Thursday, April 9, 2015

White Chicken Chili + Prescribe Nutrition

You guys, this week has been like whoa. Two shoots, a baby shower, four batches of chocolate cupcakes, and everyone on spring break. Bouncing between stay at home mom, work at home mom, and work away from home mom has got me in a perpetual game of catch up. I am so glad that I have nothing on the schedule next week, because I need to get back in balance. 

I haven't been great about updating the blog regularly, but hopefully you're following Stir & Scribble's adventures on Instagram? The last couple of months have been a fun journey into eating a more whole foods based diet. If you've been a follower for very long - you might have noticed that I've had many false starts and stops at feeding my family a less processed diet. This time though I've had help. 

In February, I signed up for a program with Prescribe Nutrition. Prescribe Nutrition is a team of incredible woman with one incredible goal - to get you to give up a 'diet' in favor of eating real whole food. There programs are designed to shake you free from the standard American diet in a fun, approachable way with a ton of support and community. I loved my Prescribe experience so much that I shared my story over on their blog this week - you can read all about my disdain for diets here.

This weekend I'm jumping into another program with the Prescribe Nutrition team - Prescribe Balance. Prescribe Balance is perfectly timed to kick off spring. Twenty days of digging deeper into eating whole foods, getting some exercise, and daily cleaning rituals with the goal of getting everything back in balance.  I couldn't need it more right now - care to join me? Use the code 'stirandscribble' for 20% off! There's still plenty of time to sign up!

White Chicken Chili
serves 6 to 8
recipe courtesy Prescribe Nutrition

This Chili is one of the recipes from Prescribe Balance and a great example of whole foods meets comfort food that is typical of the Prescribe Nutrition team. We scaled back the spice for Ella and served it with a ton of lime and avocado. Its the perfect Sunday supper (and great for lunch leftovers).

1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
1 poblano, pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped*
1 anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground chili powder*
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
32 oz (4 cups) organic veggie or chicken broth
2 (14.5-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups (about 2 lbs) cooked, shredded chicken**
Juice and zest of 1 lime, + extra lime wedges for garnish
1⁄2 cup full fat coconut milk
1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro leaves + extra for garnish

*only include if you prefer some extra spice in your chili!

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom pan or dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add the onions, peppers, cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

Pour in the broth. Add 1 can of the beans and, using a potato masher (or a handheld blender), mash the beans in the pot, creating a thicker texture.

Stir in the remaining beans, shredded chicken, lime juice and zest and bring to a boil. If you prefer a chili with more broth, add 1 - 2 cups of water. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and keep on a low simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve immediately with additional lime wedges and cilantro.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thirsty Thursday: Winter Citrus Shandy

I want to shout: "I'm back bitches!!" at just the hint that I can drink cocktails again, but alas, drinking hard liquor while breastfeeding is sort of frowned upon. So I'm easing my way back into the adult beverage business with a light and lovely beer cocktail usually reserved for summer sipping - the Shandy.

Shandies are a mixture of beer, lager or pale ale, and lemonade or ginger ale. The low-alcohol, high flavor drink has been enjoyed for hundred of years. Usually shandies are enjoyed in hot weather when you need something light & refreshing, but I've always wondered why summer time gets all the lemonade love. Winter is prime citrus time. And who couldn't use a glass of sunshine when there are 6 more weeks of winter left?!  I've started juicing all the citrus and mixing it with a little maple syrup and water for a wintry lemonade that is a perfect 3 pm pick-me-up. Add a little lager and you've got a darling little drink.

Shandies are also great for breastfeeding mamas because they are low alcohol. There are anecdotal reports that beer drinking (in moderation) can help support milk supply. In fact, our lactation consultant prescribed non-alcoholic beer when I was struggling to breastfeed Ella, because brewers yeast is good for milk production (as seen in these cookies)! But honestly, I just don't enjoy drinking a O'Douls the way I enjoy a cocktail. There is a certain ritual missing. And while I'd recommend waiting until your breastfeeding routine is well established before imbibing, I do think an occasional adult beverage is beneficial, because mama needs to relax a little.

Making your own lemonade is the key to this Shandy. I like a mix of 50% lemon juice and 50% other citrus. Cara cara and blood oranges give the juice a sweet pink hue, while clementines will lend a sweeter sip. Grapefruit juice is ridiculously delicious in a shandy made with a not quite pale ale.

Maple Winter Citrus-ade
makes 1 quart or 8 servings

1 cup fresh citrus juice - I used 4 lemons, 2 cara cara & 2 blood oranges (or about 8 lemons)
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup maple syrup

Combine the citrus juice, water, and syrup in a pitcher. Stir to combine, chill until ready to serve.

Winter Citrus Shandy
makes 2 drinks

1 cup Maple Winter Citrus-ade
12 ounces chilled Lager or IPA

Fill two rocks glasses with ice and divide the Citrus-ade between the glasses. Top with beer and stir gently to combine.

More Shandy Facts & History from NPR
More on Breastfeeding & Alcohol

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Flavor of the week || 01

I thought it be fun to add a weekly link list style post back into the line-up around here. It seemed a little too ambitious since I'm still adjusting to life with two little ones and easing back into freelance work - then I realized I could use my weekly meal planning as blog fodder. Basically - I'm brilliant*. 

And while I was thinking of it, two different friends mentioned that they struggle with meal planning. It is hard! You can make a perfectly detailed plan for each day of the week and it will completely unravel by Wednesday because you forgot to turn on the slow cooker or your 3 year old suddenly detests chicken.  So here's how I like to do it: I pick 3 recipes each week and shop for those, but then I also make sure to shop for 2 or 3 'back pocket' dishes (these are things I can throw together quickly without a recipe - think breakfast for dinner or quesadillas). This strategy gives me the flexibility that suits my family (my husband and I are both free-lance workers making each work day different). I typically grocery shop on Tuesdays and we pretty much always have pizza on Friday nights.

So here's what's cooking in our house this week:
- this bread recipe from King Arthur Flour on my quest for perfect sandwich bread
- need to make a batch of my Broccoli Stalk Pesto to make Pesto Chicken Wraps for school lunch
- using up some leftover Cherrios, Kix, and Rice Crispies to make a riff on this recipe.
- making a batch of Alton Brown's Miso Soup for work-from-home lunches for myself

for dinners:
- Crispy Chicken with Garlicky Collards - I'm using up some crackers instead of using cereal and Ella and I will make some cornbread too (from a mix, no shame.)
- Baked Teriyaki Meatballs Orange Sesame Broccoli (because even though Ella loves it, I'm kinda tired of roasted broccoli) with baked brown rice
-  Chickpea Burgers with Crispy Carrot Fries - I haven't made these in forever.

backpocket recipes: Chicken & Black bean Burritos - which 90% of the time we make without the chicken. Faux Fried Rice (oh, how I need to update that photo.)

Phew! What are you cooking this weekend? And what do you consider a 'back pocket' dish?

*(ok, I'm totally not - my friend Janssen at everyday reading gave me the idea).