Hearty Turkey Winter Soup — fresh, Paleo, gluten-free scrumptiousness in a bowl!

Yum oh yum! I wish you could smell the smoked paprika aroma hovering over this bowl! This stuff is Hearty Turkey Winter Soup is not just hearty, it's heartwarming and heart healthy! I "heart" it.

Yum oh yum! I wish you could smell the smoked paprika aroma hovering over this bowl! This Hearty Turkey Winter Soup is not just hearty, it’s heartwarming and heart healthy! I “heart” it.

The bits of uneaten turkey were still on the platter Thanksgiving Day, but I already had the picked-over turkey carcass in a pot of water with two bay leaves, a few drippings, and the giblets. Making flavorful, healthy bone broth is one of my favorite things to do after roasting a turkey or a chicken! After letting the broth sit overnight in the fridge, then skimming the fat off the top, I had 12 cups of vitamin-rich broth just waiting to become some fantastic soup.

The Hub and I love soup, so when I make it, I make A LOT so I have some for the next day’s lunch and/or supper, plus I usually put a small container in the freezer.

This recipe makes nearly four quarts of spicy, healthy soup that’ll warm the cockles of your heart as well as make your other innards toasty warm on a cold winter day. You can easily halve the recipe, or even quarter it, and feel free to substitute chicken and chicken broth for the turkey ingredients.

Whatever you do, fire up the stove and get out the soup pot because your family is going to love this!

Ingredients:

3 Tbls. olive oil
6 C sliced carrots
2 1/2 C chopped onions
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder (I got mine at Global Infusion, but you can probably find it at any good spice store or online.)
1 Tbls. finely chopped fresh sage
12 C turkey broth
2 C water
5 to 6 C chopped turkey
3 C chopped fresh green beans (or frozen)
6 Tbls. tapioca starch
6 Tbls. water
Salt and pepper to taste

The Process:

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot.
  2. Add the onions, 3 cups of the carrots, the spices, and stir like crazy. Quickly add 1/2 C of broth before spices burn. Stir and cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add 4 cups of the broth and bring everything to a boil. Simmer uncovered until the carrots turn very soft.
  4. Remove soup pot from the heat. Carefully ladle or pour the contents into a blender or food processor. You might have to do it in a couple of batches. Process everything until its thick and smooth.

    Steamin' hot, thick, and spicy. This carrot and onion puree puts a kick in the Hearty Turkey Winter Soup and sweetens it up at the same time. If it wasn't hot off the stove it would be finger-lickin' good!

    Steamin’ hot, thick, and spicy. This carrot and onion puree puts a kick in the Hearty Turkey Winter Soup and sweetens it up at the same time. If it wasn’t hot off the stove it would be finger-lickin’ good!

  5. Pour the puree back into the soup pot. Return it to a medium heat and add all the remaining ingredients except the tapioca starch and the six tablespoons of water. Stir well.
  6. Bring soup to a boil. Stir together the tapioca starch and six tablespoons of water in a cup. Stir it slowly into the boiling soup. The puree and the tapioca will thicken the soup slightly, giving it a satisfying texture.
  7.  Simmer soup, uncovered, for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring often to keep it from sticking on the bottom of the pot.
  8. Serve it hot with rice crackers or almond crackers.
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Paleo Baked Chicken with Sage and Dill — quick, easy, delicious, and cheap!

The end result! Baked Chicken with Sage and Dill. This recipe makes a large pan full of meat, enough to feed about six people.

The end result! Baked Chicken with Sage and Dill. This recipe makes enough to feed about six people. I made baked sweet potatoes to go with it — all for under $10!!

It’s not often one can make a meal that serves six people for under $10, but that’s what I did tonight. I paired this recipe with baked sweet potatoes topped with butter and cinnamon. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs that cost me $8.00. A bargain! Lucky for us, there are only two people in my household, so that left us plenty of tasty chicken and sweet potatoes for lunch tomorrow and maybe a supper later in the week. Plus I baked enough extra sweet potatoes to have some fried for breakfast for the next couple of days. Easy peasy future meals. The herbs give it a fresh taste and aroma, and the maple syrup balsamic vinegar provides just a hint of sweetness. 

Ingredients

2 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (they are moister than breasts, cheaper, and cook quicker). Trim the extra fat off the thighs. Set thighs aside.

2 T olive oil

Two-and-a-half pounds of boneless chicken thighs is a LOT of meat! This dish easily serves six.

Two-and-a-half pounds of boneless chicken thighs is a LOT of meat! This dish easily serves six.

Coating Mix

1 C almond meal/flour

2 T finely chopped fresh organic sage

2 T finely chopped fresh organic dill

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 T coarse ground salt (leave out, and sprinkle on chicken after coating each piece)

Mix all ingredients except the salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

This is the brand of Almond Meal/Flour I usually use. I don't think it's organic, but it's available at most of the grocery stores near me, and that makes in convenient.

This is the brand of Almond Meal/Flour I usually use. I don’t think it’s organic, but it’s available at most of the grocery stores near me, and that makes it convenient.

Both The Herbal Garden sage and the dill are organic and available at Meijer. The coarse ground Mediterranean Sea Salt is great for coating chicken.

Both The Herbal Garden sage and the dill are organic and available at Meijer. The coarse ground Mediterranean Sea Salt is great for coating chicken.

Finely chopped sage and dill. I put the spoon next to the piles so you can see how much of the herbs are there -- each pile is two tablespoons.

Finely chopped sage and dill. I put the spoon next to the piles so you can see how that this is a lot of herbs — each pile is two tablespoons.

The almond flour after mixing in the cumin, sage, and dill.

The almond flour after mixing in the cumin, sage, and dill.

Batter

2 large eggs

1 T maple syrup balsamic vinegar

Beat eggs and vinegar together in small bowl, set aside.

Adding the maple syrup balsamic vinegar to the eggs makes them really dark, but don't worry. It's supposed to look like that.

Adding the maple syrup balsamic vinegar to the eggs makes them really dark, but don’t worry. It’s supposed to look like that.

The Process

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you’re making sweet potatoes to serve with this (I highly recommend it), wash them and put them in the 350-degree oven about 30-40 minutes before the chicken.

You’ll need a baking pan large enough for the chicken to lie in a single layer. I used a broiler pan — it has low sides and enough square footage to accommodate all the chicken.

  1. Coat the bottom of the pan with the olive oil.
  2. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg batter, then pat it into the the bowl of the coating mix making sure to coat both sides very lightly. Almond flour can sometimes create a gritty or very dry texture, so go easy. You don’t need to cover every inch of the chicken.
  3. Place the chicken in a single layer in the pan.

    Just before it goes in the oven. Notice that the chicken thighs are not completely covered with the breading mixture. This is on purpose, otherwise the almond flour texture is overpowering.

    Just before it goes in the oven. Notice that the chicken thighs are not completely covered with the breading mixture. This is on purpose, otherwise the almond flour texture can be gritty and dry.

  4. When all the chicken is in the pan, sprinkle each piece evenly with some of the coarse salt. Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to press the salt into the chicken.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Chicken is done when you can cut it with a fork and the juices run clear.
  6. Turn up the oven to 425 degrees, place chicken on the top rack and brown it for five minutes. Do not overcook it or it will be dry! It won’t get super browned, but will brown up a bit.

Serve it with a side of sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon on them and you have a full meal! Yumcious, scrumptious!

The end result! Baked Chicken with Sage and Dill. This recipe makes a large pan full of meat, enough to feed about six people.

The end result! Baked Chicken with Sage and Dill. This recipe makes a large pan full of meat, enough to feed about six people.

What to do with leftovers: Veggie and Ham Hash from Leftovers — Paleo, gluten-free, and fast

Voila! Delicious veggies and ham seasoned to perfection with just a hint of curry and garlic.

Voila! Delicious veggies and ham seasoned to perfection with just a hint of curry and garlic.

Today was rainy, windy, grey, and turning cold. Thunder storms hit late in the day. And it’s a Sunday. I did NOT want to go to the grocery store, yet the fridge was bare. Or so it seemed.

I started pulling out every fresh veggie and dish of leftover veggies I had — most of them had soft spots, black spots, or had been cooked days ago. I couldn’t steel myself to throw them out. So I cut off the bad, chopped up the good, and Voila! Veggie and Ham Hash from Leftovers. This stuff was fast (I cooked it and served it in 20 minutes!!), fun, and amazingly delicious!

I don’t think you have to have this exact mix of veggies and meat to do the same. But possibly a basic recipe (below) will give you some inspiration with spices, oils, and ingredients that will spur you to new culinary heights with your own sad story of leftovers.

Most of the stuff in this photo was going bad. It was up to me to save it! The solution: Veggie Hash with Ham.

Most of the stuff in this photo was going bad. It was up to me to save it! The solution: Veggie and Ham Hash from Leftovers.

Here’s what I had on hand:

3 T olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. green curry paste

1 T minced garlic

2 small onions, chopped

2 zucchini, chopped

1/2 a small jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

1 1/2 C. chopped green beans (already cooked)

1/2 small cabbage, chopped

1 tomato

1 C. chopped cauliflower

1/2 C Chicken stock

1 C sliced carrots

1/2 C diced red, green, yellow sweet peppers

1 lb. sliced, cooked ham, cut into chunks

The ham, before the fat was trimmed off. I left it in big chunks so it would create a flavor sensation. It did.

The ham, before the fat was trimmed off. I left it in big chunks so it would create a flavor sensation. It did.

Here’s what I did with it:

  1. Heated the oil, garlic, curry paste, and chopped onion until onion was nearly clear.
  2. Drained the sun-dried tomatoes and threw them in with the oil and other stuff. Stirred.
  3. Added all the other veggies and the chicken stock, stirred well, and cooked the mess, uncovered, over medium heat until the carrots were “tender to the tooth.”
  4. I threw in the chopped ham, and continued cooking everything until the ham was heated through.
  5. Then I dished it up, and served it to The Hub who said with a grin that it was the “best thing you’ve cooked all day,” which I took as a supreme compliment — even though it was the ONLY thing I’d cooked all day. Hey, a girl gathers the good vibes where she can.
A bit blurry, but you get the picture. Flavorful, rich in nutrients, and quick to fix! Plus, all that food that was headed for the compost pile in a couple of days is now feeding our bodies instead of the ground.

A bit blurry, but you get the picture. Flavorful, rich in nutrients, and quick to fix! Plus, all that food that was headed for the compost pile in a couple of days is now feeding our bodies instead of the ground.

I have to say, this stuff was great. It made enough for us to each have two bowls of it, plus there’s enough “leftover leftovers” for probably two or three more meals, so that means I’ll have a great breakfast or lunch tomorrow, and maybe the next day, too. Now that’s my kind of cooking!

Hot dog, it’s a Whole30 hot dog!

Applegate Organic Hot Dogs are great for Whole30 lunches, dinners, and yes, even Meal One!

Applegate Organic Hot Dogs are great for Whole30 lunches, dinners, and yes, even Meal One!

When I was in Winston-Salem, NC in December, I went to Whole Foods and found some marvelous hot dogs that The Hub and I could have during our Whole30 detox. I was elated! But alas, when I got home to Michigan, I couldn’t remember the name of the brand. Ain’t that the way it goes?

So, I thought all was lost until last week when I was shopping at one of my local health food stores, Harvest Health Foods. They had these Applegate Organic Uncured Hot Dogs. I don’t know if they were the same ones I found at Whole Foods, but they sure looked similar. I read the label and they contained nothing I couldn’t have on the Whole3o, so I grabbed ’em.

As soon as I got home, two of them went into the frying pan for my lunch! Yum. Yum. Yes, indeedy. Exactly what the doctor ordered.

They are meaty, they fry up firm and nicely browned. They are some of the best dogs I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve had quite a few. Don’t let the price scare you, though. They’re a bit on the rich side, but I’ve found that one dog with a side salad is a good lunch serving and is Oh. So. Satisfying.

Dogs? WHAT did she say about dogs?

Dogs? WHAT did she say about dogs?

If you visit the Applegate website, you can find out if a store in your area carries them. I haven’t had time to check out the other foods Applegate makes, but it looks like there are a lot of choices on the website.

Dog time! Enjoy!

Emergency Paleo Italian Pork Chops (gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, Whole30)

I had an emergency today — I had to go to the doctor. But the emergency I had wasn’t medical, it was foodical — I needed to get supper in the oven before I left. I was going to be gone about three hours, and wouldn’t be back in time to get supper cooked by the time The Hub got home from work (and he walks in hungry). I knew I’d be hungry when I got home, too. (Not everything I do is motivated by spousal love and benevolence.)

So I whipped up this recipe for Emergency Paleo Italian Pork Chops, and let me tell you, I will definitely make this one-dish meal again! The two of us tasted it and gave it four thumbs up and 10 gold stars. And it took less than 10 minutes to put together. Yup. My kinda meal.

Bonus: it’s Paleo and Whole30 compliant.

Ingredients:

Serves 4 to 6. Prep time: 10 min., cook time 45 mins.

Six pork chops, bone-in

Two small zucchini, washed and sliced

Two small summer squash, washed and sliced

One 25-oz. jar spaghetti sauce/marinara sauce, no sugar or sulfites

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place pork chops in single layer in large lasagna pan (11-in. by 14-in., or thereabouts)

    Pork chops -- one of the basic paleo food groups!

    Pork chops — one of the basic paleo food groups!

  3. Top the chops with zucchini and summer squash.

    Top the Chops! With zucchini and summer squash.

    Top the Chops! With zucchini and summer squash.

  4. Pour spaghetti/marinara sauce over top of all.
    I LOVE this spaghetti sauce. It's sweet with no sugar, and it's made with olive oil. This is lick-the-pan good!

    I LOVE this spaghetti sauce. It’s sweet with no sugar, and it’s made with olive oil. This is lick-the-pan delish!

    Looks good already. Just wait until the delectable aroma fills your house.

    Looks good already. Just wait until the delectable aroma fills your house. Everybody’s gonna wanna know what’s cookin’.

  5. Place pan on middle rack of preheated oven. Bake 45 minutes or until chops are tender. Serve immediately. (Note: I baked mine today at 300 degrees F for three hours, and everything turned out perfect!)

    Emergency (for when supper is needed in a hurry) Paleo Italian Pork Chops with zucchini, summer squash, and Italian marinara sauce straight out of the jar.

    Tah Dah! Emergency Paleo Italian Pork Chops with zucchini, summer squash, and Italian marinara sauce straight out of the jar. What could be easier?

Bacon! Just in time for V-day!

365 Days of Bacon

Normally, I hate V-Day. Overrrrrrrrated.

But, this year, my ManBacon introduced me to bacon roses, which is prolly the sweetest thing a significant other can do.

Bacon roses: the true  gesture of romance on Valentine’s Day

I am fairly certain I could eat only chocolate bacon roses for the rest of my life. Helloooo delicious meal-on-a-fake-stem. If V-day is an excuse to eat bacon roses, I’m all in.

You should make them. For Valentine’s Day. Or any day. Even if you’re single. Seriously.

(The 4-Hour Chef has a similar recipe. Sans chocolate.)

How to Make Chocolate Bacon Roses

yield 6 roses

MATERIALS:

Go to the Dollar Store (what can I say, I’m a cheap date). Get the following:

  • disposable aluminium foil muffin tin for 6+ muffins (see pic below)
  • fake flower bunch with 6+ stems. You want to be able to pop off the petal head and still have smthg on…

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