I have been so conflicted lately. In trying to figure out what my “diet” is going to look like after my 21 Day Sugar Detox is complete has been a lot more complicated that I had originally anticipated. More angst came today as I was sitting in a fast food restaurant with the kids (I know Mom of the Year Stuff) and I realized there was nothing that I could or even wanted on that menu. I will admit the chicken nuggets did smell tasty but it only inspired me to create my own (See recipe below for my Pecan Crusted Chicken Fingers). Eating clean has really changed me in many ways, and I do want to continue on this journey. I know that I am not always going to be perfect but I am going to strive to eat as clean as I can. One book that is helping me is so many ways is The Modern N0-Nonsense Guide to Paleo by Alison Golden. Alison is an amazing blogger who writes about her Paleo journey on her blog Paleo/Non-Paleo-Living paleo in a non-paleo world. She has doable strategies to help people who want to transition to a Paleo lifestyle. A lot of my questions are being answered and I am definitely feeling a lot better about making a transition. I am still digesting some information and will let you know what I come up with. It will definitely be a fusion of clean eating and Paleo.
So after my chicken nugget encounter today I knew I wanted to create detox friendly version that would satisfy my pallet. I remembered seeing breaded chicken recipes that included nuts in the breading. Pecans were on sale this week and I thought that would be a great breading for a chicken. With some simple modifications I was able to great moist chicken fingers that even the kids enjoyed. I definitely feeling much more comfortable using clean eating foods in my recipes.
- ½ cups Almond Flour
- ½ teaspoons Salt
- 1 cup Pecan
- 2 Large Egg Whites
- 2 tablespoons Organic Dijon Mustard
- 2 pounds Boneless Chicken Tenders, Washed And Patted Dry
- Salt And Pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Spray a rimmed baking pan with coconut cooking spray and set aside.
- In a shallow dish, combine almond flour and salt. Set aside.
- Grind pecans in a food processor until nicely chopped then combine them with the almond flour mixture.
- Whisk egg white with Dijon mustard in a separate shallow bowl. Mix well.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Dip each chicken in the egg white mixture, then into the pecan mixture to coat. Press firmly then place chicken on the baking sheet. Repeat until you go through all your chicken pieces.
- Bake until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
- I made a “buffalo” dipping sauce to go with these. Great flavor combination.
What are some of your favorite comfort food dishes? Do you have a favorite dipping sauce?
Off to enjoy another summer weekend!
Life is good on the MOTR detox plan. The 21 day sugar detox has made good on its promises. My sugar cravings are gone, I handle stress better, and am sleeping on a regular cycle. I have loss some weight which is an added bonus to the plan. It is nice when people stop you to ask what you have been doing to lose weight. I of course direct them right to the resource. There are a lot of detox plans out there, but this one by far is the easiest I have ever followed. There are a lot of great resources and recipes out in the blogosphere that have also helped me keep on track. One of my best new habits is having two different vegetables as my sides for dinner. This is one thing I will be continuing once of detox. (Along with many other things I have learned!). This was a great decision on my part to jump start my clean eating journey. Now I am doing research on what my next steps will be. I have some ideas swirling around my head but I am trying to make a plan that I can stick to with the busy Back to School season ahead. Stay tuned!
Tonight I revised a past recipe to make it “detox friendly”. I got a really good deal last week on ground beef at the Coventry Farmers Market. If you live in Connecticut and have never been to this farmers market you are truly missing out. Open every Sunday from June to October, the market offers over 40 vendors selling fresh produce or homemade products. Every week we come home with some new find. It is exciting to find so many great products that are made right here in Connecticut. This week the market had a new all natural beef vendor and I forgot to grab a card and wish I could give them a MOTR blog shout out. I decided to use this beef to make a meatloaf. With some fresh spinach on hand I knew I wanted to incorporate it with the meat to make a great tasting meatloaf. Last year I posted a recipe for Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf that I had adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Essentials to Healthy Cooking. Using the same method, I modified the ingredients to make it work for a more Paleo way of eating. This version I thought was even better than the original. So glad I have this blog so I can recreate my old favorites into my new lifestyle.
- For Meatloaf:
- 1½ tsp. olive oil
- ¼ cup Almond Flour
- 2 lbs Grass Fed Beef
- 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 eggs
- For Spinach Stuffing:
- 2 lb. fresh spinach
- 2 Tbsp.Coconut Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Garlic
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Freshly ground salt, to taste
- 1 cup Prepared Sauce
- Line a 10½-by-15½-inch jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil, leaving at least 1 inch hanging over the long edge on both sides. Brush the foil with ½ tsp. of olive oil.
- In a bowl, using a fork, combine the ground beef, mustard, almond flour, oregano, salt and pepper. Add egg whites and mix for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Spread meat mixture in the prepared jelly roll pan to make an even layer. Use a fork to help spread the meat. Cover the pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.
- Preheat an oven to 350°F.
- To make the stuffing, if using fresh spinach, rinse carefully in 2 or 3 changes of water, discarding the tough stems and any damaged leaves. Drain the leaves briefly in a colander and transfer to a large saucepan with only the water that clings to them. Place coconut oil, spinach, and garlic over medium-high heat, cover and cook, turning the leaves 2 or 3 times, until wilted and still slightly firm to the bite, about 4 minutes.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the meat. Spread the stuffing evenly over the meat, leaving a 1-inch uncovered border on all sides.
- Lifting the foil along the long side facing you, roll up the meat and stuffing like a jelly roll, pushing it forward a bit at a time and lifting the foil away, until a long log has formed.
- Pat the log gently to compact it. Brush with the remaining 1 tsp. olive oil and center it on the pan. Bake the meat loaf, uncovered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 165°F, about 1 hour.
- Add sauce to top of meatloaf for last 5 minutes of cooking. Remove the meat loaf from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Cut the meat loaf into 8 or 10 slices.
Have you adopted any new healthy habits this summer? How has your summer been thus far?
For the sake of being monotonous…nothing really new to report on the detox. It continues to go well. I am sticking to the plan and am now in the routine what I need to eat. Here is a sample of my daily food journal:
2 hard boiled eggs
Leftovers from dinner
You have seen samples on here. I have gotten really creative with new recipes. The detox has also allowed for me to use many different vegetables. Currently I love leafy greens. I can’t get enough of them. I need to grow much more next year.
Hard boiled Eggs
I like variety so I change things up everyday. I definitely have gotten the hang of what makes my body feel best. If I crave crunch I get nuts, if I crave sweet I have a piece of Carrot Spice Bread, I know have some great alternatives to make this detox into a lifestyle choice.
Tonight’s dinner was inspired with a little help from a great friend who is not just an educator, she is also an artisan. My co-worker Rose, is the founder of Bayberry Meadow Herbs. Bayberry Meadow Herbs specializes in herb blends, herbs and spices for cooking/baking and teas to start or end your day. I have tried both the herb blends and teas and was not disappointed. With that said Rose knows that her Garden Herb Blend is my all time favorite. It is the most universal herb blend that I have in my spice rack. It is a blend of parsley, basil, thyme, marjoram, chives, rosemary, paprika, oregano, and garlic powder. You can try to recreate it, but Rose has the secret recipe. It made my dinner recipe tonight 100 times better. If your local to Connecticut, make sure to like Bayberry Meadow Herbs on Facebook. These herbs can be bought at my local farmers markets. This weekend Rose will be in South Windsor and Coventry Farmers Markets. Be sure to visit her there and say Mom on the Run sent you.
So what is the recipe that I created. It all started with some chicken thighs. I got them on sale at Whole Foods this weekend. My mind went immediately to braised chicken. I love braising meat, well I love it now I have the right technique down. For the last year I have really perfected my braising technique. I use this great resource to help guide from The Reluctant Gourmet. They make braising meat a truly easy experience for any home cook. Here are there 9 Simple Steps:
9 Simple Steps to Great Braised Meat
There are 9 basic steps to braising meat:
Season the main ingredient with salt and pepper.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil and/or butter in a heavy pan or Dutch oven.
Saute meat or vegetables in the pan on medium-high heat until the meat browns.
Deglace the pan by pouring broth, beef stock, wine or juice and scrape any pieces of meat that are stuck to the pan and stir.
Add cooking liquid (water, stock, wine, juice or some combination) to the half-way point of the main ingredient.
Cover and place the meat on the middle of a rack in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook until completely tender. This can range from 1 hour to 6 hours, depending on what you are cooking.
Remove the pan from the oven and strain the meat and vegetables out of the liquid.
Remove the excess fat floating in the liquid, and then reduce the sauce to desired thickness by cooking it down over low heat until it thickens. Or, make gravy by adding a mix of equal parts fat and flour (a roux).
Doing these 9 things produces a recipe like this. Chicken is so moist and flavorful. Get your Bayberry Meadow Herbs recipe because this recipe is another family pleaser.
- 6 boneless skinless organic Chicken Thighs
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 3 tbsp Garden Herb Blend
- ½ cup of White Wine
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Season each chicken thigh with ½ tbsp of Garden Herbs, salt, and pepper.
- Heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil in a Dutch oven.
- Saute chicken in the pan on medium-high heat until the meat browns. Make sure to brown each side for about 4-5 minutes.
- Deglace the pan by adding wine to pot. Scrape any pieces of meat that are stuck to the pan and stir.
- Cover and place the chicken on the middle of a rack in an oven.
- Cook until completely tender, approx 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and strain the chicken out of the liquid.
- Serve with your favorite veggies. Kale was a great compliment to this chicken.
Is there a local product in your area that you cannot live without? of maybe a cooking technique that you have perfected in your kitchen?
Back to the kitchen to create more family friendly eats.