Category Archives: Paleo

Mediterranean Feta Chicken Pasta

Mediterranean Feta Chicken Pasta

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Mediterranean Feta Chicken Pasta

The other day my wife and I picked up some Zoe’s on the way home from work. Generally, we order the chicken kabobs and maybe some hummus. But the lady taking my order asked if I wanted to try this baked feta app that consists of sliced cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives cover served with fresh basil and olive oil over a slab of Feta cheese. That is baked off until the cheese is slightly melted and served with pita chips. It’s really simple but tasty.

So I was trying to come up with a recipe for dinner and that app popped into my head so I thought I would try to incorporate a little pasta and some grilled chicken and make a meal out of it. Kind of like a Greek version of a chicken divan, chicken spaghetti, or a favorite in Texas the King Ranch Casserole. It’s got to be healthier than the later but maybe not by much.

This turned out really tasty. You get the punches of salty tang from the feta and kalamata olives balanced by the sweetness of the fresh tomatoes and red onions atop a hearty chicken pasta dish.

Ingredients:
Penne Pasta
2 chicken breasts (free range, air chilled)
Container of cherry tomatoes
Handful of spinach
Handful of mushrooms
4 tbs of diced red onion
4 cloves of garlic diced
1 tbs of fresh diced basil
Dashes of dried oregano and red pepper flakes
1 tbs of butter
1 tbs of flour
1/4 cup of chicken stock/broth
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil
Paprika for the chicken
Block of Fresh Feta Cheese
Kosher Salt
Pepper

Directions:
Prep: dice your garlic, red onion, mushrooms. Slice about half of the cherry tomatoes. Assemble three bowls based upon cook times.. 1. Red onion, whole cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. 2. Garlic and spinach 3. Sliced tomatoes, olives, basil, vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes.
1. Preheat oven to broil but use the bottom rack.
2. Get a pot of boiling water going and follow the directions of your favorite pasta. Pull it out right before they say to do so. Set aside a cup of pasta water in case you need to add moisture later on.
3. On to the chicken… Heat up a cast iron skillet with some olive oil in it. I used medium to medium-low heat. I salted, peppered and paprika my chicken breasts and cooked them so that they were done with a nice color.
4. Remove your chicken to rest.
5. In that skillet add butter and your bowl of mushrooms, whole tomatoes, and red onion. Sweat them out.
6. Now add flour to the pot to build a rue that will help us thicken the sauce. When it’s golden brown add your second bowl of garlic and spinach for 30 seconds and then quickly add the chicken stock and stir until thickened. About three minutes.
7. While your mixture thickens cut up your chicken breasts into bite sized pieces.
8. Now add your pasta and chicken to the skillet and turn off the heat. Crumble and stir in half the feta cheese and slowly stir to get everything well coated with melted cheese and sauce. If it looks dry, add some pasta water and stir until it has the consistency of mac n cheese.
9 Pour that mixture into an oven ready dish. Top with the third bowl of halved cherry tomatoes, olives, basil with the vinegar and spices. Lastly, top with the remaining block of Feta and crumble it over the top. Put it into the oven uncovered for about 4 to 5 minutes so that the feta takes on some brown color. It won’t melt like other cheese but it is soft despite looking like it did when it went into the oven.

Serve with pita bread or anything else that you come up with.

Chicken Curry Garden Stew

Chicken Curry Garden Stew

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Curry Garden Stew
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Indian food flavors are some of the most advanced and interesting in the world. A touch of curry can transform a chicken salad or even a deviled egg. Today is one of those chilly and dank days that is worthy of a hearty stew. Instead of a vegetable rich chicken soup, I am going to add some curry, soy, and coconut milk to make something a little different than the standard chicken stock or tomato based soup.

Ingredients:
Add the veggies and amounts that you have on hand or that you suits your palate
2 air chilled free range chicken breasts
1 onion diced
4 diced celery stocks
4 diced carrots
cherry tomatoes
broccoli
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 tbs of red curry paste
1 tbs of turmeric
1 cup chicken stock
1 can of coconut milk
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tbs Soy sauce
1 tsp Fish Sauce
Cayenne pepper
Turmeric
Dry Curry
Kosher Salt to taste
olive oil

Directions:
1. In a large pot add your carrots, onion, and celery to some oil and the curry paste and heat to medium to have them sweat for 5-7 minutes.

2. Cube your chicken and add it to the pot to cook through and then add the rest of the vegetables. Stir for about 5 minutes to soften the broccoli up.

3. Pour in the chicken stock and coconut milk and season with the rest of the ingredients. About 5 minutes before serving, tear the basil and add it to the stew. Enjoy.
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Paprika Chicken & Spinach With White Wine Butter Sauce

Paprika Chicken & Spinach With White Wine Butter Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Paprika Chicken & Spinach With White Wine Butter Sauce
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The other night I was poking around Pintrest looking for recipe ideas and saw this one published by Mary of wwww.thekitchenpaper.com that she titled Paprika Chicken & Spinach With White Wine Butter Thyme Sauce. This is the first recipe I have tried from her and it was pretty good. I liked the paprika crust it created on the chicken and the white wine sauce was a great way to pair the chicken and spinach. I served it with some brown rice which is optional. The paprika brings a smokey element that is brightened up by the wine.

Ingredients:
2 Free Range Air Chilled Chicken Breasts
4 tbs of butter
1 cup of white wine
2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach
4 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup of fresh thyme
1 tbs of Paprika
2 tsp Kosher Salt and Pepper

Directions:
1. Heat up a cast iron skillet to about medium. Pat your chicken breast dry and rub the paprika, salt and pepper all over the breast. Melt your butter and brown your chicken breasts on both sides. About 3-4 minutes on each side.

2. Now add the garlic and spinach and the wine and cook on a simmer for about 20 minutes. The sauce will reduce and thicken up a bit. Stir in your thyme and let it soften about 15mins into the simmer. Serve it up and enjoy.
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Roasted Herb Chicken and Roots

Roasted Herb Chicken and Roots

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roasted Herb Chicken and Roots
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This recipe is deliciously simple and sadly boring. It is gluten free, clean, Paleo etc.. It’s healthy and passes almost any diet tests. Roasting fresh food is just delicious. It just concentrates flavors while creating great textures from crunchy to pillow soft. Everything on the plate was 100 natural and either raised or grown without chemicals or additives. I added Zucchini but didn’t like it as well as the carrots and potatoes. Just preference.

Ingredients:
2 air chilled chicken breasts
Several Carrots
1 zucchini
handful of potatoes
Fresh rosemary and Thyme minced
juice of a lemon

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and on a sheet tray add your washed and prepped carrots, potatoes and zucchini.
Squeeze the lemon juice over everything. A few glugs of olive oil (optional). Top with minced herbs, Kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
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Seared Tuna Broccoli Bowl

Seared Tuna Broccoli Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Seared Tuna Broccoli Bowl
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Lately I have been in a recipe cooking slump. So I find myself wandering the vegetable and protein areas of the market looking for something to jump out at me. For fish I usually go with salmon just because the color pulls me in. Right next to the neon orange salmon nestled a fairly inviting hunk of tuna. So once I had my protein I went back to the veggie section and decided to pair my Tuna with Broccoli.

I had a shallot at home and some brown rice so decided to make a little Asian Fusion Tuna Broccoli bowl. Super easy and healthy little meal. I used some Soy Sauce but you could whip up a little nutty Asian sauce by adding soy, peanut butter, dash of fish sauce and a squeeze of Sriracha. I just went with Soy and Sriracha but my point is to cut loose and play around with various fish and vegetables and sauces.

Ingredients:
Fresh Tuna Steak
Crown of Broccoli
Brown rice (I just used the microwavable packaged rice)
1 shallot
Sesame Seeds
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Soy Sauce
Sriracha or Sambal
Hot chili oil

Directions:
1. I like my broccoli on the softer side in dishes like this so I took my wok and got it up to medium heat. Put some hot chili oil (you can use any oil you want really). I cooked it for about 5-7 minutes and then added my diced shallot to.

2. While my broccoli was cooking I salted, peppered and sesame seeded both sides of my tuna steak. Before doing this pat them dry with a paper towel to make sure they stick and can crust up. I nestled my Tuna into my wok along with the broccoli and shallot. I cooked about 2-3 minutes on each side. I like my pink inside but if you don’t prefer it cook it a little longer.

3. Turn off the heat, cook/microwave your rice and add some soy sauce to your pan to coat the vegetables. Serve and enjoy IMG_0871IMG_0864

Smoked Sausage and Black-Eyed Peas

Smoked Sausage and Black-Eyed Peas

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Smoked Sausage and Black-Eyed Peas
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We made these on New Years Day and they were amazing. Truth in advertising, I bought my black-eye peas from Central Market in these clear containers that were either partially cooked or just soaked. They weren’t dry nor were they canned. So if you go to your market and can’t find the right ones you can go the dried route and soak overnight and cook per the instructions on the package or if you are in a hurry you could buy frozen or cans.

My second cheat here was that I bought a new Fagor slowcooker/steamer/pressure cooker for Christmas. That thing is awesome. I pressure cooked for 8 minutes and everything was done as if it cooked for 3 hours. I picked it up on sale for about 100 dollars and it is really going to be worth it for soups, veggies, rice, risotto, meats etc.. Here is a link to the one I bought if you are interested.
http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-2195139/Fagor+Lux+Multicooker

What I love about these recipe is that the smoked sausage gives it such a salty smokey flavor and the corn bread counters that with a kiss of sweetness. Of course we like spicy so added jalapenos to the black-eyed peas and the cornbread. I read that this recipe was adapted from Emeril. I actually ate this for four straight days I loved it so much but I am a bean and greens nut.

Ingredients:
12 – 16 ounces smoked sausage
1 cup chopped yellow onion
Green onions to garnish
4 whole cloves garlic
1/4 cup – 1/2 cup of Pickled Jalapenos
2 lbs black eyed peas (not canned, not dried but from Central Market pre-soaked)
1 tbs salt
1 tbs of Black Pepper
4 splashes of Tabasco1
1 teaspoon cayenne
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
chicken stock to cover

1. Directions are pretty easy if you buy the black-eyed peas the way I did. As mentioned above if you cook from dried beans it will require you to soak overnight and cook for much longer to get the tenderness you want in your peas. Dice your onions, jalapenos and sausage. I cut my sausage links in half and then rotated 180 degrees and cut that link in have and then diced. So basically if you cut a the link into a disk and then cut into four equal pieces.

2. I added the sausage and browned it over medium heat. I then added the onions and sweated them out until translucent. I smashed the garlic cloves and added them and let them cook for a minute. I added the rest of the ingredients and pressure cooked them for 8 minutes and kept them on simmer while I cooked my cornbread for about 30 minutes.

Serve with jalapeno cheddar cornbread, green onions, jalapenos and/or cheddar cheese.

New Year Greens and Black Eyed Beans

New Year Greens and Black Eyed Beans

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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New Year Greens and Black Eyed Beans
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I am a sucker for collard and mustard greens. If I see them on any menu they will be ordered. To me the best greens are cooked to death and super tender with zero give or tooth to them. I also like them mostly savory and salty with a touch of acid. I am not a fan of drowning them in vinegar pepper sauce.

For Christmas I was in charge of cooking a Thanksgiving like menu given some of our family didn’t get to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving. I cooked a spatchcocked turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and needed a green. I have been doing a lot of Brussels sprouts lately and they are great but my Mom lives about 30 minutes away and by the time I get over there they change their texture so I decided to depart and try something else. I landed on Collard Greens. I figured we are so close to New Years that I would do an extra lucky side that combined collards and black eyed peas. Only my Mom and I are avid collard fans but everyone raved about them.

The trick here in my opinion is cooking them to death. Drop them in a slow cooker and walk away for 3-4 hours. Depending upon your palate you can adjust the acid vs salt but here is how I made mine.

Ingredients:
6 bunches of collard greens
4 carrots (diced)
1 onion (diced)
1-2 cans of black eyed peas
3 cups of chicken stock
1/4 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 ham steak (diced)
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
1 tbs of Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:
1. Dice your carrots and onion. Remove the spine from your greens and then lay them on top of each other and chop them into ribbons like you would do to make tortilla strips.

2. Put everything in a slow cooker and turn on high for 3-4 hours. Taste and adjust your seasoning. Tabasco is great on them but not for a crowd.