Last minute (healthy) Turkey Chili

Rainy days make me want to cook all day!

Being a mom of 2 littles, I can’t just drop everything and head out to Whole Foods for an hour gathering unnecessary (and expensive) ingredients like I used to.

But I can still enjoy cooking and make something delicious with just a few yummy ingredients.

Once I’ve decided that no matter how much I bribe him, my toddler isn’t going to eat this, I can actually prepare it the way I want with as many spices as I’d like!

This is one of my favorite things to make last minute during a rainy day, snow day, or day I’m feeling extra puffy and want to eat something healthy AND savory.

Here’s what I use:

  1. Ground turkey
  2. Onion (yellow or purple)
  3. Green pepper
  4. Fresh garlic
  5. Olive oil
  6. Diced tomatoes with green chili
  7. Salsa (any typical red salsa will do)
  8. White chili beans
  9. Kidney beans
  1. Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, chili powder, ground black pepper, a little salt

I start with a big pot and add about 3 Tbs. olive oil over medium high heat.

Add chopped onion, green pepper and garlic to sauté and soften.

Add seasonings and allow to simmer.

Add ground turkey, breaking up and allow to begin to brown.

Stir in un-drained tomatoes and chili’s. Mix together.

Add un-drained white chili beans and drained kidney beans. Stir and simmer.

Finally add a little salsa and keep on low heat until turkey is completely cooked through (about 30 min).

*Tip* I had 2 fresh (uncooked) ears of corn that needed to be used up so I cut the corn off the cob and added it to the chili, something I’ve never done before, but will continue doing because it added a nice sweetness to the spice!

Enjoy, Mamas!

I know I cussed you out last year, but are you accepting preschool applicants?

Anyone who knows me as a parent knows I’m a little crazy. I blame it on a combination of postpartum anxiety, my very Italian family and a short list of childhood disappointments.

After my son was born, my postpartum anxiety subsided, and I began venturing out of the confinements of our home, I found myself feeling a need to get back to the gym. Most of my other mom friends had made that leap much sooner than I had and I felt ready.

The problem wasn’t just leaving my baby for an hour or two (something I had extreme trouble with) it was leaving him in the gym daycare with people he (and I) didn’t know.

Sure, they had windows for me to peak through, the staff all had background checks and a good reputation, and it was a good opportunity for both he and I to be around other people. Apparently other human beings existed, it wasn’t just the two of us, although it seemed that way for a really long time.

I tried dropping him off, I really did. A few times. But he screamed and cried and was so confused. I just knew he thought I was gone forever. Even when the woman holding him tried to shield me from his view and another woman shooed me towards the actually workout area to let me know all was going to be ok, I just couldn’t.

I went back twice after less than 10 minutes and went home. Trying to focus on the stair master or elliptical was impossible when my heart was racing and swear I could hear him cry. I couldn’t get his little face out of my mind and really, who needed to get rid of the mom-gut anyway?

So I waited another couple months and decided to try another branch, the same branch my friend was bringing her twin girls to (who were a few months younger than Chase).

I gave the very friendly (and patient) staff a long list of instructions including not to let him cry and to please come get me or call me if he did. They agreed and were really excited to see me finally walk out.

I left, reluctantly, and tried not to cringe when one of the staff took his teether from me, holding the part he chewed on with her fingers.

I got on the stair master, put my Pandora station on DMX radio (“X Gon Give it to Ya” really gets me going) and made sure I was facing the entrance in case one of them came to get me.

They never did.

After 30 minutes, I decided enough was enough and I had to go see my baby.

As I walked out of the cardio room and down the hall towards the daycare I heard a baby screaming and just knew it was my son. It’s one of those things only a mom can tell from far away. A man would never pick up on that, not any man I know, anyway.

I picked up the pace and ran into the room and sure enough, there was my son, being held by one of the male staff members at the front desk, away from all the other children. He was crying so hard and had been for so long that he couldn’t catch his breath and had that quick, panicky, puffy breathing thing going on. You know the one.

When I grabbed him and held him, I started tearing up, too.

“Dammit. I knew I shouldn’t have done this. Mother _ _ _ _ #$%. Son of…”

Well, you get it. I was pissed.

I looked around and a few staff members were standing close by and I asked why the hell no one had come to get me? Why had no one called? I was stepping away like an idiot thinking my baby was happy and I came back to this. I was infuriated, actually. They had reassured me they would never let him cry more than a few minutes to get adjusted and would absolutely come get me if he didn’t.

Chase had to be removed from the actual play area because he was causing the other children to worry! Maybe I’m overreacting but my blood was boiling, I was so upset, I yelled at everyone, told them how unacceptable this was and stormed out.

They explained that they were LITERALLY about to come get me and he hadn’t been crying like that for very long. I wasn’t buying it.

I demanded to speak to the manager. Not the manager of the daycare, the manager of the whole building.

This woman was going to remember me.

I made such a fuss, was crying, grasping my son and made sure everyone around me heard about it.

I made such a scene that other parents walking in with strollers stopped to listen. I think they thought something catastrophic had happened in the baby room.

I cancelled my membership right then and there and if all of that wasn’t enough, came home and wrote a pretty lengthy email to the CEO. She wrote me back almost immediately and was really understanding and apologetic. Girl was good. You don’t climb the ladder without calming a few bitches down.

Jump to a year and a half later. I’ve had my second baby and my first is getting ready to start thinking about preschool possibilities and I still haven’t worked out more than the 15 squats I did in December and that one Yoga video on YouTube

They have forgotten about the crazy lady (although I’m still pissed) and I hear they have a wonderful facility!

I’m going to take a tour of the preschool next week. I just have a pretty important decision to make before then.

Red Sox hat or the cute blue and white one with the anchor? I think the one with the anchor hides my face a little better.

Overnight Oatmeal

I got the idea for this delicious breakfast dish from “Balancing In Heels” by Kristin Cavallari. I have made these overnight oatmeal jars before and used other fruit like blueberries, bananas and strawberries. I put them in the jar overnight with the oats and chia seeds, but made this one a bit different.

Here’s what I did:

  • 3/4 Cup Organic Whole Rolled Oats
  • 2 Tbs Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbs Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Fuji Apple (diced)
  • Cinnamon

Put all ingredients, minus the apple and cinnamon in a small mason jar and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, transfer oatmeal into a bowl and mix the apple pieces with as much cinnamon as you like and use as your topping! Enjoy!

 

Homemade Granola!!

Do you love cereals and granola but worry about the sugar content and other additives? Try this SUPER easy recipe and trust that you’re consuming delicious, natural ingredients without the preservatives or additives.

This granola was SO easy to make and probably the best I’ve ever had. I have enjoyed it for breakfast and as an after-dinner snack, both with unsweetened almond milk (you could also use regular milk or yogurt).

Here’s what I did (in approximation):

  • 2 Cups Organic, Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Grape Seed Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Honey
  • 1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 Cup Mixed Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pumpkin seeds)
  • Sprinkle Cinnamon (to your liking)

I preheated oven to 300. In a mixing bowl, combine oats, coconut oil, grape seed oil and honey. Mix together well, you want the oats to be completely coated but not drenched. Sprinkle a little cinnamon, add the mixed nuts and mix together once more.

Spread this mixture out on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees (mixing a couple times) for 20 minutes. Lower heat to 250 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes, mixing again in between (you don’t want the granola to burn or cook unevenly).

Remove from oven and pour the dried cranberries on top. Mix together and allow granola to cool completely before eating.

*Tip* You can use any nuts you want, bake them the same way I did. You can use any dried fruit you want, just add it at the end the way I did when the granola is out of the oven but still warm.

*Skin-care tip* Oats are great for many skin conditions! Ever heard of an oatmeal bath? Known to sooth and calm the skin, lower blood sugar levels and prevent heart disease, oats are good for the inside out! Healthy skin starts within!

Spicy Red Curry Chicken

Are you ever in the mood for Thai food but don’t feel like leaving the house? Maybe you don’t know all the ingredients that the restaurant is putting in your food and that bothers you! Well, here you go!

Here’s what I did:

  • 2 lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 3 Tbs. Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Tbs. Curry Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Fresh Chopped Ginger
  • 1 Diced Garlic Clove
  • 1/4 Cup Fish Sauce
  • S&P To Taste
  • Dash Cayenne Pepper (to your liking)
  • Fresh, Steamed Broccoli (about 1 cup with stems removed)
  • 1/2 Cup Steamed Edamame
  • Brown Rice or Riced Cauliflower
  • Grape Seed Oil (about 1/2 Tbs.)
  • Fresh Sliced Mango and Cilantro to garnish

I sliced my chicken into short strips and heated them over high heat in a skillet with the oil. I seasoned with salt and  pepper, added the ginger, mixed together and allowed to cook about 1/2 way through.

In a small mixing bowl, I combined the coconut milk, curry paste, curry powder and fish sauce (I actually used a little less than the full 1/4 cup, I filled it about 3/4 of the way to 1/4 cup, if that makes sense).

I poured the mixture over the chicken, covered and reduced heat to medium/low. In my steamer, I steamed the broccoli, then the edamame. After about 15 minutes, I added them to the chicken, covered again and allowed to cook for another 10 minutes or so.

I served this dish over brown rice (gluten-free) but you can also use riced cauliflower (paleo) and sliced mango, which really complimented the flavors. Enjoy with a glass or 3 of Medaloni Cellars Sauvignon Blanc! (If you prefer red with this dish, I’d suggest a Pinot Noir)

*Skin-care tip* Tumeric is found in curry. Tumeric is essential in anti-inflammatory issues and is great at healing acne and even psoriasis!

 

 

Paleo Chicken Marsala

This dish is so savory and satisfying, I absolutely recommend making this for yourself, family and friends! I served mine over pureed zucchini and avocado.

Here’s what I did:

  • 2 lbs Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Marsala Wine
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • S&P to taste
  • Almond Meal
  • Arrow Root
  • Eggs
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Dried Parlsley
  • Sliced button mushrooms

In a large skillet, heat about 1 Tbs. grape seed oil over medium/low heat. Dice about 1 large garlic clove and add to oil.

In a bowl, beat 2 eggs. In another bowl, combine 1 part arrow root and 2 parts almond meal (I had to add some to finish coating the chicken, I used about 1 cup almond meal and 1/2 cup arrow root). Slice the chicken breasts in half (so they’re thinner), dip in egg wash and roll in flour mixture. Place each breast in the skillet evenly.

Sprinkle parsley, salt and pepper and once the chicken begins to cook on the edges, flip over and repeat. Pour the marsala wine over everything, enough to come up to the chicken but not cover it.

Dice 1/2 yellow onion and add to the chicken. Add about 12 ounces of sliced mushrooms, cover and allow to simmer for about 25-30 minutes.

For Zucchini mash: 1 large zucchini, 1/2 avocado.

Slice one large zucchini down the center the long way, turn each half on it’s side and slice once more, each. Cut into small cubed pieces and add to a small skillet heated with a little grape seed oil. Cover and allow to cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, or until you can puncture with a fork. Add the zucchini and avocado to your food processor (leaving an opening on the top so heat can escape). Blend until completely smooth.

Serve your marsala over the zucchini mash! Enjoy!! I had Old Moon Zinfandel with this dish.

 

Paleo Chicken Piccata (DELISH!)

20160216_195446.jpg20160216_194216.jpgOk, so eating healthy can sometimes be a challenge, am I right? Sometimes you just want the yummy, buttery dish that your grandma used to make or that they served at your favorite Italian restaurant…WELL, you’re welcome in advance because not only is this dish Paleo, Gluten-Free, AND healthy, but it is DELICIOUS! My very picky husband inhaled it and didn’t even ask if it was paleo or gluten-free.

Here’s what I did:

  • Almond Meal
  • Arrow Root
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • Lemon Juice (and fresh slices)
  • Garlic
  • Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless. I used about 2 1/2 breasts)
  • Capers
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • S&P to taste

In a small mixing bowl, beat 2 eggs. In another, combine 2 parts almond meal and 1 part arrow root. Mix together with a fork.

In a large skillet, pour a small amount of oil over medium heat. Cut your chicken breasts down the center so they’re more thin, (you might even want to cut twice, depending on how thick they are). Mince some fresh garlic cloves (I used 1, large) and place in the skillet (careful not to burn).

Coat each piece of chicken in the egg and then roll in the almond meal mixture until completely coated and place in the skillet. Once all the chicken is in the skillet, allow to heat until the edges begin to cook through and squeeze some fresh lemon over everything (I like a lot of lemon, so I used 2 lemons). Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Flip the chicken over and repeat.

Once the chicken is about 1/2 way cooked, pour your marinated artichoke hearts, juice included, over everything and add some capers (I used 3/4 of a 12 oz. jar of artichoke hearts and about 2 Tbs. of capers). Slice some lemon and place them on top.

Take about 1 Tbs. butter and cut into small pieces, place in between chicken. Reduce heat to low/medium/low, cover and allow to simmer for about 25 minutes.

I served this over steamed/mashed cauliflower with Napa River Chardonnay!