Friday, January 10, 2014

Easy cheesy (but not paleo) chicken and veg

So, I'm a little behind on the posts. We've been back at home for about a week now, so I've got some recipes to share from last week.
This one isn't paleo (sorry guys...). But it was pretty tasty, if that counts for anything.
This is kind of a...whatever you can get your hands on recipe. We ate this the night we got back from vacation. We drove back from Raleigh, and we were both pretty pooped, so a trip to the grocery store was definitely not happening. Before we left for AZ we'd gotten rid of pretty much all the perishable food items in the house so I threw this together with whatever we had. This was pretty damn tasty, and it'd be really easy to sub out whatever veggies you want, or whatever meat you have in the freezer to customize this however you like. The pasta and the cheese sauce are what make this non-paleo, but it would be easy to make this a paleo meal. I made a really basic bechamel sauce because I didn't have any pasta sauce handy, and I was waaaay too tired to make one from scratch, so I made a cheese sauce for the pasta. Dairy isn't exactly paleo (though it isn't exactly not paleo either) and you need a lot of milk for bechamel sauce, but I think coconut milk or almond milk would make a decent substitute, as well as almond flour instead of all purpose flour. My particular version of paleo includes dairy, but if you're stricter about it you could sub out the milk. The cheese is optional in bechamel sauce, I used sharp cheddar because I think it's a bit bland without cheese, but you can leave it out.

Easy cheesy chicken and veggies. Feeds two.

2 chicken breasts
½ a box of spaghetti
1 bag “California Style” frozen vegetables (broccoli, carrots and cauliflower)

For the bechamel sauce
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose (or almond) flour
4 cups milk (whole, coconut or almond, your call)
2 teaspoons salt
As much cheese as you feel is necessary. I used about two cups of grated sharp cheddar.

In a medium pan, heat the milk until it's almost boiling. DON'T let the milk boil, it gets all nasty.

In another pan melt the butter over med-low heat, add the flour and mix until all the lumps are gone. Turn the heat up to medium and let the butter and flour cook for about five minutes, or until it gets golden brown.

Add the heated milk to the butter mixture one cup at a time, whisking it constantly until smooth. Bring it to a boil and let it sit, mixing regularly for about ten minutes, adding in a handful of cheese at a time until it's all mixed in. Take it off the heat until you need it.

Cook the chicken breasts—I put them whole in the pan with the lid on over medium low heat and turned them every five minutes or so until they were cooked through. It's easy to burn them this way, but just pay attention to them

Once the breasts were pretty much cooked through, I added the frozen veggies, put the lid on and left it for a few minutes. While the veggies are going, cook the pasta, and everything should be done around the same time.

Plate and serve.

This was pretty tasty for being scrounged up out of the kitchen. And it burned through some of the pasta, which we're not allowed while we're paleo, but I'm too stingy to throw away a perfectly fine box of pasta. So it's just sitting in the cupboard, taunting me. Maybe I'll sneak it in in a few weeks. Have myself a cheat day. We'll see.