Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Paleo Orange Chicken - Chinese

As most of you know, I rarely branch out into something other than American, Mexican or Italian food but I tried a couple of versions of this recipe, made my usual tweaks and came up with my first Chinese dish (besides a kick-ass bowl of ramen)...

Prep: 10 min/Cook: 20 min/Total: 30 min
Serves 2 people – I would suggest doubling the recipe!

For the sauce:
¾ cup 100% Orange juice
Zest of half a medium orange
1 Tbsp. Coconut aminos
1 tsp. Rice vinegar
Pinch Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
½ Tbsp. Canola oil *
½ Tbsp. Fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Tapioca starch
For the chicken:
2 Tbsp. Canola oil
3 Tbsp. Tapioca starch
Salt and Mrs. Dash
8 Ounces Chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
For serving:
Green onion, sliced
Sesame seeds
Hot cooked white rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Set aside.
2. In a medium, high-sided frying pan heat the oil (for the sauce) on medium heat.  Add in the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Add in the orange juice mixture, stirring so the garlic/ginger mix into it.  Additionally, place the 1 tsp of Tapioca starch into a medium bowl.
4. Turn the temperature up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 2 tsp of the hot sauce into the tapioca starch and whisk until smooth.  While whisking, pour the tapioca mixture into the sauce and stir in well. 
5. After you add the tapioca, boil the sauce for 2 minutes. Then, turn the heat down to medium/low and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until the sauce is thick and glossy.   Transfer to a large bowl, cover, and let stand to thicken up more while you make the chicken.
6. In a large frying pan over medium/high heat, heat the avocado oil. NOTE: you do not want to crowd the chicken, so I fry mine in 2 batches, using 1 Tbsp. of oil each time. Adjust according to the size of your pan.
7. While the oil heats, place the tapioca starch and a pinch of salt and pepper into a large Zip-loc bag.  Add in the chicken cubes, seal the bag and toss until the chicken is coated in the starch.
8. Place the chicken into the hot oil (again, don't crowd them) and cook until golden brown and crispy about 2-3 minutes per side, flipping once. If your chicken cooks too quickly, reduce the heat a little bit. Repeat with the 2nd batch of chicken if necessary.

9. Once cooked, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and gently press out any excess oil.  Place the chicken into the bowl with the sauce and toss until the sauce coats everything.
10. Serve over top of cauliflower rice, quinoa or white rice, garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, and DEVOUR.

Recipe Notes
*Wear an apron – the oil splatters
*Again...Double the recipe – it is THAT good.

Adapted from: Food, Faith, Fitness and other websites

Chicken Piccata - Quick, Whole 30, Easy

LOVE this recipe - easy, quick and tasty...


In this dish, which takes minimal time, boneless skinless chicken breasts are browned then topped with a lemon butter sauce. I like to serve this with a simple salad but it would also be great served over a big bowl of pasta. This recipe is Low Carb, Whole 30, Paleo, low in calories, gluten free and dairy free. Super quick to make!

Prep Time 15 minutes/Cook Time 15 minutes/Total Time 30 minutes
Serves 2

2 chicken breasts butterflied, skinless and boneless*
½ cup almond flour
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. oil
½ Lemon zest
¾ cup gluten free chicken stock
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice + more to taste (~1 lemon)
3 Tbsp. capers rinsed in cold water
1 Tbsp. Tapioca flour (Coconut or Arrowroot will work)
¼ cup parsley finely chopped for garnish
Lemons thinly sliced for garnish
                *Can substitute grilled chicken, not breaded with almond flour for less calories and carbs.

1. Butterfly the chicken breasts by cutting them in half lengthways.  Season with Mrs. Dash and garlic powder
2. On a flat plate mix together the almond flour, salt, Mrs. Dash and garlic powder.  Put the butterflied chicken pieces into the seasoned flour mixture and pat down to get it to coat each side evenly.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a non-stick skillet and heat over a medium high heat.
4. Cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side, or until it's golden brown.
5. Remove the cooked chicken to a parchment-lined plate and cover with foil to keep warm, repeat with the other pieces of chicken and add a little more oil if you need to.
6. Rinse the capers in cold water.
7. Now add the stock, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers and 1 Tbsp. tapioca starch mixed with 3 Tbsp. cold water to the pan and stir on a medium heat until the sauce thickens.
8. Return the chicken to the pan with the sauce and cook, uncovered until sauce thickens and chicken is done ~8 min.
9. Serve hot and garnish with parsley and lemon slices.

Keeping with the Whole 30 theme, we combined a few recipes for healthy, easy and damn tasty meatballs...


½ lb. mild sausage
1 lb. ground turkey check for no added ingredients
1 large egg room temperature
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
½ onion – grated on a box grater, squeeze out liquid
3 cloves garlic – grated on a microplane
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash
½  tsp. salt
½ cup almond flour
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos

Preheat the oven to 400° and line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine beef, turkey, egg, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, almond flour, and coconut aminos. Mix until everything is completely combined- the best way to do that is with clean hands.
Wash your hands, then use a cookie scoop to make balls. Roll between palms to make smooth.
Place on prepared sheet tray lined with parchment paper and convection bake for 15 minutes.
Heat in your favorite jar of marinara sauce for ~15 min. and serve over zoodles or just plain.
Makes 24-27 meatballs. 

Braised Chicken Thighs - Easy Weeknight Dinner

Julie has been doing a Bootcamp Challenge so we have made some adjustments in recipes to make them Whole 30 compliant (*ingredient NOT compliant).  In doing that, we have found some pretty tasty and healthy dishes that are not only easy to prepare but can feed as many as you'd like and still have leftovers to take for lunch.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Garlic, Lemon and Artichoke Hearts

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 garlic cloves, diced
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1 lemon zest
1 Tbsp. each fresh herbs (thyme, oregano), plus more for garnish
1 tsp. ground Coriander
½ cup beer/wine
1 small jar artichoke hearts, chopped in large pieces, marinade included
Juice of 1 lemon
1 ½  cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce*
3 Tbsp. Butter*
2 Tbsp. Tapioca Starch

1. Remove the chicken from the fridge 20 minutes before cooking to remove the chill. Preheat the oven to 350°. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
2. In a large ovenproof pan or Dutch oven large enough to hold all the thighs in a single layer, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin-side down, and sear until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip the thighs over, cook 3-4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
3. While the pan is still hot, add the onions, garlic, lemon zest, coriander and herbs, and season with salt and pepper/Mrs. Dash. Cook, stirring often, until the onions have wilted and the brown bits on the bottom of the pan have loosened, 6 to 8 minutes.  
4. Deglaze with beer/wine and soy sauce. Stir `2 minutes until alcohol cooks off and flavor mellows.
5. Nestle the thighs skin-side up in the onion mixture and add the artichoke hearts with marinade. Pour the lemon juice and chicken stock around the chicken (so you don’t disturb the crispy skin) and transfer the pan to the oven.
6. Bake for ~40 minutes (convection roast for ~30 min. until internal temp is 165 degrees) until meat falls off the bone.
Scatter fresh herbs over the top and serve with your choice of pasta, rice or quinoa and a green salad.