Chicken Curry Meatballs with Smokey Bacon Cream (Keto and Whole30)

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I’m pretty sure that these could be made with any meat, but today, I made them with chicken.  They had a fantastic flavor!  And the sauce?  All bets are off.  I’m going to make the sauce to put on pretty much everything.  I mean…bacon…coconut milk…where can you go wrong?

Full disclosure: these meatballs are pretty dense.  They’ll be small, but they pack a mad nutritional punch.  Per meatball, you’re looking at 11.2 grams of fat with half of it being saturated, 2.5 grams of carbs with just over half of that as fiber, 9 grams of protein, and the addition of chia seeds and ground flax meal.  That combined with the bacon fat and coconut milk…I ate three of them and was finished for the night.  They would also be good in a lettuce wrap, but tonight we ate them by their lonesome.

Buon appetito!

Chicken Curry Meatballs with Smokey Bacon Coconut Cream (Keto and Whole30)

20 servings

Nutrition per serving: 138 calories, 11.2 g fat (5.6 g saturated), 2.5 g carbs (1.3 g fiber, 1.2 g net carbs), 0.3 g sugar, 8.9 g protein

1# ground chicken

3 Tbsp coconut flour

2 Tbsp chia seeds

2 Tbsp ground flax meal

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 ground turmeric

4 tsp curry powder, divided

1 tsp red curry paste

Salt

1 C canned full-fat coconut milk

6 oz bacon, chopped

Coconut oil

1.-In large bowl, mix chicken, coconut flour, chia seeds, ground flax meal, egg and yolk, garlic, spices, and 2 tsp curry paste in a bowl.  Mix until well combined.  Form into 20 small meatballs and chill for at least 30 minutes.

2.-Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy.  Remove and set aside.  Remove all but 1 Tbsp bacon grease.  To the bacon grease, add 1 Tbsp coconut oil.  When hot, add meatballs and brown for 30-40 seconds on each side.  Add coconut milk and 2 tsp curry paste.  Mix the paste into the sauce and cover pan.  When the coconut milk comes to a simmer, turn the heat down to medium-low and let cook for 6-8 more minutes.  Remove lid and stir to coat the meatballs with sauce.

3.-Serve with chopped basil or cilantro.  You could also serve this over cauli-rice.

Artichoke Dip Chicken (Keto and Primal)

Keto Artichoke Chicken

One of my favorite things in the world is artichoke dip…but a specific artichoke dip from a local place here called Cerroni’s Purple Garlic.  I don’t know what it is about it (though I think they may have recently changed their recipe), but it has this great flavor, texture, and the way they serve it is great!  First, it is generally still bubbling when they bring it out.  Like…for 10 minutes after it gets to your table.  They serve it with a basket of toasted bread.  It’s all I want to eat when we go there.  If I could, I would make it my entire meal.  Alas, I found out they use flour in it, so I can’t even get it and eat it without the bread (yes, it’s good enough to just eat with a spoon).  At one point a few weeks ago, I started trying to replicate it, and though I’ve gotten close, I’m not a dead ringer yet.  That being said, artichoke dip with fried chicken is DELIGHTFUL.

There are two ways that I cook this, and I’ll let you decide which way you make it: chicken on top, or chicken on bottom.  If you cook the chicken on top, the skin retains that great crisp that you work hard to get in the pan, prior to baking.  BUT…if you pile the artichoke dip on top of the chicken, it really keeps the chicken moist and the flavor soaks in.  It’s good both ways, so try it both ways and see how you like it.  This is also one of those meals that usually holds me over for 15-20 hours before I eat again, depending on what I ate prior to this.

Artichoke Dip Chicken

Serves 4

4 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)

1/2 C sour cream

1/2 C mayonnaise (homemade is the best)

8 oz soft cream cheese

1 C grated Parmesan

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1.- Heat iron skillet to medium.  Salt and pepper the skin of the chicken.  Put chicken in the pan and fry it for 10-15 minutes per side (until they are almost cooked through and the skin is crisp).

2.- In medium bowl, use mixer to mix sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, garlic, and Parmesan until smooth.  Add in salt and pepper to taste.  Fold in the artichoke hearts.

3.- Heat oven to 350.  If cooking chicken on bottom, place chicken in the bottom of am 8×8 glass baking dish.  Cover with artichoke dip.  If cooking chicken on top, spread the artichoke dip on bottom of 8×8 glass baking dish and place the chicken on top.  I grated a little Parmesan over the chicken skin at this point.

4.- Put dish in oven, uncovered, and bake for 30-40 minutes (until dip is starting to bubble).  Take out and enjoy!

Nutrition (per serving):  Calories: 596; Carbs: 12 g; Fiber: 3 g; Net Carbs: 9 g; Fat: 48 g; Protein: 32 g; Sugar: 4 g

 

Keto Chicken and Waffles

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…Because sometimes you need some comfort food…especially when you haven’t had bread in over a month.  Am I right?  These waffles are a recipe I made out of a few different recipes.  I didn’t want to use 400 types of paleo flours.  I didn’t want it to be high-carb, but I DID want it to be high fiber.  I wanted it to be similar to regular waffles, but not *so* identical that I would start trolling for syrup.

And fried chicken.  Everything is made better with fried chicken.  For the love of all things holy, use the dark meat cuts too!  I know too many people who only eat the white meat.  I’ll break it down for you: white meat is only protein (and a little fat, but mostly protein).  Dark meat has protein, fat, and a whole lineup of vitamins!  It’s important to get vitamins when partaking in a keto diet, especially if you aren’t getting your daily allotment of carbs from berries and vegetables.

So go drag out these ingredients and get out the waffle maker!  (Tip: use a high heat setting on your waffle iron…I used “medium” and as you can see, they are blonde.  They are only browned in the center, where the iron really hit the batter)

Side bar: These are most definitely kid-friendly.  I’m pretty sure Isak ate a stack of these (okay, three) in a few seconds, then started picking pieces off my plate to eat.

Waffles

Makes 10 small waffles

8 eggs

1/4 C butter melted + 1 Tbsp cold butter, divided

1/2 C canned coconut milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 C sifted coconut flour

Heaping 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

  • If you want to make these more dessert waffles, add any mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, lemon zest, or poppy seeds.
  • I suspect you could bake this in a muffin pan and use it like a base for strawberry shortcake, but I haven’t tried it yet.  I’m planning on doing that this weekend

1.- Whisk eggs 3-4 minutes, until bubbly and starting to pale in color.  Whisk in the butter at a slow drizzle.  Add vanilla and coconut milk and whisk until well-combined.

2.- In small bowl, mix sifted coconut flour, baking soda, and salt until combined.  Slowly whisk dry ingredients into the egg mixture until starting to thicken.  Let it rest about 10-15 minutes, so the coconut flour can absorb more liquid.  It will get thicker.  If it gets too thick (like, if you let it sit for an hour), add a little more coconut milk.

3.- Cook according to the directions on your waffle iron.

 

For this particular recipe, I fried chicken thighs and set one thigh on top of two waffles.  I sprinkled the skin on the thighs with salt and pepper, and friend them for about 10-12 minutes on each side in a seasoned cast iron skillet.

 

Nutritional Content per Waffle: Calories (96), Total Fat (7g), Saturated Fat (3.3g), Cholesterol (155.7 mg), Sodium (58 mg), Total Carbs (3.4g), Fiber (2.4g), Net Carbs (1g), Sugars (0.8g), Protein (6.3g)

 

Roasted Chicken Shawarma with Potatoes, Red Onions, and Garlic Dill Yogurt (Primal)

Roasted Chicken Shawarma

I’ve been meaning to make chicken shawarma for about a week now, but I kept forgetting to put the chicken in the marinade before leaving for the day!  I guess it was okay though–my chicken thighs were so frozen that they took until yesterday to thaw,  I finally remembered to make the marinade this morning and set it up.  Shawarma has one of my favorite flavors–lots of spices, all of which are pretty bold.  Then I decided to set up the potatoes and red onions with Lebanese seven spice.  Totally worth the one-week wait.

When I made THIS last week, I made it with a garlic lemon yogurt sauce.  Today I took the leftovers of that sauce, added a ton of fresh dill, and poured it over top of this chicken.  If you wanted to have this more traditionally, you’d cut it up and serve it over pita with tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions.  Or, just eat it as is.  Yumm-o!

Roasted Chicken Shawarma with Potatoes, Red Onions, and Garlic Dill Yogurt

Serves 4

1/3 C fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)

1/3 C olive oil

8 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 pounds chicken thighs

1 red onion, peeled and cut into large wedges

1.5 pounds yukon gold potatoes, cut in about a 1/2-1″ dice

1 tsp seven spice

For yogurt:

1/2 C plain, full-fat yogurt

zest and juice of one lemon

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/4 C fresh dill, chopped

 

1.- In small bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and cinnamon.  Place chicken in a large resealable bag, pour marinade over, seal, and chill at least 3 hours–up to 12 hours.

2.- Heat oven to 425.  Lightly grease a small baking dish.  Layer potatoes and onions.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and seven spice.  Remove chicken from bag and place directly on top of potato mixture, skin-side up.  Roast 40-50 minutes.  Let rest a couple  minutes.  If you want a crispier skin, pan-fry for a minute or so after removed from oven.  If not, this is optional.

3.- For yogurt: in small bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice and zest, garlic, and dill.  Season as needed with salt and pepper.

Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula, and Garlic Yogurt (Primal)

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This is DELICIOUS.

I don’t think I really need to type anything else, but I will.  I originally found this recipe on the NY Times food site, but I changed it to suit our taste preferences and make it primal.  This is seriously so flavorful.  It’s not following my Lebanese pattern, but I’ll make an exception for this.

Really.  That’s all I’m going to write today.

Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula, and Garlic Yogurt (Primal)

Serves 4

4 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)

1.5 pounds potatoes, cut in 1/2″ slices, and then quartered

salt and pepper

1/4 C hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

2 leeks (just white and light green), halved and sliced

zest and juice of one lemon (divided)

1/2 C plain, full-fat yogurt

2 garlic cloves, grated or run through a press

2-4 oz baby arugula

chopped dill

 

1.- Put potatoes in bottom of large baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, whisk hot sauce, olive oil, cumin, and coriander.  Drizzle a couple tablespoons over the potatoes.

2.- Lay chicken, skin-side up on top of the potatoes.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Pour a tablespoon or two of hot sauce mixture over each piece of chicken.  If there’s any sauce left, drizzle some more over the potatoes.  Let set for at least 30 minutes (if setting for longer than 45 minutes, place the baking dish in the refrigerator–can stay at this point for up to 8 hours).

3.- Preheat oven to 425.  Roast chicken and potatoes for 20-25 minutes.  In small bowl, mix leeks, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Scatter over chicken and potatoes and roast for another 30 minutes.

4.- In small bowl, whisk yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

5.- To serve: on plate, layer potatoes, a handful of baby arugula, a piece of chicken with leek mixture, a spoonful of garlic yogurt, and sprinkle with chopped dill.

 

Greek Salad (Primal–or Whole30 Compliant without the feta)

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I’ve been struggling to come up with some new stuff lately–partially because I’ve been super busy, and partially because I haven’t been as motivated to create.  I’ve been comfortable just repeating a bunch of recipes.  I mean, normally I have a few nights a week of existing recipes and a few nights a week of new stuff…I just haven’t felt like it.  Then, this weekend, I got a hankering (yes, hankering) for the food of my people: Mediterranean!  Well, it started specifically with Lebanese food and then branched out to Greek and other Middle Eastern.  This is a hard food to make primal-compliant…but I’m going to try the best I can.  That being said, there are certain things that I won’t change (e.g. I won’t eliminate the bulgur in tabbouleh…that’s just sacrilegious).

So if you have any favorite Mediterranean dishes that you’re looking for new ways to make, comment below and I’ll see what I can do!  Until then, my first recipe I tackled was a traditional Greek salad.  Sidebar: I don’t like olives, but this was traditionally be served with Kalamata olives.  But really, it hit. the. spot.  McYumYums!

 

Greek Salad (Primal–Whole30 Compliant without the Feta)

Dressing:

1/4 C chopped parsley

1/4 C chopped dill

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp oregano

salt and pepper

Salad:

6 C chopped or shredded Romaine lettuce

3 C diced tomatoes

1 C thin-sliced red onion

1 cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced

1 C (about 4 oz or so) crumbled feta

1.- Add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until well-combined.

2.- Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl.  Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.

 

This would be delicious with some grilled lamb or some chicken shish tawook!

 

Cashew Chicken with Broccoli (Paleo)

Cashew Chicken with Broccoli

As I’ve just come off of hiatus, I’ve been looking over my blog.  It seems from my archives that the only other time I’ve taken a break was was June.  Apparently June is my blog-vacation month!  The night that I made this, I felt like cashew chicken…but I also felt like beef with broccoli.  Basically, I felt like having some sort of Asian-style food.  I decided to combine the two and make cashew chicken served with broccoli.  It turned out really well!  Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly), the broccoli paired wonderfully with the chicken.  We don’t eat rice very often, and that is what’s usually served with pretty much every Asian meal.  We’ve tried “cauli-rice” a few times, and it just doesn’t do it for me.  I use cauliflower for just about everything…but rice is not one of those things.

So load it up with veggies and voila!  Problem solved!

Cashew Chicken with Broccoli (Paleo)

Serves 4-5

1/4 C arrowroot starch

1/2 tsp pepper

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed

1 Tbsp coconut oil

3 Tbsp coconut aminos

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp palm sugar

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced

1/2 C cashews

4 C broccoli florets

sliced scallions to garnish

 

1.-  Mix starch and pepper in a plastic resealable bag with chicken.  Seal and toss to coat.

2.-  Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken in 2-3 batches and cook each for 5 minutes.  Remove chicken from pan to slow cooker.

3.- In small bowl, mix aminos, vinegar, paste, sugar, garlic, and ginger.  Pour over chicken and stir to coat.  Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours.

4.-  20 minutes before done, put broccoli florets in a microwave-safe container with 2-3 Tbsp water.  Loosely cover and microwave for 5-8 minutes (until mostly steamed but not too soft).  Drain and add to slow cooker with chicken.  Allow to cook for 10-20 minutes so flavors can mix.

5.-  Stir in cashews and top with sliced scallions to serve.

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken (Primal)

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken

Even though I make a lot of crazy looking stuff (I’ve been told it’s “fancy looking,” whatever that means, HAHA!), sometimes I make something that’s just a few ingredients.  I know, I know, my recipes usually involve at least six ingredients along with 20 herbs and spices.  This doesn’t.  This has four ingredients plus salt and pepper (Okay, who really counts those as ingredients?  I don’t!).  If you want to make this Whole30 compliant, just take out the cheese.  It will be just as flavorful (just not as ooey-gooey mozzalicious).

You can use any kind of roasted red peppers–I got some kind that were fire roasted and packed in olive oil.  Whatever kind you get will be fine.  As for mozzarella: only use fresh mozzarella for this recipe…as in, the kind that’s in a big ball or braid.  If you are thinking about making this with shredded mozzarella from a plastic bag, just don’t even bother.  YUCK.  Seriously, you might as well use wood chips.  I’m not sure what they put in bags of shredded mozzarella, but I’m 700% certain that it isn’t actually mozzarella…or even cheese, for that matter.

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken (Primal)

Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

handful of baby spinach leaves

roasted red peppers

fresh mozzarella (cut in 1/4″ slices)

salt and pepper

olive oil

 

1.- Pound chicken breasts thin (to 1/2″ thickness).  Preheat oven to 400.

2.- Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side (until no longer pink).

3.- Line baking sheet with foil.  Layer cooked chicken, then a few spinach leaves, then mozzarella, and then roasted red pepper on top.  Bake until cheese is fully melted (about 10 minutes).

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.

Chicken Marsala (Paleo)

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is typically made with breaded chicken and cornstarch, making it off the paleo list.  I love the taste of it though, so I reworked it to be a paleo-friendly recipe.  If you avoid wine, there really isn’t a good way to make this without…so you probably won’t want to make this recipe.  If you’re okay with a bit of wine, then get the ingredients for this and make it soon!  A note about using arrowroot powder: you use it in a similar manner to cornstarch.  I usually make a slurry with it before adding it to hot liquids, but you don’t need quite as much water as you do with cornstarch.  I add close to equal amounts of arrowroot and cold water, whisk them together, and then add them to the liquid.  I usually choose arrowroot when cooking with hot liquids because tapioca can sometimes get a little slimy.  Just FYI, HA!

This dish would typically be served over rice or pasta, but obviously those options are out when it comes to paleo.  I served this over a potato/cauliflower/parsnip mash and it was delicious.  You could pretty much do whatever mixture of vegetables that you wanted to–those are just the three that I had some spare of on hand.  I’ve also done mixtures of sweet potato and cauliflower, turnip and potato, and parsnip, carrot, and cauliflower.  I love me some mash!

Chicken Marsala (Paleo)

Serves 3-4

1 pound chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ thickness (or just get chicken breast cutlets)

salt and pepper

olive oil

1/2 pound sliced mushrooms

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 C Marsala wine

1/4 C chicken stock

1/4 C dry white wine

2 Tbsp coconut milk (or heavy cream for primal, if wanted)

2 Tbsp arrowroot starch

2 Tbsp cold water

 

1.- Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat and fry each piece of chicken 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove to plate and tent with foil.

2.- Reduce heat to medium.  Add butter and mushrooms to the pan.  Cook mushrooms for about 5 minutes, give or take.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add Marsala, wine, chicken stock, and coconut milk.

3.- Once warmed through, add arrowroot slurry to liquid.  Cook 3-4 minutes to reduce slightly.  Pour mushrooms and sauce over chicken to serve.