Perfect Basil Pesto (THM S)

Wondering what to do with that beautiful, blooming (overflowing?) basil? Pesto is one of my favorite ways to preserve fresh basil. It uses a TON of fresh basil at once, and pesto can be used in a myriad of ways.

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One Pot New Orleans-Style Gumbo (THM S/E)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

I’m a spicy gal and although I wasn’t born in Louisiana, creole cuisine of New Orleans speaks to me on a spiritual level.

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Gumbo is one of my favorite, warming meals because it’s spicy, hearty, and still packs a veggie punch. Also, this is one of those meals that you can cook (a bunch of) one night, and when you’re eating its leftovers a few nights later the flavor is even deeper – it only gets better with time! However, my favorite part of this meal is definitely that it only takes one (big) pot. Because I still hate doing dishes ^_^.

Start by heating a large Dutch oven over medium low heat, and add the sliced smoked sausage. I used andouille, which is a creole spicy sausage. If you’re not into the spice, any smoked sausage will do. Since it’s already cooked, you just want to sauté it enough to get some color and crispness on the outside.

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Take the sausage out, add some coconut oil if needed, and begin sautéing the cubed chicken. It doesn’t have to cook all the way through since it will simmer in the gumbo later. Just make sure it has some good color on it, and season with salt and pepper or a touch of Cajun seasoning.

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Take the chicken out, then start on the shrimp. I bought easy-peel shrimp from my fish counter at Sprouts, which are already deveined. You can keep the tails, or whole shell, on if you wish. I find it easier to remove the whole shell, tail included, prior to cooking. Add more coconut oil to the pan, if needed before adding the shrimp. Again, season with salt and pepper and sauté away. Cook them about 1 minute on each side, just to get good color. They won’t be fully cooked yet, but once you add them back to the gumbo they’ll finish cooking without becoming overcooked.

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Remove the shrimp. Next comes the vegetables! Don’t worry about the brown bits on the bottom of your Dutch oven – that’s flavor, and the stock we add later will pick it all up.

Chop some mirepoix – celery (leafy green parts included!), onion, green bell pepper, and garlic.

Add a touch more coconut oil, turn the heat down just a touch and add the vegetables. Sauté until onions just start to caramelize, about 5-7 minutes.

And, I’ll go ahead and tell you, I’m a bad Southerner – I greatly dislike okra. Unless it’s pureed, in a cookie, or otherwise hidden beyond recognition I cannot stomach it. HOWEVER. You are welcome to add okra to this lovely gumbo if it is your thing. If you do add it, go ahead and do so at this step.

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De-glaze the pan with one 15-oz can of fire roasted tomatoes. I like the smoky flavor of fire roasted tomatoes, but you’re welcome to use any kind you prefer. Mine also were seasoned with garlic and onion. Add in the chicken (or vegetable/seafood) stock, a bay leaf, sausage, chicken, Worcestershire sauce, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Place the lid on your pot and let it simmer for about 10-12 minutes.

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Once it’s finished simmering, turn off the heat, add the shrimp back to the pot, cover again and let stand for about 5-7 minutes. This will allow the shrimp to continue cooking through slowly.

Serve the gumbo as is or over a big pile of cauliflower rice. For my cauliflower rice, I pulsed half a large head of cauliflower in a food processor until it was in small pearls. Then I served it raw underneath the hot gumbo – easy peasy! I liked it raw because it didn’t become mushy from cooking and retained a nice textural contrast like rice.

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As is, the gumbo is a great S. However, if you want to have the rice and make it an E – that’s completely achievable. You can either choose a smoked turkey/chicken sausage with less fat, or leave it out completely and make this a chicken and shrimp gumbo – your call. Just make sure any time you’re adding coconut oil that you do so with a spray to keep the fat in check.

Either way you make it, this gumbo is a spicy, hearty, and delicious shake-up to your weekly routine. The leftovers just get better with time – this is a meal you can make on Monday and still enjoy on Friday.

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New Orleans Style Gumbo (THM S/E)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1-lb andouille sausage, sliced (or any smoked sausage – For E choose a chicken or turkey sawusage, or omit)
  • 1/2 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 stalks celery, leafy greens included, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 c cut okra (optional)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes seasoned with garlic and onion
  • 1 1/2 c chicken/vegetable/seafood stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cajun seasoning to taste
  • 1 tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 6-10 dashes hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • cauliflower rice (for S) or cooked brown rice (for E), for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat and sauté the sliced sausage until browned and crispy. Remove to a plate.
  2. Add coconut oil, if needed, toss the chicken with a touch of Cajun seasoning and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate (with the sausage is fine).
  3. Toss the shrimp with salt and pepper, then brown for about 1 minute on each side. Remove to a plate with the chicken and sausage.
  4. Add more coconut oil, if needed, then begin sautéing the onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and okra (if using). Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions begin to caramelize.
  5. Add the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire, bay leaf, hot sauce, chicken, and sausage back to the pot. Cover and simmer on medium-low for about 10-12 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat, add the shrimp back to the pot, cover, and let stand for about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Serve over cauliflower rice, brown rice (for an E), or as is.

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Low Carb Coq Au Vin (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Who’s ready for another one-pot wonder?!

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If I haven’t said it enough already, I really love my cast iron Dutch oven. It’s perfect for my chili, stews, everything. This lady in red has been making dinner a lot easier lately.

If you haven’t had Coq Au Vin before, it’s a French country chicken stew. Most often, I see it with mushrooms and onions. However, you can add a wider array of vegetables if you like – celery, shallots, carrots, or parsnips would also be good here.

All those beautiful veggies and chicken pieces get cooked down in some dry red wine. I used Côtes du Rhône because the Barefoot Contessa tells me that’s a good red wine, and I’m not about argue. ^_^

I started by rendering the fat from a few slices of chopped bacon.

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Once the bacon starts to crisp, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and set to the side.

Season your chicken pieces with salt and pepper on both sides. I used chicken thighs and breasts.

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Crisp the chicken on both sides, in one layer of your pan. Brown the pieces in multiple batches if needed, then remove to a plate. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked yet, as it will cook through later.

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Add the mushrooms, carrots, red onion, and garlic to the pan with an extra pat of butter (or coconut oil) if the pan is looking dry. Saute about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms start to have a little color. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the xanthan gum.

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De-glaze the pan with the red wine, picking up any bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.

Add the pearl onions, chicken pieces, bacon, and whole thyme sprigs. Top off with a little chicken stock if it looks like you still need more liquid. Cover, bring to boil, and reduce to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove the lid after 20 minutes, and continue simmering another 10-15 minutes until some of the liquid reduces.

Shred the chicken roughly, if you like (it will be falling apart anyway). Turn off the heat, and add a handful of fresh chopped parsley. Don’t forget to remove the woody thyme stems – the leaves come off in the stew.

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YUM. Tender, delicious chicken in a rich red wine sauce with hearty vegetables. How can you go wrong?

I served this stew as-is for me. For my young creatures, I poured it over some cooked brown rice.

Low Carb Coq Au Vin (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 2lbs chicken breasts and thighs
  • 6 slices bacon, sliced
  • 8oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 c dry red wine (I used Côtes du Rhône)
  • 1/3 c frozen pearl onions
  • 6-8 whole sprigs of fresh thyme (you’ll remove the stems later)
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, or coconut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large cast iron Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and brown the chicken in a single layer in the bacon drippings. Remove pieces to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the butter to the pan, then saute the carrots, mushrooms, red onions, and garlic over medium-low heat until onions are browned and soft.
  4. Sprinkle with xanthan gum, then add the wine, chicken stock, pearl onions, and thyme. Add the chicken and cooked bacon back to the pan. Cover and simmer over medium heat (or in a preheated 400 degree oven), for about 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue simmering another 10-15 minutes until some of the liquid reduces down.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Verde Chicken Chili with Roasted Tomatillos (THM E)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Tis the season for chili.

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Chili is one of my favorite meals to make during the cold months, because it all happens in one dish. I am all about using as few dishes as possible when cooking.

Generally, when you think “chili” you think beef. But I tell ya, there’s a warm place in my heart for some hearty chicken chili. It’s every bit as flavorful as beef, minus a lot of the fat.

I started by roasting the tomatillos and jalapeño.

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Pause.

I put those on parchment paper. Paper burns. Even though my broiler isn’t gas, it will still burn.

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Yeah, don’t be like me. Put them on foil or just straight on the pan. Anything but parchment. [I have no clue what I was thinking.]

Anywho! Back to the task at hand. When roasting foods under the broiler, it will happen fairly quickly. You want the skin to be blistered and charred on all sides. Once that happens, remove them from the broiler, place into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and let steam until cool enough to handle.

After steaming, the skin of the pepper and tomatillos will pull away from the flesh, making it easier to peel.

Pay attention here, because this is really mind-blowing. I am about to share with you my super easy, and awesome, method for seeding jalapeños with minimal handling.

Cut the stem off the pepper, then cut in half lengthwise. Take a grapefruit spoon, placing the serrated end in the smaller end of the pepper.

Press down firmly, then drag the spoon down the length of the pepper taking the ribs and seeds in the spoon. See how easy that was? And with barely any handling.

Spray a large Dutch oven lightly with coconut oil. Sauté the onions, bell pepper, and garlic for about 5 minutes, until slightly softened.

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Add the green chiles, chopped jalapeño, tomatillos (don’t worry about chopping. Once roasted they get soft and squishy, no sense in chopping.), lime zest, ground coriander, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, 4 cups of the chicken broth, and add the chicken pieces down in the liquid.

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Cover and bring to a rapid simmer for 12-14 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken from the broth, shred, then add back into the pot.

Puree one cup of the white beans with about 1 cup of the chicken broth until smooth.

Turn the heat down to low, add the bean puree to the pot along with the rest of the whole white beans, cilantro, and lime juice. Add more chicken broth as needed, and adjust for salt and pepper.

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Delicious, hearty, and warming – just what a big pot of chili should be.

Verde Chicken Chili with Roasted Tomatillos (THM E)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1.5lbs chicken breasts
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large-sized tomatillos
  • 1 jalapeno (optional* If cooking for kids, probably leave it out.)
  • 2 7oz cans chopped mild green chiles
  • 2 15oz cans white beans (any variety, I used great northern beans), drained and rinsed
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth
  • large handful of fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • coconut oil spray

Directions

  1. Start by roasting the tomatillos and jalapeño. Place them on a sheet pan with a light spritz of coconut oil under a preheated broiler (I had mine on the “normal” setting). Once the skin blisters, turn and continue roasting until the skin on all sides is blistered and the flesh is slightly soft. Place the tomatillos and jalapeño into a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap or foil and set aside.
  2. Spray a large Dutch oven with coconut oil and heat to medium. Saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until onions are browned and translucent.
  3. Add the green chiles, coriander, paprika, cumin, tomatillos, jalapeño, 4 cups of chicken stock, salt, pepper, lime zest, and chicken breasts. Cover and bring to a boil for 12-14 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove the chicken from the pan, shred, then place it back into the pan and turn the heat down to low.
  4. Place 1 cup of the beans in a blender with 1 1/2 cups of the chicken stock and puree until smooth. Add the puree to the chili with the remaining beans, lime juice, and remaining chicken stock to your desired consistency.
  5. Turn off the heat and add the cilantro. Serve immediately.

One Pot Chicken Cacciatore (THM E)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Chicken cacciatore is one of my husband’s favorite meals, and it occurred to me recently that I almost never make this dish. Besides this time, I think I’ve made it one other time in the 10 years we’ve been together. Madness! I know.

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If you haven’t had chicken cacciatore before, it’s basically a rustic Italian chicken stew with vegetables and tomatoes. This stew came together in about an hour. The chicken was perfectly tender, the sauce was rich and flavorful, and the veggies were wonderfully stewed.

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I just picked up a new dutch oven yesterday, and I have no idea how I survived without one. Seriously! This big, heavy pot holds your meal, cooks it perfectly, and the clean up couldn’t be easier. With it being enameled cast iron, I know the temperature will hold and stay fairly constant throughout the cooking process.

Let’s start with the chicken. I used 1 pound each of chicken breasts and thighs for this meal. I know, thighs are typically a no-no for an E meal. However, the 1 pound of thighs only contains about 16g of fat and this recipe feeds about 8 people (maybe more), so you’re well within the limits of fat for an E.

For vegetables, I used onions, garlic, red bell peppers, diced tomatoes, and capers. If capers are unfamiliar to you, they are delicious little olive-like, briny pearls. They have a taste and texture similar to olives, but they don’t have any fat.

I seasoned the stew using dried oregano, white wine (something dry, like this pinot grigio), chicken stock, fresh parsley, and basil. The stewed tomatoes I used were also seasoned with basil, garlic, and oregano, for a deep, herbal base.

At the end, I tossed in the capers and a handful of fresh parsley, then served with a few leaves of fresh basil.

You have a couple of E-friendly choices for serving up this stew: over brown rice, plan-approved pasta, or cooked quinoa. Or you can skip all those and serve it as is, with some crusty sourdough for dipping ^_~. I chose to serve it over rice, which my kids love, and it helps stretch the meal a little further. My husband enjoyed it as a stew without the rice, and BOY did he love it. He ate some the first night I made it, and then the following afternoon for lunch. He made sure to tell me each time he ate it that this recipe was a definite keeper. [SCORE!]

The beauty about cooking with dutch ovens is you can take this straight from the oven/burner right over  to the table for serving. Tada!

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Get. In. My. Belly.

Serve this up as a quick weeknight meal with leftovers for lunch, or as an impressive, crowd-pleasing holiday dinner.

One Pot Chicken Cacciatore (THM E)

  • Servings: 8+
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 2lbs boneless skinless chicken, breasts only or 1lb breasts and 1lb thighs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, or coconut oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes seasoned with garlic, oregano, and basil with juice
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp capers, drained
  • handful fresh parsley
  • torn basil leaves for serving
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat with the butter.
  2. In two batches, brown the chicken pieces on both sides. (You’re not looking to cook them completely.) Remove the chicken to a plate.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium-low, and add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper, and saute for 5-6 minutes until onions start to become translucent.
  4. Add the dried oregano, then de-glaze the pan with the wine (using your spoon to pick up the bits off the bottom of the pan). Reduce the wine for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes with juice, chicken stock, and the browned chicken pieces (with any juice from the plate). Cover and simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes.
  6. After simmering 30 minutes covered, take the lid off and simmer about another 30 minutes or until the liquid reduces by about 1/3.
  7. Turn off the heat. Add the drained capers, fresh parsley, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with your choice of rice, pasta, quinoa, or bread, and sprinkle with torn fresh basil.