Paleo Chicken Meatballs

If you want to wow your friends and family with a dish packed with intense flavor and free of allergens, then you have to try this!  It falls into our 30 minutes or less group, making it truly one of our favorite go-tos for a healthy, quick and super satisfying meal. We have replaced all flour, gluten and dairy with allergen-free ingredients, and use zucchini noodles in place of pasta, so this healthy dish is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and Paleo. Score!

If you haven’t cooked with zucchini noodles yet, the main thing to watch for is not over cooking the “noodles”, so we toss the ribbons in at the last 5 minutes with this recipe so they have just enough time to soften up, but won’t lose their coarse texture that’s reminiscent of pasta. The easiest way to prep the zucchini noodles is with a mandolin or spiralizer (both will link to the ones we bought on Amazon). The mandolin is simple to use, once you get used to it, but just be careful to avoid the sharp blade, and definitely don’t let your kiddos use this one! If you prefer a spiralizer, this is our favorite! Sometimes I can be a big baby about the mandolin and want to use something easy, without sharp edge to worry about cutting myself on.

I can’t wait to hear what you think about this recipe, so please share your comments below!

Gluten-free, Paleo Marsala Chicken Meatballs

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Marsala wine
  • 1 lb ground white meat chicken
  • 1/4 cup grated manchego, plus extra for serving
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond flour
  • 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 large zucchinis, cut into noodles

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler to high.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1/4 cup almond flour, coconut milk and 1 tablespoon marsala.
  3. Let soak for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken, manchego, egg, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper.
  5. With your hands, gently mix together the ingredients until just combined.
  6. Form into tablespoon-size balls and place on an oiled baking sheet.
  7. Broil for 5 minutes, or until the meatballs are beginning to brown and are just barely cooked through.
  8. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  9. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.
  10. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mushrooms are brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  11. Add the onions and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for another 2 minutes.
  12. Lower heat to medium and stir in the remaining almond flour and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  13. Add 1/3 cup marsala wine and stir until smooth.
  14. Whisk in the chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes.
  15. Add spiralized zucchini noodles to sauce and mix to coat.
  16. Add the meatballs and simmer for an additional 5 minutes to let the flavors blend.
  17. Serve hot, garnished with grated manchego.
http://inspiredeats.net/30-minute-meals-gluten-free-paleo-marsala-chicken-meatballs/

Gluten free Curried Chicken Salad

Recently I decided to launch a 30 minutes or less meal plan section, since most of what I’m asked about is how we prepare quick, easy, gluten-free and yummy meals.

To be honest, I’m not a fabulous chef. I’m not one of those amazing people who can whip up an alternative version of their favorite gluten-full foods. My brain doesn’t work like a scientist, knowing what percentage of an almond flour/tapioca starch/arrowroot/rice flour mix to use to replace with wheat flour.  And I don’t sit around my kitchen fermenting foods, or experimenting with cricket flour.

What I do know is how to avoid allergens with real food, and how to prepare foods ahead of time so I can use them to whip up delicious and quick meals throughout the week. I have also tried just about every product on the market, and I know which to use in order to save time, money and love what you eat, and I know which ones to avoid.

So, the posts in the 30 minute meals section will focus on meals that you can prep within 30 minutes (some in less time) and tips to prepare for the week so you can save time and still enjoy delicious, healthy meals.

One of my favorite (super easy) solutions when you’re in a food rut, is to whip up some curried chicken salad. It’s a nice change from the typical chicken salad, and will store in the fridge for several days.  I love to use a rotisserie chicken from the local market, but be sure to buy natural, organic chickens with minimal seasoning so you can void any hidden gluten.

Gluten free Curried Chicken Salad Ingredients:

2 cups chopped organic/natural rotisserie chicken

1 TB curry powder

1 cup organic mayo

1/4 cup diced apples

2 stalks chopped celery

Handful of raisins or dried cranberries

Salt + pepper to taste

Instructions: 

Mix a cup of mayo with a tablespoon of curry powder.

Add chopped rotisserie chicken, diced apples and celery and toss in some raisins for a sweet touch.

Season with s+p. Yum!

Notes: using a pre-cooked chicken, this meal should take less than 10 minutes. Serve on toasted gluten-free bread, in a lettuce wrap, or just enjoy plain, straight from the bowl. Store any leftovers in the fridge for several days.

Make sure all ingredients are ‪#‎organic‬ and ‪#‎gluten free‬ for best taste and even better health!

xo

Jen

paleo curried shrimp

Curried shrimp and spinach

I ran across this recipe last year and it was a hit on the first try. I added some mushrooms in with the onions while sautéing (I’m a BIG fan of sautéed mushrooms) so when it came to the point of blending the onions and mushrooms mixture I left some in the pan to eat whole with the shrimp, and blended the other half as instructed. Either way, it was a delicious meal, and super easy and quick to make thanks to some frozen, de-veined shrimp.

Easy and delicious… two of my favorite things :)

paleo curried shrimp

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 lbs shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free chicken stock
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tightly packed cups shredded spinach
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Heat a large skillet over a medium-low heat and cook the onion in the ghee, butter or coconut oil until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir in the curry powder and continue cooking for a minute.
  3. Place mixture in a blender or a food processor, add the tomato paste as well as the chicken stock and coconut milk. Process or blend until smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture back in the skillet and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add the shrimps and spinach and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes, until the shrimps are just cooked.

Paleo BBQ chicken meatballs

If you’re following the Paleo diet, you know how important prepping your meals ahead of time is. Otherwise you find yourself coming home from work,  starving, and grabbing whatever you can find to eat instead of taking the time to make a healthy meal. That basically means we spend our Sunday afternoons prepping meals for the week, especially ones that can reheat well and still be as good as they were when first made.

Like these guys.

I love meatballs. I can eat them on top of zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash or all by themselves. I like to make this BBQ version to change up the typical Italian meat sauce flavor and throw in a little Texas kick to our meals. You can use pork or beef as well, but chicken makes a great option and the flavors work so well together that we usually just stick with chicken. If you change it up at all, be sure to share so we can try your version too – Paleo love!

Paleo/Gluten-free Meatballs
1 lb Organic, ground chicken 
2-3 TBS flax meal (or coconut flour)
1 large free-range egg

Fresh garlic and basil make great additions, or you can season with Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.  Season to your liking – I use around a dash to 1/2 tsp for each spice.

Instructions:

  • Preheat cast iron skillet to medium-high heat, and grease with coconut, avocado or MCT oil (best for high heat cooking)
  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Roll into golf ball size meatballs.
  • Drop meatballs carefully into the pan and allow to brown on each side for a few minutes.
  • Roll meatballs with wooden spoon so all sides are evenly cooked, or of approximately 15 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low, and add BBQ sauce to the pan.
  • Simmer at low heat for an additional 10 minutes. Serve with extra sauce for dipping.
  • Enjoy!

 

 

Paleo BBQ chicken meatballs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s one of our favorite recipes for BBQ sauce…

Paleo BBQ Sauce

1 Tbsp Coconut oil
3 cloves mince garlic
1/2 medium-large sweet onion, minced
1 Tsp organic spicy/dijon mustard
1 Tsp smoked paprika
1 Tsp chipotle seasoning (optional)
1 Tsp cumin
1 1/4 Cup chicken broth(can also use veggie broth or plain water)
Juice of 1.5 limes

1.5 TBS Braggs or Coconut Aminos
6 oz can of ‘no salt added’ tomato paste

Instructions:

  • Heat coconut oil in a pan.
  • Add garlic and onions and saute till translucent/soft.
  • Add mustard, paprika, chipotle, cumin and continue to cook.
  • Add remaining ingredients and whisk till smooth.
  • Bring to a light boil, reduce to simmer and partially cover with lid.
  • Simmer 45 minutes and let cool.

Paleo BBQ chicken meatballs

Almond Flour Tortillas

I love tortillas. I use them in place of bread, as a treat topped with almond butter and apples or bananas, or toasted with some ghee and garlic to make a pretty great garlic bread alternative.

Paleo living means you get a little creative now and then :)

And since I’ve tasted so many kinds, I can save you some time and tell you these are by far my absolute favorite. Our son loves them and we’ve been known to top them with nut butter and fruit and roll into a crepe, or toast them and use them as a base for a Paleo pizza. So many options folks – trust me on this one!

 

Almond Flour Tortillas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almond Flour Tortillas (Gluten-free, Paleo)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Guar Gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Note – you can also add a teaspoon of honey to help hold the dough together

 

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large glass bowl.
  2. Place a strip of all natural wax paper on your counter.
  3. Divide dough and roll it into a ball with your hands (ball should fit into the center of your palm).
  4. Place the piece of dough in the center of the wax paper and place another strip of wax paper over the dough ball.
  5. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it is as thin as you can get it without it falling apart.
  6. Oil a cast iron skillet with coconut oil and heat skillet to Medium heat (be sure to give the pan plenty of time to heat before adding your first tortilla – can take up to 10 minutes depending on your stove and skillet)
  7. Place tortilla onto pan and let it cook for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown (the edges will brown and the middle will start to bubble).
  8. Flip and cook on the other side for another minute or less.
  9. Add more coconut oil as the skillet becomes dry and lower the temperature to medium-low to prevent burning if needed.
  10. Stack tortillas on a plate, allowing to cool

 

Tortillas will store in the freezer once cooled or can be kept them in the fridge in a glass container for a few days. To reheat, simply warm a cast iron skillet on low to medium heat and place on skillet for 30 seconds per side.

Note: (makes 8 small tortillas)

 

Enjoy :)

Paleo Chocolate Chili

In an experiment to get my husband to try the Paleo lifestyle, I picked up copy of Well Fed and left it on the counter. It sat there for a while, untouched.

So I decided to make a grocery list using recipes from it, and then asked him for help with one of the meals for dinner that night. Surprisingly, that worked, because before I knew it he was flipping through the book, landed on a recipe he liked, and was in the kitchen prepping it in no time.

He’s really the cook in the house, though I tend to drive the choices we make. I would cook. I do cook. But he’s definitely better at it.

I can say that we’ve made our way through about 4 or 5 recipes in there so far, and every one of them has been amazing. I’ll share some pictures of our meals soon, but in the meantime if you’re looking for healthy (or Paleo) recipe options, you can’t go wrong with Well Fed. The author, Melissa, clearly lays out what to prep in advance, what her Paleo kitchen looks like, and how she makes living Paleo as easy as possible. Even if you’re not Paleo, the recipes in here are so delicious that you probably won’t miss the grains, gluten or dairy. Trust me.

Click the image below and head over to Amazon to pick up a copy on Prime. I hope you’re a Prime member. If not you should be – it’s probably the greatest value from any online company I can think of.  Oh, and start with the Pad Thai. You’re welcome.

   Paleo Chocolate Chili

Frozen chocolate banana bites

I LOVE chocolate. The taste, the health benefits and the way it feels when a rich, delicious piece melts in my mouth and makes the sides of my throat tingle with its deliciousness – so many reasons to love it. But since I follow a paleo diet, I try to avoid sugar, so I had to find a way to enjoy a chocolatey flavor that was sugar-free, and mostly paleo. Then I discovered these guys – they’re frozen, chocolate banana bites that are packed with coconut oil goodness, raw cocao and bananas, so if you’re trying to make sure you eat enough coconut oil,  this is a great way to help.  Because coconut oil melts at room temperature, keep these in the freezer and take out one or two when the urge hits, let it defrost for a few minutes and enjoy. 

 

Frozen coconut oil chocolate banana bites (GF, Vegan, Paleo)

Frozen coconut oil chocolate banana bites  (GF, Vegan, Paleo)

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 2 TBSP Raw Cocoa
  • 1 TBSP Cashew or almond butter
  • 1 dropper full of liquid stevia
  • Shredded coconut (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat pan on low to medium heat
  2. Add coconut oil and stir until melted (30 seconds or so)
  3. Add nut butter and continue stirring until melted and blended (about 1 minute)
  4. Add cocao and stir until blended
  5. Add stevia
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Slice bananas into 1 inch thick slices
  8. Dip banana into pan and fully coat with chocolate sauce
  9. Remove slices and place in a pan for freezing (I use a mini cupcake tin)
  10. Sprinkle with shredded coconut (optional)
  11. Freeze for 2 hours
  12. Remove from tin and place in frozen ziplock bag for storage.
  13. Enjoy!
http://inspiredeats.net/frozen-choco-banana-bites-gf-vegan-paleo/

21 Meals With Tons Of Protein And No Meat

Ran across this article for 21 Meals With Tons Of Protein And No Meat on buzz feed and had to share! I’m always looking for ways to add more protein to my diet without eating meat, and some of these look amazing. With at least 18 grams per serving, these meals give vegetarians, and those of us who just prefer not to eat too much meat, plenty of protein options!

Check out this one: Black Bean, Arugula, and Poached Egg Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – really?? I know what i’m having tomorrow for breakfast :)

Black Bean, Arugula, and Poached Egg Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Buzzfeed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click the image below to head over to Buzzfeed and plan your next fave meat-free meal….

 

21 Meals With Tons Of Protein And No Meat

Buzzfeed

zucchini burgers are gluten-free, paleo

Just ran across those guys thanks to Facebook, and I can’t wait to try them next week! One Lovely Life has created Chicken & Zucchini Poppers that are gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo and whole30 approved so just about anyone (other than my veg friends) can eat these too. Check out the recipe here and let me know if you get around to making them before I do!

I mean, come on… how good do these look??

zucchini burgers are gluten-free, paleo

Grate 2 tablespoons of zest from the lemons and squeeze out 1/4 cup of juice. Add the zest and juice to a food processor or blender along with the cilantro, parsley, mint, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Pulse to blend the ingredients. If the sauce is too thick, add more oil and lemon juice. The sauce should be just thin enough to pour. Use immediately or store in a glass jar for up to one week.

For most of us, the senses of smell and taste are powerful in bringing back memories. Perhaps it’s a meal that reminds us of a favorite moment in life, a vacation you never wanted to leave, or a friend, former love or family member you haven’t seen in ages.  When I was in my 20’s living in New York city, I had a favorite Argentinian restaurant that I visited often. No matter what I ordered, I always asked for their chimichurri sauce on the side. And I wasn’t particular about what I used it on – roasted veggies, fish, grilled meats or salads. The food was amazing and their chimichurri sauce was a perfect blend of tang and spice that was too much for me to resist.

Chimichurri is a blend of olive oil and finely chopped parsley, oregano, onion and garlic, all seasoned with salt, cayenne and black pepper and is as common in Argentina as ketchup is in the US.  It’s naturally gluten-free and Paleo and I’m guessing will become a staple in your kitchen, as it is in ours.

(more…)

egg muffins

I don’t know about you, but one of our challenges around here is getting our son off to school in the morning with a healthy, non processed breakfast without having to wake up an hour ahead of time to do so. 6:30 is plenty early as far as I’m concerned, and should be enough time to get us all out the door with a healthy breakfast, but the reality is I often fall short of that unless I’ve prepped ahead of time. 

Enter these fabulous little egg muffins we recently discovered! They can be made ahead of time, and stored for 3-4 days, are super easy to reheat and pack a powerful protein punch. Satisfying a Paleo, gluten free, dairy free diet, they’re delicious, healthy and convenient.

Perfectly inspired foods for a great start to the day – enjoy!

 

Paleo, gluten free Egg Muffins

Yield: 12 to 16 muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Paleo, gluten free Egg Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh basil, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 10 – 12 pastured eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with coconut oil
  3. In a medium bowl, combine red bell pepper, shredded carrots, spinach, and basil
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, salt and pepper
  5. Add egg mixture to the veggie mixture and stir to combine
  6. Using a measuring cup or a ice cream scoop fill muffin cups with egg mixture being sure not to fill cups to the rim (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup in each cup)
  7. Bake the egg muffins for 20 to 25 minutes or until eggs are set in the middle
  8. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days
http://inspiredeats.net/paleo-gluten-free-egg-muffins/

Maple-Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Pecans

Gone are the days of the bland Brussel Sprouts from our Grandma’s dinner tables; these sprouts are delicious and add a sweet and salty flair to the sprouts of the past. In fact, with a hint of maple syrup and a touch of pecans, these little guys are sure to please dinner guests of all ages, and are a sure-fire way to get your kiddos to eat their veggies.

I love the salty sweet combo, and it seems to be  trait my son inherited as well, so I’m always looking for a way to jazz up our veggies and make sure to keep side dishes interesting. It’s so easy to get stuck in a salad and spinach rut, so to avoid the ho-hums of side dishes, I like to whip up quick and easy sides that pair well with meat and fish. And these brussel sprouts don’t disappoint. Inspired by a post we found at Seasonal and Savory, these guys are hands down, our fave version of sprouts to date. Enjoy!

Maple-Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Pecans
 

Ingredients

3 cups sprouts, cut into quarters or halves
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1/2 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions

In a large skillet or wok, toss the sprouts with olive or coconut oil and cook over medium-high heat until they turn bright green (about 4 -5 mins)–the key to good-tasting sprouts is to not overcook them.
Toss in the pecans and let them toast on the side of the pan for minute.
Stir in the maple syrup and orange zest.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cook, tossing the sprouts, just for another minute or two.
Serve immediately.