Hello friends!! The past couple of weeks have been spent settling into a routine of sorts. Basically, that means I’ve been doing nothing but reading and going to the gym. My apartment is impeccably clean, my laundry is always done, and I’m getting into incredibly bizarre eating patterns. I spent a good week drinking copious amounts of wine and exploring the outdoors. Headed to Austin last weekend, and believe it or not, yours truly, Queen of Clumsy, hung out in a hammock! Now, I don’t mean the kind that you gently just sit into. This one involved a small bit of climbing and WHOLE lot of trust in both my own balance and weight distribution, as well as the sweet rigging skills of my companion. In the end, there was minimal squealing, a bit of “NOPE! Not doing that!”, and whole lot of self-doubt, and one solid dose of “Suck it up Meister!”. I owned that hammock. Enjoyed it immensely, and then had the most UNgraceful dismount out of it that included hugging a tree, therefore scraping and bruising the crap out of my entire left arm. Good times. No, GREAT times!
Anyways, I’ve been suffering a mild trip-hangover after returning from Austin, so I’ve been just kind of eating whatever is accessible…..until I ran out of food. Needless to say, I’ve been wanting to eat all of the feelings. By now, if you’ve read more than two of my posts, I’m sure you’ve figured out that “eating my feelings” = COMFORT FOOD!!
I made this insanely delicious Chicken Bacon “Mac and Cheese”. While this isn’t technically Paleo (because it includes some grassfed/raw cheese) you could leave the cheese out and it would still be plenty delicious. If you can’t get down with dairy, just omit it. I won’t be offended. 🙂
Chicken Bacon Mac & Cheese
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1.5 pounds chicken breast, cut into small chunks
- 5-6 slices thick cut bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 can full fat coconut milk, make sure it’s at room temperature
- 1 heaping tablespoon tapioca starch
- 6-7 oz. grassfed or raw cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Optional toppings: crushed chicharonnes (pork rinds), scallions, fresh parsley, whatever your heart desires
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut your spaghetti squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, place facedown on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes (or until the outer skin gives a bit when you press on it).
- Set cooked squash aside to cool while you prepare your sauce.
- In a deep skillet, heat a small amount of oil over medium-high heat and add your diced chicken. Cook chicken until it is browned and cooked through, about 7-10 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet…..I just put mine on a plate to hang out until I needed it again.
- Add your diced bacon to the skillet. Cook bacon until it is crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Remove bacon from skillet. You want to leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the bottom of your skillet. If your bacon gave off a ton of grease, pour out some of it. You want just enough to cover the entire bottom of the skillet.
- Reduce your heat to medium low. Whisk your tapioca starch into your bacon grease until it is fully incorporated.
- Add your can of coconut milk to the skillet. You will want to whisk pretty continuously until it is all fully incorporated. You will notice that it will thicken pretty quickly, thanks to the tapioca starch!
- At this point, whisk your cheese into the sauce until it is fully incorporated and melted. Also add in your spices.
- TASTE! Now is the time to taste your sauce and adjust accordingly. ***If you do not add the cheese, you’ll want to bump up your spices some***
- Mix back in your cooked chicken breast and bacon.
- Shred your spaghetti squash into the pan and mix ALL of the goodness together, making sure everything is coated in cheesy deliciousness!
- Pour everything into a rectangular baking dish (I used an awkward sized one, but a 9×13 would work great) and top with whatever toppings you choose…..or none at all!
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until it is all bubbly and golden around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before smashing it into your face. Trust me, the roof of your mouth will hate you otherwise.
Word to the wise, this makes a LOT of food. Pace yourself on it, because it’s pretty rich and decadent. WORTH IT!!! In the mean time, get outside, breath some fresh air, test your limits, and scare the hell out of yourself. The feeling of accomplishment afterwards is WELL worth the freak out during.
Peace, Love, and Paleo!