Saturday, September 24, 2016

Chili and Jalapeno-Cheddar Biscuits

I'M PREGNANT!!! Well now that it's out it should make a little more sense why my posts have been scarce- still I apologize- but I have not been cooking a lot and what I have made have not included new or exciting things- just whatever is palatable. This time has been significantly better than the first - I am only sick when hungry and I am functioning- Charlie I was sick every day all day (as in vomiting) from 5weeks to 25 weeks. Here at 11+ weeks I am already feeling better and I can only guess why... here are my thoughts- with Charlie I was vegan, low protein intake, ran occasionally but not very far anymore and was stressed. With this one I was eating a significantly high protein diet, am healthier physically, and have a much happier relationship. All things I have heard help. The other thing I have been doing is intaking magnesium- someone I workout with suggested that it can help with morning sickness so I take a supplement and spray magnesium oil on my body at night- I don't know if it is mental, but I don't care, I wake up feeling better when I do. We told Charlie and she is thrilled to be a big sister... she will be one month from five when this one comes!

I plan on continuing my training through the pregnancy. So far I haven't scaled the weight or the movements- I just feel myself slowing down. I don't recover as easily and seem to get out or breath quicker. But I am thrilled to keep up some level of something. As exhausted as I am, after a workout I I feel better... for a few hours... then I fall over and want to sleep again. :) I am not a fan of "belly" or "bumpie" pictures so I have decided to do mine as handstands just for a challenge. Already the pregnancy police have told me I shouldn't.... they obviously don't know me very well because telling me I am "not allowed" to do something because one person says its bad for a baby won't stop me. The health of my family and I are always priority... don't be a fun sponge on my handstand parade when I still feel fine doing them. 

Food! It is football season and in Michigan when the weather is starting to turn cold chili and soups are all I want. I used a very simple chili recipe- no peppers, one kind of meat, and classic beans. Any of my other chili recipes- Hawaiian Chili or Smoky Steak Chili- would be perfect as well. I love this "sweatshirt" weather and this dish was a perfect fit for it.  

Chili and Jalapeno/Cheddar Biscuits


- 1 Small, Sweet Onion, finely chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef (if you aren't using beans add 1/2 lb more beef)
- 16-oz Can Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 2 tsp Cumin
- 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 6-oz Can Tomato Paste
- 28-oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 14.4-oz Can Diced Tomatoes
- 2 tsp Salt... taste and add as need

1. In a large dutch oven over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil, the onion and garlic. Sprinkle with salt. Stir and cook until translucent. Add the beef. Break it up as it is cooking. If your beef isn't lean enough, drain the fat before continuing. 
2. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and turn the heat to medium high. When the chili is bubbling turn it down to a simmer and let it cook 20 minutes uncovered. Set aside. 


 - 1/2 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
- 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 4 tsp Baking Powder
- 4 Tbsp Cold, Unsalted Butter (Kerrygold!)
- 1.5 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Large Jalapeno (optional)
- Pinch of Salt

1. Whisk the cornmeal, flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. 
2. Cut the butter into small cubes and add it and the cheese to the bowl. Using a pastry cutter, or two knives, cut it into the mixture until its coarse looking. 
3. Stir in the milk, lemon juice and jalapeno until just combined. 

Putting it together! 

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. 
- Spray a 9x13 glass dish with olive oil cooking spray. Pour in the chili. 
- Roll biscuits into roughly large golf-ball sized balls, flatten them slightly and place them on top of the chili. If the biscuits are not sticking together add a touch more milk. 
- Bake 15-20 minutes until the biscuits are golden and the chili is bubbly. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Homemade Sauces with Two Crockpot Uses

Phew, it's been a while, huh? Sorry about that. I haven't been feeling awesome and we have been adjusting to going back to school/work. Not many new recipes were made and to be honest not much food in general- takeout chinese and pizza- not our normal style, but some weeks it happens. We are back on track and in full meal-prep swing this week though! So what have I been up to? Matt and I went up to Traverse City, MI to compete and camp for the second year in a row. It rained on us which wasn't a lot of fun, but this year a bunch of my friends came to compete also so that's always a good time! 

Charlie started pre-school, she goes every day, all day and that has been an adjustment. She is not a fan of the one-hour nap- the girl likes her sleep. 

This week it's all about the sauces. It is cheaper and you can control the ingredients if you make your own- I know it's more time consuming, but with both of these recipes using a crockpot, just making sauce is not so bad! Plus make more and you can freeze it. :)

Homemade Hoisin Sauce

(Makes ~2/3 Cup)
This is great as a glaze on chicken, as a dip for eggrolls, or as a stirfry sauce. Even better- It comes together in less than 10 minutes! 

- 1/2 Cup Coconut Aminos
- 1/4 Cup Nut Butter (or peanut butter)
- 1 Tbsp Honey (or two if you like it sweeter)
- 1 Tbsp White Vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
- 2 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 2 tsp Siracha (or other asian hot sauce)

Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. Taste. You may add a splash more vinegar for tartness, or honey for sweetness depending on your preference. 

Asian Sweet Chili Sauce

Another great dipping or stir fry sauce. 

- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1/4 Cup White Vinegar (or Rice Wine Vinegar)
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar (or white refined sugar)
- 1/2 tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
- 1 Small Garlic Clove finely minced
- Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Ketchup
- 1 tsp Arrowroot Powder + 1 Tbsp Water- mixed (... or corn starch to replace arrowroot)

1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add all of the ingredients except the arrow root and water. Whisk. 

Once it is slightly boiling add the arrowroot/water mixture and whisk until the sauce thickens. Take off the heat and it will thicken more. 

Putting the above sauces together: 

Crockpot Mongolian Chicken 

Re-creating one of my favorite Chinese- American beef dishes. Add some broccoli florets and green onion to the final product and serve over rice! 

- 3 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
- 1/4 Cup Arrowroot Powder
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Aminos
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Sweet Chili Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar (or White)
- 3 Tbsp Hoison Sauce
1. In a crockpot, add the chicken breasts and coat in the arrowroot powder. 

2. Whisk the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken. 

3. Cook on low 5-6 hours or high 3-4 hours. Shred the chicken in the sauce. It will thicken slightly as it cools. 

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Perfect for a drizzle on nachos or tacos, homemade enchiladas, or the slow cooker dish below. 

- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Flour
- 1/4 Cup Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 14.5-oz Can Tomato Sauce (no added sugar)
- 1 Cup+ Water

1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add the oil, chili powder, and flour. Whisk until smooth and the sauce starts to turn a darker color. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Whisk until smooth and reduce the heat. Stir occasionally. The sauce will thicken in 5-10 minutes. If it is too thick for your preference, add more water. 

Crockpot Chicken and Beans

You could easily use a pork loin for a traditional "pork and beans" in this recipe, but we didn't have any and I think my riff on that recipe with the chicken was great!

- 2lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 1 16-oz Can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 Cups Enchilada Sauce (above) or a 10-oz can (ew)
- 1/2 Cup Salsa

1. Put all of the ingredients in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or high 3-4 hours. 

When the meat is tender, shred it in the sauce. Serve on tortillas or with rice. 

Matt's was bigger than mine: