Wilted Spinach, Butternut Squash Salad

This tastes amazing. Let me start by saying that. This is a great option for a side dish now that it’s getting colder. It’s not quite a salad, not quite a veggie dish, but I’m still gonna call it a salad. 

Ingredients:

1.5lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 medium red onion, diced

1 bag of spinach

2 Tbsp olive oil plus 1/4 c set aside

1 tsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 c walnuts

1/4 c water

1/2 c red wine vinegar

1 small shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Ready? There are lots of moving parts, so read through before you begin. Ok? Let’s begin. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prep your butternut squash and red onion. 

  

  
Toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil and a heavy sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. 

Pour onto a cookie sheet and arrange into a single layer. 
  
Place in oven. Roast for 40 min (toss around halfway through).

In a skillet, warm your 1 tsp of coconut oil (on low). 

Add walnuts and toast. 

Add coconut sugar and water. Allow to reduce. Stir occasionally and remove from heat once walnuts are “candied.” DONT BURN! 🙂

  
In your salad bowl, add red wine vinegar, shallot, garlic, dijon mustard, honey, and some sea salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in 1/4 c reserved olive oil. 

  
Add spinach, walnuts, and squash/onion mixture. Toss. 

  

Adjust seasoning if you wish. I served ours with some simple chicken. 
  

This salad would be great with a little goat cheese. Speaking from experience here. Either way, Enjoy!

Slow-Cooker Chicken

Today I threw a chicken in my slow cooker. It’s really simple and it’ll always be delicious. Extra points for tricking yourself into thinking you have a live-in chef when you come home to an awesome smell and dinner waiting.

You will need
-1 uncooked chicken (Trim off what you find disgusting)
-Lots of herbs and spices (I essentially used half of what was in my spice cabinet. You can go with different themes to help you season it.)

Place your chicken in your slow cooker upside down. Season liberally. Flip it over. Season liberally again.

That’s it.

When your chicken’s done, serve with veggies, over salad, or use the chicken in your favorite recipe.

I’m planning on making chicken salad in avocado cups later. Recipe will follow if it comes out well.

Variations: Throw veggies in the slow-cooker with the chicken. Carrots, onions and parsnips work well.

Add chicken broth or vegetable broth with your seasonings.

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Albondigas Soup

It was really cold when I woke up. I decided it was a great day for soup. Initially, I had planned to make a shredded beef stew. When I mentioned to my boyfriend that I had planned on making soup, he interrupted me and said,”Albondigas?” before I could even tell him what I was thinking. I paused for a minute, then said, “sure.” Since I need to get some reading done, I knew it was time to bring out the slow cooker. It was freezing when I went to the grocery store, but by the time I got the whole soup thing going, the sun came out. Ugh. Oh well. This soup is delicious. Just turn on your air conditioner. Whatever.

I will break this recipe down into its two components, the soup and the meatballs. I will provide variations at the end of the recipe.

Sopa

  • Broth (chicken, vegetable or beef)
  • Jar of diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Celery, chopped
  • Carrots, sliced
  • Chard, julienned
  • 1 pasilla chile, diced
  • Seasonings to taste: Menudo or pozole mix, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika

Throw everything in the slow cooker. Let it be.

Albondigas

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-4 Tbsp. almond meal
  • Cilantro
  • Seasonings to taste: Menudo or pozole mix, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Layer a cookie sheet or two with parchment paper (optional).

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Form into meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter. Place on cookie sheet and throw them in the oven.

The meatballs took about 30 minutes to cook. When I pulled them out, they did have a little bit of goop around them (from the fat I think). I just rubbed the meatballs against a paper towel to get that off (it was just unattractive).

Once the meatballs are done, throw them into the broth and allow them to simmer together until you serve it.

Top with sliced avocado, chopped green onion and cilantro.

Dinner’s Done (early, too!)!!!!

Variations: You can cook the meatballs in the slow cooker in the broth. I just wanted the meatballs to have a little more texture. That’s why I baked them. You can also cook them in a hot pan over the stove.

If you’re hosting vegetarian friends, leave the meatballs out of the soup. You’ll end up with a delicious Mexican-style vegetable soup.

For your non-paleo friends/family-Serve the albondiga soup as-is, over steamed rice, or with some tortillas.

Spicy Shredded Chicken

I love Mexican food. Before I went paleo, I could have literally eaten tacos for dinner every single day without getting sick of them. I love all the flavors and spiciness from Mexican food–chiles, cilantro, garlic and onions are staples in my fridge. Consequently, you guys will probably get more Mexican recipes than you bargained for. I will not apologize. =)

Today’s dinner was part leftovers, part improvisation, total deliciousness. Amie, my boyfriend’s sister, helped me with this one. Hope you enjoy.

Spicy Shredded Chicken

  • 12 chicken tenders (or chicken breast)
  • Water
  • Cilantro
  • Spices and Seasonings: LOTS of–cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chile powder, paprika, menudo or pozole spices, salt, pepper, lemon pepper, chile flakes

There are a few methods to preparing this dish. I will provide another method in the variations.

For this quicker recipe, get a pot, fill it about halfway with water (Just enough water to cover all the chicken once you add it). Then, add a lot of your seasonings. Our water turned red from all the spices we added. Heat the water and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add your chicken tenders. Allow your chicken to boil in the seasoned water. It will take about 15-30 minutes to cook (don’t worry if you let it boil for more time).

Once your chicken is done, pull it out and put it in a bowl. Let it cool. DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR BROTH!! Let your broth continue to simmer or boil in the background.

Once your chicken has cooled, break it apart with your fingers or with a fork.

Spicy Shredded Chicken, between ladles of broth.

Heat a pan, add a little fat of your choice if you’d like. Add your shredded chicken. Slowly, add a ladle of the leftover broth into the shredded meat. This will keep your chicken moist and bring back a lot of the flavors you developed in the sauce. Once the meat has absorbed the broth, add another ladleful. Continue until you’ve added most of the broth back into your chicken.

Check for seasonings before serving.

Dinner’s done!

This chicken can be used in a lot of ways. Serve over shredded lettuce, with tomatoes, onions, and lime juice for a taco salad. I served mine over some leftover cauliflower rice–and then topped it with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lime juice (and tomatillo salsa). =)

Spicy Shredded Chicken, served over leftover cauliflower rice and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cilantro.

Variations: Slow cooker!! Don’t worry about bringing the water/seasoning mixture to a boil. Just throw all the ingredients into a slow cooker, carry on with your day and come home to a deliciously slow cooked chicken. Just shred and reintroduce the broth to the meat before serving.

Chicken Wraps

 

So here’s my very first post. On January 2, 2012, my Crossfit gym, RC Crossfit began a 40 day paleo challenge. I started my paleo challenge on January 1, 2012. It was the first Sunday of a new year and it just seemed to make sense.

I was a vegetarian when I first started Crossfit. After about a year, I slowly started to eat meat. During my first attempt at paleo, I was only eating chicken. I was still getting accustomed to the tastes and textures–which sometimes prevented me from eating after a few bites, even if I was still hungry. Needless to say, that attempt ended in failure.

This time around, I’ve started eating more kinds of meat. I feel more comfortable with the textures and I’ve gotten a little bit better at making meals that satisfy me. It’s the end of day 4, I haven’t cheated, I just ate paleo at a restaurant and turned down tortilla chips. All without an ounce of regret or second-thinking. I’m hoping this time will be a little more promising. So far, it appears that way.

Anyway, on to the food.

I apologize in advance–I’m terrible at determining ingredient amounts. I don’t generally (i.e. ever) measure when I cook, so play with your food according to your own tastes! These are all guestimates.

Also, there’s debate over vinegars, honey, agave and things like that. If they don’t have actual sugar, grains, rice, or any of the main things that scream “I’m not paleo,” then I’m comfortable using them in moderation.

Feel free to modify according to your own dietary tastes or needs.

Chicken Wraps with Slaw

Ingredients:

1 Rotisserie Chicken

Vinaigrette:

  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • About 1 Tbsp. of Honey
  • About 1/8 to 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Seasonings to taste: oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper

Vegetables for Slaw (I just made the slaw for myself and I had leftovers. I would guess this is enough slaw for 4 wraps)

  • Cucumber (I used about half of one)
  • Carrots (Again, only about half of one)
  • Cabbage (One big leaf)
  • Celery (One stick from the stalk (Is that what you call it?))

Wraps

  • Cabbage or lettuce leaves–whatever you have on hand (I used lettuce since I had cabbage in my slaw)

 

Pull chicken meat from bones and set aside.

 

For the vinaigrette:

Mix all ingredients except olive oil. Whisk mixture while slowly adding olive oil until you reach the desired consistency of your vinaigrette.

 

Slaw:

Wash and peel all vegetables (except cabbage) using a julienne peeler (I have the Titan peeler, it’s stainless steel and I highly recommend it!)

Slice cabbage into thin julienned ribbons (about the same size as all the other vegetables so all your veggies are consistent)

Mix veggies and toss with the vinaigrette (you probably won’t use all of it).

 

 

Assemble your washed lettuce or cabbage leaves, pile on some slaw and top with the chicken (I topped mine with tomato slices)!

 

 

Dinner’s done.