So, my plan for tonight was to go to see Dave Foley tonight at the Comedy Club in Webster. I was decidedly excited. I have loved Kids in the Hall since, well, since it was first aired in the U.S. back in 1989.
However, I changed my plans. I’ve had several long days this week, and I decided I wanted nothing more than an evening at home to spend cooking, writing, and relaxing. And, quite honestly, it’s been a delight. I’m not boring, I promise, I’m just a wee bit introverted. 🙂
It has now been a whopping 9 days since I went Paleo, and I am still absolutely loving it. My energy is consistent and centered through the days, I am sleeping peacefully though the nights, and waking up feeling refreshed and energized in the mornings. It even seems like my respiratory allergies aren’t bothering me as much as they usually do, but more time will tell with that matter.
I’ve been surprised at how few cravings I’ve gotten for non-Paleo food items, especially since many of the items I cook and bake at work contain sugar and grains. However, I continue to integrate more Paleo items into the prepared foods we offer at Lori’s, and I am just amazed and inspired by how many delicious things I can eat, and am having so much fun approaching food with creativity and exploring new ideas about ingredients, that I don’t miss the things I’ve sacrificed in the name of greater health.
With all that said, I had fun preparing dinner this evening. (Yes, I admit it, I am in love with cooking: I get home from a full day cooking at work, and I want nothing more than to cook a bit more.) I made a big batch of Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetables, which I served along with some homemade tahini sauce, and I love it! The chicken turned out tender and flavorful, the vegetables were a built-in side dish full of tasty happiness and vitamins, and the tahini sauce complemented them perfectly… and it made enough that I don’t have to worry about lunches the next several days. It will also serve as a base for a couple of breakfasts: see the note in point 7 of the directions.
The recipe calls for a whole chicken that you quarter yourself. This definitely saves you some money if you’re going for a local, organic chicken (which, of course, I suggest doing, for health, ecological concerns, and resistance to the factory farm industry): whole chickens are priced significantly less per pound than ones that have already been cut into pieces. If you are unsure how to quarter a chicken, don’t worry, Youtube will come to the rescue: I found this video to be clear, direct, informative, and accurate.
Nothing else in either the ingredients list or the directions requires much additional explanation, so here you go:
- 2-4 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 8 oz. mushrooms, stems removed and sliced ¼-1/3 inch thick
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 red bell peppers, sliced
- 2 zucchini, sliced about ½ inch thick
- 1 young organic chicken (about 3 lbs.), quartered
- ½ bunch Italian parsley chopped
- 2 T chopped rosemary
- 2 T chopped mint
- 1 T chopped dill
- 1 bay leaf
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
- 8 c baby spinach leaves
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 5 c filtered water
- 4 oz. tahini
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 or 3 cloves garlic
- ½ t paprika
- ¼ c water
- ½ c extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
TO MAKE THE CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Place olive oil in a large, oven-proof stock pot: heat over medium heat. When the oil is heated, add the onion and sauté until fully translucent.
- Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until the moisture that is released from the mushrooms is fully evaporated.
- Add the zucchini and bell peppers and sauté 3-4 more minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and cover with an oven-proof lid. Bake for 75 minutes. Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce.
- Remove from the oven and set your oven to broil. Remove the bay leaves from the broth. Place chicken pieces under the broiler for about 6-10 minutes, turning over halfway through, until nicely browned. Remove from the broiler and serve on top of the vegetables and a bit of the broth, topped with tahini sauce.
- SAVE THE ADDITIONAL BROTH! A delightful Paleo breakfast can be made by heating up some of the vegetables and broth over the stove, poaching an egg, and eating it all together (with or without some of the tahini sauce, and with or without some of the chicken). It’s a quick and healthy start to the day!
TO MAKE THE TAHINI SAUCE:
- Place all ingredients EXCEPT for the oil in a food processor and combine thoroughly. Slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream until fully emulsified.
- Adjust seasonings to taste.