Since it’s going up to 85 today, and it feels like summer, I thought we would do an end-of-summer recipe post in hopes that fall will be here in Atlanta by next week. Fingers crossed!! It is October after all…
One of Alice’s favorite meals when we go out to eat is fish tacos. Unfortunately for her, she only gets them in restaurants because I refuse to make them. I don’t know why, but they just seem like a pain to make, and I typically only make something if it’s pretty simple. What can I say? I’m kind of a lazy cook. Anyway, because wild cod was on sale at Whole Foods a few days ago, I bought some. Luckily, Alice volunteered to do the cooking and try to figure out this fish taco thing. My only request was that she save me some cabbage that didn’t have sour cream (most fish tacos recipe call for this) so I add could add some guacamole to mine.
Long story short, I will be making fish tacos, and on a fairly regular basis! They were SO good!!! Alice made them, and she said they weren’t that hard to make (especially if you get the precut slaw/cabbage). I love to use arrowroot to make crispy fish anyway, but I didn’t realize what a difference some cilantro lime slaw (which is easy to make!) and a tortilla could make.
Mmmm, they really are crispy!!
Oh, and have you tried these tortillas by Siete? Or their chips? If you haven’t, you should. Oh my goodness, they are amazing and have just changed my life for the better. Since I still don’t eat corn (and that’s really the only gluten free substitute for a tortilla until now) I would have just skipped the tortillas. But now that they have both almond and coconut options (I love the coconut but many prefer the almond), I’m just starting to dream of the new recipes possibilities. I think paleo enchiladas are going to have to be on the menu very soon! Anyway, you can get them at Whole Foods, Vitacost.com (the chips), and Thrivemarket.com.
See, it’s like my chicken tortilla-less soup post from last week. Same recipe for the cabbage but before adding the sour cream we just scooped out a portion for me (which everyone ate and loved as well) and added guacamole.
Or if you don’t want to use a tortilla, a fish bowl will do nicely…
But it’s hard to compare with a true fish taco (with a tortilla)!
Hope you enjoy them with the last of this summer weather!!
This is my absolute busiest time of year so I know I have no business writing a post now. I can already hear my best friend giving me a hard time for taking the time to write this instead of working (she helps keeps me/my life on track) like I should be. But, I really loved this soup recipe and it was so easy to make and since it took less than 10 minutes to make, I figured as long as I could write this post quickly (please don’t judge any misspellings or errors) and didn’t worry about get the perfect picture with camera (please don’t judge the half eaten bowl of soup and mess on the sides of the bowl or the terrible iPhone pics) then I could get away with writing this in a timely fashion and get back to work soon so here goes….
One of my very first posts back in 2011 was the Chicken Tortilla-less Soup and it is still to this day one of our family’s fall favorites. But to be honest, I don’t make it very often. Selfishlessly, I don’t just because when I cook it, I always take out a portion for myself first before adding the corn and beans for my family. It’s not that I miss those two things, but I do miss the heartiness they use to provide. I like my foods/meals to feel hearty!! So tonight, after taking out my extra large portion (always have to think about leftovers), I quickly cooked a bag broccoli slaw (already pre-cut) in about 2 tbsp of butter in a pan. Once that was done, I poured it in with my soup mixture (see 3rd pic below) and now I have a soup that I know I will make again and again! I was excited to share this not only because the soup was so tasty AND hearty but also because I realized that you can add broccoli slaw or any veggies really to any broth based soup to make it heartier. And I guess I do a lot of times add celery or zuchinni noodles, but this broccoli slaw is really a great addition to soup.
And to make this recipe extra easy, we used the leftover chicken from this recipe but you could also use just a rotissie chicken. And for the bone broth, I just used this one by Pacific that I actually get from Costco. Oh and I didnt have an onion to sautee so just used onion powder. This really was so quick and easy to make! I hope you love it, and can follow my directions. Just keep it simple. Sautee veggies with butter, add all ingredents (including cooked chicken) to your pot and allow to cook for about 10 or so minutes to allow the flavor soak in and enjoy!
Okay, I still have to prep for my class I am teaching tomorrow and work on about 1000 pictures! Happy soup season!!
My lunch for the rest of the week!
Ok I now realize how important good pictures are in food posts. While this looks pretty gross, I just wanted to show you my big bowl I used to dump my portion of the soup and then after I added the broccoli slaw. And for what it’s worth, no, the iphone pictures aren’t THAT good, or at least in this situation.
Alice said with a giggle that it wasn’t awkard at all that I was taking a picture of her while studying. But I wanted to show that it makes for a great after school snack, too!!
I know the “Ingredients” side on the recipe card looks long but that is only because I made notes on how to make shortcuts to make this recipes even easier!
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or rotissie or whole chicken cooked
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt (if you use low sodium chicken broth. otherwise might need 2 tsp)
1 large box chicken broth or bone broth (Pacific) plus an extra cup or two if you have some.
1 large chopped onion or onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 lemons (or about 3-4 tbsp lemon juice)
2 cups chunky salsa
lots of fresh cilantro (we use about 1/2 cup or more!)
1 can black bean (strained) and 1 can of corn, if desired
1-2 tbsp of avocado oil
blue corn tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream for optional garnishes
some broccoli slaw and 2 tbsp of butter
lots of avocado for on top
Old post directions: Start by setting up your crockpot in the morning on low. Put in 4 large chicken breasts (you could also add extra chicken to use for tacos another night), a can of chicken broth, and 1 cup salsa. Let cook about 6 hours or until you can tear the meat apart with a fork. Be sure not to overcook it since it’s going to be simmer in the soup for a bit. Once the meat is done, use fork and knife to shred.
In a large soup bowl, add chicken broth, finely chopped cilantro, chopped onion, a can of diced tomatoes, 2 more cups of salsa, celtic sea salt, garlic, cumin, chili powder and lemon juice. You could also add black beans and corn if desired. Trader Joe’s has a great ‘roasted corn’ in the frozen section that looks like it came fresh off the grill. Then add the chicken, cook on low for about 30 minutes, and let the flavors soak in. Garnish with blue corn tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream, if you prefer, and enjoy!
New updated directions
We didnt use a crock pot. I just used a big pot since we already had cooked chicken and the recipe took me all of 10 minutes to put it together. So easy!!
Cook the broccoli slaw in medium pot with butter. Allow to cook until it's soft. Then add it to "your portion" of the soup if you skip the beans and corn.
We just added lots of guacamole for our garnish and it was perfect!
I love Chinese food, Japanese food… any Asian food, really. And, what does a good Asian dish really need? Soy Sauce! But, since I follow a Paleo (low-inflammatory/allergen) diet, soy sauce is a no no. Soy is, unfortunately, a top allergen and can possibly cause some negative effects on hormones and thyroid. A commonly suggested substitute is coconut aminos. But let’s be honest, coconut aminos don’t really taste like soy sauce. In my opinion, it’s not even close. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the sweetness that the coconut aminos add to a dish. But it’s not really similar to soy sauce at all except that they’re both brown and liquid.
So, while I know that it isn’t Paleo, I still use soy sauce (Tamari, a gluten-free soy sauce, to be specific), but try to limit the amount. And using the aminos with the soy makes it even easier to use in less.
You want to try telling my family we are using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce? Probably not. Not that my dad or aunt actually cook much Asian food (or any really) but still….I don’t think they would necessarily approve of this soy sauce “replacement”, nor should they! So, I like to use both and that is what I did for this new dish, the Egg Roll Bowl, that me and my family loved!
From our trip to SF this summer…
But if anyone is going to tell them, I’ll let Tate be the one…
Anyway, I love this pork egg roll bowl! And it’s so easy to make. Not cleaning or cutting meat or veggies (if you get the precut), just dump, cook and stir. That’s my kind of meal!
Oh and happy belated birthday to my girl, Alice. I can’t believe she is 13!!
Every year, my son goes to a week long sleep-away camp, and, every year, he comes back with terrible eczema. He has gone three years in a row and the eczema is undeniably related to camp. It’s all over his back and legs and it is pretty painful, even to a kid who doesn’t feel pain very easily.
This year, before camp, we went to see a dermatologist, per my husband’s request (“it must be all the swimming at camp”) to see how we could help prevent it. I knew already what was the cause, but he was still uncertain. Anyway, after the doctor told us that “the Pop tarts and Oreos at camp have nothing to do with his eczema,” we were given some ointments, one is essentially liquid plastic that we are to put on his skin when it gets dry (no harmful chemicals in there, I’m sure), which we opted out of doing, and were sent on our way.
My kids eat well at home, and that is relatively easy to control. But managing what they eat when they are away, and especially at camp, is a challenge. For camp this year, Tate went with his sweet cousin, Asa, who has celiac disease. So, in the spirit of family unity, and since Asa was allowed to pack food in a cooler, we were also able to send food for Tate. I never expected Tate to be gluten free the whole time. I encouraged him to do the best he could and to make good decisions…not that he even actually heard me say that.
Anyway, when we picked him up, he proudly told me he did not have a single bite of anything with gluten all week. I was super proud of him. I would love to say he did it for himself but he mostly did it for his cousin. Tate can be a pretty sweet and sensitive guy sometimes.
Anyway, a couple of days later, after he got out of the bath, I noticed his skin. It was clear…like totally clear. How could this be? He was at camp. He swam a ton (clearing my throat for my hubby right about now), but he didn’t have a bit of eczema. First time in 3 years. Seriously, how could this be?
Tell me again that food isn’t related to eczema. I’ve seen it clear up or at least get a whole lot better in numerous clients of mine once we removed the foods that caused inflammation. Gut inflammation can manifest through skin, and rashes can be our body’s way of telling us something is wrong. It is up to us to listen, and then try to determine root of the problem.
Last year after camp versus this year after camp…
The boys hanging out on top of the car waiting for camp drop off…
(Asa, Tate and Will)
And while I am in the midst of trying some new recipes to post (tonight’s was a total flop!), I wanted to share some kind of recipe. So since school just started back, I thought I would share some my favorite nut-free school snacks that have good fats, fiber and protein, so here you go:
Over the years, I’ve tried to figure out the perfect most reasonable dietary balance for my kids. Of course, I want them to eat healthy, but I also want to let them be kids — have fun junk food once in a while. But it is such a slippery slope. I mean, bad-for-you-food is everywhere. And because I know how harmful it can be on their bodies, it’s hard for me to allow it as often as it’s available to them which is almost daily. At the same time, I don’t want to deprive them. But we do make fun treats around here quite often. Good thing Alice likes to bake!
Anyway, I feel like there is such judgement on what we feed our kids from all sides (too much junk vs. too little). But no one knows the “perfect” answer, and you know what? There isn’t one. Each family and each child is so different.
I do think that trying to find balance with kids is just as important as the food they eat. For many of us, that balance can mean totally different things. We have to do what works for us, and you have to do what works for you and your family.
For my family, that balance got a bit tricker years ago when I realized that my son was sensitive to gluten (not celiac, just intolerance) coupled with the fact that he and my daughter have my autoimmune genes that I pray never express. So how do I control what he/they eat all the time?The answer is…I don’t. Control isn’t the goal. Tate is now 9 so it’s up to him to want to make good choice, and many times he will, but many times he won’t, and that’s okay. And the same with my daughter. They have to make their own decisions. I’m just hoping they make educated ones, and if not now, hopefully when they are older.
A couple years ago I came to this realization:
I can control what they eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and most of their snacks. They eat well enough with me that they know what it feels like to feel good, to be able to focus their best, and have lots of energy. So when they do eat out or choose a treat, they will understand how it may (or may not) affect them.
My aim is to educate them — to make sure they recognize that the foods they eat can have a quick and direct effect on how they feel, how well they perform on a test, how much endurance they have in lacrosse, and how their moods can swing. And not by telling them. They need to feel it to get it. I think this is how they will learn to make choices beyond what tastes the best.
Over the years, my kids have done food challenges where we removed certain foods for 3 weeks. After the 3 weeks, we added the questionable foods back in, one at a time, and a decent amount so we could really “test” for impact. Then we watched and waited for symptoms like:
diarrhea or constipation or bloating
stuffy or runny nose or congestion
focus and mood issues(tantrums if younger)
fatigue and lack motivation (“mom, I’m too tired to do my homework”)
skin rashes, eczema
If you or your child is suffering from any of the above symptoms, this 3 week challenge can possibly give you some answers. I know three weeks might seem like a long time but it can be invaluable information.
So will my kids go off to college one day and go crazy their freshman year? Very likely. But you know what, I grew up eating lots of junk and I went crazy too (at least I was eating fat free…ha 🙁 . But at least after they do go crazy, they will know what to do, how to find their balance, and how to feel good again. I wish I would have known back then. Real food sure would have tasted better than the Slim Shakes and fat free ranch with fat free pretzels (which only made me feel worse)! Gross….
Okay, with the kids in mind, here is a recipe that they, everyone will love!! Over the years, I’ve made many chicken nuggets but these are best by far. I use to be such a Paleo purest when it came to food for the family that I got into the habit of just using low glycemic foods like almond and coconut flour. And while those “flours” have their merits and I still eat paleo a majority of the time. For something like “breading”, some gluten free bread crumbs go a long way. I hope y’all like them as much as we do!
There is an extra step at the end that makes these things nice and crispy. and at first, I really did want to skip that step because as you may know, I am a pretty lazy cook. But the extra few minutes of frying makes these nuggets, have the texture of real nuggets! And, because I don’t want to cook two nights in a row (see I am lazy!), I doubled the batch so last night we had nuggets and tonight, we will have chicken parmesan! Done and done!
2-4 tbsp (or more if needed) of avocado or coconut oil
Wash and cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and set in a large bowl.
Add coconut milk and lemon juice and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
While that is sitting, get a gallon sized freezer bag and add the dry ingredients and shake to mix well.
Preheat oven to 400.
After letting the chicken sit for 10+ minutes (we let our sit for a few hours in the frige), get the chicken, place a colander in the sink and pour chicken into it to let the milk and lemon juice drain out.
Add a few dashes of Pete's hot sauce and mix the chicken with it (if you want or you can skip this).
Next add the chicken to the bag of dry ingredients and shake well.
Spray a baking sheet (use a rack if you have one and spray that) and place the chicken spaced where it doesn't overlap.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Get out a large pan, I used my 6 quart pot so the "frying" wouldn't splatter and make a huge mess.
Heat the pan, or pot, on high and add 2 tbsp coconut oil or avocado oil.
Place the chicken in the pan/pot and let cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side until it's a nice golden brown.
Take out the chicken, use a paper towel to wipe out the pan/pot and repeat until it's all cooked.
I doubled the recipe so last night we had chicken nuggets and tonight, chicken parmesan!