Chicken Marbella

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes. I love sweet and salty things, and the sweetness of the prunes and saltiness of the capers go amazingly well together. I first discovered this recipe in Elana Amsterdam’s “Paleo Cooking” recipe book, which I love. I usually make it a little different each time, depending on what is in the fridge.

I recently learned how to properly cut up a whole chicken (I liked this video demonstration), so I prefer that method since it is easier to marinate and easier to serve and eat. But, you can make it with a whole chicken or whatever chicken pieces are your favorite. We usually buy whole organic chickens from Costco, so now that I can properly cut them up prior to cooking, I won’t even bother buying individual pieces going forward. You save money and you get more meat for what you buy when you buy the whole bird. I also prefer the taste of chicken when it’s cooked on the bone, and I save the bones to make chicken stock, so it’s a win-win all around.

Marinate a 2-3 lb chicken overnight in the fridge with the following ingredients:

  • 1 c prunes
  • 1 c olives
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c capers
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 5 cloves chopped garlic
  • sprinkle of sea salt & pepper
  • drizzle honey over the tops of the chicken

I sometimes add some chopped carrots or fresh parsley if I have it. After overnight marinating, bake at 350 for 1 hour or so.


Here is my nicely, properly cut chicken in the baking dish, and the leftover back in a pot ready to make chicken stock. I added some salt/pepper and a splash of apple cider vinegar to the stock and simmered for 2 hours. I then transferred the chicken stock to a few mason jars and put in the freezer for later. There was some leftover chicken meat stuck to the bones, so I picked that off and saved for the next day (about 1/2 c of chicken) and added the cold cooked chicken to my salad.


This picture above is before baking. I have a hard time getting a picture of a finished product, since Eva and Danail are usually ready to eat right when it’s done.


I was out of olives this time around, so I omitted those but added some carrots.


This is the latest quinoa we tried and really liked from Trader Joe’s. If you saw my Miso Soup post, I mentioned that I used the leftover miso soup instead of water or broth for the base and it turned out really well. I liked the taste of the soup with the quinoa even more than the soup on it’s own. I like quinoa because it takes on the taste of whatever you cook with it. You can use it with savory dishes or you can eat it like oatmeal with nuts and honey. It’s also gluten-free.

Garbanzo Bean Chili

This is another thrown together meal that turned out good. I wasn’t able to look up a recipe because we had an installer here installing a fan and dimmer lights, so he had turned off the power to the part of the condo where my computer was, so I couldn’t look anything up. I knew I had to cook chili with soaked beans a long time, so couldn’t wait until he was finished. But, this turned out really good, so had to share.

  • 1 lb garbanzo beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1 lb northern beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • coconut oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 garlic head, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 2 small cans tomato paste
  • 2 c water
  • 1/4-1/2 c chili powder
  • cumin (I’m not sure measurements of all spices, just shake in some, then taste)
  • garlic powder
  • salt/pepper
  • cinnamon
  • turmeric (I threw this in just because it’s good for you, I couldn’t taste it at all)
  • 2 tbsp cacao power
  • few squirts of honey

I used this dutch oven again on top of the stove. I cooked this for a long time, 6 or more hours. I started at 11am and sauteed the onions, garlic, peppers and celery in coconut oil until soft. Then added ground beef and browned it. Then added tomato paste and water (you can use beef broth instead, but I didn’t have any) and all spices. After stirring well, I added all the beans, they just fit. This simmered all afternoon on low heat and I randomly checked on it, stirred and added more spices along the way.

I liked the spicy and sweet combination. I made some black rice, but didn’t even eat any, since the chili was so good by itself. I garnished with some cheddar and avocado. Eva loved the black rice, so at least someone ate it. She also liked the chili, but liked the rice more.

I know I could have made this in my slow cooker, but I haven’t had success with meals in the crock pot. The 3 meals I’ve done in there have turned out very bland and just wet tasting, so I must not be adding enough spices or I just don’t know how to use a slow cooker.

Chili (2)


Chili (1)

Clam Bisque Provencal

clam bisque soup (1)

This was a Vitamix recipe from their “Create” cookbook, but I didn’t even use the Vitamix to blend it, since I have an immersion blender which works great for blending soups in the same pot you are cooking them (even blending while cooking). I also doubled the recipe and changed a few things so it wouldn’t have fit in the Vitamix. Thirdly, I also feel strange about blending really hot liquid in the plastic Vitamix container. It is BPA free, but still, I don’t like hotness + plastic. By the way, when I was researching the Vitamix, I looked into why you could not buy a glass container with the Vitamix and the answer is because any machine with this much power would immediately shatter glass. You can use glass with cheaper, less effective blender machines, but not something with this much power. So, that is interesting.

  • 1 c chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 c chopped celery
  • 1/2 c chopped carrot
  • 2 c diced potato (I used some cute purple fingerling potatos I found at Costco, and I left the skins on)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste (I added some more at the end to give it a little more red color since my cream made it very white)
  • 2 lbs clam meat, divided
  • 4-5 c chicken broth (I added extra broth)
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 c heavy whipping cream (I bought organic cream, but it still had additives like Carrageenan that aren’t healthy, but I couldn’t find anything completely pure, since I’m not in my coop anymore, so I won’t be using that regularly)

Saute veggies in olive oil in large stock pot. I used a large cast iron “dutch oven” with a lid. Then add tomato paste. (Those purple things are potatoes.)

clam bisque soup (2)

Add broth, wine, spices and only half of the clam meat. Simmer 20 min.

clam bisque soup (3)

Remove bay leaves. Stir in cream. Blend with immersion blender. Add remaining clam meat, but do not blend after adding the rest of the meat. It should be very smooth with texture from 1/2 of the clam meat. Heat another 15 min, do not boil. Add more salt/pepper if needed.

clam bisque soup (4)


I loved this and we ate it for several days afterwards. Eva liked to dip some seeded bread in it.

Shrimp with Pistachio Pesto – Valentine’s Day Dinner

So far with my Vitamix I’ve made a green tea and frozen berry smoothie, chai spiced latte, and this pesto, which I put over shrimp and einkorn wheat pasta.

I used this recipe’s ingredients, but followed the Vitamix’s blend directions here, then sorta made up the rest. It was really good, but really rich and I think I’ll prepare it a little differently in the future, like use a lot less of it on whatever item I’m putting it on, instead of just mixing it all together. Eva loved the shrimp, but wouldn’t touch the pesto. She wouldn’t eat the pasta either because it had pesto on it. She only ate the few strands that were missed by the pesto.

VDay Dinner (1)


VDay Dinner (2)


VDay Dinner (3)


VDay Dinner (4)


VDay Dinner (7)

Simple Baked Salmon

This was last night’s dinner. I love salmon.

  • 3 fillets wild caught salmon
  • salt, pepper, thyme
  • lemon juice and lemon slices
  • 1 tbsp capers

Rub some coconut oil on the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle salmon with spices, lemon juice and lay lemon slices on top. I actually didn’t have any capers in the fridge but I usually like to add them. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. I baked the asparagus right along with the salmon in the same dish.



Meatloaf with Kale & Feta


This was an experiment and it turned out amazing. I love throwing kale in random foods and seeing how they turn out.

Meatloaf with Kale & Feta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • ½ c chopped onion
  • 1 c chopped mushrooms
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c chopped kale
  • ¾ c feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 tbsp flax seed meal
  • salt & pepper
  • thyme
  • parsley
  • a few splashes of red wine (optional)
  1. Smash everything together with your hands. You can try to use a spoon but it never works as well.
  2. Transfer to a loaf pan and use a spatula to flatten and shape the edges how you like.
  3. Bake at 375 for 1 hour or so.

For the carrots, I just cut up a bunch of carrots, added salt/pepper, some butter and some red wine over top and baked in a covered glass dish next to meatloaf.

Ground Turkey & Mushroom Meatballs

Meatballs are so easy to make and I like trying them with different spices and vegetables. I had a big package of mushrooms I needed to use up, so I chopped some up very finely and mixed them into the ground turkey, and then sauteed some on the side as well.

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 8 oz mushrooms
  • 1/2 c chopped onions
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp flax meal
  • Any spices you like. I used salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, and parsley.

I like throwing flax seed or flax meal into random foods I cook, just because it adds some good omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber. The taste was not at all noticeable in the meatballs. Eva ate them right up too.

ground turkey 1


ground turkey 2


ground turkey 3


ground turkey 4