Snow Day!

Oh, hello snow! It was only a matter of time before we got hit with a good storm this year. In fact, we got thunder-snow with whipping wind, lightening and rumbles of thunder. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

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Since we were all trapped indoors and businesses were closed, it was the perfect time to make some comfort foods. For whatever reason, meatloaf has been on my brain. I picked up some grass-fed ground beef, used whatever veggies I had on-hand and threw together a delicious meatloaf dinner. Of course, this cozied-up, snowy day wouldn’t be complete without some chocolaty brownies.

The brownie recipe I used is from a recent post by The Roasted Root. They are dairy-free, flourless, and the base is made from chickpeas. Very similar to a black bean brownie, actually. What gave me the idea to make these was the lonely can of chickpeas that has been sitting in my cabinet from before I tried the Ketogenic Diet. Now that I have incorporated beans back into my diet, they might as well be use up in a dessert!

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Since I am eating no to very low sugar, I decided to use Swerve in place of coconut sugar. Swerve is a sugar substitute that has very little to no effect on your blood sugar. It also doesn’t have that bitter taste that other sugar subs can have. It replaces regular sugar 1:1 in recipes, but I find it to be very sweet tasting and usually will cut it in half. That’s what I did for this recipe.

Though they came out a little flat (humph), they were still delicious! Not sure if there is something wrong with my oven, but nothing seems to be rising well lately. Could be that the temperature isn’t exact anymore. Finicky things sometimes, aren’t they?

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Chocolate Chickpea Brownies ~ slightly modified
Yields 16

1 (15.5 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed well
2 eggs
1/3 cup Swerve (2/3 cup for sweeter brownies)
1/3 cup cacao powder
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Optional: chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips (I didn’t have any this time, but they’d be excellent additions)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and grease lightly.

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender, except for the nuts or chocolate chips if using, and blend until you have a thick, smooth batter. Stir in the nuts or chips.

Pour batter into baking pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the center of the brownies have set. Be sure to not over bake, a toothpick will not come out clean in the middle which is normal.

Remove brownies from oven and place on cooling rack. Allow them to fully cool before cutting. Serve on their own or with a drizzle of nut butter, like I did, to make them extra decadent. Enjoy!

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I’d be lying if I said I didn’t eat that whole stack. These chocolaty brownies were exactly what I was looking for on this snowy day. The chickpeas add protein and fiber, cacao has antioxidants, and they’re completely sugar-free. Who says comfort food can’t be good for you?

For the original recipe, please head over to The Roasted Root, and don’t forget to check out more of Julia’s recipes.

xx Tammy

Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken & Potatoes

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It’s very clear that I am the most inconsistent blogger ever. I don’t know what it is that I get hung-up with. I guess it’s just life? Yeah, life works. I’ll simply say it’s been an interesting year, good and bad, and a really remarkable Summer. I’ve learned a lot, tried new things, ventured to new places, and spent more time with people who mean the most to me. Such a positive turn-around from how this year started.

As much as I would love to deny it, the weather is changing and Summer is leaving me. Usually I am all gung-ho on Fall: apple picking, warm-ish days with cool nights, hoodies! This year? Eh, not so much. That’s not to say that I won’t embrace it when we are fully immersed in the season, though. In fact, making this slow cooker chicken recipe is proof that a part of me is already transitioning into cooler temps and comfort food.

Straight up, this meal was delicious. It appears I don’t post something unless I absolutely love it, and this is no exception.

Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken & Potatoes
slightly modified – original recipe by Damn Delicious
Serves 4

8 bone-in, skin-on, chicken thighs
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 lbs baby potatoes, halved
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped, fresh parsley (bummed I was out of this!)

Clean chicken, pat dry, and trim extra skin. Combine the basil, oregano, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub seasoning onto chicken.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, and sear until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Place potatoes in slow cooker (recommended 6-qt). Add olive oil, garlic, thyme, and season with salt and pepper, stir to combine. Add chicken on top of potatoes in an even layer.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Note: I set my slow cooker for 6-1/2 hours and everything was cooked through perfectly. Depending on your crock pot, size of potatoes and chicken, adjust time accordingly.

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Seriously, when thyme is combined with potatoes it turns into a flavor marriage made in heaven. One of the tastiest combos ever! This entire meal is well-seasoned and so jam-packed with herbaceous flavors. The chicken falls off the bone and the potatoes come out perfectly tender. Adding the Parmesan cheese at the end fully completes the dish.

This is comfort food at its finest right here. What a wonderful recipe to ease you into the change of seasons. Please, please, please make this one. You will not be disappointed!

Happy Fall, y’all!

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June Gloom & Chicken Tacos

Oh, hey, that’s right, I have a blog! Sorry for the lengthy time between posts, friends. Besides going on vacation in May to Colorado and Florida (which was an AMAZING trip), not a whole lot has been going on with me.

It’s actually kind of sad that I’ve neglected passions of mine in the past month. Actually, most of my drive and motivation for the things I love have been a little lost, and it’s really been bringing me down. I know it’s just a phase and it will pass, but, man, what a drag.

It’s too beautiful out to be this gloomy! Totally unacceptable.

In an effort to perk myself up, which is almost daily these days, I have been preparing all kinds of my favorite food: TACOS! I mean, honestly, who doesn’t like tacos? If you don’t, I’m not so sure we can be friends anymore… Just kidding! We’re still friends, whether you are a taco junkie or not. 🙂

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My personal fave has been Chicken & Cabbage Tacos with Cilantro Lime Dressing. They’re super fresh and super simple to put together. Maybe the hardest part of the whole process is slicing up all the cabbage. If you have a food processor with a slicer blade, however, you are winning in the prep game. This just got too easy for you.

Cooking a whole chicken is an awesome time saver too. You can get so much use out of a whole chicken. Whatever you don’t use can be portioned out and frozen for later. Leftover chicken is wonderful for salad, soup, stir fry, and, of course, endless amounts of chicken tacos.

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Chicken & Cabbage Tacos with Cilantro Lime Dressing

1 small head red cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1-2 jalapenos, stems and seeds removed, finely diced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
3 cups shredded chicken
warmed corn tortillas

For the dressing:
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
3/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream (or half and half)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor, puree the cilantro, yogurt, lime juice and olive oil till smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl add the red cabbage, jalapenos, scallions, and cilantro dressing. Stir to combine. Allow mixture to sit for 15 minutes to soften the cabbage.

Add chicken and stir till coated with the dressing and well combined. Season, again, with salt and pepper if needed. Serve in warm corn tortillas.

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Honestly, how can you not be happy eating these beauties? You’ve got a perfectly charred corn tortilla, creamy/spicy/crunchy filling, an extra squeeze of lime juice on top, what’s not to love here? DEEELISH!

Along with these tacos being ultra amazing, I can assure you that things will start looking up for me soon enough. I truly believe that something bright and wonderful always comes from the shadowy moments in life. Hopefully we come out of these rough spots learning something to help us move forward and grow. Just remember, when you are going through these times, there is always something you can do to make you smile. Find out what that is and go do that! Every day!

And if all else fails you, TACOS!

Happy weekend, loves. xo