Chicken Tomatillo Chili

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It is officially chili season.  We have been very lucky to have some beautiful weather in the 70s during the day and 50s in the morning, but slowly but surely the temp is dropping. This weekend we had a ton of rain and a cold front that blew in, so I decided it was time to make my first chili of the season.

Chili is such a fun dish.  You can make it anyway you want.  You pick your protein, your base, your liquid, your veggies, and any combination of things can work! Traditional chili is beef based, but you see it now with turkey, all beans, chicken, etc…

Enchiladas Verdes with chicken are probably James and my favorite thing! We love burgers and a lot of other foods, but Enchiladas Verdes are number one! This chili is inspired by our favorite dish made into a soup. Oh and for you parents out there, chili is an awesome way to sneak in some leafy greens!

What you will need:

  • 3 large chicken breasts, cubed and seasoned (ancho chili, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper)
  • 1 white onion finely chopped
  • 1 can white beans drained and rinsed
  • 12-16 oz tomatillo salsa (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2-3 cups of chicken stock (low sodium)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot or dutch oven heat a tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat.  Add your chopped onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until softened. Add in your minced garlic and cook for a further minute until fragrant.

Add your seasoned chicken cubes to the pot and cook through. It is very important your chicken is fully cooked before you get to the next steps.

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Add your white beans, your tomatillo salsa, and your chicken stock and stir to mix them all together.

Now you can relax, let the chili stew on low for about an hour stirring every now and again so the flavors can merge and really come together.

Just before you take it off the heat, remove the chard from the stems and chop the leaves roughly.  Add them to the pot and stir. The fresh green adds some brightness and freshness to the chili.

Finally top your chili with whatever you want!  We did some shredded Oaxaca cheese, chopped avocado, Mexican crema, and tortilla chips.

We were warmed from the inside out! This dish was so delicious, and this recipe is enough for 4 people, so if you have a smaller family, you get leftovers!!!

Traditional Potato Salad

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Potato salad is kind of a Southern staple at any barbecue, and there are probably a million ways to make it.  This version is definitely more on the traditional side, but another day I will show you another version I make without mayo.

Potato salad is a great side to make for a lot of different things.  It’s perfect for potlucks, picnics, and week night dinners.  It does not need to be heavy, and if you want to sneak in some chopped spinach, kale, or chard, it’s a great way to sneak in those veggies your kids think they don’t like!

We had this version the night I made bbq kale, and it was a great pairing. I am not the biggest fan of celery, so I left this out, but if you love it, go ahead and add it in!

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You will need:

  • 1 lb mini yellow potatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • paprika to sprinkle over

Wash your potatoes carefully before cutting them up.  Put them in a large pot of warm, salted water and bring to a boil until done and you can stick with a fork easily.

While the potatoes boil, mix your mayo, vinegar, mustard, garlic, chives, salt and pepper in another bowl. If you find this a little bit sharp, add some honey or agave to cut the acidity from the vinegar and mustard.

Drain the potatoes and put them into a large bowl.

Add the mayo mixture to the bowl and toss thoroughly to coat.

Sprinkle with paprika and enjoy!

If you are adding any veggies to this just add them in with the mayo mixture before you toss together.

Dark Chocolate Energy Bars

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This past weekend we had a really fun event at Lululemon in Greenwich, CT in collaboration with Countdown Fitness.  The team at Countdown Fitness is awesome, and the ideology behind it is really fascinating.  I started training with them about 5 weeks ago, and I really feel great and am already seeing more muscle definition.

Our event was a way to marry fitness with healthy eating. It is so important to eat well while you exercise or you will never see results.  If you eat cheeseburgers and pizza every day, you may still get stronger, but you won’t see yourself getting into shape. And let’s be honest, a big part of working out is to look good (and feel good of course)!!

As I have learned from years in sales, having food at any event is a great way to get attention.  Everyone always wants a free sample so I made these tasty dark chocolate energy bars as a special treat.  They can easily be made gluten free, but these are not.

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What you need for these energy bars:

  • ⅔ cup prunes
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¾ cup coconut flakes
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 cup large flake oats
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chocolate chips
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • ¼ cup hemp hearts (optional)
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.

Put your prunes and water in a small pot and let it come to a boil.  Once boiling, remove them from the heat and let them sit for 10min.

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Toast your coconut and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in a dry pan over medium heat until starting to brown.

Put all of your dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together including the chocolate, coconut, and nuts. Mix in your smashed banana and the syrup next.

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Using a blender, hand blender, or food processor blend up your water and prunes to make a paste. Add it to the mixture and use your hands to mix it all together.

Spread it across a sheet pan and make sure they are nicely packed down. Bake in the oven  for 25-30min.

Cut them immediately, but let them cook before you eat them.

Feel free to add in more chocolate or dried fruit to your liking, but as they are, these are nice and tasty.

Special Fried Rice

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When James and I were on our honeymoon, we had the most delicious garlic fried rice at one of the restaurants at our hotel.  It was a Teppanyaki restaurant and they served the rice at the end of the meal. At that point you are already so full, but after we took our first bite, we did everything we could to finish it!

This isn’t an exact recreation of that dish, but it wasn’t too far off. I made us a few spicy grilled shrimp to put on top, but the main event is the rice!  James ate enough for a family of 4 to himself, so I would say this dish was a success!

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For the special fried rice you need:

  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 5 garlic gloves, minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
  • 6 cups of cooked rice (I used brown rice to make it healthier)
  • Your soy sauce mixture (see above)
  • scallions, finely chopped whites and greens separated
  • 3 tablespoons of Sambal Oelek (spicy chili paste)

Mix your top section of ingredients together and warm in a small sauce pan on the stove until all ingredients are mixed together.

In a wok quickly scramble your 3 eggs with a little bit of oil, and remove from the pan.

Then add your whites of your scallions and your garlic into the wok with 2 tbsp of oil. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

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Add your rice to the scallion and garlic mixture and fry it in the oil for a few minutes. Once warmed throughout and the edges start to crisp up, add your soy sauce mixture and continue to cook.

After about 5 minutes add in the greens of the scallions, keeping a few for garnish, and the Sambal Oelek.  This is optional if you don’t like spice, but it really gives it a great flavor.

Cook another 2 minutes and serve hot.

This rice is light and delicious and such a great base for many different proteins!