Chicken Fajita Bowl (Primal with Dairy Toppings, Whole30 Compliant without)

Chicken Fajita Bowl

This is one of my favorite types of meals because there are an unlimited number of items you can add to it.  And bonus points: it all goes in the slow cooker!  That being said, it’s not really one that you can leave all day while at work, unless you choose a meat other than boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  I don’t normally use those cuts of meat, but they’re easier for the shredding in this recipe, so I chose the easier route.

For toppings, you can add whatever really.  We generally eat a primal diet, so I shredded a little cheese and added a spoonful of sour cream.  Other toppings I’ve used with this are: green onions, red onions, avocados, chopped tomatoes, bacon, pico de gallo, cilantro, pineapple, etc.  Feel free to add whatever sounds good to you in the moment!

A word about the fajita seasoning: I make my own and store it in a baby food jar.  I throw together something along the lines of this:

3 Tbsp chili powder

2 Tbsp salt

2 Tbsp paprika

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp cayenne

1 Tbsp cumin

Chicken Fajita Bowl (primal with dairy toppings, Whole30 compliant without)

Serves 3-4

1/4 C Kerrygold butter

3 green bell peppers, sliced

3 red bell peppers, sliced

2 large yellow onions, sliced

4 chicken breasts

3 Tbsp fajita seasoning

1/2 C salsa

 

1.- Turn slow cooker on low.  Add butter to the bottom of the bowl.

2.- Layer green peppers, onion, red peppers, and finally chicken on top.  Sprinkle seasoning over top and pour in salsa.

3.- Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Shred chicken, mix with vegetables, and serve with desired toppings.

Sriracha Lime Chicken Salad (Paleo)

Sriracha Lime Chicken Salad

If you can’t tell, this past week we had almost a full week of salads on our plates.  There were great prices on a lot of the fresh produce, so I went a little salad-crazy.  Well, that and it was super easy to chop everything last weekend (when I did the grocery shopping), put it in airtight containers in the refrigerator, and just scoop some out for each meal.  It doesn’t get much easier than that.  That is, unless there were a house elf around here somewhere to do my prep (and cooking) for me!

If you haven’t started making your own PALEO SRIRACHA yet, you should do so immediately.  It’s more flavorful than the bottled stuff–plus it doesn’t have all the junk ingredients contained in the stuff from the store.  That is what I used for this recipe.  I’ll tell you this: if you don’t want a lot of heat on the chicken, decrease the amount of sriracha and add some extra lime juice or honey.  This turned out pretty hot, but according to Isak (the 3 year old), when asked if it was too spicy for him…

“Mommy, it’s delicious spicy in the mouth!”

Sriracha Lime Chicken Salad (Paleo)

Serves 2-4

Chicken

1 pound chicken tenderloins

2-3 Tbsp sriracha (less if you don’t want as much heat)

1 frozen lime, grated (yes, grate the WHOLE lime, peel and all)

1 lime, juiced

3 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

salt and pepper

Salad

4 C chopped lettuce

6 pineapple slices

1 C grape tomatoes, cut in quarters

1/2 C diced red onion

1 avocado, sliced (I forgot to put it on last night)

Dressing

1/4 C olive oil

1/4 C apple cider vinegar

2 limes, juice and zest

1 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

salt and pepper

 

1.- Whisk sriracha, grated lime, lime juice, honey, cilantro, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Pour into a ziploc bag with chicken and close.  Squeeze to coat chicken and put in refrigerator to let marinate for at least two hours.

2.- Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add a little fat (maybe a tsp–just enough to slick the cooking surface).  Add chicken to skillet and cook until cooked through (about 5-7 minutes per side).  Remove to tented plate and set aside.

3.- Add pineapple to pan and cook 4-5 minutes per side.  While cooking, whisk together dressing ingredients.  Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.

4.- Assemble on a plate with salad on bottom, then pineapple rings, then chicken.  Garnish with cilantro if wanted.

Caribbean Pork Chili (Whole30 Compliant)

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I know, I know, to many people who are used to the typical American flavor profiles, the combination of tomatoes, meat, and fruit just sounds weird.  I’m able to recognize that.  Trust me on this: the combination is delicious and you’ll want to start adding pineapple or the like to all of your chili.  I’m not sure that it would taste good with traditional chili…but I know it tastes good in this.

The sour cream garnish obviously is NOT Whole30 compliant.  But you could garnish it with some mango pineapple salsa, some cilantro, some chopped red onion, or even some more diced tomatoes.  I would definitely be on any ship headed to whatever island served this soup all the time.  Oh, and the pork…the pork falls apart in your mouth after basically braising all day.  Yeah, it’s good.

 

Caribbean Pork Chili (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 4

2-3 pounds pork shoulder roast (or Boston Butt), cut into 1.5″ chunks

1 large onion, sliced thin

2 Tbsp Kerrygold butter

30 oz diced fire-roasted tomatoes

8 oz tomato sauce

2 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp allspice

1 mango, peeled and diced

1 pineapple, peeled and diced

Possible garnishes: sour cream, lime wedges, cilantro, pineapple salsa, mango salsa, diced tomatoes

 

1.- Coat slow cooker with shortening or coconut oil.

2.- Heat fat in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pork, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.  Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Drain and add pork to slow-cooker.  Add onions to the same skillet for just a few minutes, until starting to brown.  Add to slow cooker.

3.- In large bowl, mix tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika, cinnamon, and allspice.  Pour tomato mixture over pork.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  During the last 30 minutes, add mango and pineapple chunks.  Garnish and serve.

Coconut Shrimp Cakes (Whole 30 Compliant)

Coconut Shrimp Cakes

So, this is weird…the recipe that this originally came from calls for everything like I made it this time.  I made these a little differently than I’ve made them in the past (I changed the recipe the first time I made them), but I’m going to give you the recipe for the way I normally make them instead of how I made them this time.  They were good, but not as good as they normally are.  The difference is that this time, I didn’t put some of the salsa in with the shrimp mixture.  You don’t have to include the salsa in the cakes if you don’t want to; however, without it, they’re a little dry and it tastes like something is missing.

That being said, these are delicious!  They pair well with just about any side dish, but this time I just set them on some greens with a little extra shredded coconut.  They could go with cauliflower “rice,” squash, vegetable saute…they are especially tasty alongside roasted sweet potatoes.   I mean, “any side dish” pretty much covers it.

Coconut Shrimp Cakes (Whole 30 Compliant)

Serves 4

1 C shredded, unsweetened coconut

1 egg

1 pound cod fillets

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

salt

coconut oil

1/2 pineapple, cut in chunks

2 green onions, sliced thin

2 Tbsp cilantro

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lime

salt

1.- In food processor, pulse pineapple, cilantro, apple cider vinegar, and lime juice until a salsa consistency.  Stir in green onions and add salt to taste.  Put in small bowl and set aside.

2.- In food processor, pulse cod, shrimp, egg, salt, and 1/2 C pineapple salsa until they are a thick paste and relatively smooth.

3.- Put coconut in small bowl.

4.- Form mixture into golf ball-sized balls.  Roll in coconut and flatten to make discs.

5.- In large skillet, melt coconut oil over medium heat.  Fry cakes 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through.  Serve with pineapple salsa.

 

Coney Chili Soup (Whole 30 Compliant, Depending on Toppings)

Coney Chili Soup

Have you ever found a recipe that you’re super excited to try, you pick up the few things you don’t you don’t have at home, and you pull everything out to start making it, only to find that all the things you thought you had at home–because let’s face it, you ALWAYS have them in the pantry–are actually gone because you ran out of them?  That’s what happened to me today.  I was so excited to make this chili dog chili recipe from the cookbook Primal Cravings…and then it was a total let down because I only had the two things that I picked up today (ground beef and hot dogs).  What did I do?  Well, I looked at how they had their recipe set up…and then I decided to just make chili the way I would normally make it for a coney (doesn’t that sound delicious right now?  Like…with a warm, steamed bun?), and add the chopped up hot dogs to it.  I normally add cocoa to my chili; however, I’m also out of cocoa at the moment (do you sense a pattern here?  I need to go through the pantry, CLEARLY).  Instead of cocoa I used about 1/4 C of Good Life mini chocolate chips.  Oh well, you find the best substitution possible, right?

Isak ate two huge (for a toddler) bowls of this tonight.  He called it “really really messy hot dog soup.”  It’s actually not messy.  Unless you’re 2 1/2.  And learning to use a spoon.  And it’s soup.

Coney Chili Soup (Whole 30 Compliant)

Serves 4-6

1 pound ground beef

1 pound hot dogs, chopped (I just used a 12 oz package…so, not quite a pound)

26.5 oz container rustic cut tomatoes (or equivalent amount in crushed tomatoes)

1 small can of tomato sauce

2 chipotles in sauce, roughly chopped

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 Tbsp cocoa (or 1/4 C Good Life chocolate chips)

 

1.- In large soup pot, brown ground beef and hot dogs.  When mostly browned, add in tomatoes, tomato sauce, chipotles, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and cocoa.  If you are using chocolate chips, don’t add them yet.  Stir to mix well.

2.- Cover pot and bring to boil.  When the soup is almost at a boil, stir in the chips.  They’ll start melting immediately.  Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium low and let simmer for 20-25 minutes.

3.- Serve immediately with or without toppings.

 

Suggested Toppings

obviously the dairy toppings are NOT Whole 30 compliant*

Avocado

Shredded Cheese

Relish

Diced Onion

Yellow Mustard

Sauerkraut

Pickled Jalapenos

Sour Cream (or Plain Yogurt)

Sliced Green Onions

Chopped Celery

Guacamole

Pineapple (don’t knock it until you try it!)

Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry (Whole 30 Compliant)

Beef Teriyaki

I’m down to the slim pickings of my meat.  I need to place an order with our farmer soon so I can get some more stuff in!  Although I’m excited for something up on this week’s menu (possibly tomorrow): Gyro Taco Salad with Tzatziki Guacamole (I can’t remember where I got that recipe, but it must have sounded really good because I actually wrote the whole thing down).  Most of the time when I see a recipe that looks interesting, I don’t really write it down (unless it looks REALLY good).  I’ll write down the basic flavor profile and then take it home to figure out how I can make something with those flavors.  It usually turns out pretty well; however, occasionally it bombs.  We usually go out to eat on those nights.

Today I just threw something together with what I had.  I had some beef kabob meat, some pineapple, and I scored some great looking zucchini at the farmer’s market this morning…so, voila!  Teriyaki stir fry!

Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry (Whole 30)

Serves 2-4

1 pound beef kabob meat

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp ginger, minced

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1/3 C coconut aminos

1/4 C fresh-squeezed orange juice (this was one large orange for me)

1/4 C water

2 Tbsp raw honey

1 zucchini, roughly chopped

1 C chopped pineapple

1/4 C green onion, thinly sliced

 

1.- In a small bowl, whisk garlic, ginger, sesame oil, coconut aminos, orange juice, water, and honey.  Put beef in resealable plastic bag and pour sauce in.  Seal bag and flip it around to coat the meat.

2.- Place in refrigerator, turning occasionally, and marinate for at least 8 hours.

3.- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, cook meat until desired doneness is reached (or slightly under, you’ll be putting it back in the pan for a minute or two at the end).  Put meat in bowl and set aside.

4.- Turn heat down to medium and add zucchini.  Saute until soft, but not mushy.  Add pineapple and cook just 30 second to a minute to give it some color.  Add the beef back into the pan and toss everything to combine.  Serve immediately, topped with sliced green onions.

 

Kansas City Vacation End-of-Summer BBQ (Whole30 Compliant)

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We are on vacation!  You know that already though, because I mentioned it in the last couple posts.  If you haven’t been to Kansas City before, it is HUGE.  Not huge in population (though I think the metro population is something like 2 million), but in physical area…it is just…well, huge.  What does that have to do with anything?  Well, we have friends all over the city, and every time we come, we end up driving all over hell’s half acre, visiting everyone.  This wasn’t a problem when we didn’t have a child (or when Isak was an infant), but with a two year old, spending hours a day in the car with short breaks to get out and see a couple people just doesn’t work.  We end up with a very grouchy toddler.  This time we decided that we would have a party at JR’s parents’ house and invite all of our friends.  We told people to bring side dishes, and we handled the rest.  As a primal eater, this was leaving a lot in the hands of my friends…but one of my friends is a paleo chef (who will be doing a guest post on here sometime soon), so I had total faith that between whatever she was making and what we made, I would have enough to eat.  Do you want to see a picture of what she brought?  It was this (apple spice muffins, apple slices, and paleo caramel):

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Remember how I said I avoid paleo baked goods because I can never seem to get the consistency correct?  Well, I would eat these things until I throw up…they are that good.

We ended up grilling burgers and hot dogs (duh), having a big box of organic baby lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, aged white cheese (not Whole30), pico de gallo, and guacamole.  The recipe for hot dogs is as follows:

1.- Buy hot dogs.

2.- Cook them.

The burgers were a little more involved.

 

Hamburgers

Serves 4

1 pound ground beef (this recipe also works with ground lamb or bison)

1/2 medium onion, diced

1/2 C mushrooms, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper

2 tsp Kerrygold (or other fat of choice)

 

1.- Heat fat in skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add onions, mushrooms, and garlic.  Saute a few minutes until onions are soft and mushrooms are browning.  Move to small bowl and set aside.

2.- In large bowl, mix ground beef, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper with hands.  Once incorporated, add in onion mixture and mix until well-combined.  Form into 4-5 hamburger patties.

3.- Grill to desired temperature is reached (you can also cook these in a skillet, broil them in the oven, or cook them on a George Foreman-type situation.

4.- Serve over greens, topped with pico, guacamole, sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, cheese and sour cream (if you tolerate dairy), bacon, and anything else you want.

 

Pico de Gallo

3 C tomatoes, chopped

3 C red onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 bunches of cilantro, chopped

1-2 jalapenos, seeded and minced (use two if you like it a little hotter)

Juice of 1 lime

 

1.- Mix everything well in a large bowl.

 

Guacamole

4 avocados, pitted and mashed

1 C pico de gallo

Juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper

 

1.- In large bowl, mash avocado.  Squeeze in lime juice and mix well.

2.- Add in 1 C of pico and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste, and stir well.

 

Vegetable Skewers

1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and chopped in 1/2-1″ thick slices

1 red onion, cut in wedges

8 oz mushrooms, cleaned

1 red pepper, cut in 1″+ squares

1 yellow pepper, cut in 1″+ squares

1 orange pepper, cut in 1″+ squares

1 pineapple, peeled and cut in chunks

1/4 C olive oil

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp raw honey

1 Tbsp mustard (regular, spicy brown, and Dijon all work)

salt and pepper

wooden skewers

 

1.- Soak wooden skewers in water for at least an hour.  Chop all vegetables and pineapple and put in large resealable bag.

2.- In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, raw honey, mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined and creamy looking.  Pour over vegetables and fruit in bag.  Move bag around to coat vegetables.  Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

3.- String fruit and vegetables on wooden skewers in whatever order and amount you’d like.

4.- Heat grill to medium.  For easier cooking, put grill pan on the racks where you’ll be cooking the vegetables.

5.- Put vegetable skewers on grill pan and cook 6-10 minutes on each side (or until you like them done).

 

Oh, and what did we do with the leftovers the next day?  This!

BBQ leftover salad

Italian Sausage Pineapple Stir Fry (Whole30 Compliant)

Italian Sausage Pineapple Stir Fry

Tonight was another one of those “what is thawed and what needs to be used” kind of dinners.  My best grocery buy this week was a fresh pineapple…for $0.77!!!  So really, you can’t beat that, other than having your own pineapple tree…bush…what do they grow on?  Isn’t it a bush thing?  Oh well.

A note about the Whole30 compliance of this recipe:

(1.)  The sausage: you need to READ your labels.  For some crazy reason, they put corn syrup in sausage.  I’ve seen a few compliant brands at Whole Foods…but the easiest way to find it (usually for less expensive too) is to get it from a local farmer.  So, just keep that in mind when on the hunt for your Italian sausage.  Also, if you can only find regular sausage, you can make it pretty Italian tasting by adding some fennel to it.

(2.)  The pineapple is borderline compliant.  While not expressly forbidden, pineapple does have a fair amount of sugar in it.  I used a whole pineapple in the recipe, but each serving only had four or five pineapple chunks…so I guess it’s really not that big of a deal as long as you’re not eating half of the pineapple.  But trust me, the sweetness (and slight tartness) of the pineapple pairs perfectly with the saltiness and spiciness of the sausage.

Italian Sausage Pineapple Stir Fry (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 2-4

1 Tbsp + 1/2 Tbsp unsalted Kerrygold (or fat of choice)

1 pound hot Italian sausage, sliced

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, cut in wedges

2 bell peppers (I used orange), sliced into strips

1 pineapple, cored, peeled, and cut into chunks

 

1.- Heat 1 Tbsp Kerrygold in large pan on medium-high heat.  When pan is hot, add mushrooms and saute until browned (3-5 minutes).

2.- Add onions and saute another 3-4 minutes (until starting to soften).  Remove mushroom mixture to bowl and set aside.  Add sausage to the pan and brown well until cooked through (7-10 minutes).  Remove sausage to paper towels and drain.

3.- Melt 1/2 Tbsp Kerrygold in pan.  When hot, add pineapple and bell peppers.  Brown and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.  Once browned, add in everything else and toss to combine.  Remove from heat and serve hot.