I really love cooking chicken based meals! It is such a versatile protein that allows us to make thousands of recipes with it and never be bored! From all the things I can cook I don't think there's anything more bland than plain than chicken breasts. That is why I usually go with chicken thighs, to have a more flavorful and rich meat which always enhances the flavor of any other ingredient you'll add to it.
Last week I tried this super easy and quick recipe and it was a hit with the whole family. I rely on my Instant Pot to have fast and healthy options that I can cook up during those weeknights when I don't have anything left from my Sunday meal prep or if I ended up not having enough time to meal prep at all.
This recipe was enough for a dinner for the 4 of us and 4 additional servings for the next day lunches. I cooked up some jasmine rice to go with the chicken.
6 big chicken thighs
1 big sweet onion
2/3 big can of crushed tomatoes
freshly chopped parsley
1 can of pitted black olives
1 + 1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 cup Jasmine rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1 - Prep all your ingredients so you can fill up your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Peel and dice the onion, wash and chop the parsley, strain the olives from the can and check to see if there are any visible pits showing; I've had some surprises with this kind of olives so I make sure to always check this every single time.
2 - On the bottom of the pan brush some olive oil and place the chicken thighs over it: cover with the diced onion and season with salt, pepper and the garlic powder.
3 - Cover the chicken thighs with the crushed tomatoes and the freshly chopped parsley - I used about 2 Tbsp and added some extra when serving up on each individual plate. I'm a herb lover so I always load up on fresh herbs on my own plate!
4 - I added the chicken stock, closed the lid and set the Instant Pot to the "Poultry" program, for 20 minutes.
5 - After the program finished I released the steam by the quick release method, opened the lid and added the frozen peas. Close the lid and set the pot to the "Poultry" option again for another 5 minutes. After that time, release the pressure on the pot and add the pitted black olives, closing the lid and just letting everything finish cooking for about 10 minutes, with the remaining interior heat from the pot.
6 - While the chicken was cooking I got my rice cooking: I took the chicken stock to a boiling point and added the jasmine rice to the pot. Seasoned with salt and let it cook according to the instructions, about 12 minutes or until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is fluffy. I added some freshly chopped parsley just before serving and mixed the rice with the fresh herbs so the flavor got all over the rice, not just on top.
This is a pretty simple dish with natural and healthy ingredients and that can be cooked quickly for a comforting family meal.
If you wish to skip the rice cooking process you can also go with potatoes, cooked together with the chicken! In that case, you must wash the potatoes, pat them dry with a cloth and chop them in small chucks. Add the chopped potatoes together with the frozen peas and the 5 min cooking time should be perfect to get them cooked through but not mushy.
I love giving my food a bit of a quick so I love adding some red pepper flakes or hot sauce to my own food, on my own plate. When cooking just for me and the hubby I add it to the food when cooking it but if it's a meal for the kids too I add it separately so they can eat theirs regular and we can have ours spicy.
I hope I get you to try this recipe out because it really is a winner!
If you're currently on a whole30 round you can't have the peas or the rice so you can substitute those for potatoes and leave the regular version for when you're off a round, if you see that legumes are not an issue for you.
It's all about balance and what works good for each one of us.
Today I'll be trying out some side dishes that are sometimes the star of a meal but often get forgotten about when I post my recipes! Sometimes you have like a simple protein option like grilled chicken breast or roasted chicken and just need a good, simple but perfect side dish to go with it so I'll be working on giving you perfect options for that.
Oh, well! The cold weather that came in through last week was all I needed to get on the comforting soup band wagon! Is it just me or to face off these cold nights the best thing to have at hand is a big bowl of steaming hearty soup?!
I try to make a batch of soup every week so we can get a cup of it before our main dish. However, usually that soup is made with a vegetable base, then pureed and sometimes I add some leafy greens, like spinach or kale, and cook it down for an extra 10 minutes or so.
These days I've been feeling like having a whole meal soup!
By adding potatoes, extra veggies or pasta you can get a super comforting and satisfying meal that will work out well as a family dinner. If you feel like adding something else, a slice of garlic bread is always a safe choice and the kids are always up to it!
I was roaming around at a local supermarket by my kids' Portuguese school (they have lessons now, for a couple of hours, two days a week, since there's nothing like cultivating our mother tongue, as well as speaking English during the day, at school), last Tuesday. I couldn't believe when I got to the fresh fish stand and I saw this amazing looking salmon head! I knew I had to get it and I immediately though about making a fish soup out of it.
As I've mentioned before, we love eating fish but it is a really pricey item, here in the US. I'm always amazed at how expensive a fish meal is for the whole family and, usually, I'd pay over $30 just on salmon for a salmon dinner for the four of us. Well, for this beautiful and big salmon head I paid under $3! Isn't that a bargain?! I guess most people aren't used to eating it here and, therefore, it becomes really inexpensive. Great for me because I got this great fish portion and cooked up a really hearty soup that was enough for 8 portions.
If you haven't tried fish head you should really try it out because it's where you'll find the most tasty "meat" of the fish! It is somewhat of a task to, after cooking the fish head, take out all of the bones and get the meat aside for the soup, but it so worth it, I guarantee it!
There's nothing like trying something new and, if you never had it, how can you really say you don't like it?! That is something I always tell my kids and I also follow along those lines with foods that I haven't tried before.
For this soup I used my Instant pot and it worked out perfectly! It's so convenient to just dump all the ingredients in the pot and program it - all I had to do after that was to pick out the fish and take out the bones, after the cooking time came to an end, and add some fresh parsley to give the soup a fresh touch and that was it!
Simple, natural, quick and good tasting food!
1 salmon head (pick out a fairly big one, with a good portion of meat at the end of the head)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 big sweet onion
1 large carrot
2 small bell peppers (I used orange)
1/2 can sweet corn
1 can organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1/2 lbs red potatoes
1/2 Tbsp Primal Palate New Bae seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp ground pink Hymalyan salt
1 vegetable "Bou for You" cube
filtered water to cover the vegetables and almost all of the fish head (this will depend on the size of the pot and any additional ingredients you might want to add)
1 - Prep all the vegetables so you can then dump everything in the pot! Peel the onion and the carrot and roughly chop them. Reserve. Wash and chop the peppers and add them, alongside with the onions and carrots the the bottom of the pot. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil.
2 - Drain the corn (if you're using canned corn, like I did) and add it also to the pot.
3 - Add the fire roasted tomatoes to the pot. Wash the potatoes and cut them in medium sized chunks. Add to the pot and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and the New Bae Seasoning.
4 - Wash and chop the parsley and cover everything with it. Crush the seasoning cube and lay it all over the other ingredients.
5 - Check the salmon head for some visible scales or bones. After doing that and removing any undesirable bones add it to the pot and add filtered water to cover all the vegetables and half the fish head.
6 - Program the pot, choosing the "soup" program for 25 minutes. After the program ends use the fast release system and take the salmon head out of the pot to remove all of the fish meat that you can. Check the pot for any additional bones and after having all the meaty parts together add them to the soup.
7 - Serve the soup in big bowls and add some more freshly chopped parsley. A slice of good quality bread is also great for dipping in the soup broth!
Apparently, for some people, seeing a fish head may be disturbing and that is why I'm posting this picture at the end of the post, so that everyone can get to read the recipe and not have to look at the piece of fish. What I really like is fresh and natural food and fish is exactly that, in its whole because it such a complete source of protein.
If you prefer you can also use fish portions or fillets to make this soup, you don't have to use fish head.
I can't tell you how good this soup turned out!
I also added some red pepper chili flakes to my steaming bowl of fish soup and it was the perfect final touch! I love spicy food, specially during the cold weather season! Next time you're at the fish market grab a good looking salmon head and try some fish head soup for something different and surprising!
The weather has been changing around here and the cooler days had me craving a warm and cozy bowl of rice and beans! On a rainy day what can be better than sitting on the couch with a warm meal made from wholesome and natural ingredients?
Most of the times I find simple recipes to be the best ones - they are so effortless but yet so rich and tasty! Another thing that makes me life easier during the week, and specially on the colder months, is my Instant Pot. I love it and use it all the time to steam vegetables, cook up a batch of soup or make delicious stews and dishes like this one.
Some people have been asking me about my Whole30 experience and if I'm still eating the same way now. I'm not - however, I've changed my relationship with food, which was one of my main goals by doing it as well as finding trigger foods for my chronic migraines.
I don't use food as an emotional backup and I can perfectly control what I eat without feeling pressured or deprived: I eat what I feel like eating and the only thing that still is somewhat forbidden to me are chips...I seem to have to eat them if I have them around, so the trick is NOT to have them around, it's as simple as that! It is not only because I feel like I can eat a lot of chips at once but also the fact that, after eating them, I don't feel that well and that is enough of a reminder that they are not good for me and so, I should stay away from them!
And now, the recipe for this scrumptious and simple meal.
1 pack of spicy sausages
1 cup basmati brown rice
2 large carrots
3 celery stalks
1 small can of red beans
4 cups + 1/2 cup bone broth (I used the "Osso Good Bones" classic variety)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp Primal Palate Jerk Seasoning
freshly chopped parsley
organic fresh spinach leaves
1 - Start by peeling the carrots and chopping them into bite size pieces. Wash and cut the celery stalks into small pieced and add these vegetables to the stainless steel pot, from the Instant Pot.
2 - Add the basmati brown rice and about 1/2 chopped parsley to the pot and season with the spices, salt and pepper.
3 - Cover all the ingredients with the bone broth and give them a stir to get everything well combined.
4 - Put the cover on the pot and seal it until you hear the lock sound. Place the vent attachment in the cooking position and set the Instant Pot on the Rice mode for 15 minutes.
5 - While the rice is cooking cut the sausage into medium sized pieces and saute in a non-stick pan. I didn't use any fat because the sausage has enough fat that gets released during the cooking process.
6 - After the "Rice" program has ended use the quick release method to release all the pressure from the inside of the pot and when the valve drops it is safe for you to open the lid. Open and check that the rice is cooked; if it needs a bit more time to cook just close the lid again and let the rice sit for another 5 minutes, it should be enough to get it a bit softer.
7 - Serve up this comforting dish in a bowl and add some extra veggies if you like! In my bowl, I placed a handful of fresh baby spinach - when I placed the rice and beans on top of it the heat from the rice was enough to get the spinach a bit cooked but leaving it still with a bit of a crunch, which I particularly love! Sprinkle with some fresh chopped parsley for a fresh touch and an aromatic finish which goes perfectly well with the warm spicy sausage.
After getting my rice cooked I, immediately, transferred it to a large skillet to prevent it from overcooking with the residual heat from the Instant Pot. As for the amount of food cooked on this meal, it was enough for 7 individual portions which was great for such a simple and economic dish.
That is one of the major advantages of using rice as base for a meal - it does stretch the meals and 1 cup of rice goes a long way!
This is a very nourishing meal and you can use your favorite veggies or sausages to adjust it to your family's preferences. If you'd like just keep it vegetarian, adding bell peppers or butternut squash, for example. I'me acostumed to brown rice and it's the only kind I eat now, after my Whole30 - apparently I'm getting the whole family on board which is, definitely, another WIN for this mommy!