Lemon-Mint Chicken with Quinoa & Sauteed Broccoli + Fresh Salad & Herb Dressing

Some nights, I like to get creative with my food – and last night was one of those nights! I also had a lot of fresh food in my fridge that needed to be eaten, including veggies & chicken! When I was in Belize, all of the food prepared was very fresh, picked straight from the backyard! I missed that coming back to the states – buying local produce definitely makes a difference in taste! Normally I’ll just bake some chicken in foil with vegetables, but everything ends up soggy or overcooked. So, I put my cast iron skillets to work, and the meal ended up being AMAZING.  Very light, fresh and perfect for the end of the summer. Recipes are below!

Chicken broccoli quinoa

Lemon-Mint Baked Chicken with Quinoa & Sauteed Garlic Broccoli (Serves 4)

Ingredients for Chicken

  • 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 small bunch of mint sprigs
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil (I used an herb-infused oil from Flying Olive)
  • 1/4 cup White balsamic Vinegar (I used the lemongrass mint from Flying Olive) – add a little lemongrass to the pan if you do not have this
  • 1/4 cup Champagne or white wine
  • Fresh garlic (a few bulbs finely chopped)
  • Cast iron skillet

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 F. Pour about ½ cup champagne or white wine into a cast iron skillet. Add olive oil,, vinegar, garlic, and mint and sauté for a few minutes. Add the chicken, cooking for a few minutes on each side. Sprinkle salt & pepper on both sides of chicken. Place in oven and finish cooking for 15-20 minutes. The last few minutes of cooking, take about half a lemon and sprinkle over top of chicken.

Ingredients for Sautéed Broccoli:

  • 2-3 large heads of broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil (I used basil from Flying Oil)
  • 1/4 cup White Vinegar (I used Sicilian lemon from Flying Oil)

Directions:

Add oil & garlic to cast iron skillet and sauté for a few minutes. Add in vinegar and cut up broccoli. Place a lid over the pan, stirring the broccoli around every few minutes. Cook for about 10-15 minutes on low-medium heat until cooked to your liking. Top with salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients for Quinoa:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 TBSP Olive oil
  • 2 tsp Basil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Cook according to directions on box. Once the quinoa is cooked, add in olive oil, basil, juice of ½ lemon, and chopped up garlic. Add in salt & pepper to taste – Stir and let sit for a few minutes for the flavors to settle.

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Serve all together & come hungry – I had enough left over to feed myself lunch the entire week!

Fresh Salad with a Garlic-Lemon-Basil Dressing (Serves up to 10 people)

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Ingredients for Salad:

  • ½ head of cabbage
  • 1 head of bibb lettuce
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 1 large florida avocado
  • Optional: onions, cucumbers, etc
  • Dressing:
    • juice of 1/2 Lemon
    • 1/3 cup Olive oil
    • 1 tsp Basil
    • Garlic (1 TBSP chopped up garlic)
    • 1/4 cup White Vinegar (I used Sicilian lemon from Flying Oil)

Directions:

Cut up all cabbage & lettuce & place into a bowl. Wash & let drain. Transfer to a fresh bowl and top with cut up radishes, avocado (I cubed mine), and optional veggies. For the dressing: combine all ingredients and let sit for a little bit so the flavors come together. Either toss salad with dressing, or serve on the side. Enjoy!

Paleo Spicy Bison Burgers

Paleo Spicy Bison Burgers!

Served with a side of steamed broccoli & sweet potatoes topped w/franks red hot sauce

Paleo Spicy Bison Burgers

Ingredients:

For the burgers:

  • 16 oz bison/buffalo (beef would work too)
  • 1/4 cup franks red hot sauce
  • 1-2 Tbsp trader joes South African smoke seasoning blend
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

For the Sweet Potato “Buns”

  • 1-2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup franks red hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used olive)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Put foil over pan. Cut sweet potatoes into thin slices and place into a bowl. Make sure you cut enough slices for the amount of burgers you are making. Cut the remaining sweet potato into cubes and place in bowl. Mix the rest of the ingredients with the sweet potatoes, tossing until all is covered in the mix. Place on foil -covered baking sheet and put in oven for 30 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, place all burger ingredients in a bowl except for the olive oil and mix thoroughly. Pour olive oil in a pan to coat and turn heat on medium. Shape patties to your desired shape/size and place in pan. Cover with a lid and cook on med-high for about 5 minutes. Flip burgers and cook for another few minutes until they are brown. In the meantime, flip sweet potatoes in oven about 15-20 minutes in. Once all food is done cooking, assemble bison patties on sweet potato “buns.” Top off with franks hot sauce and enjoy!

Paleo Spicy Bison Burgers_1

Paleo Chocolate Banana and Bacon Brownies

Bananas + Chocolate = the best. + Bacon = even better. I had some aging bananas that needed to be eaten, so I decided to make banana bread – one of my favorite things to eat! However, I don’t really like to eat anything made with nuts, almond flour or anything coconut. I am terrible at being Paleo, I know. I finally came up with the idea to make some Banana bread with a twist – chocolate & bacon. The ingredients kept coming to me, piece by piece, and I finally put the recipe together. However, upon eating this “bread”, I decided they were too moist and delicious to be called bread. So I changed the name to brownie, which most people like better anyways. Recipe is below!

Paleo Chocolate Banana Bacon Brownies

Paleo Banana Chocolate & Bacon Brownies

[Nut free (if not adding almond butter), dairy free, grain free, sugar free, soy free.]

Ingredients

  • Wet Ingredients
  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 2-3 eggs (I used 3, and my brownies turned out a little eggy… so 2 might be better to use)
  • 4 Tbsp bacon fat (or you could use coconut oil, but bacon makes it taste 7892632 times better)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (optional)

Ingredients

  • Dry Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2-3 tbps tapioca/arrowroot flour
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 4-5 bacon strips, extra crispy

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Cook your bacon strips on the stove top & gather the leftover bacon fat. Once the bacon is cooled down, put the strips in a plastic bag and smash to pieces. Set aside for later. Combine 3-4 tablespoons of the fat with the bananas, and mash up as much as you can. Grease a glass pan (I used a bread pan, you could use an 8×8 brownie pan) with the leftover bacon fat, making sure a little is left on the bottom of the pan (**This is necessary, because your brownies soak up the extra bacon fat. yum). Combine the rest of the wet ingredients with a mixer (or blender). There still might be some banana chunks left over, but that’s ok.

Mix Ingredients

Mix all of the dry ingredients together and slooowwwly add to the wet ingredients. I say slowly, because your face will be engulfed in a cloud of cacao powder if you try to mix everything in at once. I know, from experience. Mix in half of the bacon bits into the bowl. **If you added chia seeds, let them soak up a little of the moisture before baking. Pour batter into pan (I used a bread pan and 2 mason jars, for eating chocolate bacon heaven on the run) and top with the remaining pieces of crushed up bacon.

Brownies

Place in oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, being careful not to over cook. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes (psh, who does that??), topping with (optional) chocolate chips, maple syrup or honey. I honestly don’t know how many people this serves, but when creating the recipe, I put that it serves 8. Macros/Calories per serving are posted below. Enjoy!

Chocolate Bacon BRownies

I ate too much brownie

Macros

Paleo Buffalo Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

Recipe adapted from paleoleap (Sweet Potato Buffalo Chicken Casserole). Paleo & Whole30 approved!

Buffalo Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 large sweet potato, no skin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder;
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp smoked south african pepper (from trader joes)
  • 4-5 tbsp Franks Red hot sauce
  • 1/8-1/4 cup melted ghee (from trader joes)
  • Optional: butter lettuce/spices

Sweet Potatoes and Chicken

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Combine all ingredients except for sweet potatoes and chicken into a bowl. Chop chicken up into small pieces and add to bowl. Peel skin off of sweet potatoes (or leave on, I just don’t like the skin) and cut into small cubes. Add to bowl and coat everything with the sauce/spices. Pour mixture into a pan/dish (size doesn’t matter) and cook in oven for 35-45 minutes, or until sweet potatoes have softened. **If you don’t want your chicken cooking that long, pre-cook your sweet potato before cutting up and putting in mix.

You can also just throw everything in a crockpot and cook for a few hours!

I placed the mix on a bed of butter lettuce! Enjoy!

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