A little insight into how the mind of this health coach works. I am lucky to have had 3 years experience working in corporate kitchen. Before that I knew how to make pasta and boxed cake and was not unlike many people today are overwhelmed by the idea of cooking. My goal with this blog is to lighten up the mood in your kitchen. Empower you to take chances, and offer you ideas of how look for ways to make your dish just a little healthier.
Yesterday it dawned on me that I had a very busy afternoon so I needed to figure out what I was making for dinner. First step, I had chicken thighs in the fridge I need to use. My girls are a little picky about thighs so I would need to do something in the crockpot where the meat shreds and therefore they wouldn’t be able to tell. I once made a Brunswick stew knockoff, which the girls really liked, so I’ll thought I would try that again. I googled “Healthy Brunswick Stew” and was given one or two options, but just then my internet went out so I couldn’t open the pages. Onto cookbooks. (This is another area where I think people get stuck.)
Two cookbooks later I came up with Ajiaco, a potato, corn and chicken stew. I have never heard of it, and it didn’t sound incredibly healthy, but I had all the ingredients so why not. Here is the original recipe, courtesy of Cooking Light.
1 tbsp olive oil
3 lbs chicken thighs, skinned
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup thinly sliced carrot
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup fresh corn kernels (2 ears)
1 ½ tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 ½ cups finely shredded peeled baking potato
2 ½ cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potato (about 1 pound)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt
½ tsp hot pepper sauce
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
1-2 tbsp olive oil ( I never measure)
1 ½ lbs organic chicken thighs, skinned and boned ( That is what I had!)
1 medium sweet onion, chopped ( In my mind a little more onion can never hurt.)
1 cup thinly sliced carrots (Next time I would even add more.)
4 cups homemade chicken bone broth ( Because I had it. If not I use an organic boxed broth.)
1 cup frozen organic corn ( Always organic when it comes to corn.)
½ head of cauliflower, finely chopped (Much healthier than white potatoes and needed to thicken the base.)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (Also much healthier than white potatoes. Also organic.)
Garnished bowls individually because of personal likes and dislikes in my family.
½ lime wedge
Chopped fresh cilantro
Himalayan Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
I browned the meat then placed it in the crock pot. Add the carrots and onions to the hot pan. Sauteed until soft and then deglazed the pan with the bone broth. Then put everything in the crock pot. Set it on high for 4 hours. And….it turned out really good. I added the lime juice and cilantro to mine. I made a healthy side salad and felt good that everyone was nourished and satisfied.
I hope this helps liberate you. The true way to eat better and eat more real foods is by making your meals yourself. Recipes are there to help you, not restrict you. In my book, an unsuccessful dish is not a failure, more a lesson learned. The more you practice, the more you learn, and the more comfortable you will become.
Do you have a recipe you would like me makeover? Send it along.