Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken

Mediterranean meals have been one of my favorites but even more so after my trip last year to Greece.  I love the combination of fresh ingredients, nourishing foods, incredible flavors and the joy each dish brings.

When I was in Greece, I loved the combination of oils, seasonings and herbs that accompanied and boosted each meal with flavor.  Gone are the days of me eating plain grilled chicken and boring steamed broccoli.  Now my nourishing meals are loaded with fresh, local ingredients, a variety of accompanying flavors and heavenly smells.

This is a super simple dish and one that will leave your home smelling incredible throughout the day.

I personally love the combination of these ingredients but I welcome you to get creative and add some of your own.  There are a variety of veggie options that you can add to this dish too.

Looking to make a full meal?  I often serve this dish with roasted vegetables like root veggies or greens like green beans and a salad.  It’s delicious with rosemary roasted potatoes too!  Again, get creative and find what warms your taste buds and home.

 

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken

 

Ingredients:

6-8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped

½ cup artichokes (canned or cooked), chopped

½ cup mushrooms, chopped

½ cup pitted kalamata olives

½ cup chicken broth

3 cups packed spinach, chopped

1 tablespoon avocado oil (or oil of choice)

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon Mediterranean or Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste or preference

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

Optional: Goat or Feta cheese for topping

 

Directions:

In your crockpot, layer chicken on the bottom of the lightly oiled pot. Season chicken with salt, pepper, herb seasoning and crushed red pepper.  Top with garlic (can be raw or sautéed) and onion.  Next layer the sundried tomatoes, artichokes and mushrooms. Scatter olives around the pot (top and sides). Drizzle the broth around the sides as well.

Cook your chicken mixture on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.

Once fully cooked through, remove the chicken and set aside.

In the pot, cook spinach for a few minutes or until wilted.

When serving, plate your chicken and top it with the spinach, tomato, artichoke and olive mixture from the pot.  Sprinkle fresh basil and goat cheese (if desired).

Serve Warm and Enjoy!

 

Slow Down the Aging Process Naturally

As we begin to transition into spring and release things that are weighing us down while making space for new, it’s a great time to begin incorporating healthier habits and routines.  One of these may be a healthy beauty routine.  As I reflect on my teen years and my 20’s and 30’s, I think about all of the creams, ointments, serums and expensive masks that I thought would do the trick.

For starters, I had no idea how much nutrition, lifestyle, rest and hydration played a part in skin, complexion and more.  Not to mention the large amounts of toxins and chemicals I probably exposed my skin and body to.

When it comes to your skin, beauty and health, natural products are one of the best healers available to you. Be mindful of the term natural though.  Especially when purchasing products (food, cleaning products, personal care and cosmetics, etc).  When I say natural, I mean from the true source.

 

Natural products can boost your immunity, increase your energy levels and even protect against the visible signs of aging. In fact, most natural products are far more effective at giving you more beautiful, younger looking skin than any over the counter treatment.  Especially when paired with rest, hydration, personal care and a clean nutrition plan that supports your own beautiful body.

Below I’ll be sharing six of my favorite natural anti-aging solutions.

Avocado

Avocado is a powerful natural healer for your skin when applied topically. The healthy fats in avocado nourish and moisturize your skin while the vitamin E repairs any skin damage and reduces the visible signs of aging.

To start enjoying the anti-aging benefits of avocado, simply mash up a small, ripe avocado and apply it to your face. Leave it on your face for at least 15 minutes before removing, so that it fully nourishes your skin and gives you the maximum anti-aging benefit.

Banana

Bananas are packed full of vitamin C which helps to keep your skin elastic and free from wrinkles. They’re also rich in manganese – a mineral that’s been proven to protect against skin damage and rashes.

You can use bananas topically to give your skin a more youthful appearance in the exact same way as avocados. Just take a small, ripe banana, mash it up with a fork and spread it on your face. Keep the mashed banana on your face for a minimum of 15 minutes, so that all the nutrients and moisture can absorb into your skin.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the most effective natural moisturizers you can find. It’s also filled with antioxidants which protect your skin from harmful free radicals and it’s been shown to fight inflammation.   In addition, coconut oil contains active components which repair damaged skin and help you look younger.

To start getting more youthful looking skin with coconut oil, simply rub a small amount onto your face and neck. Your skin will instantly feel smoother and more hydrated after using the coconut oil and over time you’ll find that fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes fade away.  If you’re a fan of oils, I like to combine essential oils such as lavender, frankincense, rose, yang yang and citrus blends.  Everyone responds to oils differently, so it’s important to test a small area and use the coconut (or other carrier oil) as a blend.

Coconut oil is also great for adding moisture to your feet, hair and nails.  It’s great to apply to the bottom of your feet and heels after a warm relaxing or detox bath. Detox Baths: Boost Your Immune System with Detox Baths

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is another potent natural moisturizer. I discovered this even more so while on a trip to Greece last year.  The secret to extra virgin olive oil’s anti-aging prowess lies in its high vitamin E content. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin against the visible signs of aging and keep it looking youthful.

To use extra virgin olive oil as an anti-aging solution, simply rub a small amount into your skin. For the best results, use extra virgin olive oil just before bed, so that it can deeply moisturize your skin overnight.

Honey

I love honey for so many reasons!  Especially raw local honey.  It’s a great deep cleanser for your skin. It’s loaded with anti-bacterial ingredients which remove bacteria and dead skin cells and allow fresh, younger looking skin cells to grow.

Unlike the other solutions on this list, honey is best used as a simple anti-aging face-mask. Grab a tablespoon of honey, smear it over your face and leave it for at least 20 minutes. Then rinse off the honey and wash your face for instantly fresher skin.

pumpkin

Pumpkin offers many benefits when consumed internally or used topically.  It’s packed with antioxidant vitamins to boost softer and smoother skin and it has been shown to boost collagen production.  Something many of us desire as we age.

Pumpkin can be used topically on the face and neck or combined with other ingredients, such as honey.  A little goes a long way, so a tablespoon or two will do.

 

Try this amazing Age Defying Smoothie Bowl Recipe for ageless beauty:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or dairy free milk of choice)
  • 1/2 fresh banana cut into coins
  • fresh raspberries
  • fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon shell-less pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds

Take your banana, frozen cherries, and almond milk and blend it into liquid mixture. This is going to be the base of your smoothie bowl. You can place your banana slices to the side or simply drop them into the bowl. Put your fresh fruit into the bowl, then sprinkle the seeds and coconut flakes all over the entire bowl, and you will have a beautifully colored smoothie bowl that will keep your skin looking youthful and healthy!

Do you have some anti-aging tips of your own?  I would love to hear!  I welcome you to comment below.

XOXO,

Kim

chocolate strawberries

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️

This is such a sweet day and one to be shared with those we appreciate and love.  Though we should spread and share love (for ourself and others) everyday, this is a great day to reflect and appreciate those in our lives.

When It comes to sharing and spreading love, one of the things that I enjoy most is sharing moments and gifts from the kitchen.  I love cooking with my honey, making gifts from the heart and sharing food that nourished the body and soul.

If you’re still looking for a gift idea, want to plan a fun activity with the kiddos or you’re looking for a tasty treat to cook up this weekend, these strawberries are a great idea.  Not only are they delicious and healthy, but they are super simple to make.  I love to keep it simple in the kitchen.

I welcome you to try them for yourself and add any variations that you enjoy.  There are a variety of topping options.  Have fun with it and spread the love of sweet treats! ❤️

Wishing you a heartfelt day! ❤️

 

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Ingredients:

1 Container of Strawberries

1 Bag Dark Chocolate Chips

2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

Optional Toppings: Chopped nuts, shredded coconut, sugar free sprinkles, etc

Directions:

Line a platter or dish of choice with parchment paper.

Rinse and pat dry the strawberries.  Make sure they are thoroughly dried.

In a small pan, over low-medium heat, combine chocolate chips and coconut oil.

While cooking, continue stirring the chocolate combination until completely melted.

Dip dried strawberries into warm chocolate and place them on the prepared sheet.  If you choose to add toppings, do so while the chocolate is still warm.  Keep stirring while dipping until you’ve covered all of your strawberries.

Refrigerate until chocolate is set.  Once chilled, remove the strawberries from the parchment paper and serve on a platter of choice. Enjoy!

P.S. Looking for another healthy, tasty treat?  This is another one of my favorites! Bark Recipe: Dark Chocolate Coconut and Cranberry Bark

XOXO,

Kim

Heart-Beet Salad

It’s the month of Love and Valentine’s Day is coming in hot.  It’s nice to dress up and go out on the town, but cooking side by side in the kitchen with your honey is a great way to create togetherness and provide nourishment in many areas of life and relationships.

When Frederick Lifestyle Magazine asked me to create the menu for Valentine’s Day, I was overjoyed for the opportunity and put on my creative hat when it came to cooking up recipes. Beets are a huge staple in my kitchen and something we enjoy often.  These gorgeous vegetables are not only delicious but they pack many health benefits too.

Beets get their gorgeous color from phytonutrients called betalains.  These vegetables provide antioxidants that help fight against inflammation and illness. Beets also provide a range of vitamins such as Vitamins B2, A, C and K. They have been shown to increase energy, support the liver, reduce the risk for heart disease, boost digestive support and support brain health.

Speaking of the month of Love, beets are good for your libido and support sex hormone production. 

If you’re thinking about cooking up a delicious meal this Valentine’s Day, this is a great recipe for you to try. I used two different beets in this recipe but there are a variety for you to choose from.  I love golden beets because of their sweetness but the red beets are just as delicious.

Heart-Beet Salad

Ingredients:

Mixed Greens (superfood, arugula, spinach or greens of choice)

Purple Radish Microgreens https://www.marylandmicrogreens.com

2 Golden Beets, cut into squares

1 Red Beet (see note below)

Goat Cheese (regular or cranberry and tarragon)

Sliced Nuts (almonds or pine nuts)

Avocado Oil

Option: Balsamic Dressing or Homemade (below)

Note:  I sliced a red beet to medium thickness for the heart decoration.  I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut red beets and roasted them the same as below. They are thinner, so they may cook in less time.

To prepare the beets:

Preheat over to 425 degrees

Toss beets in 1 to 2 Tbsp avocado oil.  Roast beets in a cast iron or oven safe pan for 30 minutes, stirring throughout the cooking process.  Beets will have a golden color and are done when a fork is able to easily pierce through.

to prepare the salad:

In a bowl or platter, place greens while stirring in the Microgreens.  Top the salad mixture with your cooked beets and sprinkle with goat cheese. Top with desired nuts and serve with balsamic, homemade or dressing of your choice.

cranberry pear white balsamic dressing

ingredients:

1/4 Cup Basil Infused Olive Oil  https://www.loveoliveoilvinegar.com

1/4 Cup Cranberry with Pear White Balsamic https://www.loveoliveoilvinegar.com

1 Tbsp Raw Local Honey

Optional Salt and Pepper to Taste

to prepare the dressing:

Mix olive oil with a gradual drip of balsamic to taste (depending on the desired sweetness).  Add the honey for desired texture and taste.  Finish with salt and pepper.  Mix well and serve with the heart-beet salad.

Enjoy!

P.S. To check out the full February issue with additional recipes, click on this link: https://www.lifestylepubs.com/frederick/

From my heartfelt kitchen to yours, Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️

XOXO,

Kim

Chicken, Veggie and Bean Soup

During the colder winter months, our body craves warmer, heartier meals.  Dishes that nourish the body but also feel cozy and heartfelt.  Soups and stews are often my go-to dishes throughout the winter season.  I love breaking out the crockpot or stock pot and throwing ingredients together to create a simple and delicious meal.

When deciding on dinner last night, I wanted something that supports the seasonal detox I’m doing right now.  Including foods that support detoxification and gut health, include farm to table ingredients, provide tons of flavor and those that help me feel nourished.

This soup can be prepared as the recipes shows, but there are many ways you can make adjustments.  You can choose different vegetables, beans, meats and spices.  I love cooking with fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley and others that support detoxification and the removal of heavy metals.

Since this is the time of year when many want to detox from the holidays or work on new goals, I recommend sticking to fresh, organic (if possible) ingredients.  To learn more about EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen (great for shopping): Dirty Dozen  Clean Fifteen

 

 

Chicken, Veggie and Bean Soup

 

ingredients:

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 large carrots, chopped

4 celery ribs, chopped

4 chicken breasts, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1/2 tablespoon all-purpose or herb seasoning (salt-free)

2 15-ounce cans adzuki beans, drained and rinsed (or other beans of choice)

4 cups vegetable broth

1 bunch spinach or kale

Handful of fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, cilantro, thyme, etc)

Optional: Microgreens for garnish, flavor and health benefits (I used borage)

NOTE: Local Microgreen Source (available all year): Maryland Microgreens

Directions:

Place a large soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Add oil,  onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté for about 3 minutes.  Add chopped chicken, salt, pepper, seasoning, beans, and vegetable broth. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat.

Check the pot every 10 minutes to ensure that there is sufficient liquid in the pot. If you need more liquid, add about ¼ cup of water or broth at a time.  Add leafy greens (such as kale or spinach) until wilted.

If desired, add in chopped fresh herbs and combine.  Serve and enjoy warm.

NOTE: If you’re like me and prep food to make meals simple and easy, this is a great recipe to double or triple and store.  I recommend storing this dish in glass containers or mason jars for later use.

 

I would love to hear your soup combination of choice.  i welcome you to comment below or message me. if you’re considering a reset or detox this season, i welcome you to see what i’m doing for improved health and wellbeing. more info here: Nourished In The New Year

CheerS to Health and Happiness in 2020!

XOXO,

KIM