Creamy Chicken Paprikas (Comfort food all the way)

Chicken Paprikas is a flavorful, creamy comfort food! Serve over noodles of choice, including zucchini noodles for a lovely grain-free version. It's also dairy free!Today Naomi shares an incredibly delicious comfort food dish, Creamy Chicken Paprikas, that she thoughtfully made dairy free and grain free! My mouth waters just reading through her recipe. As a mom of a newborn, I love how simple this recipe is to make as well. Thanks so much Naomi! — Kimi 

By Naomi, from Almost Bananas

Although paprikas (pronounced paprikash) is originally of Hungarian origin, it is also commonly made in Slovakia, where I live. Sweet paprika is the key to this simple but delicious creamy sauce for chicken.

After a long spell, it has started to snow here again. Small flakes, whirling around in the wind, it’s amazing that they can add up to deep drifts.

The children press their noses to the windows, excited to see the white fluff falling. As soon as there is enough to play with, they dash outside. Its perfect snowball snow and children from the neighouring apartment buildings come out of the woodwork. A snowman with walnut eyes and buttons, snow forts loaded with snowballs, an igloo. I’m like a kid, kneeling in the snow to build a fort, pulling the toddler twins on the sled like a horse.

We think of winter as the time for comfort food, dishes that bring pleasure and contentment. The warmth, both physical and emotional, combats the cold outside, heating us up from our bellies.

Although its during below freezing weather that we come inside with flushed cheeks and stiff fingers, I find I crave comfort more during winters without snow, even if the temperature is warmer. Grey skies, grey trees, dull weather, dull everything. A warm meal shared around the table with family helps lift that dull grey mood.

Sometimes comfort food is food from childhood. Noodle filled broth based soups were always a part of my Japanese father’s winter lunches, similar to Miso Noodle Soup. Or it could be roast beef or lamb, surrounded by potatoes and carrots in Mom’s cast iron pot, preferably with our own mountain pastured meat.

Sometimes comfort food is new, but oh so satisfying. Slovak food, fortunately, is the epitome of this type of comfort food. Creamy Sauerkraut Stew, for example, makes use of the tradition of making sauerkraut during the winter. Strapacky is a dish of little dumplings baked with bacon and sauerkraut (I use potatoes, sweet potatoes, or cauliflower in place of dumplings for a faster and grain free meal). Bacon – doesn’t that make any dish a comfort food?

Paprikas fits the bill of comfort food as well. Any kind of chicken will do: you can cut up a whole chicken, use drumsticks and thighs, or just the breast meat. Normally heavy cream is called for, but for these photos I used coconut cream to see if it worked, and fortunately it does!

My mother in law serves paprikas over macaroni. You can use a variety of vegetable noodles, pasta, or grains to serve paprikas, from zucchini noodles to rice.

Other chicken recipes you may enjoy:

 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp lard or other cooking fat
  • 1 large (200g) onion
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 3½ lbs (1.6 kg) chicken (I used chicken legs, wings, and breast. If you use only legs, use a little more; if only breast, use a little less)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup+ (250 ml+) bone broth or water
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream or coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot (or thickener of choice)
Instructions
  1. Chop onion, add to melted cooking fat in a large pan (I used an enameled roasting pan). Cook over medium heat until translucent. Meanwhile, wash chicken. Cut up chicken breasts if using.
  2. Add paprika to onion, stir, and add chicken immediately. Paprika quickly burns and then becomes bitter.
  3. Add salt, bone broth or water, and simmer covered for about an hour (less for chicken breast). You will probably have to add extra liquid until the liquid is just below the level of the chicken.
  4. When ready to serve, pour in cream or coconut cream and stir. Mix arrowroot with a bit of milk or water, and pour into the dish, stirring around the chicken.
  5. Serve over zucchini noodles, riced cauliflower, or pasta or grains of choice.

 

avatarA Canadian transplanted to Slovakia, Naomi aims to cook real food and create an environmentally friendly and beautiful home for her family of six. The closest she’s come to her dream farm is growing tasty live bacteria on the counters. The simple life is an illusive ideal that she nevertheless contineus to strive toward, although two year old twins make sure it’s never boring. Naomi shares her food creations and photos of Slovakia at Almost Bananas. She looks forward to connecting with you on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

By April Swiger, Contributing writer

Comfort food at its finest – this unique chili recipe is satisfying, nourishing, and quick to put together for any night of the week. Vitamin A, C, and beta-carotene-rich butternut squash serves as a delicious base for this recipe, making it hearty enough to prepare without any additional grains (something our family has experimented with eliminating recently). This winter gourd is my favorite for cold-weather recipes, and a staple in my kitchen until spring starts to make its appearance.

Chili is my go-to recipe for crowds, and I typically make it 3-4 times a month for my family. It’s a relatively simple meal, especially for busy moms who desire to cook nourishing food for their families. Put everything in a pot, let it simmer, and serve it with a variety of yummy toppings. To be honest though, my typical recipe was beginning to bore me. I served chili with rice, roasted potatoes, tortillas, organic corn chips, you name it I probably tried it! It was time for a change.

Butternut squash is jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients essential to help combat cold and flu season. A mere one cup serving will give your immune system a very nice boost. On top of that, who can resist that gorgeous tangerine color? I use a strong vegetable peeler to easily take the skin off, and then quickly chop it into small pieces for this recipe.

This recipe makes a very large pot and serves our family of three a hearty dinner, as well as a filling lunch the next day. The leftovers are equally as delicious, and it freezes great as well!

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
 
This simple chili recipe has a unique twist with the addition of butternut squash! It proves to be filling, nourishing, and perfect for any night of the week.
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small - medium butternut squash (2-3lbs), chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 cup cooked pinto beans
  • 1½ cups crushed tomatoes (I love the BPA free Pomi cartons during the winter when fresh tomatoes aren’t as accessible)
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 3 cups broth
  • OPTIONAL: Cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado, chopped green onions, etc.
Instructions
  1. Place the chopped onion, beef, and butter in a large pot. Cook on medium high heat until the meat is browned and completely cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and chop the squash, garlic, and gather the rest of your ingredients.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients (garlic, squash, beans, tomatoes, spices, broth) to the pot. Bring everything to a boil, turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45-60 minutes until the squash is soft.
  4. Top with your favorite chili toppings. I love avocado and cheddar cheese!

 

Crock-Pot Sweet Potatoes with Maple Cinnamon Butter

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes with Maple Cinnamon Butter : This easy method for making sweet potatoes it fail proof and produces moist potatoes. Top it with a delicious maple cinnamon butter for an especially great side dish!Friends, as I soak in the newborn days, I am thrilled to bring to you some guest posts from fellow bloggers. One of the topics I suggested was to share some of their favorite slow cooker/Crock-Pot recipes. It really was a rather selfish request because, as a mother of a newborn, I knew I’d be using mine a lot more in upcoming days! And really, these type of recipes work well for anyone!

Today Dena shares one of hers. This easy of easiest ways to make sweet potatoes wins me over at once, but the sweet maple cinnamon butter certainly makes the recipes irresistible! I can’t wait to try it. See other slow cooker recipes here: Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes, Slow Cooker Pot Roast (Cook Once, Eat Thrice), Shawarma Whole Chicken in the Crock-Pot  – Kimi 

By Dena, from Back To The Book Nutrition

Warning: Your life is about to get much easier. I’ve discovered yet another simple favorite that can be made in the Crock Pot: Sweet Potatoes! (Did you know you can also make creamy homemade yogurt in the slow cooker?)

This method can be used with russet or other potatoes as well, though cooking times may vary a bit depending on the type of potato (more time for russets or less time for reds, whites, and golds).

Sweet potatoes are simple enough to bake in the oven, but I hate that they occupy the oven for an entire hour right when I’m usually needing it to cook another part of the dinner (Rosemary and Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin, anyone?).

Well, I’ve got a very simple solution, and it uses far less energy, to boot! Toss your washed spuds into the crock pot with a splash of water a few hours before dinner time, then go about the rest of your afternoon enjoying the warm, sweet aroma of sweet potatoes filling your home.
It’s nice – really nice.

You know what else is really nice? Maple Cinnamon Butter.

It’s a delightfully creamy blend of three of my very favorite ingredients. It’s the perfect finishing touch for these sweet potatoes, but is also great for slathering on toast, stirring into oatmeal or other hot cereals, and adding to your coffee (I don’t drink butter coffee myself but I just don’t see how “maple cinnamon butter coffee” wouldn’t be an improvement on the original!).

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes with Maple Cinnamon Butter : This easy method for making sweet potatoes it fail proof and produces moist potatoes. Top it with a delicious maple cinnamon butter for an especially great side dish!

 

Crock-Pot Sweet Potatoes with Maple Cinnamon Butter
 
 
Ingredients
  • 6-8 medium sweet potatoes, washed (no need to dry)
Instructions
  1. Place sweet potatoes in Crock Pot. Add ¼ cup water. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.
  2. I like to use a pastry brush to brush a bit of the water from the crock pot on all sides of the potatoes just before serving. If you're planning on keeping the cooked potatoes warm in the slow cooker for a while before serving them, you may want to occasionally open the lid and give them all a good water brushing to keep their skins nice and soft.
  3. Recipe Notes:
  4. I used a newer, 6 quart Crock-Pot for this recipe. I've noticed that it cooks much more quickly than my older, 4½ qt Crock Pot. If you have a smaller, and/or older version, you may need to extend the cooking time a bit.

Maple Cinnamon Butter
 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup pastured butter (I use salted), softened
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/16 tsp (a few drops) pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together vigorously until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately or chill for a few hours in the fridge if preferred.
  2. Recipe Notes:
  3. This recipe makes just enough for 6-8 sweet potatoes. If you'd like to have extra for other uses (which I highly recommend!), you may want to double the batch. This recipe was adapted from Whole Foods' Maple Cinnamon Butter.

Dena Norton Profile Pic - Copy (244x250)

Dena Norton is a registered dietitian (RD) turned stay at home mom. She and her husband, Rick, have two precious children, ages 5 and 2. She recently released the 2nd edition of her e-book entitled, Nutrition By The Book, and blogs at Back To The Book Nutrition,where she inspires others to enjoy and worship God through nutrition and health. Subscribe to Dena’s blog or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Keema Matar (An amazing beef or lamb curry)

Need a simple but delicious dinner? This beef or lamb curry is very quick to make up, but is really delicious!

This surprisingly simple dish of curried ground beef or lamb is full of complex flavor and is a great favorite. Keema (or kheema) matar is a lovely Indian beef or lamb curried dish made with minced or ground meat, curry spices, and peas or potatoes.

My mother-in-law was the master of easy beef and rice dishes (like this Lemon-y Greek Beef and Rice dish) because she often bought a quarter of a grassfed cow all in ground beef for her freezer. Many of these dishes became great favorites of the family, including ours!

I had forgotten about this delicious recipe until I was talking to my sister in law about freezer meals for after our baby was born. She mentioned that this froze well, and was her favorite freezer meal postpartum (she had a baby not that long ago).

I promptly got the recipe from my SIL and ran to the store for the simple ingredients, and made up a quadruple batch! Three batches for our freezer and one for dinner. How could I have forgotten about this delicious recipe?! We devoured it.

While I haven’t been able to stock up my freezer as much as I’d like, I do have a nice little stash set aside (including these freezer meatballs). Perhaps if the baby gives me another week or two, I’ll manage a couple more as well.

Meanwhile, here is this delicious recipe! I’ll note the slight adjustments I made. Serve this with basmati rice, or cauliflower rice for a grain-free version. Naan bread is always a welcome addition as well.

Other Easy and Healthy Recipes you may like:

Easy Paleo Mini Meatloaves
Mexican Beef Bowls
Ground Beef and Cabbage
Cuban Picadillo Lettuce Wraps
Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki
Easiest Teriyaki Chicken Ever
14 Easy Dinner Recipes
Easy Egg Muffins with Ham and Pesto

 

Keema Matar (An amazing beef or lamb curry)
 
Serves: 4
 
Serve over basmati rice, cauliflower rice, and/or naan bread.
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons fat or oil of choice
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced of put through a garlic press
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 green chili peppers, finely chopped (You can cut down on the chili peppers if you don't want it very spicy - I did because spicy food gets more spicy when frozen. Anaheim is a mild green chili you may like. ).
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb (sometimes we do a mix of the both)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Unrefined salt
  • Juice from 1 lemon (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat (use medium is using cast iron), heat the oil or fat of choice until hot. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and chili peppers. Sprinkle generously with salt. Cook, stirring as needed, until the onions are softened.
  2. Add the spices, and mix quickly into the onions, then add the ground meat. Stir thoroughly, and then stir as needed while the meat cooks. For a melded flavor, you can cover and simmer for 15-30 minutes at this point. (Just make sure that your meat doesn't dry out if using low-fat meat and skip if freezing). Right before serving, add peas, lemon juice, and salt to taste. If freezing, freeze before you add the peas.