Monday, April 21, 2014

Red Wine Balsamic Pot Roast

Pot roast is something that I feel is very personal to me.  When I created this recipe it wasn't based off of or really inspired by anything that I had seen or looked for.  I started making this a couple years ago and ever since it has been one of the best foods for me to have when I am a little meat crazed and need some comfort.  It will make you smile and your belly happy.  I know for a fact it is one of the best things that I make.  The way that I like to make pot roast is a little different than the traditional way and I don't like to cook my vegetables inside the liquid because I don't really tend to like mushy vegetables.  Also I should note that in my experience cooking roast I prefer to cook it on the stove top rather than the oven because I find it becomes more tender.  This recipe is a great recipe if you want to make something impressive, but don't really want to put a lot of fuss into cooking.  Enjoy!

R E D  W I N E  B A L S A M I C  P O T        R O A S T  R E C I P E

☂ 2½ lb. chuck roast
☂ 1 tsp. salt
☂ 1 tsp. black pepper
☂ ½ Tbsp. olive oil
☂ 1 cup red wine
☂ ¾ cup balsamic vinegar 
☂ 14 cups water
☂ 2 Tbsp. Organic Beef Better Than Bouillon (if you don't have this variety then you may just use 6 cups of beef broth and 8 cups of water)

☂ Cut roast in half width wise and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper on each side of both pieces.
☂ Heat large pot to medium high heat and add in olive oil and roast.  
☂ Brown roast on all sides.
☂ When all the meat has browned on each side add in red wine, balsamic, water, and beef bouillon.  Give everything a mix and turn the heat to high.
☂ Once the pot has come to a vigorous boil, turn the heat down to medium low (around 2 or 3 setting).  Place a lid on top of the pot and cook for 2½ hours. 
☂ When the meat is cooked take it out and shred it and moisten with the liquid from the pot.
☂ You can serve this with mashed potatoes, a baked potato, asparagus, cooked carrots, or whatever your heart desires :)
☂ WALAH!  Enjoy and start feeling nourished

(just wanted to share a photo of the pretty cherry blossoms that are blooming everywhere around here!)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Southwest Citrus Chicken Marinade

So the weather is getting a little warmer and I'm craving more fresh and bright flavors.  A good marinade can change everything (YES EVERYTHING!)  I'm serious though, I think marinading meat is one of the best ways you can make sure what you're making is going to come out straight up delicious.  What I like about this marinade is that it is really healthy and fresh because there is no oil in it.  It's great for those who are looking to eat healthier and don't want to skip out on good tasting food (like everybody).  I like to serve this chicken it tacos, burrito bowls, or even on a southwest inspired salad!

S O U T H W E S T  C I T R U S  C H I C K E N  M A R I N A D E  R E C I P E

☂ 1½ lbs. chicken tenders
☂ 1 Tbsp. orange zest
☂ olive oil

☂ ¾ cup of fresh squeezed orange juice (make sure to use delicious oranges and this will take around 3 oranges)
☂ 6 garlic cloves
☂ 1 chipotle pepper (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
☂ 1 cup of cilantro (it's okay if there are some stems included)
☂ 1 tsp. black pepper
☂ 2½ tsp. salt

☂ Place all marinade ingredients together in a food processor and blend until smooth (it will take about 2-3 minutes).
☂ Place chicken tenders in a large bowl and pour marinade into the bowl.  Mix the marinade together with the chicken until all the chicken is well coated.
☂ Cover the bowl and you can marinade the chicken on the counter for an hour or in the refrigerator for up to 10 hours.  
☂ After marinating (I typically just do an hour of marinating), heat up a large pan on medium-high heat and drizzle in a little olive oil.  Then place in about half of the chicken tenders (place as many as will fit in a single layer) and give each tender a little shake before adding it into the pan so the chicken in the pan isn't swimming in marinade.  
☂ Cook the chicken tenders for about 4-5 minutes on one side (flip when the chicken starts to brown), and then for about 2 minutes on the other side.  (Just cut one chicken in half to make sure they're cooked through before removing from the pan).  Repeat this cooking method with the remaining chicken.  Also, if you notice the chicken is burning a bit just turn down the pan to medium heat. 
☂ When all the chicken is cooked, top it with the orange zest to give it an extra fresh flavor!
☂ WALAH!  Enjoy and start feeling nourished

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sloppy Joes

I can't help but think about summer camp when I think of sloppy joes.  I use to really look forward to them because I never had them any other time of year.  They also remind me of this scene in the Olsen twins movie It Takes Two when one of the Olsen twins eats a sloppy joe for the first time and calls it a "big gooey messy burger" haha.  I use to be obsessed with the Olsen twins and always thought Mary-Kate was the coolest (I mean she was right? Kinda tom boyish and sportier haha!)  Anyways back to the sloppy joes, this is sort of a healthier version, but with all the same familiar flavors.  You can pack a lot of veggies in this meal without feeling like you're eating them if that makes sense.  My favorite way to serve these sloppy joes is over some gluten free cornbread, but they're also good in corn tortillas and tortilla chips!

S L O P P Y  J O E S  R E C I P E

 2 lbs. ground beef (I use at least 90% lean)
 6 celery stalks, chopped
 2 onions, diced
 2 green bell peppers, chopped
 1 (15 oz.) can of tomato sauce
 2½ Tbsp. corn starch
 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
 ¾ cup ketchup 
 4 Tbsp. yellow mustard
 salt and pepper to taste

 Heat a pan to medium heat and add in your ground beef.  Cook the beef until it is all the way cooked through and add it with a slotted spoon (so not to transfer the remaining fat in the pan) to a slow cooker on HIGH (4 hour) setting.
 In the pan that cooked the ground beef remove all the remaining fat except two tablespoons.  The remaining two tablespoons will be used to cook the vegetables.
 Add celery, onions, and green bell peppers to the pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Saute until they begin to soften and then transfer them to the slow cooker with the ground beef.  
 To the slow cooker add the remaining ingredients and give it all a mix until everything is incorporated and make sure to put the lid on the slow cooker.  
 Let the sloppy joes cook in the slow cooker for 2½-3 hours, making sure to stir them every 30 minutes so the sides don't burn.  
 Serve with gluten-free cornbread, tortilla chips, gluten-free bun or whatever your heart desires!
☂ WALAH!  Enjoy and start feeling nourished

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Flank Steak Fajita Marinade

I was just telling my Dad yesterday that in my next life I would like to be born in Mexico.  I hope that can be arranged because I am seriously a little bit Mexican food crazy.  And when I say a little bit I almost always mean a lot.  I would seriously love to have an amazing Abuelita to teach me all her secret recipes, but for now I'm just doing my best.  I'm a pretty big fan of tender meat (as I would think most people are) and usually marinade it when I want that soft texture.  This marinade is fast to make and you only need to marinade your steak for about an hour.  There is nothing worse to me then spending the money on flank steak and ending up chewy and unflavorful meat.  Please don't make that mistake.  This recipe is easy and pretty foolproof.  Plus it just makes some pretty damn good fajitas.  So enjoy!

F L A N K  S T E A K  F A J I T A             M A R I N A D E  R E C I P E

☂ 1½ lbs. flank steak
☂ olive oil

☂ 1 cup of red onion, roughly chopped
☂ 2 tsp. cumin
☂ zest of 1 large lime
☂ 4 garlic cloves
☂ 4 Tbsp. olive oil
☂ 1 tsp. salt
☂ 2 chipotle peppers (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
☂ 2 tsp. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)

☂ Place all marinade ingredients together in a food processor and blend until smooth (takes about 2 minutes).
☂ Take your flank steak and slice it in thin slices AGAINST THE GRAIN [this is very important or you will get tough meat].  
☂ Place meat in a large bowl and pour in marinade.  Mix the marinade well with the beef and cover.  I leave my meat on the counter and let it marinade for an hour and then begin to cook.  If you wish to marinade your meat any longer than an hour make sure to refrigerate it!  When you are ready to cook it pull it out and let it sit for 15 minutes so that it isn't cold when you cook it because that can make it tough.  You can marinade the meat for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.  
☂ So after an hour I heat a pan to medium high-heat and drizzle in a little bit of olive oil.  Then I add in half of the flank steak and let it cook on one side until it slightly browns and then I flip it over and let it cook for another minute until it is cooked through (be careful to not overcook).  Then repeat this and cook the rest of the meat. 
☂ To serve with this flank steak fajita meat I often make cilantro-lime rice, sauteed red onions and green bell peppers, salsa, guacamole, corn, and black beans.  But serve this with whatever you like, it also makes great tacos and burritos.  
 WALAH!  Enjoy and start feeling nourished