Tag Archives: family favorites

Meatball Parmy Bake

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So I was looking to make a big ol’ tray of meatballs in sauce, and decided to make a sort of cheese-less meatball parmesan. The best way I knew to do this, was to use some of the macadamia ricotta ( which you can find in This Recipe ) … It was pretty darn awesome, and definitely a nice change of pace from what I normally do. It was also nice that it had that “stuff I used to eat” nostalgia factor, without being too silly. The meatballs were spiced almost like a breakfast sausage, and overall it was really simple to make.

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef ( 75% lean)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • a LOT of black pepper and sage
  • some salt, thyme, and paprika.

Preparation:

Combine ingredients and form into medium-sized meatballs.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, rotating once in the middle.

Add a large can or bottle (26 oz) strained tomato and sprinkle with oregano, thyme, basil, and add a few bay leaves.

Dollop a spoon of the macadamia nut ricotta on top of each meatball and maybe between groups of four or something.

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Return to oven and bake another 15-30 minutes. Ricotta should get to be a nice golden hue.

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Super Easy Baked Chicken Dinner

I really love when I can throw a bunch of food things in a pan, pop them in the oven, and after an undetermined period of time, pop out something yummy. Chicken, specifically dark meat chicken, is really good for this. I also ring covering the pan essential, as it traps in moisture. The cauliflower was actually my favorite part of this dish, as it soaked up some of the chicken flavor, and was absolutely divine!

Ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs
  • Chicken legs
  • 1 onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 6 oz water
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • salt, pepper, paprika, a little cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (or any spices of your choice)

Arrange chicken in foil lined 9×17 inch glass pan. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. season chicken, and sprinkle the garlic over. arrange onions on top and cauliflower around the sides. pour lemon juice over and water. cover and bake for 60-90 minutes.

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Saucy Chicken Thighs

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Sometime’s I go nuts in the kitchen, and conjure up crazy things, put weird things together, to create super tasty concoctions of sustenance. This is not one of those times. Don’t get me wrong, it’s insanely tasty and good, and so well liked by Mike, that I had to make it twice this week….but it’s one of the most simple dishes I’ve ever made. I’m totally OK with that. I’ve been trying to keep everything simple these last couple of weeks, working on time management and allowing myself more free time as part of an effort to work on mindfulness and stress management. Also looking at lowering my food budget, and trying to be more budget friendly. Sometime’s that means using things like canned olives, or canned sauce, or even frozen veggies once in a while. I still prefer everything in season and fresh, and all my meat pastured, grass-fed, or at least organic. But I am learning that you do what you can, and while that is optimal, and I do it when possible, using some Trader Joe’s frozen peppers and onions mix once to throw some veggies in a stir fry or omelette, is fine when that’s what you have! I digress, This is a super easy dish, and if you do happen to throw some peppers in, it probably would be very similar to chicken cacciatore. I like to serve it over cauliflower rice or some form of vegetable noodles (like spaghetti squash)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or duck fat for sauteing
  • 2 lb chicken thighs
  • 1 jar Amy’s family style marinara
  • 1 jar Trader Joes pitted green olives, drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 onion Chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Lots of dried basil, paprika,and oregano
  • Red pepper flakes
  • A few allspice berries
  • Salt/pepper
  • bay leaf
  • Thyme

Preparation is super simple. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-medium high heat. Then add the onions and garlic. When they start to caramelize, add the chicken, sauce, olives, seasoning. Cover and  saute for about 10 minutes. Stir in the peas and re-cover. Let simmer until the chicken thighs are cooked through.


Paleo Harvest Chestnut Stuffing

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Ah, chestnuts! Nothing quite gets Christmas carols and holiday cheer in your head like a bag of raw chestnuts. Well, actually it all started when I picked up a bag of organic roasted and peeled chestnuts the week prior. I forgot how amazing they are. They’re starchy, almost bready, and have a subtle and wonderful nutty sweetness. Naturally, since this was the week before thanksgiving, the wheels started turning, and I decided to make my stuffing with a combination of chestnuts and sweet potatoes. I figured I’d pimp it out with sausage and fall flavors, and make a bunch of it to bring to our respective families houses, not only to share the love, but to give myself a paleo option. Actually, my parents made a pretty-much-paleo feast, since they’ve been starting to go in that direction, and everything was at least gluten-free, since my mom has a grain intolerance anyway. She made stuffing with gluten-free bread, and I did have a spoon of it to taste, but stuck to mine mostly. There were all sorts of yummy veggies, roasted carrots, brussels, kale salad…Even the desserts were paleo-fied. I brought some of my Paleo Pumpkin Pie Balls, and the stuffing, which disappeared by the end of dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Pecans
  • 1 bag/ lb Chestnuts
  • 2 Apples
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 3-4 stalks Celery
  • 1 large purple Sweet potato
  • 2 lbs Ground turkey / beef (or sausage)
  • 1 pt duck broth.
  • Cinnamon, sage, thyme, rosemary, pepper, salt

Instructions:

  1. Mix your sausage meat the night before so the flavors have a chance to combine. I use a pound of turkey and a pound of beef. Mix them together with generous amounts of cinnamon, sage, thyme, pepper, and salt. Cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Chop all the vegetable ingredients in a food processor, or if your don’t have one, just make sure they are small and evenly sized. Add to a bowl with the pecans and Set aside.

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  3. Roast the chestnuts. Cut an X into the flat side of each chestnut, and roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or so. The cut part will peel back. You want to peel them while they’re still warm, because they get harder to peel as they cool. Honestly, you can use the bagged pre-peeled and roasted chestnuts if you want to save time, but I think roasting them from scratch is more festive, plus you can get the rest of the family to participate and help peel. Break up the chestnuts into pieces and combine with the veggies.
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  4. Brown meat and then mix together with the rest of the mixture. Add some more seasonings and mix. pour into a 9×17 glass pan and bake uncovered about 30 min. Add duck broth and return covered to oven. Bake for another 30 minutes or so, until the sweet potatoes and carrots are soft.

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It’s fairly easy, and super yummy. The chestnuts give it a nice starchiness that is a totally different texture than the sweet potato, and definitely pays a respectful flavor homage to some of the stuffing I’ve encountered.  Next time I might use a different variety of apple, but overall it came out great. I might just use the packaged chestnuts though, because it was very labor intensive to peel them all, and the packaged ones I’ve tried are all fantastic.

I made A LOT of this stuff, enough to bring to both parties, and I still had my own batch of leftovers coming out of my ears…..definitely not a bad thing. One of the things I used it for which I loved, was breakfast the following morning.  I put some eggs over it, and it kept me full for hours. It’s one of those versatile dishes that makes a great snack or side dish, breakfast or dinner. I ate it in some way, pretty much every day until it was gone, and never got tired of it.


Easy Paleo Chicken and Broccoli

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With Thanksgiving coming quick, I’m sure you don’t want a crazy complicated dinner while also trying to get ready for the holiday. This one is super-duper easy. It happened on a recent busy night, when I just didn’t really feel like cooking crazy things. That’s a lot of nights. I’m sure some of you busy folks out there have the same feeling, and it scares you away from cooking….well this one is for you.  Next time you’re considering Chinese take out, make this instead.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb chicken, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 head broccoli, chopped to semi-small florets
  • 1 Spanish or sweet onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • A lot of black pepper
  • salt
  • Paprika
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 3-5 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • Duck fat (For Sauteing, you can also use lard, tallow, coconut oil, bacon grease, or any other healthy fat)
  1. Heat one or two tablespoons of duck fat over medium heat.
  2. Add the vegetables, seasoning, and coconut aminos, stir, and saute covered (Stirring occasionally) until the vegetables are almost cooked.
  3. Add the chicken, cover, and stir occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.

 


Pineapple Veggie Cauliflower “Rice” (Reprise)

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This isn’t really a new recipe, I just made some additions to an older one. Click the picture to go to the original. Other than using purple cauliflower instead of the yellow, I followed the recipe exactly. This time, I made a much larger….and by much larger I mean two huge batches of it. I also added an egg, onion, and used a mixture of duck fat and coconut oil (Mostly because I’m running out of duck fat, and I want to use it when making Paleo Stuffing for Thanksgiving. ) I probably could have been a little more liberal on the spices, since I was making such a big batch…but yum.  This is one of my favorite things to make. It’s probably one of the best side dishes ever. This was my first time using a food processor to chop everything. My Ninja Kitchen System is amazing. It took me literally, less than a minute each to chop my carrots, onions, broccoli, and make the cauliflower rice. Do yourselves a favor, and get a food processor….seriously.

To add the egg, once you are done sauteing the veggies, and before you put the cauliflower in, use a spoon to push everything off to the side, so that there is a bare space in the pan. Put a little coconut oil.  Crack an egg there, and break the yolk. Cover, and when it starts to become almost cooked, stir it in with everything. It should easily break into egg chunks, like you find in the Chinese food fried rice.


Crock Pot Spicy Apple BBQ pulled Chicken

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This stuff is so good, and I’m thrilled that I made so much of it! What I really love about how this came out, is that it has enough flavor to stand on its own, but is subtle enough that you can re-use it for things like tacos, or to stuff inside of an avocado, squash, or potato. Like most crock pot stuff, and with only a few vegetables to chop, it’s beyond easy, and takes all of 10-15 minutes to prepare. I tried something new, and rather than doing this early in the day, and letting it cook on low for 6+ hours, I started it at night, and cooked it on high for only 5.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lbs Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 lb Chicken Breast
  • 2 Small Apples, chopped
  • 3 jalapeno Peppers, sliced and seeded
  • 1/4 Onion, chopped
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 10 Allspice Berries
  • 4 or 5 Tablespoons Kalustyan’s  Ancho Chili Powder
  • A little salt, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • A dash coconut aminos ( up to 1 or 2 Tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup Tessemae’s paleo BBQ sauce

When adding ingredients to the Crock Pot, I started with the onion and garlic, then I did a layer of chicken thighs, breast, and the rest of the thighs. I finished off with the apples, jalapeno, and seasonings. After adding the BBQ sauce, I mixed it around, just slightly. Once all the ingredients were in, I cooked on high 5 hours. Then, I  shredded the chicken with a fork.

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