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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pork Chop Adobo

Puzzle piece scramble!
As a mother, there is nothing more important than putting a delicious and healthy meal on the table for my wonderful family!!  No wait, a SIMPLE, delicious and healthy meal!  Working from home with a 5 year old and a 2 year old running around means I need to make as many things as I can as easy as I can!  (Who knows what they are going to surprise me with next!)  I am sure many of you know what I am talking about.  Like laundry for example.  A task that will usually take me ten minutes turns into a half hour.  I learn quick though.  When they see me go for the clothes in the dryer it is instant "we want to fold them".  So, I grab them and throw them on the living room floor and say OK fold them for mommy.  This gives me at least 15 minutes to go get something else on my list done.  When I see that they have lost interest in the pile of clothes, it is my turn to quickly get it done and since they are bored with it by now, I don't have to worry about playing the refolding game 5 times over.

I have my days where I don't mind playing the refolding game over and over, I am spending special time with my little ones who pretty soon I will have to bribe with an allowance to get any help out of them.  Same goes with dinner.  Some days I don't mind if dinner takes a while to put together.  I love to cook.  But other days, I know there is just not going to be enough time and if I try to do some fancy meal, I will just end up stressing myself out. Pork Chop Adobe is a quick and healthy dinner, with delicious flavors that leave them thinking you put a lot more effort into it then you did.  Hope you like it!!

Pork Chop Adobo

3-4 boneless, organic pork chops
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup low-sodium Tamari soy sauce (gluten free option)...
OR Bragg Liquid Aminos sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

    Step 1: Add olive oil to a medium frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add chicken thighs and cook until lightly browned on both sides.  Remove chicken from pan and transfer to a plate and set aside.

    Step 2: In same frying pan, add garlic and saute until soft over low heat.  Add apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, black peppercorns, and bay leaf. Stir well before adding chicken back to pan and cook, covered for 20 minutes.

    Step 3: Uncover pan, increase heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, occasionally spooning sauce over chicken, until sauce begins to thicken and chicken is tender and glazed with sauce.  Remove bay leaf and serve.

    This is also AMAZING with boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs!! Yummy!!

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Broccoli and Chicken Casserole: Healthy Option for a Pre-Made Meal

    My angel helping mommy!
    Does anyone else have a hectic day?  You know, the one day during the week that you dread the most!  For me it is Wednesdays!  This is the day that I have to have my daughter to preschool by 8:30, pick her up at 11:00, then straight to the library for story and craft time until 12:30.  After that is a quick lunch, lay my 2 year old down for a nap and hope he wakes up by 3:15 in a good mood because...my daughter has gymnastics at 4:00 followed by her very first soccer game, which I volunteered to help coach which means first one there and last one to leave. For days like these I like to have a simple game plan for dinner.   That is why I just make it on Tuesday night, my one of two nights during the week where I have no running around to do.  

    This casserole is a tiny bit time consuming (but honestly, what dinner isn't) but overall very easy and my kids LOVED it which is a big bonus for me! I made it the night before and while I was being Soccer Coach for my daughter's team, my husband was walking into the house to a very BIG note explaining in GREAT detail, how to get dinner in the oven. And when we got home...dinner was ready and waiting for us!

    And, I must admit that as I am sitting here typing this out, I am eating the leftovers of this casserole!  Yummy, even better the next day!!

    Broccoli and Chicken Casserole

     1 1/2 lbs organic skinless, boneless chicken breast
    1 tbsp olive oil
    3 cups cooked quinoa
    3 cups fresh broccoli florets (see below)
    1 medium sweet onion, diced
    2 cups organic Greek style plain yogurt
    1 tsp
    curry powder
    2 tsp prepared white mustard
    3 tsp fresh lemon juice
    2 tsp fresh basil leaves, chopped (1 tsp dried)
    1 cup organic shredded cheddar blend cheese (cheddar, Colby, Monterey jack)
    • Step 1: Place the broccoli in a steamer or shallow saucepan with water for a few minutes to slightly cook.  Remove from heat; allow to cool before cutting broccoli into small pieces.
    • Step 2: Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook on one side for approximately 5 minutes.  Flip chicken over; add the onions and saute along with chicken for another 5 minutes.  Turn off heat. Remove chicken from skillet and place on a cutting board to cool.  When cooled, cut chicken into 1 inch cubes.
    • Step 3: Combine the yogurt, curry powder, mustard, lemon juice and basil leaves in a medium bowl and mix well.
    • Step 4: Add one cup quinoa to the bottom of a lightly oiled 9x13 inch baking dish.  Layer 1/3 of broccoli, onions, chicken and yogurt mixture.  Repeat this procedure in the same order two additional times.  Sprinkle cheese evenly over top of mixture.
    • Step 5: Cover with foil and either store in refrigerator for a easy next night meal or and bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes.
     Growing up, if my mom was making a casserole, it more than likely had a cream of something soup in it.  I want to provide my kids with casseroles that are made with more whole foods that I can feel good about putting into their growing bodies rather than ones that plop out of a can in the same shape as the can. What is your favorite way to dodge the cream of... in your favorite casseroles?
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