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Primal Zucchini Gratin with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

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Tis the season for comfort food.

I think the typical notion is that comfort food leaves you feeling heavy and full. Not my Goat Cheese Zucchini Gratin. It is warm and creamy and bubbly and the perfect side-dish to any meal. It will give you all the feels of comfort — satisfied, warm, a little decadent and rich – but it won’t leave you feeling heavy and full.

If you’re not a fan of tomatoes, you can leave them off — I add them because, well, we LOVE roasted tomatoes with just about anything! But also because they add a beautiful pop of color and acidity that cuts through the goat cheese.

This is a SUPER easy dish to prepare. But if you have a Japanese Mandolin, it is even easier! If you don’t have one – BUY ONE NOW! You will use it a ton once you realize how easy it makes your life!

This would be a great new-addition to your traditional Christmas dinner or something easy to make for the family or just yourself 🙂 on a busy weeknight! The leftovers are great for lunch the next day!

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Primal Zucchini Gratin with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium zucchini, cut into approx. ¼” slices
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (light or full fat)
  • 1 tbsp grass fed butter
  • 4oz spreadable goat cheese or goat cheese log, room temp
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • ¼ – ½ cup low sodium chicken/vegetable stock or filtered water
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes
  • 4oz raw goat cheddar, or manchego, grated
  • ½ cup chickpea breadcrumbs or almond flour
  • fresh chives, finely chopped, for garnish

Directions:

  • Place a large dish towel onto your countertop and lay zucchini out in a single layer and sprinkle with salt – leave for 30-45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Using a paper towel or another dish towel, press gently over the top of the zucchini to absorb some of the moisture. Repeat this a few times to get as much moisture off as possible.
  • Spray an 8×8 casserole dish with cooking spray and arrange ½ of the zucchini slices in several overlapping rows. Sprinkle with black pepper.
  • Combine the arrowroot and coconut milk in a small bowl and whisk well to combine/until smooth.
  • Then, add the butter to a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add in spreadable goat cheese, garlic powder and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Heat for a few minutes stirring frequently, until the goat cheese melts and the mixture is smooth. Pour in the coconut milk/arrowroot mixture while whisking. Continue to whisk until the mixture is completely incorporated. Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer 3-4 minutes, until the sauce thickens/coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add in the stock/water in ¼ cup increments, if the sauce is too thick.
  • Add in the rosemary and stir to combine. Pour ½ of the mixture evenly over the zucchini and spread ½ of the raw goat cheddar/manchego on top. Then layer the remaining zucchini, sauce and top with remaining raw cheddar/manchego and tomatoes.
  • Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and top with chickpea breadcrumbs or almond flour. Bake another 15 minutes, until the cheese and breadcrumbs/flour is golden brown and tomatoes are roasted.
  • Garnish with chives and serve.
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Instructions
  1. Place a large dish towel onto your countertop and lay zucchini out in a single layer and sprinkle with salt – leave for 30-45 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Using a paper towel or another dish towel, press gently over the top of the zucchini to absorb some of the moisture. Repeat this a few times to get as much moisture off as possible.
  4. Spray an 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray and arrange ½ of the zucchini slices in several overlapping rows. Sprinkle with black pepper.
  5. Combine the arrowroot and coconut milk in a small bowl and whisk well to combine/until smooth.
  6. Then, add the butter to a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add in spreadable goat cheese, garlic powder and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Heat for a few minutes stirring frequently, until the goat cheese melts and the mixture is smooth. Pour in the coconut milk/arrowroot mixture while whisking. Continue to whisk until the mixture is completely incorporated. Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer 3-4 minutes, until the sauce thickens/coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add in the stock/water in ¼ cup increments, if the sauce is too thick.
  7. Add in the rosemary and stir to combine. Pour ½ of the mixture evenly over the zucchini and spread ½ of the raw goat cheddar/manchego on top. Then layer the remaining zucchini, sauce and top with remaining raw cheddar/manchego and tomatoes.
  8. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and top with chickpea breadcrumbs or almond flour. Bake another 15 minutes, until the cheese and breadcrumbs/flour is golden brown and tomatoes are roasted.
  9. Garnish with chives and serve.
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Primal Chicken Verde Enchiladas with Goat Cheese

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I’ve never made enchiladas – ever – well, until these. And I’ve always wanted to. I had some extra time a few weekends ago and literally woke up thinking about it on Saturday morning — THIS is why I cook, because all I think about is food!

I contemplated making a “Vegan Queso” to top these with but sometimes I just want the real thing, dammit. So, I decided to try goat cheese and WHOA – these turned out AWESOME, if I do say so myself.

If you choose to make your own tortillas and salsa verde, they can be a smidge time-consuming, but worth every second! The PERFECT Sunday dinner! That said, NO judgement if you choose to use store-bought items! In a pinch, you could also buy a rotisserie chicken and shred that up. End of the day, MAKE THE SAUCE in this recipe. You won’t be upset that you did! …and then, let us know how it turned out!

And by the way – whatever of these don’t get eaten on night one – they’ll be even better the next day for lunch!

Oh! And last thing – I served mine with a little greens salad – just wanted something fresh and light – but you could make a fresh cucumber and tomato salad with herbs or cilantro lime cauliflower rice or regular ‘ol white rice — oooooo – or black beans would be great too! Whatever sounds good to you and your family! Hope you enjoy!

Primal Chicken Verde Enchiladas with Goat Cheese

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 8-9 Paleo tortillas***
  • 5-6 pasture-raised chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cup salsa verde***
  • ½ – ¾ cup LIGHT canned coconut milk
  • 8oz goat cheese, room temp
  • 3 scallions (green and white parts), thinly sliced

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • First, bake the chicken.
    • Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
    • In a medium bowl, place salt, cayenne, chili powder, turmeric and paprika. Using tongs or your hands, dip each chicken breast into the spice mixture to evenly coat and then set onto baking sheet – giving each breast enough room so that they do not touch.
    • Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees F.
    • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes or until you can handle them with your hands.
  • While the chicken is baking/cooling – prep the salsa verde and make the tortillas.***
  • Once tortillas are made, wrap in foil and set aside.
  • Now, make the “goat cheese sour cream” by combining the goat cheese and ½ cup coconut milk into a large bowl and whisking well or using a hand mixture to combine – you want a “sour cream-like” consistency – so, add more coconut milk if necessary.
  • Next, pour the 2 cups of the salsa verde into the goat cheese mixture and stir with a spatula to combine. Pour out approx. 1 cup of the mixture and set aside.
  • Then, shred the chicken with your hands (this is the easiest way!) and place into the bowl with the goat cheese/salsa verde mixture and toss well to coat the chicken.
  • Now, assemble the enchiladas:
    • Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
    • Roll approx. 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture into each tortilla and place the tortillas folded side down, side by side/touching into the dish.
  • Top the chicken enchiladas with the remaining goat cheese mixture and spread to coat the top.
  • Cover with foil and heat in the oven for 30 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, wrap in saran wrap and with foil and then place in the freezer for later use. If warming up out of the freezer, take the saran wrap off, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees F.
  • Remove from the oven and top with scallions. Serve.

Notes:

  • If you choose to make your own tortillas and salsa verde, I suggest using my recipes below. Alternatively, if you’re crunched for time, you can buy store-bought tortillas – I suggest Siete brand or Ezekiel Tortillas – you’ll just want to wrap either of these in a couple of paper towels (no plastic please!) and pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to get them malleable to roll, etc. You can also buy store-bought salsa verde – just be sure to grab one with the least amount of sodium.

Paleo Tortillas

Makes 12, 4 inch tortillas

Ingredients

  • 2 large, cage free eggs
  • 1 cup LIGHT canned coconut milk
  • ½ cup tapioca flour/starch
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt

Directions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and coconut milk.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and salt.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until no lumps remain. The mixture should resemble pancake batter.
  • Place a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat.
  • Once the pan is hot, using a ladle, create a 4-inch tortilla (I usually cook two at a time). Cook for 1 minute per side, until slightly browned. Place the tortillas on top of a piece of foil and repeat until you’ve used up all the batter.
  • Cover in foil and place in the fridge for later use or use immediately for enchiladas, tacos, etc.

Note:

  • If you want the tortillas to be a bit firmer – preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place the tortillas in a singe layer on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet after cooked in the pan. Once all tortillas are cooked, place into the oven for approx. 7 minutes until they crisp up slightly.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 medium tomatillos (approximately 2lbs), halved
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, halved and quartered
  • 1 Serrano chile, halved and quartered
  • 1 Poblano pepper, seeds/rib removed and then halved and quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, WITH peel
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and chopped into quarters
  • approx. ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Cover a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Place tomatillos through onion onto the baking sheet, cut side down.
  • Roast on the top rack of the oven for approx. 10-12 minutes or until browned/slightly-blackened in spots.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for approx. 5 minutes.
  • Place the cilantro, lime juice and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times.
  • If you want the salsa spicy, place all of the vegetables into the food process and process until it reaches the consistency you’d like. If you prefer a more mild salsa, remove the seeds from the jalapeño and Serrano before adding to the processor.
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Instructions
For the Enchiladas...
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. First, bake the chicken.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, place salt, cayenne, chili powder, turmeric and paprika. Using tongs or your hands, dip each chicken breast into the spice mixture to evenly coat and then set onto baking sheet – giving each breast enough room so that they do not touch.
  5. Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees F.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes or until you can handle them with your hands.
  7. While the chicken is baking/cooling – prep the salsa verde and make the tortillas.***
  8. Once tortillas are made, wrap in foil and set aside.
  9. Now, make the “goat cheese sour cream” by combining the goat cheese and ½ cup coconut milk into a large bowl and whisking well or using a hand mixture to combine – you want a “sour cream-like” consistency – so, add more coconut milk if necessary.
  10. Next, pour the 2 cups of the salsa verde into the goat cheese mixture and stir with a spatula to combine. Pour out approx. 1 cup of the mixture and set aside.
  11. Then, shred the chicken with your hands (this is the easiest way!) and place into the bowl with the goat cheese/salsa verde mixture and toss well to coat the chicken.
  12. Now, assemble the enchiladas:
  13. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  14. Roll approx. 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture into each tortilla and place the tortillas folded side down, side by side/touching into the dish.
  15. Top the chicken enchiladas with the remaining goat cheese mixture and spread to coat the top.
  16. Cover with foil and heat in the oven for 30 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, wrap in saran wrap and with foil and then place in the freezer for later use. If warming up out of the freezer, take the saran wrap off, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees F.
  17. Remove from the oven and top with scallions. Serve.
For the Paleo tortillas...
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and coconut milk.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and salt.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until no lumps remain. The mixture should resemble pancake batter.
  4. Place a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat.
  5. Once the pan is hot, using a ladle, create a 4-inch tortilla (I usually cook two at a time). Cook for 1 minute per side, until slightly browned. Place the tortillas on top of a piece of foil and repeat until you’ve used up all the batter.
  6. Cover in foil and place in the fridge for later use or use immediately for enchiladas, tacos, etc.
For the salsa verde...
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Place tomatillos through onion onto the baking sheet, cut side down.
  4. Roast on the top rack of the oven for approx. 10-12 minutes or until browned/slightly-blackened in spots.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for approx. 5 minutes.
  6. Place the cilantro, lime juice and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times.
  7. If you want the salsa spicy, place all of the vegetables into the food process and process until it reaches the consistency you’d like. If you prefer a more mild salsa, remove the seeds from the jalapeño and Serrano before adding to the processor.
Recipe Notes

If you choose to make your own tortillas and salsa verde, I suggest using my recipes below. Alternatively, if you’re crunched for time, you can buy store-bought tortillas – I suggest Siete brand or Ezekiel Tortillas – you’ll just want to wrap either of these in a couple of paper towels (no plastic please!) and pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to get them malleable to roll, etc. You can also buy store-bought salsa verde – just be sure to grab one with the least amount of sodium.

If you want the tortillas to be a bit firmer – preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place the tortillas in a singe layer on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet after cooked in the pan. Once all tortillas are cooked, place into the oven for approx. 7 minutes until they crisp up slightly.

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Paleo Italian Turkey Meatballs

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Paleo Italian Turkey Meatballs

Makes 8-10 medium-sized meatballs…

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey breast
  • ½ small onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup minced fresh basil
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 jar (approx. 3 cups) THIS marinara sauce

Directions:

  • Add turkey through ground pepper to a large bowl and mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon.
  • Divide the mixture into 8-10 meatballs. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy, large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs – being sure they have space between them, otherwise they will steam – you want a little crust on them for flavor. Sauté until browned on all sides, about 2:30-3 minutes per side. Turn off heat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil. Add the marinara sauce.
  • Return all the meatballs to the pan and cover. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are cooked to 160 degrees F – approx. 5-7 minutes.

  • Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  • Serve over zucchini/squash noodles or cauliflower rice.

Notes:

  • I’ve only found this brand (The Vine) at Central Market – Dallas Whole Foods don’t carry it, unfortunately. I like it so much because it has very clean/organic ingredients and 25mg of sodium per serving and I honestly don’t feel the need to salt it further. Most jarred sauces have anywhere from 210mg – 510mg of sodium PER serving! So if you cannot find this one, Monte Bene is another good one – higher in sodium per serving but lower than most and clean ingredients, and you can find it at just about any grocery store.

 

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Instructions
  1. Add turkey through ground pepper to a large bowl and mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon.
  2. Divide the mixture into 8-10 meatballs. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a heavy, large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs – being sure they have space between them, otherwise they will steam – you want a little crust on them for flavor. Sauté until browned on all sides, about 2:30-3 minutes per side. Turn off heat.
  4. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil. Add the marinara sauce.
  5. Return all the meatballs to the pan and cover. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are cooked to 160 degrees F – approx. 5-7 minutes.
  6. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve over zucchini/squash noodles or cauliflower rice.
Recipe Notes

I've only found this brand at Central Market - Dallas Whole Foods don't carry it, unfortunately. I like it so much because it has very clean/organic ingredients and 25mg of sodium per serving and I honestly don't feel the need to salt it further. Most jarred sauces have anywhere from 210mg - 510mg of sodium PER serving! So if you cannot find this one, Monte Bene is another good one - higher in sodium per serving but lower than most and clean ingredients, and you can find it at just about any grocery store.

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Warm Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

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I am married to a carnivore. Any form of meat Mo can eat off of the bone and with his hands, he is grinning ear to ear! I, on the other hand, am the polar opposite! So, I decided to make something that would please us both! He could have MEAT and I could have VEGETABLES! …but not just vegetables – a hearty, full of flavor, refreshing salad that feels more like a meal than a salad! So, guys – don’t turn your head too fast!

I am also experimenting with cooking with different cuts of meat. This was my first pork chop to cook and Mo says it turned out really well! I brined it first with a pseudo-paleo brine – meaning, I used coconut sugar instead of granulated sugar and half the amount most brines call for! And then I just pan seared it. It was very easy, but best if you can plan ahead so you have time for the brine. I want to perfect this one before I post the recipe for it – Mo said it was good and juicy, but needed more flavor. Stay tuned!

So for now — this shaved brussels salad, which, frankly, I could eat the whole recipe by myself! I LOVE this salad! Anytime we go to Origin Kitchen and Bar in Dallas, this is what I get! It’s my favorite! It’s comforting but also refreshing because of the lemon zest and mustard/vinegar dressing! So, it’s great when the weather is hot, cold or anywhere in between!

Warm Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, rinsed and patted dry OR 4 bags pre-shaved brussels
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and broken into pieces
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup grated RAW/unpasteurized pecorino romano, parmesan or Manchego
  • zest of ½ large lemon
  • ground black pepper and sea salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp Primal Kitchen avocado oil mayo
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tbsp grain mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp raw/local honey
  • pinch of Sea Salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Make the dressing first so that it can sit for a few minutes and let the flavors marry. Simply add mayo, mustards, 1 tbsp vinegar, honey and a pinch of sea salt/black pepper to a medium bowl. Whisk well to combine. Taste and season with more salt if needed. If you want it thinner, add the other tbsp of vinegar. Set this aside.
  • Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray, set aside.
  • Clean brussels sprouts and cut the ends off. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, shave the brussels into very thin slices. If using pre-shaved, omit this step.
  • Spread the shaved brussels onto the baking sheet and then place them in the oven for 4-6 minutes. Toss them and then place back in the oven for 4-6 minutes, until just browned/softened.
  • While the brussels are baking, toast the walnuts – place the walnuts into a small/medium dry/nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Toss them every few minutes until fragrant and you start to see them get a little shiny/the oils start to release. Set aside.
  • Pull the brussels out of the oven and place the spinach on top and gently toss so that the spinach will begin to wilt from the heat of the brussels.
  • Add grated cheese, lemon zest, walnuts and dressing and gently toss to combine.
  • Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make the dressing first so that it can sit for a few minutes and let the flavors marry. Simply add mayo, mustards, 1 tbsp vinegar, honey and a pinch of sea salt/black pepper to a medium bowl. Whisk well to combine. Taste and season with more salt if needed. If you want it thinner, add the other tbsp of vinegar. Set this aside.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray, set aside.
  4. Clean brussels sprouts and cut the ends off. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, shave the brussels into very thin slices. If using pre-shaved, omit this step.
  5. Spread the shaved brussels onto the baking sheet and then place them in the oven for 4-6 minutes. Toss them and then place back in the oven for 4-6 minutes, until just browned/softened.
  6. While the brussels are baking, toast the walnuts – place the walnuts into a small/medium dry/nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Toss them every few minutes until fragrant and you start to see them get a little shiny/the oils start to release. Set aside.
  7. Pull the brussels out of the oven and place the spinach on top and gently toss so that the spinach will begin to wilt from the heat of the brussels.
  8. Add grated cheese, lemon zest, walnuts and dressing and gently toss to combine.
  9. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
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Thai Chopped Salad with Chili Shrimp

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I can’t lie people — this Thai Chopped Salad with Chili Shrimp was amazing! It is a running joke in the Brossette household that we always have “a big salad” for dinner. I mean – I am probably the queen of salad – I like to make all kinds and spruce them up in different ways!

And while Mo would typically roll his eyes when I set this plate in front of him and it is in fact “a big salad” – this time, Mo wouldn’t stop talking about THIS “big salad.” In fact, had we not had other plans, I would’ve made it 2 nights in a row! Maybe 3! IT’S THAT GOOD! And, it makes A BUNCH of salad – so even if you’re cooking for one or two, make the whole recipe, portion it out and have it for lunch for a day or two! It makes great leftovers!

The chopping of the vegetables can get a little monotonous – but TRUST ME! Stick with it! It is worth every second!

Thai Chopped Salad with Chili Shrimp

Serves 4

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 1 head napa cabbage, cut into quarters and julienned
  • 4 large handfuls baby spinach, chopped
  • 8-12 fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onion, (green and white parts) thinly sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, halved and julienned
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup shelled, pre-blanched non-gmo edamame, thawed
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (black and/or white – if white, I suggest toasting them
  • ½ cup organic cashews, toasted and broken into pieces

Ingredients for the Salad Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp creamy, natural peanut butter
  • ½ tbsp raw/local honey
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • optional: 1 tbsp sriracha

Ingredients for the Chili-Lime Shrimp:

  • 1lb wild/gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 ½ tbsp raw/local honey
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Secrets garlic sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced OR ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeds and rib removed (unless you want it spicy, then leave either/or both!), and minced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tbsp ghee butter

Directions for the Salad:

  • First, marinade the shrimp. Place all Shrimp Ingredients except for the ghee into a large, sealable Ziploc baggie. Toss the bag gently, to combine well. Set this in the fridge to marinade for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  • When you’re read to put the salad together – place all of the Salad Ingredients, except for the cashews, into a large bowl. Set in the fridge.
  • Now, make the dressing: place the peanut butter into a microwave-safe, glass bowl and microwave for 15 seconds – until the peanut butter is softened, but not melted.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the peanut butter and whisk until everything is combined; set aside on the countertop, not in the fridge – you want this to stay room temp.
  • Then, cook the shrimp. Place the ghee butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the ghee is melted – swirl the pan around to coat with the ghee.
  • Pour the liquid out from the marinade and using tongs, place the shrimp onto the skillet in an even layer, not touching. Be careful because the ghee may pop a bit when you do this.
  • Let the shrimp cook for approx. 3 minutes and then using tongs (I find this easier than a spoon or spatula) flip the shrimp, keeping them in an even layer and cook for another 3 minutes or so. You want the shrimp to be opaque – that is when you know they’re done.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside while you finish the salad: pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat/combine. Then add the shrimp and toss further OR leave the shrimp to plate on top of the salad. Then toss with the cashews and serve.


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Instructions
  1. First, marinade the shrimp. Place all Shrimp Ingredients except for the ghee into a large, sealable Ziploc baggie. Toss the bag gently, to combine well. Set this in the fridge to marinade for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  2. When you’re read to put the salad together - place all of the Salad Ingredients, except for the cashews, into a large bowl. Set in the fridge.
  3. Now, make the dressing: place the peanut butter into a microwave-safe, glass bowl and microwave for 15 seconds – until the peanut butter is softened, but not melted.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the peanut butter and whisk until everything is combined; set aside on the countertop, not in the fridge – you want this to stay room temp.
  5. Then, cook the shrimp. Place the ghee butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the ghee is melted – swirl the pan around to coat with the ghee.
  6. Pour the liquid out from the marinade and using tongs, place the shrimp onto the skillet in an even layer, not touching. Be careful because the ghee may pop a bit when you do this.
  7. Let the shrimp cook for approx. 3 minutes and then using tongs (I find this easier than a spoon or spatula) flip the shrimp, keeping them in an even layer and cook for another 3 minutes or so. You want the shrimp to be opaque – that is when you know they’re done.
  8. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside while you finish the salad: pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat/combine. Then add the shrimp and toss further OR leave the shrimp to plate on top of the salad. Then toss with the cashews and serve.
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Tuna Salad Lettuce Cups

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It’s summer — and hot food and standing over the stove just doesn’t sound appetizing in the least. ESPECIALLY when you live in TEXAS! So, I decided to make an indoor picnic of sorts, because an outdoor picnic this time of year is frankly, a sweat-fest.

I grew up on my Grandmothers’ (who I call Nina) tuna fish sandwiches on fresh sourdough bread. And to this day, I make tuna salad the EXACT same way she used to – can you guess the secret ingredient? Scroll down to see! And when you do, no “oooo that’s gross!” or “WHAT!?!? I’m not trying that!” Just add the ketchup (oops – gave it away!), mix it up and you’ll never know it’s in there – except that this is going to be the best tuna salad you’ve ever had. Seriously.

These make a great, clean eating, quick and easy lunch or dinner! I love to make my Roasted Green Beans and Roasted Heirloom Potatoes to go with this!

Tuna Salad Lettuce Cups

Makes approx. 12 Lettuce Cups…

Ingredients:

  • 3 cans WILD caught albacore tuna in water
  • ¼ cup Primal Kitchen avocado oil mayo
  • 1 ½ tbsp ketchup
  • 10-12 pickles, cut into small cubes
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 12 medium/large butter lettuce leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • sriracha, optional

Directions:

  • Rinse and drain the tuna and place into a large mixing bowl.
  • Using a fork, break up the tuna so that most of the chunks are gone and it is completely shredded.
  • Mix in the mayo, ketchup, pickles, sea salt and black pepper.
  • Fill each butter lettuce leaf with approx. 3 tbsp tuna, top with a few cilantro leaves, 1-2 slices of cilantro and serve!

 

 

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  1. Rinse and drain the tuna and place into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Using a fork, break up the tuna so that most of the chunks are gone and it is completely shredded.
  3. Mix in the mayo, ketchup, pickles, sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Fill each butter lettuce leaf with approx. 3 tbsp tuna, top with a few cilantro leaves, 1-2 slices of cilantro and serve!
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Coconut Rice

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This recipe makes the perfect white rice and then adds that creamy, coconutty (is that a word?) mouthfeel and flavor to it and oh my goodness — It. Is. AWESOME.

Mo and I LOVE Thai food – there is a little place close to our house that we like to grab Thai take-out every now and then. But I will always make this rice to have with it vs just the steamed white rice they give us with the take-out. ‘

This recipe is incredibly easy to make and if you don’t like coconut but want to make the perfect white rice, just replace the coconut milk with water or low sodium broth, omit the coconut sugar and follow the same cooking instructions. You will get fluffy, perfect rice every time!

The soaking portion of this recipe is important for a couple of reasons:

1- nutritional purposes — all grains, nuts and seeds grow naturally with an outer layer called phytic acid, which for humans, is an anti-nutrient. What that means is, that when we ingest it, it inhibits the nutrients of what we’re eating from digesting properly. When grains, nuts and seeds are eaten in this form (with the phytic acid/un-soaked) this can begin to wreak havoc on the digestive system and can cause certain food allergies, etc. By soaking grains, nuts and seeds prior to eating them, we get rid of the phytic acid and in turn absorb the nutrition of the food we’re eating!

2- texture — by soaking the rice prior to cooking, it will be creamier and have an almost richer texture when cooked.

This recipe can be used as a side for so many different dishes, but also makes a GREAT breakfast with 1 or 2 over easy eggs on top!

Hope you enjoy!

Coconut Rice
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white jasmine or basmati rice
  • 1, 15oz can coconut milk (light or full fat)
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 ½ tsp coconut sugar

Directions:

  • Pour the rice into a bowl and fill with water until rice is completely covered. Gently stir, cover with a dish towel and set to the side on the counter – let it soak for at least 30 minutes, up to 4-6 hours.

  • When you’re ready to cook the rice, pour the rice/water into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear/is no longer white/clouded…

  • Place the rice into a 2 quart saucepan with coconut milk, water, sea salt and coconut sugar. Stir well to combine.

  • Place the pot over high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover the pot tightly with a lid. Continue cooking for 15 minutes. DON’T PEAK!

  • Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork, taste and season with additional salt, if needed.


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  1. Pour the rice into a bowl and fill with water until rice is completely covered. Gently stir, cover with a dish towel and set to the side on the counter – let it soak for at least 30 minutes, up to 4-6 hours.
  2. When you’re ready to cook the rice, pour the rice/water into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear/is no longer white/clouded...
  3. Place the rice into a 2 quart saucepan with coconut milk, water, sea salt and coconut sugar. Stir well to combine.
  4. Place the pot over high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover the pot tightly with a lid. Continue cooking for 15 minutes. DON’T PEAK!
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  6. Fluff with a fork, taste and season with additional salt, if needed.
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Roasted Heirloom Potatoes with Lemon Basil Aioli

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This recipe… These potatoes… We have them AT LEAST once a week at our house! They are the easiest things in the world to make and I’m here to tell you – they are JUST as good as french fries – THERE! I said it! I’m serious… Try them and then look me in the eyes and tell me otherwise. Mmmhmm… They are the ultimate clean eating, healthy comfort food.

I’ve been making these potatoes for quite a while and I’ve perfected them. It’s not rocket science but the details DO matter here — when I say in the directions not to let the potatoes touch when you place them on the sheet pan — I really mean do NOT let them touch. You should be able to see space/foil between each potato. And when I say to place them cut-side-down, I really DO mean that – it’s not just a suggestion. liThis will make them crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. So you take a bite and basically melt. Almost quite literally. They are heavenly.

Once I had these down and could make them in my sleep, so to speak, I started playing with different aioli’s to dip these beauties in to. Mo and I both love sauces – anything we can dip something in, we’re IN! Hence my life-devotion to chips and salsa!

Our neighbor has several basil plants growing in their front yard and told us we were welcome to take as much as we wanted! THIS is an offer this little Italian girl does not pass up! I would eat basil in or with almost everything! So I came up with this really clean and super refreshing Lemon Basil Aioli. It’s super easy to make and tastes like summer! It’s the perfect thing to cut through the creamy, richness that the potatoes are. We love it and hope you will too!

Make this! Let us know how much you love it! We hope it becomes your new go-to for comfort food or when you get that “I want something fried RIGHT NOW” craving!

Roasted Heirloom Potatoes with Lemon Basil Aioli

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo
  • approx. 8 fresh basil leaves, minced
  • zest of 1 lemon, juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • approx. 2lbs small heirloom potatoes – red, purple, Yukon gold
  • coconut oil cooking spray
  • several pinches sea salt
  • 1-2 pinches black pepper

Directions:

  • First, make the aioli by placing mayo, basil, lemon zest and juice, garlic powder and pinch of sea salt and black pepper into a bowl. Whisk well to combine. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray generously with cooking spray; set aside.
  • While the oven is pre-heating, slice potatoes in half and place in a single layer, cut-side-down onto the foil-lined baking sheet, leaving a little space between each potato – do not let them touch – otherwise they will steam and not get a crispy texture.
  • Spray the top of the potatoes with cooking spray and then season with salt, black pepper and any dried herbs you’d like.

  • Place on the top rack of the oven and let roast for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are slightly browned and easily pierced with a fork.
  • Serve immediately.

  • These will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
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  1. First, make the aioli by placing mayo, basil, lemon zest and juice, garlic powder and pinch of sea salt and black pepper into a bowl. Whisk well to combine. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray generously with cooking spray; set aside.
  4. While the oven is pre-heating, slice potatoes in half and place in a single layer, cut-side-down onto the foil-lined baking sheet, leaving a little space between each potato – do not let them touch – otherwise they will steam and not get a crispy texture.
  5. Spray the top of the potatoes with cooking spray and then season with salt, black pepper and any dried herbs you’d like.
  6. Place on the top rack of the oven and let roast for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are slightly browned and easily pierced with a fork.
  7. Serve immediately.
  8. These will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
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Naked Hatch Chile Turkey Burgers

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Tis the season for Hatch Green Chiles and I am SOOOOOOO excited! I love spicy anything — so I twiddle my thumbs through July, waiting for August, when Hatch Chiles come into season and into stores! I’m putting them in EVERYTHING! …just ask M0! 😉

These turkey burgers are super easy to make – everything goes into one bowl. And you can easily double the recipe to make for a larger group or to have as leftovers throughout the week. …these make GREAT leftovers!

Hatch Chiles can be hot or mild — most stores will have them separated in the produce section and/or if pre-roasted. And I will say – the hot ones are HOT. I used 2 mild and 1 hot for this recipe and it was perfect!

I’m not a big fan of buns on my burgers – never have been. It’s not a “carb” thing, it’s just a preference for me. So, if you wanted to add a bun – I suggest a crusty piece of good sourdough bread that you butter with a little ghee and stick on the grill (outdoor or pan) for a couple of minutes before serving… That of course would make these burgers fall into the Primal category vs Paleo — so if Paleo is important to you, stick with the recipe below.

I like to serve these with my Roasted Heirloom Potatoes and Lemon Basil Aioli. But, you could also do roasted asparagus or Jackson’s Honest, Beanitos or Way Better Chips – these are all of our favorites and the cleanest we’ve found!

Naked Hatch Green Chile Turkey Burgers

Makes 2 Burgers or 4 Sliders…

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground turkey breast
  • 2-3 roasted hatch green chiles, diced***
  • 1 large shallot, grated
  • zest of 1 lime, juice of ½ lime
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Optional “Bun:” 2-4 large pieces Butter Lettuce, Escarole, Kale, Swiss Chard, etc. or bed of Sautéed Spinach
  • Optional (but recommended) Toppings:
    • Sliced Avocado
    • Coconut Sugar Caramelized Onion***
    • Goat Cheese Crumbles

Directions:

  • Place turkey, chiles, shallot, herbs, spices and lime zest and juice in bowl and use hands to mix well. Set aside.

  • ***Start the caramelized onions (if making) by placing approx. 1 tsp olive oil or cooking spray into a medium nonstick skillet on medium heat. Cut the ends off of the onion, slice in half and then julienne. Place the onion into the pan, sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and ½ – 1 tsp (depending upon how large the your onion is…) coconut sugar over the top and then toss to combine. Once the onion has softened, turn the heat to low and stir every now and then. Let these continue to cook until the burgers are ready to serve or until they are as caramelized as you’d like.***

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Now, back to the burgers. Form the turkey mixture into two regular sized or four slider-sized patties and place on a plate – I like to cover a plate with foil so that I have easier cleanup.

  • Place a nonstick grill pan or shallow skillet on medium heat with approx. 1-2 tsp ghee butter or cooking spray or go get your outdoor grill lit!

  • When pan is hot and butter is melted, place patties in pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Place in the oven for 10-12 more minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Alternatively, throw them onto your outdoor grill and cook accordingly.

  • When burgers are done, get them off of the heat and let rest for 5 minutes or so, while you prep the toppings.
  • Place a piece of Butter Lettuce, Kale, or Sauteed Spinach onto a plate – if using, then the turkey patty, top with onions, goat cheese and avocado – if using. Fold the Butter Lettuce, Kale, etc. over the top, if this applies and ENJOY!

***If Hatch Chiles are not in season, feel free to substitute with 1 fresh Jalapeño – remove the seeds and ribs if you don’t want it to be too spicy…

***During Hatch season (August – October) you can find Hatch Chiles already roasted. Central Market is great about this. But, if you want to roast your own, click the link in the Ingredients section and you will be taken to the directions I use for roasting my own.

 

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Instructions
  1. Place turkey, chiles, shallot, herbs, spices and lime zest and juice in bowl and use hands to mix well. Set aside.
  2. ***Start the caramelized onions (if making) by placing approx. 1 tsp olive oil or cooking spray into a medium nonstick skillet on medium heat. Cut the ends off of the onion, slice in half and then julienne. Place the onion into the pan, sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and ½ - 1 tsp (depending upon how large the your onion is...) coconut sugar over the top and then toss to combine. Once the onion has softened, turn the heat to low and stir every now and then. Let these continue to cook until the burgers are ready to serve or until they are as caramelized as you'd like.***
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Now, back to the burgers. Form the turkey mixture into two regular sized or four slider-sized patties and place on a plate - I like to cover a plate with foil so that I have easier cleanup.
  5. Place a nonstick grill pan or shallow skillet on medium heat with approx. 1-2 tsp ghee butter or cooking spray or go get your outdoor grill lit!
  6. When pan is hot and butter is melted, place patties in pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Place in the oven for 10-12 more minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Alternatively, throw them onto your outdoor grill and cook accordingly.
  7. When burgers are done, get them off of the heat and let rest for 5 minutes or so, while you prep the toppings.
  8. Place a piece of Butter Lettuce, Kale, or Sauteed Spinach onto a plate - if using, then the turkey patty, top with onions, goat cheese and avocado – if using. Fold the Butter Lettuce, Kale, etc. over the top, if this applies and ENJOY!
Recipe Notes

If Hatch Chiles are not in season, feel free to substitute with 1 fresh Jalapeño – remove the seeds and ribs if you don’t want it to be too spicy...

During Hatch season (August - October) you can find Hatch Chiles already roasted. Central Market is great about this. But, if you want to roast your own, click the link in the Ingredients section and you will be taken to the directions I use for roasting my own.

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Zucchini “Pasta” Salad with Avocado Pesto and Roasted Chicken

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I. LOVE. PASTA. I’m Italian – well, 25% or something… Maybe I should do the ancestry.com thing? Regardless – my Italian grandmother cooked for me all the time, growing up – in fact, she is the reason I am a Nutritionist and because of her I practice Nutrition holistically. She has always cooked with high quality, healthy fats and sprouted grains. She was sprouting grains before it was even a “thing.” She would make Zucchini Muffins and we would add bran and olive oil to them and then smear lots of good, REAL butter on them when they came out of the oven. I can taste them now as I type this…

All of that to say – I CRAVE Italian food but what I dislike about pasta is you can have so little for SO many carbohydrates and calories. NO I don’t advocate counting calories, BUT the way Mo and I eat (ehemmmm – we could probably eat most people under the table!) I want quality AND quantity! So, I’ve fallen in love with the discovery of making vegetables into noodles. Just makes me happy to have a plate full of vegetables that satisfy me the way a plate full of good old fashioned spaghetti does.

This Zucchini “Pasta” makes the perfect summer dish – it’s hearty but refreshing, and super clean – full of healthy fats from the avocado, pine nuts and olive oil and it can be served at room temp or slightly chilled, so it’s perfect in warmer weather! Another bonus – no standing over the stove! Once the chicken is cooked, the heat in the kitchen is turned off!

The Avocado Pesto is completely dairy free and vegan and I promise you won’t miss the cheese! It is great in this recipe but could be your new go-to for pesto’s in other recipes!

This is a super easy to make dinner, but can also serve as a great lunch for the kiddos or to take to work! Just prep all of the ingredients and portion out the zucchini, sundried tomatoes and shredded chicken in individual tupperware and then do the same with pesto in separate tupperware – keep in the fridge and grab and go in the mornings! When you’re ready to eat, simply pour the pesto over the zucchini, etc., shake it up and enjoy!

Hope you enjoy this easy to make lunch or dinner! You’ll feel satisfied and refreshed after eating it!

Zucchini “Pasta” Salad with Avocado Pesto and Roasted Chicken

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 bone-in, skin-on free range chicken breasts***
  • 3 medium zucchini, spiralized into noodles using a spiralizer or peeler
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups loosely packed basil
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley
  • 1 medium avocado, pitted
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • zest of 1 lemon, juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • approx. ¼ – 1/3 cup filtered water
  • Optional: 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and place chicken, bone-side-down/skin-side-up, onto the pan. Rub chicken all over with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Place chicken into the oven on the top rack and roast 25-40 minutes, depending upon how large the breasts are — until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Pull out of the oven and allow to cool at least 20 minutes, so that you can handle it with your hands.

  • While the chicken is roasting, spiralize the zucchini and place in a large bowl and set aside.

  • While the chicken is cooling, make the pesto. In a food processor, fitted with the steel blade, combine the basil, parsley, avocado, ¼ cup pine nuts, garlic, lemon zest/juice and olive oil. Process until combined. With the processor running, add just enough water to make a smooth, but not runny, sauce – no more than a few tablespoons at a time. Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste.

  • Before shredding the chicken, if you want to use the skin, gently peel it off of the top of the breast and lay flat on the same pan you roasted the chicken on and turn oven to broil. Then, shred the chicken and place into the bowl with the zucchini, add the sundried tomatoes. Pour the sauce over and toss well to combine.

  • Place the chicken skin into the oven on the top rack for 45 seconds to 1 minute – until skin is crisped up.
  • Plate the zucchini, etc. and top with a few pine nuts, red pepper flakes and crispy chicken skin, if you’d like!
  • This is best enjoyed the day it is made.

Notes:

  • Feel free to substitute a pre-roasted rotisserie chicken vs roasting your own. You can certainly use the dark meat as well, if you enjoy it!
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and place chicken, bone-side-down/skin-side-up, onto the pan. Rub chicken all over with sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Place chicken into the oven on the top rack and roast 25-40 minutes, depending upon how large the breasts are -- until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Pull out of the oven and allow to cool at least 20 minutes, so that you can handle it with your hands.
  4. While the chicken is roasting, spiralize the zucchini and place in a large bowl and set aside.
  5. While the chicken is cooling, make the pesto. In a food processor, fitted with the steel blade, combine the basil, parsley, avocado, ¼ cup pine nuts, garlic, lemon zest/juice and olive oil. Process until combined. With the processor running, add just enough water to make a smooth, but not runny, sauce – no more than a few tablespoons at a time. Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste.
  6. Before shredding the chicken, if you want to use the skin, gently peel it off of the top of the breast and lay flat on the same pan you roasted the chicken on and turn oven to broil. Then, shred the chicken and place into the bowl with the zucchini, add the sundried tomatoes. Pour the sauce over and toss well to combine.
  7. Place the chicken skin into the oven on the top rack for 45 seconds to 1 minute - until skin is crisped up.
  8. Plate the zucchini, etc. and top with a few pine nuts, red pepper flakes and crispy chicken skin, if you’d like!
  9. This is best enjoyed the day it is made.
Recipe Notes

Feel free to substitute a pre-roasted rotisserie chicken vs roasting your own. You can certainly use the dark meat as well, if you enjoy it!

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