Don’t you hate it when you forget to take frozen meat out of the freezer the night before your planned dinner?
Or maybe you decide on a recipe (like this one) last minute, but your ground chicken is frozen solid?
These scenarios are not uncommon in my world. There’s been numerous times where I forget to take meat out of the freezer with enough time to thaw out in the fridge OR I decide on a recipe last minute with only frozen meat on hand.
I’m assuming I’m not alone with my frozen meat problems, so I decided to give you some quick tips for thawing out frozen ground meat safely!
The first method is best, BUT the second method comes in handy for those who forget to thaw out their meat using the first method or are last minute planners.
THE LONG THAW METHOD: If you have 12 to 24 hours…
If you know ahead of time that you want to use your ground meat, thawing it in the refrigerator is the safest way to do so. It takes about 24 hours to fully thaw one pound of ground beef in the refrigerator.
THE QUICK THAW METHOD: If you have 30-minutes to 1 hour…
With less than an hour to go before dinner and a pound of frozen ground meat in your hands, you can defrost it in a bowl of cold water. Make sure the frozen meat is in a sealed package, then submerge it in a bowl of cold tap water. Important note: DO NOT use warm or hot water since this will heat the outer layer of meat too quickly, risking the growth of bacteria. For this reason, you should also change the water to keep it from getting too warm. One pound of meat will take about one hour to defrost in a bowl of water, then it should be cooked right away.
Now that we’ve solved your frozen meat problems, it’s time to try this super delicious Chicken Green Goddess Plate!
This is one of my favourite go-to dishes during the busy work week. It’s super quick and easy to prepare and it’s packed with so much great flavour!
I used cabbage as a base for this recipe since I always have it on hand–it lasts long in the fridge and is super versatile. If you’re not a fan of cabbage feel free to substitute it with riced cauliflower, spaghetti squash, salad or another base of choice.
Green Goddess Chicken Plate
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
1 lb ground pastured chicken
1 small green cabbage or half large, thinly sliced
2 tbsp avocado oil
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
GREEN GODDESS DRESSING:
1/3 cup almond or coconut milk, unsweetened
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh parsley, basil or cilantro
1/4 cup chives or green onions
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1. For cabbage: Using a deep stove-top pan heat 2 tbsp avocado oil, add cabbage and season with sea salt. Cook at medium heat, mixing occasionally, until cabbage is tender and begins to brown slightly. Remove from heat and mix in olive oil.
2. For chicken: While cabbage is cooking, cook chicken in another stove-top pan. Break meat apart, season with salt and pepper and cook until meat browns slightly.
3. For dressing: Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth.
4. Place sauteed cabbage on plate, add chicken on top then drizzle with dressing. Enjoy!
Over the past 6-months, the BF and I have gone wild creating healthy versions of different Asian-inspired recipes–and we just added another one to the list!
This version of Chang’s Spicy Chicken is a gluten, grain and soy free paleo recipe that uses whole food, high-quality ingredients, PLUS heat stable oil for frying. A true guilt-free pleasure for those with IBS and those trying to lose weight.
These recipes are not only super yummy, but they’re fun to create! So, gather your family or significant other and plan a date night in the kitchen where you can have some fun creating the most delicious Asian-inspired recipes you’ll ever taste!
For the Sauce:
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp organic ketchup
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp pineapple juice
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp arrowroot starch/flour
Sea salt to taste
1. Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes and place in a large bowl with arrowroot flour, salt & pepper. Toss until chicken is coated. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients (or use a blender to combine ingredients). Set aside.
3. Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with avocado oil and heat until it begins to sizzle. Add coated chicken cubes to the hot oil. You may need to do this in two batches if your frying pan is not big enough. Cook each batch for about 10 minutes, turning mid-way through, until all sides are golden. Set chicken aside.
4. Once all chicken is browned, add back into the hot skillet. Whisk sauce once more & pour into the skillet with chicken. Add 3/4 of the green onions (save the rest for garnish) & cook, stirring until sauce thickens & chicken is well-coated.
5. Top with remaining green onions and enjoy on its own, with steamed veggies or on top of cauliflower “rice”!
1. In a large skillet or pot, heat avocado oil over medium heat.
2. Add onions, carrots and cabbage. Season with salt and cook until tender, stirring often for about 15 minutes.
3. Add ginger, garlic, coconut aminos and vinegar. Continue stirring and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Add ground chicken and season with salt and black pepper. Break up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring until the meat has cooked through – about 10 minutes. (Note: Chicken can also be cooked in a separate pan then added to the pot. I prefer this method since you can brown the ground chicken and get more flavour).
5. Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl using a fork. If sauce is too thick add a tablespoon of water in at a time to thin it out.
6.. Once meat is cooked, turn off heat and mix in 3/4 of the sauce. Coat cabbage mixture in sauce.
7. Plate and drizzle remaining sauce over top. Garnish with sliced green onion.
DID YOU KNOW? Arrowroot powder is a starchy substance that’s extracted from the root of a tropical plant known as Maranta arundinacea – and is frequently used in gluten-free, paleo cooking.
Sometimes arrowroot powder is referred to as arrowroot flour or arrowroot starch, but they’re all the same thing – a white, powdery starch that’s naturally gluten & grain-free, plant-based and paleo-friendly.
Because arrowroot is not a grain, many people (especially those with IBS or digestive issues) find that arrowroot powder is easier to digest and therefore does not cause symptoms like gas, bloating, etc. It also contains more fiber than potatoes and other starches, which helps promote healthy bowel function.
Arrowroot powder works great as a thickener and can easily replace cornstarch. It’s also great for frying, roasting and baking since it can add crisp and crunch to your food.
Unlike cornstarch, arrowroot powder is extracted in simpler, more traditional methods, without the use of high heat or harsh chemicals.
When making Asian-inspired dishes (like the one below), I coat my chicken in arrowroot powder and then fry in heat stable avocado oil. This creates a crispy coating on the chicken that absorbs sauce and tastes delicious!
Give my Orange Chicken a try. It’s gluten, grain and soy free + paleo-friendly.
Side & Garnish:
1/2 orange, sliced into chunks
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 lb baby bok choy, steamed
1. Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with avocado oil and heat until it begins to sizzle.
2. While oil is heating, combine arrowroot flour, sea salt and pepper in a shallow bowl and mix. Add chicken chunks and coat. Remove the chicken, shaking off extra flour and add to hot oil. You may need to do this in two batches if your frying pan is not big enough.
3. Cook each batch for about 10 minutes, turning mid-way through, until all sides are golden. Set chicken aside.
4. While chicken is cooking, whisk together all orange sauce ingredients in a small bowl and steam bok choy.
5. Add orange sauce to frying pan and heat on medium-low until sauce thickens. Add cooked chicken to pan and toss to coat in sauce for 30 seconds.
6. Plate chicken and garnish with orange chunks, green onion, and steamed bok choy.
I honestly thought my days of general tso’s chicken were long gone until the BF and I attempted this mind-blowing gluten free & whole food recipe.
Even though this recipe takes about an hour of prep (with two people in the kitchen), we made it twice within the last month because it’s just so damn good ?. Plus, we’re both big foodies and excited to spend time in the kitchen if it means good food in our bellies.
As a matter of fact, if we had to describe our perfect date night it would probably go something like this …
We’d start with a trip to the grocery store and load up on some healthy ingredients for a dish that we want to create that night. I’d probably take 10-minutes to find the freshest chicken with the latest expiry date while he gives me the “Are you for real?” look ?♀️.
From there, we’d head back home and decide who’s doing what in the kitchen and set clear boundaries because according to some people (I won’t mention any names), boundaries are very important in a kitchen ?.
After making a mess and crossing all boundaries that were set ?, we’d chow down our creation and then discuss whether the dish is blog worthy over a glass of wine or two (OK fine, the entire bottle!). Oh, wait! Before all of that happens, I would spend another 10-minutes taking 50 photos of the same dish in hopes that one of them will turn out good for my blog ?.
AND that’s how our perfect date night would unfold – and usually does ?.
So, grab your significant other or friend and plan a date night in the kitchen where you can have some fun creating the most delicious general tso’s chicken you’ll ever taste!
It’s a gluten and grain free paleo recipe that uses whole food, high-quality ingredients, PLUS heat stable oil for frying. A true guilt-free pleasure for those with IBS and those trying to lose weight.
General Tso’s Chicken
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
1.5 lbs chicken breasts (or thighs), cut into small chunks
1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup arrowroot starch/flour
1 red/yellow/orange pepper, sliced into small sticks
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 green onion, chopped (optional garnish) Avocado oil
Sea salt & pepper
For the sauce:
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp Frank’s RedHot (or Siracha)
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 dates or 1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup coconut aminos
2 tbsp. water
1. Chop cauliflower into chunks, put in food processor and process into rice like consistency. Place on baking sheet, add 2 tbsp. avocado oil and sea salt then mix. Bake at 400F for 30-minutes while prepping other ingredients.
2. Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with avocado oil and heat until it begins to sizzle.
3. While oil is heating, combine arrowroot flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl and mix. Add chicken chunks and coat. Remove the chicken, shaking off extra flour and add to hot oil. You may need to do this in two batches if your frying pan is not big enough.
4. Cook each batch for about 10 minutes, turning mid-way through, until all sides are golden. Set chicken aside.
5. Add red pepper and onion to a large pot with 1 tbsp avocado oil and cook for 5-minutes or until tender.
6. While veggies cook, blend all sauce ingredients until smooth.
7. Add chicken and sauce to pot with red pepper and onion. Turn to low heat and mix to coat chicken with sauce for 1-2 minutes.
8. Top cauliflower “rice with general tso’s chicken, garnish with green onion and enjoy!
It’s time that I share my family’s chicken soup recipe, which I learned from my mom (aka. Mama J) – and she learned from my Nonna (a.k.a. Ma).
Back in my Little Jen days, Mama J would whip up a batch of her magic soup when I had Little Jen sniffles. She took good care of me – and still does even though I’m all grown up.
AND now Big Jen makes this magic chicken soup for Mama J when she’s not feeling well. Ahhhhh, the circle of life.
So, if you’re craving a warm bowl of chicken soup or you’re looking for a great natural remedy during cold and flu season, I definitely recommend giving this recipe a try. It’s gluten, grain and dairy free.
P.S. I made a couple of modifications to the original recipe, which brings out extra flavour in the soup. Technically, you don’t have to sear the chicken and slightly cook the veggies before adding water, but the extra steps are well worth it 😉
Homemade Chicken Soup
INGREDIENTS: (serves 4+)
2 large bone-in chicken breasts (free-range, pastured)
6 carrots, finely chopped
6 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. avocado oil
2 tsp. sea salt
1. Heat oil in a large pot and sear chicken breasts, 2-minutes per side. Set breasts aside.
2. Add onions and garlic into pot, stir and saute until fragrant.
3. Add carrots and celery and mix together with onions.
4. Add chicken breasts back into pot and fill pot to the top with water.
5. Add salt and bring to a boil. Let boil for a couple of minutes then reduce to a simmer and cover.
6. Let cook for at least 1-hour. The longer you cook the more flavour you’ll get.
7. Remove chicken from pot, place on a plate and shred.
8. If you want pureed chicken soup, add soup (minus the chicken) to a blender and blend until smooth. Add shredded chicken in after blending.
9. If you want a chunky chicken soup, leave as is and just add shredded chicken to the soup.