Baked Lemon Turmeric Chicken

Ah Turmeric, how you turn everything yellow, even my fingers. Turmeric is awesome because it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, it will stain the shit out of everything. So be careful not to spill it everywhere while cooking with it. Turmeric has a delicious earthy flavor but I love mixing lemon, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic with it to make it more exciting for the taste buds!

Baked Lemon Turmeric Chicken | Makes 6 Servings

  • 4 Large Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Turmeric
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder

Instructions:

First, brine the chicken in salt water for 15 minutes.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels before placing in a baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.

Baste the both sides of the chicken with olive oil. Then squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the chicken.

Sprinkle turmeric, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to taste on both sides of chicken. This is where I acquired yellow fingers.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cook time depends on how big your chicken breasts are and how fast your oven cooks.

2 of my chicken breasts were really large so I cut them in half giving me 6 servings.

Portion out into airtight containers and store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Serve with your favorite roasted veggies or a side salad.




Balsamic Chicken Salad

Since it’s finally warmed up a little bit here in the northeast, I was in the mood for salad! This recipe is quick easy and loaded with yummy ingredients!

Balsamic Chicken Salad | Makes 1 Serving

  • Chicken Breast (cooked and chopped)
  • Large Handful of Spring Mix
  • 4 Halved Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/4 Avocado
  • 2 Tbsp Primal Kitchen Balsamic Dressing
  • 2 Sliced Cooked Bacon (Crumbled)
  • Slices of Red Onion
  • Slices of Cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp Feta Cheese

For the Chicken Seasoning:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder

Instructions:

Cook the chicken how you like. Example: bake or grill. I brined mine first, brushed with olive oil, seasoned it and then baked it. Chop into small bite size pieces.

Slice cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, and avocado.

Add all ingredients to a bowl with large handfuls of spring mix. Drizzle with dressing and top with bacon crumbles and feta cheese.

I precut my veggies and store them in airtight containers with the portioned out chicken. I then add that to my spring mix when I’m ready to eat and top with bacon crumbles and dressing last. This way I can still food prep but the leafy greens don’t get soggy. I keep the bacon crumbles wrapped in a paper towel in a zip lock bag in the fridge as well to keep fresh.



Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

Ok guys, this week’s recipe is Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken! I know, I know you’re probably thinking ok there’s like 5,000 of the same recipes out there for this. But! This one is made with Asiago cheese! I love love love Asiago cheese! I know what your thinking, cheese is not Paleo. But I’m the Paleo Squirrel remember? And Squirrels eat cheese. Wait what? Lol I don’t know if Squirrels eat cheese but this one does.

Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken | Makes 6 Servings

  • 6 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 10oz Bag of Fresh Spinach
  • 14oz Can of Artichoke Hearts
  • 8oz Brick of Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Cup Shredded Asiago Cheese

Instructions:

Leave cream cheese out of fridge to soften for about 30 minutes.

Spray a large skillet with avocado oil. Sauté spinach and garlic until spinach is lightly wilted.

Mix artichokes, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, asiago cheese, and sautéed spinach and garlic together in a large mixing bowl.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut large pockets in chicken breasts and place in 2 9×13 baking dishes. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper.

Stuff the chicken breasts with about 3 heaping tablespoons of spinach/artichoke mixture. This may vary depending on how large your chicken breasts are.

Bake chicken for 2) minutes at 375 degrees.

Store in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days.

You’ll have about 2 cups of leftover spinach/artichoke mix so you can store that in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to heat it for yummy dip later. To heat, put it in an oven safe container like a ramekin and heat at 350 degrees until bubbly and melty.


A Ways To Go

This is not a health and wellness post. It’s more about my how I’m feeling in my current situation which I’m hoping someone will relate to and why I’m posting it.

I came to the hard realization that my entire first family is dead. I don’t mean my parents. I mean the family I chose to leave the nest with for the first time and to create my own home with. This family consisted of my long time boyfriend at the time, Jay, and our 2 cats, Gizmo and Gadget.

8 years ago I lost Jay to a brain aneurysm that ruptured. He was 25 years old. 6 years ago I lost Gizmo to severe kidney failure. He was 4 years old. And on Monday, I lost Gadget to complications from cancer. She was 9 years old.

We all go through tragedy, loss, pain, and grief. We all have our own challenges to face and our own battles to fight. But it doesn’t make them any less difficult does it. Knowing others are in pain doesn’t make me feel better to know that I’m not alone in my feelings of grief. It actually makes me more sorrowful because I’m an empathetic person who absorbs the feelings of others.

Seeing others in pain makes me wish I could take it away because I know what pain is like. I know what it’s like when something hurts so badly your heart hurts and your soul is shifted. But no one can take that pain away. Time maybe. But she’s not aways kind either.

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly still have family and friends and a new family consisting of a fiancé and a to be step daughter. I’m surrounded by so much love and support. But that doesn’t make that fact that my first family is dead any less true or any less of a painful realization.

That life I chose to begin has ended, it is dead, not by my choice but by circumstance. I refuse to believe that everything happens for a reason because loved ones being taken from us too soon is not for any reason at all. It just is what it is.

The death of my cat Gadget, brings an end to the last decade of my life. It has closed that chapter of my life for good. But maybe, to the bitter point of things happening for a reason, that had to happen so that I could finally move on to a new chapter of my life. Forcing me onward and forcing me to let go of the things I hold on to that cause me pain.

Not that the last chapter of my life will ever be erased. It’s just forever frozen in time. I’ll never get that part of my life back. I’ll never get back who I was then. But I can look at that person and I can see how she’s grown. I don’t always like her now but she’s still got a ways to go.

Change never did come easy to me. Time has drug me kicking and screaming into the future all the while I have been refusing all change and denying all truth. Time never was to blame though. Time doesn’t take anything away it actually gives so much. It provides opportunity. Opportunity to grow, heal, live, enjoy, love. It’s me that been wasting it. So who is to blame but myself.

– CS Squirrel



Paleo Sausage Ratatouille

This recipe was me trying to figure out the cheapest meal possible. I made it kind of like how I make chili but with different seasonings and I’m calling it Ratatouille because I love that word and that movie. Lol! And because I just damn well do as I please.

I purchased my sweet Italian sausage from my local butcher who only uses locally sourced meats free from hormones, antibiotics, blah blah blah. You know the story.

It came out pretty delicious. I was nervous about this one sucking but it’s full of Italian flavors! Yum!

Paleo Sausage Ratatouille | Makes 13 1 Cup Servings

  • 3lbs Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Yellow Squash
  • 2 Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 Jar Rao’s Traditional Marinara
  • 1/2 of 1 Large Yellow Onion
  • 3 Bell Peppers (mixed colors)
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • Fresh Italian Parsley
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions:

Chop the zucchini, squash, onion, and bell peppers into bite sized pieces.

Remove sausage from casing. Add to a large pot and sauté over medium high heat until cooked through. Drain excess liquid.

While cooking the sausage, heat olive oil in a separate skillet and add onion and garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add zucchini, yellow squash, and peppers. Sauté until tender.

Add veggies to the pot with the sausage. With heat on medium, add fire roasted tomatoes and marinara sauce. Heat through. Add basil and thyme and stir.

Portion out into airtight containers. Top with parsley when ready to eat.


Trust the Process

I keep seeing, hearing, being told “trust the process.” To be honest I don’t know that I trust the process. Sometimes I want to scream at the universe and ask why it has such a shitty sense of humor. I can’t deny though that this week’s message from the universe has been to trust the process. Literally everyday I see it in a meme, hear it in a podcast, get told it from a friend. The universe is screaming this message at me.

2019 has been a serious struggle for me. I’ve been dealing with so many difficult things from family, career, pet, to my own internal battles. I thought 2019 was going to be my best year ever, my year of change and transformation! Well, I’m not sure it’s my best year ever but it certainly is a year of transformation.

I feel the pressure from my circumstances and then when I think I can’t take anymore, a new pressure hits. Some days I sit and ask myself is this shit real? How is all of this even happening?! Well girlfriend, it’s happening, this shit is real, you are sitting in your shit and you are miserable. But you know what? That’s ok! Sometimes we have to sit in this uncomfortable state to learn, grow, and transform. And that’s what I’m doing.

By no means is it pretty. It’s a mess, it’s a struggle, it’s me huffing and puffing around and complaining. But I am changing. I am getting stronger. I’m finding ways to deal with things that are healthier than I ever have before.

I can’t say that I trust the process, I’d say I’m skeptical of the process, constantly asking it questions, wondering if it knows what it’s doing. But I have kind of a controlling personality so it makes sense that I would do that. Maybe that’s the point though, to let a little bit of control go so the process can do its thing.

– CS Squirrel (aka Caitlin)

P.S. – I’ve chosen my writers handle as you can see above! I’m pretty excited about that! Lol