Stir It Up! » Blog

Masthead header

Or cleaning up the kitchen, yet again. So on days like this, I’ll pull out the slow cooker. It’s almost like cheating it’s so easy. My friend, Ashley, gave me this recipe for Mexican Chicken Chili  over 4 years ago and we still use it a good bit, especially when it’s cooler outside. I hope you like it as much as my family does.

  • 4 organic chicken breasts (about 1.5lb)
  • 2 cans black beans (strain)
  • 1 cup organic corn
  • 1 can chopped green chilies
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 16 oz jar salsa (or if you do have the time, finely chop a fresh onion, tomato and peppers. Saute and then add an extra can of tomato sauce to the pot.)
  • 1 tsp Celtic sea salt (if desired)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin

Put everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Take the chicken out and pull apart or cut to shred.  Then put it back in the crock pot and stir. Add greek yogurt, cilantro, advacado, and cheese (if desired). It’s even better as leftovers so make plenty for lunch the next day or dinner again later in the week!

Alright, so before I start, I have to apologize for the messy picture, but that’s what you get sometimes with a candid shot.

So when it comes to snacks, don’t always ask them what they want, just give it to them. I set this plate of asparagus out on the dining room table for whomever wanted it. Then, after a short time, I went to check on my daughter doing her homework and this is what I found…

Now, if I had said “Hey, Alice, can I get you some asparagus for a snack?”, chances are good she would have said “no thanks”. But 8 out of 10 times this works for my kids. Sometimes when they are chilling out on the couch, I’ll put a huge bowl of steamed broccoli (EVOO, parmasean cheese and celtic salt) and they will eat it up.

Some people would say, “my kids would never eat that.” Well, if they had just had something processed and sweet/salty, then you’re probably right.  But, believe it or not, you can change your taste buds over time. It’s just take a little work to change them for the better. Think about it: if you haven’t eaten much (or any) sugar and then have an apple, how sweet and delicious is that apple? But have a piece of cake and then an apple…no thank you. Get what I mean?

So when I woke up this morning it was so overcast and cool, and well, it just felt like the perfect day for chicken tetrazzini. Now it’s absolutely beautiful out, and I’m realizing, chicken tet is good on any kind of day.

It took me awhile to get this exactly how we like it. It’s not Paleo-friendly, but it’s really not that bad either. I think brown rice noodles and a little mayo (I typically like to use my own homemade mayo) are the least Paleo foods, but all in all, it’s still a delicious, healthy family meal. I hope you guys like it.

  • 2 tbsp Kerrygold butter
  • 1 package of celery
  • 2 containers of fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 cup white cooking wine 

Finely chop the veggies, heat up the butter and then add in above ingredients until veggies are soft. Set pan aside. 

Next you will need to cook:

  • 1 package of Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Brown Rice noodles or gluten free Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta. (I left about 1 1/4 cup of TJ noodles in the colander). They come in a pretty big pack.

You can get the Ancient Harvest noodles at Publix or Whole Foods. They look like the “white noodles” so some kids may prefer these. Mine seemed to like both in this recipe. Once you strain them, I add about 1 tbls evoo so they don’t stick. The GF noodles are a little stickier.

Then in a large bowl, mix the veggies and noodles with:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken (chop it into small pieces)
  • 1 tbsp white cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil mayo
  • 1/4 cup organic chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 large 16 oz Chobani greek yogurt (I used all but about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup TJ’s raw Parmesan cheese and then 1/2 cup on top

Set the over for 350. Mix everything together, add the last 1/2 cup of parmasean cheese on top and cook for 30 minutes. Once you get the hang of it, it really is easy and doesn’t take much time to prepare, especially with the rotisserie chicken. Let me know what y’all think!

Good nutrition is so important for our kids, but being active is just as important!

Growing up as an only child, many times I was looking for things to do by myself. I would ride my bike, hit the tennis ball in the garage for hours (I was definitely going to the Olympics), jog, set up obstacle courses, and even hiked on the Sope Creek trails. I also played a variety of sports my parents introduced me to and I don’t think I ever slowed down. I’m so glad I established these habits and found such joy in being physically active at such a young age. And now that I’m approaching my……well, in my 30s, I still love to be active, and I do it as much as I can. Being an athlete, or at least, being involved in sports, has given me a satisfaction and confidence as an adult that I never knew could exist. There’s no way to describe the feeling of accomplishment after a big race (even if you’re a tortoise like myself) or just a super fun and challenging mountain biking adventure with some good friends! Alice finally did her first back bend by herself yesterday and kept saying “I’m so proud of myself!”. You can’t teach that feeling!! 

Take them on a hike, do yoga, rock climbing (we love ATL rocks!), play freeze tag, toss the ball around, set up an obstacle course in the backyard, race each other to the end of the street, or just take an after dinner stoll. You will feel good, too!

I think Alice made up this reverse plank. Is that a yoga pose??

So I’m not sure who or what my little friend is here, but if it makes my kids smile, that’s all that matters, right? These little meatballs are great for dinner, lunch or snacks. One person had the suggestion of freezing them so they you could take them on the go and by noon, they’d be ready. I love it! Anyway, here is the recipe:

  • 2 lbs grassfed beef
  • 1 carrot- chopped small or grated
  • 1 small onion- chopped small or grated
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 eggs
  • celtic sea salt
  • pepper


  • 1-2 15 oz. can(s) organic tomato sauce
  • 1 whole shredded zuchinni (if you peel it, you can tell your kids they are little noodles)
  • salt, pepper, oregano, garlic

Form mixture into meatballs (about 1 1/2 inch in diameter) and squish into a 9×13 baking dish. Then cover with sauce and bake at 375 for approximately 50-60 minutes. Thanks for another great recipe Marla!