Friday, December 28, 2012

Spicy Thai Pumpkin Soup

A friend just asked what the best soup is for combating a cold.  My quick answer was my new favorite, Spicy Thai Pumpkin Soup.  I thought I had already posted the recipe, but a quick search confirmed otherwise.  So, to get you well, here it is (even though I don't have pictures for it yet).

Spicy Thai Pumpkin Soup
2 T. coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ onion, chopped
2 small fresh red chili peppers, chopped (or sprinkle dried red pepper flakes, to taste.  About 1/2 tsp works well for starters.)
2 c. chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
2 c. cooked and mashed pumpkin (or 4 cups raw, peeled and diced)
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, snipped into tiny pieces
Dried red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt to taste

Saute garlic, onion, chilies in oil until fragrant.  Stir in chicken stock, coconut milk, pumpkin, basil and pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil. If using raw pumpkin, cook until the pumpkin is soft.

Blend the soup in batches to a smooth or slightly chunky consistency, whatever you prefer.  Since I use pumpkin that I've previously cooked and mashed, I don't blend it at all.  A very fast dish to put together!

I can never make enough of this to enjoy leftovers.  It gets slurped up right away every time.  Get well soon!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fresh Peppermint Ice Cream

After living for 25 years in a place where December means precious little is growing, starting this month with rain and a garden full of green and growing things is very unusual for me.  The blackberry bushes are already taking over the back fence, and my hardy little peppermint plant (already transplanted and severely cut back once) is thriving once again.

What does one do with all that peppermint?  I mean really, how many dishes can one be expected to "garnish"?  One can make peppermint tea (Actress is very adept at making fresh herbal tea now, instead of her former usual hot drink, hot cocoa), or can cover the leaves with vodka for a month or so to make peppermint extract.  Or, one can make fresh peppermint ice cream.

I found my base recipe here.  This was my second attempt.  My first attempt involved sweetening with mashed bananas, and adding pureed spinach to brighten the green color.  It was okay, but nothing blog-worthy.  I decided to simplify my approach.  I find the result quite satisfying!


Fresh Peppermint Ice Cream

3 c. coconut milk
1/4 c. agave
2 c. mint leaves, chopped coarsely
4 egg yolks
optional: unsweetened chocolate

Warm 2 c. of the coconut milk and the agave in a small saucepan. Add mint leaves and stir until they're immersed in liquid. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

Strain mint-infused mixture through a mesh strainer into a medium saucepan. Press mint leaves to extract as much flavor as possible, then discard them. Pour remaining 1 cup coconut milk into a large bowl and set the strainer on top.

Rewarm mint-infused mixture. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks. Slowly pour warm mint liquid into egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape warmed egg yolks back into saucepan.

Stir mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping bottom as you stir, until mixture thickens. Pour custard through strainer and stir it into cream. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill mixture thoroughly in refrigerator. Then freeze it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Turn into a storage container and freeze until ready to use. Yield: 1 Quart.

Use a vegetable peeler to shave slivers from a block of unsweetened chocolate, and garnish your serving liberally!

Chocolate shavings



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Turkey and Dumplings

What? Dumplings? On a Paleo diet?  Yes, I was doubtful too.  I didn't think they'd work.  I was sure it would be a monumental fail, just like my attempt at Paleo apple fritters.  To my surprise and delight, they actually held together.  And they were tasty.  The texture was like that of cornbread.  They were also a real hit with everyone in the family!  That's a tall order as I'm constantly introducing new flavors and textures to my boys, ages 12 and 6, and they're not always receptive.  But this one got gobbled up (and I had to fight to save some for Superman).

I started with a turkey vegetable soup that I threw in the crockpot that morning.  It was a simple combination of leftover turkey, carrots, celery, and onions, with chicken broth and a little white wine, seasoned with salt and red pepper flakes and curry powder and oregano and plenty of minced garlic.  About a half hour before dinner, I stirred together the ingredients for the dumplings, which I found here:

4 large eggs
1/4 cup  fat (I used bacon fat)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut flour

After letting the dough rest for a few minutes (a necessary step when using coconut flour), I used a cookie scoop to rest the dough on top of the soup, then took the removable crock and placed it uncovered in the oven at 400 degrees.  It took about 15 - 20 minutes for the dumplings to bake.

Hearty and delicious!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chicken and Quinoa Casserole

You may remember that my youngest daughter, "Actress", was always the most vocal about her dislike of our new grain-free, sugar-free lifestyle.  There was always a great deal of drama surrounding the fact that there was no "non-paleo" food in the house.

Fast forward a year or so...

With the beginning of her high school years, and the stresses of moving from one state to another, my baby girl has decided to make some changes in her nutrition and activity level.  She surprised Superman one day by asking him to show her the Crossfit ropes.  And the day after Thanksgiving, she started her own 30-day Paleo Challenge.  She has been a rockstar.  Yes, some of the wods make her weep and groan (I believe even seasoned Crossfitters can relate).  But she's been sticking with it, and has seen good results.  She's even shown an interest in becoming a dietitian.  She is an amazing young woman!

One of Actress's favorite pre-paleo dinners was Chicken and Rice Casserole.  I used to believe this was a healthy dinner:  chicken, vegetables, rice, cream of chicken soup (yes, that gelatinous substance found in a can).  Tonight, I have altered it to align with our new nutritional style.

Chicken and Quinoa Casserole
2 c. quinoa, blanched
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. coconut milk
1/2 onion, chopped
2 - 3 cups chopped vegetables (carrots, broccoli)
4 - 5 chicken breast halves
seasonings to taste

Blanch the quinoa in a large pot of boiling water for 4 minutes.  Drain.  Stir everything except chicken together in a 9x13 glass baking dish.  Top with chicken.  Season as desired.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake at 375 for 45 - 60 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

My chopped veggies
Fresh out of the oven!

Yummy and satisfying.

Paleo Packs

You may have heard of Paleokits.  Superman relied on them while he was in Russia a couple years ago.  They are a healthy mix of sugar-free beef jerky (very hard to find), dried fruits and nuts.  With Superman's busy schedule, I decided to try my hand at making my own kits.  My mom has a FoodSaver she was willing to let me borrow, so I purchased the best options I could find, and went to work.  Does it save any money?  Well, for me, yes -- since I didn't have to purchase a vacuum sealer.  However, since all the ingredients are shelf stable, you could probably just throw them in good quality zipper bags and call it good.

I keep my nuts in the freezer, so they're thawing on the counter next to this Paleo Pack.

My first try included steak strips, pistachios, pecans, raisins, dried apples and dried zucchini.  When those were all gone, it occurred to me that people might want to know how much it costs to do this.  So I did it again.  Unfortunately, Costco isn't currently stocking my beloved apple chips.  I'm dehydrating my own at this very moment, but since I needed Paleo Packs right now, I substituted a serving of dried figs. 

Here's what's in them:  1 oz. each of steak strips (no, they're not clean, but I can't buy sugar-free dried meat in the store.  I will be making my own in the future.), almonds, pistachios, raisins, figs, and a handful of my own zucchini chips (thank you, dehydrator!).  Total cost of ingredients:  about $2 per pack.

Homemade Paleo Pack



Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fitting In Again: A Guest Post

405 lbs PR
Hello! This is "Superman", the other half of the amazingly beautiful and talented Ms. Julie. Just over two years ago I introduced my then girlfriend and author of this blog to Paleo and Crossfit. She loved the workouts but scoffed at the new approach to eating. I never pushed her on the diet or preached to her the benefits. However, despite her disinterest in Paleo she dove right into this new and exciting workout regimen. On Sept 27, 2010 Julie began tracking her workouts on a Google Spreadsheet that allowed me, living in a different state at the time, to contribute feedback and add love notes to her workout regimen. 

However, not too long after she dove into the WODs she decided to give Paleo a try. Something I have learned over the years and have loved about my sweetheart is her focus and commitment to whatever she puts her mind to -- it's never halfway. Just a couple months after starting her WODs, she began this blog, "How's That Been Working for You," as a way to track the progress of this new dietary venture. 

Julie has since became an expert at Paleo and has made some pretty amazing meals. Although I introduced her to this venture, she has far surpassed me in ability to eat well all the time. She is an example to me, I'll let her blog speak for itself. 

Over the last few months however, we both have needed to learn how to adapt to an ever increasingly busy schedule -- with our wedding on June 8th, five kids, work and now I have started a full time Masters program in Counseling Psychology. It has been difficult to keep a clean diet and workout consistently. We are both no longer at our pre-wedding fitness level. We refuse to accept this and have recommitted to make our health a priority. 

With our re-commitment, I felt it would be helpful to share the guy's perspective in getting fit again and our team effort to incorporate healthy living into our family's lives. Most guys, and anyone who has a full time job and living on a budget, find it very difficult to adapt a new lifestyle and consistently live clean and fit. I hope I can share my successes and failures in a way that motivates others to do well.

My journey began July 14, 2009 when in my Brother's garage Crossfit gym he had some very strong words for me and pointed out how unfit I had become over the years. The following picture is of me at around my max weight of about 250 lbs.


He then introduced me to a  workout call Fran. This was the best and worst thing that ever happened to me. This is a workout that is 3 rounds, the first round is a set of 21 thrusters with 95 lbs (I used 65 lbs at the time) and 21 Pull ups (I did jumping pullups at the time). Then 15 on the next set and 9 on the last round.


After the workout, which took over 30 mins to complete, my brother texted my local gym owner -- some guy named Jason Khalipa -- who was at the Crossfit Games when he got the text, and told him to expect me in his gym the following week.

This started me on a transformation that I never expected. I wasn't new to fitness. For the three years previous I was routinely working out 3-5 times a week, 1-3 hours at a time. Running, elliptical, and even spinning, with occasional weightlifting. But never much progress. After joining Khalipa's gym and about 6 months of hard continuous effort and eating right, I lost 55 lbs and hit a new low of 195 lbs. That following summer in June of 2011 I took the pictures below at my lightest of 183 lbs.


I maintained this weight and increased my strength for the next year. However, in the last few months I have added unneeded weight and have lost some of my fitness level. Although Julie and I have made it a point not to be concerned with how much we weigh but rather how we look and feel, I have nevertheless put on a few pounds that have decreased my performance in the gym and life.

Over the coming weeks and months I will be sharing my challenges and progress to achieving a lifestyle that is healthy and fit while raising a family, working and attending school. I look forward to your comments and feedback. 



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cream of Broccoli Soup


 

"Mom, can we have Broccoli-and-Cheese Soup?"

This is the kind of pleading question that leads to innovations in the kitchen.  My little ones yearning for the flour-thickened, dairy-and-potato laced creations of the past.  Well -- not so little.  She's 14 now.  And she's  decided to start doing crossfit, which makes Superman and me so very proud of her!  She's outside right now, doing thrusters and box jumps. 

I've found (and slightly tweaked, of course) a Broccoli Soup recipe that suits us.  It's simple, creamy, and tasty.  When my daughter tasted it, she asked, "is there cheese in this?"  The answer:  nope!  If you're also craving this comfort food, enjoy!

Cream of Broccoli Soup
inspired by Gourmaleo

2 T. coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 c. raw broccoli, chopped
3 c. raw cauliflower, chopped
4 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
3/4 c. coconut milk
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper

Saute chopped onion in coconut oil.  Add broccoli, cauliflower, broth and water.  Simmer until vegetables are soft.  Puree in batches, then return everything to the pot.  Stir in coconut milk, salt and pepper.  Adjust seasonings to your preference.

Sauteeing the onions
Simmering the veggies

Ahhhh.  Bowlful of comfort food.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Twice Baked Butternut

Ah, Fall.  When it's finally cool enough to turn on the oven again.  I love the crispness in the air, the smell of apples and leaves and cinnamon.

Tonight, I share with you a recipe I adapted from Martha Stewart (it's a good thing).

Begin by roasting a medium to large butternut squash, cut in half.  You can do this one of two ways:  either brush each half with olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt, and place face up on a foil lined baking sheet the way we did for Roasted Squash Caulotto, or place each half cut side down in a glass baking dish with about a half inch of water, then bake 45 minutes at 450 degrees.


Scoop out the insides and place in a mixing bowl.


Add seasonings and mix well.  Pour into a lovely casserole dish (this cute little thing was a wedding gift) and sprinkle with unsweetened shredded coconut.


Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, until the coconut is toasted.  Beautiful!


Twice-Baked Butternut Squash
Martha Stewart scoops out her first-baked squash and uses it as a dish.  I was unable to duplicate this feat of domestic prowess.

1 medium to large butternut squash
1/2 T. curry powder
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper (I didn't measure.  I just ground some fresh black pepper in.  I may have gotten carried away.)
1/2 t. chili powder
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 c. coconut milk
shredded unsweetened coconut

Cut butternut squash in half and roasted with preferred method (see above).  Adjust oven temperature to 425 degrees.

Scoop baked flesh out of each half into a large mixing bowl.  Add curry powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic and coconut milk.  Mix until smooth and well combined.  Empty into a casserole dish, sprinkle with shredded coconut.  Bake for 20 minutes, until coconut is toasted.  Serve with a meat and a salad, and you're all set!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mediterranean Quinoa and Chicken


Hello from the land of wedded bliss!  On June 8, Superman and I got married.  He became my husband and I became his wife.  We are the newlywed parents of five children, ranging from 19 years old to 5 years old.  I am truly, ecstatically happy.

Workouts haven't been as consistent while we've been renovating our house, but we're getting back in the swing of things.  I was happy to blast through my old PR for deadlift last night!  Look at this:

Sep 3 2011 -- 145 lbs
Dec 17 2011 -- 160 lbs
July 10 2012 -- 185 lbs




I cook lovely Paleo meals every night, and Superman says they're all delicious.  I love cooking for him.

Tonight, I modified a recipe I found in a Family Circle magazine (it's a mystery to us how we got a subscription to that one).  It was part of an article about "No-Cook Weeknight Dinners".  Sounds good -- except it's only no-cook if you already have cooked chopped chicken on hand.  Plus, I wasn't sure I could cook quinoa in the microwave.  An experiment for another day, I guess.

Mediterranean Quinoa and Chicken

1 c. quinoa
1/2 c. lime juice
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 T. chopped fresh mint leaves
diced cooked chicken

VERY IMPORTANT -- BLANCH THE QUINOA!  If you don't, you'll end up with slimy bitter quinoa.  Ew.  Don't do that to yourself.

1.  In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the quinoa for 4 minutes.  Drain.

2.  Bring the lime juice and water to a boil.  Add blanched quinoa and dried cranberries.  Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and cover, 10 minutes.

3.  Stir in chopped pecans and fresh mint leaves (I whirred mine in a coffee grinder).  Serve on a dinner plate and top with chicken.

4.  Serve alongside seasonal fruit and veggies (we used plums, zucchini, and mushrooms).


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Paleo Zucchini Brownies


I've tinkered with the recipe a little, and have arrived at one I really like.  I do believe you're going to love this.

Paleo Zucchini Brownies
inspired by fastpaleo


1 c. almond butter
1 ½ c. grated zucchini
1/3 c. honey         
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. nutmeg
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted (or 6 T. cocoa + 2 T. coconut oil)

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour into 9x9 baking pan, lined with parchment paper.  Bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Birthday Dinner



On my kids' birthdays, I always make the dinner they ask for.  Actress specifically requested Orange Chicken and Strawberry Tarts.  I was determined to make them paleo.

I coated chicken pieces with beaten egg and coconut flour, then cooked them in coconut oil.  Instead of rice, the chicken was served over stir-fried veggies.  I simmered orange juice concentrate on the stove to reduce it to orange sauce.



For the strawberry tarts, I looked up a recipe for coconut flour crust.  The crusts were more cookie-like in texture, and very dry, but they worked well enough for this experiment.

I modified a recipe I found here.  If I were to make this again, I'd use less coconut flour (remember how the entire recipe for Cranberry Orange Bread had only 1/2 c. flour?).  I think it would make a good crumb crust recipe, especially if chopped pecans were added to it.  I'll have to try that sometime.

Coconut Flour Pie Crust
1/4 c. coconut oil
1 c. coconut flour
2 eggs
1 t. honey
pinch salt
1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
1 T. water

Pulse ingredients together in food processor.


Line cupcake tin with parchment paper strips.  Scoop crumbly "dough" mixture into each cup, then press into shape.





















Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes, until the edges start to brown.  Let cool.


Remove shells from cupcake tin.  Fill with chopped strawberries and serve.

Paleo Cranberry Orange Bread


This was an immediate hit with every single taste-tester.  Fantastic flavor and texture.  Less talk.  More eating.

Cranberry Orange Bread
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
1/4 c. canned coconut milk
1/4 c. honey
1/2 c. orange juice
1 T. orange zest
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. coconut flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. frozen cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together the wet ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Fold in the frozen cranberries.   Divide batter into two small loaf pans, lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 50 mins, or until loaves are set and pass the toothpick test.

One word about coconut flour -- a little goes a long way.  Okay, that was more than one word.  Note that there is only 1/2 c. of coconut flour in this recipe.  This is not a typo.  Do not be tempted to increase it, based on your understanding of baking with wheat flour.  Trust the recipe.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Where's the Beef?

For years, I've pondered on the ridiculous idea spouted by vegetarians that since a cow doesn't need to eat another cow in order to create protein for its body, then we shouldn't either.  Since cows get all the nutrients they need from plants, then we should also.

I have two rebuttals to that.

The first is:  that spinach you're eating didn't eat another spinach plant in order to produce the nutrients it provides in your diet.  It made them from sunlight, assisted by water and fertilizer.  Since plants get all the nutrients they need from sunlight, water, and poop, you should also.

The second is a little less snarky.  A cow is a slow-moving beast with an entirely different digestive system than a human.  In order to utilize the nutrients in the plant matter it ingests, it has to regurgitate its food repeatedly, sending that matter to each of four compartments in its stomach.
Cows are ruminants, animals with a unique digestive system that allows them to live on otherwise unpalatable foods by repeatedly regurgitating and rechewing them as "cud." The cud is then swallowed again and further digested by specialized bacterial, protozoal and fungal microbes that live in the rumen, one of the four compartments of a cow's stomach. (A Cow's Digestive System, www.teachersdomain.org)
If we are going to compare humans to creatures of the animal kingdom, it would be more logical to use felines.
"The internal anatomy of the cat is very similar to that of the human." (Features to Identify in the Cat, http://biology.clc.uc.edu)
A lion is a fast and powerful beast.  It makes strong muscles on a carnivorous diet.  Am I saying humans should be strict carnivores?  No.  I believe there is significant evidence to support the idea that humans were meant to be omnivores, able to metabolize both animal flesh and plant matter.  Show me a lean, strong, fast cow and I'll be willing to eat my words.  In the meantime, please pass the steak.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Paleo Banana Bread



I've been baking again!  Thanks to the wonderful Elana for this fantastic recipe.  If you compare her pictures to mine, you'll notice that her bread is a finer crumb and a lighter color.  This is because she's using blanched almond flour, and I'm using non-blanched almond meal (which I make myself).  It still tastes great.

I also started experimenting with coconut flour, since I found some at my local health food store.  I'll have another bread recipe for you later that uses just coconut flour (one of my main taste-testers is sensitive to almonds).

Paleo Banana Bread
3 bananas, mashed
3 eggs
1 T. vanilla
1 T. honey
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
1 3/4 c. almond meal
1/4 c. coconut flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pulse together the wet ingredients in the food processor.  Add the flours, salt, baking soda, and combine.  Pour into two mini loaf pans lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 50 - 60 mins.



Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happy (Paleo) Valentine's Day!

I have become something of a foodie over the last few years, and more especially since discovering Paleo/Primal.  Foremost on the mind of the not-yet-initiated:  can a Paleo couple enjoy the delights of a romantic dinner?  Can healthy also be decadent?  Read on, fellow cavepeople...

Instead of going out to eat, or one of us serving the other, Superman and I decided to make dinner together for Valentine's Day.  We had no other plans for the evening; food was our main event.  Our appetizer and our main dish were untried recipes for me.  Everything was beyond our expectations.  Our Valentine's menu:

Appetizer:  Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates (don't be squeamish.  Be adventurous, your taste buds will thank you. We couldn't get enough of these, and will definitely be making them again!)

Main course:  Plum-Basil Chicken, Oven Roasted Asparagus, Tossed Salad with Strawberries

Dessert:  I considered making a coconut milk custard, but we were so full from dinner, we actually passed on dessert.  On Valentine's Day.  Weird, I know.

Enough with the talking.  Recipes and pictures!

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates
10 dates, pitted
almond butter
5 bacon slices, cut in half

Preheat oven to 400.

Carefully cut down one side of each date and gently open.


Fill with almond butter and press to close.


Wrap with a half slice of bacon and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.


Bake 30 - 35 minutes, or until desired doneness (we prefer crispy bacon to the wiggly variety).


Plum-Basil Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt
1-2 plums
several leaves of fresh basil
coconut oil
white wine
crushed almonds

Sprinkle chicken breasts liberally with kosher salt, let sit (refrigerated) for several hours. Preheat oven to 375.  Melt a couple tablespoons coconut oil in the bottom of a glass baking dish.  Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Slice plums VERY thinly and overlap down the length of the chicken breast. Snip basil leaves and sprinkle evenly over the sliced plums.


Roll chicken breasts, carefully keeping the plum slices tucked inside.  Carefully coat the chicken rolls with coconut oil and set them together in the baking dish.  Drizzle white wine around the rolls, then sprinkle crushed almonds on each roll.  Bake for 30 - 60 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken breasts.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Spinach Stuffed Chicken


I'm starting to think about Valentine's Day.  It's about two weeks away, and it can't be here soon enough.

So I'm trying out main dish recipes.  I don't mind experimenting with an appetizer or sometimes even a dessert on the night of a special dinner, but I want the main dish to be to DIE for.  Last year I did a Julia Child rendition of Tarragon Chicken (back in the pre-Paleo days), and it was amazing.  I'm pretty sure I can adapt that one for Paleo.  I promise, I'll get to that.

Tonight, I'm testing a Paleo adaptation of Spinach Stuffed Chicken.  If you do a quick google search, you'll find that most stuffed chicken recipes include a good amount of cheese or sour cream or mayonnaise.  (I haven't mastered the art of homemade mayo yet.)  I found a recipe that looked easily adaptable here, and dug in to the fun.

First, instead of pounding the chicken breasts, this recipe recommends simply cutting them horizontally, and then "stuffing" and assembling them, sort of sandwich-style.  I wanted the look of a stuffed roll, so I took my amazingly sharp knives that Superman bought me for Christmas and carefully cut the chicken breast without going all the way through, like this:


The stuffing is a sauteed mixture of onion, garlic, and spinach.


Divide the stuffing and distribute on the chicken breast, rolling from the wider end to the narrower end.


Drizzle with melted fat of your choice, and sprinkle with almond meal and dried rosemary.  Bake as directed.

 
Spinach Stuffed Chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
sprinkle of ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 big handfuls fresh spinach, chopped
4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat and split horizontally
1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup dry white wine

Preheat oven to 375ยบ.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, salt, red pepper, and black pepper; cook and stir until onion is soft, then add chopped spinach. Remove from heat and set  aside.

Pour white wine in the bottom of a 9x11 glass baking dish.

Cut the chicken breasts almost all the way in half horizontally using a very sharp knife.  Divide spinach filling evenly among breasts and roll up from wide end to narrow end.  Place rolls in the baking dish.

Drizzle each chicken roll with butter or coconut oil; sprinkle with almond meal, and sprinkle with dried rosemary.  Bake for 60 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked.

Remove chicken from oven; let rest for 5 minutes before serving. To serve, cut each breast into 3 or 4 slices on the diagonal to expose the stuffing, or simply leave each portion whole.

Excellent teamed with Pecan Cilantro Quinoa and Romaine-Blueberry salad.