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 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!