Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs with a side of Broccoli

Last week I took the kids to the grocery store and I asked them what they wanted to eat for dinner.  They said that they wanted chicken and bacon and rice.  I told them that they had to pick a vegetable and so they chose broccoli.  When I’m cooking with the kids I like to try and have them help as much as they can.  If one is off washing dishes while the other is helping me season the dish then that works too!

For this recipe there really isn’t much to it.  It’s a very simple recipe.  You know me by now…  Bacon is my favorite flavoring!  😛

 

BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN THIGHS and BROCCOLI

Ingredients:

1 head of broccoli (chopped into pieces)

1 package of uncured bacon

1 pound of chicken thighs

3-4 tablespoons of Coconut oil or butter

Seasoning (salt, pepper, parsley, etc.  Whatever you like!)

Directions:

1.  Grab your pans and preheat them on the stove at medium high heat.

2.  In one pan, put the butter or oil and let it melt.

3.  Toss in the broccoli and cook til it is at the tenderness that you like.  I would say about 7-10 minutes.  (I like to season my broccoli after it’s been cooked that way I can give it a taste and if it needs more seasoning I add more.  I usually just salt and pepper it.  Sometimes for a kick I’ll add chili or cayenne powder, and sometimes even red pepper flakes.)

4.  While your broccoli is cooking, season the thighs and then wrap in bacon.  Try and make sure you have the ends of the bacon meet on the same side.

5.  Place your meat seam side down onto the pan and cook on all sides until the bacon has browned and crispied up.  This will be about 15-20 minutes of cook time.

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6.  When all is said and done, plate up your food all fancy and take pictures!  I mean…  serve and enjoy!

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BBBBRRRRAAAAIIIINNNNSSSSS!

 

Well, PaleoJoe and I are officially zombies.  Yesterday for our post-workout meal we had pork brains with a side of our home made kimchi and watermelon juice.  I had posted last week, a picture of the different organs that we had purchased and for today’s recipe we are going to be working with the brain.

This brain was kinda weird.  As it is our first time working with this type of meat I don’t know if we handled it correctly, or if we did everything perfectly.  We looked online at various websites on how to prepare and cook the brain.  Apparently they’re not so uncommon in the southern states and will come canned with some kind of gravy.  Didn’t look very appetizing at all. Oh and tell me why I kept thinking of this guy the entire time I was looking up recipes:

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HA!!

Anyhoo…  Since it was too hot to make a stew and we didn’t have enough vegetables for a stir-fry, we ended up using seasoned coconut flour to bread it and fried it in leftover bacon fat from an earlier breakfast.  Here’s the recipe…

 

BREADED PORK BRAIN

Ingredients:

1lb pork brain

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1/4 cup of coconut flour

Seasoning (Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Fresh chopped basil)

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Bacon Fat or Oil (EVOO or Coconut Oil.  Whichever you like to cook with.  Butter will work as well.)

 

Directions:

1.  Soak brain in cold water for 1-2 hours.

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2.  In a large enough pot, put the brain in with enough water to cover it and put it on the stove on high heat.  Bring it to a boil and when it does, turn the heat down to simmer.  Let simmer for 3-5 minutes.

3.  Drain water and cut to however large pieces you want.  (To be honest, I think since ours was frozen it kind of fell apart.  We didn’t have to do much cutting, but just in case yours stays together, then cut it.)

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4.  Preheat frying pan on medium high heat with your cooking oil/butter.

5.  I’m going to assume that you know to let your meat cool down before handling.  Carefully take your pieces of brain and roll them in the flour.

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6.  Place pieces on the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until it’s a golden brown.  (PaleoJoe says that the pieces were soft and flimsy so he had to use a fork to carefully flip them.)

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7.  Plate and SERVE!!

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Again, we had them with a side of our homemade kimchi and fresh watermelon juice.  (PaleoJoe tossed a couple of pieces in a blender and hit puree.)  I’m not sure if the brain is supposed to be soft, but that’s what it was.  Soft.  The breading on the outside gave it the teeniest of crunch, but the brain itself was very soft.  What did it taste like?  I don’t know if I can explain it.  It wasn’t iron-y, it didn’t taste like pork, but there definitely was a taste to it.  I just can’t quite describe it.  I’ll ask PaleoJoe and see what his take on it was.

We’re going to try another brain recipe, preferably with a fresh brain, and see if there is any difference in texture and taste.  All in all, it wasn’t a bad experience.  We tried something new, and we will definitely try it again.  ENJOY!

Grass-fed Burgers

Whenever I pick my kids up from the babysitter’s place, I always ask them: “What do you want to eat for dinner?”  I usually get the same answers: “Chicken and rice!  Top Ramen with egg!” or the super gross: “MCDONALD’S!!”  I always tell them no, and I offer up alternatives.  I remind them that I will never take them to McDonald’s because that’s not REAL food.  They are saddened by this, but then perk up when I tell that that they’re going to help me make dinner.  They are always so very willing to help out in the kitchen and I love that.

So last night I sugested burgers for dinner and to my surprise they said yes.  My kids don’t normally like hamburgers.  They are more hot dog eaters and they very rarely eat sandwiches.  My girl would prefer to eat the meat separate from the bread, and my boy would rather eat the bread than the meat.  They’re weird, but whatever.

We stopped at Lucky’s for ingredients and to my happy surprise there was uncured bacon and grass-fed ground beef there.  YES!  They of course had organic vegetables so I put that in the basket as well.  15 minutes later and we were out of there.

Since my kids aren’t really on the Paleo Lifestyle like I am, I allowed them to have buns to hold their burger.  But not just any old boring buns!!  NOPE!!  I had made my own Garlic and Parsley Butter a couple of days ago and I spread it on some french bread slices and toasted it up.  Oh we fancy!!  😛

Here’s what you’re going to need for…

 

BURGERS

Ingredients:

1 lb of grass-fed ground beef

3 strips of uncured bacon (diced)

3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 egg

Montreal Seasoning and Onion Powder (I kind of eyeballed it.  A tablespoon total perhaps?)

Directions:

1.  Put all of your ingredients in a bowl.

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2.  Get your 6 year old boy to wash his hands and squish away!!

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He thought that it was the grossest thing ever, but the smile on his face shows me that he thought it was fun.

3.  If you have a grill then fire it up!  If you’re like me and don’t have one, then get a pan and put it on the stove on medium high heat.  Add about 2-3 tablespoons of butter and let it melt.

4.  So the size of the patty depends on you.  Want a 1/2 pound of burger then divide the meat into two.  Want a 1/4 pounder?  or…

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HA!!  Well…  you get the picture.  Up to you!!

5.  When the pan/grill is hot, add the meat.  Let cook for 3-5 minutes on each side (or longer depending on how well you want it cooked.  I like mine rare.)

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6.  You can use the time that the patties are cooking to prep your fixins.  I had an avocado, a tomato, and iceburg lettuce.

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Now THAT’S a delicious burger if I ever saw one!!  I pretty much inhaled it.  It was juicy, flavorful, and of course Paleo friendly.  🙂

My kids enjoyed theirs as well.

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So again, it is entirely up to you what kind of fixins you want to add to your burger:   grilled onions or bell peppers, portobello mushroom, cheese (raw and unpasteurized if you’re Paleo), MORE BACON!  Up to you!  Make it your own.  I recommend serving this up with a side of sweet potato fries.  ENJOY!

Super Easy Chicken Stock

Do you know how easy it is to make chicken stock?  Any stock really.  All you need are bones and your aromatics.  As you can tell from the title, it’s a chicken stock recipe and believe me when I tell you that it is VERY easy.  You can even make this in your crock pot if you wanted to.  All you are going to need is leftover bones and skin from chicken.  Did you have a roasted chicken for dinner or lunch?  You can use those!  If you didn’t then a trip to your local butcher will work just as well.  They usually have leftover chicken parts that they have for sale or you could maybe get for free.  Usually the backs of chicken or even if they went so far as to de-boning a chicken.  Ask!  You can use chicken stock in a number of recipes.  Instead of boiling your noodles, rice or potatoes in water, why not try boiling it in stock?  It’ll add so much more flavor to your dish.

So here’s what you’re going to need for this recipe…

CHICKEN STOCK

Ingredients:

Leftover chicken bones and skin

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Celery

Onion

Carrot

Garlic

Herbs (Parsley, Rosemary, etc.  Whichever you have on hand.  Preferably fresh, but dry will work just as well.)

Salt and Pepper

 

Directions:

1.  Put chicken bones and skin into a large pot and cover it with water.  Add your aromatics and seasoning to the pot and turn stove to high.  Bring water to boil and as soon as it does, turn the heat down to a simmer.

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2. Place lid on pot and let it do it’s thing for 4 to 6 hours.

3.  Every so often you can skim the foam that appears on the surface of the liquid.

4.  After the 4-6 hours, take out the bones and strain the stock.  You can use cheesecloth or a paper towel lined sieve.  Discard the solids.  OR…  if you want to keep the solids, then at least take out the bones and using an immersion blender/blender you can blend the veggies into the stock.

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5.  All done!!  Store in your fridge for future use.  Please note that storage in the fridge is good for a week.  If you freeze the stock it is good for a month.  ENJOY!

 

Oh and to cook it in your crock pot/slow cooker all you have to do is throw everything in and set your temperature to Low (8-10 hours) or High (4-6 hours).  Then do #3-5.  🙂

 

Paleo Stir-Fry (Chicken, Shrimp and Vegetables)

 

 

 

 

I really wish I had written the recipe down or had typed up this entry the day after I had made this dish.  I am going to try my best to redo the recipe based on the pictures that I took.  PaleoJoe and I had made this dish on Wednesday last week and it only took about 30 minutes to make.  Since I didn’t write down the recipe all of the measurements will be guesstimates so please use the minimum amount of seasoning and then add more at the end when everything has been cooked.  The noodles used in the dish were made from Sweet Potatoes.  So yes, this is Paleo friendly.  I haven’t had these noodles before, just the shirataki, but these were great!

 

PALEO STIR-FRY

Ingredients:

1 bag of sweet potato noodles (You can find them at your local Asian market.  Shirataki or Konjac Noodles will work just as well.  Just make sure there’s no tofu or sugar added if you are Paleo Friendly.)

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1 lb. Shrimp (Peeled and De-veined)

1 lb. of chicken breast (cut into large chunks.  Try to make them all the same size so that they cook evenly)

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1 chinese egg plant (cut into chunks)

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1 small onion (cut into chunks)

2-3 stalks of green onion (diced)

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 carrot (peeled and shredded)

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5-6 large shiitake mushrooms (sliced)

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2-3 handfuls of mung bean sprouts

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2 sweet gypsy peppers (I had them leftover from my FullCircle box and I didn’t want them to go bad.  Gave it a nice kick.  Optional.)

Seasoning (Tamari or Soy Sauce, salt, pepper, powdered/fresh ginger, white vinegar, Mirin, or even sesame seeds.  Entirely up to you what you want to put in it.  If this is your frist stir-fry then go with the first 3 ingredients.)

 

Directions:

1.  Get a large pan or pot and soak your noodles.  Put on stove and bring water to boil.  Turn down heat so that the water is simmering.

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2.  If your veggies aren’t prepped yet, then please get to preppin’!  Otherwise, get a wok and preheat it to medium high heat with coconut oil.

3.  Put eggplant and onion.  Cook for 5 minutes.

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4.  Add peppers.

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5.  Add chicken and cook 5-7 minutes.

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8.  Add the rest of the vegetables except the mushrooms.  Cook 3-5 minutes.

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9.  Add shrimp and cook until they are pink.  About 5-7 minutes.

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10.  Add mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes.

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11.  Check your noodles.  They should be soft.  Taste one.  Should be similar to spaghetti where it’s flexible, soft, but not mushy.  Get a colander and put it in your sink.  Take your noodle pot to sink, and dump noodles into colander so that the water will drain.  You can also take tongs and transfer the noodles from the pot to the wok if that’s easier for you.

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12.  Mix noodles and veggies.  Season your dish with salt, pepper, etc.  Taste and if you think it needs more then add some more.

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13.  Transfer food to a dish and ENJOY!

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You can easily make this a vegetarian or even vegan dish by opting  out of the chicken and shrimp.  You can also put in any number of vegetables into this dish.  Perhaps some baby bok choy, zucchini strips, etc.  Have fun with it!  Experiment.  Recipes aren’t set in stone.  They’re more like guidelines.  Make it your own.  🙂

Pork Heart

I am very excited about the upcoming dishes.  Last week I picked up a bunch of different organs at my local market.  Not the mainstream market of course, but a market nonetheless.  As you can see from the picture I have a bunch of different organs to experiment with.

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I feel like a mad scientist when I say that.  😛

I am especially excited about the brain which is on the bottom left.

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HA!  I couldn’t help myself.  I really couldn’t!

So for this dish, I prepared the pork heart.  I guess you can call it a stir-fry, but you can easily turn it into a stew if you had a couple of hours and a crock-pot.   More on that later.

 

PORK HEART STIR-FRY

Ingredients:

2 pig hearts (About 1.5 to 2 pounds. Trimmed of nerves, sinew, and cut into large cubes.)

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1 carrot (peeled and diced)

1/2 small onion (diced)

2 strips of bacon (diced)

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 large tomato (I used an heirloom tomato and diced it up)

Salt and Pepper

2-3 tablespoons of butter

Directions:

1.  Heat up your skillet/frying pan on medium-medium high heat and add bacon.  Cook bacon for about 3 minutes and add all veggies but the tomato.  Cook for another 5 minutes.

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2.  Add tomato and stir.  Season with salt and pepper and turn heat to low.  Cook for another 5 minutes.

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I know, I didn’t quote finish dicing up the tomatoes in this pic, but you get the idea.

3.  In another pan, heat on medium high and add heart and butter.  Saute’ until golden brown on the outside and slightly pink in the middle.  You want it to be medium rare.  If you overcook it, it will be tough and kind of rubbery.

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4.  Once everything is cooked, serve it in a dish and ENJOY!

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I’m sure if you dice up the heart and cook it in a crock pot for a couple of hours it will come out just as delicious.  Just make the sauce separate since it’ll only take about 10-15 minutes to make.  Last minute I added fresh basil and it was delicious.  You can also opt out of cooking the tomatoes and just leaving them fresh for added flavor and texture.

Paleo Spaghetti

This would be the second time that I’ve made this spaghetti.  I don’t remember exactly where I had found out about spaghetti squash, but when I had bought it the first time I thought it was super cool.  This dish is Paleo friendly, it satisfies the craving for this comfort food, and it’s pretty filling.

This past weekend I had made a Stuffed Portobello Mushroom, and I had saved half of the meat mixture for the spaghetti sauce.  So if you follow me and the pictures look a little familiar then that’s where you know it from.  The only difference is that I moved the meat from a skillet to a sauce pot and added tomatoes.  The sauce, once it simmered for an hour or two was stored in the fridge for about two days.  A couple reasons why I did that:

1.  It was getting pretty late by the time we had finished cooking the last of our food for our weekly meal prep.

2.  I forgot to prepare the squash.

3.  Letting the sauce sit overnight or even two days will enhance the flavor.  The sitting period marries all of the herbs and spices and brings them together.  Making the sauce more flavorful and delicious.  Try it!

Anyhoo, making the sauce and baking the squash is very very easy.  If you prefer even more quick and easy recipe, or perhaps you want to go the vegetarian route you can opt out of the meat.  You can go even quicker by just purchasing a jar of pre-made spaghetti sauce at your local grocery store.  But where’s the fun in that?

What I didn’t get a chance to do was add more vegetables to the sauce.  Whenever I make spaghetti for my kids I like to shred up carrots and zucchini and add it to the sauce.  I’ll even add bell peppers and mushrooms if I have it on hand.  I always feel like the kids don’t eat nearly enough vegetables, and so if you can sneak in the veggies without them knowing AWESOME!  The carrots will add a little sweetness to the sauce, and being Filipino I like it a little sweet.  Growing up, whenever my Mom made spaghetti she always added a handful or two of sugar at the end.  Shredded carrots are much healthier for you than sugar.

On with the recipe!  I’m going to write it as if I were making it my usual way.  So everything will be cooked in a large sauce pan (just ignore that skillet in the pictures) and I’m going to add the extra vegetables, but those are optional just like the meat.  Just read the recipe first, take out what you don’t like and put in what you like.  Recipes are like guidelines anyway.  Except when you’re baking.  😛  Most measurements are guesstimates as I don’t really measure when I cook.  I kind of just throw it in there.  So please season your dish a little bit and once it’s complete you can add more to your liking.  You know what you like anyway.

 

PALEO SPAGHETTI

Ingredients:

1/2 pound of grass fed ground beef

1/2 pound of ground Italian sausage

1/2 onion, diced

2 slices (or more!!) of bacon, diced

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1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic

1 – 15 oz. can of organic tomato sauce

1 – 15 oz. can of organic diced tomatoes

1 – 6 or 8 oz can of organic tomato paste.

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** Veggies (If you want to sneak veggies into your sauce for the kiddos, or just so you can have more veggies in your diet I would recommend shredded carrots, shredded or chopped zucchini, sliced mushrooms, diced bell peppers, black olives, etc.  Amounts will vary depending on how much sauce you are making.)

** Grated parmesan cheese (I like to add about 3-4 handfuls of parmesan cheese into my sauce while it’s cooking.  Also tasty after it’s all cooked.)

**  Fresh Basil, Oregano and Italian Parsley (If you have some on hand then grab a small handful of each, chop it up finely and add it to the sauce.  I know that the sausage should have some of those herbs in it, but it can’t hurt to add more!  Oh and if you have dry then add about 2-3 tsp of each.  Then add more, after you’ve tasted the sauce, to your liking.  Another thing about dried herbs and spices, they have a shelf life of about 2 years if it’s not already printed on the container.)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 – spaghetti squash (weight will vary depending on how much spaghetti you want to make.)

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Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 F.

2.  Cut your spaghetti squash in half.

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3.  See those seeds?  Scrape them out.

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4.  Oil up a baking sheet with EVOO or coconut oil or butter, whatever you like, and place the squash cut side down.

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5.  Pop it into the oven and let cook for 45 minutes.  Stab it with a fork and if it goes in easy then it’s cooked.  If not, add another 10-15 mins and check again.

6.  While the squash is baking, take a large sauce pot and heat it on medium high heat.  Add ground beef.  Let it cook for about 5 minutes.

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7.  Add sausage and cook for 5 minutes.  Don’t forget to stir!

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8.  Add diced bacon and cook another 5 minutes.

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9.  Add veggies and cook for yet another 5 minutes.

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10.  Add tomatoes, herbs, and cheese.  Stir and when it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and let it simmer.  Stir it every now and again just to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn.

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11.  Squash is done I hope.  Take it out of the oven.

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12.  When the squash isn’t too hot to handle, use a spoon or a fork to scrape out the spaghetti.

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13.  Top it with your sauce and ENJOY!!

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