InstantPot Chicken Green Chili

It’s fall, y’all! Okay, it’s actually 80 degrees today but next week the high is in the mid-40s with snow forecasted but if that ain’t Colorado for ya, I don’t know what is. Few things kick off the season better than Broncos football, cool evenings, and green chili. This is a meal I grew up with and is a family tradition to make in mass amounts at the end of each farmer’s market season. You could say that green chili is part of my family’s legacy (#toofar?) so I take it really seriously so when the craving struck, I knew I needed an easy and quick way to make it. Hello, InstantPot! I just threw everything in, set it to cook, then ate approximately one million Siete chips while I waited. You can watch the step-by-step recipe on my “Recipes” highlight on Instagram or save this for later. Either way, you’ll love it!

I should warn you of two things though:

  1. This is spicy. Heat runs through my blood, I cannot help it. If you want to mitigate the heat, use a mild green chili sauce and plain diced tomatoes.

  2. This feeds enough to cover your entire church potluck (remember those?) and then some so plan on having it for leftovers!


Okay, let’s get to the recipe!

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InstantPot Chicken Green Chili

Ingredients
1/2 white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T ghee
12 oz chicken bone broth (I used Bonafide Provisions)
28 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
16 oz jar of green chili sauce (I use 505 Southwestern)
1 can of coconut milk
1.5 - 2 lb chicken breasts
2 T arrowroot starch
2 T filtered water
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika

Set InstantPot on low saute and cook onion and garlic in ghee until fragrant. Add in broth, tomatoes, green chili sauce, coconut milk, and chicken. Seal vent and set on high pressure for 12 minutes. Once it’s through the cycle, quick release pressure, remove chicken and shred, setting InstantPot to “Keep Warm”. In small bowl, whisk arrowroot starch and water to form a slurry. Add chicken back into the InstantPot along with arrowroot starch and spices and stir to combine. Allow to sit until slightly thickened and then serve!


I hope you enjoy! If you make it, tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see!

xo,

Cam


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InstantPot Paleo Teriyaki Chicken

I finally did it.

I bought an InstantPot. Because #Costco. I went in for tuna, avocados, and sparkling water and I was done for when I saw the newest InstantPot model and Costco exclusive, Nova Plus. It's been on my wishlist for over a year so I finally did it!

And yes, I'm obsessed and wondering what I ever did without it. 

I was nervous about the learning curve but with lots (and lots!) of Googling, I figured it out and made this incredible teriyaki chicken! It was perfectly sticky, richly flavored, and flawlessly cooked. Even better, it came together pretty darn quickly considering this recipe used to take me 5 hours of slow cooking and approximately 7,384 dishes.

Now that I can cook this in less than 30 minutes, it will definitely be a meal plan staple!

This teriyaki chicken uses coconut aminos in place of soy sauce for a healthier option. You can find coconut aminos in the asian-section of most grocery stores or at Trader Joe's or online at Thrive Market. I use the Big Tree Farms brand at Costco (again, I love Costco) because it saves me SO much money. This recipe also uses a tablespoon of honey but if you're doing Whole30, you can easily omit it with no problem.

So let's stop gabbing about my love affair with Costco and get to the recipe!

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InstantPot Paleo Teriyaki Chicken

Ingredients
3/4 c coconut aminos
3 T rice vinegar
1 T honey, omit for Whole30
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp dried, ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1.5-2 lb chicken breasts, trimmed
1 T water
1 T arrowroot starch, can sub tapioca starch if needed

In small bowl, whisk coconut aminos, vinegar, honey (if using), garlic, fish sauce, and seasonings. Place chicken in the InstantPot and pour teriyaki sauce over, stirring to evenly coat the chicken. Close and secure the lid, ensure vent is set to "sealing", and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Quick release pressure then remove chicken and shred. In small bowl or cup, whisk water and arrowroot starch until a slurry is made. Set InstantPot to "saute" and pour in slurry then heat until thick, stirring often. Add shredded chicken back into the thickened sauce and stir to coat. Serve with cauliflower rice and broccoli.


If you make this in your kitchen, please share with me by tagging me on social media (@_lemonandfig on IG!) or sending me a message! Happy InstantPotting!

xo,

Cam


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Wild Salmon Salad + Creamy Avocado Basil Dressing

As kids head back to school and routines begin again, it feels like summer is slipping away slowly. I'm hanging onto what's left so that means pool days, late-night patio chats, and fresh summer salads. 

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Artwork + Illustration by Janelle Wilke

This salmon salad is one of my favorites! Its fully of essential omega-3 fats, rich flavors, and a fresh dressing. Wild caught salmon is full of vitamin B12 and B3, fat-soluble Vitamin D, selenium, and protein. It's worth the extra money for that deeper color and a balanced fatty acid ratio.

Our bodies need both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids but the American diet is usually really low on omega-3 and really high on omega-6 fatty acids that are damaged, oxidized, and highly processed (ahem, bleached and deodorized!) such as hydrogenated oils and industrial seeds oils like canola and vegetables. When we have too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3, inflammation can wreak havoc.

So where do you buy wild caught salmon? If you're on the coast, fresh fish markets should carry it. If you're like me and landlocked, I buy wild caught salmon from Costco! They come in individual serving packs which makes lunch a total breeze! Add it to your eggs, serve it with cauliflower rice and seaweed salad, or put it on your salad like I do!

Here's how I make my salmon salad!

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Whenever I cook salmon, I use Diane Sanfilippo's 6-Minute Salmon Method! It's perfectly flaky and so easy. While it's broiling, assemble two handfuls of spring mix greens, 1/2 sliced cucumber, a small handful of sliced red onions, and slivered almonds. Place salmon on top of greens and pour on creamy avocado basil dressing

Creamy Avocado Basil Dressing:
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1 small avocado
1 handful of basil leaves, destemmed
2-3 cloves of garlic (1 is never enough!)
1 tsp lemon juice
salt + pepper to taste

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If you need, add filtered water until it can easily be poured.


Enjoy! As always, if you make this, tag me on Instagram (@_lemoandfig) so I can fangirl over your creation!

xo,
Cam

Garlic Chicken with Tomato Basil Sauce

I am so excited to share this recipe with you! This is a family favorite that comes together so quickly (like under 30 minutes!). It's also paleo, dairy-free, and Whole30 compliant. I serve it alongside organic mixed greens a simple homemade balsamic dressing. It also pairs really well with a good white wine for an at-home date night or add it on top of gluten-free pasta for a kid-friendly dish! Seriously, this recipe is so simple and delicious!

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Garlic Chicken with Tomato Basil Sauce

2 T ghee or grass-fed butter
1 T minced garlic
sea salt + pepper
3-4 chicken breasts, trimmed
1 can of organic diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can of full-fat coconut cream
3 tsp dried italian blend seasoning (I love this one)
1 handful of basil

In large skillet, heat ghee and garlic on medium heat until fragrant. Season trimmed chicken breasts with sea salt and pepper to taste then place in skillet, flipping every few minutes until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same skillet, whisk tomatoes, coconut cream, and italian seasonings then place chicken back in and turn stovetop to low, simmering for 5 minutes. While chicken is simmering, ribbon-slice the basil (here's how) and then place on top of the chicken until softened. Serve chicken with an extra spoonful of sauce and enjoy!


As always, if you make this recipe, show me on Instagram! Tag me or send me a DM so I can see this recipe come to life in your kitchen!

xo,

Cameo

How I (Naturally) Helped My Anxiety

I've had anxiety for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it looked like insecurity, sometimes it looked like anxiety attacks, other times it looked normal and healthy on the outside while on the inside, I was in survival mode. It was eventually so bad that my doctor started rotating me through antidepressants, finally landing on a nearly five year stint of Lexapro. 

Unfortunately, I didn't improve. I personally believe that western medicine is beneficial for many and that there is no shame in medication. However, I think there's even more value in accessing the root cause and healing that rather than a band aid fix. I found that my medication (and subsequent prescriptions for the side effects) didn't help and often times just made it worse. With that frustration in mind, I sought out different answers for myself and I found them through real, whole nutrient dense foods.

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I did a Whole30, determined my anxiety trigger foods (um, helloooo gluten!) then built a healthy lifestyle that supported cognitive function (I LOVE this book about that!), balanced blood sugar, and lots of nutrients. This was magic for me, but here are five MORE ways I ditched the anxiety for good:

 

1. I cut out coffee

I've talked about this quite a bit on my Instagram but one of the biggest and easiest wins for me was eliminating coffee and other forms of strong caffeine. This comes down to how your body responds to stress. While you may think that your morning (and afternoon) cup of coffee is giving you a jolt of energy, what's actually happening is a jolt of adrenaline (aka fight or flight). Your body's natural mechanisms for survival are kicking in and for those with anxiety, you're already doing that all. the. time and the long-term affects of this is no walk in the park. When you eliminate caffeine, you can see what you're actually working with and you might find that your body will naturally feel less internal stress without the external substance making it worse.

Action Step: Eliminate coffee for 21 days then reintroduce one cup of strong, cold brew coffee and journal how you feel after. Options for warm, cozy drinks could be decaf coffee (I love Kicking Horse!), Dandy Blend, or herbal tea.

2I lowered my sugar intake

When we consume sugar, our body releases "snow plows" (insulin) to shuffle it where it needs to go for energy. This is normal and a built-in safeguard by your body. Things go awry when we spike our blood sugar really high by consuming excess sugar because what goes up, must come down and it comes down hard. We instantly gravitate towards quick burning fuel which is glucose (aka sugar) but often spike it too high again. This is what we call the "blood sugar roller coaster" and your trusty hormone, insulin is along for the ride. When one hormone is tugged on, the entire web of other hormones feel it too and just like with coffee, cortisol (your fight-or-flight hormone) becomes unregulated meaning you're feeling added stress, hanger, and fatigue.

Action Step: Be mindful of how much added sugars you consume and keep high protein, high fat snacks on hand instead of fruit smoothies, cereal, or cookies.

3. I slept (a lot) more

When you're not getting adequate sleep, your sugar cravings go up, your body stores more fat, inflammation increases, and stress skyrockets (again, #hormones). It's easy for people to boast how little sleep they can get each night but your body can't withstand that for too long without crashing and crashing hard. Aim to get 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. 

Action Step: Identify the activities you do first thing in the morning or after work in the evening and eliminate one hour per day (like Netflix), allotting that to sleep instead. If you can only do that 3-4 days per week, start with that!

4. I take CBD oil

No, CBD oil doesn't mean you're smoking pot in your mom's basement. CBD is less than .3% THC (what gets you high) and isn't psychoactive meaning you won't have any of the psychological effects of marijuana. CBD, or hemp extract, works with your  Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to keep your body in balance. The National Institue of Drug Abuse found that CBD oil helps with anxiety and the symptoms of anxiety such as increased heart rate and insomnia. I personally opt for CW Hemp and take about two droppers before bed or when I feel acute anxiety. You can check out my Instagram highlight "CBD Oil" for commonly asked questions.

Action Step: Research CBD oil and see if it's an option that's right for you.

5. Talk it out

Not all forms of anxiety can be solved with diet and lifestyle changes. Some require medical intervention and others involve emotional intervention. Your mileage may vary, but vocalizing the scary things that go on in your head is a great way to shine light in the darkness. This can be as simple as telling your spouse "I'm feeling anxiety over ____________ and I could really use ____________". This could also look like hiring a life coach or going to a therapist. Situational anxiety can feel heavy in our bodies so "draining the poison" is often a great way to end the echo chamber of our own heads.

Action Step: Start small and make a list of things that would be helpful in the hight of anxiety; things like a good movie, a heavy blanket, going on a walk, or having a good cry sesh. Then when you're feeling anxious, ask a close friend or family member to help you with an item on that list. 


I get it. Anxiety is tough but there are ways to ease the burden and get to the root cause

What's worked for you? What hasn't worked? Join the conversation on Instagram!

xo,

Cameo

P.S. Here are some helpful resources for you!
Healing Anxiety with Functional Medicine
The Top 5 Reasons Whole30 Improves Depression + Anxiety
Find a Therapist
Holly Higgins, NTP - Mental Health Nutrition Program