Category Archives: Paleo

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.

Barbacoa Mexican Street Tacos

Barbacoa Mexican Street Tacos

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Barbacoa Mexican Street Tacos
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Typically on Sundays, if I am not traveling, I plan out some meals for the week. Jill keeps it challenging because she is pretty simple which doesn’t help me blog new recipes…tacos, spaghetti/pasta, burgers, sandwiches or bbq. So this Sunday, she said ground beef tacos. Since we just had those recently, I stayed with beef but decided on barbacoa street tacos. There is a little joint in Cabo we went to that is open air serving up really simple tacos. Double corn tortillas with simple flavored meats with basic toppings of pico, cilantro or chopped onions. Cheese never makes an appearance.

I kept it really simple to let the meat be the start. Only garnished with cilantro, onions and avocado with a little Monterrey Jack to provide a barrier for my tortilla so it wouldn’t fall apart in case I had too much juice from the meat. Simple and delicious.

Ingredients:
Cut of chuck roast
1 Mexican beer
Beef Stock to almost cover
Fresh grated Monterrey Jack Cheese
Corn Tortillas
1 jalapeno
1 chopped onion
stems of a bunch of cilantro
4 tbs of Kosher Salt
3 tbs of Chili Powder
2 tbs of Garlic Powder
2 tbs of Onion Powder
2 tbs of Ground Cumin

Topped with Avocado, Onion Cilantro
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Directions:
1. In a crock pot add the onions, sliced jalapeno (seeds and all), cilantro stems at the bottom. Rub the meat with the seasoning and place on top of the vegetables. Pour the beer in and enough beef stock to almost top and cover the meat. Cook for 8 hours and until the meat is fall apart tender. IMG_0809

2. Prep: Dice your onions and cilantro. Grate your cheese. Pull your tortillas. And take your shredded meat and put it into a bowl and squeeze out the juice.

3. In a lightly oiled non stick pan on medium heat place your tortillas for about 30 seconds. Flip and add the cheese and cook this side for about 30 or 40 seconds. Remove. Add your meat and condiments. Enjoy.
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Feta Spinach Stuffed Chicken with Mediterranean Roasted Potatoes

Feta Spinach Stuffed Chicken with Mediterranean Roasted Potatoes

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Feta Spinach Stuffed Chicken with Mediterranean Roasted Potatoes
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I was trying to whip up something with a Greekish flair tonight. I went to this Greek place once and had these crazy lemon potatoes that were basted in lemon. I just loved them probably because I tend like acidic ingredients like vinegar and the like.

Jill doesn’t share my palate when it comes to lemons on chicken or veggies so I lured her in with pesto and goat cheese on my chicken. She is a pesto nut. Give and take is what it’s about right? Push or stretch each others boundaries.

So I took a chicken breast, sliced it and pounded it thin and even. I sauteed some spinach to get it nice and wilted. I let it cool and stirred in Goat cheese, pesto and sundried tomato pesto. I’m an over stuffer by nature so my bird wasn’t nice and flat but certainly had no chance of folding like a book. Instead it came out more like a banana in shape, but healthier I suppose given the extra spinach.

The potatoes were lemony and soft with some crusty edges from the roasting. The chicken stayed nice and juicy and with each bite you got a pop of fresh herbaceous pesto complimented with the tangy goat cheese. Really nice meal.

Ingredients:
Two Organic Free Range Chicken Breasts
2 cups of spinach
Feta Cheese to taste 1-2 tbs
Goat Cheese to taste 1-2 tbs
2 tbs of Pesto
1 tbs of Sundried Tomato Pesto
Olive oil
Kosher Salt and Pepper

Potatoes
Lemons
Paprika
Cayenne
Chicken Broth

Directions
1. Potatoes – cut up enough to the portions to accommodate your eaters. Rinse and juice two lemons or a lemon per portion and cover the potatoes. Then season them and put them into dish and roast on 400 until tender. About 30 minutes. I splashed a little chicken stock or water to keep some moisture in the pan.

2. Chicken – Butterfly each chicken breast. Place under plastic wrap and pound them until even and thin. Set aside. IMG_0673

3. In a pan on the stove on medium low heat with olive oil, wilt your spinach and set aside to cool a bit.
Fold in your goat and feta cheese and pestos. Taste and adjust accordingly. IMG_0674

4. Now take your chicken and fill it with the stuffing and close it up with string or skewers. Given my breasts were more round than flat I went with string. In a medium heated cast iron skillet with some olive oil. Cook your chicken until done. Remove string and serve.
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Roasted Ranch Chicken, Green Beans and Purple Potatoes

Roasted Ranch Chicken, Green Beans and Purple Potatoes

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roasted Ranch Chicken, Green Beans and Purple Potatoes
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Sunday is my day for planning the week’s meals. Lately I have been finding myself calling audibles the day of and cooking something different or picking up something instead. Because of this, I have several bags of vegetables that were planned for other dishes but were never used.

So tonight I honor all those forgotten vegetables and put them to use in a one pan roasting extravaganza. I could have gone the Italian dressing route or lemon but settled on Ranch Seasoning. I picked up a little jar of Ranch seasoning on my last Penzey Spice run. I thought I would put it to use on this experiment of a meal. Boring but healthy and tasty because roasting makes everything taste great.

Ingredients:
Fresh Green Beans
2 chicken breasts
Purple potatoes
3 cloves of garlic
3 pats of butter
olive oil
Ranch Seasoning (Penzey’s)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut your potatoes into bite sized pieces and trim your green beans. Load it all up in a baking dish and top with seasoning, garlic and three pats of butter. Roast until cooked and tender which is somewhere in the 40-55 minute range.
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Frito Chili Pie

Frito Chili Pie

  • Servings: 10+
  • Difficulty: easy
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Frito Chili Pie
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I am loving the change of weather in Texas. When contrasted against our hot and mostly unbearable summers, that first cooling front excites me like a fat kid over cake. Football on Saturdays and Sundays is just hard to beat. Such a great time of the year.

At the State Fair you see these bags of Fritos Corn Chips cut open and chili, cheese and onions added to your liking and given a spork to eat it right out of the bag. We haven’t had chili in a while so I made my a version of my Uncle J’s chili and topped it with fresh shredded cheddar and Fritos The other nice thing about it is that you can freeze the left overs or use it on other dishes (burgers, dogs, enchiladas,) and/or eat it throughout the week.

Ingredients:
Bag of Frito Corn Chips
Fresh block of extra sharp cheddar cheese
Uncle J’s Chili https://whiskeynwry.com/2014/12/29/uncle-js-chili-103/

Directions
1. Follow my recipe for my Uncle J’s Chili or your own favorite chili recipe. I catch grief being from Texas and using beans. Don’t know why it’s a big deal down here but I like what I like. Top it with chips and cheese and enjoy it with your favorite beer.

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Pan Roasted Herb Chicken, Potatoes, and Carrots

Pan Roasted Herb Chicken, Potatoes, and Carrots

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pan Roasted Herb Chicken, Potatoes, and Carrots
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I am getting behind on my posts and have several queued up. This one is pretty boring and simple but I think it goes to show you can create a healthy meal without a lot of fuss but that passes the taste test. I think roasting chicken is probably my favorite way to cook it. Somehow it comes out with concentrated flavors and retains its juices really well. The root veggies come out with little crispy edges with super tender inside.

Ingredients:
2 free range chicken breasts (I went boneless skinless but for more flavor go bone in and skin on)
Two potatoes (cut into same sized pieces)
2 carrots (cut into same sized pieces)
Fresh Rosemary and thyme
Kosher Salt and Pepper
splash of chicken broth

Directions:
1. This is a bit embarrassing because it’s stupid simple. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a pan add your chopped carrots and potatoes along with the chicken breasts. Rub your chicken breasts and veggies with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Roast until the juices run clear. I add a splash of chicken broth about half way through when I flip everything.

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Sombrero Salad with Grilled Chicken

Sombrero Salad with Grilled Chicken

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sombrero Salad with Grilled Chicken
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I was leafing through one of my Rachael Ray’s magazines and spotted an interesting salad that had roasted corn, grilled chicken and avocado. Before I go any further, I must say regardless of what you think of Rachael Ray she puts out really simple but delicious recipes. I don’t watch her shows or anything but I do have her cookbooks and take her magazine. She cranks out so many recipes it’s insane to comprehend. I rarely disappointed in anything I try from her. She, Ina and Rhee really have a knack for churning out great recipes that turn out well.

So I saw this salad in her magazine but didn’t really want a lettuce intensive salad. Interesting tidbit, some guy released a report about salads and how they aren’t that great for you. He states that they are mostly water and when compared to other vegetables the nutrient ratio is super low. Meaning if you eat a big salad without a lot of other stuff in it you are eating low nutrition water. When you look at how spinach and other greens cook down so much it kind of makes sense. Most fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water, heck proteins. But it’s interesting to consider water to nutritional value ratios.

I digress again. I took some chicken out in the morning and poured in some lime juice, cilantro stems, chili seasoning, oil and a little tequila and I let it marinate for a few hours. The acid from the lime tenderizes it. I picked up some poblanos, corn, avocados, shallots, cherry tomatoes, 1 can of organic pinto beans. That was the base of my salad. As for the dressing I simply took some sour cream and mixed in some adobo sauce and lime juice.

This ate kind of like a cold version of Chipotle bowl minus the rice. The roasted veggies and adobo sauce gave it a smokey element and the corn popped with sweetness and the beans and avocado added a creamy element. For crunch I did crumble 3-4 tortilla chips.

Ingredients:
2 Chicken Breasts (free range / air chilled)
1 avocado
3 ears of corn
2 Poblano Peppers
Handful of cherry tomatoes
1 can of organic pinto or black beans
1 bunch of cilantro
1 small purple onion
2 limes
Shot of tequila
Chili seasoning
1/4 sour cream
1 adobo pepper with 1 tbs of sauce
a few tortilla chips
Goat cheese or Feta or Cojita Cheese

Directions:
1. Marinate your chicken breasts for three hours up to overnight in the juice of one lime, shot of tequila, about 1 tbs of chili seasoning and the stems of your cilantro.

2. Fire up a grill pan or your grill on medium high heat and put your shucked corn and poblano’s on the pan (no oil). Put a char on them and pull them off when nicely blackened. Set aside the corn and put the peppers in a bowl with plastic wrap to steam. After both cooled. Remove the skin of the peppers, seed them and dice them up. Cut the kernels from the cobs.

3. Rinse the beans, dice the tomatoes and red onions. In a bowl combine these with the corn and peppers you blackened. IMG_0546

4. Mix your sour cream, juice of half a lime, and adobo peppers and sauce. Stir it into your veggies to coat them well.

5. Back to the chicken. On that same pan, turn down the heat to medium and cook your chicken until done. When done, let it cool and then cut against the grain at a 45 degree angle

6. Plate it by crushing some chips in the bottom of a bowl. Spoon the veggie mixture into a mound and place your chicken and avocado on top. Sprinkle some cilantro and goat cheese to finish. You could spoon in some salsa but really the salad is kind of a chunky salad.
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