Tag Archives: dinner

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

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. Take it away, Cassy!

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.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Next up, the buffalo egg wash! Crack two eggs into a bowl.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Now add 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Then the juice of one lemon.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Now add 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

2 teaspoons of onion powder.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

And then 2 teaspoons of paprika.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

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.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Lastly, add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt or sea salt.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Got all your ingredients loaded up?

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Whisk until well combined and set aside while we focus on our crunchy breading.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

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.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Measure out about 5 cups of pork skins into a gallon-sized plastic bag.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

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.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Once they’re mostly broken up, pour them in a bowl.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Make sure your oven is set to 400°F (200°C) and grab all your components!

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Dip each chicken strip in the buffalo sauce.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Make sure it’s well coated.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Then lay it in the breading.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Pull it out when the crunchy pork goodness has it all covered up.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Lay the strips on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes or until cooked through.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Ta-da!

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

I recommend you plate with some crunchy vegetables and a side of Paleo-friendly ranch dressing.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Enjoy!

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Serves 4-6

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Bake Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients for Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers:

Directions for Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Whisk the eggs, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. Dip each chicken strip into the buffalo egg wash then lay in the pork rind breading, coating both sides.
  4. Place breaded strips on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until cooked through.

Follow Cassy on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter

Click here to pin this!

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions for Cassy? Leave them in the comments below.

The Perfect Burger

The Perfect Burger | stupideasypaleo.com

Okay y’all…the perfect burger. It’s not every day you hear a burger claim to be “the one”, but this may very well be it. Perfectly flavored beef, parsnip crisps fried in coconut oil and a decadent avocado mousse…have I convinced you yet?

The Perfect Burger is just one of the awesome meaty recipes you’ll find in The Paleo Kitchen, a brand new cookbook coming out this June from none other than George Bryant and Juli Bauer. If you like the looks of The Perfect Burger, head over and pre-order their cookbook. And, if you do it before April 10, you can enter into a pretty sweet giveaway…a 3-day, all-expenses paid trip for 2 to San Diego. (Trust me, it’s an awesome city!)

Ingredients for The Perfect Burger:

Serves 3.

For the burgers

For the shoestring parsnip fries

  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) coconut oil, melted

Garnish with

  • Sliced red onions
  • Avocado mousse (also from the cookbook)
  • Romaine hearts
  • Shoestring parsnip fries (from above)

Directions for The Perfect Burger:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the burgers without overworking the meat.
  2. Divide meat into 3 equal portions and form into ½-inch (12-mm)-thick patties. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each burger. Set aside.
  3. Using a spiral slicer or julienne slicer, cut the parsnips into strings.
  4. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat, and preheat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Once grill is hot, place the burgers on the grill and close the lid. Cook 6 minutes.
  6. While the burgers are cooking, add the coconut oil to the saucepan. Test the oil by placing one parsnip shoestring in the oil to ensure the oil bubbles. Add the parsnips to the oil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown. When the parsnips finish cooking, place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  7. Flip the burgers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare, or until desired doneness. Remove the burgers from grill and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. To assemble the burgers, place each on a bed of lettuce and top with sliced red onions, ¼ cup (60 mL) avocado mousse, and parsnip fries.

Click here to pre-order The Paleo Kitchen!

Tasty Taco Salad by Living Loving Paleo

Tasty Taco Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing | stupideasypaleo.com

Please welcome Kristen, my guest blogger and a special friend of mine, to the blog. I’ve come to know Kristen through her Instagram, and her story of sickness to wellness so touched my heart that I knew I had to share it on the blog. (Click here to read it, then come right back!) Kristen’s passion for food is clear in her super awesome blog, Living Loving Paleo, and her recipes are simple, approachable and nourishing. Take it away, Kristen!

One thing I super, duper missed when I first changed my diet to a Paleo diet was definitely sauces and dressings, especially creamy ones. I honestly thought I’d never see them again. I drew a blank when it came to making my own, as I never had before. Honestly, making my own dressings intimidated me, and I figured it would be difficult and time consuming (neither of which I’m a fan of). Then, I discovered just how easy and fast it is to make your own, and I knew I could never go back!

My life was completely turned around by changing the food that I put on my plate, and for the first time in a really long time I was healthy. I was determined to make recipes for my own sauces and dressings that fit my new lifestyle, and that were completely delicious! I love a great salad, and to me, a salad is completely made by the dressing. I must say, the dressing that I created for this taco salad makes it extra special. Store bought dressings don’t even compare! I hope you all love it as much as my family did. Happy cooking!

Ingredients for Tasty Taco Salad:

For the base of the salad, I used romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes & avocado. Feel free to use any veggies you like.

Ingredients for Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1.5 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 teaspoons cilantro, minced

Directions for Tasty Taco Salad:

  1. In a small bowl mix together the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the coconut oil has melted, add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning to the meat and mix well.
  3. While the meat is cooking, make the simple dressing. Place the oil, egg, mustard powder, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic and salt in a tall container. (I use a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup). Place an immersion blender at the bottom and turn on. Once the mixture starts to blend together and become thick, move the immersion blender towards the top, until it is well blended. This should take less than a minute! Stir in the cilantro. [Steph's note: No immersion blender? Place the egg, mustard powder, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic and salt into a blender and let these come to room temperature. Run the blender for about 30 seconds, then with the blender on medium speed, very slowly (in a thin stream) drizzle in the avocado oil until the mayo has thickened.]
  4. Top your salad with the meat and dressing! Enjoy!

Click here to pin this!
taco salad 2

 

Paleo Chicken Piccata by Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine

Paleo Chicken Piccata | stupideasypaleo.com

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
  • 1 cup (100 grams) almond flour
  • ~5 Tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil or your oil of choice (coconut leaves a bit of a taste I am not fond of, but some advise against cooking with olive oil in high heat)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ an onion
  • ½ cup (120 mL) chicken stock
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) white wine (use chicken stock if you don’t cook with wine)
  • 3 lemons, two juiced & one sliced
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon capers
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley

 Directions for Paleo Chicken Piccata

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tablespoons of the the butter / ghee and 2 Tablespoons of the oil.
  2. Season chicken cutlets on each side with salt* and pepper. Dip into almond flour and cover well.**
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the onions and garlic and cook until fragrant and the onions are translucent.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Connect with Ashley and Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine on her blogFacebook pageTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Click here to pin this!

Paleo Chicken Piccata | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips and Greens from Gutsy By Nature (AIP-Friendly)

Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips & Greens from Gutsy By Nature | stupideasypaleo.comPaleo Beef Stew…I hope you’re already drooling! Today’s post is from my guest blogger Jaime, the powerhouse behind Gutsy By Nature. I was really excited to have Jaime on the blog because not only does she make some amazing Paleo food, she’s living proof of the power of food to heal. She’s been on a journey to heal herself from Crohn’s disease—which she was diagnosed with in 1995, and she’s passionate about helping others reclaim gut health. Jaime’s recipe is suitable for folks eating an autoimmune Paleo protocol (read more about that below). Besides curating her blog, Jaime is a wife and mom to two dogs, works in literacy education and teaches yoga. Take it away, Jaime!

The Paleo diet has tremendous healing properties for people with autoimmune diseases, especially with modifications to further eliminate foods like nuts, eggs and nightshades (because they can provoke immune responses) and with the addition of nutrient-dense foods. This dish combines both aspects because it’s made without nightshades and packs a nutrient-dense punch with the inclusion of coconut oil, bone broth (click here for her bone broth recipe), grass-fed beef and a bunch of vegetables.

Nightshades are a diverse group of plants including some we wouldn’t dream of eating, like tobacco and morning glories, and others that produce fruits and vegetables that are common parts of healthy diets. Specifically, the nightshade family includes tomatoes, white potatoes, both sweet and hot peppers, and eggplants. I’ve personally been able to add some of these foods back into my diet, but I wanted this dish to work even for people who are still in the elimination phase of an autoimmune protocol (AIP), so I decided to use turnips instead of white potatoes and used another source of acidity and flavor than the tomato paste I might normally add.

I also really wanted this stew to have a thick consistency and not just be a chunky soup. In my pre-Paleo days, I would’ve tossed the stew meat in some flour prior to cooking to thicken the resulting sauce. I’ve experimented with alternative thickeners like arrowroot powder and coconut flour, but haven’t been impressed with the result. Instead, I adapted a technique I used to make gluten-free turkey gravy (click for the recipe) and pureed the aromatics prior to cooking. Success! The final result was a thick stew with amazing rich flavor.

(Note: While alcohol is generally eliminated on AIP, most people are fine with it in well-cooked dishes because the alcohol cooks off. If you choose to omit the wine, make sure you add another 2 Tablespoons of vinegar because the acidity helps to tenderize the meat as well as impart flavor. In recipes that contain tomatoes, the acid of the tomato helps this to happen naturally.)

Ingredients for Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips and Greens:

  • 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) coconut oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound (500 grams) beef stew meat (preferably grass-fed), cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups (1000 ml) beef broth (preferably homemade)
  • 8-10 baby turnips, peeled
  • 1 cup of leafy greens like kale, mustard greens, or turnip greens, ribs removed and chopped

Directions for Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips and Greens:

  1. In a large heavy pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add meat, toss to coat in oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Cook meat until browned on all sides (about 7-10 minutes total).
  2. While meat is cooking, puree onions, carrots, and celery in a food processor.
  3. Remove meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl to catch any drippings.
  4. Add pureed vegetables to the pot you just cooked the meat in and cook until soft, slightly browned and very fragrant (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and herbs and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
  5. Return meat to the pot. Carefully pour the wine into the pot to deglaze, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits. Cook, stirring frequently, until wine has nearly all evaporated.
  6. Add balsamic vinegar and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower temperature to lowest setting. Cover pot and cook for 2 hours.
  7. Add turnips and cook for 15 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with a knife but are not falling apart. Add greens and cook for 2 minutes, or until they are wilted and softened.

Click here to pin this picture!

Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips & Greens from Gutsy By Nature | stupideasypaleo.com

Like this hearty stew? Give it a +1 on Google+!

Find Jaime and Gutsy By Nature on all your favorite social media sites:

Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs

Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs - The Paleo Athlete | stupideasypaleo.comThese 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 upcoming 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 crock pot.

Ingredients for Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs:

Directions for Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Mix the garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Place the chicken thighs on the baking sheet and dry the skin well with a paper towel. Flip the thighs over so the skin side is down.
  4. Sprinkle evenly with half of the seasonings – garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano and salt. Flip over and season the other side.
  5. Bake about 25-30 minutes (in a convection oven) or 35-40 minutes (in a regular oven) until the thighs are cooked through completely.

Change it Up:

  • Use curry powder or your favorite spices instead of those listed.
  • For skinless thighs, sprinkle with smoked paprika, salt and pepper, then wrap in thinly sliced bacon (recipe is here).
  • For double crispy goodness, these can be reheated by: adding a spoonful of your fat of choice to a cast iron skillet and crisping both sides until golden over medium heat.

Pin it here!

Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs - The Paleo Athlete | stupideasypaleo.com

Like this recipe? +1 it on Google+

Paleo Chicken Parmesan from Nearly Natural Momma

Paleo Chicken Parmesan…this is not a dream!

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.]

Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com

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.

Ingredients for the Sauce:

Directions for the Sauce:

  1. Cook onions and garlic in oil until tender, about 5 minutes.Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com
  2. 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.Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com

Ingredients for the Chicken:

Directions for the Chicken:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. In a bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. 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.Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com
  5. 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.Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com
  6. 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.Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com
  7. Cook uncovered for another 10 minutes. Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com

For the Spaghetti Squash:

  1. 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).
  2. 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!).
  3. Scrape the rest of the yummies into a greased frying pan.
  4. Add 1/2 teaspoon oregano, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Stir and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serve with your Chicken Parmesan, and enjoy!!

I’m psyched to try this recipe! What questions do you have for Kim?

One Skillet Paleo Dinner

one skilletOne-skillet meals are so ideal because they make everyone’s least favorite part about cooking – the cleaning up – that much easier. This is a basic template for a meal that could have several variations: you could change up the type of ground meat and the spices and end up with something that tastes totally different. Save even more time by ricing your cauliflower (pulsing it into small bits in a food processor is by far the easiest way) ahead of time on your big weekly food prep day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. (500 g) ground beef
  • 1 head of cauliflower, riced
  • 16 oz jar pasta sauce (check labels for weird ingredients)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons capers or sliced olives for garnish

Directions:

  1. Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. You may want to drain the fat if the meat’s not grass fed.
  2. Add the riced cauliflower and pasta sauce.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
  4. Garnish with capers or olives.

 

Crock Pot Chicken Yellow Curry Soup

DSC_0012 Last week on Facebook, I asked which you – fantastic fan – would like more recipes for: veggies, meat or crock pot, and the slow cooker was the winning vote by far. Here’s my guess on why: crock pots do everything for you…except clean up. Yup. It’s true. Put it in and walk away…it’s like the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie Oven for the busy Paleo eater (I know you remember those “Set it and forget it!” Saturday morning infomercials).

I took one of my most adored recipes from my Crock Pot Recipe Guide and gave it a slight makeover. What resulted was a warm, filling, and savory curry that’s not at all spicy hot. Best part, it’s free from the weird ingredients found in most premixed curry pastes. and you don’t have to worry about that lonesome jar of rarely used curry powder getting stale because you’ve made it fresh. Makes about four servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb. (~700 g) boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into chunks
  • 6 cups of veggies, chopped (I used one cup each of onion, carrots, green beans, broccoli, tomatoes and red bell pepper. Use what you like or have on hand.)
  • 1-14 oz can (~400 ml) of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 cup water (for a thicker, curry-like sauce, omit the water)
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut the chicken and veggie into medium-large chunks. Put everything into the crock pot.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk, and crushed tomatoes. Then add the spices: cumin, ground coriander, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Add the water. Stir to combine everything.
  3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. [I cooked mine for 8 hours overnight since my current crock pot does not have an automatic shut off function, though, at it came out perfect nonetheless.] 
  4. If the you want it more like a curry and less like a soup, omit the 1 cup of water above. You can also remove the lid from the crock pot for the last hour of cooking so some of the moisture evaporates.
  5. Season to taste with salt.
  6. Serve. Would be great over cauliflower rice, but it’s tasty on its own, too.

Paleo Mediterranean Meatza Pies

DSC_0023 Meatza. Meat + pizza.

One of my favorite portmanteaus – two words smashed together to make a new one, like bromance and spork – it’s like pizza but with a meaty crust (and let’s be honest, there’s never enough meat on any pizza). Now, I definitely can’t take credit for dreaming up the concept of meatza (drat!), and one of my Paleo heroines, Melissa of The Clothes Make the Girl, along with other bloggers like PaleOMG and Civilized Caveman have all posted their interpretations.

And behold, mine.

I was absolutely longing for something with Mediterranean flair…thoughts of tangy sundried tomatoes, luscious kalamata olives, and peppery basil materialized in my mind. In the end, I made two versions – Italian and Greek – and the ingredients for both are below. Feel free to sub out anything you don’t like or add anything you do. Your imagination is the only limiter. Know what would be killer? A ground chicken meatza crust with Paleo BBQ sauce, red onion, pineapple and cilantro! YUM!

For the Incomparable Italian Meatza (pictured above):

Makes 2.

Crust:

  • 1 lb. (500 g) lean ground beef
  • 2 Tablespoons mixed dried herbs (any kind really…I used an oregano, thyme, parsley mix)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried dill)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Suggested toppings (about 1/2 cup of each topping should be plenty):

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix the crust ingredients – ground beef, dried herbs, basil, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Divide the meat in half. Press half the meat into an 8″ round pie pan. Repeat with the other half. [No pie pan? Use any baking dish you'd like. You could even do a 13" x 9" rectangular pan to make one big meatza. Use what you've got!]
  4. Bake for 10-15 min or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and drain off any liquid in the pan.
  5. Now it’s time to do the toppings. I added the tomato sauce and red pepper first, then popped it back in for another 5 minutes to soften those up. Then, I took out the crust, added the rest of the toppings – arugula leaves, sundried tomatoes, artichokes and olives – and chopped it into 4 pieces while it was on a cutting board.
  6. Mangia! (In case you’re wondering, I was able to eat a whole meatza myself, but I was very very hungry from back squats. It’s pretty filling!)

For the My Big Fat Greek Meatza (sorry, no picture…we ate it too fast):

Makes 2.

Crust:

  • 1 lb. (500 g) ground lamb
  • 2 Tablespoons mixed dried herbs (any kind really…I used an oregano, thyme, parsley mix)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried dill)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Suggested toppings (about 1/2 cup of each topping should be plenty):

  • Green bell pepper, sliced
  • English cucumber, chopped
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Red onion, very thinly sliced
  • Olives, any kind, sliced
  • Arugula leaves (rocket)

Dressing:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix the crust ingredients – ground lamb, dried herbs, dill, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Divide the meat in half. Press half the meat into an 8″ round pie pan. Repeat with the other half. [No pie pan? Use any baking dish you'd like. You could even do a 13" x 9" rectangular pan to make one big meatza. Use what you've got!]
  4. Bake for 10-15 min or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and drain off any liquid in the pan.
  5. Now it’s time to do the toppings. I added the green bell pepper first, then popped it back in for another 5 minutes to soften it up. Then, I took out the crust, added the rest of the toppings – arugula leaves, cucumber, tomato, red onion and olives – and chopped it into 4 pieces while it was on a cutting board. Drizzle with the dressing before serving.

 

Citrus-Garlic Marinated Steak

DSC_1292 I’ve just returned from a week-long trip to London and Paris, hence how quiet I’ve been on the site here. If you’ve left a comment or sent an email, it will take a bit longer than usual but rest assured I’ll get back to you. I love traveling and discovering new foods, but I also really like getting back to my kitchen so I can make my favorite recipes and think of new ones.

This simple marinated steak was great over a fresh garden salad – use any veggies you’d like – served with some guacamole on the side. Or it’d make an awesome filling for my Simple Paleo Tortillas! If you don’t like beef, you could use chicken or pork. I bought some inexpensive steaks and cut them into strips for quick cooking. Alternatively, you could keep the meat whole, marinate it, grill it and then slice into strips once it’s cooked.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of steak, cut into strips
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 orange and 1 lime
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Put the steak strips in a large bowl.
  2. Add the zest and juice of the citrus fruit, olive oil, garlic, salt, smoked paprika and pepper. Stir the ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Let marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 30-60 minutes for best results. Stir once or twice as it’s marinating.
  4. When ready to cook, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add about half the steak. If it gets overcrowded it won’t brown. I cooked about 1.5 minutes on each side for medium.
  5. Repeat with the rest of the meat.
  6. Serve.

Crock Pot Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast

DSC_0858-2 copy

Crock Pot mocha-rubbed pot roast. Slow cooker. 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. This recipe is easily doubled.

Ingredients for Crock Pot Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast: 

For the mocha rub (you will have extra):

For the roast:

  • 2 lb. beef roast (I used grass-fed chuck)
  • 1 cup brewed coffee (I used Chameleon Cold-Brew)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 6 dried figs, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions for the Crock Pot Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast: 

  1. Prepare the mocha rub by mixing together the finely ground coffee, smoked paprika, black pepper, cocoa powder, Aleppo pepper (sub: sweet paprika), chili powder, ground ginger and salt in a small bowl. You won’t use the entire batch if you’re making a 2 lb. roast. It stores well in an airtight container. DSC_0780
  2. Pat the beef roast dry with a paper towel. Spoon 3–4 tablespoons of the mocha rub mixture over the roast and rub it in well with your hands—my preferred method. Or, place the roast and 3–4 tablespoons of mocha rub in a plastic ziptop bag and shake until it’s evenly coated.  DSC_0787
  3. Combine the brewed coffee, beef broth, onion, figs and balsamic vinegar in a blender. Puree until liquified. DSC_0776
  4. Pour the liquid into the crock pot and place the roast gently on top.
  5. Cook for 5–6 hours on low.
  6. Remove the meat and shred with two forks. You can then boil the liquid until it reduces and thickens or simply serve as is. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste DSC_0842 DSC_0859

Paleo Plantain Beef Pie

Paleo Plantain Beef Pie | stupideasypaleo.comPaleo Plantain Beef Pie…holy cow! After I put this dish in the oven on Sunday afternoon, I had to go down the street to the market for a couple ingredients for another recipe. I came back 15 minutes later to the most amazing smells wafting out of my apartment. This takes a bit more time than my weekday, go-to recipes, but it’s perfect for putting together on the weekend when you’re relaxed and not rushed. I honestly won’t have enough left to freeze (because the whole thing is going to be eaten), but I suspect that tightly wrapped, it would freeze quite well. This recipe is so tasty that I think it’s wise to double the ingredients and make a 13″ x 9″ dish full instead of the smaller batch, especially if you are feeding more than two people.

Paleo Plantain Beef Pie | stupideasypaleo.com

As one of my readers pointed out, this dish is popular in Caribbean cuisine and is often called pinon or pastelon. The plantains and currants add a bit of sweetness which is balanced by the olives and vinegar. Okay, my mouth just watered writing that. If you want to make this, be sure to plan ahead and check what the plantains at your market look like—here they are always super green. You’ll want slightly ripe plantains for this recipe: they should yield gently to pressure and have greenish, yellow skin with some dark spots. If you can’t find achiote powder, paprika is a good substitute. Makes an 8″ x 8″ dish. (I used two smaller dishes.)

Paleo Plantain Beef Pie | stupideasypaleo.com

Ingredients for Paleo Plantain Beef Pie (Pastelon):

Paleo Plantain Beef Pie | stupideasypaleo.com

 

Directions for Paleo Plantain Beef Pie (Pastelon):

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease the inside of an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with coconut oil and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground beef completely. Lower the heat and to the same skillet, add the red pepper, onion and bay leaf. Cook for 4–5 minutes until the veggies are softened.
  3. Add the green chilis, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, currants, olives, apple cider vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for 10 more minutes. While this is cooking, start the plantains. (Remove the bay leaf before assembling the pie.)
  4. Peel and slice the plantains into 1/3″ diagonal pieces. To peel, cut off both ends and slice through the skin lengthwise, then peel off in sections. If any skin remains, trim it off with a knife.
  5. In another skillet (I like cast iron for this task) over medium heat, add a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and begin to brown the plantains in a single layer, about 2 minutes per side. You’ll have to do this a few times until all the plantains are golden brown. Caution: If you walk away or get distracted, these will easily burn. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and water.
  7. Now you’re ready to assemble the pie. In the bottom of the dish, spread half the meat / veggie mixture. Pour 1/3 of the beaten egg on top. Place plantains in a single layer on top of the egg. Repeat the layers one more time and top with the remaining 1/3 of the beaten egg. (To summarize: Meat – egg – plantain – meat – egg – plantain – egg.)
  8. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the eggs are set. Let sit for 10 minutes before you slice into the pie.

Paleo Plantain Beef Pie | stupideasypaleo.com

IMG_4066

And just for fun, the old picture^^.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

photo-601Disclaimer: nothing can take the place of real noodles.

I know – le sigh.

However, if you’re willing to put that aside, this recipe is pretty awesome and will get you close to a lasagna-like dish without any gluten or dairy. Win! I’m currently back in Scotland visiting, and a trip to the local Tesco to get ingredients left me with zero options for pre-made sauce that did not contain any excess sugar, so I looked around and gathered some staples to make my own. If you can find a clean pasta sauce, by all means go ahead and use that which means you’ll save time and omit the tomato sauce, paste, and oregano. I also used lean ground pork, but beef or lamb or a combo of different meats would be tasty as well.

Prep time: 20 min     Cook time: 30 min    Makes: 6-8 servings, one 13″ x 9″ dish or two 9″ round dishes

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium or 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 pound (500 g) lean ground beef or pork
  • ~36 oz canned tomato sauce (1000 g Italian passata for my UK friends)
  • 4 oz (100 g) tomato paste
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced olives
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Salt & pepper
  • Coconut oil or fat of choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the diced onion in a spoonful of coconut oil until it’s softened, about 5 minutes. Add the pork, garlic and oregano and raise the heat to medium-high. Saute until the pork is cooked through.
  3. Add the olives, tomato sauce and paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low and simmer while you prepare the squash. [Note: this makes a tasty meat sauce all on its own or for use in other recipes.]
  4. Peel the butternut squash. Slice into very thin rounds by laying the squash on a cutting board. I tried to make mine about 1/8″ thick. The key is to make the slices as uniform as possible so they cook evenly. You could also use a mandolin to make them evenly sized. Be sure you have a sharp knife! Other recipes call for the squash to be sliced lengthwise into long sheets but this is very hard to do with a knife. The rounds enable quicker prep time and the result is just as tasty.
  5. Now it’s time to prepare the lasagna: start with a bit of sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Then place the squash in a single layer (I used small pieces from the bottom of the squash, which I had to cut into half moons to remove the seeds, to fill in the gaps between the rounds). Now add another layer of sauce. Don’t skimp because the moisture from the sauce is what cooks the squash. Now add about 1/3 of the scrambled egg and smear it around. It will look gross. Stay the path. It’s going to taste awesome and gives the appearance of cheese.
  6. Repeat the squash-sauce-egg sequence one or two more times, depending on how much you have left (I used two 9″ round pans so each ended up with two layers).
  7. Finish with a light layer of sauce. I also used up some of the extra pieces of squash as decoration. Fancy :)
  8. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a knife easily pierces the squash.