Football Food! Paleo Buffalo Wings

wingsThis recipe comes from Fed & Fit and the resulting wings were delicious — spicy, but with some other flavors to round them out.

Note: If you don’t feel like making your own sauce, Franks Red Hot (Original) and Cholula brand hot sauces are both paleo, without added junk. Just add a little melted grass-fed butter or coconut oil and toss the sauce with the wings.

Paleo Buffalo Wings, from Fed and Fit

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken wings
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 t cracked black pepper
  • 3 T coconut oil (or butter from grass-fed cows, such as Kerrygold)
  • 3 T cider vinegar
  • ½ t cayenne pepper (more if you like them extra spicy)
  • ½ t hot paprika
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 t sea salt

Instructions

For the wings:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pat wings dry with paper towels, spread them on the baking sheet, and season with sea salt and cracked pepper.

Bake at 400 for 40-45 minutes (time will vary – start watching after 40 minutes and bake until they start to look brown).

For the sauce: 

In a medium sized saucepan, melt the coconut oil or butter over medium heat. Stir in the cayenne, hot paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and vinegar.

Once the wings have cooled a little from the oven, put them in a gallon Ziploc bag and pour the buffalo sauce over. Seal the bag and shake for a good minute. This will evenly coat the wings. Pour into a bowl and serve!

Roasty Chicken and Root Vegetables

Photo from Epicurious.com

Photo from Epicurious.com

Ok, I know this “recipe” is super simple and may seem lame to those of you who cook up chickens all the time, BUT I think it’s worth sharing because:

  1. It’s the paleo recipe I cook when I don’t feel like spending a bunch of time in the kitchen or dirtying more than one pot.
  2. It can feed a crowd.
  3. It’s a great way to cook up any vegetables you are in the mood for or have on hand. These are also insanely good reheated in a cast iron skillet and served up alongside eggs for breakfast.
  4. The leftovers are easy to re-purpose into different meals, like chicken salad or as a topping for a full green salad.
  5. It is that magic combination of incredibly simple and delicious.
  6. It makes your house smell like heaven.
  7. Aren’t those enough reasons?!

For those of you who have never roasted a chicken and are nervous about it, give it a try. It’s incredibly easy and when you’ve done it once, this can be a no-brainer go-to meal for you.

Mon Poulet Roti (My Favorite Simple Roast Chicken), original recipe by Thomas Keller from Epicurious.com. I have edited just to include veggies and cook a bigger chicken.

Ingredients

One 4- to 5-pound farm-raised chicken

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Vegetables chopped into large chunks (I use 2-3 carrots, 1 large sweet potato or butternut squash, 1 large white onion, halved Brussels sprouts, beets, parsnips… really anything you’d like would work!)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.

Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird. (To truss: Tuck the wings under the front of the bird and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.)

Now, generously salt the chicken—rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it’s cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.

Place your chopped veggies in the bottom of a roasting pan or a large dutch oven, like a Le Creuset (I don’t own a roasting pan so this is what I use). Place the chicken in the pot, directly on top of the veggies. Place the chicken in the oven and leave it alone. Roast it until it’s golden brown and the juices from the thigh run clear, usually 60 to 75 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board. Give the veggies a stir — they should be well-coated in chicken drippings — and pop them back in the oven for 10 minutes to get them really roasty brown.

To carve: Remove the twine. Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove the legs and thighs, then remove each lobe of the breast and slice against the grain.

Thomas Keller says, “I like to take off the backbone and eat one of the oysters, the two succulent morsels of meat embedded here, and give the other to the person I’m cooking with. But I take the chicken butt for myself. I could never understand why my brothers always fought over that triangular tip—until one day I got the crispy, juicy fat myself. These are the cook’s rewards. Cut the breast down the middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each. The preparation is not meant to be superelegant. You’ll start using a knife and fork, but finish with your fingers, because it’s so good.” I’d have to agree!

Quick Meatloaf with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Sliced loaf!

Sliced loaf!

I’ve tried a couple of recipes for paleo meatloaf (including little meatloaf cupcakes in a muffin tin…weird, yes, but convenient) and this one is my hands-down favorite. It also cooks up quicker than most–in about 45 minutes–which is a bonus on weeknights.

I typically cut the recipe for the loaf in half (which is enough for two people with some leftovers) and make the full amount of sauce to put on other things, like veggies, chicken, and my entire breakfast.

Seriously Tasty Meatloaf, from Health-Bent

Unchanged from the original recipe because it’s perfect!

Ingredients for Meatloaf

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 c almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c of tomato sauce (recipe below)
  • 10 slices of bacon
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for Tomato Sauce

  • 1 15 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 c (about 1) roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Place your oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 350ºF.
  2. In your food processor blend together all the ingredients for the tomato sauce.
  3. In a large bowl use your hands to mix together the ground meats, eggs, almond flour, tomato sauce and salt & pepper. Separate the meatloaf mixture into two 9 inch cake pans. Fill the cake pans to the brim, as the meat loaves will shrink considerably as they cook. Top with the slices of bacon.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and get the bacon crispy, about 10 minutes.
  5. While the meatloaf is baking, pour the rest of the tomato sauce into a small saucepot and simmer over medium heat.
  6. Once cool, remove the meatloaf from the pan and slice on the opposite direction you placed the bacon–-against the grain, just like meat. Top with the tomato sauce and serve immediately.

    Meatloaf with tomato sauce and shaved Brussels sprouts with bacon. Mmm, baby cabbage.

    Meatloaf with tomato sauce and shaved Brussels sprouts with bacon. Mmm, baby cabbage.

Tropical Macaroons with Pineapple

This weekend was spectacular, in that I pretty much just cooked, laughed until my face hurt with great friends (and no alcohol. Whaaaat?), and watched a bunch of playoff football. Awesome.

Maybe I wasn’t tempted to cheat on the Paleo Challenge because I stayed away from bars and restaurants and anyone not eating like a cavewoman, but still – I’ll take it as a victory. It was also a success thanks to a paleo potluck with friends who 1) came up with some delicious and easy recipes I’ll be sharing on here soon and 2) make drinking water and playing games even more fun than a night on the town. Yes! Here’s a little no-cheat treat we made for dessert—Tropical Macaroons from Everyday Paleo. I might whip up another half-batch this week…

Tropical Macaroons, from Everyday Paleo

Makes 18–20 macaroons

Photo from EverydayPaleo.com

Photo from EverydayPaleo.com

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 cups finely shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups finely diced fresh pineapple (or chopped up Trader Joe’s frozen pineapple tidbits)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325. In a medium size skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the finely diced pineapple to the hot oil and cook until all the liquid is evaporated from the pineapple and the fruit is golden brown and caramelized.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl with a hand held mixer or in a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Gently fold in the shredded coconut.  Add the pineapple and coconut milk and mix well.  Grease a baking sheet with more coconut oil and form the macaroons into golf ball size cookies.  Press gently onto the cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden in spots.

Roasted Spiced Eggplant and Balsamic Flank Steak

bison eggplantHere are two recipes that pair nicely together and are a refreshing change from that tired chicken-and-broccoli train to boring town: roasted, wonderfully spiced eggplant from Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi and herbed flank steak from Bobby Flay.

Spiced Eggplant, originally published in Bon Appetit magazine

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon peel (Preserved lemons have been soaked in salt and lemon juice for several weeks. I got one at the Whole Foods cheese counter. You can also make them on your own or find them at Middle Eastern markets, if you’re lucky enough to live near one!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced and smashed into a paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • 2 medium eggplants (9–10 ounces each), halved lengthwise
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir 1/4 cup oil, next 7 ingredients, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a small bowl for spice mix.
  2. Score flesh of each eggplant half with 1/2″-deep diagonal crisscrossing lines, spacing 1″ apart (do not cut through skin). Drizzle 1 Tbsp. oil over cut side of each half, allowing it to soak in. Season lightly with salt.
  3. Brush or spoon spice mix over, dividing evenly. Place eggplants, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until soft and very tender in center, 50–60 minutes.
  4. Serve eggplant warm or at room temperature.

 

Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak, from Bobby Flay’s Boy Gets Grill

Serves 4; can be doubled for 6 to 8 (no need to double the marinade)

Ingredients

½ cup balsamic vinegar

¾ cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 (1 ½- to 1 ¾-pound) beef or bison flank steak

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

1. Whisk together the vinegar, the oil, the garlic and rosemary in a large dish (or use a thick, sealable plastic bag). Add the steak and turn to coat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours, turning every 2 hours.

2. Heat your grill to high.

3. Remove the steak from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred and crusty, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn steak over, reduce the heat to medium or move to a cooler part of the grill, and grill until medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes more.

4. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into ½ inch thick slices against the grain of the meat.

Tomato Chicken Curry with Zucchini

Food photography is not my strong suit. This tastes better than it looks! I swear!

It’s a frigid wasteland out here in Massachusetts this week, so same as every winter, this means I am in the mood for steaming hot and sweaty yoga classes (how is that not appealing to everyone??) and spicy comfort food. I have more zucchini to use up, so I paleo-ized this “Paneer Curry with Peas” recipe published in Bon Appetit, and here’s the resulting dish: chicken and zucchini cooked in a sauce of crushed tomatoes with heat from fresh ginger, garlic, and a serrano chili and spice from cumin seeds browned in ghee.

Tomato Chicken Curry with Zucchini

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2” chunks (you could also use scallops or shrimp here, or add more protein — there is plenty of sauce)
  • 5 tablespoons ghee, divided
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 serrano chile, minced with seeds
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 small or two large zucchini, chopped into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with sea salt and pepper; add to skillet and cook until just cooked through, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate; set aside. Reserve skillet.
  • Place onion pieces in food processor. Using on/off turns, process until finely chopped but not watery. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons ghee in reserved skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and stir until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add chopped onion and cook until beginning to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes.
  • Add minced ginger, minced garlic, ground coriander, and minced serrano chile with seeds; stir 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes with puree, 1/2 cup water, and turmeric; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer until mixture thickens slightly and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  • Add cooked chicken; gently fold to incorporate evenly. Cook mixture over medium-low heat until chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Fold in garam masala and cilantro. Season curry to taste with salt and pepper.

First Up: Pad Thai

Photo from Health-Bent.com

Photo from Health-Bent.com

This first recipe hits the spot if you’re craving comfort food on a chilly day, and it’s one I serve up to guests who don’t follow the paleo diet (they gobble it all up and ask for the recipe). It was created by Megan and Brandon over at Health-Bent, and I’ve just added cilantro and thinly sliced chicken to cook along with the zucchini (alternatively, you can just serve it alongside any grilled or sautéed protein). You can check out the original recipe here.

I’ve also stirred together the sauce on its own and added it to sautéed mixed veggies and chicken. (Lesson: it makes everything taste good. Everything.) I suggest making a double recipe to feed 4 people with some leftovers.

Paleo Pad Thai

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs coconut oil
  • 2-3 zucchini
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs peeled fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 Tbs almond butter
  • 1 Tbs chili garlic sauce (I used Cholula Chili Garlic hot sauce, which is paleo)
  • 1 Tbs fish sauce (Red Boat brand is paleo)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • Cilantro, minced (optional)

Instructions

  1. If you have a mandolin, use it slice the zucchini lengthwise. If you don’t have one, you can use a knife to slice the zucchini as thinly as you can. Cut the slices into thin strips (if your mandolin doesn’t already have the insert to do that for you), just like the shape of a spaghetti noodle. Another option, for speed, lack of the proper tools, or sheer laziness, you can just chop the zukes into chunks.
  2. Over medium heat, melt your coconut oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion, garlic, and ginger until soft.
  3. Add the fish sauce, chili sauce, vinegar, lime juice, almond butter, and a bit of sea salt. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the zucchini “noodles” to the pan. Stir them around to get the sauce incorporated.
  5. Add chicken to the pan and cook until zucchini is hot and the chicken is cooked through – about 8 minutes.
  6. Serve hot with lime wedges and chopped cilantro.