chicken tetrazzini with rutabaga noodles

rutabaga noodles
shiitake mushrooms and parsley
tetrazzini chicken over rutabaga noodles
tetrazzini chicken over rutabaga noodles
tetrazzini chicken over rutabaga noodles

Does everything happen for a reason or does a haphazard thing merely set something in motion making it appear as though it does? I don’t have the answer to that but I will say rutabaga is amazing. Okay perhaps a rather bizarre way to start a blog post but it always fascinates me when one seemingly insignificant event leads me to make a dish that turns out to be a favorite - maybe of all time.

If you follow this blog or my Instagram stories, you probably know all about my infatuation with produce; my need to obsessively photograph what I see. A rutabaga, which I would often pass over as not being particularly striking, on that day, caught my attention. The details and subtle colors of this large root demanded to be captured. There was something about it…a depth I hadn’t before noticed.

That evening while looking for ways to use leftover chicken, I came across a recipe for chicken tetrazzini - the classic style, which includes milk, flour, butter, breadcrumbs…in essence all the things I cannot have. It was something I didn’t give a second thought to and moved on until I woke up the next morning convinced that I had to make chicken tetrazzini the paleo and whole30 way and not only that but that I would be using rutabaga noodles instead of pasta.

I admit, I’d never made rutabaga noodles prior to this dish but thought, why the hell not? And so an idea was born and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. At 8am I was at the market buying rutabaga, shiitake mushrooms and chicken with vehement determination to make my version of paleo chicken tetrazzini come to fruition.

It is so very rare that something I envisioned so clearly actually turns out to match the idea. The earthy flavor of the rutabaga works incredibly well with tender chicken thighs and creamy mushroom sauce finishing the whole dish with almond crumble, which gives it depth.

Since milk is out of the equation, I opted for coconut milk. I wasn’t sure how this would work out as I didn’t want an overly coconutty flavor but the salt and lemon cut through the forward coconut taste, leaving only the creaminess behind.

I knew I was going to love this dish the second I smelled the shallots, garlic, wine and mushrooms and I hope you will love this creamy chicken tetrazzini just as much.

italian parsley
tetrazzini chicken over rutabaga noodles
tetrazzini chicken over rutabaga noodles

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chicken tetrazzini over rutabaga noodles

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • cooking time: 40 minutes

  • makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

For rutabaga noodles:

  • 1 large rutabaga

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • pinch salt

For chicken tetrazzini:

  • 2 tbsps olive oil divided

  • 1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs

  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided

  • 1/2 tsp ground, pepper divided

  • 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced

  • 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 large shallots finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 rounded tsp fresh thyme, chopped

  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped, divided

  • 1/2 glass dry white wine (use broth is whole 30)

  • 1.5 cups full fat coconut milk

For almond crumble:

  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, ground

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • pinch salt

Equipment:

Directions:

Spiralize rutabaga and set it asides.

In food processor or blender add toasted almonds and grind finely. Add to small bowl with olive oil and salt and set aside.

Remove chicken from package and pat dry with paper towels and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and chicken and cook for 7-8 minutes per side until cooked through. Cover with foil and set aside to rest.

In the same pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil, shallots and a pinch of salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until shallots are translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Increase heat to high, add wine or broth (if Whole 30) and deglaze pan by scraping off the brown bits. .

Reduce heat back to medium, add mushrooms, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper thyme and parsley and cook for 10 minutes until mushrooms are soft but still have a bite.

Add coconut milk and lemon juice, turn heat down and simmer for 10 minutes.

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and add it back to sauce and heat through for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat medium frying pan, add oil and rutabaga noodles and cook stirring continuously for 3-5 minutes until noodles have softened.

To plate, add rutabaga noodles, chicken and mushrooms sauce, sprinkle with almond crumble and top with additional fresh chopped Italian parsley.


I haven’t been this smitten over a dish in a long time. This creamy chicken tetrazzini over rutabaga noodles, topped with almond crumble will wow you and you won’t believe it’s paleo and whole 30 too! #paleo, #whole30pasta #whole30 #paleopasta #mushrooms #chicken #chickentetrazzini #calmeats #eatrealfood #grainfree #glutenfree #dairyfree


roasted carrots with orange tahini sauce and pomegranate

carrot bunch
carrots on parchment paper
roasted carrots, orange tahini sauce and pomegranate

The coffee was lukewarm, making my stomach feel slightly oceanic. It was comfortable inside, the smell of books filling the air. I looked out the window - fog hanging low, branches bare; the field in the distance stripped of its vibrant green. December always makes my heart ache a little. 

The cafe was busy, so I opted for a big, comfortable chair. I turned back to the reason I was there in the first place and opened to the winter section. It was the book I was desperately trying to at least partly devour during my short visit to the book store. 

When I first laid eyes on it, my heart skipped a beat. Photograph upon photograph of beautiful food, landscapes, quiet and slow living. Then I read her writing. She spoke like I felt. Her appreciation for food, wine and life gave me pause. A much needed pause in my generally harried days. 

Coffee long abandoned, I read, I imagined, I filled myself up with as much as I could. It was a sweet hour. For only a short while, I was teleported to the sleepy town of Medoc, where people spoke of mussels, wine and weather. 

Mimi Thorrison is my favorite blogger, turned author. Her love and appreciation for cooking seasonal food from scratch has provided much influence over the years. And granted that she cooks French food with lots of cream, butter and flour, her approach has nonetheless inspired me to look to the seasons when I cook and use what’s available. Her cooking philosophy and approach much match mine by keeping things simple and letting ingredients shine through in all their glory.

So this is exactly how I approached this roasted carrot recipe. I just took what I had recently purchased at the market and made it work. Carrots, pomegranate and citrus are all in season right now and a quick tahini sauce, marries all the flavors beautifully. Since winter is cold and grey, these bright orange carrots and shiny red pomegranate seeds provide some much needed warmth and color.

roasted carrots with orange tahini dressing and pomegranate
roasted carrots (9 of 15).jpg
roasted carrots with orange tahini dressing and pomegranate

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roasted carrots with orange tahini sauce and pomegranate

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • roasting time: 20 minutes

  • yields: 4 servings


Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches thin carrots, greens trimmed and cut in half

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

  • 2 tbsp runny tahini

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 4 tbsp olive oil divided

  • 1/4 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro


Equipment:

  • 2 baking sheets

  • medium mixing bowl

  • optional: use blender

  • whisk

  • parchment paper


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide carrots between 2 sheets and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Line them up face down.

Roast for 10 minutes, flip carrots to face up, and switch oven racks so both sheets of carrots cook roast evenly. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until desired softness. (I like mine to still have a bit of a bite)

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl or blender, combine remaining ingredients aside from pomegranate seeds and cilantro to create tahini sauce.

Once carrots are finished roasting, lay carrots on serving platter, pour over tahini sauce, chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds.


Take roasted carrots to a new level with this flavorful, creamy tahini sauce, topped with finely chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds. They’re a feast for the eyes and the taste buds! Bonus, they’re vegan, paleo and whole 30 approved! #calmeats #paleo #whole30 #vegansides #paleosides #vegansides #whole30sides #roastedcarrots #carrots #realfood #glutenfreesides #dairyfreesides #tahini #pomegranate



salmon cakes with lemon dill sauce

salmon cakes with lemon dill sauce

Have you ever walked by the canned fish isle and thought, "oh my god, that looks amazing"? Yeah me neither. But I have figured out a way to make a can of salmon pretty damn delicious. Salmon cakes are one of the simplest dishes you can make with a can of salmon and a few other ingredients. 

Once upon a time, I used to make these cakes with breadcrumbs and saltines. But when I completely overhauled my diet, I had to find a way to make them taste great without all the added gluten. Admittedly it took a few tries to nail the recipe down.

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