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But not at all like grandma use to make.

One of my family’s favorite meals is “fried” chicken, cauliflower mash and roasted brussel sprouts. What I love about this dinner is everything is so easy to make. You will see, nothing I cook is ever complicated! Anyway here are the recipes:

“Fried” chicken

  • 1 lb chicken
  • 1 tbls coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (I like Trader Joe’s best with this recipe)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Feel free to double everything for leftovers (I always make enough for good protein snack, lunch, or another dinner ). But this does tend to get a little soggy after it’s been in the fridge. We actually put tomato sauce and shredded parmesan cheese on it today for a great lunch.

Cut chicken into strips and pat dry. In a flat bowl mix together almond meal and spices. Put each stripe in the mix and be sure to cover chicken completely. I really kind of pat or rub it in the chicken.

Turn the heat high and pour in about 1 tbls coconut oil and spread all over large pan. You can use olive oil but coconut oil does better with higher heat, plus it’s better for you. You can’t even really taste the coconut. Cook until brown (about 3-4 minutes), then flip. Once the other side is brown, cook on low heat for another 10 minutes. Set on plate with paper towel so it doesn’t get soggy while cooling. Let cool about 10 minutes.

Brussel sprouts

  • 1 lb fresh brussel sprouts
  • 3 tbls EVOO 
  • 1 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • garlic (optional)
  • crushed almonds (optional)

Preheat over 450. Wash and cut brussel sprouts in half lengthwise. Mix in large bowl with 3 tablespoons olive oil and salt. Pour single layer of brussel sprouts on cookie sheet. Let cook 20-25 minutes, or until brown. Stir occasionally. If you want them a little extra crispy (my kids love them crispy!) turn over off and let them sit in the over for about 10-15 extra minutes. You may want to only cook them 20 or so minutes just to be sure they dont stay in the over too long and burn (even with the oven off).

Cauliflower mash (This has to be our favorite side and it is awesome with meatloaf or just about anything else.)

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 6oz Fage 2% plain greek yogurt. (You may need more if the cauliflower is really big.)
  • 2 tbsp Kerrygold or any other grass fed butter or Ghee
  • 1 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (if desired)
  • pepper to liking

Steam cauliflower until soft. I drain it in the colander and then cut it up there so it’s easy to get it all in the blender. Blend everything together until smooth, and that’s it! Easy, right? I hope you enjoy!

But you have to keep on trying, right?

So, I keep hearing about how amazing liver is for you. I have to admit, I’ve never had it before, but really wanted to try it. I love the idea of my kids getting all of those super nutrients in their bodies! So, I thought what better way to try it than to fry it. I used lots of almond flour and LOTS of butter (Kerrygold).

Anything is good fried, right? Apparently not. My brave little girl would completely disagree with you. And I have to admit, I tried it too….I almost gagged. BUT, now we know, no more liver for us, ever ever ever again.

There have been so many recipes that I have made that just aren’t perfect (most aren’t). But only with trial and error, will you (1), learn how to make things just the way you like them and (2), learn what you (and your family) does, and does not like. Liver could have been a new family staple for all we know. Turns out it’s not, but now we know. We just have to keep on trying…

By the way, this was post shower for Alice. We’re not really that earthy.

As much coconut as we eat, I thought it would be fun for the kids to see the source of where we get it. Easier said than done. Thanks Scott.

Anyway, as you might have read, we like to use it a lot whether it be coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut water or shredded coconut. I just don’t think you can use it enough. And for those who have asked, when cooking or frying with it, it’s a very mild taste. I promise it’s not like you’re eating a bottle of Panama Jack Suntan lotion.

There are just so many benefits, I had to really narrow down the list. They can:

  • Help protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and many other degenerative diseases
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Promote weight loss
  • Improves digestion
  • Kills bacteria, yeast and is an anti-fungal 
  • Boosts energy and endurance
  • Supports thyroid function and increase metabolism
  • And it keeps you feeling full since it high in saturated fat which is actually very good for you, contrary to popular old fashion beliefs (more to come on that)

Bruce Fife has a great book that I’ve enjoyed called The Miracle of Coconut Oil.  Can you believe I read a book on just coconuts? Anyway it was surprisingly interesting. Here are a few articles if you’d like even more information:

Article 1

Article 2

Yum! They loved it but honestly I think they liked the experience more. They did say, “okay mom, so now what are we going to cook!” I love the “we” in that.

It’s been kind of a gray, cool and misty sort of day here in Atlanta and I have to say, I love it! Anyway, it really put me in the mood for some good comfort food. My first thought…Elana’s cookies! Then I rethought and figured I better focus on dinner.

So for dinner I decide on meatloaf and the cauliflower mash (under my ”Good ole southern meal” post). The meatloaf leftovers make for a great snack too! Anyway, I got this recipe (with some minor adjustments) from Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo blog. I love her book and blog. She’s an inspiration raising her kids totally Paleo and getting them so involved in the process!

Meatloaf

  • 1 diced red onion
  • 2 lbs of grass fed ground beef
  • 1 cup almond meal (it’s great without too for those with allergies)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp Celtic sea salt
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • 5-6 bacon strips

Mix all ingredients by hand in a large mixing bowl. Place meat mixture into a large glass baking pan and flatten it out. Add some of the tomato sauce to form a thin layer on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until meat is no longer pink in the middle. Sometimes I’ll add some bacon strips on top if I have it on hand. If you do, for the last 5 minutes, turn the stove on broil to crisp the bacon up some.

Oh and I didn’t take a picture of the meatloaf because, well, meatloaf is just plain ugly anyway you look at it. But it sure tastes DELICIOUS!

 

So these are just a few of my Trader Joe favorites that you’ve probably heard me talk about already, but hopefully the pictures will make it easier to remember them or spot them when you’re in the store.

The coconut milk is great for smoothies, soups (love curry coconut shrimp soup, will share that one at another time), or even in baking like the Almond Joy Bars. They’re $1 can and only have coconut milk and water in them. ALWAYS read your ingredients no matter what you’re buying. You’ll be surprised how often they add sugar, corn starch, corn syrup or some other nasty and unnecessary ingredients. 

The 73% cacao chocolate covered almonds taste wonderful and good for you. Need I say more?

The roasted and salted seaweed. Some may say it’s an acquired taste. My husband likes to joke that it’s the Japanese in me that likes these. But I really do think they taste great, and my kids agree! I’ll sometimes wrap the seaweed around a bite of cold turkey burger or with some no nitrate deli meat. And now we’ve now got our neighbors hooked on this stuff…so apparently you don’t have to be Japanese to enjoy it. 🙂

UDI’s gluten free bread. This is the best, most satisfying gluten free bread (especially if you toast it) I’ve found for the kids. To be honest, I’d rather they not eat bread ever but for the few times they do want it with some almond butter, I’ll reach for this.

The almond meal is great for the “fried” chicken or fish recipe. It sticks to the protein the best. I also use it for cooking muffins and cookies, but tend to prefer the Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour since it’s more of a real flour consistency. 

The almond butter is delicious and inexpensive compared to the other nut butters out there. It also makes wonderful brownies

And last in this group, the individual nut packs. My son and husband eat these all the time. They’re a healthy and yummy snack, and they’re convenient too. I love the fact that they’re prepackaged so I don’t sit there and eat 600 calories of almonds in one sitting. The individual packs include raw almonds (my favorite), a raw trail mix, and “Just a handful of almonds, cashews, & cranberries” which is my son’s favorite. Also, I think they’re nuts overall are the most reasonable, and with no added oils, when comparing to Publix or Whole Foods.

The meats. So I didn’t pictures of the ground turkey, or free range organic chicken or any of the other meats since you can probably guess what they look like. But, their chicken sausage (and they have many) is my favorite and I use it often. Maybe too often. In fact, I put it in my spinach salad almost every day. I take it out of the casing, cook it up, dump it on spinach and add lemon juice, a dash of apple cider vinegar, tbls flax oil, and 1 tbls of roasted flax seeds, just like the steamed brussel sprout recipe (from yesterday’s post). It is also great in fritattas or eggs with spinach and guacamole for a quick meal, or in soups. I especially love it in my butternut squash soup.

The nitrate free bacon is great too for breakfast or on a bacon tomato turkey lettuce wrap, or even with a spinach salads with goat feta, some crushed up almonds and apple.

I think that is it for now on the Trader Joe’s stuff but I’d love to hear comments from you if you have something you love at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. It’s all about what you discover at these wonderful little places so please feel free to share in the comments section!