Sweet and Sour Chicken

image2I’ve worked at many different restaurants ever since I was 16 and boy have I learned A LOT! My first dinner I ever made was a penne ala vodka that was inspired from one of the restaurants I worked at. Although our diets have changed from the heavy cream sauces and pasta–I have found an alternative that I will be sharing at some point of a dairy and gluten free version. Anyways… Last summer I worked at at Asian fusion restaurant.This summer I was inspired to use various Asian flavors without compromising my food “morals”. This recipe is full of flavor, sweet and sour, without a bunch of hidden additives or preservatives. I was nervous to taste this once I made it because I’ve made plenty of “copy-cat” recipes that aren’t nearly as tasty as take-out. You just have to trust me, this is a good one. My husband, who isn’t a big fan of Asian food loved it. And I loved it…someone who is a BIG fan of Asian food. Bottom line…it’s a crowd pleaser! I’ve added a few optional ingredients that I used and you’ll see that from my picture.

Ingredients:
Chicken:
1 lb. chicken breast
2 eggs
3/4 cup tapioca flour
salt and pepper
1/2 coconut oil

Sauce:
1/2 cup honey
5 tbsp coconut amino
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Optional:
red pepper
scallions
sesame seeds
red pepper flakes

Directions:
1. Prepare the sauce by mixing together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
2. Cube the chicken breast and sprinkle with salt and pepper, set aside.
3. Heat coconut oil in a large wok or skillet over medium heat.
4. Beat the egg and place in a bowl.
5. In another bowl, place the tapioca starch.
6. Dip the chicken in the egg then the tapioca starch. .Do until all chicken is properly coated.
7. Fry the chicken in the coconut oil until all sides are brown and the chicken is cooked. Don’t over crowd the wok/skillet. Drain any oil left over.
8. Add the sauce to the wok/skillet until boiling then reduce to simmer about 10 minutes. If you want to add red pepper, add now while the sauce and chicken is simmering.
9. Top with scallions, red pepper flakes or sesame seeds if desired. Plate and enjoy! Serve with cauliflower rice, brown rice, or mixed vegetables.

 

Apple Pear and Blueberry Crisp

I think it comes as no surprise my love for baking, but I have really been enjoying it lately. I don’t know if it’s my nesting kicking in while I wait for this baby to arrive—but I loved making this crisp! The recipe is so simple and satisfying to make! Crisp seem to be most popular during the fall and I’ve seen some berry crisp make appearances during the summer, but why limit yourself??? I thought this combination of fruit was a bit different than what I usually do and thought you would like it! In the past, I typically make a crumble topping but changed things up when I found this idea to use granola. I used my own homemade granola which is THE best, if I do say so myself!

As pictured, I used my favorite coconut ice cream to provide a sweet side to the crumble. The crisp isn’t overly sweet and only uses a bit of honey or maple syrup to sweeten things up!

image1 (1)Ingredients:

4 apples (I used granny smith), peeled, cored and sliced

4 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
2 teaspoons coconut flour
2 cups granola
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Optional: crushed pecans or walnuts.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the apples, pears, and blueberries.
  4. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, lemon juice, salt, honey or maple syrup. Pour over fruit. Sprinkle the coconut flour over the fruit. Mix in nuts if desired.
  5. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the fruit mixture begins to bubble. Meanwhile, prepare the granola mixture by combining the coconut oil and granola.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and top with granola.
  7. Continue to cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

 

Loaded Grilled Chicken

 

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Can you smell the grill???? It’s that time of the year again!!! I’m so excited to have the spring weather and spring food! It doesn’t come to many as a surprise that many tend to eat healthier in the warmer weather. Grilling is such a great way to cook delicious food without excess oil, butter, or other fattening additives that we tend to use when we saute or fry. This recipe is great because you can have it started and finished in 20 minutes! I’ve timed it! Fresh herbs are great this time of year and, if you’re like me, you’ll grow them right on your front porch and have them whenever you like! Top this chicken with some fresh parsley or basil to give it a fresh wake up!

Ingredients:
1 1/2-2 lbs. chicken breast, boneless skinless
10 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. bacon, chopped
1 leek, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Season chicken with a generous amount of salt and pepper and grill chicken on prepared grill.
2. Cook bacon over stove top until done in a medium skillet. Remove most of the bacon fat, leaving just enough to saute the mushrooms and leek. Remove bacon from skillet.Cook the mushrooms and leeks until tender, about 5-8 minutes. Return the bacon to the skillet and cook for a minute longer to let the flavors combine.
3. Top the cooked, grilled chicken with vegetables and bacon. Add fresh herbs if desired or fresh lemon juice.
Enjoy:)

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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Spring time means lots of carrots. Carrots roasted in the oven, fresh raw carrots with hummus, or carrot cakes. I came across this recipe and love how simple these cupcakes are! There is something about cupcakes in the spring time. Am I the only one? There is so much freshness and color in the spring and the bright orange of these cupcakes just seems to fit right in! Mother’s day is coming up and this would be a great addition to brunch or your family dinner!
The cupcakes are sweet enough to eat alone or dust with some freshly grated carrots or lemon zest. I added a coconut glaze (whipped coconut with confectioner’s sugar) and grated carrots to mine! Enjoy:)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tins (10) with liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix almond and coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside
3. In a separate bowl, mix the coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, eggs, and crushed pineapple.
4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold in the carrots and nuts.
5. Pour into muffin tins and bake in the oven for 25-28 minutes or until the center comes out clean.
6. Cool completely before topping with your favorite glaze or frosting.

Top 10 Grocery Store Products

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Top 10 Grocery Products:

  1. Coconut milk – So Delcious

My husband and I go through about a gallon of this milk a week. This is a staple for everything from baked goods to smoothies to cereal to cream sauce and everything inbetween. I have been buying this for the past 2-3 years and love it so much. I don’t love everything to taste overly coconuty and I feel this milk does a great job of providing a dairy free alternative without a strong flavor.

BENEFITS:

This coconut milk is organic, non-gmo, dairy free, vegan, and gluten free. It does not contain carrageenan. Much less sugar than a typical cow’s milk. Thirty-percent of your daily Vitamin D. Seventy calories per serving.  

  1. Mini chocolate chips – Enjoy Life

I cannot say enough about these chocolate chips. I’ve made numerous recipes with these chips and many time for others who eat dairy chocolate. I think this is one of the best dairy free brands on the market and I cannot say enough about Enjoy Life. They carry a variety of chocolate chips from chunks to dark chocolate morsels.

BENEFITS:

Dairy-free, nut-free, soy free, certified gluten free, non-gmo, casein free.

  1. Peanut Butter-Teddy’s

This was a hard decision, but I decided to only include one nut butter on this top ten list. I typically have 3 jars at home between my almond, sunflower, or peanut butter. I love trying out new peanut butters but I always return to my good ol’ standby. My favorite peanut butter cookie recipe always turns out THE best when I use this peanut butter.

BENEFITS:

Non-gmo peanut butter. You can buy a variety of peanut butters, salted/unsalted, creamy/crunchy, etc. I typically buy the salted crunchy option peanut butter. Organic options as well!

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar- Braggs

You don’t have to look too far to discover the benefits of apple cider vinegar. I do have to say, I jumped on this bandwagon about 2-3 years ago, when I turned our ordinary table into a wholesome one. I primarily use this for salads but have used in occasionally for baking and cooking.

BENEFITS:

Raw, organic, with the ‘mother’ (naturally connected to strand-like chains of protein enzymes molecules), unfiltered, and contains no preservatives. Made with organic apples. Naturally gluten free.

  1. Rice Cakes-Lundenberg

Although I haven’t tasted many rice cakes in my life, these are the best. Rice cakes that I haven’t been a fan of were too light and tasted like puffed rice cereal in a cake. I find the texture of these rice cakes to be crunchy without being hard…if that makes sense! I typically eat them with almond butter or sunbutter. My favorite way to eat them is cold, I have no clue how I even discovered this but I cover the rice cake with whatever topping and place it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

BENEFITS:

These rice cakes are sold in a variety of flavors. I tend to buy the lightly salted (the pregnancy is making me love salt so I tend to reach for this one). Organic, non-gmo, gluten free, dairy free, and made with brown rice and sea salt.

  1. Almond Flour- Bob’s Red Mill

I use this flour on a weekly basis. Whether I’m making chicken parm or blueberry scones, I love this almond flour. The consistency is great and works beautifully with any recipe that calls for almond flour.

BENEFITS:

High protein! Gluten free, dairy free, and vegan and easy to find in any grocery store these days. I buy it at Sam’s club and get it much cheaper than at a typical grocery store.

  1. Good Soap-Whole Foods

The limitation to this is that it’s only found at Whole Foods (to my knowledge) but it’s worth the trip. You can spend so much money on ‘natural’ soaps, but why bother when you can get this amazing soap. We have been buying this soap for the past year and use it almost exclusively as our body soap.

BENEFITS:

The price is unbeatable, 3 soaps for $6 and change I believe. Good Soap comes in a variety of scents, all smelling so fresh and wonderful. Good Soap has one ingredient-shea butter. Nothing artificial or harmful for the body.

8.Unsweetened Coconut Yogurt -So Delicious

I am very picky when it comes to yogurt. To be honest, I probably won’t enjoy this yogurt on it’s own, but I add a bunch of goodness to it to make it delicious. First-I always add fruit, typically a berry of some kind. Second-cinnamon followed by coconut flakes or mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life). Sometimes I’ll add my homemade granola as well.

BENEFITS:

Yogurts tend to be filled with sugar. This yogurt is unsweetened so you can monitor your sweet intake. I typically add fruit and cinnamon to sweeten it up a bit. The calcium in this yogurt is 50% of your daily intake. This yogurt is dairy free, gluten free, vegan, and non-gmo…the list goes on but that’s the big ones that make me a big fan.

9.Brown Rice Pasta-Trader Joes

My favorite brown rice pasta is from Trader Joes. Again, this is one of a few top ten that you have to purchase at a specific store, but it’s worth it. No mushy-gluten free pasta here! If you follow my blog often, you know how much I love pasta!

BENEFITS:

Gluten free and made with 100% brown rice. No other ingredients! The price is great and is sold by the pound. I’ve found some brown rice pastas to be sold by 12 ounces or something…which for my family, is annoying and I like to use the whole pound for most meals.

  1. Frozen Organic Mango Chunks -Trader Joes

I’ve tried many types of frozen fruits. I make smoothies multiple times throughout the week and love to try out different varieties. This is by far one of the best frozen fruits to add to my smoothie. The consistency the mangos give the smoothie is so smooth and creamy.

BENEFITS:

Frozen Organic Mango Chunks are 100% organic and are delicious. I don’t have much else I can say because they are just a pure chunk of mango love!

Braised Beef Short Ribs

 

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Ingredients:
2 lbs beef short ribs
1 1/2 cups good red wine
1 cup organic beef broth
2 tbsp organic tomato paste
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 springs rosemary
1 yellow onion, sliced
olive oil for sauteing
salt and pepper

Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on high heat for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper on all sides of the short ribs. Brown in the dutch oven on all sides. Set aside.
2.Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the dutch oven. Add onions and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until slightly tender.
3. Add the minced garlic to the dutch oven, stirring constantly to be sure not to burn the garlic, about 1 minute.
4. Add the tomato paste and stir until onions and garlic are coated.
5. Return the short ribs to the dutch oven along with the wine, beef broth and rosemary.
5. Cover and cook in preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours.
6. Serve with rice, potatoes, or roasted vegetables.

Chicken Piccata

I can thank my mother for the inspiration for this recipe. She was making this one day when I was over and just one taste of it made me plan out this recipe. I love love love lemon! Being pregnant, I’ve come to really enjoy foods with strong flavors, especially vinegar and lemon (I guess a commonality among pregnant women). The crunchy outside of the chicken with the tart sauce all accompanied with a starch is such a great combo. This dinner can be served all year around, it’s light enough for a summer meal but still is hearty for the winter. Since we are finally enjoying spring weather (did I stress the word finally?) I think this is perfect for this time of year. I’m not a huge fan of capers so I want you to know you can make this without these briney little fellows should you be like me. Because of my pregnancy, I actually don’t mind them at all and enjoyed having them along for the ride.

I served this with rice but would suggest pasta or roasted potatoes. You can add some color to this dish by incorporating greens (spinach or kale) or just serve a side of vegetables, which is what I did the last time I made this.

I have been experimenting with gee and you could substitute the coconut oil for gee. If you want a nice golden color for your chicken, gee works better than coconut oil. For all my dairy free eaters, obviously the coconut oil is your best bet.

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Ingredients:

3 boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut in half and pounded thin

Salt and pepper

½ cup almond flour

6 tablespoons coconut oil

⅓ cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup chicken stock

¼ cup brined capers,rinsed

Fresh parsley chopped

 

Directions:

  1. After preparing the chicken, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the almond flour. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the coconut oil for 2-3 minutes or until the oil is hot.
  3. Add chicken in a single layer to cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Depending on how thin your chicken is, your chicken should be done. If not, cook for an additional minute or two until chicken is fully cooked.
  4. Remove all chicken from the skillet and set aside. In the skillet, add the lemon juice, chicken stock, and capers. Bring to a boil, scraping any chicken pieces from the bottom of the pan to the sauce.
  5. Return the chicken to the skillet and bring to a boil, cooking for 1-2 minutes longer. Add fresh parsley and serve.

My Wholesome Journey…

I was recently asked a few questions about why I started My Wholesome Table and where I’m hoping to go with it. I love reflecting on this journey and am excited to see what God has in store for my family and the blog:)

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I decided to start My Wholesome Table as a way to archive recipes that I was creating at home. My husband and I had always enjoyed home cooked meals, but we weren’t always the healthiest of eaters! We got educated on just what we were putting into our bodies and tried to stay away from processed foods with harmful side effects and enjoy foods that were wholesome. I found it IMPOSSIBLE to find recipes that we actually wanted to eat. Even great resources from cookbooks, blogs, online websites, and friends wasn’t quite what we were needing. I was tweaking recipes so much that I needed to write down the changes I was making. It wasn’t always easy because of this lack of recipe problem. The battle that most endure with healthy eating is because they aren’t actually enjoying the healthy foods. I was on a mission to change that. My husband, my biggest supporter, was always willing to try new things. He was always brutally honest with me and told me to change the sauce or that the texture was too difficult to stomach. I would tweak until we were both happy and healthy! We were satisfied with our eating habits and started to look forward to dinner time because that meant time together to enjoy delicious recipes.

Not eating healthy is just doing a disservice to your body. It does take work and discipline but is so worth it. Like anything, what you invest in, you’ll reap the benefits from. For my husband and I, eating healthy opened our eyes up to what we were lacking as our bodies started to heal. We had previously turned to doctors and medication, both of which didn’t help our problems. Little did we know that the medication our body needed was food.
The blog started to become more fun than I imaged. It started off as a way to archive recipes, which turned into a hobby. I love sharing my recipes with others and am thankful that the blog has created a platform for that. Once we started thriving in our new healthy, wholesome life, others started to ask questions. Why are you eating this way? Is it hard? Are you actually enjoying the food? How do you find the time? How do you find recipes? Can you share recipes? I am a giver and giving others the recipes wasn’t for my own personal satisfactions, but for them to better their life through their food choices. I am a strong believer that God gave us one body for us to take care of. Making smart food choices is our duty and we unfortunately suffer the physical consequences if we don’t.
My Wholesome Table is a personal look into our home that I hope can inspire others to take better care of their bodies. All the recipes are true to the lifestyle I live. I’m excited to see others use the recipes to better their life, that is a gift that I’m privileged to share. I continue to hope people see how easy it is to eat healthy. I am a full time high school teacher so time is very precious! These recipes aren’t going to keep you in the kitchen all evening, but they will satisfy you just the same. Although the blog started out as a personal reference for myself, friends, and family, I’m excited to see where this blog is heading. I do have big plans for the blog, but nothing that will change the integrity of how it all started. My Wholesome Table filled a void that I was searching for and it can help others just the same.

Garlic Paprika Chicken Legs

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Since I’m quickly approaching the last month of pregnancy, you get to hear all the wonderful excitement that’s flooding through our house! I cannot believe May 9th is so close. With all the excitement of nearing the end of my pregnancy comes exhaustion and down right laziness…especially when it comes to cooking. I go through phases where I love cooking and enjoy it so much and have an abundance (well maybe not abundance) of energy. Then there are days when we decide to go out and skip the prep, cooking, and cleaning of dinner. This recipe is great! It has minimal clean up and prep work. I love a recipe that I can start when I walk in from work and then leave it to bake. Low maintenance is KEY! Steam up some broccoli, put a pot of rice on, or reheat leftover sweet potatoes from the night before and you’ve got your side covered!
I went though a phase where I was buying chicken legs once a week. I loved the tender chicken that would nearly melt in your mouth after baking in the oven. I’ve always been a fan of chicken wings, but yet again, would often run into an issue after eating them. The heavy sauce, deep fried grease, and low quality chicken made me feel gross after eating. These garlic paprika chicken legs are much healthier without compromising taste. I hope you’ll enjoy this EASY week night dinner as much as I do!
Ingredients:
6 chicken legs
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. smoked paprika (you can use other paprika…I just love the smoked)
1/2 lemon juiced
salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a small sauce pan, add oil and minced garlic. Cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant. Turn off heat and stir in smoked paprika. Let cool slightly.
3. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper all over chicken legs and place in a 9×13 pan.
4. Add oil mixture to the chicken legs, being sure the mixture coats all the parts of the chicken.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn chicken and spoon sauce over chicken.
6. Broil on high for 5 minutes.
7. Add lemon juice over the chicken legs before serving.
Serve with rice or vegetables.

Carrot Bread

Hi friends! We are almost done with the longest, least favorite, month of the year…MARCH! I always dread this month because its the pit of the winter when all we want to do is pull out our spring clothes and dance in the sun. This year, I really can’t complain about this month. We were hit with a monumental winter storm that gave us two consecutive snow days. We’ve been putting more work into the baby’s nursery and preparing for his arrival. I’m going to be blessed by the presence of dear friends this week that I haven’t seen in a while and surrounded by family for my baby shower. All-in-all, this month has been pretty great. Finding the bright side in this cold, winter month hasn’t been too difficult since I’ve had some pretty amazing blessings this month!

I’ve stumbled across many recipes for carrot cake but I’ve never actually made one. I don’t really have a good excuse, it just got lost in the recipes-to-make world. I decided to give this carrot bread a whirl. I’ve been C R A V I N G sweets like nobody’s business so I’m trying to combat that and still eat healthy. This recipe is sweetened with raw honey . I found an amazing raw honey at my local grocery store that I’m so in love with I’ve been tempted to eat it right from the jar. I told you—such a sweet tooth these days…it’s awful! Since carrots offer a natural sweetness, I’m totally satisfied with the taste, texture, and desire for something sweet.

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Ingredients:
2 cups almond flour (meal)
3 tsp coconut flour
1/2 grated carrots
3 eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
3 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients: eggs, raw honey, vanilla extract, and coconut oil.
4. Slowly incorporate the wet and dry ingredients. Gently fold in the carrots and walnuts.
5. In a greased loaf pan, place the batter in and cook for 25-20 minutes.

Enjoy:)