I may have a bit of a cookbook collecting problem. That Amazon Prime free shipping offer is just too tempting. For months, the cookbook Paleo Indulgences was recommended for me available on Pre-Order. I wasn’t that familiar with the author, Tammy Credicott of The Healthy GF Life, & honestly felt a little guilty about buying a book that was “all desserts.” However, after reading some positive reviews and looking for some reliable coconut flour baking recipes, I decided that having a dessert heavy Paleo cookbook might not be such a bad thing.
I was pleasantly surprised when Paleo Indulgences arrived on my doorstep. It is very striking and simple. The images are crisp, but cozy.
The recipe organization is a bit whimsical:
Yes, you read that right. It is a PALEO cookbook, complete with introduction by Robb Wolf. In just a few pages, Tammy Credicott gives a nice little summary about what Paleo IS and ISN”T, along with some guidelines on how to apply it to your family life.
The book really won me over with my initial flip through, when I stumbled upon recipes to make some “copy-cat” Girl Scout cookies. Finally, a Paleo author that gets me! It isn’t that I can’t live without Thin Mints, because I can. And have for a couple of years, now. The dilemma is that I am a mother to a wonderful little Girl Scout, that I try to keep gluten-free. Having a Paleo friendly version of those little fundraising munchies is going to make cookie season much more bearable for us. Just knowing that we have that option helps take the stress out of an unavoidable part of the year.
The biggest surprise with this cookbook has been that it is not all desserts. There are several main dish, appetizer and snack recipes. I immediately made the Chicken ‘n Dumplings recipe. It was wonderful. The dumplings were made of coconut flour, which made them very light and fluffy. By the end of the week, I made Mandarin Chicken and Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps. Everything was delicious!
What I really liked about Tammy’s recipes were that they were simple with not a lot of “unusual” ingredients. Pantry staples. Also, every recipe in this book is one you recognize as being home cooking or a restaurant favorite. This is the book that I want to hand out to my friends and family and say “Hey, LOOK! You can STILL HAVE THAT!” In my opinion, this would be the perfect book to hand a friend that is interested in experimenting with Paleo or transitioning to Paleo. Especially if they have kids!
Now for the baking and the desserts!
I have been looking for more reliable coconut flour based recipes. I made the Blueberry Crumb Muffins, which were excellent. I especially liked her creativity in using chopped seeds as a crunchy topping. It made these muffins an extra delicious bakery-style treat, but safe to send to our Nut-Free schools. (Don’t mind the fact that they are a little green in the picture below. I used frozen blueberries and my little guy was none too gentle when mixing. Still delicious!)
The biggest hit in the house were the Decadent Brownies. This coconut flour recipe will be in our regular rotation. In all honesty, it is probably the BEST coconut flour baking recipe I have ever made. The husband and the kids just loved them. They are perfect for cutting up, freezing and packing in our little Nut-Free lunches. This recipe made purchasing the book worthwhile.
I really couldn’t be more pleased with this cookbook. I plan on cooking my way through it. I am also really excited to have this book for the holiday season. There are several coconut oil based candy recipes that I am glad we can have on hand for holiday parties. I have already made a shopping list so that I can do some cooking and baking here and there, freezing the goodies for the holiday season. It is really nice to know that I can continue some holiday traditions with my kids to share with our non-Paleo friends and family. The perfect resource is right on our bookshelf!
Don’t take my word for it! Here are some other great reviews of Paleo Indulgences, some include a recipe you can experiment with on your own:
Once a week, or sometimes every other week, I break down and unload my refrigerator and take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly. I try to do it on days like today, when I am headed out of town. We eat up leftovers that are still edible and dice up any veggies that didn’t get used and stick them in the freezer for later. All the jars and containers that had one last serving in them get washed or recycled. A grocery list gets made and we have a pretty clean slate to start the next week.
With Facebook changing its policies in regards to pages, I am not for sure what percentage of my posts are actually seen by my PFP followers. My blog is primarily recipes, but my FB page does sometimes share interesting research and articles that I think could be helpful. I also could use a place to put those Paleo thoughts and Instagram images that aren’t really worthy of an individual post.
These posts may end up being a jumbled up mess, but bear with me. Let me know what you think!
I ran across this article on Twitter from Grist and I thought it had some really important points for people to think about:
I roasted some Brussels sprouts and diced sweet potatoes to serve along with Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs for dinner one night this week. I can’t tell you how much my husband and son LOVED THIS DISH! I love my CrockPot, but you know you can do a whole dinner on a couple of cookie sheets in the oven and use the cooking time to finish homework with the kids, clean or do laundry. It is pretty easy prep, clean-up and time efficient, too! Check out this recipe from Balanced Bites for some guidance on the bacon wrapped chicken. I used a Krakow nights Polish Style Seasoning from Penzey’s instead of her smoky seasoning.
This is my attempt at Lemongrass Chicken from Nom Nom Paleo. I cooked mine in a baking dish instead of the CrockPot. It was awesome. Lemongrass isn’t one of our usual ingredients, but I found some already chopped in the frozen section of our International Food Market and it seemed too easy. My little boy LOVED it! It was a nice change of pace for us.
Have I mentioned how much I love to eat at HotPot Smoothie Shop? This is my takeout ($10) , enough for 2 meals! Bulgogi Beef with carrots, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms over roasted sweet potatoes in a Thai Green Curry Sauce. They have been so welcoming of my Paleo ways and have made it easy to adapt their dishes. So thankful for this addition to our neighborhood!
This is a quick meal that I put together using what was in the fridge. We all devoured it (except for my picky eater, of course)! Elliot even woke up one morning and asked for the leftovers for breakfast. Pork, Mushrooms and Kale in an Acorn Squash. I cooked the acorn squash in the microwave (poke some holes in it first). 3 minutes at a time until I was sure it was done. Slice in half. Scoop out seeds. Scoop out flesh and leave in the “bowl” so it easily mixes with other ingredients later. Saute pork loin slices in coconut oil and seasonings. (I used Penzey’s Tsardust Memories.) Add kale and mushrooms and a couple splashes of apple cider. Serve in the acorn squash bowls. Elliot is already asking about when we can eat out of a squash again!
Final note: Caramel Vodka + apple cider + club soda is delicious. My Paleo drink of the week. Happy Fall!
Pictured above: Golden Chicken served over sauteed cabbage and kale
I have been struggling to eat around some of my new dietary restrictions lately. Not a permanent situation, just healing up an unhappy stomach. Instead of dwelling on what I can’t have (coffee, chocolate & paprika), I am trying to focus on playing around with some new recipes. It is kind of working. Fortunately, 2 of my favorite bloggers (Stacy of Paleo Parents and Melissa of The Clothes Make the Girl) are following a similar plan right now, and both of them are blogging some of their frustrations and recipes. Stacy put together an amazing Pinterest board with links to recipes that are already egg/nut/nightshade/dairy/chocolate/caffeine/alcohol free or easily adaptable. I re-pinned some of those recipes and I am working my way through them.
This recipe was originally featured in Saveur magazine. Djej Besla – Chicken and Onion Tagine. Nobody at my house will remember that name, so it will affectionately be known as Golden Chicken. I doubt that Saveur magazine intends for anybody to throw this all in a Crockpot and cook it at once, but that is how things get done around here. When my kids are all grown up and out of the house I will buy a Tagine, brown each little bit of chicken perfectly and let it simmer over the stove while I pick the appropriate wine to accompany the meal. Until then, we will probably eat it this way.
This chicken is really beautiful when served. It is very tender in the Crockpot and has a pretty gentle flavor. If turmeric or saffron aren’t your usual cooking spices, don’t worry, it isn’t overpowering in this dish. You could also easily leave out the saffron, if it is hard to find or too expensive. Saffron is pricey but you don’t use very much an any individual dish.
This is a Paleo recipe, but we went Primal with the addition of goat cheese!
This recipe is inspired by my favorite dish at our local Mexican restaurant, Amigo’s Cantina. The dish is a chili relleno stuffed with a spiced chicken raisin walnut mixture and then covered in a goat cheese cream sauce. I happen to have posted a picture of my last indulgence on my Instagram account. Here it is served with sauteed mixed veggies (zuchinni, squash & jicama) instead of rice and beans:
Another reason why I love Amigo’s; it is very easy to make Paleo choices!
I wanted an easier dish than stuffing chiles myself and my favorite part is the filling. Therefore this became a lettuce wrap dish.
I looked around to see if anyone else had tried to Paleo adapt this dish and I found a nice recipe over at Maoomba. Stormy has a great blog and a book, Paleo Power Lunch. I am looking forward to following her and trying some recipes. Her take on this dish was a Chile Walnut Hash with added sweet potato. Mmm….sweet potato hash. Excited to have another option for one of our favorite weeknight dinner dishes. That wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do with the dish, but I did learn from Maoomba that “ Chiles en nogada is a seasonal dish originating in the town of Puebla to celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain. What makes this dish unique is that it uses chiles, fruit (typically pomegranate seeds), garlic, nuts and cinnamon in combination.” A little more research led me to some authentic recipes and I played with the spices and seasonings to come up with my own version.
The chicken is amazing and unique. It is very ”throw it all in the Crockpot” easy. My kind of recipe. I chose to make lettuce wraps and top the chicken mixture with goat cheese and pomegranate seeds (currently in season and available at Trader Joe’s) . I am getting some Pure Wraps in the mail this week and I think they will make a nice filling for those, too. You could serve it as a salad, on some spaghetti noodles, in a hash or just along side some veggies.
I did NOT add any peppers to this dish (still staying nightshade-free), but in keeping with the spirit of the dish I think that you could chop a few roasted Poblano peppers and add to the chicken mixture.
1. Put all ingredients (except for walnuts) in a Crockpot.
2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
3. Shred chicken with forks.
4. Add chopped walnuts.
5. Serve as you wish. Pictured above in lettuce wraps or boats, topped with goat cheese and pomegranate seeds.
If you are a faithful reader from the beginning, I apologize, this is an old recipe. It needed a better picture and a little revamping! This is one of my hubby’s favorite dinners. Unfortunately, it is one of the least photogenic recipes that I make. No matter what I do, it still looks like a big lump of almond butter on chicken and vegetables! It is, however, very easy and has a ton of flavor! Using some chicken and some Paleo pantry stables, this is a quick recipe that seems to be popular with several husbands of some of my blog readers!
This is originally a recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking. If you haven’t checked out this blog, you should. It is genius. She cooked with a Crockpot everyday for a year, in 2008, and blogged the good, the bad and the ugly. Simple, yummy food. She also has a child that is celiac so the recipes are already gluten free, they don’t need much adapting to be Paleo! One of my most used blogs for recipes.
Almond Butter Chicken
1. Spray a 4quart slow cooker. Put the chicken into the bottom and add the almond butter.
2. Add cumin and garlic.
3. Squeeze in lime, and add soy sauce/coconut aminos and chicken broth.
4.. Stir as well as you can to combine (the almond butter will be clumpy, and that’s just fine).
5. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for about 4 hours.
6. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice and vegetables.
Other Asian inspired recipes to check out:
I love the Internet. Faster than cookbooks when you are looking for something to do with chicken….again! I found this super easy recipe for Maple Mustard Chicken from Health-Bent, which is a great recipe site. Thank you Health-Bent, your recipes are fool-proof!
I quickly threw the mustard (I used Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Dijon), maple syrup and dried rosemary into a big bowl, mixed, then threw about 2 lbs or 10 chicken thighs in. I tossed to coat well, then baked on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for about 1/2 an hour. The skin of the chicken got nice and crispy, but the chicken stayed moist. The mustard seeds got kind of crunchy which added a nice touch.
Maple Mustard Chicken
1. Mix mustard, syrup & rosemary in a large bowl.
2. Toss chicken to coat.
3. Bake on baking sheet for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
I was able to do all the chopping and cooking of the hash while the chicken baked in the oven. No real method to my madness, here. Just using up the veggies that I had in the fridge and seasonings/spices in the pantry.
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Hash
1. Saute sweet potato and Brussels sprouts in coconut oil, till nearly as tender as you would like.
2. Add vinegar, dried cherries, salt and pepper to taste.
A pin on Pinterest caught my eye the other day for Cashew Chicken in the CrockPot. It was from the site, The Preppy Paleo. Cute website, by the way. You know what I love about the CrockPot? Throwing a bunch of stuff in and then walking away. Then, finding out hours later that what you threw in there has cooked up into a big delicious mess of flavor.
Turned out, this dish included the steps of breading and browning the chicken before you threw it in the CrockPot. Gasp. Honestly, why not just finish cooking it then and be done with it? Too many dishes and too many steps. So, I simplified this dish a bit from its original version and was very happy with how it turned out. If you have lived in or near Springfield, MO for any period of time, you know that there is no replicating Springfield Style Cashew Chicken. This recipe is good, but it isn’t that! I am sure that with some planning, some time and some experimentation you could bread some chicken and thicken up a nice brown gravy. Let me know what you come up with!
Crockpot Cashew Chicken
Happy to be home from vacation and with my favorite household item, my Crockpot! Made a huge batch of this semi-invented dish and have enough for leftovers. I am trying to be as Whole30 as possible and avoid nightshades for a while. Nightshades include tomatoes, (white) potatoes, eggplants and peppers. I still think I could see some improvements in my skin and general health and nightshades are the next step in the immune protocols that Balanced Bites, Chris Kresser and Robb Wolf discuss on their blogs/podcasts. Luckily for me, those aren’t my favorite foods.
This is a big recipe, so likely you can cut it in half. I do think it would freeze well.
Apricot Dijon Chicken
1. Spray Crockpot with oil.
2. Rinse thighs and put in whole.
3. Add apricots, mustard and coconut aminos.
5. Cook on low for 8 hours.
6. Crumble bacon on top.
7. Serve over veggies. I chose zucchini, but I think broccoli or cauliflower would be a good choice.
This dish could me made on the stove top or baked in a casserole dish. You can use any cut of chicken you like. Vary the vegetables. You could throw the chopped veggies in the last hour of cooking.
I think the CrockPot is my favorite way to cook chicken. It always gets really tender, and is never dry. I threw this together with stuff in my pantry. Make it your own!
Crock Pot Greek Chicken
1) Rinse chicken thighs and put in the bottom of the Crockpot.
2) Drizzle with oil, lemon juice and Greek seasoning and toss to coat.
3) Add olives and zucchini or vegetable of choice.
4) Add chicken broth. (If you don’t use the freeze dried veggies, you may not need any broth.)
5) Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
6) Plate and top with feta if you choose. That isn’t technically Paleo, but it fits Primal guidelines. Who doesn’t love some feta every once in a while?
You could easily cook this dish in a skillet or bake in the oven with some modifications. I also think that this would be delicious cooked without any veggies and then served over some zucchini noodles! I just didn’t have any fresh zucchini in the fridge, so I used my pantry stash of freeze-dried veggies instead.
This has been a big week in our house. After years of experimenting and trying to make a “healthier” chicken nugget for my daughter, The Picky Eater, I finally found the one that works. She gave it a 10! The picture above is kind of funny, they were eaten so quickly I couldn’t get a picture with a large quantity of them.
It really wasn’t too hard. I was able to cut up 2 big chicken breasts on Monday and dredge them in the coating. I put all these pieces in a pyrex covered dish. My first batch didn’t have quite enough seasoning and were a little dry. I added a bit more seasoning to the second batch, but still a bit dry. On Wednesday, I found the magic combination. Tossing the dredged chicken in some oil allowed it to brown and get a little crispier while baking. All the others were edible of course, but didn’t receive a “10″ rating. :)
As much as I hate to admit it, my Picky Eater would eat chicken everyday. She has a rotation of about 5 foods that we agree on. I was able to make all the chicken on Monday and bake it off in batches all week. I did try baking some ahead of time, putting it in the fridge and then popping it in the microwave. It turned out fine. I like to use my “Spaceship” for heating up our lunches, so it isn’t a big deal to bake her chicken freshly each day, as I am usually cooking a piece of fish or a burger for myself and the boy anyhow. If you experiment with this recipe and your kids, let me know. I am open for suggestions and criticisms!
Paleo Chicken Nuggets
1) Rinse cubed chicken in water. Pour off excess water, but leave them a little damp so the mixture has something to stick to.
2) Mix almond flour, coconut flour and garlic salt.
3) Press chicken cubes into the mixture and pat them to make sure they get coated well.
4) Put in a single layer on a dish for cooking now or later.
5) Before baking, melt a couple of Tbsps of oil (olive or coconut) in a small bowl.
6) Mix the dredged chicken pieces in the oil and then put them on a rack over a baking sheet in the oven.
7) Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 – 15 minutes, but this is determined by the size you cut the nuggets, so keep an eye on them and check a piece.