kelp noodle chicken & veg stir-fry

Disclaimer: NO! They don’t taste ‘fishy’! PROMISE!! It took us a while to find these bad boys (aka kelp noodles), because in my head I was totally picturing something else. I don’t know why, but I was imagining noodles of the ‘hard/dry’ pasta sorta ilk. Wrong I was…they are actually a mound of soft, curly noodles, packed in water and found in the refrigerated section of your health store/Asian market. When we finally confirmed their existence…we bought a couple packages to take home and experiment with.  Another bonus is that they have a long ‘fridge life’.  Since we tried them initially (several months ago), we haven’t looked back. They are now a mainstay in our regular line-up and serve as a fabulous alternative if you are wanting that ‘noodle(ish)’ type texture, or perhaps something a little different than our good ol’ faithful spaghetti squash.

‘Kelp Noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories. Their noodle form and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses including salads, stir-fries, hot broths, and casseroles, while their healthful content provides a rich source of trace minerals including iodine, which kelp is well known for. Their unique texture completes the package, making Kelp Noodles a one-of-a-kind healthful and tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles. Best of all, no cooking is required. Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat!’ (taken directly from Sea Tangle Noodle Company’s website)

This recipe of ours is derived from something similar my husband and I used to make when we first started dating. The major difference being that back then, we were using more processed types of sauces in our stir-fry dishes, of which included gluten…derived from wheat and other nasty ingredients we couldn’t even pronounce. When we used to make this dish, the bulk of it was actually just the veggies and chicken (kinda boring)…but we have since kicked it up a notch, by adding in the kelp noodles, mixed sea vegetables, ginger and lime to give it a delightful pop of flavour! So pleasing on the palate! As many of you know…I am totally in love with trying out and testing new food items/products. For some time now, we have been using coconut aminos as a wonderful substitute when cooking and enjoying various Asian-inspired dishes, such as different stir-fry meals and also sushi. I even sneak it in my purse and bring out for dinner with us, when we go to our favourite Sushi restaurant. It serves as a fabulous and tasty alternative to ‘regular’ soy sauce, which of course is made from soy and various grains. Try it out…I think you will LOVE it! (PS – check out the above ‘coconut aminos’ link to discover some of it’s health benefits compared to soy-based sauces and additional health properties)

‘Our Mixed Sea Vegetables package contains a combination of nine different sea vegetables. Some are commonly known such as kelp (kombu), wakame, and hiziki while others are not widely available, such as seaweed stems and montagne. Sea vegetables are a tasty and great source of fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and iodine. We are proud to bring these fresh, unique and healthful sea vegetables to you.’ (taken directly from Sea Tangle Noodle Company’s website)

Note: Stay tuned for additional recipes to come, which will incorporate the use of kelp noodles to create a variety of different dishes! (both hot and cold) These noodles are oh SO versatile!!! We honestly can’t wait to play around with them a little more, to see what we can come up with!

kelp noodle stirfry
main
2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 2-4 chicken breasts - cut into strips or chunks
  • 1 medium onion - diced
  • 1 pkg mushroom - chopped
  • 3 medium carrots - coined
  • 1 bell pepper - sliced
  • 1 medium head broccoli - chopped into florets
  • 5 cloves garlic - minced
  • ginger - 1-2 inches finely grated (we used a zester)
  • 1 pkg kelp noodles - washed and chopped
  • coconut aminos - to taste (generous amount)
  • 1-2 limes - juice, freshly squeezed
  • mixed sea vegetables - to garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. begin by cooking chicken in a skillet/wok, until slightly browned (don't overcook)
  2. remove from heat, and set aside
  3. prepare all other ingredients and have them ready to go
  4. start first by adding the chopped onion to the wok, sautee until translucent
  5. next, add in the mushrooms and cook until softened
  6. after that, add in the carrots and bell pepper to the mix, stirring occasionally (used the mandoline slicer for this)
  7. then, toss in broccoli florets, cooking until slightly softened
  8. following this, add in garlic and ginger and combine to flavour
  9. after all these ingredients are cooked to your liking, re-add the cooked chicken back into the wok
  10. in the meantime, wash and chop kelp noodles into manageable strands
  11. then, add in the noodles, coconut aminos and lime juice, stirring regularly so that all ingredients are tossed together nicely (we use tongs for this)
  12. allow a few minutes for all of this to warm on the stovetop, as the last few ingredients are right out of the fridge
  13. continuing by adding in more coconut aminos, until you have reached desired taste
  14. plate and garnish with additional mixed sea vegetables (optional)
  15. enjoy!
Notes
* the brand of kelp noodles/mixed sea vegetables that we use comes are both from 'Sea Tangle Noodle Company' * the first time we made this recipe, we threw all the veggies in together, but have since revised using a more patient, step-by-step process of adding each in and cooking in a set order * leftovers (if you have any) taste really delicious, after all the flavours have had a chance to meld together - YUM!

bacon-wrapped chicken thighs

Okay…so who doesn’t love pretty much anything bacon-wrapped?!  If you don’t then we probably aren’t friends and never will be…and you should stop reading this blog right now!  (Just kidding (not really)  Anyhoo…we are def bacon lovers over here.   Having said that…I am not a huge fan or promoter of eating crappy quality bacon.  Perhaps a bacon snob of sorts!  I fully admit it!  Hehe!!!  Trust me though…once you do away with the low-grade grocery store variety…you will taste and notice such a HUGE difference.

If you are able to make the change to bacon that is sourced from a local farm near you….DO IT!!!  This is what we do.  Sure it may cost a little bit more…or take a little more digging around to find a high-quality standard…but in our opinion it matters.  Worth every penny!!!  Check out the ‘Eat Wild‘ site for a farm near YOU!  Your source for safe, healthy, natural and nutritious grass-fed beef, lamb, goats, bison, poultry, pork, dairy and other wild edibles.  If you frequent farmer’s markets, this is also a great opportunity to pick up some delicious swine.  Check out Evergreen Brick Works and the St. Lawrence Market if you are in the Toronto area.  We also buy some of our meat from The Healthy Butcher, Rowe Farms, Cumbrae’sFresh From the Farm and occasionally Fiesta Farms.

Happy bacon shopping!!!  If you haven’t yet tried wild boar bacon…I highly recommend you do!!!  OINK…OINK…

5.0 from 5 reviews
bacon-wrapped chicken thighs
appetizer, main
2-4
 
Ingredients
  • coconut/olive oil - a couple splashes (I eyeballed it!)
  • balsamic vinegar (good quality) - several splashes (again...I eyeballed it!!)
  • 9-12 chicken thighs or you could use 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic - minced/crushed
  • 1 package of white mushrooms (approx. 10-12) - chopped
  • bacon slices - quantity is dependent on number of chicken pieces used
  • sea salt and ground pepper - to taste
Instructions
  1. prepare the above ingredients and place everything into a large glass mixing bowl
  2. then add chicken thighs into the mix as well
  3. in the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  4. use your hands to combine and ‘massage’ the mixture into the chicken pieces
  5. one-by-one, remove chicken pieces from the bowl and wrap with a slice of bacon (I stretch the slice of bacon a little bit before doing so, to make it wrap more easily around the poultry)
  6. place the bacon-wrapped chicken thighs in a single layer, in an oven-proof dish (Corningware) or on a foil-lined baking sheet
  7. before placing in the oven, top with any of the extra marinade mixture that may be left behind in the bowl
  8. bake for approx. 45-60 minutes, until juices run clear and bacon is cooked (watch them, as you don’t want to overcook/dry-out)
  9. broil for an additional 3-5 minutes if you want the outside crispy (optional)
  10. remove, set aside and serve
  11. enjoy!
Notes
• The combination of the crispy bacon, onions and mushrooms is delightful!!!

 

spicy taro chips


Happy day of birth!!! I can’t believe it…how quickly the time has flown by…PALEOdISH is 2 years young today! What started out as random postings of pics of facebook…has turned into a full-on passion that I am so happy to share with many through my website.  I just got in from being out while enjoying a stroll on the beach! While walking, I had time to reflect on how grateful I am for all that I have. To all of you ~ THANKS for your support, questions and feedback…you have continued to help me learn and grow. ♥ Cindy 

New food.  Taro.  As I mentioned in a previous post, we are making it a point to try to introduce a NEW food into the mix once a week.  Why?  Well…because there are just so many amazing foods out there that we have not tried as of yet.  Oh ya..and we want to…we LOVE trying new things!  They may end up being ‘one-hit wonders’ or perhaps frequent our plates, as ‘weekly hits’, within our rotation.  So there you have it…on deck this week (which was actually last week – sorry for the late post), was taro root.  I have heard many people speak of them, and have since been curious as to how they would taste/turn-out.

Similar to that of my beet and sweet potato chips recipes…this starchy tuber was sliced into thin coins, using the ever-so-handy mandoline.  I have said it before, and will say it again…if you don’t have one of these wee tools in your kitchen yet, get one!  You can pick them up for around 15 dollars…and you will be so happy you did.  I used 1 taro root…but it was massive.  There was actually enough to feed both of us.

We REALLY enjoyed their super-crispiness and ‘nutty’ type flavour.  They were a side to our ‘akuri’ (spicy scrambled eggs), but would be just as nice solo…or paired with homemade salsa or guacamole.  Next time, I think I may even make up a larger batch and serve them as the main contender on a ‘nacho’ platter, with loads of bacon.  Oh so good ~ can’t wait!  I also wanted to point out…not all grocery stores may carry them.  You might have to do a little hunteroo at an Asian market, if there is one in your town/city. Sidenote ~ these little rascals are highly addictive!  Crunch away!!!

4.0 from 1 reviews
spicy taro chips
appetizer, snack
2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 1-2 large taro roots - thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp coconut oil or butter - melted
  • 3 tbsp - spice mixture (equal parts cayenne, paprika and red chili)
  • sea salt and ground pepper - to taste
Instructions
  1. start by peeling your taro root
  2. using a mandoline, thinly slice into a large bowl
  3. pour in melted oil/butter and desired spices and mix together to coat, using your hands
  4. place slices on a foil-lined baking sheet
  5. cook in a pre-heat oven at 300 - 325 degrees, until browned and crispy
  6. during this process, use tongs to flip them a couple times
  7. remove, set aside and allow to cool on a wire rack
  8. enjoy!
Notes
• cooking time may vary depending on oven (keep a close eye) • feel free to experiment with your favourite spices • you will know that they are close to being finished when the edges start to 'curl up'

garlic & ginger baby bok choi

Sooooooo…as many of you may know, we are pretty much hooked on our Saturday morning routine of grabbing an Americano, swinging over to Brickworks Farmer’s Market…then over to T & T (Asian Market)…home to drop of all the goodies and finally out for breakfast.  Such a relaxing and chill way to start the weekend.  Ahhhhhhh…I LOVE!  T-minus…3 days (not that I am counting or anything!)  Anyhoo…let’s get to how all this relates to this particular post.

A few weekends back, when we were at T & T (to pick up our weekly dose of coconut water), I was strolling through the produce section and decided it was time to try something new.  Trust me, when I say there are LOADS of foods at this market that we have not tried.  From different types of Chinese lettuce to quail eggs…this place is a haven for experimentation.  While being surrounded by many types of fish, fruit and meat, of which I have never tasted…I needed to keep my zoned-out being intact.  While regaining focus, like I said, cooking up an inaugural dish was my motive…so I picked up some baby bok choi.  Why this…you may ask?  Well…I figured similar to that of kale or spinach…it would be super easy to sauté in no time flat!  A good newbie, that was uncomplicated in nature to prepare.

I was right.  Yummy deliciousness with as few as 5 ingredients.  A simple side dish that is best when eaten right away (not ideal for leftovers).  Both of us really enjoyed the combo of flavours and actually made it again later that week.  Loosen up…give unfamiliar territory some time.  My advice to you is to move slowly into perhaps incorporating at least one new food item into your weekly meal schedule.  This doesn’t have to be something extreme…it could be as simple as using coconut oil for the first time to roast some veggies, rather than your usual olive oil.  Don’t limit yourself.  Eating Paleo def isn’t boring…and it blows my mind when people suggest such a notion.  Open your eyes…and your home and let something ‘different’ find it’s way to your plate!  It may just end up being one of your all-time favs!

Next up for me…BEEF CHEEKS!!!

garlic & ginger baby bok choi
side
2-4
 
Ingredients
  • a few tbsp of coconut oil
  • a few handfuls of baby bok choi (we used probably 12 or so)
  • a fist of minced garlic (6-8 cloves)
  • freshly grated ginger (1-2 cm peeled chunk)
  • ground pepper and sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. thoroughly wash your baby bok choi
  2. in the meantime, heat coconut oil in a heavy pan on medium heat
  3. when heated, add in garlic and ginger
  4. sauté until slightly browned
  5. then, add in your bok choi and sauté on low-medium heat
  6. cover and cook for approx 5 minutes (or until sauteed to your liking - keep a close eye, as you do not want to overcook)
  7. garnish with ground pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt
  8. enjoy!
Notes
• next time we make this dish, I think I am going to add in some chopped onion and maybe even some bacon too!!

 

squash & sweet potato soup

We love soup over here in this house.  In all honesty, we could eat it and enjoy any night of the week…and any season for that matter.  Homemade soups are probably one of the easiest and yummiest meals to make.  What it boils down to (pun intended) is basically choosing your veggies of choice…washing, peeling and chopping them up, and then throwing them in a pot.  Next, add in some liquid goodness, a couple herbs/spices…puree and voila.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezey.  This simplification isn’t far off.  Super quick to make, yet filled with comfort.  With a few simple ingredients, you can create a warm and soothing dish that your family will love any day of the year.

squash & sweet potato soup
Appetizer, Side
4 +
 
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash – skin removed and cubed
  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes/yams – cubed
  • 2 small- medium onions - finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 cups or 1 tetra container of vegetable stock (homemade or store-bought)
  • coconut oil
  • a pinch or two of ground nutmeg and cinnamon
  • ground pepper and sea salt
  • a few dashes of hot sauce (optional)
  • fresh chives - chopped for garnish
  • bacon – chopped for garnish
Instructions
  1. begin by taking your cubed butternut squash and sweet potato and roast in the oven at 350 degrees until slightly browned (toss in coconut/olive oil and fresh rosemary, in a large bowl and then spread out cubes on a baking sheet)
  2. in the meantime, sauté the onion and garlic in coconut oil on low-medium heat on the stove-top, in a LE CREUSET/dutch oven, until softened and translucent
  3. when done roasting, take your butternut squash and sweet potato and add them into the dutch oven/pot
  4. next, pour in your vegetable broth and bring to a boil
  5. reduce heat and season with a few teaspoons of ground nutmeg and/or cinnamon (sorry, I didn’t measure the amounts here, but I wasn’t shy)
  6. then, take an immersion blender and puree the soup until smooth
  7. at the same time, add in the coconut milk slowly, and continue blending until desired consistency is reached (if too thick...add in some broth or water)
  8. allow time to simmer on low/medium heat for flavours to meld together - stirring occasionally
  9. serve it up in a bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and ground pepper
  10. finish with a few dashes of hot sauce if you want a little bite!
  11. finally, garnish with some freshly chopped chives and crumbled bacon (sweet vs. salty flavouring = wickedness)
  12. enjoy!
Notes
• I am using onion, garlic, chopped up squash and sweet potatoes…but you can basically choose any veggies you like…add in some broth and coconut milk (if you want it creamy) and grab a handy immersion blender to mix it up and you are laughing. You can also play around with different spices and fresh herbs if you like as well. If you aren't into 'creamy' type soups - skip the coconut milk step and ditch the pureeing business. • Also, you can modify the consistency of your soup by adding in a little bit more broth or water, if you find it's too thick. Have fun with this one…choose some veggies that are in-season and you are off to the races. Any type of squash is always a good bet as well!!! Oh ya…when re-heating the leftovers (this makes a ton), I also added in some more liquid to even things out.

Time-saver: • If you want to save time, you can do without the roasting of the veggies...and pretty much chop them up and cook them in the dutch oven on the stove-top as you go. The choice is yours, although I find roasting them add more flavour to the dish. YUM!

sweet potato aloo gobi

Indian food.  Love it.  We are very fortunate to live in a city where there are several really amazing and authentic Indian restaurants that serve incredible food.  But, what about making it at home I thought one day?!  From there, I decided to do a little research and ultimately came up with this aloo gobi recipe of my own.  We subbed the ‘usual’ white potatoes with sweet potatoes…well because I am just a bigger fan of these tubers.  However, you could also take this exact recipe and use white potatoes if you wish…it’s totally up to you!  Guaranteed to fill your kitchen with a blended and equally fantastic aroma of Indian spices.  Give it a go…and see (smell) for yourself.

sweet potato aloo gobi
Side
4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower - chopped into florets
  • 2 large sweet potatoes - peeled and cubed
  • .5-1 cup water - depends on how dry or liquid-ey you want it!)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion - finely chopped
  • 2-3 small tomatoes - finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground red chili powder
  • .5 tsp paprika
  • pinch or two of sea salt
  • fresh ginger - finely grated (1 cm or so)
  • a pinch or two of garam masala
  • handful fresh cilantro - chopped (for garnish)
  • .5 lemon - freshly squeezed juice and some for garnish as well
Instructions
  1. start by heating the oil in a dutch oven or deep pan (heavy), on medium heat
  2. pour in your cumin seeds, stir and cook lightly (you do not want them to burn)
  3. add in your onion, garlic, tomato and lemon juice
  4. cook mixture on low-medium heat, until softened
  5. in a small bowl, pour in your water
  6. next, add in all your dry spices and mix well (adding to water makes the concoction smoother)
  7. then, add liquid spice mixture to the pan
  8. turn up your heat a little bit and bring to a slight boil
  9. then, add in your cauliflower and sweet potato
  10. drizzle a little bit more water on top of the veggies once they are in
  11. stir thoroughly to coat everything in the spices
  12. then, put the lid on your dutch oven/pan and let cook on low-medium heat for about 15-20 minutes
  13. take lid off, sprinkle with some salt and grated ginger - stir together
  14. return lid and allow to cook a little longer, until veggies are cooked to your preference
  15. finally, sprinkle with a pinch of garam masala
  16. garnish with fresh cilantro and a slice of lemon
  17. enjoy
Notes
• I used sweet potatoes in this recipe, but feel free to sub-in white potatoes if you can tolerate them. • We also like things spicy over here...so if you aren't a huge fan of spice, then you may want to play around with the amount and type of spice you add into your mixture. • This is a fantastic dish...that helps satisfy any craving for something with a little 'Indian-infused flair!'