One of my favorite places to go to lunch is a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Long on Olive. Their mein ga is a delicious chicken soup with rice noodles served up with a plate of bean sprouts, thai basil, cilantro, limes and jalapenos. The broth is rich and savory and I've tried to recreate that flavor at home. I make mine without noodles, which just makes more room for all the other goodies I put in the bowl. Part of the trick is simmering the chicken on low for
a few hours which adds richness to the broth. You will love this soup!
1 Whole Chicken (preferably free range or organic)
10 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 large yellow onions
salt and pepper
1 bunch green onions
2-3 cups bamboo shoots
1 bunch thai basil
1 bunch cilantro
1 lime cut up
Place chicken in a large stock pot and add about 4 quarts water. Peel garlic. Set garlic piece on cutting board and place broad side of knife over it. Place your palm on the flat side of the blade and press down on garlic, smashing it. Throw smashed piece into the pot with the chicken and water. Continue with all the garlic pieces. Smashing it releases the flavor. Slice an onion into quarters and add to pot along with 2-3 t. salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer on very low for about 2-3 hours. Simmering on low helps keep the broth clear. When cooked, strain the broth into another container. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the bones. Return all broth and meat back into stockpot. Slice another onion into thin rounds and add to pot. Slice up green onions into small rounds halfway up to the green part. Add to soup pot. Taste broth and season with more salt and pepper. Simmer on low until onions are soft and clear.
One of my favorite things to eat when I'm visiting my parents at their place in Rockport, Texas is my mom's ceviche. It is so fresh and delicious and reminds me of everything that is good about the Texas gulf coast. She and my dad will cruise over to the harbor where the shrimp boats come in and buy the shrimp right off the boat, and she uses the fresh speckled trout we catch off the pier. It don't get any fresher than
this, folks. So I guess you could say I'm a little "spoilt" when it comes to my seafood.
Now that I live in Missouri, the landlocked capitol of the world, I have to rely on Whole Foods or Bob's seafood to get fresh fish for my ceviche. While it's not the same as getting it fresh out of the water, it still gets the job done. Making ceviche is easy and is such a delicious summer meal. Just be sure and look for the freshest options for your seafood.
1 lb fresh white fish (speckled trout, red snapper, halibut, swordfish, etc,)
1 lb fresh large shrimp, peeled
1 bunch green onions
1-2 jalapeno peppers
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
3 tomatoes, chopped (or a small container of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half)
8 limes, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
Juice the limes.
(In this photo, I used key limes, but large, conventional limes work better and yield more juice.)
As my new group of paleo challengers embark on their 6-week journey into PaleoLand, I'm always searching for good things to make and share in hopes that taste buds will approve. Inspired by the food I grew up with in south Texas, I know that anything with peppers, cilantro, tomatoes and limes will not disappoint. I also want something that is simple to do and fairly quick. This weeknight Tex-Mex meal does the trick. And the beautiful thing is...it's all Whole30 compliant. The plate is rounded out with Lettuce Wrap Tacos, grilled peppers and onions, Mexican cauliflower "rice" and homemade salsa. Get out your food processor and let the party begin.
lettuce Wrap Tacos
Mexican cauliflower "rice"
Cut cauliflower up into pieces and place in food processor. Chop until cauliflower resembles "rice". (Be careful not to overprocess.) Set aside. You should have about 4 cups of "rice".
Sautee peppers and onion in 2 T. olive oil until softened. Add cauliflower and toss gently to mix. Saute and stir about 3 more minutes. Add spices and water and stir until combined. Cover and continue to cook until all water has evaporated and cauliflower "rice" is softened, but not mushy. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
Sauteed Pepper N onions
Cut tops off bell peppers and discard. Remove seeds and slice long ways into 1/2 inch wide pieces. Slice onions in rounds or long ways...however you like it. Saute in olive oil until softened and slightly browned. Add chopped cilantro for garnish. You can use whatever kind of peppers you like in whatever combination. I used the half peppers left over from the cauliflower rice. The more the merrier! Add kosher salt to taste and serve alongside tacos and rice.
You can take the girl outta Texas but you can't take the Texas outta the girl, or at least her tastebuds. It seems everything I love has green chiles, jalapenos, cilantro, or chipotle in it. This delicious crock pot of pulled beef is no different. The blend of spices gives it a delicious, south Texas taste and you can always adjust it to be hotter or milder, depending on your preference. In pre-paleo times, I would have scarfed this up wrapped in a flour tortilla. Nowadays, I prefer it over a bed of chipotle slaw (or plain cole slaw for that matter). This is one of those great recipes that you throw together in the crockpot in the morning and come home to a full cooked meal in the evening. Good clean livin'.
Southwestern Pulled Beef Ingredients
3T + 1t chili powder
2 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. chipotle powder
1 1/2 t. garlic salt
2 T. olive oil
4 lbs london broil
2 onions, cut up
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1- 4 oz can green chiles
1- 7 oz can salsa verde (I like Herdez or La Costena)
2 T. red wine vinegar
Measure out all spices and put them in a small bowl. Mix to combine and set aside. Put 2T olive oil in bottom of crockpot. Add chopped onions and garlic. Put meat on top of onions and garlic and rub one side with spice mixture. Turn it over and rub the other side with remaining spices. (I used two 2-lb london broils and just rubbed the spices all over both pieces of meat). Add cilantro, green chiles, salsa verde and red wine vinegar to crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until meat easily pulls apart with two forks. When done, serve over chipotle slaw.
When the meat is finished, you can enjoy the delicious southwestern flavor, or add a little bbq sauce for more of a pulled bbq flavor. Also add salt and pepper to taste.
2- 14oz bags coleslaw
1- 12oz bag broccoli slaw
3/4 cup paleo mayo
1/2 t. chipotle powder
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 t. salt
This makes a big batch of about 10 servings, but I like leftovers so I always make extra.
Empty bags of slaw into a big bowl. Mix in mayonaise to combine. Add chipotle powder, onion, cider vinegar and salt. Stir well to combine. Let sit about 10 minutes and then re-mix so everything is blended. You will notice significant shrinkage (even though there's no cold pool...wink wink). Add more chipotle powder, salt or cider vinegar to taste. Serve with Southwestern Pulled Beef!
I was thumbing through a cooking magazine called "Cook Fresh" and came across an interesting salad recipe that I knew I wanted to try. But as I read through the ingredients, I realized I needed to change a few things to make it healthier and of course, more delicious. The result was fabulous.
1/2 lb baby spinach, washed and dried (8 loosely packed cups)
1 t. granulated sugar
2 lb. boneless pork chops trimmed of excess fat and sliced crosswise, 1/4 in thick
dry sherry (not sherry vinegar)
coconut oil (for frying up pork and veggies)
2 t. Asian sesame oil
I bunch scallions, cut into 2 in pieces
6 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 bag sugar snap peas
1-2 cloves pressed garlic
2 T. minced fresh ginger
In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons rice vinegar with 1 1/2 T. coconut aminos, sugar and 2 T. water and set aside.
Put the pork in a medium bowl and season with 1 t. salt. Toss with 2 T. coconut aminos and 2 T. sherry. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
Heat 1.5 T coconut oil in a heavy, 12 in skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add the pork in 3 batches and cook, stirring, until it loses its raw color and is just firm, about 2 minutes. Transfer cooked pork to a clean, medium bowl and continue cooking cooking the rest of the pork in batches. (You don't want to crowd your pan.) Each time you add a new batch of pork to cook up, you may need to add a little more coconut oil.
When finished, add 1 1/2 T coconut oil and the sesame oil, scallions, mushrooms, bell pepper and sugar snap peas to the skillet. Cook, stirring until the mushrooms and scallions soften and brown in places, about 3 minutes. Add about 1 T. of the minced ginger along with 1-2 cloves of pressed garlic, 1 more tablespoon of coconut aminos, 1/2 T. rice vinegar and 1/2 T cooking sherry to the veggies and cook a few more minutes more being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the pork back into the skillet along with any juices and gently toss to blend with veggies. Take off heat and set aside.
In a small skillet, over medium high heat, add 1 T. olive oil and the remaining tablespoon of ginger and cook, stirring until very fragrant about 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat and add ginger and olive oil to the vinegar-coconut amino mixture from earlier. Stir well with a whisk. Mixture will be largely separated at this point. Slowly add 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil to the mixture, whisking to emulsify. Add cracked pepper and/or red pepper flakes to taste. You can also add salt to taste, but the coconut aminos are already very salty.
Toss the spinach with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Portion among 4 plates and top with the pork and vegetables. Drizzle the top with some of remaining vinaigrette. Serve immediately. You will probably have leftover meat and veggies as I doubled the meat from the recipe I modified. I like to have leftovers for the next day.
I was craving Thai lettuce wraps and was looking for a good paleo style recipe. I found a recipe from "Once Upon a Chef" and modified it to include paleo ingredients. This is an amazing recipe with so much flavor. You have to try it!
What you need:
2 lbs ground chicken (I use one lb dark meat and one lb white)
3 T. coconut oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 T. finely chopped fresh ginger
3-4 cloves minced garlic
2 T. coconut aminos
2 T. Red Boat fish sauce
1 T. honey
2 t. lime zest
3 T. fresh squeezed lime juice (from zested limes)
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
2 large scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
1/2 C Chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 C chopped cashews
1 large head iceberg or butter lettuce
How to do it:
Heat the coconut oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook, stirring frequently until soft about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Add ground chicken and turn heat up. cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon or spatula, until partially cooked through. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, lime zest, lime juice and red pepper flakes and continue to cook, stirring frequently to break up the meat until the chicken is cooked through. Off the heat, stir in the scallions, cilantro and nuts. Salt and pepper to your liking.
To prepare lettuce, place on cutting board and cut off stem and then cut around the inner core of the lettuce and remove the base part of the core. Discard the ragged outer leaves . Rinse the lettuce on the outside and inside and drain slightly. Gently pull apart the leaves and place on a paper towel to dry.
Spoon chicken mixture into lettuce cups and serve with sriracha, finely sliced carrots, lime wedges, cilantro and mint sprigs.
I was flipping through facebook a while ago and came across Diane Sanfilippo's Balanced Bites site. I love her book Practical Paleo and the thoughtful way she has implemented 30 day plans for almost anyone who is looking for something specific. Her book is a great paleo resource as well as a wonderful cookbook. On her Facebook page, she had a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Egg Muffins and I was intrigued. I have made veggie egg muffins and sausage egg muffins, but had never embarked on a buffalo chicken egg muffin adventure before. So with her recipe as inspiration, I made the muffins, but with little changes to suit my hot N spicy taste buds. I used ground chicken instead of shredded and added 4 cups of spinach to up the veggie count. I also like a little more hot sauce. These are delicious and when made ahead, an easy breakfast to grab on the go. These are also Whole30 compliant in the event you are doing a 30 day challenge.
Buffalo Chicken Egg Cups a la Leeny
1 lb ground chicken
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 dozen eggs
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. Penzey's California seasoned pepper or plain black pepper
4 T. Kerrygold butter (clarified if doing a Whole30) or ghee
1/3 Cup Frank's Red Hot hot sauce
4 cups spinach (or 4 big handfulls)
1 bunch green onions, sliced
In a frying pan, saute ground chicken with chopped onion and garlic till cooked through. Set aside to slightly cool. In a large bowl, blend together 1 dozen eggs, garlic powder and pepper. Slowly add the chicken mixture stirring into the eggs to temper the egg mixture slightly.
Recipe inspiration courtesy of Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites.
I am always looking for that perfect paleo dish. You know the one that tastes good at dinner and equally as good at breakfast or lunch as leftovers. This recipe from Multiply Delicious fits that standard. You can make a big double batch and serve at dinner with a side of veggies, at breakfast with a fried egg on top, and then at lunch over some wilted spinach. Actually, they also taste very good just cold out of the fridge when you come home from your workout and you're looking for good recovery food. In my adaptation of this recipe, I've doubled it and added a lb of ground white meat chicken and a lb of ground thigh meat. I also chop up the sweet potato pretty fine in my food processor. The combo of a good protein along with the carb from the sweet potato make these an amazing choice for post workout recovery. The kale is finely chopped so if you don't like the flavor of kale, you won't even notice it in these. Spinach would be another fine alternative to the kale for a different twist. However you do it, you won't be disappointed. Make a double batch and have an easy grab and go meal or snack for the rest of the week. You can find the complete recipe here from Multiply Delicious. Below is my adaptation for a double batch and subbing already ground chicken.
Sweet Potato and Kale Chicken Patties
(courtesy of Multiply Delicious and doubled by me)
2 green onion, finely chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and finely chopped in a food processor
5 cups kale, finely chopped (leaves only)
1 pound ground white meat chicken (breast)
1 pound ground dark meat chicken (thigh)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
4 tablespoons coconut flour
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with 1 T coconut oil or ghee. Add green onions and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add sweet potatoes and cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, until barely tender. Add kale and cook until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
Add chicken to a large mixing bowl. Add salt, garlic, paprika, Dijon mustard, rosemary, egg, coconut flour, and sweet potato mix. Mix together with hands until well combined.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. (I made these once and didn't refrigerate and they were still good!)
Divide your chicken mixture into about 14-15 patties, or the size you wish.
Coat a large non-stick pan with coconut oil or even better bacon grease to just coat the bottom (not a lot). Add patties and cook until golden crust forms, about 5 to 6 minutes, then flip to the other side and cook until golden and cooked through.
This double batch makes enough for dinner with lots of leftovers for tomorrow! I love mine hot with sriracha over the top. Check out the Multiply Delicious website for lots of other great paleo recipes. It is a wonderful resource!
I've had a number of people ask me to break down the macros on this item so I remade this recipe being very precise with the amounts and came up with this guide. This made twenty one, 100g raw patties. I fried all 21 in a total of 1/2 cup coconut oil.
1.31 lb (586 g) chicken thigh meat
1.30 lb (586 g) chicken breast meat
5 cups (300g) finely chopped kale
1 sweet potato (3 cups or 453g) finely chopped
4 green onions (30g)
4 garlic cloves (20g)
2 t dijon mustard
2 medium eggs
4T coconut flour
1T olive oil
1/2 cup coconut oil for frying
Total calories for 1 pattie: 117 kcal
Total Protein: 14g
Total fat: 9g
Net Carb: 6.6g
Every once in a while, a recipe comes around that is so good, it must be shared. Mind you, this is not a recipe I came up with. I happened to come across it in internet paleoland, but knew I had to give it a try. Well I did, and the results were dramatic. My son who is a die hard Chic-Fil-A connoisseur gave this a thumbs up...and he rarely gives anything I make his approval. These nuggets were meant to taste similar to what you'd find at the fast food chain. The recipe is from the Domestic Man and it needs to be part of your paleo rotation! This website has amazing recipes so take some time to cruise around and check out all it has to offer. I am doing my due diligence over here and am going to share his recipe because it must live on. I figured that research scientists replicate other's experiments to improve the validity of the findings. Well that's what I did here. I validated Domestic Man's paleo chicken nugget findings. Spoiler alert...the chicken is brined in pickle juice, dipped in arrowroot powder and THEN in egg before it is fried in coconut oil. But he had me at Pickle Juice.
IngredientsGluten Free, Paleo Chicken Nuggets
from The Domestic Man
(or use chicken tender strips)
1/2 cup dill pickle juice
1/4 cup arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup lard or refined coconut oil, more if needed
1. Combine the chicken pieces and pickle juice in a resealable plastic bag; marinate for at least 1 hour but up to six hours. When the chicken has finished marinating, strain it through a colander to drain out the extra pickle juice. Move the chicken around to make sure it drains properly. As the chicken drains, prepare your breading by combining the starch, paprika, black pepper, and salt. Beat the eggs in a wide bowl and set aside.
2. Preheat your oven to 250F. On your stove, warm the lard or coconut oil in a cast iron skilletover medium heat for 3 minutes. In a mixing bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the starch mixture until evenly coated. With your fingers, dip a starchy chicken piece in the egg, shake off the excess egg (eggcess!), then carefully add it to the oil. Repeat until you have filled your skillet; be careful not to overcrowd the chicken pieces. Fry the chicken until cooked through, flipping every 2 minutes, about 6-8 minutes per batch.
3. As you finish each batch, place the cooked pieces on a plate lined with paper towels; put them in the oven to stay warm. You should be able to cook the chicken pieces in about 3 or 4 batches, depending upon the size of your skillet. The oil should reach halfway up the chicken pieces while cooking, add more oil if needed. Be sure to watch the heat, as the skillet will get warmer over time; adjust heat as needed. You’re looking for an oil temperature around 350F. Use a splatter screen to prevent splattering.
4. Serve warm with ketchup, barbecue sauce, or honey mustard.
** Use this technique as a basis for other nugget-like recipes, like what you’ll seen in Thursday’s recipe. Some recipes would taste better without pickle juice; in those circumstances, marinate the chicken in 1/2 cup water mixed with 1 tbsp kosher salt.
(I have completely cut and pasted the recipe off his site so again, I want to give credit to THE DOMESTIC MAN).
One of my favorite things to eat is homemade chicken salad. I've had lots of versions with a variety of mix ins, but I keep going back to this. The celery and apples give it a nice crunch with a hint of sweetness to offset the onions. I love adding sliced, roasted almonds for another type of crunch. And lemon juice brightens the whole thing. For the chicken, you can boil your own, pick the meat off the bones, and save the delicious broth for a later use. Or you can take a shortcut and buy a roasted chicken from the deli and pick the meat from it. Be sure to boil those bones to create a delicious stock as well. Nothing goes to waste.
6 cups chopped chicken
2 T. chopped parsley
1 C chopped celery
1 Honey Crisp apple, peeled and diced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup roasted almonds
1 C. paleo mayonnaise
1 t. salt
1/2 t white pepper
juice of one lemon
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, parsley, celery, apple, green onions and almonds and mix to combine. In a smaller bowl, combine mayo, salt white pepper and lemon juice and blend. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the chicken and mix well. Taste and season with more salt and ground black pepper if needed.
Here is where you will find all my favorite, go to recipes. Whether you are looking for a weeknight staple or a "once in a while" treat, these are my tried and trues.