Category Archives: Dinner

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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Lucky in Love Lamb Shoulder

 

Lamb ShoulderA very special day was approaching and I wanted to mark the occasion with a special dish.  I wanted to impress someone very special to me and make a meal that was elegant, savory and a little bit different than my usual.

The very special day was our seventh wedding anniversary and the someone very special was obviously my husband.   For some reason, our seventh anniversary seemed like a big one.  Why?  Well maybe because the number seven is supposed to be lucky, or because of that old movie with the seductive Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, about getting  all “itchy” after seven years of marriage.  Well, thanks to this freezing weather, I have been moisturizing like crazy and have avoided getting itchy.  I suspect that my husband has also been using my moisturizer, so thank goodness, we should not have to worry about either one of us getting the “itch”!

Each year we have been exchanging gifts pursuant to the traditional wedding anniversary gifts as set forth by those sentimental folks at Hallmark.  One year it was wood.  I quickly found a wooden handled spatula at a local discount store and he gave me diamond earrings.  I know.  He reaalllly messed that up big time.  How could he forget about our Hallmark tradition?! I don’t know what he was thinking buying me diamond earrings, but I’m pretty sure Marilyn would have forgiven him so I did too.  Lucky him.

This year the traditional gift was wool.  Good grief!  Wouldn’t that exacerbate the whole itching thing!? Was Hallmark deliberately trying to sabotage my marriage?   A tradition is a tradition so I went ahead and bought him two wool sweaters that don’t fit and he gave me a wool scarf that doesn’t match my coat.  Fail.

Then we decided maybe we could try our luck on a Lucky 7’s scratch off game from the New York Lottery!   It seemed appropriate for the 7 years and to satisfy our supposed need to scratch something at this point in our marriage.  No luck there either.Lucky 7s game

Finally, we came to the conclusion that we did not need any of these things to feel lucky.  What is lucky is that we found each other in this world and fit so perfectly together.  And that our love for each other is so strong, so true and so unconditional that we have so far been able to make seven great years together! For that, we toasted to being lucky in love and not the least bit itchy!

This dish was a success and not very difficult to prepare.  It presented very nicely and my groom and I loved it.   It’s elegant, but it should only take at the most a couple of hours to totally prepare so you could make it for a special occasion or any night of the week.  If you made it during the week, I would suggest having your herbs and veggies cleaned and chopped up ahead of time.

Seventh Anniversary Lamb Shoulder with Rosemary Balsamic Reduction, Roasted Rosemary Carrots and Beets on Beet GreensLamb Shoulder

What you will need:

2 Lamb shoulders about .75 lbs each

½ yellow onion – sliced thin or about 4 small shallots ( I didn’t have any so I used a regular yellow onion but shallots would probably have been a nicer)

2 cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed and minced

2 tbs fresh rosemary finely chopped

1 tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 bunch of beets with greens – about 4-5 beets – thoroughly rinsed

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbs fat of choice (I used bacon, but coconut oil works too)

Himalayan Salt

Ground black pepper

1 cup balsamic vinegar

 

This is how you do it:

Take the lamb shoulders out about an hour or more before you start to cook so the meat is closer to room temperature.

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

After rinsing the dirt off the beets, remove the stems and set aside. Then cut into 1 inch pieces

1.  Start with the veggies – Place cut-up beets, half of your prepared onion and the carrots in a shallow glass baking pan and generously salt and pepper them.  Sprinkle about a tablespoon of the rosemary on them. Drizzle about 2 tbs of olive oil on them and stir around to evenly coat.  Bake at 450 for ½ hour.

Then grab those beet greens and rinse off the leaves.   Carefully tear the leaves off from the hard stems and rinse well again.  Nothing grosser than taking a bite and getting some dirt!  I know cavemen inadvertently ate some dirt but my paleo approach is not about re-enacting the Paleolithic Era because that is obviously impossible and stupid.  It’s about emulating the basic diet of vegetables and meat with the goal to consume anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense food, but I digress… Okay, off my paleo soap-box and back to the beets.

Add a tablespoon of fat to a dutch oven on medium heat.  Once hot and melted, add the beet greens and stir and cook a few minutes.  Add some salt and pepper to season, stir and cook and then about a tablespoon or 2 of chicken broth.  Turn down the heat to low and keep covered.

After a half hour stir the veggies around and check to see if they are done.  They should need a few more minutes at that point.  Turn the heat down to 400 and give them another 10 minutes.  If they are done, take out and set aside.  You can pop them back in at the end to heat them up.

2.  For the Lamb – Heat half a tablespoon of fat in a cast iron pan on medium high heat.  Salt, Pepper and put a pinch of rosemary on each side of the lamb.  Once hot, sear the lamb on each side for about 3 minutes and then turn the heat down just a little and turn and cook on each side about 2 minutes.  Add a little olive oil on top and finish it in the oven on 400 degrees for up to 5 minutes for medium well.  If you want it more rare, after searing, give it one minute each side and finish in the oven for about 4 minutes.  Just keep the searing time the same.

3.  For the Balsamic Glaze – Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a new pan on medium low heat and the rest of your prepared onion or shallots.  Saute’ a minute or 2 and then add the garlic for another minute.  Keep it on low.  When your lamb is finishing in the oven, turn up the heat  on the onion and garlic.  Add the rosemary and parsley and the balsamic.  Bring to a boil and stir.  Cook it down to about ¼ less balsamic and simmer about 10 minutes.

Once the lamb is done take out to rest about 5 minutes.

Place some beet greens on your plate, put the carrots and beets on top and the lamb shoulder along side it.

Pour the balsamic on top of the lamb.  Give it a little bit more salt and pepper if you like.  In my photo above I did not drown the lamb in the balsamic but after the shot I totally did and I suggest that you do too because it’s freakin’ delicious!

Enjoy!

 

 

Hangry Husband & Paleo Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes

We’ve all been there.  So hungry that it begins to affect our otherwise wonderful personality.  We steadily reach a point where we become angry, lashing out like a starving animal, ready to rip
the throat out of anyone that would stand in the way of us consuming the flesh of another animal.

This is known as “Hangry.”  Hangriness can affect us all.  Not just the ones who are hangry but also the loved ones of those that are hangry.  When more than one person per household is simutaneously in the throes of hangriness, the atmosphere can become quite volatile so it is best to avoid this situation at all costs.   This past Tuesday evening, hangriness hit my home and the afflicted individual was my husband.    The photo pictured above was just about the last straw for him because it was his god damned DINNER that I was getting in the way of!   This is why you will notice that this photo has that foreboding, dark and scary look to it and the meat is falling out.  I barely got the shot in before that hangry man ripped the cow sandwich away and wolfed it down.

Hangry!

Hangry!

I was like, holy shit man!  Have I been starving you?   After he ate, he was magically transformed back into prince charming.  image

If you have a hangry husband, or wife or child, I highly recommend these savory and satisfying Paleo Sloppy Joes and maybe starting dinner as early as possible.  Also, you can give your hangry loved one some nuts or raw veggies to calm that crazy beast and keep it occupied until dinner is ready.

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