Posts tagged ‘main dish’
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”.
The 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).
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 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
coarsely ground black pepper
Other seasoning options:
4 garlic cloves, minced
- Preaheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Remove the giblets from the chicken. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Homemade 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)
- To a large mouth glass jar, add the egg yolks. Add the remaining ingredients on top of the yolks.
- 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).
- 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!
- 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!
- 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
Handheld eats are always a win in my book…they are versatile, they are portable and they are so satisfying! Whether it’s a wrap or a sandwich or a taco, you can pack all the food groups into one lovely bite. This veggie-friendly quesadilla is no exception!
I was assigned Terri’s blog Our Good Life for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal, and I enjoyed perusing through her posts of recipes to crafts and family . I wound up picking her Acorn, Black Bean and Spinach Quesadilla this month for two reasons: I had my mind set on Mexican food and I couldn’t wait to test out a quesadilla using Against the Grain’s new gluten-free pita bread (which doubles fabulously as a tortilla). Terri’s Radish Leaf Pesto will be perfect to whip up this spring, her Oat Congee with Fried Egg and Scallions definitely peaked my interest, and her Apple Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding has been bookmarked for the next stormy day when I’m craving comfort food!
Even though Spring is here (or almost here in Montana), I am still enjoying my fair share of sweet potatoes and winter squash. They are a staple in my kitchen and you can always find an uncooked kabocha squash or Japanese sweet potato on the counter ready to be incorporated enemy next recipe experiment! This recipe for a winter squash quesadilla was a huge hit and without a doubt satisfied my hankering for Mexican food!
Now this is an ideal flavor combo for me! The creamy texture of the winter squash and the velvety beans complimented the crisp edges on the tortilla and the salty, stringy melted cheese. The sautéed greens added a nice earthy dimension to the dish along with the brightness from the cilantro and fresh squeezed lime juice. I changed up a few things on this recipe based on what I had on hand — I substituted kabocha squash for the acorn squash, I used a gluten-free, grain-free tortilla and I added a bit of cilantro for a bit of brightness. I decided to smash up some of the black beans to help adhere the ingredients together since I stuffed the tortilla with the layers of filling Mmmmmm!
Black Bean, Squash and Greens Quesadilla (recipe adapted from Our Good Life)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free Option, Vegetarian, Vegan Option, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Egg-free
- 1 c small dice cooked acorn squash, kabocha squash or butternut squash
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp cumin, ground
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 can organic black beans, rinsed
- 1 small bunch spinach (or your favorite leafy greens), destemmed and chopped
- 4 gluten-free flour tortillas (I used grain-free Against the Grain pita bread)
- 6 oz monterey jack cheese or your favorite dairy-free shredded cheese
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro OR 3 Tbsp chopped greens onions
- lime wedges
- your favorite salsa and/or guacamole
What’s a girl to do when the fridge is running on empty and she’s in need of a speedy meal? All I had besides a shelf of staples (coconut milk, chia seeds, tahini and coconut butter) was the following:
- half a container of roasted red pepper hummus
- half a carton of grape tomatoes
- several cups of cooked spaghetti squash
So that’s I made for my lunch concoction… the simplicity of the dish far exceeded the complexity of the taste. I added a tablespoon or so of hemp seeds with a dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper and it was a tasty dish!
I should have known hummus would be good with spaghetti squash…it’s compliments just about everything! I’ll be making this again on purpose with a few more add-ins for some additional bulk. I am thinking chickpeas or navy beans, sautéed greens and roasted broccoli or caramelized onions. (I have a weird thing about always wanting something green on my plate.)
4-Ingredient Spaghetti Squash Hummus “Pasta”
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Quick
drizzle of olive oil
4-5 grape tomatoes, cut in half or quarted
2-3 cups cooked spaghetti squash
1/4-1/3 cup of roasted red pepper hummus (or your favorite flavor – roasted garlic would be delish)
1 Tbsp hemp hearts
salt and pepper to taste
Your favorite add-ins if desired (roasted veggies, chickpeas, grilled chicken or crumbled sausage etc)
- In a small skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add squash and tomatoes and saute until warmed through.
- Stir in hummus and hemp hearts. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
*This serves one person; for a weeknight family meal quadruple the ingredients. You could always microwave all of these ingredients for a 5 minute meal as well.
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?
Let’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.
This 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!
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!
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.