Greek Chicken and Whole30
Over the past several years my weight has been on the rise and it has insidiously affected every part of my life. My confidence is shot, my energy level is low and I have stopped participating in many of the things I once enjoyed doing. I know weight is not the determining factor of value in life but for me it has been a constant drain on my emotions and frankly I am ready for a change.
I have tried to stay away from processed foods most of my life. I was raised in a home that didn’t always have the means for extras and learned to cook and make do with very simple ingredients, many of which were grown in the garden. I am grateful to my mom for helping me to acquire such valuable skills. My weight gain has not been so much with the occasional processed foods I indulge in but other factors I am coming to terms with. Here are a few…
- I love food – The flavors, texture and nuances of good food make me giddy with joy. I want to experience it all and in abundance.
- Sugar -No matter how you want to package it…honey, maple syrup or unrefined sugar, it’s still sugar and I have a huge sweet tooth.
- Bread – I never met a loaf of bread I did not like. Add sweet creamy butter and I am over the top ecstatic.
- Wine – Who in their right mind would enjoy a delicious delectable meal without savoring a glass of wine to enhance all those yummy flavors?
- Cheese, cheese and more cheese please – I drool just at the thought of it.
While I never thought of any of these things as being necessarily bad for me, I wanted to take another look at what I might do to reset my body’s system. Obviously something was not working for me as I have gained a whopping 40 pounds in the last 4 years. In searching for answers I stumbled upon Whole30 and decided to give it a go since it already has many of the values I already adhere to.
In case you are wondering, I am not being sponsored by the Whole30 program and they, in fact, have no knowledge of me at all. The program was developed by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, sports nutritionists, and the plan is free unless you want to buy their book. As of this writing I have not.
I started my 30 days of whole food on August 5th and am now more than half way there. I can tell you so far I feel lighter, my pants fit looser and I am not craving sugar; a definite win in my book.
I have been cooking up a storm using foods that are approved for the Whole30 program. Greek Chicken is one of my favorite whole food recipes to date. Chicken thighs swim in a rich savory broth of fresh tomatoes, caramelized onions, arugula and kalamata olives. My only regret with this dish is that I didn’t have more. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
PS…You don’t have to be on the Whole30 program to enjoy this Greek Chicken recipe.
- 2 Tbsp good quality olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 8 chicken thighs
- 2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 6 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped (reserve juice)
- ¼ cup chopped flat parsley
- ¼ cup homemade vegetable broth (if using store bought, buy low sodium with no sweeteners added)
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup arugula
- ½ cup kalamata olives
- Liberally salt and pepper eight chicken thighs, front and back.
- Heat large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add 2 tbsp olive oil.
- Once oil is sizzling, carefully add four chicken thighs to skillet skin side down. Cover the pan to prevent splatter and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until chicken is evenly browned.
- Turn chicken and continue cooking for another 4 to 5 minutes.
- Once browned remove thighs from skillet to a platter, set aside and keep warm.
- Cook remaining 4 chicken thighs in the same manner. (No need to add more olive oil).
- Remove remaining four chicken thighs from skillet and add to the platter. Set all aside and keep warm while cooking the sauce.
- Drain drippings from skillet, reserving two tbsp of the drippings.
- Allow skillet to cool slightly and add back the 2 tbsp reserved drippings, discard the rest.
- Heat skillet over medium heat.
- Add sliced sweet onions to skillet. Stir briefly to coat onions with drippings.
- Reduce heat to low and cook onions, stirring occasionally being careful to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet as you do so.
- Cook onions for 15 to 20 minutes until onions are soft, fragrant, and beginning to caramelize.
- Once onions have caramelized, add minced garlic.
- Cook garlic and onions for 2 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Add diced tomatoes and the reserved juice, parsley, vegetable broth, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika.
- Increase heat until mixture is lightly simmering, cover.
- Simmer sauce for 10 minutes.
- Remove cover, stir and add chicken thighs atop the tomato sauce.
- Cover and continue simmering for an additional 10 minutes or until chicken thighs are tender and cooked through. Remove from heat.
- Remove cover and gently fold in arugula and kalamata olives.
- Serve immediately.
If you are interested in learning more about Whole30 here is a link to the blogsite that will give you all you need to know.
Click here…> Whole30 Blogsite
Here are a few affiliate links to the Whole30 books on Amazon where I will receive a small commission if you purchase.
Greek Chicken with Arugula and Kalamata Olives shared with the following:
Sundays Down Under: Natasha in Oz; The Mommy Monday Blog Hop; Treasure Box Tuesday; Tasty Tuesday, Creative Spark Link Party; Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop; Create it Thursday; Let’s Get Real Friday Party; FoodieFriDIY; Savoring Saturday’s; The Wednesday Round Up