Monthly Archives: April 2015

Batch cooking and stuffed chicken thighs

Paleo Stuffed Chicken Thighs

Paleo Stuffed Chicken Thighs

Batch Cooking.  I have to admit that it intimidates me.  I spend a little too long getting ready to get ready to do it knowing that I’m going to be in the kitchen a looooong ass time but just like everything else, I have learned that you just have to get started and do one task at a time and get done what you get done and not get all stressy.  At least that’s what I tell myself to do.

This Sunday I spent 6 hours in my kitchen making a ton of food.  I am hoping that it will pay off and that I won’t have to do any cooking for at least the next 4 days.

Here’s what I made:

Cooked 3 boneless chicken breasts

Cooked 2 packages of chicken tenders

Butternut squash soup.

Roasted cauliflower

Cooked 2 pounds of ground turkey with an onion and then mixed some with bacon and mushrooms and tomato sauce and made 4 stuffed peppers ready to heat in the oven

Pesto

I peeled and cut up a bag of carrots

Zoodles.

By 8:30 I was ready to jump out of my kitchen window but at least now I don’t have to cook and I can just eat and relax the rest of the week. Well, I never relax but at least the food is cooked.

While I did all of that stuff, I also made a big batch of Paleo Stuffed Chicken Thighs.  It was enough for my family of 4 adult sized people for dinner for 2 nights and an extra for my lunch.

Now, a week later, I am glad that I invested the time.  However, the weather is absolutely gorgeous and I don’t want to spend all day in my kitchen today.  Now that I have it down, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get this all done in less time today.  We shall see.

Also, instead of making a dinner for tonight that is more complicated and time consuming, I will pan sear some lamb leg and serve with a couple of veggies.  You can look at this a couple of different ways.  Either you decide you are going to be making a huge mess in your kitchen anyway, so you may as well just make a big dinner too, or you can make a simpler dinner and save this one for when you have a little less going on.  Either way, these chicken thighs are delicious and definitely worth making!

Paleo Stuffed Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

2 packages of boneless chicken thighs

1 lb of thinly sliced prosciutto

2 red bell peppers, roasted and sliced into 1/4 inch strips.  (Do this first).

2 eggs, beaten

Pesto*

24 sun dried tomatoes

1 1/2 cups almond meal

1 tbs nutritional yeast

dried oregano

Himalayan Salt

ground black pepper

garlic powder

Tapioca flour

Coconut oil for frying

Pasta sauce of choice

Pesto

2 cups or 2 hand fulls of baby spinach

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 cloves garlic (peeled and smashed)

1 tbs nutritional yeast

¼ cup pine nuts

2 pinches of Himalayan Salt

ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

Add it all to your food processor except the olive oil and pulse till well-blended.

Slowly add the olive oil and pulse until a pesto paste like consistency.

Instructions

First mix together the almond meal, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper in a wide shallow bowl and set aside.

Next, open up and lightly pound the chicken thighs with a meat tenderizing mallet.

Set up your assembly line:  Chicken thighs, tapioca flour, pesto, prosciutto, peppers, sun dried tomatoes, salt, pepper and dried oregano, beat eggs and almond meal mixture.

Assemble each chicken thigh by opening up, spreading a tablespoon of pesto on the inside of each, laying on a slice of prosciutto, topping that with about 2 or 3 tomatoes and a couple slices of pepper, sprinkle with oregano, roll up as tightly as possible without losing the goodies inside, and place in a baking dish.

Once they are all assembled, dust each with tapioca flour, dip in egg and roll in the almond meal mixture.

Then when they are all assembled, dusted, dipped and rolled, they are ready to brown.

Heat a tablespoon or more of coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat.  Place the chicken in the pan and lightly brown on each side.  Transfer back to the baking dish.FullSizeRender (4)

Bake covered on 350 degrees for 30 minutes or till chicken is no longer pink.

While that is baking you can heat up your sauce and prep a green salad. A dinner without some greens isn’t dinner as far as I’m concerned and it looks great next to the red sauce!

Serve with sauce and salad and enjoy!

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K.I.S.S. and Chicken Milanese

K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid.  You’re not stupid. It’s simple stupid, uncomplicated.  Oftentimes, the simpler something is, the better it is.

Chicken Milanese and tomato (2)Sometimes when we consider making healthy changes in our lives it can seem overwhelming.  It can be hard to wrap our brain around changing the routine that we have spent years doing, to a new one.  When “grass-fed”, “free-range” ,“organic” and “gluten-free” are all being thrown at you and you hear things like “Ghee”, “Maca”, “Chia”,  “Nutritional Yeast”, and “Grass-Fed Gelatin”, you may have no idea what any of that stuff is, where to buy it and what in the hell you would do with it anyway.   And smoothies?  What do you put in them?   You may feel you don’t know where to start.  You also know that it’s more expensive to buy all this fancy stuff and you know your kids will protest, so once again, you throw the Easy Mac and frozen chicken fingers, cereal, chips and soda into your shopping cart and call it a day.

So here it is straight and simple.  This is in no way meant to be condescending because I know from experience how changing your life can seem overwhelming, but if you just make one change at a time, you can improve your health and your life over time.image

All you have to do is go to the store.  When you are there, buy meat, vegetables and fruit.  Bring that shit home.  When you get home eat it. Don’t over think it.image

Take those chicken breasts you just bought, put some salt, pepper and maybe some butter on them, bake them or cut them up and cook them on the stove with some butter or olive oil.  Take that broccoli you just bought, steam it in the microwave.  Take the sweet potato you just bought and bake it.  Now eat those 3 things together.  Make a whole bunch of that simple meal at once so you have left overs to take for lunch.

Now next time you need to cook, just take another meat you bought.  Ground beef perhaps, make burgers out of them.  Put them on top of lettuce.  Put a tomato and a slice of avocado on top.  Maybe fry some bacon too.  Eat it.  It’s freakin’ delicious!

If you know you won’t have time to cook but you are all out of leftovers, take a whole bunch of pork chops, or a pork shoulder and put it in your crock pot.  Stick a bunch of garlic in it and season it with salt and pepper. Let the crock pot do it’s thing for 8-10 hours.  When you get home, you can take that box of baby spinach you bought and put some on your plate.  Put the pork stuff on top of that.  Dinner is done.

After you eat all this good food, go for a walk.

And that’s how it starts.  Don’t over think it.  Just start.  You will be so glad you did!  As you do more of this, you will do less of the stuff you did before and it will not seem like a big deal at all.

Here’s a really easy and delicious recipe.  My family told me that this is their favorite and it really is the easiest one too.   There are a few extra things in it that you may not have on hand.  No worries.  Just make it with what you have.

Chicken Milanese

Here’s what you need:

4 or 5 Boneless Chicken Breasts

1 cup almond meal – Bob’s Red Mill is good and you can get it in the health food part of any store

1 tsp onion powder

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp dried basil

1 tbs Nutritional Yeast  (optional) nuritional yeast and almond flour (1)

1 tbs fresh chopped parsley

2 tbs coconut oil or bacon fat, You can use olive oil if that’s what you have

salt and pepper to taste

Arugula

Box of cherry tomatoes – sliced in half

Olive oil

1 whole lemon

Here’s what you do:

  1. Make a dressing by mixing together lemon juice from half of the lemon, 2 tbs olive oil, salt, pepper and ½ tsp onion powder

Pour it on top of your arugula and toss together.  Set aside.

Arugula Salad

  1. Take the chicken breasts and turn upright on the side, then slice them through the center widthwise but don’t slice all the way through so that you can open it up like a book.  Cover with plastic and pound out to ¼ inch thickness or a little bigger is fine.  If you don’t have time or don’t want to pound them out, that’s fine too, but I think it comes out better if you do.  Set aside.
  1. Make a coating for the chicken by putting the almond meal in a bowl, then add the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, basil and nutritional yeast and mix together.
  1. Melt a tbs of coconut oil or fat in a large skillet over medium heat.
  1. Drag the chicken breasts through the almond meal mixture and fry in the skillet until lightly browned then turn and repeat on the other side about 2-3 mins on each side.  Reduce the heat slightly and continue to turn and cook them a couple more minutes until they are cooked through the meat is no longer pink inside.  The thinner you pound it out, the faster it will cook.

You may need to do one at a time or in a couple of pans at once if your pieces are very large and keep them warm in the oven on 200 degrees until all the chicken breasts are done.

  1. Set it up.  Place the chicken breasts on plates, squeeze fresh lemon juice on top.  Then top it with the arugula salad and tomatoes, more salt and pepper and some fresh parsley.
  1. Eat and accept praise from your family!

Chicken Milanese