paleo jerk chicken and shrimp tacos

paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
hands and greens
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
jerk chicken and shrimp tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos

I believe patience is something possessed by other people. Somehow this particular trait missed me from the start. I even decided to make an entrance into the world early. Virgo wouldn’t have suited me, so I resolved that Leo would be a more appropriate sign. Therefore a month early it was. My mother tells me I wanted to escape much earlier which destined her to about 6 months of bed rest to ensure I’d cook all the way (no pun intended). Thank you, mom.

And while I’m terribly bad at waiting for things, the thrill is almost always in the anticipation, isn’t it? I made these jerk shrimp and chicken tacos last month for a dinner we hosted. It was my first time experimenting with jerk seasoning and I decided, if I was doing this, I was doing this all the way. I wanted flavor explosions. Not necessarily spice, but depth. And depth is what I got. The chicken and shrimp were marinated for over 8 hours and the flavors married beautifully, creating some kind of magic.

I can’t take the credit for the seasoning as I did purchase an already made one. Sure, I probably could have made my own but by some divine intervention, I found this one which had no heat but all the flavor. While I love some heat, this mixture turned out an impressive marinade and jerk mayo to pour over the tacos. Adults and children were equally satisfied. If you want something a little more spicy, a 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper will provide ample amounts if that’s what you’re after.

While there is some patience required for the chicken and shrimp to marinate, the grilling is merely a few minutes. And while I was already working on this patience thing, I decided to make my own tortillas as well with cassava flour. If corn doesn’t bother you, go for the already made ones but if you’re strictly paleo, I’ve included the recipe for them. Kind of a two in one if you will. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos

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paleo jerk chicken and shrimp tacos

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • marinating time: 6-8 hours

  • cooking time: 10 minutes

  • makes: 6 servings

Ingredients:

For jerk chicken and shrimp

  • 5 tsp spicely organics jerk seasoning mix divided

  • 1 tsp salt divided

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil divided

  • 1.5 lbs thinly cut chicken

  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1/2 cup mayo

  • optional toppings: sliced cabbage

  • optional toppings: radish

  • optional toppings: greens

  • optional toppings: avocado


For cassava tortillas


Equipment:

  • large mixing bowl

  • 2 containers with lids or ziplock bags

  • small mixing bowl

  • small skillet

  • grill or grill pan

  • wax paper

  • rolling pin


Directions:

For chicken and shrimp:

In bag or air-tight container combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tsp spice mix, 1/2 tsp salt and chicken and mix well. Repeat process for shrimp. Massage oil and spice mix well into chicken and shrimp. Place in refrigerator and let marinate for 6-8 hours.

Preheat grill on medium low and grill shrimp and chicken for 4-6 minutes per side until cooked through.

Cut chicken into long strips and serve along with shrimp and your favorite toppings.

If you’re making your own tortillas, follow the instructions below:

For cassava tortillas:

Combine all ingredients under cassava flour tortillas and mix by well by hand.

Roll out dough into long tube and cut into 10 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball and coat with a sprinkling of cassava flour and even add some to the wax paper to prevent from sticking. Place each ball between pieces of wax paper and roll out until you have the desired thickness.

Preheat a dry (preferably cast iron) skillet on medium heat. Gently remove wax paper from tortilla add to pan and cook until it starts to bubble - about 2-3 minutes for each. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.


If you’re looking to spice up your dinner, try these jerk chicken and shrimp tacos! They’re sure to add a burst of flavor to your dinner. If you’re strictly paleo, you can also find a speedy recipe for making your own cassava tortillas! Click to read on! #cassavatortillas, #shrimptacos, #chickentacos, #jerkchickentacos, #jerkshrimptacos, #jerkseasoning, #jamaicanjerk, #calmeats, #paleotacos, #whole30tacos, #whole30, #paleo, #cassavareceipes


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essential tuna salad

Essential tuna salad
St. Jude’s Tuna
Essential tuna salad

I found a large rock, which provided a fine seat and took a bite of my very late lunch. The sun beating on whatever part of me that wasn’t covered up, which wasn’t much. After all 43 is still cold but alfresco seemed like a good idea. I closed my eyes and soaked up the sun. My children’s gleeful voices cutting through jovial bird songs, as they made their way from mud to snow and back again, squealing with delight.

I looked up at the sky; a piercing shade of blue. Next to me a cluster of snow drops swaying in the breeze. I picked one, studying its detail. Every year, I feel a jolt of excitement the moment I spot them. An announcement of what’s to come; green, life, a new season. 

Seeing the familiar through fresh eyes occurs to me from time to time, particularly in the kitchen. Oddly enough this happened with nothing more than the very tuna I was eating. What? Tuna? Yes.

I’ve had years to figure out what I like and don’t like. I’m always open to exploring and learning but there’s something to be said about the tried and true. Flavors and combinations that work synergistically, that compliment each other the way an exposed collar bone and an off the shoulder sweater do. They’re sexy - they work. 

So how do you make tuna salad sexy? You add the things you’ve probably eaten your whole life but you tweak them a bit and use St. Jude’s tuna as the base. When it comes to making a delicious tuna salad, quality is key. And for me, it doesn’t get better than using a delicious tuna, that’s sustainably and wild caught. And don’t forget about the mayo and mustard - make sure they’re of good quality too as they can really make or break a salad.

St Judes tuna
Essential tuna salad
essential tuna salad

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essential tuna salad

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans St. Jude Tuna with juice

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped celery

  • 1/2 cup good mayo

  • 1 tsp good Dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp chives, finely sliced

  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • optional: add salt to taste as the tuna already contains sea salt

Equipment:

  • medium bowl

Directions:

Add tuna to bowl and break up with fork. Add remaining ingredients and combine well.

Serve with greens and your favorite toppings.

Here’s a tasty take on the classic tuna salad made with the delicious @joemalley St. Jude Tuna. It makes for the perfect meal prep and takes just minutes to make. #tunasalad #tuna #ad #calmeats #whole30 #paleo #classictunasalad #seafood #cannedtuna #quickmeals #stjudetuna

fennel avocado citrus and shrimp salad

fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
old forks
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad

Confession. I didn't try shrimp until my early 20s - in fact, I didn't eat seafood at all until then. I know, I must have been out of my mind. The thing is, we didn't have much seafood growing up. I shouldn't even use the word much - we didn't have any

In order to purchase even meat, often times my parents and grandparents had to wait hours in line at some shoddy warehouse in order to get it. I recall losing my very first tooth while keeping my grandfather company trying to purchase chicken. A wobbly tooth, a bite of an apple, gone. But yes, that's how things were done if you wanted the luxury of eating meat. I don't often think about that part of my life when going to the supermarket and picking up chicken thighs. But I digress...

So seafood. It intimidated me and was unfamiliar so I kept my distance. My mother, who still to this day refuses to touch it, never cooked any. After all, we ate how we learned to in Romania and Germany. And the diet I adopted in my teens once we moved here included ample amount of pizza, cereal, whatever my mom cooked, more junk and then then I eventually turned to a quasi-vegan lifestyle. In a nutshell, a disaster but never included any seafood. 

But things changed drastically once I started college. In addition to my meeting new people I was also introduced to new food and started eating differently. No, wings from Domino's at 1am were not one of them, but there was shrimp. The first time I tried it was when friends put together a dinner. Out of respect, I decided to try one. Embarrassingly enough I had to ask for instructions. The rest is history. 

Today I eat seafood more than any other food. Shrimp, salmon, sardines, scallops, tuna - I love it all! And particularly like the versatility of shrimp as it takes minutes to cook and is fairly inexpensive. 

Probably one of my favorite ways of eating shrimp is with avocado and citrus. For this salad, I used orange, avocado and fennel. If you're not a big fan of licorice, roasting it for a few minutes will cut down on the sometimes overpowering taste. I happen to love fennel and like it raw or roasted. For this dish, roasting it for 10 minutes provides a nice balance to the other ingredients. It's quick to make and is the ideal lunch if you're looking for something refreshing and light. 

fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad

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fennel avocado citrus and shrimp salad

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 10 minutes

  • makes: 2 servings

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 1 fennel bulb

  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided

  • 2 oranges, segmented

  • 1 avocado, cut into slices

  • 8-10 jumbo shrimp

  • salt and pepper to taste

Dressing: 

  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/4 tsp fresh pepper

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Equipment

  • grill pan or frying pan

  • mixing bowl

  • small mixing bowl

  • baking sheet

  • parchment paper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In small mixing bowl, combine shrimp, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper and toss to combine. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cut fennel in half and peel outside layer. Cut into thin slices and spread evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour over 1 tbsp olive oil. Toss to combine. Roast for 10 minutes stirring once half way. 

Next, with a pairing knife, cut peel off the orange and segment all the orange slices. Reserve the remaining orange and squeeze 1 tbsp orange juice into large bowl. Add the rest of dressing ingredients and whisk well.

Add segmented orange, avocado and roasted fennel and combine with dressing. 

Next grill shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side until fully cooked.

Add a good handful of salad to and top with shrimp. Enjoy! 


If you’re looking for a healthy and easy shrimp salad, try this fennel, avocado and citrus salad topped with grilled shrimp. It’s a burst of flavor in every single bite. This shrimp salad is also paleo and whole 30 approved. #shrimpsalad #shrimp #seafood #citrussalad #citrus #avocado #paleosalad #whole30sdalad #calmeats #whole30recipes #paleorecipes #seafoodrecipes #easyseafoodrecipes #simpleseafoodrecipes #quickrecipes

 

 

golden cauliflower soup with bacon

cauliflower in bowls with napkin
golden cauliflower soup_-3.jpg
golden cauliflower soup with bacon
edible flowers in bowl

January is the saddest month. I feel bad for it sometimes - it didn’t choose to be a winter month and one that nearly everyone detests. A month with just as many days as its previous much revered forerunner. Standing in the shadow of December is a plight none of the other months have to endure. Even February knew to do the right thing by shortening its days - almost in a - ‘see, I at least did the right thing‘ way.

For some, though, January is a month of change - terms such as whole 30, detox and veganuary come to mind. Motivation galore to strip away all of the previous year’s doings and start fresh. However, none of the terms apply to me. I don’t do detoxes, I’m not vegan and whole 30 is not for me even though most of the food on this blog is. I like wine and chocolate too much after all.

But despite being a much disliked month, January brings silence and contemplation. Just think back on all of December’s obligations - parties, presents, travel. January expects none of that. It allows me to just be for a while. Its bitter cold temperatures and the occasional snow are a perfectly good excuse to not over-commit.

So as we’re getting close to the end of it, I would like to thank it for its service and dedicate this golden cauliflower soup to it. It feels only right that a soup this warm and creamy be had during January. I mean, of course it’s perfectly acceptable any other time but to me it just feels appropriate now.

After all, using seasonal ingredients is one way to at least partly come to accept winter. And as leeks reach their peak in January, they’re going to be the base for this velvety, smooth cauliflower soup full of spices and topped with crispy bacon. But if you do follow a vegan lifestyle, it’s perfectly fine to skip the bacon entirely.

cauliflower soup with bacon
golden cauliflower soup_-13.jpg
golden cauliflower soup_-14.jpg
golden cauliflower soup_-21.jpg

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golden cauliflower soup with bacon

  • prep time: 5

  • cooking time: 40

  • makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 slab thick bacon, chopped (skip if vegan)

  • 1 leek, sliced (white parts only)

  • 1 head cauliflower, stems removed and cut into florets

  • 1 small potato, peeled and cut into cubes

  • 2 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1” knob fresh ginger, minced

  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • Italian parsley for garnish (optional)

Equipment:

  • large soup pot

  • blender

Directions:

Preheat soup pot on medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 5 minutes until crispy. (If vegan, skip this step and use 1 tbsp oil of you choice and move on to next step). Remove bacon when cooked and lay on paper towel lined plate.

In same pan, add sliced leek and a good pinch of salt. Cook until leek has softened - about 5 minutes. If you need additional oil, you can always add a bit more.

Add cauliflower florets and potato and mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add spices, ginger, salt and pepper and toss to cook for 30 seconds to let spices release their flavor. Add broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and let soup simmer for 25 minutes until vegetables are fork tender.

Next, carefully add the vegetables to the blender reserving the liquid and adding a bit at a time as you blend, until you reach desired creaminess. Adjust seasonings if you need more salt.

Serve with reserved bacon bits and chopped parsley.


This cauliflower soup is loaded with spices and flavor. It’s a creamy, velvety soup perfect anytime of year. It can easily be customized to fit a vegan lifestyle by skipping the bacon entirely. #cauliflowersoup, #whole30soup, #whole30 #paleo #vegan #turmeric #ginger #calmeats #spices #soup #lunchideas #dinnerrecipes #freshrecipes #paleorecipes #whole30recipes #glutenfree #dairyfreesoup #dairyfree







chicken tikka masala

chicken tikka masala
chicken tikka masala
chicken tikka masala in bowl

I paused, the feverish clicking of keys coming to a halt. I listened closely, almost in disbelief. It was the second morning I heard its song; a lonely bird chirping outside the window. Only a few chirps and it was gone. I waited for more but was satisfied to have gotten even a prelude. We’re still in the dead of January and yet its spring song made my heart flutter.

Winter is long where I live. Not as long as in other parts of the country but too long for my liking. Everything is grey, silent and rather sleepy. It’s not a bad thing per se but I find myself yearning for more light and warmth. But I know my wanting and the reality of winter are two very different things.

As we’re on the cusp of temperatures in the single digits and perhaps even as low as 0 Fahrenheit, I can’t help but want to curl up in a blanket and hibernate for the remainder of this season. But as that’s neither feasible or physically possible, I’ll do the next best thing, which is cook comfort food - in the form of curry. Warming, satisfying, hearty curry.

This curry is one I’ve taken through more testing than perhaps any other recipe. I wanted to get it just right. I was hung up on the textures and consistency of the sauce (because after all, it’s the sauce that’s everything). I would like to say that I hoped for it to taste as authentic as possible - whatever that may mean.

Chicken Tikka Masala is a surprisingly easy recipe to make, filled with loads of spices and flavors, with Garam Masala being the star of them all. I put a little spin on this curry by making it even heartier and adding carrots and potatoes. You can eat it on its own, serve it with rice or cauliflower rice.

chicken tikka masala in bowl
chicken tikka masala in bowl
chicken tikka masala
limes
chicken tikka masala

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chicken tikka masala

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • marinating time: 1-12 hours

  • cooking time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

  • makes: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

For marinade

For curry

  • 1 tbsp ghee or extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large sweet or yellow onion, chopped

  • 3 coves garlic, minced

  • 1” knob ginger

  • 1/2 marinade spice mix (see above)

  • 2 tsp garam masala

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 2 cups tomato puree

  • 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar (skip if whole 30)

  • squeeze of lime

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 4 medium carrots peeled and sliced

  • 1 large russet potato peeled and chopped into cubes

  • 1 rounded tbsp freshly chopped cilantro

Equipment:

  • large dutch oven or other heavy large pot

  • large soup pot

  • ziplock bag or container with lid

  • small mixing bowl

Directions:

In small mixing bowl, mix all spices under marinade. Reserve half and add half to ziplock bag or container. Add olive oil and mix well. Add chicken and let marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 in the refrigerator.

Heat dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil or ghee and chicken and brown chicken for 5 minutes on each side. Set aside on plate.

In same pan, add onion and salt, and cook for 8 minutes until translucent. Next add garlic, ginger, reserved spice mixture, garam masala, pepper, paprika and cook for 30 seconds.

Add in coconut milk, tomato puree, tomato sauce, coconut sugar, chicken and let simmer on low heat for 40 minutes with lid on. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, add cut potato and carrot to soup bowl and cover with enough water to submerge. Bring to a boil and cook for about 8-10 minutes until vegetables are tender but still have a bite. Drain and set aside.

When sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through, add cilantro, squeeze of lime vegetables and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve over rice or cauliflower rice with additional cilantro if desired.


How to make a classic chicken tikka masala dish, paleo and whole 30? Coconut milk, of course. Check out this delicious and hearty recipe that’s full of vegetables and tender chicken. It’s warming, comforting and loaded with anti-inflammatory spices. #paleofood #curry #paleocurry #paleochickencurry #chickentikkamasala #calmeats #whole30curry #dinner #chicken #whole30recipes #paleorecipes #howtomakecurry #easycurry #chikenrecipes