Paleo Jamaican Jerk Chicken Chili

We all know I love Mexican and Southwestern flavors. And I’m pretty good at making those dishes since I’ve had so much practice. But yesterday I decided to try my hand at making Jamaican Jerk Chicken. I absolutely love the flavors of Jamaican Jerk seasoning so I thought, wouldn’t be awesome to make a Paleo Chili version of this? Well, it was an awesome idea, but one with way too much flavor. Like my mouths on fire flavor.

If you don’t know, Jamaican Jerk Chicken is a very spicy dish to begin with. I originally made this recipe with all the ingredients below PLUS more Jamaican Jerk seasonings. Bad Caitlin, bad. It was so spicy that I couldn’t even eat it. So I dialed back all the seasonings and just used the Mild Jamaican Jerk Seasoning from Walkerswood. It’s plenty of flavor!

For those of you that are super strict Paleo, the Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning has some cane sugar in it, about 1 gram per serving. But it’s not enough to make me cringe at it. Plus, the other ingredients are all ones I can pronounce and I know what they all are.

If you want to make your own Paleo Jamaican Jerk Seasoning for this recipe you can use the following ingredients. Just replace the Walkerswood Seasoning with these:

  • 2 Tbsp Allspice
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Cayenne

You can increase the measurements if you want more flavor. I’d start with less is more though for this recipe.

Paleo Jamaican Jerk Chicken Chili | Makes 8 Servings

  • 2lbs Chicken Breasts
  • 1 10oz Jar Walkerswood Mild Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
  • 1 28oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 Tsp Garlic
  • 4 Bell Peppers (variety of colors, chopped)
  • 1/2 Large White Onion (chopped)

Toppings:

  • Avocado
  • Green Onions

Instructions: Mix tomatoes, Jamaican Jerk seasoning, and garlic in crockpot. Add chicken, make sure to push the chicken down so the mixture covers it. Top with chopped onion and bell peppers. Cook on high for 4 hours. When done, shred chicken. Portion out evenly into airtight containers. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. When ready to eat, reheat and top with green onions and avocado. You can also serve this chili with Coconut Rice!



Pesto Chicken & Pasta

While this is not a Paleo recipe, it’s damn good! I was in the mood for carbs and cheese. Can anyone tell I’m stressed? Often times when we are craving a lot of salt, carbs, and cheese we are also stressing out. The reason for these cravings is that our body is looking for a quick source of energy to help us function while we are in this fight or flight state. However, these quick sources of energy are what they are, quick. Then you’re left with a crash later and more cravings for quick sources of energy which usually leads to sweets and simple carbs like pasta, cake, sugar, you get the idea.

For sustainable energy look to healthy fats and grass fed sources of protein. Which is exactly why I love Paleo, it’s based on a diet of high fat, moderate protein and low carb. However, some of us need more carbs than others and one diet does not fit all! Which is why sometimes I eat cheese and pasta and I’m more squirrelly when it comes to eating a Paleo diet.

And sometimes it’s just because I want to and I will damn well do as I please. Plain and simple. If we aren’t giving ourselves a break sometimes and letting ourselves enjoy the things we love, we put too much stress on ourselves and really limit ourselves. So this week it’s Pesto Chicken and Pasta!

Pesto Chicken & Pasta | Makes 8 Servings

  • 2lbs Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Cup Pesto
  • 1 Box Rotini (I used Tri-Color, but you can sub with gluten free or grain free)
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Instructions:

  1. Place chicken in crockpot with pesto.
  2. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  3. Near the end of cooking the chicken, cook the rotini according to package directions and drain.
  4. When the chicken is done shred and mix in cooked rotini.
  5. If eating immediately, mix in mozzarella until melted.
  6. If storing to eat for lunch, portion out into 8 air right containers adding a 1/4 cup mozzarella to the top of each. It will melt when you reheat.
  7. Store in fridge for up to 4 days.


Keep The Commitments You Make

We make so many commitments. To work, to our family, to our friends. When time is limited and in an effort to avoid letting people down, it seems easiest to break the commitments we make to ourselves. Don’t let yourself down. Remember to show up for yourself too. You can’t give others 💯 if you haven’t shown yourself that much.


Paleo Trail Mix

I absolutely love dried blueberries. Something about their texture and flavor is so yummy! Unfortunately most dried fruit has added sugar, and that’s not Paleo friendly. However, with some searching of the inter-webs you CAN find unsweetened dried fruit! Sometimes you can find unsweetened dried fruit at the grocery store but unsweetened dried blueberries were a struggle for me to find so I went online and voila there they were!

You can tailor this recipe to be whatever dried fruit and nuts you like. The important thing to make it a Paleo trail mix is to use unsweetened dried fruit and raw natural nuts. You can’t use the salted kind you buy at the store because they are almost always roasted and salted in vegetable oil of some kind. Vegetable oils are also not Paleo friendly because they are not considered healthy fats. If you want salty trail mix buy the raw natural nuts and roast them yourself in the oven with olive oil or avocado oil and some salt.

You can also add chocolate chips to this trail mix. Enjoy Life brand makes dairy and soy free chocolate chips so I recommend those!

Paleo Trail Mix | Makes 16 1/4 Cup Servings

  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Dried Blueberries
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Dried Cranberries
  • 1 Cup Almonds
  • 1 Cup Cashews
  • 1 Cup Pecans
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil OR Avocado Oil
  • Salt to Taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place almonds, cashews, and pecans in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil or avocado oil and stir.
  3. Place the nuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in an even layer.
  4. Sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes stirring every 5 minutes so the nuts don’t burn.
  6. When the nuts are done remove from oven and let cool.
  7. When cool place the nuts in a bowl and mix in dried blueberries and dried cranberries.
  8. If you’re adding chocolate chips be sure you add them last and when the nuts are completely cooled.
  9. Store in an airtight container.


Paleo Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry

Stir fry my way means cooking the chicken in the crock pot. Which means it ends up so moist you have to shred it because it just falls apart. Yummm. This recipe uses coconut aminos instead of soy sauce making it Paleo friendly!

Paleo Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry | Makes 8 Servings

  • 2 Pounds Chicken Breasts
  • 4 Cups Cooked White Rice
  • 4 Cups Mixed Veggies (I used a frozen stir fry mix)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

For the Sauce | Makes About 3 Cups

  • 1 & 1/2 Cup Coconut Aminos
  • 6 Tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 3 Tbsp Minced Fresh Ginger
  • 3/4 Cup Fresh Orange Juice

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. Portion rice out into airtight containers.
  3. Whisk coconut aminos, garlic, honey, ginger, and orange juice together in a medium bowl.
  4. Marinade chicken breasts in 2/3 (about 2 cups) of sauce mixture for 30 minutes.
  5. Add chicken to crock pot with the marinade, cook on low for 8 hours. (It only took about 6 hours for mine, so be sure to check for doneness after about 6 hours.)
  6. While the chicken is cooking, add olive oil to large skillet or pot, add  veggies and sauté until softened.
  7. Add the last third (about 1 cup) of the sauce mixture to veggies, sauté for a few minutes more.
  8. Portion veggies out over rice in airtight containers.
  9. Once chicken is done, shred and portion out over veggies and rice in airtight containers.
  10. Store in fridge for no more than 4 days.

Paleo Italian Meatballs

It’s pretty amazing that I used to be almost a vegetarian. The thought of ground beef used to make me want to vomit. Now I crave it. The difference is meat from locally raised 100% grass fed cows. It tastes so much better, isn’t full of hormones and antibiotics, and the cow probably had a better life than those mass produced feed farm cows that are crammed into an enclosed dirt field eating grain until they’re ready for slaughter.

Anyway, these Italian Meatballs pair great with gluten free pasta or quinoa. If you are strict Paleo you can simply eat them as is, with sweet potatoes or your favorite veggies. Although not Paleo, I made quinoa with mine because that’s what I had handy. I also used Panko breadcrumbs because that’s what I had handy but Panko isn’t Paleo either so to make this recipe Paleo you can substitute the Panko with almond flour.

I’m all about saving money and using what I have on hand even if it’s not always Paleo, it’s still healthy ingredients!

Paleo Italian Meatballs | Makes About 26 1 1/2″ Meatballs

  • 2 Pounds 100% Grass Fed Ground Beef
  • 32oz Marinara Sauce (I used Rao’s Homemade)
  • 6 Tbsp Panko Breadcrumbs (sub Almond Flour if Paleo)
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Basil
  • 1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Minced Parsley
  • 1 Egg

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Mix ground beef with panko breadcrumbs or almond flour, italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, parsley and egg with hands in large mixing bowl.
  2. Roll mixture into balls about 1 1/2″ in diameter.
  3. Pan fry meatballs in a large pot lighted sprayed with avocado oil. I actually had to use 2 because my pot wasn’t big enough to roll the meatballs around evenly to brown.
  4. Turn meatballs to brown on all sides and cook through.
  5. Once no more pink is showing, add marinara sauce and basil. After the meatballs were fully cooked, I combined my meatballs into one pot so they could all cook in the sauce together.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Store meatballs with sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for no more than 4 days.
  8. Reheat when ready to eat!

Sausage & Veggie Egg Casserole

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day but usually the meal I don’t have time to make. This is where food prep comes in! I usually make egg muffins but a few weeks ago I threw my muffin pans out. They were the non-stick kind except they didn’t work very well and my egg muffins kept sticking to them and getting destroyed. I put up with it for a while but in the end, the muffin pans won.  Or did they?  I ended up throwing them away, egg muffins in them and all. So now I have no muffin pans. That’s where this Sausage and Veggie Egg Casserole comes in!

This recipe is so easy, just throw a bunch of stuff in a baking dish, cut it into squares and you’re done! You will notice that I didn’t put exact measurements for everything in this recipe. I’m going through a period of stress and anxiety and to make my life easier I improvise my recipes more and just kind of throw stuff together. I promise it’s still really easy to make! If I can go from solely cooking frozen dinners and not knowing how to cook, to cooking without measurements, you can too!

Sausage & Veggie Egg Casserole | Servings About 20

  • 1lb Turkey Sausage
  • 18 Eggs
  • A Few Hand Fulls Frozen Hash Browns
  • A Few Hand Fulls Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Green Peppers (chopped)
  • 1 Yellow Onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 to 1 Cup Tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 Tsp Minced Garlic
  • Salt to Taste
  • Pepper to Taste
  • Dried Basil to Taste

Instructions: Cook sausage in a skillet on the stove over medium high heat for about 10 minutes or until all pink is gone. Drain liquids. Add onion and garlic to the skillet, sauté until onions are translucent. Turn off heat.

Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 9″x13″ baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Whisk 18 eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper, and dried basil. Mix to combine.

Add a layer of frozen hash browns to the baking dish, enough to cover the bottom of the dish. Add the sausage, peppers, onions and tomatoes as the next layer. Add a layer of shredded cheese, add as much or as little as you like. Add the egg mixture ensuring it spreads throughout the dish. Add another layer of cheese if you like the top brown and crispy. Bake for 60 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes before cutting into about 20 squares. You can cut the squares as small or as big as you like so you may get less or more servings depending on how you cut them. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for no more than 4 days.