snack

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.

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.

 

 

smooth operator

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, smoothies and shakes are something we all need to be careful with. It’s just so easy to overdo it. Too much protein: you’re gonna pee it out or store it as fat. Too many carbohydrates and simple sugars from fruit or sweeteners: you’re gonna spike your blood sugar and store those carbohydrates as fat. We get a whole lot of benefit from eating our foods whole.

She had a terrible day, but now she's happy because smoothie.

She had a terrible day, but now she’s happy because smoothie.

Smoothies are, however, a great way to get protein, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats all in one glass. Not to mention that smoothies are easy for everyone to digest, both figuratively and literally.

Shakes and smoothies are especially helpful for athletes working to put on muscle mass or for recovery after intense workouts. The best time to provide our bodies with quick digesting nutrients in the form of a shake or smoothie is immediately post workout. Use these smoothies to get the nutrients you need after your WOD (within 30 minutes to an hour after aka your window of gainz).

Smoothie Recipes:

Go Hearty

  • 1 cup milk (your choice)
  • ½ cup rolled oats or steel cut oats
  • 1 banana
  • 2-3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup liquid egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 5-6 oz. vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup ice

Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender. Turn on and blend until smooth

 

Go Green

  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • ½ small avocado
  • 1/3 banana
  • ¼ cup pineapple
  • 3 strawberries
  • handful of spinach
  • ¼ cup water
  • ice for desired thickness

Optional:

  • ¼ cup uncooked steel cut oats
  • ½ celery stick

Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender. Turn on and blend until smooth

 

Go Simple

  • 1 scoop whey protein
  • 8 oz. unsweetened almond milk
  • ¾ cup berries
  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chia or flax seed

Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender. Turn on and blend until smooth

Smoothie recipes adapted from bodybuilding.com