Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Green Chile Chicken Stew

My name is Weasel and I approve this message.

Mexican food in Kentucky is really, really bad. So if I want Mexican food here, I have to make it myself. My default thing to make is my mom's recipe for green chile chicken enchiladas. 

Lately though, I've been trying to avoid straying too far from paleo when possible, so I thought maybe some green chile chicken stew would satisfy the craving without having to eat any grain. And my stew recipe definitely does the trick. It has become probably my favorite at-home meal, and I make it about once a week. 

And now I will share it with you...

Green Chile Chicken Stew

(Makes 5-6  heaping one cup servings)

.8 - 1 lb chicken thighs (or breasts, but I think thighs are better), cooked and shredded

1/2 a medium onion, diced

1 extra large garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons cooking fat (I usually use half ghee and half coconut oil, but anything will be fine)

6-8 oz diced green chiles (more if you like it really spicy)

2 medium-large potatoes, chopped into 1cm cubes (or use riced cauliflower if you prefer)

1 carton (32 oz) chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon oregano

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

Heat the cooking fat in a pot big enough to hold everything. Then saute the onion and garlic until it starts to soften. Add the green chile, potatoes, chicken broth, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper and stir. Simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. When the potatoes are cooked through, add in the cooked, shredded chicken. Next, stir in the cream and bring back to a simmer. Now taste a little and add more salt and pepper if needed. And it's ready!

I like to eat mine topped with a little (or a lot) of shredded cheddar. The leftovers are great for lunch the next day, or even frozen and thawed for a fast and delicious future meal. 

And great on the side, are these cheesy tapioca buns!


To prep the chicken, I like to drizzle it with olive oil and a little salt and pepper and bake it in a pan covered in foil at 350 for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Then shred it or chop it up.

I really love my soups full of cream, but it would probably still be good if the cream was left out. 

A good alternative to using carb-y potatoes in this recipe is riced cauliflower. Just grate 1/2- 3/4 cup of raw cauliflower and throw it in in place of the potatoes and simmer until everything is tender and the flavors are nicely melded.

I hope you enjoy this stew as much as I do!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cookies and Nuggets.

I braved one of my least favorite environments today:

The Trader Joe's in this town is AWFUL. It's overly crowded with jerks and just bad in every way. Mike and I learned this a while back when we decided to switch up our normal routine and shop there one weekend. It was so bad that we never went back. That had been my first Trader Joe's experience in several years and since it was so very horrific, I decided that I just hated the place in general.

Fast forward a couple months to when we were in Tucson looking for a house. There was a Trader Joe's two doors down from the hotel we were staying at, and I begrudgingly agreed that we could do our shopping there while we were in town. I was in for quite a surprise. That Trader Joe's is awesome! Nothing at all like the one here in Louisville.

While I was in Tucson I fell in love with Trader Joe's carrot juice. I bought a bottle to keep in our hotel room, and then had to go back two more times to get more. Somehow I forgot about the stuff since I've been back home, until today, that is. I was somehow reminded of carrot juice, and just HAD to have some.

Since my juicer is already packed up for the move, I decided I would go to that awful, awful Trader Joe's here and get some of my trusty old carrot juice.

I thought maybe since it was in the middle of a weekday, the store wouldn't be so bad. It was though. But at least I got the juice.

For dinner this evening, I decided to do something a little different than usual.

Chicken nuggets!

I used to make paleo fried chicken from the recipe in my Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook, but I hadn't tried chicken nuggets yet. I found this recipe today on Life as a Plate, and was intrigued by its use of mayo and mustard (I left the honey out) to coat the chicken, instead of the usual egg.

They came out really well. The only thing that was slightly disappointing was the level of breading crispiness. It came out slightly more soggy than crispy. Soggy isn't really the right word, though. But regardless, they tasted great.

Local chicken.

Gooey grossness. 

Before baking.

Last but not least, for my eating pleasure this evening were these lovely fellows:

Grain-Free Almond Butter Cookies!

Here's the recipe I used. They came out pretty tasty. I've been trying to find some paleo recipes that my parents might enjoy, and this one is a definite keeper. The sweetness and texture don't measure up to the peanut butter cookies I grew up with, but for being grain-free these are pretty darn good.

Mike and I enjoyed our dinner and cookies while watching an episode of good ol' Farscape.

Weasel blocking my view, as usual.

Before Mike and I started dating almost 7 years ago, I had no experience with sci fi. He was kind enough to introduce me, and I have been hooked ever since. The very first series he showed me was Farscape, and when we couldn't find anything new to watch a few nights ago, we decided to re-watch the whole series. Great decision, I forgot how good it is.

Because I haven't reached my daily quota of Weasel pictures, here she is napping on a pile of boxes.

And now I'm off to do a bit of reading before bed.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Three weeks to go.

My big move back to the southwest is coming up quick! I'm super excited and packing up more of the house every day.

With all this moving, and my studio all in boxes, I won't be making any art for a while. So here's an old piece, since I have nothing new to show:

Things I'm looking forward to about moving:

Setting up my new studio.
Living somewhat near my family again (6 hour drive instead of a 24 hour drive).
Having year-round sunshine, because as nice as Kentucky is in the spring/summer, the winter here really, really sucks. Day after day of not seeing the sun really gets you down.

Percentage of sunny days in Louisville: 56%
Percentage of sunny days in Tucson: 85%
Tucson sunshine is beat only by Yuma, AZ and Redding, CA.

There are plenty of not-so-great things about living in the desert, too. The deathly dryness. The scorching heat. The venomous house guests. It's weird though, when we were there visiting a few weeks ago, I had this feeling like the desert was where I belong. Maybe it's something about living the first 6 years of my life and then the first 7 years of my adult life in the desert that cemented me as a desert creature.

I am definitely going to miss the lush greenery here in Louisville, though, and the amazingly beautiful storms. Mike and I always go out on our porch to watch the clouds right before a severe thunderstorm starts, which is multiple times a week here, year-round. I've never seen such cool looking clouds.

It is kind of a pain that we have to move again after only living out here for a year, but I think I like moving. I know it's a lot of work, not to mention really expensive, but it's really exciting too. And I get bored with my surroundings pretty quickly so changing them up completely is always really refreshing. I also love getting to spend a whole week with my parents, since they always come to help us when we move.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekend in Chicago

Mike and I returned home yesterday afternoon from our busy but fun weekend in Chicago.

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

Amelia the very photogenic cat.

Painting of MJ in a third story window.

Pigeons enjoying some bread in a dirty alley.

Mike holding a maple bacon eclair that we shared. Way too much sugar was consumed over the weekend. I'm looking forward to getting back to mostly paleo eating now that I'm home again.

Beautiful old buildings.

Funny old advertisement we saw in a restaurant. Meat!

Sitting in terrible Chicago traffic for an hour and a half during rush hour.

We drove through a severe thunderstorm in Indiana on our way to Chicago and a severe thunderstorm in Indiana on our way home from Chicago. Not fun. But the sky was pretty afterwards.