Spicy Italian Buffalo Burgers (GF/Low Carb)

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Ok maybe not the prettiest dish i’ve ever posted but the recipe is straight FIRE. And easy as heck. Like most of my past recipes I used ingredients I already had in my fridge. And yes I happened to have a pound of hormone-free ground buffalo meat. And luckily because I didn’t have any bread crumbs or Panko this dish became low-carb/gluten-free! I personally set the burger on a small serving of black forbidden rice but you can just skip that part if you are on a low-carb or gluten-free diet. I…am not.

This is my first recipe that I researched how to pair with wine. Learning about wine is a new project of mine and I decided to incorporate my wine learning adventures into my blog! For this recipe, I would suggest a Zinfandel or Cabernet. Something nice and full-bodied. Southern Rhone wines are also said to go well with both bison and buffalo. I didn’t drink wine with my meal, but only because I didn’t have any on hand. It was a dang tragedy.

Like I was saying this is super easy to make and requires minimal ingredients. Feel free to make it your own though, there are so many delicious add-in ideas…fresh water mozzarella, goat cheese, fresh basil (I used dry)…oh man I wish I had had fresh basil on hand. Next time!! For a side dish I stir-fried some Brussel sprouts in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Nice and simple but soooooo good. The only way I cook brussel sprouts. Plus the buffalo burgers are so flavorful and bold you don’t want the sprouts to over power them.

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Ingredients 

1 pound fresh, hormone free ground buffalo

1 egg

1 cup chopped onion

6 cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

2 tbsp dried basil

1 tbsp dried thyme

1tbsp dried oregano

Red pepper flakes (to taste depending on how spicy to want it)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Hot sauce of choice (optional)

 

Directions

Chop onions and tomatoes. Add to big mixing bowl of buffalo, egg, parmesan and all the spices. It should look something like this:

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Mix it all up. I used my (clean) hands.

Heat a non-stick skillet on medium high. Form meat mixture into 4 patties with your hands. Place in heated skillet. You should NOT have to use any added oil of you are using a non-stick pan. You’ll see what I mean. Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes before flipping over. Cover again and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until cooked through to your liking. I find it best around medium all the way through. Serve with garlic brussel sprouts or veggie of choice. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Enjoy! 🙂

Serves 4

 

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Dani’s Pizza Colorado w/ Roasted Pork Loin and Green Chiles.

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Heya guys! It’s been a bit since I’ve posted. I have a very good excuse though, I just uprooted my whole life and moved from Southern California to Southern Colorado. If you have ever moved before you know it’s a seemingly never-ending pile of things to do and things that cost money. Try it with 6 animals in your U-Haul! But I finally made it! I did it! I am here. I’m a Colorado girl now!

I have been here about two weeks now and I have spent most of it exploring and trying all the new, exciting restaurants I could find. There’s a lot here. It’s going to take me a year or so. But after days and days of eating a lot of not very healthy food, my body demanded to be taken to the nearest Whole Foods Market. It took a long time to get my kitchen in order but it is now ready for culinary experimentation.

That being said, this recipe isn’t exactly my healthiest…though it’s all organic, non-processed, non-GMO ingredients. But I just had to make something inspired by my new home. And one of the first things I noticed here is that most places you go, they have Colorado style green chili. Usually with pork. You can get it on burgers, you can get it on fries, you can get it on your hash browns! And it’s so so SO good. I was deciding whether or not I wanted to make this dish with meat, or make it vegetarian. But then I saw this super pretty grass-fed pork loin at Whole Foods and that special spark lit up in my brain…

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This loin is just under one pound. I ended up having leftovers. Which were delicious. So the first thing I did was roast this bad boy, after stuffing it with chopped garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper, drizzled with olive oil and THEN topped with this awesome spice mix my mom got me (hi mom!). It’s a brand called Penzey’s spices (they have a website Penzeys.com) and I used the BBQ 3000 flavor. They are super fun, check them out, I love the Cajun spice too!

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After popping this baby in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour (you can use a meat thermometer, I just eye it, I know i’m bad!)…it should look a little something like this and be tender and easy to slice thin…

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*Drools all over myself* Ok moving on. Once the pork is cooked you can sauté your onions and sliced Poblano peppers and get them nice and soft. I grated the Cotija cheese while that sizzled.

Now, I used the Whole Foods pre-made dough. Because I love it. And it’s easy. Though making a dough from scratch is actually super easy. I recommend this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/20171/quick-and-easy-pizza-crust/

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Then it’s the fun part! Assembling! You can layer things your own way but if you want to do exactly what I did, follow the directions. I think it came out pretty fab. After topping the cooked pizza with hella cilantro I heated up the pork juices from the baking pan and a little bit of white wine and drizzled it over the top. It really made it…man. Like…I want to make it again today, ughhhh…

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Ingredients 

Pork Loin

1 pound organic, grass-fed pork loin

5 cloves garlic, chopped

Olive Oil (to drizzle)

Salt/Pepper/Optional BBQ seasoning

1/2 lime

Other Toppings

2 cups hand shredded Cotija cheese

2 large Poblano peppers, halved into thick slices

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Salt/Pepper

1 cup cilantro

1/4 cup white wine

Pre-made or homemade pizza dough of choice

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350.

In a prepared baking pan cut 1 inch slices into the pork loin and stuff with chopped garlic. Squeeze the lime juice of the loin and add the spices. Lastly, drizzle some olive oil over the top. Take a sheet of aluminum foil and *loosely* place on top of meat. Place on top shelf of oven, closest to the heat and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 25 minutes or until the center is cooked through.

Remove from oven, cut into slices and set aside.

In a large skillet add some olive oil and heat. Add onions and sauté until they start to soften. Add the sliced Poblano peppers and sauté on medium-high heat until they soften and start to brown. Add salt/pepper if desired. Remove from heat and set aside.

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Reset oven to 400. Roll out pizza dough with a floured rolling pin or by hand after wetting hands with warm water and place on a pizza pan.

Drizzle prepared dough with olive oil. Scoop out about half of the sautéed onions and distribute over the pizza dough. Next top with about 3/4ths of the Cojita cheese. Next, lay the Poblano slices around the pizza in a circle, with the ends meeting in the middle. Spread the sliced pork loin around an open spaces. Top with the rest of the cheese and onions. Sprinkle more BBQ seasoning if desired.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.

While the pizza cools, add the wine and leftover pork juices from the roasting pan to a small skillet. Simmer on low.

Top pizza with fresh cilantro. Drizzle juice/wine mixture over the top.

STUFF. YOUR. FACE. Bonus: you can add any leftover pork/chiles into your breakfast scramble the next morning.

xoxoxo

KA

 

 

 

 

PALEO SNACKS: The good, the bad and the grody.

Hi guys! It’s been a while since my last post. I am in the middle of a big move and I have been a hot ball of flaming stress. Hopefully once I get settled in I will be posting weekly again. Ok this is the first part of an ongoing series I am calling THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE GRODY. If you were a kid in the 80’s or early 90’s you know what grody means. If not, just try really hard to figure it out. I’ll give you a hint. IT’S NOT GOOD. This series will replace last summer’s SNACK ATTACK because I like this better. Honestly i’m just trying to bring back the word grody. So let’s talk about PALEO snacks!

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Paleo foods have come a long way mang. Like, wow. I don’t know if you guys remember when the whole Paleo craze first started…the food itself is good…high quality, grass-fed meat and eggs, lots of veggies. But people love snacks and no diet is going to go well without lots of snackable options. And i’m sorry but there are only so many handfuls of nuts one can eat. So some wraps and crackers and “cookies” came out and every single one tasted like nothing but coconut and it was really gross. If you really wanted a good Paleo treat, you had to bake them yourself. I have an excellent recipe for Paleo Snickerdoodles right here on the blog in fact. But sometimes you don’t feel like baking and you want to snack on the run.

I got really excited seeing some of the newer products on the market pop up at my local Whole Foods. So, you know…for science, I decided to buy a bunch and eat them. Now I can share my own personal opinion with my very humble amount of followers. If you like my recipes and posts maybe you will trust my opinions. I got to eat a bunch of snacks so i’m cool.

The Good (from MOST goodest to pretty darn good)

Hail Merry Chocolate Almond Butter Tart

You can find these little treasures in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods. In addition to the chocolate almond butter tart they have a lemon, Persian lime, mint and dark chocolate. I had heard really good things about Hail Merry snacks on other blogs and IG’s from health food bloggers but I was still skeptical. I imagined them being dry, hard, and tasting overwhelmingly like coconut. Nope, this is the real deal right here. The chocolate almond butter filling was soft, the crust was fantastic and nutty. I loved the texture. I love surprises and this little treat was a major surprise. I can’t wait to try the other flavors. Seriously if you are in a Paleo, Keto, GF or low carb diet and you are craving a sweet treat, check out Hail Merry. Lemon is next on my list. I’m coming for you little lemon tart!

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Siete Tortilla Chips

I think the two top food items that keep me from ever being able to be Paleo are tortilla chips and Ramen. Really all noodles. And Red Velvet Cupcakes. Ok, a few things but I really love tortilla chips. Sweet potato chips are not the same. I saw these at the market maybe three times before I decided to try them. Tortilla chips with zero corn in them? I just knew they had to be gross. They just HAD to be. And I imagined they would taste 100% like coconut. I was very happy to be wrong, and i’m not very often happy being wrong. These are SO good and surprisingly close in taste and texture to an actual tortilla chip. They are a little lighter but in a good way. They even look like real corn tortilla chips. Honestly, it’s completely wacky how good they are. My biggest problem was stopping myself from eating them all cause they might be Paleo but they are still high calorie. So like, don’t eat these every day.

Siete Cassava Coconut Tortillas

I am not sure if tortillas are snacks but they COULD be depending on what you make with them so I decided to include them. And they were just fucking fantastic so they deserved an entry. If you haven’t already figured it out, I am concerned with things that taste TOO much like coconut, especially savory foods. And this is straight up called cassava and COCONUT. But they didn’t taste at all like coconut. In fact, other than being thinner, they tasted a lot like regular flour tortillas. When I first took one out of the package it felt dry and hard (like the gross brown rice flour tortillas I tried in the past) but once you heat them up they get super soft and the texture is spot on. I know this brand also makes almond flour tortillas, which I need to try next. Honestly, these are the bomb. I might just buy them even though I tolerate wheat just fine, because they are freakin’ delicious.

Purely Elizabeth Grain-Free Almond Butter Granola

YASSSS QUEEN ELIZABETH. I love this chick. I love her granola. Also a big fan of the Chocolate Sea Salt but that one isn’t Paleo. This one is completely grain-free and super snackable. It can also be a breakfast but I usually have a handful (or two) as a snack between meals or pre-workout. The almond butter flavor is subtle and I love the nut blend. I will be buying these products forever. FOREVER AND EVER. She just came out with a granola bar line so you know i’ll be checking that out. 

 

The Bad

Eating Evolved Coconut Butter Cups

I was super excited to try these but they were not so great. The dark chocolate was bitter, and I like super dark chocolate. I feel like you are better off just buying 70% or higher dark chocolate than this earwax. I tried the “banana cream” flavor which was more like banana chalk than “cream”…there’s a lot of good, low sugar, dairy-free chocolate out there, don’t waste your time with this, I mean you can but I wouldn’t. 

 

The Grody

Eating Evolved Primal Chocolate: Crunchy Caramel

Nope. Nope nope nope nope nope. I wanted to take a picture of this in the garbage can but I forgot I already threw it in the garbage last week after one bite. GRODY TO THE MAX.

 

Listen, there are a bunch of really good Paleo snack options out there right now. Cassava flour is amazing and I look forward to more Cassava products coming up in the grocery game. Hail Merry snacks rock. Not a fan of any Eating Evolved products. I’m glad there were more “GOOD” options because i’m trying to be more positive in general. Snack hard. Peace. xoxo


 


 

Chinese Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Bok Choy

Hiiiiiiiii. I haven’t posted for a while because I have been suffering from recipe-block. I’ve learned that’s a real thing. I would either cook something and not think it came out well enough to post, or I wouldn’t like the photos. OR…I just couldn’t think of anything new and it has been driving me loco. Getting ready for a big move so the stress of that hasn’t helped…

I asked someone very dear to me if he had any suggestions on what I should cook next. He said I should do something with shrimp and peppers. That got my brain mush swirling. I wanted him to know his ideas are valuable to me. I was committed. And peppers are pretty awesome. All the kinds of peppers. Shrimp is pretty awesome too. Definitely my favorite pink food.

Taco Tuesday had JUST happened and I needed to cook something ASAP before this blog turned to dust. I bought some Bok Choy, which I thought I might use in a curry but my brain started dancing around and I started dreaming up a taco that would be just different enough from a Taco Tuesday taco, but you know…still a taco. A Taco Thursday type of taco. This taco right here ——>

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Looking at the picture of this Thursday taco is making me hungry and it’s Friday. My reward for finishing this post is getting to cook a Thai curry…sans Bok Choy. I think I am finding it’s better to post hungry.

Anyway, this was crazy easy to make and extremely time efficient. It was done 30 minutes earlier than I planned. A delicious mistake. And the Bok Choy can roast while you are preparing everything else. Niiiiiice.

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I ended up using Rudi’s spelt tortillas which I flipping’ LOVE. They taste exactly like regular bleached white flour tortillas except they have the nutritional benefits of spelt (my latest fav grain)…I cannot taste the difference. CAN. NOT. And they are soft too, not like icky gluten-free tortillas (though if you find a gluten-free tortilla that doesn’t taste like hardened wax paper please let me know)…Rudi’s is the illest.

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Now, the secret weapon. This jar of chili garlic sauce I found in my cabinet that I totally forgot I even bought. This is Lee Kum Kee brand and I found it at my local Whole Foods Market. If you can’t find it at your market, you can order it on Amazon.com!

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If I were to try this recipe again I might add some raw shredded cabbage for a little extra crunch, though the water chestnuts help with that too. Crunchy is my favorite flavor. 🙂

Here’s how you can make it yourself:

Ingredients 

1/2 pound large white shrimp, peeled and rinsed in cold water

1 medium red bell pepper, cubed

1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce

3 heads bok choy, separated and halved length-wise (if too wide)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

chopped cilantro for topping

salt & pepper to taste

spelt (or your preferred) tortillas

 

Directions

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

On a foil lined baking pan, line up the cleaned, separated bok choy stalks and drizzle in olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss a little with hands. Place in oven for 20 minutes, flipping the pieces over half way through.

In a large skillet melt the coconut oil on medium and add the garlic and bell pepper. Sauté about 10 minutes or until pepper starts to soften. Add shrimp and water chestnuts and toss until all is coated and the shrimp starts to turn pink.

Lower heat and add the chili sauce, soy sauce, ginger powder , chili flakes and salt/pepper. Sauté for another 5 minutes or until shrimp is completely pink and cooked.

Remove bok choy from oven and heat tortillas. Add shrimp mixture to tortillas. Top with 2 slices of roasted bok choy and chopped cilantro. Serve with a big salad.

Stuff. In. Your. Face.

Ok, whew…curry time!

xoxoxo

PK

Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes w/Cauliflower Mash (GF)

Eek. I haven’t updated in a while. I was sick with the worst flu in like, ever. So not a lot of cooking was getting done. Lots of sleeping. Lots of “The Path” watching. But i’m all better now and wanted to share the dinner I made for Valentine’s Day. I wanted to post it on Valentine’s Day but couldn’t so just pretend that today is Valentine’s Day. Happy Valentine’s Day.


I actually didn’t set out to make these look like cupcakes, nor specifically my favorite of all the cupcakes, RED VELVET. But they did. And I was happy. They all tasted really freaking good too and then I was double happy. The topping is cauliflower mash, making it gluten-free and *almost* Paleo (minus the gluten-free panko crumbs). I’d like to work more on making a totally Paleo version. Needless to say it was a big hit, I had one and my partner had FOUR. Who would have thought meatloaf could EVER be romantic? You’ll need this stuff:

Ingredients

– 1 pound organic ground turkey

– 1 egg

– 1/2 cup gluten-free Panko crumbs (I used Ian’s brand)

– 1 chopped white onion

– 1 tablespoons organic tomato paste (no sugar added)

– salt/pepper

-BBQ seasoning

-1 cup favorite BBQ sauce  ( I used Paleo chef cause it’s no added sugar)

– 1 head Cauliflower

– 1/4 cup Ghee

– 2 tsp chopped garlic

– 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano (optional)

– 1 tbsp non dairy yogurt (optional. makes for creamier mash)

– Large muffin pan

Directions

Set oven to 350. Spray a large muffin pan with coconut oil or other favorite baking spray and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, egg, panko, chopped onion, tomato paste, and all seasoning. I get down and dirty and use my hands to mix is all up good! Fill the muffin tins until about 1/4 inch from the top.

Bake for 35 minutes.

While the meat bakes steam or boil a chopped head of cauliflower. Drain of all water and squeeze between two layers of paper towels to get as much water out as you can. Add the cooked cauliflower to food processor or Vitamix while still warm.

In a separate small pan, lightly brown the chopped garlic in some olive oil and then add to the food processor or Vitamix. Add the Ghee, salt and pepper and non-dairy yogurt. Process until smooth but not pureed. You can kind feel it out and get the consistency you like best.

When the muffins are done remove them from the oven and then carefully remove them from the muffin pan and place on a baking sheet. Spoon BBQ sauce over each one. Next sprinkle some cheese if using. If not skip this step and spoon a little cauliflower mash over each one, making sure it stays at the top of the “cupcake”/muffin/meat thingy.

Broil high for an additional 5 minutes.

Sprinkle tops with some paprika and serve with your favorite salad!

Cupid’ll get ya good!

xoxoxo

KA

 

Greek Shrimp over Baked Polenta

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Polenta is one of those things I like, KNOW I ate as a kid but can’t for the life of me remember a specific occasion or what was even on it. But I know the taste. I figured there must be many shrimp and polenta recipes out there especially since shrimp and grits is a thing. I found many recipes online so I had an idea of how to execute but I needed to find something to make mine interesting enough to post. So here is a greek spin!

I used feta cheese, diced tomatoes, Kalamata olives, lemon and garlic…like a warm Greek salad…but with SHRIMP. I bought tubed Polenta and cut it into slices during prep. These were super easy to make in the oven. While they baked I whipped everything else up in a skillet.

This was a joy to serve and eat and I will definitely be making it again…

Ingredients

1/2 dozen large fresh uncooked shrimp (rinsed and peeled, tails removed)

1 8oz can diced tomatoes (I used one with added jalapeño)

1/2 fresh lemon, squeezed

1/4 cup Kalamata olives, lightly chopped

1/4 cup Feta cheese and a little more for topping

1 tube pre-made Polenta, sliced approx 1/4 inch

salt/pepper/red pepper flakes to taste

1 tablespoon oregano

fresh chopped parsley to top (or cilantro in my case cause that’s all I had)

olive oil

 

Directions 

Slice the Polenta and arrange on baking pan, each side dabbed lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle a little feta cheese on each piece. Baked at 400 for about 20-25 minutes.

While the Polenta bakes, sauté the garlic and shrimp in olive oil on med. heat. When shrimp is just pink add tomatoes, lemon juice, spices, olives. Sauté another 10 minutes.

Remove Polenta cakes from oven and arrange on serving plate. Top with shrimp mixture, a little more feta cheese and chopped parsley.

NOTICE HOW QUICK AND EASY IT IS TO MAKE? 🙂

xoxoxo

KA

 

 

Quickie: Cilantro Baked Cod (GF/Low Carb)

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Literally just finished eating this and had to share. Super easy to make, non-expensive fish, 20 minutes! The only catch is you have to like cilantro. And not everyone likes cilantro but cool people love cilantro.

While the cod was baking I stir-ed up some zoodles (I cheated and got them pre-noodled at Whole Foods) with some garlic, olive oil and some leftover pasta sauce. I also had one lone tomato left so made a little mini Caprese salad! I had dinner ready before I even took off my pants for the evening…

Ingredients

  • 4 small Cod filets (or two long ones cut in half)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 a fresh lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, lightly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Optional: ground sesame seed sea salt seasoning (I use EDEN brand and love it!)

 

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Directions

Heat oven to 400. Line a shallow baking pan with foil.

Place cod pieces on foil and squeeze with lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip over and do the same to the other side. On this side also spoon on the chopped garlic and drizzle on some olive oil. Top with cilantro and sesame seed salt.

Cover loosely with foil and bake 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes.

xoxoxo

KA

 

Enzo Amore Cacciatore (GF/Low Carb)

Wow, I have been waiting a loooooong time to post this recipe. I have made it four times now, tweaking it, trying to perfect it because I now consider this one of my signature dishes. If made properly, the chicken falls apart at the bone and a knife is never needed. It’s packed with veggies and protein. It can be made alone to fulfill low carb/keto/paleo diets, paired with pasta or the way we do it; with a warm & crusty bread to soak up all that flavorful sauce.

It may or may not be named after one of my favorite pro wrestlers. I am a woman with complicated taste.

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You want to make sure you get organic, BONE-IN chicken thighs. This makes a huge difference. The bone adds so much flavor when doing a low and slow simmer. Also make sure you get crushed tomatoes and tomato paste with NO ADDED SUGAR. You can usually find these options at Whole Foods or other health food stores. If not, I love Amazon.com for finding ingredients I can’t get at the store.

As far as wine I have made this with both white wine and red wine. It’s really a personal taste. The red wine gives a bolder, more authentic flavor. BONUS: you can drink the wine while you are cooking.

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I prefer whole black olives but SOMEONE accidentally picked up sliced olives. Those worked well too but whole black olives = more traditional.

I would also like to suggest you make way too much because this reheats amazingly and perfect for leftover lunch (though there never seems to be any leftovers in my house). You can freeze it too!

Ingredients 

– 6 bone in organic chicken thighs

– 4 large carrots, sliced

– 8oz sliced white mushrooms

-4 garlic cloves, chopped

-4oz black olives

-1/2 cup cheap red wine

-2 tablespoons tomato paste

-28oz can crushed tomatoes

-1 large white onion, chopped

-4 small tomatoes, chopped

-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

-1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

-2 tablespoons thyme

-2 tablespoons oregano

-2 tablespoons basil

-salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large, deep pan on medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic 5 minutes. Add carrots and mushrooms and cook until they start to soften. Add salt and pepper. Continue to sauté for about 10 minutes. Add wine and stir for about 8 more minutes.

Lower heat and stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the rest of the spices. Place chicken thighs evenly around pan, pushing them down so the sauce covers them. Cover and let simmer on low for 40 minutes, flipping the chicken thighs over every 10 min.

After 40 minutes take off cover and add the olives and fresh tomatoes. Mix in slowly, flipping the chicken thighs over one last time. At this time (if you like) you can wrap some fresh Italian or French bread in aluminum foil and heat in the oven at 400 degrees. Simmer for 15 more minutes. Remove *OPTIONAL* bread from oven. Serve hot.

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xoxoxoxoxo,

KA