Saturday, October 18, 2008

Paleo Meat Loaf

So this isn't really a recipe post. It's more of an idea of how to take some of your old comfort foods and paleo-fy them. :) For the meatloaf, the two bad ingredients that are in there are usually bread crumbs and ketchup. It's not great to just leave the breadcrumbs out because it really changes the texture of meatloaf for the worse. So what I do is substitute minced mushrooms, onions, and garlic for the breadcrumbs. Sautee them a little first to lose the raw onion taste. To get a nice sweet tomato topping without using ketchup, what I do is to take one can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes, add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, and simmer it on the stove until it thickens up. Then I smear that all over the top and sides just the way you would normally do with ketchup. All of the yum and none of the bad. :)

The mashed potatoes are actually half potato and half turnip. Rutabaga also works well. This way you get the potato taste, but with fewer empty carbohydrates and more nutrition. Instead of butter and cream, try some olive oil and a splash of chicken stock. Even better is if the chicken stock is homemade since the gelatin will make it especially smooth and delicious.

We had greens on the side as well, as you can see. Almost any green is great if you braise it with olive oil, garlic, and chicken stock.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers

Sometimes you just want some nasty old fried chicken fingers, but as a rule they are flour-coated transfat-laden monstrosities. How to enjoy the crunch without all the badness? Almond flour!

serves 2

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into fingers
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1/4 - 1/3 cup oil for frying (I used palm oil shortening, but I wouldn't hesitate to use olive oil or coconut oil either - or lard if I had it!)

Heat the oil a large pan over medium-high heat (but closer to medium than to high - you don't want the almond flour to burn).

Put the beaten egg in one bowl and the almond flour plus seasonings into another bowl. Dip each chicken finger in egg, then in the almond flour mixture.

Cook the chicken in two batches until it is golden on each side.



I've only ever made this fresh for dinner so I don't know if it would keep well for lunches or not. I suspect it might get a little gummy.

Crushed pork rinds also make a decent bread crumb substitute but they get soggy very quickly after cooking so you must eat them immediately. Also, some people are kind of squicked by pork rinds.

These chicken fingers are great for dipping too. Good options are ketchup or flavored mayonnaise. If you want to get super fancy, you can make something like date mustard, but I don't make this all the time because, even though it is amazingly delicious, it's also quite carb heavy. I might do a proper post on date mustard sometime, but here is the quick and dirty version:

happy shiny bonus date mustard recipe!
1/2 cup dates with pits removed, 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp salt, and 2 T prepared mustard; put all the ingredients in a blender and let it rip until it's smooth; pour into a small saucepan and simmer gently for 10 minutes; serve warm or cold. I got this fantastic condiment from a cookbook called The Philosopher's Kitchen.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Sam I Am" Eggs

Ok, so I can't take credit for these amazing scrambled eggs at all! I found the recipe here at the lowcarb friends messageboard.

They are an amazing bright green color and taste great. Use the proportions of 1/2 cup raw spinach and 1 T coconut milk to 1 egg. Put all the ingredients in a blender or magic bullet and puree. Then just scramble like normal in whatever your preferred cooking fat is.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Green Chicken

This is a staple for lunch around here. I'll make several days' worth at one time, slice it, and keep it in the fridge to toss on top of big lunchtime salads. It's easy and delicious! I can kind of tell you how to make it, but I don't have an exact recipe. It only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish.

boneless skinless chicken breast
extra virgin olive oil
salt-free herbal seasoning blend (I use "all purpose seasoning" from the Simply Organic line of spices, but any mix will work)
pinch of sea salt

Heat the broiler, line a baking sheet with foil, and position a rack over the pan.

Remove the tenders from the breasts and thinly slice them. You can slice the breasts into 2 or 3 slices depending on how thin you like them.

Take a small bowl and glug some olive oil into it. Add a pinch of salt and enough dried herbs to make a thick paste. Drag the breast slices and tenders through the herb paste and coat both sides.

Place the chicken on the rack and broil for 8 minutes on one side. It will cook completely through and the side facing up with get a crust.

Remove from oven, let cool, slice, and store.