Chicken Enchilada Stew

chicken soup

When I wake up to rainy days like today, only one thing sounds good. Soup. I had just enough time to throw this in the crock pot before heading to class, can’t wait for the amazing smell when I get home later, NOMS!

Ingredients:
2lbs chicken breasts
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, sliced very thin
4 Hatch green chiles, charred with torch or over stovetop burner, deseeded and chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 (14oz) can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 (7 oz) can tomato sauce
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
bunch of cilantro, to garnish
avocado, to garnish

Method:
1. Season chicken breasts with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Sear lightly in saute pan with coconut oil on both sides until they begin to brown. Don’t cook through completely.
2. Add chicken and all ingredients to crock pot on low for 8-10 hours or high for 6-8 hours.
3. After 6 hours remove chicken breasts and shred with a fork before returning to crock pot to finish cooking.
4. Garnish with fresh cilantro and diced avocado.
5. Enjoy!!!

Note: I make this typically in large batches. It can be eaten as more than just a soup. By straining the stock, the chicken and veggies are amazing in omelettes and on salads.

WTPh… This is Phokin Delicious…

image

This is an exciting dish for me. I am a soup lover first, but I am pho phonatic!!! There is something amazing about the savoriness of pho that few soups can touch.

Pho originated in Northern Vietnam early in the 20th century, but is believed to have been inspired by a French dish, pot-au-feu (beef stew). A peasant dish in simplicity, there is nothing simple about how this soup pleases your palate. Traditional ingredients, beef meat and bones, herbs, spices, water (soon to be broth) and noodles.

Yes, I said noodles. And, this is one of the dishes I missed most when I went paleo as I typically would eat pho once a week. Traditionally made with rice vermicelli, even with these noodles, it is a healthier option than any gluten containing wheat based noodle. I finally found a grain free substitute at our Asian market. Kelp noodles. Yes, seaweed noodles. They are made from kelp and sodium alginate (a salt extracted from brown seaweed), and are excellent in soups, salads and stir fry dishes. You should be able to find them at any local Asian grocer and even sometimes at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. They are fat free, gluten free and very low in carbs as well as being mineral rich and a great natural source of iodine. Try em, trust me…

Ingredients:
2 lbs Chuck Roast, cut into cubes
2 1/2 – 3 lbs Short ribs on the bone
1 Pkg Beef marrow bones
3 Cups Chicken stock
3 Tablespoons Coconut oil
2 Yellow onions diced
8 stalks of Celery roughly chopped
4 Star anise
2 Cinnamon sticks
10 Cloves
1 Tablespoon Lemon grass
a pinch of Coriander
a pinch of Chinese 5 spice
7 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 good sized chunk of Ginger, cut into thick slices
2 Bay leaves
1/4 Cup of Fish sauce
enough water to finish filling the Dutch oven
big square of Cheese cloth

Garnish:
2-3 slices fresh jalapeño
Chopped Green onions
Chopped fresh Cilantro
Chopped fresh Basil
Shredded Kale or Spinach

Method:
1. Place star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon grass, ginger, coriander, 5 spice, and bay leaves into cheese cloth. Tie it up into a sack with some kitchen string and set aside.

2. Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees, and in a cast iron skillet (if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a cookie sheet covered in tin foil) place the marrow bones Roast the bones for about 20-25 minutes until the bones are a little browned and some of the marrow has melted out of the middle.

3. While the marrow bones are roasting heat a Dutch oven on med-high heat, and starting with the first tablespoon of coconut oil brown the chuck in batches, making sure there is a nice crust on all sides. Continue adding oil as needed setting each batch aside in a bowl as you finish. Do the same with the short ribs being sure to brown on all sides including the bones.

3. Brown onions until just translucent and add the chicken stock. Scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven getting all the bits incorporated into the stock. Add the celery, garlic, marrow bones and liquid, browned meat and any juices that are in that bowl, fish sauce, and sack of spices.

4. Finish up by filling the Dutch oven nearly the rest of the way with water. Bring to a rolling boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook 4-5 hours or until all the marrow has melted out of the middle of the bones.

5. Get a bowl. A BIG bowl. To serve, add spinach or kale to bottom of bowl, top with pho, and garnish as you’d like with sliced jalapeños, cilantro, basil, and green onions. It’s best when it’s piping hot! Eat up and enjoy!

Chili con Carne

20130112-172539.jpg
As promised to everyone drooling over the chili pics I posted this weekend, the recipe. First of all, I recommend that everyone invest in a crockpot. Sure you can do this in a stock pot on the stove, but this is an easy, set it and forget it dish like many others I will be posting are. Crockpots save time and allows for bulk cooking for the week.

Ingredients
2 lbs Lean Grass-Fed Beef, whole cuts trimmed to 1″ cubes or ground if preferred
1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
2 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
2 Jalapeños, chopped very small
2 bulbs Fresh Garlic, chopped very small
2 12 oz cans Crushed Tomatoes (check label for additives)
1 bunch Cilantro, chopped fine
4 tbsp Cumin
4 tbsp Chili Powder
1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 oz 80% Organic Dark Chocolate
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Method
1. Turn on crockpot to high.
2. In a nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, brown the beef, drain and transfer to crockpot.
3. In same pan, sauté onions, green peppers and jalapeños until onions are just translucent. Add garlic and continue to sauté 1 minute until garlic becomes fragrant. Transfer to crockpot.
4. Add tomatoes, spices and chocolate to crockpot salting lightly as you can adjust this later.
5. Allow chili to come to a simmer and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for minimum 2 hours. At this point, I will reduce heat to warm and allow to cook overnight. You may finish it at this stage with the cilantro and serve or package and refrigerate. Keep in mind that the flavored will continue to meld and evolve bringing a deeper flavor the next day.

Butternut Squash Soup

With rain in the forecast the rest of the week, it was a perfect day for one of my favorite pastimes and the closest I have come to a Zen moment. I’m not talking chicken soup for your soul. I’m talking about checking out from everything in my life that may be stressing me out at the time and being at perfect harmony with the universe. Some people meditate, some people create art, I make soup… A… Lot… Of… Soup… At a previous restaurant, my tomato soup called for exactly 50 tomatoes that I would fire roast individually by hand. Forgive the language, but when it comes to soup, I don’t f$&k around…

With the nasty weather coming later this week, what better than something that’ll stick to your insides and warm ya right up. Best yet, this soup is incredibly versatile when it comes to seasonings so before we get into it, I’ll touch on that. With a great full body and natural earthy sweetness, the butternut squash holds its own with just about anything you want to throw at it so when you season it, don’t be afraid to be bold. This is one recipe I am not going to list spices in the ingredients. That’s up to you. I will give you some ideas before we get into it of some of my faves.

Ideas:

– Simply seasoned with salt and pepper au natural…
– Cumin, salt, and pepper with a poblano coconut cream…
– Curry, any curry… Hot, sweet, rogan josh, vindaloo… Take your pick…
– Cloves and nutmeg, great for the holidays…

Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash
2 Onions, white or yellow, small dice
2 Stalks Celery, small dice
1 Carrot, small dice
4 Cloves Garlic, chopped fine
1 Quart Chicken Stock
1 Cup Coconut Milk
4 Tbsp Coconut Oil

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F, grease sheet pan with 2 tbsp of oil.
2. Peel squash and cut in quarters, scoop out seeds and lay cut side down on sheet pan. Cover with foil and bake for 45-60 minutes until soft. Will depend on oven and size of squash.
3. While squash is heating, sweat onion, celery and carrot with remaining 2 tbsp coconut oil on medium-low heat in sauce pot. Do not allow to brown. When softened, add garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
4. Add squash to pot, top with chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Blend with immersion blender until smooth. (For smoother consistency you can strain through a fine mesh strainer, but you will be losing great fiber.) Continue to blend while adding cream. Note: This step can be done in a blender also. Blend in batches, never filling more than half the pitcher at a time or you will end up with a mess. Trust me…
5. This is where ya get to choose your own adventure. Be bold. Don’t be afraid. Find the flavor that suits your mood and make it happen.

20130107-230953.jpg

20130107-231130.jpg