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 I originally made this recipe with all the ingredients below PLUS more Jamaican Jerk seasonings.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.


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!

Turmeric Chicken Soup

Since I’m sick with a cold this week, I decided to make Turmeric Chicken Soup.  Chicken soup has long been a remedy for the common cold. It’s really no surprise since it’s easy to digest for a compromised immune system busy fighting off invaders. I added some extra nutrition to my soup with a boost from the spice, Turmeric, and added goodness from bone broth. Bonus with this week’s recipe is a quick nutrition lesson!

The active ingredient in Turmeric is Curcumin.  Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Short term inflammation actually helps the body fight foreign invaders and has a role in repairing damage.  However, chronic inflammation breeds disease and pain so reducing chronic inflammation is beneficial.

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Antioxidants protect your body from free-radicals. Free-radicals can cause damage to your cells and tissues causing what is called oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress can lead to disease, cancer, and age-related issues like wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, etc.

Curcumin is not easily absorbed by the body so it’s important to add black pepper, to aid in absorption, to any dish containing Turmeric if you want to reap the full benefits of the spice.

As for the bone broth, since it’s made using the bones (including bone marrow) of animals, it’s a highly potent source of nutrition. It’s rich in vitamins including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous. Bones contain collagen and cooking collagen turns it to gelatin, which provides the body with amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins which are needed to support healthy muscle tissue, bones, skin, and hair.

Home made is best, but I’m not feeling well and wanted to cook as quickly as possible so I settled for store bought. If you can buy home made bone broth locally, that’s good too!

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Plus! The garlic in this recipe has antioxidant properties and the ginger has anti-inflammatory properties.

Alright, enough talking, it’s time for the recipe!

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Turmeric Chicken Soup | Servings 8

  • 1.5lbs Boneless Chicken Breast
  • 4 Cups Chicken Bone Broth
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 8 Celery Stalks (chopped)
  • 1lb Bag of Carrots (chopped)
  • 1 Medium Onion (chopped)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tsp Ground Ginger

Instructions: Saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add to crock pot. Add the spices, bone broth, water, and stir. Cook on high for 5 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Return shredded chicken to crock pot, stir. Portion out evenly, makes 8 servings.


Beef Stew

Merry almost Christmas! In my family beef was always the main dish at our Christmas dinners. Every year we eat a pot roast with roasted potatoes and veggies. You can’t go wrong with meat and potatoes, especially in an Irish household. While this Beef Stew recipe is not my mom’s roast, it has similar ingredients and is just as comforting and filling!

Beef Stew | Servings 8

  • 2lbs Beef Chuck Roast
  • 3 Large Red Potatoes
  • 6 Medium Carrots
  • 6 Stalks Celery
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Basil
  • 3 Tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper
  • 2 Cups Beef Stock
  • 1/4 Cup Unbleached/Unenriched Flour

Instructions: Chop beef chuck roast into bite sized pieces. Add to crock pot. Chop potatoes, carrots, celery into bite sized pieces. Add to crock pot. Add spices, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and beef stock. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove some of the liquid from crock pot and transfer to mixing bowl. Wisk in 1/4 flour to thicken. Add back to crock pot. Stir. Portion out evenly into Tupperware containers.


Chicken Burrito Bowls

I promise I’ll stop posting so many Mexican recipes. Ok, I’m lying. I love Mexican food and it will always be prominent in my recipes. Next week I’ll share my beef stew recipe so bare with me until then!

Chicken Burrito Bowls | Servings 10

  • 3lbs Boneless Chicken Breast (about 4 breasts)
  • 1 28oz Can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Brown Rice (uncooked)
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • 1 Cup Corn
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt

Instructions: Add chicken, spices, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup chicken broth to crockpot. Cook on high for 4 hours.

Cook the rice separately according to the instructions. Portion rice out into Tupperware containers, about 1/3 cup cooked rice per container.

When chicken is done, remove it from the crockpot to shred. Return to crockpot. Add beans and corn, stir. Portion mixture evenly into Tupperware containers with the rice.

Top with avocado, parsley, or shredded cheese!


Bison & Vegetable Chili

When it comes to our diet, variety is important.  Eating a variety of grass-fed pasture raised meats, wild fish, and an array of colorful fruits and vegetables helps us get the nutrition we need to thrive.  That’s why today’s recipe is made with grass-fed Bison!  Plus, an array of different color vegetables.

Chili is perfect for cold weather but it’s usually packed with beans and served with corn bread, none of which is Paleo friendly.  This recipe substitutes beans with tons of veggies for a nutritionally dense dish.  Skip the corn bread and serve this chili with grain free tortilla chips from Siete Foods. Check out the recipe below.

Bison & Vegetable Chili | Servings 8

  • 2lbs Grass Fed Ground Bison
  • 1 15oz Can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 15oz Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1/2 of One Yellow Onion (diced)
  • 2 Large Carrots (chopped into small pieces)
  • 2 Small Zucchinis (chopped into small pieces)
  • 2 Tsp Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

Instructions: Saute bison over medium heat until cooked through. Drain off fat. Add onion, garlic, carrots, peppers and spices. Stir and cook until onion is translucent. Stir in zucchini, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Separate into 8 resealable containers. Serve with diced avocado, parsley, or grain free tortilla chips.


Tortilla-Less Chicken Tortilla Soup

I absolutely love Mexican/Southwestern food and flavors! Ask my fiance, most weeks we eat beef chili, turkey chili, chicken tacos, beef tacos, chicken tortilla soup, fajitas…I tend to gravitate towards these flavors so we end up eating a lot it. We are trying to cut gluten and carbs out of our diet so this Tortilla-Less Chicken Tortilla Soup is a great option!

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Tortilla-Less Chicken Tortilla Soup | Servings 8

  • 3lbs Boneless Chicken Breast (about 4 breasts)
  • 1 28oz Can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

Instructions: Saute onion, red pepper, jalapeno, and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Add to crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Return shredded chicken to crock pot, stir. Portion out evenly, makes 8 servings.


Saffron Chicken Soup

Lunch prep this weekend was Saffron Chicken Soup. I have a flare up of eczema on my face right now that’s driving me crazy and I read that Saffron is one of the few spices that won’t exacerbate a flare up. I’m putting that to the test with this soup this week.

Also, this soup contains home made bone broth which is supposed to be amazing for your immune system! Now, I did not make this home made broth, but I did buy it from a local butcher who makes their own.

The flavors of this soup meld together and taste amazing! I can’t wait to eat it for lunch this week. See below for the recipe.

Saffron Chicken Soup | Servings 8

  • 3lbs Boneless Chicken Breast (about 4 breasts)
  • 4 Cups Chicken Bone Broth
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 4 Medium Carrots
  • 6oz Green Beans (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1 Zucchini (chopped into small pieces)
  • 2 Leeks (white part only)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Pinch Saffron
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tsp Basil

Instructions: Saute leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add the zucchini and green beans, saute for 1 minute. Add to crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Return shredded chicken to crock pot, stir. Portion out evenly, makes 8 servings.