I am normally a very cheerful young woman. I don’t hold grudges, I only stay mad for approximately 5 minutes at a time, and I choose to be optimistic and happy as often as I can. I mean, why waste your days feeling less optimal than you are able to? Am I right?
Well… today I am finding it hard to be cheerful. Why you may ask? Well… because it is going to be snowing/raining for the next few days and COLD, my car is in the shop and I have to pay $2,200 to drive it again (no fault of my own and it’s a luxury 08 which I bought precisely so I WOULDN’T have to deal with this), and it is only Tuesday. Do you see where I am coming from now?
Starting now I am going to focus on happy things to try and lift my spirits, including these reasons:
I still have some Lemon Blueberry Nut Muffins and some paleo brownies in the fridge, my apartment is SUPER clean thanks to being productive before an awesome Stella & Dot Trunk Show I had this weekend, I get a bunch of pretty new jewelry in the mail this week (thanks Martha!), and one month from today I will be on my way to PARIS from LONDON!!!! Holy crap I am excited guys. I have never been to Europe and I am like a school-girl, giddy with excitement 🙂
This recipe is ALSO helping with the crabby-ness because I am absolutely addicted to it. I think I even like it better than any of the chili or curry recipes I have made… and that’s saying a lot. It has some amazing smoky flavors due to my new FAVE TJ’s purchase: South African Smoke Seasoning Blend. It is also chock full of chicken, and reheats really, really well. Perfect for ‘leftovers for lunch’ which is the very best. It feeds two really hungry people (The Dr. and I) for 3 meals pretty easily so if you are less hungry or don’t have a significant other you are forced to feed, then you can freeze half and thaw in a few weeks so you don’t get sick of it (not sure you actually could get sick of it though).
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and it makes the beginning of your week a little brighter. And I also hope that your car is running like a champ and you don’t have to pay someone thousands of dollars to fix it… whoops, there’s that negativity again. Stopping. Now. Okay, scroll down or click here for the recipe!
Sweet Potatoes and Smiles,
The Freckled Foodie
Smoky Chicken Stew
- 12 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (~1.5lbs), trimmed of excess fat, could use chicken breast as well
- 1-2 Tbsp Coconut oil
- 1 Onion, chopped pretty finely
- 2-3 Carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks Celery, chopped
- 1/2 container Mushrooms (optional)
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/2 14oz can Tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp dried Basil
- South African Smoke Seasoning Blend from Trader Joe’s – GO BUY THIS NOW. you NEED it
- 28oz can Fire roasted, diced Tomatoes
- 8oz full fat Coconut milk or Coconut cream
- S&P to taste
- Heat Coconut oil over medium heat and add onions, carrots, and celery
- Cook for 5-10 minutes until they are partially softened
- Transfer to the crock pot and add mushrooms, garlic, tomato paste, basil, and seasoning blend
- Stir until all veggies are coated in tomato paste
- Cut chicken into smaller cubes (otherwise you will have to shred it later which can be annoying)
- Add to crockpot and pour canned tomatoes and coconut milk over it all
- Stir to incorporate
- Cook for 4 hours on high or until chicken and veggies are cooked through
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Serve with another splash of coconut milk over the top to cool it down 🙂
- REALLY good reheated on the stove for leftovers!