Category Archives: spinach

Spinach stuffed Chicken Breasts

If you are a fan of my creamed spinach, you will LOVE this dish! My friend Rebecca is just starting her paleo journey and came up with this. I tweaked it a little for my own preferences, but I’m so thankful she gave me the idea for this. It was super tasty.

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

4 pterodactyl breasts (or enormous chicken breasts)

6 pieces of bacon diced

1 package of spinach (the frozen brick is 80 cents at my grocery store)

1 yellow onion diced

5 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 cup and 1 table spoon of coconut milk

1tbsp red pepper

A few dashes of the following: Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder

1tsp xanthan gum (omit this if you prefer)

Cook up the bacon bits in a pan on medium high until crispy.

Remove bacon and keep the fat in the pan. Add the onions to the pan and sauté until they start to soften. About 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the spinach and red pepper and toss the pan a few times until evenly distributed. Remove from heat and add to the bacon bits. Mix and set aside to cool.

While your spinach cools, slice your chicken (pterodactyl) breasts in half making sure to keep one side still attached. If you are feeling particularity skillful try to only cut from the top so you have what is essentially a chicken breast mitten. When the stuffing is cooled enough to handle, stuff the breasts with the spinach mixture.

Place them in a well oiled baking dish. Pour the 1/4 cup of coconut milk on top of the breasts then season them with your remaining seasonings.

Bake covered in an oven at 400 for approximately 45 minutes. Check with a thermometer that the internal temperature is 180.

When done pour out the pan drippings into a stock pot, turn temperature to medium high. Add the remaining coconut milk and xanthan gum. Whisk until the mixture begins to thicken.

We ate ours with roasted brussel sprouts. I love brussel sprouts and noticed they were super cheap at the store in frozen dinner sized packs so I bought a few. Apparently I thought this was a good deal last week too. We now have a LOT of frozen brussel sprouts. T told me not to buy any more for awhile. Ooops.

This meal is so amazing! Try it today.

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Delicious and Easy

Sunday we had some friends over for dinner. Below is what I made. Tandoori chicken using this marinade. Roasted butternut squash in leftover bacon fat. “Creamed” spinach made with coconut milk.

I’ve mentioned this marinade before. It’s super easy and tasty. A few tablespoons in a zip top bag with your protein is all the prep you need to do. I let the chicken marinate most of the day then I grilled the chicken outside.

Notice the gloves here?

My skin has a very strange reaction to raw butternut squash when it’s unpeeled. I can eat it fine, I just can’t handle it while raw. I either get T to do the prep work or I wear gloves to avoid it. We made bacon for breakfast and had delicious bacon fat left over.

I scooped some of the fat out then tossed the squash in the remaining fat reusing the exact same pan. (This works for all kinds of vegetables. Try it on broccoli and carrots)

Why make your life harder and wash all those dishes? It roasted at 350 until golden brown. About 30 minutes.

This spinach has to be one of my all time favorite things I’ve ever come up with. It’s so good! Check here for the original recipe.

This was a totally paleo meal that had very little prep time and was very tasty. If you’re still struggling to make meals make sense; take this approach and roast different veggies and grill meat with different marinades. It really is that simple.


Creamed Spinach

I was craving some creamed spinach the other day. Since I’m trying to lose weight right now I didn’t want to use any dairy. I decided to try out some coconut milk and see how that tasted. It came out super good. I was so happy with it I ate it for breakfast and dinner again the next day. T even asked for me to make some more. I think it was a very simple success.

Creamed Spinach

1 block of frozen spinach

1/2 an onion diced

4 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 can of coconut milk

tsp Cajun seasoning

In a pan heat up some fat. I have been using rendered chicken fat lately but use what you like. Cook the onions and garlic until they are crispy and browned.

Add the spinach. Cook until most of the water has cooked off. Add the coconut milk and seasoning. Eat. seriously it’s that easy and so tasty.

This is served with a stuffed pork loin that I will share the recipe for later in the week.

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Kibbeh part 2

In Wednesday’s post I said I made a variation of this recipe for dinner. If you are interested here is the variation. I’ve made this a few times with tweaks to the seasoning and filling. Essentially it is a meat paste with seasoning, green filling with nuts, and a nut flour crust. The preparation is time consuming so it is not a good week night meal. However, it freezes well so make a bunch and freeze in batches for when you want them. I served this with a coconut milk mint raita. Raita is an Indian sauce used to cool down spicy foods. With a little whipping in a food processor and some xanthan gum the coconut milk thickened up just like yogurt. I added fresh mint for flavor.

I put about 2 lbs of pork loin and 1 lb of chicken thighs into a food processor and blended until it made a paste. I know it sounds gross but when you’re done it won’t be. I added garlic powder, coriander, onion powder, ground ginger, salt, and black pepper. I didn’t measure the seasonings but if I had to guess I’d say about 1tbs of everything then adjust from there. I made a test patty to make sure the meat wasn’t dry or without flavor. With pork loin if there is not enough fat the meat will be dry which is why I added the chicken. You can also add bacon fat or trim fat off another cut of meat. Refrigerate the meat paste for a few hours. This allows the flavors to mingle and the meat to rest.

While that chilled, I sautéed a minced onion with ~4 cloves of minced garlic in some olive oil. When the smell became less pungent and the onions started looking clear I added a frozen block of spinach. I’ve found that cooked spinach is better than fresh because the fresh loses so much volume when in the oven. Cook until the spinach is no longer frozen, then pass a knife thorough the spinach a few times to break any larger leaves apart. Set this to the side in a bowl. Using the same pan, heat some olive oil and brown about a cup of pine nuts. Keep an eye on them because they go from tan to black very fast. When the pine nuts are browned add them to your spinach.

To stuff your kibbeh take a small chunk of meat roll it in a ball then flatten it out to a pancake size patty. In the middle add some spinach mixture being careful to keep it from the sides of your pancake. I keep a bowl of water nearby to rinse my hands in between spinach applications. Fold up like a taco and pinch the sides of the pancake smoothing and rolling out any seams. The seams will open up in cooking if you don’t take care to do this step. When you’re done your meat will look like a foot ball.  You can play around with the size of these but my favorite is about the size of my palm. Continue until all your meat is used up.

In a food processor or blender blend almonds and unsweetened coconut shavings until it resembles a fine meal. If you have coconut/almond flour you can use that too. I like the slightly crunchier texture of making it myself. Set up a bowl with whisked eggs and another with some of your almond coconut mixture. Dip a ball in egg, then roll in the nuts, place on an oiled cookie sheet, and repeat. When all your balls are coated with nuts bake in the oven at 350 for an hour. Give these a try and play around with the ingredients. I make them different every time and they are always very tasty.

 

 


T’s New Favorite Meal

Chicken balls, awesome balls, stuffed awesome balls, not kibbeh, sorta croquettes. There is no name that isn’t either vulgar sounding or too vague to describe the dinner we had tonight. So I’ll refer to them as T’s favorite. In reality they are a stuffed chicken ball that is then “breaded” and fried. I got the idea while surfing the food sites I love to check and saw a recipe for kibbeh. The recipe wasn’t paleo and was made with fish. (I really don’t like fish) But, I loved the concept of grinding meat into a paste and stuffing it with something tasty and frying it. So I set to thinking of how I would make this delicious and paleo. I came up with this.

It was definitely a learning experience for me because I had to make adjustments as I went along in how and when to cook. I scorched one because the oil was too hot. Couldn’t really get the stuffing in because it was too leafy. In the end I came up with a killer dish that was worth all the trouble.

This is not something you can whip up quickly. Sorry. It would have been quicker if I knew what I was doing. Next time they will be more delicious and I will make twice as many.

T’s Favorite or Stuffed Chicken Balls

2 strips of bacon

4 chicken tenders

1/3 cup of coconut flour

2tsp dry chopped onion

1tsp thyme

1 tsp garlic powder

1tsp red pepper

1tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Stuffing

2 cups of chopped spinach

3 chopped green onions

5 tbsp chopped almonds

dash of pepper

dash thyme

pat of butter

Coating

1/2 cup of coconut flour

1/2 cup of shredded coconut

Add the ingredients for the meat balls into a food processor and blend into a paste.  Cover tightly and refrigerate for an hour or up to one day.

Toss together all the stuffing ingredients in a pan until just beginning to wilt. This takes about 2 minutes on medium high.

When the stuffing has cooled enough to handle remove the meat from the fridge. It will be a sticky mess to handle. So get a large bowl of ice water and  dunk your hands into the water in between forming each ball. Dunk your hands, spoon about a golf ball size of meat into your hands. Press your thumb into the center of your golf ball. Wiggle your thumb in a circle until you form a deep well. Fill the well with your filling mixture. Carefully press closed the opening.

Continue this until all your meat is gone.

Set up two bowls: one with coconut products, the other with eggs. If you’ve ever made battered chicken or steak the process will be the same here. Get a  meat ball wet in egg, roll ball in coconut, place on rack. Repeat until all the balls are coated.

I tried to fry these and I scorched one so bad that I stopped. I’m not good at frying. T says my oil was too hot. Which is probably the case. Rather than burn the entire dinner, I baked the rest on a rack over a pan to catch the drippings. If you are a fryer, fry them, if not bake them.  I baked them at 400 rotating half way through until they were golden all around. This took about 20-30 minutes.These came out super tasty and worth the little extra hands on time. We ate these with roasted brussel sprouts and some guilty ranch dressing.


Spinach Stuffed Poblano Peppers

T invited a classmate over for dinner this weekend. We cooked a delicious vegetarian (un-paleo) meal. She even wanted to help out! Dinner was “amazing” and the company was wonderful. This meal was not a paleo meal but It could definitely be modified to make it that way. I will cook some other variations on this because it was super tasty and I love the flavor of a poblano chili.

Spinach Stuffed Poblano Peppers

9 large poblano peppers

2 packages of cream cheese

16 oz of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

3/4 of a wheel of Vaquita cheese. (it is the Mexican version of mozzarella)

12oz of spinach

1tsp cumin

1/2 tsp of black pepper

1 cup of diced onion

handful of chopped cilantro

3 eggs

about 2 cups of flour

about 2 cups of panko crumbs (Japanese style bread crumbs)

Carefully slice around the stem of the poblano peppers as if you were making a jack’o’lantern out of it. Seed and core the inside with a spoon being careful not to rip the pepper.

Mix all the cheese, remaining veggies, and spices in a large bowl.

Spoon and press down the cheese mixture into the poblanos. We ended up with a lot more cheese than peppers so I’ve adjusted the number of peppers you’ll need above to match what we made. Stick the tops back on after you’ve stuffed the peppers.

Make a breading station to bread the peppers. 1. egg wash of beaten eggs, 2. flour, 3 panko. Dredge the peppers through eggs, flour, eggs, then panko. If you are eating more paleoish (cheese is not really paleo) you can omit the breading steps and your peppers will still be delicious.

Bake in a large baking tray for about 30 minutes at 350.

We made a mole sauce to put on top of these sort of enchilada style but your favorite enchilada sauce will work too. Mole  (mole-ay) is a pepper chocolate sauce that is super tasty. The recipe we followed was fair but there are better ones out there on the interwebs or you can find it pre-made in the Mexican section of your grocery store.

To go with the peppers we made Cuban style black beans that consisted of:

1/2 diced yellow onion

4 minced cloves of garlic

2 canned chipotle peppers

3 15 oz cans of black beans (no added salt)

1 tsp of cumin

6 oz of orange juice and some zest of 1/2 an orange

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

Cook the onions and garlic first until clear, add the rest of the ingredients simmer until meal time. About 10 minutes. Again legumes are not paleo. However, this would make a fun cheat meal that you can involve the whole family in.

We really enjoyed dinner and it was fun to have Bethany help out!