AIP Chicken Salad, Re-imagined

aip chicken salad

Happy New Year Everyone!  Yes, I know it is February and I have been m-i-a for a while…busy busy and a slow falling off the wagon since last August…but a new year and new people in my life brings me back to center!

I’m involved in a little test run with AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) with my Naturopath, Dr. Hailey Heard, and some of her patients.  I do this very reluctantly.  I knew about the AIP and had the books, but I just did not even WANT to go that far.  But when you start running out of answers and solutions, you are forced to face what you might not like entirely.

Diagnosed years ago with Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism, I have been on Synthroid for years.  About three years ago I went paleo and despite falling off that wagon from time to time, it works really well for me.  I feel better.  I know what I am eating and where it comes from.  It’s all choices.  And most of the time I make good choices.

So after much griping and groaning, I jumped into the AIP group with both feet.  I am ten days in, and must say I feel good.  Not so sluggish.  My energy is up when it should be.  I am tired at the end of the day, as I should be.  I still crave “other foods” but that is diminishing.  I feel good about the things I am eating and I know this is a good path for now.

Latest news, we may be adding SiBO into the mix.  That will just turn my life upside down in the ways that it interracts with Hashi’s and my favorite foods.

But for now, sticking with the AIP.  Simply put, its a Whole 30 on steroids!  Strict Paleo.  Plus some other eliminations:  no grains. no sugars. no legumes. no nightshades. no nuts. no seeds.  It’s difficult wrapping your head around what you CAN eat….but it clicks one day.  And it’s actually very simple.


Re-Imagined Chicken Salad:

Here is what I threw on a plate, actually in seperate piles, but then decided to toss it all together and it was quite tasty!


  • roughly dice one chicken breast, prepared aip
  • slice one or two stalks of Hearts of Palm
  • dice 2 tender stalks of celery
  • dice 1/2 ripe avocado

Squeeze the juice of 1/2 or more lemon juice over all, salt and pepper to taste….toss everything on the plate together, gently….that is it!

I was eating some red grapes along with it, and think a handful of halved grapes would be very nice in it as well!

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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!

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!

Been Busy? Chicken in a Pot!

chicken soup pot

Been busy? Yep. That’s right. That’s me. You too. But I try to think ahead sometimes!
In my house it is non stop. My days are long and my family is busy doing all things all directions, so when I went Paleo I broke down and bought my very best friend, the slow cooker.
I have tried many things in it, some are just great! Some are so-so….but you never know until you try!
(One of my favorite slow cooker recipes is for Ketchup! sugar free! The recipe came from the “21 Day Sugar Detox” By SanFillippo…I add some cayenne pepper and it is great!)

Roasts are a snap. Soups and Chilis are easy and delicious too.

Yesterday I ran home at lunchtime and threw all of the items below in the pot knowing we had my daughter’s water polo game to go to after work, and it would be late when I got home, and I would probably be too tired to start cooking? yep.

Here is how we did it:

Chicken in a Pot (pretty much a Chicken Soup!)

Start layering….I put the veggies on the bottom.
4-5 carrots, cut in 1-2 inch pieces.
3 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces.
1 onion, rough large chop
LOTS of fresh garlic, 10-20 cloves, rough chop
one small finger of ginger, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper liberally
Poultry seasoning, or at least garlic powder, thyme, celery salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Several pieces of organic, free range chicken…I used 2 breasts with skin and bones, and one boneless plus one drumstick I held out from dinner the other night.
(another round of the same seasonings on top of the chicken, plus a little of the chopped garlic)
a handful of fresh parsley

I give it a drizzle of good olive oil and a splash of chicken stock just to put a little moisture on the bottom of the pot…the slow cooking will create a full pot of “juices” as your soup cooks!

PUT THE LID ON….and set it to go for 6-8 hours on low!

Easy easy easy….leave it and come home to lovely smells and a delicious meal….and it is so good for you!

PLUS! Leftovers for the next day! SWEET!

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!

I like my chicken CRISPY!

chicken

The bane of my paleo existence is often textures of food. I always yearn for the BREADINESS of bread, the CRUNCH of crackers, and yes, the CRISPINESS of all things “fried”! It can be done, you can get there, but I believe there is an art to it, you have to WANT IT! And here is where I step in.
My daughter who eats mostly paleo is not a huge fan of almond flour, due to the texture. In bread items especially.
So she was sitting at the counter doing homework and rapping along with Kendrick Lamar (exhale, she is a teenager!) watching me halfheartedly throw dinner together. Nothing too startling, broccoli, check, sweet pototoes roasting in the oven, check, chicken on the counter, check….but I could see her eyes on me as I pulled the almond flour out of the pantry. RELAX, I said, you have had this before and loved it!
Here is what she saw:

Heat a large skillett (or 2) until very hot and then add in a few TBSP of coconut oil and 1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter.
Thin strips of chicken (cutlets, tenders, even small chunks are fine…) go into a large ziploc bag with one beaten egg. “squoosh” the chicken around in the egg to make sure they are coated. (Squoosh is a technical term in my brain).
In a small bowl mix together 1 1/2 cups almond meal, 2 Tbsp. tapioca flour, 1-2 tsp salt, fresh ground pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne (for kick!), 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
Dump the mixture into the ziploc bag with the eggy chicken and squoosh some more, coating completely.
Place the chicken into the skillett and let it go for a few minutes, until brown, maybe 3-4 minutes. Turn each piece over and brown another 2-3 minutes until done.
Take out of the pan and place on paper towels to drain any excess oil. Do batch two the same way if you have more chicken.
Tada! golden brown, cripy goodness.
And my daughter….sitting on the sofa eating the chicken with her hands….says OH MY GOSH MOMMA THESE ARE SO GOOD MAKE THEM AGAIN FOR ME AND MY FRIENDS!

Approved!

Trying it out?
Let me know what you think!