The Awesome Asian Bowl

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The Awesome Asian Bowl

24 day challenge, 24 day challenge recipes, Home, Recipes

Y’all…I can’t think of any other name than the Awesome Asian! It is actually a scrumptious stir fry of chicken, brocolli, mushrooms and onions with a gingery soy and honey sauce. This recipe comes after many experiments in the kitchen trying to balance healthy with flavorful. This is it!!! It worked, it’s deliciously Asian and pretty dang good for you! I firmly believe I was a bear in my past life because I prep for winter hibernation like a pro. This will freeze and make many yummy winter meals in the freezing tundra, aka South Alabama ::::::enter sarcasm::::::, so if you arent cooking to store fat for winter or to feed a small village, feel free to cut this down into half or even a third. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

3 pounds chicken breast -thawed and cubed in 1/2″ pieces

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 cups organic chicken broth

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup Braggs liquid Amino or soy sauce

1 tbs freshly peeled and grated Ginger or 1/3 tbs Ginger powder

4 cloves minced garlic

4 tbs sesame oil

2 pounds (10 cups or so) Broccoli florets

1 large onion diced finely

1 pound of button mushrooms sliced

1 box of quinoa or quinoa pasta prepared

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Directions!

Dredge chicken in coconut flour and layer on a plate. Reserve remaining flour for sauce. Heat the coconut oil in non stick pan until a medium high heat. Add chicken small batches at a time so that it can get nice and browned. Cook through and remove to a plate. In a large bowl, mix remaining flour, honey, braggs, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and chicken broth with a whisk. Allow to sit and become awesome. Add a little more coconut oil to the pan you cooked chicken in, stir fry your onions, mushrooms and brocolli until cooked through (about 5-6 minutes). Pour all of sauce mixture over top and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Sauce will thicken and you will now be drooling from the smell in your kitchen. Add chicken back in pan to warm through. Add Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over your choice of quinoa. It’s so so good.

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Yep, I finished that entire plate. I may have even licked it clean.

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Enjoy!!

Alece

Beef barley stew

24 day challenge, 24 day challenge recipes, Home, Recipes

Alrighty y’all…I’m going to brag for a minute. This is off the chain good, relatively clean and the kind of food that is just good for the soul. Plus, it’s made in a crockpot which is basically part of my love language.  Make it. You won’t be sorry. This serves an army (12-15 bowls) so feel free to cut the recipe in half.

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Prep time 15 minutes. Cook time 6 hours.

Ingredients:

2 pounds stew meat ( the more marble, the more flavor)

5 celery stalks chopped

2 yellow onions chopped

6 garlic cloves minced

1 large baking potato peeled and grated

6 large carrots peeled and grated

4 tbs of beef boullion or 2 packs of Lipton beef and onion dry mix

1 cup uncooked barley rinsed

3 tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Brown stew meat in oil on high heat to get a good sear. Put meat in crock pot. Add 2 cups of water to pan that you seared meat in and deglaze the pan. Pour that in to the crock pot on top of the meat. Add 8 more cups of hot water, bouillion or soup mix, celery, onion, garlic and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Stir well. Put the lid on and cook on high for four hours stirring occasionally. Now add shredded carrots and potatoes and cook for another hour on high. Finally add barley and worchestire sauce and cook one more hour on high.

Enjoy!!!

Alece

Skinny Chicken Marsala

24 day challenge recipes, Home, Recipes

20150821_201835First, I will never get a job as a food photographer. It is yummy, trust me. Chicken marsala is one of my very favorite things. But, let’s face it, it’s usually chicken dredged in flour, cooked in butter and oil, add more butter, heavy stock and more butter and wine and serve over some carby deliciously bad for you mashed potatoes. Yes. Yummy. But, you know me, I will figure out a way not to miss out on my favorites and make them taste just as good. So here it is….skinny chicken marsala. 

As always, feel free to cut my recipe in half. We cook big here 🙂

Ingredients:

1 3lb package of thawed raw chicken tenderloins

16 ounces of sliced fresh mushrooms (any work so get fancy or stay cheap like me)

1 cup almond flour + 2 tbs reserved for later step

3 crushed garlic cloves

3/4 cup marsala cooking wine. (Read labels! Not all are created equal)

3/4 cup organic chicken stock

2 tbs fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

3 tbs coconut oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 225. In large skillet, heat coconut oil. Dredge tenderloins in almond flour mixed with a generous addition of salt and pepper. Brown tenderloins in oil for roughly 3 minutes on each side until golden and transfer to a baking sheet to keep warm in oven. In pan that you cooked chicken, add garlic. Brown for 2 minutes on medium being sure not to burn. Add mushrooms and cook on medium for roughly five minutes. Add last 2 tbs of almond flour and thicken for 30 seconds. Add marsala and brother and parsley and cook for two minutes. Add chicken back in and coat in sauce. Cook for 5 minutes covered on medium. And you are done!

I personally like to pop a sweet potato in the microwave and then mash the crud out of it and serve the chicken on top. Low carb, full of flavor, stay on track kind of dinner!

Alece

Summer Skillet

24 day challenge recipes, Home, Recipes

It’s summer and that means one thing…CSA box!!

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Fresh fruit and veggies straight from the farm! I often find myself overwhelmed with zucchini, squash, eggplant, peppers and tons of other yummy local produce items. This is one of my favorite ways to “use up” those veggies!

I make this in quantity because my family will eat every last bit of it. Recipe can easily be cut down.

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Ingredients: (Use veggies you have on hand. This is just my favorite mix )

2 large zucchinI

6 yellow summer squash

1 sweet onion

3 tomatoes or several grape tomatoes

3 banana peppers

1 cup of corn off the cob

1 green pepper

1 red pepper

3 large potatoes

4 large links of sausage (I use turkey kielbasa or venison)

4 cups cooked whole wheat pasta

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

olive oil

salt and pepper

Directions:

Prep all veggies. Cut all in near equal sizes. Saute in some olive oil in this order: potatoes and onions for 5 minutes, add zucchini, peppers and squash, cook for five more minutes, add corn and tomatoes and continue to cook on medium stirring often.

While veggies are cooking, boil your pasta. Chop sausage into 1/4 inch slices and saute in separate pan. Add to veggie mix after browned. Salt and pepper mix to taste. Strain pasta and toss in with veggies. Sprinkle in parmesan cheese and toss.

*note in my picture you can barely make out the veggies. I have five kids haha. If you cook them long enough, they “vanish” but the flavor remains. If you are cooking for adults, no need to cook so long.

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enjoy!

Alece

Beautiful Humans

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Yesterday marked a bittersweet milestone for me.

My twin boys, Hunter and Gabe, graduated from High School.

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I now have three MEN for children. Scott -22, and Hunter and Gabe -18. As I watched them walk across the field as their names were called, my mind flooded with pride AND fear. They made it! YESSSSS. They still need to make it…FEAR. This is a big bad world. No matter how well we try to set the example, lead the family, teach them right from wrong, we as parents often hit many bumps in the road. Love may move mountains but it doesn’t always help your child climb one. I can’t help but think back over the last eighteen years and set up a camp on my failures as a parent. Have we done things right? Of course. Have we made mistakes? More than I can count. Why isn’t there a handbook for this?!

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Transparency time – As I tried to fall asleep last night, overwhelming fear just kept consuming my thoughts. Have I failed my children? Are they ready for the big bad world? Do they have the skills to do what is expected of them as men? Have we set a proper example? Are they walking living examples of dysfunction? Are you with me parents? I know I am not alone in thinking silly things like this? We have one job that is more important than all others…raising kids who become great adults.

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My four oldest children have been through a lot. Divorce of their parents, a move across the country, financial struggle, depression, anger, resentment and insecurity. Way more than any children should have to endure. As a parent, my heart aches for them. It’s easy to focus on the negatives and the things we could have done better. But, in my search for improvement and self love, I have become determined to find the positives. THERE ARE SO MANY. So, today, I honor my amazing children. I am the most blessed Mom on the planet. God trusted me with these incredible humans. It’s humbling and I am honored. They give me more than I could ever give them. Here is a glimpse in to the delightful souls that I am blessed to mother.

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They are love. They are my heart and soul. I feel them in every heart beat.

While the mistakes are many, we have had many wins.

Five beautiful children.


Scott, my oldest…

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He has dimples for days, a huge heart, is brilliant and beautiful. He is so passionate. He is a fighter and never backs down. He has my temper (working on that) and my tenacity. He may struggle at times and make some poor decisions (WHO DOESN’T?) but the fact remains that he is honestly one of the most amazing creatures that God has ever created. I had him when I was a baby. I was a child raising a child. I found out I was pregnant at 18 years old. I didn’t know how to take care of myself. How would I take care of a child? I made most of my mistakes with Scott, but I also grew so much. He taught me what it was like to always put someone before myself. He taught me endless patience. He taught me unconditional love. He saved me from a life I was not meant to live. He pulled me from the darkness and gave me direction. He is my oldest and owns such a special place in my heart that can’t be replaced with anyone else.

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Hunter…

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This is my wild child. He has a mind of his own. He has his own swag, he is crazy popular with his friends, quick witted, funny and cantankerous.  We butt heads often. His humor has made me laugh so much in life, he is the reason for so many smiles. I have complete faith that Hunter will be some body  big some day. He will make his way. He creates a following no matter where he goes. Hunter stands up to me the most, takes the most chances and honestly gives me the most grey hairs hahaha. But, at the same time, his tenacity, his push to always prove he is right, his fearlessness and his quick wit are something I love endlessly. I want a child who is strong willed, determined and driven. My hope is that all of those attributes are used for positioning himself in the best place in life. He has always been the leader of the pack. As the oldest twin, he was the first to walk, the first to talk, the first to break a bone, the first to have a girlfriend, the first to get grounded, the first to drive, the first to get a ticket, the first at everything. He is always in a hurry! Hahaa…slow down my beautiful son. Hunter makes me nervous. His energy, his constant thrill seeking, adrenaline searching, crazy kid ways are hard for a Mom to keep up with. He is so adored by me. Words can’t express how much I want the clock to stop.

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Gabriel…

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That is him on the left. The elusive one. My sweet Gabe. He doesn’t let me take many pictures. He is so handsome but doesn’t know it. He is a precious soul. He is my teddy bear. He has a heart the size of Texas. He is a saver, not a spender. He allows other peoples worries to become his own. He sometimes takes on way too many stresses. He loves to make noise and drive his siblings crazy by constantly beat boxing or drumming on things. He has life mapped out and sometimes forgets to just be a kid. Gabe is an old soul. His feelings are hurt easily because he loves so big. He may fight constantly with Hunter, but he also couldn’t live without him.  He is the ying to Hunter’s yang. It constantly amazes me how identical twins can be so different. Both are amazing but so polar opposite. He is a Mama’s boy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Gabe is the heartbeat of my boys.

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Hannah – my only girl…

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Oh, my darling Hannah. This little one…she is my mini me. You know when your parents tell you that one day, you will have a child just like you and you will then understand where they were coming from. BOOM, here she is. The adoration I have for this child is unbelievable. She is a light in every single moment of my day. She has a smile that can melt you. She is the smartest girl I have ever met. She is STRONG. So so strong. She has scared me to death, caused many sleepless nights and pushed me to the edge, only to turn around and completely shock me and show me just how amazingly strong she is. I adore this child. I adore every dimple, her beautiful smile, her soulful eyes, her funny nature, her crazy selfies she leaves on my phone, her stubbornness, her grit, her passion for life and her strong will. She will be the most amazing adult. I have so much pride when I think of Hannah and who she is becoming. I can not take credit for any of it. She truly is the most amazing soul and continues to surprise everyone in her life. She is my only girl. That is special. Four boys, one girl. I know the other kids get jealous of our relationship, but, I can’t help it! I need girl power! Besides my husband, Hannah is my best friend. God knew I needed her more than she needs me. My precious precious baby girl and my heart.

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Finally, Maddox…

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This little light of mine…

Maddox is my late in life baby. After Matt and I got married, we decided after a lot of soul searching, that we wanted a child together. Maddox has been the tie that binds the family. He has brought all the siblings together, connected them to Matt permanently and has held a major role is “normalizing” the family. It’s amazing how sloppy we can get as kids get older and traditions waver. Bring a young baby into the family and all of a sudden, family dinners, Church on Sunday, birthday parties, family photos and new memories all come in to focus once again.

Maddox is endlessly smiling. He can light up a room with that smile. He is so funny. His personality is simply amazing. He is SO STUBBORN. God created a clone of Matt when he designed Maddox. He has the strongest will of any child I have ever known. He is so intelligent. Wise beyond his years. He is STRONG. He loves with everything he has. He is constantly curious, inquisitive, argumentative, excruciatingly stubborn and completely independent.  He has more energy that all four of the other kids put together. Maddox thinks his siblings are the best toys God ever created and adores them with every cell in his body. Maddox is the sunshine of our family.

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On that note, I will leave with this…

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I promise to do my best as your Mom. I promise that I will make many more mistakes, unintentionally. I promise, we will have many wins as well. I promise that I don’t mean to mess up. There is no guide book. My heart is the only path I can can follow. I promise to love you forever and unconditionally. I promise to always be your shelter in the storm. I promise to support you. I promise to guide you and most of all, I promise I am proud of you each more than you ever will know.

– Mama