I wasn’t sure I was going to get the chance to post this soup before Spring time, especially with the temperatures reaching 85 last week. But, with temperatures going down in the 30’s this week, it’s actually a great time for my final soup post of the Winter. And it’s a good one, I promise! In fact, we loved it so much, Alice, my 11 year old daughter, said it was her new favorite, and I have to agree with her. My husband and father-in-law loved it, too! Tate, my 8 year old son, said it “wasn’t his favorite” but I hope (for his sake!) he will learn to love it because it is a new staple of ours.
I first had this Zucchini Cilantro Soup a few weeks back at a luncheon (thanks for the recipe, Jennifer!) and it blew me away. I couldn’t wait to try to recreate a dairy-free version. I’ve never cooked with a poblano pepper before. It added such a nice (and surprisingly mild) flavor!! With the pepper, fresh garlic and lots of cilantro, this flavorful soup hooked me. Anyway, take advantage of the cool weather this week and try it while you can. It was super easy to make! I hope you guys love it!
Every week for years now we have made a whole chicken in the crock pot, and we have loved it. But, I think it’s safe to say that this particular weekly staple has just ended. My friend Eileen told me about her “very favorite chicken” recipe over a year ago, and I just happened to find it. I think it took me so long to make it because, well, while it’s pretty, it is also just chicken and it didn’t seem super exciting to be honest (sorry Eileen!). But the taste absolutely blew us away!! While the picture is pretty (except for my sad dish…please don’t judge!) it just cannot come close to reflecting the taste! What makes this so amazing is two things. First, the onions. Next time, I will use at least two onions if i can fit them in the dish. I had no idea roasted onions had so much flavor!! Second, and this is the most important (so why I didn’t start this with one? I don’t know) but the natural sauce is everything with this dish. You HAVE to use the sauce surrounding the chicken for dipping. It’s so good!
Thanks for the great recipe Eileen, and congrats to you and your team on your race this weekend!!
It was totally his fault. He started nibbling, and then I did, and then Alice did….
And then after the three of us attacked it (before dinner!), this is what was left. It was so good we just couldn’t wait. Poor Tate. You snooze you loose around here…
Between serving warm melted dark chocolate on strawberries yesterday for my son’s birthday classroom treat and today serving magic shell (more melted dark chocolate!) on top of ice cream for Tate’s Valentine’s Day classroom party, it has been quite a challenge to abstain from dark chocolate and my muffins as part of the Whole 30 I started on Monday. I want my chocolate, and I want it now!! So…what could make this even more of a challenge?? Cookie cake! My favorite dessert and BIGGEST weakness!! But it’s also my family’s favorite treat and since it’s Valentine’s Day (weekend), and it’s going to be really cold, I wanted my kids to have a feel good treat they could enjoy…ugh self sacrifice!! I hope the family really appreciates this one!
Why oh why am I torturing myself?!
Fortunately we had the help of some good friends to get through this thing the day I made it…
I asked Alice what she was doing with the binoculars and she said she was “looking for more cookie cake!”.
It really is so addictive!
This is a recipe from my book Super Paleo Snacks and it’s called Birthday Cookie Cake, hence the prettier picture below. I used a round dish for the original recipe but think it fits better in a 9×13 glass dish. We cooked it for 40 minutes yesterday and it was perfect!!
I don’t know if you guys have tried Num Num BBQ sauce (I got mine from Whole Foods) but my friend Daphne introduced me to it when she brought it over for our dinner the other night, and I was blown away. Now granted, I haven’t had a lot of BBQ sauce over the past 7 or so years because it is hard to find one that doesn’t have a lot of sugar or other gross ingredients. I know, picky, picky, but even with those complaints I still wasn’t willing to make my own. Anyway after trying this Country Boy’s Mustard Num Num sauce with our dinner, and while Daphne was giving my husband a lacrosse lesson in the kitchen, I blurted out “I’ve got a new dish I’m going to make with this sauce!!” Clearly I wasn’t as focused as much on lacrosse as everyone else was…
Sometimes I will wait to post a recipe just to make sure we love it as is and won’t need any tweaks. Well, it has only bee a few weeks and already we have made this recipe 4 times. It’s now a new staple in our household and there is little that gets me more excited than finding a new staple meal. We love it so much my daughter has been taking it to school to have as a part of her lunch for the past few weeks. Oh and she came up with the name, too, if you couldn’t tell.
You’ll see the recipes calls for avocado oil or butter as the cooking fat. We did try it with avocado once and with butter another time, and, honestly, it tasted pretty much the same so feel free to use whatever you have around! I hope you love this meal as much as we do!
cook with avocado oil or butter until brown and mostly cooked.
add salt garlic powder smoked paprika (optional), scallions.
once done, add cabbage back to pan and stir in bbq sauce and cilantro.
In a large pan, add 2 tbsp avocado oil or butter and saute cabbage until it starts to soften and turn brown.
Then set cabbage aside.
In the same pan, turn to medium high heat and add another 2 tbsp of avocado oil or butter and cook chicken until it's brown all over.
Once it's brown, turn the heat down to medium and allow the chicken to cook for another 10-15 minutes or until it's no longer pink in the middle.
Stir in the salt, garlic powder, and smoked paprika to the chicken while it's finishing cooking.
Once the chicken is done, turn the stove off, add the cabbage back to the pan, along with your BBQ sauce and stir it all together.
Then garnish with scallions and cilantro and enjoy!
You could use a rotisserie chicken too if you're trying to save time. Then just skip the cooking part of the chicken and once the cabbage is sauteed, you would then just add the shredded chicken along with all of the rest of the ingredients.
EDITED 2/16 - I actually like it best with a whole or rotisserie chicken. The juices from the cooked chicken breast can dilute the flavor some. For a quick easy and even tastier meal, try the rotisserie!!
I work with many clients that will say, “I’m eating clean, but I still just can’t lose any weight.” It must be old age, right? Well, sometimes it is. But many times, when we gain weight without any nutritional changes, it isn’t always food related. Many times it has to do with one of these four things:
Do you have breast tenderness? PMS is worse than ever? Are you gaining weight around your hips, thighs and stomach? Do your cravings for sugar or carbs spike at certain times of the month? Then you may have a hormonal imbalance.
2. Thyroid problems (sluggish T3, low TSH)
Are you exhausted way too often, have muscle weakness, constipation, feel cold even when no one else is cold, have dry coarse hair? All could be signs that you might have a thyroid problem.
3. Adrenal/cortisol problems (stress hormones)
Are you under a lot of stress and have a hard time sleeping through the night? Do you wake up utterly exhausted (even after a good night’s sleep)? Might be time to check your adrenal hormones like DHEA and pregnenlone.
4. Serotonin levels (low levels in particular)
Are you irritable or short tempered, are you REALLY craving carbs (especially in the fall or winter), feeling a little blue, or feeling not very confidently lately, and/or do you have tinnitus?
These are just a few examples of the symptoms you could be experiencing.
Fortunately, you can get lab work to see if any of these things are going on with your body (in particular it’s easy to test for the hormones, thyroid, and adrenals). It’s important to find out if you have any of these imbalances, deficiencies, and if so, why? If you have a good doctor that will accommodate you, they could order the labs for you. My office also specializes in working with many of these issues.
The good news is there are many things that can be done to correct your levels. I go regularly (every three or so months) to make sure my all hormones are where they are suppose to be (especially since sex hormones can change pretty erratically at my age) so I check numbers 1, 2 and 3 from above. Anyway, I hope this gives you something to think about if you can’t lose weight or more importantly, you just don’t quite feel like yourself lately. We all deserve to feel and be our best!
Okay, on to the food…
For the past few years we have held a slumber party for my daughter’s birthday and every year Alice always requests ribs for dinner. But, this year, even though it’s only a mere 8 months away, she has already requested “Mr. Edward’s pork loin”. It is her new favorite meal. While the pork is so flavorful, the extra marinade really makes this so delicious. This has become a Sunday night regular, but we double the recipe so we can have it again Tuesday night. Though sometimes on the second night, we’ll use our favorite chimichurri sauce with it for a change. It’s so good!! It also goes really well with our cauliflower mash. I hope y’all love it as much as we do. Oh, and I did try to make it in the oven the other day and it wasn’t nearly as good as it was on the grill so definitely Big Green Egg it if you can!