Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Cheesy" Chicken-Broccoli Casserole (Dairy-Free)

I've been spending some time on Pinterest lately, trying to find some new recipes to cook up while I have a little free time. I know that I have food allergies to all things containing gluten and to dairy, but I am usually a little too liberal with allowing some dairy back into my diet now and again. I just got back from Paleo F(x) and decided I needed to cut dairy out completely for at least 60 days and see how I feel. But it is very difficult to find a good casserole recipe without any cheese in it!

I saw somewhere about using pureed squash to try and mimic cheese in a dish, so I decided to give it an experiment. I used a whole can of coconut milk and a bunch of roasted butternut squash and it turned out awesome! Definitely gives a creamy, cheesy feel without the dairy. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

1) 1.5 pounds of cooked chicken, shredded (this was 2 pounds raw weight)
2) 2 pounds of cubed butternut squash
3) 2 onions, diced
4) 1 pound of broccoli (about 3 cups), fresh or thawed
5) 1 can (15oz) of coconut milk

**Servings: 4-6

1) Gather your ingredients.
2) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and preheat a large skillet on medium. Using a silicon mat or aluminum foil, line a cookie tray and spread your squash evenly on top.
3) Chop up your onions if you haven't done so. As soon as the oven is preheated, add your squash and set a timer for 30 minutes.
4) Add your onions at the same time to your large skillet. You can add some cooking oil at this time if your pan is not non-stick. You will saute the onions for the same 30 minutes you cook the squash, until they are super soft and carmelized. Stir the onions every few minutes so they do not burn.
5) While the onions are cooking, chop up your broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces.
6) Once your onions have cooked for 25 minutes, stir in your broccoli bites.
7) Cook for the remaining 5 minutes until your timer goes off and your squash in ready.
8) Once the squash has roasted for 30 minutes, take it out of the oven.
9) Add the entire can of coconut milk to a food processor or blender, and add half your squash mixture. Puree until smooth, and then add the rest of your squash and puree again.
10) Add your pureed mixture to your onions and broccoli, and stir to incorporate.
11) Stir in your cooked, shredded chicken and mix until well incorporated.
12) Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until everything is warmed through. Now eat up and wow your friends and family with this delicious, and dairy-free meal!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cabbage Beef Stew

I am loving trying new things with the large purchase of stew meat that we got from US Wellness Meats! I just bought some fish sauce for the first time (Red Boat is the brand without any extra sugar), and wanted to try it out with this dish. I think it is a very important ingredient, so if you can use it, you should!

There's something so awesome about coming home to an already cooked meal in your crockpot. It is seriously a life saver, especially in the paleo world!

1) 2 pounds of stew meat (or a 2 pound beef roast, cut into cubes)
2) 1-2 onions, diced
3) 2 pounds of a root vegetable, chopped (rutabaga, turnip, sweet potato) - I used rutabaga
4) 1 medium-sized head of cabbage
5) 2 tablespoons of fish sauce (recommend Red Boat)

**Servings: 6-8

1) Chop up your onions and root vegetable and add it to the crockpot.
2) Add in your fish sauce and stew meat.

3) Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then place the quarters on top of the other ingredients already in the slow cooker. Push them down to make room.

4) Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

5) Once cooked, stir your mixture and shred the cabbage into the stew. Taste and see if you need any more fish sauce or salt/pepper if you'd like.

6) Eat up!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Chicken, Squash and Fig Soup (Paleo-Zone)

It's been a while since I've posted a Paleo-Zone meal on here, but we are still eating this way 90% of the time. I bought some figs at Costco again the other day, and I wanted to try and make a sweet and savory soup with them. It was actually my boyfriend's idea to mix these ingredients, and he referred back to my beef and dried prunes stew to show me that fruit could work. Plus, it helps even out the carb count to make this Zone appropriate.

If you're not interested in making it Paleo-Zone, you don't have to be as specific with the ingredient measurements. It still is super delicious, regardless!

There is some stove top cooking involved in this, so plan accordingly and do it the night before or make this on a weekend.

1) 2 pounds of chicken thighs or breast, cut into cubes (24 blocks Protein)
2) 2.5 tablespoons of ghee, butter, or coconut oil (24 blocks Fat)
3) 2 pounds of cubed butternut squash (11 blocks Carbs)
4) 1 large onion, diced (3 blocks Carbs)
5) 1 roughly packed cup of figs, stems removed, about 12 figs, diced into small pieces (10 blocks Carbs)
Optional: 1 cup of chicken stock or water
Optional: 1-2 tablespoons seasoning of your choice for the chicken. I used a store-bought rosemary garlic blend with no sugar or MSG.

Total: 24P, 24C, 24F

**Servings: 6-8 (6 meals of 4 blocks, or 8 meals of 3 blocks ---just measure out the cooked soup into tupperware containers and weigh them to make sure all 6 or 8 weigh the same)

1) Heat up a large skillet over medium heat, and add your oil. Then add your diced chicken to the pan. Stir it as it browns.


2) Cut up your onions and figs while the chicken is cooking.
3) Add the onions to your cooking chicken, and sprinkle on your optional seasonings at this time.
4) Add your cubed squash and figs to your crockpot. You can also add 1 cup of chicken stock or water at this time, to make the mixture more soup-like at the end of the cooking. If you want it more like a thick stew, omit the stock/water.
5) Let the chicken and onions cook for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is browned and the onions are translucent. Then add the entire contents of the skillet into the crockpot.
6) Stir to mix all your ingredients together in the crock pot. Then cook on low for 6-8 hours. If you want your squash to stay more crunchy, cook for 4-6 hours only. 
7) Portion out your meals and enjoy!