Easy Paleo AIP Meals – pancetta wrapped… anything (almost)!

I was looking through some of my old recipes, and thought I’d change-up one of them, and re-post another. Obviously you’ll want to read the ingredient list of whatever brand you buy, but since The Paleo Mom uses pancetta & bacon in her AIP friendly recipes, I’m feeling pretty safe doing the same. 🙂

Take your meat of choice (chicken, fish, pork, whatever really) and wrap in bacon or pancetta. Sear it on high heat. Serve it next to your favorite AIP friendly veggies. Done. Both of these meals below can be on the table in under 20 minutes total. And that’s with kids present.

Pancetta wrapped cod (or other favorite mild fish):

  • Wrap your fish with pancetta (I should have bought more to do a complete wrap. See the picture and you’ll know what I mean)
  • Sear it in a hot pan with 1t of your favorite oil (if necessary or desired… my T-fal pans with the red dot don’t need any oil when cooking something that tends to make its own grease, like bacon, beef, whatever) then place it in the oven for a few minutes if it’s not already cooked through (ours was).
  • Eat

I served this with asparagus, but it would have been great with any veggie, including some squash if you want to get some AIP friendly carbs in there.

Pancetta Wrapped Cod
Pancetta wrapped chicken

I previously didn’t post this recipe, but it’s so removed from the original version that I think I’m okay to do so.

    • Cut chicken into small pieces (whatever size you like), I chose about 1″ x 2″
    • Cut pancetta into strips, and wrap around chicken
    • Sear in hot pan, flip to sear each side of the chicken
    • Place on a foil lined cookie sheet, and finish in oven for about 5 -8 minutes
    • Check one of your bigger chicken pieces for doneness
    • Eat alongside your favorite paleo AIP veggies. If following the picture or the other recipe I have posted on here, omit the green beans, and substitute something else. I love sage and pancetta together, so I fried some sage in a little oil, and placed that on top.

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Easy Paleo AIP Meals – butterflied chicken and sweet potatoes

A friend of mine has started the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, so I started searching for “easy Paleo AIP recipes.” There’s not a lot out there. I mean there are tons of super gourmet recipes that are both fancy and schmancy, but not a lot that could be made on a busy day with 3 kids underfoot! So I thought I’d do a series on easy AIP meals, preferably ones that even the non-Paleo members of the family will enjoy! We served this at a dinner that we hosted just an hour after getting home from a kid’s friend’s birthday party, so we did the make-ahead version I outline below.

Menu 1: Butterflied chicken, sweet potatoes, ginger lemon asparagus, kale salad.

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Step one: Prepare the chicken

  • Cut the back out of the chicken (or have the butcher do it for you)
  • Prepare a cold water brine (mix sea salt and water) and submerge the chicken. Either put it in the refrigerator, or pour ice cubes in to keep the water cold. Let it sit for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to a few hours or overnight.
  • Remove the chicken from the brine, dry and set aside.

Step two: Prepare the potatoes

  • Peel the potatoes and slice to an even thickness (thinner if you like your potatoes more caramelized, thicker if you don’t).
  • Toss the potatoes with coconut oil and sea salt.

Step three: Prepare the pan

  • Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil, coat it with oil, and shingle the potatoes in the pan (I forgot to take a picture of this, but here’s a photo that shows the shingling anyway).

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  • Rub oil on the top of the broiler pan, and place the chickens on top (if I’m cooking one chicken, I always cook two. It takes the same amount of effort and time, but leaves lots of leftovers).

 

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Roast at 425 for an hour. The chicken juices drip down into the potatoes as it cooks creating an amazing yumminess!

Make ahead version: stop at this point, transfer the chickens to a baking dish and cover. Transfer potatoes to a separate baking dish and cover. Refrigerate overnight. Reheat in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Step four: mix your salad and roast your asparagus. Yum!

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Recipes:

Butterflied Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • 1/4 c. salt
  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes
  • Coconut oil

Instructions:

Prepare the chicken

  • Cut the back out of the chicken (or have the butcher do it for you)
  • Prepare a cold water brine (mix sea salt and water) and submerge the chicken. Either put it in the refrigerator, or pour ice cubes in to keep the water cold. Let it sit for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to a few hours or overnight.
  • Remove the chicken from the brine, dry and set aside.

Prepare the potatoes

  • Peel the potatoes and slice to an even thickness (thinner if you like your potatoes more caramelized, thicker if you don’t).
  • Toss the potatoes with coconut oil and sea salt.

Prepare the pan

  • Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil, coat it with oil, and shingle the potatoes in the pan.
  • Rub oil on the top of the broiler pan, and place the chickens on top.

Cook!

Roast at 425 for an hour. The chicken drips down into the potatoes as it cooks creating an amazing yumminess!

Make ahead version: stop at this point, transfer the chickens to a baking dish and cover. Transfer potatoes to a separate baking dish and cover. Refrigerate overnight. Reheat in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

 

Ginger Lemon Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • Asparagus
  • 1T freshly grated ginger
  • 1T oil of your choice
  • 1T lemon juice

Instructions:

Combine all of your ingredients in a Ziploc bag or other container, and let marinade until it is time to cook. Place ingredients (not container! :)) in an oven safe skillet and roast during the last 10-15 minutes of your cooking time.

Kale Salad

Ingredients:

  • Kale
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Carrot matchsticks
  • Red cabbage, chopped
  • Oil and vinegar of choice for dressing

Shred the lettuce and kale with your hands, removing the tough stems if desired. Mix all ingredients together. I served this with optional onions and optional avocado due to the varying tastes of our group.

Christmas Dinner

So we went off the Paleo / low carb / grain free rails here. But it was good. And shareable. We decided we were full of turkey, and didn’t really want ham, and so settled on Beef Wellington for Christmas Diner. Enter the obvious problems. I’m trying to be grain free, and I’ll be preparing this with a 4 and 6 year old underfoot. Enter Cooks’ Country and their Open Faced Beef Wellington. We’ve made this before, and it was originally one of their recipe card inserts in the magazine! These are 30 minute or less recipes. (It was in their February / March 2011 issue, if you keep the magazines.)

The kids loved this recipe. Even the mushrooms and the “yucky looking sauce that tastes yummy when you eat it.” Which led me to wonder: is the “Child Who Won’t Eat” really picky, or does she just have good taste? She also likes lobster, crab, and a not pretty, but super yummy, balsamic tilapia recipe I recently found. The jury is still out. But she hates chicken nuggets, and loves Beef Wellington… I’m leaning toward she just has good taste. 🙂

Here is the grownup version:

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And the kid version (oops, I forgot to use the Christmas plates):

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They requested leftovers for lunch the next day (yes, it was loved that much), so I remedied the plate error, and added cauliflower, just because I could! Hey, any excuse to double the veggies….

IMG_1274If you want a delicious, gourmet, kid friendly, easy to prepare holiday meal, this one is fantastic! It’s just not paleo, low carb, or grain free. But it was worth it. And if you’re an 80/20 paleo-er, then it totally fits.

Sausage Butternut Squash Lasagna

I wanted to make the Sausage and Butternut Squash stuffed tomatoes from Against all Grain, but I don’t have the patience to stuff tomatoes (peppers, yes… tomatoes…no way), and my husband doesn’t really like tomatoes. So I flipped it inside out, took a cue from her sausage lasagna, and turned this into a casserole as well. I made the crepes, but added onion powder and roasted granulated garlic to the mix. Yum! I used a mix of  monterey jack and mozzarella, just because that’s all I had in the fridge. I was a little worried that I had done too much tinkering, but it turned out really great, and super moist (as you can see!).

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Oh, and I doubled the amount of filling, because I don’t like itty bitty skinny lasagnas. They should be bubbling to the top of the dish! In this case I wound up with too much meat / butternut squash mixture, which was great! I had leftovers to put in wraps, and to sprinkle on salads. This meal stretched to last us many days and many types of dishes.

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Tortillas!

Yay! Tortillas that actually look and feel and taste like tortillas! Oh, and their high fiber content doesn’t hurt either. 🙂  We made Maria Emmerich’s Quesadillas, and they were a big hit. We served them with sour cream and salsa. My highlight of the meal was finding a good (great!) tortilla recipe. I’ll be making these in batches and freezing them. I will test freezing them cooked and uncooked, to see which tastes the best. I have a slight (big) inability to roll them into circles, so perhaps a tortilla press is in order. She suggests adding spices to change the flavor of the tortilla. I’m already dreaming of chipotle and cumin and paprika tortillas.

I’m planning to use these for wraps, breakfast tacos, breakfast quesadillas, family taco night… the posibilities are endless. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

 

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Sausage Lasagna

This Sausage Lasagna is from Against all Grain. Oh my. We loved it! Her blog is fanastic, as is this lasagna. My husband said “you should make lots of these and freeze them.” My kids, after protesting Against all New Flavors decided that it was yummy, but maybe with a different cheese. So we’ll experiment with that. She used a dairy free nut cheese. We’re less perfect with our dairy consumption. It’s limited, and we don’t drink cows milk, but do allow cheeses. So I’ll be searching for that right flavor cheese that makes it good for everyone.

Have you been craving a grain-free lasagna? Does the idea of zucchini “noodles” not thril you? Make this!!! It’s superb. I don’t post recipes if they’re not on someone’s blog and already publicly available. But if you love grain-free cooking, this cookbook is a good investment. It’s chock full of yummy!

 

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Salmon in Red Curry

We recently made this Pan Seared Salmon in Red Curry Sauce from Against all Grain. It was another fantastic meal. My (now 6!!!) year old loved the sauce, and kept asking for more. I’ll have to double the sauce next time.  The leftovers didn’t make for good lunch leftovers, but I learned:

  1. My “eat everything” kid loves sauteed bok choy.
  2. My “eat nothing” kid loves acorn squash.
  3. This salmon is fantastic. Girls who supposedly don’t like salmon ask for seconds.
  4. Bok choy (in sesame oil) is bitter on its own…and fantastic in the same bite as this salmon.
  5. YUMIMG_0738

 

 

Chicken Rolls (named by my kids)

We have a new cookbook – six ingredient recipes from Cooks Illustrated. These were the first thing we made from it. We altered the recipe slightly – I won’t post the recipe, as it’s not mine to post, but I can say what my changes were. I switched from chicken breasts to chicken thighs, and cut them into thirds, so I had smaller pieces of chicken to wrap. My girls loved this. Or as Rarity-Dash put it “mommy, this is the best most awesomest thing you’ve ever made ever! You should make this every night!” They voted to call them Chicken Rolls. This earned me cooking credibility with them. Now, it’s “oooh, mommy is cooking? I bet it will be the second most awesomest thing ever!” But this fantastic recipe turned the tide for us.

The book is full of great recipes that are surprisingly largely paleo (providing you ignore the pasta section). I’m planning to paleo-ize the recipes in this book and post my changes here. I’ve been Cooks Illustrated-ing for a long time now. I taught myself to cook using their magazine. But this particular book is currently one of my favorites. it’s a fantastic resource.

 

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A Typical Dinner

We post our lunches, and our fun weekend cooking, I thought I’d post a typical dinner. We serve meat and veggies, and offer fruit as dessert. You can have as many veggie refills as you want, (with some parental limitations, of course, but they’re easy to say yes to). You typically earn more meat and fruit by eating more veggies. Generally a good plan! 🙂

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Gazpacho

We love Alton Brown’s Gazpacho. We’ve loved loved gazpacho since our trip to Spain where we got to enjoy such fabulous meals as this:

Gazpacho

So we went on a quest to re-create the gazpacho served with our meals at this little restaurant in a small town in Spain. Alton Brown’s recipe is as close as it gets, but we add more tomato juice to make it smoother and less salsa-y.

Gazapcho 1 Gazpacho 2

Enjoy this yumminess! Or as our girls call it “daddy’s vegetable smoothie.”