Monday, February 25, 2013

2 Meals from 4 Legs - Budget-Friendly Organic Chicken

So many people thing that buying grass-fed beef and organic chicken will wreck their food budget.  This just isn't true.  There are many ways to get the benefits of better quality food without spending a fortune, and today I'm going to show you one of them.

Often when you are buying chicken - organic or other -  you will find that chicken legs are very inexpensive.  This is because a lot of people prefer breast meat, but with the right recipes in your repertoire, chicken legs can create wonderful meals.  Here is how I create two meals with just 4 chicken legs :

serves 4

Remove the skin from the legs and put it into your freezer stock bag. Put the legs into your slow cooker.  Add  a cup of chopped celery, a cup of chopped onion, a cup of peas and a cup of chopped carrots. Top this with a container of organic chicken broth - home made or store bought.

Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8, then remove the legs. Take off all the meat.  Shred 1/2 a cup of it and add it back to the soup.  Reserve the rest (You should have about 3 cups.)  Put the bones into the stock bag.

Make egg noodles with a teaspoon of Italian seasoning, a tablespoon of coconut flour, 2 eggs, and a little water.

Now you have your first meal.  You will find this surprisingly filling as the egg noodles are full of egg protein.  Serve it with a big mixed salad and you have a great cold weather weekday dinner.

Here is a little trick I learned while I was a waitress for carrying soup bowls without spilling.  Put a folded paper towel onto a small plate, then set the soup bowl on this.  Not only does this give a nice presentation, it will also stop the bowl from moving as you walk and you won't burn your hands on the hot bowl trying to carry it.

Okay, so now you have a container of cooked chicken meat in your fridge, here is the second meal ...

serves 4

casserole without cheese

Ingredients :
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded

  • 1- 6 oz jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped & cooked

  • 4 large chopped sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil)

  • 12 chopped cherry tomatoes (You can also use regular tomato, but cherries have more flavor)
  • ½ a small red onion, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup black olive Tapanade (or chopped black olives)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (give recipe)

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup  grated Parmesan
casserole with cheese topping

Directions :

·       Preheat oven to 425 F.
·       Chop and cook the bacon.  Then use 2 tablespoons of the fat to grease
a medium size casserole dish. (about 4 cup capacity)
·       Mix the shredded chicken, chopped artichoke hearts, cooked bacon, chopped sun dried tomatoes, chopped tomatoes and chopped red onion.  Add the black olive tapanade and mayonnaise and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper. 
·       Put into prepared casserole dish.  Spread the mozzarella evenly over the top then sprinkle with the Parmesan. 
·       Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and started to brown.

So now you have your second meal and again all you need is a big salad to go with it.  This casserole is so saucy and cheesy you can serve it just on a plate of salad greens like I often do and forget about any dressing.  

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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