Roasted Chicken & Gravy

2015/01/img_1303.jpg I adore roasted chicken. It seems like a big deal, an entire chicken?? But I promise it’s not. It’s actually really easy to get a deliciously roasted bird, and doesn’t take too long either! For this roasted chicken, I simply stuck an organic whole fryer in a pan, with black pepper on top and a bunch of herbs stuck inside. That’s literally all the prep you have to do.
/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/7f1/35191130/files/2014/12/img_1305.jpg Then you stick it in the oven and wait…I like to baste my bird every 30 minutes with a half a cup of apple juice. This not only gives a nice brown quality to the top, but an amazing sweetness to the gravy. Oh yeah, we’re making gravy. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/7f1/35191130/files/2014/12/img_1306.jpg Once you’ve made gravy from scratch, you won’t go back to store bought. Like ever. Strain all the delicious browned drippings into a sauce pan. Add some chicken broth. Wisk in some flour/water mixture and toss in some salt. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is. Let that thicken up and you’re on your way! 2015/01/img_1307.jpg Instead of making mashed potatoes and a veggie, I just roasted a whole pan of delicious things. Carrots, potato, brussel sprouts, mushrooms – basically anything you want to smother in gravy. Serve it up with a nice glass of red wine. You deserve it.

xo. Brie

Roasted Chicken and Gravy with Veggies
For the Chicken
1 whole fryer
assorted fresh herbs – I like sage, rosemary, and thyme
black pepper
For the Gravy
2 cups apple juice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 Tbsp flour/water mixture
For the Veggies
3 carrots, chopped
handful of brussel sprouts with the ends cut off
handful of mushrooms with the ends cut off
2 potatoes, chopped
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350. In a large pan, put chicken breast side down, cover with black pepper, and stuff with herbs. Every half an hour, baste chicken with a half a cup of apple juice. Roast in the over for an 1-2 hours, depending on the size of the bird. Remove when thermometer reads it’s done. Remove cooked chicken onto a platter and set aside. Strain pan drippings into a sauce pan. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Strain and whisk in flour/water mixture to thicken. Add salt and papper to taste, then simmer gravy until the rest is ready. Place veggies on a greased cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Stick these in the over when the chicken has about 45 minutes left. When you pull out the chicken, bump oven heat up to 400 and finish off the veggies. They’re done when all veggies are tender, and a few are getting a slight char.

Carve chicken, add veggies, smother with gravy. Repeat until you’re full. Enjoy!

Southwest Stuffed Peppers

Since we’re in a new city, I figured it was time to try out a few new recipes I’d been eyeing lately. I’ve seen stuffed pepper recipes before but was never too interested in them, honestly I’d rather wrap most things in a tortilla and call it a day. However, here in Cali the avocados are on point and I put them on everything, and in the interest of adding more and more veggies into everyday life for the hubs and I…stuffed peppers began looking more and more appealing
I decided to go with a southwest mixture, and incorporate ground turkey and quinoa as well as the standard beans, corn, tomatoes, etc. First I browned up the turkey with diced onion in a little EVOO.
Once the turkey was cooked I added the black beans, corn, petite diced tomatoes, a head of cilantro, lime, spices, and quinoa.
I let that mixture cook on low for about half an hour, letting all the spices really blend and come out. The more I cook with chili powder especially, the more I see it needs time to really settle in and let the flavor come alive…
While your mixture is simmering, go ahead and prepare your peppers. This mixture amount will fill 4 full peppers, or 8 halves. Since there’s only two of us, I made 2 peppers and saved the rest for another day.
Put some chicken stock down in the casserole dish to prevent your peppers from drying out or sticking, and the go ahead and pile those toppings high!
Bake for 25 minutes uncovered to let the peppers soften and the mixture to get nice and hot. Then pull them out and top with cheese. Bake again until the cheese is all nice and melted and bubbling. IMG_0064.JPG
IMG_0065.JPG And there you have it! Stuffed peppers. Pretty easy actually, I was impressed. As per usual, the only way to eat these it piled high with avocado, cilantro, sour cream, and Tapatio. Happy eating!

xo. Brie

Southwest Stuffed Peppers
1 lb organic ground turkey
1 can black beans
1/2 can petite diced tomatoes
1 cup corn
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 small onion, diced
1 head cilantro, chopped
1 lime
4 peppers, halved and cleaned
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded cheese
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp cayenne
Salt to taste

In a large pan, sauteen onion and ground turkey until turkey is cooked through. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, quinoa, and half a cup of the chicken stock. Stir until everything is incorporated. Add all spices, cilantro, lime, and salt to taste. Add another half cup of stock so the mixture is nice and wet, then let cook on low for about 30 minutes. Pour stock in a large cassarole dish, just enough to cover the bottom. Place peppers in the dish and fill with the mixture. Bake uncovered on 400 for 25 minutes, then pull out, top with cheese, and bake another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and beginning to bubble. Top with your choice of toppings and serve with chips, salsa, and coronas!

Training days

trainingHalf-marathon training is underway! I’ve got about a month under my belt so far. Because I have workout ADD and also do Crossfit, yoga, and occasionally Pilates and/or boxing on a weekly basis, I’ve limited my running to twice a week right now. I’ll start increasing to three times a week incorporating the longer weekend runs in the next few weeks.

I have to say, I feel so blessed to live near enough to the beach that I can run and watch the sun rise along the horizon in the morning. It’s spectacular. And starting my day at the beach automatically puts me in a better mood. If you live near a beach, go run!

I also stumbled upon a new song to add to my running playlist (thanks Spotify). This one will get ya goin…

Happy running, lovelies!

xo. Brie

Juicing again, and it feels so good…

I have an on-again, off-again relationship with juicing. don’t get me wrong, I love it. However, once I go through all my veggies, I forget to buy more, and juicing slips away again for a few months…only to be re-discovered time and time again!
Lately, in the spirit of becoming more healthy and getting in shape for my upcoming half, I decided to start juicing again for breakfast. You’d think a glass of veggie/fruit juice would leave you hungry for more, but it’s surprisingly filling! All those nutrients I guess.
When I can, I always try to get organic produce, but at the end of the day, juice is alwys better than no juice. So do what you can, but don’t stress out over only juicing organic. It’s all good man…enjoy that juice!

xo. Brie

Everything in the fridge juice
2 small apples
large kale leaf
large chard leaf
5 carrots
1/4 beet
small piece of ginger

Juice everything and pour into a large glass. Toss in a few ice cubes and enjoy!