Brining 101

Brining 101
I have brined turkeys for thanksgiving for many years, and I finally tried this method with other cuts of meat. It is my new favorite method to get juicy and delicious pork and chicken. I keep it really simple by just using salt and water to make my brine, then brine for a minimum of 6 hours and up to up to 3 days. This is a way for me to make dinners during the week that are fast and easy. I will use Sunday to defrost the cuts I want, I use a lot of boneless skinless chicken breasts and boneless pork chops, then I add them to a Ziplock bag with my brine and put them in the fridge until I am ready to use them. When I get home from work, I will pull out what I want, transfer the meat to a plate, pat each piece dry (this step is especially important), add a light drizzle of oil, and seasoning if I want, and cook. If you season your meat, you will not need to add salt. The brining method makes the meat so tender and juicy. Use your usual cooking method of choice. You can grill, pan sear, air fry, or oven roast. Cooking times very so I always use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat is done to my liking.
For pork, I use 1 tablespoon salt and 3 cups warm water. Once the salt is dissolved and your meat is defrosted, add the meat to the brining liquid.
For chicken, I use 1 tablespoon salt and 4 cups warm water. Once the salt is dissolved and your meat is defrosted, add the meat to the brining liquid.

Brining process
• Create brine (1T salt with 3C water for pork, 1T salt, 4C water for chicken) Make sure salt is dissolved in water
• Place your meat in brine, refrigerate for 6 hours up to 3 days
• Remove meat from brine, pat dry
• Season meat, you don’t need to add more salt (optional)
• Drizzle meat with a little oil (I use light olive oil or avocado oil)
• Cook meat with the method of your choosing

Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Gluten-free, Meal Prep

Chicken Puttanesca

My Chicken Puttanesca dish is full of flavor and super easy to throw together. This recipe requires very little prep and most of the cooking time is in the oven. I like to use a Le Creuset braiser so this is a one dish meal with minimal clean up required. If you don’t have a braiser, you can easily brown the chicken in a skillet and transfer the sauce and chicken to a oven safe baking dish. This has become a favorite in my house and I hope you give it a try. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments if you do try it.

Chicken Puttanesca
Created by Kimberly Smith
http://www.foodfamilywine.com

Serves 6
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes

Ingredients:

• 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 2 T ghee or olive oil
• 1 jar Cucina Antica nonna’s recipe pasta sauce
• 1 C water
• 1 12 ou jar sliced roasted red peppers, drained
• 1 12 ou jar kalamata olives, drained and rinsed
• ¼ C capers, drained and rinsed
• 10 cloves of garlic
• 1 lemon, zested
• ½ t fresh thyme
• Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet or braising dish, heat ghee over medium high heat.
  3. Pat chicken dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
    Once the skillet is nice and hot, add chicken to the skillet and cook until browned (about 4-5 minutes). Flip and cook 1 minute (do not brown the 2nd side of the chicken). Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
  4. Add roasted red peppers to the skillet, along with the pasta sauce, water, kalamata olives, capers, garlic, lemon zest and thyme. Stir. Cook until the sauce comes to a boil. If you are using an oven safe skillet or braising dish, add chicken and juices back to the sauce and cover. Otherwise, transfer sauce to an oven safe dish and add chicken and juices to the sauce and cover. Place dish in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes. Remove and serve with your favorite side vegetable.

Notes:
• I like to use a Le Creuset braiser for this dish for an easy one dish meal that transfers perfectly from stovetop to oven.
• Patting the chicken dry before you season the chicken will help get the chicken nice and brown.
• When you put the chicken back, in the sauce, place the browned side up for nicer presentation.

Whole30, Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Main Dish

hash brown frittata

You can make a frittata a million different ways. I change up the protein and veggies every time I make a frittata based on what I have on hand. This one was one I made not that long ago. In this rendition, I added sliced ham, sweet peppers, and purple onions. It was a nice balance of savory and sweet. I was able to share this with some friends and family and they all loved it. I had some fresh salsa that I made using tomatoes from my garden and it was the perfect addition to this delicious Hash Brown Frittata. When I don’t have fresh salsa, I like adding my Romesco as a topper to my frittata.

The key is browning the hash browns first. This will give a good base for your other ingredients to sit on and browning the hash browns adds so much flavor. Don’t skip this step. I usually start the hash browns while I prep the other ingredients.

If you give this recipe a try, please come back and leave a comment. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Hash Brown Frittata

Ingredients:
1 bag hash browns, thawed
2 T ghee or olive oil
½ t salt
½ t pepper
1 package sliced ham, chopped
½ lb mini sweet peppers, sliced
½ purple onion, sliced
12 eggs, whisked
Chives, chopped

Top with
Basil, cilantro, or chives

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Place hash browns on parchment paper, drizzle with ghee or olive oil, salt and pepper and mix
Bake hash browns for 25 minutes, until lightly golden

Grease 9X13 pan
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees

Transfer cooked hash browns to the bottom of the 9X13 pan
Top hash browns with ham, peppers and purple onion
Add whisked eggs
Bake for 25-30 minutes until egg mixture is set
Top with fresh herbs

During the summer months, I often also add fresh salsa to this frittata.

Whole30, Paleo, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Breakfast, Brunch

shrimp and nectarine salad

The heat of summer is here and cool, refreshing salads will be my quick go to meal all summer long. Some of the best salads come from using up what I already have on hand. This is one of those salads. We have an abundance of peaches and nectarines during the peak of summer and I am always look for ways to use them.

This combination of shrimp, nectarines, avocado, butter lettuce, cilantro and Tessemae’s Lemon Pepper dressing is so simple, yet so delicious. Feel free to use this as your inspiration to create your own summer salad. If you don’t have nectarines, try using strawberries, blueberries, or mango. Don’t like shrimp? Use leftover grilled chicken, tri tip or salmon. Herbs can also be changed up to what you have available, try basil, mint, or parsley.

Don’t forget to tag me in your posts if you do give this “no recipe” recipe a try.

I order my Tessemae’s dressings on Thrive market. If you haven’t signed up yet, click on my link below for 25% off of your first order and 30 day free trial membership.

http://www.thrivemarket.com/foodfamilywine

Shrimp and Nectarine Salad
1 bag of lettuce
1 pound of cooked shrimp
2 nectarines, sliced
2 avocados, sliced
Handful of cilantro, chopped
Tessemae’s Lemon Pepper dressing

In individual serving bowls add lettuce
Top with shrimp, nectarines, avocados, and cilantro
Add dressing to your liking

Whole30, Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Easy Meals for Whole30

September Whole30 officially starts tomorrow.  Today is a great day to plan and prep for your first week of Whole30.  I have several free resources available for you if you look at my Whole30 page including a Sprouts shopping guide, meal templates, and a reintroduction guide.

During a Whole30, it’s nice to have some easy go to recipes that can be made without much effort.  I wanted to compile a list that will make your life easier, so here are 15 easy meals that are worth trying.  Whether you are doing a Whole30 or not, these meals are perfect to try out during the week when you want to get dinner on the table fast.

Here are some of my favorite bloggers with Whole30 recipes and resources.

http://www.nocrumbsleft.com
http://www.livinglovingpaleo.com
http://www.healthlylittepeach.com
http://www.thedefineddish.com
http://www.therealfoodrds.com
http://www.charlestonfitfoodie.com
http://www.paleorunningmomma.com
http://www.nomnompaleo.com
http://www.thewholesmiths.com

Sheet Pan Summer Shrimp and Veggies (Whole30 Paleo Keto)

sheet pan summer shrimp and veggies

https://foodfamilywine.com/2018/03/03/sheet-pan-sausage-and-brussels-sprouts/

sheet-pan sausage and brussels

https://charlestonfitfoodie.com/2018/06/01/sweet-potato-noodle-skillet/

Sweet Potato Noodle Skillet

https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/breakfast-casserole-hash-brown-crust-paleo-whole30/

https://foodfamilywine.com/2017/10/27/brussels-sprouts-breakfast-hash/

breakfast hash

https://nocrumbsleft.net/2017/07/31/red-curry-salmon-with-avocado-crema/

nocrumbsleft salmon.jpg

https://foodfamilywine.com/2018/05/26/bruschetta-chicken/

bruscetta chicken

http://www.thedefineddish.com/creamy-dijon-chicken-skillet/

https://nomnompaleo.com/whole30-ollies-cracklin-chicken

Whole30 Day 16: Ollie’s Cracklin’ Chicken by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

Grilled Balsamic Chicken

livinglovingpaleo balsamic chicken.jpg

Whole30 Beef Stir Fry

nocrumbsleft stir fry.jpg

https://healthylittlepeach.com/recipe/stuffed-buffalo-chicken-sweet-potatoes/

https://foodfamilywine.com/2018/01/01/waldorf-chicken-salad/

Waldorf Chicken Salad

Paleo BLT Coleslaw ( Whole30, Low Carb)

wholesmiths blt coleslaw.jpg

https://therealfoodrds.com/5-easy-steak-marinades/

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff
Whole30, Paleo, Keto

This dish brings back so many memories from childhood. My mom made the best beef stroganoff, and it was hands down one of my favorite meals when I was a kid. She always made it with wide egg noodles and it was so delicious. You could put mushrooms on just about anything and I would love it, and the buttery egg noodles that she made it with were so dang good!

It’s hard to believe that it’s probably been over 20 years since I have had Beef Stroganoff. Silly, right! Well, when I was pregnant, the smell of beef made me sick, so I didn’t eat it during that time. Shortly after having my son, I gave up beef all together and I didn’t eat beef for 22 years. It wasn’t until I started on my Whole30 journey in 2015 that I brought beef back into my diet.

So here we are, 3 years later, and I decided to try making a Whole30 version of this childhood favorite. The pressure was on too, because I was making this for friends and family (including my mom). Well, the feedback I got was overwhelming, everyone loved it! I served my Beef Stroganoff with roasted zucchini noodles, but as you can see from my pic, I had a few “extra” servings with mashed potatoes. They are both equally delicious! It brought back all the memories I was looking for and reminded me so much of my mom’s version. It was even better hearing how much my mom enjoyed it! We had a nice chat about our memories of this dish so many years ago which made it that much better.

I hope you give it a try and enjoy it just as much as my family did.

Tip: A big part of what makes this version so flavorful is the roasted mushrooms. That adds another level of flavor that you don’t want to miss. Make sure you get cremini or baby bella mushrooms too.

beef stroganoff
Beef Stroganoff
Whole30, Paleo, Keto
Recipe by Kimberly Smith
http://www.foodfamilywine.com

Ingredients:
2 8 ounce packages of cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
½ t salt
2 pounds ground beef
2 t salt
2 t black pepper
2 t granulated garlic
1 t paprika
1 t smoked paprika
1 t onion powder
2 T arrowroot flour
1 C beef stock or mushroom stock
1 can full fat coconut milk

To garnish:
Flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
Chives, chopped (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy clean up).
3. Add sliced cremini mushrooms to baking sheet.
4. Drizzle olive oil over mushrooms and add salt.
5. Toss to coat.
6. Bake mushrooms for 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms have started to brown.

7. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
8. Add ground beef and break up with spatula. Cook for about 8 minutes until beef is almost cooked through.
9. To the ground beef, add roasted mushrooms and any liquid left on the pan, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, both paprikas, and onion powder. Stir to coat completely.
10. Next, add arrowroot flour and stir. This will help thicken the sauce.
11. Add beef stock and coconut milk and stir to combine.
12. When the sauce starts to boil, turn the heat down to low so it simmers.
13. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
14. Then serve with your favorite side. My two favorite options are zucchini noodles and mashed potatoes.
15. Garnish with some chopped parsley or chives.

Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Grain Free

pinterest beef stroganoff