Sunday, February 16, 2014

Greasy bar food, paleo style

So, if you're anything like me ( and if you're reading, I assume you are) you love yourself some tasty, greasy finger food. I love dive bars, partly because the beer is always cheap, but also becasue the food is always good and spicy and extra greasy, and I can eat it with my fingers and no one will judge me.
Double win.
Sometimes when you're trying to eat clean and be healthy you get cravings for things you really cannot have. Like hot wings, fries and ranch, or cinnamon rolls. But the goal is to not give in to those cravings. Though, don't torture yourself. Mr Idiot and I have Saturdays off. We can have a little ice cream, maybe some hamburgers, and we don't get nutso over the smell of McDonald's the rest of the week. I guess the trick is to set yourself a limit--I can have a break day, or meal, or week, and then I have to stick to the plan. It helps stop binge eating on stuff you've been denying yourself and then feeling guilty about it for ages afterwords. At least, that's what works for us. There are lots of great resources on making sure you don't crack and go crazy on a diet.
But, I've gotten off point. I had a craving for the bar food I love (and can't have) so instead of caving and ordering delivery, we made an attempt to recreate the joy of wings and fries without the grease and bad fats.
So, this recipe is kind of labor intensive. There's a few recipes that I combined to get this meal, but you can swap in or out whatever you feel like eating.
I wanted something spicy, and I really wanted finger food, so we made drumsticks and fries and Caesar salad with paleo friendly ranch dressing.
So, this is probably a thing you should start early, because the drumsticks need to marinade. I only marinaded them for an hour, and they were not nearly as spicy as I wanted.

So, this is what you'll need for the drumsticks
However many drumsticks you feel like eating (we made eight)
2 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
1/4 cup of coconut oil melted
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
4 cloves of garlic peeled
1 tsp ground cumin
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Blend all of that good stuff together in a food processor. Put the drumsticks in a freezer bag and pour in your spicy marinade. Shake the bag around to coat the drumsticks and stick them in the fridge for anywhere between one and eight hours. (I'd go for more than an hour, let that lime and jalapeno really sink in there.)

While those are marinading, you can prep the sweet potatoes and the dressing.

This dressing, by the way, is awesome. I used the leftovers to dip meatballs in, I used it as veggie dip, it's great.
So, here's the ingredients for the dip/dressing/awesome sauce

1 ripe avocado
3 garlic cloves
1 can of coconut milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh dill
2 tbsp fresh chives
salt and pepper to taste.

Throw all of that in the food processor and blend it all up. I put a hearty squish of sriracha sauce into the mix because I'm a sucker for punishment.

I threw together a salad with some turnip greens and some lettuce that was leftover in the fridge. There were some carrots and...whatever in there, use your imagination.

So! Once your lime chicken is done marinading, make your sweet potato fries. You can get the low down on sweet potato fries from the Idiot Burgers recipe here.

The fries have to go in at 450 and the chicken cooks at 425, so make your choice which one you wanna cook first, it's no big deal.

Put the drumsticks on a wire rack over an oven tray covered in foil.
We don't have a cooling rack, so I used the rack from the toaster oven. Don't judge. Improvise, okay?

Anyway, cook the chicken at 425 for fifteen minutes, take it out, turn it and cook it for another 15. Make sure the juice runs clear when you cut into it.

That's it. You can make the fries or not, or just salad, or coleslaw or anything you like.

If you're in the mood for some really good barfood that's not nearly as bad for you as it tastes, this is the stuff for you.