Chicken Parmesan

Like I mentioned in previous posts…..we LOVE Italian food!  And our favorite dish at Italian restaurants is Chicken Parmesan.  I like to try different dishes on the menu, but Trip…he stays with the classic.  He will order Chicken Parmesan and I will try something new, and his dish is always better.  Since we love this dish so much, it only makes sense that I make it at home, but only a bit healthier.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2c almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Marinara
  • Shredded Mozzarella
  • Coconut Oil

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Normally in restaurants the chicken comes in a single breast.  I like to cut the chicken into pieces and then bread it.   Open the eggs for an egg wash in a bowl.  In another bowl, put your almond flour and spices in.  Mix the flour and spices.

 

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Dip the chicken into the egg wash and then put it in the breading.  I typically use my left hand to mix the chicken in the eggs, drop it into the breading bowl and use my right hand to roll the chicken in the breading.  I have found that this will help keep excess egg into the breading and it won’t get as many clumps.

When you are finished, it looks like this:IMG_2483

As you can see, there isn’t a ton of flour on the chicken.   A lot of restaurants will have pounded the chicken so thin that some bites are just breading.  With this thin coating of breading, you get the taste and the texture of the crispy breading.

Next, you will use a medium pan and put a tablespoon of coconut oil in.  You will sear each side of the chicken for 1.5-2 minutes on each side.  (As you can see, I don’t deep fry my chicken.)  You want a nice golden color on the chicken.  It’s ok if it isn’t cooked all the way through, we will be baking it in a few minutes.

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You can get your baking dish ready while the chicken is cooking.  I start by putting a layer of marinara on the bottom.  I like using the marinara recipe I posted earlier.  Then once the chicken is done searing on both sides, put it on a paper towel to drain off excess oil.  Next you can start putting it in your baking dish.

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Once it is full of chicken, put another layer of marinara over the chicken.

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Bake the chicken for 20 minutes in the oven.  Once that has finished cooking, put as much mozzarella as you like over the dish.  And cook until cheese is melted, about 7 minutes.

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You can serve this over pasta, zoodles, sweet potato noodles, or quinoa!  Or just eat it plain.   Anyway you have it, it tastes amazing!

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Almond Flour Banana Bread

Something that I greatly miss eating since starting Paleo has been banana bread.   This was one of my favorite things to eat as a kid, and I even entered it in the county fair in elementary school.  My mother would have to make mini loaves because I could literally eat a whole loaf in one sitting!  I have tried several Paleo recipes before, but they either didn’t turn out right, or didn’t live up to what I remembered growing up with…….until today!

I found this recipe on Pinterest (credited to http://www.thewac.com) and thought I would give it a try.  It has 8 ingredients, 9 if you include pecans!  (And why would you not include Pecans?  Banana bread is so plain without them!)

Recipe:

  • 3 overly ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp Honey (recipe called for 1-2, but I had a feeling that it wasn’t enough, so I added more)
  • 1/4c melted coconut oil
  • 2c almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2c chopped pecans

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take the bananas, eggs, vanilla, honey, and coconut oil and put them in a food processor.  Pulse for about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

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Next, add the almond flour, salt, and baking powder.  Pulse until well combined.

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This is where you can add the pecans.  I stirred in the chopped pecans.

Pour into a well greased bread pan.

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Bake for 50-55 minutes!   Toothpick should come out clean when it is stuck in the middle of the bread.  Let it cool, slice, and enjoy!

Nothing beats fresh warm banana bread!

Nothing beats fresh warm banana bread!

I knew that this was going to be tasty before it even came out of the oven!  The first bite was exactly how I remembered it tasting growing up.

The hard part with fresh out of the oven banana bread, is not eating all of it!  Thank goodness I have learned self restraint!  Or else this would have been gone!  🙂

Chocolate Cupcakes

I’m back!  Sorry for being MIA!  I have been busy!  Finished moving in with my boyfriend into his house.  It’s still a mess!  Just because we moved all of my stuff in, doesn’t mean that my stuff is organized.   Actually, the master bedroom is now where all of my furniture is until we renovate the master bedroom and bathroom.  As you could probably tell, this means that we have a lot of things to do around the house before we officially settled.

I did try several new recipes in my absence from blogging……but……they were total failures and I haven’t had time to rework them.   So, to keep your taste buds occupied, I wanted to share with you this tried and true recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes!

I found this recipe through one of the blogs I follow.  The original recipe is for a Chocolate Bundt Cake, but I made these into cupcakes instead for a party.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 c unsweetened, full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Put cupcake liners in muffin tin.  I lightly sprayed them with a coconut oil spray.  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and set aside.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut milk, syrup, and vanilla.  Stir into the dry ingredients.  Pour batter into the cupcake liners in the muffin pan.  I used a 1/2c measuring cup to put the batter into each liner.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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Now, if you want to get fancy…..which I did with these cupcakes….I ended up making a caramel sauce to “fill” the cupcakes with.  I ended up using this recipe.  I tried to make the caramel sauce from Life Made Full, but I have yet to perfect it.   But the recipe from A Calculated Whisk, was easy to make and so tasty!  I couldn’t stop eating it, even days later I would find things to put it on so I could have more.  If I can’t get the Paleo caramel to work, this will be my go to caramel sauce.  No more store bought caramel for me!

Look at that beautiful caramel sauce!  Yum!

Look at that beautiful caramel sauce! Yum!

 

Take a cupcake and create a small hole in the center of the cupcake.   I used a potato peeler.

IMG_1749Put a spoonful of caramel into the hole.

After you have filled your cupcakes, you can ice them.  For the party, I did a simple chocolate cream cheese icing.

Frosting:

  • 4 ounces of softened unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla (to taste)

Mix the butter and cream cheese together.  Then add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in gradually.   Those are just some starting measurements that I gave you.  Depending on how sweet you like your frosting will determine how much of the powdered sugar and cocoa that you put in.  I tend to make mine less sweet.

Once you have the icing to your liking, ice your cupcakes and decorate!

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Our friends at the party couldn’t believe that these were gluten free!  I even let a coworker try one the next day, and he still does not believe that there is no traditional flour in them.  🙂

Hope you enjoy this tasty treat!