Sunday, September 23, 2012

Simple, Succulent, Satiating Salmon


As the significant other of someone with a fish allergy, I rarely get to enjoy fish as part of my paleo plan, lest I asphyxiate him with the delectable aroma of cooking fish--but he's a peach, so I'm not complaining. Just makes me that much more grateful when I do have the opportunity to regale y'all with an aquatic recipe.

I picked up some wild sock-eye salmon on sale from my locale goode foode shoppe, and my Omega-3 receptors couldn't be more excited. Salmon is also high in protein and Vitamin D, so if you've yet to become a fan of this magical pink fish, allow the nutrient density to appeal to your paleo pallet. Along with the coconut oil-inspired goodness, of course.

Fair warning: your tastebuds might explode.

Equipment:
  • Foiled baking sheet

Ingredients:
  • Salmon fillet
  • Coconut oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon juice (optional)

Preparation:
1. Heat oven to 350 F.
2. Coat fillet with coconut oil and add seasoning to taste on each side. Feel free to get more creative than what's listed; balsamic vinegar is also a pretty delectable addition.
3. Place fillet in center of baking sheet, skin down, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until fish is light pink and flaky.
4. Add a side like bacon-wrapped asparagus and enjoy!

Any paleo-friendly wines you'd recommend with this dish?


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One Whole Chicken, Four Easy Entrees


Image © Copyright John Went and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.
I would have taken my own picture, but have you ever tried to get a chicken to stand still?
Not as easy as cooking one, I tell you whut.


True story: before eating paleo, I had never cooked a whole chicken. Woefully unaware of the monetary benefits of buying my chicken in bodily form, I wasted my money on individual chicken parts: legs for $1.99/lb, breasts for $4.99/lb, wings for another $2.99/lb... sheer madness!

Now, at $1.29/lb from my local Trader Joe's, whole chickens are a staple of my grocery budget. I've figured out how to squeeze four entrees out of a single chicken for a fraction of the cost of buying parts. On top of that, cooking a whole chicken in one go means my meat for the next few meals is ready to eat and saves me future prep time. This is especially helpful if you, as I am, are prone to cheating around dinner time when hungriest and most vulnerable.

I don't know how I managed before; I was blind, but now I see. Here, let me show you:

How to Cook a Whole Chicken:

Equipment:
  • Roasting dish

Ingredients:
  • One whole chicken (mine was ~5lbs; you may have a larger chicken, thus even more meals!)
  • Sea salt

Preparation:
1. Heat oven to 475 F.
2. Rinse chicken, inside and out! If you've got organ meat and are feeling adventurous, set it aside and search the web for a recipe. I don't have one featuring organs in this particular series, but I'm working on it!
3. Salt that baby up. So, so salty; don't be afraid.
4. Bake in roasting dish for approximately 75 minutes, or until juice runs clear and the meat is no longer pink.
5. Now carve that baby up! Set aside the carcass for soup (Entree Two). Meat should keep in the fridge for two to three days.

Onto the entrees!



Note: The following recipes assume you're working with cooked chicken parts from the above recipe. Obviously, adjust accordingly if you're working with individual parts that have not yet been cooked.



Entree One: Sweet Honey Balsamic Chicken Breasts:
Makes two to four servings

Ingredients:
  • Cooked chicken breasts
  • Honey
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Rosemary
  • Pepper

Preparation:
1. In a small bowl, combine honey, vinegar, rosemary, and pepper to taste.
2. Coat breasts in dressing, heat in microwave or over stove, and serve with a side like sweet potato fries! DIY fast food!



Entree Two: Classic Chicken Soup:
Makes about four servings

Equipment:
  • Large pot for boiling
  • Strainer

Ingredients:
  • Chicken carcass with back and misc. meat
  • Shallots or spring onion
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:
1. Place carcass in pot and fill with water until carcass is just about covered.
2. Add garlic cloves, shallots/onion, and salt and pepper to your liking. You can always add more seasoning later on; this initial round is for stewing over the next four hours.
3. Heat over high heat until boiling.
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about four hours, stirring every half hour or so to encourage the remaining meat to separate from the bones.
5. Remove soup from heat and allow to cool slightly, then strain broth into a separate pan.
6. Now, a scavenger hunt! Pick out the bones, garlic, and shallots/onion from your strained bits. Add the remaining meat back to the broth and discard the inedible parts.
7. Add minced carrots and celery (along with any other veggies you fancy) to the soup and heat over medium heat until veggies are soft.
8. Enjoy! Missing bread with your soup? Try a paleo pancake as your broth buddy!



Entree Three: Quick 'n' Easy Spicy Wings:
Makes about one to two servings

Ingredients:
  • Cooked chicken wings
  • Frank's Red Hot Sauce--or, DIY with vinegar, cayenne pepper, salt, and water to taste

Preparation:
1. Add sauce to chicken and heat in microwave or over the stove in a covered skillet over medium-low heat.
2. Serve with your choice of side, like celery slaw. Told ya--quick 'n' easy.



Entree Four: Curry Chicken Legs:
Makes one to two servings

Equipment:
  • Cast iron skillet, if you've got one, but a regular skillet will do

Ingredients:
  • Cooked chicken drumsticks/thighs
  • 1/2 lime
  • Green curry paste to taste (I prefer my mouth to be on fire, so I used a whole mini jar ^_^)
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • Veggies of all varieties
Preparation:
1. Warm skillet over medium heat.
2. Add lime juice, curry paste, and coconut milk. Stir for about a minute.
3. Add chicken and any veggies you desire.
4. Heat for a few more minutes until meat is warmed and veggies are springy when speared with a fork.
5. Nom!



Now that wasn't so hard, was it?


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Luscious Lemon Paleo Puff Cookies


Oh, yeah. I said it: paleo puff cookies. You're, uh.. drooling a bit. Yeah, just there. There ya go.

Another fantastic use (if I do say so myself!) of coconut flour in this recipe; if you haven't yet experimented with this ingredient of paleo gold, have yourself some paleo pancakes.

If you're baking for four or more, I recommend doubling the recipe. A tray of 10 cookies between myself and three of my loyal taste-testers disappeared in mere minutes. Of course, that might speak more to our ability to nom anything with sugar on top, but all the same. Better safe, you know.

Equipment:
Ingredients:
Makes ~10 cookies
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 2T coconut nectar
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/4t baking soda
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Coconut or date sugar for sprinkling
  • Coconut oil for greasing

Preparation:
1. Heat over to 350 F.
2. Mix wet ingredients (including lemon) in one bowl; mix dry (excluding sugar) ingredients in another.
3. Add wet to dry and stir until combined. Batter should be moist, but not runny; add more milk or flour as needed.
4. Scoop batter by tablespoon onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sugar.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until bottoms are brown and tops are lightly crisped.
6. Cool and enjoy!

I don't have a mini muffin pan, but I'm curious as to how these cookies would turn out as mini muffins. Any adventurous chefs out there? Tell me if it works!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Chicken & Bacon Power Greens Salad


Salad is the spice of life. Most people say "variety," but most people haven't fallen in love with a salad.

Yet. I dare you not to enjoy this. Quick, nutritious, and satiating, this recipe is great by itself or served in a paleo pancake pocket.

Ingredients:
Serves 2
  • 2 cups lettuce (romaine, green leaf, etc.)
  • 1 cup spinach, arugula, kale, or other seasonal green
  • 3/4 cup broccoli florets, separated into smallest "trees"
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup cashews, optional
  • 1/4 cup cranberries, optional
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 8 oz cooked chicken*
  • 2-4 slices cooked regular or turkey bacon*
  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste

  • Do you know what your meat ate? Grass-fed, free-range meat is akin to the wild prey upon which our ancestors dined. Unfortunately, it's more expensive. If you can't swing it, at least make sure your meat doesn't come from a factory!

Preparation:
1. Wash all vegetables thoroughly. Try using white vinegar, a non-toxic disinfectant, as a "soap" for any veggies sprayed with chemicals.
2. Chop celery, avocado, chicken, and bacon. Separate broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
2. Combine all ingredients except olive oil and vinegar in a large bowl.
3. Dress to your delight then serve!

Dressing ideas? Add-ins? Variety is the spice of salad!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Paleo Chocolate Brownie Cake


Paleo purists might say that you can't hunt and gather a cake, and while I agree, I submit that a cake made with fresh, real paleo ingredients is still viable in moderation.

Especially a chocolate brownie cake. Besides, what good is any special occasion without cake?

If you're new to baking with coocnut flour, refer to my recipe for paleo pancakes for more information. And if you'd like, use the pancakes for pizza crusts or sandwich pockets; the possibilities are both grainless and endless.

To make a layer cake, double your ingredients and bake in two pans!

Equipment:
  • Cake pan
    (I used a round recycled foil pan.)

Ingredients:
Serves 6-8
  • 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
    (Date sugar works here as well.)
  • 1/4t sea salt
  • 1/4t cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2T vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
    (Plus extra for greasing your cake pan.)

Preparation:
1. Heat oven to 350 F.
2. Grease cake pan with coconut oil.
3. In one bowl, mix dry ingredients; in another, mix wet.
4. Add wet to dry and stir until combined.
5. Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 25-35 minutes.
6. Cool before frosting/serving.

Did your paleo-friendly cake kick ass?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Coconut Flour Paleo Pancakes Remix


If you're trying to do the Whole30 challenge, I wouldn't recommend tempting yourself with this treat of a recipe.

When I find myself missing grain products but don't want to cheat, I often make these paleo pancakes. I remixed this GAPS-friendly recipe from CHEESESLAVE after a few delicious trial runs.

Coconut flour, the replacement flour in this recipe and a paleo miracle in moderation, yields a fluffy, wheat-like final product that I personally enjoy more than the old fashioned variety. Coconut flour also has the benefit of being lower in net carbohydrates (4.5g/3T) than other flours, which is helpful to those attempting a paleo-keto combo.*

Leftovers double as mini pizza crusts!

Equipment:
  • Skillet

Ingredients:
Serves 2-3
  • 3T fat
    (Ghee; animal lard; coconut, avocado, or macadamia nut oils; olive oil in a pinch.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3T coconut (or almond) milk
  • 2t coconut nectar (or honey)
    (*If you're eating keto, try only 1.5t date sugar, which is 4.5g carbs.)
  • 1/2t pure vanilla extract
  • 3T coconut flour
    (A nut flour might work here, but this is an untested and possibly crumbly theory.)
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of salt

Preparation:
1. Heat a small, greased skillet over medium-low heat. If you, as I did, run out of other fats and have to use olive oil, low heat is best! But cooking takes a bit longer. Patience, Reader-san.
2. Whisk together wet ingredients; add dry slowly and mix thoroughly.
3. Spoon 3T of batter into skillet (a relatively thin layer) and watch carefully. When the top of the batter appears smooth and the pancake slides around easily on the skillet, flip it!
4. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until finished.
5. Top with ghee, fruit, cacao, coconut nectar, date sugar, coconut sugar, honey, or whatever other paleo-friendly options you can think of! Make it your own tastastic creation.

So? What toppings make the most delectable paleo pancake?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Simply Seasoned Eggs


Eggs: one of the most versatile paleo options. Add meat, add veggies, add spices; you always end up with something different and delicious.

When grocery shopping comes due again, I somehow manage to always end the week out with eggs remaining. I've perfected (for my personal pallet, anyway) a simple seasoning for those moments when I don't have the bacon or spinach to make my signature omelet.

Try it; you might surprise yourself with your own culinary prowess.

Equipment
  • Skillet

Ingredients:
Serves One
  • 1T fat of your choice
    (I used clarified butter, AKA ghee; other paleo options include coconut, avocado, or macadamia nut oils, or animal fat.)
  • 3 eggs
  • Salt, black pepper, garlic, oregano, basil (and whatever else you've got in your cabinets--get creative!) to taste

Preparation:
1. Heat fat in skillet over medium heat.
2. Scramble eggs and spices in a bowl. If you're partial to using only egg whites, try saving the yolks for homemade paleo mayo.
3. When fat has melted, reduce heat to medium low and pour in egg mixture. When the edges of your omelet are slightly browned and the middle is no longer glossy, it's time to flip! If you have trouble flipping it, let it cook for a few more minutes. Watch the edges! Try using your lowest heat setting if you find your edges are getting too brown. It may take a few extra minutes, but it's worth the fluffy texture!
4. Remove from heat and enjoy!

What's your favorite way to prepare eggs?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blackberry Iced Coffee


Although there is some debate as to whether or not coffee falls under a strict paleo diet, this recipe is for those (like me) who can give up everything but the morning brew.  For an added twist or to suit seasonal varieties, change up the fruit.

Equipment Needed:
  • Blender

Ingredients:
Serves One
  • 3 – 5 blackberries
  • 10oz brewed coffee, cooled
  • 3oz coconut (or almond) milk
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • 12 ice cubes (give or take per your preference)

Preparation:
1. Add berries, ice, vanilla, coffee, and “milk” to your blender.
2. If you have a “Smoothie” setting, use it; otherwise, blend until you achieve a creamy consistency.
3. Pour into a cup and enjoy!

How do you keep your coffee paleo and flavorful?