Turmeric Chicken Zoodle Soup

I originally published this post in January 2017. After partnering with CeCe’s Veggie Co. I knew this was the perfect recipe to use their zucchini noodles in and decided to update the post and photos. Enjoy!

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I first developed this recipe in January 2017 right after being gifted a spiralizer for Christmas. While a spiralizer is a great invention, I can’t say I’ve used it much since, well, January 2017. Sorry Santa *cough mom and dad cough*. It was all bright shiny and new at the time, but it’s a bit of a chore to pull out when I’m trying to make an easy dinner.

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Enter CeCe’s Veggie Co. They have created packs of already spiralized zucchini, sweet potato, butternut squash, beets, riced cauliflower and more. I’m usually not one to buy pre-cut vegetables or fruit, but this is one I can get behind. I’m willing to pay a little extra for a healthy swap from the traditional noodle and of course for the convenience.

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I love using CeCe’s Zucchini Spirals in this soup instead of weighing down what could be a healthy soup with starchy noodles. The turmeric addition gives it that quintessential yellow color and is an added boost to what people think of as a cold-curing meal. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory meaning it helps soothe sore muscles, stomach aches, helps with cramps and bloating, and is a natural detoxifier of the gut. Warning, be careful when using turmeric because it can stain everything! Wash your pots and pans immediately after using them. I’ve been left with a neon yellow woden spoon from the recipe that I’m not sure I can salvage.

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Turmeric Chicken Zoodle Soup adapted from Damn Delicious
yields 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks or 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion or 1/2 a large onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups chicken bone broth
1 cup water
1 package CeCe’s Organic Zucchini Spirals (or 3 zucchini if you are spiralizing yourself)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 sprig fresh rosemary, some leaves reserved
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions:
This soup comes together quickly so you want everything ready to go. Start by dicing your chicken (or shredding if you are using a rotisserie chicken) and veggies.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season diced chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add chicken to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from pot and place on a plate to set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Add garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, thyme and add the sprig of rosemary. Let simmer until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add in chicken stock and 1 cup of water; bring to a boil. Stir in zucchini noodles* and chicken; reduce heat and simmer until zucchini is tender, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the sprig of rosemary. Serve garnished with extra rosemary and parsley, if desired.

*If you are meal prepping this soup, omit adding your zucchini noodles until right before you serve. When ready to serve, ladle your soup into a bowl and add a handful of zucchini noodles. As you reheat the soup the zucchini will become tender. The soup will stay good for one week in the fridge.

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Annie

Thank you Cece’s Veggie Co. for letting me work with you. While I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and words are 100% my own.

Crock-Pot Verde Turkey Chili

I originally published this post in November 2014. It’s been such a hit with friends and followers (and let’s be honest, with me too), that I decided to update the post and photos. Enjoy!

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When someone asks me for a recipe recommendation from my blog, the one I suggest the most is this chili. It’s made in the Crock-Pot so it’s basically no fail, and with minimal ingredients it’s cheap to throw together and relatively healthy.

Once the temperatures dip slightly, this recipe quickly gets thrown into rotation. The temps have yet to drop in Dallas, but it’s October so I’m ignoring mother nature and cooking what I seasonally want.

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Crock-Pot Verde Turkey Chili
yields 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground turkey
1 can white navy beans
1 package frozen bell peppers
2 (12-16 oz) jars of verde salsa, I use Trader Joe’s
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
Topping ideas: Fritos, plantain chips, cheese, avocado, sour cream, greek yogurt, lime and cilantro

Directions:
Cook your turkey meat in a non-stick pan. Once your turkey is cooked through, strain it. Next, strain your beans. In your Crock-Pot, add the cooked turkey meat, drained beans, frozen veggies, salsa and seasonings. Stir to combine.

Set your Crock-Pot to cook 4-5 hours or high or cook 6-7 hours on low. Taste the chili and add more cumin and chili powder if necessary.

Top with your choice of toppings. Fritos and chili go hand in hand for me, but I love swapping the highly addicting (and my favorite chip) for a healthier option like plantain chips.

For a fun side-by-side to show you how things have developed after 6 years of blogging…Picture on the right, currently, picture on the left circa 2014 on my iphone3.

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And a note from my original 2014 post “it’s even better the next day.” Which 5 years later I can still attest to.

Annie

 

Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate Cookies

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Pumpkin cookies let’s go. But not those cakey pumpkin cookies with the icing. I can’t with those. These are dense yet fluffy, soft and chewy, but crunchy with the addition of pecans.

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With a light pumpkin taste, but a heavy spice flavor, these Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate cookies are everything I want in a “pumpkin cookie.”

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Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate Cookies
yields 30-32 cookies

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips (you can substitute for chocolate chips, or seasonal pumpkin chips and cinnamon chips)
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. About 1 minute. Add in both sugars and beat on medium for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. On low, stir in the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract until combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once the dough has almost come together, but still a little floury, add the pecans and white chocolate chips.

*I roughly chop my white chocolate chips (just like in my Perfect CCCs). It lends to a prettier, but more rustic looking cookie which I love.

Using a 1 ½ inch cookie scoop, form golf ball size balls of dough. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Do not overcrowd the pans. I got 12 balls of dough on a pan, at most. Rough the cookies up a bit so they have pecans and white choclate peeking out. Add a few more of each to the top of the cookies if needed. Optional, sprinkle the top of each cookie with flaky Maldon salt.

Bake for 9 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through. Bake until just barely golden around the edges, the key is to not over bake these! Shy on the underdone side.

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Annie

Pumpkin Spice Bulletproof Coffee + A September Whole 30 Recap

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Bulletproof coffee became a staple for an easy breakfast while on Whole30. However, I fully plan to keep sipping on bulletproof post W30, especially with this seasonal spin. There is so much on the internet about bulletproof coffee and I encourage you to do your own research to see if it’s right for you.

The quick synopsis of bulletproof coffee is, it’s a high caloric drink made from coffee, butter (or ghee) and brain octane oil to be used as a meal replacement at breakfast. It’s benefits include increase in energy, spike in metabolism, improved mood and extra brain power.

Now most of you know I don’t do caffeine, so I make mine with decaf and still love the affects it gives me. It really does keep me full for around 4 hours. It also helps reduce my bloat first thing in the morning. I love eating breakfast, but get easily bloated after the first meal of the day.

In honor of the season, I really leaned in and created this pumpkin spice seasonal twist to my bulletproof!

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Pumpkin Spice Bulletproof Coffee
serves 1

Ingredients:
1 cup of brewed coffee, organic is best
1-2 tbsps. ghee
1-2 tbsps. MCT brain octane oil
1 scoop Vital Proteins collagen peptides
1 tbsp. Pumpkin Spice Nutpods*
big shake of pumpkin pie spice

Directions:
In a blender combine all ingredients for 15-30 seconds until frothy. Pour and top with more pumpkin pie spice.

Note: I say 1-2 tablespoons of ghee and brain octane oil because these two ingredients need to be eased into. Start with one tablespoon for the first few times drinking bulletproof, then ease your way up.

*If you do not have the Pumpkin Nutpods it is okay to omit. No need to replace with an alternative milk. The best thing about bulletproof coffee is it is free of dairy and non-diary, yet still creamy from blending in the ghee. However, I love to add a splash of Nutpods to ramp up the pumpkin spice flavor.

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Now let’s talk Whole30 while I have you. Yesterday was my last official day of September Whole 30. I can’t say I ended it feeling amazing. I definitely cheated here and there. If you follow me on social media, you saw this, but I’m still really proud of myself at how I stayed strong a majority of the 30 days.

Some major benefits people claim from Whole30 are clear skin, more energy and better sleep. Unfortunately I didn’t reap any of these benefits. I broke out bad around week 2, my sleep was all over the place, and about week 3 I was taking a nap after work most days.

That being said, it wasn’t all bad. There were days I felt great and so confident! It also felt good to take a breather from the carbs and alcohol. I actually for once had some willpower while on Whole30 to say no to sweet treats and cheese. And as the food nerd that I am, I loved trying new recipes and getting creative with what I was cooking and eating. I would still recommend Whole30 to those looking to give themself a reset. Just make sure it’s a time of year that works best for you so you can really devote the attention to it it needs! Anyone else just finish up September Whole 30?

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Annie

My 6 Favorite Dallas Spots 3 Months In

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Three months in Dallas? Hi? How? But also I feel like I’ve been here forever! I Three months seemed pivotal enough to document some of my favorite spots thus far. There are a couple repeats from this and this post that I wrote just one and two weeks in. Now three months later, many more places visited, still some of the same faves and still so many places to keep exploring.

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Louie’s
If you live in Dallas, this probably wasn’t the first place you’d think would be on my list, but on the flipside, if you’ve been to Louie’s then you understand. Louie’s is a complete hole in the wall on Henderson known for their pizza and martinis. They are more than just a pizza place, with salmon, a burger, sandwiches, and a filet on the menu, but word from the wise don’t stray from the thin crust build-your-own pizza, big salads, meatballs and crab claws to start! As for the martini’s, they were so hyped up and I thought they would convert me, but even dirty I just can’t sip on gin and pretend like I like it. Louie’s has been on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, so I’ll just leave you with that. Post-September Whole 30, I’m coming for ya Louie’s!

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Central Market
One of my favorite past times is wandering the aisles at a grocery store. No really. If I need to kill some time or if I’m bored, or if I should be doing a million other things, I’ll often find a reason to end up at the grocery store. I love to do my big shopping on Sundays, but about mid-week I need a pick-me-up and will go stroll down aisles to pick up a little something-something. This is a long way of saying now that Central Market is in my life, this grocery store meandering has heightened. I still love TJ’s, Whole Foods and Sprouts, but Central Market has s a m p l e s. And I mean samples. The bakery section is 100% my weakness and just gosh awful temptation while on Whole30 right now. They have bread of plenty to sample with this whipped butter that should just be sued it’s so good.

My Central Market faves are their fresh verde salsa, homemade tortillas, these crispbreads, the crazy selection of bulk bin items and winding through their maze of a produce section.

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Bishop Arts District
Bishop Arts is tucked away west of downtown and coins the phrase “the most independent neighborhood.” It is quint and has this little mountain town feel to it, reminds me of Colorado. Cute shops (hi All Good Things), and new restaurants are popping up left and right. I got to go to Paradiso last night and everything about it from the design, to the menu to the atmosphere was on point. Some other BA faves and places on my list are Melt Ice Cream, Tribal All Day Cafe, Serve, Lucia, Eno’s Pizza, Coco’s, Botanist and Good Companions. If you have a free Saturday or Sunday, spend it wandering around Bishop Arts!

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photo via Katy Trail

Katy Trail Ice House
I know Katy Trail is a little cliche Dallas, but it truly is my favorite spot in the city. I already wrote about it here! It’s great in the evening, its great during the day on the weekends, fun for watching games, great drinks (Summer Beer) and good food. It’s all outdoors, but you’ll see people in workout clothes just coming off running the Katy Trail, people with their dogs, people dressed up having come straight for work. It’s really great for any time of day or event.

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Honor Bar
Another cliche Dallas spot that I’ve mentioned before, but it’s just flat out good. The vibes, the food, the experiences I’ve had there have all been great. It’s in this corner spot of Highland Park Village with a patio that expands out a bit. It’s always crowded, but for good reason. The ahi tuna, the macho salad and their version of a ranch water make me drool just thinking about them. Props to the Hillstone restaurant group for finding what they are good at and sticking to it. Being in restaurants makes you really appreciate how others do it.

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Royal Blue Grocery
No one should be surprised that two grocery stores made it on this list. Royal Blue is the most charming little grocery and specialty food store, one location in Highland Park Village and one downtown. If you didn’t know, my end goal in life is to open something similar. Think Barefoot Contessa or the bakery Meryl Streep owns in It’s Complicated. Catch me in my 40s or 50s and hopefully that’s where you will find me.

Royal Blue is my current fix to fill my daydreams. Their groceries are wildly overpriced, well everything in there is, but since it’s not my everyday spot (unlike the yuppie Highland Park moms) I feel ok treating myself to a Royal Blue visit every once and a while. My recent Royal Blue crush is their turmeric latte. Just turmeric, ginger, cinnamon (hold the honey #whole30) and steamed almond milk! They also have a vegan cookie butter gelato that is, well, I think you can imagine how amazing it is.

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Honorable Mentions: Oishii, The Pilates Barre, Sachet, Parkhouse, Up On Knox, Javier’s, Highland Park Presbyterian, Eatzi’s, and Terelli’s.

It’s been a stellar 3 months in Dally. Here’s to the next however many months. ILY big D!

Annie