I’m back! After a couple weeks spent gallivanting across Scotland and Ireland for my first wedding anniversary with my amazing husband I have had to come back to reality. Lucky for you, this involves me cooking again! The last couple of days have been spent cleaning, unpacking and doing the dreaded laundry *shudder* so last night marked only day 3 of me cooking again.
After a solid two weeks of having others cook for us and enjoying some heavy but delicious meals, we both noticed our clothes getting a little snugger than they were prior to our vacation. I do not regret it one bit! After all “we were on vacation” so when the server asked if I wanted another pint of Guiness with my chicken and mushroom cream pie the answer was naturally a YES please!
Upon our return and a moment of panic when I couldn’t find an appropriate work outfit we both knew we had to get back on track with our eating habits. From this came a wonderful, easy and might I add Paleo dinner idea last night.
I had been wanting to try my hand at an almond chicken for awhile now, the main thing stopping me was my husband of all things. Not for reasons you may think though. Bless his heart, he has been helping me out before I get home from work by washing and prepping the chicken breasts. However, out of habit he would also marinate the chicken. Now normally I would never object to this, but for this meal that I had in mind I needed un-marinated chicken breasts.
Last night I came home to cleaned un-marinated chicken and quickly got to work. This super easy and quick meal was not only healthy, it was delicious!
- 2 Chicken Breasts (washed and fileted in half)
- 1 Egg (beaten)
- 1 Cup Almond Meal
- 1 Handful Sliced Almonds
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
- Juice from Half a Lemon
- 2 Tbsp Ground Fresh Ginger
- Place your cut chicken in a shallow dish and “marinate” it with the lemon juice and ginger. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- In another shallow dish put in your egg and beat it.
- In another shallow dish assemble the almond meal, sliced almonds and seasoning.
- Pre-heat your oven to 415 degrees F.
- Take your marinated chicken and let the lemon juice drip off a bit (you can decide how much ginger you want on each piece by rubbing it in a bit at this stage).
- Dredge the chicken through the egg on both sides followed by the almond mixture. You may need to sprinkle the meal by hand to fully cover the chicken.
- Place your “breaded” chicken breasts on a lightly greased baking rack. Place some more almond slices on top if you wish for extra crunch.
- Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until they turn golden.
A few months ago at my husband’s Beer Tasting Birthday Party one of our friends who happens to be an avid hunter put something in our freezer. The next morning while looking for hash browns in our freezer I stumbled upon a random tube of meat labeled “Wild Game”. I asked my husband where it came from and after a quick call we found out his friend had brought it over as a gift and that it was in fact ground venison. It has taken me until now to make a dish with this gift.
This meal came out of a craving for pasta, however, I wanted it to match the type of meat more so I opted for more rustic ingredients to make it more hearty tasting than your standard tomato sauce. The outcome was absolutely delicious and a great change from heavy pasta dishes that leave you belly up on the couch recuperating for half an hour after your meal. This is a wonderful rustic style sauce that can be served with noodles like I did, with rice or even just on it’s own as a stew or sorts. If you choose to serve just the sauce on its own this is also a great paleo dish!
- 1/2 Pound Ground Venison (Bison or another type of lean meat would work too)
- 2 Springs Fresh Rosemary (finely chopped)
- 4 Springs Fresh Thyme
- 1/2 a Sweet White Onion (Chopped)
- 4 Celery Sticks (Chopped)
- 3 Medium Carrots (Chopped)
- 1 Can Stewed Diced Tomatoes (I used unsalted)
- 8 Crimini Mushrooms (Chopped)
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Beef Broth (I used No MSG)
- 1 Large Organic Garlic Clove (Minced)
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp Paprika
- 1/2 Tbsp Ground Pepper
- Seasoning Salt to taste
- 1 Cup Dry Red Wine (I used a Merlot)
- Tagliatelle Egg Noodles
- In a large pot heat up your oil then toss in your onions. Cook them until they are turning golden then toss in your garlic.
- Once the onions and garlic are golden toss in your meat and break it up so it doesn’t clump. Add your broth and bring to a boil (this will help break the meat up)
- Add in the seasonings, fresh rosemary and thyme. Cook and mix together for about 5 minutes.
- Remove excess juice from the can of tomatoes then add your carrots, celery and tomatoes into the pot. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add in your wine and mushrooms and mix everything together.
- Cook on low heat for 45 minutes – 1 hour to allow the wine to cook off and to allow the flavors to combine.
- While your sauce is cooking make your noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a bit of oil and salt into the water. Put in your noodles and cook for about 10 minutes. This will give you al dente noodles. Strain them from the water and run cold water over them to prevent them from sticking.
- Once your sauce is done serve over the noodles.*Optional* You can garnish your dish with fresh parsley and shaved Parmesan cheese like I did.
Beets make an amazing and healthy side dish for any meal. They are full of phytonutrients and vitamins, some of which may even help fight off cancer! From lowering blood pressure to giving you your daily dose of fiber these guys pack a punch in your daily intake of healthy foods. There are many different ways to enjoy them, you can pickle them, steam them, juice them, eat them raw and even make an amazing soup from them called Barszcz. I will post my moms recipe on here for this soup once I have been able to master making it. While the origins of the soup are Ukranian and many eastern and central European countries have their own take on the soup, each family has a recipe handed down from mother to daughter and is very popular around holidays.
Alright back to the beets themselves. I found an awesome article about some of the benefits of beets here. Have a read through and see why adding these guys into your diet is worth it.
For the side dish pictured above, I chose to steam the beets with a water and vinegar mixture. You can cook them for less or even more time if you choose, but remember the longer you cook them, the more nutrients you lose so try not to over do it. This is such a simple dish that will go with just about anything. Best of all it won’t take you long to make for all the busy people out there trying to eat healthy.
- 6 Medium Red Beets
- 4 Medium Golden Beets
- 2 Tbsp White Vinegar
- 4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 8 Cups Water
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Peel your beets and cut them into wedges. **Use gloves otherwise you will be walking around with bright red hands for awhile**
- Fill a large deep pan with the water, oil and vinegars then place your beets in.
- Cover then cook on high for 20 minutes or until most of the water steams out.
I served mine drizzled with a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.
8 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar and 2 Tbsp Water. Slowly reduced in a pan on medium heat.
Here is another simple and quick BBQ recipe for some yummy prawns this time.
I have been making these for years and they always go quick at the table.
I had approximately 100 peeled and deveined prawns
For the Marinade:
- 2 Tbsp Melted Butter (i used unsalted)
- 2 Minced Garlic Cloves
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
- 5 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- Handful minced Italian Parsley
- 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
- 2 Tsp Garlic Powder
- If you are using wood skewers soak them in some water for about 5-10 minutes.
- Rinse your prawns keeping the tails on.
- Skewer your prawns onto the skewers.
- Mix the above in a bowl. Using a brush coat both sides of the prawns in the marinade. I let mine sit for 20 mins.
- Start up the BBQ and once it is hot place your skewers on.
- These guys cook fast so don’t leave them unattended. You will need about 1 – 2 minutes per side.
- Serve immediately.
As promised here is my recipe for a No Mayo Coleslaw.
I started making this when we were eating Paleo and I have continued to make it this way. As opposed to a heavy mayo dressing, this offers a nice lighter and fresher tasting alternative that is great especially now during the warmer months.
- 1/2 Small White Cabbage (chopped)
- 1/2 Small Red Cabbage (chopped)
- 1 Handful Italian Parsley (chopped)
- 1/2 Medium Leek (chopped)
- Juice from 1/2 Lemon
- 2 Tsp White Wine Vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Large Garlic Clove (minced)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a large bowl combine your chopped cabbages and add a little bit of salt over it.
- *Optional Tip* Using your hands squeeze the cabbage. This will make it softer.
- Add in your parsley and leeks.
- In a small bowl combine the lemon, vinegar, mustard, oil, garlic and some pepper. Mix it up until it is smooth.
- Pour onto your cabbage and mix.
This whole meal started with one of my husband’s friends who invited himself over for dinner. He is an avid hunter and said that he would supply the meat (venison) if I cooked it up. I have never made venison so this was ALL new to me. Looking through the Internet I was not able to find very many recipes for making this sort of roast, and then it dawned on me! My grandma has been cooking up venison for the better part of 40 years since everyone back in the Homeland hunts regularly. So Tuesday night I placed a call to her to get her recipe and any tricks she may have. Her two main tips were as follows:
1) Cut off the clear filmy stuff and any white ligaments or excess fat (this is to get rid of the gamey taste)
2) Cure the meat for at least 2 days in a white sugar and salt mixture.
Curing How To:
Wash your roast and cut off any ligaments, fat and that filmy stuff. Rub the meat with white sugar and salt then place it into the fridge. Let it sit for 2 days.
- 4 – 6 Cloves Garlic (minced)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 All Spice
- 1/4 Cup Beef Broth (i used NO MSG)
- 1/4 Cup Dry Red Wine
- 1/4 White Onion (chopped)
- 5 Strips of Bacon
- 8 Crimini Mushrooms (chopped)
- 4 Carrots (peeled and chopped)
- 3 Celery Sticks (chopped)
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1) Take out your roast about 2 hours before cooking to allow it to get to room temperature.
2) Pat the roast dry leaving the sugar and salt mixture on.
3) Rub the garlic all over the meat.
4) In a cast iron pot heat up your oil. Once it is hot place your roast in and allow it to brown on all sides.
5) Remove the meat. Add in your broth, wine, bay leaves and all spice, bacon and onions. Let it all come to a boil.
6) Reduce the heat to simmer and place your meat back in. Set the timer for 3 Hours.
7) Cook covered and slowly on a low temperature. I frequently turned the roast around to allow it to cook on all sides maneuvering the bacon to be on top of the meat.
8) With about an hour and a half left place your carrots and celery into the pot. Continue cooking.
9) With half an hour left put in your mushrooms.
10) Once the time is up you can take out the veggies and most of the broth. I set it all aside and the veggies were eaten as a side dish. (super flavorful!)
11) Turn your broiler on to 500F. Place the roast with the bacon on top into the oven uncovered. I broiled it for 8 mins to allow the bacon to crisp.
12) Remove from the oven and slice up the roast. I poured some of the wine and broth mix over the slices.
** This meat is super lean and can be on the dry side because of it so serving it with a rich sauce is nice. I mixed up some creamy horseradish sauce with sour cream as a dipping sauce and it paired perfectly! (again thank you granny :))