Nom Nom Paleo

David Lebovitz’s Super Easy Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots (Whole30 Style)

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David Lebovitz, will you marry me and be my gay husband? I know I’m not worthy but I’ll promise to adore you, do your laundry, and laugh at all your jokes.

Seriously, he’s one of my favorite food bloggers and cookbook authors of all time. I’m a daily snooper on his site because his posts are so damn funny, witty, and chockfull of fail-proof recipes. Before I morphed into a cavegirl, I was always making one of his ice cream recipes or a batch of his cookies. Maybe that’s why I always had a thick middle…

One of my regular go-to weeknight meals is his savory recipe for roast chicken with shallots. The recipe takes about 5 minutes of prep time and the rest of the cooking is done in the oven. You’ll have plenty of time to make side dishes or even a sidecar cocktail.

Upon closer inspection, his recipe isn’t really Whole30 compliant due to the soy sauce and I don’t want to use extra virgin olive oil since it’s being roasted at a high temperature. I was determined to make it work so tonight I made some substitutions to make the dish more pleasing to my Paleo friends. You’re welcome.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil (or butter, coconut oil, ghee, animal fat)
  • 3 tablespoons Banyuls vinegar (or your favorite vinegar - sherry is fantastic!)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and minced (you can also substitute 2 medium onions)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
  • large handful of Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

Here’s what I did:

I preheated the oven to 425 F. In a 9x13 baking dish, I whisked together the avocado oil, vinegar, shallots, coconut aminos, a generous amount salt (I used 3 large pinches) and freshly ground pepper.

Then, I tossed the chicken with the mixture making sure the pieces were well-coated with shallots.

I turned the chicken skin-side up and popped the dish in the oven. After 20 minutes, I flipped the chicken pieces (making sure to top the chicken pieces with shallots again).

About 25 minutes later, the chicken was finished cooking and the shallots were caramelized. I removed the chicken from the oven…

 …flipped it skin side up…

…and tossed on the chopped parsley.

This chicken was really flavorful: slightly tangy, onion-y, and delicious. The dish creates it’s own sauce which you MUST spoon onto your chicken. It smells so damn good while it’s cooking and it’s so effing easy. You should definitely put it in your repertoire!

I’ve tried this recipe with lots of different vinegars (e.g. sherry, red wine, balsamic, champagne) but Banyuls vinegar is awesome. It’s a nicely balanced vinegar made from Banyuls, a dessert wine  produced from old vines cultivated in terraces on the slopes of the Catalan Pyrenees in the Roussillon county of France.

Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Try it if you can find it!

Stir Fried Kelp Noodles With Ground Beef, Broccoli Slaw, and Spinach

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Tonight I made noodles. Wha-? Paleo-approved kelp noodles to be exact.

Before you eat the noodles, you need to wash and drain them but you can just dump them into a stir fry or soup and to heat them up.

Essentially, I followed my recipe for Asian lettuce cups but I made some substitutions (namely, no fish sauce). There was minimal prep work because the broccoli slaw, spinach, and kelp noodles were prepackaged and ready to go. I’m sad I can’t use fish sauce because the dish is kind of missing something without it but I’ll find myself some Paleo-approved fish sauce soon enough.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • 1 small onion, minced in a mini-prep food processer
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ pound of cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 pound grass fed ground beef
  • 1 cup of organic broccoli slaw
  • 6 ounce package of pre-washed organic baby spinach leaves
  • 1 package of kelp noodles, rinsed with water and drained
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • Salt and Pepper
  • **UPDATE** 1-2 tablespoons of Red Boat Fish Sauce

Here’s how I made the dish:

I heated up the coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the pan was hot, I dumped in the onions and sautéed until soft.

I added the sliced mushrooms and cooked them until the moisture had cooked off.

Next, I added the beef and garlic and and cooked the meat until it was no longer pink.

I added a large handful of broccoli slaw…

…and then I threw in the package of spinach and stirred that around until the leaves were wilted.

Then, I tossed in my kelp noodles…

…added the coconut aminos, fish sauce, and vinegar, and waited until the noodles softened to the consistency I liked (around 3-5 minutes).

 I did a final taste for seasoning and added some salt and pepper.

Not too shabby for fake noodles.

New Substitutions for the Whole30 Pantry

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Since I’m on Day 2 of the Whole30 program, I decided to take a more critical look at my pantry to make sure I had the right tools to be compliant for the rest of the month.

One big Paleo faileo is my fish sauce.

I really like fish sauce ‘cause it adds a unique salty umami flavor to whatever I cook. When I closely inspected the label this evening, I noticed two ingredients that weren’t Paleo: fructose and hydrolyzed wheat protein. Damn it! I gotta start looking for a brand that’s just anchovies and salt. I wonder if it’s even possible.

Here are some other substitutions I’ve made in my pantry:

Since I’m out of lard, I’m using coconut oil and macadamia nut oil as my go-to high heat cooking fats.

Macadamia nut oil is nice and buttery and has a smoke point of around 400 F. Yes, it’s expensive (~$1/ounce) but it’s a small investment I’m willing to make.

I’ve gotten rid of my pastas but I miss noodles. I bought some kelp noodles from Whole Foods (in the fridge by the soy products) and they’re pretty tasty.

Not like wheat noodles, but more like springy bean thread noodles when cooked. Don’t eat them raw. They’re squeaky and crunchy – not how I like my noodles.

Instead of tamari and soy sauce, I’m gonna use coconut aminos.

This was a hard item to find. I finally located it in the Asian section at Whole Foods. Surprisingly, it does taste remarkably like soy sauce.

I’ve also been using coconut vinegar (along with my other vinegars) and it’s pretty tasty.

It’s been heralded as a more nutritious apple cider vinegar but I like it because I like all things coconut.