WhatsforSupperWould I feed Jesus a fast food cheeseburger if he were joining me for a meal? I don’t think I would. 1 Cor 6:19-20 says “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you had received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body”.

If I keep in mind that he IS with me, maybe I can find the motivation to eat “cleaner”. Clean eating is the new “thing”. Just like all things- what’s old is new again.  As a child, I ate clean although I didn’t know it.  We rarely ate out. My mom cooked 3 meals a day, without “convenience” foods (unless you count the things that she had canned!).  She was a stay at home mom and as such had a lot more time on her hands than those who have to go out of the home to work.  But, I am a firm believer we can do better than fast food and things that come in a box!

What I’m proposing is that we all try to eat “clean-er”! I’ll admit that when I’ve been at work all day and have just gotten home after a baseball game at 7pm, I’m not that motivated to begin cooking. Ordering a pizza sounds really good – and sometimes we do!! But MOST of the time I’m cooking REAL food for my family. With that in mind, I will post recipes that are easy, do-able, inexpensive and quick, but clean. Let’s EAT!


One Dish Dinner

Try this comfort food. I sliced up a container of baby Bella mushrooms and added a large bunch of spinach.  I also put in some leftover chicken that I had roasted the night before. My family won’t abide meatless meals, but you can omit the chicken. I have made this recipe more than once- and it’s a keeper. It’s also versatile- you can change it up as it suits you, or if you’re missing an ingredient, make a substitution! It is a nice warm meal for a cold night.

One Dish Dinner

Honey Dijon Chicken

Honey Dijon Chicken

This one pan meal, with broccoli and potatoes, is quick and easy.

Chicken with Cauliflower

Today was my first day back at school after break and my poor brain can’t handle much more so this recipe seems do-able!!  Also, I’m a big fan of cauliflower, especially roasted.  However, I’m not a huge fan of chicken thighs, so I’m going to substitute chicken breasts. It’s real food and (dare I say) Fast food?!? If you don’t have sherry vinegar, substitute whatever you have.  Red wine vinegar would be a good alternative, but whatever you have on hand.  I can’t think of a substitute for the capers, but they are easy to find, but you could leave them out. They would add a nice flavor, though–the sour element because they are pickled.  Hope you like!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into large florets
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Season chicken with coarse salt and ground pepper. Cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.

  2. Place cauliflower around chicken, turning to coat in pan juices; season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until chicken is cooked through and cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in parsley, vinegar, and capers.

COOK’S NOTES

In this simplified recipe, there’s no need to add oil to the skillet because you start cooking the chicken skin side down. If the pan gets too dark, reduce the heat.

Creamy Chicken and Rice

I’m still on the comfort food kick-also quick and easy. This recipe was a hit!  I used brown rice and baby bella mushrooms.  So good!  Hope you like it!!

Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Spaghetti with Sausage and Mushrooms

Here's a quick meal to fix on a weeknight. I substituted linguini for the
spaghetti and just used baby bella's for the mushrooms- things I already
had on hand.  My family went back for seconds!! Another form of comfort
food to me! Hope you like it.

Spaghetti with Sausage and Mushrooms

Chicken Pot Pie

I don't know about y'all, but I'm kind of getting in the mood for comfort
food.  I guess with school starting and all I'm in need of some comfort!
One of my favorite comfort foods is chicken pot pie.  This recipe was in my
inbox today and it seems it may be the best of both worlds: comforting and
lighter in calories. Here's to a comfortable start to the new school year!
Ingredients

   - 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus 1/4 cup melted butter
   - 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
   - 1 garlic clove, minced
   - Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
   - 1 1/2 cups reserved stock from Poached Chicken
   <http://www.marthastewart.com/1057643/poached-chicken>
   - 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
   - 4 medium carrots, cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices
   - 3 medium celery stalks, cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices
   - Poached Chicken <http://www.marthastewart.com/1057643/poached-chicken>
   - 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus about 1/2
   cup leaves for crust and sprigs for garnish
   - 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
   - 1/2 cup slightly thawed frozen peas
   - 6 sheets phyllo dough, thawed if frozen
   - Flaked sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Directions

   1.
   Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over
   medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon
   pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent, about
   3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup stock. Whisk remaining 1/2 cup stock into the
   flour in a small bowl. Whisk into shallot mixture. Bring to a boil,
   whisking constantly. Reduce to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes, whisking
   occasionally.
   2.
   Add carrots and celery. Bring to a boil. Stir in chicken. Return to a
   boil. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped parsley and tarragon. Let cool.
   Stir in peas. Transfer to a 2-quart (8 1/2-by-12-inch) baking dish.
   3.
   Brush 1 sheet of phyllo with melted butter. Sprinkle with parsley
   leaves. Repeat with remaining phyllo, parsley, and butter; do not sprinkle
   parsley on final layer. (Keep unbuttered phyllo covered with plastic wrap
   and a damp kitchen towel.) Drape crust over cooled filling; tuck in edges.
   Cut four 4-inch slits in crust for vents. Sprinkle with sea salt, if
   desired.
   4.
   Bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 30
   minutes. Remove from oven, and recut vents. Serve immediately in shallow
   bowls.

The Whole 30

After doing a bit of research I am feeling convinced that as a whole, we
are eating way too much processed food.  Most anything that comes in a
package is not good for you.  I think I have already stated that in an
earlier post, but maybe, you can guess, I feel that strongly about it.
Sometimes I read a label and I'm just floored that a seemingly simple food
has so many added ingredients!

I wanted to take the sugar challenge after watching a documentary about the
effects of sugar on the body and the brain. However, I didn't think,
knowing what a massive sweet tooth I have, that I'd be able to do ten whole
days without sugar!!

Then I came across The Whole 30 program.  I don't remember where I first
came across it, but I was intrigued.  The Whole 30 is designed to get you
off processed foods, by only eating whole foods for 30 days.  This program
prohibits eating any kind of sugar (except in fruits) and sweeteners.
Hmmm. Kicking the 10 day thing up a notch.

I approached my husband about this challenge.  We decided to go for it. We
now have 9 days left! I feel so empowered.  Like, maybe there are some
other things that I can do! I also feel better! I didn't really have much
to complain about before, but beginning yesterday I feel really good!

This is really a challenge, but yet you eat like a king!  Meat and
vegetables are all at your service. You can eat till you feel satiated, but
by cutting out some foods, you're automatically reducing your calories. And
it's not meant to be a permanent thing.  You go back on the foods you
eliminated a little at a time and evaluate how those foods make you feel.
Maybe there are some things you're eating that really aren't worth the way
they make you feel.

If you feel curious go to Whole30.com to get more information.  There is a
lot more information than I can share here.

Then, grill yourself some meat, roast some potatoes and broccoli with some
salt, pepper, garlic powder, and coconut oil and enjoy!

And ghee!  I have discovered something wonderful that I will continue to
use!  Ghee is butter that has been clarified and browned a bit. It has this
wonderful nutty, caramel-ly flavor that is just out of this world!.  Takes
pan fried potatoes to another level.  Alton Brown has a really simple
recipe for it on the food network site.  Give it a go!!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

This is my own riff on chicken noodle soup-meaning I didn’t follow a recipe, but I’m sure it’s stuck in my head from recipes I’ve used in the past. I use the boxed chicken broth, but water could be used just as well. Also, try to use a whole chicken or (for less waste) use bone in, skin on chicken breasts.  New studies suggest that we are losing nutrients when we don’t use the bones. Ever heard of bone broth?  Your grandparents probably knew about it. There are a lot of nutrients that come from cooking bones with the marrow, so embrace the carcass!!

3-4 carrots, sliced on the bias (diagonal)
2 ribs of celery, sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp thyme
2 containers of Swanson chicken broth
2 bone in, skin on chicken breasts, or 1 whole chicken
1 bag of Amish made egg noodles (I used Essenhaus 1lb wide noodles)

Combine the veggies in a soup pot along with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5-10 minutes.  Stir in a teaspoon of dried thyme (or a few sprigs of fresh, if you have it). Add the broth and the chicken.  Let simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the chicken registers 165 degrees on a thermometer.  Remove chicken and let cool until you can handle it and remove meat from bones.  While chicken is cooling, bring broth to a boil and add noodles.  Lower to a simmer and cook according to package directions.  Return meat to pan. Enjoy!

Blueberry Muffins

I love blueberry muffins!  One time as I was searching for a recipe that offered a little more in the way of “healthy”, I stumbled across this recipe from a website called Food 52. This recipe is not low calorie, but you can feel good about the calories that are in them.  They also are not super sweet. To me, they’re just right!  Be aware that this recipe makes quite a few muffins- you may want to cut it in half.  Don’t be fooled by their appearance – they will look like they’re going to be dry and taste “healthy” – you know, like sticks and bark.  But they’re not!  Give them a try!  They also freeze really well if you can’t eat them all within a coupe of days.

Food 52 Blueberry, Oatmeal and Flaxseed Muffins

Fried Chicken

Last week my Foods class was studying dry cooking methods: frying, baking, sauteing, etc. I wanted them to try frying so I thought “fried chicken!” But I wanted it to be quick and easy. “Easy” takes on a whole new meaning with High schoolers. My “easy” and their “easy” are very different things! However, I found a recipe by The Pioneer Woman from Foodnetwork that actually was easy- super easy for me, and easy for them! My class started with boneless, skinless chicken breasts that they cut into strips and then placed in a bowl and covered with buttermilk. They don’t have to be swimming in buttermilk, just enough to keep them covered. Soak them for about 15 minutes. After they have soaked, you dredge them in seasoned flour with a bit of buttermilk mixed in to make the coating kind of chunky. Fry them in a skillet with about an inch of oil and voila! You have some really tasty, homemade chicken strips! 16 and 17 year olds who have very little experience in the kitchen made these, ate and them, and cleaned upwithin a 90 minute class period! I was so impressed! Plus, they were really tasty for such a deceptively simple recipe. Give it a try- rather than buying chicken strips from anywhere. Here’s the link to the recipe and you can even watch the video. Enjoy!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/crispy-chicken-strips-recipe.html

Beef ‘n Tomatoes

Here’s an easy recipe.  Get yourself some round steak. I get about 3 pounds for my family of 5.  Put it in a baking dish or a crockpot.  Season it with garlic salt or garlic powder. Take 2 cans of stewed tomatoes, open them, and pour them over the steak.  Sometimes I slice an onion over the top.  Cover it with foil and seal it tightly. Bake it for about 2 hours, or set your crockpot to high and cook 7-8 hours.  I usually serve it with buttered egg noodles. I can eat my weight in this, it’s so good!!