Monday, December 30, 2013

Tropical Green Smoothie (AIP)

Do you eat enough veggies? When it comes to not getting enough of those awesome greens, I'm guilty as charged. Sometimes it's pure laziness; other times is that I'm not impressed with the taste. More often than not, I get mad that I have to throw vegetables in the trash because of a combination of both previous reasons. So I'm trying to fix that, and when I say trying, I mean I think about it every day and some days I do very well, and other days...not so much.

But I have a new addition to my kitchen lineup that just might help change things! One of my Christmas presents this year was a much desired NutriBullet. I am in LOVE! I've used the little thing every day at least two or three times a day since I opened it (I waited until after the family left so I wouldn't have to share. Shh!). So far: green smoothies, dessert smoothies, cacao powder (made from organic cacao nibs), butternut squash soup, and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Did I say cupcakes? Yes, yes, I did. But I digress. Veggies. That's the real reason. Green smoothies! Let's try one!

Tropical Green Smoothie
3 oz spinach leaves, packed
½ mango, peeled and chunked
¼ cup papaya chunks
1 in peeled ginger
⅓ cup grapes
4-5 large ice cubes 
Water kefir (I used mango-flavored) to max line (about ⅓-½ cup depending on how thin you want the smoothie or add more ice for a thicker smoothie).

Pack all the ingredients in the blender. Pulse a few times to get everything moving. Let it blend until smooth. Enjoy your veggies.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Olive Tapenade-Stuffed Chicken (AIP)

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Olive Tapenade-Stuffed Chicken
2-3 chicken breasts
1 cup olive tapenade, aproximately ⅓ cup per breast (see recipe below)
1-2 tbsp duck fat or FOC
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste (omit for AIP)
1½ cups balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Carefully cut a narrow opening in the short, chunky side of the breast. Being careful not to create any holes, slide the knife deep down through the middle of the breast to create a pouch. Stuff the chicken breast with the olive tapenade. Pack it as tightly as possible without tearing the pouch open. In a large cast iron skillet (or your favorite skillet), heat the duck fat on medium heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Sear both sides of the chicken breasts for approximately 2-3 minutes each. Transfer the chicken to a small oven-safe dish and place the dish into the oven for 15-20 minutes until a meat thermometer reads 160°F. While the chicken is cooking, reduce heat to medium low and add balsamic vinegar to pan, scraping up the brown bits. Slowly cook the balsamic vinegar until it reduces into a thick syrup. Adjust the temperature as needed to avoid burning; this can happen quickly so keep an eye on it and stir often. When the chicken is ready, remove from oven and allow to rest. Once balsamic vinegar thickens to a syrup, remove from heat. Plate your chicken and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve with a blanched and sautéed veggie like asparagus or fresh green beans.

Olive Tapenade
1 14-oz can green olives (or use a mixture of your favorites)
3 cloves fresh garlic
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Black pepper, to taste (omit for AIP)

Toss all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until blended. You want the ingredients finely minced but not pureed. If the mixture needs a little more spreadability, add the extra olive oil and mix well.