Easy Roasted Garlic and Infused Oil

If you’ve ever made roasted garlic before you know what a pain it can be to get the thin, papery skin completely off after it’s roasted, and what a sticky mess it is.  The recipe below takes the hassle of that away!  Plus you get garlic infused oil.  If you’ve never made roasted garlic before then you’re missing out on a culinary delight!

Roasted garlic is delicious all on its own eaten like grapes…just don’t blame me for not getting kissed later!  Below is a list of just a few of the other countless ways you can use roasted garlic…

Ways to use roasted garlic

  • Compound butter (blend with softened butter)
  • Pureed into mashed potatoes or cauliflower
  • Cut up and mixed into guacamole
  • Mixed with mayo for a roasted garlic aioli. Then use on sandwiches, as a dip, as a coating on baked chicken or salmon, or thin the mayo mixture out with milk of choice to make a salad dressing.
  • In a meatloaf or hamburger patty
  • Added to soups

Ways to use garlic infused oil

  • Make a salad dressing
  • Dip for bread (like Italian restaurants)
  • Roasted veggies
  • Cooking fried eggs
  • Replace for any oil to cook with and add extra flavor to your meal
  • Add a little swirl of oil to soup before serving

This recipe is crazy easy!  Even my kids make it for me.  I like to use a large chefs knife to prep the garlic but it’s not necessary to.  You can also use a small drinking glass with a flat bottom.

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This recipe doesn’t have exact amounts because it doesn’t really need them.  It depends on how much or how little roasted garlic you want to make.  Keep in mind this stores REALLY well in the fridge, so make extra and you’ll have it on hand when you want it.  I typically make two whole heads of garlic at a time.

Easy Roasted Garlic and Infused Oil

  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS

  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Oil of choice such as avocado or olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Remove all the outer layers of papery skin.  You can do this quickly by lightly smashing the garlic cloves with the bottom of a glass or the heel of a knife.  Press just hard enough that the paper falls off but the clove isn’t smashed too badly.
  3. Place all the cloves in an oven safe bowl.
  4. Cover with oil to just above the cloves.
  5. Roast in the oven until fragrant and the cloves are golden and lightly browned around the edges.
  6. Let cool and store in a glass jar.

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Chicken Cacciatore

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2018 has officially arrived and with that my goal to do a Whole30 and Keto.  As well as get more recipes on the blog!  This post is hitting all of those goals.

I’ve never made chicken cacciatore until I made this one and wow was it DELICIOUS!  I wrote it all down and snapped pics so I could share it with all of you.

What I love about this recipe aside from the flavor packed taste and nutritional content is that it’s super easy to make!!  You could even make it in a crock pot or pressure cooker.  I chose to make mine on the stove, but included how-to for the other methods as well.  Mostly because I received some gorgeous, new, enamel, cast iron, dutch ovens that I was dying to try out!

If you do meal prep, this recipe is perfect for that too.  It reheats beautifully and makes enough for either a hungry family for dinner or lunches/dinners all week for one person.   It is already loaded with a lot of veggies but you can up your veg game by serving this over zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice too.  If you’re not doing a Whole30 or Keto you can serve it over some gluten free pasta too.  I enjoyed leftovers of this with some spinach by heating it all together in a pan until the spinach was wilted and everything heated through.

You can easily leave out certain ingredients if they aren’t your favorite but this will also alter the flavor too.   Feel free to use chicken breasts instead of thighs if that’s what you like best.  Change it up and increase the nutrient factor by using mushrooms like Shiitake in place of traditional Bella mushrooms.

Chicken Cacciatore

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 Lbs Chicken thighs (or breasts), boneless and skinless
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (any color)
  • 1 Lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce (be sure it’s no sugar added)
  • 4 Tb tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Chicken broth (no sugar added)
  • 3 Tb capers
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1 Tb Italian seasoning, dried
  • 1 tsp dired oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (to your desired level of spiciness)
  •  1/3 cup black olives (no added ingredients listed on the can)
  • *optional but delicious!…the cream from one can of coconut milk (place upside in fridge for a few hours, open upright and pour the coconut water into another container to reserve for other uses)

DIRECTIONS FOR STOVETOP

  1. Add all ingredients to a large dutch oven (soup pot), except the olives and coconut cream.  I find it easiest to add everything but the veggies and chicken, stir together then add veggies and chicken.
  2. Cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Carefully stir in the olives, cover and cook for 20 minutes more.
  4. Uncover, reduce heat to low.  Stir in coconut cream and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

DIRECTIONS FOR CROCK POT

  1. Add all ingredients to crock pot, except the coconut cream.  I find it easiest to add everything but the veggies and chicken, stir together then add veggies and chicken.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
  3. Stir in coconut cream and serve!

DIRECTIONS FOR PRESSURE COOKER

  1. Add all ingredients to pot, except the coconut cream.  I find it easiest to add everything but the veggies and chicken, stir together then add veggies and chicken.
  2. Seal and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  3. Allow pressure to release naturally.
  4. Stir in coconut cream and serve!

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Our 2017 Christmas Eve Party

This was our 4th Annual Christmas Eve party!  This years theme was Flannel and Fur.  Guests were asked to where some form of flannel, fur or plaid…pajamas count too!  People that participate are entered in the contest to win a prize which varies each year.  We also have a White Elephant Gift Exchange and a Euchre Tournament.  I’m not sure which one brings out the competitive side of people more, the exchange or Euchre?!

One of the tables and place settings

Our kitchen table and kitchen Christmas tree

Woodland theme tree and mantle

Mingling at the party and my favorite Santa pic!

The menu this year was geared around our theme for the party.  Wild game meats like Elk and Bison were some of the main dishes.  We also had the entire house decorated in a woodland theme.

Below is our menu, EVERYTHING was gluten free!  Some of the items have links for the recipes.  The ones without links I made on a whim.  A good majority of the items can be made ahead and reheated.  The breads and many of the desserts came from a gluten free bakery about an hour from us.

Menu

Appetizers 

  • Bacon wrapped dates (some were stuffed with cream cheese)
  • Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms  (I used gluten free breadcrumbs and streamed in olive oil to the processor to bring the filling all together)
  • Various flavors of Gluten free breads cut into quarters and served with compound butters we made with Kerrygold.
    • Butters:  Red Wine and Shallot, roasted garlic, honey sriracha, Italian herb, vanilla and cinnamon
    • Breads: cinnamon raisin, Rye, onion and poppyseed, caramelized onion and cheese, and olive
  • Assorted cheeses
  • Salami’s, prosciutto and soppressata
  • Selection of gluten free crackers
  • Three kinds of jams/jelly
  • Spiced almonds and walnuts
  • Grapes, black, green and kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, and cocktail cucumbers

Drinks

  • Berkey filtered water infused with frozen organic mango and cherries
  • LaCroix
  • Coffee (decaf and regular) with almond milk peppermint mocha creamer, organic eggnog, Kahlua, and cinnamon
  • Organic Hot chocolate with organic marshmallows (both from Whole Foods)
  • Beer and Organic Wines
  • Plus a few other bottles of liquor

Main Dishes

  • Elk Sweet Potato Chili
  • White Chicken Chili
    • Chili’s served with bowls of cheese, green onions, and organic sour cream
  • Pastured Smoked Ham
  • Bison Meatballs in BBQ sauce
  • Kielbasa with peppers and onions

Side Dishes

  • Green Beans with lemon zest, garlic and butter
  • Cherry, Pecan, and Butternut Squash Wild Rice Pilaf
  • Loaded Mashed Potatoes (Cheese, sour cream, butter, milk, bacon, and Chicken broth)

Desserts

The appetizer area and waters

Bacon Wrapped Dates and Goat Cheese stuffed mushrooms

Gluten free breads, compound butters, and jellies

Assorted cheeses, meats, and crackers

Wine, beers, and liquor station

Coffee and hot chocolate station

Mango and cherry infused filtered water

Food Station

We like to use Chafers to keep the food hot so guests can graze all night if they’d like to.  It also makes prep easier because it opens up oven space by being able to make the food and keep it hot before the party starts.

Elk and sweet potato chili

I used 2 pounds of ground Elk that my husband hunted himself in Montana.  It also had tomato paste, chicken bone broth, sweet potatoes, pumpkin salsa, lots of seasonings, onion, and bell pepper.

White Chicken Chili

This had organic chicken I cooked in my pressure cooker to make it super tender in no time at all.  Coconut milk to make it creamy, chicken bone broth, red bell pepper, onion, cumin, oregano, chili powder, organic canned corn, and potato starch to thicken it.

BBQ Bison Meatballs

Three pounds of ground wild bison meat mixed with gluten free chickpea breadcrumbs, pastured eggs, fresh parsley, fresh garlic, dry white wine, salt and pepper.

Smoked ham

This was a pasture raised ham from the whole hog we purchased this last summer.  I simply baked it in the oven because it was smoked when we had it butchered and nothing else was added to it.

Sausage, peppers and onions

I bought these Kielbasa at Costco and love them because not only do they taste good but they are also free of unnecessary junk like nitrates and nitrites.   Tried a new way of cooking all of it to not have to stand over the stove and it turned out perfect!  I stuck the sausage on a rimmed baking sheet and baked at 350 for about 15 minutes or so.  The peppers and onions I drizzled with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a roasting pan and baked at 350 until desired level of doneness.  Totally hands off and cooked perfectly!

Winter Wild Rice Pilaf

I cooked organic wild rice and long grain brown rice.  Roasted some butternut squash (pre-cut, frozen, organic from Costco!), and browned some onions in Kerrygold.  Then I mixed together the rice, squash, onions, chopped pecans, roasted garlic infused avocado oil, butter, dried cherries, pepper and italian seasoning.

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Loaded Mashed Potatoes

These babies were delicious according to the guests but a total pain to make!  They almost destroyed my new Vitamix!  I used organic russet potatoes and had the help of my really amazing dad to peel and cut 20 pounds of them.  Yes, 20 pounds!  (I used the leftover mashed potatoes to make creamy ham and potato soup.  I just chopped up leftover ham and mixed the potatoes with extra milk and broth to thin it out. Added some extra cheese and voila!)   The mashed potatoes were extremely difficult to puree but eventually we managed to get them smooth with the use of a a hand held blender and lots and lots of broth and organic milk.  They also had tons of cheese, sour cream and butter.  Topped it all with some chopped uncured bacon and more cheese!

Lemon and garlic green beans

Frozen, organic green beans steamed then coated in Kerrygold, garlic powder, freshly grated lemon zest and a sprinkling of sea salt.

This party takes a ton of work but it’s something we look forward to every year.  Our girls say it is their favorite thing we do, and building memories and traditions is what life is about.  My husband is my ultimate teammate and we work side by side for all of it.  He does the setup and I do the cooking.  This year my parents offered to come help, to which I am so appreciative and couldn’t have accomplished it all without them.  My girls got to cook with their Mimi and Pipi and laughed and giggled all day long.

I pray you have a blessed New Year and many more to come!

Review of Sweetpotato Awesome Slices

This is my first product review on the blog. I figured it’d be easier for my readers to find great Paleo products I love if I keep them all in one place! Just click the Paleo products tab, or search Paleo products in the search box on here and you’re good to go!

Alright, let’s get to it!  My first review is for a product that is exactly what the name says…AWESOME!!  Sweetpotato Awesome are freeze dried, organic, thick sliced, sweet potatoes.  A direct quote from their site about their slices:

Using a patent pending process to prepare the sweetpotatoes for the freeze drying, our slices not only have a unique texture and high retention of nutrients but a long shelf life as well due to it’s extremely low moisture content.  We sell SLICES, not chips. Our slices are cut at a thickness that allows them to be used like a cracker or in the case of Flat Out Awesome, a piece of toast or flat bread. The thickness of the cut, the nature of the sweetpotato as a root vegetable and the freeze dry process yield a product sturdy enough to dip and scoop a variety of foods to go along with the Awesome. Enjoy!

I wasn’t sure what to expect with a freeze dried sweet potato, but man they are delicious! I love everything about them.  The texture is perfect too.  They’re crunchy, but not at all brick-like. Think cracker-ish.  They crunch then sort of almost melt after a few chews.  I have an addiction to chips, no joke I could down a whole bag in one sitting.  These have the benefit of being crunchy and salty like a chip BUT they are very satisfying and filling unlike chips.  Which means I can eat only a few and be totally content without the guilt and bloating.

I received four flavors to try: Dilliciously Awesome which is Dill and Garlic, Chias Awesome is Cinnamon and Chia Seed, Bits of Flat Out Awesome is Sea Salt but in smaller pieces, and Hot N’ Awesome is Dill, Garlic, and Chipotle.

My personal favorite is the Dill and Garlic!  A close second would be the Dill, Garlic and Chipotle.  

We like to travel fairly often and these will make the perfect travel companion for me.  The packaging is thick and unless someone sits on them they probably won’t get smashed.  I can’t wait to make some guacamole and scoop these slices of Awesome into it!

They are having a sale through the end of the year for 17% off too!  So go to their site and order some bags of Awesome with the code awesome17 at checkout.

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