Chicken Enchilada Stew

Fall, how I love thee! The change of leaves; cool, brisk air; apples, cider, and pumpkins; and promise of Halloween in the air. The season for comfort food has begun. Although it’s not really cool in Charlotte yet, I was craving a stew. I was intrigued by a recipe posted in one of the essential oil Facebook groups I belong to, so I set out to create my own yumminess!

I’ve adjusted it to suit my personal taste, and it came out medium-spicy. If you prefer your stews mild, back off a little on the chili powder and the chilies. If you love it hot, try adding some Serrano chilies to the mix! It came out quite thick, which is exactly the way I like it. I recommend adding the vegetable broth to thin it just a bit, but not too much.

You can view the original recipe, which makes use of essential oils, on Robyn Mitchell’s Naturally Simple Solutions page. Robyn also has lots of great information on doTERRA essential oils, which I am just starting to learn about. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the specific oils on hand to try with this, but I will the next time. If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils with me, please let me know! 🙂

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Chicken Enchilada Stew

2 lbs. organic chicken breasts
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 jalapenos chilies, seeded and chopped
2 poblano chilies, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 14 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 14 oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin (or 2 drops Cumin essential oil)
2 tsp. dried oregano (or 1 drop Oregano essential oil)
Freshly ground pepper to taste (or 1 drop Black Pepper essential oil)
Salt to taste (optional)

1 14 oz. can dark red kidney beans
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
8 oz. vegetable broth (optional)

Garnish: Avocado, Cilantro, Limes (or 1 drop Lime essential oil)

Mix the vegetables (except the beans), oil, sauce, and spices in a large bowl until just combined. Place the chicken in the slow cooker, and pour the vegetable mixture on top.

Cook the stew in the slow cooker on low for eight hours, or on high for six hours. Add the kidney and garbanzo beans to the stew. If it is too thick for your liking, add the vegetable broth. Set the slow cooker for another hour on low, or 30 minutes on high.

When the slow cooker is finished, remove and shred the chicken in a bowl. Add it back to the stew and stir to combine.

Serve topped with chopped avocado and cilantro, and lime wedges.

Enjoy! 🙂

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Summer Spicy Shrimp Tacos: Muy Delicioso!

Summer is the perfect time for spicy tacos with an ice cold Corona. Occasionally I like a crunchy taco shell, but most often prefer a soft flour or corn tortilla. I picked up some pico de gallo at Whole Foods, and whipped up some quick guacamole. Whole Foods usually has good store-made guacamole as well if you’d prefer to not make your own.

Olive oil, olive oil, olive oil! I use olive oil frequently in my cooking, and am crazy about the new stores opening in Charlotte that sell fused/infused oils and vinegars. I have two favorite stores – Pour Olive and New World Olive Oil. I’ve found I like New World’s fused oils and Pour Olive’s vinegars best, but they both offer top notch products. Fused means fresh ingredients are added at the time the olives are crushed, making it integral to the oil itself. Infused is flavoring added after the oil has been milled. Today’s recipe features New World’s Jalapeno-fused olive oil – it has a clean, bright peppery taste.

The combination of spices and jalapeno-fused olive oil make these shrimp tacos quite spicy. If you prefer a milder taste, use regular olive oil and omit the regular chili powder. The chipotle chili powder adds a smoky, spicy kick by itself and is an excellent compliment to the cumin, found in a lot of Mexican cooking.

Spicy Shrimp Tacos

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Sour Cream
Serves 2

1 lb white shrimp (12 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Sprinkling of salt (I used Red Hawaiian)
1 tablespoon jalapeno-fused olive oil

Lime-Cilantro Sour Cream
¼ cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¼ teaspoon cumin
Zest and juice from a lime
Sprinkling of salt

4 soft flour tortillas
Guacamole
Pico de Gallo
Shredded Mexican Cheese

Whisk the garlic, chili powders, cumin, salt and olive oil together in a bowl. Add the shrimp and toss well to make sure all are covered in marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Mix together all ingredients for the lime-cilantro sour cream. The sauce will be runny, which is good for drizzling over the tacos. Store in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the tacos.

Heat a medium-large skillet on medium heat and cook the shrimp until pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Heat the tortillas in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds. Place two on each plate, and sprinkle some shredded Mexican cheese across the center; add a couple dollops of guacamole. Put three shrimp on each taco; top with pico de gallo and drizzle some lime-cilantro sour cream across the top.

Garnish with limes wedges and cilantro sprigs. Enjoy! 🙂

It’s All About the Lobster!

Summertime is here, and to me that means the start of peak lobster time. The majority of lobsters are harvested between June and December. The warmer weather and increased tourism drive the demand for lobster higher during this timeframe. However, you can get high quality lobster any time of the year from the right fishmonger.

I picked up a pound of fresh cooked lobster meat from Clean Catch this week, craving the ultimate seafood sandwich – the lobster roll. A mixture of tail, claw and knuckle meat; this lobster was cooked perfectly and ready for any recipe. I used half of it to make my ‘Southern Lobster Rolls’, still deciding what to do with the other half. Two things make these a Southern variation – Duke’s mayonnaise and a shot of hot sauce; I choose a new hot sauce that I got at Pour OliveLeRoy’s Fiery Green Olive. Enjoy!

Southern Lobster Rolls

½ lb cooked lobster meat, chopped into nice size chunks
2 Tablespoons Duke’s Mayonnaise
Juice of ½ of a lime
1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Hawaiian Red Salt to taste
2 whole wheat buns, lightly toasted and buttered

Mix all ingredients together except the lobster and buns; season to taste with salt and pepper. The lobster should be the star here, so let it shine through and don’t over season.

Add the mayonnaise mix to the lobster, and stir gently until the lobster is just coated. Be careful to not shred the lobster while mixing. Divide the lobster between the two buns, and dig in! A cool glass of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio is a wonderful accompaniment.

Lobster Roll