Chicken Bacon Deliciousness…..aka Eating your Feelings

chicken bacon mac

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
  1. 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).
  2. Set cooked squash aside to cool while you prepare your sauce.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reduce your heat to medium low.  Whisk your tapioca starch into your bacon grease until it is fully incorporated.
  6. 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!
  7. At this point, whisk your cheese into the sauce until it is fully incorporated and melted.  Also add in your spices.
  8. 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***
  9. Mix back in your cooked chicken breast and bacon.
  10. Shred your spaghetti squash into the pan and mix ALL of the goodness together, making sure everything is coated in cheesy deliciousness!
  11. 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!
  12. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until it is all bubbly and golden around the edges.
  13. 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!

-Meister

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Creating a Home and Smashing on Stroganoff.

Hello friends! I’ve officially been a Texas resident for all of 13 days and I’ve gotten pretty settled.  In that amount of time, I’ve burned/scalded a limited amount of food on my coil stove.  I’m taking THAT as a win!  I’ve also had maintenance to my apartment probably 5 times.  I’m not 100% sure the kitchen took quite this much of a beating before me, so pretty much all things in the kitchen that could malfunction did. Most exciting of which was the dishwasher!  A kitchen floor covered in bubbles is TONS OF FUN!!!  Anywho, Rico (the head maintenance guy) is my new best friend, and he’s THE MAN!!!  Got everything in excellent working order, and was hilarious to talk to while he was working.  Props to Rico!

Other than causing my kitchen to self-destruct, I’ve done a whole lot of nothing.  Ok, that’s not entirely true.  I’ve read about 5 books and worked on several crochet projects.  Oh, and drank some wine.  Ok, maybe a lot of wine.  I also found myself a new gym!  They are a really amazing group of people, and I can’t wait to make their community my own!

All that being said, I’ve been eating pretty strictly Paleo since I moved.  I’ve allowed myself a small amount of grass-fed cheese here and there, and a bit of dark chocolate, but essentially, I’m eating much MUCH cleaner than I was before I moved.  I’d fallen off the wagon pretty hard, but considering the stress of my life at that time, I didn’t really beat myself up about it.  Whatever.  I’m back on the wagon, and really feeling the benefits already!  I’m sleeping sounder, waking up with a clearer head, still dying in workouts (but I’m blaming that on the heat!), but generally just feeling more alive.  I LOVE that good food can do that to you!

Late last week, I was feeling a teeny bit sad that my family was 900 miles away.  I immediately started craving comfort food, so I whipped up this bad boy, and DANG!  It was SO GOOD!

stroganoff

This is my SUPER easy beef stroganoff!  I didn’t plan appropriately and didn’t make anything to serve it over, but it would be delicious over some spaghetti squash, on an open-face sweet potato, or over some white rice (if you are into that).  I would also probably double the recipe if you are cooking for more than 2 people.  Here it is!:

Stupid Easy Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 pound stew beef chunks (or steak cut into small chunks)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coconut milk (get the canned stuff)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (any variety will do)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
  1. In a deep skillet over medium high heat, heat 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil (olive, coconut, etc.).  Add your onion and garlic and cook until translucent.  You want to let them go until they are just starting to brown, about 7 minutes or so.
  2. Add in your stew beef and sear until the beef is browned on all sides, another 5 minutes.
  3. When all the yummies are browned and delicious, add in your coconut milk and spices, NOT the tapioca flour!  Make sure you stir your coconut milk in well, being sure to scrape up any bits on the bottom of your pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover your pan.  Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the beef is starting to tenderize and all flavors have come together.
  4. At this point, uncover your pan and taste for salt and pepper.
  5. In a small cup, mix together your 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour with 2 tablespoons of water.  Make sure you mix it until all clumps are gone.
  6. Pour this slurry into your beef and coconut milk mixture slowly, stirring while adding it.  You should notice it thickening up almost immediately. Allow your stroganoff to cook for about 2-3 more minutes over medium heat.
  7. Spoon it over your carb vehicle of choice and put it in your mouth!

This smacked the comfort food craving right out of my mouth!  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!!!  Until next time!

Peace, Love, and Paleo y’all

-Meister