Friday, February 22, 2013

Paleo Pen Pals - February

Time for February's round of Paleo Pen Pals, where you swap ingredients with another paleoite and create a dish from the ingredients. My pen pal was Rachel, a fellow Chicagoan and awesome blogger at Pain Free Kitchen. Shipping this round was the easiest one yet since we did a hand-off in the city. You can see what I got her and the recipe she came up with here. Rachel just finished her Whole30 and has been very encouraging since I've been struggling this go-round. She got me 3 ingredients: unsweetened coconut flakes, ground fenugreek (an Indian spice), and CSA leeks. I never had any of them before, so this was going to be a whole new adventure! Heck, I didn't even know what a leek looked like or how to go about cutting one :P

I honestly had no idea how to combine all 3 ingredients into one meal. Coconut-flaked Indian-style leeks? Would that even taste good? Didn't want to risk botching this up, so I did a cop-out and made 3 separate things to highlight each ingredient: coconut shrimp (appetizer) with Indian chicken tikka masala and roasted leeks & asparagus. Each one turned out delicious!! The leeks were so yummy!! I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate more veggies into my diet so I'll definitely be buying leeks on my own now, even if I still don't know how to cut one... but that's another story.

Coconut Shrimp

1 lb shrimp, cleaned
1/3c unsweetened coconut flakes (or finely ground)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg white
2 tbsp coconut oil

1. Heat skillet over medium-high flame. Pulse coconut flakes in food processor until finely ground.
2. On a sheet of wax paper, combine coconut and spices.
3. Crack egg white into a small bowl. Melt coconut oil in heated skillet.
4. Dip shrimp into egg white, then dredge through coconut mixture until coated.
5. Place shrimp into pan and cook on both sides until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add more coconut oil as necessary to get the job done.
6. Serve with cocktail sauce or eat those bad boys by themselves! I may or may not have eaten the whole batch in one sitting...

Chicken Tikka Masala

1.5 lb boneless/skinless chicken (breast and/or thighs), cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
2/3 c coconut milk
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground fenugreek
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp cayenne
Cilantro leaves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 oz tomato paste
1/3 c coconut milk
1 can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp each: fenugreek, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, cinnamon, ginger, & cayenne

1. Place chicken into a zip-top plastic baggie. Add all following ingredients up to and including cilantro. Mix well to combine. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but the longer the better (up to 48 hours).
2. When you're ready to make the dish, heat a wok or deep pot over medium flame.
3. Melt coconut oil and add the onions. Saute until translucent.
4. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Add chicken, including marinade, to the pot. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
5. Serve over cauliflower rice, with secretly veggie waffles (a surprisingly good naan replacement to mop up the sauce), and/or enjoy all by itself.        

Roasted Leeks/Asparagus

2 leeks, julienned 
1 lb asparagus
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp garlic salt (or 1.5 tsp garlic powder & 1.5 tsp salt)
2 tsp herbs de provence

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Arrange leeks and asparagus on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Pour olive oil over veggies and use hands to toss until the veggies are coated with oil. Sprinkle garlic salt and herbs de provence.
3. Roast for 20 minutes or until browned and crispy.


  1. 3 Studies SHOW Why Coconut Oil Kills Belly Fat.

    The meaning of this is that you literally get rid of fat by eating coconut fat (in addition to coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from big medicinal journals are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world upside down!

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