Spicy Asian Chopped Chicken Salad

slawby Karen Frazier

This is a tasty, simple throw together meal when you have leftover chicken, or when you have cold rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. It takes minutes to prepare, but it is satisfying and flavorful.

Spicy Asian Chopped Chicken Salad

  • 1 pound cooked chicken meat, chopped
  • 1 head green cabbage, julienned
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese hot mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or to taste for Whole30, use 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
  • Juice of one lime (or juice of half an orange)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped nuts or sesame seeds (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, celery, and cilantro. Toss to mix.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the Chinese hot mustard powder, grated ginger root, Sriracha, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Toss the vinaigrette with the salad and serve immediately.
  4. Garnish with the chopped nuts or sesame seeds.

Orange-Almond Spice Cookie Bars

IMG_0908by Karen Frazier

I have always been a baker. Puttering around in the kitchen baking stuff is one of my favorite ways to while away an autumn weekend afternoon while Jim watches football. With the celiac disease and my low-carb, paleo diet, however, I stopped engaging in that love. It’s only been recently that I’ve started tinkering with baking once again.

This recipe came to me in a flash of inspiration a few days ago, and I decided last night to give it a try. I was worried about lots of things – tweaking ratios, etc., but the cookies came out really well on the first try. Feel free to mess around with the flavor profiles. I love the way the orange, spice, almond, and chocolate blend in this tasty recipe.

The cookies are paleo-ish – the erythritol in the sweetener renders them not quite paleo; however, if you aren’t baking low-carb, you can replace the sweetener with coconut sugar. It will raise the carb count, but keep the cookies paleo. So it’s a matter of blood sugar vs. staying totally paleo.

Orange-Almond Spice Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup Swerve Sweetener or Truvia (for low-carb) or coconut sugar (for paleo)
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate
  • Liquid stevia, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, mix one cup of the coconut oil with the Swerve or Truvia, almond extract, orange zest, and Chinese Five Spice powder until well blended.
  3. Stir in the eggs, beating until well-combined.
  4. Stir in the almond flour and the sea salt, mixing until well combined.
  5. Spread the dough evenly in the prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies brown slightly around the edges (the top won’t brown), and the dough doesn’t have much give on the top, about 30 minutes. Cool for ten minutes.
  6. Lift the cookies out of the pan by lifting the parchment. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining two tablespoons of coconut oil and the chocolate. Cook, stirring constantly, on low heat until the chocolate melts. Stir in the stevia a few drops at a time until you achieve the desired sweetness. The cookies are quite sweet, so I made my chocolate only lightly sweet to serve as a slightly bitter counterpoint to the sweetness of the cookies.
  8. Spread the chocolate in a very thin layer (or drizzle it artistically) on the cookies. Allow the chocolate to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes to harden the chocolate slightly. Then, cut the cookies into small bars and transfer them to plates. Refrigerate to completely harden the chocolate.

Since I don’t eat a lot of sweet stuff, I’m keeping these cookies in the freezer, at the ready for when I need a sweet treat, or when I just want a taste of something completely different.

Grilled Beef Short Ribs with Apple and Jicama Slaw

short ribsby Karen Frazier

Okay – here’s the deal. I had leftover marinade from my earlier pork belly recipe, but alas, I had no unfrozen pork belly. Not to worry, however. I have about 10 pounds of it in my freezer (yay!)

So anyhoo…I wanted to use the rest of the marinade. Which is why I headed to the grocery store and picked up some flanken-style beef short ribs (the kind of beef short ribs where they are cut thin across several bones).

I marinated them in my extra marinade for a little over two hours, and then I popped them on my Foreman grill, which I consider a very underrated kitchen gadget. You can also grill them on the regular grill or use a grill pan.

Although the marinade was the same, the flavor was very different from the pork belly. The beef was super flavorful. As I was eating, I realized the ribs would be delish with a ginger broccoli stir-fry, but it’s also good with a crispy, slightly sweet, slightly acidic slaw (or why choose? you can do both!) I’ll include recipes for both, and you can decide.

Asian Marinated Flanken-Style Beef Short Ribs

  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2-3 drops of liquid stevia
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • 2 to 3 pounds flanken-style beef short ribs
  • Sesame seeds
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, stevia, sriracha, garlic, sesame oil, and ginger root.
  2. Add the short ribs to a large zipper bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and squish it around (I believe squish is a technical term) until all the meat is covered. Refrigerate for two to four hours. The longer the marinade, the more flavor you’ll get. You can even marinade in the morning and cook when you get home.
  3. Preheat a grill on high.
  4. Grill the short ribs, three to four minutes per side.
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Broccoli Ginger Stir-Fry

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  1. In a large saute pan, heat the coconut oil on medium-high until it shimmers.
  2. Add the ginger and broccoli and cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about five minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the soy sauce. Cook for one minute, stirring frequently.

Apple and Jicama Slaw

  • 2 sweet-tart apples (I like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady), cored and julienned
  • 1 Jicama, peeled and julienned
  • Juice of two limes
  • Zest of half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  1. In a large bowl, combine the apples and jicama.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lime zest, ginger root, rice vinegar, cilantro, olive oil, and sea salt.
  3. Toss the dressing with the apples and jicama.

So those are the recipes. Trust me, they’re delicious! But, I just thought of something else that would be really delicious with the short ribs…a bok choy stir-fry, cooked in a manner similar to the broccoli above. You might even toss in a handful of sliced shiitake mushrooms for a tasty low-carb side dish.

Spicy Asian Pork Belly with Slaw

pork bellyby Karen Frazier

I love pork belly. I order ours online at Tenderbelly and cut it into one-pound slabs, which I freeze and use as needed. This tender meat is tasty and versatile. It’s also very rich, so I typically serve it with a side of something that is crispy and acidic, such as a slaw. The acidity and crispiness of the slaw cuts through the unctuous fattiness of the pork. The slaw here is a typical Asian slaw, but you can also try the recipe with a slaw made from julienned jicama or apples, which would taste delicious with an Asian vinaigrette.

Spicy Asian Pork Belly with Slaw

For the pork belly:

  • 1 to 2 pounds of pork belly
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2-3 drops of liquid stevia
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated gingerroot
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

For the slaw:

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • Cilantro leaves to taste
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Juice of one lime
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginggeroot
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese hot mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the pork belly:

  1. Slice the pork belly into slices that are slightly thicker than thick-cut bacon. Put the slices in a large zipper bag.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, stevia, sriracha, sesame oil, and gingerroot.
  3. Pour the marinade in the bag with the pork belly, sealing the bag and squishing it around to distribute the marinade and coat all of the meat.
  4. Refrigerate for one to two hours.
  5. Heat a large saute pan on medium high. Working in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, cook the pork belly until it is crisp on both sides, three to five minutes per side.
  6. Serve the pork belly on top of the slaw with the scallions and sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

For the slaw:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and scallions. Toss to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, ginger, garlic, sriracha, mustard powder, and salt.
  3. Toss the dressing with the slaw.

photo credit: umi nom pork belly adobo via photopin (license)

Low-Carb Paleo Stuffing/Dressing

stuffingby Karen Frazier

Yes – I know it’s after Thanksgiving, but some people turn around and make stuffing again at Christmas. Plus, I didn’t want to offer you a stuffing/dressing recipe until I’d tried it out on my own. That way, if it was terrible, we all would have all had disastrous stuffing on Thanksgiving. It wasn’t – it was tasty.

  • 8 ounces pancetta, cubed
  • 16 ounces bulk sage sausage
  • 2 tablespoons paleo-friendly fat (coconut oil, duck fat, etc.)
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped (optional)
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 6 rosemary sprigs, stems removed and chopped
  • 6 sage sprigs, stems removed and chopped
  • 6-8 thyme sprigs, stems removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large pot on medium-high heat, cook the pancetta and sausage,stirring occasionally, until browned, about five minutes. Remove the pork from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. In the pot with the fat from the pork, add the paleo-friendly fat and cook until it melts.
  4. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about five minutes. Remove from the vegetables from the fat with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the pork.
  5. In the same pot, add the celery and apples. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about five minutes more.
  6. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the entire contents of the pot (including the fat) to the bowl with the other vegetables and the pork.
  8. Add the almond meal, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix well.
  9. Spread the mixture in a large casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for one hour.

Tips:

  1. Try replacing the apples with about a pound of chopped mushrooms.
  2. To quickly chop the herbs, put them all in a food processor and pulse for about 10 one-second pulses, or until well chopped.

photo credit: Stuffing at the ready via photopin (license)

Avogolemono Soup with Herbed Lamb Meatballs

Avgolemono soup

by Karen Frazier

I’m on a soup roll. I’m making it about once a week right now because it keeps and freezes well, and because soup is tasty. This week, I decided to try my own take on an avgolemono (egg and lemon) soup made fragrant with garlic and herbed lamb meatballs. It was fully experimental, but incredibly delicious, and the house smelled fantastic! This is a simple soup that came together very quickly. It took me less than an hour to make. For fun, I used purple carrots in it, which added some nice color. I think next time, I may stir in about two cups of baby spinach after I add the lemon and eggs, because spinach goes so nicely with both lamb and lemon. The heat of the soup will wilt and cook the spinach almost instantly.

Avgolemono Soup with Herbed Lamb Meatballs

  • 15 garlic cloves, divided
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh marjoram
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons duck fat (or your favorite fat, such as olive oil)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 8 cups homemade chicken bone broth (or store bought chicken broth)
  • Juice of 2 to 3 lemons
  • 6 eggs
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  1. In a food processor, pulse together ten of the garlic cloves with the marjoram, rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper until finely chopped. If you don’t have a food processor, just chop the herbs and garlic finely and then mix with the salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the chopped garlic/herb mixture with the ground lamb. Roll into one-inch meatballs and set aside. I use my stand mixer for this, because my hands get so cold when I mix the meat by hand.
  3. In a large pot, heat the duck fat or olive oil on medium-high until it shimmers. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about five minutes.
  4. Chop the remaining five garlic cloves and stir them into the onions. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the chicken broth. Bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  6. Drop in the meatballs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the heat off under the soup. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and the lemons. Working about a tablespoon at a time, whisk about 1/4 cup of the hot broth into the egg and lemon mixture to temper the eggs so they don’t cook when you add them to the soup. Then, in a thin stream stir the egg mixture into the soup. If adding spinach, stir it in after you’ve stirred in the egg and lemon mixture.
  8. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Caramelized Onion and Italian Sausage Soup

soup

by Karen Frazier

I know, I know. More soup. It’s the first day of fall, so a nice, warming soup is perfect for your dinner.

One of the reasons I like soups and stews so much is that they really provide an opportunity to build flavor, which gives them a complex, rich taste. In the case of this soup, the complex flavors come from taking the time to brown your meat and caramelize your onions, which adds a deep savory richness to the soup. This soup is pretty easy and hands-off, so while it takes a bit of time to come together, it isn’t terribly labor-intensive.

Caramelized Onion and Italian Sausage Soup

  • 2 tablespoons duck fat, lard, or your favorite fat
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 6 cups homemade beef bone broth
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  1. In a large pot, heat the fat on medium-high until it shimmers.
  2. Add the Italian sausage and cook, crumbling as you cook, until it is browned, about five minutes.
  3. Remove the sausage from the fat with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a platter.
  4. Reduce the heat to low. Add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until the onions are caramelized.
  5. Return the heat to medium-high. Add the sherry, using the side of a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add the bone broth, mushrooms, salt, pepper, and reserved Italian sausage. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until the mushrooms soften, five to ten minutes.

I like mine drizzled with a little bit of truffle oil.

photo credit: photopin (license)

Spicy Asian Meatball and Vegetable Soup

Spicy Asian Meatball SoupIf you’re a regular reader of my blog, then you may have noticed that I make a lot of soup. It’s because I love soup. I make some type of soup at least once a week. You can load soups with healthy bone broth, veggies, meats, herbs, and spices and never have the same meal twice. Well, actually – I usually have the same meal twice with leftovers for the freezer, but that’s because I follow the cook once eat twice (or more) philosophy. That means I always make an extra big batch of soup because I just know some is destined for the freezer. Of course, that also means I have a slow cooker full of broth simmering on the counter several days per week, as well. Because if you’re going to make the most flavorful soup, you definitely need homemade bone broth
or stock.

While I used homemade duck stock for the soup and ground duck for the meatballs, feel free to replace those ingredients with chicken stock and ground pork if you wish.

Spicy Asian Meatball and Vegetable Soup

  • 3 bunches green onions, chopped, divided
  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed but reserved, caps sliced
  • 10 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 2 teaspoons grated gingerroot, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese dry mustard powder
  • 2 pounds ground duck (or ground pork)
  • 1/2 teaspoon expeller pressed sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Boat fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons homemade sriracha, divided (or 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes)
  • 2 tablespoons of duck fat (or another paleo-friendly fat)
  • 6-8 cups homemade duck stock (or chicken stock)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 bunches of baby bok choy, chopped
  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a chopping blade, add one bunch of the green onions, the shiitake mushroom stems (save the caps), 5 cloves of the garlic, half of the cilantro, 1 teaspoon of the gingerroot, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the mustard powder. Pulse for 10 one-second pulses, or until everything is extremely well chopped.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the ground duck, the sesame oil, the fish sauce, and one tablespoon of the sriracha with the contents of the food processor. Mix with your hands until well-combined. Form into one-inch meatballs and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat the duck fat on medium-high until it shimmers. Add the remaining two bunches of chopped green onions and one teaspoon of grated gingerroot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, four to five minutes.
  4. Add the remaining five cloves of chopped garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the duck stock, the pepper, the remaining sriracha, the carrots, and the sliced shiitake mushroom caps to the pot. Bring it to a boil.
  6. Drop the meatballs into the boiling soup and return the pot to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  7. Add the bok choy and the remaining cilantro to the pot. Turn of the heat. Allow the soup to sit for five minutes before serving.

Italian Meatball Veggie Soup

meatball soupI love soup! It’s delicious, you can load it with veggies, and it’s quick and easy to prepare. We’ve got some big-time meat eaters in our family, so I especially like making soup with meatballs in it to make a really meaty soup. Tonight is the first time I’ve made this soup, but it was really tasty.

Italian Meatball Veggie Soup

  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons duck fat (or another paleo-friendly fat)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 cups homemade beef or chicken stock
  • 1 can (14 ounces) organic chopped tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the Italian sausage, ground beef, one tablespoon of the garlic, the Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper, mixing until well combined. Form into one-inch meatballs. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat the duck fat over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to brown, about five minutes.
  3. Add the stock, the remaining one teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, tomatoes, fennel, red pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, and carrots. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Drop in the meatballs. Return the soup to a boil and cook until the meatballs are cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes (depending on size).
  5. Stir in the baby spinach and basil. Remove the soup from the heat.

photo credit: Buffalo meatball soup via photopin (license)

Asian Cucumber “Noodle” Salad

Cucumber

by Karen Frazier

They had beautiful cucumbers at the farmers market this week, so I picked up a few. I find cucumbers really refreshing – particularly in the summer. I love their slight acidity, which adds balance to fatty or rich cuts of meat, such as pork belly. I also picked up some cilantro, red scallions, and red heirloom carrots.

I have a spiralizer that I love to use to turn veggies into noodles, so I knew immediately what I wanted to do with this combination of farmer’s market veggies. I wanted to spiralize them into cold, crunchy “noodles” and then toss them with an Asian-inspired vinaigrette.

If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler and cut the cucumbers and carrots into long, wide strips. You can use a paring knife to cut the strips into “noodles” or you can leave them as wide strips. It’s up to you.

Cold Cucumber “Noodle” Salad

  • 2 cucumbers, spiralized or cut into noodles
  • 2 large carrots, spiralized or cut into noodles
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • Juice of one orange
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes for Whole30)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cold pressed sesame oil
  1. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, carrots, scallions, and cilantro.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, sea salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, sriracha, and sesame oil.
  3. Toss the vinaigrette with the vegetables and serve cold.

spiralizer cover

(image license)

For more spiralizer recipes, check out the Healthy Spiralizer Cookbook, which I wrote for Rockridge Press.  It contains an array of veggie based “noodle” recipes using a spiralizer. I really like my Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer, which works like a pro with many vegetables.

If you’re trying to cut down on carbs, or if you just want to find a great way of adding noodles to your diet without the gluten, a spiralizer is a wonderful choice. I like making zucchini noodles into pasta, that I can then toss with all types of Italian sauces. You can also make soups, salads, and an array of other tasty vegetable and fruit dishes.