Refreshing light lunch – Paleo Chicken Salad

chicken saladckn salad prep

My usual hurried run home for lunch found me with a few extra minutes, I actually got to eat it at home instead of packing it up to go!
A grapefruit was calling my name loudly…and I knew that would be in the mix, but I wanted to change up the chicken a bit, so I took the Poached Chicken I have been eating off of this week and diced it up to make a quick chicken salad today….really nice!

Here’s what I did…

Paleo Chicken Salad:
1 cooked chicken breast, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1-2 radishes, diced
Handful of halved grapes
small handful of chopped pecans
salt and pepper
juice of 1/4 lemon
2-3 TBSP home made mayo (see previous post)

Mix all of the above gently and enjoy!
Of course there are a million variations, I was really wanting a little fresh parsely, but I was out!

Simple, beautiful, mayo

mayoI was asked by a follower on instagram for this one…

I have been a big fan of mayo for as long as I can remember! My childhood consisted of mayo and bread sandwiches, mayo+white bread+american cheese (!), mayo+lettuce+white bread, and on and on… every day for most of my young life! As I grew up, I would eat it on crackers, veggies, you name it. I would pick mayo over butter any day of the week! And, I was a Hellmanns girl. None of that sweet Miracle Whip or Duke’s (although I learned to appreciate MW on a ham sandwich from time to time…).

I always heard how difficult mayo was to make and that home made was ultra delicious, but very tricky.

When I found paleo living, I saw so many bloggers and chefs making their own healthy mayo which had good healthy fats and amped up so many meals, but the recipes were complicated, often needing all ingredients brought to room temp, some were yolks only, some use the blender, some use the food processor, and often it was a game of chance if it would firm up or break.
I have probably tried a dozen different recipes, multiple times each, and was running a 50/50 chance as to whether the mayo would “make” or not!
I started seeing some people using immersion blenders, and that seemed to speed things up! (especially from the workout of using the old fashioned hand wisking method!….pant pant!)

My mother swears by the immersion blender….and I tried it, several times, cursing it every time, as i just didn’t have knack for it. And then I watched her do it and thought, really Kristen? You can do this…

Here is how you do it….

Use a mild flavored oil….I use a LIGHT olive oil that I find at whole foods (NOT extra virgin!)

Beautiful Paleo Mayo!

so….put all of these items in the immersion blender container or a tall narrow container:
1 cup light olive oil
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
dash of salt
up to 1 tsp dijon mustard
1 whole egg

put the blender in the cup all the way to the bottom and start whirring away…bring it up slowly, then slowly back down and up a couple of times until you see the consistency you like…less than a minute.

That’s it! SO simple! and so delicious! This will keep in your fridge about a week or a little longer, if it lasts that long!

What Lies Beneath

eggs and spfritterseggs and sp fritters 2

What lies beneath that glorious fried egg and bacon is a little something I call a spicy sweet potato fritter!
(I know, my second fritter post today..I suppose I had fritters on the brain all weekend!)

I love crispy potato anythings with eggs for breakfast, and was craving a hash brown, or something similar…

here is what happenned:

Spicy Sweet Potato Feta Fritters

In a bowl, mix together:
-1 small sweet potato, peeled and grated
-1/4 red bell pepper, grated, or thinly sliced and chopped
-1 or 2 thin slices of onion, chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsps almond flour
1 tsp tapioca flour
1/2 of a beaten egg (break the egg in a little bowl, beat the egg with fork, pour about half into the recipe)
1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese (optional)

drop batter into a hot skillett with melted butter and coconut oil mixed (about 1 T each) – drop and flatten batter…about half dollar size. Smaller gives you more crispy!
about 2-3 minutes, then flip and go another 2-3 minutes.

(I fried up an egg and bacon in the same skillet and plopped them on top of the fritters. So. dang. Good!)

enjoy!

Spicy spin on Chicken tortilla-less soup

mex soup

Inspired yet again by one of the greats! Ms. Diane Sanfillipo, to me a nutritional guru when it comes to all things Paleo, author of Practical Paleo (my go to for everything knowledgeable and sensible about Paleo living) and also of the 21 Day Sugar Detox, which I find to be an incredible reset for everyone, shares her wealth of knowledge in simple terms, and then eases you into a delicious realm of paleo eating with her tried and true recipes, each one better than the next! I almost never change a note of her recipes, and when I do, traditionally it is just to amp up the flavors to my taste personally, nothing at all wrong in the master recipes.

In the 21DSD, she has a lovely, simple, Chicken Tortilla-Less Soup, which I have seen countless photos and raves about on IG ever since the book came out, but only got around to trying it out this weekend. This was one of those recipes that just got my own wheels spinning! Being a Texas Girl at heart, and having a love of all things Tex-Mex on my dinner table…I like my spicy foods SPICY!

So if you like a truly spicy mexican chicken soup, take a look at this little number which took off from Diane’s base recipe….I think you might like this! Just enough heat without being hot, a lovely meal or side anytime!

Try it like this:

In a large soup pot with a wide bottom, Saute the following:
-1 onion, diced
-2 carrots, diced
-1 red bell pepper, diced
-2 celery stalks, diced
-2 roasted poblanos, peeled, diced (Blacken pepper directly over gas flame, cool and peel. or you can roast in the oven)
-6 cloves of chopped garlic
saute for 7-10 minutes, letting the veggies soften, but not brown.

To the pot, add:
-1 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
-2 tsp coriander
-1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-Salt and Pepper to taste
-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes for heat
continue to saute and mix together.

Add to the pot:
6-7 oz tomato paste, stir in
32 oz of bone broth
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 handful chopped fresh cilantro
Squeeze in the juice of one lime
drop in 2 chicken breasts, shredded (guilty. I buy an organic rotisserie chicken and use the meat from that…really tasty)

Check the level of saltiness and heat and let the soup simmer 15-20 mins to allow flavors to develop.

When you serve it, top the soup with diced avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

This soup is hearty and so flavorful!
Hope you enjoy it!

Spicy Veggie Fritter Bites

veggie fritter bits

Well it was a busy weekend and recipes were concocted! I always hesitate to claim any of them as my own, as they always seem to start with someone else’s base idea, but I figure if I tweak it enough and make it so delicious I feel I have to share it, I will claim it! (and always try to give credit to the original)…

So there was a post on facebook for Baked Squash and Carrot frittes by CavegirlCuisine. And it certainly looked good enough for me to print and give it a whirl….but I started brainstorming as I was mixing this up and came up with a delightful spicy fritter that only lasted a few minutes in my house! These are good, and I already have more ideas for them, will show as options here.

Here we go!

Spicy Veggie Fritter-Bites

Mix together the following:
-2 large eggs, beaten
-2 Tbsp melted Kerrygold Butter
-1 cup of grated yellow squash (or zuchini)…squeeze out extra moisture
-1 cup grated carrots
-2 Tbsp diced onions (about 2 slices, diced)
-4 cloves chopped garlic
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp cracked pepper
-1 tsp sriracha (or 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, all for heat)
-small handful of italian parsely, chopped
-1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (OPTIONAL)
other options: crumbled cooked bacon, finely diced red bell pepper

Add in 1/4 cup of coconut flour and mix well.

(I think this would also be very good with a spoonful or two of pecan flour)

Fill greased or parchment lined mini muffin pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden on top.

Great way to get your veggies in!
You could certainly leave out the heat if you have picky eaters, these are tasty, great on the go, and dissappear fast!

Let me know how you like them!

pasta

I just had to share this….such a beautiful sight, a bowl of steaming hot pasta! NO no…not paleo you say? Well, it is.
If you have never run across a company called “Cappellos Gluten Free” you need to look them up. Grain free, gluten free pasta made with almond flour…it keeps in the freezer, and cooks in 45 seconds flat! delicious! They also have other little indulgences at Cappellos like Paleo slice and bake cookies….yep. you heard that right.

So I cooked my pasta and topped it with a lovely sugar free marinara I found at Whole Foods…and gave it a quick grate of parmesan (indulge me!).

Such a lovely lunch! I just had to share it! And check out the site for the pasta at http://www.cappellosglutenfree.com , you won’t be dissappointed!

Thai Chicken Meatballs

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Last night we made Thai Chicken Meatballs and broccoli, which turned out mighty good!
I admit, this recipe was not mine originally. I found it in a favorite book, Primal Cravings, that I have a love/hate relationship with. I think the writers of this book have some fantastic ideas! Great flavor profiles! Super ideas! But I truly do not believe they tested half of these recipes, or if they did, they wrote a few of them up, well, wrong. I have made MANY things from the book, and once I have tweaked and fixed a few things, they are really great recipes! So I will say this is their base recipe, with some tweaking so you don’t throw the book out the window, which I almost did more than once.

Here is what should happen:

Put all of the following into a large mixing bowl:
2 pounds ground chicken (we decided last night beef would work here too)
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp Peach Jam (all fruit, no sugar added)
2 Tbsp Spicy Chile Sauce (as clean as you can find it!)
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp of salt ( or more, to your liking)
Cayenne pepper if you like it spicier….I used about 1/4 tsp
*2 Tbsp water mixed with 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and 1/4 tsp baking soda

Mix with your hands and form golf ball size meatballs. Plece meatballs evenly spaced on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. (Do not use a silpat. This turns into a mess.)

Bake these in the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until and instant read thermometer reads 165+ degrees. They should be browned on the outside and on the bottoms.

While meatballs are browning in the oven, in a small sauce pan bring the following to a simmer and turn off:
1/2 cup of peach jam (from above)
1/4 cup of chile suace, or more to your liking
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 minced garlic cloves
2 Tbsp water
salt to taste
whisk until blended, heat to a simmer.

When the meatballs are ready, place them in a bowl and pour peach chile sauce over them and toss gently….you are ready to dig in!
We just steamed some broccoli with lemon and salt to serve with them! These are great the next day for leftovers as well, if any are left!

Plate this!

mexiplate

Always on the search for something with alot of flavor that is easy and fairly quick on a weeknight, coupled with will everyone in the house eat it….I was flipping through the March 2014 issue of Paleo Magazine and stumbled across some definitely doable recipes! I read through the two recipes that were meant to be served together called “Salsa Beef and Spiced “Rice” Bowls” and thought, this is too simple!

I got my head around it and started a little improvising in my head, and ended up with the recipe below. I wanted to credit whoever wrote the base recipes, but there is no author cited! So, thank you to Paleo Magazine …for printing those two recipes for inspiration! And here is how I made them my own:

I prepped all my ingredients, the chopping anyway,for both recipes and then just threw them together in their seperate skillets at the same time….

Skillet One – Mexican Beef
Brown 1 pound of Grass fed ground beef in a Tablespoon of coconut oil
Once browned, add:
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
4 medium scallions (greens and whites) trimmed and chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
Continue to cook in the skillet another 5 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup of your favorite fresh salsa
Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Skillet Two – Spiced Mexican Rice
Chop florets of 2 heads of cauliflower in a food processor
Saute cauliflower in about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil along with 1 medium chopped red onion, 5 minutes. Add in 5-7 cloves of chopped garlic as you saute.
Season the cauli rice with:
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 + tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt, pepper and up to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more, to taste
Keep moving this around in the skillet until evenly distributed.
Whish together 1/2 cup chicken broth and 2 tablespoons tomato paste….add to the saute and mix in.
while that is cooking a minute or two, chop a handful of cilantro and toss in. Mix in, turn off heat.
Squeeze the juice of a lime over the whole thing and give it a quick mix.

SERVE IT UP:
Put a good helping of cauli rice on the bottom of the plate or bowl.
Top it with your Mexican Beef…
Add a dollop of home made guacamole (mine is a secret recipe…for now!) or chopped avocado…

we decided it could be spicier…
Next time around I will put a couple of spoonfuls of pico de gallo in the rice and mix in….I think that sounds good!

This whole thing took 30 minutes, start to finish…smells divine! Tastes even better!
I cannot wait to hear how you like it!

And now a word from my Mother!

fritatta

My mother sent me a pic of her breakfast last weekend…she does this from time to time…and it always looks amazing so I post it on instagram and everyone loves it and it gets way more likes than anything of mine, whatever! She is paleo, she will not let me tell her age, but I am 43, and she gets discounted movie tickets! So that is all I have to say about that except how cool is it that she GETS it! She is holistic, organic, natural and paleo!

And because everyone on IG wanted to know, here is her recipe for the fritatta above, and her guest post….so, mother….you are on the internet now! you famous!

Guest Post from Mother:

I understand there are some who are
wanting to make the Sunday morning frittata.
This is a meal that fits many occasions. An easy breakfast/brunch
Or try for dinner on a busy day. Aren’t they all?

Most time consuming thing is grating the sweet potato. “What?” you say.
Yes sweet potato!
Recipe coming up and it is very healthy!
I have a little farm where I grow some of my own vegetables and herbs.
Love that and of course we do it organically !
So here is the frittata using veggies and herbs
a la my farm garden.

Sunday Morning Frittata with Chorizo
the oven does alot of the work for you…..and fast!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 -1 lb. chorizo sausage uncooked ( I used veal chorizo)

1 small sweet potato, scrubbed and shredded (about1 cup)

1/2 large yellow bell pepper sliced

1/4 cup of yellow or white onion

8 large pasture raised organic eggs

1 tsp. coconut milk

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 roma tomatoes sliced, (even 9 or 10 small grape tomatoes sliced is fine)

Garnish: avocado slices and fresh chopped herb of your choice, cilantro, sage, basil

the marriage:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Heat the oil in an oven safe skillet over medium heat.

Add the sausage, sweet potato, yellow pepper, and onion and sauté apx. 5 min.

(I browned the sausage first, and added the rest for a sauté of 5 min.)

Beat the eggs with the coconut milk and salt, then pour into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes

Just pour evenly, no stirring or turning…….just easy

Arrange the tomato slices in a circular pattern on top of the eggs. (I added1 cup chopped spinach first)

Place the frittata in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

Serve with the avocado and sprinkle with the torn herb

**I would add some “smashed garlic with sea salt”, we tend to thrive on alot of garlic!

And if you like hot peppers, I would do either of the next suggestions for a little “tickle” for your taste buds.

Just chop one hot pepper, could be cayenne, our personal favorite that we grow, or jalapeño or a small Tai pepper. I seed them mostly and chop finely with sea salt.

Add 8-10 sliced grape tomatoes. Toss some of this on each slice of the Frittata.

Or do all of the above except sauté with 1 teaspoon grass fed butter or oil in a small skillet for a minute and then add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk and stir till thickened slightly. You can add some(grass fed) grated cheddar to this or just spoon it as is over… anything really. Just delicious!

Oh! Don’t ever breathe over a skillet with hot peppers cooking or you will choke a bit and or sneeze, depending on your particular physical make up. Experience is our teacher, right?

I think it took me longer to write out the recipe for you than it did to make it.

So, hope you try this, it will work for any “busy girl for a paleo world”.

A Fast Scramble in the mornings

fast scramble

Ok so first, clearly I am obsessed with blueberries right now. I eat them like a sugar junkie on jelly beans. The are so juicy and sweet right now, I almost cannot stand it! Cheap they are not, but mighty tasty and really good for you, so I splurge!
Blueberries are showing up along my breakfast, as a snack and trailing through my salads. I just cannot get enough right now!

This morning was a blur in my house as usual. The daily scramble to get yourself dressed and ready for work along with a few household items (washer, dryer) dogs and cat fed and watered and let out…always leaves me barrelling out the door in a rush no matter what time I get up! I kind of like it, but I don’t like running late, and that does happen.

Thankfully there are alot of quick ways to throw breakfast together….I usually pack mine and eat it at my desk when I can breathe a little!

A red pepper was calling my name from the fridge, and bacon was not.

So here is the super fast and easy scramble I threw together (and ate along with my BLUEBERRIES!!!):

I put a bit of Kerrygold butter in a small skillett to melt over medium heat. Quick chopped about a fourth of a RED PEPPER…tossed it in the pan.
While that is cooking, crack two eggs into a bowl and chop about a teaspoon of fresh PARSLEY – add that to the egg.
Beat the egg with a fork with a dash of salt and pepper.
Pour into the skillet and start moving the eggs and peppers around as it scrambles.
THATS IT!

You can give a quick sprinkle of grated Kerrygold Cheese over the eggs if you like, or dice some tomatoes or avocado over the top….but today it went as is into the container….

You can do this!
So easy, so fast….so good!