Super Easy & Healthy Shredded Chicken {Crock Pot}

You get one crappy iPhone photo and THAT’S IT.

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But it doesn’t take away from the awesomeness and easiness of this chicken. I’m kicking myself (figuratively AND literally) for not doing this sooner. How easy, you ask?

THIS EASY:

Put one pound of chicken breast and two cups of chicken stock in your crock pot. Low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4 hours.

YOU’RE DONE. I shredded mine in two seconds with a fork because it was so tender. I let it chill a little longer in the juice, but that’s completely optional.

I also diced an onion into some large chunks and threw it in there with some seasonings. You could add any veggies really: carrots, onions, bell peppers, etc. But at the end of the day, all you REALLY need is chicken and stock.

OMG WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

Peanut Butter Banana Blender Muffins

Happy Monday, and happy “I took all my photos on my phone” day…sorry about the lack of prettiness!

Super easy and super clean, these little muffins will probably become your go to when you want a little baked good. It’s as easy as blending a few ingredients, throwing in any extras you want to have, and baking them up!

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Peanut Butter Banana Blender Muffins

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 cup natural peanut butter
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
optional mix-ins: chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, raisins, dried fruit
optional topping: equal parts oats, unsweetened coconut, and brown sugar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. Blend all ingredients together, and then stir in any extras you’d like. Divvy the batter up among your muffin tins. It should fill about 36 of them. If you want to add a topping, just sprinkle a little on each one and gently press down.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through. Enjoy!

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Coconut Ginger Balls

Once in a while, I get a hankering for something strange. Lately, it’s been coconut and ginger. Plus, I’m always wanting something sweet around the house that is still pretty “clean.” Trust me, I can do a number on some cookies or cake, but I always feel 100000x guilty afterward. So to me, this recipe is the perfect little something-sweet-and-guilt-free.

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Adapted from Every Last Bite, this recipe seriously took me like, five minutes to whip up. I made them into tiny little balls so I feel like I have more of them… I think these would be delicious spread on an apple, graham crackers, or just popped in your mouth after dinner. Or for breakfast. Or whenever. Enjoy!

Coconut Ginger Balls (makes about 1 dozen)

Ingredients

8 medjool dates, pitted
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
2 tablespoons walnut pieces
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon honey (optional – the dates are pretty sweet already!)

Directions

1. Put dates in food processor and pulse for about a minute, until a paste is formed.

2. Add in the rest of your ingredients and blend until combined. A soft, sticky dough will form. You may need to scrape the sides a time or two.

3. Form into tablespoon-ish sized balls. You may want to wet your hands just a little so it doesn’t stick. Keep in the refrigerator for a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chili

It’s savory, I promise.

IMG_6928 My friend Jacob makes this chili regularly, and I loved it, so finally made him send me the recipe. Turns out, it is an adaptation of this Circleville Pumpkin Chili. AND IT’S AMAZING AND SO SO SAVORY. Do not let the pumpkin and the chocolate fool you…

So here we go with my adaptation of Jacob’s adaptation of the Circleville Pumpkin Chili recipe…This makes enough for really large crowd, so cut it in half if it’s just for you…

Pumpkin Chocolate Chili

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 chopped onion
2 lbs ground turkey (any meat, of course)
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cumin
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp ground paprika
1 can pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 15-oz can tri-blend of beans, drained (so this is pinto, black, and kidney. but two cans of any beans will do. And of course, leave these out if you are paleo.)

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, then cook onion and garlic until translucent. Add meat and all spices, cooking and crumbling until meat is completely browned.

2. Add in pumpkin, cocoa powder, and tomatoes. Stir and reduce to simmer. Allow to simmer at least 20 minutes, but up to 90 will deliver the best flavor. Stir occasionally.

3. Stir in beans. Allow to simmer for 15 more minutes. Adjust seasoning, and serve.

To make in crockpot, I cooked the chili the night before without any of the simmering. I left it in the fridge overnight, and then turned it on high for an hour, and then low for the rest of the morning in the crock pot. It was ready for a potluck lunch. You could probably leave it on low or even keep warm all day if you wanted it hot when you got home from work.

This chili was a big hit at my office. Either that, or they were just being really nice. Regardless, I really loved it. It’s rich, hearty, and not as tomato-y as your normal chili. Definitely a fun way to switch it up!

Whole 30 Wrap Up {Round Two}

This Whole30 was different. I felt JUST as amazing, and even more quickly than last time. I think this is probably because since my last whole30, I’ve still enjoyed eating a lot of paleo meals, making the transition a little less painful this time around. However, I also got bored with it a lot sooner. It didn’t seem AS magical, probably because my memories of the first one were “I felt like a million bucks!!” which set the bar pretty darn high as far as my expectations went.

I also, admittedly, sort of stopped a few days early. I know, I know…it’s not a TRUE Whole30. But I really felt ready. I feel empowered to make good decisions. I didn’t binge when I stopped. Actually, the thing I’ve been craving the most was popcorn, and I’ve had a LOT of popcorn in the last few days. I’ve also laid out a fitness plan to get me through the next few months, since I do a lot better once it’s all mapped out ahead of me.

My primary goal with this Whole30 was to TRULY make a lifestyle change. As a lot of people like to say, an 80/20 paleo lifestyle. To me, this means choosing paleo meals 80% of the time, and occasionally working in something like popcorn, wine, a piece of pizza, or some cheese. And the biggest challenge in this, for me, is to not make it a big deal in my head. Like, I’m choosing salad instead of a sandwich: no biggie! I’m skipping fries tonight: no biggie! The no biggie mindset will be a huge accomplishment for me.

A few of my favorite new recipes from this time around include:

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Turkey Meatballs and Crock Pot Marinara

Deviled Eggs & Bacon Wrapped Pineapple

Salmon Cakes

A Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot

Have you done a second Whole30? How did you feel?

Cinnamon Honey Pecans

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I’ve wrapped up my Whole30, perhaps a few days early, but I feel as great as I did after the first one. And now that it’s officially over, I’m thinking about how I want to continue many of the lifestyle changes that the Whole30 encourages. A few things I’m sure I’ll add back in before long include: wine (only occasionally, of course, but it has been missed), popcorn (I can’t explain why, but I’ve been craving it so much!), and then the occasional very-non-paleo splurge.

But for now, mostly trying to stick in the paleo world, particularly when it comes to grains and processed sugars. When I found a 6 ounce bag of pecans in the pantry this weekend, I decided to make a little healthy sweet treat. I MIGHT have burned these guys a little, but they are still tasty. Don’t burn them!

Cinnamon Honey Pecans

Ingredients

1 tablespoon egg whites
a splash of water (about 1 teaspoon)
6 oz pecans
1/4 cup honey (just a little less than full)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment or a silipat liner.

2. Combine water and egg white in a bowl. Whisk for a minute or so until it gets a bit frothy. Stir in pecans.

3. Combine honey, cinnamon, and salt in a plastic measuring cup. Add to pecans and stir well.

4. Spread the pecans out on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes.

Again, make sure you don’t burn them like I did! once they come out of the oven, put them in a glass baking dish to cool off. Be sure to wash the baking sheet and liner as soon as possible so you don’t end up with a honey-glue mess.

Enjoy your treat!

Mexican Cauliflower “Rice”

Probably one of my favorite paleo side dishes yet. Served with some seasoned chicken and veggies, this cauliflower truly satisfied my itch for some comfort Mexican food.

mexican cauliflower rice

I adapted the recipe from the Paleo Cupboard, and really changed very little. Here’s how to do it!

Ingredients

1 large head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil or other fat
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped
salt
pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tomato, diced
1/2 small can of tomato paste
cilantro

Directions

1. Using a grater or food processor, rice the cauliflower into tiny pieces.

2. Heat a very large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, let it get warm. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Saute until they begin to become translucent.

3. Add cauliflower, season with salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Stir frequently as cauliflower begins to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in tomato, tomato paste, and a fair amount of cilantro.

4. Cook for a few more minutes, and then taste for seasoning. Serve with more cilantro and a few fresh squeezes of lime. Enjoy!