Primal Gourmet http://cookprimalgourmet.com Paleo Primal and Healthy Recipes Tips and Kitchen Trips Fri, 21 Jul 2017 01:08:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Grilled Kale Caesar http://cookprimalgourmet.com/grilled-kale-caesar http://cookprimalgourmet.com/grilled-kale-caesar#respond Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:49:04 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=1971 This Grilled Kale Caesar is Whole30, Paleo and downright delicious. It goes great served alongside some grilled shrimp or chicken.

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Grilled everything seems to be my motto these days. If I think there is even a slight chance that something can be grilled, I will toss it over a hot fire without hesitation. Broccoli, leeks, squash, yams, you name it. Many of you already know that I’m a huge fan of grilled romaine. I present exhibit A: Grilled Romaine with Whole30 Ranch; and exhibit B:Charred Caesar with Scallops and Almonds. Both recipes take the humble head of romaine and grill it ever so slightly, just enough to wilt the edges and impart a slight charred flavour. If you’ve never grilled romaine, I encourage you to try it. It’s fantastic!

grilled kale caesar salad primal gourmet paleo whole30 easy bbq

For some reason though, I never thought to do the same thing with kale. That is until a recent trip to a local Toronto restaurant where I saw a grilled kale pizza on the menu. The pizzaioli in the back of the open-air kitchen were slinging kale-studded pies left, right and centre. I was intrigued. Downright curious. I ordered one to share with my wife. No, it was not a paleo pizza. No, it wasn’t even gluten-free. I was about to scarf down something my ‘personal brand’ admonishes. And I was gonna enjoy every last bite because I’m an adult, I know my limit and I play within it. Though, I can’t say the same about Uncle Ronny in 2010. This would have been ‘Danger Will Robinson’ situation for him.

grilled kale caesar salad primal gourmet paleo whole30 easy bbq

The pizza was just OK – nothing worth writing a blog post about. BUT THE KALE! OH LORD, THE KALE! Charred to a fine crisp in the molten brick oven. It was heavenly. I had to have more! But how to serve it? A cauliflower crust pizza would be interesting. But that’s a lot of work and I don’t like cranking the oven in the summer. What about a grilled kale salad? What about grilled kale caesar salad? Have people done that before? Am I the first? DID I JUST INVENT A DISH?

grilled kale caesar salad primal gourmet paleo whole30 easy bbq

A quick google confirmed that I was late to the race. Everybody and their mother was Grilling Kale Caesars. I guess you can’t win ’em all. No biggie! I ran to buy bushels of the stuff from the market anyways. I came home and fired up the grill, tossed the kale with a bit of salt and avocado oil and flash-grilled them over high heat. I proceeded to strip the crispy leaves from their wilted stems, and whipped together my Classic Caesar dressing. It’s creamy, packed with umami and would coat the grilled leaves very nicely. But there was something missing. I got this sudden urge to freshly grate some pecorino overtop of the pile of grilled goodness! Enter my secret weapon: CASHEWS! That’s right. That beautiful snowfall of ivory curls is nothing more than a single cashew grated using a microplane. It’s a great trick that I use time and time again when I want to fool myself (and others). I remember a time when I would have thrown a cheese-free Caesar salad against the wall like Gordon Ramsay! HA!

Watch it homie: Grilled Kale Burns Quick

Word to the wise: Kale grills quickly! Like, 10-15 seconds per side over high heat. So, be sure to keep an eye on them when you make this recipe. To avoid burning, continuously flip the kale while on the grill. The whole cooking process should take less than a minute.

grilled kale caesar salad primal gourmet paleo whole30 easy bbq

I hope you like this recipe and, as always, please let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)

 

2lbs Kale

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic – formed to a paste

3 anchovy filets packed in olive oil – formed to a paste

1.5 tsp dijon mustard – Paleo and Whole30 compliant

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil – plus extra for scallops

2-3 cashews – grated for garnish

Avocado oil – approx. 1 tbsp

salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

for the Caesar dressing:

  1. To a large bowl, add egg yolk, mustard, garlic paste, anchovy paste, a pinch of salt and lemon juice. Whisk until combined.
  2. While whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil. Exaggerate just how slowly you drizzle in the oil. It should be a painfully-slow drizzle. I’m talking drop-by-drop slow.
  3. Once all the oil is whisked through and the dressing is emulsified, taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary with salt and as much freshly-cracked black pepper as you can handle.
  4. Cover dressing and refrigerate until ready to serve.

for the Grilled Kale:

  1. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat.
  2. Rinse and dry kale. Drizzle the stalks with a bit of avocado oil and season with a pinch of sea salt. Massage the kale to evenly distribute the oil and salt.
  3. Grill kale over direct heat for 30-45 seconds or until the edges are slightly charred. NOTE: Kale burns easily so keep a close eye on it and flip continuously.
  4. Transfer grilled kale to a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, carefully remove the leaves from the stems.
  5. Add the grilled kale to a mixing bowl, drizzle the dressing overtop and toss everything to coat. Using a microplane or fine-tooth grater, grate a few cashews overtop for garnish.
  6. Try serving with grilled chicken, shrimp or scallops.

 

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Whole-Roasted Spiced Cauliflower http://cookprimalgourmet.com/whole-roasted-cauliflower http://cookprimalgourmet.com/whole-roasted-cauliflower#respond Mon, 17 Jul 2017 22:00:18 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=1960 This Whole-Roasted Spiced Cauliflower is an absolute showstopper. If you're looking for a delicious and easy side dish that impresses, look no further.

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My Whole-Roasted Spiced Cauliflower with Tahini and Harissa has a bit of a backstory. It was inspired by a recent IG story by Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver), which I think was inspired by a brilliant photograph taken by David Loftus (@davidloftus), while he was at Miznon Restaurant in Paris (@miznonparis), of a recipe that was originally created by Eyal Shani, owner of Mizon and overall Israeli rockstar (@eyaltomato), some time ago. At least, this is what prompted me to whole-roast a head of cauliflower this time around.

Whole-Roasted Spiced Cauliflower Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Recipes Easy

It’s not my first time making a whole-roasted head of cauliflower. You can see my simpler, but equally delicious recipe hereThe earlier version was inspired by a dish served at @fatpasha, a Toronto restaurant that serves up fresh spins on Middle Eastern classics. I’ve actually never eaten at Fat Pasha. I found out about their whole-roasted cauliflower because when they first opened their doors a few years back it was flooding the Instagrams of Toronto foodies. I suspect that like other versions of this dish, it was inspired by Eyal Shani’s rustic masterpiece.

Whole Roasted Spiced Cauliflower Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Recipes Easy

Whole Roasted Spiced Cauliflower Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Recipes Easy

Whole-Roasted vs. Steamed vs. Both

The two major differences between this whole-roasted cauliflower and the one I made last year (aside from the spices used), is the fact I steam it first and don’t discard the green leaves at the bottom. The latter is entirely aesthetic. Leaving the leaves on the during cooking process will not result in a tastier finished product. It will, however, give you a beautiful, centrepiece-worthy head of whole-roasted cauliflower goodness. When I made this for my family my sister-in-law gasped in awe because, well, it’s really pretty.

Whole Roasted Spiced Cauliflower Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Recipes Easy

Whole Roasted Spiced Cauliflower Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Recipes Easy

Steaming the cauliflower before roasting, on the other hand, will absolutely contribute to a better tasting dish. I’ve tested this recipe both ways and steaming first is the way to go! I realize that simply throwing things in the oven is the path of least resistance, but I urge you to take this extra step! It’s really as easy as placing the whole cauliflower, stem-side down, in a stockpot with a steamer insert. Most companies will sell stockpots with corresponding inserts – most of which are typically used for boiling pasta. If you use this method, you will need to fill the water to the level just beneath the lowest point of the insert. The goal here is to steam the cauliflower, not boil. I find that boiling results in a loss of flavour.

Whole Roasted Spiced Cauliflower Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Recipes Easy

If you don’t have one of these fancy-shmancy inserts, don’t fret. You can achieve the same results by filling a stock pot or dutch oven with enough water to submerge one inch of the cauliflower. HOWEVER, you will absolutely need to keep an eye on the water level because it can evaporate. If this happens, simply add a bit more water and continue steaming.

I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS: 

1 head cauliflower – leaves intact

1 tsp coriander seed

½ tsp cumin seed

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Salt and Pepper

¼ cup EVOO

for toppings:

1 tsp harissa paste

2 tbsp EVOO

¼ cup Basic Tahini sauce – see Basic Tahini recipe here

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

¼ cup pine nuts – toasted

 METHOD:

  1. Using a paring knife, trim the stem of the cauliflower so that it rests flat without toppling over. Be sure to keep the green leaves intact for presentation.
  2. In a stock pot with steamer insert or Dutch Oven, steam whole cauliflower for 25 minutes or until you can easily pierce the centre with a knife.
  3. Meanwhile, in a dry skillet over low heat, toast the coriander and cumin seeds (approximately 6-8 minutes or until spices are warm and fragrant). Transfer toasted spices to a mortar and pestle, or food processor, along with paprika, thyme, and garlic. Bash everything to a paste. Add the EVOO and stir to combine. Set mixture aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp harissa with two tbsp EVOO. Set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 450F.
  6. Transfer steamed cauliflower to an oven-safe skillet or roasting tray. Massage the spice paste all over of the cauliflower florets (no need to rub the leaves). Season with salt and pepper. Roast cauliflower 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. For even crispier edges, switch the oven to the broil setting for a minute or two just before removing from oven. NOTE: if broiling to finish, keep a very close eye on the cauliflower so that it does not burn.
  7. Remove roasted cauliflower from oven and transfer to serving platter. Drizzle with tahini and harissa oil. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley.

 

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Watermelon, Tomato and Jalapeño Salad http://cookprimalgourmet.com/watermelon-tomato-salad http://cookprimalgourmet.com/watermelon-tomato-salad#respond Mon, 03 Jul 2017 22:49:31 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=1950 This Watermelon, Tomato and Jalapeño Salad makes a great summertime appetizer. It's loaded with different flavours and textures!

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Watermelon is hailed in my household. After cherries (read this blog post to understand), it’s the fruit we consume the most during the summer. After a while, though, it gets to be kind of boring and I start getting an itch to play around with it in the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I can (and sometimes do) eat watermelon everyday. There’s just something to be said for the spirit of experimentation.

watermelon avocado jalapeno salad pale primal gourmet whole30 recipe summer bbq idea

It’s the same routine every year. I usually begin with different ways to cut it (which is how this YouTube video on How to Cut a Watermelon was born). Then I start adding it to different smoothies in the place of liquid. I may even dabble with a cocktail every now an then! Until, at some inevitable point, my beloved watermelon ends up in a salad. It always happens! Last year I was marinating watermelon in a combination of Japanese-inspired sauces to make watermelon poke. It was mad-delicious! I would wrap it up in leaves of toasted nori (seaweed). I never did end up writing a recipe though. Not quite sure why! In fact, I had forgotten about my watermelon poke until I sat down to write this recipe for my 2017 foray.

watermelon avocado jalapeno salad pale primal gourmet whole30 recipe summer bbq idea

Resist the Urge to Greek-ify Your Watermelon Salad

I think the general urge is to go to the Greek route when making a watermelon salad. It’s a popular option and lord knows I’ve done it before. This one finds inspiration elsewhere, namely South America. The combination of juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and spicy jalapeño compliment each other beautifully.  Everything gets gilded with a healthy drizzle of good-quality extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of Maldon sea salt, a spritz of lime and a dash of sesame seeds to play on the seeds that were lacking in my watermelon! While cilantro was my first herb of choice, I used fresh basil from the garden because it’s delicious and I’ll be dammed if I let those precious leaves bruise under the Toronto sun. Which leads me to my next point. As can sometimes be expected with me, this South American-inspired recipe was partly based on what I had on hand when creativity struck (which is a more glamorous way of saying I was too lazy to go to the store just to make a watermelon salad). All things considered, it’s really, really good! I’m beginning to think that you just can’t go wrong with putting watermelon in everything!

watermelon avocado jalapeno salad pale primal gourmet whole30 recipe summer bbq idea

I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS: (serves 3 appetizers)

1/2 large watermelon – (see instructional video on how to cut into cubes)

1 pint cherry tomatoes – halved

1/2 jalapeño – thinly sliced

1 avocado – peeled and cubed

1/2 lime – cut into wedges for squeezing

2-3 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil

pinch of coarse sea salt – such as Maldon

black and white sesame seeds – for garnish

1 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds – for garnish

small bunch fresh basil leaves – for garnish

METHOD:

  1. Arrange watermelon cubes on a serving platter. Add cherry tomatoes, avocado, and jalapeño. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with a pinch of coarse sea salt. Garnish with basil leaves, black and white sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.

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Grilled Thai Curry Chicken Drumsticks – Whole30 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/grilled-thai-curry-chicken http://cookprimalgourmet.com/grilled-thai-curry-chicken#respond Fri, 30 Jun 2017 21:36:10 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=1939 These Grilled Thai Chicken Drumsticks are spicy, tender, juicy and packed with umami. The marinade also doubles as a sauce. Win-win!

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Grilled meats are a staple for my family and I during in the summer months. Don’t get me wrong, I grill year-round. Rain, sleet or snow (all of which are regular occurrences in Toronto). I just do it more often in the summer. My wife doesn’t complain because it means less clean-up for her! I love it because I get to be outside, which also benefits my dogs Charlie and Nicky who always want to dig around the yard! Everyone’s a winner!

Grilled Thai Chicken Drumsticks Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Healthy BBQ Ideas Summer Best

This recipe for Grilled Thai Chicken Drumsticks wasn’t planned. It just sort of happened. Last night I cleaned out the fridge and did my best to organize it. It’s amazing what you’ll find in the deep recesses of the ol’ ice box! Aside from dangerously old jars of mustard and horseradish, I found some Thai curry paste. My first thought was to make Basil’s Thai Coconut CurryThat idea didn’t last very long because even though I always have coconut milk in the pantry, I didn’t have any boneless chicken – breast or otherwise. I did have some drumsticks in the freezer! I really didn’t want to debone a package of chicken legs though. What if I were to use the curry paste and coconut milk to marinate the chicken? Hey, there’s a thought! And voilà, a recipe was born! In case you’re wondering, this is how most of my meals come to fruition – out of a mixture of necessity and sheer laziness.

In all fairness, it’s not my first time marinating chicken in coconut milk. I did it with this Lemongrass Chicken and loved it. But for some reason unbeknown to me I never thought to use the curry paste as a marinade. It really is a beautiful thing. The paste is spicy, salty, briney and packed with umami. I assure you this won’t be a one-time affair. I plan on having multiple encounters with this curry paste and rubbing it over everything. There may or may not be chicken involved. Can you tell this is me trying to be scandalous? I know, not my best work!

Grilled Thai Chicken Drumsticks Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Healthy BBQ Ideas Summer Best

This recipe, on the other hand, is right up there with my other top hits. What those are, I’m not quite sure. I’m biased and love everything I make. OK, maybe not everything. I once tried adding sea vegetable powder to a salad dressing and ended up tossing a 1/4 cup of expensive AF olive oil.

Grilled or Baked?

There are a few things I should mention with this recipe.

  1. I used drumsticks because, as mentioned, that’s what I had on hand. You can use this marinade for chicken thighs, breast, wings or even pork. Beef is not as delicate and probably won’t absorb the marinade as much as ‘white’ meat. If you are adamant on substituting steak, I won’t stand in your way.
  2. I grilled the chicken drumsticks because I’m ’bout that life. If the weather was not cooperating I may be inclined to roast them instead. If I were to go that route, I would place the marinated legs on a cooling rack set over a baking tray. That way, the air could circulate around the chicken. I would roast in a 400F oven for around 45 or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. I would also flip the chicken half-way just to make sure it cooks evenly.

Grilled Thai Chicken Drumsticks Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Healthy BBQ Ideas Summer Best

I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

8-10 chicken drumsticks (substitute thigh, breast, wings or pork medalions)

1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk

1 tbsp red curry paste

1 tsp fresh ginger root – grated

2 cloves garlic – grated

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tbsp lime juice

fresh cilantro for garnish

lime wedges for squeezing

METHOD:

  1. Add all ingredients except for chicken, cilantro and lime wedges to a bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine. *Note: take extra care to disperse the curry paste which can be rather clumpy.
  2. Rinse and pat dry chicken drumsticks. Add chicken to a zip-top bag set in a bowl, pour in the marinade and gently massage the marinade all over the chicken. Fold the top of the bag over, squeeze out all of the air and seal tight. Transfer chicken to a fridge and let marinade 4 hours to overnight.
  3. Preheat a gas grill to medium-low heat. Place the chicken over direct heat and close the lid. Grill approximately 30-40 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Turn the chicken as necessary to ensure even cooking. *Note: I strongly recommend grilling chicken drumsticks on a medium-low heat and monitoring it closely. High heat will cause the marinade to burn.
  4. Meanwhile, transfer the chicken marinade to a sauce pan set over medium-low heat. Cook the marinade until it reduces by 1/4 to form a sauce. If the sauce becomes too dry, add 2-3 tbsp of water.
  5. Baste the chicken with the sauce towards the end of the grilling process.
  6. Transfer grilled chicken to a serving platter, garnish with fresh cilantro, lime wedges and serve with the remainder of the sauce.

 

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Cherry Nice Cream – Vegan and Paleo http://cookprimalgourmet.com/cherry-nice-cream http://cookprimalgourmet.com/cherry-nice-cream#respond Thu, 29 Jun 2017 22:04:55 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=1931 This Cherry Nice Cream has two ingredients and does not require any fancy appliances. It's vegan, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, paleo, and gluten-free.

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Cherry season is in full swing and the weather is (sometimes) warm here in Toronto! That means nice cream! Admittedly, I don’t have a sweet tooth. I think the last time I posted a dessert recipe was in 2016 and it was only because I had friends coming over for dinner. My wife, on the other hand, is a sugar-fiend! In an attempt to satisfy her cravings, I made this Cherry Nice Cream.

Cherry Nice Cream Paleo Primal Gourmet Vegan Vegetarian Dairy Free Ice Cream Recipe Easy Summer

A Very Cherry Childhood

Cherries hold a special place in my heart. My childhood home had a cherry tree in the back yard. It’s actually still there except my father had to chop it down! All that’s left is the stump, which he somehow managed to transform into the support for a water fountain. I know, it sounds whacky but it’s pretty cool! When the tree wasn’t a fountain it had a lot, and I mean a lot, of cherries. Every summer my brother and I would see which of us could climb higher and harvest the most fruit. If we waited too long into the season, the crows would swoop in and peck away at them all. That, or they would fall to the ground and become squirrel food. As the years passed the tree grew larger and began to pose a threat to our home, which was only 10 feet away at the base. The branches spread outwards and came into contact with the masonry of the house. The top of the tree soared well above the roof line and when there was a bad storm or strong wind you could hear the branches crack against the bricks. I remember many a sleepless night as the leaves would brush against my bedroom window.

Cherry Nice Cream Paleo Primal Gourmet Vegan Vegetarian Dairy Free Ice Cream Recipe Easy Summer

One fateful day, unbeknown to my brother, mother or I, my father woke up bright and early. With nothing more than a hacksaw in one hand and sheer determination in the other, he climbed the tree and branch by branch cut the beauty down. It was a sad day but it was necessary. I later learned that racoons were climbing the tree and making their way onto our roof where they would burrow through the eavestroughs and nest in the attic! To this day I still use the wood for BBQ’ing and grilling in my Weber Kettle Grill (which for 100 bucks is an amazing grill – just saying).

Cherry Nice Cream Paleo Primal Gourmet Vegan Vegetarian Dairy Free Ice Cream Recipe Easy Summer

These days we get our cherries from the market. They’re not nearly as sweet or delicious. Sometimes, though, I get a lucky batch during peak season and am instantly transported to my childhood. Memories flood my brain and for a few moments I’m a happy kid all over again! Maybe that’s why I decided to load this nice cream with a layer of extra cherries. Partly as a surprise for my unsuspecting wife, but mostly as a way of packing in some extra memories for me!

Cherry Nice Cream Paleo Primal Gourmet Vegan Vegetarian Dairy Free Ice Cream Recipe Easy Summer

I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)

4 bananas – peeled and sliced into discs

2 cups ripe cherries, plus extra for layering – pits and stems removed

METHOD:

  1. Lay sliced bananas and pitted cherries flat in freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Freeze overnight.
  2. Add the frozen fruit to a high-powered blender or food processor and pulse until crumbly. Set the speed of the blender to low and blend until smooth. Note: you may need to intermittently scrape the sides with a spatula or use a tamper if your blender comes with one.
  3. Transfer half the nice cream to a loaf pan and spread evenly. Layer in some sliced cherries and spoon the rest of the nice cream overtop. Smooth out the top layer with a spatula. Be sure to give the bottom of the loaf pan a few taps with your fist to release any air bubbles.
  4. Transfer the loaf pan to a freezer for 1-2 hours or until nice cream is slightly firm.
  5. Serve with roasted nuts of choice, hemp seeds and high-quality chocolate.

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Whole30 Greek Burgers http://cookprimalgourmet.com/whole-30-greek-burgers http://cookprimalgourmet.com/whole-30-greek-burgers#comments Tue, 27 Jun 2017 22:11:08 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=1915 These Greek Burgers are Whole30 and Paleo compliant. They're super juicy and loaded with mediterranean flavours but the secret is toasted pine nuts.

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I’ve been on a Greek kick lately. A few days ago it was my Greek-Marinated Salmon and now it’s these Whole30 Greek Burgers. I wasn’t kidding when I said that Greek food ranks very high in our home! I love the combination of fresh herbs, garlic and citrus. It’s refreshing, clean, bright, citrusy, and great for the warm weather. These burgers are no exception!

Whole30 Greek Burgers Paleo Primal Easy Summer BBQ Recipe

I think just about everyone and their grandmother has a Greek burger recipe. This Whole30 version is a bit special for a couple of reasons. Sure, it includes the usual suspects – namely, garlic, onion, oregano and parsley. It also omits unnecessary fillers like bread and gets wrapped up in a lettuce bun. Where things get interesting, though, is the use of dried mint, toasted pine nuts and green pepper. The mint adds a delicious, herbaceous flavour. The bell pepper lends a bit of sweetness and juiciness to the meat. And the pine nuts bring an unexpected crunch to the table. If you are allergic to nuts or seeds then by all means please omit the pine nuts. If not, I strongly recommend you give them a try. You’ll love the texture and slightly nutty flavour.

Whole30 Greek Burgers Paleo Primal Easy Summer BBQ Recipe

When it comes to the ‘bun’ I don’t think you can beat some good ol’ iceberg lettuce. Rather than peel the leaves off individually, try cutting the head of lettuce into wedges. They will be far more ‘structurally sound’ this way. You may also want to poke a couple of toothpicks and wrap them in some parchment paper to hold everything in place while eating. Just make sure you don’t chomp down on one of the toothpicks. I speak from experience!

Grilled vs. Cast-Iron Burgers

Ahhh, the age-old debate. Personally, I’ll take a griddled burger over a grilled one any day of the week. You just can’t beat the crust that forms when searing a burger in a cast-iron skillet or flat-top. However, I’ll be damned if I’m gonna spend my summer indoors slaving over a hot skillet. Especially if I’ve got friends over and wanna hang out with them on the deck. Of course, this leads to the second debate: Charcoal vs. Gas! Again, the winner is an easy one to declare – charcoal, obviously!

Whole30 Greek Burgers Paleo Primal Easy Summer BBQ Recipe

If you don’t have a grill and want to make some serious burgers, I recommend getting a cast-iron skillet. Don’t try to cook burgers in a non-stick pan. You need to crank the heat up really high to get a crust on the meat and most non-stick skillets are not safe for high-heat cooking.  I recommend this Lodge Cast-Iron model (link to purchase). If you want to achieve perfect grill marks, you’ll need to purchase this model here. Lodge makes some of the best cast-iron products I’ve ever had the pleasure of using and for 15 bucks you can’t go wrong. As with other cast-iron products, you will have to maintain and season it regularly. The trade-off is a high-quality, non-stick pan that will likely outlast you. (*Disclaimer: the links above are Amazon Affiliate links and I receive a very small commission if you choose to purchase. This is one of the ways you can help support my blogging activities.)

I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

Whole30 Greek Burgers Paleo Primal Easy Summer BBQ Recipe

INGREDIENTS: (makes 8, 1/4lbs burgers)

2 lbs ground lamb (substitute beef, chicken or turkey)

1/2 cup fresh parsley – finely chopped

1/2 cup red onion – finely diced

2 cloves garlic – minced

1/2 green bell pepper – finely diced

1 tsp dry mint

1 tsp dry oregano

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

salt and pepper to taste

avocado oil – to drizzle overtop of each burger

toppings:

whole30-compliant mayo or aioli (see my recipe here)

sliced tomato

diced red onion

whole30 compliant pickles

pitted kalamata olives

METHOD:

  1. Add everything except for the avocado oil, salt and pepper to a large bowl and mix well. Tip: use your hands – it’s easier.
  2. Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts – approximately 1/4lbs each. Form into patties, drizzle both sides with a bit of avocado oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat a grill to med-high heat. Grill burgers approximately 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked to your preference.
  4. Transfer burgers to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
  5. Cut the iceberg lettuce into wedges. Arrange each burger individually or serve everything as a buffet so that guests can build their own burgers.

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Greek Marinated Salmon with Asparagus http://cookprimalgourmet.com/greek-marinated-salmon http://cookprimalgourmet.com/greek-marinated-salmon#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 01:40:30 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=1903 This Marinated Greek Salad is easy, delicious and Whole30 compliant. It cooks in a single pan and you probably already have all the ingredients you need!

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Greek food ranks very high in our home! It’s fresh, clean, bright, citrusy, herbaceous, healthy, and delicious! Salads aside, when I’m in a pinch or find myself wondering what to do with a piece of meat, fish or chicken that needs to be marinated I almost always reach for this Greek-inspired situation. I always have the ingredients available in the pantry and it takes no time at all to get things rolling in the kitchen.

Greek Marinaded Salmon with Asparagus Paleo Primal Whole 30 Easy Dinner Recipe Summer Seafood Best

The other day I picked up a beautiful filet of wild salmon at the market and had every intention of grilling it on my wood planks (see Sesame-Ginger Cedar Plank Salmon recipe here). However, the weather wasn’t cooperating in Toronto so I had to improvise. Enter my Staub grill pan to the rescue (link to purchase). I love this grill pan. The inside and outside are coated in an enamel, which means it does not need to be seasoned like traditional cast-iron pans. However, I do find that it can be a bit fickle in terms of its non-stick capabilities.

If you don’t want to fork over some serious coin on a grill pan, I recommend this Lodge Cast-Iron model (link to purchase). Lodge makes some of the best cast-iron products I’ve ever had the pleasure of using and for 15 bucks you can’t go wrong. As with other cast-iron products, you will have to maintain and season it regularly. The trade-off is a high-quality, non-stick pan that will likely outlast you. (*Disclaimer: the links above are Amazon Affiliate links and I receive a very small commission if you choose to purchase. This is one of the ways you can help support my blogging activities.)

Greek Marinaded Salmon with Asparagus Paleo Primal Whole 30 Easy Dinner Recipe Summer Seafood Best

Greek on Fleek

As mentioned, this Greek-inspired marinade works on just about everything. I’ve used it on lamb, chicken, beef, shrimp, scallops and everything in between. Though, until this recipe, I actually never tried it on salmon! I was not disappointed! The fish soaks up all of the garlicky, herbaceous flavours and needs very little time to marinade. I’m talking thirty minutes to an hour in the fridge and you’re ready to go! I like to serve it with a simple, Greek salad and some grilled seasonal veggies. It’s asparagus season in Toronto and we’ve been reaping the rewards. If you can’t get asparagus in your neck of the woods, try zucchini, eggplant, or mushrooms. Heck, try whatever you like! You’re the boss, applesauce!

My super secret tip for the best Greek salad? Try warming up the tomatoes in the grill pan at the very end. The heat from the pan will soften the tomatoes and help them release their juices. It will also slightly intensify their flavours. Don’t worry, once you toss the tomatoes with the rest of the salad and the dressing they will cool down in temperature. Although, there ain’t nothing wrong with a warm salad. Amirite?

I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)

1lb wild salmon filet – preferably skin on

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried mint

1 tsp dried basil

2-3 garlic cloves – finely chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

1/2 lbs asparagus – stems removed

1/4 cup EVOO

for the Greek Salad:

big hand-full cherry tomatoes – halved

1/2 english cucumber – cubed

1/4 red onion – thinly sliced

1 green pepper – cubed

kalamata olives – approx 3-4 per person

lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to dress (as desired)

hemp hearts – for garnish

METHOD:

for salmon:

  1. Add thyme, mint, basil, EVOO, lemon juice, and garlic to a bowl and stir to combine – set aside.
  2. Rinse and pat salmon dry with paper towel. Slice filet into 2″ wide portions. Season both sides of the filets with salt and pepper and transfer to a zip-top bag. Pour in the marinade and gently massage the salmon to coat. Lay the salmon flat in the bag, fold over the top half, squeeze out all of the air and seal. Transfer to fridge and let marinade 30min to one hour.
  3. Preheat a grill-pan or grill over medium-high heat. If necessary add a small drizzle of oil to the pan to prevent sticking. Gently lay the salmon in the preheated pan, flesh-side down first. Cook approximately 3-4 minutes per side or until desired doneness (approximately 4 minutes per side for medium).
  4. Transfer grilled salmon to a serving platter. Season asparagus with a pinch of salt and pepper and add to the same pan the salmon was cooked in. Toss in the cherry tomatoes as well. Grill veggies approximately 4-5 minutes, flipping occasionally to avoid burning. Transfer asparagus to the serving platter along with the salmon. Transfer tomatoes to the cutting board and slice in half before adding to the salad.

for the greek salad:

  1.  Add sliced and grilled cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, onion, and olives to a mixing bowl. Drizzle with a few glugs of EVOO and a squeeze of lemon. Toss everything to coat. *Taste for seasoning. If it needs a bit of salt or pepper you can add some. We like to keep the salad really simple here.

to serve:

  1. Serve family style so that everyone can help themselves to as much or as little salmon, asparagus and salad as they like. It’s more fun this way!

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Chicken with Mushroom and Tarragon Cream Sauce http://cookprimalgourmet.com/chicken-mushroom-tarragon-cream-sauce http://cookprimalgourmet.com/chicken-mushroom-tarragon-cream-sauce#comments Wed, 21 Jun 2017 22:31:31 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=1886 This Paleo Chicken with Mushroom & Tarragon Cream Sauce is an easy and quick recipe that is perfect for weeknights. You'll need around 20 min & only a few ingredients.

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Chicken breast is not my favourite meat in the world. Growing up I had some fairly bad experiences with the ‘white meat’. It was almost always overcooked, dry, bland and rubbery. Sound familiar? Things didn’t change when I first started dieting as a teenager. My friends told me that in order to lose weight I had to eat chicken breast morning, noon and night. You see, chicken breast is a very lean meat and, as such, is believed to be good for the dieting crowd. I was also told to avoid seasoning it with salt for fear of retaining water. That may all be true but consuming 3 chicken breasts a day with nothing more than a dash of pepper is not exactly healthy either! The last piece of sage advice I received from my wise friends is that chicken breast would have to be either grilled, poached or roasted in the oven without any oil. Again, oil is fat and fat was, and for many people still is, the enemy! I’ve come a long way since my ‘dieting’ days. I know that healthy fats are in fact healthy and bad fats are not. I also know that eating a lean protein like chicken breast is not necessarily as important as consuming an animal that was allowed to pasture and was raised without the use of antibiotics and hormones.

Paleo Chicken Mushroom Tarragon Cream Sauce Whole30 Primal Recipe Easy 20 minute meal summer

What I didn’t know was that, aside from myself, many people love chicken breast for it’s neutral flavour, shape, colour and texture. Me? I think it’s the least inspiring meat known to man. There are so many things I’d rather eat. I’m talking lamb, beef, bison, venison, fish, shellfish, pork, goat, alligator. You name it! Chicken, especially breast, is possibly the last thing I think of when I want meat. Don’t get me wrong, I love the dark meat of chicken. Thighs, legs, and wings, will be devoured with delight! Just keep that white stuff to yourself! So, when I say that I have created a chicken breast recipe that I actually enjoy eating I want you to know that I sincerely mean it.

Paleo Chicken with Mushroom and Tarragon Cream Sauce

Paleo Chicken Mushroom Tarragon Cream Sauce Whole30 Primal Recipe Easy 20 minute meal summer

This recipe for Paleo Chicken with Mushroom and Tarragon Cream Sauce is one such recipe. Probably up there with my Chicken Piccata, which I absolutely love! In fact, they’re very similar as far as cooking technique and instructions go. I start by dredging some thinly-sliced chicken breasts in tapioca flour and shallowing frying them in a bit of avocado oil before creating a pan sauce. Instead of the garlic, capers, stock and lemon juice used in the Piccata, I opt for some mushrooms, garlic, coconut milk and tarragon. The result is a creamy, velvety, luxurious sauce that gets spooned overtop of the crispy chicken.

Paleo Chicken Mushroom Tarragon Cream Sauce Whole30 Primal Recipe Easy 20 minute meal summer

If you are not a fan of coconut milk (I’ve heard there are a few of you out there) then this may not be the recipe for you. However, I encourage you to try it because the flavour ends up getting very muted by the garlic and tarragon. In fact, I’ve made this for my family a few times now and they can’t believe there’s no cream in it!

I love to serve this overtop of some mashed yams. I think the white-fleshed, Japanese yams work really well here. The orange, sweet potatoes are too sweet.  To make the yams, I peel and cube them, throw them in a pot of salted boiling water, drain, add chopped garlic, a pinch of salt, a glug or two of EVOO and mash with a fork. If you prefer something I bit lighter, you can serve the Chicken with Mushroom and Tarragon Sauce overtop of  some cauliflower purée. Both options work really well!

3 Tips When Dredging with Tapioca Starch

Be sure to follow these three steps when dredging meat with tapioca flour. Otherwise, you may end up with a gummy finished product!

1. Make sure the chicken is very dry before dredging. Take your time to thoroughly pat the chicken with paper towel. Otherwise the starch will absorb the surface moisture.

2. Do not dredge ahead of time. Ideally, you want to dredge the chicken immediately before frying. Otherwise the starch will absorb the moisture of the chicken and it will not brown as nicely.

3, Make sure your oil is preheated. If your oil is not hot enough the starch will absorb it and it will not get as crispy.

I hope you like it and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)

2 chicken breasts – thinly sliced lengthwise

227 gr mushrooms – cremini, button, or portobello

2-3 cloves garlic – finely chopped

1 tbsp ghee

1 cup full-fat coconut milk

2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp fresh tarragon – finely chopped

small bunch of chives – finely chopped for garnish

tapioca flour – enough for dredging chicken

salt and pepper

METHOD:

  1. Slice chicken breasts lengthwise into 1/4″ filets. Season all sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat 2-3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, lightly dredge the seasoned chicken breast filets in tapioca starch.
  4. Carefully add the dredged chicken filets to the hot oil and pan-fry for 4-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Note, depending on size of skillet you may have to work in batches.
  5. Transfer browned chicken to a paper towel-lined tray.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low, add 1 tbsp ghee and mushrooms. Season with a pinch of salt and sauté 5-7 minutes or until softened and slightly browned. Add garlic and sauté an additional 60 seconds.
  7. Pour in coconut milk and use a wooden spoon to scrape off any brown bits that formed on the bottom of the pan. Season with black pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce by 1/2 – approximately 5-7 minutes. Taste sauce for seasoning and adjust as needed. Add the chopped tarragon at the very last minute.
  8. Transfer browned chicken to a serving platter and spoon the mushroom and tarragon sauce overtop. Garnish with finely chopped chives and serve with mashed yams or cauliflower purée.

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Sticky Beef Ribs – Paleo http://cookprimalgourmet.com/sticky-beef-ribs-paleo http://cookprimalgourmet.com/sticky-beef-ribs-paleo#comments Sun, 18 Jun 2017 15:39:53 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=1875 These Sticky Beef Ribs are slowly roasted before being slathered in a home-made Paleo Balsamic-Maple BBQ Sauce. The end result is finger-licking good!

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Beef ribs might not be as popular as pork but I assure you they’re just as tasty! They’re meaty, juicy and, when cooked low-and-slow, they fall off the bone with ease. I absolutely love them. Not least because they tend to have a bit more bite than pork. Call me crazy but there’s something very primal and satisfying about sinking your teeth into a big chunk of sticky, roasted meat.

Sticky Beef Ribs with Paleo Balsamic Maple BBQ Sauce Primal Gourmet Paleo Recipe Easy

Smoking vs. Roasting Ribs…

Purists will likely turn up their noses to the idea of roasting ribs and I understand where they’re coming from. There really isn’t a substitute for the flavour and experience of smoking meat. Smoking is an art form and it takes years to get it right. Personally, I haven’t had much success with smoking. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a proper smoker, but I don’t feel like that’s a good enough excuse. It’s more likely because smoking requires very consistent temperature for a long duration of time and I’m not very good at controlling that – regardless of the equipment. Why do you need to keep such a close eye on the temp? Because the intramuscular fibres in the meat that typically gets smoked (brisket, shoulder, ribs) takes a long time to break down and if the temperature is too hot or too cold you’ll end up with a tough finished product. For me, smoking meat is kind of like playing golf, I swing and swing and if I’m lucky I get the ball close enough to the hole. I mean, it’s fun and I get to spend time outdoors but it can also be a bit frustrating. There is also the occasional beer involved! Shhh… don’t tell anyone. I have a reputation to uphold 😉

Sticky Beef Ribs with Paleo Balsamic Maple BBQ Sauce Primal Gourmet Paleo Recipe Easy

So, I decided to take on the task of roasting these ribs in the oven where the temperature is easily controlled. There’s something to be said for making our lives easy in the kitchen and if that means sacrificing 6-hours outside, slaving over the temperature of a fickle chimney smoker, then so be it! I was worried they would be on the bland side but I have to admit that the spice rub did a great job of infusing the meat with flavour. The rub is sweet, smokey and a bit spicy. It goes great with my Balsamic-Maple BBQ Sauce. I made a batch of sauce to slather overtop of the ribs after they finished roasting. I admit that I did finish the ribs on the grill and basted them generously with sauce over and over again. If you don’t have a grill, you can finish them in the oven or in a grill pan. If you finish them in the oven be mindful that the roasting tray will have plenty of rendered fat at the bottom. You’ll want to discard that before returning the ribs to the oven.

Personally, I like to use a mop to baste the ribs, especially when finishing them over the grill. You can get away with a spoon if finishing the meat in the oven but over the high heat of the grill you might have a hard time. I don’t like the silicon brushes – I have three that are taking up space in my drawer. I feel like the sauce just drips off the bristles before making contact with the meat. Instead, I use a fabric mop like this one here, because the sauce sticks to the threads very nicely. (Full disclosure, this is an Amazon Affiliate link and if you purchase this product I receive a very small commission. This is one way that you can help to support my blogging.) The mop linked above has a longer handle than the one I own, which is helpful for keeping your arm away from the flames of the grill. To clean the mop, I soak it in hot, soapy water overnight and then give it a good scrub.

Paleo Balsamic Maple BBQ Sauce Primal Gourmet homemade organic

I hope you like it and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS:

Note: this makes 1 rack of beef back ribs (approx. 6 bones). Adjust measurements as needed but keep proportions the same.

1 rack beef back ribs

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp onion powder

kosher salt as needed

½ cup Maple-Balsamic BBQ Sauce (see recipe here)

METHOD:

  1. Add all the spices, except for salt, to a bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Turn the ribs meat-side down and use a paring knife to scrape off an edge of the membrane. Grab hold of the membrane with a piece of paper towel and slowly peel it back until it is all removed.
  3. Generously season both sides of the ribs with salt and the spice mixture. Be sure to massage the spices into all of the nooks and crannies of the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight. Note: I’ve made this with no marinating time and it still turned out delicious.
  4. Preheat oven to 300F. Place ribs in a roasting tray bone-side down. Add ½ cup of water to the bottom of the tray and cover with foil. Roast for 3hrs or until the meat is fork tender.
  5. Remove foil and discard any rendered fat that pooled at the bottom of the roasting tray. Baste ribs with sauce and raise the heat of the oven to 400F. Roast ribs for an additional 20-25 and baste with sauce two or three times.
  6. Alternatively, finish the roasted ribs over a gas or charcoal grill and baste with sauce.

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Chicken Piccata – Paleo & Whole30 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/chicken-piccata-paleo-whole30 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/chicken-piccata-paleo-whole30#comments Tue, 13 Jun 2017 21:52:57 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=1863 This Chicken Piccata delivers the same level of flavour as traditional recipes but keeps things Paleo and Whole 30 compliant.

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Chicken Piccata is a brilliant example of how you can take a tried-and-true, classic recipe and make it Paleo and Whole30 compliant without sacrificing an ounce of flavour. As always, it doesn’t hurt that the dish comes together in around 2o minutes, making it perfect for busy folks and those of us who are just impatient and hungry!

Chicken Piccata Paleo Whole30 Easy Recipe Dinner Idea

Piccata recipes typically involve pan-frying a thin piece of meat or fish before using the same pan to make a lemon-caper sauce. There are many variations of the classic Italian dish. You can make it with swordfish or trout, veal or pork scallopini, or chicken breast, as I have done here. Traditionally, the protein is dredged in flour before frying so that it gets nice and crispy. The pan then gets deglazed with white wine and lemon juice before being finished with butter. The finished product is bright, citrusy and briney, all of which goes perfectly with the crispiness of the meat or fish.

Chicken Piccata Paleo Whole30 Easy Recipe Dinner Idea

This Piccata has a few adjustments to make it Paleo and Whole30 compliant:

  1. The chicken is dredged in Tapioca flour (also referred to as Tapioca starch), a wonderful alternative flour that also makes amazing pancakes (see here). It is not as gritty and more neutral in flavour than coconut flour. Not as expensive as almond flour. And more heat-stable than most alternative flours. It also gets super crispy with even the lightest dusting over the chicken.
  2. Piccata recipes rarely call for seasoning the meat with more than salt and pepper. I like to kick it up a notch (damn right that’s an Emeril Lagasse reference) by ‘bamming’ the chicken with some spicy smoked paprika. Why waste an opportunity to add flavour?
  3. Rather than deglazing with white wine, I use stock – especially bone broth if I have some laying around in the freezer. It’s not that I have any particular issue with using wine here. But even if I were not doing a round of Whole30 or following a Paleo routine, I would still use stock because it tastes better.
  4. Piccata is traditionally finished with a pat of butter. This step is optional in my opinion but if you choose to go that route you can easily use ghee instead. It adds a beautiful layer of richness and gives the piccata a bit of a sheen.

I hope you like it and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS:

2 chicken breasts – sliced lengthwise or pounded approximately 1/4 inch thick

1/2 cup Tapioca starch – or more if required

2-3 cloves garlic – finely chopped

1 shallot – finely sliced

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp capers

3-4 lemon wheels

3 tbsp fresh parsley – finely chopped

1/2 cup chicken stock

3-4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp spicy, smoked Spanish paprika

1 tbsp ghee (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Slice chicken breasts lengthwise into 1/4″ filets. Season all sides with salt, pepper and paprika.
  2. Preheat 2-3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, lightly dredge the seasoned chicken breast filets in tapioca starch.
  4. Carefully add the dredged chicken filets to the hot oil and pan-fry for 4-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Note, depending on size of skillet you may have to work in batches.
  5. Transfer browned chicken to a paper towel-lined tray.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, shallots, lemon wheels and capers to the same pan used to brown chicken. Sauté for 60 seconds. Deglaze with chicken stock and lemon juice.
  7. Using a wooden spoon, scrape off any brown bits that formed on the bottom of the pan. Bring the stock to a light simmer and reduce by half. Finish the sauce by stirring in a knob of ghee (optional).
  8. Return browned chicken to the pan, give everything a quick toss to coat and garnish with chopped parsley.
  9. Serve overtop of zoodles or pureed cauliflower.

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