crispy

Enjoy!

Prosciutto-basil chicken and Brussel sprouts recipe

My friend Jen is a great cook. She likes trying new things and we sometimes get lucky and are invited over for dinner! I’m not a huge fan of prosciutto and my husband isn’t a huge fan of basil, but in this dish, this prosciutto-basil chicken, it tastes amazing! Jen got this recipe from a friend who got it somewhere online. It’s been altered a bit here and there along the way. I don’t think mine came out quite as good as Jen’s, but that could be because I didn’t have to cook it the first time!

basil and prosciutto chicken Ingredients

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This week’s meal plan (2/4-2/8)

It was a sad day yesterday in our house after the Niners lost the Super Bowl. So close, yet so far away. You know what was also so close? The number on my scale being lower. But then I splurged a little too much at our Super Bowl party. Oh well, back on the wagon today!

I’m working out and eating healthy and looking forward to pushing myself to be healthier and more fit (and growing a butt would be awesome sauce, too). I’m trying to work up the courage to post my progress so that I will be challenged and accountable! Maybe soon.

We ordered grass-fed ground beef and fajita meat from a local company and subscribed to eggs from grass-fed chickens. We bought chicken from a family member that works for a chicken company and I bought pork ribs on sale. I stocked up on lots of fruit this week to make protein smoothies.

I really need to learn to like fish. Maybe next week I will add in some sea food. Although, Lent is coming up and I am sure we will be adding more sea food at that time.

meal plan

Need more dinner ideas and meal plans? Click HERE for grain-free and gluten-free, budget-friendly, and even Whole30 meal plans and recipes.

What’s on this week’s meal plan for you?

Italian chili recipe

We have a new dish at our house; we call it “Italian Chili.” It’s a little bit Pasta e Fagioli, a little spaghetti sauce, and a little bit chili, edited and added together. It’s easy, it’s tasty, and it fits our version of healthy, too!

If you are counting carbs or you aren’t a bean or grain eater, this recipe has no beans and is grain-free. It doesn’t have dairy in it either, but it tastes great with shredded Parmesan or mozzarella cheese on top… I really like Parmesan cheese on top…

Italian Chili

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Macadamia-crusted chicken

I have a huge bag of macadamia nuts in my pantry. Personally, I am more of a pistachio  girl and those macadamia nuts were just not eating themselves (how weird would that be). I needed to use those nuts before they went bad! So I decided to throw them into my food processor and make them into a crust for chicken. It turned out pretty good.

Macadamia chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup roasted macadamia nuts
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried onion flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten or 1/4 cup milk
  • Fat of choice to cook chicken

Directions:

  • Add nuts and seasonings to food processor and process until course. Do not over-process. Pour onto plate or other dish.
  • Dip chicken in egg or milk mixture then into the nut coating.
  • Pan fry coated chicken breasts until coating is crunchy and chicken is cooked through (about 5-7 minutes on each side).

The darker bits of the macadamia breading was actually the best. Next time I might strive to get it all that dark; the crispy, nutty crust was delicious!

 

This week’s meal plan (1/28-2/1)

I think I could probably have taco night at least 3 times a week. That, and just eat green beans or potatoes to accompany my protein source. Pretty boring (but delicious). My husband could actually eat the same 3 things every week, but I feel like we should have some diversity in our meal planning. He also likes to eat a fairly strict primal diet that is grain-free and almost always without white potatoes. I like to eat that way too, so at least he keeps me honest!

Next month I am going to do something similar to the Grocery Savings Challenge, but post totals by the month. We are also ordering our eggs and most of our meat from local sources that pasture-raise their animals, so it might be interesting how much we will spend choosing quality of cost.

We have been getting some lovely weather here; the wind is a bit chilly, but a sunny 50-60 degree day is still nice! We even used the grill last night!

This week’s meal plan:

  • Monday: Grilled steaks (grass-fed! They were a Christmas gift), with baked sweet potatoes and steamed brussel sprouts with parsley butter (Strauss butter, you are amazing)
  • Tuesday: Macadamia crusted chicken breast, steamed green beans, mixed green salad
  • Wednesday: Pork chops with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot stir-fry
  • Thursday: Italian meatloaf, mixed greens, roasted potatoes and carrots
  • Friday: BBQ chicken, 30-second brussel sprouts, avocado

Lunch: Leftovers or almond-butter smoothies

Breakfasts: Eggs and bacon or almond-butter smoothies

I’m in the middle of Spring cleaning and a teething baby, but I plan on posting recipes, Valentine’s Day ideas, and a glimpse at our bathroom remodel project coming up!

Anyone try a new recipe this week?

This week’s meal-plan (1/14-1/18)

It’s mid-January; how is everyone’s health resolutions coming along? How is shopping for healthy foods while trying to save money, working out?

I’m still learning and figuring out what works the best for us, what is available in our area, and how to make our meals the most nutritious they can be.

Our local farmers market is closed for the winter and so is one of the local CSA’s, so we are still a little behind with the produce.

We did find eggs from pastured hens through Craigslist, though! And we found a great grass-fed meat provider near us as well.

While I can wait for the hot weather to come back to town, I look forward to planting my first real garden at our first house! I especially want to grow and can tomatoes.

We have been getting back to eating healthy and recovering from the sugar over-load of the holidays. My husband has been working long hours and I have a wiggly 8 month old, so our meals are easy to prepare or quick to cook.

  • Monday: Chicken fajita salad (fajitas made in crock-pot)(chicken, bell pepper, onion, romaine and spinach, cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocado, lime juice)
  • Tuesday: Grilled sirloin steaks with broccoli and sweet potatoes
  • Wednesday: Chili with no beans, topped with avocado and cheese
  • Thursday: Lemon pepper chicken, beets and carrots, green salad
  • Friday: Stew with onion, carrots, and sweet potato

Lunches: Leftover dinner from the night before

Breakfast: Eggs and bacon, cheese omelet, eggs and linguica

Chili-lime chicken with mango and avocado salsa

Today’s dinner was one of my favorites: thin chicken breasts seasoned with chili, lime, and other spices, then grilled and served with a mango and avocado salsa. It really hit the spot!

I could also eat the salsa by itself. I had to stop eating it by the spoonful or else there wouldn’t be enough for dinner! The salsa lasted us about 3 servings, but it could be more if I didn’t eat half of it just myself. It probably makes about 1 cup of salsa.

Chili-lime chicken with mango and avocado salsa recipe

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Tinfoil Packet Chicken

I’m not too motivated to cook dinner these days. Luckily my husband cooks a lot, so he makes sure all the food we have in our refrigerator doesn’t go to waste! Don’t get me wrong, I still cook, I just find it less appealing than before I was pregnant.

Anyways.

On a particularly motivationally-low day for both of us, I decided to try tinfoil pack chicken. I have never wrapped chicken up in tinfoil before and cooked it in the oven, so I thought I would give it a try. I made a seasoning blend, cut and rinsed asparagus, and awaited for Marc to get home so he could pound out the chicken breasts.

I only had enough tinfoil for 3 pouches and a bit more chicken than that, but we made it work.

The seasoning blend:

  • Italian Seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Garlic powder

The packet contents:

  • Chicken breasts (pounded out)
  • Asparagus
  • Sundried tomatoes, diced

How we made the packets:

  • Lightly oiled tinfoil
  • Seasoned chicken
  • Put chicken in center of foil
  • Tosses asparagus in seasoning and oil
  • Places asparagus on top of chicken
  • Folded up foil packet

How we cooked the packets:

  • Placed packets in pan (or oven-safe dish)
  • Cooked on 350 degrees, for 30 minutes

How we cooked the packets, continued:

  • We had a little too much chicken in the packets, so after 30 minutes, we opened one up and found the chicken still a bit raw
  • We cooked the packets for an additional 10 minutes, on 375 degrees

The results:

  • Chicken good
  • Asparagus, over-cooked
  • May attempt foil packs someday again, with some edits

I think if we would have only put one piece of chicken in the packets the asparagus would have turned out fine.

The spears of asparagus were less over-cooked than the bottom chunks of aspargus I threw in there.

Other recipes call for broccoli and peas, maybe they would fair better in a foil packet