Chicken Salad with Parsley, Grapes, + Pecans (gluten-free, paleo)

All of this sunshine in Seattle has done atrocious things to my meal-planning and my dinner-making. I have been scrounging through the fridge and pantry around 4:30 every afternoon practically demanding things to appear out of thin air. We have had some pretty pathetic dinners at our house the past couple of weeks. The kids and I haven’t been able to bring ourselves in out of the sunshine. It’s simply magnetic to us Seattle-ites.

This chicken salad has been in my sunny day repertoire for a really long time. I’m not sure where it came from and I’m sure random things get added in to the mix, so the recipe is super duper flexible. Such as, I cook my chicken with the celery stalks, but I do not put celery in my chicken salad because I have a strong dislike for celery in things… but you, dear reader, may add celery to yours! And whatever else you’d like, for that matter. I hope it comes in handy and saves you from the sunny-day-scramble-for-dinner blues.

Chicken Salad with Parsley, Grapes, + Pecans (gluten-free, paleo)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 boneless organic chicken breasts
  • 3 stalks celery
  • Large handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • Large handful of red grapes, quartered
  • Large handful of lightly toasted pecans, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped (use the whole onion)
  • 1/2 cup of homemade mayonnaise (may need more depending on how wet you want your mixture to be, can also use 1/2 mayo, 1/2 sour cream)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
METHOD:
  1. In a large pot half-way filled with water add your chicken breasts and celery stalks, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, lower heat to medium low and let chicken simmer 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Remove chicken and let it cool. Once it has cooled to touch, shred with a fork (or in your mixer with paddle attachment in place) and place in a medium-sized bowl with chopped parsley, grapes, pecans, green onion, and mayo.
  3. Mix it all together and taste and add salt and pepper accordingly, and possibly add more mayo or sour cream if the mixture doesn’t seem wet enough for your taste.
  4. Slather it on homemade honey whole wheat bread, whole wheat tortillas, crackers, tortilla chips or eat it by the spoonful! Also would be delicious rolled up in lettuce or chard. (p.s.This is well-loved by my son, he likes it rolled up on a whole wheat tortilla, so I send them in his lunchbox.)
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Pizza Crust (Grain / Gluten / Nut Free, Paleo)

Ok….. so maybe it isn’t technically Paleo because of the cheese – so shoot me. Figuratively, that is.  But what this pizza crust is, is amazing and delicious.  So get some good cheese and live a little. I’ve made my fair share of grain-free pizza crusts, and they all suck.  But this one, this one you can pick up without it falling apart.  You guys, did you read that?!  It holds together so great you can pick it up.  See picture, below. Bottom right. Proof.  If you’ve ever attempted this type of pizza crust you will know that having a crust that holds together is a big deal.  And, it tastes soooo good.  Did I mention that already? My kids eat it.  They are 2 and 3, and picky about pizza.  And tonight they ate more than half of this.  By themselves.  Alright, follow the instructions.  Seriously.  Read em.  And do what they say.  Or it won’t work.  Capiche?

Oh, and this recipe is just for the crust.  You all are smart people.  You can figure out how to put toppings on your pizza all by yourselves.

pizza crust (grain : gluten : nut free, paleo)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 medium-large head of cauliflower.  You know, like a bit smaller than the size of your head.
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated (we use organic, whole milk mozzarella)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (we use organic parmesan, made with raw milk) 
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil 
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 egg, whisked
METHOD:
  1. Get your pizza stone out and put it in the oven.  Turn oven on, to 450F.
  2. Grab a cutting board and place a piece of parchment paper on it.  Spray the parchment paper generously with your Misto Olive Oil Sprayer
  3. Cut cauliflower into florets.  You don’t need the stems, just stick with the florets.  Place cauliflower into steamer, like this one, and steam until fork tender.  About 10 minutes.  Remove from burner, take the lid off the pot to release the steam, and allow cauliflower to cool completely.  
  4. Put cooked and cooled cauliflower into food processor, and pulse until it is finely ground.  Like the picture above.  Top left.  
  5. Now, get ready to use your muscles.  Spread out a clean dish towel on the counter, and pour cooked, ground cauliflower onto the center of the towel.  Wrap cauliflower up tightly in the towel, and twist.  Wring it like crazy.  I mean like crazy.  So much water is going to come out of it.  Like 1/2 cup of water.  If you think you have done enough, you haven’t.  Keep going.  Sometimes, when I think I can’t do it anymore, I get husband to come and hold one end and we spin in opposite directions and more water comes out.  K, so go crazy.  
  6. Scrape cauliflower into a bowl, add everything but the egg and stir to combine.  
  7. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.  Your hands will work best.  
  8. Place dough on the previously oiled parchment paper and press out into pizza crust.  I use my hands.  Mine always ends up just shy of 12″ in diameter.  Don’t make it too thick or too thin.  
  9. Carefully slide parchment paper with crust off onto hot pizza stone in oven.  
  10. Bake for 11 minutes.  Not 10, not 12.  11 minutes.  It will look like the picture above. Bottom right.   
  11. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.  Carefully flip pizza crust over, and put it back on parchment paper.
  12. Top with your favorite stuff.  We do all kinds of stuff, but tonight did ham and pineapple.  
  13. Slide pizza back off the cutting board and onto the hot pizza stone in the oven for another 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted and toppings are toasty.  
  14. Eat.  No seriously.  Eat it all.  
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from The Lucky Penny.
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Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce (grain / gluten / dairy free, paleo)

These chicken fingers are amazing.  They have the perfect amount of flavor and spice. And seriously you guys, the honey mustard sauce makes the meal.  They don’t crisp up like traditional chicken fingers, but I don’t think you will mind.  I’ve made these 6 times in the last couple of weeks… tweaking the recipe until I got it just right.  Plus, I was looking for excuses to make these again… I hope you all like this as much as we do.  Both my kids devour these.  Let’s be honest here, my husband and I do too.  How great to have a family favorite meal, but made without gluten or grains?!  Enjoy, friends!  Oh, and seriously – even if you don’t normally go for these non-traditional recipes, you might as well give these a try… you might be surprised just how delicious they are.  Oh and one more thing, they are baked and not fried!  Bonus!  Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce (grain : gluten : dairy free, paleo)

INGREDIENTS: (for the chicken fingers)
INGREDIENTS:  (for the honey mustard dippin’ sauce)
METHOD:
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a pie dish, or another flat bowl.
  2. Whisk egg in a bowl.
  3. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Take one piece of chicken and coat with egg, then coat with almond flour mixture.  I like to use one hand for the egg and the other hand for the dry mixture.  That way I don’t end up with sticky, coated fingers.
  5. Place chicken on parchment, and repeat step 4 until all pieces of chicken are coated with almond flour mixture.  Make sure the chicken fingers do not touch each other on the cookie sheet.
  6. Spray each chicken finger with olive oil, using the Misto Olive Oil Sprayer.
  7. Bake in 425F oven for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven, flip each piece over, then spray again with olive oil.  Bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until chicken reaches 180F.
  8. While chicken fingers are cooking, mix together all ingredients for the honey mustard sauce.  Trust me.  You don’t want to skip this step.  These puppies are amazing dipped in this sauce.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Allergy Free Alaska.
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Honey Mustard Chicken with Bacon + Mushrooms (Alice Springs Chicken, gluten / grain free)

Some of my fondest memories of growing up are from eating out in restaurants as a family. I tell my husband that eating out is one of my love languages. It’s my parents’ fault. We ate out every Friday night with my sweet papaw. Usually Cracker Barrel, sometimes Wendy’s, and sometimes steakhouses! One of my favorite steakhouses, reserved usually for birthday celebrations growing up, was Outback. Oh yeah. The blooming onion! That dark loaf of bread! The salad with yummy croutons. And the Alice Springs Chicken. It’s been so many years since I last stepped into an Outback Steakhouse, but when I saw this recipe on Pinterest over a year ago I had to make it, and I have made this chicken over and over again. It makes me happy. My kids are kind of picky when it comes to chicken dishes unfortunately, but all three of them LOVE this chicken. I blame the bacon. I hope you and yours love this as much as we do.

Honey Mustard Chicken with Bacon, Mushrooms, + Cheese

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 package of sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1-2 cups colby jack cheese, cheddar will do fine, too.   We like Kerrygold Cheddar Cheese. (Omit cheese if Paleo) 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
METHOD:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Cook your bacon. Put cooked bacon aside. Do not dump out the bacon grease – you’re going to brown your chicken in it in the same pan! 
  3. While your bacon is cooking, mix the mayo, mustard and honey together. This is your honey mustard sauce.
  4. Place your chicken in the pan with the bacon grease still in it and cook chicken 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
  5. Place lightly browned chicken in your baking dish, top with slices of bacon, mushrooms, the honey mustard and then finally the cheese!
  6. Let bake until chicken is fully cooked, about 30 minutes, but be sure to check for doneness.
  7. Serve with extra honey mustard sauce, if desired. Kids love dipping their chicken in this!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Amy’s Finer Things.
Posts may contain affiliate links.  If you purchase products through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Flax + Honey will receive a small commission.  This helps in covering the costs to keep the site up and running.  We appreciate your support!!

Whole Wheat Pasta – Fresh Tomatoes, Spinach, + Garlic

When I was pregnant with my oldest kiddo, 6 years ago, I came upon this recipe in my doctor’s office. I found it in some pregnancy magazine, committed it to memory and have been making it since. Over the years we’ve added things, like pine nuts and bacon (and I think I’m going to throw in goat cheese next time).

This makes for a ridiculously fast, healthy, and yummy dinner complete with leftovers for the next day. You can add veggies in, or meat – its delicious with grilled chicken. So a very flexible recipe, indeed.

As always, we’d love to hear how you alter it for your family! Be sure to leave us a comment and let us know!

Whole Wheat Pasta (with Spinach, Cherry Tomatos, Bacon, and Garlic)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 pound 100% whole wheat spaghetti or linguine noodles
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bag of washed baby spinach or 1 bunch of spinach leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil (can add more after everything has been tossed with the noodles, if needed)
  • Few shakes of red pepper flakes (to your liking)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Freshly shredded mozzarella to toss in at the end, optional 
METHOD:
  1. Cook your pasta according to package directions. With only one minute left of cooking time, add the spinach to the boiling water. Strain noodles and spinach.
  2. While you wait for the water to boil – in a large bowl, add your olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, some salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  3. Add the tomatoes, cooked bacon and pine nuts to the bowl and make sure they get coated with the olive oil mixture.
  4. Pour the strained noodles and spinach into the large bowl and toss everything together. If your noodles are too dry add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil until it’s just right. Add salt (probably about 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper and top with mozzarella. Enjoy!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible

Oven Cooked Bacon

This is another one of those duh posts, but seriously people – if you eat bacon (which you should), then this is the best way to prepare it.  I’ve tried all kinds of bacon cooking methods, and for the last year or so, this is the only way I cook it.  I used to get so annoyed at the messy bacon splatter all over my cooktop, and this way is completely mess free… Anyways, hope this simple little method helps you guys out – I like to make a whole pack and then stick whatever we don’t eat in the fridge…. Just about 20 seconds in a fry pan on the stove over medium heat and it is hot and ready to go for the next time.  Clean up is so easy.  Throw away parchment paper, and put cookie sheet back in cupboard.  And lastly, this post is for my super awesome brother, whom I adore, but who has asked me no less than 100 times how to cook bacon in the oven.  Here you go, bro!

oven cooked bacon

INGREDIENTS:
  • Approx 10-12 slices of organic, pastured bacon
METHOD:
  1. Preheat oven to 360F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread out bacon on cookie sheet, taking care that none of the pieces overlap.
  4. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until desired crispness is achieved.  Bacon preference is a very personal thing, you know.  
  5. Take out of the oven, pour off grease into mason jar to be kept in refrigerator for later use (See Fats + Oils for reasons why we cook with bacon fat on a regular basis). 
  6. Eat.  
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Crock Pot Refried Beans

We have been making these beans for about a year now and I cannot get enough of them. They couldn’t be easier to start first thing in the morning, let cook all day, and enjoy for a simple but delicious dinner. These beans go hand-in-hand with the Whole Wheat Tortillas, Erin’s Pulled Pork, and my husband’s homemade guacamole (recipe coming soon). Add some shredded cheddar, sour cream, and dinner is set! Also, this makes a ton – the beans freeze beautifully in a freezer-safe container for another day. Enjoy!

crock pot refried beans

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups dried pinto beans, thoroughly rinsed (you can also use black beans if you’d like)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped roughly
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (If you like a bit of heat like we do, we sometimes add a jalapeño and a serrano or a poblano… you can’t mess this up. If you aren’t so into spice, either omit the pepper entirely or seed it and just use half.)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2-4 crushed cloves of garlic
METHOD:
  1. Dump your rinsed pinto beans into the crock-pot, pour in the water. Add your chopped onion, garlic, pepper, and spices. Give it a stir and cover.
  2. Let this cook on high for 8-10 hours.
  3. Remove the biggest chunks of onion and the excess liquid. With a potato masher, mash the beans until they are the consistency you’d like them to be. If you want them extra smooth, save some of the excess liquid to add back in while mashing.
  4. These are SO delicious and taste like restaurant quality beans.  Enjoy!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible
**Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food.