Paleo Chicken and Gravy (Who Needs Biscuits, Anway?!)

So I’ve begun to meal plan.  I’ve been trying to incorporate a few new recipes each week to add to my ever expanding cookbook. Maybe one day, a publisher will pick it up…. “Paleo for Peeps” Oh, to dream.

I digress, so I’ve been planning meals since the school year started. Between physical therapy, swim team, vocal lessons, a teenage boy, a preschooler, and a tween girl – Shit has been busy! Anywho, for dinner tonight I tried a new recipe.  Chicken and Gravy, because my family doesn’t like biscuits and I’m not able to eat them. We had a side salad and everyone else ate peas and corn (fresh from the farm yesterday!)


Ingredients:

He loves to peel

He loves to peel

  • 1.5-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1.5 C sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 slices of bacon (this is optional – see directions)
  • 1T dried herb mix, thyme, rosemary, and sage)IMG_7620
  • 1/2 chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Steam sweet potatoes in a rice steamer, using the basket provided. It took three cycles to do it this way.  You could also steam them on the stove with a steamer basket. They should be fork tender.
  2. Fry bacon until crispy. Keep 4 T of bacon fat in a blender or food processor. Leave remaining bacon fat in the pan to fry chicken in.
    • If you already have bacon fat on reserve, you can skip this step. We made 8 slices of bacon because
      bacon.... YUMM

      bacon…. YUMM

      we like bacon.  We ate 4 slices and the other 4 we threw in the gravy!!

  3. Salt both sides of chicken thighs and fry in bacon grease… YUMMMM
  4. Place steamed sweet potatoes in the blender along with seasoning, bacon, and bacon fat. Slowly add the warmed up broth while pureeing.  The gravy should be a thick gravy consistency.

IMG_7623

This turned out to be an amazing meal that was easy to make.  I steamed the potatoes earlier in the day and kept them in the fridge. I warmed them up in the microwave before making the gravy.  I really do think adding the bacon to the gravy was an awesome idea.  It made the gravy very flavorful.  How can bacon make anything worse?IMG_7624

Nutrition Facts for Paleo Chicken and gravy
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 223
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11 g 16 %
Saturated Fat 3 g 15 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 110 mg 37 %
Sodium 421 mg 18 %
Potassium 428 mg 12 %
Total Carbohydrate 8 g 3 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 5 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 24 g 48 %
Vitamin A 68 %
Vitamin C 30 %
Calcium 0 %
Iron 7 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
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Meatloaf and Meatballs, OH MY! (Paleo Style)

square meatloaf

As any busy parent knows, bulk cooking certain things can make life SOOO much easier.  I decided to make Meatloaf and Meatballs together because the base is the same, just the seasonings are different.  This was super easy and Lovey Levin helped me!

Look at all these veggies!

Look at all these veggies!

Ingredients for Base Meat:

  • 2 lbs Ground Pork
  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 large carrots, minced
  • 1 lb mushrooms, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

Meatloaf Seasoning

1/4 C dried parsley

2 t Thyme

Bacon for later 5 slices, raw

Meatball Seasoning

1/2 T salt

1 T caraway seeds

1 T paprika

1/2 t black pepper

1/4 C dried parsley

1 t thyme


Here are simple directions to make all this meaty goodness in one fell swoop.

MEAT

MEAT

  1. Mince your veggies one at a time in a food processor, using the pulse option!! HUGE TIMERSAVER!
    • I quartered my mushrooms, onions and carrots to allow for better mincing.
  2. Fry it up in a little fat or oil of your choosing. I used coconut oil. Saute until cooked down, about 10 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool, put in fridge if you are in a rush. I let mine sit on the stove top while I washed up the dishes from cutting the veggies.
  4. Put your 4lbs of meat into a really large mixing bowl.
  5. Add in the eggs and seasonings for meatloaf.
    square meatloaf

    square meatloaf

    • 1/2 C dried parsley and 1 T thyme
  6. Mix well, by hand. Little hands love this!!
  7. Fill your loaf pans and top with Bacon.
    • I like to cut my bacon in half and lay it along the short end of my loaf pan.  This time I happened to be out of throw away loaf pans (I’ll be freezing this for later use) and I used a square cake pan.  I didn’t need to cut the bacon.
  8. Add meatball seasoning to the remaining meat (NOT thyme or parsley)
  9. Mix well.
  10. Roll into balls and place on cookie tray or press into mini muffin pans (I use mini IMG_7612muffin pans!)
  11. Bake at 350F
    • Meatloaf for 50 minutes
    • Meatballs for 25 minutes
  12. Drain fat when done.
  13. Enjoy!

    meatcupcakes

    meatcupcakes

I freeze both of these meat dishes for future use! It only takes about 30 minutes of my time (not including cooking time).  This is also a great way to get some veggies into your kids’ bellies. My kids devour both of these things.  My daughter is notorious for eating both cold from the fridge.  It really is THAT GOOD!

Nutrition Facts for Paleo Meatballs
Servings 10.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 275
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19 g 29 %
Saturated Fat 7 g 37 %
Monounsaturated Fat 8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 115 mg 38 %
Sodium 439 mg 18 %
Potassium 463 mg 13 %
Total Carbohydrate 3 g 1 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 5 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 22 g 45 %
Vitamin A 29 %
Vitamin C 5 %
Calcium 4 %
Iron 14 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
Nutrition Facts for Paleo Meatloaf
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 396
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30 g 47 %
Saturated Fat 7 g 37 %
Monounsaturated Fat 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 142 mg 47 %
Sodium 1111 mg 46 %
Potassium 450 mg 13 %
Total Carbohydrate 5 g 2 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 6 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 26 g 51 %
Vitamin A 43 %
Vitamin C 7 %
Calcium 5 %
Iron 8 %

Orange Chicken, SLOW Cooked to Paleo PERFECTION!!

One of the things I’ve missed since going DF (dairy free), GF (gluten free), and LF (legume free) is CHINESE FOOD!!! Sesame chicken was one of my favorites…. I’ve attempted it the Paleo way before and I’ve always failed miserably! Well, a new day has dawned!! I’ve mastered this Orange Chicken and it is BETTER than I remember my favorite Chinese Take Out dishes to be.  Read on to become a JEDI!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighsIMG_7587
  • 1/3 C coconut aminos
  • 1/3 C honey (I use raw)
  • 2T Orange Juice
  • 2T tomato paste
  • 1T sesame oil (toasted or untoasted)
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 3/4 t sea salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes (this has kick!! I would use 1/4 t if you are going to feed it to kids who prefer milder foods)
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and/or green onions!

Directions:

  1. Place whole chicken thighs into the crock pot and turn it on low. CoverIMG_7580
  2. Place remaining ingredients (except garnish) into a food processor (I used my bullet) and IMG_7583puree well.
  3. Pour mixture into crock pot and mix around with chicken, make sure it’s coated well.
  4. Cook on low for 4 hours, or so.  If you need it faster, Cook on high for 2ish hours.IMG_7586
  5. Remove chicken from crock pot after it has cooked and cut it up into bite size portions.
  6. Transfer sauce from crock pot to a small saucepan.  Reduce on medium heat until IMG_7589it’s thickened.  15-20 minutes.
  7. Drizzle thickened sauce over chicken and enjoy!IMG_7592

I served this with Sushi Rice (Cauliflower Rice would taste just as great!) and Steamed Broccoli. It was delicious!!! I’m always looking for recipes that are easy on the wallet, time and stress level. This completely fits the bill in all ways possible.

IMG_7594 IMG_7593 IMG_7595

Turd Nuggets You Can Eat? DIY Lara Bars If It Suits You Better….

Since I am now Paleo for health concerns and Lovey Levin is done his Gluten Challenge, I wanted to find a snack everyone could eat and enjoy…. Boy did I find it and modified it, of course!!

Lovey has named them Turd Nuggets, but they are essentially DIY Lara Bars.

13671_10153170280780505_6702064033195447429_nIngredients – ONLY 4!!!

  • 1/3 C of dates (that’s a chopped measurement, so I use 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 C of craisins (raisins would work too!)
  • 1/4 C of cashews (I usually use raw organic but I just ran out)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 C of Enjoy Life chocolate (whatever you have on hand)

To make these is incredibly easy!! 10647066_10153170280550505_4335395912822907967_n

  1. Toss the measured amount of Dates and Craisins into your food processor. I use my nutribullet with the regular shake blade (not the milling blade).  Scoop into a bowl after everything is fully processed.
  2. Now toss in your chips and nuts! Do the same thing!
  3. Knead the two items together until it looks like a gigantic TURD (true story)!!17199_10153170277840505_7703813302729237871_n
  4. Pinch off a small bit and now roll into balls.

11066616_10153170277740505_9155661714084730362_nI store mine in a lidded bowl, in the fridge.  You think they would stick together but they don’t too much.  Just give them a strong shake and they will all separate.  We go through these so quickly in my house that they usually don’t make it to the fridge.

Enjoy!!

Gluten Free Thai Chicken Curry! Paleo TOO!

We’ve recently started making some Paleo meals, for my health. We had to find a curry that my kids would eat (Indian is a bit too spicy for them).  My Guy Bri found a Thai Chicken Curry recipe that we love and we modified it!! 18293_10153170281800505_5617269271548967396_n

Here are the ingredients –

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons of Red Curry Paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts cut in thin strips
  • 1 teaspoons of Fish Sauce
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1-8oz package sliced mushrooms
  • 1-13.5 oz can of Coconut Milk (we use full fat)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, coarsely chopped

To make this please follow these directions —

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add Curry Paste and saute until dissolved.
  3. Add garlic and onion. Saute until onion is translucent.
  4. Add chicken and Fish Sauce. Stir-fry until opaque. DO NOT PUKE OR GAG BECAUSE OF THE SMELL! I will not lie, IT IS HORRIBLE!!!10989019_10153170280935505_1374465034291455810_n
  5. Add red bell pepper, mushrooms, Coconut Milk and lime juice.
  6. Stir well. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in chopped basil and serve.

This is delicious on it’s own, or if you like, you can serve it over rice.  Lovey Levin and Rose LOVE this meal!! We really had to tweak the Curry vs Fish Sauce amounts to get it to our liking but once we did, this became a weekly meal!!

Lovey Levin’s Gluten Challenge….

Vampirates are bigger than apples!

Vampirates are bigger than apples!

Howdy out there! Lovey Levin has had appointments with a pediatric gastroenterologist and a pediatric allergist in the last few months. My husband and I have decided to start the process to a proper diagnosis of Celiac so there will be no issues when he starts school.  We thought it would take much longer than what it has to start this process, we were thinking months rather than days and weeks. It is the beginning of March and we should know by the end of March if he truly has Celiac or not.

It started with an appointment with the Pediatric Gastroenterologist, he took our history and food logs over the years and reactions to gluten (it’s been almost a year since his last one).  He referred us to a an allergist to have him skin tested also, for gluten sensitivity. Lovey passed the skin prick tests for all common allergens, including topical gluten. Then he had a blood test, testing antibodies for gluten and those also came back below 4. We knew they would as he has been gluten free for nearly two years. So on February 6 we started his gluten challenge with many bated breaths.

Quite a Happy Camper with his Blankets

Quite a Happy Camper with his Blankets

Much to our surprise there was no rash, no diarrhea, no refusals of food. In fact, this kid was in gluten heaven.  We allowed goldfish crackers to begin with then he had an English Muffin, then a bagel daily.  He had pizza one night, and he even identified it as “gluten pizza”.  We don’t tell him he is eating gluten because there is still a chance that DOES have Celiac and we would have to go back to a gluten free lifestyle.  His only symptoms so far, if they are related, are multiple #2 a day – soft but not runny, he developed a rash across his abdomen, and he has been complaining of his legs hurting.  I’ve made note of all of these things.  He will go in next week for his next blood test. If his numbers are high, they will do the endoscopy.

Going gluten free should not be a problem for our household as I am now doing Auto Immune Protocol Paleo (AIP), for my own health, which is completely gluten free.  We are curious to know what is going on with our little man and why he was unable to tolerate gluten.

5 Ingredient Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies – YUMM!

Today was a snow day for us. Why? I’m not quite sure.. It rained a little. Anyway, everyone was home from school and I was feeling like baking! I was searching on Pinterest and found a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies that looked easy. It only had five ingredients. So I decided to try it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/2 C Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 C Peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 C Chocolate Chips of Choice (I used Dark Chocolate)
IMG_2633

1st Four Ingredients

IMG_2632

Forked sugar and PB

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mix the brown sugar with the baking soda and forked the lumps out.
  3. Add the peanut butter and egg.
  4. Mix everything together until smooth.
  5. Fold in chocolate chip
  6. Use a T measuring spoon to make uniform balls onto greased baking sheets (I foil line mine).
  7. Smoosh the balls a little, so they look like thick cookies (wet your measuring spoon and use the bottom of it to do the smooshing).
    IMG_2636

    All mixed up!

    Smooshed Cookies

    Smooshed Cookies

  8. Bake for 10-13 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool on the tray for 2-5 minutes before removing.

Okay, so my review on these are that they are good. My husband rated them at a 9.5/10 on the Yummy Cookie Scale! My opinion, they are a little crumby – have a glass of milk nearby. I would make these again! They were super easy to make, I’ll always have the ingredients on hand, and they take nearly no time at all!

ALL Done

ALL Done