Paleo Chicken Sweet Potato Frittata is one of my favorite post-workout foods because it’s 1) packed with protein and 2) totally portable. In fact, it’s totally representative of the tasty post-workout bites in my upcoming cookbook, The Performance Paleo Cookbook! (It comes out in just a little over a month, and it’s still on pre-order for 25 off!)
My pal Jesse from Whitford Foundry came down to the house today to film a video teaser for the cookbook, and I needed to whip something up as my “prep at home, take to the gym” dish. This fit the bill perfectly.
Normally, I like to keep post-workout food pretty low in fat—which slows digestion—but eggs are a great tradeoff for busy folks. The lean chicken bumps up the protein content, and I added sweet potato for a good carb boost.
Serves 6 to 8
Ingredients for Paleo Chicken Sweet Potato Frittata
1 large roasted sweet potato, cooled and roughly chopped*
12 oz (340 g) lean ground chicken
1 medium onion, diced
1 small head broccoli, stem removed, chopped small
Directions for Paleo Chicken Sweet Potato Frittata
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
In a large bowl, beat the eggs together with the smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Mix in the chopped sweet potato. Set aside.
In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil. Then, sauté the chicken until it’s cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove to a separate bowl.
In the same skillet, add the onion and broccoli and sauté on medium heat until they are softened and slightly tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Now, add the cooked chicken back to the pan.
Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Turn off the heat and stir the ingredients to combine.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set and not runny.
Serve directly from the skillet or slice and store for leftovers.
*My weekly big food prep involves roasting half a dozen sweet potatoes. I line a baking sheet with foil, place the washed and unpeeled sweet potatoes on it, and get that into a 400°F (204°C) oven for about 45 minutes. I cool them, then store them in the fridge. When it’s time to use them, I just peel them! (The peels loosen right up after they cool.)
Remember to check out my cookbook! It comes out on January 6th!
How to brine a turkey or chicken? I’m covering this simple method in today’s post and giving you my favorite go-to brine ingredients for succulent poultry every time.
I first started brining my chicken back when I got my hands on Mel Joulwan’s ahhhhmazing book Well Fed. Since then, I’ve created lots of different brines, mostly for lean chicken (think white meat) and pork. Letting the meat soak in brine, a salted water sometimes infused with herbs and spices, is sort of like a marinade.
Instead of just imparting flavor though, the brine keeps the meat moist and juicy which is always a challenge with leaner cuts. How does it work? Basically the salt causes the muscle protein to soften and get less tough when cooked. More moisture is retained during the cooking process.
If a little brining time is good, more must be better…right? Actually no. Oversoaking the meat will eventually cause moisture to be drawn out of the meat. The following method works for any lean meat—chicken, turkey, and shellfish like shrimp are great—and you can scale up or down depending on the quantity of protein you’re dealing with.
How To Brine a Turkey or Chicken
Prepare a container to hold the poultry. A stock pot will hold a smaller turkey while a very large bird will have to go in a clean, new bucket or other container lined with food-safe plastic.
Remove any giblets and pat the bird dry with paper towel.
Add the salt and spices to the container, then the appropriate amount of water. Stir well to dissolve the salt. (Recipe is below.)
Carefully add the turkey or chicken to the brine. Place the container in the refrigerator for the correct amount of time. You can’t leave this on the counter.
When the brining process is complete, remove the poultry and rinse off the excess salt and spices. Discard the brine. Pat the poultry dry with paper towels, then proceed with your preferred cooking method.
Basic Brine Recipe for Turkey (for a 10-pound bird)
Follow the directions above, allowing the turkey to brine for about 10 to 12 hours. Tip: Mix your brine ingredients (except the water) in a Mason jar ahead of time and store for when you’re busy. Mark on the lid how much you’ve made…enough for a 5-pound or 10-pound bird, for example.
*For a 5-pound whole chicken, halve the quantities. Brine for 5 hours.
**For a 20-pound turkey, double the quantities. Brine for about 24 hours.
Have a question? Leave it in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you!
Steph’s note: This recipe comes to you courtesy of my personal friend and fellow Paleo blogger / author, Ciarra Hannah of Popular Paleo. Her new cookbook, The Frugal Paleo Cookbook—all about eating delicious, flavorful Paleo food without breaking the bank—comes out on December 2, 2014!
She’s giving you a sneak peek with this tasty recipe for Tuesday Night Chicken. If you’re down for saving money while eating Paleo, you need this book. Plus, if you pre-order before December 2, you’ll get a free bonus package chock full of awesome info and coupons. Take it away Ciarra!
Truthfully this could be named after any day of the week. It’s so approachable and affordable that you won’t hesitate to make it after a long day at work or just before payday hits. This recipe highlights my favorite way to cook a rich tomato sauce quickly: red chili flakes and cinnamon. It’s how my Italian grandmother fed our family, so naturally I consider it the right way, as any true Italian would. Enjoy using these straightforward ingredients to create a bold and flavorful classic Italian dinner…any night of the week.
Prepare the chicken breasts first by filleting lengthwise to make 2 thick breasts into 4 thinner ones. Dust both sides with the House Seasoning Blend.
Heat a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat and add a little bit of olive oil to the pan—enough to just coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, lay the seasoned chicken breasts in to sear. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan as overcrowding leads to steaming, not browning. When the chicken has been seared (note, not fully cooked) on both sides, transfer it to a plate and set aside.
Reduce the temperature to medium and replenish the pan with a little more olive oil if it looks dry. Add the onion, garlic, Italian Seasoning Blend, kosher salt and cinnamon and cook, stirring often. If you are not accustomed to building sauces this way, I know it may appear a bit strange, but trust me on this. Applying heat and oil to the dried herbs prior to immersing in liquid revives the oils and creates a deeper flavor. It’s the trick to crafting a rich tomato sauce in such a short amount of time.
Cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic and herbs fragrant. Pour in the fire-roasted tomatoes and mix together. When the sauce bubbles, add the par-cooked chicken back to the pan, nestle it into the spiced-tomato-goodness, cover and reduce the temperature to a simmer.
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes while chopping the fresh garnishes—use either or both basil or flat-leaf parsley. This final simmer also allows plenty of time to whip up a quick vegetable side like an easy salad, sautéed dark leafy greens or Pan-Roasted Cauliflower & Zucchini, which is available on page 157 of the book or here on www.PopularPaleo.com.
I like to serve this directly from the pan after scattering with the vibrant green fresh herbs.
It’s hardly a secret that chicken soup is “good for what ails you”—as my grandmother used to say. If you’re a science nerd like me and want to know the how and why, click here and here. If you’re just here for the yummy recipe, you can skip all that. Suffice to say, maybe this soup isn’t a panacea, but it is definitely delicious.
I kicked up the healing properties of bone broth with the trio of ginger, turmeric, and garlic. Besides tasting aromatic and well, decidedly victorious, ginger and turmeric bring their anti-inflammatory compounds to this dish, and garlic, its antiviral properties. Infusing the broth is well worth the extra twenty minutes!
You can really dress this up anyway you’d like. I added some shredded chicken, green onion, carrot and shiitake mushrooms (gotta love that umami!) along with some gluten-free noodles made from mountain yam. Consider the broth a blank palette upon which to draw with your favorite flavors.
Pour the chicken broth into a medium pot, and add the ginger, turmeric, garlic and fish sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes to really infuse the broth with flavor. Note: If using turmeric powder (ground turmeric), start with ¼ teaspoon (0.5 gram), and increase to ½ teaspoon (1 gram), depending on your preference. I find turmeric powder to be insanely potent, much more so than the fresh root, so always add less and bump it up if you'd like. While the broth is simmering, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the ginger, turmeric and garlic. Discard. Or, if you like to live dangerously, leave it all in the soup and pick around it while you're eating (like I did in the photo). Just be aware: Biting into a large chunk of ginger, turmeric or garlic is usually not pleasant.
Add the chicken, mushrooms, green onions, carrot and if desired, your noodles. Heat about 5 minutes on medium-low or until everything is warmed through. Taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt.
Serve with a drizzle of sriracha for some extra heat.
*If you can't find fresh turmeric root, sub in ¼ teaspoon (0.5 g) turmeric powder. When working with any form of turmeric, take care because it stains hands, clothing and porous surfaces.
Steph’s note: Today’s recipe is brought to you by my guest blogger Bob from Not So Fast Food. Bob runs San Diego’s first Paleo food truck and is mega-creative in the kitchen. You may remember him from this interview I posted last year. Enjoy this flavor-packed wing recipe!
In a large mixing bowl, combine the avocado oil, lemon juice, garlic, and the leaves of rosemary, sage, and oregano. Taste and adjust the seasoning with the salt and pepper before adding the wings. Mix thoroughly and add the chicken wings. Cover and refrigerate the wings 24 hours to marinate them.
Preheat oven to 425ºF (218ºC), and line a baking sheet with foil.
Remove the wings from the marinade and discard it. Roast the wings in the oven for 15 minutes. Use tongs to turn over the wings and bake for another 15-20 minutes depending on level of crispiness you want.
Meanwhile, in a cast iron skillet over medium heat, sauté the shallots in ghee until soft.
Add the white wine, chicken stock, and lemon juice and bring it to a boil, stirring the sauce as it reduces. Add the wings to the skillet and toss for 1-2 minutes until they're well coated.
*Use 2 extra tablespoons chicken stock if you're avoiding wine or for Whole30.
Steph’s note: I’m really chuffed to introduce you to my guest bloggers Emma and Carla, the dynamic sister duo behind The Merrymaker Sisters! These two creative minds come up with all sorts of amazing Paleo food, both savory and sweet. Emma and Carla are well-known in the Australian Paleo world, and I know you’ll love what they’re doing down under. Definitely check out their site and social media for lots of great inspiration. Take it away, ladies!
Paleo, Primal and real food lifestyles are gaining in popularity by the day. While the benefits—such as fat loss and stable energy—are enough to convince most people to take the leap and leave their processed food-based diets behind, for others the transition can be pretty overwhelming. If you’re just starting out on your journey to Paleo, this post is dedicated to you.
These five recipes I’ve compiled from my archives can help you make the switch to a gluten- and dairy-free nutrition plan a LOT easier. And, if you don’t tell anyone what they’re about to eat is Paleo, they’ll probably never know!
Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast
Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast. What’s not to love already? You’re probably thinking, “Coffee? Pot roast? What?!” but rest assured that it’s not like downing a cup of joe. The coffee adds a subtle depth of flavor that the spices alone can’t achieve. The end result was fall-apart tender. If you have time, I highly recommend taking the liquid from the crock pot and reducing it down by boiling until it becomes thicker. It’s nice to drizzle on top, almost like a gravy. Of course, if you’re in a rush, you can skip that step. If you don’t have access to this awesome cold-brew coffee, and java will do. Whole30-friendly.
Simple Paleo Tortillas
Are Simple Paleo Tortillas really possible?! If you’re looking for a really easy Paleo version of a flour tortilla—or a French crepe—look no further. These are pretty much foolproof and are much more flexible than other Paleo tortillas I’ve tried before that mostly use coconut flour as a base. I had a huge bag of arrowroot powder to use up (a gluten-free flour alternative) so this fit the bill quite well. These Paleo tortillas hold up to folding or rolling and can be used in sweet or savory applications, and it’s easy to make a double or triple batch in advance and save them for upcoming meals. They’d also be perfect for making up some tasty lunches on the go, and I think they’d be super popular with kids (of all ages)! I tested these to see how well they’d freeze. I rolled the tortillas up, froze them, and they thawed flexible and easy to fold!
This Paleo Chick-fil-A is dedicated to my friend Ricky. Being from the south, he’s been rattling on about Chick-fil-A for SO long, I finally decided to make a Paleo version for him. It came out so tasty that I’m going to bring some to party this weekend for him to officially try. The secret’s in the pickle juice! It basically brines the chicken which makes it super moist and tender. The recipe easily doubles. Whole30-friendly.
Watermelon Mojito Salad
This Watermelon Mojito Salad recipe was inspired by a Southern California road trip I took with one of my best friends. There may have been some mojitos consumed. I decided to make a mojito-esque—but clearly non-alcoholic—dish that would capture the flavors of this iconic Cuban drink. Plus watermelon. I love watermelon. Whole30-friendly.
Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta
Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta is a riff on a traditional Italian panna cotta, but mine is dairy-free. Usually panna cotta is made from a combination of milk, cream, sugar and gelatin—creamy with a slightly firm texture. Of course, there’s no actual bread in my version, but I incorporated all my favorite French toast flavors: the butteriness from the ghee, richness from the egg yolks, warmth from cinnamon and of course a bit of sweet from maple syrup. A bit of crumbled crispy bacon on top gives a savory counterpoint to the sweetness. And of course, I used coconut milk to keep it dairy-free. Seriously delicious. Keep in mind that this panna cotta doesn’t set up like super-firm gelatin desserts. I serve it in small Mason jars for a few small, rich bites.
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What’s your favorite Paleo recipe to serve to non-Paleo eaters?
Steph’s note: Please welcome Ciarra from Popular Paleo back to the blog. Not only is she a close personal friend of mine, she’s a whiz in the kitchen AND she’s just finished writing a cookbook (releasing December 2nd so click here to pre-order) called The Frugal Paleo Cookbook: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Paleo Cooking. I know y’all are going to love it because she’s done an amazing job. (I got to test drive some of the recipes!) This Chicken Florentine dish is representative of the budget-friendly bites she’s known for. Take it away, Ciarra!
I have a not-so-secret love affair with spaghetti squash, but in my part of the country (the Pacific Northwest) it can get expensive depending on the time of year. Since I make one Paleo-friendly meal to feed my little semi-Paleo family of four each night for dinner, I’m always looking for ways to stretch a pricier ingredient. For spaghetti squash, I do that by mixing it up with chicken Italian sausage and fresh organic baby spinach for Chicken Florentine Spaghetti Squash Boats. I like to serve it all in the shell of the spaghetti squash and top it some fresh herbs and pine nuts if I have some hanging around in my pantry.
Makes: 4 servings
Ingredients for Chicken Florentine Spaghetti Squash Boats
1 medium to large spaghetti squash
16 ounces (454 grams) chicken Italian sausage (organic, gluten-free)
1 organic white or yellow onion, diced
2–3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups (700 grams) organic baby spinach leaves, packed into measuring cup
Optional: 1 tablespoon (7 grams) pine nuts and chopped flat-leaf parsley
Directions for Chicken Florentine Spaghetti Squash Boats
First things first, let’s get that spaghetti squash in the oven to roast while we prepare the filling. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Using a large knife and steady hand, split the squash in half lengthwise. The best way to do this is usually by scoring the squash and then inserting the tip of the blade into an end. Apply strong and even pressure on the knife, using it more like a splitting wedge on a large log rather than the familiar slicing action of a blade. Once the squash is split open, use a spoon to remove the seeds and pulp (just toss that stuff). Place the halved squash cut-side down on a roasting pan, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes in a preheated oven.
Meanwhile, prepare the chicken Florentine portion of the dish. Heat a large skillet to medium-high and drizzle in a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once it comes to temp, crumble in the chicken Italian sausage, garlic and diced onion. Cook and stir until the sausage is fully cooked and the onion is translucent—this should take about 12 minutes or so. A few minutes before the meat is done, pile the baby spinach on top of the sausage so that it wilts as the rest of the items in the pan finish. Stir the spinach into the sausage mixture as it cooks down. Then set it aside until the spaghetti squash has finished roasting.
After you pull the squash out of the oven, turn them over so they cool a little faster. Once you can handle them comfortably (or if you can manage holding them with an oven mitt), use a fork to scrape with the grain of the squash to harvest the strands. Transfer the harvested strands into the pan with the sausage mixture, season with sea salt and black pepper to taste and the pine nuts if you want to use them. Toss the squash strands with the sausage and spinach so everything gets evenly combined.
I like to serve this plated inside the spaghetti squash shell or “boat-style.” It’s pretty and, well, if I can save myself another dish to wash, then I’m all for it. Top with some toasted pine nuts and / or fresh flat-leaf parsley and dig in!
p.s.: If you happen to have any leftovers, this makes a great frittata for breakfast or a to-go lunch the next day!
Steph’s note: Please welcome Candace from Beyoutifully Delicious to the blog again. A couple weeks ago, I featured her PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw, and it’s gotten rave reviews. Candace is all about good food with big flavor, and this recipe will not disappoint. Without further adieu, take it away Candace!
Last Easter I came up with a fresh strawberry dressing that gave a subtle sweetness to a spring green salad. For the protein to compliment the slaw, I updated it as a marinade with some heat. There’s nothing like salty, sweet AND spicy. Now we’re talking game-changer.
I love this marinade on mahi-mahi, it’s a flakey fish that has a really clean taste to it. None of that “fishy” business that tends to draw people away from ocean proteins. If seafood is not your thing, this is perfect for chicken too.
You can easily flavor swap blackberry or apricot for the strawberry as they work well with chili peppers. I would use fresh apricots rather than dried just because I want to keep my sugar in check. It’s very easy for that to get crazy if I’m not intentional about food preparation.
Ingredients for the Strawberry Chili Dressing / Marinade
This is enough for two (6 ounce or 340 grams) filets of mahi-mahi or chicken breasts.
Directions for the Strawberry Chili Dressing / Marinade
In a blender, add all the ingredients except coconut oil and blend on high.
Turn down the speed a little and slowly drizzle in coconut oil.
Marinate the meat or fish for at least 2 hours and grill it until it’s no longer pink inside, about 4 minutes per side. Discard the leftover marinade. Or, bring the leftover marinade to a boil and cook it for 5 minutes to kill any bacteria.
Steph’s note: Give a hearty welcome to my guest blogger, Cassy from Fed & Fit. Cassy is a quadruple threat: She has mad kitchen skills, is an ace behind the camera, gets her sweat on at CrossFit and is one of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet.
On her blog Fed & Fit, Cassy brings approachable yet flavor-packed recipes with her signature step-wise photography that always leaves me drooling on my keyboard. I’m super excited to introduce you to her today! Make sure to make these Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers and go follow her on social media…you won’t be disappointed. Scroll down for the printable recipe.
Oh my word…I’m on Stupid Easy Paleo! I just adore Steph, and you know what? I adore you, too. I adore you because you’re here, you’re a part of the Real Food movement, and you probably have a thing for crispy chicken fingers. All reasons we can be great friends.
Crispy buffalo chicken fingers and I go way back. Once upon a time, I was a student at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX and I LIVED off of buffalo chicken fingers from a lovely little dining establishment called Wings ‘n More. While my health was rapidly declining, I was rapidly falling in love with comfort foods. Since going Paleo about 4 years ago, I gave up those delicious little strips of perfectly spicy, salty, gooey, but still miraculously crunchy chicken wonders. I gave them up plus the fries and ranch dressing that went with them.
Like a message was sent to me from above, I woke up one morning with the conviction a Paleo version MUST exist in this world. It needs to happen for you, for me, and for all those 20-something college students who think the gluten-coated, MSG-dusted, filler-fed restaurant chicken is their only option.
This Paleo-friendly crispy buffalo chicken finger is made possible by my good friend, the pork rind. Sometimes called chicharrones, sometimes called cracklin’s, pork skins are a crunchy, light, fluffy chip made by frying pork skin in it’s own rendered fat. They make for an occasional crunchy treat or can substitute as breading!
In an effort to create that reminiscent thick buffalo breading, I crafted a hybrid between my famous Paleo buffalo sauce and an egg wash.
Keep scrolling for my step-by-step photo instructions, tips and tricks.
I also recommend you check out my Paleo-friendly ranch dressing! Crispy buffalo chicken fingers and ranch dressing are a match made in heaven. Just saying.
Our recipe starts with about one pound of (ideally, pastured) chicken strips.
Next up, the buffalo egg wash! Crack two eggs into a bowl.
Now add 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Then the juice of one lemon.
Now add 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
2 teaspoons of onion powder.
And then 2 teaspoons of paprika.
Now you get to choose your level of spice! For HOT add 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper, add 1 teaspoon for medium, or add ½ teaspoon for mild. I opted for medium.
Lastly, add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt or sea salt.
Got all your ingredients loaded up?
Whisk until well combined and set aside while we focus on our crunchy breading.
The most important thing to remember when you’re buying pork skins is to read the label. You want to make sure the ingredients only read, “pork and salt.” Avoid bags with anything else listed.
Measure out about 5 cups of pork skins into a gallon-sized plastic bag.
Smash ‘em up! You’re also welcome to pulse the pork rinds in a food processor for a few minutes but A) I like to avoid washing more dishes than necessary and B) think smashing things is fun and therapeutic.
Once they’re mostly broken up, pour them in a bowl.
Make sure your oven is set to 400°F (200°C) and grab all your components!
Dip each chicken strip in the buffalo sauce.
Make sure it’s well coated.
Then lay it in the breading.
Pull it out when the crunchy pork goodness has it all covered up.
Lay the strips on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes or until cooked through.
Slow-Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole is the perfect blend of two worlds: simple cooking and huge flavor! When my friend Arsy Vartanian, author of the brand new book The Paleo Foodie Cookbook, asked me to share one of her recipes with you, I jumped at the chance. I know you all love chicken recipes, and slow cooker food definitely fits my criteria of stupid-easy. While it may seem like there are a lot of ingredients, they’re integral in creating a savory, complex mole sauce with a richness and depth of flavor.
If you love the sound of this recipe, go check out Arsy’s cookbook. She’s also got two awesome bonuses for you: We are giving away a copy of her book (sorry, contest is now closed) and you can get a free copy of her ebook, The Paleo Dinner Party, if you pre-order (details also at the bottom).
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole
2 pounds (900 grams) chicken pieces (breasts and legs work well), bone in, skins removed
Salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons (30 grams) ghee
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
6–7 whole tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
5 dried New Mexico chili peppers, rehydrated and chopped
1/4 cup (60 grams) almond butter
2-1/2 ounces (70 grams) dark chocolate (70% or above)
1 teaspoon (5 grams) sea salt
1 teaspoon (3 grams) cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon guajillo chili powder
Avocado, cilantro and jalapeño, all chopped (garnish)
Directions for Slow Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole
Generously salt and pepper the chicken.
Place a pan over medium heat and add ghee. Once the ghee has warmed, add the chicken and brown on all sides. This may need to be done in batches. Move chicken to the slow cooker.
Add onion to the same pan and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer onion and garlic to slow cooker.
Add the tomatoes, chili peppers, almond butter, dark chocolate, salt and spices (cumin, cinnamon, chili powder) to the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or until the chicken is tender and pulls apart easily. If you are home when making the dish, lift the lid once and give it a stir to make sure all the ingredients are well combined. Remove chicken bones. Top mole with avocado, cilantro and jalapeño and serve!
To enter for a chance to win a FREE copy of The Paleo Foodie Cookbook:
The winner is… lynn.s****@e*******l.com. Thank you to all who entered!
Use the Rafflecopter widget below to complete your entry! (This is how the winner will be drawn, so don’t skip this step!)
Please welcome my guest blogger Ashley from Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine to the blog. Ashley’s pretty special to me for two reasons: 1) She was my science student more than a dozen years ago and 2) she taught me what a blog was. True story! I’ve had the pleasure of watching Ashley transform into a bright, sharp-witted young woman and a passionate food blogger. She’s been exploring gluten-free / Paleo foods more recently, and though that aspect of her blog is developing, I knew I had to introduce her to you. In this post, Ashley’s got a super yummy Paleo Chicken Piccata recipe. Take it away, Ashley!
Before age 25, I just didn’t care about what I ate. Anything and everything, with a few bouts of meat-eater-guilt that resulted in short term vegetarianism (dating two vegans in a row didn’t help that), and a lot of bouts of “the drunchies” aka drunken munchies. As long as it was delicious, I ate it.
Little did I know, the “full” feeling you feel after a meal shouldn’t actually hurt. Bloat, tightness, pain, it was all because I just ate too much, right? Whatever, my waist stayed slim and my eating habits stayed…terrible.
Then I turned 25 and, as I like to say, the Butt Fairy paid me a visit. Suddenly, none of my pants fit me anymore (even my “that time of the month” pants—yikes!) and for the first time in my life I realized that every action has a reaction, and every double bacon cheeseburger has to GO somewhere. I also noticed the telltale signs of a gluten allergy and lactose intolerance, and though my first introduction to paleo was from a jerk coworker who scoffed at my sandwich lunch and bragged about his new diet that was “totally going to get him RIPPED”—I was a bit more intrigued when Steph saw my Facebook plea for gluten / dairy free recipes and suggested I try out Paleo.
Honestly, my first true experiments in Paleo were simply a way to lose weight. And, even more honestly, I did not lose weight. However, I noticed that after a meal comprised mostly of meat and veggies, I felt happily full, without the pain. After a week devoid of wheat and starchy carbs I felt more awake, less moody, and my head felt more clear. It was an eye opening experience in a lot of ways, and has influenced my cooking ever since.
I’m a food blogger and a food lover. I know that I’m never going to totally give up that cheeseburger, but the “clean” feeling I get from clean eating is hard to pass up. These days, I go by the 75 : 25 principle: during the week, I eat as paleo as I can, and on the weekends I cheat a bit. However, I still try to balance the 25. If I know I’m going out for drinks with friends on Saturday night, I’ll try to pass up the plate of nachos at lunch and go for a more paleo option on Saturday afternoon. If you look at my blog, from the past year it, too follows the 75 : 25, with most of my recipes being Paleo, nearly-Paleo, or at the very least gluten-free, with a few extras thrown in.
My favorite thing to do is find a recipe that is nearly Paleo, and tweak it just a little. This way, I don’t feel like I’m eating an impostor, and I still get the flavors and textures I’ve always loved. Chicken Piccata was my favorite dish when I worked at an Italian restaurant, and I think I like this version even better! Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.
Ingredients for Paleo Chicken Piccata
4 chicken cutlets or two breasts butterflied and pounded thin
In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tablespoons of the the butter / ghee and 2 Tablespoons of the oil.
Season chicken cutlets on each side with salt* and pepper. Dip into almond flour and cover well.**
Two at a time, cook the chicken in the skillet until browned on each side and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side, depending on how thin you sliced them.
Remove chicken from skillet and set aside, covered with foil or put in the oven on 200°F (100°C) to keep warm. Add a bit more oil to the skillet and scrape browned bits well to deglaze the pan. Or, if you’re me and you want a nice, clear sauce, scoop out any toasty almond bits that were left behind.
Reduce heat to medium-low, add the onions and garlic and cook until fragrant and the onions are translucent.
Pour in wine, chicken stock and lemon juice. Turn the heat to high and let liquid reduce by half. Add remaining ingredients, and reduce heat to low.
Add the chicken to the pan and let it warm back up or, if chicken is to your liking, simply spoon sauce over the chicken on a plate. If desired, sprinkle with a bit of crushed red pepper. Serve with veggies***.
Ashley’s notes: *I used vanilla salt that I received as a gift and it tasted lovely. Experiment with flavored salts here if you desire. **For a thicker, crispier crust, dip your chicken in egg before coating in almond flour. ***Pictured is broccoli tossed with a bit of truffle oil.
This Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche is incredibly easy to make and uses up leftover meat you may have in your fridge. What makes this Paleo? First, it’s crustless. You *could* make a gluten-free crust but that takes time, and I wanted this to be as quick as possible. Second, unlike regular quiche, this has no dairy (no milk, cream or cheese). Rest assured, it’s still ultra-tasty!
Wondering what makes a quiche different from a frittata? Technically it’s the amount of liquid you add: A frittata has very little while a quiche has more, resulting in a more custard-like texture to the eggs. I did cut the amount of liquid down to 1 cup so if you’re a quiche purist, go easy on me! You can change up this Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche in a variety of ways…check the bottom of the post for some suggestions! Bon appetit!
Ingredients for Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche
Directions for Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche
If using dried mushrooms, soften them by covering them with boiling water in a heat-proof bowl for about 30 minutes. Drain well.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190ºC). Grease a casserole dish or glass baking dish with coconut oil. I used a 10″ round casserole. If you use a smaller one, you may have to bump up the baking time a few minutes since the quiche will be thicker.
In a large skillet over medium heat, render and brown the bacon. Add the leftover chicken, mushrooms and sage to the pan and cook for a few minutes, making sure there is no moisture left from the mushrooms (if not, your quiche will be soggy…no bueno). Dump this mixture into the greased casserole dish, and set aside.
Crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Add the coconut milk, sea salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the casserole dish.
Bake the quiche for about 30 minutes or until the center is set and not jiggly.
Change it Up
Instead of dried mushrooms, use about 2 cups of sliced fresh mushrooms, any kind. Be sure to fry them down before you use them so they don’t add a lot of moisture to the quiche.
Don’t have any chicken? Use any leftover meat you’d like or just go meatless. If you don’t add meat, I recommend adding a veggie in its place.
Don’t like coconut milk? Use another nut milk of choice (homemade almond milk is great…I would make it extra thick by cutting the water down to 3 cups instead of 4).
Double the ingredients and make a mega-sized quiche for the week ahead.
Steph’s note: Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings (with Paleo Ranch Dressing Dip) is coming at you today from my guest blogger Rach from Meatified! Wings—I mean, c’mon—what’s not to love? I first learned of Rach from her screen-lickable photos of Paleo food, and with a name like Meatified, I knew she was onto something good.
A former vegetarian, she originally found the Paleo lifestyle while looking for a way to improve her health after years of thyroid-related issues. She creates original recipes that are grain- and sugar-free while trying to finally figure out how to work the camera she shamelessly “borrowed” from her husband. Pick up a copy of her new cookbook, Nourish: The Paleo Healing Cookbook!
These Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs have become one of my favorite dinners during the week because it’s so simple. I’m really excited to share this one with you because it’s one of the brand-spanking-new-shiny-out-of-the-box recipes from my ebook, The Paleo Athlete.
To get the skin really crispy, make sure it’s really dry before you put the chicken in the oven. If you’re lucky enough to have a convection oven, you’ll want to use that setting. Can’t find bone-in chicken thighs? You can use boneless, but cut the baking time down by about 5 minutes.
Make this a complete meal by throwing on some veggies as a side dish, and you’re good to go. I like the skin-on thighs because they stay moist in the oven. If you can only find skinless, you can wrap the thighs in bacon before you bake them…winning. As an extra bonus, I save the chicken bones to make stock in the slow cooker.
Please welcome Kim from Nearly Natural Momma as my guest blogger today! She’s got tons of great recipes and shares her adventures in food, homesteading and homeschooling on her blog and on Facebook. Take a minute and read her story of losing over 50 pounds (link is below) by turning to a real food lifestyle…it left me with a tear in my eye for sure!
Take it away, Kim!
I’m so excited to write a guest post for Stupid Easy Paleo! My name is Kim, and I’m the owner of Nearly Natural Momma, and a few years ago after battling a personal illness I used the Primal diet to lose some 50 pounds. My husband has been making chicken parm for years, it’s one of our favorite go to weekend family meals. We tweaked it since going Primal and wanted to share our adaptation with you. If you’re not doing cheese that’s no problem. This is still amazing. [Steph’s note: Paleo excludes most dairy, including cheese. If you’re Primal and include dairy, go for it…I know there are a lot of Primal readers who visit the blog. Paleo eaters, skip the cheese. Just want to make sure nobody is confused.]
If you’re short on time, use your favorite spaghetti sauce. We have a tough time finding any with out sugar so we’ve given you a very basic version of his sauce. Make it your own. Add mushrooms (I love it when the hubs does this), or green peppers, or extra garlic to give it your own unique twist.
Cook onions and garlic in oil until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add in the rest of the sauce ingredients, mix well and bring to a rolling boil then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes. Cover after five minute to avoid a huge mess.
For the Chicken
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
In a bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix well.
Dredge each piece of chicken first the dry mix, then eggs, then dry mix again. Carefully place each piece of chicken in the frying pan and fry until golden brown, or about 3 minutes each side. Remove the chicken from the pan, and set them aside.
Pour your sauce into the frying pan and scrape “grubbins” (hub’s word for cooked on yummies on the pan) and mix the grubbins in with the sauce. Heat the sauce to a simmer, then add the chicken back into the pan on top of the sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then cover and cook in your preheated oven for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes remove the cover. If you want to add mozzarella slices of cheese this is the time to do it. Place one on each piece of chicken.
Cook uncovered for another 10 minutes.
For the Spaghetti Squash
Pierce holes in the squash, and bake for 90 minutes at 350°F (175°C). (We usually do this step first before we start making chicken parm).
Let squash cool at least 30 minutes (or while you’re making the chicken parm), then cut it open removing seeds (which I give to our chickens!).
Scrape the rest of the yummies into a greased frying pan.
Add 1/2 teaspoon oregano, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
Stir and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Serve with your Chicken Parmesan, and enjoy!!
I’m psyched to try this recipe! What questions do you have for Kim?