Packed Lunch – 05/12/14

This is the lunch that I packed today:

LCS1

Clockwise from the top left-hand corner:

Everyone also took a reusable water-bottle to drink and some fruit (either an apple, a clementine or a banana) packed separately.

Simple Roast Chicken

I roasted 2 small chickens (both around 3lb each) for dinner (actually, only one was used for dinner, the other was saved for lunch the following day).

I don’t mess with my roast chicken too much, I like to keep it simple, so that you can appreciate the chicken flavour.

I stuff the cavity with lemon, garlic and herbs (I use parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme – kind of like the song “Scarborough Fair“.  When I was living in the UK, I visited Scarborough many times.  I never went to a fair while I was there though.)

Simple Roast Chicken

Serves 6

RC3

  • 1 chicken 3-4lb in weight (preferably pastured or at least free-range/organic)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ cup coconut oil – melted
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • sprigs of fresh herbs (I use parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.

While it is heating up, mix together the salt and all the dried herbs.  Squeeze the juice of the lemon all over the skin of the chicken, then rub well with the coconut oil.  Sprinkle the salt/herb mixture all over the skin, seasoning it well.  Do not forget to season the cavity.

Now stuff the cavity with the fresh herbs, garlic and the squeezed out lemon rind.

Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting tin and sprinkle the lemon zest over.

Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes per lb plus an extra 20 minutes until the juices run clear and the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh has reached 82°C/180°F when measured with a meat thermometer.

RC4

Remove from the oven, cover with a clean cloth and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving into portions.  I like to take the wings off, the legs off (which I then separate into a thigh and a drumstick, and then remove the breasts whole.  I cut each breast into 2 or 3 pieces depending on size.

RC2

This can be served at once as a roast dinner, or it can be cooled and used for lunch or another meal.

Make sure you save any pan drippings as these will be used to make a simple gravy to serve with your chicken.

Coconut Chicken Soup

This is another great leftovers meal that makes a fantastic lunch and a filling, economical dinner.

I make this with leftover chicken or turkey, and both taste great.  If you have no leftovers, you could cook some chicken breasts or thighs and then shred the meat to make this instead.

This recipe is AIP compliant.

CCS1

If we are eating this as a main course meal, I like to serve these with a starchy side or a side-salad.  I will often use a simple green salad dressed with a lemon-juice vinagrette, but sometimes I will make plantain muffins or tostones or other starchy sides.

This is a perfect meal for a cold winter night and even better because it uses up a lot of leftovers.  And all the ingredients are AIP approved as well which is a bonus because it does not aggravate my autoimmune conditions.

Don’t be tempted to leave out the garlic, lemongrass or ginger – they give this soup it’s wonderful flavour and aroma.  I buy whole lemongrass stalks and they cost me around $0.44 for 2…

Coconut Chicken Soup

serves 4-6

CCS3

  • 1½lb leftover cooked chicken (or 2lb chicken breast or thighs – cooked)
  • sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 8oz mushrooms – sliced
  • 2 cups greens (use kale, chard or spinach depending on preference) – shredded
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp grated root ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic – peeled
  • 1 can coconut milk (ensure that it contains nothing but coconut and water – no gums, fillers or emulsifiers)
  • 3-4 cups chicken bone broth
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (try to find one that only contains AIP ingredients – fish, salt and water)
  • 1 lime – zest and juice
  • 1 bunch green onions – sliced
  • 1 kefir lime leaf – sliced as thinly as you can
  • ¼ cup basil – sliced (use thai basil if you can find it, regular basil will work fine though)
  • ¼ cup cilantro – chopped

If not using leftover chicken, you need to cook your chicken thighs/breasts.  I suggest you poach them in the bone broth, then remove, cool, and shred, discarding any bones and skin (save those to add to bone broth in the future – store in the freezer until you have enough).

If using leftover chicken, shred the cold chicken finely, discarding any bones and skin and saving as above to make bone broth.

Melt the coconut oil in a pan and add the mushrooms and onion and cook gently until tender and the mushrooms are starting to look translucent.

Meanwhile, take the lemongrass stalk and cut of the dry woody end.  Using a meat tenderizer, a mallet or a rolling pin, bash the heck out of this sucker.  You want to break down as many fibers as you can as this will release the flavour.  Slice it thinly.  Now put the beaten up and sliced lemon grass in your blender with the garlic and ginger and 1 cup of the bone broth.  Blend until there are no large chunks.

Once the mushrooms and onions are tender, add the lemongrass/broth mixture to the pan along with the rest of the broth and the can of coconut milk.  Taste and adjust seasonings..  Simmer gently for around 30 minutes.  Now add your shredded chicken and greens and simmer for 5 minutes to allow the chicken to heat through and the greens to wilt..

Stir in the lime zest and juice, fish sauce, lime zest and juice, basil and cilantro.  Taste again and adjust the seasonings one final time.

CCS4

We like to serve these with a starchy side such as my plantain muffins or Tostones

Serve hot.

Chicken Braised in Coconut Milk

This is an easy way to cook a whole chicken that leaves the meat moist, with a subtle flavour of garlic, lemon and coconut.
This meal was cooked by A as I was working late and did not get home until 7:30pm.

Chicken Braised in Coconut Milk
Serves 4-6

CBC1

1 whole chicken
Sea salt to taste
Coconut oil to cook
2 lemons – zest and juice
4oz mushrooms – thinly sliced
1 head of garlic divided in to cloves, peeled but left whole
2 cups coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick
1 bunch green onions – chopped
1 handful of fresh parsley – chopped

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
Dry the chicken sand season well with salt.
Heat a heavy oven-proof pot on the stove over a medium high heat and. Melt some of the coconut oil in it. Brown the chicken all over, turning with tongs.
Add the lemon zest, mushrooms, garlic, cinnamon stick and coconut milk to the pot.
Cover and bake the chicken in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, removing the lid for the last 30 minutes to allow the top to brown.
Remove the chicken flesh from the bones using tongs and add the chunks of flesh to the sauce e in the pot. Shred or chop any very large pieces. Add the lemon juice, green onions and parsley and gently heat it through.

CBC2
Serve over a bed of cauliflower rice.

Shared on the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #12

Shared at Allergy Free Wednesdays

Shared at Clever Chicks Blog Hop #84

Shared at Gluten Free Friday #88

Paleo Chicken Fingers

This recipe makes a great lunch, is good as an appetizer and could even be used as a dinner recipe.  They also make a great snack.   And kids LOVE them!

I served these for lunch today…  along with a side of my Thai style almond sate sauce for dipping.

Paleo Chicken Fingers

serves 6

chixstrip1

  • 1½lb (680g) chicken tenders or chicken breast cut into strips
  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • 1½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • coconut oil to fry

If using chicken breasts, cut them into strips.  Season the chicken well with salt and freshly ground blackpepper, paprika, onion and garlic powder.

Whisk the egg in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl mix the almond and coconut flour together.

Take each piece of seasoned chicken and dip it in the egg mix using one hand.  Remove from the egg and place in the bowl of almond and coconut flour.  Using your other hand coat the chicken in the “breading” mix.  Lay the coated chicken on a baking sheet or plate.

Repeat the above with the remaining chicken strips…

By keeping one hand for the egg (wet) and one hand for the dry (flour mixture) you can ensure that you don’t end up in a sticky mess.

Once all the chicken is “breaded”, melt a small amount of coconut oil in a heavy based pan over a medium-high heat.  Add the chicken strips.

Fry the chicken in the coconut oil for 3 minutes each side until the “breading” is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.

You may need to cook these in batches to avoid overcrowding your pan.  For me, it took 3 separate batches to cook all of these.  Keep the first ones you cook warm while cooking the remainder.

Serve with a dipping sauce – I recommend either Paleo Ketchup or my Sate dipping sauce.

chixstrip2

These can be served at once (hot), or they can be chilled in the fridge and served cold for a packed lunch.

lunch12-19-13

 

 

Simple Roasted Chicken Breasts

This was a really quick meal, that tasted absolutely incredible.

chicdin2

While shopping at an Asian grocery store, I noticed that they had skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts on special offer for $3:99 a pound…  knowing that I had not got anything out of the freezer, I could not resist this price!  So I bought 6 of the breasts and brought them home (at a total cost of slightly over $15).  I know that these will not be organic or free-range, but they were a good price that fitted well within our grocery budget.

These were simplicity itself to cook as well, which made them great for a quick weeknight meal.  Let me tell you, the chicken was wonderful.  Tender, juicy and perfectly cooked and it went so well with all the accompaniments.  The only issue was that there was SO MUCH of it!  Most of us failed to eat the entire breast (only C managed this – I think she must have hollow legs!).

The extra chicken that we could not manage to eat was stashed in the fridge and was taken for lunch the next day!  So all in all, it was a very economical meal.  Not only did that $15 feed all 6 of us, it also did a second meal as well…

Cooking chicken breasts on the bone results in very flavourful juicy meat as the bone add extra flavour and the skin helps stop the breast-meat from drying out.  In addition, the bones help conduct the heat of the oven into the meat which speeds up cooking time.

This recipe is a stage 1 reintroduction because it contains black pepper.  If you are strict AIP, you can simply omit the pepper from the recipe.

The tomatoes served along side the chicken are a stage 4 reintroduction.

These chicken breasts were served with a side of celeriac puree, roasted broccoli and sliced tomato and cumber and made for a very tasty and easy meal.

Simple Roasted Chicken Breasts

serves 6

chicdin2

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp fat of choice (I used coconut oil) – melted if solid
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 4 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (omit the pepper if sensitive or strict AIP)

Heat the oven to 220°C/425°F.

While the oven is heating up, place the chicken, skin-side up on a rack over a rimmed backing sheet and brush with a little fat.  Use whatever you fancy.  I used melted coconut oil, but bacon fat would be good, and even lard, chicken fat (schmaltz) or butter would work.  Please don’t use olive oil…  it should never be heated to these temperatures.  Save your EVOO for salad dressings!  And most definitely do not use canola oil, corn oil, sunflower oil or “vegetable oil”.  All of these are far too high in omega 6 fatty acids, most are GMO, and none of these should be heated to high temperatures either as they start to break down and turn rancid…  and rancid fat is NOT good for you!

Next you need to mix all your seasonings together.  Crush the garlic cloves, and mix with the oregano, thyme, sage and salt and pepper.

Rub this mixture into the skin of the chicken.

By now, the oven should be heated so slide the pan of chicken into the oven and leave to cook for about an hour by which time the skin should be crisped and the meat should be cooked.  Check the internal temperature of the meat in the thickest part of the breast with a meat thermometer…  you are aiming for an internal temperature of 82°C/180F.  If when you test it it does not reach this, just give it 10 or 15 minutes more.

Serve hot with whatever you like to eat with chicken.

chicdin6

This time I served celeriac puree,

chicdin3

oven roasted broccoli (had to utilize the extra space in the oven somehow!)

chicdin7

and sliced tomato and cucumber (Tomato is an AIP stage 4 reintroduction)

chicdin1

Yummy!

Chicken Avocado Salad

This is a great recipe for using up leftover cooked chicken.  It is fantastic in a lunch box, and great for both lunch and dinner.

I served this in lettuce leaves as a wrap for dinner…  delish!

This recipe contains Bell Peppers which are an AIP stage 4 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

chicwrap1

Chicken Avocado Salad

serves 6

chicwrap3

  • 1 lb cooked chicken – diced
  • 2 stalks of celery – diced
  • 2 avocados – peeled and diced
  • 4 green onions – chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper  diced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper – diced
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds – toasted
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme – chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh dill – chopped
  • 1 cup homemade mayonnaise
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

This is another simple, simple recipe.  All you do is chop the chicken and veggies up into bite-sized pieces, toast the almonds and then mix everything together with the mayonnaise and lemon juice.  Taste it and adjust the seasonings as necessary.

And to serve – you could wrap it in the leaves of a butter lettuce as I did,

chicwrap2

you could use it to fill a hollowed out pepper or tomatoes or you could just dig in with a fork.

chicwrap4

Buffalo Chicken Mini Frittata

These little babies are what I served as the main protein ingredient in the packed lunch today.

buffchic2

They have all the flavours of buffalo chicken wings but are far easier to eat (no bones for starters).  They are also a great way to use up leftover chicken.

Aside from being a great lunch dish, these could easily be used for breakfast or dinner, and they make both a great snack or appetizer.

These frittata’s contain blue cheese, so are primal rather than paleo.

They also contain sriracha sauce (ie chilli) so are an AIP stage 4 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Buffalo Chicken Mini Frittata

makes 10

buffchic1

  • 225g (8oz) leftover cooked chicken
  • 6 eggs
  • 125g (4.5oz) blue cheese (I used Danish Blue – use whatever blue cheese you like.  If you don’t  eat cheese, you could leave it out and replace it with some nutritional yeast to give a cheesy taste)
  • 4 green onions – chopped
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce (or to taste) – you can also use any hot sauce you prefer.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.

Place the cooked chicken in a food processor and pulse to chop.  You don’t want it to be too fine, but you also don’t want huge chunks of chicken.

In a bowl, mix the eggs, green onions, blue cheese, sriracha, salt, pepper and spices.  Add the chicken and mix well.

Spoon into a silicone muffin pan, filling the cups to 3/4 full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until cooked, firm and slighlty golden-brown on top.

Turn out of the muffin pan and allow to cool.

buffchic3

Serve warm or cold.

Chicken Terrine

This is the chicken terrine that Hubby took as part of his lunch today…

I also ate some for my lunch as well, with a big green salad.  And there is plenty more for tomorrows lunch.

This is a great way to use up leftover chicken.  Because you have to shred the chicken quite finely for this, it is a really good way to use up those tiny itty bits that you get when you strip all the meat off a carcass.

This makes a good appetizer or a light lunch when served with a green salad.

Because this contains bell pepper which is a nightshade, this recipe is an AIP stage 4 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Chicken Terrine

serves 6 generously

chickloaf2

1/2 red onion – very finely chopped

1 tsp fat of your choice (I used some chicken fat…  it seemed appropriate)

1 pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried sage

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tbsp fresh basil – chopped

2-3 cups finely shredded cooked chicken meat

2 cups chicken bone broth (if it does not gel and set when refrigerated, add some gelatin)

salt and pepper to taste

Place the onion in a small pan with the fat and cook gently until soft.  Add to a bowl along with the pepper, herbs and chicken meat.  Mix well.

Place the meat mixture into a loaf pan (I used a silicone one because it makes turning the terrine out much easier).

Warm up the chicken bone broth until it is liquid and pour enough over the chicken to just cover it.

chickenloaf1

Chill in the fridge overnight.

Next day, turn out the terrine (if you use a metal loaf pan you will need to dip it in hot water to release it first).

chickloaf3

Serve cut into thick slices.

chickloaf1

This goes really well with a crisp green salad.

If taking this as part of a packed lunch, it really does need to be kept refrigerated or the gelatinized broth will melt.  This is the reason why Hubby took it for his lunch but the kids did not.  He has a fridge at work where he can store his lunch.

Shared at Fat Tuesday – May 6th 2014

Shared at Tasty Tuesdays Link Party #59

Chicken and Cauliflower “Rice” Bake

This is a Paleo/Primal version of classic comfort food.  And it is also a very quick, easy and economical meal as it is a good way to use up leftover chicken.

This does not have to be a dinner recipe, it would make a good lunch as well as it takes very little time to cook.

This is what we ate for dinner tonight, and what B and C are taking to school for lunch tomorrow.

The cheese makes this an AIP stage 4 reintroduction recipe.  The cheese can easily be omitted if you are sensitive to cheese or you want to make this strict AIP.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Chicken and Cauliflower “Rice” Bake

serves 8 (or 6 with leftovers for lunches the next day)

chickenbake2

6 rashers of bacon (aim for bacon from pastured pigs that has a nitrate and sugar free cure if possible) – chopped

1 large onion – chopped

10oz button mushrooms – chopped

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 head of cauliflower – divided into florets

3 cups leftover chicken – shredded

1 cup coconut milk

Black pepper

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 cup cheddar cheese – grated (optional – omit if sensitive or strict AIP)

Preheat the oven to 375F/190C.

Place the chopped bacon in a large skillet over a medium heat and cook until crisp.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.

Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften, then add the mushrooms.  Cook for around 10 minutes until the mushrooms are softened and starting to turn golden brown.

While the mushrooms are cooking, place the cauliflower in the food processor and pulse until it resembles rice.  This may need to be done in 2 or more batches.

Add the thyme, oregano and salt to the mushroom mixture and mix well.  Stir in the cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes until it begins to soften.  Stir occasionally during this time.

Add the chicken, cooked bacon and coconut milk and stir well to combine.  Taste and season with extra salt if needed and add the black pepper and nutmeg.

Transfer to a large (11 x 7″) baking dish.

If using the cheese scatter it over the top now.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown on top and bubbly.

chickenbake5

Serve hot.

We served this with a green salad of romaine lettuce, arugula and spinach that was dressed with a vinagrette made from lemon juice, olive oil and a little mustard.

chickenbake1

It was delicious!

chickenbake3