Kale Chips – AIP/Paleo/Vegan

Kale chips have to be one of my favourite snacks.

The salty crunch makes them irrisistable, and they get eaten faster than you could ever imagine.  It is a good thing they are so easy to make.

And seeing as they are so addictive to eat, it is a good thing that they pack a real nutritional punch.

Kale is packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It’s high in fibre, iron, Vitamins K and D and it’s also a good source of calcium. To add to this already impressive list, it’s also high in folic acid and Vitamin B6.

What is not to love!

The secret to crispy, crunchy kale chips is to cook them at a low temperature and to make sure that the kale is perfectly dry.

I am particularly fond of making these with Lacinato Kale, but you can use any type that is available.

Lacinato Kale

Lacinato Kale

Kale Chips

serves 2-4

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Preheat the oven to 275°F.

The first thing you need to do is to wash the kale.  Then drain it, and spin it in a salad spinner until it is perfectly dry.  If you do not have a salad spinner, you could try a tip that I learned from my grandma – place the kale in a tea-towel, gather up the corners and whirl the tea-towel containing the kale around your head…  just don’t break anything!

Remove the stems from the kale, and tear the leaves into 1-2″ pieces.

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Drizzle over the melted coconut oil and toss the kale well until every piece is coated.

Spread the kale out in a single layer on baking sheets – the exact number you need will depend on how large your baking sheets are and how big the bunch of kale you started with was.

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Try not to have any pieces overlapping as this will prevent them from crisping up.

Sprinkle over the sea salt, trying to get it as evenly distributed as possible.  Ideally, you want every single piece to have a little sprinkle of salt.

Bake the kale in the oven for 30-45 minutes, rotating the trays half way through if necessary.  The exact time that the kale will take to dry out and become crispy will depend on how thick the leaves are.  Thicker leaves take longer, but tend to make a more robust chip.

Once crispy, transfer the chips to a bowl and serve…

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You can serve them just as they are, or with a dip. They are particularly good with a herbed coconut yoghurt dip.

These products are those that I can recommend.  I purchase these from Amazon myself.  They are good quality, and the price is good.

Shared at: Simply Natural Saturday, Lets Get Real, Savouring Saturdays, Simple Saturdays Blog Hop, Hearth and Soul Hop, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Thank Goodness It’s Monday

Turmeric-Avocado Deviled Eggs

This is the second batch of deviled eggs that I made for the Ostara Potluck I attended.

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The first batch was the Pink Deviled Eggs I wrote about a few days ago.

Unlike the pink eggs, which used leftover beet brine, I made a fermented turmeric brine especially for these eggs.  They will need to be started at least 2 weeks in advance of when you want to serve them in order for you to have time to ferment the turmeric brine.

But the results are worth it!

Turmeric adds the yellow colour to the outside of the eggs, and is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflamatory.

The avocado not only provides the green creamyness to the yolk filling, it also provides some heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, a ton of nutrients and yet more anti-inflammatory properties.

These are a stunning contribution to a potluck, but also make great snacks and would look wonderful on an Easter buffet table.  They would also be good for breakfast or in packed lunches.

You could also just eat the turmeric pickled eggs whole without going to the trouble of cutting and filling them with the avocado mixture.

Whole eggs/egg whites are an AIP stage 2 reintroduction, so if you are following the AIP plan, you will need to wait until you have successfully reintroduced egg yolks and egg whites before eating these.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Turmeric Avocado Deviled Eggs

Makes 24 halved eggs

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To make the turmeric brine:

  • 2 TBSP pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 small carrot – sliced – peel if not organic
  • 2″fresh root ginger – sliced thinly
  • 2″ fresh turmeric root – sliced thinly
  • 4-5 slices fresh horseradish root
  • 3 cloves garlic – peeled
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cabbage leaf (to weigh down the veggies to ensure they all stay underneath the brine)

To make the eggs

  • 1 dozen eggs – preferably free-range/pastured/soy-free

To make the filling

  • 1 large ripe avocado – peeled and diced
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil – chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives – chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme – chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

The first thing that needs to be done is that the brine needs to be made and fermented.  This needs to be started at least 2 weeks before you want to serve the eggs.

Take all the brine ingredients, except for the cabbage, and put them in a quart mason jar.  Add filtered water to cover and mix well to dissolve the salt.  Tuck the cabbage leaf on top of the veggies to hold them down under the brine.  If necessary weigh this down with a small jar or shot-glass filled with brine.

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Cover and leave to stand at room temperature for at least 7 days.  It may get fizzy and bubbly as the naturally occurring cultures start to ferment the sugars in the veggies and herbs.  This is normal.  Open the lid every now and again to release the gas.

Once the brine is fermented to your liking, strain out all the solids, reserving the fermented brine.

Take the dozen eggs, and place them in a pan with cold water.  Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Drain and place in cold water.

Once the eggs have cooled enough to handle, peel off the shells and pack the eggs in a large mason jar.

Carefully pour over the brine to cover the eggs.

Place the eggs in the fridge and leave to “pickle” for 5-7 days.

To make the deviled eggs…

Drain the eggs from the brine.

Cut each egg in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the yolk.

Mash the yolks with the avocado.

Place the herbs, garlic, lemon juice and the olive oil in a blender or food processor and puree to a paste.

Add the herb puree to the egg yolks and avocado and mix well.

Season to taste with sea salt.

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Carefully spoon or pipe the green mixture back into the egg whites and arrange on a serving platter.

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Tuna Salad – Paleo/AIP/Egg-Free

I made myself a super quick tuna salad for lunch the other day…

And when paired with a baked sweet potato (I used a white one) and some green salad leaves, it made a very tasty, very filling and quite economical lunch.

This recipe serves 2, so I saved half of it in the fridge for the next day.

It is both Paleo and AIP, and contains no eggs or mayonnaise, and because of this, it is lighter in texture and fresher in taste than a lot of tuna salads.

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AIP Tuna Salad

Serves 2

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  • 1 can of tuna in water (BPA free)
  • 1 lacto-fermented cucumber pickle – finely diced (if bought, read the ingredients to ensure that they do not contain nightshade spices)
  • ½ cup coconut milk yogurt (if bought, read the ingredients to ensure that it does not contain any gums such as carageenan or guar gum)
  • 1 stick celery – finely diced
  • 1 green onions – finely chopped
  • 2 TBSP capers – drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 TBSP finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • sea salt or pink Himalayan salt to taste

Drain the water from the tuna and put it in a bowl.

Finely dice the pickle, celery and onion.  Chop the parsley and capers.

Add all the ingredients to the bowl, and mix together gently.  Season to taste with salt.

This salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Serve on baked sweet potatoes, with AIP-crackers, in an AIP-wrap or with celery sticks….  or you could just eat it out of the bowl with a spoon!

Shared at the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundup #66

Two Appetizer Recipes – AIP/Paleo

I went to a potluck last night…

Normally, I hate potlucks with a passion – usually there is very little that I can eat, and there is also always the risk that the few things that I can eat have been cross-contaminated simply by people not realizing that dropping crumbs or grated cheese or whatever all over other dishes (or even worse, using the spoon from one dish to serve themselves from another) means that there will be people who either cannot eat the food, or who may react badly.

For this particular potluck, I decided that I was going to make 2 dishes that I could eat – both appetizers…

And I made sure that they were placed right at the back of the table where there would be no accidental cross contamination from other foods – in fact, the only other foods around my dishes were some salad and some cut-up fruit

Both of these dishes make wonderful appetizers, but are also great to pack in lunch-boxes (ensure that they contents are kept cold), or for snacks…  and of course they are wonderful to bring to a potluck.

I really could have made more than I did – both went very fast…  my dishes were the only ones  that were empty at the end of the night!

Both of these recipes are 100% AIP as long as the bacon that is used is also AIP (be careful – some cures use “spices” that could contain nightshades).  If possible, try to use bacon that comes from pastured pork, and I like to avoid the ones that contain added (chemical) nitrates as I prefer more natural cures that contain salt, sugar and celery juice (which does contain nitrates, but in a more natural form).  I prefer to use thin-cut bacon for these recipes as it does not take so long to crisp up.

The first recipe I made was Bacon Wrapped Prunes, that I stuffed with a home-made chicken liver pate.

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If you choose to buy a pate instead of making your own, read the ingredients carefully to be sure that it does not contain any non-AIP ingredients, or those that you do not tolerate well.  Most bought pate’s will contain dairy and non-AIP spices.  Of course if you are not AIP, or you tolerate the ingredients well, then that is not a problem…

The prunes, as I discovered made for a VERY rich mouthful when combined with the pate and the bacon…  one or two are enough for most people.  But they are so delicious with the salty bacon combining with the sweetness of the prunes and the rich creaminess of the pate.

Pate Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Prunes

Makes 20-25 individual “bites”

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  • 6 TBSP Chicken Liver Pate – preferably homemade
  • 375g (aprox. 13oz) pack of bacon (preferably made from pastured pork)
  • 20-30 prunes
  • wooden cocktail sticks

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).  Line a shallow-rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (this makes for an easier clean-up).

Cut each strip of bacon into 3, crosswise across the strip, and lie them out on a cutting board.

Take your prunes, and stuff each one with ¼tsp chicken liver pate.  This can get messy fast!  Just try to keep your hands as clean as you can.

Lie the stuffed prunes at one end of each strip of bacon, then roll the bacon around the stuffed prunes, securing the end with a cocktail stick.

Lie the prunes on the prepared baking sheet with the free end at the bottom (it helps to stop them unrolling while they cook.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until the bacon is crispy, turning at the 15 minute mark.

Remove to a wire rack to allow any fat to drain off.

These are good served hot or cold…  I served them cold at the pot-luck.

The second appetizer that I made was Bacon Wrapped Shrimp.

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These are really easy to make, and taste delicious.  They were the first thing to disappear at the potluck!

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Makes 25-30 individual “bites”

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  • 349g (aprox 12oz) bag of peeled (tail on) raw shrimp (thawed if frozen).  I used 31-40 count shrimp
  • 375g (aprox 13oz) pack bacon (preferably from pastured pork)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).  Line a shallow-rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (this makes for an easier cleanup).

Cut each slice of bacon into half lengthwise, and then half again crosswise to give 4 long thin strips of bacon.

Take a piece of bacon, and starting at the head-end, wrap it around the shrimp, ending at the tail.

Place the wrapped shrimp, end-side down, on the prepared baking sheet.

Repeat for the rest of the shrimp and the bacon.

Bake the shrimp for 10 minutes in the oven.  Remove and drain off any liquid that has accumulated.

Turn the oven to broil (grill if you are in the UK), and cook the shrimp to crisp the bacon on both sides (this took around 5 minutes per side).

Place the crisped shrimp on a wire rack to drain off any extra fat.

Serve hot or cold (I served these cold at the pot-luck).

Make lots!  They go fast….  But in the unlikely event that there are leftovers, store them in the fridge to eat as snacks.

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #65

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Beef Jerky – Paleo/AIP

Jerky makes a great snack – tasty and protein rich, it fills you up.

But most of the jerky’s you can buy contain dubious ingredients like soy and MSG.  And they usually contain spices that are not AIP.

And then there is the cost – to buy jerky made with decent grass-fed beef costs a fortune – it is far cheaper to make it yourself.

This recipe contains no nightshade spices but it does have peppercorns – pepper is classed as a stage 1 reintroductoin.  If you know that you will react to it, or if you are strict AIP, simply leave it out.  The jerky will still taste AMAZING!

The good thing is that jerky is very easy to make.  If you have a dehydrator it is a breeze, but it is also possible to dry it out in the oven set at the lowest setting.

Black Pepper is a stage 1 reintroduction.  If you have not reintroduced it yet, or are in the elimination phase of the AIP simply omit it from the seasoning mix.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Beef Jerky

makes aprox. ½lb jerky

BJ1

  • 2lb grass-fed beef (look for a lean cut – flank steak works well)
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste (omit if sensitive or strict AIP)
  • 2 tsp wasabi powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder

Trim off any visible fat, then slice as thinly as possible – ¼” thick or even less if you can manage it.  Chilling the meat in the freezer so that it is partially thawed can help with this.  Use a very sharp knife or a meat-slicer if you have one.

Place the meat in a glass bowl and add all the remaining ingredients – mix well so that all the meat is evenly coated.

Marinate in the fridge for 12-24 hours.

To dry the jerky using a dehydrator:

Arrange the slices of meat on the dehydrator tray, spacing them out evenly and making sure that no pieces overlap.

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I have an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator which is amazing.  But you can use any dehydrator to make your jerky…

Set the temperature to the meat setting – 68°C/155°F for 3-5 hours until dry – it is ready when it is dry to the touch and shows white fibers when you bend it.

Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

To dry the jerky using the oven:

Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet, and arrange the slices of meat on top of the cooling rack.  You could also use a roasting rack and roasting pan for this if you have one.  The aim is to allow air circulation on all sides of the strips of meat so that they dry as fast as possible.

Set the oven temperature to the lowest possible setting – 68°C/155°F is ideal, but if your oven does not go this low just set it as low as you can.  If you have a fan oven use this setting as this increases air circulation and that will speed up the drying.

Place the trays of meat in the oven and prop the door open to allow more air to circulate – I use a wooden rolling pin to do this!

Allow the jerky to dehydrate for anything from 4-8 hours until it is dry to the touch and shows white fibres when you bend it.  It should still be slightly pliable, not crispy.

Allow the jerky to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

BJ2

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #32

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Almond Crackers

I don’t like making paleo versions of SAD foods very often, but sometimes it makes life easier, especially when it comes to packing lunches or for quick snacks.

One thing that the girls have been missing is crackers, so I decided I would make some for them as a treat.

Because these crackers are based on almonds and also contain whole eggs, they are an AIP stage 2 reintroduction food.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Almond Crackers

makes 12-15

almondcrack1

  • 1 cup of almond meal
  • 1 lg egg
  • 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until it comes together as a dough.  If it is too sticky, add a little more coconut flour – not too much, coconut flour tends to absorb an very large amount of liquid.

Turn out the dough onto a piece of baking parchment and flatten it out a little with your hands.  Cover with a second sheet of parchment and roll the dough out to the desired thickness.

Peel off the top layer of paper, cut in to crackers and place the parchment on a baking sheet.  Prick each cracker a few times with a fork.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden.

Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

I served these to the girls for a snack with some cheese.

Shared at Gluten-Free Wednesdays 4-23-14

Chicken Liver Pate

I love eating liver, which is a good thing because it is so good for you.  And not only that, it is cheap to buy.  If you are struggling to make ends meet while eating paleo, definitely consider adding more organ meats to your diet.  Liver, and especially chicken livers are really economical.  I do recommend that you use pastured and/or organically reared chicken liver when possible.

Some people express concern about the possiblity of toxins in liver, and think that it is not a good idea to eat it because it is a detox organ.  While this is true that the liver does remove toxins from the body, it simply breaks them down so that they can be excreted by other organs.  The liver does not store any of these toxins and in a healthy animal is perfectly safe to eat.

Liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can buy.   It is a good source of Thiamin, Zinc, Copper and Manganese, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Phosphorus and Selenium.  While liver is high in cholesterol, it has been shown that dietary cholesterol has very little bearing on blood cholesterol (1, 2, 3), and not only that, you actually NEED cholesterol to make a lot of the steroid hormones that your body relies on.  Your brain also relies on cholesterol to function  There have been studies that have shown that cholesterol is vital for memory.  And if you don’t eat enough of it your body will simply make more.

One of my favourite ways to eat liver, especially in the case of chicken livers, is to make a pate.

Smooth, creamy and rich, this barely tastes like liver.  And making it into a pate, paste or spread removes most of the “ick” factor that people have when faced with a hunk of liver.  Instead of that hunk of what is obviously an internal organ, you have this rich, creamy spread.  This is a good way to get kids to eat liver…  my girls love dipping veggies in the creamy meatiness.

I know what you are thinking though….  Pate should be served on toast.  And toast is not Paleo or AIP-friendly.

If you ate bread (even paleo bread), you could make toast and spread a generous amount of this pate onto it.  But seriously, it is just as good with celery sticks, baby carrots and cucumber slices.

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I will often spread it into the hollow center of a celery stick and make a savory version of “ants on a log”.  YUM!

This makes a great appetizer or snack, but it could also be a quick lunch.  And I have been known to eat it for breakfast as well!  In this snack that I prepared for B, the radish slices take the place of crackers.

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And if you don’t have chicken livers, you could use any other liver you can get your hands on.  Calves liver makes a delicious pate, but even beef or pigs liver would work.  The flavour would not be so delicate, but it would be very nutritious, and would still taste good.

Chicken Liver Pate

CLP3

  • 1½lb chicken livers (or any other liver you care to use), trimmed
  • 1 shallot – chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ⅓ cup bone broth
  • Sea salt to taste
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 3 tbsp coconut cream (the thick layer from the top of a can of coconut milk)
  • ½ cup of good quality cooking fat (you can use anything that works with your diet – lard, tallow, coconut oil, bacon drippings, even ghee or butter as long as you are not sensitive to it)

Melt 2 tbsp of the cooking fat in a skillet and add the shallot and garlic.  Cook over a low heat until softened.  Add the sage, rosemary, thyme and bayleaf and continue cooking for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile trim your liver and if large pieces, cut into chunks.

Add the liver to the pan and cook, stirring until it is browned on the outside but still pink in the middle.  Add the bone broth and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove the bay leaf.

Transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor or blender.  Add the coconut milk and remaining ingredients, including the leftover cooking fat.

Pulse until everything is smooth, creamy and evenly blended.

Pour into a serving dish and refrigerate until cold.

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To serve, scoop out the amount required, and serve.

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If you want to be able to turn the finished pate out and slice it, you will need to line a loaf tin with parchment paper before pouring in the pate.

This will keep for at least a week in the fridge.

Beef Taco Muffins

These are a popular lunch box filler in our house.  They would also be great for a picnic or a snack.  And I guess you could also eat them for a lighter evening meal with a salad as well.  They are good both cold and hot right out of the oven.

My family all love spicy food, so these are a little spicy.  I am sad that I cannot eat them (chilli is a nightshade and is banned on the AIP), but then again, I also cannot eat eggs either…  If you don’t eat chilli or don’t like spice, you can easily leave it out or reduce the amount to your taste.

You cannot leave out the eggs however.

Nightshade spices such as chilli are an AIP stage 4 reintroduction.  Eggs are a stage 2 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Beef Taco Muffins

makes around 18 small muffins

BTM1

  • 1lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
  • 1 tbsp fat of choice (I used coconut oil)
  • ½ onion – pulsed until finely chopped in the food processor
  • 8 mushrooms – pulsed until finely chopped in the food processor
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp sea salt salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 8 eggs – beaten
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 1 cup grated cheese (optional)

First of all you need to make your taco meat.  Place the ground beef in a skillet and brown, stirring it often.

Remove and allow any excess fat to drain.  Melt the coconut oil in the skillet, and add the onion and mushrooms.  Cook gently for 5 minutes or so until the onion is softened.  Return the ground beef to the skillet and add all the spices, herbs and other seasonings.  Toss well for 5 minutes until everything is well mixed and heated through.

Turn the ground meat into a large bowl.

Now you need to wilt the spinach (I use the same skillet and just toss it with the water that clings to the leaves after washing it).  Once it is wilted, chop the spinach finely and add to the bowl along with the beef.

Add the eggs, coconut flour and almond flour and mix everything well.

Pour the batter into muffin cups (I like silicone ones), filling each one ¾ full.  Don’t overfill them or the mixture will run everywhere making a mess on the base of your oven!

Top each muffin with a little grated cheese if using (this is not a paleo option, it is more primal, but it does taste good).

Bake in a preheated 190°C/375°F oven for 20-30 minutes until set and the tops are browned.

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Cool on a wire rack and store in the fridge.

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

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  • 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.

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

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Chocolate Fat Bombs

Hubby is really struggling at the moment…  he feels constantly hungry, constant carb cravings, and it is not helping him with his weight loss or trying to avoid gluten (because he ends up eating chocolate bars from the vending machine at work).

So I decided to try upping his fat content, and as a result made the following fat bombs for him to eat in lieu of those carb and sugar laden chocolate bars.

These are full of good fats – and hopefully will help curb those cravings.

Chocolate and almonds are an AIP stage 2 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Chocolate Fat Bombs

makes 24 individual bars

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  • 2 cups unsweetened dried coconut
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup raw honey (ours comes from Buzz Honey)
  • ¼ cup cocoa (unsweetened)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

The first thing you need to do is to put the coconut into your food processor.  You are going to leave this running until you get some coconut butter…  depending on how powerful your machine is, it could take anything from a few minutes up to about 10 minutes.  Just leave it running until it starts to clump together and the flakes are starting to break down and resemble nutbutter.

Now add the almond butter, coconut oil, butter, honey and cocoa.  Blend until evenly mixed.

Add the slivered almonds, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla and pulse until evenly mixed.  You don’t want to totally break up the almonds – they are there to provide texture to the finished bar.

Scrape into a loaf tin (I used a silicone one for ease of turning out, if you have a metal one you may need to line it with cling-wrap to be able to get the finished bars out of the tin).

Place in the freezer until frozen solid and then turn out and cut into bars.

I cut the loaf into 12 evenly sized bars and then cut each bar in half again to make 24 small chocolate bars.

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Wrap each bar in cling-wrap and store in the fridge until needed.  They will go squishy if unrefrigerated.

I don’t normally work out the nutritional profile of my recipes, but in this case I was interested in the macro-nutrient profile (specifically, I wanted to know how much fat and protein was in there) so I ran this through the recipe calculator on spark people.

It came up with the following (note this is not complete – I was not interested in all the minutae of the micronutrients for this recipe as it is a snack only)

Serving size  1 bar (1/24 of the recipe)

Calories 248

Total fat 24.4g

Saturated fat 16.7g

Polyunsaturated fat 1.5g

Monounsaturated fat 3.7g

Total Carbs 6.2g

Fiber 3.7g

Sugars 4.4g

Protein 2.8g

Don’t be put off by the high levels of saturated fats in this, there has been research that effectively debunks the myth that dietary saturated fat plays a major role in heart disease.  The main thing is that this is fairly low in the inflammatory polyunsaturated fats but still contains some of the beneficial monounsaturated fats. And the role of all these fats is to fill you up, keep you full and combat those carb/sugar cravings.

It is relatively low in carbs as well – not only is 6.2g not all that much, by the time you deduct the unavailable dietary fiber you end up with an available carb figure of  only 2.5g per serving…  a tiny amount really – hardly enough to cause an insulin spike.   And the protein content was 2.8g per serving.  Not a huge amount, but bear in mind that this is a snack designed to combat cravings, NOT a meal replacement….

Hubby says that these are really effective at helping combat his sugar cravings when he is at work.

And I have to say (having licked the spatula after scraping it out of the food processor), it tastes delicious!  Not overly sweet, with a nice chocolatey flavour and an appealing nutty texture.

I am guessing that if you wanted to make this ultra-low-carb (to fit in with something like the Atkins diet, or similar ultra-low-carb ketogenic diets), you could substitute artificial sweeteners or stevia for the honey…  for ourselves we prefer to be more natural, avoiding any artificial sweeteners and I don’t like the way stevia tastes… besides, I don’t really think 2.5g of available carbs in a snack is all that bad in the big scheme of things really…..