recipes

paleo chicken pot pie

No matter how long you "eat clean" or follow a specific diet, no matter how much better you feel on said diet, or how terrible you feel when you break its rules, there are some cravings that just don't go away. You could wave a hundred doughnuts under my nose with no success but one French baguette? I'm done for. 

Another of my all-time favorites? Chicken Pot Pie.

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It was hard-core comfort food when I was little. We didn't have it often, but when we did, we knew it was probably the depths of winter...those days in January when it feels as though the sun will never rise again (thank you Northern Hemisphere), and even if it does, you'll never see it because of the impenetrable rain clouds (Thank you Seattle convergence zone).

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My mom's was topped with flaky biscuits that we usually only saw during holiday dinners or camping breakfasts making it all the more magical to our young selves. While I can't (as yet) replicate those life-affirming biscuits without the butter and wheat flour, I still wanted that comforting steam, soft doughy crust, and enough vegetables to make the gravy forgivable.

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After gathering several recipes, reading through them carefully, and imagining all of the possibilities, I decided I wanted something warm, decadent, and very easy to make. No frozen crust pastries or hours of prep cooking. I wanted to be able to grab this recipe on a whim and (so long as I had the ingredients), make it that night. So, here's the recipe!


CHICKEN POT PIE

1 pound chicken

Cube, cook, set aside.

1/4 c coconut oil/butter
1/4 c honey
2 large eggs
1 t fresh lemon juice

whisk smooth

1 c grated cheese

stir in

2 1/2 c almond flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda

sift in, combine all, set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.
mise en place for the next steps.

1 1/2 T butter
1 large yellow onion, finely diced

saute 10-12 minutes until translucent

1/2 pound diced celeriac
1 c chicken broth

add, bring to a boil, simmer until celeriac is tender.

1/3 c coconut milk

put in blender along with just celeriac. blend until creamy. set aside.

1/2 pound diced celeriac
3 carrots, diced

add to pan broth, simmer 8-10 minutes until starting to soften.

2/3 c frozen peas
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t dried rosemary

add along with cooked chicken. Stir until heated through. Add blended celeriac.
remove from heat. Pour filling into glass baking dish.
drop biscuit dough onto the top until covered evenly and bake uncovered 1/2 hour or until biscuits are beginning to brown.
let rest 10 minutes.
enjoy!


gallete à la pomme dans le four grille-pain

en anglais

Apple Gallette Baked in a Toaster Oven

As soon as I got the idea into my head, I knew I wanted to try it. Roommate's golden birthday happened this week and, as her traditional birthday dessert is pie, I felt particularly determined to see if I could make one in our tiny toaster oven. Once she picked apple for the fruit, I set to work gathering ingredients.

gallete à la pomme dans le four grille-pain | seekthewelfare

BUTTER FLAKE PASTRY

1 1/4 c white flour
1/4 t salt

Stir together.

1/2 c (176 g) butter, chilled

Cube and cut into the flour mixture with a knife or fork until the dough reaches a dry crumb consistency.

1/4 c ice water

Add one tablespoon a a time until the dough can be rolled into a consistent ball.

Place in an airtight container and refrigerate 5 hours or overnight.

After wandering about in Carrefour (une large sélection de produits for sure) for what felt like hours to find the flour and just managing to locate a bag of apples I was happy with (I am very spoiled by the PNW when it comes to apples), I had everything I needed.

Making the dough went precisely as planned despite our tiny half-kitchen lacking any sort of measuring cup or spoon. I quickly grabbed my mason jar, emptied it of the paint water from earlier in the day, and set about measuring the flour and water. As for the salt, I eyeballed it. For the butter, I simply cut out the middle where the measure lines were, meaning I didn't have to risk mis-judging the curved ends that this brand of (perfect) french butter has.

gallete à la pomme dans le four grille-pain | seekthewelfare

After rolling the dough into a ball and kneading it only a couple times to bring it to a cohesive texture (you want to work it as little as possible to maintain those flaky layers in your finished crust), I slid it into the same mason jar I'd used to measure and popped it into the fridge.

Happily closing the door behind it, I wandered off into the city and didn't have to worry about it for several hours. 

gallete à la pomme dans le four grille-pain | seekthewelfare

APPLE FILLING

Preheat toaster oven to 375 F (176 C).

4 c diced apples (with peels)
juice and zest of 1 lemon

Generously coat the apple with the juice and zest.

1/4 c white granulated sugar
1/4 c white flour
1 T cinnamon

Stir together in a separate bowl and then pour over the apples, stirring to coat everything evenly. Roll out the pastry crust into a mostly-circular shape and pile your apples into the middle. Slowly fold the edge of your circle up and around the apples, creating a ring of pastry around the edge. Crimp to keep it closed.

2 T butter
1 egg (whisked)

Dot the butter over the top of the apples and brush the visible crust edges with the egg wash.

Bake 30 minutes and check it. Turn down if the apples are growing dark and up if the crust still looks or feels doughy. Bake another 15 to 20 minutes until the top crust is golden brown and you can lift one edge and see that the whole bottom tilts up with it.
 

Once again, our little kitchen threw some curve balls at me. The smooth stone-like counter was perfect for rolling out pastry as it stays nice and cool and doesn't melt out the butter. No rolling pin though. One of our wine bottles that we've been keeping for decoration did the trick beautifully.

gallete à la pomme dans le four grille-pain | seekthewelfare

Without a pie dish in sight, not to mention the toaster oven being too small and unable to maintain heat with one inside, I pulled the bottom crumb catcher pan out of the bottom of the toaster oven, scrubbed it like mad (looks new now!), cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit, and our little pastry had a home.

Shaping the gallette (as this style of dish-less pie crust is called) is so simple and looks so pretty. The hardest part is not touching it too much. At this scale, it's just so cute!

gallete à la pomme dans le four grille-pain | seekthewelfare

A few pats of butter on the top and one more sprinkle of cinnamon and into the tiny, now very hot toaster oven it went.

After a few jumps up and down, a couple pokes and prods, and about 40 minutes, I pulled it out. I have never been so excited to hear that pastry-crumble-crunch as I slid the knife through the crust to cut it in half.

gallete à la pomme dans le four grille-pain | seekthewelfare

With some single-malt scotch, candlelight, and Chopin playing in the background, we sat in quiet for a moment as we ate our first bites. 

Few things are more exciting than being able to create something delicious from scratch. Don't let tiny kitchens and unconventional tools stop you! All it takes is a little know-how and a whole lot of love. And perhaps a couple tries. But don't worry. I doubt you'll be wanting in the taste-tester department. Just throw around words like "gallette" and "butter pastry" and you should be just fine.


What's the craziest thing you've cooked/baked in an unconventional situation? I would love to hear about it! Share it with everyone on facebook too!


zucchini fritters

Possibly my favorite low-effort, high-reward last-minute dinner. Little bit a protein, little bit of fill-you-up spice, and a whole lot of veggie-that-doesn't-taste-bland.

zucchini fritters | seekthewelfare

ZUCCHINI FRITTERS
adapted by Stupid Easy Paleo from Smitten Kitchen
30 minutes tops

2 medium zucchini

Grate on a large cheese grater, pop into a towel, and squeeze the living water out of it.

1 tsp salt
1/4 c coconut flour
1 egg
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
coconut oil (for cooking)

Mix and beat together all ingredients.
Cook like you would a pancake.
Eat hot.

Or cold as leftovers. 

Both are fantastic.


Thoughts? Join the conversation @seekthewelfare on facebook.


fluffy brownies


grain-free, dairy-free, paleo, scd, sibo, simple-sugar


In the past veggies have not been the ingredients I have looked to to make a fluffy, moist, chocolaty dessert but oh my goodness they are now.

After I started playing around with juicing, I found myself with jars of veggie pulp just begging to be used. However, I had no idea how to use it until I came across 84th & 3rds recipe for ooey-gooey gluten free brownies. It didn't even take a great deal of modification for me to be able to eat them! Still a little skeptical, I whipped some up that afternoon.

sibo brownies | seekthewelfare

What came out of the oven slowly grew more and more magical as it cooled. Yes, there is slight vegetable sweetness to them but the more I ate them, the more I realized how the added layers of flavor simply enhance the chocolate.

Trust me. If you can get through the oddity of green brownie batter, you will be rewarded. It also has the added benefit of keeping me motivated to drink more veggies so I can brownie the pulp. : )

sibo brownies | seekthewelfare

FLUFFY GREENJUICE-PULP BROWNIES
recipe modified from 84th & 3rd

Preheat oven to 350*F
Line a 9-inch round or 8x8 square pan with parchment

2 large eggs
2 c green juice pulp
1/2 c walnut oil
1/4 c honey

Whisk together until smooth

3/4 c cocoa powder
1/2 T baking soda
1/2 t salt
3 T coconut flour

Sift over batter
Whisk until smooth
Bake 30 minutes or until edges just start to pull away
Cool in pan 10 minutes
Finish cooling on a rack


How do you like to sneak in veggies? Tell me over on Facebook.


the chicken broth fairy

Whenever I think back to the times when I have felt the most whole, the most well, the most real, they all carry the same core: taking care of others in concrete ways, most often through food.

bone broth | seekthewelfare

My heart hums at the memory of the sun on my back and speckles reaching through the brim of my hat as I dug up the ghost roots of stubborn weeds in the North Carolina soil; or the numb feeling in my knuckles driving back in the open van past mint fields and broken houses after a day of pulling suckers off of corn; or the look of delight and surprise on Nola's face upon discovering that she had made dinner all on her own.

So many foods store memories from when we last ate them or when we got to share them for the first time and my memories surrounding chicken broth are particularly precious to me. 

It was my senior year of college and I found myself in a small house with three other women, a very large kitchen, and the freedom to cook for myself. At the time Katie Jay lived a solid thirty minute drive away but each week I boiled a whole chicken, conserved the broth, and sent her home with large jars of it. At the time she could eat little else.

It became part of our rhythm and I got very good at dressing up dry, boiled chicken. I often over-boiled the meat in order to get as much nourishment into her as possible. With her further away and as sick as she was, it was something for me to do; some way to feed and warm and care.

Months into this being our habit, Katie Jay's housemate came across her warming a mug of the ever-present broth. She watched for a moment and then burst out with "How do you do that? YOu always have chicken broth but you never have chicken. Do you have a chicken broth fairy?"

To date it is the title that I hold with most pride.


We still keep broth as a staple of our diet, though now we tend to make bone broth in the crock pot allowing us to enjoy the nutrients while still cooking the meat in sundry delicious ways. We always buy our meat bone-in so much of our broth is simply using what would have otherwise been thrown away. We've also been known to toss already-cooked bones into the mix along with raw ones. I get the most amazing knuckle bones from my butcher at $1.50 a pound.

Here's my method:


BONE BROTH
makes about 2 quarts

1 lb raw bones
4 quarts water

Place in your crock pot.
Set on high.
Forget it for 24 hours.
Strain the broth into jars.
Pop in the fridge.
Compost the bones.

Use as the base for soups or season with salt, pepper, or your favorite spices and herbs to drink on its own.