Category Archives: Paleo

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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Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Green Beans

Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Green Beans

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: medium
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Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Green Beans
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We have been eating a lot of chicken lately and it’s always a challenge for me to come up with new ways to prepare it. When rustling through the fridge I spotted a jar of pesto and some goat cheese. Perfect pairing. I decided to stuff it, roll it and baste it white wine and a little butter.

This turned out better than I expected. Super moist and tender with that punch of pesto and tang from the goat cheese in every bite. I pared it with some roasted green beans and shallots and a few cherry tomatoes. Admittedly I haven’t done a lot of stuffing proteins because when I tried it years ago I kept finding the inside a little raw or the stuffing oozing out everywhere. So I decided to tie it up versus the toothpick method to get a proper seal. I also butterflied my chicken breast and pounded it out fairly thinly to ensure even cooking.

This recipe will go into my rotation. And similar to my hand pocket, I can see endless possibilities for my stuffing.

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts (free range/air chilled)
2 tbs of Goat Cheese
2 tbs of Jarred Pesto
2 tsp of butter
2 tbs of olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup of white wine
Kosher salt and Pepper

Green beans
1 shallot
Cherry tomatoes (optional)
Kosher Salt and Pepper

Directions:
1. Get the beans going by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Wash, clean and trim your beans. Chop your shallot and toss the veggies in a roasting pan and cover with olive oil, Salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes.
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2. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice your chicken by making slow and shallow strokes. You want make a long stroke until butterflied. If you make a hole you didn’t do it right 🙂 Place your breast under plastic wrap and slowly pound it into a consistent thickness. Smear the pesto on the inside over the entire breast. Add your goat cheese and roll it up so that pesto and goat cheese are sealed up. I used string to keep it sealed.
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3. In a cast iron skillet on medium heat put some olive oil in the pan and cook it on all sides for about 5 minutes each. Now when all sides are seared, add your wine and butter. It will loosen any bits. While it reduces, baste the chicken keeping it nice and moist. IMG_0538
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Coconut Curry Lime Chicken with Hot Broccoli

Coconut Curry Lime Chicken with Hot Broccoli

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Coconut Curry Lime Chicken with Hot Broccoli
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No surprise but I need to lose a little weight so you are going to get more waistband friendly recipes. I am not going strict clean/paleo or anything but more like weight watchers. It should be no surprise that more chicken, fish and veggies will be making the plate until I can button my pants with less effort.

I love green curry dishes that have that silky coconut milk with layers of green curry and vegetables. So when I saw a recipe for Coconut Lime Chicken it made me think of green curry. And when I read the ingredients, I spotted curry….sold! It doesn’t really taste anything like you might taste in a typical Thai green curry dish. The chicken is super moist and the sauce reduction helps carry that flavor to the rice. I also roasted up some broccoli as a side and used a little soy sauce and red chili flakes to flavor it.

Ingredients:
2 free range air chilled chicken breasts
Marinade and Sauce
1 can of coconut milk
1 lime juiced and zested
3 tbs of Soy Sauce (GF)
1 jalapeno sliced (seeds and all)
2 tsp of cumin
2 tsp of curry powder
2 tbs of olive oil

1 package of Rice
Broccoli
Soy sauce
Red chili flakes
cilantro

Directions:
1. Super easy. Make your marinade by mixing it all in a bag and add your chicken breasts. Marinate it overnight or at least for several hours.

2. Heat up your grill and grill pan to a medium high heat (300-400). Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off the excess sauce/marinade. IMG_0510

3. Take the marinade and sauce and put it in a small pan and heat to a simmer. This can freak some people out but by getting it a boil and letting it simmer will kill the bacteria. IMG_0507

4. Preheat your oven to 350. Cut your Broccoli into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle a little soy sauce on them along with red chili flakes. Roast them for about 20 minutes while your chicken is grilling. IMG_0508

5. While your chicken is resting after it is cooked. Make your 90 minute rice in the microwave I cut the chicken and then poured the sauce over the rice and chicken. I garnished with cilantro.
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Greenzilla Smoothie

Greenzilla Smoothie
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A couple of weeks ago I was in Canada for business and went to dinner with some guys. One of the guys was a health fanatic and we started talking about his routine and his food. He is a big runner and also a low calorie guy. Have you heard of these guys who try to keep it to 1200 calories a day. He isn’t that strict but will go low calorie a few days a week. We talked about dinner and he said he has a green smoothie several times a week. He said he craves them so I have been making and drinking them for breakfast for about a week. They are pretty delicious.

Here is how I make it….

1 avocado
1 green apple
1/2 cucumber
1 tbs of ginger
1/4 frozen pineapple
Two handfuls of spinach and kale mix
1 lime juiced
1/2 cup of Organic natural apple juice
a few cubes of ice

I take most of the skin off the apple and cucumber and rough chop them. I add everything in my Vitamix and start it slow and hit it hard for about 1-2 mins to break everything down as smooth as possible.

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Chicken Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole

Chicken Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole
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My oldest sister didn’t my Mother’s cooking gene. She is about ten years older than me so I got to see her go to college, get her first job, get married, have kids etc… So she was a “grown up” in my eyes. She would have us over for dinner for birthdays and to see her kiddos etc. I would dare say the first 15-20 years of her adulthood every meal that was ever served by her was chicken divan. While impressive the first five times it soon became a joke.

While it was a joke in our family, it really is a pretty tasty dish and certainly a great way to get kids to eat broccoli. It’s creamy, cheesy and savory. I think this base could be adjusted towards a mexican flair by adding roasted hatch chilies and cilantro.

Ingredients:
2 free range air chilled chicken breasts (diced)
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained
3-4 cups of diced broccoli (bit sized)
1 small white onion (diced)
1 stalk of celery (diced)
2-3 garlic (minced)
2-3 tbs of butter
1 tbs of olive oil
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of sour cream
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of low fat milk
2-3 cups of cheddar
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
2 tsp of garlic powder
2 tsp of onion powder
2 tsp of cayenne powder
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, rinse and drain your quinoa, spray a 9×13 baking dish and set it aside. Now get to chopping your onion, celery, garlic, broccoli and your chicken.

2. In a medium heated cast iron skillet add your olive oil and cook your chicken. When done, remove and set aside.

3. Add your onion and celery into the same skillet and cook until soft. Add the garlic and then also the butter. After the butter has melted add your flour to start making a roux. Stir constantly. Add half your chicken broth and milk and turn down your heat to medium low. Stir and thin it out. IMG_0446

4. So now you have a soupy mixture that will tighten up. Add your sour cream and cream of chicken soup stir until well combined. Return your cooked chicken and add your broccoli and half your cheddar cheese. Stir until well combined. Now eye ball the mixture to make sure it is on the “wet” side. Add your seasonings and taste and adjust accordingly

5. In your sprayed baking dish add the quinoa and the rest of the chicken broth to make sure it is covered well and wet. Pour the skillet into the baking dish. Cover with cheddar and panko. Cook for 30-40 minutes. Half the time covered and half uncovered.
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Asian Chicken Noodle Kale Salad

Asian Chicken Noodle Kale

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Asian Chicken Noodle Kale Salad
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We were watching Ree, the Pioneer Woman, the other day and her show was about using foods that represented the colors of summer. We hear all the time that foods that are colorful have more health benefits. Of course Kale makes an appearance because it is “such the thing to eat these days”. Truth be told I love collard and mustard greens more than Kale. I find it tough and too chewy so I cut it finely and use it as a supporting character vs the lead of my dishes. Maybe it’s a bit mental too, because the Kale zealots can really be annoying and I tend to have allergies towards people who take a food too far.

I took Ree’s idea and recipe and used it as my foundation. I marinated two chicken breasts overnight in soy and rice wine vinegar. The next day I hammered the to a consistent thickness and grilled them outside until done. I let them rest and sliced thinly and included them on the side of my salad.

Red Cabbage, carrots and Kale have a lot of structure but I found that the “dressing” mellows the stark rawness The flavors were terrific with blends of soy, Sriracha, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce and hints of fish sauce and sesame oil. Really a nice healthy salad that can easily be converted to Paleo, Clean, Whole30 etc..

Ingredients:
2 free range chicken breasts
3 tbs of GF Soy
3 tbs of Rice Wine Vinegar

Salad
Pre-packaged Kale salad
1 small head of shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup of pre-shredded carrots
1 red pepper sliced thinly
Angel Hair Pasta for two (cooked and cooled)
handful of peanuts rough chopped
4 green onions (minced)
Handful of Cilantro (rough chopped)

Dressing
1/4 cup of Hoisin Sauce
1/3 cup of GF Soy Sauce
1/4 cup of Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tbs of Sriracha Sauce
1 tsp of Fish Sauce
2 tsp of Sesame Oil
1 tsp of Chili oil
1/4 cup – 1/2 cup of Olive Oil
2 tbs of Brown Sugar
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbs of ginger minced

Directions
1. Marinate your chicken at least 3 hours and up to overnight in soy and rice wine vinegar.

2. Get your grill fired up to about 350-400 degrees. Put your chicken on the grill and while it is cooking get to chopping your veggies and dressing. IMG_0369

3. Make your dressing by mincing your garlic and ginger and then add the rest. Whisk it violently until it is well combined. Put it in the fridge and chop your veggies.

4. Boil your angel hair pasta (or any noodle you prefer) to package directions. When done, strain them and run cool water over them to cool them off.

5. So now you have your chicken chopped, your veggies chopped and in a large bowl, your dressing ready, your noodles ready and your rough chopped peanuts. Pour half the dressing into the veggies and toss them until well coated. Slowly stir in your cooked noodles. Taste it and dress accordingly (you can always add more dressing but you can’t undress and overdressed salad) I put a little dressing on my grilled chopped chicken and served it on the side of my salad so that I could control my protein/veggie bites.
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Abundantly Green Coconut Curry Slurry

Abundantly Green Coconut Curry Slurry

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Abundantly Green Coconut Curry Slurry
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Sometimes I feel like just jamming a bunch of vegetables down to make up for poor food choices. Jill was gone this evening so I decided curry. Over the weekend we went with some friends to a place called FT 33. It’s touted as one of the hottest restaurants in Dallas given its attention to local and farm to table. It’s one of those places that sits on the edge of snobby but worth the occasional splurge. Jill and I ordered their charcuterie board that had many smoked and aged meats along with pickled beets, green beans etc.. If you ignore the snob and admire the craft you can tell they put a ton of effort in that little bit of food.

I ordered chicken thighs in this coconut milk green sauce. It was super complex. I kept an eye on the kitchen and could see them pulling out all sorts of containers that each required countless hours to achieve a specific taste. A true recipe of thoughtful constructed flavors and textures. For that I give them huge kudos but the price for that level of effort can be steep for most of us.

All that to say, the sauce stuck in my head. I could see it was a blend of a coconut sauce and some green oils. So tonight in honor of that sauce I decided to use coconut milk, green curry and a ton of vegetables. Not nearly as complicated as FT33 but given the time I spent this dish was perfection. I will attempt to remember how I constructed it. Ive said it before but if you haven’t had green curry please try it. It’s just so darn delicious.

Ingredients.
1 chicken breast diced
4 green onions
1 bunch of spinach
handful of basil
1 bunch of cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno
1 green pepper diced
3 tbs of green curry paste
1 can of coconut milk
1 tbs of cumin
1 tbs of Kosher salt

Directions
1. I took the basil, cilantro, garlic and coconut milk in a blender and blended it smoothly. IMG_0335

2. I took a pan on medium low heat and added the mixture to it. I cut up the chicken, the peppers, onions and zucchini and added them to the pot. I also added the cumin an salt. I let that simmer for about 20 minutes.

3. Right before serving I added the spinach and cilantro. Soooooo good sooooo easy soooo green.
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