Tag Archives: paleo casserole

Husband’s Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini

29 Jul

This was the first recipe my mother-in-law gave me ten years ago when I was lucky enough to marry her son.  I’m a feeder by nature, so I made if often in an effort to make him feel loved and appreciated. As our family grew it earned a spot in our weekly rotation, but I neglected it for the past three years. The original recipe calls for spaghetti, milk, and white flour, so I completely ruled it out.

Truth be told,  you can make a delicious white sauce with alternative ingredients and we all know the possibilities behind the spaghetti squash as a pasta replacement. The result was as creamy and delectable as we all remembered. Writing this makes me think of how thankful I am for my husband/life team-mate. Working wing to wing makes our family clean eating journey an easy walk instead of an uphill climb.

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash
2lb chicken breasts or thighs, cooked and diced
1/4 cup organic butter, grass-fed butter or ghee
1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk (I prefer almond milk for taste, but both will work)
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 Tbsp arrowroot powder (up to 1 Tbsp for a thicker sauce)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs sherry or white wine
1 jar sliced mushrooms or 1 container fresh mushrooms sautéed
1/2 cup quality parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Cut spaghetti squash in half, scrape out seeds and pulp. Brush flesh with oil of your choice, salt and pepper. Bake facedown on a foil lined baking sheet for 30-45 minutes until outer skin can be pierced with a fork and strands pull apart easily. I baked my chicken along with the squash with a little walnut oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. You can easily do that or grill chicken, use leftover chicken, use a rotisserie chicken diced, or boil chicken if you need to make your own chicken broth.  Combine spaghetti squash, diced chicken, and mushrooms in casserole dish. I made a double batch for my family of 5 so we could have leftovers and used a 9×13 pan.

Melt butter in saucepan, whisk in coconut flour and arrowroot powder. Add seasonings. Very slowly add liquids, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil while continually stirring. Take off heat, and stir in wine. Pour over casserole dish mixture and gently combine. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese (optional but so tasty, especially if you splurge on quality aged parmesan). Place back in 375 oven for 20-30 minutes or broil for 5-10 minutes if you’re in a hurry. I like to let it bake so I have some time to clean up my mess. Serve and expect everyone to eat seconds!

P.S. Don’t be afraid of butter.  Here are a few reasons why. Choose grass-fed or organic at the very least (because let’s be real here…budget and access are big factors!), and you will reap the benefits of fat soluble vitamins, conjugated linoleic acid, and medium chain fatty acids.

Happy Monday,

Heather

Veronica’s Perfect Pastelon

4 May

pastelon

My friend Veronica recently introduced me to Pastelon, a Puerto Rican casserole that completely blew me away.   I had never heard of Pastelon before, nor could I pronounce it.  But the first bite I took, I was hooked!  It was  a revelation on two levels!  First it was so comforty, and savory, and salty and slightly sweet.  Secondly it gave me a use for real, fresh plantains!  I have never known what to do with them, and have always overlooked them in the grocery stores.  No longer.   What a fabulous “new” way to eat my meat and veggies.

It’s a lot like lasagna in preparation and form, but not in flavor.

6-8 large very ripe plantains:  peeled, sliced, and browned under the broiler. ***
2 lbs ground meat
(I prefer beef.)

1 cup sofrito
(aren’t you glad you have it on hand all the time now?)

1 small can tomato sauce
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 cup green sliced olives (I like Goya brand Salad Olives)
2 cans french-style green beans, drained
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese (optional)

For the meat mixture, cook ground beef and sofrito in a few tbsp oil until browned, sprinkle with the spices and salt.  Stir in tomato sauce and combine.  Take off heat and add the green olives.  Set aside.

Once your plantains are prepared (see below), you will be ready to put it all together.  Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with coconut oil.  Layer the casserole: plantains, followed with some of the meat mixture, then green beans then cheese.  I was able to make about 2 1/2 layers, with the last layer ending with the rest of the meat and cheese.  Bake at 350º for about 45-55min.

Enjoy!  And share with someone in need:)

Leigh (via Roni!)

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***The “noodles” are sliced plantains.  They must be extremely ripe so that they aren’t bitter.  Their peel will be spotty-black.

You may have to use a knife and cut through the peel lengthwise to get them started–they do not peel as easily as bananas.  Once they are all peeled, slice them evenly into long strips.  Consider using a cheese slicer, mandoline, or a really steady hand and a good knife.

Arrange them evenly on a lightly-oiled cookie sheet.   (I took coconut oil and a paper towel, and spread the oil around the sheet evenly.  )  Roast under the broiler until browned on one side, then flip them and brown on the other side.  The roasted sliced plantains are now ready for layering!

If you don’t use plantains, you can substitute diced and roasted (or mashed) sweet potatoes.  It will be sweeter, but a faster process on a night you are in a rush.  If you do this, you can skip the casserole step altogether.  Just make a “pastelon bowl” by heaping the meat and green bean mixture directly over a yummy bowl of sweet potatoes.  It is much faster to whip up, and almost the same flavor.

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Lamb and Squash Casserole

28 Nov

This is one of our family favorites. My kids devour it and it’s a hearty meal for tough training days when your body calls for a bit more, dare I say, “friendly” carbs. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 lbs ground lamb
1 1/2-2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 large spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Cut spaghetti squash in half, brush with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place cut side down on foil lined baking sheet. Melt 1 Tbsp coconut oil, toss with cubed butternut squash, sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon, salt and pepper. Place on foil lined baking sheet along side spaghetti squash. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes until squash is tender and spaghetti squash pulls away in strands as shown in picture.

While squash is in the oven, melt second Tbsp of coconut oil and sauté onion and garlic in large skillet until translucent. Add all spices and mix until fragrant. Add ground lamb and sauté until meat is done.

Combine spaghetti squash, roasted butternut squash and meat mixture. Serve and enjoy!

Best,

Heather

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