Roasted Chicken and Butternut Soup

photo (1)Roasted Chicken and Butternut Soup, from MarthaStewart.com

Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and diced medium
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced medium
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh cilantro (optional but recommended!)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, toss together chicken, squash, onion, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until squash and chicken are cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool. Transfer squash and onions to a medium pot and add broth, cumin, and coriander. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. With a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon, mash some vegetables until soup is thick and chunky. Discard skin and bones from chicken; cut meat into small pieces and add to soup. Stir in lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, top with fresh cilantro, if desired.
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Autumn Farmer’s Market Salad

autumn farmers market saladYeah, yeah – I know the title of this recipe is “Autumn Farmer’s Market Salad” but it tastes just as good in the dead of winter, so I’m sharing it anyway! This one comes from Bon Appetit. (Man, I really need to re-subscribe – lots of paleo-friendly, tasty recipes tucked away in those pages!) I originally made it for a Rosh Hashanah meal this past fall and served it alongside slow-cooked brisket. I’ll dig up that recipe and will post here soon!

Watch this quick video for the best way to get those pomegranate seeds out: http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/super-quick-video-tips/2012/06/whack-your-pomegranate-free-of-seeds-video/. (Bonus: It’s fun to whack the heck out of a pomegranate! Try it!)

Autumn Farmer’s Market Salad, from Bon Appetit

*Edited to omit pomegranate molasses

Ingredients

• 4 1/2 to 5 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash (from about one 2-pound squash)

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• Pinch of dried crushed red pepper

• Coarse kosher salt

• 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice

• 1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil or other nut oil

• 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

• 4 ounces arugula (about 8 cups lightly packed)

• 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped

• 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Instructions

• Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss squash, olive oil, and crushed red pepper on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Roast 15 minutes. Using spatula, turn squash over. Roast until edges are browned and squash is tender, about 15 minutes longer. Sprinkle with coarse salt. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

• Whisk orange juice, walnut oil, and lemon juice in large shallow bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add arugula, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds; toss to coat. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Spoon warm or room-temperature squash over salad.

Chipotle Meatballs

If you’re looking for a main course that cooks up in 20 minutes, get excited! These meatballs from Health-Bent pack a spicy, smoky punch and are easily prepped and out of the oven in 20 minutes tops. I’ve served them up with guacamole and sautéed peppers and onions, spinach sautéed with bacon, and roasted acorn squash – they pair nicely with pretty much any veggie or just on their own as a quick protein. You could also make smaller meatballs and serve them to even non-paleo guests as an appetizer.

meatballsChipotle Meatballs, from Health-Bent

Ingredients

Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground meat (I used beef)
  • 1/4 c almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T chipotle adobo sauce  (just buy a small can of “chipotle peppers in adobo” in the Mexican section of your grocery store)
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • salt

Sauce:

  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce OR fire-roasted diced tomatoes (my preference)
  • 1-2 finely diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 2 t onion powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond flour, and herbs/spices. Add the ground meat and mix with your hands until combined. Form the mixture into balls and place in an oven safe dish. Bake until browned, about 15 minutes.

For the sauce:

While the meatballs are browning, add the tomato sauce ingredients to a sauce pot (if you’re using the fire-roasted tomatoes, just puree them in a food processor or blender first. I like the texture they add to the sauce.). Let it simmer until the meatballs are done.

Best Fajita Marinade. Ever.

I’ve used this fajita marinade on chicken and flank steak, and I’m sure it would be equally gobble-worthy on pork, fish, or shrimp, too. I know it’s not really grilling season, per se (since it’s snowing as I type this), but the flavors in this tropical marinade will at least remind you of summer for a hot minute. So bust out that grill pan and get to work!

Tyler’s Ultimate Fajitas, from Tyler Florence on Tyler’s Ultimate

Note: This tastes best when meat is marinated all day or overnight, but 2-4 hours still flavors the meat nicely. I’ve adapted the instructions to just leave out the tortillas.

Ingredients

Marinade:

  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 chipotle chiles, in adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves (I throw in a good 1/3 cup, so if you love cilantro, go for it)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Plus:

  • 2 pounds skirt or flank steak, trimmed of fat, cut into thirds or 8-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Lime juice, olive oil, optional
  • Guacamole
  • Good quality store bought salsa

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine all the marinade ingredients and puree the marinade until smooth. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and add the steak, seal and shake to coat. Refrigerate the beef for 2 to 4 hours to tenderize and flavor the beef.
  2. Preheat a ridged grill pan on high heat.
  3. Drain the marinade from the beef. Lightly oil the grill or grill pan. Season steak liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill the steak over medium-high heat and cook for 4 minutes on each side (or until desired level of doneness) and then transfer to a cutting board and let rest. Depending on the size of your grill pan you may need to cook in batches.
  4. Once the beef is off the grill pan and resting, add the bell peppers and onions tossed with lime juice and olive oil, if using. Grill the mixture for 7 to 8 minutes until the vegetables are just barely limp.
  5. Thinly slice the steak against the grain on a diagonal and serve with peppers, onions, guacamole, salsa, and extra lime wedges and cilantro.

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano

Here’s another winner from Bon Appetit! Chicken thighs haven’t been handed the best name in the meat case (though, arguably, Boston butt has it worse), yet I think they’re pretty special. Inexpensive and juicy from their dark meat, chicken thighs are perfectly suited for the slow cooker (since they don’t dry out easily) and for this recipe, in which they spend some time on the stove top and some roasting away in the oven. The original recipe calls for wine, so I just omitted that to make it paleo and didn’t even miss it in the pan sauce.

What really makes this special is the bright, slightly sweet tang the caramelized lemons add. Don’t just leave them for garnish! Note: You can make this with bone-in chicken thighs; just be sure to add about 10 minutes to the cooking time on the stove and 5 or so in the oven.

Photo from BonAppetit.com... because their picture is better than mine, OK?

Photo from BonAppetit.com… because their picture is better than mine, OK?

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano, from Bon Appetit

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 4 large or 8 small skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 sprigs oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot [I just added an entire shallot, minced]
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Very thinly slice half of lemon; discard any seeds. Cut remaining lemon half into 2 wedges. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  2. Coat a large room-temperature skillet with 1 teaspoon oil. Add chicken, skin side down. Place skillet over medium heat and cook, letting skin render and brown, and pouring off excess fat to maintain a thin coating in pan, until chicken is cooked halfway through, about 10 minutes.
  3. Scatter half of lemon slices over chicken and half on bottom of skillet (the slices on top of the chicken will soften; those in the skillet will caramelize). Transfer skillet to oven, leaving chicken skin side down. Roast until chicken is cooked through, skin is crisp, and lemon slices on bottom of skillet are caramelized, 6-8 minutes.
  4. Transfer chicken pieces, skin side up, and caramelized lemon slices from bottom of skillet to a warm platter. (Leave softened lemon slices in the skillet.) Return skillet to medium heat. Add oregano sprigs, shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add broth; cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Squeeze 1 lemon wedge over and season sauce with salt, pepper, and juice from remaining lemon wedge, if desired. Return chicken to skillet, skin side up, to rewarm. Serve topped with caramelized lemon slices.

Curried Kale with Coconut

photo-1Last night I decided to use up the kale in my fridge by trying a recipe from the February issue of Real Simple magazine (which happens to have a spread on greens — mustard, turnip, beet, collard, etc. — with a few paleo-friendly recipes!). It was a delicious new way to eat nutrient-packed-but-kinda-dull kale — so delicious that I made it again tonight (only this time I made MORE. Smart.).

Curried Kale with Coconut, from Real Simple

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 10 cups stemmed and chopped kale (about 1 bunch) or mustard greens
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes; let cool.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add as much kale to the skillet as will fit, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, tossing frequently and adding more kale when there is room, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the lime juice to the kale in the skillet and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the coconut and crushed red pepper.

Brussels Sprout Slaw

brussels sprout slawI happen to love the wonderful mini-cabbages that are Brussels sprouts, so when I made this recipe it was just in the hopes of finding a new way to enjoy them (my usual is braised with shallots and bacon, with a splash of cider vinegar at the end). I’ve read reviews of this recipe, though, that say that even those who don’t historically like Brussels sprouts ate ‘em up in this slaw. Hope you like it, too!

Brussels Sprout Slaw, from Paleo Comfort Foods

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecans, toasted (alternatively, you can use dry-roasted pecan pieces from Trader Joe’s for a quicker option)
  • 1/2 lb thick-cut bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed (I just used Trader Joe’s shaved Brussels sprouts)
  • 2 green onions, cut on the bias

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place pecans on a small baking sheet and toast for about 5-10 minutes (or just use those dry-roasted ones from TJs. Yay!)
  2. In a large saute pan, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crispy and fat is rendered.  Place bacon on paper towels to drain and save the fat and set aside.
  3. Whisk mustard, vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl, whisk in oil.  Season with pepper.
  4. Using a food processor fitted with a 1/8 to 1/4 inch slicing disk, slice Brussels sprouts and transfer to a large bowl (a sharp knife can also be used for this, or you can use pre-shredded Brussels sprouts).
  5. Over medium heat, add in 1-2 Tbsp leftover bacon fat and reserve the rest for future use.  Add in Brussels sprouts and saute until softened and lightly browned.  Pour mustard/vinegar mixture over the sprouts (I suggest starting with only 3/4 and tasting — you don’t want it to become soupy or have the dressing be overwhelming).  Mix in bacon, pecans, and scallions, and serve.
Trader Joe's: Making life wonderful since 1958.

Trader Joe’s: Making life wonderful since 1958.