baked chicken thighs – 3 ways!

Chicken thighs…marinated three ways to suit your fancy.  Up until a few weeks ago, I wasn’t even sure if I really cared for good ol’ thighs to be honest with you, as I had never really had them before.  This may be somewhat surprising, but I had previously just overlooked their goodness.  Who knows why?  Basically, the inaugural recipe of such began when I was at the butcher shop, unable to find some chicken breasts for dins one evening.  Sitting lonely, neighbouring the section which once sat the breasts, were some boneless, skinless chicken thighs.  Without much thought, I snagged them and was on my way.

With this new (to me) poultry part in my possession, I decided to get a wee bit creative and whip up some simple, yet flavourful marinades to soak these bad boys in.  I had 12 chicken pieces in total…and decided to separate them equally into three Ziplock bags, containing different marinades.  Funny enough, as it turned out, the night I intended on baking them, I got tied up and just turned to having leftovers that night.  Regardless, they were all ready to go (minus the actually cooking process), so the chicken thighs were fortunate to be able to sit, immerse in the liquid concoctions overnight in the fridge.

Fast forward through the magical world of the www.  Verdict…2 thumbs up!  They turned out super moist and tender, totally filled with an abundance of juicy flavour.  They def get additional bonus points, if you are on a budget, as chicken thighs are a very affordable option.  Similar to that of their white meat counterpart, they can either come with the bone-in or boneless…and also with skin-on or skinless.  The choice here is ultimately yours…personal preference I suppose.  I think I want to try boneless chicken thighs, with the skin-on next time!  Lastly, I must also mention that these delicious chunks of meat serve as terrific leftovers.  I found myself quickly grabbing a couple thighs in the morning for breakfast, as I was literally darting out the door for work.  A super sweet option for those who are often on the go!

Marination is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned, often acidic, liquid before cooking. The origins of the word allude to the use of brine (aqua marina) in the pickling process, which led to the technique of adding flavor by immersion in liquid. The liquid in question, the ‘marinade’, can be acidic with ingredients such as vinegarlemon juice, or wine or enzymatic (made with ingredients such as pineapple or papaya.)[1] Along with these liquids, a marinade often contains oils, herbs, and spices to further flavor the food items.

It is commonly used to flavor foods and to tenderize tougher cuts of meat.[2] The process may last seconds or days. Different marinades are used in different cuisines. For example, in Indian cuisine the marinade is usually prepared with a mixture of spices. (Source: Wikipedia)

Note:  I will try to be as accurate as possible, but not gonna lie – mostly eyeballed it, test-tested and hoped for the best when it came to the amounts of olive oil and balsamic that I put in!!!  I will make these again in the next week or two, and re-jig the recipe to include the exact measurements for y’all.

Marinades (12 chicken thighs total – each marinade was made for 4 chicken thigh pieces each.  You may want to adjust, depending on your quantity)

Balsamic

  • coconut/olive oil – generous amount to coat
  • balsamic vinegar (equal parts oil and vinegar)
  • 3 shallots – finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard – good quality
  • coarse sea salt and ground pepper

Lemon

  • coconut/olive oil – generous amount to coat
  • 1.5 lemons – squeezed
  • 3 tbsp Italian seasoned herb mix (dried basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, black pepper)
  • 3 garlic cloves – crushed
  • coarse sea salt and ground pepper

Smoky

  • coconut/olive oil – generous amount to coat
  • 2 limes – juice squeezed
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 shallots or small white onion- finely sliced
  • handful of fresh cilantro – finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground chipotle
  • 2.5 tsp of chili powder
  • coarse sea salt and ground pepper

Prep

  • for each individual marinade – measure and pour all ingredients into a large Ziploc bag
  • add chicken thighs into the bag and zip closed
  • use your hands to shake and ‘massage’ the marinade mixture into the chicken pieces
  • allow to soak and absorb all the flavours for at least 2 + hours (I let marinade for 24 hours – the longer, the better)
  • when ready, preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • remove chicken thighs from bag, and place in a single layer, in an oven-proof dish (Corningware), covering with the liquid marinade
  • bake for approx. 30-45 minutes, until juices run clear (watch them, as you don’t want to overcook/dry-out)
  • broil for an additional 3-5 minutes if you want the outside crispy (optional)
  • remove, set aside and serve
  • enjoy!

loaded beef & bacon chili

We made this concoction up last night for dins.  Slightly similar to a previous chili recipe of mine, HOWEVER def jazzed up with more flavour and bacon!  I have to say…the bacon was a solid addition.  Today, it has served me very well as a breakfast, lunch AND dinner.  I kid you not!  Some people get all weirded out my eating the same kinds of meals several times in a row and making use of their leftovers.  Not this gal.   More specifically, when it comes to stews, chilies and soups…sometimes they are even better the next day.  Anyhoo, I am keeping in short and sweet tonight.  Hitting the hay…and off to the states tomorrow to do a little shoppy shops!!!  LE CREUSET outlet store…here we come!  TA TA for now…

loaded beef & bacon chili
Main
4 +
 
Ingredients
  • coconut/olive oil- for cooking veggies
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 8-10 slices of bacon - or more if desired!
  • 1 can diced tomatoes- organic (just tomatoes- look at ingredients)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes- same as above
  • 2 package mushroom- quartered into chunks
  • 3-4 large carrots- coined
  • 3 stalks celery - chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion- thickly diced
  • 3 zucchini- diced into chunks
  • 2 red pepper- chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tbsp ground smoked chipotle chilies
  • loads of chili powder - add and taste - repeat (to reach desired flavour and colour richness)
  • fresh cilantro- chopped for garnish
Instructions
  1. start by browning the ground beef, on medium heat in a frying pan- set aside
  2. in the meantime, bake the bacon in the oven at 325 degrees, until fully cooked - set aside to cool, then break into chunks
  3. in a separate dutch oven (large), sautee all the veggies in coconut/olive oil on medium heat, until cooked (softened)
  4. drain most of the liquid from the veggies, as you don't want it too watered down
  5. then take the ground beef and bacon pieces and add both to the veggies in the dutch oven
  6. next, add in both cans of tomatoes and stir throughly
  7. then, sprinkle in desired amounts of spices (taste test as you go - we put in lots as that is the way we prefer it!)
  8. let cook on low-medium heat- stirring occasionally
  9. dish and garnish with fresh cilantro
  10. enjoy!
Notes
• The above recipe is wonderful for freezing smaller portions, because of it's size. I also enjoy using the leftovers as a yummy topping on eggs or over greens. • One of my 'readers' the other day, suggested that it may be a tasty topping for my twice baked chipotle sweet potato. Good call!

meaty taco salad

I am in the midst of putting together a compilation on recipes that are ‘quick & easy’ for busy families, people on-the-go, as well as those who work and get home late!  Basically EVERYONE…LOL!  This recipe requires little explanation, but definitely delivers, with a mouth-watering punch of flavour and total satisfaction.  We love to make this dish.  It is totally in our weekly rotation and every time we whip it up, we play around with it a little bit, to create different variations.  Try it out and make it this weekend!

Quick – adjective

1. done, proceeding, or occurring with promptness or rapidity, as an action, process, etc.; prompt; immediate: a quick response.

Easy – adjective

1. not hard or difficult; requiring no great labour or effort

Salad and meat mix

meaty taco salad
2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 container/package of mixed greens or baby spinach
  • 1-2 lbs grass-fed (if possible) ground beef
  • 1 white onion - thinly chopped
  • 1 package of mushrooms - chopped
  • 1 red pepper - finely diced
  • several cloves of garlic - finely chopped
  • various spices
  • freshly chopped herbs (optional, but extra-added yumminess)
Instructions
  1. on medium heat brown the ground beef
  2. when done, set aside
  3. then, saute the onion, mushroom, red pepper and garlic
  4. when finished, re-add the ground beef and throw in some spices to kick it up a notch (you can basically use whatever spices you want here)
  5. in the meantime, toss a bunch of mixed greens in a bowl
  6. add in a few big splashes of olive oil and some freshly squeezed lime and/or lemon juice
  7. sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper
  8. (second) lastly, plate a huge heap of greens and then smother with a mound of ground beef mixture
  9. finally, make it pretty by topping it with salsa and guacamole
  10. enjoy!

Dressing:

  • olive oil
  • 1-2 lemon and/or lime juice – freshly squeezed
  • sprinkle of sea salt and ground pepper

Topping:

rowe farms meatloaf

Yo everybody! I did a posteroo about this last week. Quick and easy doesn’t have to mean you are grabbin’ CRAP from the frozen entree section that is full of nastiness! Convenience doesn’t mean disregard what you are putting into your body because you are ‘tight’ for time. Convenience should and can mean so much more to you. I bought this little meatloaf number from Rowe Farms. This is the large one, but I have also bought the smaller ones, which are about half the size. I am not even kidding…this meatloaf is to die for. It is sooooooo yummers. Full of pure goodness and best of all super easy peasy.

The quality of the meat is amazing as well! I made it this evening before working out at the gym. As I was literally stepping out the door…Dusty stopped me and said…”Cyn….I don’t think you should go tonight!” I was like…huh? WHY? He responded by saying…”because there is a good chance that you may come home to an empty plate. I just might eat the ENTIRE loaf!” Haha! I had a couple wee bites before heading out and as I walked out to the car, I actually thought he must indeed gobble it up in it’s entirety! Thankfully when I got home there was a plate with my name on it. =D

The ingredients in these puppies are as follows:

  • ground pork, lamb and beef
  • mushrooms
  • onions
  • roasted garlic
  • Dijon mustard ~ *ISH
  • carrots
  • eggs
  • rosemary
  • salt and pepper

All you need to do is bake it at 375 for approx. 45 mins (small loaf) or 60 mins (large loaf)…and then CHOW DOWN!!!! I paired this tonight with a simple spinach salad. Tossed in this side dish was baby spinach of course, thinly sliced red onion, diced avocado and topped with slivered almonds.

Almost lastest, but not quite, I will leave you with a yummy snack option that I discovered. They are Organic Beef Spicy Sausages from Beretta Organics. They are fully pre-cooked…so slice ‘em up and you are ready to rock ‘n roll.

 

Thank you to those peeps who have sent me their fave Paleo recipes. They all look so delicious!!! Keep ‘em coming! Send recipes, along with photos and I will feature them in an upcoming post. Email me @ paleodish@gmail.com.

Super pumped to be attending Mat Lalonde’s nutrition seminar once again this Saturday. Always so much incredible information to absorb…a complete wealth of knowledge.

* see paleo in a nutshell section

triple meat chili

ATTENTION MEAT LOVERS!!!
People usually associate eating chili with the cold winter…deep within the long days of February. Well those days are long behind us now (knock on wood), but who says “the chili” has to say adios as well?  Keep this mouthwatering friend around all year round.  “There is never a wrong time of year for chili” ~anonymous.

In true Paleo style, there are no beans in this chili, but I still wanted to give it that thick and chunky texture.  To do this, I went crazy with the meat…a TRIFECTA, which included lean ground beef, steak and sausage.  Heaven!  The nice thing about this recipe is that if you don’t fancy something- substitute it with something else…play around.  If you think this may be too much meat for you, then I suggest taking out the sausage and sticking to the 2 types of beef. I am going to try to make this chili again in a week or two.  Next time I am going to make it solely with the lean ground beef.  I will also chop the veggies a little larger, to help compensate and to achieve that desired chunkiness.  I will keep you posted on how it turns out!
triple meat chili
main
many
 
Ingredients
  • coconut/olive oil- for cooking veggies
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb flank steak- chunks or bacon pieces (cut up)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes- organic (just tomatoes- look at ingredients)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes- same as above
  • 1 cups beef broth- low sodium
  • 4 cloves garlic- crushed
  • 1 package mushroom- sliced
  • 1 cup carrots- coined
  • 1 large white onion- thickly diced
  • 1 cup celery- chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 cup zucchini- diced
  • 1 cup red pepper- chopped
  • 2 tbs ground chipotle chilies
  • 3-4 + tbs chili powder - add and taste - repeat (to reach desired flavour)
  • fresh cilantro- chopped for garnish
  • jalapeno peppers - diced (optional)
Instructions
  1. combine all meat and brown together in frying pan- set aside on low
  2. in a separate pan/pot (large), sautee veggies together on medium heat until cooked
  3. then take meat mixture and add/combine it back with the veggies
  4. add in all spices, tomatoes and beef broth-stir throughly
  5. let cook on low-medium heat- slowly (longer is better)
  6. garnish with fresh cilantro
  7. enjoy!
Notes
• this could also be done in the slow cooker if you wish! • also, the above recipe is wonderful for freezing smaller portions, because of it's size