Easton Place

recipe

Chicken and Bean Chili

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I had a craving for chicken chili last night. Strangely, I've not had chicken chili before, it just sounded really good at the time. Per usual, I searched Pinterest for some recipe inspiration, then just decided to throw something together. This is pretty much how I make dinner every night: Get inspired then see if I have similar ingredients to make a meal. My family seems to enjoy what comes of this routine, so I'm sticking with it!

As some of you know, I live a "grain free diet". I've recently decided to reintroduce corn into my allowed foods, but limited in quantity. So far I've not shown any reactions to it! If you're going grain-free, you can still make this recipe by omitting the corn and maybe doubling up on the beans!

Here's my interpretation of "Chicken and Bean Chili"...

Ingredients:

  • 3 large organic skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and blotted dry
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped 
  • 1 quart of organic veggie broth (I like WholeFood's 365 brand)
  • 1 can of non-GMO white beans (I like Cannellini beans) slightly drained, but NOT rinsed
  • 1 can of non-GMO black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bag of non-GMO corn (WholeFoods carries a large variety of non-GMO frozen veggies!)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp tabasco sauce or to taste
  • Borsari original season salt to taste (I swear by this season salt. This is not a paid advert. I just really like the stuff!)
  • 2 Tbs. Irish butter
  • Avocado, fresh cilantro and shredded Monterey Jack cheese for toppings

Directions:

  • Season chicken with Borsari salt and place in a microwave-safe covered dish with 1 cup of the veggie broth. (My favorite dish to use is this covered stoneware dish by Pampered Chef. The chicken comes out moist & tender, and never rubbery!) Cook for 5-7 minutes or until your chicken is cooked through. You can also use your cooktop, but I wanted to save time.
  • While the chicken is cooking, sauté the chopped onions in olive oil until translucent, about 3-5 minutes, then add the chopped garlic and continue simmering for another minute.
  • Add remaining veggie broth, drained & rinsed black beans, and drained but NOT rinsed white beans. I like to use the natural starch of the white beans to slightly thicken the chili. Then you won't need to add any flours or thickeners later.
  • Incorporate the frozen corn.
  • Using kitchen scissors or a salad chopper, "shred" the chicken, and add to the veggies and broth, stirring well.
  • Add butter, tabasco and red pepper flakes, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve topped with avocado, fresh cilantro and a little shredded Jack cheese!

My family loved this dish and asked for seconds. That's always a good sign. You can make it as spicy as you like, by adding more or less of the red pepper flakes and tabasco. I didn't add chili powder to this recipe, nor cumin. I liked the idea of making a "clean" chili, so I opted for red pepper flakes and tabasco only.  I'm really happy with the results. Let me know if you make this! 

(This is not a paid post. None of the links are for paid adverts, I just thought you'd like to know what products I use!)

Grain Free Granola

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As you might recall, I've been living a grain free life for nearly two years now. If you're not familiar with my grain free decision, you can read all about it here. I'm very happy with my dietary decision, but there are days I really miss certain foods. One of those foods is cereal. I was a big fan of cereal before giving up grains. I thought I would never know the yumminess of a bowl of crunchy cereal with cold milk again. I looked through several Paleo granolas and then concocted my own recipe. The other members of my family eat grains, but they all love this grain free granola. The recipe is super easy. Even though it's technically "baking", you don't have to be as precise with measuring as you would with traditional baking recipes.

What you'll need: 

  • 3 cups total of your favorite nuts. (I used pecans, cashews and almonds)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 T sesame seeds
  • 3 T raw honey
  • 2 T organic maple syrup
  • 1 T madagascar vanilla
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup diced dried fruit (I like apricots and figs)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 330℉
  2. Chop the 3 cups nuts with either a knife or food processor until pieces are sized to your liking
  3. In a large glass bowl combine the nuts, all seeds, pipettes and coconut
  4. In a small bowl stir together the honey, vanilla and oil until well combined
  5. Poor honey mixture over the nuts and seeds mixture until all things are evenly coated
  6. You can add the diced dried fruit now if you like, but I personally prefer to add it after baking.
  7. Spread evenly the granola mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  8. Bake for 12 minutes, then mix the granola, turning etc. and spreading out evenly. Again, bake for 12 minutes or until your granola is golden brown. Keep an eye on the granola for the last few minutes of baking. It can burn quite suddenly.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before breaking it apart and storing in an air-tight container. Store in the pantry for a few days (which is how long it lasts in my house) or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 

We like to save Talenti Gelato containers. They're perfect for storing the granola. And speaking of gelato, this granola is delicious as a topping. I hope you try this recipe. It's delicious, full of healthy nuts and seeds, is free of processed sugars and grains. Give it a try! If you do, please let me know what you think.

Baked Apples with Fresh Whipped Cream

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baked apples with whipped cream
cheesy scrambled eggs and home fries.jpg

Today was a beautiful Autumn day in New England. It is Sunday night as I am writing this, but I spent much of my day in the kitchen baking and cooking. There's something about blue skies, chilly temperatures and strong winds that make me want to nest! I started the day making my favorite breakfast of cheesy scrambled eggs, crisp bacon and homemade potatoes (aka home-fries). I use to love going out for breakfast on the weekend, but now that our kitchen remodel has been completed, I can't seem to find a breakfast better than the one made at home. 

After breakfast was finished, I baked the rest of the grain-free chocolate chip cookie dough I'd made on Friday. So at this point my kitchen smelled like bacon, onion & potatoes and warm chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmm.... works for me!

My husband and older son went for a bike ride, and they always stop at the local apple barn for the week's supply of apples. I'd realized that there were still a few Granny Smith apples left from last week, so I decided to bake them up for an after dinner treat. As you might already know from reading my journal, I'm grain-free, so apple pies aren't really part of the menu just yet. I'm working on figuring out how to make a grain-free crust. Until then, this is an easy and delicious apple treat.

grain-free baked apples

Preheat your oven to 400°F and prepare your baking dish with a piece of parchment paper.

Ingredients

  • 5 Granny Smith apples (or your favorite tart variety)
  • 2 Tbs. Salted Irish Butter (room temperature)
  • 1/4 C. Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbs. Hazelnut Meal/Flour
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon plus a bit for dusting
  • 1/2 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 C. Pure Maple Syrup
  • The Juice from 1/2 Small Lemon (about 2 Tbs.)

Directions:

Wash your apples and pat dry. Slice apples across the middle (so you can see the "seed stars" inside). Using a teaspoon, scoop out the center core and seeds. Place the apples on your parchment paper, cut side up. In a glass bowl blend the butter and all dry ingredients. Sprinkle the apples with the fresh lemon juice. Next fill each of the apple "wells" with the butter and spice mixture and drizzle with maple syrup. Dust with additional cinnamon and bake, uncovered for 7 minutes or until the apple meat is starting to pull away from the skin. Remove from oven and serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or let cool a bit and serve with fresh, homemade whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon. Enjoy!

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie/Cake (for one)

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I've found several chocolate chip cookie-for-one recipes on Pinterest, but they call for either  traditional grain-based flour, or they're made using all almond flour (which I don't care for the taste of that much). I've been playing around with my various grain-free flours and think I've come up with a winner! My husband and my boys all think this recipe is amazing as well, and they're chocolate chip cookie "specialists"!  Regardless of if you're eating grain-free or not, give this recipe a try!

(and yes, a glass of cold milk goes quite nicely with a warm bowl of cookie-cake!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted Irish butter (room temp. or slightly melted)
  • 2 Tbsp organic brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp Madagascar vanilla (trust me... use the real stuff!)
  • 5 Tbsp hazelnut flour
  • 3 Tbsp quinoa flour
  • 1 Tbsp almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • pinch of fine ground kosher salt

Directions:

Combine first four ingredients in a small ramekin or microwave safe mug/dish/etc until well combined. Add the 3 flours (which basically equals a bit more than 1/4 C) and salt mixing well. Fold in your chocolate chips. Cook in the microwave for 60 - 90 seconds, or until you see the "cookie" edges have pulled away from the sides of the dish. Cool a bit and enjoy!

I've discovered Bob's Red Mill offers just about every kind of flour known to man, which I buy at WholeFoods. If you can't find them in one of your local markets, you can purchase online. Tell me if you give this a try. I'd love to know what you think!

Cheers!