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Recipe: Paleo Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken Schnitzel is pretty much the national dish of Australia (perhaps after pie?), which is funny, because if you ask for chicken schnitzel in the UK people think you’ve come straight from the 1970’s.

The only problem with chicken schnitzel is the ingredients. This is what’s in a fairly standard one I saw in the supermarket:

Chicken (52%), Water, Buckwheat Flour, Wheat Flour, Thickener (1404, 415, 1442), Salt, Dehydrated Vegetables (Onion, Garlic), Herbs (Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage), Spices (Pepper), Wheat Gluten, Yeast, Egg Albumen, Sugar, Colours (150a, 100, 160c, 160b), Dextrose (Tapioca, Maize), Mineral Salts (450, 500), Canola Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Soy Protein, Thickener (1404), Yeast, Vinegar, Iodised Salt, Soy Flour, Emulsifiers (411, 481, 472E), Vitamin (Thiamin, Folate), Vegetable Gum (412), Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein, Wheat Cereal, Flavour Enhancer (635)

Quite alarming when the chicken element in your chicken is barely 50%, don’t you think? Also “chicken” doesn’t really tell you too much, I think we can assume if it doesn’t say free-range, it’s almost certainly not the type of chicken I’d choose to buy. So you know what this means? Yes – it means a paleo chicken schnitzel recipe is called for!

Recipe: Paleo Chicken Schnitzel
Recipe type: Poultry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 2 free-range chicken breasts
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 230C (450F) if you’re going to oven bake rather than fry
  2. Slice the chicken in half width-ways, creating two thin pieces and pound with a rolling pin (or, if you have a better equipped kitchen than me, a meat tenderiser) until it’s super thin. If you don’t want raw chicken flying around your kitchen, you can wrap it in gladwrap/ cling film for this step. You can keep whole and have proper schnitzels, or slice into strips like I did.
  3. Put the Tapioca flour (or you can use arrowroot flour if you don’t have tapioca) in a bowl, and the egg in a separate bowl. Tip – fill up the Tapioca bowl as you use it to avoid waste.
  4. In another bowl, mic together the almond meal, coconut flour, seasoning and herbs/ spices. I tend to do this in small batches too, to avoid being left with an eggy mess of excess crumb mixture I’ll have to throw away.
  5. Now for the fun part. Dip the chicken pieces in each bowl, turn by turn: start with the tapioca layer, then the egg layer and end with the crumb mixture. Maybe it’s just me, but I find this turns into a huge mess, so small batches of the dry bowls will help here.
  6. You now have a choice and whilst most people will choose to fry, I find I get far better results oven baking. The crumb is evenly golden with the inside cooked but tender. But give both a try and see what works for you.
  7. If you’re oven baking, arrange on a baking tray and cook for about 20 minutes. I always cut into the chicken in a couple of the thickest places to ensure there are no pink bits left. If you’re going to fry about 8-10 minutes in a hot pan in some coconut oil should do the trick – just make sure you turn them a couple of times.

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Do you have a gluten-free paleo version of this recipe that you use? I’d love to hear your secret ingredients!

Herbs Spices Seasoning Moisture Storing Clumping Caking the Paleo Network-min

How to stop herbs and spices clumping together

It can’t just be me – I come to use a particular jar of dried herb, spice or seasoning, to find it completely stuck together and impossible to get out. It’s so frustrating, and seems to be worse with onion and garlic powder, which always seem to cake soon after the containers are opened.

This happens when moisture and humidity get into the container causing it to clump together and form a rock. Whilst the moisture will reduce the flavour and strength of the herbs, a lot of them you can re-invigorate by removing the moisture. Far less wasteful than throwing unused herbs and spices away.

Herbs Spices Seasoning Moisture Storing Clumping Caking the Paleo Network-min

How to remove the moisture

The easiest way is in the oven. I heat my oven to about 125C (250F) and use a metal skewer to get break the clump (or in this case garlic powder) out of the container, onto a sheet of baking paper, on a baking tray.

After just a couple of minutes, the heat will have removed the moisture, and I remove the tray and allow it to cool. Once cooled, I transfer it back into the container using a funnel and it now dispenses freely!

To prevent it happening again

Make sure the containers you store your dried herbs,spices and seasonings in are completely air-tight and always shut the lid/ close the container properly. Storing somewhere cool and dark (or even in the freezer!) will also help prevent moisture coming into contact with the inside of the container.

Avoid the temptation to shake the container directly into a pot of steaming food – this will allow moisture in. Spoon what you need out of the container, away from the stove top.

You can also add some dried beans or rice to the container to absorb any moisture and prevent the mixture from clumping.

Storing the containers upside down will also help prevent air getting in, making them last longer.

Cajun Spice Marinade paleo recipe-min

Recipe: Cajun Spice Marinade

There’s nothing like a simple marinade to spice up an otherwise simple steak or fish dinner.

This is a really easy marinade to put together; make it up in advance and store in in a jar in the fridge so it’s ready to use.

Cajun Spice Marinade paleo recipe-min

Recipe: Cajun Spice Marinade
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauces & Condiments
Prep time: 
Total time: 
This spice marinade will spice up whichever meat you rub it on!
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 3 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • Sea salt (I use pink Himalayan)
Instructions
  1. It couldn't get simpler than this! pound the ingredients with a pestle and mortar until it becomes powdery and evenly distributed.
  2. Rub the mixture over the meat or fish and allow it to marinate for 2 - 3 hours if you can (but if you're in a hurry, 30 minutes will just about do it!)

 

Cajun Kale Chips paleo recipe crisps-min

Recipe: Cajun Kale Chips

Kale chips have to be one of the easiest, tastiest, and most fun ways to eat copious amounts of this green superfood. They are really easy to make; they just require a little patience and delicate seasoning. They can be enjoyed sweet (I’ve made both cinnamon and chocolate kale chips, both of which were delicious!) and savoury, but in this recipe I’ve gone for a smoky, slightly spicy, Cajun seasoning. You’re going to love my Cajun Kale Chips!

A quick note – If you’re using salt, sprinkle it on AFTER the kale chips are cooked. Otherwise, it will attract water to the kale and make them soggy. Also, don’t use olive oil, as the kale chips will have a bitter taste. Avocado and macadamia oils are both excellent choices.

Recipe: Cajun Kale Chips
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 4 bunches kale
  • 2 tbsp macadamia nut / avocado oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 160C / 300F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Chop the kale. If you need to wash it, make sure it is COMPLETELY dry before you take any further steps. A bit of dirt never hurt anyone, so I skipped the washing stage.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the kale leaves in the oil. Mix the spices together, and massage them onto the kale.
  4. Place the kale onto the baking parchment, leaving space in between each soon to be chip. You may need to roast them in batches. Transfer to the top shelf of the oven, and bake for 20 minutes – do not open the oven at all in this time!
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before enjoying.

Cajun Kale Chips paleo recipe crisps-min

Recipe paleo herbal Cardamom, Black Pepper and Coconut Milk Tea-min

Recipe: Cardamom, Black Pepper and Coconut Milk Tea

I’m a big fan of herbal tea, and one of my favourite blends is Chai. This is a twist on the classic that is slightly sweeter and creamier thanks to the coconut milk. It still retains all the spiced, warming goodness of standard chai though, so brew up a cup for everyone and unwind for the evening. If, like me, you’re a former chai latte fan, but no longer consuming dairy, this could be exactly the alternative you’ve been searching for. If only my local coffee shop could put this on the menu…

Recipe: Cardamom, Black Pepper and Coconut Milk Tea
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 100ml full fat coconut milk
  • 8 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half
Instructions
  1. Add the coconut milk to a saucepan with the cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg and honey. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, boil your kettle and pour 750ml hot water into a teapot over the cloves and cinnamon. Leave to infuse for a couple of minutes - or until it reaches your desired strength.
  3. Strain the tea into four cups, and pour in the milk. Taste, and adjust the sweetness if necessary.

I’d love to know what you drink during a typical (working?) day? Do you stick to water, or mix it up with some different types of teas and coffee?

So many people tell me that they really struggle with giving up soda when they make the transition to paleo. One thing that seems to help is making sure you have some good herbal teas to hand to help you get over the diet coke addiction! Another thing that I’ve seen recommended is soda water (or sparkling water) with some fresh lime.

Recipe paleo herbal Cardamom, Black Pepper and Coconut Milk Tea-min

My top 10 herbs and spices paleo primal cooking recipes-min

My Top Ten Herbs & Spices

Since I’ve been Paleo my cooking has got more and more inventive, and I find I’m using a lot of different Herbs & Spices.

This does start out quite expensive if you don’t have any, but I really recommend going out and buying a basic selection to get started with.  Just by changing the herbs you can completely transform a meal.

Herbs-and-Spices paleo my top ten-min

When I went strict Paleo, I already had a lot of Herbs & Spices, but I went through all of my Paleo recipe books and bought all of the herbs and spices that came up in the ingredients list.  I’ve noticed I tend to use a few very frequently, and some are barely used, so thought I’d share my top ten herbs and spices, and what I use them for.

  1. Onion Powder.  Although I use onions too, this is great to add to lots of dishes for extra onion flavour.
  2. Garlic Powder.  I use this similarly to onion powder, to gives an almost sweet garlic taste.
  3. Turmeric.  I’m trying to add this to more and more of my cooking, as it is has so many great attributes – including having anti inflammatory properties.  Turmeric gives a yellow colour and a slight bitter, mustard flavour.  I always add Turmeric to curries.
  4. Cayenne Pepper.  This is a hot spicy chilli pepper, with hot being the word!  I only add a very small amount, but often add it to dishes like chilli, where I want a bit of heat.
  5. Paprika.  This is from dried capsicum and quite a sweet flavour.  It gives food a red colour and I’ll use it in sauces and dips.
  6. Oregano.  I seem to use a lot of this, almost anytime I cook with tomatoes, I add some oregano.  It has a slightly lemony flavour.
  7. Thyme.  I often add this near the end of cooking to ensure the heat doesn’t damage it.  I add it to lots of different things such as stews, vegetable dishes and stocks.
  8. Cinnamon.  This is my current favourite – I use it in almost everything.  Although it isn’t sweet, it’s great as a sweet substitute in tea and NoOatmeal.  I commonly use it in meat dishes as it gives such a great flavour.
  9. Ginger.  This is another favourite which I have to regularly replenish.  I often add this to curries.
  10. Salt.  This is another must have which brings out the flavour in dishes.  I naturally have quite low blood pressure, and as I don’t eat anything processed think it’s quite a good addition to my cooking.  I use Pink Himalayan salt as it is very pure with a great mineral content.  I also have Celtic Sea Salt, which also has a great mineral content.  I would go without rather than having table salt!

Herbs-Spices my top ten paleo-min

Are my most commonly used Herbs & Spices completely different to yours?  Which are your favourite Herbs & Spices and what do you use them for?

My top 10 herbs and spices paleo primal cooking recipes-min