Okay, so don’t freak out. I’m still a foodie. I did not choose this diet, it seems to have chosen me, but I will find whatever wiggle room my system allows for. I will eventually go back to enjoying cheese and ice cream, if not doughnuts and cake. But for the time being I’m making the most of this thing, and discovering some new techniques and deliciousnesses that I didn’t know about before. I have found that I don’t really need rice or grains with dinner, but I do love me some root vegetables.
This dinner is a mash-up from Well Fed, a blog and cookbook series by another Austinite. I didn’t modify her recipes much, but these are the ones I used:
The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat–This is a recipe for chicken breasts that involves first brining the meat for a couple of hours, rinsing it, and then rubbing it with a spice mix and grilling. It also includes a dipping sauce recipe.
My mods: cut down on the amount of chili powder in the spice mix because my chipotle is pretty hot; added a little olive oil to the brined, rinsed meat before rubbing the spice powder in, and grilled on my panini grill which is basically a fancy George Foreman grill…or maybe that is cheap panini grill. Whatever. On high, chicken breast cooks PERFECTLY in five minutes. Don’t mess with perfection.
I used some of the spice mix on a cubed butternut squash and roasted on a cookie sheet with olive oil, salt, and pepper at 375 until it was soft on the inside and browned and crisp on the outside.
The Moroccan Dipping Sauce is really great, my only mod is I pulse it in my blender instead of chopping because I’m lazy that way. It forces the oil and lemon juice to emulsify and turns a lovely shade of green. I drizzled it on top of the chicken and used it to dress some lactino kale sautéed with garlic, onion, and a little olive oil.
So how did it come out? Oh so very good. I wasn’t convinced at first that the brining was worth the effort, but when I got into the chicken, it was insanely moist. Chicken breast has that five second window between raw and rubbery, and the brining makes a huge difference. Delicious. The spice mix was awesome on the squash, but a little heavy on the cumin for my taste. I was, however, using a high oil cumin (it turns out that’s a thing) so maybe that’s why it was overpowering.
I’m getting used to the idea of switching out sauces, meats, and veggies. The CSA is even easier to use up, as I do a fair amount of veggies at usually two meals a day. This foray into Paleo cooking was a success!