Browsing Category: quick, easy meals

Easy chicken chili

easy chicken chili

Looking for an alternate to regular chili? This recipe has been a go-to for me for a few years. It’s stood the test of time — and my husband! He’s not a big fan of soup or chicken, but whenever I serve this, he says, “This is good!”

There are only two things to be chopped, and every ingredient is probably something you already have on hand. Ancho chili pepper is the one thing you may not normally stock. And other than the avocado, which is optional, all the ingredients are things you can keep on hand in your pantry, fridge, or freezer, so this makes a great stand-by dish.

To make it lower carb and higher fat (or Paleo-, Whole30-friendly), omit the starch step, double the heavy cream or coconut milk (use coconut milk for Paleo), and replace the beans with one chopped avocado.

To make it dairy-free, use coconut milk.

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Easy chicken chili recipe

makes 2 – 3 servings

 

10-12 oz. of chicken, cooked or uncooked

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 medium onion

3/4 teaspoon chili seasoning mix (recipe below)

1&1/2 cups chicken broth, divided

1/2 can black or white beans

3/4 cup of your favorite salsa

2 Tablespoons heavy cream or full-fat canned coconut milk

optional:

  • 1 t. potato starch potato, arrowroot, or tapioca starch
  • 1 avocado chopped

…………

chili seasoning mix (small batch)

2 t. chili powder

2 t. ground cumin

2 t. dried oregano

1.5 t. ground ancho chili pepper

1/2 t. salt  or 1 t. kosher salt

1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper

…………

If you don’t already have a batch made, make up the chili seasoning mix. (You can use this mix for regular chili, too, so I always have a batch made up and ready to go.)

Cut or tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces; set aside.

Coarsely chop the onion. Saute it in olive oil until tender. Add the seasoning mix and stir for one minute.

If using raw chicken, add it now and stir a couple times until most sides are white.

Reserve 1/4 cup of broth, if you’ll be adding starch. Add the remaining broth, beans (if using), salsa, and chicken (if you haven’t already), bring to a boil briefly, then turn down and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Add starch into the 1/4 cup reserved broth, stir well, and add immediately to soup, stirring it in. Add cream or coconut milk and stir it in. Simmer longer, if desired, to thicken up more.

If using avocado, chop and add it about a minute before serving.

Optional toppers: sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped avocado, fresh cilantro, crushed tortilla chips.

 

Almond Hummus (Keto and Paleo)

legume-free hummus recipe - keto, paleo, whole30 compliant

If you haven’t had hummus, I encourage you to get past the weird name (it took me a while) and give it a try. The main ingredient is chickpeas, but they’re really there for substance more than flavor; it’s the seasonings that carry this dish. Hummus is a creamy, garlicky, cumin-blessed mess. This Lebanese dish is usually served as a dip, but can also be used as a sandwich or wrap spread, a topping for grilled chicken, or even salad dressing.

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Taco hash – get your grain-free, dairy-free taco fix!

grain-free dairy-free taco hash

When you’re craving tacos, but you know you feel better if you skip the tortilla and/or the cheese, this Paleo-friendly way to get your taco fix is quick and simple when you’ve got prepped ingredients ready to go.

This isn’t a recipe: it’s an assemblage of several things I keep on hand, thrown together. If you have all the ingredients ready, this will cook up in about 15 minutes, maybe less. It’s super easy! I’ll walk you through it…

diced sweet potato and onion

I’ve always got cooked diced sweet potato and diced onion on hand in the fridge. (Check out my sweet potato post for tips and a how-to video.) On this happy day, I also had cooked, seasoned, crumbled hamburger in the freezer. I don’t always have it on hand, but when I’m cooking hamburger for a recipe or immediate meal, I try to cook extra. It’s cooked with onions and maybe garlic, and seasoned with a little salt and pepper (not too much, since it’s usually added to other things that may already have salt and heat). Then I divide it into single-serving baggies, and stash those in a gallon baggie in the freezer. The small baggies are quick and easy to thaw, making meals like this much quicker.

I rarely cook dishes like this by recipe anymore. But for those who aren’t so comfortable winging it, here’s my guess, per serving:

  • onion – about half a small onion, or a quarter of a large one
  • hamburger – about 4 oz. or 1/2 cup
  • sweet potato – equal to or a little less than the hamburger

On this particular day, I added some diced bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and kale, but those are quite optional. Another no-chop option would be to just stir in some salsa.

Then I add a generous sprinkling of homemade taco seasoning (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon; start small, taste, and add till it suits you), stir it in, and boom! – it’s done!

(Here’s my gluten-free, sugar-free taco seasoning mix recipe.)

Toppings are optional. If I’d had avocado or guacamole on hand, I would’ve used one of those. But I didn’t, so I topped it with dairy-free “sour cream” (coconut milk yogurt with a splash of lemon juice stirred in). You could use real sour cream, if you do dairy.

Yum! Tons of flavor. You won’t miss the taco shells or the cheese at all!

Taco Hash - Ready in 15 minutes, if you have some simple ingredient prep done. Paleo + Whole30 friendly, too!

Got leftovers? Make quick mini fritters.

what to make with leftover chicken - mini fritters

I picked up this idea from food writer Mark Bittman: he calls them “tiny pancakes.” (Here’s his original recipe.) It was born out of wanting to make himself something quick to eat, and finding some leftover scallops on hand. Don’t worry; you don’t need scallops to make this! Just about any leftovers will do, and you could do this for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or brunch. Or appetizers. Or a midnight snack.

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Amazin’ Asian sauce: stir-fry, broth bowl, & egg roll in a bowl

homemade stir-fry sauce, crack slaw

This started out just being a homemade stir-fry sauce, but I’ve found that the leftover stir-fry makes a great broth bowl (curry optional), and the sauce also works for egg roll in a bowl. (Sometimes also called “crack slaw” because it’s so addictive.) So it’s really an all-purpose Asian sauce: that’s what makes it amazin’!

You could, of course, also use it in a meatless main dish or veggie side dish. And made with tamari or coconut aminos, it’s gluten-free.

You might want to make a small batch, first, to figure out how you want to adapt it to your taste; feel free to improvise on my recipe! Then make a larger batch to keep on hand in the fridge for easy, throw-together meals.

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