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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Healthy School Birthday Treats

So our school “discourages” (read: don’t do it) cupcakes and so on at school on birthdays. So I made these for my daughter’s birthday. But don’t be mislead, we had a big ol’ non-paleo cake on her birthday, with lots of non-paleo food at the party for her friends. I can see us doing a paleo friendly birthday in the future, with recipes non-paleo friends will love. But this year (1) we’re not far enough into our transition; and (2) this week was so ridiculously busy I’m almost surprised to have survived and come out the other side. So…. it just didn’t happen. Giving myself grace, and cutting myself some slack on this one!

But back to the school food. We made pineapple and strawberry straw skewers drizzled in dark chocolate. The trick here is to pre-skewer the pineapple with a real skewer, and fold the end of the straw to a point. They took longer than I anticipated, but were yummy and very pretty!

Strawberry Pineapple Skewers

Pancetta Wrapped Cod

This recipe was so simple, and inspired by lots of Paleo blogs out there.

I took a filet of cod, and sliced it so that I had two equal strips of fish. Then wrapped it in pancetta. I should have gotten more pancetta so I could have wrapped it all the way around. I’ll do that next time! Add some oven roasted asparagus, and you’ve got a yummy paleo dinner that you could get on the table in 15 minutes even with children running underfoot!

 Pancetta Wrapped Cod