Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables

When it comes to incredible, healthy comfort food you can’t beat Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables. Easy to prepare, stunning to look at, and oh so aromatic and flavorful. Truly a delight for the senses!
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Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables #gamehens #roastchicken #recipesfortwo #whole30 #paleo

The Hens:

We love roasted chicken, but now that it’s just the two of us we opt for organic game hens, rubbed in herbed butter and roasted to perfection! And just the right portion size. Of course if you are cooking for more than two, use a roasting pan and you can double or even triple the recipe.

Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables #gamehens #roastchicken #recipesfortwo #whole30 #paleo

The Veggies:

Sweet shallots, brightly colored rainbow carrots, and potatoes round out this beautiful meal.

Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables #gamehens #roastchicken #recipesfortwo #whole30 #paleo

Roasting:

I definitely like to keep meals easy. And while this meal requires a little prep, after that you just   pop it in the and let the hens and vegetables roast together in one pan for easy clean up. It cooks while you go do other things, like check your Instagram.

Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables #gamehens #roastchicken #recipesfortwo #whole30 #paleo

The Recipe: Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables

Tips and what you need: make sure to allow time for hens to completely thaw and then remove from the oven an hour before cooking to allow to come to room temp before cooking. You will need a cast iron or oven safe pan.

5 from 2 votes
Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables

A delicious one pan meal for two! Paleo and Whole 30.

Course: dinner, Main Course
Keyword: gluten free, Paleo, roast chicken, whole30
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 2 1 pound game hens (room temp)
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots, peeled and sliced into 2" pieces (I used rainbow carrots)
  • 2 medium size rose potatoes, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temp (can be subbed with ghee)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste, be generous
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 3 sprigs rosemary. 1 sprig leaves chopped, 2 left whole
  • 3 cloves garlic (one minced, the other two left whole)
  • zest of half a lemon, cut other half into wedges
Instructions
Prep Chicken:
  1. Be sure hens are completely thawed and remove them from fridge an hour before cooking so they can come to room temp. Rinse under warm water inside and out, pat dry with paper towels set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in center position

  3. Prep veggies and place in cast iron skillet or oven safe pan, drizzle with olive oil, generously sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, toss

Prep Herbs and Butter:
  1. Strip leaves from thyme sprig and chop, strip leaves from one sprig rosemary and chop (about 1 teaspoon), mince 1 clove garlic. Zest half the lemon and cut the second half into two wedges.

  2. Use a fork to mash soft butter, minced garlic, lemon zest, thyme, chopped rosemary and generous pinches of sea salt and black pepper together. Melt butter mixture, set aside

  3. Make two small wells in pan by pushing the veggies to the side and set hens in each well. Use hands or pastry brush to rub/brush herb butter mixture onto chicken 

  4. Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour, rotating pan a half turn 30 minutes into cooking (note: ovens are notoriously inconsistent and cooking time can vary depending on size of bird and altitude. Juices should run clear and internal temperature should be 165 degrees. You can use a meat thermometer if you want to take the guess work out of it)

  5. If chicken isn't quite browned enough, turn on broiler for a few minutes to brown. When hens are done, remove from pan, tent with foil and allow to "rest" for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and put pan with veggies back into the oven while you wait.

  6. To plate: place veggies and chicken onto plates, drizzle with pan drippings and garnish with parsley if desired. Serve and enjoy!

 

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Easy Mango Salsa!

Mangos are in season! You know why? Because mangos are always in season here in the United States. We’re lucky to have access to many different varieties of mangos, and because they each have their own unique seasons, we can enjoy mangos and this Easy Mango Salsa all year long.
This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales but your price remains the same.)

Easy Mango Salsa! #mangosalsa #whole30 #paleo #fruitsalsa

Mango Tips:

1. Ripe mangos should be firm but have a little ‘give’ when lightly pressed, like a ripe but firm avocado. Keep unripe mangos on the counter at room temperature. Mangos shouldn’t be refrigerated before they are ripe.
2. Mangos will continue to ripen at room temperature, becoming sweeter and softer over several days.
3.To speed up ripening process, place mangos in a paper bag  and roll the bag closed.
4.Once ripe, mangos should be moved to the refrigerator, which will slow down the ripening process. Whole, ripe mangos may be stored for up to five days in the refrigerator.
5. Mangos can be peeled, cubed and placed in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to six months.
Easy Mango Salsa! #mangosalsa #whole30 #paleo #fruitsalsa

THE SALSA!:

If you are able, make this salsa the morning of the day you plan on serving it. That gives the  flavors need a chance to meld…but if you forget to plan ahead, no worries! It will still be delicious served right away.

Easy Mango Salsa! #mangosalsa #whole30 #paleo #fruitsalsa

LEARN TO WORK WITH CHILI PEPPERS!

This salsa does contain Serrano chilis. Chili peppers are hot little thangs so you’re going to want to know how to handle them safely, luckily I can help you with that! Click to learn How to Handle a Hot Chili Pepper.

Easy Mango Salsa! #mangosalsa #whole30 #paleo #fruitsalsa

Serving Suggestions:

We love this sweet and spicy mango salsa on fish, like this tropical salmon….

Easy Mango Salsa! #mangosalsa #whole30 #paleo #fruitsalsa

…and we love it on our Spicy Lime Chicken

Easy Mango Salsa! #mangosalsa #whole30 #paleo #fruitsalsa

…or our pulled pork tacos. Of course this salsa is great on plain old tortilla chips too!

Easy Mango Salsa! #mangosalsa #whole30 #paleo #fruitsalsa

The Recipe: Easy Mango Salsa!

What you need: a good knife! Click to learn How to Handle a Hot Chili Pepper.

5 from 17 votes
Mango Salsa
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Sweet and tangy with a blast of heat.

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: kid-friendly recipes, party recipe, summer recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 1 large mango, peeled, cored and diced
  • ¼ of a medium red onion. finely diced
  • 2 tsp cilantro, freshly chopped
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 serrano chili, finely minced (use as much or little as you wish)
  • ½ of a small red bell pepper, diced
  • Pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except serrano chili and toss. Add serrano a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, stirring between additions until desired heat is achieved. Cover and refrigerate till serving.

 

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Steak Au Poivre (Peppered Filet Mignon)

When it comes to steak, Filet Mignon is king. And when it comes to preparation, I am all about cooktop seared, oven finished Steak au Poivre!
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Steak Au Poivre~ Peppered Filet Mignon #steakaupoivre #filetmignon #whole30 #paleo #keto

Don’t Be Intimidated by The French

“Steak au Poivre” is simply a steak seasoned generously with ground peppercorns and sea salt. It’s actually very easy to make, so don’t let the French make you think otherwise. Fancy doesn’t have to be hard or require any special skill.

Steak Au Poivre~ Peppered Filet Mignon #steakaupoivre #filetmignon #whole30 #paleo #keto

Let’s Talk Steak:

Filet Mignon is the most tender cut of beef there is. So, a simple seasoning of ground peppercorns and sea salt is all that’s needed to add superb flavor. But if you want to enhance this recipe a little more, I offer the option to top with garlic chive butter!

Steak Au Poivre~ Peppered Filet Mignon #steakaupoivre #filetmignon #whole30 #paleo #keto

Tips for Cooking the Perfect Filet!

  1. Allow filets to rest on the counter for 30-60 minutes so they can come to room temperature
  2. Allow the pan to heat for several minutes so that it is very hot when steaks are placed. You should hear the pssshhhhhh sound when that meat hits the pan!
  3. Sear on the cooktop then finish in the oven to perfection! I will give you the timing for perfect ‘done-ness’ in the recipe below.
  4. Allow to rest for five minutes once removed from the oven. This allows the juices to redistribute.

Steak Au Poivre~ Peppered Filet Mignon #steakaupoivre #filetmignon #whole30 #paleo #keto

The Pan I Use:

I use either a cast iron grill pan or my Anolon Tri-Ply Clad 12” Deep Ground Grill Pan. Both generate enough heat to create that caramelized finish you see in the photos below and both are safe non toxic options!

Steak Au Poivre~ Peppered Filet Mignon #steakaupoivre #filetmignon #whole30 #paleo #keto

The Recipe: Steak Au Poivre ~ Peppered Filet Mignon

Tips and what you need: a cast iron grill pan or Anolon Tri-Ply Clad 12” Deep Ground Grill Pan. I love Maldon Sea Salt and buy the tub to save money, You will need either a rolling pin or a coffee grinder (nothing fancy and totally cheap) to grind pepper corns.

5 from 14 votes
Steak Au Poivre~ Peppered Filet Mignon
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
7 mins
Total Time
17 mins
 

Tender, flavorful filet mignon seared on the cooktop and finished in the oven to perfection!

Course: dinner
Keyword: beef, filt mignon, keto, Paleo, steak, whole30
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns (ground in coffee grinder or crushed with rolling pin until some are roughly ground and others are finely ground)
  • 2 6-8 ounce filet mignon steaks
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Optional for Chive Butter Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons soft butter (or ghee)
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
Instructions
  1. If possible, remove steaks from fridge 30-60 minutes before cooking and allow to come to room temp. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees and place oven rack in center position.

  2. Grind peppercorns in a coffee grinder (or use a rolling pin to grind them) until you have some finely ground and some partially ground peppercorns. Place pepper on plate in a thin layer. Press filets into pepper, turnover and press other side. If you love pepper, don’t be afraid to use a lot. If you are not a huge pepper fan, still use more than you ordinarily would. These are thick cut steaks and you will lose some pepper during cooking.

  3. Sprinkle filets with sea salt, to taste.

  4. Heat an oven safe pan on cook top on high heat for 4 minutes. (To sear the steak the pan needs to be really hot. When you place the steak on the pan, you should hear the pppsssshhhh sound.) 

  5. When pan is hot, pour a good layer of olive oil into pan. Lower heat to medium high. Add steaks to pan and sear for 5 minutes on first side. Using tongs, gently turn steak over, sear for one minute. Then put pan in preheated oven.

How to get the right 'done-ness'
  1. Let steaks cook in oven for 5 minutes for rare, 7 minutes for medium rare, or 8-9 minutes for medium. (note: this is a general guideline. Every oven cooks differently, altitude matters as does what kind of pan you use. Your time may vary, but once you figure out what works in your oven, you'll have it mastered!)

  2. (optional) While steaks are in oven, make chive butter sauce by using a fork to mash butter (or ghee) with garlic and chives

  3. When steaks are ready, remove from oven, plate and top with chive butter sauce. Let rest for 5 minutes to redistribute juices. (note: steaks continue to cook while resting, so trust the process and try not to cut into steak to check 'doneness'. Serve!

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Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary

I love crock pot meals any time of year. In colder seasons slow cookers make the most comforting savory meals, and in warmer months they create lovely lighter meals without heating up the kitchen, plus they help with time management! And who doesn’t love prepping early and coming home to a beautiful, warm meal and a house that smells divine? No one, that’s who. When it comes to amazing crock pot meals, this slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary ranks way up high on our list of family favorites
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales but your price remains the same.)

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary #crockpot #chickendinner #paleo #whole30 #slowcooker

Making this Meal:

I made this meal with my Cuisinart Multicooker. It browns/sautés, steams and roasts! So instead of having to brown the chicken and sauté the veggies in a separate pan and transfer to the crock pot, I browned the chicken, sautéed the veggies, and slow cooked it all in the crock pot. Only one dish to clean! That said, if you have a regular crock pot you can certainly brown the chicken and onions in a pan and transfer to the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary #crockpot #chickendinner #paleo #whole30 #slowcooker

Only Three Steps: Dredge, Brown, Cook!

I followed one of the recipes in the  Cuisinart Multicooker cookbook…and by ‘follow’ I mean I changed it…because that’s how I roll. I added carrots and instead of using all thigh meat I added one chicken breast because my husband is a breast man (yep, I said that). I spent a little time prepping in the morning and six hours later I had a healthy dinner!

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary #crockpot #chickendinner #paleo #whole30 #slowcooker

Make This Recipe Gluten or Grain Free:

To keep this recipe gluten free, simply dredge your chicken in your favorite gluten free flour, I recommend Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour. To make this recipe Paleo/Whole30/grain free, I use cassava flour. No matter which you choose, this meal will be gorgeous, light, lemony and fall off the bone tender!

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary #crockpot #chickendinner #paleo #whole30 #slowcooker

The Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken with Rosemary and Carrots

You will need a  Cuisinart Multicooker  (or regular crock pan and a good quality pan, preferably cast iron for good browning) sea salt, freshly turned pepper and chicken broth (<—my recipe) To make this recipe gluten free I recoemmend Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour. To make this recipe Paleo/Whole30/grain free, I use cassava flour or almond meal.

5 from 4 votes
Summer Slow Cooker Recipe~ Lemon Chicken with Rosemary
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 30 mins
 

I adapted this recipe from the Cuisinart Multi Cooker Cookbook. If you are using a regular slow cooker you will need to brown the chicken and sauté the onions and garlic in a separate pan. Instructions for both included below.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy dinner recipe, slow cooker recipe, summer recipe
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 1 T olive oil, butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • 4 pounds bone in skin on chicken thighs (I always throw in a breast, you can even use a whole cut up chicken)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite flour (Gluten free use GF flour, grain free peeps use garbanzo bean or cassava flour)
  • 3 large yellow onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 8 carrots, thinly sliced (1/8" thick)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 springs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Trim chicken of extra fat, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and dredge in your choice of flour, set aside.

  2. Slice onions, carrots (carrots should be thin or they won't cook through, about 1/8") chop garlic, zest lemons, then squeeze lemon juice, set aside
  3. Put butter, ghee, coconut oil or olive oil in Multicooker and set to brown/sauté at 400 degrees (or place in a cast iron pan on medium high heat)
  4. Once the pan and fat are hot, add half the chicken skin side down and brown six minutes per side. Remove and repeat with second batch of chicken. Set all chicken on a plate.
  5. Add garlic and onions to crock pot (or pan) and sauté until softened and slightly browned (about 8 minutes)
  6. Add rosemary, a pinch of sea salt and a few turns of pepper.
  7. Add lemon juice, scraping brown bits from pan with wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Let juice come to a boil and reduce by half (about 2 minutes)
  8. Add broth and lemon zest, stir. (If using a traditional crock pot add all to veggies to crock pot now)
  9. Add sliced carrots, and nestle browned chicken on top, then lemon slices. Place lid on multicooker and set to slow cook on low for 6 hours.
  10. Serving suggestions: I love it as is but you can serve it with salad, steamed broccoli or over rice, barley, quinoa or couscous.

I felt like fairies came in and cooked for me while I went about my busy day! I hope you will try using your slow cooker this summer. It really does make life easier and more tasty!

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Rosemary #crockpot #chickendinner #paleo #whole30 #slowcooker

Easy Chunky Guacamole

Guacamole…what is there to say other than it makes just about everything taste better. Being from California, we eat guacamole like other people eat butter, we slather that stuff on everything including toast. And this Easy Chunky Guacamole is always our family favorite!
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales but your price remains the same.)

Easy Chunky Guacamole #guacamole #whole30 #paleo #keto

Easy and Full of Healthy Fats!

An avocado a day keeps the doctor away, that is a fact. Or not, I will let you decide. But mash an avocado with a little garlic, pico de gallo, olive oil and a little sea salt and I promise no one, not even the doctor will want to stay away:)

Easy Chunky Guacamole #guacamole #whole30 #paleo #keto

How to Pick a Ripe Avocado:

Generally speaking, you want an avocado that is firm (not hard) but has a little ‘give’. But when it comes to making guacamole, avocados can be a bit softer. If you can’t wait for avocados to ripen on the counter naturally, place them in a paper bag with an apple or banana to speed up the process. Learn how to core and slice an avocado here.

Easy Chunky Guacamole #guacamole #whole30 #paleo #keto

Use Store Bought Pico de Gallo or Homemade!

This easy recipe requires nothing more than tossing chunks of ripe avocado with a little olive oil, garlic and pico de gallo. You can use store bought or my homemade version! Either way your guacamole will be a hit!

 

Serving Suggestions…

Serve with fish tacos, pulled pork tacos, butternut squash tostadas, sweet potato fries, or these caramelized veggie quesadillas!

 

The Recipe: Easy Chunky Guacamole

What you need: a good knife! Click to learn How to Handle a Hot Chili Pepper.

5 from 1 vote
Easy Chunky Guacamole
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Less is more! Keep it simple and fresh!

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: crowd pleaser, kid-friendly recipes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Linda Spiiker
Ingredients
  • 3 avocados peeled and diced
  • Juice of half a lime
  • ½ cup Traditional Pico de Gallo (you can use store bought or my recipe linked above) recipe above
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Serrano chili minced (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Squeeze lime juice over diced avocados. Add traditional pico de gallo, garlic, oil, sea salt and gently toss.