Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Braised Chicken withPotatoes and Carrots

So, you may notice a shift in the recipes we make over her at Feeding the Troops. One of my sweet boys is really struggling with behavior and self-control, so we took him to a nutritionist for some advise. She recommended that we cut wheat, dairy, and refined sugar from his diet completely. We also started him on fish oil, an essential oil blend.

So we have been trying out some gluten free recipes, but mostly sticking to whole foods because it is just easier! But everyone is getting a bit bored with grilled chicken, broccoli, and rice. So last night we tried something new!This braised chicken and vegetable dish sits in a rich gravy and all that was left after dinner was six clean dishes.






Ingredients
2 Tablespoons olive oil {Divided}
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch cubes
Salt & Pepper
Paprika

1 onion, finely chopped
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-3 inch sticks
1 Tablespoon corn starch
1 1/3 cup chicken broth
1 Tablespoon parsley flakes

Directions
Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil on a large fry pan over medium-high heat.
Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.
Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned. About 2-minutes per side.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Add in the second Tablespoon of olive oil, along with the onions, potatoes, and carrots.
Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and saute for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown.
Add in the flour, and stir, coating the vegetables well.
Slowly pour in the broth, and stir.
Add the chicken back into the mix, and bring the entire thing to a boil.
Cover the pan, and let simmer until the vegetables are cooked through and the chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 15-minutes.
Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 6
























Cozy up and enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pushing Play


Hey friends! 
I've missed this sweet little corner of the internet that I got to call my own, and have so much I want to document and share with y'all. This year has been a complete and total whirlwind, but the winds are settling, and we have found a groove that works for us. So I am excited to return and reunite with you.  

So what's been going on since I pushed the pause button on this sweet little site? 

Our sweet babe turned a year old! So now this kiddos are 6,6,3, and 1! Yes, It is a ton of work with 4 kids that little, but I love that they are super close,and pray that they always remain this close. Anderson is such a perfect fit to our little tribe, and we could not imagine life without him. He is patient, laid back, funny, and a total love bug. He is hitting all of his milestones WAY later then the other boys, but I honestly LOVE that! Just more time for me to cuddle and rock a snugly baby. 
 

After he was born though, I had a really rough time 'bouncing back." He was born via c-section and there were complications. I in there over 2 hours, and Daddy and Anderson went to recovery while my awesome doctor put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I am okay, but the recovery was harder than before. At 7-weeks old, I still had zero energy, still weighed what I did when I left the hospital, and had NO idea how I was going to go back to work in a few weeks. I was barely making it through the day on maternity leave!

Then I came across this line of supplements called Plexus. I started taking them when Anderson was 8 weeks old, and by the 3rd day, felt 100x better! They are natural, plant based, have no stimulants, no artificial sweeteners flavors or colors, and less caffeine than decaf coffee! So I was able to take them while nursing. So they met my crunchy, real food, no chemical standards, and they worked! I had energy again. And not that too much caffeine jittery energy. But that WHOA I didn't know I could feel so good kind of energy. And Lord knows I need that with 4 little boys who have no off switch.

We are still a meal preppin', healthy meal makin', real food feedin', happy kiddo growin' family over here. Balancing life as a working mama (and now a work at home mama too). But it feels good to be back, and I  can't wait to share some of the super yummy recipes we've been making! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Cranberry Orange Muffins


It is always such a bummer when something you love is only available for a short time each year. That's part of eating seasonally though. Cranberries are one of those things that I like to have on hand year round, but they are usually only available October - December.So every year I stock up and throw a few extra bags into the freezer so they are on hand to make things like Pear-cranberry crisp (pears are an end of summer fruit here in So. Cal), and these Orange-Cranberry muffins!

As far as healthy foods go, cranberries are at the top of the list due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content and are often referred to as a "super food." Not to mention, half a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories!

The possible health benefits of consuming cranberries include lowered risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, decreased blood pressure and more.

It is important to know that the most commonly consumed form of this food is Cranberry Juice, which is processed from the berries and typically produced by adding generous amounts of sugar. This form of cranberry cannot provide you with cranberry's full phytonutrient benefits. The cranberry "presscake"—or what is left behind in terms of skins and flesh after the juice has been processed out—typically contains the bulk of the phytonutrients when evaluated in lab studies.  (source)

So to get the full benefit of this super berry, I like to skip the juice, and instead incorporate the whole berry into recipes that use smaller amounts of natural sweeteners. These muffins are super easy, gluten-free (as long as you use GF oats), Dairy free, and can easily be vegan if you swap maple syrup for the honey! 

And all that aside, they are a healthy treat that my boys just LOVE and I can feel good about giving them. Beware though... they are hard to keep in the house and seem to disappear rather quickly around these parts :o)




Cranberry Orange Muffins

Ingredients
3 large overripe bananas
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups oatmeal, blended to a flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 sup fresh cranberries, chopped
zest and juice of 1/2 orange
1/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

Directions


30 minutes at 350 degrees

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Starts NOW with Gingerbread Waffles!

  It's December 1st today and the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is officially over, so it is time to move onto all things Christmas! We bought our tree on Friday, and decorated it last night, so the holiday festivities have definitely started in our home. 


































There are only 25 days to fit in all our favorite Christmas music, movies, events, shopping, and traditions, and I want to make this season memorable for my boys. Tonight we will start our Advent Calendar with reading the beginning of the story of the first Christmas from the Bible, play Christmas music during dinner, and snuggle up to watch a Christmas movie together before bed. But this morning started early with one of our favorites holiday inspired breakfast traditions... Gingerbread Waffles!
Gingerbread Waffles
serves 6-8

Ingredients
2 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup sour milk*
1 1/2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
*Note: To make sour milk, add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to 1 cup milk. Stir, and let sit for a few minutes to curdle.

Directions
Mix the milk and vinegar in a bowl and set aside
In a separate bowl, beat eggs until light.
Stir in the maple syrup, molasses, and sour milk. 
Add flour, spices, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and beat together until smooth.
Cook according to your waffle maker instructions.


Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup

Thanksgiving is only a week away, can you believe it?  I am SO excited for this holiday season, and I don't know about you but I am already looking forward to those turkey leftovers hanging out in the fridge! I love that classic after Thanksgiving turkey sandwich, but what else can you do with all that turkey? Here's one idea for a Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup that is done in 25 minutes!

It's chilly here, and really nothing sounds better than a big pot of homemade soup. Once I figured out how easy it was to make soup at home, those condensed cans of tiny chicken pieces and super salty broth were banished from my pantry forever. If you haven't made homemade soup, now is the time to try. You will never go back to cans, I promise.    
 
Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup
Doesn't this make you want to light the fireplace and bring out the chunky blankets?



























Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (Leaves included)
3-4 cups chicken or turkey stock
3-4 cups water
1 box of elbow noodles
1 1/2 cups turkey chunks
2 teaspoons of Rosemary
2 teaspoons of Oregano
salt to taste {if needed - I didn't add salt because my stock was salty enough}

Directions 
Mince the garlic, and chop the vegetables.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add the vegetables and cook until they begin to  soften. {7-9 minutes}
Add the rosemary, oregano, stock, and water. Stir and bring to a boil.
Add the turkey chunks and one bag of pasta. Cook the pasta per the instructions on the bag. {mine was 12 minutes for large elbow macaroni}.
Taste and see if you need more herbs or salt. Turn to a simmer and serve when you are ready.


A big jar of this soup is headed to my neighbor who is feeling a bit under the weather. Nothing like a homemade soup to say feel better soon!

Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup

Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Braised Chicken with Potatoes & Carrots... and a SURPRISE!

Hi!
How have you been?
I know it's been a while, and I'm sorry.
But I have a reason for being away so long...

There hasn't been much cooking going on in my house for the past few months because, well I haven't felt spectacular.

Surprise!






















We are expecting baby #4 in March! While we are over the moon excited for this surprise blessing, my poor family has suffered through months of dinners consisting of mostly chicken, rice, and cheese. Bless them.

But last week I actually sat down and meal planned for the week, and headed back into the kitchen! And just in time for my favorite cooking season of the year, Fall!
Bring on the warm cozy meals, pumpkins, apples, spices, cocoas, and teas.

This recipe just says fall to me. It's hearty and filling, perfect for the cooler temperatures we have finally seen here in Southern California, and the much cooler temps the rest of the country is experiencing. So pull out those extra blankets, light a fire, and make this for dinner!







Braised Chicken with Potatoes & Carrots

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons olive oil {Divided}
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch cubes
Salt & Pepper
Paprika

1 onion, finely chopped
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-3 inch sticks
1 Tablespoon flour
1 1/3 cup chicken broth
1 Tablespoon parsley flakes

Directions
Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil on a large fry pan over medium-high heat. 
Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.
Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned. About 2-minutes per side.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Add in the second Tablespoon of olive oil, along with the onions, potatoes, and carrots.
Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and saute for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown.
Add in the flour, and stir, coating the vegetables well.
Slowly pour in the broth, and stir.
Add the chicken back into the mix, and bring the entire thing to a boil.
Cover the pan, and let simmer until the vegetables are cooked through and the chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 15-minutes.
Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 6
























Cozy up and enjoy your weekend!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Building a More Colorful Plate with Purple Pasta

We have been trying to mix things up around here and introduce the boys to some new things, and what I have found is that just because I think a meal or a food arrangement looks appetizing, it doesn't mean my kids will agree.

A 2012 Cornell study found that children are most attracted to food plates with seven different items and six different colors, while adults tend to prefer only three items and three colors. So a basic dinner of grilled chicken, broccoli, and steamed rice wouldn't be very appealing to a child. But mix that meal up a bit with some colorful fruits and veggies, and they will be more inclined to eat it. Something like Rainbow Rice or Tri-color Sweet Potatoes will add color to the plate and encourage more nutritionally diverse eating in your kids.
















So one trick I like to use that adds color to a normally colorless food item is to finish cooking pasta in red wine. The alcohol burns off and what you are left with is a beautiful purple pasta! We topped it with some sauteed orange bell peppers, green olives, and bright white feta. Just right there you have 4 colors and a lovely looking side dish. Pare it with grilled chicken or fish, and some bright green steamed broccoli and you have a basic meal (pasta, chicken, and broccoli) that looks tastier to your child than it otherwise would.


The study is published in the January issue of Acta Paediatrica (101:1)

Red Wine Pasta


 Ingredients:
1 box of pasta
1 bottle of red wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Salt to taste
1 large or 2 small bell peppers, chopped {I used 1 large orange pepper}
Crumbled Feta and chopped olives to garnish

Directions:
Cook your pasta in boiling, salted water for 3-4 minutes.
Drain
Return the pasta to the pot and add in the red wine. Cook in boiling red wine until Al Dente. The wine will reduce some as you cook.
While the pasta cooks, add olive oil to a saute pan, and warm.
Add in onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt. Saute for 4-5 minutes.
Add in the bell pepper and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Remove the pasta, drain, and toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
Top the pasta with the red pepper, onion, garlic mixture.
Top with feta and Kalamata olives before serving.



An impressively simple dinner side dish on the table in 30 minutes.


Enjoy!




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