Bone Broth

One of the things I’ve always wanted to try making is bone broth or stock to use in various soup and stew recipes. Now that I’ve started my Paleo diet, this is something that is actually encouraged to drink on a daily basis and use in homemade soups. The diet I’m following says to drink 1/2 to 1 cup of bone broth daily. I don’t know if I’ll keep up with it daily, but since it can be frozen, I’ll definitely make up batches to keep on hand in the freezer to make soup quickly.




The recipe I used is salt-free, so if you’re following a low-salt or no-salt diet, this is perfect for you. I will say that the next time I make this I’ll be adding salt to help bring out the flavors. That said, if you decide to salt yours, keep in mind that as the broth simmers, the flavors will concentrate—and this means the salt intensity will increase, so be sure to start low with your amounts. You can always add more later on.

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Make sure you have plenty of time when you set out to make bone broth. I was in a bit of a hurry, and I should have let my bones roast in the oven longer than I did. The recipe said to roast for 15 minutes, and I went for 25 minutes, but I do think it should have roasted longer to achieve that nice dark brown color and flavor you get from long roasting. However, it still is tasty, but I know it will be better next time when I really roast everything before I start simmering it on the stove top.

My recipe comes from The Paleo Cure by Chris Kresser, one of my clients who inspired me to take charge of my health and get started on this Paleo diet. It really is easy to throw together. Once everything is in the pot, you just keep an eye on it and let it do its thing.

 

Paleo Bone Broth

4 pounds beef bones, preferably marrow and knuckle bones

2 onions, peeled and halved

4 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

4 cloves garlic, peeled

4 celery ribs, coarsely chopped

1 cup fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the bones, onion, and carrots in a roasting pan. Add about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the pan so the drippings don’t burn and stick to the pan.

bone broth - bones in pan 2

 

Roast for 15 minutes or until very well browned.

When everything is nicely roasted, add everything from the roasting pan (scraping the bottom) into a large stockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients, and add enough cold water to completely cover everything.

 

bone broth in stockpot

 

Cover, and bring ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for at least 3 hours.

Strain the stock.

bone broth - strained

 

When the stock is completely cold, pour it into 1-quart Mason jars, and refrigerate it for later use. It should last about a week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it in bulk or in individual portions in freezer-safe containers.

 

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Paleo Broccoli Slaw

I’ve finally come to the realization that I’m not a healthy person. I’ve always thought I ate a healthy diet. I ate plenty of vegetables and fruits. I ate chicken breast, usually without the skin (but not always!), and I tried to bake or roast other meats rather than deep-frying, although I would do that for a treat. I baked my own bread. I canned the fruits and vegetables that we grew in our garden. Basically, I was eating what I thought was a fairly well-balanced diet.

Then I went to the doctor. Yes, I’ve put on some weight over the last few years. I work from home on the computer, so I do have a fairly sedentary lifestyle, although I would try to get out and do yard work and walk on a halfway regular basis, though I know it probably was not enough. While I was definitely not happy about my weight (and subsequent BMI numbers), the thing that woke me up was my blood work.

I’ve had hypothyroidism for years, as well as undifferentiated connective tissue disorder and fibromyalgia. I’ve been prediabetic for just about as long. My blood work numbers finally screamed at me that it was time to take drastic action. How or what I was going to change I still wasn’t sure about, but I knew that something needed to change. Just so you know, my thyroid is completely out of whack. Conventional medicine says that a normal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) range should be between 0.5 and 4.5. I later found out that the functional medicine range (more about how I found this out below) for TSH is between 0.5 and 2 or 2.5. Well, I blew both of these ranges out of the water, as my TSH came back at a whopping 20!

Knowing what I know about the thyroid, I knew this was bad news. The thyroid regulates what goes on in the body—so with this huge TSH number, it’s no wonder I was putting on weight, and it’s no wonder my blood sugar (A1c) finally jumped into the diabetic range. But I still wasn’t sure how to fix this. My doctor put me back on a higher dosage of levothyroxine said come back in three months for retesting. And that was it. I love my PCP because he always listens to me, but really? That’s all the advice you had for me?




Around the time I got this news from my physician, I picked up a new client out in California for some transcription work. The client was doing this online class and podcasts and needed some transcription work. I started listening to his class lectures, and when I started working for him, he was on a section about supplements and the HPA axis, which is the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. While it was interesting material, it didn’t really seem like it pertained to me. I kept doing the work and going about my business.

Then he did a lecture about thyroid dysfunction and the differences between lab ranges of conventional and functional medicine and when each would probably decide to treat a patient. This was a lightbulb going off for me. This clinician said he would probably treat a patient, depending on all the factors of course, if her TSH was in the 2 to 2.5 range. And here I am with a TSH of 20. He also described different things that can influence thyroid dysfunction, so I decided to delve a little deeper into what other things this clinician talked about.

I decided to look up this clinician who I was working for and discovered that he was a leading expert in the Paleo movement. I read about his background, saw that he himself battled an unknown illness for years but found a way to improve his own health, and then I bought his book. If you’ve followed a Paleo diet or have done any research about it at all, you’ve probably heard of him or maybe have even read his book. It’s Chris Kresser, and the book that finally made everything click for me is The Paleo Cure.

I’d looked at the Paleo diet several times over the past few years, but I never really truly decided to do it because I love bread. I love pasta. I didn’t think I could go without these favorites and be able to cook or eat the way I wanted. After these past few months, however, I’ve decided that I can’t afford not to change and do this diet, so I’ve jumped onto the Paleo bandwagon with both feet. On July 1, I started doing Chris’ 30-day elimination/detox diet. I completely eliminated all sugars, dairy, alcohol, and gluten products. I threw out all the foods in my cupboards and refrigerator that are banned for the first 30 days. My youngest son, who has had GI issues of his own over the past year, is also doing this diet with me, although he’s complaining a bit about going dairy-free for 30 days, but he realizes he too needs to figure out why he’s ill when the specialists he’s seen over this past year have no idea what’s wrong with him.

I believe, although I don’t have any proof in terms of blood work, that both my son and I are intolerant to gluten. I do know my son does not have celiac disease, as this was confirmed by biopsy during his two EGD procedures. However, after listening to Chris’ transcriptions and reading his work, I believe my son and I may be intolerant to gluten, which may or may not show up on any lab test. The only way to determine if this is the case is to do an elimination diet.

So here we are. I have to re-learn how to cook. I have to find tasty substitutes for things I’ve always taken for granted: ketchup, soy sauce (for my son), bread, pasta. I’ll actually learn to make my own mayo, something I’ve wanted to do anyway but have been too lazy because Miracle Whip is right there on the grocery shelf. I’ll probably be fine with going sugar-free, although I do love to bake and will need to come up with acceptable substitutes for my favorite recipes to make them Paleo-friendly. But going without bread and pasta will probably be the hardest, but it’s the one thing I must give up to see if that is where my problems originate. Studies have shown that gluten may interfere with thyroid functions, and that really makes sense to me now.

On the plus side, my son is happy that this is a protein diet, and he can still eat steak and liver, two of his favorite foods. I’ve told him after the first 30 days we’ll gradually see if he can tolerate milk again, which is his biggest vice. If any reader has a favorite Paleo recipe they’d like to share, please feel free to drop me a line to share. Or if you have a favorite Paleo website, you can share that too. I’ve been all over the Internet and have found some good sources, but all new sources are welcome, especially if they have tasty, family-friendly Paleo recipes.

Our first few Paleo meals were nothing spectacular by any means: steak and mushrooms. Not that my son minded a bit!

 

paleo steak and mushrooms 2

 

I simply seared up the steak (grass-fed) and topped each steak with some mushrooms and onions that I’ve sautéed in a little bit of ghee (clarified butter) and seasoned with some garlic powder and black pepper. I’d normally saute the mushrooms in unsalted butter, so switching to ghee wasn’t hard to do, and quite frankly, I couldn’t taste a difference.

The next night everyone was together, so I decided to cook a Paleo meal for everyone. Unfortunately for my youngest son, he was forced to eat steak and sautéed mushrooms again (poor kid!), but I threw in a quick broccoli and carrot slaw to go with, and the meal was finished off with a nice chilled slice of sweet watermelon. Here’s the recipe for that salad, which was super easy to throw together since I used packaged broccoli and carrot slaw. Now some Paleo purists may say that honey is a no-no, but it’s on the “eat occasionally list” that I’m following, but feel free to eliminate this if you choose. Easy peasy, delicious, and Paleo-friendly.

 

broccoli slaw paleo

 

Quick Broccoli and Carrot Slaw

2 packages broccoli slaw (contains shredded broccoli, red cabbage and carrots

2 apples, cored and chopped (I left the skin on mine but you can peel if you prefer)

1/2 red onion, diced

1 package toasted sunflower seeds

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon raw honey

1/3 cup good olive oil (I used regular olive oil not extra-virgin)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

 

In a large bowl combine all the vegetables and the sunflower seeds, and mix together. In a small bowl (or a small Mason jar with a lid), whisk or shake (if using the jar) the mustard, honey, olive oil and vinegar together until completely incorporated. Pour dressing over the veggies, and stir until everything is nicely coated.

You can serve this right away, or you can chill it in the refrigerator while you’re getting your steaks and mushrooms ready.

Yield: About 6 servings
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Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for recipes that are quick to throw together at the last minute and yet still be nutritious and delicious for your family. Well, this recipe is all of that. With just a few ingredients, you can have a one-dish meal that is ready in less than an hour. Easy peasy 🙂




 

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or use chicken thighs if you prefer)

1 jar Alfredo sauce

1 package frozen broccoli florets

Salt

Black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Add a little of the Alfredo sauce to the bottom of the baking dish, spreading it around to evenly coat the bottom. Place the chicken breasts on top of the Alfredo sauce. Season with salt and black pepper.

 

Chicken broccoli alfredo - chicken breasts

 

Add the broccoli florets to the baking dish in and around the chicken pieces in an even layer. Pour the rest of the Alfredo sauce over the top of the broccoli layer.

 

chicken broccoli alfredo - chicken with broccoli

 

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 45 minutes until bubbly and juices run clear, or until the internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

chicken broccoli alfredo baked 2

 

chicken broccoli alfredo baked

 

chicken broccoli alfredo plated

 

Note: Cooking times will definitely depend on how much frozen broccoli you use. If you use a small package, start checking the internal temperature of the chicken breasts at about 30 to 35 minutes. I used a large package of frozen broccoli, and my chicken took a good 45 minutes to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally.

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BBQ Meatloaf

Work has been crazy the last few weeks, so I haven’t had time to experiment with new recipes for a while. I had a few free minutes last night and decided to try my hand at making a barbecue-inspired meatloaf. When I make meatloaf, I generally go for an Italian theme with the spices I use, so I thought BBQ would be a nice change of pace.




This is one of those recipes where I don’t measure anything and just eyeball the spices, so the amounts below in the recipe really are just estimates. Feel free to modify them to your family’s tastes.

BBQ meatloaf

 

BBQ meatloaf 2

 

BBQ meatloaf slice

 

BBQ meatloaf slice 2

 

BBQ Meatloaf

1 pound ground beef (86% lean)

1/2 onion, finely diced

1 egg

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

1-2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)

 

For the topping:

6 tablespoons barbecue sauce

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons honey

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, Panko, egg, onion, basil, seasoned salt, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, and 2 teaspoons barbecue sauce until well combined, but don’t overmix or the meat will be tough. Place meatloaf into a meatloaf pan (like a bread pan but has two sections so the grease drains away from the meatloaf) or a small glass baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the 6 tablespoons barbecue sauce, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, and 2 teaspoons honey until completely combined. Spread mixture over the top of the meatloaf.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 60 minutes, or until the top is browned, or the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.


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Garlic Parmesan Rolls

To get back into the baking groove, I decided to make up some rolls to accompany the meatball gnocchi casserole for dinner tonight. Since the casserole is Italian inspired, I wanted a dinner roll that would complement the flavors in the dish. I stumbled across a recipe for garlic Parmesan rolls on my Pinterest board, and this delicious recipe comes from Tastes Better From Scratch. It’s easy to pull together, and nothing smells or tastes better than freshly baked bread. Try this with your next Italian meal, and your family will definitely appreciate it!




 

garlic and parmesan rolls 2

 

garlic and parmesan rolls

Garlic Parmesan Rolls

1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit)

1 package active dry yeast

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon good extra-virgin olive oil

2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Garlic Parmesan Spread:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 to 3 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley

Drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

 

In a bowl of your stand mixer, stir together the warm water, sugar and yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to proof.

Add the flour, salt and olive oil, and knead (or mix with mixer with the dough hook attachment) for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. It will form a ball and pull away from the dough hook. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Pour the dough out onto a floured countertop. Roll out into a large rectangle, no more than 1/2-inch thick.

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, garlic powder, parsley, and drizzle of olive oil. Use a pastry brush to spread about half of this mixture onto the dough. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the grated Parmesan cheese.

Roll the dough tightly long-ways into a log (as you would for cinnamon rolls). Using a sharp knife, cut the log into pieces about 1 1/2 inches thick. Place the rolls on a greased baking sheet.

Cover the rolls with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Allow the rolls to rest for about 30 minutes more.

Bake rolls in an oven that has been preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 9 minutes. At this point, remove the rolls from the oven, and spread the remaining butter mixture over the tops of the rolls. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top. Return rolls to the oven, and finish baking for approximately 5 more minutes, or until nicely golden brown.

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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Rum Frosting

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything, mostly because work has finally picked up again, and I haven’t had much time for testing out new recipes or doing any baking. While my waistline may appreciate it, my boys haven’t, so I decided to take a break yesterday and make them a cake. I actually had a few ripe bananas sitting on my counter, which itself is an amazing accomplishment because every time I buy bananas intending to use them in a recipe, the boys devour them immediately. That’s all fine and dandy because they’re good for them – it’s just I rarely get to make a recipe that calls for bananas 🙂




This is a basic cake recipe, and while it’s perfectly delicious as is, you could add some chopped pecans or walnuts for a yummy addition. For the frosting, I used my grandmother’s basic buttercream frosting recipe and added about 4 ounces of cream cheese that I had leftover from another recipe. It turned out great, and I didn’t have extra cheese sitting around that would be tossed out later. Win win 🙂

banana cake in pan

 

banana cake 2

 

banana cake

Banana Cake with Rum Cream Cheese Frosting

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup ripe mashed bananas (about 2)

3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk

1/2 butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon good vanilla

2 eggs

Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking dish (or two 9-inch round cake pans) with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the mashed bananas, buttermilk, softened butter and vanilla. Mix on low speed until well combined.

Add eggs one at a time, and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake tests done with a toothpick inserted into the middle. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans (if using round cake pans), and allow to completely cool on wire racks. Frost cake when completely cooled.

Frosting

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 egg white

2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon good vanilla

1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring (or good rum)

In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and cream cheese until nice and fluffy. Add the egg white, and mix until completely incorporated. Slowly add the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, and mix on low to incorporate. When combined, increase the speed to medium high, and beat mixture for about 1 minute. Add in the flavorings, and mix until completely combined. Depending how thick or thin you like your frosting, you can add more powdered sugar to reach your desired consistency. If it becomes too thick, add 1-2 teaspoons of milk to thin it. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use.

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Chicken Stuffed With Spinach, Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I’ve been on the hunt for good-tasting stuffed chicken breast recipes. I tried one a few weeks back that was good, but it needed a little “something” to take the taste over the top. It also had spinach and cheese in the stuffing, and that recipe also had white wine. It was good, but the boys were only okay with it.



Tonight I decided to jazz up the spices just a bit. I went back to the spinach and cheese theme from before, but this time I added in some feta along with the mozzarella, and I added some sun-dried tomatoes for extra earthy flavor. I replaced the wine with a red pepper Italian dressing, and I used this as a marinade/sauce over the top of the chicken. All in all, I like this flavor profile much better than the other one, even though I’ll probably make that one again someday.

 

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This really is quick and easy to throw together, and you can halve or double the recipe as needed. Just use one boneless, skinless chicken breast per serving. My chicken took about 45 minutes to bake, but your time may vary according to your oven. Just make sure the chicken temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. ETA: Next time I’m going to stuff in as much cheese as I possibly can. I was being overly cautious because I wanted to make sure I could “close” the pocket. Next time, I won’t care if everything runs over and out – this was really good 🙂

 

chicken stuffed with spinach, feta and tomatoes

 

chicken stuffed with spinach, feta and tomatoes 2-cut

 

Chicken Stuffed With Spinach, Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup washed fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

8 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 bottle red pepper-flavored Italian salad dressing

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with baking spray.

Slit each chicken breast to make a pocket in the middle, making sure not to cut completely through the chicken breast. Add spinach, feta cheese, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese to each chicken pocket. Use toothpicks to hold the chicken breasts together, and place chicken in the prepared baking dish. Pour the Italian dressing over top of the chicken. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Maple Dijon Chicken

It was another night for chicken in the Wood house, and when I’m busy at work, I like to bake chicken breasts. You can do a variety of tasty dishes just by varying the sauce you bake them in. Tonight’s designated recipe featured pure maple syrup and Dijon mustard along with a few herbs to jazz things up a bit. It’s super simple and takes only a few minutes to put the sauce together. You can marinade the chicken for a bit if you have the time, or simply pop the chicken into the oven to get dinner on the table quick. The boys loved this and said I can make this again – add another recipe to the taste-tested and approved list 🙂

 

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maple dijon chicken 2

 

maple dijon chicken

 

maple dijon chicken plated

 

Maple Dijon Chicken

3 to 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup good Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or can use a few sprigs of fresh)

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or use a few sprigs of fresh)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a small baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients, mixing well to combine. Brush the sauce over both sides of the chicken breasts, and place the chicken in the prepared baking dish. Pour any extra sauce over the tops of the chicken. You can refrigerate this for a few hours if you desire before baking.

Bake chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve with the extra sauce spooned over top of the chicken.




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Mexican Stuffed Shells

On my last trip to Stringtown, I stocked up on bulk flours, pasta and spices. One of the things I bought was large pasta shells that are great for stuffing with your favorite fillings. I usually tend to go Italian when I make pasta, but this time I decided to shake things up a bit and go with a Mexican-flavored dish. I found this recipe on The Way to His Heart, and this recipe is a keeper.



It’s super easy to do, and you can prepare everything ahead of time and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake it for dinner. My sons will eat anything that has pasta or anything Mexican inspired, so this dish was a win-win at dinnertime.

mexican stuffed shells 2

 

mexican stuffed shells plated 2

 

 

Mexican Stuffed Shells

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 package low-sodium taco seasoning (I use Wildtree’s taco seasoning as it has no preservatives)

4 ounces cream cheese

18 jumbo-sized pasta shells

1 1/2 cups salsa

1 cup taco sauce

2 cups Mexican-flavored shredded cheese (usually a combination of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses)

Toppings: green onions, olives, sour cream, shredded lettuce (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain any fat. Add the taco seasoning according to package directions. Add the cream cheese to the skillet, and cook until the cheese is completely melted and blended well into the meat. Add half of the jar of salsa to the meat and cheese mixture, stirring to completely combine. Set aside and let cool completely.

While the beef is browning, cook pasta shells according to package instructions. Drain. When cool enough to handle, you’re ready to assemble the dish.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the other half of the salsa in the bottom of the baking dish. Fill pasta shells with the cooled meat mixture, and place in the baking dish open side up. Cover the shells with the taco sauce. Cover the baking dish with foil, and bake shells covered for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, uncover the baking dish, and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the tops of the shells. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes without the foil, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve with toppings of your choice (black olives, green onions, sour cream, lettuce and additional salsa or taco sauce).

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Herb Chicken With Lemon Cream Sauce

Chicken thighs are often on sale at my local grocery store, so I tend to stock up when it’s a good deal. That said, I’m always on the lookout for new and different ways of making chicken because the kids get tired of the same-old-same-old. I always turn to Pinterest for new recipe ideas, and I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of recipes on different boards that I’ve pinned to try down the road. If you’re looking for a good source on Pinterest, feel free to follow me there because I’m always adding something new that I’ve found.


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Anyway, I found this delicious-sounding chicken recipe that uses lemons, lots of herbs and cream. What’s not to like? I found the recipe at Damn Delicious, and this is a great blog with tons of wonderful recipes that I can’t wait to try, especially in her Quick & Easy Category.

This recipe is super easy to pull together, and the chicken tastes divine. You can, of course, use fresh herbs instead of the dried if you have them. Just increase the amounts if you do, as you always use fewer dried herbs than fresh. The original recipe called for skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, but I used skinless, boneless and baked mine, making the sauce separately. I’d planned on using my cast iron skillet to sear the chicken first and then finish the chicken off in the oven while cooking in the sauce, but I’ll be darned if I can find that dang cast iron skillet after we moved 🙂 Oh well, it turned out just as delicious baked in a glass 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sometimes you just have to improvise. Feel free to prepare this whichever way is easiest for you. It’s perfect for just your family or if you’re having guests over for dinner. Just don’t tell them how easy it was to prepare—they’ll think you slaved over this to get these flavors 🙂

 

herbed chicken with lemon cream sauce

 

Herb Chicken With Lemon Cream Sauce

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can use bone-in, with skin if you prefer)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

 

For the Lemon Cream Sauce:

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, mustard, lemon zest, thyme and rosemary. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, work the mixture onto both sides of the chicken. Place chicken pieces in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and the red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, heavy cream, lemon juice and basil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces in the baking dish. Bake chicken until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about 25 to 30 minutes.

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