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Paleo Kung Pao Chicken Dish…

“Oh my gosh. This is. The best dinner. Ever.  I mean…I can’t even explain the taste…it’s so good.” That is a heck of a compliment coming from my 9 year old daughter. I have to agree, it really was SO good. In fact, it’s my new favorite chicken recipe. Who said chicken has to be boring?

This Chinese dish is very similar to a Kung Pao chicken dish, but better. Seriously. Between the four of us, we ate all 2 pounds of chicken!! So much for leftovers.
Stiritup.me Paleo Kung Pao Chicken
As I’m taking pictures of the Chili Paste, so you’ll know what to buy, I see this tiny hand in my background…

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Me: “Okay, Tate, you want to hold the paste for me?” Tate: “Sure mom.”  This is how that went, the whole time, but here are just 3 shots of many…

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I know the chili paste has some refined sugar in it, but since we are only using 2 tsp, that is a total of 2-3 grams of sugar, I think it’s okay, and so totally worth it!

Here is what you need for your Paleo Kung Pao Chicken:

Main Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (this dish wasn’t spicy at all)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, lightly crushed
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 green onions, chop the middle sections

Marinade

  • 2 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Tamari

Sauce

1. Cut your chicken into bit sized pieces and put in a large bowl. Then add 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar and 1 tbsp of Tamari and let it sit while you are getting the sauce ready.

2. In a small bowl, mix the Sauce ingredients together and set it aside.

3. In a large sauce pan, add 1 tbsp of sesame oil, cashews, and red pepper flakes. Cook on medium (don’t burn them like I did) for about 5 minutes or until they are brown. Then pour them in a small bowl and set aside.

4. In that same large pan, wipe it off and then heat the sesame oil on medium high and add the chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes, while stirring it the whole time, and then turn the stove down to medium low and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until done.

5. Then pour or scoop out any extra liquid as best you can (you don’t have to get it all) from the pan with the chicken in it. Now add in the cooked cashews and red pepper, your scallions and ginger and half of the sauce you made and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens. Once it’s done, pour it all into a large bowl, sauce and all.

6. Then, in that same large pan, pour the other half of the sauce and let it cook for a minute or two until it thickens and pour it over the bowl of chicken.

We also had bok choy and rice (for my kids and hubby) with it. We were going to do the cauliflower rice with it but there just wasn’t time. The sauce went quite well with the bok choy (I used the same pan and did not clean the sauce out and just added more sesame oil). I also poured the extra sauce on top of the rice as well. Anyway, I am excited to have a new staple and I hope you guys like as much as we did!
Stir it up Kung Pao Chicken

Let me know what y’all think!

By the way, Tate came home with this “math” book the other day from school. Seriously?!?

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We hear about the big junk food or toy corporations targeting kids at a young age but really? They now go through the schools and disguise their marketing as education. Wow. Just wow. How is this even allowed?

landriav - Hey Leane, glad it worked out for y’all! Next time try to use a reduce sodium Tamari if you didn’t before. I always do and that seems to help. Thanks for posting and letting me know! :)

Leane - Hi, I made this a few nights ago. Mine turned out a bit too salty… Of course, the fact that I used salted cashews didn’t help. But when we went to eat the leftovers, i added some full fat coconut milk and steamed broccoli… super yum! Thanks for creating!

landriav - Hope it turned out for yall Carley!! :)

Carley - Going to tryn this recipe tonight, Landria. Wish me luck!

landriav - Crazy isn’t it Kristine! Thanks for sharing! And as for the recipes, I don’t think there are any nightshades in it, are there?? Thanks again!

landriav - Thanks Berry!! Thumbs up from a professional chef? Nice!! :) Glad everyone liked it! Thanks so much for sharing!:)

Kristine - Um, WOW.

How is that allowed in school, indeed? I will be sharing this link.

Your recipe looks amazing. I can’t eat nightshades, so it’s not worth it for me, but it’s a beautiful creation and I will share on my blog’s FB page.

Berry - I made this last night for dinner and it was so delish! My kids thought it was a little spicy but your kids probably eat more adventurously than mine. They all gave it thumbs up though, including my former professional chef of a husband.

An old favorite – Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops

I posted this one years ago when I first started the blog. The pictures from that first shoot didn’t turn out too well, which I think may have scared a few folks away from this really delicious meal.  Anyway, we make these pork chops at least twice a month, and I thought they were worth sharing again because they are so tasty and easy to make.

Here is what you need:

  •  4 big pork chops
  • 1 apple
  • 2-3 shallots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • Cinnamon and celtic sea salt to taste

Trim the pork chops and then cover them with cinnamon all over (I probably used about 3 tbsp worth). I like to really press the cinnamon powder into the meat on both sides so it will stick well when cooking.

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Chop the apples and shallots until they are small, thin pieces.  Heat 3-4 tbsp of the coconut oil over medium heat and add the apples and shallots.  Saute for 5 minutes or until the apples are tender but still a little crisp.  Then set aside.
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Next heat a pan on high and add about 2 tbsp coconut oil.  Sear your pork on each side for 2 minutes.  Then add the 1/3 cup of wine. After adding the wine, add the apple and shallot mixture back to the pan, cover and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes. Depending on the thickness of your pork chops, it might need more or less time.  Make sure you serve the pork chops with plenty of the apple and shallot mixture.
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So I posted this picture, not because it looks like a right foot (which it totally does) but because I wanted y’all to see how nice and brown the pork chops got with the cinnamon coating. These really are good. Our whole family loves this pork. I hope you do too!
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My Long-Missed Favorite Dish…is Back!

A couple of years ago I posted a recipe for Chicken Tetrazzini, which was my very favorite meal growing up. The recipe I came up with wasn’t paleo, by any stretch, but it was a heck of a lot cleaner and healthier than the traditional recipes out there. My family loved it, too. Anyway, because it had dairy and grains (noodles), I never ate it. Today, I decided to figure out a way to make a Chicken Tet that was as Paleo as possible, since it is, after all, one my favorite meals!

I am excited to say, it turned out great!! EVERYONE in the family loved it! I was really surprised because they were used to the old kind. When I served the meal, I didn’t tell them it was “Chicken Tetrazzini” since I didn’t want them to have a mental comparison (marketing is everything you know!). But, Alice was quick to say that it tasted exactly like our old Chicken Tet. Yes, perfect! And, because I got everyone’s thumbs up, I was happy!

So, this is as close to Paleo as I could get without sacrificing any of the traditional flavors . I left out the Half-and-Half and noodles (I’m sure you can guess what I used instead of noodles.). And used my homemade mayonnaise  and Greek yogurt to give in a creamy texture. It turns out, even for people who are lactose intolerant, they can usually stomach Greek yogurt once in awhile because of all the good bacteria, which is comprised of live, active cultures that help digest the lactose. And there is less lactose in Greek yogurt than traditional yogurts. I like the Fage brand because it is only pure ingredients and tastes great.

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The recipe also typically calls for Parmesan cheese. I did put some on top, but honestly, it really didn’t need any. For my serving, I just ended up just taking it off. I did use a raw cow’s milk cheese (from Trader Joe’s) which is also easier for our bodies to digest because all of the enzymes are not destroyed like they are in regular cheeses in the pasteurization process. I think it’s a better choice.

If you have any issues or intolerances with dairy, you should still use with caution. I’ll be the guinea pig though and as far as the greek yogurt consumption was concerned, I didn’t have any issues. But with that said, don’t go overboard. Just pay attention to your body and how you feel since we all react to foods differently.

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But I’ll admit, I had a hard time not going overboard on this one. It has been YEARS people! I love my chicken tet!Paleo(ish) Chicken Tetrazzini from Stiritup.me

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole organic chicken (see recipe here) slow cooked or Whole Foods Rotisserie Chicken
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup homemade mayonnaise (recipe here) or Spectrum Olive Oil Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Ghee or Kerrygold butter
  • 2 small 7 oz. containers (like pic above) Greek yogurt
  • 1 package of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 small or 1 large container of fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 medium onion (I used Trader Joe’s onion garlic shallot pack), chopped
  • 1 tbsp celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic (omit if using TJ onion garlic shallot pack)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp white cooking wine

I started my slow cooker in the morning so the chicken would be ready to go, and all I had to do was the following…

Preheat your oven to 400F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out all of the seeds, and lay each side face down on a cookie sheet. Cook for 20-22 minutes or until you can push on the back and it feels soft. Once it is done, reduce your heat to 350F.

While that is cooking, finely chop celery, mushroom and onions.  Add ghee or butter to pan and sautee onions and garlic until they start to turn brown. Then add mushrooms and celery and cook until soft. Then put them, butter and all, in a very large bowl.

Now, tear apart your chicken and put pieces in the bowl with the veggies. Next, while your spaghetti squash is either still cooking or hopefully cooling by now, make your mayo (or use Spectrum’s) and add that, both containers of the Greek yogurt, white wine, salt and pepper to the bowl and stir it all together.

Next, scoop out all of the spaghetti squash and add it to the bowl and stir so everything is well coated. Then, in a 9×12 Pyrex glass dish or whatever you have, add the mixture, top with parmesean cheese (if you would like) and cook on 350 for 20 minutes. Then, for the last 5, turn the oven to broil and let it get brown on top.

I know it sounds like a few more steps that I typically make it but really wasn’t that bad to do and for me, to have my old favorite dish back, it was so worth it!!! I hope you love it as much as I do!

Oh and I wanted to do a little belated birthday shout out to my son Tate who just turned 6 years old. Hopefully by next year we won’t be counting with our fingers. Sweet little guy…

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landriav - Hey Anna! Thanks asking!! I used 2 small (7oz) containers of Fage yogurt. I hope you like it. :)

Anna McDuffie - Hey! How much Greek yogurt? I don’t see it on your ingredient list. Can’t wait to try this one!

Coconut Chicken & Kale Noodle Bowl…

So if you haven’t tried spaghetti squash by now, I’m basically just forcing it on you at this point. Okay, I’m not really, but is so good, easy to make and super satisfying! I love that it really soaks in any flavors. Anyway I knew this was going to be a busy week and wouldn’t have much time to cook so I wanted to make things as easy as possible for myself.

I didn’t however know we were going to have this crazy snow storm!! Yes, I heard about the possibility like everyone else, but after decades of hearing the local news talk about the possibility of “snow”, which we rarely actually get, I think The Boy Who Cried Wolf scenario came into play.  Anyway, I hope everyone is now home safe and sound!!

So, anyway, I cooked one squash on Sunday and made two simple meals from it. This meal was kind of random but it turned out really great and know we will make it again and again. Alice, Scott and I loved it. Tate, my 5 year old, said it was ““Comme ci, comme ca” (pronounced “kohm see, kohm sah”) which means “so so”. Hmm, okay.  Anyway here is the recipe in full. This will make a pretty large amount so plan on having leftovers (which is always a bonus!) or freezing some. Or, you can always half the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground chicken (Whole food behind the counter or Publix no hormone/no antibiotic Greenwise)
  • 1 package sliced Applegate ham, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 lb mild ground sausage
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeds removed
  • 1-2 large handful of kale (or spinach or broccoli)
  • 1 small onion, chopped (I used TJ onion, shallot, garlic mixture)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can coconut milk (I used TJ’s green can)
  • 2 tsp marjoram
  • 4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional if you eat dairy)
  • 2 tsp coconut oil

Preheat your oven to 400. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out all of the seeds, and lay each side face down on a cookie sheet. Cook for 20-22 minutes or until you can push on the back and it feels soft.

Next, heat large pan on medium high heat, saute your chopped onion (or your TJ’s onion shallot garlic mixture) with some coconut oil for a few minutes. Then add in the ground chicken and sausage and cook until done. Now, add the raw kale (or spinach) and ham to your chicken/sausage/onion mixture and cook for just a couple of minutes so the kale can wilt and the ham can brown a little.  Then add in all of the spices, chicken broth, coconut milk, and parmesan cheese (if you eat dairy, which I don’t but know it would be a good addition) and stir well.

By now your spaghetti squash should be done. Scoop out all of your “spaghetti” into the same large pan, mix everything together until everything is mixed together, and enjoy. It does make a lot but it also makes for great leftovers. It gets better each day and is good for 3-4 days.

_DSC7465cI hope y’all did get to get out and enjoy the snow! It was a blast!! George was smiling just as much as my husband and son were…

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Oh Tate!!!Untitled-1

And then there was hot cocoa_DSC7685cStay safe and warm out there!

landriav - HA, that is great to hear Maria!!! Thanks for sharing with me!

Maria - I just started following your blog and my husband and 3 boys loved this dish. The next day I put the leftover mixture over top of quinoa w mushrooms. Thanks!!

landriav - Awesome, thanks so much Anna!!!

Anna McDuffie - Made this tonight. It was amazing!!!! Another home run!

landriav - Amy, your comment just made my night!!! Thanks so much for that!! SO nice to hear it. :)

amy - i have to admit i was a little skeptical when i first set out to make this but again, Landria you NEVER disappoint and this was AMAZING…said ALL of us in this family of 6! my boys devoured it and said that they loved that the kale would make them so strong…a great meal indeed!!! Thanks for sharing all of your absolutely delicious crations. you are a genius!

landriav - Hey Emilia! Sorry about that. Actually add it in when you add in the kale so it can brown a little. Enjoy!

landriav - HA! I hope y’al like it Britton!! :)

emilia - When do you add the ham? I’m making this tonight for guests! Is there a side you like to serve with this?

Britton - Sooo cute! That’s what my kids say ‘Comme ci, comme ca” but to 80% of my meals;)
I think 2 out of my 3 will be excited about this one!

Kalbi or Short Braised Ribs…

For years my husband and I have followed the blog The Domestic Man. Russ is a genius when it comes to Paleo recipes and in particular beef, chicken, pork and seafood.  His recipes are always easy and spot-on delicious. I am super excited that he has recently finished his book The Ancestral Table, which will be released Feburary 11th (Tate’s birthday! What a great day!). You can preorder it now from Amazon. The recipes are amazing and so easy to make. And, the pictures are absolutely beautiful, and you know I’m a picture snob.

Anyway, Russ was kind enough to share with me one of his recipes from the book. We’ve been dying to try to make short ribs for sometime now and, fortunately, that was one of the recipes he sent over, so it was perfect!! Here is what you need for his Kalbi, Korean Short Ribs.

  • 3 LBS. BEEF SHORT RIBS, CUT ACROSS THE BONE (OFTEN REFERRED TO AS FLANKEN, ENGLISH, OR L.A. CUT)
  • 1 ASIAN PEAR OR GOLDEN or BOSC PEAR, GRATED (OR 1/2 CUP UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE)
  • 6 CLOVES GARLIC, MINCED
  • 1/2″ GINGER, PEELED AND GRATED
  • (OR 1 TSP. GROUND GINGER)
  • 1 CUP SODA WATER
  • 1/2 CUP TAMARI
  • 1/4 CUP HONEY
  • 1/4 CUP SESAME OIL
  • 2 TBSP. SESAME SEEDS
  • JUICE OF 1 LIME (2 TBSP.)

The prep work took about 10 minutes and the cooking time was even less…

Here are his directions:

1. Combine all the marinade ingredients, then pour over the ribs in a resealable plastic bag. Mix thoroughly to coat all the pieces evenly. Marinate overnight.

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2. The next day, grill the ribs over direct high heat until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Yep, that’s it!!

Make sure the grill is really hot!

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We also made our bok choy using his Chinese Greens recipe and they were delicious as well.

  • 1/3 CUP CHICKEN BROTH
  • 2 TBSP. CHINESE COOKING WINE
  • 1/4 TSP. WHITE PEPPER
  • SALT TO TASTE
  • 1 TSP. ARROWROOT STARCH OR
  • POTATO STARCH
  • 1 TSP. COLD WATER
  • 1 LB. WHOLE LEAFY CHINESE GREENS, LIKE CHOY SUM, KAI-LAN, OR BOK CHOY
  • 1 TBSP. COCONUT OIL
  • 1″ GINGER, PEELED AND GRATED

1. Combine the chicken broth, Chinese cooking wine, and white pepper, adding salt to taste; set aside. Mix together the starch and cold water in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Rinse the greens in cold water, then drain. Bring a stockpot of water to a boil, dip the greens into the water using tongs, and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse the greens with cold water, then set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a wok on high heat until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add the ginger and sauté until aromatic, 15-30 seconds. Add the greens and sauce and simmer until the greens are wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove the greens with tongs and place in a serving dish, keeping the sauce in the wok.

4. Add the starch slurry to the sauce, stirring until thickened, about 1 minute.

5. Pour the thickened sauce over the greens and serve.

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Oh and the things on the right side are my butternut squash cakes. It’s one of our new favorite sides, but you’ll have to wait just a bit for that recipe. Sorry!

Tate was sampling and he thought that was the only rib we had. Thankfully, we had many more. The kid LOVES his ribs!!!

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