First off, as promised to all of my lovely Facebook friends, the skillet chicken chili pasta!
I swore I took a picture of this meal before Matt & I devoured the whole thing, but clearly I forgot (pregnancy brain). So the above picture from the inspirational recipe (although I altered it significantly).
My final version, which Matt and I both enjoyed hot, but preferred cold:
- 1 16oz bag of brown rice pasta (I used spirals)
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 chopped mayan sweet onion
- 1 chopped red bell pepper
- 1 diced jalapeno pepper (don't forget to wear gloves when seeding/dicing it!)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups cooked ground chicken *see note
- 1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (I used both grape & on-the-vine)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 can green chiles
- 1/2 cup corn (I used frozen, but you could use fresh or canned as well)
- 1/2 cup chickpeas (I used dried that I had soaked and cooked the week before)
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- gluten-free Ranch seasoning mix (1 packet equivalent)
- 1/2 tsp dried cilantro
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and run under cool water to stop cooking. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a deep saucepan or skillet. Add onions and peppers, cook stirring until softened about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook stirring for 1 minute. Add chicken, tomatoes, broth, green chiles, corn, chickpeas, pasta, chili powder, cumin, Ranch seasoning and cilantro. Stir until well combined. Reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to serve, or after simmering about 20 minutes, chill and serve cold.
Aside from cutting up the veggies, this was SUPER fast and easy, and because I used the whole bag of pasta instead of just 8oz as the original recipe called for, it lasted us forever, which was good because we were both really busy last week!
I also made Pumpkin Pie Granola, but due to a crockpot death in the family, this had a bit of an issue.
I used this recipe from crockpot365.blogspot.com (I only used the 1/2 c honey, and I used all raisins - no dried cranberries) - but after 2.5 hours (of the 4 required for cooking), the crockpot breathed its last & turned off, never to turn on again. Matt ate about 1/3 of the granola before I finished it in the oven (325* for 15 minutes, stirring once and adding raisins half way through). I haven't tried it since I finished it, and honestly, I wasn't super happy with the burning of the oats that happened in the crockpot, so I might try to adjust this recipe for just the oven (especially now that we have no crockpot). If you don't use honey, I'm sure coconut nectar would work just as well (and honestly would probably mix better than the raw honey I used). I'll keep you posted on the updates to this recipe as I go.
For breakfast, I made a casserole:
I was super excited about this because even though it took a long-ish time to put together, once it was done, it was crazy simple to just take out an individual slice in the morning and microwave it for 1 min on high. I'm normally not the biggest fan of the microwave, but I've been pretty tired this week, so it was nice to not have to work hard for breakfast.
I used this recipe from thekitchn.com - but I subbed turkey bacon for the regular bacon (we're not big pork people in our house), cooked with olive oil. I also used 3 mostly-baked white potatoes, diced with skins on, instead of the frozen ones because they put all kinds of weird additives in frozen potatoes at the grocery store. I try to stick as close to real food as I can. (I thought afterwards that red skinned or yukon gold potatoes probably would have been even better). Also, I've never been a big fan of sun-dried tomatoes, so I diced 2 on-the-vine tomatoes and threw those in instead. It was a really tasty breakfast, and like the skillet chicken pasta, was convenient for our nuts-o week. You could easily modify this recipe to use up whatever vegetables/meats you happen to have lying around. I feel like all of the ingredients in this were completely optional. You could just as easily use spinach instead of potatoes, artichokes instead of peppers, leave out the bacon entirely.... Be creative and let me know what you try!
Honorable mentions this week go to:
- KathEats whipped banana oatmeal
- KathEats carrot cake oatmeal (which I made with a peach instead of a mango, because that's what I had! It totally RULED!)
- TheKitchn arugula, apple & chickpea salad wraps (made with brown rice tortillas lightly heated with olive oil)
- Sumptuous Spoonfuls peach, pistachio (or in my case pecan) and chicken salad (although I lazily topped it with Annie's red raspberry vinaigrette instead of making the white wine vinaigrette from the recipe - still, might be my new favorite salad of all time.)
- TheKitchn braised french onion chicken (a great main dish answer to french onion soup!!)
We also enjoyed:
- TheKitchen farmer's lunch sandwiches with onion-thyme jam - I liked this, but I bought mild cheddar for Matt, who isn't the biggest sharp fan, and I probably would have enjoyed it more with sharp. Plus, the jam gave me heartburn. #pregnancyproblems
- Bon Appetit curried egg salad (on rice bread instead of pitas - messy!!) - This was also fun as an experiment (especially since I used Greek yogurt instead of mayo), but I am still a bigger fan of plain ol' egg salad. This one was yummy, but it was a little more tangy than I like normally.
- Laylita.com baked ripe plantains with cheese - we waited a little too long to make this and our plantains were a little too ripe, which yielded bites with a bit of fermented flavor. Probably would have been better if we'd made them sooner. Oops.
- "Use up what we have lying around the house" challenge - we're going to try to buy only eggs, milk, yogurt, butter and a few snacks this week (partially to make up for the fact that I spent twice our food budget last week in my ambition, and partially because we've had a bunch of dry/frozen ingredients sitting in our kitchen for months that need to get used!)
- TheKitchn DIY applesauce (as part one of DIY apple butter!)
- Healthful Pursuit frozen banana raspberry "muffins"
- Anne-Marie Cain cinnamon apple crisps
- TheKitchn sweet potato hash & eggs (sausage, probably not)
- TheKitchn kale & apple soup (which Matt already made, but we haven't tried yet)
- Glucose challenge - yes, I realize this is a medical test and not a recipe, but it's weighing heavily on my mind as a reactive hypoglycemic who is also pregnant and concerned about holistic wellness. While I can 99% guarantee I don't have gestational diabetes (given that I've still had several blood sugar crashes recently), I still am *strongly encouraged* by my midwives to take this stupid test. I'm not drinking Glucola - they're letting me sub fruit juice - but I'm still really nervous about the effect all of this sugar is going to have on my body and on Squirt. I'll be sure to keep you posted about it! My plan right now is to drink the juice (equivalent to 50g sugar!!) and if I'm feeling the sugar crash coming on within 30 mins, I'm going to just eat some protein and tell them I'm refusing the test. If I don't feel the crash, I'll go to my appointment, have my blood drawn the hour after I drank the juice and then immediately stuff my face with enough cheese to feed a small country. I've gotten very little support on this issue from my medical professionals, including my holistic doctor who's been treating me for the adrenal fatigue, so I'm frustrated. But Thursday will bring an end to it all one way or another.
To be continued....