Chicken nuggets and BBQ Sauce were one of the few junk foods my mom allowed us to eat occasionally when we were tiny tots. Still one of my favorite foods – how worldly and classy of me.
We had another beautfIul weekend in Chicago before sh*t hits the fan and its -30 degrees for 12 days straight. We went to a Notre Dame football game this weekend, and it was SO adorable to see my husband giddy like a 7-year-old boy seeing his first Sports Illustrated. He has liked the Irish since he was a little guy without cable in the middle of small town Nebraska – apparently ND was one of the only games they got on TV. I bought him a new fancy pullover sweatshirt to wear to the game and a hat for myself. I feel like a huge fraud with all these people coming up to us in Chicago today pumping their fists and shouting “Go Irish!” I have to awkwardly respond with my own forced fist pump and pretend I know what football is. The hat’s comfy so I’ll continue to wear it.
Garlic & Herb Chicken Nuggets [AIP, Whole30, 21dsd]
Makes 3 servings | Prep time 5 minutes | Cook time 12-15 minutes
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thigh
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
¼ tsp granulated garlic
¼ tsp sea salt (or garlic salt)
2 T coconut flour
2 T coconut oil
- Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Toss chicken thighs in a bowl with oregano, basil, garlic, and 1/8 tsp sea salt (or garlic salt). Now toss with the coconut flour until evenly coated.
- Heat 1 T coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place half the chicken nuggets in the pan and ensure they are not touching. If the pan is overcrowded, they will not crisp up.
- Cook 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown all around and cooked through.
- Clean out the skillet by wiping it down with a paper towel. Repeat step 3 for the remaining half of chicken nuggets.
- Sprinkle nuggets with 1/8 tsp sea salt (or garlic salt). Serve warm.
Whether you’re on Paleo, AIP or doing a Whole30 or 21dsd, this grilled steak & fresh cucumber noodle bowl will hit the spot!
Yazum! This was so fresh and delicious. Yazum is not a foreign language for the word “delIcious” by the way, but the exact sound that exited my mouth when I twirled a cucumber noodle around a tender piece of grassfed grilled steak.
Wish me luck – tomorrow I have to call ABC Kitchen at exactly 8 am to get a dinner reservation for a bachelorette party I am planning in NYC. My poor Sprint cellphone service could make or break the whole shebang. It’ll probably all work out – I am just being dramatic for sensational reading purposes.
I do have several more trips this year to look forward to – Atlanta for a wedding, NYC for some bacheloretting, Sedona and Scottsdale for the honeymooning, then Florida for the holidays. Dats a lot of stinky airplane.
I’ll actually be moving to Atlanta for a few months in January for school… more on that later, but I am excited to explore a new city. You would think I wouldn’t be sick of Chicago after only 16 months of living here, but you would be wrong. I’m in a land of sidewalks with nowhere to go but into a rubber-floored gym.
My body wants grass bad, and not the kind that would get me in trouble with the law. That just reminded me – I rolled around the grass in San Diego and my back got eaten alive by a bunch of flies that bite. Didn’t know that was a thing.
Grilled Steak & Cucumber Noodle Bowl
- Preheat a grill to medium-high. Remove skirt steak from fridge 30 minutes prior to grilling and sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Brush each side with olive oil to prevent sticking. Grill about 4-5 minutes per side to your desired doneness. Mine is grilled medium-rare and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
- Meanwhile, use a spiralizerpan> to make long cucumber noodles. Do so by slicing the cucumber in half width-wise and spiralize each half. Alternatively, you can use a julienne peeler to create long noodles.
- Place cucumber noodles in a strainer set over the sink. Toss with ¼ tsp sea salt and let sit for 10 minutes. The salt helps the cucumber "sweat" out extra moisture. Remove excess liquid from cucumber by squeezing noodles with your hand.
- Toss cucumber noodles and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Top with thinly sliced skirt steak and serve.
Well, that was a mouthful! I can guarantee these are incredibly flavorful for two reasons. #1 I have been sick this week with a sinus infection and have not been able to taste my food for days, but I could taste these babies, and boy were they good. #2 My husband went bonkers over them too, and he is fairly indifferent to food in general (I know, what a weirdo).
I struck a genius moment last week when all I had in my fridge was 1 plantain and half a chicken breast. I let my Vitamix work its magic along with some of my favorite flavor boosters and WA-BAM! Sandwich bread so easy it makes lettuce wraps look a’ fool. Plus you get extra protein by having chicken inside of the bread itself. I typed “inside of the breast” itself, and had to erase it, but I still wanted you to know how hopped up on probotics and nasal spray I am.
I got this pleasant little snotfest from my property management company neglecting to repair a leaky roof which quickly led to a black mold infestation of my apartment. This is serious stuff for anyone, especially if you have an autoimmune disorder, and especially if you are allergic to mold like I am. Well I forced them to reduce my rent for next month by 75% by kindly reminding them of their responsibilites to maintain a safe living environment for their tenants. Unfortunately we are now stuck with a whole week of invasive construction work, and the only two rooms I have to work with are the kithcen and the bathroom. Lucky for me we had a fiesta today, and they treated me to the latest mariachi hits and some solo singing. Bunch of chaarcters. That’s okay, they kept me company on this rainy day!
Plantain Chicken Fritter Clubs
Serves 2| Ready in 30 minutes
4 slices uncured bacon
1 green plantain, peeled
6-8 oz organic boneless skinless chicken breast, uncooked
¼ tsp granulated garlic
¼ cup packed cilantro leaves
Pinch sea salt
For Serving: Garlic Mayo dressing HERE, lettuce, avocado, kraut
- Cook bacon in medium-sized skillet over medium heat until crispy. Set aside. Pour bacon fat into a small cup to use for frying.
- Place remaining ingredients in high-powered blender or food processor and blend until pureed into a paste.
- Heat ½ tsp bacon fat over medium-high heat. Place ¼ cup of the mixture into pan and flatten with the bottom of a measuring cup until about ¼ inch thick. Cook for 2 minutes until golden brown and then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Repeat step 3 for remaining chicken-plantain mixture.
- Assemble sandwiches by topping 1 plantain chicken fritter with Garlic Mayo, lettuce, avocado and a slice of bacon. Top with a second fritter to make a sandwich, or leave open-faced.
I am a sucker for slow-roasted meats, but with pork that drastically increases the histamine levels, which isn’t so hot for me. Quick-braising a pork shoulder only takes 1 hour (versus 5 or 6 in the oven), so you don’t have to stay home all day waiting for your dang meat shoulder to cook. It’s not quite as tender as a 6-hour braise obviously, but it can still be easily shredded with a fok and falls off the bone. I served it tossed with a barbeque sauce recipe I am working on, and it was divine. If you do not have a juicer, you can certainly use store-bought unsweetened apple and carrot juice. The burnt looking parts are actually caramelized juice which gave the pork shoulder additional texture and flavor. So yums in my tums. Make sure to use a nice fatty, bone-in cut! I am typing this whilst on a break at school and am jonesing for some meat and it’s only 10 am. “Give me meat, or give me death.”
I had a nice workout at the gym tonight after taking a few days off. Got my endorphins going on this dreary day!
- 2 mile sprint intervals (1 min sprint, 20 seconds run x 6)
- 500 m hard row
- TRX Chest Flys to Chest Push Ups – 10 reps x 3 sets
- 50 triceps dips with alternating leg lift
- Pike Pushups – 10 reps x 2 sets
- Overhead Plie Squat with 20 lb medicine ball – 15 reps x 2 sets
Cinnamon-Apple Quick Braised Pork [AIP Friendly]
Serves 4 | Ready in 1 hr 5 minutes
2 lb bone-in pork shoulder roast, about ¾ inch thick
1 T bacon fat
3/4 cup apple juice
¼ cup carrot juice
1 T cinnamon
1 T fresh grated ginger
- Remove pork from fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking. Salt each side generously.
- In a large, deep sauté pan, heat the bacon fat over medium-high heat. Sear the pork on both sides, 3 minutes per side.
- Whisk apple juice, carrot juice, cinnamon, and ginger together. Pour over pork, bring to a low simmer and cover. Let cook for 30 minutes. Flip and let cook, covered again, for another 25 to 30 minutes until all liquid has almost completely evaporated. There should be some good caramelized bits to scrape up.
- Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with mashed celeriac root or parsnip.
I get real excited when I come up with an easy, quick recipe that uses barely any ingredients and is a new, interesting flavor! It’s the holy grail of AIP batch cooking. I brought these on-the-go this weekend – to a show and then also as a pre-5k breakfast. I didn’t want to share them, and I usually love sharing food, so obviously it’s a winning recipe.
This weekend was insanely beautiful. We only get purty weather as often as a hipster turns down a vegan cheez burrito (aka never), so I refused to be inside. The farmer’s market is starting to have a lot more variety, and I get real turned on by varied produce. It doesn’t take much. We went back to the Peruvian rooftop restaurant/bar. I was feeling adventurous and ordered a gin. I had brought my own Kombucha, and I was just going to enjoy it on the rocks, but I decided to go for it.
Well, I only drank 1/2 of the gin and still woke up feeling like butt. And swollen, lethargic, and expressionlss. My body hates alcohol. Like even attempting a smile today is too much work. I would much rather go to bed feeling good and wake up feeling awesome than enjoy the occasional beverage. Maybe later in life when my body isn’t under guerrila attack 24/7. Enough bitching – I’m happy to simply be alive and surrounded by my favorite things, namely my husband, dog, fresh food, and the outdoors. And my-size loaves of meat, but I guess that could be lumped into food.
Peach-Glazed Mini Meatloaves
Makes 10 mini loaves | Ready in 35 minutes
1 lb ground lamb (or beef, if you prefer)
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ cups diced peach
¾ tsp cinnamon
1 T coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take out a regular sized muffin tin.
- Mix together lamb, parsley and sea salt. Divide mixture between 10 regular sized muffin cups. Use your hands to spread the meat evenly into each cup, being sure to leave a shallow bowl in the center for the peach stuffing, about ½ inch deep.
- In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, cook the peaches and cinnamon in the coconut oil for about 6-7 minutes until softened. Use a wooden spoon to mash the peach as it cook down, but be sure to leave some un-mashed chunks for texture.
- Top each meat bowl with the peach stuffing. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the lamb is cooked through and the cups begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
I can FINALLY eat fish again after 7 months of abstaining from one of my favorite foods. My histamine intolerance got wicked ridiculous during the holidays, and I went on a very low histamine diet from January through July of this year. Fish is always a hairy situation because you really have to trust your source. If it isn’t handled well immediately after being caught, you can set yourself up for a bacteria bomb. This cod came straight from Boston, so I sacked two pounds of it from the market, and cooked it as soon as I got home.
When my fridge is the emptiest, I am the most creative. I was in the mood for a summery “bowl”. This is a one pot, one blender meal, and takes no time or skill to throw together once you have your ingredients prepped. Kitchen tip: always prep everything in advance (your “mis en place”) and that way cooking is a breeze once you light the fire. And you won’t burn everything as you scurry around the kitchen.
This dish is light, flavorful & the fruity relish really makes it pop!
Flaked Cod with Cucumber-Mint Sauce & Plum Relish
- 2 lb wild cod
- 1 head red cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut aminos, divided
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- Handful of mint leaves
- 2 plums, pitted and diced
- Sea salt
In a large pan
1 tablespoon coconut oil
over medium heat. Add cabbage and large pinch salt to pan
, stirring to coat in oil. Let cook for 5-7 minutes until cooked through but not soft, stirring every 2 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. Wipe pan
In the same pan
, heat coconut oil
over medium high heat. Rinse and pat dry the fish. Salt both side. Place fish in pan
, ensuring not to crowd (work in two batches if necessary). Cook for about 5 minutes, breaking the fish up with a wooden spoon into flakes as it begins to cook through. Sprinkle with additional salt and remove from heat. Wipe pan
In the same pan
plums, ¼ cup water, and remaining ½ T coconut aminos
. Cook over medium-low heat, breaking open the plums with the wooden spoon, as they cook down. Remove from heat once the majority of the liquid has evaporated.
Layer individual bowls with cabbage, fish, plum relish, and cucumber-mint sauce.