Asian Style Spare Ribs

Asian Style Spare RibsAsian Ribs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs pork spare ribs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • ½ sweet onion diced

Sauce

  • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup rice wine
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • ¼ cup coconut or palm sugar
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup tamari
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBSP fish sauce
  • Large pinch of sea salt
  • Juice of 1 large orange

Garnish

  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Thinly sliced scallion greens

Instruction:

Start by putting all your sauce ingredients into a mason jar with a lid and shake well to combine. Next, heat your oven to broil.  While oven is heating place your ribs on a cookie sheet and liberally salt and pepper both sides.  When broiler is ready, place ribs on highest oven rack and brown both sides under broiler (about 6 minutes on each side).  Meanwhile, line the bottom of Crockpot with cilantro and diced sweet onion. Once ribs are browned place them in the Crockpot on top of the onion and cilantro along with their juices.  Next, pour the sauce on top, set to low and let the ribs cook for at least 6 hours or until falling off the bone. When ribs are done, place on a service platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions to garnish.  Enjoy!

White Wine Chicken Thighs

Sometimes I buy white wine.  I tell myself that I’m going to let it come to a suitable temperature in an appropriate glass and then I’m going to drink it like a refined grown up. The thing is, I don’t really like drinking white wine…..I like drinking bold, earthy, fruity red wine!  Luckily many a delicious recipe include white wine so when I have forlorn bottle in my fridge that I know is not going to end up in my glass I have to get creative because I hate waste.

I whipped up this recipe last weekend from the things I had leftover in my fridge.  I tossed the chicken in the marinade before I left the house for a few hours and figured I’d think of something while I was out.  By the time I got home I was absolutely starving so this recipe was birthed out of me frantically dumping things into a skillet as a bed for my marinaded chicken.  I loved how this dished turned out so much that I picked up more stuff to make it again tomorrow.  It is hearty and comforting and actually might be kind of perfect for a V-day dinner! Enjoy!

White Wine Chicken ThighsWhite wine chicken thighs

Serves 4 / Paleo, Low carb

Ingredients

  • 1lb organic chicken thighs
  • 2 TBSP whole grain mustard
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • Juice of 1 meyer lemon
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 ½ TBSP pure maple syrup
  • ½ lb nitrate free bacon chopped
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • ½ cup Pinot Gris
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1TBSP dried minced dried onion
  • 10 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 6 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 2 jarred roasted red peppers sliced
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

In a re-sealable bag put chicken thighs, mustard, 2 cloves garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Set aside to marinade.  In the meantime cook up the chopped bacon in a large skillet till browned then remove with a slotted spoon and put on paper towel lined plate to drain.  In the bacon drippings, brown the chicken thighs for 3 minutes on each side and remove from pan.  Once the chicken is browned add in the leftover marinade and simmer the thighs  for another 3 minutes.  Next add in the butter, wine, rosemary, dried onion, 1 clove of garlic, mushrooms, more salt and pepper & let simmer for another few minutes until the mushrooms are soft.  Last, add the spinach & red peppers on top of the chicken mixture, cover and let steam for about 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted.  Toss everything together, add more salt and pepper to taste and serve!!

Kickin’ Baked Boneless Buffalo Wings

These taste better than the fried  “real thing” , are way better for you, and tomorrow is Super Bowl.  You must make these!

Kickin’ Baked Boneless Buffalo Wings

Ingredients:Buffalo 1

  • 1lb chicken tenders
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • Salt and pepper

Layer 1

  • 1/3 cup arrowroot or tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp hot paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Layer 2

  • 1 & ¼ cup almond flour
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp hot paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Buffalo glaze

  • 1 cup bottle buffalo wing sauce
  • 2 TBSP melted butter

Ranch Dip

  • ½ cup mayo
  • ¼ cup non dairy milk
  • 1 TBSP cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

First: Pat the chicken tenders dry, put on a plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and set aside.  Next: Set out 3 medium bowls.  In first bowl crack and whisk the 2 eggs.  In the second bowl add arrowroot or tapioca flour and spices and stir to combine with a fork.  In the last bowl add the almond flour and spices and stir to combine with a fork.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and keep close by to place wings on once they have been dipped.

Time to start dipping!  One by one, dip each chicken tender in the following order: Eggs, arrowroot flour mixture, eggs, almond flour mixture.   This will be messy!! Make sure each tender is well covered.  Place baking sheet with coated tenders on it in to fridge to rest for a half hour.  This will allow time for the coating to set and adhere to the wings.  In the meantime preheat the oven to 400 and make the ranch dipping sauce.

To make Ranch Dip place all ingredients in a mason jar, screw on the lid and shake it!!

Next: Remove tenders from fridge and with both hands gently press the coating in to the chicken to make sure it sticks well.  Place chicken tenders in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes.  You will know they are done when they are firm to the touch and crispy on the outside.  While tenders are cooking prepare the Buffalo glaze.

To make Buffalo Glaze place butter in a medium sized bowl and melt in microwave.  Add the buffalo sauce and whisk to combine.

When boneless wings come out of the oven gently toss each to coat thoroughly in the Buffalo Glaze.  Plate the Kickin’ BBB Wings, set out  with Ranch Dipping sauce and watch these bad boys disappear!!!

Thai Chicken Pizza

I don’t like watching football.  There!  I said it!  I’m sorry but I just don’t have the attentions span!!!  I can barely watch a movie without getting up to check on laundry, do lunges or sit-ups, etc.  What I DO like is football parties!!  I love mingling with people, drinking beer, and most of all the huge spread of delicious food (are you surprised??).  Who the hell cares who’s winning??? It’s always fun to see what people bring.  Usually it’s stuff like chips and salsa, meatballs, & dried out wings.  I’ll eat all those things but I get really excited when I see something out of the ordinary.  How many of you have ever seen a homemade Thai Chicken Pizza at a football party?  Didn’t think so.  If you bring a Thai Chicken Pizza to a party you will definitely get invited back.  However if you don’t really like the people who’s party you’re at and are only there for the food, beer, or hot chicks and dudes,  than I’d recommend bringing frozen won-tons or boxed brownies.  I hope you thoroughly enjoy this recipe and that it makes all the other food at your football part feel self conscious!

Thai Chicken Pizza

Gluten Free/Paleo/Makes 2 Pizzas (Great for taking to a party!)

INGREDIENTS:

For the toppings-Thai chick I

  • 1 lb organic chicken thighs trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 heaping TBSP Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk ( not coconut cream or anything sweetened or flavored)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 the zested lime
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 small Japanese eggplant (sliced VERY thin)
  • 1 small red bell pepper (sliced VERY thin)
  • A couple of handfuls of Daiya Mozzarella Cheese ( Or other soy free non dairy cheese of your choice)
  • Cilantro – chop a small handful and throw on top after baking
  • Scallion – slice up a couple and throw on top after backing
  • Siracha – if so desired drizzle over top after baking

For the Thai pesto-

  • 1 small bunch of cilantro (thick stems removed)
  • 1 small bunch Thai basil (thick stems removed)
  • 1 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • 3 scallions (white & green part)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup roasted cashews (salted is fine, just don’t add salt to the pesto until you taste it)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt

For the crust- I didn’t feel like inventing the wheel here so I just doubled this Paleo pizza crust recipe: http://paleospirit.com/2014/paleo-pizza-crust-recipe/. It turned out great!  Also many stores are selling pre-made gluten free crusts or boxed crust mixes these days!

DIRECTIONS:

  • Step one (1 hour – 4 hours ahead of time): Marinade the Chicken. In a storage bowl big enough to fit all the chicken: zest lime, juice lime, add red Thai curry paste and whisk until smooth. Add the can of coconut milk and whisk again to mix.  Trim thighs, cut into bite sized strips, liberally salt and pepper, mix into coconut curry mixture, cover and refrigerate for 1 – 4 hours.  The longer you marinade the more flavor it will have!
  • Step two: Make the pesto: Wash and dry your cilantro and Thai basil (save a little bit of cilantro for garnish) Remove thick stems. From here you can seriously throw everything into your food processor and whiz it around until the consistency is VERY smooth.
  • Step 3: Cook the chicken. Heat a large non stick skillet to medium heat, coat in canola spray, drain marinade off chicken & toss in the heated skillet.  Cook until nicely brown and just cooked through (probably 8 minutes).  Pull a piece out to test it for doneness.  Remember, this is going in the oven again and you don’t want it to get tough from being over cooked : )
  • Step 4: Make your crusts (if you are making the crust from the link I gave, I suggest only par baking it for 5 -8 minutes before adding toppings. The longer you bake it the crispier it will be! Shape your pizzas into rectangles for which are easier to cut into appetizer portions for sharing!
  • Step 5: Prep the rest of your toppings. Very thinly slice your Japanese eggplant and red pepper.  You don’t want them too this otherwise they will steam on the pizza and make it soggy. Dice up a handful of cilantro
  • Step 6: Assemble pizzas (FINALLY!!!). You will have a ton of Thai pesto so don’t be shy about adding a lot to your par cooked crust.  I think I added about ½ cup per pizza.   Spread pesto all the way out to the edges but leave about ¼ of an inch. If you want to drizzle some Siracha on top of the pesto here I ain’t gonna be mad about it! Next add the cooked thigh strips, dividing evenly between the 2 pizzas.  Lastly add the thinly sliced eggplant, red pepper strips, & then sprinkle everything with CHEESE!!  I think I put about ¾ cup per pizza on mine.
  • FINAL STEP: Bake pizzas!!  Oven should be at 450 from par baking.  Put pizzas back on baking sheets and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until crust and toppings are nicely brown.  Remove from oven, add cilantro and scallions for garnish, slice, devour!!
  • This is a ton of pizza but the cooked leftovers (if you have any) freeze like a dream! Just add cooled slices to a freezer bag and lay flat in freezer.  I usually just pull mine out of the freezer, put them on an oven safe plate and reheat in the oven until crispy for a quick dinner!

Smokey Chicken Chili

It has been unseasonably warm in Portland.  I’ll bet the North East is totes jelly!  I was chatting with one of my running buddies today and we both agreed that we wouldn’t mind being snowed in for a few days….of course if that happened everyone would would be bitching about not being able to get to the work, the store etc.  You can’t win!  However with Superbowl coming up and most of the country being pounded with chilly weather I figured it was time for a chili recipe!  I don’t use beans in my Chili because I’m not a fan but by all beans ( I meant means) feel free to throw in a couple of cans of your favorite legumes and chow down!

Smokey Chicken Chili

Gluten Free/Nut Free/Dairy Free/ Paleo – Serves about 8

INGREDIENTSchick chili

  • 1 half store bought all natural rotisserie chicken, deboned, skinned and chopped
  • 6 slices thick cut nitrate free bacon chopped
  • 1 small onion finely minced in food processor
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 TBSP mild chili powder
  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika
  • 1TBSP Ground Cumin
  • 1 TBSP Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 package mushrooms sliced chopped ground down in a food processor( will kind of resemble ground meat)
  • 1 green bell pepper finely minced in food processor
  • 1 red bell pepper finely minced in food processor
  • 3 dates pitted and minced
  • 1 – 32 oz box organic chicken broth
  • 2 – 14.5 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled and diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow squash or zucchini diced in ½ inch pieces
  • ½ bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Heat a heavy soup pot to medium heat and add in chopped bacon.  Cook down until browned and fat has rendered.  Add diced onion and stir to cook down until translucent.  Add crushed garlic, all spices and stir together until fragrant.   Add in ground mushrooms, minced dates, diced red and green peppers, stir, & let simmer for about 8 minutes.  It will look kind of pasty but will start to become juicier as the veggies cook down.  Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Next add in the boxed broth, fire roasted tomatoes, chopped cilantro & diced sweet potato. Once chili has come to a simmer, reduce heat and continue to simmer for 10 minutes to soften sweet potato.  Add in diced zucchini, more salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Remove from heat, garnish with more cilantro and serve.

Although it will be delicious if you eat it right away, my recommendation is to cool the chili to room temperature, refrigerate overnight and reheat it the next day.  This will allow all the flavors to develop and it will be even more delicious!

Chicken “BLT” Rolls

Hey everyone!  This is seriously one of my favorite recipes.  It is healthy, full of flavor, and FULL OF BACON!!!  I have stuffed chicken breast with several different things and this if by far my favorite. It makes great leftovers, in fact, I threw my on top of a salad……are you surprised?  I really don’t think it needs any kind of fancy introduction!

“BLT”  Chicken Rolls

Chicken Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast    ( about a 1lb total)
  • 3 slices nitrate free bacon chopped
  • 1 pkg frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
  • 8 all natural sun-dried tomato halves re-hydrated in boiling water
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder

Directions:

Place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl, cover in boiling water and let sit to re-hydrate while you work on the rest of your prep. Next in a good sized saute pan, cook chopped bacon until just golden.  Using a slotted spoon, pull bacon pieces out of the pan and set aside to drain on a paper towel lined plate.  Reserve bacon drippings in the pan for browning chicken rolls later.  Pound each chicken breast to about ¼ inch thickness in a Ziploc bag using a mallet. Lay each breast flat on its on piece of plastic wrap and liberally salt and pepper.  Next, cover each flattened breast with thawed drained spinach (to drain, place thawed spinach in a clean kitchen towel and SQUEEZE!!). Salt and pepper again, then sprinkle generously with onion powder and garlic powder.  Distribute bacon pieces even on top of each breast, then add 4 re-hydrated sun-dried tomato halves on top of each breast.  Tightly roll each breast up in plastic wrap and put in fridge for about 30 minutes to rest(optional…..screw it if your starving and in a hurry like me most of the time!)  Heat oven to 350. Unroll each breast roll and place 3 toothpicks in each breast to secure.  Reheat bacon drippings in sauté pan on medium heat, then add chicken rolls.  Brown rolls for 3 minutes on each side to seal in moisture.  After the rolls have browned, add chicken rolls to a glass 9×9  baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes (longer if the chicken breast are bigger than ½ lb each.  Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes in covered baking dish.  Slice, plate, and enjoy!!!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

A few weeks ago when I started my Facebook page, I asked my followers to name some favorite dishes they would like to see recreated for maximum nourishment.  One of my awesome running buddies suggested spaghetti carbonara.  I was very excited about this because I have always wanted to try making this dish!

Many of you know that I tend to steer away from grains because they hurt my belly and make me sleepy.  A favorite pasta substitute of mine is spaghetti squash.  First of all the thought of crafting my own grain free pasta makes me want to breathe into a paper bag but more importantly I absolutely LOVE veggies of any kind (I credit my mom for getting us started on veggies at an early age and always giving us access to garden to graze on!)  Spaghetti squash contains a good amount of vitamin C, A , B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid and vitamin K.  It’s also lower in carbs but has a good amount of fiber so it will fill you up without the pasta bloat.

With bacon, parmesan, & fresh garlic, this dish is filling and packs a serious flavor punch without the carb overload.  Feel free to add in extras such as peas or roasted red peppers.  I ate my  leftovers with some sauteed shrimp and it was amazing.  Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Gluten Free, Paleo (leave out the cheese for full throttle Paleo) / Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups spaghetti squash (about a 4 lb squash)IMG_1533
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 slices thick cut nitrate free bacon (cut into small strips)
  • 3 gloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup fresh shaved parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flat leaf parsley chopped for garnish
  • Pinch of red pepper flake (optional)

Directions:

1 hour before you want to eat, heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Carefully cut off top of squash, cut it in half lengthwise and remove all the seeds and strings.  These suckers can be tough to cut through so make sure you work on a stable surface so you don’t lose a digit!  Place the squash cut-side down in a large baking dish filled with a half inch of warm water and 2 tsp of salt (mix the salt around in the water to dissolve).  Bake squash for 40 minutes or until the Squash shell gives slightly when pressed.   When squash is done remove from water and set aside until cool enough to handle.  Carefully take a fork and shred the flesh strands from the squash into a bowl and keep warm.  In a large skillet, add the olive oil then toss in the bacon strips.  Cook the bacon until it is nice and brown. In the meantime crack the eggs in separate bowl and whisk.  Add in the parmesan whisk well, and set aside.  Add the crushed garlic into the pan with the bacon and stir around with rendered fat until fragrant (about one minute).  Next, add in the spaghetti squash strands to reheat and coat in the bacon fat (about 2 minutes).  Remove the pan from the heat and quickly pour the whisked egg and cheese mixture into the squash, bacon, & garlic mixture tossing vigorously so it doesn’t turn into scrambled eggs.  Keep tossing until everything is nicely incorporated.  Plate and sprinkle with more parmesan, chopped parsley, and a little crushed red pepper if desired!