Italian Coconut Kale Soup (Whole30 Compliant)

Italian Coconut Kale Soup

Soup, soup, and more soup!  Seriously, you can make anything into a soup meal.  Well, other than chocolate chip cookies, and I’m guessing if you added hot fudge, you could do that too.  We had a few things in the refrigerator that I didn’t know what I was going to do with…kale, Italian sausage, chicken broth, and about 2/3 of a can of coconut milk.  Add an onion and soup is born!

A note about kale: I’m trying to force myself to like it.  I’ve sauteed it, baked it into chips, eaten in plain, and put it in smoothies.  I.  HATE.  IT.  But I actually loved it in this soup…so I guess that’s a good thing!  (On another note, what are your favorite kale recipes?  Maybe I’ll try some of them!)

 

Italian Coconut Kale Soup

Serves 4

1 pound Italian sausage, sliced thin

1/2 Tbsp fat of choice

4 C chicken broth

1 can coconut milk

1/2 to 1 C water (taste for your preference)

1 yellow onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

5 oz washed kale, roughly chopped

salt and pepper

Italian parsley to garnish

1.- In Dutch oven, melt coconut oil over medium heat.  When oil is hot, add Italian sausage and raise heat to medium high.

2.- Sear the sausage, turn the heat down to medium low, and add onions, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Cook until onions start to get soft.

3.- Add chicken broth, coconut milk, and water.  Raise heat to medium high until liquid begins to simmer.  Add kale, lower heat slightly, and cover.  Let the soup simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Ladle into bowls, garnish with Italian parsley, and serve.

 

Honey Lime Chicken

Honey Lime Chicken

 

I’m not going to label this one as Paleo, Primal, or Whole30…the problem with the category is the wine.  The chicken is marinated in a mixture of white wine, honey, lime juice, and ginger.  The wine is kind of on the line with any of these.  The recipe doesn’t fall into the Whole30 category–I can tell you that much.  I’m really not sure about the whole Paleo and Primal thing…if you ask 15 people where cooking with wine falls, you will get 20 different answers.  SO…because I only used 1/2 C of wine, I just won’t worry about where it falls, and I’ll enjoy the chicken!

 

Honey Lime Chicken

Serves 3-4

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in halves (or 6-7 thin chicken cutlets–I prefer using these because they cook faster and are better portion sizes)

1/2 C white wine

1/2 C honey

juice from one lime

1/2 tsp ground ginger

salt and pepper

preferred fat for cooking

1.- Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag.  In a small bowl, whisk white wine, honey, lime juice, and ginger.  Seal bag and turn to coat.  Put in refrigerator and marinate for at least two hours, turning occasionally.

2.- Heat fat in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the skillet is hot, put chicken in at least an inch apart from each other.  Cook 5-6 minutes, flip, and cook another 4-5 minutes, or until done (165 internal temperature).  The thicker pieces of chicken take a little longer to cook.

Ginger Curry Chicken Croquettes (Whole30 Compliant)

Ginger Curry Chicken Croquettes

 

I love chicken croquettes; however, I generally only like the ones my mom makes.  All of the other chicken croquettes I’ve tasted since living at home just haven’t tasted the same.  That’s why I knew that even though I was craving some of Mom’s chicken croquettes, I shouldn’t try to replicate them in a paleo version.  I mean, come on, I could never even replicate them with the same ingredients…I’m not going to try with almond flour and tapioca starch!  That being said, the last time I made my favorite SALMON CAKES, I was thinking about ways to make chicken croquettes with a similar setup.

You could flavor these pretty much any way you want to–and tonight I decided that I felt like ginger and curry…so that’s what I did!  Depending on what seasonings you use, you might want to use white potato instead of sweet potato–just choose for yourselves!

 

Ginger Curry Chicken Croquettes

Serves 4

3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (you could also use ground chicken, uncooked)

1 C mashed sweet potato

1/2 C green onions, sliced

1/2 C almond flour

1 egg, whisked

1/2 C coconut milk

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

coconut oil

 

1.- In small bowl, whisk together egg, coconut milk, curry powder, ground ginger, salt, and pepper.

2.- In large bowl, mix chicken, sweet potato, almond flour, and green onions.  Mix well until everything is evenly incorporated.  Pour egg mixture into the bowl with the chicken mixture.  Mix well.  Chill for 10-15 minutes.

3.- Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Form chicken mixture into patties and put into the hot skillet, leaving at least an inch between each croquette.  Cook 4-5 minutes on the first side, flip, and cook 3-4 minutes on the second side.

*  As an aside, the thicker you make your patties, the longer they will take to heat through.  I made mine a little more than 1/2″ thick.

Pan Roasted Spiced Pork Chops (Whole30 Compliant)

Spiced Pork Chops

I love pork chops.  Like…love them.  Depending on the cut of chop, they can sometimes be finicky to work with though.  When you get the thick, bone-in chops, they are almost impossible to mess up though.  Well, it’s possible…but unlikely.  The thinner, boneless chops go from moist to oh-my-god-these-are-like-chalk in about five seconds.  Just get the thicker ones with the bones.  This particular recipe can be altered to suit your tastes…so if you don’t like these particular spices, try some of your own.  Just remember to change out the sage with another herb if needed!

Originally I found this recipe in Joshua Weissman’s book, SLIM PALATE.  I’ve made it a few times and loved it, but tonight I decided to change it up a bit.  If you want the original recipe, check out the book (it’s definitely worth it–there are fantastic paleo recipes in there)…but until then, this is my version of it.

 

Pan Roasted Spiced Pork Chops

Serves 4

4 – 1″ thick bone-in pork chops

1 lemon, halved

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 Tbsp bacon fat or ghee (I used 1 Tbsp of each)

8 sage leaves

6 cloves garlic, skin on and smashed

 

1.- Preheat oven to 350.  Cut 1/2 of the lemon into wedges for serving.

2.- Rinse chops and pat dry.  Score fat cap at one-inch intervals.

3.- In a small dish, mix cumin, coriander, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper.  Divide among chops and rub on both sides.

4.- Heat cast iron skillet (or another oven-safe skillet) over medium-high heat.  Once the pan starts to get warm, add the fat.  When the pan is hot, add chops.  Sear three minutes, flip, and sear another minute.  Tilt fat caps on edges to render some of the fat and crisp up.

5.- Add sage and garlic to pan.  Squeeze juice of remaining lemon half over the chops.  Put skillet in the oven for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking.  Remove from oven, let rest for five minutes, dredge through the pan juices, and serve with lemon wedges.

A Bowl of Autumn (Whole30 Compliant)

Acorn Squash Soup

There are lots of autumn fruits and vegetables hitting the stores right now, which I love.  I’m in San Antonio, so we don’t actually have what most of the United States considers autumn until mid- to late-November.  That part is really sad to me because autumn is my FAVORITE season.  Oh well, I live in the land of perpetual hot.  Anyway, the autumn produce was calling my name, so I loaded up.  (on a side note, today I made this soup, some Cincinnati chili, some chicken croquettes, and some sweet potato apple mash for upcoming meals this week…yay for bulk cooking!)

I remember seeing a recipe online about a year ago when I first started looking at paleo recipes.  The recipe was for some sort of soup with acorn squash and pears.  I didn’t write it down (which I’m now kicking myself over), but after becoming more comfortable with inventing my own soups–seriously, ANYTHING can be put into a soup–I decided to try my hand at throwing something together with all the stuff I picked out…and it turned out good!

A Bowl of Autumn

Serves 4-6

3 acorn squash, peeled and cubed

2 pears, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil or melted butter/ghee

3 tsp poultry seasoning

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

4 C chicken broth

 

1.- Preheat oven to 375.

2.- Toss all vegetables, fruit, and spices in a large bowl with olive oil.  Put on rimmed baking sheet or in shallow roasting pan.

3.- Roast for 60-80 minutes, or until the acorn squash is tender.  Remove from oven and cool slightly.

4.- Process vegetable mixture with broth in batches until desired smoothness is reached.  Transfer to pot and heat through.  Garnish with fresh sage leaves or sprigs of thyme.