Primal Chicken, Broccoli, and Artichoke Casserole

This weekend Nashville was hit hard by Winter Storm Jonas. Rain on Thursday night quickly turned to early morning sleet, followed by heavy snow that fell throughout the day and into the evening hours. I can honestly say I’ve never seen snow like that in the South. It was wonderful!

Snow2

SnowAlthough the roads were slick and our cul-de-sac dangerous to drive on, my parents and brother braved the elements and came to spend Saturday with us. We had cozy clothes, a roaring fire, plenty of mimosas, and a comforting casserole for dinner.

It was a Primal feast! Since my husband and I are right in the middle of our 21 Day Primal Blueprint Challenge, we knew we couldn’t overindulge too much, so I pulled out what I had in my fridge and freezer, got my mom to bring over a few supplemental items, and we threw everything together into a wonderful casserole.

Broccoli CasserolePrimal Chicken, Broccoli, and Artichoke Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 lbs Organic Free Range Chicken Tenders
  • 1/2 tsp Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Parsley
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Meal
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 bag frozen Broccoli
  • 1/2 bag Trader Joe’s (or similar) frozen Artichoke Hearts
  • 1 head fresh Broccoli (or 1 pack precut fresh broccoli)
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheese (I shredded some Greyere and Kerrygold Dubliner)
  • 1 cup Primal Kitchen Mayo
  • 2 Tbsp. Sour Cream
  • Avocado Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. In a ziplock bag, place chicken tenders and toss them with some avocado oil, then add the basil and parsley, along with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to your taste. Coat everything then arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then cut or pull apart into bite size pieces and set aside.

Using the same method as above, put bite size pieces of the fresh broccoli in a bag with avocado oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Arrange frozen broccoli on a separate parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil topped with salt and pepper. Both of these will go into the oven for 30 minutes, or until edges of broccoli begin to char.

While all this is baking, combine mayo, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt and cheese in a large bowl. Allow artichoke hearts to thaw enough to cut each in half, then add into this mixture, along with the almond meal and coconut flour.

When broccoli and chicken have cooled enough so as not to completely melt the cheese, combine everything and put in an 8×12 baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes and have two or three helpings!

 

Primal Mustard and Dill Salmon

Day two of the Primal Blueprint 21 Day Challenge and my son wanted salmon. He LOVES salmon and sweet potatoes, so that’s exactly what he got.

Luckily this was another meal that was super simple to prepare, so it didn’t take up much of the time I needed to spend with the kids. Earlier in the day I was able to make a great broccoli salad with Primal Kitchen mayo (another dish that my son can’t get enough of). Potatoes went in the oven and stayed there until after bedtime for Rowan and bath time was over for Griffin.

I served the salmon with broccoli salad and baked sweet potatoes covered in butter.

Mustard and Dill Salmon

Mustard and Dill Salmon

Ingredients

  • 1 – 1.5 lb. Salmon
  • 3 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Flour
  • 2 tbsp. Avocado Oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425. Mix all dry ingredients together, then add in avocado oil. Spread evenly over salmon and place on a baking pan with a non-stick rack (not necessary, but allows the excess fat on salmon to drip down instead of congealing and looking all white and slimy). Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on how done and flaky you prefer your salmon.

Primal Enchilada Chicken

When my husband really likes a meal I’ve made (and let’s be honest, I’m a great cook so he loves them all, right?) he tells me to remember the recipe so we can keep in on regular rotation. Which I ultimately fail to do. The recipe gets lost among the other thousand I’ve pinned to Pinterest, and never gets placed upon our table again.

But with the Primal Blueprint 21 day challenge in full swing at our house, combined with my need to simplify and spend less on everything including our grocery bill, I’ve had to get creative and attempt simple, tasty meals that don’t cost an arm and a leg, and are super healthy to boot. A task many would say might be near impossible.

But I was up for the challenge!

This week I’ve made three winners that are going to be on regular rotation not only because they fulfilled the above requirements, but because they were so easy that I wasn’t spending all afternoon cooking – which is pretty much a requirement when two small children are in the house.

First up was a recipe a friend of mine had texted me Monday morning, as I was on my way to the grocery store frantic that I didn’t have a meal plan. She said they cook it all the time in her household, and that the end result tastes just like enchiladas without the tortillas.

CheddarIt was so simple I was almost worried it couldn’t possibly taste good, but it did! It’s one of those recipes that doesn’t have precise ingredients, because it’s all about doing what’s simple and to your taste.

We ate this with roasted broccoli covered in butter. Mmmmmmmm.

Enchilada Chicken

Primal Enchilada Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 pounds chicken thighs or breasts (whichever is your preference – we chose thighs because of cost)
  • Salsa of Choice (We used Trader Joe’s Organic version)
  • Organic Tomato Slices
  • Grassfed Cheese (Dubliner or Trader Joe’s Grassfed New Zealand Cheddar works well)
  • Scallions (Optional)
  • Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper as desired.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Slice tomatoes to about 1/2 inch thickness. Season chicken to your liking and place in an 8×8 casserole dish. Arrange tomato slices on top, then pour your choice of salsa over this. Cover with as much cheese as you like; I sliced up about 10 strips from the block of Grassfed New Zealand cheddar I had and simply arranged that way. Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken, and when cheese is very golden and starting to brown. Enjoy!

Primal Pepperoni Pizza Casserole

I can’t begin to describe how good this was for dinner last night, except to say that Jeremy had 3 servings. Over and over again, he kept telling me how amazing this “pizza” was. I ate up his compliments, as well as my own large portion! Pizza without the grains…I’ll take it!

Primal Pepperoni Pizza Casserole

For the Italian Beef Sausage

  • 1 lb Grassfed Ground Beef
  • 1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seed
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Papricka
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

For the Rest

  • 1/2 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 1/2 Cups Marinara of Choice
  • 1 lb. Italian Beef Sausage
  • 1/2 Large Onion, Diced
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 Package Natural, Nitrate/Nitrite Free Pepperoni
  • 1 Package Frozen Peppers and Onions (I used Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted)
  • Additional Toppings of Choice (I used Shredded Mozzarella)

Preheat Oven to 375. Place Spaghetti Squash face-down on a baking sheet and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until the outside gives way to the touch. Take out, shred, and set aside.

Brown the Beef in a bit of oil with Diced Onion and spices to create Italian Sausage – set aside.

Increase oven temp to 400. In a large mixing bowl, add Marinara, Beaten Eggs, Seasonings, and Spaghetti Squash. Add most Italian Sausage, saving a bit to top the Pizza later on. Having allowed your Frozen Peppers and Onions to thaw slightly, add most of this as well, saving some with the remaining Sausage. Pour contents of the bowl into a greased 9×13 baking dish, placing in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until everything is firm and slightly browned on top.

Remove from oven and add remaining Sausage, Peppers, and Onions, as well as your desired amount of Shredded Mozzarella. Arrange Pepperoni slices to cover the dish.

Broil for an additional 5-7 minutes, until a nice crust is formed and Pepperoni begins to get crispy.

This blog is a part of Allergy Free Wednesdays!

Thoughts on Iron, and a Paleo Chili Recipe

I’m not sure if I just need a crazy amount of Iron, but I have been loving red meat lately. Not that I didn’t used to – no, I’ve always adored a good steak. But I’ve haven’t really wanted any other kind of meat for the last few weeks. Chicken – eh. Salmon – not so much. Chili – YES PLEASE!

Speaking of red meat, Applegate makes Organic, grassfed beef Hot Dogs that have been the highlight of my lunches. Of course, THEY say (whoever that higher power is), to cook lunchmeats until steaming. So, I’ve been frying up cut pieces of the Applegate hot dogs and putting them in salads. We’ve had Chili Dogs twice for dinner. What can I say…I love beef!

The Chili was quite a feat for me, actually. It was a new recipe, using Beef Liver mixed in with the ground beef. It turned out fantastically! I was slightly skeptical if I would like the taste, but was determined to eat Liver because of the health benefits (not to mention that the B Vitamins in Liver is supposedly wondrous for Migraines).

I found the recipe over at WildnessandWonder.com – the main thing I did differently was to add a bit of Newman’s organic marinara in order to make a bigger batch, and fiddled around with the ratios. Oh, and I didn’t use any fresh herbs.

Paleo Liver Chili

  • 1-2 lbs. Grassfed Ground Beef
  • .5 – 1 lb. Grassfed Beef Liver (If not a fan of liver, use less)
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 5 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 2 Stalks Celery, chopped
  • 2 Bell Peppers, chopped (the color you prefer)
  • 2-3 Jalapeño Peppers, chopped finely
  • 2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste (I used Trader Joe’s paste in a tube, but a small can will do)
  • 1/2 Can Newman’s Organic Marinara of Choice (I used Sockarooni)
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Aminos
  • Cumin to your Taste (I love Cumin)
  • Chili Powder to your Taste (also love)
  • 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • 4 bay leaves (if you have any)
  • Cayenne//Hot Sauce (if you like things picante)
  • Coconut Oil

Brown the ground beef, adding a spoonful or two of coconut oil if needed (if your beef is lean). While the ground beef is browning, run your beef liver in a food processor. This is the trick to blending the liver in seamlessly, so if you want it incognito, whirl it into a pudding consistency.  Add the liver to the browning ground beef, putting in spices as desired. If it’s a liver slurry, it’ll just cook right in and be indistinguishable. While your meat is cooking, heat a few more tablespoons of coconut oil to medium heat in another pan and add the onion, peppers, and celery, and let these veggies cook until the onion starts to become slightly translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until all the vegetables are tender but not mushy.

In a big pot, add all the tomato products, cooking on low heat. Add the cumin, cinnamon, and chili powder, as well as a few tablespoons of chopped oregano if using.

Add the meat as it browns to the big pot (it took me numerous rounds with the pan in order to brown everything). Add bay leaves if using, and a tablespoon or so of coconut aminos and tomato paste to the large pot, as well. Stir thoroughly, bring to a simmer, cover and let cook on low heat for 30 minutes. Taste the chili and add aminos, salt, pepper, and spice (cayenne etc.) of your choice as desired. I often find myself adding lots of additional cumin and chili powder at this point.

The recipe is really going to be customized to fit what you like, but I guarantee you won’t taste the Liver, and you’ll get all those delightful B Vitamins!