Archive for November, 2013

Two Stove-top chicken “Recipes”

Posted in Recipes/Food with tags , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2013 by Dena

Not really recipes, so much as stuff I threw together that turned out good, so figured I’d share  =P

So, as I said in a previous entry, we’re currently in a hotel, where my cooking is limited to a stove-top and microwave, so I’ve had to get a bit creative. Money is also extremely tight, since we’re (so far) jobless and living off of our savings, so I’m also limited when it comes to ingredients. So figuring out what to cook, so we don’t end up living on instant ramen, has been an interesting challenge. Oh, and my non-primal husband has to like it as well, which ups the challenge even more.

Here are two I’ve made recently that I was pretty happy with:

Lemon and Garlic Chicken with Potatoes

chicken

This one was adapted from a recipe from Barefoot Contessa that I saw her make on her show ages ago that I’d been wanting to try ever since (the one I linked to isn’t the exact one, but it’s pretty close, and the one I used as a guide for this one).

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 small white potatoes, roughly cut
  • half an onion, roughly cut
  • a few cloves of garlic, only cut into about 4 pieces each
  • one lemon, quartered
  • dried rosemary and basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter to cook the chicken in (this was mainly because the pan provided by the hotel sticks like crazy and I was hoping more grease would prevent it–you could technically leave it out if you have a non-stick pan, but I think it adds to the flavor)

So, after cutting everything up, I sauteed the onions and garlic in the butter until soft, then I removed them so they wouldn’t burn, and added the chicken, lemon, and spices. Then I covered it and let the chicken cook for 5 minutes on medium-ish heat before turning it over 1/4 of the way, plus I stirred the potatoes and lemons around so nothing would burn. After somewhere around 5-6 times the chicken was cooked through and the potatoes were fork tender, then I re-added the onions and garlic and gave them a chance to heat back up.

The juice from the chicken combined with the lemon juice and garlic forms a really nice sauce. Everything just goes together really well. I’d like to substitute the potato with something a little more healthy like cauliflower, but didn’t think my husband would like it. Maybe at some point I’ll give it a shot.

It made 4 somewhat scant servings–we tend to eat light. Would probably be 2 for most people =P

Home-Made “Ramen”

ramen

Okay, in NO way is this authentic or traditional ramen. My husband and I like instant ramen, which I make a specific way–while the noodles are boiling, I add a raw beaten egg during the last minute or so of cooking, then I drain most of the water before adding the flavor packet. Cheap and unhealthy, but we love it. But I was wondering if there was a way to make a healthier and semi-primal-friendly version from scratch. Here’s what I came up with:

  • 2 cups of home made bone broth (I should have used more, as I’ll mention below)
  • Chopped-up meat from 2 cooked chicken thighs
  • Rice noodles (I just threw some handfuls into the boiling water, but I think I ended up with 2 cups total)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Oriental-ish spices–whatever you like, but I went with ground ginger, onion powder, minced garlic, some chopped green onion left over from something else, and salt

Pretty simple. First, I cooked and rinsed the noodles, then I heated the broth, added the spices, then once it came to a boil, I added the rest of the ingredients.

It came out pretty good, but much less strong-tasting than the instant kind, so I added more salt to mine–in the future, I’d probably spend a little more time adjusting the spices, but it had come to a boil pretty quickly and I was worried it might start to burn or something if I messed with it for too long. The result reminds me a bit of chicken soup with the little chunks of chicken amongst the noodles, even though it definitely tastes oriental, probably because of the ginger. I definitely should have used more broth–probably 4 cups would have been better, as it practically evaporated by the end, as you can see in the pic.

I had never used rice noodles before, and I really liked the texture and it absorbed the flavor of the broth nicely. Of course, rice isn’t technically primal since it’s a grain, but it is one of the more benign grains, so some primal people eat it anyway. A more primal version would probably involve shredding a vegetable of some kind into long ribbons, but again, I didn’t think my husband would be up for that (he’s a total pasta addict, so this was intended as a compromise of sorts, since it’s at least gluten-free).

It made about 5 scant servings.

So there you go. My next experiment will likely be Chicken Vindaloo (file it under “You know you’re a fan of Red Dwarf, When …”).

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In a New Place (Or an Old One, Depending How You Look at it)

Posted in Moving, Musings with tags , , , , , , on November 13, 2013 by Dena

Just wanted to say that we did make it to Sacramento safely (on October 30th), tho there was a bit of a snag getting the cat through the airport, then another snag getting picked up at the final airport, then yet another snag borrowing my mom’s car … but eh … the important thing is that we’re in Sacramento and things are beginning to settle down. Time for me to start being productive again.

I’m not doing great diet-wise. I think it’s partly because I have the laptop set up at what is really the kitchen counter, so I’m just too close to temptation most of the time. Also, I’ve kind of slipped into screw-my-heath-need-to-binge mode. Like I said, we hit a snag with borrowing my mom’s car and we were without transportation for a week. We are within walking distance from a liquor and food store, but it is a bit of a trek and there’s only so much you can carry when you’re on foot (not to mention, I don’t think they had any meat or produce). So we basically lived on delivery pizza and free Pop Tarts and oatmeal from the lobby during that time. At some point I had to just throw up my hands and not worry about the quality of food too much, if only to save my sanity, and I’m having a bit of a hard time letting go of that now. This is where being a creature of habit can really put a damper on things.

But, the good news is that we’re now borrowing my mom’s car (she doesn’t use it much), so we’re able to make trips to the grocery store. Therefor I’m making breakfast and dinner every day. Breakfast has been bacon and scrambled eggs (soon to change to sausage and scrambled eggs, since I got a bit tired of bacon).

As for dinner, I came up with a good recipe for chicken drumsticks (they’re cheap–it’s something like $5 for a dozen–I think it was Julie who drew my attention to that awhile back–thanks), which was adapted from a Barefoot Contessa recipe. I will try to post it soon–either way, it turned out awesome. Even Lee, who was really unenthusiastic about drumsticks, loved it.

I really need to start a job search, like really really soon. We’ve got no source of income, just some money saved up, and we’re living in a hotel room, which we’re only going to be able to afford for a little while. But, honestly, I’m having a hard time getting motivated. I’m so tired of office jobs, and I’m kind of into the domestic thing right now–I can’t think of anything more daunting than sitting at a desk all day just for the sole purpose of earning money to survive, and not having time to cook and such in the evening. It’s awful and selfish of me, but it’s just how I feel right now. Hopefully I’ll get over it soon.

Well, I guess it’s time to wrap up for now. I’ll try to get back into the swing of things and post more often. This blog is as much for me as anyone else–the soul-searching I do while writing this stuff can be pretty helpful with getting my thoughts in order.