How Green Was My Chicken

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Scratching your head about what to make for St. Patrick’s Day? Try my sister’s phenomenal Green Chicken. It’s not exactly a traditional Irish dish, but it’s butt-kickingly delicious. 

Plus, it’s green! (Hence the name.)

This stuff’s even greener than the Chicago River right now!

If you don’t have chicken at the ready, you can use the emerald-green marinade as a sauce — just drizzle it in soups or on grilled meats for an instant boost of flavor (and color).

One more reason this recipe’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day: my sister’s (married) name is Fiona Kennedy, which is just about as Irish as a Chinese-American gal can get.

Convinced? Then go get the recipe here!

(Want more Paleo-friendly St. Paddy’s Day recipes? Check out these recommendations from the Philadelphia Inquirer, A Girl Worth Saving, and Against All Grain!)


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).

Pressure Cooker Mexican Beef

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For the past couple of years, I’ve been making Oven Braised Mexican Beef at least twice a month because it’s simple and delicious—and because the kids’ll actually eat it. But here’s a dirty little secret: these days, I rarely braise it in the oven ’cause I can get similar results in a fraction of the time using a pressure cooker.

I’ve extolled the virtues of pressure cooking before, but it’s truly become one of my favorite cooking methods. (I love pretty much anything that helps me get satisfying meals on the table before I have to rush off to the hospital.) My trusty stovetop pressure cookers have been workhorses in my kitchen for some time now, but I recently treated myself to an Instant Pot because I’d read so many great things about this electric programmable multi-cooker. Also: I’m a gadget hoarder.

In fact, I’m such a hoarder that I’d neglected to break out my Instant Pot for months after buying it. It sat in a box in my garage for months before I managed to de-clutter my kitchen enough to make room for it.

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And now, I’m totally crushing on my Instant Pot. I love that I can make bone broth at a moment’s notice without having to babysit it like a stove-top pressure cooker. Also, the sauté function lets me brown aromatics or meat right in the pot before I throw in the rest of the ingredients. Yippee!

One thing to note: The Instant Pot cooks at a slightly lower pressure (11.6 psi) than my stove top pressure cookers (15 psi), but that just means having to add a few minutes to the cooking time. I increase the cooking time by 7 to 15%, and refer to my friend Laura Pazzaglia’s Hip Pressure Cooking website and charts for specific cooking times. If you’re at all a fan of pressure cooking, I suggest that you do the same. One more thing: even though the dish is finished in about an hour, I often don’t serve it ’til the next day. There’s a scientific reason why stews and braises taste better as leftovers.

So with all of that out of the way, wanna see how I’ve modified my Mexican Beef recipe to work in a pressure cooker?

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Paleo Eats: 2/5/14

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It feels like it’s been eons since I wrote up my daily eats. (I have no excuses; I’ve just been juggling other stuff and trying to spend more quality time with the kids.) Let’s hope I haven’t gotten too rusty!

My first meal of the day? A couple of over-easy eggs seasoned with furikake and bacon. 

Paleo Eats: 2/5/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I know: it often feels like there’s not enough time in the morning to make a proper breakfast. As a full-time working parent, I feel your pain. The convenience of boxed cereal and toaster waffles is undeniably alluring. But it really doesn’t take much effort to throw together a healthier morning meal. And besides: it tastes better!

Paleo Eats: 2/5/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

This morning, as soon as I trudged out of my bedroom and into the kitchen, I popped a tray of bacon into my countertop toaster oven. While the porky slices sizzled unattended, I prepared the kids’ school lunches and fried up plates of over-easy eggs. By the time Henry got home from his morning CrossFit sweat-fest, the eggs were done and the bacon was crisp. I sliced up some fresh fruit, and presto! Breakfast was ready for the entire bed-headed clan.

For those of you demanding to know “WHAT IN THE SAM HILL IS FURIKAKE?” (and too captivated by this oh-so-riveting blog post to tear yourself away to do a Google search), let me explain. Furikake’s an umami-packed traditional Japanese seasoning blend made with dried seaweed and often featuring other ingredients like toasted sesame seeds and dried bonito.

Paleo Eats: 2/5/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Forky Friday: 1/24/14

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Forky Friday: 1/24/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Ready or not, here I come—with my favorite links of the week!

In The Kitchen

When I first started eating according to a Paleo template, the biggest challenge wasn’t removing ”heart-healthy” whole grains or beans from my diet—it was the prospect of having to cook ALL THE TIME. I didn’t want to spend my entire life in front of the stove—especially when I could be catching up with The Real Housewives on TV.

Forky Friday: 1/24/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

But now, having logged thousands of hours in the kitchen, I no longer feel like pulling out my hair in clumps when faced with dinner prep. Of course, it also helps that I’ve continued to learn and employ time- (and sanity-) saving tips and tricks that streamline the cooking process.

Case in point: I love this post in The Kitchn about 18 Daily Habits that Make Life in the Kitchen Better.

Forky Friday: 1/24/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

And thanks to this HuffPo article, I’ve eliminated a number of bad kitchen habits, too.

My favorite new shortcut in the kitchen? I’ve been keeping a large stainless steel bowl filled with warm, soapy water in the sink so I can chuck dirty utensils and dishes into it as I cook. Presto! Washing dishes just got a lot easier!

Forky Friday: 1/24/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I just need to keep reminding myself not to toss any knives into the suds. (Because “Surprise! You just lost a finger!” ain’t my idea of a good time.)

Still Whole30in’ On?

For all of you who soldiered through the KILL ALL THE THINGS phase of the Whole30 (like my super-awesome sister Fiona!), welcome to the home stretch!

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Cracklin’ Chicken

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Cracklin' Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The past couple of months have been absolutely bananas. Between working my zombie drug dealer shifts at the hospital, zipping through Asia, throwing a book release party, and pin-balling my way around Southern California, Texas, and the Pacific Northwest to meet readers on my book tour, I haven’t spent much time at home with my family, let alone cook for them. So you can imagine my delight when Henry and the Os finally joined me in Portland and Seattle for the last few days of my book tour—and I was even happier to return home on Monday.

After dragging our luggage into our entryway, I headed straight for my kitchen. I was dead tired, but it had been a while since I whipped up a home-cooked meal. I was itching to fire up the stove, despite having next-to-nothing in the fridge. So what’s a lazy (but hungry) mommy to do? Why, fry up a batch of Cracklin’ Chicken (a.k.a. Lil-O’s favorite crispy chicken thighs), of course!

Cracklin' Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Longtime readers of this blog (and owners of my new cookbook!) know that my younger son is a picky and headstrong little guy who wasn’t exactly keen on this whole Paleo thing. At the age of three, he almost ran away from home when the whole-grain mac & cheese disappeared from our cupboard.

The transition wasn’t smooth, but with persistence and patience, we got our whole family eating the same dishes at mealtimes. Obviously, compromise is a necessity, and I do my best to make dishes we all can agree on. When I ask the kids for suggestions, Lil-O always asks for Cracklin’ Chicken. (That is, when he’s not throwing out made-up names for imaginary dishes like “Big Buddy with a Ham Chuddy” or “Chewy Butt Stew.”)

Cracklin' Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Cracklin’ Chicken’s one of my favorite dishes, too. These crispy-on-the-outside, tender-and-juicy-on-the-inside boneless chicken thighs are quick and easy to prepare, and taste fantastic with whatever seasoning I have on hand—even if it’s just salt and pepper. And for those of you who care, this recipe’s Whole30- and 21DSD-friendly to boot!

Cracklin' Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Some key tips for this recipe:

  • Buy bone-in, skin-on thighs—they’re inexpensive. Plus, the bones are easy to remove, and the crispy skin is what makes this dish. I vastly prefer thighs over breasts for this recipe—to me, breasts tend to dry out and end up more bland.
  • Use a pair of sharp kitchen shears to remove the bones. (Reserve the bones in the freezer for your next batch of bone broth!)
  • Dry the chicken thighs well, and season both sides of the thigh with salt, but ONLY the meat side gets additional seasoning and/or pepper. If you put other seasonings on the skin, it’ll run the risk of burning. Then, everyone will be sad. Tears are not tasty.

Ready for my fool-proof method for a crowd-pleasing, kid-approved chicken dinner?

Cracklin' Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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January Jumpstart: Week Two

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Okay, gang—we’re entering the second week of our January jumpstart. You still with me? Good!

January Jumpstart: Week Two by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Before we dive in, I’ve got a special treat for those of you who’ve embarked on a Whole30 this month: due to popular demand, I’ve created a free downloadable list of all the Whole30-friendly recipes in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans. Click here to get it!

Spoiler alert: Over 100 of the recipes in my book are Whole30-compliant! As the review of our book on the Whole30 site points out:

A few of the sauces and dressings call for honey or some other form of added sugar, but she does her best to give you a Whole30-compliant substitute, like using a pitted date instead of honey in her sriracha. Which means the entire cookbook, right up to Page 249, is almost completely Whole30-friendly.

Haven’t gotten your hands on a copy of my book yet? No worries—here’s another nomtastic batch of recipes to try as you tackle the New Year and punch it in the face!

Easy Paleo Frittata

I love eating leftovers for breakfast, but I know that for many folks, it’s absolutely unthinkable to start the day with something that resembles dinner food. The solution? Throw your leftover meat into a sunny, eggy frittata

January Jumpstart: Week Two by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Garbage Stir Fry with Curried Cabbage

This is a fantastic way to quickly and easily transform that package of ground meat in your fridge into a fragrant and hearty weeknight meal. And don’t be put off by the name—after all, one person’s garbage is another person’s stir-fry, right?

January Jumpstart: Week Two by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Tonnato Sauce

Going Paleo doesn’t mean getting stuck with bland, boring foods. Instead, give your taste buds a big bear hug by making sure you’ve got plenty of delicious sauces and flavor-boosters on hand, like this classic, umami-packed Italian sauce.

January Jumpstart: Week Two by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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January Jumpstart: Week One

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January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Who’s ready for a fresh start to the year?

To inspire you to kick off 2014 with some deliciously healthy eats, over the course of January, I’m going to lay out four weeks’ worth of lip-smacking, nourishing grub. And don’t worry if you’re on the straight-and-narrow this month—I chose recipes of mine that should fit into any Paleo template, whether you’re on a short-term dietary reset like the Whole30 or 21 Day Sugar Detox, or you’ve settled into an everyday real-food approach.

Before we get started, I should point out that this isn’t meant to be a meal plan. In these posts, I won’t be telling you what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you certainly shouldn’t feel compelled to make every single thing listed (though you certainly can, if you feel like it!). Instead, I hope that some or all of these recipes will strike your fancy, and spark ideas about other dishes you can make this month and beyond. My goal is simple: to inspire you to cook and eat Paleo without sacrificing flavor or fun.

So with that out of the way, here are my picks for Week One:

Shrimp-Stuffed Mushrooms

This simple Asian-inspired appetizer is a crowd-pleaser that never disappoints—even when the “crowd” consists of just me and my boys.

January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Ghee

As you go through January—heck, as you go through life—you’ll find that you need ghee, and plenty of it. Trust me on this.

January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Paleo Mayonnaise

You’ll need mayo, too. And making it with an immersion blender is even easier, so what are you waiting for?

January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Sriracha

And since we’re on the topic of flavor-boosters, why not make yourself a batch of homemade sriracha—the kind that isn’t loaded with unpronounceable preservatives? Sriracha is, after all, a delicious blessing flavored with the incandescent glow of a thousand dying suns.

January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Doro Wat

Need to warm yourself from the inside-out? This wonderfully spicy Ethiopian chicken stew should do the trick.

January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Roasted Chestnuts

On finger-numbing winter evenings, there is nothing better in this world than a bag of freshly-roasted chestnuts. I repeat: nothing.

January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com 

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Nom Nom Paleo’s Top 15 Posts of 2013

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Nom Nom Paleo's Top 15 Posts of 2013 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

As the year draws to a close, let’s step into our time machine and revisit my top posts of 2013. I dug through our site metrics, and learned that of the roughly 200 (non-cookbook-related!) posts I published on Nom Nom Paleo over the past 12 months, these 15 were the most popular, as judged by traffic, notes, comments, and dissemination on social media:

15. Orange Sriracha Chicken (October 27)

I don’t know if it’s the sweet, citrusy notes in the sauce or the spicy sriracha kick—or if readers were just freaked out that the Huy Fong Sriracha plant in southern California was seemingly under constant threat of shutdown—but my recipe for Orange Sriracha Chicken was a fan favorite. (It’s one of mine, too.)

Orange Sriracha Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

14. Forky Friday: Thanksgiving Smorgasbord (November 22)

Every November, we’re faced with a conundrum: How do we prepare a Turkey Day feast for a house full of Paleo eaters? This year, I posted a series of Thanksgiving recipes, ranging from Spatchcocked Turkey and Warm Brussels Sprouts Slaw to Cran-Cherry Sauce and Umami Gravy. And in advance of the big dinner, I posted a rundown of all the recipes—and added a bunch more, too. Wanna see?

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13. Kelly Brozyna’s Chocolate Pie + Raw Graham Cracker Crust (September 30)

I adore Kelly and her family. And when I received an advance review copy of her latest book, The Paleo Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook, I couldn’t wait to get cooking. Everything looked incredible, but Kelly’s Chocolate Pie recipe jumped off the page at me. See what I mean?

Kelly Brozyna's Chocolate Pie + Raw Graham Cracker Crust by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

12. Round-up: Another Week of Paleo Lunches (August 23)

For the second year in a row, I partnered with Jackie Linder of Lunchbots—the best and most stylish stainless steel lunch containers in the known universe!—to present a week’s worth of Paleo-friendly packed lunch ideas. We had a great time putting these lunches together, and happily, it looks like you guys enjoyed reading about them, too!

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