Cocoa Chicken and Artichokes

Easy one dish chicken dinner, full of flavor and perfect for hectic school week nights.
Easy one dish chicken dinner, full of flavor and perfect for hectic school week nights.

Cocoa Chicken with Artichokes and Tomatoes…40 minutes to dinner on the table!

Sooo, I’m a big fan of marinating chicken breasts. I have some serious issues with dry, flavorless chicken and refuse to put that on my family’s table. Most of the time, my solution is a good marinade, however, sometimes I don’t have time or energy to marinate all the chicken breasts I buy on sale, and it ends up in it’s original packaging in my deep freezer. (Not often, but sometimes…) Then, sometimes, I forget to take out my meat far enough in advance to defrost and marinate it for dinner that night…like a few nights ago. I had chicken that was defrosted in my fridge, but it was plain.

What to do? Check Pinterest of course. I had pinned this Italian Chicken recipe awhile ago, and it looked pretty easy, but not exactly what I was going for, with all the cheese and such. Enter…Cocoa Chicken. Why I decided to add raw cacao to my chicken dish, I don’t know…but dang it was good. Really good, like my husband was clamoring for the leftovers good! (That’s the way I know a dish is really good). My 3 year old also really enjoyed the chicken (not so much the artichokes or tomatoes, but that’s ok) portion of this dish.

I’ll totally be making this again, as it was about 5 minutes of hands on time and only about 35 minutes in the oven!

2 lbs chicken breast, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 can of quartered artichokes (unseasoned)
1 pint cherry tomatos
1/2 large onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup dry white wine
3.5 Tbsp butter, cut into 7-8 pats
1 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder (or unsweetened cocoa)
Salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder

In a 9×13 baking dish (I love my pampered chef stoneware) add the chicken – salt and pepper it liberally and mix with your hands. Top chicken with the artichokes, tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle all with salt and pepper, garlic powder and oregano. (Just sprinkle liberally.)
Pour wine over.
Sift cacao and coconut flour over everything and stir a bit to coat everything.
Space pats of butter on top of everything.

Roast at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked thru.

Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower, if desired.

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Double Chocolate {Beet} Cake

chocolate beet and zuchinni cake from {Cook Well. Eat Better. Live Happily.}
Chocolate beet cake, low carb, sugar free, gluten-free and grain-free

Chocolate-y Beet and Zuchinni Cake…the best way to get your veggies!

Ok, so I dislike beets. We didn’t eat them growing up and I just never developed a taste for them. I think it has something to do with the fact that the only time I ever saw them was at our favorite Italian restaurant, where they put them on the salad, thereby turning my beautiful salad this gross shade of purple. It was always devastating when I forgot to have them hold the beets. Anywho, I’m now 30, and I get beets. A Lot. Every. Freakin. Year. In my CSA box. I hate to waste, so I have been seeking a way to use them up. I have tried juicing them, I have made cold salads, that actually weren’t bad, but still had that mild “dirt” taste that I feel beets impart, and lastly I have SUCCESSFULLY baked with them. I feel double good about this, because although they are a bit higher carb than my usual ingredients, there are tons of nutrients in them and I don’t have to waste them this way. Plus, this cake is freakin delicious!

On to the recipe. This is a wonderfully moist cake, dense, but not heavy, loaded with chocolately goodness. Although the batter looks slightly pink-ish before baking, after baking, it just looks dark chocolate. No one will guess that you loaded it up with almost 2 cups of roasted beets!!!

Chocolate Beet and Zuchinni Cake {low-carb, gluten & grain free, nut-free, dairy-free*}

1 2/3 cups roasted beets
(peeled and roasted in 3 tbsp. coconut oil, until tender – I usually do
this the day before.)
1/3 cup raw zuchinni puree (1/2 of a large one)
5 large or 6 small eggs (ours are ungraded, but they were small-ish)
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup Erythritol Sweetener
4 droppers full (1/2 tsp)
English Toffee Liquid Stevia
1 tsp
Better Stevia
3 Tbsp vanilla
pinch salt
2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/2 cup
Coconut Flour*
2/3 cup
Raw Cacao Powder
1/2 cup sugar free, or dark chocolate chips (optional)

Puree beets, along with coconut oil that you used to roast them in. (This step can be pre-done by about a couple days, if you like.) Puree zuchinni, raw.

Using a high powered blender** add you butter or coconut oil to the veggies. Blend well, until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs, sweeteners, vanilla, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Add the coconut flour and blend until there are no lumps. {If you are using a hand mixer, sift it…seriously!}. Add the cacao powder.

Pour batter into parchment lined pans. (I used 1 large bread pan and 2 small loaf pans for gifts). Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and push a few down, if you are using them. {Will increase your carb count…obviously.} Bake at 325 for 30-45 minutes or until top feels set and toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before you try to remove them from the pan.

*A note on coconut flour – I purchase the 25 lb bag and portion it into large, gallon sized freezer bags. I use a lot of coconut flour. At one point, Amazon was out of the 25 lb bags, so I purchased smaller, 1 lb bags instead for about triple the cost. I have used both, however the 25 lb bag creates a much denser product, that adds a good bit of volume after being sifted, whereas the smaller bags don’t. So, if your coconut flour seems packed densely, use 1/2 of a cup and then sift it. If it’s more powdery in the bag, use 1/2+2 tbsp cup and then sift it.

**IF you don’t have a high powered blender, melt your butter and use a hand or stand mixer.

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Nut Free Double Chocolate Cookies (Low Carb)

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies {crisp and nut-free!}

 

Low Carb Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies that grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, keto

Low-Carb Crisp Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies {grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, keto}

Another cookie recipe? Yes, my friends. This one is crisper and solid enough to pack for a picnic. The kids loved it, as did my hubby and I. They’re also good (although not “double” chocolate) if you leave the chocolate chips out.

1 cup pumpkin seeds, ground (measured before grinding)
1/2 cup coconut flour, measured before sifting, then sifted
3/4 cup Erythritol Sweetener
1 tsp English Toffee Liquid Stevia
1 cup Virgin Coconut Oil or butter (melted)
1/4 cup yellow squash puree (raw) or greek yogurt
1 Tbsp vanilla
pinch salt
3 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp guar gum
2 eggs
1 cup bittersweet (or sugar free) chocolate chips
1 cup Unsweetened Medium Shredded Coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Blend everything except the chocolate chips and coconut flakes with a hand mixer.  Once combined, add chocolate chips (if using) and coconut flakes. They would also be good with some chopped pecans/walnuts or almonds (if you don’t have to be nut-free.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto your parchment lined baking sheet and flatten a bit for a crisper cookie, or leave rounded for more of a cookie ball. They don’t spread much 🙂

Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until set in the middle. Allow to cool completely before you try to remove them to a cooling rack or airtight container. They are fragile initially, but once then cool, they are very sturdy.

*You can freeze the dough, uncooked so that you can have hot, fresh cookies anytime. Just add a couple minutes to the cooking time and cook right from frozen. To do this, simply follow thru the steps before putting in the oven, and instead put your parchment lined baking sheet in the freezer to allow the cookies to freeze separately for a few hours. Remove and put them in a freezer bag, then you can make instant low carb cookies…like refrigerator dough that won’t kill your diet!

Yellow Squash {Gluten Free} Sandwich Rolls

Gluten-free Squash Sandwich Rolls, grain free bread, nut free bread, paleo bread, low-carb bread

Gluten-free Squash Sandwich Rolls

I’m so excited to share this recipe, which in all actuality is VERY similar to my 3 minute bread recipe. I’m sure this would work equally well in the microwave, but I didn’t try it, so I can’t be sure. Personally, I like using the oven for 12 minutes, versus standing at the microwave for 30, but I think there’s definitely a place in my kitchen for both methods.

This bread is delicious. The squash lends a slight sweetness and flavor that puts my previous recipe to shame, while maintaining the wonderful (gluten-filled bread) texture of the other recipe.  Delicious plain, or slathered with butter. Makes a perfect gluten and grain free sandwich roll or hamburger bun. Yum.

Please try it and let me know what you think!

Yellow Squash Sandwich Rolls {Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, low carb}

1 cup (raw) yellow summer squash puree
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 cup Coconut Flour*
1/3 cup Psyllium Husk Powder
1/3 cup whole egg powder OR Unflavored Whey Protein
2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all wet ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Sift each dry ingredient, waiting until all are added to stir. Use a whisk or a hand mixer to blend well. (Work quickly, the batter will thicken substantially within a few minutes.) Allow batter to sit for a couple of minutes.

Line your baking sheet with Parchment Paper. Form dough into rolls and flatten slightly, approximately the size of my palm seems to work. Leave approximately 1 inch between rolls.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm to the touch, err on the side of over-baking, as underbaked results in gummy middles. Gross.

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack immediately. If you don’t have a cooling rack, turn the rolls over on the baking sheet, as if you don’t moisture will collect underneath them as they dry.  Once completely cooled, simply place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. These also freeze and defrost nicely.

There you have it. Bread that meets all of the following criteria:
*gluten free bread
*grain free bread
*low carb bread
*nut free bread
*dairy free bread

*A note on coconut flour – I purchase the 25 lb bag and portion it into large, gallon sized freezer bags. I use a lot of coconut flour. At one point, Amazon was out of the 25 lb bags, so I purchased smaller, 1 lb bags instead for about tripled the cost. I have used both, however the 25 lb bag creates a much denser product, that adds a good bit of volume after being sifted, whereas the smaller bags don’t. So, if your coconut flour seems packed densely, use 1/3 of a cup and then sift it. If it’s more powdery in the bag, use 1/2 cup and then sift it. The recipe is very forgiving, either way, but this is my conclusion after making about 20 batches of this bread.

KETO Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter (Waffles and Pancakes)

Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter Waffles (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, low-carb, keto)
Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter Waffles (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, low-carb, keto)

Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter Waffles       (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, low-carb, keto)

For some reason, very few recipes satisfy me for thinking that I can’t make them better, so I tinker and try new things, almost every time. (For example, I posted a wonderful waffle recipe 2 weeks ago. Oops. It’s still really good, just more ingredients, and a little different flavor) Every once in awhile I hit the recipe holy grail, and then I stop. For this breakfast batter (I’m calling it that because it makes equally delicious, low-carb/keto waffles and pancakes), there is only one flaw. It doesn’t create a crisp outside. However, the pros to this batter are numerous. The flavor IS. SPOT. ON. Seriously, I’ve made quite a few successful waffles and pancake recipes and this one takes the {pan}cake. Haha. It’s too early for jokes, but not too early for waffles. In my opinion, it’s never too early for waffles. In addition to perfectly flavored and sweetened waffles and pancakes, the texture is great, if you can get past the lack of crispness. Without the addition of any syrup or topping, the texture and flavor remind me exactly of waffles or pancakes that have been smothered in syrup, and absorbed all that delicious flavor. But, “dry”. Soooo, these are perfectly portable. Last, but not least, there are only 7 ingredients. This is a score in my book where I always have two little “helpers” that are very helpful at making kitchen messes. This recipe comes together quickly and because of it’s versatility, you can make both pancakes and waffles at the same time, cutting your cooking time in half.

I could go on and on in my Ode to my Low Carb Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter, but alas, Backyardigans is almost over and that means I have to go be a Mom…so here’s the recipe! Try it…you’ll like it, I can almost guarantee it!

Low Carb and Keto Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter (for waffles and pancakes)
{low-carb, grain-free, gluten-free, nut-free, keto}

12 oz (1 cup) coconut butter
½ cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
6 large eggs
5 droppers full English Toffee Liquid Stevia
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 c Erythritol Sweetener

Preheat waffle iron (or non-stick skillet for pancakes*)

Melt the coconut butter (blended coconut, NOT coconut milk or cream, I use homemade but it is sold as coconut manna or coconut butter), butter and cream cheese. Stir until smooth. Blend remaining ingredients into coconut butter mixture. I used a vitamix, but as long as everything is melted, a hand mixer or regular blender should work fine.

Bake in your waffle iron or skillet. For waffles, allow to continue cooking for a few minutes past when the machine tells you they are done. Remove carefully and allow to cool for a few minutes, as they do crisp up a teeny-tiny bit. For pancakes, make sure your pan is hot…then a couple minutes per side is sufficient. When you flip them, push them down a little bit to ensure the bottom touches.

I like them dry. They taste like they are syrup drenched…my 3 year old, however, is a bit obsessed with maple syrup and enjoyed them like that 🙂 A sugar free syrup might make them a bit too sweet, and I would omit the erythritol if I was planning on using a syrup or topping.

PS I plan on tinkering with this recipe to see if I can make it crisp up a bit. 🙂

PPS I don’t get paid to keep this blog. I have added some affiliate links to Amazon to products that I personally buy and use from Amazon, in case you have difficulty sourcing some of the specialty ingredients that make living a low-carb, keto or gluten free lifestyle easier. I may receive a small percentage of compensation from Amazon, should you access these links in my ingredient lists and purchase the items I recommend. This costs you nothing, and typically I have found the cheapest options. If you like what you see here, please feel free to support me at no additional cost by shopping my links or in my Amazon Store (still being built). Thanks!