Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Almond Coconut Curry Chicken

I made this recipe last night and it might be the most delicious thing I've ever gifted my taste buds. Seriously.  Make it, you will not regret it. 

I  made a huge batch and just kept the sauce separate to keep the chicken from getting soggy. I also pan-fried some of the chicken that had just been marinated, without breading it, and it is nearly as good as the breaded version, just much quicker and easier to make.

Almond Coconut Chicken with Curry sauce


6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Coconut Marinade:

2 Whole Eggs
½ Cup Coconut Milk
1 teaspoon curry paste
½ teaspoon Kosher Salt

Almond Breading:

¼ cup Coconut Flour
1 Cup Almond Flour
½ Cup Dry Coconut unsweetened
½ teaspoon Kosher Salt


2 TB Almond Butter
1 + tsp. Curry Paste
½ Can Coconut Milk
½ teaspoon Sea Salt


I used 8 chicken breasts. Cut into strips. Mix marinade and add chicken. Store in refrigerator for 1-2 hours

Preheat oven to 425°. Heat some coconut oil in a pan. Mix almond breading. Take each chicken strip from marinade and coat in breading.

Place in heated oil and sear till golden on each side. Then place all chicken on a cookie sheet and bake in oven for about 10 minutes.

Mix and heat sauce.

I served this over a bed of sauteed spinach.

Whole 30 Guidelines

Gearing up for the Paleo Challenge beginning January 3rd?  Need clarity on what you should or should not be eating?  I don't know that anyone outlines it better than Whole9. Here is, in part, a copied segment of their Whole 30 guide. You can get the full version here: Whole 30.

The Whole30 Program, As Outlined

Eat real food – meat, fish, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re natural and unprocessed.

More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.

Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in all kinds of ways.

Do not eat processed foods. This includes protein shakes, pre-packaged snacks/meals, protein bars, milk substitutes, etc.

Do not drink alcohol, in any form.

Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, millet, oats, corn, rice, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. (Yes, we said corn!) This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.

Do not eat legumes. This includes beans (black, kidney, lima, etc.), peas, lentils, and peanuts or peanut butter. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).

Do not eat dairy. This includes all cow, goat or sheep’s milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt, whey, ice cream, etc.

Do not eat white potatoes. It’s arbitrary, but they are carbohydrate-dense and nutrient poor, and also a nightshade.

Most importantly… do not try to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold. This means no “Paleo-fying” less-than-healthy recipes – no “Paleo” pancakes, “Paleo” pizza, “Paleo” fudge or “Paleo” ice cream. Don’t mimic poor food choices during your Whole30 program!

One last and final rule. You are not allowed to step on the scale for the duration of your Whole30 program. This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus only on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic (and lifelong) benefits this plan has to offer. Give yourself a well-deserved, long overdue break from fixating on that number on the scale! Absolutely NO weighing yourself or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30.

The Fine Print

A few concessions, based on our experience, and those of our clients. These are less than optimal foods that we are okay with you including during your Whole30. Including these foods in moderation should not negatively impact the results of your Whole30 program.

Fruit juice as a sweetener. Some products will use orange or apple juice as a sweetener. We have to draw the line somewhere, so we’re okay with a small amount of fruit juice as an added ingredient during your Whole30… but this doesn’t mean a cup of fruit juice is okay!

Processed Meat. On occasion, we are okay with organic chicken sausage (those that are nitrate, dairy, gluten and dairy-free), and high quality deli meat, packaged fish (like tuna or smoked salmon) or jerky. Read your labels carefully, because Whole30-approved processed meats, especially jerky, are hard to find.

Certain legumes. We’re fine with green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas. While they’re technically a legume, they’re far more “pod” than “bean”, and we want you to eat your greens.

Processed goods. We’re okay with cans or jars of olives, coconut milk, sauces and spice mixtures like tomato sauce or curry, or vegetables like sweet potato or butternut squash, but only if the labels prove they’re “clean”.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Spicy Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry

What is wrong with this picture???
  This is a quick and easy meal that stores well. Make up a big batch and reheat it for lunch the following day.  I have this meal Zone-blocked as well for those of you eating Paleo-Zone. Also, if you don't like shrimp, chicken can be easily substituted.


4 cups broccoli florets (4C)
2 large red bell pepper, chopped (4C)
1 cup onion, chopped (4C)
4 cup chicken broth, low sodium (1P)
A few cloves of garlic (I used minced garlic)
18 oz large shrimp, peeled and deveined (12P)
4 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 cup sliced almonds (16F)
Crushed red pepper to taste


In large skillet or wok, saute veggies in chicken broth over medium-high heat.  When onions are soft, add garlic and ginger.  Continue stirring until broth reduces, then add shrimp and almonds. Cook until shrimp is pink. Add red pepper and spice to taste.

Divided into 4 meals, each meal is 3 blocks of protein and carbs, and 4 blocks of fat.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Upcoming Paleo Challenge

A group from our gym has decided to start in on a Paleo Challenge beginning January 3rd. I think much of the difficulty in starting Paleo is knowing what to eat and preparing those foods ahead of time so one doesn't find themself in a crunch and resorting to a poor food choice.

That said, I am going to try and gather a few resources this week and post them so those of us starting in on the challenge have a few quick references.

Whole 9 posted a great bulletin on seasonal fruits and veggies, which I've found very useful. I hope you do as well!

Whole 9 Produce Guide

Lettuce-wrapped Bacon Chili Burgers


Extra lean ground beef, bison, or chicken breasts
1 head iceburg lettuce
1 tomato, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
2 slices bacon, cooked
1 roasted green chili
Mustard, if you like


Form patties of beef or bison, or trim fat from chicken breasts. Grill.

Remove core from lettuce, then halve head and remove yellow, bitter pieces.

Place meat and desired toppings in 1/2 of the head of lettuce and serve.

This recipe is great with sweet potato fries or just a couple of cups of steamed veggies.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Paleo Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

One of life's simpler pleasures: pasta. Who doesn't love it? I knew that when I decided to go Paleo, pasta was one of the items I was going to miss. And while there is no true substitute for the devilish delight, there is a way to satisfy the craving and stick to your Paleo plan. Please welcome, spaghetti squash!

Spaghetti squash is a winter squash, so it is in season now. You can find it year round, but now is the time to find it at its best. Look for pale, even-colored fruit with a firm exterior.

You should also know some of the great nutrition benefits of this squash. It contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which we know reduce inflammation and omega-6 fatty acids which promote brain function. It is also rich in beta-carotene, which can prevent athersclerosis; a good source of potassium, which helps lower blood pressure; contains folate, which prevents damage to the walls of the blood vessels; and an excellent source of vitamins A and C which are antioxidants.

Paleo Spaghetti and Meat Sauce


One large spaghetti squash
1/4 cup water
1 lb of Boulder Sausage Hot Italian Sausage
1 jar of marinara or tomato-based sauce. (Be sure to check the sugar content on the label. This is typically an item where you get what you pay for. Most of the higher-priced, specialty brands contain less sugar and more wholesome ingredients. You can also use plain tomato sauce with no salt added.)
Loads of garlic
Olive Oil
Any of your favorite veggies


Preheat oven to 350 F. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Pour water in bottom of baking dish. Place squash halves face-down in dish. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until squash is soft when pressed in middle.

Meanwhile, brown sausage in large skillet over medium heat. Drain fat and set aside.

Heat olive oil in skillet and saute garlic and veggies of choice. Once veggies are tender, add meat and tomato sauce or marinara to skillet and heat through.

Once squash is cooked, use a fork to separate strands. Top with sauce. Viola!

Getting Back to Basics

Recently a friend has asked me to help him get started on eating clean and going Paleo. This has done two things for me: it has made me re-evaluate my current eating habits (which as of late are quite frightening) and it has also made me realize that many of the recipes on this blog are not really convenient for everyday life. Many of them require a long list of ingredients or a lot of extra time in the kitchen. That said, I am going to try to post some of the simple recipes that are staples in my diet because they are easy, nutritious, and delicious!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fennel and Coriander and Spice = Poultry So Nice!

A friend of mine gave me a recipe for a Fennel Spice Rub for my Thanksgiving turkey. It turned out so great, I have since modified the recipe three or four times and each time it gets better. I've used it for roasted chicken, rotisserie chicken, and roasted turkey and all of them have been delicious.

Fennel Spice Rub:

1 cup fennel seeds
3 TBSP coriander seeds
2 TBSP white peppercorns
3 TBSP sea salt

Place fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a heavy pan over medium heat. Toss seeds continuously so they toast evenly. When light brown and fragrant, place on plate to cool.

Once seeds are completely cool, pour into blender or food processor and add salt. Blend to fine powder. Store in tightly seeled glass jar or freeze.

Now for the yum...


1 whole turkey, thawed
1 large white or yellow onion
4 carrots, sliced thick
4 celery stalks, sliced thick
1/2 quart chicken broth, low sodium
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Fennel Spice Rub
Fresh Rosemary sprigs
1 lemon, halved


Preheat roaster to 425 F.

Remove necks and giblets from turkey. Wash and dry turkey inside and out. Coat inside and out with olive oil. Season outside of turkey generously with spice rub and press in to adhere. Place 2-4 rosemary sprigs and 2 lemon halves inside the cavity of the turkey.

Arrange carrots and celery and onion in bottom of roaster pan. Position turkey on top of veggies so it does not rest on the bottom of the pan. Pour chicken broth over veggies.

Baste and inject turkey with juices frequently to maintain moisture. Roast until thermometer reads 165 F (insert themometer deep into the thigh, but away from the bone) and juices run clear (about 2-2 1/2 hours for 8-10 lb turkey).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Roasted Eggplant Caponata

This is an excellent recipe taken from Eat.Move.Thrive. It is not completely Paleo because of the olives, vinegar, and anchovies, but they are a minimal ingredients in the recipe and it is loaded with vegetables and healthy goodness.


2-3 Eggplant, cubed
Olive Oil
1 cup very thinly sliced celery
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup tomato sauce, no salt added
1/2 cup pitted green olives, roughly chopped
3 TBSP capers, rinsed and drained
2 chipped anchovy fillets (rinsed and drained if packed in salt)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 TBSP honey, preferably raw, unfiltered


Preheat oven to 375 F. Toss eggplant cubes with 2+ tablespoons of olive oil. Place on baking sheet and roast until golden (20-30 minutes).

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add celery and saute until golden. Set aside. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and saute onion for about 10 minutes. Pour the tomato sauce over the onion and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Remove eggplant from oven. Add all ingredients to tomato sauce, stir and cook for 10 minutes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Paleo Pork Carnitas

I heart Mexican food. Much of what I love, however, does not fall under the Paleo umbrella, so I find myself avoiding it altogether to try and eat well. Finally, I decided to break down and make something Mexican, easy, tasty, and Paleo. Success! Try it out.

Paleo Pork Carnitas:

2-3 lb pork roast, cut into 1" cubes
Olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chile powder
2 bay leaves

Heat a few TBSP of olive oil in a large skillet. Mix all spices together and coat pork cubes with spices. Brown pork in olive oil, turning frequently. Place chicken broth and bay leaves in crock pot and add browned pork. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours or until pork pulls apart easily with a fork.

Serve with sliced avocado and Coconut Flour Tortillas:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paleo Apple Crsip

Wow. I am really behind on recipes. I've been cooking plenty, just haven't had the time to sit down and write about it!

One of the fantastic recipes I made over Thanksgiving would make a great dessert any time. It is adapted from Elana's Pantry. I hope you enjoy!


2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup raw, unfiltered honey, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5-6 medium apples (use a tart variety like Granny Smith, or add lemon juice to a sweeter variety), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, combine honey, grapeseed oil, and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into dry. Arrange apple slices in 8x8 baking dish. Spoon mixture over the top of the apples. Cover and bake for 50 minutes on low rack. When apples are soft and juices bubbly, remove cover and bake an additional 10 minutes to brown topping.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Paleo-Friendly Sweet Potato Fries

Thanks to Jess, here is a great recipe for Sweet Potato Fries. I will also post a dessert-ier (?) variation below.

Warning: Sweet Potato Fries are nearly as addictive as crack. Eat at your own risk and do NOT overdose! While they are Paleo-friendly, they are also a high-density carb. They are great as a post-workout snack or on occasion, but can be over-consumed!

Sweet Potato Fries


2 Sweet Potatoes
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Juice of 1/2 lime


Preheat oven to 425 F. Wash and dry potatoes. With skin on, slice into 1/2" thick rounds. Cut the rounds into 1/2" finger-shaped pieces. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with oil and spices.

On a baking sheet, spread the fries in a single layer and roast, stirring every 10 minutes until browned and tender; about 30-35 min. Remove from oven, transfer to platter or bowl and squeeze lime juice over top.

Dessert Variation:


2 Sweet Potatoes
2 TBSP Coconut Oil, melted


Follow above instructions, but toss potatoes with coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon. I recommend lining the baking sheet with parchment paper or foil to prevent fries from sticking.