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.

Maple Mustard Chicken (Paleo)

Maple Mustard Chicken

Remember the salad dressing that I used for THIS SALAD?  It is a doctored up version of the sauce I made for this chicken.  I just added a little vinegar and oil to it to thin it out a bit.  It’s seriously tasty, and I could use it as a dressing for every salad I eat from here on out.  Well, maybe not every salad.  I mean, it would taste funny on something like a Mexican or Italian salad.

This is a super easy recipe; however, it’s not something that can go all day in the slow cooker (though if you switch the chicken breasts to a pile of bone-in, skin-on chicken parts, you can stretch out the cooking time quite a bit).  But if you are using the boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I used this time, you don’t want to go more than four hours, max (and really, check them at three hours).  If you do, they will turn into shoe leather.  But it really can’t get easier: spray pot, chicken in, whisk liquid, pour liquid, cook chicken.  Done and done.

Maple Mustard Chicken (Paleo)

Serves 4-6

2 pounds chicken breasts

1/2 C maple syrup

1/3 C ground spicy mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

 

1.- Spray inside of slow cooker.  Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker in 1-2 layers.

2.- Whisk maple syrup, mustard, and garlic in a small bowl.  Pour over chicken in slow cooker.  Cook on low 3-4 hours.  Serve immediately.

* If you want to brown the chicken a bit before serving, put under the broiler for 5-8 minutes

Braised Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Cranberries (Primal)

Braised Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Cranberries

I tried to figure out some way to make this Whole30 compliant, or even paleo…but there really wasn’t any way.  It’s just too good with the sour cream, and the consistency wasn’t the same with coconut milk.  That being said, the coconut milk still tastes good in the recipe, so if you are okay with the sauce being thinner than a thick sour cream sauce, feel free to replace the sour cream with coconut milk.

This is seriously tasty.  We all know that I love me some good chicken thighs, but this recipe is especially nice.  I found a similar recipe in an issue of Food & Wine a few months ago; however, there were a lot of uncommon or way-too-expensive ingredients along with quite a few non-compliant ingredients.  So I changed it.  A lot.  The only thing in here that resembles the original recipe is chicken + sour cream + potatoes.  What am I getting at?  Try it.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Cranberries

Serves 4-6

1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil

12 garlic cloves (8 whole and 4 crushed)

1 C sour cream

2/3 C dried shitake mushrooms

salt and pepper

2 pounds chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)

2 medium potatoes, cleaned and sliced thin

1/2 C dried cranberries

 

1.- Heat 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil in medium saucepan over low heat.  Add the whole garlic cloves and cook until golden and fragrant (about 3-5 minutes).  Add 4 C water and bring to boil over high heat.  Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until reduced to 2C (about an hour).  Strain into a bowl.

2.- Soak shitake mushrooms in warm water for a few minutes (until softened) and then drain.  In another bowl, whisk 1 C garlic broth with the sour cream and season with salt and pepper.  Stir the mushrooms into the cream mixture.

3.- Preheat oven to 350.  In a large cast iron (or oven-proof) skillet, heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil.  Season chicken with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat until golden all over (about 10 minutes).  Remove chicken to plate and pour off all but 1 Tbsp fat.  Arrange potato slices in skillet so they are slightly overlapping.  Set chicken on potatoes, skin-side down.  Scatter cranberries and crushed garlic around (and on) chicken.  Pour garlic cream sauce on top.  Roast 20 minutes, reduce heat to 300, and roast another 45 minutes.

4.- Turn chicken skin-side up and broil for 8-10 minutes before serving.

Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken (Paleo)

Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken

I was looking for something to make for dinner last night.  I had a pile of chicken parts (read: thighs and drumsticks), a couple leftover lemons, some potatoes, and some pantry staples (read: honey, garlic, seasonings, etc).  So I decided to put all of it together and make some sort of a one-dish meal.  Or, at least cook everything in the same dish, even if it’s served separately.  That’s still one-dish, right?  HA!

Honey + lemon + garlic goes well on just about every meat, as far as I can tell.  It’s a magical combination, really.  This recipe is versatile in that you can use whatever chicken pieces you have around.  I’m giving the time needed for thighs and drumsticks that are bone-in and skin-on.  If you are using larger parts (like breasts) or boneless/skinless parts, you may need to adjust the cook time.  You just need an internal temperature of 165-185, depending on which part you’re using.

Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken

Serves 4-6

3 pounds chicken parts

2 lemons

2 Tbsp Kerrygold butter, melted

3 Tbsp honey

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 – 1/2 tsp rosemary

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

5 potatoes, cut in chunks

 

1.- Preheat oven to 375.  Grate peel and squeeze juice of 1 lemon (alternatively, you can freeze one lemon and grate the entire thing–it adds a FANTASTIC flavor).  Slice the second lemon into thin slices.

2.- Combine lemon peel and juice (or the entire grated lemon), melted butter, honey, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Mix well.

3.- Layer the bottom of a roasting pan with potatoes.  Place chicken on top of the potatoes, skin-side up.  Sprinkle chicken with a little salt and pepper.  Pour butter mixture over chicken and potatoes.  Top with lemon slices and bake 60-70 minutes.

 

Baked Chicken with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Primal)

Chicken with Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce

This is a recipe that was destined to turn out yummy.  Well, either delicious or a total bomb.  Why?  Because while cooking this dish, I was talking on the phone with my best friend, Lena, as I often do.  During the cooking process, while talking, I dropped my phone into the cream sauce, as I was cooking it on the stove.  Most of you know how hot a cast iron skillet gets…yeah…so iPhone + hot cast iron skillet = doesn’t work out so well.  To be fair, everything on the phone worked after I dropped the phone into the sauce…except for one thing: when I was holding the phone to my ear to talk, no one could hear me.  The audio on my videos worked, FaceTime worked, Voxer worked, even speaker phone worked…but the microphone did not work when I talked on the phone in basically the only way that I ever use the phone.

So I upgraded to an iPhone 6+ (they are worth every penny, for those of you keeping score).  Fortunately, the camera on my phone also worked, so I was able to take a picture of the meal!  And for those of you playing the home game, my pictures may be getting better now (after I catch up on my backlog of a few recipes).  From what I can tell on my phone screen, the camera on the 6+ is waaaaaaaaay better than the 5C.  Yay for new techie toys!

Baked Chicken with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Primal)

Serves 2-4

4-6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

salt and pepper

1/8-1/4 tsp onion powder

2 Tbsp Kerrygold, divided

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 C chicken broth

1/2 C coconut milk

1/2 C julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained

1/2 C grated Parmesan

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

 

1.- Preheat oven to 400.  In small bowl, mix salt, pepper, and onion powder (about 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper).  Season chicken thighs on each side.

2.- In large oven-proof skillet, melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat.  Add chicken, skin-side down.  Cook until golden brown on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side).  Remove chicken to plate and add remaining butter to skillet.

3.- When butter is melted, add garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking until fragrant (about 10-15 seconds–don’t burn the garlic).  Add broth, coconut milk, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan, thyme, basil, and oregano.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 4-6 minutes (sauce will slightly thicken).  Return chicken to skillet and spoon sauce over top a few times.

4.- Place entire skillet into oven and cook 25-35 minutes (until internal chicken temp is 175).  Serve immediately, garnished with grated Parmesan if desired.

 

Sweet and Spicy Dijon Chicken with Bacon (Paleo)

Sweet and Spicy Dijon Chicken

Sometimes I have time to prep food for the slow cooker and let it cook all day.  Sometimes I have time to spend two hours on an intricate, multi-step, lots-of-dishes meal.  On other days, I have barely enough time to order pizza.  On those days, as long as I have about four specific ingredients, I have time to make this chicken.  It’s less than five minutes of hands-on time and takes 30-40 minutes to cook.  That is a shorter time frame than it takes me to decide on one day worth of meals to put on our weekly menu.

What does that mean?  It means that even on the days when you “just have no time” to make dinner and you’re convinced you have to order in, you have time to make this.  You can literally use any cut of chicken (I’ve made it with thighs–boneless and bone-in–breasts, wings, leg quarters, you name it), which makes it a great go-to recipe for when you have random chicken pieces that you don’t have enough of one types for a whole recipes, but you don’t really have anything planned for them.  So…random chicken pieces + limited time = dinner on the table within the hour!

Sweet and Spicy Dijon Chicken with Bacon (Paleo)

2 pounds of chicken (boneless cooks faster, but use whatever you have)

1/2 C Dijon mustard

1/4 C maple syrup

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

3 pieces of bacon, cooked to crispy and roughly chopped

1.- Preheat oven to 425.  In small bowl, whisk Dijon mustard, syrup, and vinegar.

2.- Put chicken in a greased or lined baking dish.  Season with lots of salt and pepper.  Pour mustard mixture over chicken to cover and add more pepper over top.  The more pepper you use, the spicier it is–I put about a tsp over the whole dish (after using about 1/2 tsp over the chicken before pouring the mustard mixture over top).

3.- Bake 30-45 minutes, depending on the cut of chicken you’re using.  Bone-in will take on the longer side.  You want the internal temperature to register 165.  Serve with chopped bacon over top.

Chicken Italiano (Primal…Whole30 Compliant without the Cheese)

Chicken Italiano

I’m not normally a big “tomato sauce” person.  I know, I know, as an Italian, I should be excommunicated or something.  I’ve never really like it all that much.  There are a few exceptions to that: PLAIN (no meat) tomato sauce over cheese ravioli is okay…though I’d rather just eat the ravioli dry.  I know, weird, right?  When I (rarely) feel like pizza, a LIGHT spread of sauce across the pie is okay, just to keep it moist.  It’s really just a vehicle for the toppings, which are either Canadian bacon and pineapple or sausage and cream cheese.  Never had cream cheese on your pizza?  My condolences.  You are SERIOUSLY missing out.  Like…really for real in real life, you are missing out on one of the greatest joys in the history of pizza.  What makes it even better?  Forgo the tomato sauce and use pesto instead.  Yeah…pesto, sausage, and cream cheese?  Best. Toppings. Ever.

Today I saw a picture of Chicken Parmesan, and while that didn’t sound good to me, the basic idea sounded like something I’d like to eat tonight.  Also, don’t ever ever ever mention Eggplant Parmesan to me, even on the days that tomato sauce sounds good.  Eggplant and I have a mutual understanding: I won’t eat it and it won’t hunt me down and weasel its way into my food.  It’s a texture thing.  It’s not really crunchy but not quite baby food consistency.  It’s kind of like rotten vegetables made into a panna cotta.  Yucky.  Oh well, there are 900,000 other vegetables that I enjoy, so I’m not going to lost sleep over the purple bulbous one!

Chicken Italiano

Serves 4-6

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (you can also use breasts if you want–just adjust the cook time)

salt and pepper

30-50 slices of pepperoni, sliced in half (I love the Boar’s Head kind)

1/3 C sliced calamata olives

3/4 C chicken broth

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 large cloves garlic, finely minced

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp parsley

shredded mozzarella

1.- Lightly grease slow cooker bowl.  Place chicken in one layer on the bottom.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2.- Lay pepperoni on top of chicken and sprinkle with olives.  In small bowl, whisk tomato paste and chicken broth.  Mix in minced garlic, basil, oregano, and parsley.  Pour tomato sauce mixture over the chicken in the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

3.- During the last 10-20 minutes, sprinkle each piece of chicken with some mozzarella and cover again to let it melt.  Carefully lift each piece of chicken out of the slow cooker and put on plates.  Either discard the extra sauce or spoon more over the chicken.

Ginger Lime Chicken (Whole30 Compliant)

Ginger Lime Chicken

I felt like making chicken yesterday; however, I wanted something that I don’t usually make, something with a little kick to it, and something with a flavor profile that I don’t typically use.  What can I say?  Sometimes you just want to make something that tastes totally different from what you’re used to.  When I looked up different flavor profiles, I found one that I thought would go well with chicken thighs…so I decided to try it.  For the cook, I just did a basic quick broil–maximum heat, maximum moisture retention, minimum time investment.

I prepped these around 9:00 yesterday morning, covered them in plastic wrap, and cooked them around 6:00 last night.  The acid from the lime penetrated just enough of the muscle in that amount of time that by the time I cooked them and we ate, the meat was just falling apart in my mouth.  So.  Good.

 

Ginger Lime Chicken (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 3-4

6-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or get bone-in, remove the skin, and watch the cook)

1/4 C finely chopped green onions

2″ knob of ginger, finely diced (about a heaping Tbsp)

2 Tbsp Kerrygold butter, melted

Juice of 2 limes

Zest of 2 limes

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cayenne

1.- Pat chicken dry.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and grease with coconut oil, shortening, or whatever compliant spray you use.  Place chicken thighs on the sheet.

2.- In a small bowl, mix green onions, ginger, melted fat, lime zest, lime juice, cinnamon, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne.  Brush chicken with this mixture, coating evenly.  If chilling, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

3.- Preheat the broiler to high.  Broil for 15-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165.

Chicken Fajita Chili (Primal with the Dairy; Whole30 Compliant without)

Chicken Fajita Chili

 

It’s been in the 40s here for last week, so soup is on the menu a couple times this week.  I know, for most of you around the country, the 40s would be a heat wave compared to the weather that you’re experiencing!  Here in San Antonio, it seems as though the winter coats come on after it drops below 80, so 40 here is positively frigid haha!  It’s good that this recipe fell this week though, because for most of you, it’ll be warming to your frozen bones.  JR (the husband) really likes this one.  Even Isak (the almost-3-year-old) ate about half of his.  Yes, up until he was a little under 2 1/2, he was an awesome eater.  I guess I’m lucky that we never had the throw-all-the-food-on-the-floor phase or the one-eat-apples-or-peas phase when he was a baby.  That being said, we’re now going through the mostly-want-to-eat-macaroni-or-chicken-nuggets phase.  Ahhhh, toddler independence!  I’ve come up with every idea I can think of to make food *look* or *taste* like chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese, and I’ve had about 50% success with that.  The other thing that occasionally works is giving something a pirate treasure type name.  Last night with the soup, that’s exactly what we did: gold doubloon treasure chest soup.  Boom, he ate half of his bowl.  Victory!

If you use dairy garnishes, this is primal (shredded cheese, sour cream, etc).  If you forgo the dairy, the whole shebang is Whole30 compliant.  Shazam!  Options!  You’re welcome!  As an additional bonus, this is a slow-cooker recipe, so it’s minimal work for maximum taste.

Chicken Fajita Chili

Serves 3-4

1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter (or other fat of choice)

2-3 pounds chicken breasts, cut in 1/4″ slices

2 lg onions, cut in 1/4″ slices and again in half

3 lg red peppers, seeded and cut in 1/4 slices

2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes

1/4 C chili powder

1 Tbsp cumin

2 tsp coriander

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp salt

Garnishes: shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, lime wedges, cilantro

 

1.- Coat slow-cooker bowl with a thin coat of coconut oil, kerrygold, or ELT olive oil.  In large skillet, heat fat over medium high heat.  Add chicken and cook until lightly browned (this took me about 5 minutes per batch–don’t overcrowd the pan or you’ll be steaming the meat, not browning it).

2.- In slow cooker, layer onions, peppers, and cooked chicken.  In a large bowl, mix together tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, and salt.  Pour tomato mixture over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours (or you can do high for 3 hours–I like to use the low temperature because it really mixes the flavors better).

3.- Serve with what ever garnishes you want.  If you’re looking for suggestions, we did (in this order): soup, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole.  SO GOOD!

Primal Chicken Divan (Whole30 Compliant with One Omission)

Primal Divan

My sister-in-law is generally the instigator of our family’s marathon group text messages.  These text threads start out in one place and end up in an entirely different location…generally with at least one person using shouty caps involving the message “TMI!”  Seriously, we have been known to go from weather to Cosmo in three messages flat.  Anyway, while we were in Florida last week at Disney World (that’s why I haven’t posted lately…picture to follow), some of our family members in Arkansas were deciding what they wanted for dinner, and my SIL was the person to suggest Chicken Divan.  I had totally forgotten how much I used to love it…but it has bread crumbs and like 40 cups of sour cream, mayo, and cheese.  Yes, we eat a primal diet…but the amount of sour cream and cheese in that recipe is our dairy allotment for about six months, HA!

I looked up the recipe for Chicken Divan and started coming up with replacements to jot down for a shopping list.  The only thing that is a bit difficult to replace is the bread crumbs, solely because of their function in the recipe: they hold everything together.  You can add whatever you think might work; however, I just kept it without anything used as a binder.  It basically turned out as a loose casserole.  If I were to add something next time, I would probably add some roughly chopped potatoes (or sweet potatoes if you don’t do white potatoes).  This recipe is pretty forgiving, so add in whatever leftover vegetables you have laying around!  Also, if you omit the cheese, it becomes Whole30 compliant.

Primal Chicken Divan

2 pounds boneless/skinless chicken thighs or breasts

24-32 ounces chopped broccoli florets

1 yellow onion, roughly chopped

1/2 to 1 pound mushrooms, sliced thick

3/4-1 C chopped asparagus

3/4-1 C full-fat coconut milk

1 C shredded cheese

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

1-2 Tbsp sweet curry powder

3/4 C sliced almonds

 

1.- Preheat oven to 350.  Salt and pepper both sides of chicken.  Put chicken in stockpot and cover by about an inch with water.  Bring to boil and let simmer for 15-20 minutes (until chicken is cooked through).  Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool.

2.- Add broccoli and asparagus to the same chicken water.  Cook about 5 minutes and then drain (for those of you playing the home game, that liquid is broth, should you want to save it).  Dice chicken and add to large bowl.  Add in broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, onions, coconut milk, spices, and cheese.  Mix well.

3.- Pour bowl contents into a 9×13 greased baking dish.  Spread a little extra cheese (if desired) on top and then top with sliced almonds.  Bake 30-40 minutes.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.