Panfried Chicken Livers with Root Fries and Green Salad

We eat a lot of chicken livers – not only are they very good for you, they are insanely cheap and they are quick to cook as well.  As I try to include at least 2 offal meals in each weeks mealplan, we tend to eat chicken livers at least once a week.

They have a much milder flavour than beef or pigs liver, so don’t be put off you you don’t like the strong taste of those. And to minimize that “livery” flavour, you can soak them in some coconut or almond milk for an hour or two if you really cannot get past the liver flavour.  I don’t usually do that though, because we all enjoy the taste.

This recipe is gluten and grain free, Paleo and also AIP-friendly.

Crispy Panfried Chicken Livers

serves 6CL4

  • 1½ – 2lb chicken livers
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • coconut oil to fry

Trim the chicken livers and cut into neat, even sized pieces about 2″ across.  Pat dry with a paper towel.

Mix together the coconut flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper and thyme.

Pour the mixture into a large ziplock bag, add the chicken livers, seal and shake well to coat the livers with the flour mixture.

Heat 1-2 tbsp coconut oil in a large sautee pan.  Add the livers in a single layer (you will have to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan) and saute until they form a crisp crust – this will take 3-5 minutes.  Flip them over with tongs and brown the other side. Don’t over cook the livers – you want them just a little pink in the middle or they will be tough and bitter tasting.

Transfer the livers to a plate lined with a paper towel and keep warm while you cook the next batch, adding more coconut oil as necessary.

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Serve the livers right away.  I like to serve them with root vegetable fries and a simple green salad.

Root Vegetable Fries

serves 4-6

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  • 4 – 6 parsnips
  • 4-6 carrots
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil – melted
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

Peel the carrots and parsnips and cut into “fries”.  Toss these with the coconut milk, thyme and season with salt and pepper.

Spread the “fries” out on a rimmed baking sheet and cook in the oven until crisp and golden brown – 30-40 minutes.

Serve at once.

Simple Green Salad

serves 4-6

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  • 1head green laf lettuce – torn into pieces
  • 1 bunch watercress – chopped
  • 1 bunch radishes – tops removed, trimmed and cut into 4
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tear the lettuce up into bitesize pieces and place it in a large salad bowl.  Add the chopped watercress and the trimmed and quartered radishes.

Toss well to mix.

Place the lemon juice, olive oil and some salt and pepper in a glass jar with a lid and shake to mix.

Use the lemon dressing to dress the salad, tossing well to ensure that everything is coated in the dressing.

Serve at once.

 

 

Nomato “Chilli” in the Slow Cooker

I have had the family bugging me about the lack of chilli that we have been eating since I have been eating AIP – that would be because I can’t eat nightshades, and tomatoes and chilli, 2 important components of most chilli recipes are not AIP friendly…

I have seen some AIP Chilli recipes in the past, but none of them were cooked in the slow-cooker…  and I wanted a slow-cooker recipe so that it would cook while I was at work.

I decided I would play around with my usual slow-cooker chilli recipe and see what I could come up with…

This recipe is AIP-friendly, nightshade, gluten and dairy free, and contains no beans.

Because this recipe contains no chilli, it is not spicy, so if you are not AIP and can tolerate chilli well, feel free to add chilli to this.  Or you could just do what Hubby and the kids did and add some hot-sauce to spice it up.

Nomato “Chilli”

serves 6 with leftovers

NMC3

  • 2 medium onions – chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 2lb ground beef – preferably grass-fed.
  • 3 cups bone broth
  • 3 large carrots – peeled and dicd
  • ½ medium rutabaga – peeled and diced
  • 2 medium beets – peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp allspice (according to The PaleoMom, this is on the “be cautious” category – leave it out if it is a concern)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour to thicken (optional)
  • Homemade guacamole to serve

All I did with this recipe was pile all of the ingredients except for the tapioca flour into the slow cooker and give it a good mix.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.  If necessary, thicken with some tapioca flour mixed with a little water.  I found this was needed.

Serve topped with a spoonful of guacamole.

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I also served this with cauliflower rice.

 

Packed Lunch (04/16/14)

This is what Hubby packed for lunch today:

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Clockwise from the top left-hand corner:

We also took a piece of fruit each (a choice of  an apple, orange or banana), packed separately, and a reusable water-bottle of water.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts

We scored a great deal on some chicken breasts the other week, and they have been languishing in the freezer ever since.  I decided last night that it would be a good time to use them up.

Because boneless, skinless chicken breasts are often dry and tasteless when cooked (there is very little fat in them, and fat = moistness and flavour), I decided that I would wrap them in bacon.

OMG these were to DIE FOR!  Totally delicious.  The bacon crisped up wonderfully and contributed a lot of flavour to the dish.

They were also very quick to cook as well.

This recipe is AIP-Friendly.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts

serves 6

CBB2

  • 6 chicken breasts – preferably pastured/organic
  • 12 rashers of bacon – preferably from pastured pigs
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning (I use one that is a mix of parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary and marjoram)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

This is such a simple recipe!

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Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.

While the oven is heating, season the chicken breasts well with the poultry seasoning.

Wrap each chicken breast in 2 rashers of bacon.

Place them in a roasting tin and season with sea salt and black pepper – you probably won’t need to use much salt if your bacon is salty. But the pepper really helps the flavour.

Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the bacon is crispy and the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 82°C/180°F.

Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes while preparing the sides.

CBB1

I served this with some sauteed ruby chard and oven-roasted carrot and beet fries.

Shared at the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #23

Shared at Allergy Free Wednesday #113

Shared at Gluten Free Wednesdays 4-16-14

Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

I don’t really like a lot of “paleofied” baking, mostly due to the large amounts of almond flour that gets used.  It is very easy to overeat almonds when eating baked goods that use almond flour, and lets face it, a cookie is a cookie even if it is a gluten-free, “paleo” one.

Having said that, my kids LOVE cookies, so I do bake them for them for occasional treats.

I feel that the odd cookie once in a while makes you happy…  just don’t eat these every single day.

This recipe makes around 15 cookies.  That makes it 3 cookies each for Hubby and the 4 kids (I don’t eat these as I have not managed to reintroduce nuts yet).  Once cookie each over a 3 day period on the rare times I do make them (once a month or less) is probably not too bad…

These are not nut free, but they are gluten, dairy and egg free.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

makes aprox. 15 cookies

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  • 2 cups blanched almond meal
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup coconut oil – melted
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g (3.5oz) bar of extra-dark (90% cocoa solids) chocolate, cut into rough chunks

Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F.

In a food processor, combine the almond meal, salt and baking soda.  Pulse in the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla until you have a sticky dough.

Transfer the dough to a bowl and mix in the chocolate chunks by hand (the food processor will break them up too much).

Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow it to firm up.  This makes it easier to handle and stops the cookies from spreading too much.

Once the dough has chilled, scoop out tablespoon sized balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Using your hands, press each scoop down gently to achieve a fat cookie shape.

Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until browned.

Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes to firm up slightly and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

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Once they are completely cold, store in an airtight container.

Heritage Angus Burgers on a Portobello Mushroom with Caramelized Onions

I made a happy discovery the other week thanks to someone in the AIP and Paleo Canada Facebook group:

In Canada, if beef is “Rangefed”, that means it is grass-fed – litterally, it is free-range on grass…  That means that the burgers we have been buying from Costco are actually grass-fed beef!  OK so according to the website on the box they are not 100% grassfed as they are finished with a minimal amount of organic grains, but I can cope with a little grain finishing if it is organic.

They are also hormone and antibiotic free, and the ingredients are pretty good too – beef, salt, spices is all that it listed.  It didn’t state exactly what the spices were though, so they may not be AIP friendly as they may contain some seed or nightshade spices.  I was prepared to risk that though as the amounts would be small.

burgers

And at $16.49 for 12, these make for a pretty economical meal…

So what did I do with these wonderful burgers?

I cooked them in a cast-iron skillet and sat them on top of an oven roasted portobello mushroom that had caramelized mushrooms piled inside of it, then topped them with a big spoonful of homemade guacamole.

I served this with a spoonful of homemade sauerkraut (with added carrots) and some root vegetable fries.

This recipe is paleo, and if you use a burger that you are sure contains no nightshade or seed spices (maybe a homemade one?) this would also be AIP friendly.

Heritage Angus Burgers on a Portobello Mushroom with Caramelized Onions

serves 6

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  • 6 Heritage Angus Burgers (or other burgers of your choice)
  • 6 portobello mushrooms
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large onions – sliced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fat of choice – I used leftover bacon fat
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • homemade guacamole to serve

The first thing you need to do is to get the onions caramelizing as they take the longest.  Melt the fat in a large, heavy skillet and add the sliced onions. Season them with salt, pepper and add the thyme.  Cook them slowly over a medium-low heat until they are soft and golden brown – this could take anything from 10 minutes up to half an hour or even longer.  Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat to speed them up – you want them to be golden brown, not burned.  Right at the end of the cooking period, add the balsamic vinegar.

While the onions are cooking, preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.

Next take the mushrooms and cut out the stalks leaving the cap intact (I added the stalks to my pot of chicken bone broth that was simmering in the slow cooker – waste not want not!).  Lay the mushroom caps out on a baking sheet gill-side up.  Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place the baking tray in the preheated oven and cook the mushrooms for 15 minutes until hot and tender but not mushy.

Next you need to cook your burgers.  I did this in a large cast-iron skillet following the instructions on the packet which said to cook for 5-6 minutes per side.  Because there was not enough room to cook all the burgers at the same time, I did them in 2 batches of 3, keeping the first batch warm in the oven while I cooked the second one.

Once all the various ingredients are cooked, it is time to assemble:

Burg3

Place the mushroom cap on a plate, gill-side up.  Top this with a generous amount of the caramelized onions.  Now sit the burger on top and top with a generous spoonful of guacamole.

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I served these burgers with parsnip and carrot fries and a spoonful of some homemade sauerkraut that had added carrots.

 

 

Shrimp Scampi in a Spaghetti Squash Bowl

I have said it many times I know, but I LOVE to serve food in spaghetti squash “bowls”.  Part of this is that it is fun (and makes for good presentation of the food itself), but part of it is, much as it pains me to admit it, laziness.  There is no need for me to use a fork to pull the squash flesh into the spaghetti like strands this way as everyone can do it themselves as they eat the sauce that I have piled into the “bowl”. It takes less time, and I have less risk of burning myself while handling those hot squash.

And I really do think this is an improvement as it means that you do not need to take time to pull those “spaghetti” strands – you just fix the sauce, put it in the “bowl” and dinner is done.

When you are cooking a recipe like shrimp scamp, this is especially useful as the shrimp can be served at peak “cooked-ness”.  It will not overcook and get tough and rubbery while you pull the squash.  But the squash will also not get cold while you cook the shrimp…  it just makes for a far less stressful dinner!  And lets face it, part of the paleo lifestyle is reduction in stress….

The only downside is that you do need half a spaghetti squash for each person that you are serving, and you really do not want them to be huge unless everyone has really hearty appetites – that means you are sorting through the piles of squash looking for the smallest ones…

This recipe is not only Paleo, it is also AIP-Friendly (And pretty darn tasty to boot!)

Shrimp Scampi in a Spaghetti Squash Bowl

Serves 6

ss6

  • 3 small spaghetti squash
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil (you could also use ghee or butter if not sensitive to dairy)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic – peeled, crushed and chopped
  • 2lb raw large shrimp – peeled and deveined (the weight is for the peeled shrimp, not those with the shell still on)
  • ½ cup chicken bone broth
  • 1 lemon – juice and zest
  • unfrefined sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • chopped Italian parsley to taste

The first thing you are going to do is to halve your spaghetti squash and deseed them (I saved my seeds as I am hoping to grow my own spaghetti squash this year – if it is successful I will let you know!).

Cook the squash in a preheated 190°C (375°F) oven as posted here….

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Once the squash is done, remove them from the oven and leave to rest while you cook the shrimp.

Melt the coconut oil (or butter/ghee if using) in a large pan and add the olive oil.  Add the onions and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes until softened.  Add the bone broth.  Let the liquid bubble to reduce until half the quantity remains (5-10 minutes).  Add the shrimp, lemon juice and zest, then taste and season with sea salt and black pepper.  Toss until all the shrimp are pink and cooked through (about 5 minutes).   Sprinkle with parsley.

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Pile the  shrimp in the cooked spaghetti squash and serve at once.

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Shared at the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #23

Shared at Allergy Free Wednesday #113

 

Saffron Roast Lamb

Lamb is one of my favourite meats – I blame that on growing up on a sheep farm, where we ate a LOT of lamb!

I had a beautiful leg of lamb in the freezer and decided that I wanted to cook it for Sunday Dinner.

This recipe is based on one from Feast by Nigella Lawson.

It is Paleo, Gluten/Grain-free and AIP-friendly.  And it tastes just delicious!

This would be perfect to serve at Easter!

Saffron Roast Lamb

serves 6

RLD1

  • 1 leg of lamb (mine weighed 1.7kg/3¾lb)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 6 green onions – chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • small bunch of mint – torn
  • 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, needles removed and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 carrots – peeled and cut into sticks
  • 2 sticks of celery – cut into sticks
  • 1 onion – peeled and sliced
  • ½ tsp saffron threads soaked in 1 cup boiling water

Put the lamb in a large dish and pour over the olive oil.  Add the garlic, green onions and herbs, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Squeeze over the lemon juice.

Rub all this well into the lamb, then place the dish in the refrigerator overnight so that the meat can absorb all the flavours..

Next day, remove the lamb from the refrigerator and allow it to come up to room temperature while the oven preheats.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F.

Place the onion, carrot and celery in the base of a roasting tin and transfer the contents of the dish to the tin, sitting the lamb on top of the veggies.

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Put the lamb in its roasting tin in the oven and roast for 35 minutes per kilo (16 minutes per lb).  You want the lamb to be cooked so that it is just a little pink inside.  If you have a meat thermometer, aim for a temperature of 70°C/160°F in it’s thickest part.

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Remove the lamb and the veggies to a carving board and allow the lamb to rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the saffron and its water to the roasting tin and allow it to simmer over a medium high heat to reduce it by half.

Strain out all the herbs and onions, and serve the lamb carved into thick slices with the saffron gravy.

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I also served roasted white sweet potatoes, sauteed ruby chard and asparagus with this.

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Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #22

Shared at Gluten Free Wednesday

Shared at Allergy Free Wednesday #112

Shared at Full Plate Thursday

The Paleo Mom Community

I have been privileged to be asked to be a moderator on the new Paleo Mom Community forum:

TPM-Community-LogoLarge

Why not come and join us?  The Paleo Mom Community

 

Paleo Chicken Soup with Dumplings

 

I had a stewing chicken in the freezer, so when I started coming down with a cold, I just KNEW I had to make some chicken soup.

I like to use older, stewing chickens for soup as they have so much more flavour.   They need long, slow cooking as they tend to be tough, and that makes them perfect for soup.

Because I used the whole chicken (mine came with both feet and head attached) in the slow cooker, it has the same nutritional punch as bone broth.  First of all I made a rich broth using the whole chicken, and I removed the breasts once they were cooked and continued cooking the carcass for several hours.

When I was ready to make the soup, I then strained the broth, and added fresh veggies to it along with the reserved chicken breast meat.  And finally, I made some dumplings that I cooked in the broth.

This recipe is gluten/grain free and paleo, but to make it AIP you would have to leave out the dumplings as they contain both nuts and eggs.  It would be just as good without them though.

Chicken Soup with Dumplings

serves 6

CSMD1

For the chicken broth

  • 1 large stewing chicken (mine came complete with the head and feet attached)
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • sea salt
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

For the chicken soup

  • Broth that was made earlier
  • Reserved breast meat – shredded
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion – peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots – peeled and chopped
  • 2 parsnips – peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery – chopped
  • ½ small rutabaga – peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the dumplings

  • ½ cup of tapioca flour
  • 1½ cups of almond flour
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

CSMD5

The first thing I did was to make the broth.  Because my chicken had it’s feet and head intact, I cut off both feet, and the head and neck and put them in the slow cooker.  Next I added the chicken, and all the other broth ingredients.  There is no need to peel the veggies as they are just there to provide flavour.  I cut all the veggies up into rough chunks and put them in with the bayleaves, garlic, thyme and a sprinkling of salt.  I also added some apple cider vinegar to extract as many minerals as possible from the bones.

I covered the chicken with cold water, turned the slow cooker to low and left it for 3 hours.

By this time, the chicken breasts were cooked, so I removed the chicken from the pot, sliced of the breasts and returned the rest of the carcass to the pot to make a rich flavourful broth.  I put the breast meat in the refrigerator.

I left the carcass cooking for another 6 hours, but which time I was ready to make my soup.

The first thing I did was to strain my broth.  I discarded all the veggies, but kept the bones to make a second batch by adding more ACV and fresh veggies.

To make the soup, I melted the coconut oil in a large soup pot and added the onion, carrot, parsnip, celery and rutabaga. I sauteed the vegetables over a medium heat for around 10 minutes until they were starting to soften and brown slightly.

I then added the strained broth, the reserved chicken breast meat and the parsley.  I tasted the broth and added some salt and pepper.

I let this simmer for around 20 minutes until the veggies were nearly cooked.

While it was simmering I made the dumplings.

I mixed the almond flour, tapioca flour and salt together in a bowl.  Then I stirred in enough beaten egg to give a firm dough.

I let this sit in the fridge until the soup was ready.

Then I rolled the dough into small balls about the size of a walnut.  I like my dumplings small.

The dumplings were added to the soup pot, I put on a lid and let them cook in the simmering soup for another 15 minutes.

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Then I served it all in a big bowl.

Nommy!

Shared at Allergy Free Wednesday #112

Shared at Gluten Free Wednesday

 

 

 

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