Sweet Potato Medallions topped with Pesto Chicken (PALEO!)

Holy moly! This weather. Maybe it’s because my “desk” at home looks right out the window, so I’m super aware of every rain drop that falls outside. The most excitement I’m having these days.

Question for you all – how adventurous are you with ingredients? Will you make a substitution for something you really wanted to make, but don’t have all the ingredients? I wanted to make pesto, but didn’t have everything I needed…. I made some substitutes, and it turned out GREAT. Swapped out pine nuts because I didn’t have them, used walnuts. Wanted parmesan, didn’t have it, used nutritional yeast. Like, I may have eaten a spoonful of it by itself because it was so good, and because I am disgusting. Between that, and the sweet potatoes on my counter that were about to turn, everything was about to be disgusting. Until I had an idea.

I got out my Instant Pot, made some chicken, shredded it, and threw it together on some sweet potatoes. I couldn’t finish them all, so I threw the plate in the fridge with some foil and ate them for breakfast at 645am. Keeping the disgust going, that’s right.

Though the way I made them is more appetizer-style, these are just tasty when made as a regular baked sweet potato stuffed with this mixture. Highly recommend.

 

Sweet Potato Medallions topped with Pesto Chicken (PALEO!)

 

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 40 min (total)

 

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, skin on, sliced into rounds
  • 2 large chicken breasts

 

For the pesto:

  • 1 large bunch of basil, stems removed (approx. 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (if not strict paleo, you can sub for two heaping tbsp of shredded parmesan or pecorino cheese)
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (or pine nuts)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt, to taste

 

Directions

  1. Cook chicken breast by preferred method – I used my Instant Pot on the “Meat” setting for 14 minutes, but you can also bake in a pyrex dish at 375 degrees F for 30-35 min with a cup of water, salt and pepper. Once cooked, place in a bowl and shred with forks until no large chunks remain.
  2. In the meantime while the chicken is cooking, prepare the pesto. In a food processor, add your basil, garlic, walnuts, lemon zest/juice, salt, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until no large chunks remain, about 30-40 seconds total. Once emulsified, while the food processor is running, drizzle your olive oil in until fully mixed. Do a quick taste test, add more salt if needed.
  3. If you didn’t use it already to cook the chicken, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. On a greased or parchment lined baking sheet, brush your sweet potato medallions with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from heat once finished, leaving oven on.
  4. Once the pesto is finished, mix 1/3 to 1/2 cup of pesto into your cooked/shredded chicken and mix thoroughly. Chicken should be thoroughly coated – add a teaspoon at a time if it appears dry. Spoon the chicken mixture neatly onto your sweet potato medallions, and place back into the oven for another 5-7 minutes, reheating thoroughly.
  5. Optional: garnish with a small dollop of pesto. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

-S

Chicken Green Chili Verde (Paleo!)

Hello world!

Gosh, I’ve been missing a long time. So sorry. I’ve been cooking, eating a ton, desperately trying to eat less and exercise… *sigh* life is hard. Also, it wouldn’t be a post in true-Sarah-fashion if I didn’t whine about how it was really cold out, now. I feel a bit shorted because I didn’t get to have any temperate weather after the heat, but here we are.

WHAT is going on? What’s everyone been cooking? Thanksgiving came and went, and alongside our 3 turkeys, 15 lbs of mashed potatoes and 3 types of stuffings (I wish I could say I ate at a soup kitchen with those quantities or something but anyone who knows my mom knows she loves to feed the entire state of Pennsylvania), macaroni and cheese… was a house full of people. Holidays are great, but I really like normal time better. I’m actually looking at my calendar for the next few weeks, and I’m getting my master-level Reiki certification this Saturday (woohoo! More to come), cooking dinner at the Ronald McDonald house next Monday, a Holiday lunch I planned for my office next Tuesday, then an End Of Year party for my company’s Women’s Network  that night, then my division’s end of year gathering the following Tuesday, then my organization’s end of year gathering that Wednesday, and then my site’s end of year gathering that Thursday, followed by a shopping trip at the beach outlets that Friday…. Then, 2 days of work and a very lengthy Christmas vacation. I plan to cook lots. Mau

The issue I run into is that – I’m cooking constantly, and end up with TONS of things to share with you all. I just don’t take pictures of it often times, and that’s the worst. I love to share recipes with you all, I just never get good shots. I want to make sure you all know how appetizing it is without some mediocre kitchen light and shadows. Sigh.

As the weather gets colder, I want to make sure you have this handy recipe. If you’re a fan of soups, chili, or a combination of the two, this is your jam. A nice Chicken Green Chili Verde will keep you warm without a doubt! This particular recipe is great, because it’s paleo, low carb, but full of flavor. I have to say – this is definitely not for the faint of heart (or digestive system) – it has a bit of a kick to it, and ya may forget you ate it for dinner, only to be reminded the next time you…. Well, let’s stop there. It’s a  tad spicy.  Spaahh-cy. Sorry, did you still want eat this!?

I might eat this green soup while watching The Grinch. Anything green is in.

Chicken Green Chili Verde (Paleo!)

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 60 min

Ingredients

  • 2 15oz cans diced tomatillos, I used low sodium
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • about 1/2 tsp sea salt if using regular sodium chicken broth, plus more to taste at the end if needed
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 3 poblano peppers, roughly chopped, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 anaheim or cubanelle peppers, roughly chopped, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 serrano or jalapeño peppers, finely chopped, seeds and stems removed (set aside a few to add for some added heat, if you want)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large stockpot, add your onion and ~ tbsp. of your preferred oil (I like avocado oil). Saute over medium heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Next, add your ground chicken, breaking apart with your spatula or spoon. Continue to saute and stir to cook evenly. After about 4-5 minutes when most of the chicken is cooked through, add your garlic and cumin, continuing to stir until onion starts to brown.
  2. Next, add your cut peppers and stir, allowing to soften, for another 3-4 minutes.
  3. Once your peppers, onions and meat have started to brown, add your cans of diced tomatillos and cilantro, mixing thoroughly. Add chicken broth and continue to mix.
  4. Bring mixture to a simmer, and allow to cook for 25-30 minutes. If using a crockpot, you can place on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.
  5. Once cooked, add any needed salt to taste. Serve in bowls, and garnish with more cilantro  or almond milk sour cream, or greek yogurt (if not strict paleo).

Enjoy!

-S

Buffalo Chicken Dip (Paleo, Keto-Friendly!)

Well… we’ve been having some interesting weather, to say the least. I can’t remember the last time there’s been a solid 10 days of rain in the forecast, but perhaps we can look at this a different way. Tomorrow is July’s full moon, which coincides with  entering Leo. Summer birthdays, what’s up!?

There’s a few cool things to note. This will also be a lunar eclipse — which, while we don’t be able to see it from North America, we will definitely know it’s happening. In a literal sense, eclipses both “reveal” and “conceal”. This is especially poignant when you think of all the Leo energy floating around – powerful, loud, and  very present — anything that needs to be addressed will come forth, and anything that needs to take a back seat will no longer be a part of our lives for the time being.

Though this may seem like the perfect time to take action on whatever is happening, wisdom says it should be done gently. If it suddenly feels like you r life is under a microscope and you’re noticing everything that needs to be fixed, don’t go dump your significant other, quit your job or anything else crazy. Doing so with an iron fist is not the best way to go about it. Be calm, diplomatic, and ensure you’re thoughtful in your problem solving during this time.

Ya know what else starts today!? Mercury retrograde! I feel like this is one of the most common things that solicits laughs and eye rolls, because this really shakes those who are heavily immersed in astrology, or earthly energy in general. Retrogrades tend to bring about setbacks, mishaps, miscommunications, and general… un-pleasantries. Things just seem “harder”, and even those who don’t feed into Astrology notice that something just doesn’t seem right.  I think the best remedy to this is to really just cut yourself some slack. Unless you’re truly letting things slide in your life to the effect that it will have long term negative consequences, live a little. Mistakes happen, crap happens… and Mercury will get its @$%& together soon.

Who’s hungry? I am! I’ll leave you with some delicious PALEO! Buffalo Chicken Dip. No dairy, no problem. Kite Hill makes a really convincing almond milk-based cream cheese that melts just like the real thing. If you’re feeling a little naughty… sprinkle some cheddar in there. I won’t tell. I used my instant pot for this, but you could just as easily use a regular oven — it just takes longer.

Buffalo Chicken Dip (Paleo, Keto-Friendly!)

Prep time: 25 min

Cook time: 25 min

Serves: ??? about 5 as an appetizer (but I could likely eat this myself

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless organic chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • 8 oz Kite Hill plain cream cheese
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped; ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 heaping tbsp of paleo-friendly mayo, like Primal Foods Avocado Oil Mayo
  • optional for keto/non-strict paleo followers: 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 stalks of scallions,  sliced thin
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

  1. First, cook your chicken. In an Instant Pot, place your chicken breasts in and add chicken broth until just about covered. Cook on poultry/meat setting, following the Instant Pot directions for steam release. If using an oven, preheat oven and bake broth covered chicken in a Pyrex dish at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until temperature registers 165 degrees. I prefer the instant pot because it gets that juicy crockpot feel, but much faster.
  2. Meanwhile, as your chicken cooks, sauté your onion and red pepper on a large skillet over medium heat until just about browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Once the chicken cooked (and your instant pot is properly depressurized), remove from heat, allow to cool and set aside. I tend to shred my chicken after it’s only slightly cooled because I feel it’s easier while it’s still a little hot. Once shredded, add to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Next, add your cream cheese and mayo to your bowl, mixing thoroughly. Continue to mix, next adding your peppers, onions, Frank’s sauce, salt, pepper, and most of your scallions. You only need a few for a garnish, so be generous with mixing the rest in. Add your cheddar, if using.
  5. Once mixed, add mixture to a greased Pyrex dish — I used a 5×7 so the mixture was thicker and wouldn’t burn.
  6. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min, until starting to bubble and turn golden brown on the top. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Garnish with remaining scallions, and serve with celery or sweet potato chips.

Enjoy!

-S

Full Moons…. and Zesty Ginger Sesame Chicken Wings (Paleo!)

Happy Monday…. um, Tuesday! Definitely feels like a Monday, but that kind of thing usually happens over a long weekend.

How was everyone’s Memorial Day? Ours was just crud weather in the mid-Atlantic… but I sort of feel as though the weather in general has been pretty bad. I also feel as though I’ve prematurely aged mentally where I insist the weather/flies/mosquitos/hurricanes/snow/potholes/pollen/life in general gets harder or worse each year. I’ll have to press the reset button on that…. that’s not good energy to be putting out there.

Friday was a busy day, too. I worked from home — after a flurry of appointments, I finally had a chance to COOK STUFF!!! Not that I haven’t been cooking, I’ve just been making food that’s much more palatable to my family. I’ve been cooking a lot of non-paleo, non-vegan and non-keto foods since we’re all around more. I can definitely tell a difference with my body, and it does not like it. My jeans don’t, either. Oh also, I forgot how much I like beer? Yeah, this weekend wasn’t good for that.

In other news, we’ve got an interesting Full Moon. This one falls under Sagittarius, which is the best opportunity to give us a fresh perspective.

Is there anything you’ve been struggling to wrap your head around? Have you been wrestling with thoughts that you just can’t seem to get behind? This is an amazing time to really gain a different lens and to garner better insight to everything going on in your life. Sagittarius energy is really about building on what you already know and already have, and broadening  your horizons. What have you done so far that’s really propelled you towards where you want to go? How are you going to use this to get where you’re going next?

This sounds vague, but it really isn’t. It applies most closely to whatever you’re experiencing in life. If there’s something you’ve been waiting to do, wait no more. If you’re waiting to take a risk, move somewhere, take a job, make a big decision, splurge on a vacation, this is the perfect time to start the momentum on that and get it moving. Reevaluate your goals to make sure they still fit you, and to check your state of mind to ensure you’re an open book for growth.

Onto the foodies…. these wings have made an appearance in quite literally everyone’s house this weekend. I made them. All. Weekend. I love them! The key is keeping a bit of the marinade separate and brushing it on right before serving so they keep that really tasty briny and gingery flavor. Try these out on the grill… I whole heartedly believe that good wings always belong on the grill. Plus, while chicken wings certainly aren’t the bare essentials of paleo eating, who doesn’t love a good wing? YUM.

Zesty Ginger Sesame Chicken Wings (Paleo!)

prep time: 20 active min, plus marinating time

cook time: 20 min

Serves anywhere from 1-5 people, depending on your appetite

Ingredients

  • 2 packages organic or all natural wings (separated into wings and drumettes,
  • 1 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 stalks of scallions, green and white parts, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste (or miso, if not strict paleo)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (black and white preferred for aesthetics, but any color will do)

Directions

  1. Whisk together your tahini and coconut aminos in a large bowl first to emulsify.
  2. Once the sauce is thoroughly mixed, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. It should taste VERY briny — chicken absorbs a lot of the salty flavor, so it should have enough zest to really taste salty. Set aside a 1/2 cup of the mixture in a small bowl.
  3. Place your chicken wings in a bag, pour your sauce over them and marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, up to 24 hours. Refrigerate your separate sauce as well.
  4. Once ready to cook, preheat your grill to 400 degrees. We want high heat to make sure the skin is crisp.
  5. Place the wings on the grill, about 1 inch apart. Turn as needed, once the wings darken and appear blackened. They aren’t necessarily burnt — the caramelization from the coconut aminos will just make them appear darker.
  6. Continue to turn until thoroughly browned on all sides, about 15-20 minutes in total.
  7. Remove from heat, and brush with remaining sauce. Garnish with a pinch of scallions.

Enjoy!

-S

Instant Pot Meal! Curried Chicken Salad (Paleo)

Well, well, well – LONG TIME NO CHAT! A lot has been going on this last month – I’ve been MIA and I feel terrible that I haven’t posted anything for you all to make. I moved at the end of April in preparation to build my house, I had a wedding I traveled for, and just general work busyness. I finally had some time to share my recent food adventures, let alone COOK something. I’ve taken a real liking to my Instant Pot, recently. I don’t know about you guys, but crockpot chicken is the best. I’m talking fall-apart-on-your-fork, melt-in-your-mouth chicken made from 8 hours of slow simmering in some juice.

Well… imagine my dismay when I actually used my Instant Pot for something easy, like chicken simmering in chicken broth? Life-changing…. Yes. Sometimes overlooking the simplest things is where we go wrong.

So I decided to throw a bunch of chicken breast in there, set it to cook for 35 minutes, and I was not disappointed. I let it cool and it took MOMENTS to shred with my fork for this recipe, and that is so satisfying. Literally. It is the best thing. I hate shredding chicken because it’s always clumpy. No more clumpy chicken, now! It’s the little things in life.

You could really take this in any direction… a local health food store has something similar, which inspired me to add my own twist to it. I’ll keep this short so y’all can get to eating… yum.

Curried Chicken Salad (Paleo!)

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 35 min

Serves 6-8 as an app, or 4-5 with sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts, trimmed (no one likes that rubbery part. Take that off, yikes)
  • 2 tbsp golden raisins
  • Handful of roasted cashews, to taste
  • 4 large scallion stalks, sliced thin (green and white parts included)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp red curry powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ to 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp Coconaise (or other paleo mayo brand), plus more if needed
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, low sodium
  • 1-2 stalks of celery, sliced thin (OPTIONAL – I hate celery and would never include it.. but I realize that I’m the weirdo for that)

Directions

  1. Place your chicken breast in your Instant Pot and add your broth until chicken breasts are just about covered. Secure your lid set to high (or Meat setting) for 35 minutes, lock your vent, and start.
  2. While your chicken is cooking, mix together your cumin, turmeric, garlic, coriander, chili powder, parsley, salt and pepper. One thing to remember is that the chicken tends to absorb a lot of the sodium in things like this – I usually err on the heavier side of salting my sauce so that once the flavors meld, it’s the right taste. Add your scallions, reserving a pinch for garnish later.
  3. Once your chicken is done and you’ve released the steam from your Instant Pot, carefully remove with a slotted spoon so as to not bring much juice over with it and place in a large bowl. Discard broth (or save for your puppy like I did 😊) Shred with a fork to desired consistency.
  4. Once cooled, add your mayo mixture to your chicken. If you feel the chicken is too dry, feel free to add a teaspoon more mayo, followed by an additional sprinkle of curry.
  5. Gently fold in your cashews and raisins and mix thoroughly (as well as your celery, if using). Garnish with pinch of scallions and serve.

Enjoy!

-S<<
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Jalapeno Popper Chicken Salad (Paleo)

It seems there’s a blizzard every week here! It started to snow today, but the real stuff is tomorrow. Will likely be a “work from home” kind of day.

Interesting happenings, these days! I had an amazing hot yoga session last night. It was more difficult than I thought it’d be, but I think it was exactly what I needed. It was a Spring Equinox Yoga workshop, and the focus was all about intentions, and manifestation, and setting the pace for Spring and everything that comes with it. Stepping out of the mud, peeling back the layers, all of it.

Honestly, to some people, no matter how you frame it… sometimes talking about this kind of thing never goes more than surface level. It sounds nice, or it sounds weird, or it sounds like total BS. It didn’t hit me until last night in this class that unless your whole self, whole presence and whole mind is behind something you want to change or have happen, it’s like flying a plane with no pilot, or a car with no steering wheel. Where’s your direction?

So… back to this class. It was the first hot class I’d done in a while. It takes a LOT to get me to sweat, which didn’t seem to be a problem last night. I lift weights, quite heavily, 6 days a week. I ride. I exercise. I eat healthy (except for my beloved cheeseburgers now and again). We started moving in this class and I was SO not in sync with what was going on. I was concerned with my towel bunching up, I touched the girl’s hand behind me with my foot, thought about how strange I must’ve looked trying to balance in this position when, apparently, I seemed to have lost my ability to balance in any direction.

That’s when it hit me. I am literally ignoring the very reason I am in this class. I am here to shed the nonsense, start fresh, press the reset button… and here I am still flopping around in the mud.

I did a mental check of why I was denying myself the ability to just disconnect from everything around me, and more literally than figuratively, I was just holding on to everything I shouldn’t have been. Have you ever grabbed  your laundry out of the dryer and tried to carry it all upstairs in your arms? Dropping socks, picking them up only to drop more… and so on, and so on. It was time I just drop it all and walk away.

It’s both a blessing and a curse to be so acutely aware of these “Aha!” moments. It was as if I heard the record rewind, and I thought to myself… ‘Okay, why did I even bother coming if I’m just going to sit here and worry about all this crap?’ After that point, I pushed through my shaking muscles, the stretching, and didn’t care if I wasn’t as limber as I once was when going through my sequences. No one else cared what I was doing, not one bit. No one else would suffer from me being distracted, except me. The rest of the class went like a breeze. We then sampled some interesting juice, and off we were.

The moral of the story here — whenever you have your “aha!” moment, you’ll get it. Unless you’re there, wherever you are, 100%… you’re at a standstill. and that’s on purpose — that’s the universe’s way of saying “hey! big plans need your full attention!” Once you’ve trained yourself to put yourself in the here-and-now, you can set the pace however you went when you shed all the crap you’re holding onto, preventing you from changing whatever it is that you want.

For now, enjoy this delicious little snack! you can eat it on crackers, in a wrap, however you want.

 

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Salad (Paleo)

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Prep time: 20 min

cook time: n/a

serves 3-4 as a meal, 6-8 as an app

 

Ingredients

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, white meat picked out (set aside dark meat for another use!)
  • 1 large jalapeno, minced; ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 lb. of bacon, cooked until crisp
  • 1/2 of a red onion, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup paleo mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and sea salt. adjust to taste. if it’s too tangy, add a bit more mayo and whisk. Likewise, add more vinegar or salt if needed. Set aside.
  2. Place your chicken in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer (or fork if you’re really old-school), shred chicken until desired consistency. It should be fine and stringy, like pulled pork, enough to thoroughly mix with the sauce.
  3. Crumble your bacon and add to the bowl of chicken, along with jalapeno and red onion. Gently mix until combined.
  4. Now add your sauce — again, gently stir until combined. Garnish with slices of jalapeno. Enjoy!

-S

Spicy Crunchy Chipotle Chicken (Paleo)

Had a long weekend this weekend… fortunately spent a lot of it cooking, woo! I’ll have a lot of good recipes for you 🙂 I went out for a friend’s birthday to this place in north Philly called Urban Axes. It was really fun… something I never thought I’d say about drinking and throwing axes at a target. A little danger is fun.

The real fun happened afterwards — we went to eat and had the most delicious BBQ food at Fette Sau, in Fishtown (Philly). I got mac and cheese and baked beans as my sides, which were eh… but the MEAT. Omg, the meat. It was sold by the pound — I got some “burnt ends”, which is the crispy last pieces of the brisket, pork shoulder and pork butt. It was glorious… I love burnt food.

I was everywhere this weekend… I also went to Produce Junction in Exton, where I got 2 dozen roses for $5.00. Five dollars = happiness. I also bought some alstroemeria, which are the cutest little flowers that last forever. My sitting area is basically a garden. Which reminds me, I cannot WAIT to plant my herbs! I’m going to make a point to use them when I cook. Since the herbs got infected when they were brought in last year with little mites, I have to be careful to not let that happen this year.

Friday, I had the day off from work so I dedicated it to making some delicious recipes that I hope you’ll all really like 🙂 to start, how about some spicy chicken!??! The weather is poppin today, this recipe is poppin, I’m going to take my dog for a walk… just trying to make the best of global warming. For those of you that miss a good breaded chicken but can’t do any gluten, this is a treat for you. it has the crunch of a good panko, but is actually made from plantains and almond flour. Tasty, especially for picky eaters! Check it out.

Spicy Crunchy Chipotle Chicken (Paleo)

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Prep time: 20 min

cook time: 25 min

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 2 large chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced in half thickness-wise
  • 10 oz (1 large bag or 2 small bags) plantain chips, plain
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle

For the coating/extra sauce

  • 1 cup paleo mayo, or soy-free veganaise
  • 2-3 tbsp adobo sauce (or more, to taste)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly grease with ghee or coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together your mayo, adobo sauce, garlic, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper. Adjust flavors as needed. Scoop out about 3 tbsp, and set aside. You will need this later for your garnish.
  3. Crush your plantain chips until fine crumbs, similar to panko or as crumbly as you can get them. Add them to another large bowl, along with your almond flour, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, pepper and chipotle. Mix with a fork until combined.
  4. Similar to chicken Milanese, this is a step by step process. Dip the chicken into the sauce, coating generously and thoroughly. Allow any excess to drip off, and place in breading, pressing to coat thoroughly. If you have any spots that are missed, make sure to cover. Place on your baking sheet, evenly spaced.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes, until chicken starts to brown. Remove from heat and drizzle with extra mayo sauce.

Enjoy!

-S

 

Spicy Cajun Stir-Fry with Andouille, Veggies and Rice (Gluten-Free)

Ya know… as much of a football fan as I tell everyone that I’m not, I had an overwhelming sense of pride yesterday watching the parade on TV. I didn’t attend in person because I was working, but to see that many loyal fans show their support to a group of hardworking people was a very heartwarming and emotional thing to watch. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people gathered to show celebrate, and for something that has truly been a long time coming, it was incredible to watch. God bless them all, too… it was a balmy 28 degrees F in Philadelphia, and I know that no matter what kind of coat you’re wearing… below freezing is just COLD.

As I was talking to my manager this morning, we were chatting about the email his son’s school sent out, advising that any students that wish to attend the parade may do so, as school will be cancelled and made up  one day next month. I actually found that a lot of surrounding schools, including the school district I live in excused absences for anyone wishing to go to philly. At first, my inner Scrooge thought, “yeah, great idea. Keep the kids home from school. Who needs education?”.  After putting my strict and sometimes rigid knee-jerk reactions aside, I thought about it. This is such an important lesson for people to learn, attending this parade. It seems trite, but let me tell you. It really isn’t. Here are a few things to reconsider about ditching work and school to attend the Eagles parade.

#1 – You’re spending time with friends and family

No sports fan ever ventures into any arena alone, and this is for good reason. When you support a team, you’re supporting a cause – a movement, if you will. You’re spending time with important people, placing value on an important time. By carving out time to celebrate with your friends, you’re also memorializing time spent with them doing something you love. Live a little, go throw a beer up to Doug Pederson as he rides by on that bus with his team, and laugh with your friends.

#2 – You’re showing your loyalty to what you love

For those of us who could’ve attended and given up a vacation day, that’s fine… and more than likely, we won’t notice. Philadelphia (much like any other team) has a lot of hard-working, blue collar folks that waited their whole lives to see something like this, and went without a day’s pay just to live their dream of celebrating a Superbowl win with the Eagles. While some may treat a parade surrounding football as a first-world fantasy commodity, it is so much bigger than that to the fans. Your team will always be there, and if you stay with them through thick and thin, a win is that much more satisfying.

#3 – You’re opening yourself up to more love

This one is sort of mushy when you think of your typical Philadelphia sports fan, but let’s be honest. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t so happy to see that many people gathered around for one purpose. Everyone (the media) loves to portray the Philly fans at large as this wild, sometimes un-classy, rowdy group of people. I’m not saying that’s NOT a little bit true here and there, but it’s derived from passion, and it does go beyond just us over here in Philly. People were absolutely overjoyed to be there – rarely will you see another large public display of appreciation outside of something like the Eagles parade. Go YouTube Jason Kelce’s speech from yesterday – if you can get over his Mummer outfit and really listen to his cries for unity, it was a tale about a group of people that ‘wanted it more’. When you love the game, your tribe, your city, your ANYTHING, there’s so much more love. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

And on that note…. Allow me to give you something that will warm your heart…. and your stomach. It is SPAAHHCY.

Spicy Cajun Stir-Fry with Andouille, Veggies and Rice (Gluten-Free)

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 20 min

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 package (5 sausages) of andouille chicken sausage
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/3 inch slices
  • 1 cup of eggplant, sliced into bite size pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • Cajun seasoning, to taste

For the Cajun seasoning (with lots left over for later!)

  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 tsp paprika
  • 4 -5 tablespoons seasoning salt

Directions

  1. In a small sauce pot, cook your rice per directions. (The rice I like only takes 20 minutes to cook, but if your brown rice takes a while, be sure to plan ahead, giving yourself about 10-15 minutes for the rest of your food to cook!)
  2. In a small bowl or jar, mix together your Cajun spices. I like to recycle my old glass spice containers, and you can totally store this spice mix in one as your normally would. Set aside.
  3. While your rice cooks, slice your andouille into thin slices, about ¼ inch thick. Place in a skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Saute until starting to brown on both sides, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Once your sausage has started to caramelize, add your peppers, eggplant and zucchini. Season with 1 tbsp of Cajun seasoning mix to start. Turn the heat to medium high, stirring occasionally. Add a tsp more olive oil, as needed. Continue to cook until veggies start to brown and are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Check your rice – fluff with a fork and remove lid to allow to dry a bit. Add more seasoning to taste, and cook for another 3-4 minutes to brown the dish.
  6. Serve, and enjoy.

🙂

-S

Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs (Paleo)

What weather!!!!

We went from having 80 degree days, to 40 degree nights. I can’t lie, this is my favorite part of the year. Sweaters, jackets, boots, scarves, AHH. And pumpkins! We are having a neighborhood potluck this Saturday, and I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with. I will definitely be enjoying some pumpkin beer.

I’ve been traveling a lot lately – far away cities for work, traveling back to my alma mater (WE ARE! #2 in the country, go PSU football!), and more or less, not getting enough sleep. Not getting any sleep, for that matter. It was fun putting on nice clothes, a ton of makeup, curling my hair and pretending I was in college again. It was not fun walking around in heels everywhere, though… I’d likely do it again. Kids these days don’t know what life was like before Uber when your campus was huge, your shoes were awfully uncomfortable, taxis were too expensive and subzero temperatures were just brutal.. but you didn’t care, because it was college, and you already had 14 shots so you were still warm.

The only bad thing about traveling is that, unless you’re doing an Airbnb and have full access to every amenity you have at home, you just can’t get a home cooked meal. Though I did get to eat some really delicious things, like shrimp and jalapeno cheddar grits, a real kobe beef burger, jicama fries, tostones, s’mores in a can, Better Cheddar dip, campfire ahi tuna…. among others, I really just wanted to cook myself a dinner and watch tv with my dog.

And that’s exactly what I did last night. I was inspired by hearing someone talk about meatballs on the radio, but… I just don’t like beef meatballs and red sauce. I don’t really like any standard pasta in red sauce, or any accessories that go with it. I wanted something light, but spicy, definitely flavorful, and not time consuming.

Chicken it was!

I thought about doing something like cauliflower rice to make the whole thing paleo, but a good basmati rice is just delicious…. You can definitely put this over something like veggies or cauliflower if you’re strict, though. These lil babes are delicious, full of protein and pretty filling, and they keep well for lunch the next day. And so, it is – Paleo Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs for you.

 

Paleo Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs

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Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Serves 2-3

 

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 heaping tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp almond flour

For the sauce:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp red curry paste, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, ribs/seeds removed, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste

Optional: 1 cup of basmati rice, OR cauliflower rice, if strict paleo

 

Directions

  1. In a medium skillet, heat coconut oil over medium high heat. Add first half of onion, and sauté until browning, about 8-10 minutes. Stir to ensure they do not burn. Set aside and let cool a bit.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F as you prep the meatballs.
  3. In a large bowl, add chicken, almond flour, ginger, red curry paste, salt, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, onion and cilantro and mix thoroughly. The mix should have a slightly red tint to it — if you’re brave and like spice, feel free to add another tsp of red curry paste.
  4. Roll into 1-1.5 inch balls and place on a greased/parchment-lined baking sheet. I covered my hands in a bit of coconut oil first, because chicken sticking to my fingers freaks me out a bit (oh, also.. it’s easier to roll them…)
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until they start to brown.
  6. Meanwhile, add rest of onion and red pepper to pan with a splash of oil over medium high heat, stirring to coat. allow to brown, about 10-12 minutes. Once cooked, add tomato paste, red curry paste, garlic powder and salt – stir to mix thoroughly.
  7. Once the mixture is coated with the curry and tomato paste, add coconut milk. Stir thoroughly, allowing to bubble and simmer.
  8. Remove meatballs from oven, and add to the skillet with the sauce — let simmer while moving onto the next step.
  9. Lastly, for the rice – bring 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 tbsp oil and a pinch of salt to a boil. add rice, and turn down to a simmer, allowing to cook for 15-20 minutes, or until water dissipates. Fluff with a fork. If using cauliflower, cut core of cauliflower head out/most of the bulky stem, and pulse the remaining through a food processor until rice-like consistency – heat with 1 tbsp coconut oil over medium high heat until tender, about 4-6 minutes.
  10. Serve meatballs and sauce over the rice in a bowl.

Enjoy!

-S

 

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken (Paleo)

Do you ever have moments where you just feel the overwhelming urge to reorganize your life? As though there’s just too much going on?

Your workspace is too cluttered; your laundry pile is too high; your kitchen pantry is too full of things you never use, bathroom cabinet full of things you don’t need, closet full of clothes you never wear.

I realize that these problems sound incredibly petty, trivial, and honestly misplaced, considering everything going on in society today. But on this day, this moment, and in this life, I felt overwhelmed. I have too many responsibilities that I’ve signed up for, and not enough time to do them. I’ve told friends “no” when they’ve asked me to go out, because I had a looming date with my bathroom that desperately needed cleaning. Seriously? Yes, that happened. I’ve devoted all of my free time to working, thinking that’s what I should be doing.

In reality, I was doing so much more harm than good. If I’m not producing, organizing, cleaning, cooking, doing, acting, driving, riding, reporting, working, running… spinning….. I’m not doing anything worth doing.  If that won’t drive someone to the nut-house, I’m not sure what will. I work 6-7 days a week, sometimes for weeks at a time, and I have to be honest… I’m just tired.

And so – while I haven’t done it yet, I’m making it my mission to take a break – I will take the time to do things like read, or some sort of craft, or just cook for fun. This is important for a couple of reasons…. Both in the long run, and short term. Breaks help you refocus, reevaluate your priorities, and allow you to think about what you’re trying to accomplish.

In preparation of taking a break, this delicious grilled Hawaiian Chicken sounds like the perfect way to start 🙂

 

Paleo Grilled Hawaiian Chicken

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups of fresh pineapple chunks or 1 14-ounce can of pineapple chunks, juice reserved
  • 1 cup gluten free tamari sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 green onions stalks, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 ½ lbs chicken breast or thigh (keep consistent due to cook time)

 

Instructions

  1. Combine pineapple, tamari, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, Dijon, garlic, ginger and green onion in the food processor. Blend until smooth, no major chunks.
  2. Trim chicken of any excess fat or other parts, and place in a large bowl. Pour the marinade over and cover for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat the grill to 400+ degrees F.
  4. Place chicken on direct heat, ensuring to let sit to cook thoroughly. Use excess marinade to coat while grilling, until finished… about 10-15 minutes each side.
  5. Remove from heat once cooked, and let rest under foil for 5 minutes. Serve with some Mexican Corn Salad.

Enjoy!

-S