Tag Archives: Paleo

Asian Chicken Lettuce Cup-Rice-Bowl

Asian Chicken Lettuce Cup-Rice-Bowl

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Asian Chicken Lettuce Cup-Rice-Bowl
If you have followed me, you know I really like Asian Fusion foods and crave them several times a week. My lovely, on the other hand, doesn’t share my enthusiasm. She likes it but doesn’t crave it like I do. I’ve made chicken lettuce wraps more times than I can count and I love them. The cool lettuce with the spicy salty ground chicken It’s such a simple, flavorful, quick and fairly healthy depending on what you put into it (or don’t). My suspicion with jill’s tepid interest in the lettuce cup lies in the lettuce as a vehicle. It’s messy, or at least mine is messy.

As I mentioned in my last post, Jill bought me Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook at her book fair. As with all my cookbooks, I go through every page and tag the ones I want to try. So I took her base sauce and added some extra veggies and will toy with making a rice lettuce bowl like you would get at Chipotle and add the chicken on it to see if I can move Jill’s needle or determine if the lettuce cup is the culprit of indifference.

Results: So I made this recipe this week and used Chrissy Teigen’s sauce recipes but added some additional vegetables and instead of serving it atop a lettuce cup, I just added it to a bowl for my wife. Flavor was good but I like my recipe a little better due to the peanut sauce but I loved the spicy notes. I didn’t like the bowl idea and would go back to the lettuce wrap. I also didn’t like the mushroom addition and I thought there was too much ginger. But I will be making lettuce wraps in future but using my recipe with a few tips from Chrissy’s book on the sauce.

Ingredients:
Sauce
3 Tbsp. GF Thai sweet chili sauce
3 Tbsp. GF hoisin sauce
3 Tbsp. light GF soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Sriracha
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1½ Tbsp. GF unseasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

Filling
1 lb. ground chicken
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens kept separate
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. of minced jalapeno
4 tbs of minced carrots
4 tbs of diced mushrooms
½ cup finely diced water chestnuts
3 tbs finely diced red bell pepper
Fresh Cilantro
Prepared Rice
Butter Leaf Lettuce (torn)

Directions:
1. Prepare the sauce by mincing everything and then mixing with the wet ingredients. Set aside 2 tbs for browning the ground chicken. img_1051

2. As with most stir-fry type dishes, they go really quickly so go ahead and cut up all your veggies and put them into three different bowls. (hard= carrots, bell pepper, ginger, medium jalapeno, white parts of scallions, mushroom and garlic, soft= cilantro, green onion parts). img_1049

3. Mix in 2 tsp of the sauce into the ground chicken. In a medium heated wok or skillet add some oil and your ground chicken and cook until brown. 5-6 minutes. and remove from the pan.

4. Now for the veggies. Add some oil back to the pan and start by adding the “hard” veggies first and stir and cook for about a minute. Then add your medium and stir for another minute. img_1052

5. Add the chicken back into the pan with the “hard” and “medium” veggies and pour in the rest of the sauce.

6. Right before plating add the cilantro and green onions.
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7. Remove from heat and give it one more stir. To plate the dish, I tore up the lettuce and put it on the bottom of the bowl and then layered on the rice and topped it with the chicken mixture.
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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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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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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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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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Atomic Pineapple Express Chicken Stir Fry

Atomic Pineapple Express Chicken Stir Fry

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Atomic Pineapple Express Chicken Stir Fry
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I am more of a Korean and Thai food guy than Chinese but I do like General Tso Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Cashew Chicken, and various noodle dishes. I spun by Whole Foods to pick up some salmon the other day and spotted a stir fry veggie package that contained celery, mushrooms, carrots, snow peas and broccoli. So I decided to take the base of the General Tso sauce and kick it up a couple of levels.

The typical General Tso is fried with cornstarch as the coating. I departed from that to save a few calories at the sacrifice of texture. That said, I did dry my chicken and cooked it in a medium heated non-stick pan to get some char or color on the chicken to make up for the lack of crunchiness. I might have over did the sauce because it was a heater. After one bite we both had a little sweat going so if you don’t like spicy stuff don’t use the Sambal and dried arbol chilies.

Ingredients:
3 air chilled organic chicken breasts or thighs
1 package of stir fry packaged veggies (Whole Foods)
1 package of Jasmine Rice cooked

Marinade
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of GF Soy Sauce
2 tbs of Sriracha
1 small can of pineapple juice
2 tbs of Kosher salt

Sauce
1/2 cup of Chicken Stock
1/4 of Soy sauce
3 tbs of tomato paste
1 small can of pineapple juice
3 tbs of Pineapple “topping”
2 tbs of Sambal or Sriracha
1 tsp of Sesame oil
2 tsp of Fish sauce
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tbs of grated ginger
3 dried arbol chilies
3 tbs of brown sugar
1 tbs of cornstarch (diluted in 3 tbs of water)

Directions
1. Marinate your chicken by dicing it up to the size you prefer in your dish. Dice and put in a Zip-lock bag and add all your ingredients and let it marinate in your fridge for 3hrs-24 hrs.

2. When ready to cook I started with the sauce in a medium high heated sauce pot I added all my ingredients and let it reduce. From a timing perspective if you like your sauce thick you will want to simmer and stir for about 15 minutes before working on the chicken and veggies. You will continue to cook your sauce while you cook the chicken and veggies.

3. Get your wok or non-stick pan to about medium high heat with a tablespoon of high heat oil. Remove your chicken from the marinade and pat it dry with a paper towel. The reason for this is that if wet it will cook but steam your chicken so you wont have any texture or color on it. I cooked my chicken for about 10 minutes and drained the pain dry about three times to keep the pan as dry as possible. Remove your chicken and set it aside. Your plan will be be black from the soy sauce at that high of a heat in a dry pan. Give it a wipe clean.

4. If your sauce is to your liking then you are about 5 minutes from plating. Back to the wok or large non stick pan, I added my hard veggies and keeping broccoli out until the very end. I cooked these for about 5 minutes and then added my chicken back to warm it through (see below) IMG_0266

5. Right before serving, add your sauce to the pan and turn off the heat. Microwave your rice for 90 seconds and plate it. Stir and cover everything with your sauce until coated. Serve and enjoy the sweat.

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Tex-Mex Sopa de Pollo con Verduras

Tex-Mex Sopa de Pollo con Verduras

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Mexican Soups or sopas are soul warming with all those flavors of spicy and salty broth with pops of peppers, cilantro, cumin, chilies. This time of year is just so great for fresh vegetables and fruits. Tonight I wanted to make a veggie packed dish that contained as many fresh veggies that I could force into the pot as possible.

When I do soups I seldom measure anything instead it’s a taste and add process. So I will do my best to remember how much of the spices I used.

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts (diced small)
1 onion (diced)
3 carrots (diced)
2 zucchini (diced)
2 jalapenos (roasted, seeded, diced)
2 Serrano peppers (roasted, seeded, diced)
1 bunch of cilantro
4 cloves of garlic minced
4 tomatoes diced
1 avocado
1 lime
1-2 tbs of cumin
1-2 tbs of ancho chilli
1 tbs of taco seasoning
2 tsp of cayenne pepper
2 tbs of ghee
1 carton of chicken broth
1 beer

Directions:
1. Super easy but a lot of chopping. I put the onion and ghee in a medium pan and cooked until lightly browned. I added the carrots, chicken and spices and stirred until chicken was mostly done. While that was cooking I light my gas burner and put the corn and peppers on it to char.

2. Everything but the zucchini, avocado and cilantro go into the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Then I turned off the heat and added the cilantro and zucchini and stirred them for another 10 minutes or so. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. I serve it over chips and top with cheddar, cilantro and avocado.

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Baja Fish Tacos with Chipotle Adobo Crema and Roasted Corn Salad

Baja Fish Tacos with Adobo Crema

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Baja Fish Tacos with Adobe Crema
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When I think of fish tacos I can’t help but think of my sister and her family living in San Diego. Such great memories of going to the beach with the kids, hanging out all day under the sun and wrapping up the day by watching the sunset on the porch of a little mexican food joint atop one of the cliffs. While enjoying the transition to those cool nights, we would throw on a sweatshirt and enjoy some mexican food, margaritas, beer while laughing at various family stories.

Jill who isn’t a fish monger unless it’s a lobster roll or a crab cake actually took to fish tacos. I know many of the Baja tacos are fried but I made mine on a griddle. I wanted to the fish to shine and also wanted to make a nice pink sauce that combined chipoltes in adobo, sour cream, cilantro and some lime juice.

You have fresh fish with smokey spicy seasoning, the sweetness from the corn tortillas, the creamy spicy smokey sauce and for the acid and crunch from the sweet vinegar cabbage slaw. As a side dish I made a roasted corn salad with fresh jalapenos, red peppers, jicama, black beans mixed with a little of the chipotle adobo sauce and lime juice. Roasted corn is so cheap and delicious this time of year it’s hard not to put a few ears in the basket every trip to the market.

Ingredients
1 lbs of fresh tilapia
corn tortillas

Dry Rub
1 tbs Tajin seasoning
2 tsp Ancho Chili powder
1 tsp Kosher Salt

Chipotle Adobo Crema
1 cup sour cream
handful of cilantro
juice of 1 lime
2 chipoltes in adobo
3 tbs of the adobo sauce
Salt to taste
you can thin it with milk or cream if it needs it

Slaw
packaged cabbage slaw (half a bag)
1 tbs of sugar
2 tbs of white vinegar
juice of one lime
Kosher salt

Roasted Corn Salad

5 ears of fresh corn
2 fresh jalapenos
1 red pepper
1 can of organic black beans
diced jicama
3 tsp Tajin seasoning
2-3 tbs Adobo crema

Directions
This recipe is really easy but has a few steps. From a timing perspective let’s start with Corn salad.
1. 5 ears of corn, shucked and cleaned rubbed with some olive oil and some Tajin seasoning. Roast for about 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven. While the corn is roasting, fine dice your jalapeno, jicama and red pepper and add them to a large bowl. Rinse your canned black beans and also add to the bowl. When the corn is done, let it cool and cut off the kernels and add them to the bowl. Set aside until ready to serve. When time to serve, add the adobo crema and some Tajin seasoning. Taste and adjust accordingly. IMG_0123

2. For the crema. I added 1 cup of sour cream in a blender with the juice of one lime. I also added two chipoltes and about 2 or 3 tbs of the adobo sauce. I pinched a handful of cilantro and blended until smooth. Taste and season accordingly.

3. Slaw – Add vinegar and sugar to a mixing bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cabbage slaw and squeeze half a lime’s juices. Taste and adjust accordingly

4. Take your dry rubbed fish and put it in a heated non stick pan on medium heat. Fish cooks quickly so it takes about 3-4 mins on each side. Remove the fish to rest, clean the surface and heat your tortillas for about 1 minute.
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To serve, put some of the slaw on the tortilla and then your fish pieces with the crema on top.
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Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps
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I’ve posted a few PF Chang copycat attempts. Now when I make lettuce wraps I am not sure what I am making.. a mash up Korean, Chinese or Thai. I love playing around with Asian sauces. The balance of sweet, salty and spicy just scratch me where I itch. Fairly healthy meal or snack. I would say great for parties but we seem to make a mess and have sauces pouring down our hands. So bring your napkins.

Ingredients
1 package of ground turkey, chicken or pork
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 bunch of green onions
1 can of water chestnuts diced finely
1-2 carrots cut into thin strips
hand full of chopped cilantro
1 tbs of minced ginger
1 head of butter or bibb lettuce

1/4 cup hoisin
2 tbs of Tamari
1 tbs of Rice wine vinegar
1 tbs of Sriracha
1 tsp of Sesame oil
3 tbs of Peanut Sauce (or 1 tbs of warm peanut butter)

Directions
1. Brown your meat (medium heat) and remove any of the fat. Remove your turkey from the pan and add the white parts of the green onion. Let them soften a bit.

2. Now return your meat to the pan along with the onions, garlic, carrots, water chestnuts and ginger. Then combine all the wet sauce ingredients and stir until simmering and until it thickens or reduces a bit. Add the cilantro right near the end. Remove from heat to let cool a little bit. Remember you will be eating this with only a piece of lettuce to shield your hand.

Serve with some diced radishes, cilantro or peanuts.

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