Recipe: Honey-Mustard Chicken N’ Apple Skillet

Honey-Mustard Chicken n’ Apple Skillet



Honey-Mustard Chicken & Apples Skillet



This has been in my repertoire since early marriage, so I’ve probably been making this for about 15 years.  I do not know exactly where it came from, but it has morphed into something different as all great go-to recipes will do; part of that process is reflected in the traditional food ingredients that make this wholesome and healthy.  This has a savory-sweet flavor with a tangy aftertaste that lends itself to wanting seconds.  The apples are sweet enough to flavor the potatoes and chicken as it simmers.  There is no mention of potato in my title–the title would quickly get too long–but they are the unsung heroes.  They stretch out your pastured chicken in the recipe, allowing you to feed more people for less-per-plate. 


Oh, and although eating white potatoes on the paleo diet is controversial, some might consider this paleo-friendly or easily adapted to be such.  If you are paleo & adapt this, let us know what you did & how it turned out in the comments!


Honey-Mustard Chicken n’ Apple Skillet

Total Time: about 30-40 minutes (less if you overlap steps)

Feeds 6-7 (if they’re hungry, or you’ll have yummy leftovers)

Do ahead steps: boiling potatoes (step 1) and making the dressing (step 5)


1 1/2 pounds (pastured, farm-raised) chicken breast, cubed

2 TBS olive oil or butter

2 red apples, cubed

Approx.  2 lbs red potatoes, cubed

1/3 cup green onion or diced red onion (both are great)

3 TBS apple Cider vinegar

3 TBS honey, liquid

3 TBS stone-ground (or German) mustard

Salt & Pepper to Taste


1) Boil the cubed potatoes (whole potatoes take nearly 1/2 hour, but cubed should be about 20-25 minutes) until you can poke a fork through them.

2) When the potatoes are nearly 10 minutes from ready, melt butter or heat olive oil in large cast iron skillet. Brown chicken for approximately 5 minutes. If using red onion, carmelize now.

3) Add cubed apples to the chicken and cook for about 2 minutes more, stirring frequently. 

4) Drain potatoes and add to the chicken/apple mixture.  Stir and allow the potatoes to brown as desired (between 5-10 minutes more). 

5) In a separate bowl, mix the apple cider vinegar, honey, and mustard.

6) Turn the heat off of the skillet and stir in the dressing until coated.  If using green onion, stir in now.

Honey Mustard Chicken n' Apple Skillet






The New Primal: A Grass-Fed Beef Jerky that Can Keep Pace with Your Life

“The New Primal” Review

Grass-fed beef jerky that can keep pace with your life


The New Primal sent four packages of their grass-fed beef jerky to me, and here is my review.  They did not compensate me in any way, nor did they have a clue what I’m about to say here. 


Grass-fed beef jerky from The New Primal

They sent four flavors to me:  Original, Spicy, Mango, and Pineapple.


Once while in line at the grocery store, my over-honest toddler told the clerk, “My mommy says that stuff (pointing to the “meat sticks”) is yucky.”  I was slightly embarrassed but I couldn’t exactly reprimand him, could I?  Finding a quick high-protein snack is difficult for those of us who care about GMO, ethical harvest, natural animal practices, and….flavor! I gave up on any jerky that was not my own a loooong time ago.  And even then, mine isn’t all that great. 

The New Primal Beef Jerky


The Ingredients: This is why I even agreed to do a review in the first place.  They only use grass-fed beef.  They marinate and smoke the meat using nourishing ingredients and natural processes. Oh, and it is gluten-free.  The trail packs are like nothing else in flavor, that I promise.  They pair the marinated beef with raw nuts and fruits.  Each trail pack has 18 grams of protein per bag!  You can hike that trail or survive that traffic jam. 


For us, it was getting through all-day air travel (we refuse, flat-out refuse to eat anything from an airport and always bring our own food), surviving an amusement park, and spending a day on the lake in a canoe.  Those were the adventures we chose, but this is one of those great “choose your own ending” adventure stories.  What’s yours?

I asked the company a few questions.  I asked, “With all of the health food brands on the market, I see nothing out there that claims to be grass-fed jerky.  Can you tell me exactly where New Primal picks up where others leave off? What makes it different?”

They responded:

We’re committed to only using 100% Grass-Fed, Grass-Finished beef that are raised without hormones and antibiotics because that’s the way nature intended it. We also don’t see the need to add loads of salt, sugar, or any ingredient you can’t pronounce which is the typical model in this category. The New Primal doesn’t use sugar in our marinade and have 50% of the sodium content of the average bag of jerky on the market. There’s no reason jerky should be a gas-station snack. It can be clean, great tasting, and a quality source of protein.

‘Nuff said.

Hot Florida weather and Beef Jerky


The Packaging: Very sleek, easily conforms to our day-hike bag, to the carry-on, and I slipped one in my purse for a mid-day snack on the go.  Each flavor is easily identified by its own packaging.

  I’m obsessive-compulsive about label reading; since a kid has a corn allergy & corn has over 180 names, I read every package at least 3 times before letting him eat stuff.  I know-that-I-know-that-I-know none of their jerky contained the allergen, and yet I was slightly annoyed at trying to read the yellow package (the mango) for the third time because the white print was barely legible.  I recommend checking out the ingredients list directly on their website and let the OCD go.  Really.  Relax.  You read the label already.  These people are OUR people, the traditional food people, relax.  I did tell the company that this was my singular complaint, and they said that it was simply a bad batch of packaging from the printer and that the problem was remedied.  That SO happens to everyone.


Beef Jerky in the Backpack

We also take our Berkey system water bottle everywhere–just in case.

The Texture:  I dragged that jerky around with me everywhere, quite literally.  I left it in the car, which was fluctuating to extreme temperatures in our Montana spring.  I carried it around in a backpack at a Florida amusement park in 95 degree heat.  It was downright abusive.    

The texture is far tenderer than my homemade jerky.  My kids even made the comment, which resulted in an eye roll from me, I confess.  My son thought the original flavor was too greasy, but I think it had to do with the abuse we gave that package—nothing else was “too greasy” at all, and all of it was delicious.

  The Flavor: The sweetness of the meat itself is a common denominator, and the meat flavor is consistent from bag to bag.  The pairing with pineapple, mango, or nuts will be preferential but we liked them all! 

 I saved the spicy for last because I am a wimp.   It has a sweet-spicy flavor (probably due to the honey and pineapple juice in the mix), so it was more like “strong-tangy” than spicy.  I mean, I ate the entire bag by myself and my lips had that tingly feeling.  It wasn’t caliente.

The mango was my favorite.


The Price:  It’s hard to gauge the price of anything unless you do some comparison shopping.  I pulled up the most common brand name online (Jack Link’s) and saw, penny-for-penny the same price.  I then read the ingredients list.  It has MSG, GMO soy, added nitrites, and GMO corn going by 3 aliases.  It had some other stuff like preservatives I’ve yet to research.  That stuff is never invited into my home.  Or my backpack.  Same price.  

 I was more surprised than you know about the “same price” thing.  So I asked, “The nasty stuff on the market (like the “meat sticks” in the checkout line) is all way over-priced, in my personal estimation as a consumer.  You give real nourishment at a very similar price-point to theirs.  Still, jerky seems to be somewhat of an impulse buy for many people, something they get at a quick gas stop or when their picking up sunscreen for a day at the beach.  Why should beef jerky be a conscientious, plan-ahead purchasing decision?”

They answered:

It’s without question that a protein rich diet benefits personal health in many ways. Jerky makes for the ideal “portable protein”. It’s the perfect snack in-between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner and can save your life in traffic or while traveling. It doesn’t have to be exclusive to the hiking trip and should be something that we keep a few packs of in our pantry, briefcase, or purse for those moments we’re tempted to hit the vending machine at work, etc.

Healthy, nourishing protein can be hard to come by in a hurry.  Put a pack of this stuff in your bag on your way out the door and you won’t be tempted to “stop for a quick bite” that is only going to sicken you later.  You’ll also save money by doubling the nutritional value of each penny you spend.  You have a busy life and you need real nutrition to keep you going; this stuff can keep up with you!

You can get The New Primal Grass-Fed Beef Jerky directly on their website or you can check out their listing of who sells New Primal near you by visiting






Photos are either property of Pantry Paratus (if the jar logo is present) or are property of The New Primal and used with permission.

10 Minute Breakfast: Berry Omelet

10 Minute Breakfast

Berry Omelet


 Berry Omelet


This is the time of year when take stock of the freezer stash and pantry stock of those foods we wait all winter to come back into season again–berries!  To make room for the plentiful harvest of this year’s berries, I do need to eat up some of last year’s raspberries.  I hoarded them.  I froze more than I normally do and I was glad for it–a raspberry smoothie on a frigid Montana January morning somehow reminded us that winter does not last forever, that Spring would once again come. 

Eggs in a jar

Likewise, the girls are laying their beautiful brown eggs and this is our favorite use for those.


I grew up with savory omelets and still love those, but my kids are too caught up on the textures of carmelized onions and cooked green peppers to enjoy them as much as I do.  This omelet has them all asking for more.  I have made it with other types of berries but I must confess that raspberry is the family favorite. 


1) Start with frozen berries. Use a berry that will naturally spread its juices through the omelet, like a sliced strawberry, raspberry, or blackberry.  Firmer berries do not have the same effect. 

2) Use real cream in with the egg if you can get it; it gives the end result a deeper flavor not too unlike a custard.

3)  Try Sucanat if you usually use brown sugar.  Sucanat is minimally processed and is much better for you; if you have yet to try it, you will be pleasantly surprised at how well it works in all of your brown sugar recipes.  And besides the health factor, you can feel good about something that is organic, fair trade. 

Recipe: Berry Omelet

Ingredients are based on a 12 inch cast iron skillet & feeds 4 (because they are 4 big eaters, but it might feed more).

1 quart frozen berries

1/4 cup Sucanat

8-12 medium eggs (based upon how thick you prefer your omelet)

1/2 cup cream

2 Tbs Butter

1)  Melt butter in your cast iron skillet. Don’t scald butter, but let the skillet get nice and hot.

2) Briefly whip the eggs and cream.  Pour into skillet.

3) Lower heat to medium.  As the eggs start to firm up on the bottom, use your spatula to gently lift the sides of the omelet to allow the liquid eggs to flow underneath.  Repeat this as often as necessary until the liquid egg on top has drained towards the bottom.

4) When the eggs are firm (no more puddles forming on top), sprinkle sucanat on 1/2 of of the eggs in a thin, fine layer.  Spread the berries on top of that.

5) Fold the plain half of the eggs over onto the sucanat-berry mix.  Turn off heat.  Let it sit there for about 2 minutes more to warm the fruit.

Berry Omelet








“A Self Sufficient Kitchen”: An Interview with Chaya

A Self Sufficient Kitchen

An Interview with Chaya by Spring Mountain Living



Oh, if you could see my inbox. 

Apart from emails selling me the latest miracle cure, that is, nearly all of the emails are a back-and-forth with someone who I call a friend.  Krystyna Thomas from Spring Mountain Living, do you know her?  Oh, I hope so.  She writes great, motivating stuff like, “13 Reasons Why You Should Can Your Own Food.”  They are fun to watch from a distance because they are just slightly crazy, and they are great to know personally because they are sincere, generous, and loyal idealists…they live what they believe and they just might encourage you to stay the course on your journey to self-sufficiency, too. 

Krystyna from Spring Mountain Living


She and I talk about three subjects at once, at any given moment.  It would make our husbands dizzy.  But among those conversations are practical homesteading how-to.  She recently threw a bunch of questions my way, and whether or not my answers are fit for public consumption is debatable.  But let it be said I shoot straight.  I suppose, knowing what an encourager she has been to me, it’s easier for me to let my guard down and have a casual conversation about Pantry Paratus. 

So here it is!

Click here to read the interview with Krystyna from Spring Mountain Living!



Here’s to Kitchen Self Sufficiency!