Simmer Down Now.

Okay people, 2013 is starting to get really….real. Super real. So real that I’m kind of frightened to as what this new year will bring for me. Yikes. How is that even possible? “Calm down Chels, let God guide the way.” Oh, sorry I’m supposed to be having a conversation with you lovely people, not engaging in a self chat therapy session. Whoa, lightening just struck the sky here. I love thunderstorms!
I do know that one thing is for sure 2013 is going to be the year to try new ethnic cuisines. Lawd hawwwlp me. Seriously, I have 3 go to ethnic cuisines…Mexican, Italian (from my kitchen of course), oh, and Mediterranean, which is basically Italian with all the olives and eggplants and tomatoes and such (right up to the baklava). 
Let’s talk Indian cuisine (or more specifically, cuisine from the Western hemisphere). Even more specifically, curry. Now, I have a deep affection for the curry spice. I did not have a deep connection with the Thai restaurant where I experienced my first encounter with a chicken curry. Hello, sicky icky stomach problems from something that looked like a gloppy tomato curry explosion. However, I didn’t want to kick curry to the curb just yet, so I decided to create my own version.
Only good things can come from chopped onions and garlic. 
That is where this dish speaks my language. 

Oh, and yummy spices!
Then, we simmer everything together on the stove. 
This is a one-pot meal people. 
 Can’t stop. Won’t stop. 

The flavor is magical and the chicken is oh so tender!
Did I mention it’s paleo and gluten-free?
Get some
ASAP!

Chicken Almond Curry (GF/P):

Ingredients:
extra-virgin olive oil, for sauteing 
1.5 yellow onions, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 T. curry powder
1 t. ground ginger
2 t. fine sea salt
1 t. ground cumin
pinch of ground cayenne pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 15 oz. can no-salt-added tomato puree
1 c. unsweetened, plain, almond milk
1 T. coconut flour ( or almond flour)
chopped fresh herbs (i.e. cilantro, parsley), optional
Instructions:
1. Heat the evoo in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.
2. Mix in the curry powder, ginger, sea salt, cumin, and cayenne, stirring constantly so that the spices don’t stick to the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the chicken and tomato puree, toss to coat. 
4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 1 hour or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
5. When the chicken is finished, stir in the almond milk and coconut flour. 
6. Simmer the curry, uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. 
7. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with chopped fresh herbs. 
Serves 6.
MANGIA!!!

Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Happy Monday y’all!
Let’s get down to business. Yesterday was the first day of fall weather round’ these here parts. I woke up to chilly temps in the 50’s (omg), with the wind fiercely whipping through the trees in my back yard.  All I did was grab a cup of hot coffee and listen to live acoustic music on one of the local radio stations. It’s called acoustic sunrise, and they play it every Sunday (think you fave music…just live, in the acoustic version). 
Now, I wanted to bake, like seriously. I was craving some mad pancakes drenched in syrup, but it was just sooooo peaceful to sit and do absolutely nothing. So, I held off. Then, later in the day, it dawned on me…it was the perfect (and I mean really, really, ridiculously perfect) day for chicken soup. Now, let’s get this straight…this is not chicken noodle soup (although you could add noodles if you are in to that sort of thing). This is real deal, chock full of veggies and shredded roasted chicken soup. The kind that is perfect for a cold day, or a sick day, the kind of chicken soup that sticks to your ribs…but in a light, and healthy sort of way. 
This recipe or technique (I should say) was taught to me by my grandmother. Now, when I say taught, what I really mean is that when I was around 12 years old, I asked her how to make it and she proceeded to throw a handful of things into a large pot, blink…and bada-bing…magic! She’s real specific about her recipes…not! Anyway, my mom mastered the recipe over the years and can practically make it in her sleep. I have made it a few times, but it was never THIS good. I mean, seriously.
The only bad part about this soup is chopping onions. 
Ahhhh…tears!

Then everything gets really, really, ridiculously simple. 

This is a one pot meal.

Add some fresh herbs. 

Le chicken.
Really classy store-bought rotisserie chicken. I know, I know…but, it will change your life by making this dish more simple. Feel free to go all Julia Child on me and roast your own chicken. 
The only chicken soup recipe you will ever need.

I mean, seriously….gahhhh…just look at those tender veggies and that juicy shredded chicken.

Flavor x’s 10!!!
This is important: add a handful of shredded Parmesan cheese (the fake boxed stuff will do the trick) to your bowl of soup.
Trust me on this one. 
Roasted Chicken Soup (GF):
Ingredients:
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
5 large carrots, sliced into quarter sized rounds
5 stalks of celery, chopped
freshly ground black pepper, as needed
5-6 c. low-sodium chicken broth (you can also use water or vegetable broth)
1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped
1/4 c. fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 large rotisserie chicken, shredded
handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of cracked red pepper flakes, optional toppings
Instructions:
1. Heat a dutch oven (or a large soup pot) over medium heat on the stove.
2. Drizzle with the evoo.
3. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are just translucent, stirring ever so often. About 5 minutes.
4. Add the carrots and celery, turn the heat up to medium-high, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables just start to tenderize. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
5. Add the chicken broth, basil, and parsley. Bring the soup to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low.
6. Add the shredded chicken, cover the soup, and let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
7. Serve warm with a bit of Parmesan cheese and a hint of red pepper flakes.
Serves about 10-12 people.
MANGIA!!!