Lunch

Homemade Chicken Apple Patties

Oh how I love fall flavors. They’re both warm and inviting; hearty and satisfying; sweet and savory. These Chicken Apple Patties are that & more, the perfect little roundup of all things fall. They’re a homemade versions of sausage patties. I got the idea from PaleoHacks and, to be honest, I was a bit intimidated by it. I’m comfortable working with raw meats, but for some reason the idea of grinding up whole chicken breasts myself seemed outside my comfort zone. I’ve heard some icky stuff about the nutritional content of commercial ground chicken though, so I bit the bullet and gave it a go. Boy am I glad I did because these came out awesome!

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The idea was simple: Real ingredients all ground up and cooked into convenient little patties. Perfect for a protein punch at snack time or a great alternative when eggs get boring morning after morning. They’re a little sweet and the perfect amount savory stuffed with flavorful herbs & in-season apples. The best thing is, you probably have all the ingredients you need already!

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Homemade Chicken Apple Patties

cooks 8-10 patties

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 small gala apples, peeled & chopped
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • salt & crushed black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • dash of nutmeg & cinnamon
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken
  • 1 egg
  • dash salt
  • coconut oil for cooking

Directions:

In a large pan or skillet, heat the coconut oil and add the apple, onion, salt & pepper, rosemary, thyme, fennel, nutmeg, & cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples & onions are tender. (if you want to really up the flavor of these patties, caramelize your onions first!)

While the apple mix is cooking, place the chicken in a food processor and pulse until ground. Add in the egg and apple mixture and pulse until incorporated.

Heat some more coconut oil in the same pan your used for the onions and apples. Scoop balls of the chicken mixture out (roughly the size of a golfball) and drop into the pan. Lightly flatten the tops to form the patties and sprinkle with just a dash more of salt. Cook for 4 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Continue until all your chicken has been patty-fied.

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Give these a go, seriously. I even used them to top my Fall Harvest Salad (recipe coming soon) last night. This is real, whole food.

Made from natural ingredients that you can pronounce, no junk, no surprises. That’s just the way we like it.

roasted citrus salad

Revamp your salad game to keep from getting bored towards the end of a salad filled summer. Roasted caramelized oranges are just what you need to add depth and complexity to mundane salads. Pair them with the bitter tang of arugula and smooth avocado and you get a salad that’ll feel sinfully gourmet.

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Roasted Citrus & Avocado Salad

Serves 4-6

Adapted from bon appétit

Ingredients:

  • 2 large oranges, peeled and sliced, seeds removed *
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 small red onion, thin sliced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

Directions:

IMG_5736Preheat your oven to 425′ F. Toss your citrus slices with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast your citrus, flipping occasionally, until you get a light char and a caramelized sweet scent (10-15 minutes). Let cool. **

 

Meanwhile, combine your onion and lemon juice in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, this will soften and mellow out the flavor of your onions.

In a large serving bowl, combine arugula, romaine, cucumbers, avocado, and roasted citrus. Pour onions and lemon juice over greens. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat

 

* Don’t feel like you’re limited to oranges here. If you’ve got blood oranges or love the taste of grapefruit try those! You could even do lemons for more flavor.

** Feel free to make your oranges ahead of time and keep in the fridge. They stayed pretty nicely for me and were in the fridge all day.

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We ate this tasty little salad with some tangy korean ribs and potato salad (recipes to come), but it was great with some pesto chicken salad the next day too!

 

 

kale and quinoa cakes

It’s amazing to think that just a year or two ago you wouldn’t find a stitch of kale on our family’s dinner table. We had to ease into the leafy green superfood by covering it with bacon (anything that tastes even a little like bacon is usually a thumbs up in our house). Now, it seems like we’ve always got a bunch in our fridge. Kale has worked its way into the dinnertime veggie rotation, sometimes still cooked in bacon, sometimes we let it shine all on its own, and sometimes cooked in little cakes.

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A food that hasn’t had quite the success that kale has in our house is quinoa. The protein packed grain is still trying to find its big break on our dinner table. I’m a fan, but finding ways keep quinoa from eliciting a painful grimace on my dad’s face is proving to be quite the task. These cakes are a step in the right direction.

Here you take cooked quinoa, mix it up with some blanched kale and breadcrumbs and round out the flavor with some salty parmesan cheese, green onions, and minced garlic. They are really tasty right out of the pan! Not as great cold though, so if you’re not already a lover of quinoa and kale I’d suggest reheating them or saving the uncooked mixture in the refrigerator and quick frying them when you’re ready to get eating!

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Kale & Quinoa Cakes

Makes 8-10 cakes. Recipe adapted from Yummy Supper

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup cooked quinoa *
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 spring onion, sliced thin
  • 1.5 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup blanched kale, chopped **
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat, but gluten free would work too)
  • 1 tsp olive or coconut oil

Directions:

In a large bowl combine quinoa, eggs, cheese, onion, garlic, salt, kale, and breadcrumbs. Mix well and then let sit for a few minutes to allow the liquid time to absorb. You want your mixture to be moist but not runny.

Heat your olive or coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Form your cakes and place into pan. (be sure not to overcrowd) Cover the pan and let the cakes cook for 7-10 minutes. The bottoms should be a nice deep golden brown when you flip. Now cook the other sides for another 7 minutes. Let the patties rest on a cooling rack. I needed to do 2 batches but that may differ depending on the size of your pan.

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We ate ours alongside some ribs and asparagus at dinner time, but these would also be great topped with a little avocado and lemon juice, maybe some chicken salad… yum!

* If you don’t have already cooked quinoa lying around, just cook some up! You can do as much or as little as you’d like but the rule of thumb is 1 cup uncooked quinoa needs 2 cups of water to cook and should yield about 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa. Throw your uncooked quinoa and water into a pot, allow it all to come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook until all the liquid has absorbed and the quinoa is nice and tender. Fluff and let cool to room temp.

** To blanch your kale bring a large pot of water to a boil. Submerge kale entirely and drain immediately.

 

 

paleo tortillas

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Made these paleo tortillas yesterday and they were a hit! They’re really easy to make, come together in a snap, and are sturdy enough wrap everything up without busting at the seams. Flour and corn tortillas are tasty, but can cause some serious inflammation inside the body. These tortillas leave out all those inflammatory grains by using tapioca flour or arrowroot and coconut flour. Don’t think you have to go out for your way to find these ingredients though! You can find them all right in your local Shopright down the baking aisle.

Makes 10-12 small tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 4 tsp olive oil (or melted ghee)
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 cup arrowroot or tapioca flour
  • 4 tsp coconut flour
  • pinch of sea salt

Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk in the olive oil or melted ghee and water. Add the dry ingredients – tapioca flour, coconut flour, and salt – and beat well to combine.

In a small ungreased nonstick skillet over medium heat, pour in roughly 1/4 cup of the batter (I used a 1/4 cup scoop to make things easy), and immediately roll it around to evenly coat the bottom of the skillet. The tortilla should start to pull away from the edges as it cooks. Cook for roughly 1 minute and flip (the tortilla should be easy to flip when ready). Cook for another minute on the other side.

If saving your tortillas for later, cool completely and store tightly wrapped in an airtight container. You can even freeze a batch of these and thaw later. AND if you want these tortillas to serve as a vessel for some sweeter fillings add 1/2 tsp of vanilla to the batter.

Recipe from The Performance Paleo Cookbook

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herb citrus chicken

This chicken is bitchin’. It’s flavorful and fall-off-the-bone tender. Goodluck not taking seconds.

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Serves 4-6 with leftovers

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar (or honey)
  • 3 whole lemons, 2 juiced and 1 sliced
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 1.5 tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • dried parsley, basil, oregano
  • sea salt and crushed black pepper
  • Roughly 24 pieces bone in chicken parts (2 packs drumsticks & 2 packs thighs), pat dry
  • 1 medium onion, thin sliced
  • 2 tsp dried thyme, or fresh chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoon dried rosemary, or fresh chopped

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl or directly into a large gallon ziplock bag mix together olive oil, garlic, agave, lemon juice, orange juice, italian seasoning, paprika, onion powder, crushed red pepper, and a healthy dose of dried parsley, basil, oregano, sea salt, and black pepper to your liking. (the herb amounts all depend on how herby you want your chicken. I just added a few shakes of each).
  2. Place chicken and olive oil mix into the large gallon ziplock, mix around, and allow to marinade for a few hours, up to overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Place chicken in two 13 x 9 inch glass baking dishes, distributing chicken and all the marinating juices evenly. Arrange slices of lemon and onion around and on top of chicken.
  5. Sprinkle generously with the thyme and rosemary if you’d like even more herb flavor (optional)
  6. Bake for 1 hour, uncovered, or until chicken is cooked and juices run clear.
  7. Remove from oven, serve it all up and chow down!

You can make this recipe with chicken breasts instead of parts the exact same way, but only bake for 30-40 minutes instead of an hour. This chicken is great with a nice big salad or vibrant green broccoli and brown rice.

balsamic glazed salmon

Balsamic and salmon go together perfectly. Make dinner time effortlessly decadent with a sweet balsamic glaze made with minimal sugar that takes no time at all. We ate ours with that zucchini ribbon salad!

- from cooking classy. I only drizzled the glaze over instead of covering the salmon, but we ate all ours before I snapped a picture

– from cooking classy. I only drizzled the glaze over instead of covering the salmon, but we ate all ours before I snapped a picture

Ingredients:

for the balsamic glaze

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 Tbsp agave
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, fine minced

for the salmon

  • 2 lbs salmon, cut into 4-6 oz filets
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • olive oil

Directions:

Take out your salmon and allow it to rest at room temperature. Preheat your grill.

In a medium saucepan, mix all the ingredients for the glaze. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce becomes thick and reduces to about 1/3 cup. This’ll take about 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Rub salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay, skin side up, on the grill. Cook salmon on open grill for roughly 3 minutes or until the filets have some beautiful golden brown hashmarks and come off the grill easily without sticking. Flip over to skin side down and continue to cook until done, roughly another 3-5 minutes.

Remove from grill, drizzle with that glaze and eat up.

 

Adapted from: cooking classy

zucchini ribbon salad

Summer is coming. Fire up the grill. Pick up some fresh zucchini. Make an awesome salad that will convince your friends that you’re a master of all things grilled, fresh, and delicious. Eat said salad. Repeat.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 small – medium zucchini
  • 2-3 handfuls greens ( I used a baby chard, arugula, spinach mix)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2-4 oz cheese (I used a sheep’s milk cheese similar to gorgonzola in flavor, feta would be delicious as would parmesan)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • dijon mustard
  • crushed garlic
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt & crushed black pepper

Directions:

Preheat your grill. With a vegetable peeler, cut thin lengthwise “ribbons” of your zucchini. You could also use a mandolin to make the long thin strips. Massage the ribbons with some olive oil. Lay on your grill until cooked and you get some beautiful golden brown grate marks. Remove and set in a bowl.

To make your dressing mix 3 parts extra virgin olive oil to one part red wine vinegar. Whisk in 1-2 tsp dijon mustard, 1 crushed garlic clove, and some crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper to taste.

Toss your grilled zucchini ribbons with the greens, toasted pine nuts, crumbled cheese, and a few tablespoons of dressing.

We ate our salad with some grilled salmon (recipe to follow) and a hearty serving of roasted sweet potatoes!

Sweet Potato “Pizza”

WARNING: If you continue to read this post and/or make this recipe you are not allowed to say that this is not pizza. You are not allowed to hassle me about the fact that potatoes aren’t pizza crust or that yours fell apart or blah blah. You know why? Because this stuff is good whether you think of it as a pizza or not. You’re gonna eat it all. You can call it sweet potato nachos or just stuff on sweet potatoes for all I care, but do me a favor and savor the sweet potato goodness. Give in people! Let it happen.

That being said, some time ago I made a sweet potato pizza.I was nervous about it at first. I had my doubts, but the power of the potato pulled through. It’s a little involved, but the pesto and other toppings could absolutely be made ahead of time or you could just buy some of your favorite pre-made versions to cut down on the time in the kitchen.

And yes, I am ignoring the fact that I haven’t posted on the blog in FOREVER. We are just gonna brush over that. Consider this your “let’s sweep this one under the rug” present.

Sweet Potato Pizza

Crust:

  • 3 huge sweet potatoes or 6 small/medium sweet potatoes
  • pinch paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • mozzarella cheese

Toppings

  • bell peppers (used 1/2 red and 1/2 orange), sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • bacon, cooked & chopped
  • chicken, cooked and shredded
  • mozzarella cheese

Suggestions:

  • Top with bbq sauce instead of pesto and use pulled pork instead of chicken
  • Add some broccoli or other veggies of choice with your peppers and onions

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Wash and pat dry your sweet potatoes. Cut off the ends and give them a rough peel, no need to stress about getting all the skin off. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, cut your potatoes lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices. Add the potatoes to a large bowl and toss to coat with the olive oil, garlic, paprika, salt & pepper. Lay the potatoes in a single layer, making sure their ends overlap.

Here is where you add your veggies. Sprinkle your peppers and onions over the sweet potatoes. You don’t want too many toppings on the pizza just yet or else they will burn or end up just steaming the potatoes and you won’t get a good crust. I sprinkled everything with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Then bake for 20 minutes and then broil on high for 10 minutes.

While that is cooking, prep your other toppings. If you have to cook your chicken or fry up your bacon do that here.

After the crust is done, pull the pan out and top everything with 2.5 oz of the cheese. Make sure you get all the seams because the cheese is going to help keep the crust together come stuff your face time. Drizzle on your pesto, sprinkle on the chicken and bacon, and top with the remaining cheese. Return the pizza to the oven and broil for another 8-10 minutes or until your cheese gets bubbly and browned. Take that shit out and cut into slices or dig in with a fork or just put your face in it.

fajita salad

Posted by Corie

The fajita. A beautiful union of sizzling hot peppers and onions, with tender, juicy chicken or steak, slathered in guacamole and covered in a mound of fresh tomato salsa. Ditch the tortillas and add a bed of crisp lettuce… ayup, fajitas just became your new best friend.

stepbro

This shit I’m about to drop on you all is super easy. You can make everything from scratch or you can buy some of your favorite brand salsa or guacamole, it’s all up to you. These have tons of muscle building protein from the chicken, vitamins and minerals in all your veggie toppings and healthy fats from avocado. The brown rice is optional, but it definitely gives the dish a faux-chipotle feel and satisfied my complex carb craving. Sometimes, the body wants what the body wants, and it’s important to listen. But if gluten bothers you or you’re going all full-scale paleo, then by all means leave it out. Last note, you can definitely make this with steak or shrimp or a mix. Have fun with it.

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serves 4-5 w/ leftovers

For the Chicken:

(Feel free to use your own marinade instead)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1.5 tbsp honey

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp grainy mustard

2 tbsp chopped, fresh cilantro

4 cloves garlic, minced

Throw the chicken in a gallon zip lock bag. Season with the salt and pepper. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl, when combined, pour over the chicken. Seal the bag and let that stuff sit in the refrigerator for one to a few hours. If you’re pressed for time, a half hour will do, but you won’t get all the flavor. Also… some adobo sauce would be bangin’ in there, but I didn’t have any.

Take the chicken out and cook over medium high heat on the stove in a sauté pan. Get a nice deep golden brown color on the outsides and then let them cook on low until done throughout. Make sure they are cooked all the way through because we don’t need any cases of salmonella round here. Then slice then and set aside.

For the Rice:

1.5 cups brown rice

pinch of salt

1 tsp coconut oil

juice of 1 lime

chopped, fresh cilantro

put your brown rice and 4 cups water in a pot over high heat. Throw in a pinch of salt and let that come to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer until all the water has been absorbed by your rice. Fluff with a fork and then stir in the coconut oil, lime juice, and fresh cilantro.

For the Peppers: 

3/4 medium yellow onion, sliced into strips

2 red, 1 orange, and 1 yellow bell peppers, sliced into thin strips

In a large saute pan, heat the onions and some coconut oil over medium-high. Cook these, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown and caramelize. Throw in the peppers and continue to cook and stir until the same thing happens to them. You want to get a real good color and flavor on these so taste often if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Salsa: 

I made a fresh avocado salsa, but feel free to sub here.

2 large tomatoes, small chopped

1/2 small red onion, small chopped

1.5 avocados, chopped

juice of 1 lime wedge

pinch of salt

fresh cilantro

Just throw it all together and let sit in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to let all those flavors mesh.

Put it all together: 

Over a bed of thin chopped romaine and mixed greens, pile high a small scoop of rice, a healthy handful of those peppers and onions, slices of the chicken, and then the salsa. You can put all the salads together ahead of time or make it like a fajita salad bar where everyone makes their own. Get a good simple dressing, I used a chili-lime vinaigrette my mom picked up at whole foods, and drizzle that all over your salad. DIG IN. Gainz galore.

 

 

muscle maker meatloaf

Posted by Corie

I love meatloaf.images

No, not that Meatloaf… the other kind.

Meatloaf is a powerful meal.

It has the power to build muscle in a protein packed loaf form. It has the power to hide some nutrient dense veggies with a crispy bacon crust. It has the power to comfort you on those increasingly chilly fall and winter nights. Meatloaf is versatile and tweak-able. Most importantly, meatloaf has the power to please to everyone from the fussiest of 11 year old boys to the health nut dietician and all the way to the bacon loving, muscle builder.

The Meatloaf Method:

1. Choose your meat. I prefer the grass fed ground beef in my meatloaf, but any good quality ground meat can work. You could do chicken, turkey, veal or pork, or a combination of a few.

2. Get your veggies. With meatloaf, you just can’t pass up the opportunity to pack that baby with nutrients. You’re going to get such a great flavor, why not get optimal nutrition too? Use spinach and sweet potatoes, mushrooms and caramelized onions, shredded carrots or zucchini. Whichever veggies you use will determine which spices and seasonings you throw in, but that’s something easily google-able for those of us who haven’t entirely developed that pairing knowledge base yet. Not only are they going to add nutrient density to your meatloaf, veggies can help keep dat loaf nice and moist.

3. BACON. This step is essential. Add it. Layer it on top or in the mix or maybe both.

4. Ditch the breadcrumbs. We don’t need any breadcrumbs or crumbled up crackers up in here. We’ve got ground flax seed, almond flour, and coconut flour, all more nutritious and delicious options.

Now that you’ve got the basics I’m going to give you the recipe for my favorite meatloaf. It’s sweet and savory, tender and juicy. There’s no green veggies inside, so make sure to pair it with a big green salad or some broccoli and kale.

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1/4 lb bacon

1/4 cup raisins

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 large sweet potato

1lb grass fed lean ground beef

1/2 cup almond meal

1 egg

cinnamon

a pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Take 4 slices bacon and cut into bite-sized pieces. Heat your bacon in a deep saute pan until you start to see a nice crisp on your bacon. Add in the raisins, garlic, and onions and let cook.

While those are cooking peel and shred your sweet potato. I’d suggest using a food processor, but if you don’t have one, no need to panic. When I was up at school this meal was my go-to and I always shredded them by hand with a grater or shredder. You can use a vegetable peeler and then you get these beautiful ribbons of sweet potato in your meatloaf. It’s a bit of a workout, which just means you deserve an extra piece of meatloaf when you’re done.

Once the bacon is cooked, the onions are translucent, and the raisins start to bloat a bit, add them all to a large bowl. Mix in the rest of your ingredients (the beef, almond flour, sweet potato, egg, cinnamon, salt and pepper). Get in there and mix everything together with your hands. When it’s all well incorporated press your meatloaf into a loaf pan and top with the rest of your strips of bacon… you know… for good measure.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until cooked through. The bacon will be perfectly crispy and your kitchen will smell like heaven. Eat up.

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adapted from PaleOMG.com