Baked Caprese Chicken

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I just recently discovered caprese salad and quickly fell madly in love with it! It’s simple and yet packs a punch of flavor! This is pairing that salad with chicken breasts. The leftovers are pretty amazing too! I love that not only did my husband and I enjoy this, but all 4 of our kids did too! Win win!

One of the keys to making this dish flavorful is making sure to marinate the chicken breasts for at least 4-6 hours. The breasts can be rather big and they need plenty of time to soak up the dressing. You can use a store bought marinade or I like this clean recipe here.

Baked Caprese Chicken: Serves 6

6 chicken breasts

2-3 cups balsamic vinaigrette

1-2 large tomatoes, thinly cut

15 basil leaves, thinly sliced

6 thick slices of mozzarella cheese, optional

Place chicken breasts in a large ziplock baggier (or container with lid), add balsamic vinaigrette and place in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Stir half way through.

Preheat oven to 400F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and top with chicken breasts. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until internal temp is 165F. When chicken is done top each breast with a slice of mozzarella cheese and a slice of tomato. Place in the oven for an additional 3-4 minutes. You want to see the cheese just begin to soften but not completely melt. (I didn’t watch mine careful enough and the tomato began to slide off the chicken, easy fix though.) When cheese has softened, remove chicken from oven and top each breast with a generous portion of basil.

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We had glorious leftover chicken the next day for lunch. I quickly stir fried some kale with olive oil, diced garlic and sea salt and then topped it with the chicken sliced up. Lunch was ready in about 5 minutes!

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Bourbon Honey Grilled Peaches

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I’m kinda on peach kick at the moment! They’re in season and boy are they juicy! Over the weekend I had the most deliciously naughty peach pie at a friends house. Don’t judge, it wasn’t clean or paleo. I also might’ve been the one to bake it. Hey, I said don’t judge! Obviously, I can’t eat peach pie everyday or even every week. Believe me I want to, some kind of birth defect actually – I was born with an abnormal sweet tooth! True story….

This has simple mostly clean ingredients, I’m not sure where bourbon falls on the clean category, and it’s delicious as is or would be dangerously good over ice cream! Don’t wait for it to cool, eat it while it’s still warm! The toasted pecans give it a good crunch and the peaches pair beautifully with the bourbon sauce! It’s not overly sweet, I like to let the natural sweetness of the peaches do their thing!

Bourbon Honey Grilled Peaches: Serves 3

3 peaches, pitt removed and sliced

1/4 cup bourbon

2 tbsp ghee

2 tbsp honey

dash of cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup toasted pecans, diced

Whipped topping (optional)

Add bourbon, ghee and honey to a medium skillet. Turn heat to medium high and cook for 3-4 minutes until most of the alcohol has burned off, stirring often.

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Add peaches to skillet and cinnamon to taste. Stir to evenly coat and cook for another 3-4 minutes until peaches become tender but not mushy.

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Add toasted pecans to the peach mixture and cook for 1 minute more.

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Divide mixture into thirds and plate. Top each serving with your favorite whipped topping! (Coconut whipped cream, whipped cream, whatever.)

Adobo Steak Salad

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I really love this salad! Flank steak is a complicated cut of meat, if it’s not cooked properly it can be seriously tuff and dry! But that’s not the case with this recipe! It was tender and juicy with just right amount of spiciness! I love the Pioneer Woman! She’s beautiful inside and out, she’s hilarious and of course she knows her way around the kitchen! This is the flank steak from her recipe Chipotle Steak Salad! It’s pure amazingness! She pairs it with a spicy mayo dressing but it’s a little too spicy for my taste. So here I’ve modified it, using only the juices from the steak as a dressing. And if you think that’s too plain, trust me you’d be wrong! Two things to note when cooking the flank steak: 1.) Don’t over cook it! 2.) Let it rest! I know I’m often guilty when serving steak to cut it up right off the grill because I’m in a rush to get it on the table quickly! You really can’t do that with flank steak! It’s worth the wait! Have I mentioned how important it is to let it rest yet?!

Adobo Flank Steak Salad: Serves 4-6

1lb flank steak

2 tbsp Adobo sauce

1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Oregano

1 tbsp Honey

24 oz Salad Greens

Handful Cherry Tomatoes

1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced

1 carrot, chopped or sliced

1/4 cup sliced Olives

(It’s really important to marinate the flank steak for at least 4 hours to get it really flavorful!)To marinate add the adobo sauce, worcestershire sauce, cumin, oregano and honey in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over the steak evenly and put it in an air tight container in the fridge for 4 hours.

Grill flank steak on a charcoal barbecue (or gas) for 5 minutes on the first side. Flip and then cook for 5 more minutes. I checked on mine at this point and it needed one more flip and 3 more minutes of grilling. Immediately pull of the grill and put on a plate. Cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes! When it’s done resting, thinly slice against the grain and put on the same plate where it was resting. Just before serving, toss meat in it’s own juices on the plate to make sure each serving of salad has enough juice for the “dressing”.

While the meat is grilling, prep the salad. In a large bowl combine the salad greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, carrot and olives. Top with the thinly sliced flank steak.

*I served our salads with simple grilled zucchini because it’s what I had on hand. You can just as easily make the salad the entire meal!

 

Grilled Peaches with Honey and Pecans

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This is another one of those recipes that I’ve always wanted to try! I often get a sweet tooth and am left with two choices: 1.) Eat a clean treat or 2.) Eat something truly naughty and satisfying. I’m glad that today I chose option 1! Even though it was a clean treat, it was very satisfying! These can be done on the grill but today I used my grill pan and was very happy with the way it turned out! I used canned whipped cream, but really if I had coconut whipped cream ready to go I would’ve used it!

Grilled Peaches: Serves 2

2 medium peaches, cut in half and then deseeded

drizzle of honey

1/4 – 1/2 cup whole pecans

1 tbsp ghee

dash of cinnamon per peach

whipped cream, can sub coconut whipped cream

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Using a grill pan like the one pictured above, heat up the ghee on medium high heat. When it’s good and hot, add the peaches face down. I ended up cooking them on this side for about 4 minutes. You can tell when their done when they have some nice grill marks on them. I flipped them over and cooked for another 4-5 minutes. Once done, place on a cutting board and cut each half in half. And then cut each piece in half again. So each peach will give you 8 slices. Plate and then sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Drizzle lightly with honey and then 1/2 of the pecans. Top with whipped cream or coconut whipped cream.

This was warm and delicious and my husband said he’d be happy to have it again!

Veggie Stir Fry with Rib Eye

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It’s very rare that leftovers are better then the night before! Last night was my husbands birthday and to celebrate it we had a feast of rib eye, roasted red potatoes, kale stir fry and baby portabella skewers! Today for lunch I created a quick veggie stir fry and then topped it with thinly sliced rib eye from the night before! Holy moly was it good!! Rib eye is expensive so this was definitely a treat!

Veggie Stir Fry with Rib Eye: Serves 2

1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces

1 package baby portabella mushrooms, thickly sliced

1 bunch of kale, cut into bite size pieces

2 pieces of bacon, cut into bite size pieces

sea salt and pepper to taste

1/2 lb leftover rib eye, thinly sliced and heated

In a medium skillet, cook bacon on medium high heat until it’s slightly crispy. Remove bacon and set aside, but leave the bacon drippings in the skillet. Add cauliflower and baby portabella mushrooms to the skillet. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes stirring often. You can add 1/4 cup water if veggies are too dry. Add kale and cook until just wilted. About 3-4 minutes. Add bacon back to the pan and heat back up. Divide between 2 plates and top each plate with 1/2 of the rib eye. Prepare to be amazed as you enjoy your lunch/dinner! A happy dance is totally acceptable!

*Just a F.Y.I do NOT season stir fry with salt while the bacon is in the pan! I’ve done this and for some strange reason all the salt is magically attracted to the bacon. What you end up with is bland veggies and overly salty bacon! Just saying!

 

Kale and Zucchini Stir Fry with Chicken and Pinenuts

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I hate it when I don’t time my errandsย correctly and then end up at home hangry! Admit it, we’ve all been there! We’re beyond the point of being hungry and are now entering the moody stage! As a mama to 4 kids, it’s not pretty when I get hangry! My 8 year old son jokes that I’m “Mama Hulk” when I get to that point! When he says that, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!!!

So this is where I was at when I made this lunch. I quickly grabbed 2 zucchinis, some kale and said a quick prayer that everything would turn out all right! As it turns out, I’m pretty good at winging it! (Totally not bragging here!) Leftover rotisserie chicken from the day before was shredded and topped on the stir fry for a quick way to get in protein. The fact that my husband loved it was a total bonus!

Kale and Zucchini Stir Fry with Chicken and Pinenuts: Serves 2

2 zucchini, cut in half and then cut into slices

1 bunch of kale, cut into bite sized pieces

1-2 tbsp olive oil (can sub ghee, bacon fat or coconut oil)

sea salt and pepper

toasted pine nuts

1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken, heated

2 tbsp pinenuts

In a medium skillet heat up olive oil. When it’s good and hot, add the zucchini. Season with sea salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring often. Add kale and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often. (Kale should be wilted but not complete mush!) Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Divide stir fry between 2 plates. Top with each plate with 1/2 cup rotisserie chicken and 1 tbsp of the toasted pinenuts.

 

*When you first add the kale in, it’ll look like it’s taking over the pan. Don’t worry, as it wilts it’ll shrink down to point where you wonder if you should’ve added more!๐Ÿ™‚

 

Thai Sweet Chili Chicken Skewers

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I love me some kabobs! Whats not to like about tender cuts of meat layered with veggies and then grilled on the barbecue?! This recipe and I go way back! Like way way back! Back to the days of just arriving in New Zealand 11 years ago!

I remember my very first grocery shopping trip as a foreigner… 2 hours in the store and I walked out with only 1/2 a cart (or trolley as it’s called there) worth of groceries! So many foods were different. Brands were different, I had no idea which ones were of good quality. And I was looking for things I could find back home. Problem was, for the most part I wasn’t going to find what was back home. Once I embraced that, I began to fall in love with all that was different about food in New Zealand! The butcher had so many different cuts of meat, many of which came pre-marinated. Lamb was the cheapest meat you could buy, loved that! If you wanted good bread, guess where you went? The baker!!! Go figure! The smell of fresh baked bread is second to none! And if you wanted fresh vegetables and fruit at a good price, you went to your local fruit and veggie stand! It may have meant many stops for the food you wanted, but it was always fresh and offered what was in season! Forget bulk buying, it doesn’t exist there! Just over 4 million people in the country doesn’t support buying in bulk. But I wouldn’t change a thing! We spent 4 years there, it was such a wonderful experience and I still think of it as home!ย These sweet chili chicken kabobs were born out of my experimentation while living in a new country!

These are also one of my kids favorite dinners. I usually serve it with steamed jasmine rice for the kids and then a big salad for the whole family to share! If I’m really lucky, there will be enough leftovers the next day for me to have at lunch! Make sure to marinate the chicken at least 4 hours before grilling, 8 hours is best though.

 

Sweet Chili Chicken Kabobs: Serves 6-8

3 lbs chicken thighs, boneless/skinless

3/4 of a bottle of Trader Joes Sweet Chili Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce (or coconut aminos)

1 red bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces

1 green bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces

1 medium onion, cut into bite sized pieces

1 container button mushrooms, washed and sliced in half

To marinate the chicken: Cut chicken into thick bite sized pieces. Place the chicken, sweet chili sauce and soy sauce in a big bowl. Mix well. Cover and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours.

After marinating the chicken, skewer the chicken, bell peppers, onion and mushrooms. I like to make it look pretty but really as long as its on the skewer that’s all that matters.๐Ÿ™‚ Cook on the barbecue for 20-25 minutes.