Friday, February 21, 2014

Coconut chicken, root mash and spinach

Hello guys and gals!
I have been terrible this week and haven't posted at all. Which means, I've got tons of stuff built up for you this week. Like, my first and second slowcooker experiences (why haven't I been doing this all along?), my very first hot yoga class (very nearly died) and A GETTING A DOG!
Super stoked about that one. We're picking her up tomorrow and we're going to name her Laika and I cannot wait to have a fluffy love ball.
But that's news for tomorrow.
Today we're going to talk about breadcrumbs. Mainly about how I love things dipped in breadcrumbs and it made me a sad, sad panda for a while because they are a no no for paleo eaters.
Fortunately, I have discovered that coconut makes a damn good substitute. To be totally honest guys, I actually prefer coconut breadcrumbs to bread breadcrumbs. Crazy, I know. But they're so light and crispy and they taste very...decadent. Very rich, without being heavy. They're perfect, basically.
The weather is finally, FINALLY picking up here. The hubs and I celebrated Friday with some beers on the patio tonight and it was indeed lovely. 68, breezy, perfect.

Anyway, since the weather has been picking up and it's not snowing every damn day, we can start eating things that aren't designed to keep a body warm in a dark, winter hellscape. Hooray. Mr. Idiot and I have been rotating through the various frozen meats in our freezer, and Monday is chicken day, and I'm trying to avoid the chicken, carrots and broccoli meal I see so many paleo people eating. I like my diet food not to taste like diet food. And so was born Coconut breaded chicken breast, winter root mash and fried spinach with tomatoes.

What you'll need for the whole meal:
1/2 bag frozen spinach (about 2 cups)
Handful of grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (Mine comes in pretty large flakes, so I put it in the food processor to get it breadcrumb sized)
1 egg
1 tbsp cold water
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp minced garlic

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the egg and the tbsp of cold water into a bowl. Get your coconut down to the desired consistency and put it in a bowl too.
Shameless plug for my AMAZING food processor. Miallegro, you are a star. 

Line an oven tray with tin foil.

Dip the chicken breasts first in the egg, and then coat it in coconut.

Put the chicken breasts on the oven tray and put in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is white and cooked through. The coconut should be browning and crispy.

While the chicken is cooking, peel and chop all the root vegetables.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the veggies for about ten minutes, or until soft.

Heat a pan over medium high heat and melt the coconut oil.

Mash all the vegetables together. I added some butter because mine were a little dry, but that's up to you. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the spinach to the pan until it starts to cook. I just put mine in frozen and cooked it that way. No big deal. Then, add the tomatoes and garlic until everything is cooked.

Take the chicken out, plate everything and serve.

This was pretty easy in terms of the skills required to make it, though it was kind of labor intensive and had me running between tasks a little.

Though, I think it was worth it. Tasty, filling, and super healthy.