Tuesday, January 22, 2013

You're eating WHAT???

I have to tell ya....before Paleo there was no way I was eating or drinking some of the things that I do now. And there are still some things that other paleo people eat and drink that I think....."I am NEVER eating THAT!" Today I will be sharing the top 5 things I would've NEVER eaten before paleo, but now is a staple in my diet.

1. Brussel Sprouts - I hated them...or so I thought. I tried them in a salad and I tried them in a slaw, but it was so nasty to me that I said...NEVER AGAIN! That was, until I tried Everyday Paleo's version of roasted brussel sprouts with bacon...Ummm...they were DA BOMB! And now I don't even need the bacon..GASP!! I know, I know..... but I still love them just roasted in some olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. And you wouldn't believe it, but I even crave brussel sprouts now.

2. Kombucha - I hate tea. Like, literally, it makes me gag. So the thought of me drinking fermented tea with weird looking scum floating in it seemed never likely. But I love the stuff and I can actually tell a difference in the way I digest food when I drink it.....floating scummy stuff and all. I don't get it all the time cause it is pretty pricey, and I haven't gotten to the point where I'm willing to try to make it myself yet. :)

3. Bone broth - Never heard of it before paleo. And I never used my left over bones from cooking for anything except the trash. Now I look at those bones like they are gold. And the weirder the bones the better. I mean what makes a better broth that some chicken feet and ox tail? haha! Speaking of bone broth I have found this company that delivers real bone broth straight to your door. Check them out at Real Bone Broth. This is a pic from their site.

4. Winter Squash - I never even knew how to get those things open much less how to cook them. I wasn't a big veggie person before paleo so I would usually skip the produce section all together on grocery trips. I didn't even know what these little things that would come out in the fall were. But fall is now my favorite time of year (food wise) and it is due in large part to winter squash. Roast them, puree them in a soup, stuff them with some spicy sausage....anyway you cook 'em... I'll eat 'em!

5. Coconut Oil - Coconut oil, because that just sounds weird and I'm sure it tastes weird too, but it is used ALL the time now in my house, and not just for cooking.

So what are your top 5 thing you never thought you would love before paleo?

Moving on....last night I was thinking about the spicy cashew chicken that I usually get at Thai Garden and I thought...let's try to make this a soup. And here is what came of that....

Spicy Cashew Chicken Soup


1 1/2 T of olive oil

1/2 t of sesame oil (if you don't have sesame oil, just use 2T of olive oil)

1/2 yellow onion thinly sliced or 3 shallots thinly sliced (I like the shallots)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 - 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated (depending on how much you like ginger)

1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

1 small container of white mushrooms, sliced

2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded ( I used some left over rotisserie chicken)

4 cups of chicken stock

1 zucchini, peeled and julienned with a julienne peeler or cut with a knife into long noodle like strands

2 bunches of baby bok choy, cut into thin strips, could substitute one bunch of kale cut into thin strips if baby bok choy can't be found

1/2 cup of cashew butter

1 cup of water, hot

garnish - chopped cashews, and red pepper flakes

Over medium heat, in a soup pot. heat the olive oil and sesame oil.
Once oil is hot add your onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and mushrooms. You made need a bit more oil, add if necessary.
Cook until onions are soft and mushroom cook down and get some color.
Add in your cooked, shredded chicken and mix. Cook until chicken gets heated through.
Add in your 4 cups of stock and bring to a boil.
Once boiling add zuchini and bok choy or kale. Let this come up to a boil then turn the heat down to simmer.
Let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes or until the veg is cooked.
In a seperate bowl mix the 1 cup of hot water with your cashew butter and start to get it melted. Then add that mixture to your soup. Make sure you mix thouroughly to get all the cashew butter melted into the soup.
Serve and garnish with chopped cashews and red pepper flakes.

If you would like more liquid in your soup feel free to add more water or stock to your liking.

I'm actually eating this for breakfast as I type and I still love it!! haha! I'm thinking of swiping some of the spicy thai seasoning off the table at Thai Garden for the next time I make this and use that instead of the red pepper flakes. YUMMMMM!! I'm telling ya, if you don't like spice, I wouldn't suggest you NOT make this recipe. In my humble opinion the spice is necessary!! :)

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Super simple and SUPER yummy one pan oven roasted chicken and veg!!

Guys, Let me tell you......this is an awesome recipe!! I was watching Cooks Illustrated one night on PBS and this recipe was on. I can't really remember the exact measurements (no worries my measurements were still awesome!) and I changed an ingredient or two to make it Paleo. The whole family dug this meal and my 5 year old went on and on and on about how awesome the chicken was. So lets get started.

Now if you don't really like handling chicken too much you can just buy 2 bone in chicken breasts, 2 bone in chicken thighs and two chicken legs. Or you can save a heck of a lot of money and just buy a whole bird. That way you have some awesome stuff to make bone broth with later!! yum!

Let me give you the low down on how to cut up a chicken. This was not easy for me tonight since my knife was totally dull. Fixed that problem and the hubs already ordered a sharpener online! :)

First things first, cut off the wings. We aren't gonna use this in the recipe so save them for some bone broth.

Flip the bird over and cut out the back bone. I find this easier with kitchen scissors.

Now that the back bone is out, the only thing left holding the leg to the breast is skin so cut the leg and thighs right off.

Now we want to separate the leg from the thigh so flip it over and you will find a line of fat. Cut right on that line and you will find the joint to cut through.

Next use your knife to cut right down the center of the breast bone. This'll take a bit of muscle. 

Now, I didn't get a pic of this but you are gonna CUT EACH SIDE IN HALF AGAIN. So you will end up with four pieces out of these two breasts. Kinda cut toward the fat end of the breast a bit so they will cook evenly. 

You will end up with 8 pieces of chicken....2 legs, 2 thighs, 4 pieces of breast. I have them on paper towels and I will pat the top of the chicken as well so they are dry and will crisp up nice for me. 

Now that you know how to cut up a bird you can make this recipe.

What you need:
8 pieces of chicken cut up as I've shown you
1 yellow onion, cut in wedges
2 cups of brussel sprouts, halved
2 cups of sweet potatoes, cubed
2 cups of carrots, cubed
1 tsp of thyme
1 tsp of rosemary
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the herb butter
2 Tbs of ghee, melted
2 tsp of thyme
1 tsp of rosemary
Salt and pepper

Run your knife through all the herbs so they are nice and fine.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Yes I know that's hot!! :)

First, make an herb butter to brush on top of the chicken. To make this just melt the two TBS of ghee and add the 2 tsp of thyme and 1 tsp of rosemary.  Add a good pinch of salt and some pepper. Set aside for later.

Chop all of your veggies so they are all in good size chunks and all approximately the same size so they cook evenly. 

Place the veg and garlic in a large mixing bowl and top with olive oil and 1 tsp of thyme and 1 tsp of rosemary. I chopped these very fine before putting them with the veggies. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix it all together to coat all the veg with the oil and herbs. Add more oil if needed.

Next pour all the veg onto a baking sheet and make sure you place the brussel sprouts in the middle so they will be less likely to burn.

Place your chicken pieces on top of the veg. Since the breast tend to cook quicker place those in the center on top of the sprouts and the rest of the chicken around that.

Now brush your chicken pieces with the herb butter.

Place in the over for 35-40 minutes. And enjoy!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Ah, the New Year! There's just something about a fresh start, a clean slate, a new year of new possibilities, that makes us so optimistic.  That being said, how many of us start out with this new attitude and by Feb 1st we are looking for our new fresh start and clean slate again? I know I have. This year, aside from striving to be the person God created me to be and live as healthy as possible, I have a new and VERY big goal. To write a cookbook! It is a scary and exciting thought, but that is what I would love to do. It is my dream. Sometimes it is scary to put your dreams out there for all the dream haters to smash and dash them! haha! But there it is....My dream is to write a cookbook. Don't get me wrong I have a lot to learn and a ways to go but I'm reading everything I can get my hands on about the subject. We shall see what happens!

So what about you guys? What are your goals and dreams for 2013? Don't be afraid to share them!! :) I am testing some recipes right now and have 3 more that I have down on paper to try next week. I will post one of them for you guys on the blog. Thank you all for your support and I hope to meet a lot more people here at Paleo Mommy in 2013. Have a wonderful New Years Day!!