SimpLea recipes are very easy! They only require a few ingredients and are very low maintenance.
FOOTBALL CHILI KICK OFF!
I don’t know about you, but I am stoked that football season is finally here again! It is the best time of year when the leaves start to change color, the days get a little colder and shorter and those beautiful boys suit up and hit each other on that 100 yard astro turf field! Now if you’re like me, one of the best parts of football season is having people over to watch the game, or if you’re lucky enough, going to the game and tailgating!!! So to prepare for this glorious season of football I’m kicking off the fall with a crock pot chili! It’s completely paleo, gluten free, and slow-carb friendly and FULL of fabulous fall flavor. So turn on your crock-pot and turn up the TV cause it’s game time!
Crock Pot Chili
Cook Time: 2-6hrs / Prep Time: 15 mins / Yields: 8 Servings
2lbs Ground Beef
1 Large Yellow Onion
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Can Black Beans
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 Can Red Kidney Beans
½ Can Tomato Paste
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
½ Can chili tomato sauce
1 Can Beef Broth (or 1 tablespoon beef bullion)
1-2 Teaspoons Paprika
2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Teaspoons Pepper
1-2 Teaspoons Cheyenne
2 Teaspoons Garlic Salt
Crushed Red Pepper
Combine all ingredients in the crock-pot, starting with the olive oil, defrosted meat, onion and garlic. Remember that I mostly cook to taste so the seasoning measurements are more guidelines. Add crushed red pepper, and/or cheese, and/or onion to the top and serve!
LET’S GO SEAHAWKS!
THE ART OF ARTICHOKES
I love artichokes! No joke…
They are so tasty and one of the easiest lunches/snacks around. I know this strange little plant can be intimidating, especially to those of you who’ve never tried this tasty treat, but honesty this guy is full of flavor and can be ready to devour in under 10 minutes! Also all you need is Saran wrap a microwave and a bowl. Actually you could probably get away without a bowl if you’re really low on supplies. Anyway! Here are the quick and easy steps to cooking (and eating) an artichoke…
1.) Cut off the stem
2.) Place a large sheet of Saran wrap in a bowl
3.) Wash your artichoke…try to get in between the leaves too, essentially you want to fill it up with water but you also want to make sure it’s clean.
4.) Move your dripping wet artichoke to the bowl with the Saran wrap trying to keep water in the choke and in the wrap/bowl.
5.) Wrap it up and put it in the microwave. Depending on the size of the artichoke set it for 7-10minutes.
6.) Test the artichokes “doneness” by gently tugging at a leaf. If it comes off easily Congrats! It’s done! If not wrap him up again and add a little more time.
<EATING THE ARTICHOKE>
Now I know this may seem a little over the top but just in case you’re not entirely sure how an artichoke should be consumed, read on my friend!
The artichoke heart is the piece that you want to eat and every time you pull out a leaf, part of the heart is left on the bottom of it. So grab a leaf dip it in something delicious like humus, olive oil and balsamic or (the best option) melted butter and bite/drag it across your teeth.
Continue this process until you reach this point…
Now this is where it get’s delicious and a little tricky….you see the bottom of the artichoke is the heart but in between the heart and the lame tiny leaves is this crazy hair!
So the trick is to cut off the heart without cutting into the hair (cause that will get everywhere!) If you cut at an angle you can tend to avoid the hairy mess that is inside. Once you detach the heart from the rest of the artichoke cut it up and serve/finish it off with the rest of your dip. Yummy and delicious!
P.S. If you’re wondering about the picture of the aardvark…if you say “art of artichoke” fast it starts to sound like aardvarkachoke….so enjoy that tongue twister for a minute and you’ll understand it too…plus let’s be honest both aardvarks and artichokes are pretty alien looking. ENJOY 🙂
SIMPLEA SPICY SALSA
Want to kick up your breakfast, lunch and dinner? This salsa is a great addition to any meal or SimpLea serve with chips!
3-4 Campari tomatoes
½ cup cilantro
¾ cup diced yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ a Serrano pepper
Salt (to taste)
Roughly dice tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and Serrano pepper.
Brown the onions in some olive oil.
Blend all ingredients until level of chunkiness is acquired, salt as needed and enjoy!
<SIDE NOTE> if you’re not ready for some level 8 spicy salsa and you can swap the Serrano peppers for Jalapenos…if you’re ready for the big leagues and want to take your spicy salsa to level 10 swap Serrano for Habanero or just add more Serrano! Just remember you can always add more spice but you can’t add less 🙁
Cooking Foundations – Crock-Pot 101
Today my best friend Jamie asked me for some Paleo recipes because I have recently started a new healthy foods lifestyle that follows a Paleo diet…I use “healthy foods lifestyle” because I hate the word diet since it implies too many negative connotations. It’s called whole 30 and I have attached a great comprehensive shopping list (http://whole9life.com/book/ISWF-Shopping-List.pdf) for those of you that want to give a try as well. Essentially it focuses on eating fruits, vegetables, proteins, and nuts. I’ve found that this no dairy, no carbs, no sugars “diet” has given me more energy and really helped settle my stomach (Which is a constant battle for someone with celiacs) So to kick off some recipes that follow whole 30 I present to you the foundation of my paleo cooking….
Crock-Pot Chicken (or pork or beef whatever kind of meat you want to thrown in there)
This is the staple food for my week! One day every week I try to make some batch cooked crock pot chicken (or other protein) Basically this is the easiest thing you can do to help you cook more! And this is as easy and 1, 2, 3…4
Chicken – depending on the size of the chicken breasts and the size of your crock-pot I recommend using anywhere from 4-8 chicken breasts.
Spices – this is personal preference, some weeks I just pour some salsa in the pot and let it go, others I like a more savory chicken and will add things like lemon juice, white wine and sage or thyme. It’s very flexible and this becomes the base for a lot of other meals for me so I like to keep it relatively plain, and then season as needed throughout the week.
1. Put frozen chicken into the crock-pot
2. Turn it on low
3. Season as desired
4. Go to sleep or work or to the gym or to the beach or do anything else but watch/wait for it to be done…come back in a few hours, shred and enjoy! 🙂
Pork Chops / Salt / Pepper / Jalapeno / Garlic / Olive Oil
Place pork chops into the crock-pot – I used 4
Season with 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, ½ Tablespoon of Salt , ½ Tablespoon of Pepper, 1 Tablespoon of Garlic (minced)
**Keep in mind all of these measurements are to taste, so feel free to add more or less depending on your palate…also it’s easier to season more once cooked so you can actually taste it so keep it mild to start!**
Turn on the crock-pot low for 5-6 hours or high for 4 hours
Shred the meat before serving.
Fancy Crock-Pot Chicken
Chicken Breasts / White wine / Garlic / Salt / Pepper / Sage / Thyme / Bay Leaves / Lemon Juice
I’m calling this chicken “fancy” because as soon as you tell people you cooked it with wine, they think “ooooh you fancy huh!?” So for the times you want to sound/look/be fancy use ingredients like these.
Place chicken into the crock-pot – I used 5 breasts
Season with 1 cup of White Wine (I use 2 buck chuck mostly) 1 Tablespoon of minced Garlic ½ Tablespoon of Salt ½ Tablespoon of cracked black Pepper (I like to also throw in a couple of whole pepper balls when I’m feeling extra fancy) 1 Teaspoon of Sage 1 Teaspoon of Thyme 1 Bay Leaf
Turn On the crock pot and let it sit on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours (basically until it shreds easily, or when you’re ready to deal with it again)
SIDE NOTE: These seasonings actually go great on their own, so if you don’t want to shred it/cook it in bulk, feel free to serve as is and you’ll have a very moist fancy chicken dinner.