Posts filed under ‘Chicken & Poultry’

Shawarma-Spiced Meat and Roasted Root Stew

It’s that time again in Montana, where the overcast days are more than just a rare occurrence and the winter is looming…while I’m holding on tight to fall as long as I can, I am embracing heartier dishes that heat me up from the inside-out. emu-roasted-root-stew That means it’s chili, stew and soup season! The first to make an appearance is this warm-spiced stew with ground emu and an array of sweet roasted root vegetables. Not only is this recipe easily adapted for what veggies and ground meat you have on hand, it’s a lovely pairing of sweet, salty and comfort with a variety of textures where you can swap out ingredients to suite your dietary needs. The root veggies compliment the shawarma spices and the ground meat beautifully, the apple cider vinegar makes the flavors really pop and the quinoa and mushrooms add to bulk and “meatiness” of the stew.

If you prefer a vegan or vegetarian cuisine, substitute the ground meat for chickpeas, more grains or add in additional mushrooms. If you do not have broccoli or zucchini on hand, swap either for chopped kale, chard and/or cauliflower. If you avoid grains, leave out the quinoa and serve on it’s own or over sweet potato or rutabaga rice.
emu-roasted-root-stew2Shawarma-Spiced Emu and Roasted Roots Stew
Paleo-friendly option, Vegan/Vegetarian option, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Seed-free, Egg-free, AIP-option, Grain-free option, Sugar-free

3/4 lb ground emu or ground meat of choice* (for vegan substitute 1 can of cooked chickpeas or 8 oz more mushrooms)
3 Tbsp olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil (can reduce to 1 Tbsp if using a higher fat ground meat since emu is quite lean)
1 small onion, diced (yellow or sweet onion)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
3-4 Tbsp Shawarma curry spice mix**
1 small zucchini, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 -2 tsp sea salt
3-4 cups bone broth or homemade chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegan/vegetarian)
1-2 cups broccoli, broken or chopped into small florets
3/4 – 1 cup cooked quinoa (or rice. For veggie friendly, can increase to 2 cups or omit for paleo/grain-free)
3 cups roasted root veggies (sweet potato, beets, carrots, parsnips – one, two or a combo)***
2-3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley + more for garnish
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste


  1. If you do not already have roasted root veggies on hand, go ahead and preheat oven to 400F. Toss the following peeled and small diced veggies in 2 Tbsp oil of choice and sea salt and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned: 1 sweet potato, 1 beet, 1 carrot and 1 parsnip and set aside.
  2. In a soup pot or a Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and ground meat and saute until meat is no longer pink. (If using chickpeas, do not add quite yet), stirring often and breaking up pieces of meat into crumbles, about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add in the remaining 1 Tbsp oil, shawarma spice mix, salt, garlic, mushrooms and zucchini and saute for another 6 minutes or so until mushrooms have released their natural juices.
  4. Add in broth/stock, broccoli, cooked quinoa (and chickpeas if vegan/vegetarian) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in cooked root veggies, apple cider vinegar and parsley and let cook for one minute or so. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, garnish with additional parsley and enjoy!

emu-roasted-root-stew1*Ground beef, bison, chicken, turkey or lamb would all be lovely options if not vegetarian. You can use up as much as 1 lb of meat if omitting the quinoa/rice or reduce to 1/2 pound of meat and increase grain or veggies if wanting to reduce the cost when purchasing good quality meat.

***I peeled and small diced 1 sweet potato, 1 beet, 1 carrot and 1 parsnip, then tossed in 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted at 400F for roughly 30 minutes until cooked and tender.

**If you follow the AIP diet, use the following shawarma spice blend and combine the following. Start with 2 1/2 – 3 Tbsp and add more if you want more flavor and spice, I am generous with seasoning but some people may prefer a more mild dish: 3 tsp garlic powder, 3 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp tsp tumeric, 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp sea salt, 3/4 tsp Ceylon cinnamon and 1/4 tsp cloves

October 3, 2016 at 2:06 pm Leave a comment

Mayo Crusted Roasted Chicken (SRC)

Smothering a whole organic chicken with mayo at one point in my life would have totally freaked me out. Now, it makes drool…oh how times have changed. I used to think that eating dietary fat = automatically gaining body fat. Ten years ago, I would have cringed at eating anything that wasn’t labeled low-fat and I’d even meticulously cut fat off lean boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Interesting how we get ideas in our head of what is considered “healthy”.

mayo crusted chicken1The more I learn about nutrition,  and the more I am open-minded and willing to try new things, the more I REALLY comprehend that how one person eats doesn’t always work for the next person. Mind you, I am not advocating eating blocks of cheese, fried chicken and deep-fried oreos… but fats from whole and unprocessed foods can do wonders for the body and our health. More on this later, let’s get to this recipe!

I found this incredibly easy and DELICIOUS recipe for Mayo Crusted Roasted Chicken on Nicole’s blog I am a Honey Bee for this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment. I was already familiar with Nic’s blog when I made her Lightened-up Broccoli Cheddar Soup awhile back so I was excited to have her site again! Her Payday Pie looks and sounds absolutely heavenly and her Homemade Paleo Bacon will be made as soon as I get my hands on fresh pork belly (I have to order it from my local health food store).

mayo crusted chicken precook

This chicken though, what a fantastic way to cook a whole bird! The result is a juicy and tender chicken and the mayo creates a lovely crust on top of the skin, which crisps up nicely and infuses a delightful punch of flavor! You can carve up the meat and serve it as the main dish or use the meat for another recipe, so it’s a win for versatility. I made a few changes: I used my own homemade avocado mayo, added a bit of fresh lemon thyme and stuffed the bird with quartered lemon wedges. I omitted the garlic and the bay leaves since I didn’t have those on-hand but they would have been a great addition as well. I can’t wait to experiment with different flavor combos and the mayo in the future – yum! Thanks for the inspiration Nicole!

Also, I have a confession: It’s been quite the couple of weeks and this recipe reflects just that. Do you see anything wrong with these photos?! Umm…I cooked this chicken upside down! Wow, where is my head at? I didn’t turn it over after seasoning it so that’s was an oops. I should have posted this for April Fool’s Day…but this was a nice reminder to laugh at myself🙂

mayo crusted chicken2Mayo Crusted Roasted Chicken (lightly adapted from I am a Honey Bee)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Whole 30 & Keto-friendly, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Candida-friendly

Makes 1 whole chicken


5-6 pound whole organic chicken
1/2 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 2″ long pieces
1/2 pound celery, peeled, cut into 2″ long pieces
2 large onions, sliced into 1/2″ wedges
4 sprigs of fresh lemon-thyme and/or 3-4 bay leaves
approximately 1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used homemade avocado oil, sugar-free mayo, recipe below)
one lemon, quartered
sea salt
coarsely ground black pepper

Other seasoning options:
4 garlic cloves, minced


  1. Preaheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Remove the giblets from the chicken. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry.
  3. Place the carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and two sprigs of thyme (and/or bay leaves) in a roasting pan. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the quartered lemon and two of the sprigs of thyme.
  4. With about 2 tbsp of mayo, rub undernearth the chicken skin. Take remaining mayonnaise and run all over the whole chicken.  Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken to prevent burning.
  5. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 20 minutes prior to slicing and serving. Lift the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

avocado oil mayoHomemade Avocado Oil Mayo (lightly adapted from The Healthy Foodie) 
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Whole 30-compliant, Keto-friendly, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Candida-friendly, Vegetarian


3 eggs yolks (or 1 extra large egg)*
1/2 tsp sea salt (I’ve used flavored salts like hickory smoked sea salt)
juice from half a lemon or 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp of mustard (I use stone ground dijon mustard made with apple cider vinegar)
1 cup avocado oil (or extra light tasting olive oil)


  1. To a large mouth glass jar, add the egg yolks. Add the remaining ingredients on top of the yolks.
  2. Place immersion blender in the glass jar until it hits the bottom (this is the only way I’ve every made mayo so I am not sure what else you can substitute).
  3. Turn the immersion blender on and let run without moving for a full 20 seconds. You’ll see the oil will start to emulsify and it starts to look like mayo!
  4. After 20 seconds, move your stick blender around and up and down just to ensure that every all of the oil gets well incorporated into the mixture. There you have it!
  5. Store in the refrigerator an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

*I used yolks only since I found out I am sensitive to egg whites so I am keeping my intake to a minimum

For other recipes from this month’s reveal, click the link below!

April 24, 2016 at 10:00 pm 8 comments

Crockpot Shredded Chicken with Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ Sauce – 4 Ways (SRC)

Slow cooker meals are a lifesaver after a long day of work. I get home, I’m hungry and I’d prefer not to spend a couple hours in the kitchen. I’d rather heat up or whip up something quick to eat and be able to enjoy “free time” outside of work in the evenings. While cooking is certainly a passion, it can seem more like a chore at the end of a busy day.

When I find a recipe that can be used as a base for multiple meals, it’s a definite winner. This slow cooker pulled chicken is just that. I served this dish as a filling snack over a half of an avocado, over a bowl of cooked grains and lentils with green onions, as an add-in to a smoky veggie soup and as the main dish with some cabbage slaw and pickled onions. You can also serve this in a wrap, over a salad, in a panini, as a pizza topping or as a topping to a baked potato or yam. Can you say endless possibilities?
shredded bbq chicken 4waysLet’s not forget the BBQ sauce — Apple cider vinegar is such a versatile ingredient and I love love LOVE the taste! It’s bold and tangy, and adds a lovely zip to dishes from soups and salad dressings to marinades and main dishes. While lemon and lime juice have their places, apple cider vinegar has a place in my heart all it’s own. Naturally, when I came across Lauren’s recipe for a Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken and Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ sauce, I knew I had to make it.

shredded bbq chicken avocadoThis month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment was Lauren’s delicious and crafty blog Sew You Think You Can Cook. I knew Lauren was a great match when I came across fun flavor combos such as her Hummus Waffles with Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Sweet Potato and Chorizo Hand Pies, Coconut Shrimp with Bloody Mary Dip  and Parsnip and Blueberry Baked Oatmeal.  While I chose her Pulled Chicken and Apple Cider BBQ Sauce, with my newfound love for parsnips, you can be sure Lauren’s baked oatmeal will be made in the next week or so!
shredded bbq chicken rice pilaf

I made a few changes to Lauren’s recipe based on what I had on hand. I had a combo or chicken breasts and boneless, skinless chicken thighs and I really loved the flavor that the richer thigh meat lent to this dish. I swapped out the sweetener for maple sugar and used smoked salt instead of regular sea salt. I made a special grocery store run to buy gluten-free beer…I didn’t want to swap that out so I could stay true to the recipe, though now I have several bottles of beer to experiment in other recipes🙂 Thanks Lauren for this recipe, I’ll be making this again!
shredded bbq chicken slaw

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken (recipe adapted from Sew You Think You Can Cook)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Soy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free


4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or a combo (I used 2 chicken breasts, 4 chicken thighs)
1 1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp granulated sweetener (maple sugar, sucanat, coconut sugar)
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard powder
1 tsp cayenne (can reduce if you are sensitive to spicy food)
1 bottle or can (12 oz) gluten-free beer
sea salt and pepper to taste (I used smoked salt)

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper generously. Place in the bottom of a slow cooker.
2. In a small bowl combine paprika, garlic powder, sweetener, mustard powder, and cayenne. Sprinkle over the chicken.
3. Pour beer into the slow cooker. Cook on LOW 5-7 hours until the chicken shreds easily.
4. Serve as a sandwich, wrap, over grains, over avocado, as a pizza topping, on top of a salad and drizzle withe apple cider vinegar BBQ sauce (recipe below).

Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ Sauce (recipe adapted from Sew You Think You Can Cook)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Soy-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free

1 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 Fresno chili pepper, deseeded and halved
2 tbsp sweetener (coconut sugar, maple sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat then reduce to a simmer. Cook 20 – 30 minutes, or until a desired consistency is achieved. Remove the garlic and chili pepper, if used.

shredded bbq chicken veggie soupFor other recipes from this month’s reveal, click the link below!

September 27, 2015 at 10:00 pm 11 comments

Quick Collard Wrap with Lemon Maple Tahini Dressing

Hand-held eats are ideal for a meal on-the-go, a portable lunch or served at a summer picnic. Whether it’s a sandwich, burger, wrap or even pizza, there’s something really enjoyable about eating with my hands. This empty-the-fridge collard green wrap is no exception!

collard chicken sprout wrap fillingI love using leftovers from the fridge… and making this wrap is a quick way to whip up an easy meal (or snack) and not let food go to waste. There are times when I find myself looking into the fridge with leftovers just enough for one person (I blame this on my snacking, ha!)… 1/2 small cooked chicken breast, partial bag of sprouts, 1/4 section of an apple and remnants of a roasted squash…so I threw in a few other ingredients and lunch is served!

collard wrap chicken sprouts apples

For a vegetarian/vegan or even raw preparation, use your favorite shredded veggies such as carrot, beet, cucumber or avocado for the chicken and/or roasted squash. Here of the filling combinations I’ve made recently, of course I’ll served with this deeeeelicious tahini sauce:
1. Shredded Beets + Carrot + Roasted sweet potato wedges
2. Thinly sliced Mango + Avocado Mash with Sunflower Seeds (combined so they don’t fall out of the wrap + Alfalfa sprouts + Cilantro
3. Cucumber + Avocado + Carrots (sliced into matchsticks) + Broccoli Sprouts + Fresh Basil

Quick Collard Wrap with Maple Lemon Tahini Dressing
Serves 1
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, Soy-free, Refined Sugar Free, Egg-free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, Nightshade-free, AIP-Friendly Option, Nut-free, Raw Option


1 Large collard green leaf
3 oz cooked chicken, thinly sliced (substitute sliced or mashed avocado, baked tofu or 1/2 cup cooked grain for vegan)
1/3 cup sprouts (I used radish sprouts)
1/4 small apple, sliced into matchsticks
1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro ( mint or basil could also be used as a substitute)
2-3 Tbsp pickled onions (or raw thinly sliced onions, I used homemade pickled onions)
1/3 cup roasted Kabocha squash or sweet potato (and/or shredded carrot or beet would also be good for raw)
2 Tbsp lemon tahini sauce plus more for dipping (recipe below), for AIP use AIP-friendly mayo


1. Put raw collard leaf in a plastic bag and freeze them until they turn bright green, about an hour to make the leaf more pliable. (If you do not have time to do this, that’s ok too)
2. Wash the collard leaf under cold water, then lay it topside down on a cutting board (raised spine up). Using a paring knife, cut off the stem and gently shave down the raised part of the spines so the surface of the collard is nice and flat.
3. Lay each of the filling ingredients except for the dressing, side by side and parallel to the spine of the collard green. Be sure to leave about an inch on each edge uncovered. Drizzle dressing on top.
4. Roll the collard top and bottom (stem side) inward, fold one of the long sides in, tucking all the filling underneath it, and continue rolling the leaf from that side to the other side to get a tight wrap. Slice in half with a sharp knife. Serve with additional dressing and enjoy!

Lemon Maple Tahini Sauce
This is one of my FAVORITE nut-free options for a dressing, sauce for a veggie sticks or a bowl of roasted veggies/grains/protein. I could put this on about anything

Whisk together:
1/3 cup tahini (can substitute sunflower seed butter for a different flavor)
juice from 1 fresh lemon
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (honey, coconut nectar or agave would work too) – tiny pinch of stevia for candida-friendly
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/8 tsp garlic powder)
1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (I love acidity, add to taste)
2 Tbsp olive oil
generous pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

collard wrap chicken sprouts apples2

July 11, 2015 at 1:33 pm 1 comment

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