Horseradish Mustard Chicken

Hi! I’ve been so busy lately. This summer I am working remotely as a contract researcher for the Smithsonian (kind of a big deal…). I’m really enjoying it, but it is forcing me to be much more structured.

Not necessarily a bad thing. 

Here’s a simple marinade for some un-boring chicken. Try it 🙂

Horseradish Mustard Grilled Chicken

2lbs chicken

1/4 c horseradish mustard (or other spicy mustard)

1 tsp coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 c water

2 packets of stevia or about 1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp each: granulated onion, granulated garlic, chile flakes

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

Pinch of salt

Whisk all ingredients (except chicken, of course) in a large prep bowl. Pour into marinating tray, zip top bag, or leave in prepping bowl. 

Add chicken and make sure it’s thoroughly coated. Let marinade at least 30 min.

Grill or bake when ready.
  

Mexican Chicken Salad

This is another super simple recipe that is great for the summer–especially since there is NO cooking involved! Yay! That’s right. This super light and super easy semi-homemade dish is great for picnics, weekends, or outings. This dish transports easily and only gets better after sitting in the fridge for a few extra hours. Use pre-cooked shrimp, rotisserie chicken, or chicken leftovers. These little shortcuts will keep you out of the kitchen and in the pool (mojito not included).

Mexican Chicken Salad
-1 onion, finely diced
-1 bunch of green onion, finely chopped
-1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
-1 cucumber, peeled, finely diced
-1 tomato, seeded and finely diced
-3 small tomatillos, finely diced
-3 jalapeños, cut away membrane, remove seeds and finely diced
-1.5-2 lbs of cooked, clean shrimp (no tails) or one whole rotisserie chicken (remove all the meat from the bones and do a rough chop)
-Juice from one lime
-Sea salt, menudo mix, pepper
-Avocado halves

Throw all of your prepped veggies into a large mixing bowl. Add meat and lime juice. Season with salt, pepper, and menudo mix as necessary.

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Serve the salad in lettuce leaves, cabbage leaves, bell peppers, or in avocado halves!

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Would work well as an appetizer, too!

Enjoy!

Asian Lettuce Wraps

This is another recipe that I made while on my temporary hiatus. Like most of my recipes, this one involved some experimentation, so I’m sharing what worked and what didn’t work so well with this recipe. I had initially hoped to put the stuffing in chard, wrap it, then cook it in the oven to make little dumplings of sorts (which is why I added egg, so that they would stay in meatball form in the wrapping). I overcooked the chard and it was not appetizing. You’re welcome to give that a try, though I think the stovetop method worked out a LOT better. After cooking the stuffing, then placing it in a fresh, crunchy lettuce or cabbage wrap, you get a nice balance of textures. I’ll guide you through how I did this recipe (I apologize for the confusion in advance! Experimenting in the kitchen doesn’t always work out that well!) Or, you could totally go the other way and do an Asian-style meatloaf. Which ever way you choose, I hope you enjoy!

Asian Lettuce Wraps

  • Lots of veggies (I used bell pepper, chard, celery, bok choy, zucchini, carrots, and some baby eggplant)
  • Ground meat of choice (I used chicken), between .5 lbs and 1 lb. (if you’re going the meatloaf route, you may need more meat)
  • 1-2 eggs (optional, more important if you’re planning to bake, not so important if you’re cooking on your stovetop; if you’re going the meatloaf route, you may need more eggs)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Seasonings: Ground ginger, fresh garlic, cilantro, green onion, pepper, sea salt
  • Chard (stems removed, just the leaves), a leafy lettuce, or cabbage (for wrapping)

If you’re baking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Prep your veggies. Since these are going to be wraps, you want your veggies to be bite-sized and relatively uniform.

Ok, so from here you have two options: Option 1 (preferred): start seasoning and sauteing your veggies. Option 2 (for meatloaf or attempting the oven-baked wraps): Place veggies in a large mixing bowl with meat and eggs. Season liberally.

If you’re doing the stovetop method, add your meat to your veggies. Break up the meat and keep on the stovetop until cooked thoroughly. Recheck for seasoning.

If you’re baking, mix all your ingredients together into a squishy, gooey mess. Get your kids involved.

If you’re doing the stovetop method, once your meat is cooked thoroughly, spoon mixture into your wrap of choice, and enjoy (no pic, sorry!)!

If you’re baking, spoon your RAW mixture into your chard or cabbage leaves.

Wrap your leaves like a burrito (or as close to a burrito as possible)

Repeat.

Bake until meat is thoroughly cooked.

The stovetop method would be great for your lunches at work. Just keep your fresh, crisp leaves in a zip top bag or plastic container and your cooked stuffing in another container. Gently reheat your stuffing and either stuff your lettuce, or through into a salad.

Now Accepting Donations to Help Me Buy New Pants! =)

Just kidding… Though I won’t turn any money away.

It’s March 20. I’ve been paleo for 80 days now. I haven’t lost much weight since the end of the paleo challenge (I think just 2 lbs), but my clothes keep falling off me. I just recently had to buy new jeans and gym pants because I was pulling them up so often, it was beginning to get a little ridiculous. Especially the gym pants. I only have two bottoms that are appropriate to wear for double unders and/or burpees. Now that I’ve incorporated a cheat, I feel like it’s taking a little bit longer. I’m not in a rush, though. After all, this is a lifestyle adjustment, and not just something to prepare me for summer (though I am beginning to get excited about summer).

Last night, I just made a chicken stir fry (prior incarnations of the stir fry: Turkey with Veggies and Fajitas). I had a bunch of veggies in the fridge that I needed to use: chard, collard greens, celery, carrots, bell pepper, broccoli, spinach.

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I just sautéed these with some fat, a rotisserie chicken, and some spices (garlic and onion powder, ginger, pepper, and gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos).

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Sorry there’s no plated picture! I was starving.

I plan on experimenting in the kitchen this weekend (or Monday) so I can show you guys something new.

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Soup

Sorry for posting this so late. I made this recipe the day after I made the Semi-Homemade Cilantro Lime Chicken, but I started writing my paper and have been unable to blog. So I apologize for my tardiness. Here’s a simple, quick way to use up your leftover chicken.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Soup
-About one cup of leftover chicken (I used my leftover shredded cilantro lime chicken)
-About one cup of chard, julienned
-One can of diced green chiles
-1-2 small carrots, diced
-About 2-3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
-Lime juice (optional)
-Cilantro (optional)
-Fat of choice
-Seasonings to taste: garlic powder, onion powder, lemon pepper, salt

Heat some of your fat of choice in a pot. Add your chicken, carrots, chard and chiles.

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Add broth and allow to heat thoroughly. Check for seasonings and add additional like juice or cilantro to taste.

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Enjoy! Dinner’s done and leftovers have been put to use!

Variations
You can use any kind of leftover chicken. It does not have to be the cilantro lime chicken. Conversely, you can use fresh, raw chicken. Just cut it into bite sized chunks and season it well, with garlic powder, onion powder and lemon pepper.

Semi-Homemade Cilantro Lime Chicken

When I was at Sprouts the other day, I came across this package of shredded chicken in the meat section. Normally, I wouldn’t bother, but since it was essentially chicken breast, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt, I decided to give it a try.

Cilantro Lime Chicken
-16 oz of shredded chicken
-Juice from 2 limes (or one lemon and one lime)
-Cilantro, trimmed
-Garlic powder, onion powder, chile powder, paprika, cayenne pepper
-Green salsa (optional, I like Trader Joe’s green salsa)
-Fat of choice

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Too simple. Throw everything in a pan and heat through. I added green salsa to mine while in the pan since it seemed a little dry.

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Variations
Don’t have the package of shredded chicken? Bake in the oven or use your slow cooker. Just make sure your raw chicken is thoroughly seasoned before placing in the oven or slow cooker. You can shred the chicken later (if you want).

I made mine into a simple salad with some salsa “dressing”

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Beef Broccoli and Orange Chicken

Dear Readers- Please forgive me for I have sinned!! I am so sorry it’s been such a long time since I last posted. To appease you all, I will provide you with TWO, that’s right, two, dos recipes. I’ve been really busy with my research and driving to UCLA is a huge hassle and time-consumer. Also, last weekend was the department new admit weekend so I was helping introduce prospective Ph.D students to the joys of LA… I also, actually cheated on my paleo diet, too. I’ll be forthcoming- I was starving, didn’t plan appropriately for a day of driving to USC, then the Huntington, then to a professor’s house for dinner. That, and I just didn’t want to be that person. So I indulged for the dinner and have since moved on and have made amends. I am back on paleo, so no worries! It was actually really funny. I have another professor who I apparently make feel guilty because I always have healthy snacks in class. When he asked me about it, I told him about the paleo challenge I was doing with RC Crossfit. When he saw me at the dinner he said, “Alicia, how are you managing? Nothing here is Jurassic.” Hehe.

Anyway, back to he food. And by food, I mean recipes.

Today’s recipes are fairly easy. The orange chicken uses cooked, leftover chicken (though you can certainly use fresh) so it’s great for throwing together in a pinch. Feel free to serve with my paleo fried rice recipe. I just served mine over plain, steamed cauliflower.

Paleo Orange Chicken
-16 oz. cooked chicken, diced or cut into strips
-juice and zest from 2 oranges
-green onion, chopped
-cilantro, chopped
-prepped veggies of choice (I used fresh, prepped broccoli, carrots and mushrooms in a bag from Fresh and Easy)
-seasonings to taste: ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, chile flakes
-apple cider vinegar (optional)
-gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos
-fat of choice

In a large pan or wok, heat your fat of choice, and add your veggies. Once they start to get some color, add your gluten free soy sauce (or coconut aminos), orange juice and chicken. Allow to reduce. Add green onions and check for seasonings (i.e. add them). I used the apple cider vinegar to cut some of the saltiness. You may not find it necessary. Toss with cilantro before serving.

Beef Broccoli

-London Broil, cut into strips (about 1.5 lbs)
-Broccoli and other veggies if you want
-Gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos
-Apple cider vinegar
-Honey
-Green onion, chopped
-Seasonings to taste: chile flakes, garlic powder, ground ginger, onion powder
-Fat of choice

Ok, for this one there is some math. I’ve determined that the sauce tastes best when you have equal parts of honey and apple cider vinegar, and half a part of gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos. Go that?

So, put all your meat in a bowl then allow it to marinade with your liquids. For example, 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar + 1/2 c. honey + 1/4 c. gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos. Now do you get it? I would start with this amount then move from there, keeping your proportions in mind. Allow meat to marinade with liquids and a fairly generous helping of your seasonings.

After it’s marinated, heat your fat of choice in a large pan or wok, then add your meat with all the liquids. Add your veggies after the liquids have started to reduce. Cook thoroughly, check for seasonings.

Serve over plain, steamed cauliflower, or my cauliflower fried rice!

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Paleo Fried “Rice”

I was making this before I even turned paleo. For some reason, in the months before my transition, I had essentially given up all pasta and rice–opting for zucchini and cauliflower instead. This is one of the first paleo recipes I’ve ever made and it’s really, really, reeeeeaaallllyyyyy good. Trust me. I’m almost a doctor… Not really… Nor in the medical sense. Oh well.

This is a great recipe to use any leftover chicken that you may have lying around in your fridge. This is also a great way to use up some veggies you don’t know what to do with, or that are about to go bad. You can add just about any veggie you want to this and it will work. Consider mine guidelines, use your imagination. Add or swap veggies according to your taste.

 

Paleo Fried “Rice” (makes about 4-6 servings)

  • 1 Cauliflower, floretted (for direction on how to floret your cauliflower, please see my cauliflower mash post and just follow the first couple directions. Link is here)
  • A couple cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • About 4-6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 whole baby bok choy, sliced
  • About 1/4 c. frozen broccoli florets
  • A few stems of green onion, chopped
  • Some fresh ginger, peeled
  • Leftover Chicken, or rotisserie chicken (about 1-2 cups)
  • 2 eggs, scrambled and set aside
  • About 1 Tbsp of your fat of choice
  • Seasonings to taste: Coconut Aminos or Gluten-Free Dark Tamari Soy Sauce (Not technically paleo, but it is gluten-free, and I’m personally ok with using a few Tablespoons here and there), ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, chile powder, pepper
  • Cilantro, chopped

I got tired just typing that.

Ok, step one: Clean, trim, wash and floret your cauliflower. Place it in a veggie steamer and let it cook while you prep the other ingredients. *Note: Don’t overcook. Once a fork can go through it, it’s done. Take it off the heat.

Wash and prep your veggies. I often chop, dice, mince, then throw everything in one giant mixing bowl.

In a large pan, heat your fat of choice and add your veggies. You may choose to add some of your dry seasonings.

At this point, your cauliflower is probably thoroughly done. Transfer it to a mixing bowl (I used the one that just had all the freshly chopped veggies in it). Grab a potato masher and use it to break your cauliflower florets into rice-like pieces. You can also use a food processor for this. Just don’t accidentally turn it into a mash.

When you’re done, it should look like rice (kinda)!

As your veggies continue to saute, add some of your coconut aminos or [gluten-free] soy sauce. Allow it to reduce slightly.

Add your cauliflower “rice” to the pan and stir.

Check for seasonings. Add more as necessary. At this point, you can add your chicken and scrambled eggs.

Mix again, make sure all your ingredients are heated through. I like to top mine with fresh cilantro, though you can even fold some into the batch just before serving.

 

Enjoy!! Dinner’s done! Oh, and leftovers are great, too!

 

Also, expect some practical posts in the next week–like how to pack a paleo lunch, planning, prepping, etc.

 

Baked “Fried” Chicken and Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Poor cauliflower. Its cousin broccoli gets all the attention. Initially, I was not a fan of cauliflower masquerading as mashed potatoes. It just wasn’t right. The first time I made this recipe, they didn’t come out well. I didn’t like the taste, I didn’t like the texture, I didn’t like much about them. I decided to give them a shot again, and can happily report that these came out way better this time.

I’ll break this recipe into two parts: the baked chicken, and the cauliflower mash. I trimmed and put my cauliflower to boil before I got my chicken going and everything came out at almost the same time (granted my cauliflower was finished first, but it was no sweat reheating it slightly). Just budget your time. If you’re cooking more chicken than I was cooking (just two breasts), you may want to get your chicken baking before.

Baked “Fried” Chicken (Makes 2 chicken breasts)

  • 2 Chicken Breasts (or thighs, your pick)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • About 4-5 Tbsp. of Coconut Flour
  • Seasonings: Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Salt, Pepper, Poultry Seasoning
  • Olive OIl

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place your beaten egg(s) in a shallow bowl or pan. In another shallow bowl or pan, mix your coconut four and seasonings (add lots, I accidentally poured my Italian seasoning from the wrong opening, thought it was too much, but when I mixed it, it looked perfect). You should be able to see your herbs and seasonings in your flour.

Dip your chicken breasts into the egg, then into the coconut flour. Flip over. Make sure your whole breasts are coated.

Pour a little olive oil into your baking dish. Add your chicken to the oiled baking dish and flip so there is a little oil on both sides.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes (make sure it’s thoroughly cooked). Flip breasts over halfway through.

Cauliflower Mash

  • 1 Head of Cauliflower
  • 1 cup of Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • About 2 cloves of garlic
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper

Clean up your cauliflower and get all the little leaves off. Floret your cauliflower and wash (I find it easier to wash once it’s been floret-ed).*To floret, hold cauliflower upside down and cut into it with a pairing knife.

In a medium saucepan, combine your floret-ed cauliflower, the cup of broth and the garlic cloves. Cover and place over medium heat. Allow to simmer long enough for the cauliflower to soften. Mix the cauliflower around about 5-10 minutes into the cooking process.

After the cauliflower has thoroughly softened, transfer some of the the cauliflower, garlic cloves and most of the broth into a blender.

Blend a little at a time, slowly adding more as necessary (you may not need to use all your broth). Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Enjoy! Dinner’s Done!

Grilled Dry Rub Chicken

I know, another chicken recipe… Sigh. I’ve been so busy with school and my new research project. Coupled with the fact that  it’s almost pay day (I only get paid once a month), I have not yet made it to the grocery store (I also find that I am more creative right after pay day. There must be some correlation). Fear not, however, this recipe is part of an upcoming salad recipe that I think you’ll love. Anyway, the joy of this particular recipe is that you can make it on a budget. You should have the seasonings on hand and you can use thawed, previously frozen chicken.

If you wanted to do this another way, you could even cover a whole chicken in the rub, then throw it in the slow cooker (no liquid is necessary).

Grilled Dry Rub Chicken

  • Chicken Breast, or Another Cut, or another type of meat (I used about .75 lb)
  • Seasonings to taste: Chile powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, lemon pepper

In a large bowl, generously season your meat (I listed the seasonings in the order of quantity, from greatest to least). Flip over your meat and season the other side. Allow to sit in the dry rub for at least half an hour before grilling.

Grill until thoroughly cooked. I wrapped mine in lettuce and topped with avocado (though not pictured. I was starving. Also, I’m finding that meat in lettuce is my go-to meal).

 

Enjoy! Keep posted. I promise I’ll have more exciting recipes by next week. I’m thinking orange chicken, fried rice, and maybe even beef broccoli.