This Quick Spicy Italian Chicken in Tomatoes is such a simple and quick weeknight dinner, that is packed with so much flavor! There is option to turn up, or eliminate the heat of the dish, but either way it’s delicious. Serve these chicken breasts in tomato sauce alongside roasted green beans and you have yourself a perfect low-carb, paleo-friendly, Whole30 approved meal that takes under 30 minutes to prepare! Talk about a WIN!
Quick Cooked Chicken Breast in Tomato Sauce
Easy weeknight dinners are THE BEST! This quick cooking Spicy Italian Chicken in Tomatoes is a super delicious dinner to cook when you have less than 30 minutes to get food on the table and you are relying on pantry staples!
We made this low carb by serving it with roasted green beans, but if you want to go a little heavier with the carbs and have a little bit more time on your hands you can serve it with roasted potatoes, rice or pasta.
Want to make this easy chicken and tomato recipe without the spice?
We love spice, but not everybody does, especially if you are serving kids at the table. Feel free to omit the red pepper flakes in this dish, or lower the heat by adding in just half.
Ingredients Needed to Make this Italian Chicken in Tomatoes:
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Whole Plum Tomatoes
Red Pepper Flakes
You can also substitute whatever seasonal veggies you have on hand to roast as well. Cauliflower would be great here, as would zucchini or eggplant.
If you like this chicken recipe, check out these others:
Gently place chicken in pan. Let sear for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until all sides are nicely browned.
Add crushed garlic and onion to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes or until the onions turn translucent.
Lower heat to medium-low and add in tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes if using, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until sauce has reduced and the chicken is fully cooked through.
While sauce is simmering, pre-heat the oven to 350 ℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss green beans in olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper. Bake green beans for 10-15 minutes or until fully cooked through. When done, set aside until chicken has finished cooking.
If adding spinach, add to the pan for the last 1-2 minutes of simmering until the spinach has started to wilt.
Remove from heat. Serve hot with roasted green beans!
Green Beans: Pre-heat oven to 350 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss green beans in garlic powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Once oven is pre-heated, bake for 10-15 minutes, or until fully cooked.
This post was updated in March, 2017
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We’re deep diving into How to Make Body Scrub and giving you a few options so you can customize your DIY sugar scrub or salt scrub just how you want it! These DIY exfoliating body scrubs take ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen and turns them into a delicious scented scrub that leaves your skin moisturized and smooth, while saving you tons of money by making it at home!
How to Make Body Scrub
The LCK team has been using these DIY scrub for a few weeks now and have been loving it. Not only does it smell AMAZING, but it leaves your skin feeling rejuvinated and moisturized.
We love a good deep exfoliation, especially as spring is around the corner and the winter skin is coming in strong! We were in love with our Chocolate Coconut Body Scrubduring the holiday season, so we wanted to expand! Making a body scrub at home is so simple and we’re going to give you the details on how to make body scrub using all natural ingredients, many of which can be found inside your pantry right now. You can customize them based off of your skin needs and use up to a few times a week!
Why is it important to exfoliate your skin
A sugar scrub or salt scrub, also known as an exfoliator, is a purchased or homemade product that helps the skin rid the body of dead skin cells that then reveals healthy, glowing skin. While our body naturally sheds dead skin cells, as we age this process slows down and the dead skin can get backed up causing pores to get clogged, and making skin dry, rough, dull and spotty.
What are the benefits of exfoliating
Helps remove dead skin cells.
Your other products will work better since exfoliating your face eliminates the dead skin on top, it lets your cleanser, moisturizer and other products penetrate more deeply and work better.
Can increase blood circulation (which helps you to achieve healthy and glowing skin)
Unclog pores from dirt, blackheads, and other surface impurities so that new, healthy skin may flourish!
Exfoliating helps skin turn over its top dermal layer more often, so you can address a multitude of problems such as dryness and flakiness.
Who benefits from exfoliation?
All skin types can benefit from a body scrub. Your skin type will depend on how often you use it. People with normal/dry skin might use an exfoliator 2-3 times a week, while people with more sensitive skin might use it just once a week. We don’t recommend using this at all on your face. This recipe for body scrub is intended for the body only (as the name suggests!)
Ingredients in a Body Scrub
A lot of commercially produce scrubs and exfoliators include common household ingredients like salt and sugar and oatmeal, but also contain a lot of other ingredients that may or may not be safe for your body. If you already own a body scrub, or have used one in the past you can check it’s safety from this website here. We love the idea of using household ingredients that can exfoliate and moisturize your skin naturally. Plus it’s so much more economical!
DIY Body Scrub
Start with a base ingredient, or the main exfoliant, and then add in your oil, followed by a few fun add-in options!
You can choose between sugar or salt. There are options below for how vigorous you want the exfoliation process to be.
Brown Sugar: This is a a very soft exfoliant and as a bonus adds moisture.
Coconut Sugar: This is a larger grain of sugar and is a rougher moisturizer. If using this, depending on your add-in you may need to use a bit more of the carrier oil (see below).
Kosher Salt, or other large crystal of salt: This is a rougher exfoliator, and is particularly good with lemon.
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt: This is the salt we keep around for cooking. It is a finer salt, so a more gentle exfoliant while also having the added benefit of the minerals it naturally contains.
These oils or carrier oils help the body scrub apply smoothly and helps moisturize the skin. You can use one of these or do a combination.
Almond Oil: This is high in Vitamin E, can protect your skin from harmful UV radiation, and easily penetrates the skin which can help clean out your pores.
Jojoba Oil: This oil is similar to the oil naturally found on your skin. It absorbs fairly quickly.
Coconut Oil: This oil is an amazing moisturizer and has natural antibacterial properties.
Avocado Oil: This is high in Vitamins A, D, and E and can help sooth inflammation.
Olive Oil: Commonly found in our kitchens! It is heavier and absorbs slower on the skin. Be sure to use the best possible olive oil you can find (pure/cold pressed/organic).
Some of these have specific benefits for your skin while others simply add a pleasant scent that can help brighten your day.
Essential Oils (we like lavender, lemongrass, tea tree, lemon and peppermint but feel free to experiment)
Finely Ground Coffee (the caffeine and antioxidants are said to be good for your skin)
Lemon, Orange, or Lime Zest (this adds a bright scent!)
Ground Oatmeal (this is an added exfoliant, plus it soothes the skin)
Honey (this is a natural cleanser!)
Lemon Juice (a natural astringent, be careful using this with very sensitive skin)
Herbs & Spices (suck as thyme, rosemary or cinnamon)
Cocoa Powder (this is high in antioxidants)
Vitamin E Oil (is said to have anti-aging properties)
Aloe Vera (is said to be good on acne prone and dry skin and has anti-inflammatory properties)
Argan Oil (is a great moisturizer and can help with acne)
Castille Soup (add this if you want your scrub to also double as a cleanser, we like Dr. Bronner’s)
How to use a body scrub
How to use them: Soften your skinin a warm shower for a few minutes, cleanse your body if desired, and then grab a dollop of the body scrub and gently scrub in a circular motion on clean, rough skin. Rinse completely. Moisturize afterwards! We recommend about once a week, but you can go up to 2-3 times a week to tackle really dry and rough skin.
Can you over exfoliate your skin
Yes, and some skin is more sensitive than others. Aggressive exfoliation can lead to irritated and red skin. We recommend exfoliating 1-3 times a week!
Add-ins (use 6-12 drops of essential oils if using, or about 2 teaspoons other add-ins)
In a medium combine all ingredients and mix with a spoon until fully combined.
Place gently (do not pack it down) in a jar with a tight fitting lid and use weekly or every few days on body.
You can tweak your body scrub depending on how you you want it to feel and smell.
Don't bring glassware into the shower. A reader wrote to us and shared a story of bring a glass jar in the shower and accidentally dropping it and cutting herself. So we wanted to spell this out that for safety reasons if you are using a glass jar keep it out of the shower. Or use a plastic container.
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This Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce is an easy update on the classic Thanksgiving staple! It is such a great combination with tart cranberries, along with sweet apples and just the right amount of citrus. It’s made right in the slow cooker which means hands-off cooking so you can focus on other aspects of your holiday meal! It contains no refined sugars and is bound to be a new family favorite!
Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce
Forget the over sweetened canned cranberry sauce this year because it is SO EASY to make this Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce! You essentially throw all the ingredients in your slow cooker and walk away! It also is refined sugar free relying on coconut sugar, honey and sweet apples to balance the tart cranberries and citrus.
This sauce is of course well known as a Thanksgiving staple, but I also love to put a spoonful right on top of of latkes or as a versatile spread for breakfast or leftovers!
How do you sweeten homemade cranberry sauce?
We used a combination of naturally sweet apples, orange juice, honey and coconut sugar!
How long does homemade cranberry sauce last?
Homemade cranberry sauce will last quite a while, so this makes it a great make-ahead part of your holiday feast! We’d recommend using it within 7-10 days after making for optimal freshness, but it could very well last longer. For Thanksgiving it might make sense to make the cranberry sauce a few days ahead of time! You can serve it cold or you can re-heat gently in a pot over low heat.
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Homemade Vanilla Extract requires only two ingredients, and we’re going through the step-by-step process of how to make it. It’s better quality than anything you can buy at the store, for less money and it makes a great gift!
How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract
Here at LCK, we treat vanilla extract like liquid gold. We love using it in all of our baked goods like muffins, cookies and cakes. A good vanilla extract can make a big difference in a recipe, especially ones that only have a few ingredients in it. The price of vanilla beans fluctuate from year to year, and currently they are trending to be very expensive causing the cost of store-bought vanilla extract to rise. In addition to this, there are often quite a few added ingredients besides vanilla bean in the extract that are questionable. All this being said, it makes total sense to make it at home because Homemade Vanilla Extract is SO EASY to make. All you need are two ingredients (vanilla beans and vodka) and about 10 minutes of time to put together a batch!
We’ve included instructions to make a one cup batch, but this is something that is so easy to double or triple to make a great big batch to last a while, or to give out as gifts during the holidays.
How Do You Make Homemade Vanilla Extract?
It is so simple! All you need to do is scrape out the beans from 5 vanilla pods (beans) and cut the pods to fit the size of your jar. It is best to use grade B vanilla beans which are better for making extract because they are drier than grade A, which are better for baking with. Place the scraped beans and the cut pods inside of a clean jar and top with 1 cup of alcohol and close with a tight-fitting lid. Scraping the beans leaves the extract with flecks, which we think makes it more authentic, but you can also skip this step and just slice open the beans and place in the jar, or strain it if you don’t want any flecks.
What Kind of Alcohol is Used To Make Vanilla Extract?
Any neutral tasting alcohol like vodka is a good choice, but really any 80 proof alcohol like brandy, rum or bourbon is fine so long as you are okay with it imparting a slight flavor. We like to use a gluten-free vodka, like Tito’s.
How Long Does Homemade Vanilla Extract Last?
The jar sits at room temperature and is ready to use at 6 weeks, though it is best to leave it as long as possible. We’ve tasted it at 6 weeks, when it is similar to store-bought extract, and then at 6 months where it is pretty phenomenal and after a year, it is truly the most amazing extract you have ever smelled. Pure extracted vanilla in alcohol has an indefinite shelf life.
If you make more than one jar at a time you can make sure you never run out. When one jar starts to get low, place in a few more scraped vanilla beans and top it off with some vodka and set it aside while you start on your second jar.
BONUS: You can also give these out as gifts by purchasing some small jars and putting on a cute label and with some ribbon.
If you like this “how-to” recipe, try these others:
Using a sharp pairing knife, slice vanilla beans in half. Scrape out beans using the back of the knife and place inside of a clean 8 ounce jar. Continue with the remaining vanilla beans. Once they have all been scraped, cut beans in half or to fit jar.
Place cut beans inside the jar and pour in 1 cup of vodka and cover with a tight fitting lid. Let sit at room temperature for at least 6 weeks before use. The longer you let it sit, the more flavor it has.
We love to have the flecks of the vanilla beans in the extract, but if you'd like to have a clearer extract you can save the beans for another use, or strain the extract before use.
To make more extract at once, double or triple the recipe.
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This easy Italian meat sauce recipe is my probably my all-time favorite pasta sauce recipe! It’s an easy homemade meat sauce recipe that is hearty and flavorful, and perfect for a weeknight meal. Make this healthy meat sauce with ground turkey or ground beef, and let it cook nice and slow! It’s gluten-free, paleo-friendly, whole30 compliant, and so yummy! Serve it over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for low carb, or gluten-free pasta!
Homemade Meat Sauce Recipe
I LOVE Italian dishes. Especially a quick and delicious meat sauce! I often make my favorite Italian dishes into healthy versions that I love to dig into, weekly. This spaghetti meat sauce is delicious, always a hit and so versatile! Serve it over zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, the options are endless! I often make a big batch to have for the week, and I never get sick of it!
If you love meat sauce, try this spaghetti sauce in these recipes:
This low-carb and keto-friendly Sausage, Peppers, and Onion, one-pan dish is made in just twenty-minutes! Such a perfect sausage and peppers recipe for any night of the week.
Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
Did you know that peppers are at their growing season peak right now? I was over at my favorite little farm and they had a bin with the most beautiful looking peppers, so I just had to get a bunch! This dish went over big time here.
This is the EASIEST sausage and peppers recipe! It is made in one skillet, is so flavorful, and you can use chicken sausage, pork sausage, or any sausage you like! I like to find ones with minimal added ingredients.
It is flavorful, comforting, and just plain delicious with the perfect amount of sauce. A great dish for football Sunday or those nights when you need a quick and easy meal!
How to make Sausage and Peppers
You can get creative with how you serve this dish! I love it served over roasted spaghetti squash or cauliflower rice but I bet it would be great with gluten-free pasta or spiralized veggies as well! This sausage and peppers recipe is Paleo friendly, whole30 compliant, dairy-free, grain-free, and no sugar added!
Like this easy skillet recipe? Try these other favorite one pan meals!
*If you are using uncooked chicken sausage, remove the casing and cook the chicken sausage and garlic together in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until the sausage is brown on both sides. This should take around 5 minutes, stirring often.
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