Get Yo Man Chicken!

Get Yo Man Chicken!

This is by far one of my favorite recipes EVER.  I’ve never fed this to anyone and them not like it.  My boyfriend and his best friend devoured it one night this week.  It’s healthy AND it’s PALEO!  If I didn’t eat Paleo, I would totally buy a loaf of really yummy homemade French bread, (or maybe even an Italian bread), lather it up with butter and garlic, and dip it into the sauce you’re about to indulge in.  BUT… Let’s be honest… It’s SUMMERTIME and that means lots of running and very few carbs for this big booty girl!

ingredients for get yo man chicken recipe

INGREDIENTS FOR ‘GET YO MAN CHICKEN’ :

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, small diced

1 – 2 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely

1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped finely

1 tbsp honey

1/4 cup organic half and half OR coconut milk (for a Paleo version)

1/2 – 1 cup of chicken stock (I totally forgot to put chicken stock in the above pic… ooops!)

1 – 28oz can organic crushed tomatoes, fire roasted (You don’t have to buy the fire roasted…but they taste amazing!)

2 lbs organic chicken thighs, skin removed, bone-in

get yo man chicken recipe

DIRECTIONS:

1.  In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter.  Let this heat up for a minute or two.  Season your chicken thighs with salt and pepper.  Brown chicken on both sides, but don’t cook all the way through.  This takes about 5 – 7 minutes.

2.  Remove the chicken from Dutch oven and add your onion and garlic.  Saute until translucent.  Add the remaining ingredients, stir until combined.  Add the chicken stock a little bit at a time.  You may not want to add a whole cup of stock if you prefer a thicker sauce.  Completely up to you!  Start off with only adding 1 tbsp of lemon pepper at a time.  Taste it, see how you like it, and add more if desired.  Personally, I add 2 tbsp.  I love it!  Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

3.  Add your chicken back to the sauce and let it cook on medium-low heat for at least 30 – 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

4.  I served this with haricot vert and I’ve also served it with Jasmine rice.  This dish is delicious with any fresh vegetable!   <2 pieces of chicken per person unless you have some BIG appetites!>

get yo man chicken and green beans

 

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Picadillo…Paleo Style!

Picadillo… Paleo Style!

About a month or so after my boyfriend and I started dating, I turned on the charm and slowly started showing him my culinary skills in the kitchen.  Everyone knows the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!  So, for the first time in a really long time I decided to see if that old saying was still accurate.  Low and behold… IT WAS!!!

Once he got comfortable with asking for specific foods for me to cook, one of the dishes he wanted one day was Picadillo.  I had never heard of it, much less made it before… so I did what 99% of other cooks in the world do and I googled ‘Picadillo recipes’.  I looked through several different recipes and found this one.  Thankfully Omar loved it! This dish has become one of our favorite things to eat.  Traditionally it’s served with Spanish rice, but since we try to eat paleo 5-6 days a week, I serve it with some type of vegetable. Plantains sauteed in a little bit of butter are delicious served with this meal too. If you’re not into the paleo diet, by all means serve this with some Spanish rice. You’ll love it!

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What you’re going to need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 lbs grass fed ground beef
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (in oven or on stove top)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 – 6oz can organic tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

1.  Start by heating a Dutch oven to medium-high heat.  Add butter and olive oil, then add the beef.

2.  Allow the beef to brown for about 5 minutes, then add garlic, onion, and bell peppers.  Let this continue cooking until beef is cooked completely through and the veggies are translucent.

3.  Add tomato paste, olives, raisins, cumin, and bay leaves.  Stir until the tomato paste is well incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.  I usually add 1/2 – 1 cup of water to the mixture…this keeps the Picadillo moist and keeps it from having that dried out look. The longer this simmers, the better it tastes.  I don’t know why, but this dish is even better leftover for the next day.

4.  Before I complete the dish, I stir in the parsley and sprinkle a little bit on top for garnish.

This particular night, I served the Picadillo with sauteed broccoli.  I’ve also served it on top of spinach, kale, and mashed cauliflower (fake mashed potatoes).  It’s also delicious served with Spanish rice.

Bon Appetit!

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Deep Dish Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie Bars

If you love fudge… and if you love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies… you’re going to LOVE this recipe!  I’m really sad to say I didn’t come up with and sadly it wasn’t even passed down from anyone in my family.  I found it on Pinterest and it’s probably one of the BEST recipes I’ve ever made from there.  Kudos to whomever came up with this recipe – it’s amazing! Not one bit of this recipe is healthy or Paleo, but I’m a firm believer that every now and then your body needs a little something ‘unhealthy’.  🙂

When my boyfriend, Omar was doing his preceptorship for nursing school, I made these for the nurses and doctors he was working with one weekend for their weekly family meal at the hospital.  They loved them so much, they asked him to ask me if I would make them again the very next week!  I’m not gonna lie, it made my heart so happy! Sometimes cooking for complete strangers can be a little nerve racking…honestly, it makes me super anxious.  You don’t know what they like or what they don’t like.  It’s a big gamble. Thankfully, they were a hit!  After Omar’s precept was over, we were invited to have Easter lunch with the crew he worked with.  As soon as I met them, they felt like family!  They hugged me and talked to me like they’ve known me for years! One of my favorite things about cooking and food in general is it has a beautiful way of bringing people together… Even people you just met!

Go break some bread with somebody!  It’ll make you smile!

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars3                                                Chocolate Oatmeal Bars2 

Deep Dish Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie Bars 

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 cups oatmeal

Directions: 

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Beat the butter, eggs and brown sugar together in a mixer.  Add vanilla and milk.  Slowly incorporate the rest of the dry ingredients.  Mix well… The mixture will be very thick.

3.  In a saucepan over medium heat melt together:

  • 1 can eagle’s brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (typically one bag)

4.  Spread 3/4 of the cookie mixture on the bottom of a greased 13×9 pan.  Pour the chocolate mixture on top of cookie mixture, then spread rest of cookie mixture on top in spoonfuls (it won’t cover completely, but will leave cool designs). The top can tend to get done before it’s completely cooked, so you can put aluminum foil over it for the last ten minutes or so if it looks like it’s browning too much.

5.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Let it cool COMPLETELY, otherwise it won’t set up and will just run when you cut into it.

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

Tomato & Cucumber Salad

This is one of my favorite salads!  I make this at least twice a week… It’s quick, super easy to make, and absolutely delicious!  Not to mention, it’s Paleo…that always makes me happy!

Tomato & Cucumber Salad 

  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved (Sometimes I get the red and yellow cherry tomatoes.. makes the salad look so pretty!
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime, maybe 2 if your limes are small
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • *I love to add an avocado to this salad too.  Completely optional…

1. Throw ALL ingredients into a bowl, stir until combined.  If you have time let it refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

tomatocucumbersalad2  tomatocucumbersalad

 

Haricot Vert

This recipe is super easy, super healthy, and super delicious!

Haricot Vert 

  • 1 pound of Haricot Vert (French Green Beans), washed and trimmed
  • 1/2 onion, diced or sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 package of mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper

Directions: 

1. In a saute pan, add olive oil and butter over medium-medium high heat.  Melt together and add onion and garlic.  Cook until translucent and add bell pepper and mushrooms. Cook for about 3-5 minutes.

2.  Add haricot vert and stock.  Personally, I like my haricot vert still a little bit crunchy.  I LOATHE over-cooked green beans!!!  But these are for you, so cook them to your desired consistency.  5-10 minutes over medium heat. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper!

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Stuffed Leg of Lamb

I’m not one to brag or boast about my skills in the kitchen, BUT this recipe deserves a gold star.  Actually, it deserves 5 gold stars.  Seriously y’all, it’s one of the BEST recipes I’ve EVER MADE BEFORE.  I absolutely LOVE lamb.  I eat it at nice restaurants often, but have never made it at home…until now!   I’ll be honest… I was super nervous to make it or to even try to make it.  Let’s be real… an organic leg of lamb is not something you want to screw up in any way.  So, I was at the gym running and watching Food Network because that’s how I roll.  I’ve got to watch something entertaining that keeps my mind off the clock while I’m on that god-forsaken treadmill.  Giada DeLaurentiis was on making a leg of lamb dish…  Sick and tired of making the same dishes over and over, I felt somewhat inspired.  I decided to take her recipe and create my own version for Easter dinner at Casa de Khan!  We had Stuffed Leg of Lamb with haricot vert and a tomato and cucumber salad.  It was delicious!!!

Stuffed Leg of Lamb

1 – 5lb leg of lamb; boned and butterflied

3 tbsp olive oil plus 1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp garlic, minced

1/2 cup onion, diced

2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 cup pecans, diced

1 cup fresh spinach, rough chop

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 cups beef stock

Directions: 

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Remove lamb from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.

3.  Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil in cast iron skillet (or oven proof skillet).  Saute onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, then add pecans, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper.  While this sautes, rough chop your spinach, put it in a bowl, and set to the side until your veggies are done.  This takes about 5-7 minutes.

4.  Add your onion and garlic mixture to your chopped spinach.  Stir well and taste to check for seasoning.  Set to the side until you’re ready to stuff the lamb.

5.  Trim excess fat off lamb.  (By the looks of my pictures, I probably should have trimmed off a little bit more of the fat.  But I still wanted there to be some fat on it that would cook through the meat while giving it more flavor.)  Open it up and spread Dijon mustard all over the inside, then stuff with spinach mixture.  Starting from one side, roll up the lamb with the filling inside so that it maintains the shape of the leg.  Tie with butcher’s twine at 2 inch intervals. Season the outside of the lamb with salt and pepper.

legoflamb2   legoflamb

 

6.  Wipe out your cast iron skillet you just used to saute the onion/garlic mixture.  Add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Place over high heat and allow it to get hot.  Place the lamb in the pan and sear it on all sides until golden brown all over, about 2 minutes per side.

7.  Transfer lamb to oven and add just enough beef stock to cover the bottom of the cast iron skillet (1/2 inch deep). Keep an eye on the stock.  About half way through, I added a little bit more.  You don’t want the stock to cook completely out.  This keeps the lamb very moist as it cooks.  Cook the lamb for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 135 degrees.  Remove from skillet to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes before you carve it.

finishedlegoflamb Perfection!!!

8.  I am the Queen of sauces!  So, while my lamb rested, I used the same cast iron skillet I cooked the lamb in and made a super yummy red wine sauce to drizzle on the lamb.  The sauce is completely up to you.  The lamb doesn’t ‘need’ a sauce at all, I just preferred it at the time!  If you want my red wine sauce recipe, continue reading…

Red Wine Sauce 

1 tbsp butter

1tbsp flour

1-1 1/2 cups beef stock

1/2 cup red wine

1/4 – 1/2 cup coconut milk OR heavy cream

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

9.  If you still have stock in the bottom of your pan, pour it over into a glass and use part of it for the sauce.  Add 1 tbsp butter to the pan.  Once it has melted, add 1 tbsp of flour.  Whisk together for about a minute and add 1 cup of your reserved beef stock.  If it’s too thick, add more stock until it’s the consistency you like.  Next, add a 1/2 cup of red wine (I used a Cabernet.  Always cook with wine you like to drink!).  Bring the sauce to a boil for 5-7 minutes to burn the alcohol off.  Bring to simmer and add 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary and 1/4 – 1/2 cup coconut milk (if you want it to be Paleo) or heavy cream.  Taste and check to see if you need more salt and pepper.

10.  Carve up this delicious stuffed leg of lamb and serve with your favorite vegetables!

finishedlegoflamb2  tomatocucumbersalad2

*Look under my veggies tab for my haricot vert and tomato & cucumber salad recipes!*

 

 

Steak & Veggies Dinner for Two

One year down, forever to go!

On March 16, 2013 I had my very first date with the love of my life.  Little did I know at the time that he would end up being my one true love.  I was on cloud 9!  I will say unashamed that we met on Match.com… Don’t laugh.  It’s what you do when you’re 30, still single, never been married, no kids, and still praying for one little ounce of hope in the marriage world.  Don’t forget I’m from Alabama.  In case you don’t know, it’s sacrilegious to be this old and not married in this state.  Most girls either get married right out of high school OR they go to college for their “MRS” degree. I had been on Match for a few months, having a few okay dates, and a few I never want to see you again dates.  I’m not going to lie, it was exhausting.  Putting yourself out there in hopes of really finding that one man you’ve been praying for since you were 15 was not an easy task for this introvert.  It was coming close to the end of my subscription and I had decided I was done looking for Mr. Right.  I was tired of lame dates.  No chemistry.  It never failed, if they were super in to me, I was so not in to them.  UNTIL… I got an email from a man with the user name: DolphinFanatic.  We went back and forth via email for a couple days until he finally asked me for my number. I’ll never forget the first time he called me.  He has the hottest voice EVER!  It’s one of those deep, manly, but very kind sounding voices that makes you wanna curl up next to him because you know that just the sound of his voice will protect you… and did I mention it sounds so hot?!  Ahhh!  I’m pretty sure my heart raced every time we spoke on the phone for the first couple weeks. So… super long story short… He’s in school working on his second degree and wasn’t able to meet up with me until about 2 weeks after his first initial email.  We spent hours on the phone.  HOURS!  This may sound totally cliche, but talking to him was so effortless.  We laughed about anything and everything.  It honestly felt like we had known each other for years.  It could not have been more perfect! We finally decided on a day to meet and naturally, I was a nervous wreck!  He was the first man I’ve met and gone out on a date with that offered to come pick me up AT MY HOUSE.  (He scored major points when he did that.) I was under the impression that act of chivalry was dead.  Nope!  Not with my sweet love!  Our first date seriously could not have been more perfect.  We went to a park downtown and had a sushi and vodka-tonic picnic and then we went to the Wine Loft for dinner.  It was by far THE BEST DATE EVER!!!

first date pic

So… with all that said, this blog is in honor of my gorgeous Omar!  He’s not just my best friend, but he’s my one true love.  The man I waited a long ass time for.  The man I’ve prayed for.  The man that makes me want to be a better woman.  The man I want to travel the world with.  The man I will one day marry and grow old and wrinkly with.  I love you with all my heart, Sweetheart.  You were so worth the wait! Below are just a few pictures of the things we did throughout this first year of being together…I’m the luckiest girl in the whole wide world!

whit&omesDolphinsGame

We went to the Saints VS Dolphins game in NOLA!  My first Dolphins game!!

whit&omesNYC

A friend’s wedding in NYC… I LOVE NYC!!!

nursing party

Date night!

Now on to the food!  I’m a firm believer in that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach… This is one of Omar’s favorite meals.  He loves it so much, we have it at least once a week, sometimes twice!

Steak & Veggies Dinner for Two

  • 2 – 8oz steaks (This particular night I used sirloin steaks, but we also love filets and NY Strip steaks too)
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, medium diced
  • 8 0z container mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 cups of Kale, washed, dried, and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil and butter (for the meat and veggies)
  • Yum-Yum Sauce: (This sauce is amazing on anything!)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 -2 Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This meal seriously takes about 20 minutes to fix from start to finish. 

1.  Make the Yum-Yum sauce.  Set to the side for a bit. 

2.  Saute onion and garlic together in one tbsp of olive oil and one tbsp of butter until translucent.  Then add the mushrooms and red bell peppers.  Let them cook until just soft.  Salt and pepper as you go.  

3.  While the onions, garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms are getting yummy, I get my steaks out and season them with salt and pepper or your favorite rub.  Get out your cast iron skillet and get it screaming hot.  Add one tbsp of olive oil and one tbsp of butter to the skillet, but don’t let it burn!                                                                         Veggie with yum-yum sauce

4.  Start cooking your steaks to the temperature of your liking.  We love medium rare, so while one side of the steaks cook, I finish my veggies.                                                                       

  sirloin steaks

5.  Add tomatoes and kale and cook until the kale has wilted just enough.  Add the Yum-Yum sauce to the veggies and let them marry together while your steaks cook!  

At this point my steaks are done.  I pull them off the heat and on to a plate.  Let them rest for a couple minutes…. Then consume this delicious and healthy meal, preferably with a glass of Cabernet!                                                               sirloin and veg

One last picture from when we went to the Miami Heat Finals Game 2!  Bon Appetit!!!

whit&omesHEATgame