Whole Roasted Chicken

Whole chickens are funny. It’s sounds so simple to cook, but they’re also kind of intimidating! At least they were for me. It took me a while before I felt like I was able to do this <sorta> well.

I do this old school, in a Dutch oven. I’m sure an instant pot or a crock pot would do just fine, but I like my Dutch Oven.

I love roasting whole chickens too, because it’s a really economical way for a whole family to eat organic meat. A whole organic chicken is like $13-$20- and it’ll feed us for at least two meals, plus bone broth which I use in everything and drink all the time. Hey, I won’t say no to a real food immune boost!

I make the bone broth immediately after my family is done with dinner. You can find my recipe here.

There are a variety of things I use the leftover chicken for. Depending on how much is left, I’ll usually make chicken enchiladas, a chicken pasta, chicken soup or chicken salad out of the leftovers.

But I digress. For the whole roasted chicken, I start with the most important step: remove the gizzards from the cavity under the legs! It’s a little gross at first, but you can do it! I believe in you! Now you can rinse the whole thing off. I usually just use a big bowl or I clean the sink and just do it in there.

After that, I usually pat the chicken dry with a few paper towels and trim some of the excess skin/fat- you’ll see it. It’s not the skin on the back/breast that absorbs lots of spice and gets crispy and delicious as it cooks- it’s the stuff around the neck bone and bottom that’s just kind of chunky and flappy and doesn’t do nobody no good no how. Just cut it off. Get rid of it.

Next, separate some of the skin from the breast and back. It’s real easy and you should be able to slide your hand down in there to separate it a bit.

Now is the fun part. Rub the bird down generously with your spices of choice. Sometimes I just keep it real simple with generous rubs of kosher salt and pepper, but sometimes I get fancy with tandoori spices, paprika or turmeric depending on my mood. Don’t be shy here- really rub that sucker down- meat and skin. You’ll be glad you did.

Now, put your <washed> potatoes on the bottom of the Dutch oven, and place the chicken <breast side up> on top. I usually toss a half of a lemon inside the cavity there for aromatics and depth of flavor. A little rosemary sprig never hurt either. But those are just extra. You don’t need them if you don’t have them.

Now I usually like to add some baby carrots on the sides. Put the lid on and pop that bad boy in a 250* oven for 3-4 hours. I like to remove the lid and finish the chicken uncovered on 350 for about 30 minutes so the skin gets nice and crispy too 🤗.

Voila! Dinner is ready.

Moist, Tender, White Wine Braised Thick Cut Pork Chops

I did it. I actually used “moist” in a recipe title. Ewww. Ha! And it was a LONG title, but I bet you still cringed…

However, recipe is definitely not something you’ll cringe at if you make it! It is one of our absolute favorite dishes and everyone in my family is excited when I tell them we’re having these for dinner.

It’s shockingly simple, but when use “white wine” and “braised” in the recipe it sounds suuuper fancy. Or at least it does to me🤗.

Anyhoo, for this Recipe you will need:

2-4 thick cut, bone in pork chops

2tbsp+ avocado or olive oil

2tbsp dried, chopped onions

1 bottle white cooking wine/bone broth/stock

Generous sprinkle/crust worth’s of kosher salt and pepper (to taste)

Here’s what you do:

1. Heat oil in a deep skillet over med/high heat

2. Rinse, dry and generously salt and pepper both sides of your pork chop

3. Sear it real good on both sides over high heat.

4. Drown the chops in white wine and add your dried onions.

5 Bring wine + chops to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and simmer for 3+ hours. Voila!

* The sauce this makes is so delicious, I often use it to cook the broccoli in. My son really likes that saucy “Chinese food” style broccoli so sometimes I’ll cook the broccoli in the braising liquid, add arrowroot as the thickening agent and he gobbles it right up!

I will often eat any leftovers in a salad the next day as well!

Cabbage Pad Thai

If you hadn’t noticed, I love dishes where you can really devour the whole thing and not only not feel bad, but feel really good afterwards! Ya feel me?

Anyhoo. This one took some developing, and I feel like I’ll still tinker with it here and there, but I finally felt like I got the flavors where I wanted them!

Also, I don’t usually make a habit of using those miracle noodles, but they are clutch here for the texture! Again, you could also use traditional rice noodles, too…

This is about as non traditional pad Thai as it gets, but the flavors were on point, IMHO 🤗.

And you can legit eat the whole pan and feel like you did something good for the ol bod! Pad Thai usually makes me feel sleepy and a little heavy, which is totally ok sometimes! But I’m the afternoons I rely on lunch for a pick me up… not a one way ticket to nap-town. I have 3 kiddos: 18mo, 3 and 6. Ain’t nobody got time for naps!

Anyhoo. Onto the recipe!


• 1 bag cole slaw. Unless you want to chop your own cabbage and stuff…

• 1/3c bone broth

• 1.5 tbsp Fish sauce

• 2 tsp braggs liquid aminos

• 1tbsp maple syrup

• optional: 1 tsp lemongrass paste and ginger paste*

* I really love the spicy tangy-ness these add, but they aren’t for everyone!

• 2tbsp coconut milk (weird, I know, but it really rounded out the flavor profile!)

• 1tsp chili garlic paste

• juice of 1/2 lime

• 3-4 tbsp peanut butter powder

• 1 pkg miracle noodles, any variety


1. Heat a sauté pan over med/high heat

2. Add bone broth, fish sauce, liquid aminos, maple syrup, coconut milk and chili garlic paste.

3. Stir that for a minute or so until all ingredients are incorporated

4. Add your cole-slaw and cook stirring occasionally to incorporate all the sauce into the cole slaw. It should look like this:

5. Sprinkle the cabbage with PB powder like this:

6. Add the miracle noodles on top and combine thoroughly. It should look like this:

7. Add siracha if you’re me and toasted sesame seeds and/or chopped peanuts and dive in!

Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi*

Note- you can use any white fish really. I’ve had this with haddock, halibut, tilapia and even cod! A thicker fish definitely works better because the crust is pretty flavorul and substantial.

I adapted this from the 21 Day Keto Reset as well. They served it with a brown butter sauce in the book, but my familiy didn’t really dig that, so I usually have this with the Arugula Pesto Zoodles, found here.

Ok, here goes.


3/4C Raw Macadamias

3Tbsp Coconut Flour

S&P to taste (about ½ tsp)

½tsp garlic powder

½ Cup Avocado Oil Mayo

4 Fish Filets (6-8 oz ea)

That’s it! That’s all you need. Seems complicated at first, but when you break it down, it’s suuuuuper doable. Anyoo, onto the directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and lightly grease a glass casserole dish and put the fish inside.
  2. Pulse the Macadamia nuts in a food processor until they’re crumbly, but not pasty. Add the coconut flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder and pulse until well mixed.
  3. Spread the mayo on the fish. Then take small handfulls of the nut crumble and coat the fish, gently press the crumble into the mayo. Bake for 25 minutes.

Curry Zoodle Soup

BOWLS of this soup were pretty much necessary for me to get through the countless snow days we’ve had. It’s almost as if I could just sit there and sip on this for lunch and have all the chaos and noise disappear for a second and forget about the Mountain of snow and ice chunks I had yet to shovel at the end of my driveway. And it gave me that nice, warm, full feeling I needed to give me the stamina to shovel and dodge snowballs at the same time. All.day.long.

I should really call this “Forget your Troubles Soup…”

Go ahead. Give it a whirl. You will need…


2 zucchini’s

1c bone broth

1 tbsp Fish sauce

1tbsp thai red curry paste

1tsp lemongrass paste

1tsp ginger paste

3/4c coconut milk

1 tsp turmeric

*opt siracha to taste


1. Spiraling/noodle-ify the zucchini’s

2. Heat a large pan over medium high heat.

3. Add bone broth, fish sauce, curry paste, lemongrass, ginger and coconut milk and stir until all ingredients are combined. Reduce heat.

4. Add zucchini noodles and turmeric and cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on how you like your zucchini’s (cooked or al dente)

5. Pour into a bowl and enjoy! Or if you’re me, add a hard boiled egg and touch of siracha and enjoy!

Mini Stuffed Bell Peppers

I first discovered stuffed peppers when I was doing the Whole 30 and found this blog called, “Marks Daily Apple.” I tried his recipe for stuffed peppers using cauliflower instead of rice and it was delicious. I found these cute mini colored bell peppers at the grocery store and decided I wanted to try and make mini stuffed peppers! HA, just thinking of making them made me smile in the grocery store.
Plus you can eat so many of them! And they would be super cute hors d’oeurves.

The stuffing recipe is from Marks Daily Apple, it’s delicious. Why reinvent the wheel.
So start with your mini bell peppers:


Cut the tops off and put them in a loaf pan:

Set these aside and make your filling out of:


  • 2 pounds very lean ground beef (MDA uses pork and beef)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dry or fresh tarragon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I put the onion, carrots, garlic and cauliflower in a food processor and processed it until combined. Like this:

Then I stuffed the mini peppers! It takes a little time and you have to really pack it in there, but it’s worth it in the end :).

Stick these bad boys in the oven and bake at 325* for 25 minutes and voila! Mini stuffed peppers :).

And here’s the video!

and here’s a video if you want to see how to make them
In 15 seconds!

Beef N Barley Soup

Am I the only one who thinks it’s crazy that cans of soup are $2.50?! I mean relatively speaking, as a meal, this isn’t that expensive, but you can make a whole pot with a bazillion servings for around $5.00! And it tastes better. And fresher. Not tinny. With way more substance. Way less broth…

I don’t mean to digress. I actually ended up making this soup because I found quick cooking barley in my pantry randomly. What a strange thing to find in a pantry… but not really in my pantry. I get into all sorts of things and want to try everything, plus I’m an organizational disaster. So there’s no telling what’s in there. I just make sure my husband sees the chips first and he then he usually won’t look any further :). Maybe for salsa. But that’s behind the chips, so I’m ok.
1/2 # lean ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups water
1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup quick cook barley (I need to try this with regular Barley next… it’s somewhere in my pantry, I’m sure)
*3 stalks celery, peeled and sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 packets no sodium beef boullion
1 bay leaf
1 (9oz) pkg. mixed veggies
*It may seem really weird to peel your celery, but it tastes WAY better. It’s not as tough or rough on the palate.
First Brown your meat:
Then Add your onion:
While that’s cooking, peel your veggies
 Then cut your veggies. 
When meat is done, drain it and add all your remaining ingredients, except the frozen veggies:

Cover and bring this to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the frozen veggies and cook 10 more minutes or until veggies are done!
Voila! Tons of soup! I freeze what I can’t eat so I have it for later. It tastes fresher than the canned stuff.
I always add a little garlic salt on top before I eat this soup. SO good. I know you’re supposed to season as you go, and I do, but with soups I get afraid that I will too carried away (tends to happen with me) and over season. So I try to use the low/no sodium stuff and salt to taste at the end. 

This was such a nice, warm, cozy meal to have on these cold and rainy Washington days 🙂

Rocco DiSpirito Inspired Meatballs!

So there I was, watching Good Morning America with my mom when this chef named Rocco DiSpirio was featured, explaining some of his favorite Italian dishes, remade in a much healthier way. Needless to say , my curiosity was piqued instantly.

This version of healthy wasn’t using “light” or “reduced fat” processed foods, which was even better because it was actually clean and healthy! He used natural ingredients like Egg Plant and puffed cereal as fillers for the meatballs! Not really a stretch if you think about what goes in to meatballs anyway (bread crumbs, eggs, cheese, meat etc.). I’m not saying a great meatball isn’t an Art, but sometimes they become a “lets hide a bunch of leftovers in some meat and call it a dish.” Or maybe that’s just me…

I set out at once to try these and adapt them for myself, since my family loves meatballs so much anyway. I do a lot of cooking with Eggplant and while it may seem weird, it makes a lot of sense in a meatball, so I started with that and this is what I settled on.

This may seem a bit labor intensive at first, but if you read through it, you can tackle it in steps and it makes a TON of meatballs so you can make them for a big meal or re-purpose them in sandwiches, pastas etc. I stick my eggplant in right away, then tackle the rest and it doesn’t seem overwheling.

Olive oil spray (or 1 TBSP olive oil)
2 TBSP chopped garlic
1 onion, chopped
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
1-6oz can organinc no sodium tomatoe paste
1 15-oz cans organic no sodium diced tomatoes with italian seasoning
-(for saucier meatballs, or if cooking this in the crock pot, you could use 2 cans)
1 small egg plant
6 ounces lean ground turkey breast
4 ounces 96% lean ground beef (I used Laura’s lean)
2 ounces extra-lean ground pork
1 egg white
1/4 cup chopped (fresh) parsely*
Garlic salt (to taste)
1/8-1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 cups puffed wheat cereal**

Poke holes in eggplant with a fork and bake at 400*F until eggplant is tender (about 45 minutes). Cut in half, scoop out flesh, add 1 tsp garlic salt and allow to cool in a strainer to let the excess water drip off.

Spray a deep skillet with olive oil spray. Add half the garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Saute over the stove until softened (about 5 minutes). De-glaze skillet with 1/2 cup chicken stock. Blend diced tomatoes and tomatoe paste and add to skillet.

In a bowl, combine all meats. In a blender, pulse the egg white, parsely, remaining onion, garlic and chicken stock until combined, but not pureed. Add this blended mixture to your meat bowl. Add parmesan cheese and garlic salt to taste (about 1 tsp). Blend, or crumble puffed wheat cereal with your hands and add this to meat mixture. Add eggplant and mix gently. Using a table spoon and your hands, form into meatballs and add to the skillet with the tomatoe sauce mixture. Bring mixture to a soft boil, cover and reduce to simmer. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, but the longer the better because the flavors will be allowed to marinate.

You could also cook these in the crock pot, but I would add another can of diced or crushed tomatoes.

*I have also used the dried Italian Blend herbs and they tasted fine
**I have also toasted 3 slices of light wheat bread, allowed it to cool and crumbled that in too