Left Over Turkey – What to do with it!

Two week ago we celebrated Thanksgiving with our Bible study and we were in charge of the turkey. I cooked a 27lb bird for 16 adults and 18 kids… we ended up with LOTS of leftovers! I’m not complaining! We had some for dinner that week and I froze some for future use! Continue reading “Left Over Turkey – What to do with it!”

Thai Chicken Basil

This dish has been one of dear hubby’s favorites over the past few years. There is also another friend of ours that always talks about the time we had this dish together. It became one of his favorite meals and most times when we were together it was brought up one way or another! Continue reading “Thai Chicken Basil”

Kung Pao Chicken Tacos

Brian opened his own business doing tree trimming and removal this past winter and calls his company Zacchaeus Tree Service (let me know if you have any work for him!  His website is still a work in progress).  I’m so proud of him! I will say I wasn’t his greatest cheerleader in the beginning.  I like to have money in the bank for a rainy day and starting a new company was not going to help that!  I was and am nervous.  There are times there is NO work and consequently no income.  This leads me to stress and worry.  Thankfully I have a great job that always has extra hours and pays well, so when that happens I usually try to pick up some extra work to try and make up the difference. Continue reading “Kung Pao Chicken Tacos”

Chicken Divan

I had a post awhile ago for Cream of Mushroom Soup from Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking, which turned out great and was so tasty… however… it has flour, milk and  butter which are off limits around here… So I played around with it and came up with a new version which is super tasty.  Still it’s based of her recipe, just altered to fit our diets.

Along with her post for the mushroom soup, she also has a recipe for a great freezer meal of Chicken Divan.  I remember growing up eating this and it’s such a great way to have a 1 dish meal, help the kids eat their veggies (although ALL of my kids LOVE broccoli), be able to prep it ahead of time and a good way to use up leftover chicken!  Is that enough reasons for you???

The following recipe is also from Lindsay, but again, altered to fit our diets.  I did use quinoa, which I know isn’t quite paleo approved, but we do eat it every now and then. Another option that I haven’t tried, but that I would like to, would be to sub it out for spaghetti squash or julienned zucchini.  I think either would work well I just haven’t given it a try yet.


Chicken Divan
2 or more cups cooked quinoa
2 bunches fresh broccoli, chopped
2-3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (see recipe below)
½ cup mayonnaise
1-2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp curry

Combine soup (whether canned or homemade) with mayo, lemon and curry. Keep the mixture relatively thin by adding further coconut milk or water.
Gently steam broccoli until tender.
Layer quinoa, followed by broccoli and then the chicken in 13×9 dish.
Pour creamed soup mixture over the broccoli.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
For freezer cooking, leave unbaked and cover to freeze.


Condensed Creamed Soup Substitute

3 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 c coconut flour
1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
2 large portabella mushroom tops
1 can full fat coconut milk

Heat oil then add flour and salt, stirring to make a roux (not a true roux, because it doesn’t thicken much, but it still works).
Add mushrooms and cook about a minute, just to soften.
Add coconut milk and stir until thickened.
This is a substitute for two 10 oz. cans cream of mushroom soup.

This is a huge hit around this home!  Give it a try and let me know what you think!


Chicken Lettuce Wraps a la PF Chang’s

Granted I haven’t been to PF Chang’s in a few years probably, but if I remember correctly, this recipe tastes pretty authentic.  I found a recipe in a magazine somewhere that had an imitation recipe, but it had lots of ingredients that were taboo … like sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce and a few others. Continue reading “Chicken Lettuce Wraps a la PF Chang’s”

Chicken Salad

Usually cooking a whole chicken is something for winter and not summer… however… northern VA weather took an unexpected turn!  It was in the mid 70s in August!  That NEVER happens!  Since we don’t use (rarely use) the AC it was a nice change.  Since it was “chilly” compared to the 90s temps we had been having I decided to have a dinner that needed cooking in the oven.   Continue reading “Chicken Salad”


These days we are being over run with fresh basil.  Never a bad thing, but it always stresses me out when they start to go to seed, which takes the sweetness out of the basil and results in a bitter flavor.  It really bothers me to see things going to waste. I’m constantly nipping the tops off to preserve them for a little longer!  So as I attempt to use it all I’ve come up with lots of recipes for fresh basil that we really enjoy in the summer.  Even just throwing a bit in a fresh summer salad is delish. Continue reading “Pesto”

Breaded Chicken: Wings, Nuggets or Thighs

Last week was Tonchi’s birthday and he requested chicken wings for dinner.  I haven’t made those in forever and the last time was definitely before he couldn’t have gluten!  What in the world was I going to do?   Continue reading “Breaded Chicken: Wings, Nuggets or Thighs”

Grain Free Pizza

Since we have been ridding our home of grains one of the foods we have all mourned the loss of is pizza.  It was a super simple relatively healthy (especially if homemade) dinner that we all enjoyed and all kids would eat with gusto.  Besides, what American family doesn’t enjoy pizza?

The more we missed it the more I was on a rampage to find a substitution.  And a few we have found!  The following two recipes are not mine at all and I don’t even attempt to claim them!  One is made with cauliflower and the other eggplant.  I never would have told you it could be done if I hadn’t done it myself.

These recipes do take some time, but they are simple and easy to follow and it’s well worth the effort.  If you have a [amazon_link id=”B00004S9EM” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]cuisenart[/amazon_link] it makes quick work of the process.  Most of the time is in waiting on the crust to cook before it can be topped and rewarmed. These crusts do well as left overs as well!  I reheat it in the toaster oven (since we have no microwave) and they are crispy, warm and delicious!  I will say these crusts are more comparable to a thin crispy traditional crust… no where near the same as deep dish… so if that is what you are going for, read no further… pass and move on!  Sorry to disappoint!

Another things I’ve done is purchase a few cauliflower or eggplants and process them and freeze in the amounts needed for a crust.  Which makes it super easy to mix up in the future.  You will need to squeeze out the extra water before mixing it up, but it’s a minor extra step!

A few weeks ago I made both of these for dinner with friends who can be foodies and definitely enjoy good food.  They eat pretty healthy, but not paleo or gluten free or dairy free or any of those.  With that said I was a little nervous making a paleo meal we thought was good. It was a hit!  I was relieved and it gave a boost to my belief that these really are good recipes!

Here they both are!  Give it a try!

GAPs-allowed Cauliflower Pizza Crust
This recipe is from Deliciously Organic.  Check out Carrie’s blog for some other great recipes!

(This crust does have cheese in it and my diary free little girl couldn’t enjoy it…. but not to fear… the other pizza was dairy free!)

Makes four 8″ pizzas

4 cups chopped raw cauliflower
1 cup [amazon_link id=”B0006ZN538″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]almond flour[/amazon_link]
3 cups shredded Fontina cheese
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon coarse Celtic sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 450ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place all crust ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until pureed.
  • Spoon mixture onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper, dividing into 4 servings.
  • Using a spatula , spread each serving of cauliflower mixture into a 10″ round (about 1/4″ thick).
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and spread 2 heaping tablespoons of marinara on the crust.
  • Top with Fontina and any additional toppings.
  • Bake for an additional 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and just turning golden brown.









Eggplant Pizza Crust

This recipe was from The Food Lovers Primal Palate.  Check out Hayley and Bill’s blog for other great recipes.

1 whole eggplant
1 egg
1/4 cup [amazon_link id=”B000EDBQ6A” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]flax seed meal[/amazon_link](or just grind up some flax seed in a coffee grinder)
1/4 cup [amazon_link id=”B0006ZN538″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]almond meal[/amazon_link]
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to lightly grease the parchment paper)


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Grate eggplant with a cheese grater. (The skin didn’t seem to want to grate, so we didn’t use it. It also helped to cut the eggplant into large chunks.)
  • Pour grated eggplant into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add in flax meal and almond meal.
  • Whisk egg in a smaller bowl and add to batter.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mix all ingredients until evenly combined.
  • On a parchment lined baking sheet, pour batter.
  • Smooth batter out with hands into a thin layer (around 1/8″).
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cooked enough to flip.
  • Remove from oven. Lightly grease another piece of parchment paper, and place on top of crust, carefully flip the crust and then slowly peel off the parchment paper from the bottom side.
  • Brush the flipped side with olive oil.
  • Bake opposite side for about 15 minutes, and remove from oven to apply toppings.

Notes on the Eggplant crust:

  • Baby girl can’t have dairy so I made her pizza with no cheese and it was still quite good!  Try it sometime… not completely necesary to enjoy pizza although I will say I prefer it with!
  • Also baby girl can’t have egg whites, so I made a smaller crust for her that had just egg yolks.  This crust can be made with no eggs and just increase the flax meal by a little bit.

We eat pizza a lot of different ways, but here are some of our favorite toppings!

Our favorite ingredient list:

  • Pepperoni – prefer to use Applegate or some other nitrite, nitrate free version
  • Ham – I often use left over from another dinner, chop it up and throw it on top!
  • Bacon
  • Chicken
  • Sausage

Cheese: GREAT, but not necessary

  • Motzorella
  • Goat cheese – really good with green olives!
  • Feta cheese – with kalamata olives… Mmmmmm

The other stuff:

  • Pineapple
  • Olives – black or green
  • Sauteed onions and mushrooms
  • Red or orange peppers
  • Sauteed spinach – really good with sausage
  • Fresh Basil
  • Roasted garlic – especially good with onions
  • Capers

How do you make your pizza?  Have you tried one of these crusts before?  Let me know what you think!


Nourishing Traditions Book Review: Part XVIII – Poultry


Chicken is an easy winner in our house. It’s a favorite and simple to cook and cheaper than a lot of other cuts of meat. We usually purchase a whole chicken and use all of its parts. By roasting it whole we have one meal, then use the leftover meat for another meal. The bones then go in the crock pot with a few veggies to make some yummy stock!

I really love the fact that we can get three meals off of one bird! It is cost effective and yummy, but I also want to be cautious that we don’t eat too much of the same type of meat. I am a firm believer that all foods (natural, organic and wholesome) should be enjoyed in moderation.

This chapter addresses poultry… not just chicken specifically. I will say that I tend to opt towards chicken instead of other types of poultry. I definitely don’t enjoy turkey as much as chicken and usually only roast one around the holidays. I do like duck, however, I think I’ve only had it a few times in my life and have certainly never cooked it at home. However, it is becoming easier to obtain at farmers markets and local markets in the area.

There are a few recipes for Moroccan Style Chicken, Chicken with Sweet and Sour Sauce and Sesame Buffalo Wings which all look very appealing and tasty in this chapter! Fallon has also included a recipe on how to make breaded chicken breasts, but she uses whole grain bread which we don’t eat and a few other ingredients not on our diet as well.

I have made chicken fingers for the kids in the past which have turned out well and have been a huge hit. I’ve included my recipe for that below.

Chicken Fingers

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 cups (about) almond flour
1 egg

Cut the chicken breasts into strips of desired widths
Rinse and dry
Dip in egg
Roll in almond flour
Place on non-stick baking sheet or [amazon_link id=”B00008T960″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]silpat[/amazon_link] and bake
Bake for about 20 minutes or until done at 350 degrees.

I also usually make a mixture of honey and homemade mustard for them to use as a dip or just homemade fermented ketchup. Always a hit and goes well with green beans and coconut flour bread or another side!

Do you have a favorite poultry recipe? Please share!

Read Part XIX