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Bourbon Chicken Bowl

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This is a recipe sent my way from my father. It was found & modified attempting to replicate the Bourbon Chicken sold in most Chinese take-outs; which rarely use bourbon as a component. It’s wonderfully sweet & spicy. Delete Sriracha and cut the pepper flakes in half if kids (or those that don’t like heat) involved.

Ingredients:
2 pounds boneless chicken breasts; cut into bite-size pieces and tossed with cornstarch and white pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 garlic clove; minced
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch; (if thick sauce desired)
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon Sriracha

Instructions: 

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok.

Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.

Remove chicken.

Add remaining ingredients to wok, heating over medium heat until well blended and dissolved.

Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered.

Place spinach in a bowl/plate, put hot brown rice on top of spinach and add chicken/sauce. Enjoy.

Whole Roasted Chicken

It may seem odd to post a recipe for a whole roasted chicken in the dog days of summer. However, my youngest wanted the chicken at the store and I wanted Green Chili Enchiladas (I use the left-over chicken the next day for my enchiladas, which will be posted tomorrow). So, it worked out.

Ingredients:

  1. Whole Free Range Roasting Chicken
  2. Olive Oil
  3. 3 T Garlic Salt
  4. 1.5 T Dried Rosemary
  5. 1.5 T Dried Thyme
  6. 1.5 T Dried Sage
  7. 1/3 cup dry vermouth

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove packet on inside of chicken, either set aside for making stock or throw away. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Using your hands, coat outside of chicken with Olive Oil. Then rub chicken all over with the garlic salt, rosemary, thyme and sage. I also rub the inside of the chicken cavity with the spices.

Place chicken spine up on a roasting pan and put in oven. Cook for 45 minutes, flip chicken over and drizzle dry vermouth over chicken breast. Put back in oven and cook another 45 minutes. Chicken is done when the liquid at the leg joint runs clear when cut with a knife. Let rest 10 minutes and then carve.

Enjoy.

Black Bean Chili

Great weeknight meal. It is healthy, quick and filling. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

I bag (16 oz) dried black beans, rinsed

2 Cups crushed tomatoes

1 Large Onion, chopped

1/2 bell pepper (any color), chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Cumin

1 Tablespoon Oregano

3/4 Tablespoon Paprika

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

*Optional chopped fresh jalapeno

Directions:

Boil beans in large pot with plenty of water for 1.5 hours (check on them to ensure there is enough water during the boiling process as it evaporates). Drain beans, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Saute onion, pepper, garlic and jalapeno in olive oil until just soft. Add everything else except beans and cook on low for 20 minutes. Add beans, stir and serve!  I serve with either cornbread or pan-fried Polenta.

Clean Living Pancakes

I am a parent that makes breakfast for their kids every morning. We don’t do a lot of cereal – we do omelets, pancakes, waffles, french toast. We tried crepes, they hated them. What has been interesting about this daily event in our kitchen; I have chosen a culinary life where I do not eat 99% of what the rest of the family consumes. In an effort to enjoy a Sunday morning breakfast, not smoothie, I went in search of a clean “pancake”. I found one, tweaked it, and now LOVE it. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

1 whole egg

2 egg whites

1/4 c uncooked rolled oats (if you used old-fashioned oats, soak them in the above egg mixture for 15 minutes before you cook)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 small ripe banana, mashed into a paste

1 teaspoon coconut oil

2 teaspoons organic pure maple syrup

Directions:

Combine egg, egg whites, oats, vanilla, cinnamon, bananas in a bowl and mix well. Melt coconut oil in non-stick pan, pour in egg/oat mixture. Cook on medium heat until pancake is able to be flipped (moves easily in pan as one unit). Serve with the syrup!

Amazing Amy’s Banana Bread

While not dairy free, this bread is worth making an exception for. Thank you for sharing, Amy!

Ingredients

1 C packed brown sugar

1/2 C Coconut Oil

2 large egg whites

1 large egg

1 1/3 C mashed ripe banana (about 2 large)

1 C regular oats

1/2 C Milk

1 C gluten-free flour (I found a great one at Trader Joes)

1 T baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 C corn flakes

1 C dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine brown sugar, coconut oil, egg whites and egg in a large bowl; beat well at medium speed of a mixer. Combine banana, oats and milk; add to sugar mixture, beating well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir with a whisk. Add to sugar mixture; beat until just moist. Add corn flakes and chocolate, stir with a spoon until just blended. Spoon batter into a 9×5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.

Sin City

As I head to Las Vegas I’ m forcefully reminded of my ideal of thriving without. One of the withoutisms I’ve struggled to address is how to thrive without escape mechanisms. How do you live in the world of today without some deadening of the senses? I quickly move from a stance of being wholly present: live today, not yesterday or tomorrow. Deal with the pain, emotionally and physically. Don’t cave to narcotics, liquor, ibuprofen, potato chips. Meditate. Which, if you’ve tried it, 5 minutes seems an eternity. How do you clear your mind of the ever-looping play of thoughts, action items, to do lists?

The next moment, hour, day I’ve moved on to an inner dialogue of: “why the hell not?” I enjoy a glass (or bottle) of wine. I enjoy the warming calm of a Xanax after a trying day. And who doesn’t love a Vicodin or two when your body hurts (or it happens to be a Friday, or Tuesday night).

I work hard. I play hard. I’ve EARNED my body as it is today, my skill, my career, my day-to-day life. I’m grateful for what I have, both physically and emotionally. Does that mean I’ve also earned the right to escape all of it when it gets hard? For today, as the plane banks left for a stunning landing in Las Vegas, I’m going with yes.

 

Cilantro-Lime Rice

I found this one on Pinterest. I changed a few ingredients to make it cleaner. It is amazing with fish tacos!

Ingredients:

2 Cups Vegetable Stock (I use “Better than Bouillon” Vegetable)

1 Cup Brown Rice (Quick cook brown rice by Trader Joes)

1 Large lime, zested and juiced

3 cloves garlic, crushed (use a garlic press)

2 Tbs Olive Oil

1 Pinch red pepper flakes

1 large handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped.

Directions:

Cook the rice with the chicken stock. While the rice is cooking, combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Once the rice is done cooking, let sit for 5 minutes, pour the bowl of goodies over the rice and mix well. Serve!