So, I started this whole "clean eating" thing back in February 2011, after being really intrigued about a plan called the Whole30 . I decided to give it a go, but quickly realized that I needed to make it more adaptable to the way that our family eats and lives. I like my glass of wine at night. I don't think a piece of gum is going to sabotage me. I think that a DQ Blizzard is a good thing every once in a while. If my friend makes the most awesome jalapeno poppers you've ever had, you know I'm going to have one. But I also know that I feel pretty darn good when I'm eating quality proteins, fats, veggies, fruits and nuts, while leaving out dairy, grains, legumes (including soy and peanuts) and the big one, sugar, at least most of the time.
Here are some of the ways to do just that....

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Chicken Chili with Pumpkin Biscuits

As the weather has been cooling down, I've been craving my "real" non-paleo chili, filled with lots of beans and corn.  I find that most paleo chilis are lacking a bit in texture and taste.  All things pumpkin are all over the place right now, so I decided to experiment a bit.  This is a slightly sweet, slightly spicy warm bowl of goodness.  The biscuit recipe is not my own, but it rounds out the meal perfectly.

Pumpkin Chicken Chili
This makes quite a large batch (I'll be feeding a crowd), so make sure your pot is big enough, or else make half a recipe.

2 TBS olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red onion, diced
2 bell peppers, diced (I used orange and yellow)
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (if you want to amp up the spiciness, you could leave the seeds in)
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced (I had about 4 cups)
4 lbs diced chicken breasts (about 6 breasts, I'm also thinking you could use ground chicken or turkey)
3 TBS chili powder
1 TBS pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ground coriander
1 TBS cocoa powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 15oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes (make sure it's sugar free)
1 can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!)
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Heat olive oil in a large pot and add garlic, onion, peppers and saute until tender.  Add butternut squash, chicken, chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, coriander, cocoa powder, salt and pepper and mix well.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, pumpkin and cranberries, stir well and let simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.  Serve with chopped cilantro.

Pumpkin Biscuits--from The Urban Poser
Makes about a dozen small biscuits (it doubles well)

The original recipe calls for sauteed bacon and green onions to be added in the batter, but I didn't have time, so I just made it without.  They would be wonderful with the addition!

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 large eggs at room temp (put them in a glass of hot water for 3 minutes to warm them up if need be)
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin

In a mixing bowl, combine coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt and stir until well mixed.  Add coconut oil (it will probably be solid) and beat with a mixer until smooth.

In another bowl, combine eggs, vinegar and pumpkin and beat until smooth.  Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and beat until well combined.

Use a small cookie scoop to place mounds of batter on the cookie sheet (about 1/8 cup).  Shape with fingers if wanted, but make sure not to press down too much.

Bake for 15 minutes until started to get slightly golden.

Cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chicken with Bacon and Fig Sauce

Fresh Black Mission figs were on sale at the market today, so I picked up their natural paring, bacon, and came up with this....

4 chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
1 tsp dried thyme (or fresh)
olive oil
6 slices uncured bacon
2 cloves garlic, minced
8-10 fresh figs, quartered
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine
S&P to taste

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Season both sides of the chicken breasts with thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook about 7-10 minutes per side until done (mine always seem to take on the longer side).  Remove from pan, cover and keep warm.  In the same pan, add the bacon and cook until starting to brown.  Add garlic and figs, and saute until garlic is tender.  Add balsamic and wine and let simmer, seasoning with S&P to taste.  To serve, slice chicken thinly and spoon sauce over it.  I served mine with wilted spinach with mushroom and onions.