Well, if you can get over the fact that these pictures are a total mess, I have a feeling you’ll be pretty excited.
“Sweet Sriracha Dynamite” is actually stolen from my old friend, Pizza Hut. They’ve got all kinds of wacked out flavors coming out and that was one of them–it’s kind of a trashed up Hawaiian pizza. And I’m all about making trashed up pizza.
Buuuut this time I opted for something a little less…junk food-y. Thanksgiving is less than a week away and my birthday (the one day a year when calories don’t count) is this week, too…so I figure it’s better to front load the healthy stuff. Yay!
Except you’d never know that this wasn’t a big, fat, plate of takeout. It’s got the sweet, the salty, the spicy, and a sauce that made me want to weep tears of joy. May also have been the sriracha.
‘Sweet Sriracha Dynamite’ Chicken
1 lb skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
4 thick slices bacon, cut into lardons
1-2 T coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 c pineapple chunks (if using canned, make sure to drain any liquid)
2-3 T apple cider vinegar
sriracha (as much as you want!)
salt to taste
Over medium high heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the skillet and set aside, leaving the drippings behind.
Add the 1-2 T coconut oil to the pan and add the garlic and jalapenos.
Once the garlic is browned, turn heat down to medium and add the chicken.
When the chicken pieces are about cooked through, add the pineapple and vinegar. Toss everything to coat.
Add a few squirts of sriracha, tossing everything to coat.
Turn heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Yup. I totally de-legumified falafel and replaced the chickpeas with meat. Sue me. It was sort of on the fly and I didn’t have any, so I did what I often do and replaced the missing ingredient with meat. Meatza, anyone?
Thanks to the plethora of farmers’ markets and, well, local farms in general, cheap yet local and sustainable foodstuffs–like the aforementioned meat–have been refreshingly easy to come by around here, so my freezer is stocked to the brim with assorted animal parts. We’re on a tight budget, what with my husband in B-school and all, so stocking up on the essentials ahead of time has been a godsend. I’m pretty keen on feeding both of us on $100 a week, and I’d like to get it down to $86 (which is what the USDA says we ought to be able to do on the Super Thrifty…aka What You’d Get on Food Stamps…plan). It’s amazing how much you can drop in one trip to Whole Foods on, like, 3 things. Which isn’t news to anyone, I know, but it was shamefully easy to get complacent when both of us were working and living in a lower cost area.
The real challenge has been deciding what our true priorities were, and I’m still working out the kinks (which I’d like to share in a future post). For example, I’m fine with buying a lot of produce that’s conventionally grown, and the latest GMO study has me sleeping a little better at night over some things. BUT I’m still buying organic eggs and dairy products because, well, there’s some really shady practices in conventional poultry and dairy farming that pose a risk I’m not willing to take. AND I haven’t figured out where to draw the line on meat. On the one hand, yes, grass fed and pastured is better, but it’s also thrice the price a lot of times. Also a heck of a lot easier to find (affordable) grass fed and/or pastured chicken and beef than it is, say pork. Farmers’ Markets help with this but not a ton, especially since a lot of them shut down in the Fall. PS Quick cash-saving tip…I withdraw $100 in cash before my weekly grocery run…it’s the single best way I know of to keep me honest
OK so falafel. Ah-mazing with hummus, paleo or otherwise…I happened to have some parsnip hummus on hand (recipe coming soon…here’s a sweet potato hummus recipe I love to tide you over!) and did up a little plate with the falafels, hummus, and some roast veggies. I did find this recipe for a GF pita that I really want to try next time, too. There’s a lot of ways to fix up the real deal, so be creative with these! Next time I’m going to try rolling the balls in sesame seeds before frying to try for that lovely crunch.
When my husband came home with this cooking on the counter, the scent of sage and rosemary wafting through the house, he was convinced I was making Thanksgiving dinner.
Admittedly it’s super hard to make a picture of this delicious mess look as amazing as it is, so I reallyreally need you to trust me here. It’s approximately 2 minutes of actual work (and by work I mean dumping stuff into a slow cooker) for a meal that will either feed 6-8 people comfortable or feed 2 people for DAYS. And feeding us for days on some very affordable ingredients is a very, very good thing…especially if it manages to hit the level of rich, warm, comfort that makes a food coma positively inevitable.
This will most definitely be happening again…next time I’m thinking it’ll be time to bust out the fall veggies and go all out with some sausage, cranberries, winter squash…maybe even some apples if I’m feeling crazy
What combos would you want to try?
Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Crock Pot Casserole…aka The Ultimate Fall Comfort Food
2 cups of uncooked dry rice
1 can coconut milk
3 cups of water or chicken stock
2 lbs cooked chicken
2 onions, chopped
2 c sliced mushrooms (1 box)
1 T rosemary
1 T sage
1 T thyme
2 t garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Put everything in the slow cooker. Give it all a big stir.
Ross’s cousin was in town this week, so naturally we went to do all the unique Charlottesville things we could think of. So, yeah, we went to Monticello. But before any proper trip to Monticello, we went to brunch at Michie Tavern and ate our weight in fried chicken. Sadly, there were no waffles, so Carol asked if I’d make some.
So I did!
Fried chicken and waffles are no stranger to this site (made them here and here), but this version is a wee bit less work since I decided not to *fry* the chicken….rather, I just used a nice breading and baked it all. Seriously, you can’t tell the difference. Using chicken at room temperature is key here, since it’ll quickly be tenderized with its own fat and leave plenty of drippings to soak your waffles.
This is my favorite basic Paleo waffle recipe as well. You can sweeten them if you want but I don’t since the coconut flour and creamy coconut milk give such a delightful texture and light sweetness that you can top with pretty much anything. I’ve topped them with everything from chocolate hazlenut spread to bacon and eggs to ham and cheese–they’re that good!
Easy Oven Fried Chicken and Waffles
4 skin-on chicken thighs
1 c tapioca starch (tapioca flour)
1 t salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 c coconut flour
1/3 c coconut milk (or 1/4 c almond milk)
1 t baking soda
1 T olive oil
1 T maple syrup (optional if sugar free)
Place the tapioca starch in a shallow bowl.
Place the beaten eggs in another bowl next to it.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
Coat each thigh in the tapioca mixture, then dip in the beaten eggs, and then coat in tapioca mixture again. Place each thigh in a greased baking dish and sprinkle with salt.
Bake the chicken at 350 for 45-50 minutes, until nicely browned on top.
Meanwhile, make your waffles.
Beat together the coconut flour, 6 eggs, coconut milk, baking soda, salt, oil, and maple syrup. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes while you heat up your waffle iron.
Grease the waffle iron well, then prepare the waffles. They can be kept warm on a place covered in foil in a 200 degree toaster oven if necessary.
Serve chicken and waffles with butter and maple syrup!
Valentine’s Day, 2010. My husband (then-boyfriend) and I were attempting to not make a huge deal out of it. And by “not trying to make a huge deal out of it,” I mean that Ross made reservations for us at one of those places where you get a five star dinner while watching a show but didn’t realize until about an hour before we were supposed to leave that the place was in San Antonio (we were in Georgetown at the time). Oops. So we ran out to dinner to a place down the road and that was that.
And I got a “Santa Fe Salad.” Funny what you remember.
Anyway, I guess it was good since this salad a part of our dinner rotation ever since. I mean, the date was good, too. Obviously. During the hard-core Paleo years, we just nixed the cheese and corn and used sliced almonds instead of tortilla strips and it was still amazing. So this is totally kosher for clean eaters. Promise.
My favorite protein to use for this salad is grilled chicken, but salmon (or any other fish) is really great, too. When entertaining, I’ve even made a side salad version…just a tiny one without the protein. As for dressing, you can use anything you want–the original had what was basically a spicy ranch–but I loveLOVElove this avocado dressing with a little cayenne on top.