Nom Nom Paleo

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).

Forky Friday: 3/15/14

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Forky Friday 3/15/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I thought it was going to be teeth-chatteringly arctic in Chicago today – a stinging reminder for this California girl that spring has not yet sprung in all parts of the US of A. But happily, it’s not nearly as frigid as I expected. Yay!

Forky Friday 3/15/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I’m in town for the weekend to attend a conference, eat my way around the city, and do two joint book events with my gal pal, Diana Rodgers. (If you’re interested in coming, go RSVP for our free book events at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville and CrossFit 312 right here in Chicago!) 

Forky Friday 3/15/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

But before I do, I suppose I better get caught up with another edition of Forky Friday. Are you ready?

Reading is Good For You

Forky Friday 3/15/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I know that Paleo books are hitting shelves at a fast and furious pace. Yes, our cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, is my personal favorite (shameless plug alert!), but there are two brand-spankin’ new books you really must check out:

Joshua Weissman, the talented young man behind the gorgeous Slim Palate blog, has just released his first cookbook, The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook. I’ve hung out with Josh a few times, and each time, I’m awestruck that he’s already figured out – at the tender age of 18! – what most folks never get: that the key to good health is getting into the kitchen and cooking nourishing food from scratch. Heck, it took almost 40 years on this planet for this old lady (I’m pointing at myself) to come to that realization.

When I was a senior in high school, I was still buying lunch from the school vending machines (Doritos and Hawaiian Punch, thankyouverymuch) and mainlining non-fat frozen yogurt. Josh is a wonderful role model for eaters of all ages – and he has amazing skills behind the stove and camera to boot. 

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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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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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Forky Friday: 12/27/13

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Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Howdy, gang!

It’s been a while since my last Forky Friday, and in that time, our first cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, was published! I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see our labor of love out there in the real world, and to see the reviews that have been posted around the web. We love the comments and photos that so many of you have posted on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Keep ’em coming — we can’t wait to see what you’re cooking up!

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

(In the meantime, if you have our book and like it, will you consider posting a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble? It would be a huge help, and I’d be incredibly grateful!)

In the meantime, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled links from around the web…

Back on Track

As much as I’d like to report that I’m still eating my way through northern Thailand, I’m not. We got home from Asia earlier this week—just in time for me to don my gay apparel (a.k.a. hospital scrubs) and start another week of graveyard shifts on Christmas night. I missed the usual holiday feasting…but it was probably for the best. I’d already enjoyed my fair share of incredible meals (and dietary off-roading) in Chiang Mai, and was glad for the chance to avoid further gastronomic temptations.

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

If, like me, you took a nutritional detour over the holiday season, don’t freak out. An occasional indulgence won’t derail you from your journey down the Paleo superhighway.

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A Postcard from Hong Kong

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A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I’m procrastinating.

Instead of packing for our flight to northern Thailand (which takes off in a matter of hours!), I’m sitting here in our hotel room in Hong Kong, tapping away on my laptop, answering emails in preparation for the release of our cookbook. (That’s right: our book hits (American) shelves and mailboxes in just a few days—and in fact, it appears that some copies are already making their way into the hands of folks who pre-ordered!)

I can’t decide whether it was a good or bad idea to plant ourselves half a world away during our book release, but I suppose it’s too late to start second-guessing myself now.

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Besides, I’ve had an incredible time in Hong Kong. We survived the flight from San Francisco without killing each other, though I had stupidly ordered the gluten-free meals on the plane, which turned out to also double as the super-low-fat, high-carb meals ordered by fat-phobic passengers.

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

By the time we arrived, we were starving and passing out—but thankfully, there’s no shortage of great food in this city.

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The boys have been particularly excited about breakfast, and it’s easy to see why: the morning buffets at Kitchen and Café 103 have been marvelous.

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A Postcard from Hong Kong by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Forky Friday: 12/6/13

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Forky Friday 11/15/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Eek! I still haven’t packed for our trip to Asia, so this post will be short and sweet. It’s still worth a read because the links are cool and I’ve got a sweet discount code at the end of this post. After all, you guys really are the best ever, and deserve some end-of-week savings, right?

Mel’s A Big, Bright, Shiny Star

I love this new video by my pal Melissa Joulwan on how to peel a grapefruit the correct way. It’s so soothing and illuminating. I want her to make more videos, don’t you?

Go buy her new cookbook, Well Fed 2, and make Thai Pink Grapefruit Salad pronto. And did you see that she’ll be doing a joint signing with me and Diana Rodgers on January 2nd? It’s almost to capacity, so go RSVP now

Yay for Russ!

I’ll admit it: I’m a celebrity gossip junkie, and am an avid reader of People Magazine. But this week, I have even more reason to be impatient for the mailman to deliver this newest issue ’cause my friend Russ Crandall's featured in it!

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Now I won’t have to hide the Sexiest Man Alive issue under the couch anymore when company comes over!

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