Primal Gourmet https://cookprimalgourmet.com Easy and Delicious Paleo and Whole30 Recipes Mon, 17 Aug 2020 17:42:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 Sausage and Veggie Penne – Gluten-Free, Paleo https://cookprimalgourmet.com/sausage-and-veggie-penne https://cookprimalgourmet.com/sausage-and-veggie-penne#respond Mon, 17 Aug 2020 17:42:36 +0000 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=6257 This Sausage and Veggie Penne makes for a quick, easy and filling weeknight dinner. It comes together in around 30 minutes and can feed a crowd. Feel free to use any veggies you like or have on hand. Just be sure to cook them in an order that brings out the most flavour and texture. […]

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This Sausage and Veggie Penne makes for a quick, easy and filling weeknight dinner. It comes together in around 30 minutes and can feed a crowd. Feel free to use any veggies you like or have on hand. Just be sure to cook them in an order that brings out the most flavour and texture.

Gluten-Free Sausage and Veggie Penne Jovial Cassava Pasta

Enter to Win a Jovial Grain Free Cassava Pasta Prize Pack

I got really excited when I heard the news that Jovial Foods was launching a full line of delicious grain free Cassava Pastas. I was even more excited when I realized they actually taste amazing!

To celebrate, I’ve partnered with @jovialfoods is giving away one box of each shape to one lucky winner. To enter, follow @jovialfoods and @primal_gourmet on Instagram and tag a friend in the comments section of the photo with this recipe for Sausage and Veggie Penne.

The contest is open to US and Canadian residents only. Contest closes August 23, 11:59pm EST.

What You Need for Sausage and Veggie Penne

Sausage:

In this Sausage and Veggie version, I started things off with some crumbled, mild Italian sausage so that I could control the spice level and let my toddler enjoy it too. If you want to enjoy it spicy, you can substitute a spicy sausage of choice, add some red chile flakes, or drizzle the pasta with some Calabrian chile oil overtop, as I did. You’re the boss, applesauce.

You can use any type of sausage you like. It can be chicken, turkey, beef, or lamb. You can also use cured or smoked sausages, like the chicken and apple ones from Aidells, and slice them.

Gluten-Free Sausage and Veggie Penne Jovial Cassava Pasta

Pasta:

When it comes to the pasta, I used Jovial Grain Free Cassava Penne. Jovial just launched a brand new line of cassava flour pastas that are fantastic. They taste great and the texture is quite close to typical dried flour pastas. What I really like is that Jovial’s cassava pasta doesn’t have the grittiness that a lot of alternative-flour pastas have. Plus, they’re made with only two-ingredients: cassava flour and water.

Veggies:

I used shallots, garlic, zucchini, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. The flavours work really well together and gives a very summertime-feeling to the finished product.

As mentioned, you can use any vegetables you like here. The trick is cooking them in an order that maximizes their taste and texture. For example, if you wanted to add mushrooms, I recommend cooking them immediately after removing the browned sausage from the pan. That way they have a chance to caramelize and release their natural moisture.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil:

This Sausage and Veggie Penne is cooked in an aglio e olio (oil and garlic) base, meaning there is no addition of tomato product or wine. The only additional liquid that is added is the water in which the pasta cooked, but because the Jovial Cassava pasta water tends to be a bit too cloudy, I personally avoid adding it here. I find that the finished pasta still tastes great without it.

 

Gluten-Free Sausage and Veggie Penne Jovial Cassava Pasta

Other Sausage Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Sausage and Veggie Penne – Gluten-Free, Paleo

This Sausage and Veggie Penne makes for a quick, easy and filling weeknight dinner. It's gluten-free, comes together in around 30 min and can feed a crowd.

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (plus extra to taste)
  • 1 box Jovial Grain Free Cassava Penne
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 mild or spicy Italian sausage (around 6-ounces total, casings removed)
  • 1 large shallot (thinly sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (roughly smashed and peeled)
  • 1 medium zucchini (sliced into half-moons)
  • 1 medium roasted red pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • Freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • Calabrian chile oil (for serving (optional))
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with 1 tablespoon salt and add the pasta. Cook to package instructions or until al-dente, around 13 minutes. Once cooked, drain the pasta and set it aside.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a separate saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the sausage and roughty crumble into bite-sized pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the browned and cooked through. Around 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a plate and set it aside.
  3. Drop the heat to medium. If necessary, add another 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan used to cook the sausage. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the shallots are soft and slightly caramelized, around 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, around 5 minutes.
  4. Add the red pepper and sun-dried tomato. Cook, stirring and lifting any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the spinach and water. Cover with a lid for 2 minutes to quickly wilt the greens, then cook, stirring, until incorporated, 1 minute.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the pot and stir to combine and warm the pasta. Add the basil and stir through. Serve immediately with chile oil, if using.

 

 

 

 

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Aleppo Lamb Chops with Minty Peas – Whole30 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/aleppo-lamb-chops-minty-peas-whole30 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/aleppo-lamb-chops-minty-peas-whole30#respond Thu, 06 Aug 2020 00:46:08 +0000 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=6232 These Aleppo Lamb Chops with Minty Peas are a bit of an elevated riff on something I ate regularly growing up. Maybe once a week, my father would simply season some lamb chops and pan-fry until the entire house was filled with smoke. Along with my Mama’s Chicken Soup, pan-fried lamb chops are of the […]

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These Aleppo Lamb Chops with Minty Peas are a bit of an elevated riff on something I ate regularly growing up. Maybe once a week, my father would simply season some lamb chops and pan-fry until the entire house was filled with smoke. Along with my Mama’s Chicken Soup, pan-fried lamb chops are of the dishes I most associate with my childhood.

Aleppo Lamb Chops with Minty Peas Whole30 Easy Recipe

My father would always serve the lamb chops with canned peas and corn, some roughly chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, and a very herbaceous, homemade tomato sauce I came to lovingly refer to as Papa’s Herby Ketchup. I made sure to include a recipe for the lamb chops and sauce in my cookbook (coming Sept 1 and available for pre-order now!).

This version is a bit more upscale than my papa’s. I season the lamb chops with Aleppo pepper and smoked paprika. And rather than serve the chops with canned peas, which are almost always contain sugar, I sauté some frozen green peas in extra-virgin olive oil with plenty of shallots and garlic, and a little bit of fresh mint. It presents beautifully on the plate and the flavours work really well together.

Aleppo Lamb Chops with Minty Peas Whole30 Easy Recipe

I don’t know about you, but when The Whole30 officially changed the rules of the program to allow green peas, I damn near did a cartwheel. I absolutely love them and they’re incredibly versatile. They’re great sautéed, blanched and added to salads, or worked into stews. You can read more about the change here.

When it comes to serving, you can try the Aleppo Lamb Chops with Minty Peas alongside a salad of choice (a classic Greek salad works really well here and actually riffs on the way I had it growing up). For something a bit more hearty, try it with some roasted potatoes or for another taste of my childhood, my father’s Half-Sashed Garlic and Dill Potatoes.

Aleppo Lamb Chops with Minty Peas Whole30 Easy Recipe

Aleppo Lamb Chops Substitutes

If you don’t have lamb loin chops on hand, can’t find them in your neck of the woods, or simply don’t like lamb, you have a few options:

  • use your favourite cut of steak
  • substitute pork chops
  • use chicken thighs or chicken breast (see here for a pan-roasted method)
  • just make the minty peas and serve it with whatever you got going on

Aleppo Lamb Chops with Minty Peas – Whole30

Pairing these pan-fried Aleppo Lamb Chops with some sautéed Minty Peas makes for an easy and delicious main course. Try serving with roast potatoes or salad

For the Aleppo Lamb Chops:

  • 8-10 lamb loin chops
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes)

For the Minty Peas:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ghee (substitute butter for non-Whole30)
  • 26 ounces frozen peas
  • 3 shallots (thinly sliced)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 8 mint leaves (finely chopped)
  • Freshly-cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup water

For the Aleppo Lamb Chops:

  1. Massage the lamb chops with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and season both sides with the salt, pepper, paprika and Aleppo pepper.
  2. Preheat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and heat until shimmering. Carefully lay in the lamb chops and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, around 3 to 4 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 135F for medium-rare. If necessary, fry the chops in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.
  3. Transfer the lamb chops to a platter, tent with foil to keep them warm and set aside.

For the Minty Peas:

  1. Wipe the pan used to cook the lamb chops and return it to the stove over medium heat. Add olive oil and ghee and heat until shimmering. Add the shallots and season with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until golden brown, around 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  2. Add the peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re warmed through, around 8 minutes. Add the mint and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the water and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan to lift any brown bits, until reduced in volume by half, around 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.
  3. Transfer the peas to a serving platter and top with lamb chops. Serve immediately.

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Whole30 Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken (Paleo) https://cookprimalgourmet.com/whole30-caesar-salad-grilled-chicken https://cookprimalgourmet.com/whole30-caesar-salad-grilled-chicken#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2020 21:04:57 +0000 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=6216 Crisp, creamy, garlicky and loaded with flavour, this Whole30 Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken is perfect for a light yet filling lunch or dinner.

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Crisp, creamy, garlicky and loaded with flavour, this Whole30 Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken is perfect for a light yet filling lunch or dinner. The homemade Caesar dressing is incredibly easy to prepare and the marinated grilled chicken comes out perfect every time.

Whole30 Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast Easy Paleo Primal Gourmet Recipe

What You Need for Whole30 Caesar Salad

A Good Caesar Dressing

You can buy the dressing or make it on your own. Personally, I’m usually not a fan of store-bought salad dressings. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great Paleo and Whole30 ones out there. They just happen to be fairly expensive. Especially for us Canadians who don’t have the same availability as those in the US. The good news is it’s very easy to make your own from scratch. You’ll save money and have control over exactly what you’re eating.

The Caesar dressing I use here is prepared in a classic, steakhouse style. You know, the throwback one they used to prepare table-side. As a matter of fact, some restaurants still do. The one that immediately comes to my mind is Jacob’s Steakhouse in Toronto. They make a pretty killer Caesar and watching it be prepared before your very eyes is always fun.

Romaine Lettuce

For a truly classic vibe, use thick-chopped Romaine lettuce. The crunch, juiciness and slightly bitter flavour goes great with the sharp, tangy Caesar dressing.

For other variations, you can try using finely chopped kale, grilled kale, or grilled romaine. Each brings something different to the table.

Grilled Chicken

I’ve gotten more and more requests for chicken breast recipes lately. My guess is it’s because the summer months tend to leave us wanting something a bit lighter and easier to prepare. Truth is, I’m not a big fan of chicken breast. It’s expensive, relatively flavourless, far too lean for my palate, and super easy to overcook. I’d much rather dig into some juicy, flavourful chicken thighs.

Nevertheless, if you want to use chicken breast, I recommend marinating it first for maximum flavour and tenderness. The marinade used here is almost identical to the one I shared for my Bruschetta Chicken, except I omitted the dried oregano. It’s an incredibly versatile marinade and works great as a flavour-building base for grilled or pan-roasted chicken.

Whole30 Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast Easy Paleo Primal Gourmet Recipe

Protein Alternatives

If you’re not a fan of chicken breast, feel free to substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You can also try topping the Whole30 Caesar Salad with grilled steak, salmon, shrimp, scallops or even serving it alongside some grilled lamb chops.

For a vegetarian alternative, try topping the Caesar salad with assorted grilled veggies, like red peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, or eggplant.

Grilling Alternatives

If you don’t have a Traeger or a grill, I recommend pan-roasting the chicken breast. Use the exact same technique outlined in this recipe. The finished product is an evenly-cooked chicken breast that’s super juicy on the inside and caramelized on the outside.

The Secret to the Best Caesar Dressing

A great Caesar dressing is sharp, tangy and packs a punch, yet balanced enough that it doesn’t cause you to wince when you eat it. The secret ingredient? Anchovy filets! I know, I know, some people are just grossed out by these tiny little fish filets. Please, don’t be! Their briney, umami-packed flavour will take your Caesar dressing to a whole other level and you won’t be able to taste any fish.

The other secret ingredient is raw egg yolk. The yolk not only gives the dressing a beautiful, golden-yellow colour, but it also makes it super creamy. Essentially, you’re building an aioli when making this Caesar dressing. The acid in the lemon juice will technically “cook” the egg. However, there is always a risk when using raw poultry products.

If you can’t consume raw egg yolk, you can try replacing the egg and oil used in the dressing with ¼ cup store-bought, pasteurized mayonnaise.

For those with an egg allergy, you can try omitting the egg yolk altogether and keep the other ingredients the same. Or, you can try using vegan mayonnaise as the base of your dressing. It likely won’t be Paleo or Whole30 compliant though.

Pro Tip: To minimize cleanup I like to build the dressing directly in the bowl I’m serving the salad in.

Whole30 Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast Easy Paleo Primal Gourmet Recipe

Non-Whole30 and Paleo Caesar Additions

If you’re living your Food Freedom, try adding some finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce to your Caesar dressing. You can then top your Caesar with some shavings of parmesan, some toasted croutons and even some crispy, fried pieces of bacon! You’re the boss, applesauce.

Whole30 Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

Crisp, creamy, garlicky and loaded with flavour, this Whole30 Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken is perfect for a light yet filling lunch or dinner.

For the Grilled Chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless (skinless chicken breasts (approximately 4 medium-sized breasts))
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper

For the Caesar Salad:

  • 1 clove garlic – finely grated or formed into a paste
  • 3 small anchovy filets packed in olive oil – formed to a paste
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 heads Romaine lettuce – rinsed and roughly chopped

For the Chicken:

  1. In a bowl, combine the chicken, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, paprika, and black pepper and toss everything to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 6 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat your Traeger Grill to 450F and let it run for 10 minutes with the grill door closed.
  3. Lay the chicken along the edges of the grill grate where it gets hottest and cook until grill marks form, around 8 min. Flip the chicken and cook until grill marks form and the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast reads 160F on a digital thermometer, approximately 6 more minutes.
  4. Transfer the cooked chicken to a platter and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

For the Caesar Salad:

  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the garlic, anchovies, egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, and black pepper. Whisk until smooth and combined.
  2. While whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil until fully emulsified. It should be a painfully slow drizzle.
  3. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as desired. Add the lettuce and toss to coat. Serve with sliced, grilled chicken.

If using a conventional grill, preheat your grill over medium heat and let it run for 5 minutes. Cook the chicken over direct heat until grill marks form, around 8 minutes, then flip and cook until the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temperature of 160F, around 6 minutes.

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Bruschetta Chicken (Whole30, Paleo, Gluten-Free) https://cookprimalgourmet.com/bruschetta-chicken-whole30 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/bruschetta-chicken-whole30#respond Mon, 13 Jul 2020 19:34:04 +0000 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=6199 Bruschetta Chicken is a simple and delicious way to make the most of chicken breast. In the time it takes to cook the chicken, throw together the topping.

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Bruschetta Chicken is a simple and delicious way to make the most of chicken breast. In the short amount of time it takes to cook the chicken, you can throw together the bruschetta topping. Every mouthful will leave your taste buds tingling with the flavours of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil. Not to mention perfectly cooked, juicy chicken breast. Yes, it can be done!

The secret? Marinade the chicken, pan roast it and use the freshest, ripest tomatoes you can find. Simple, right?

Bruschetta Chicken Whole30 Paleo Gluten-Free Grilled Recipe

What is Bruschetta?

Bruschetta, from the word bruscare (meaning to char or toast), is a classic Italian antipasto (or appetizer) that consists of grilled, sliced bread rubbed with garlic, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt. Some variations include topping the grilled bread with cheese, grilled vegetables, cured meats or, my personal favourite, a salsa made from tomato, garlic, fresh herbs and olive oil (Bruschetta al Pomodoro).

In North America and Europe, Bruschetta al Pomodoro has become an extremely popular appetizer and has even taken on variations of its own. Sometimes shallots and feta cheese are added to the mix, other times the salsa is spiked with some balsamic vinegar.

I like to keep things extremely simple and only make it when I have fresh, in-season tomatoes, fresh basil from the garden and good quality olive oil. The flavours scream summertime and when paired with perfectly cooked chicken or fish, it’s the perfect meal to enjoy on a hot day.

A Note on Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is one of the most popular types of meat purchased in North America, let alone the world. But let’s face it, it’s extremely easy to mess up. Especially when using boneless and skinless meat. It lacks any real flavour, goes from raw to overcooked before you know it, and usually ends up being very dry no matter how good your intentions are. Not to mention the fact that it’s more expensive than dark meat, which is full of flavour, hard to mess up and extremely delicious!

Nevertheless, for whatever reason (probably my hubris and supersized ego), I’ve taken it upon myself to look for ways to make white meat not suck and this Bruschetta Chicken hits the mark. Though, as mentioned, you can substitute chicken thighs or drumsticks in this recipe. Or, you can use fish or shrimp.

In Marinade We Trust

To make the most out of your white meat, marinade it! The garlic, herbs and spices introduce a lot of flavour, and the acid in the lemon juice and olive oil will tenderize the meat.

For best results, let the chicken sit in the marinade for 1 to 6 hours. Less than one hour and the marinade won’t really have enough time to get the job done. Longer than 6 hours and the acid will start to “cook” the chicken, making it rubbery.

How to Pan-Roast Chicken Breast

Pan roasting typically involves searing a protein or vegetable in a pan over high heat and finishing it in the oven.

I’m a huge fan of pan roasting chicken breast. It’s super easy to do, let’s you develop a flavourful crust and colour on the chicken, and results in an evenly cooked finished product.

The other benefit of pan roasting is that it allows you to evenly cook large chicken breasts, so you don’t have to worry about pounding them thin with a mallet or slicing them in half so that they cook more evenly.

What Type of Pan Should You Use?

To pan roast the bruschetta chicken, you’ll need an oven-safe pan. One that can be used on the stove and then safely transferred to the oven to finish the cooking process.

You can use most stainless-steel, cast-iron or carbon-steel skillets. You can also get away with using certain non-stick pans because the heat of the oven will be relatively low at 375F.

However, you should AVOID any pan with a plastic handle since these are not oven safe.

Bruschetta Chicken Whole30 Paleo Gluten-Free Grilled Recipe

You Can Grill The Chicken Too!

If you don’t want to heat up your oven, fire up the grill! To simulate the technique of pan-roasting on a conventional gas or charcoal grill, you will need to setup a two-zone grill with a hot side and a warm side. For gas or propane, do this by firing up one side of the grill burners and leaving the other side off. On a charcoal grill, simply place the coals to one side of the grill.

Start by cooking your chicken over direct heat and then moving it to indirect heat with the grill door closed to finish. If your chicken breasts are not too thick, you can get away with grilling them over medium-high direct heat from start to finish.

If cooking on a Traeger, like me, I recommend cooking the chicken along the outer edges of the grill where it gets hottest. For chicken breasts, I run my Traeger between 450F and 500F so that I can get some nice charring and grill marks.

Cook to Temperature

The most common mistake people make when cooking chicken breast is they slice into it to check if it’s done. DON’T DO THIS! With every slice you are releasing precious juiciness and exposing the inside of the breast to heat, which will end up drying it out.

Instead, invest in a digital meat thermometer and cook the bruschetta chicken to temperature. No slicing and drying out necessary! Ideally, you will want to cook chicken breast until its thickest part registers around 160F. You can then tent it with foil to keep it warm and let it rest so that the juices redistribute. As the chicken rests, residual heat will continue to cook it to the necessary 165F.

Dark meat chicken can be cooked to up to 180F and subsequently rested with little risk of it drying out because it has a higher fat content.

What You Need for Bruschetta Chicken

Chicken

I’ve decided to use boneless, skinless chicken breast here (see below for why), but you can substitute chicken thighs or drumsticks if that’s what you prefer. You’re the boss, applesauce. Just keep in mind that the time it takes to cook depends on the cut of chicken, how thick it is and whether or not it is bone-in and skin-on. The timing listed in the recipe instructions is specifically for boneless, skinless chicken breasts that way around 4-ounces each.

If you don’t like chicken or don’t have any on hand, you can also try this recipe with pan-roasted or grilled fish, like salmon, or grilled shrimp. The marinade and bruschetta topping can stay the same.

Marinade

This one is super simple and uses only a handful of ingredients, but it’s very tasty and pairs very well with the bruschetta topping. Some spices, fresh garlic, lemon juice and olive oil are enough to transform even the dullest of white meats.

Tomatoes

Use the best tomatoes you can find. They’re the star of the show and will help to further elevate the flavour of the chicken. Vine-ripened and heirloom varieties are more flavourful, but Roma tomatoes have the benefit of not being filled with seeds.

Note that salt will draw out a great deal of water from the tomatoes, which are actually made up of 95% water. So, to prevent the bruschetta topping from being too watery and diluted, you can do one of two things:

You can deseed the tomatoes by removing their cores with a spoon. Or, chop the tomatoes whole and let them drain through a colander over a bowl. I do the latter and then drink the tomato water, which is delicious and nutritious. 

Fresh Basil

There is no substitute for fresh basil here. Dried basil doesn’t even come close in flavour. Other herbs won’t cut it either. Fresh basil or bust, sorry.

Fresh Garlic

If you know me, you know I love my gahhhlic. The beauty of this recipe is you get double the dose. Once in the marinade, which gets all sweet and caramelized as it cooks, and again in the bruschetta topping. Just remember, a little goes a long way. Unless you’re me, in which case more gahhhlic is always better.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Like the tomatoes, use some good extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) here. You know, that bottle that you got as a gift that’s sitting on your pantry shelf behind all those beans you hoarded at the beginning of quarantine.

Jokes aside, the type of olive oil you use will have a big impact on the taste of the finished product so use one that you know you like. I personally prefer mellow tasting EVOOs that aren’t too peppery in flavour, but that’s just me.

Bruschetta Chicken (Whole30, Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Bruschetta Chicken is a simple and delicious way to make the most of chicken breast. In the time it takes to cook the chicken, throw together the topping.

For the Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless (skinless chicken breasts (approximately 4 medium-sized breasts))
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus 1 tablespoon extra for frying)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper

For the Bruschetta Topping:

  • 1 pound fresh (ripe tomatoes – diced and drained of excess liquid)
  • 2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (approximately ¼ cup loosely packed)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Chicken:

  1. In a bowl, combine the chicken, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, paprika, oregano and black pepper and toss everything to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 6 hours.

  2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375F.
  3. Preheat an oven-safe pan over med-high heat for 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat until shimmering. Carefully lay the chicken in the skillet and cook until a golden brown crust forms, around 6 min. Flip the chicken and immediately transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Roast the chicken for 12-15 min or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast reads 160F on a digital thermometer.

  4. Transfer the cooked chicken to a platter and spoon the bruschetta topping overtop.

For the Bruschetta Topping:

  1. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and salt. Toss to combine, taste for seasoning and adjust with salt as desired. Let sit for 15 minutes, taste for seasoning again and adjust as desired. Serve with pan-roasted chicken. Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Serve at room temperature.

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Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad https://cookprimalgourmet.com/whole30-potato-salad https://cookprimalgourmet.com/whole30-potato-salad#respond Wed, 24 Jun 2020 22:48:18 +0000 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=6184 Dreamy, Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad is the ultimate summer side dish. It's easy to prepare, requires a handful of ingredients and can be made ahead of time.

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This dreamy, Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad is my summertime side dish of choice. It’s incredibly easy to prepare, requires only a few ingredients, can be made ahead of time, and travels well. It goes great with just about everything from grilled chicken, smoked ribs, you’re your favourite steak.

What You Need To Make Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad

Waxy Potatoes

You may or may not have come across the term “waxy” potato before. In a nutshell, it refers to various potatoes that have a thin and smooth skin with a creamy, yet firm flesh. Unlike “floury” or “starchy” potatoes, “waxy” potatoes are low in starch, yet high in moisture, meaning that they tend to keep their shape a bit better when cooked.

When it comes to making potato salad, a waxy potato will hold up a bit better because it won’t completely fall apart on you once tossed with the dressing and other ingredients. Waxy potatoes also tend to have a more pronounced potato flavour, which is ideal here because you want it to stand up against the creamy and tangy dressing.

Personally, I’m a fan of Creamer potatoes or Yukon golds in my potato salads. New potatoes are also great if you can find them. Creamers and new potatoes have the benefit of being smaller and cooking quicker than larger potato varieties. They also have very thin and delicate skins that don’t necessarily need to be peeled. Yukon golds are also fantastic in this Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad, they just take longer to cook and cool, and depending on their condition, the skins may need to be peeled.

Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad Primal Gourmet Easy Summer Recipe

Celery

For crunch, colour and flavour, diced celery is the way to go. I like to chop mine fairly small so that it can barely be seen. That way, it’s like a little surprise when someone takes a bite and is greeted with a crunchy pop of flavour.

Red Onion

Truth be told, the main reason I call for red vs yellow onion is because of colour. It just stands out better among the other elements in the potato salad. So, if you only have white or yellow onion, feel free to use that. Or, you can try to mixing things up a bit by using green onion!

Dill Pickle

My love of dill pickles is no secret. I use it everywhere and anywhere I can and this creamy Whole30 potato salad is no exception. It adds a briney, juicy, crunchy and flavourful element that just can’t be replaced. It also takes me back to eating “Olivye” (pr. Ah-leev-yeh), a very common Russian potato salad I regularly ate growing up.

Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad Primal Gourmet Easy Summer Recipe

Whole30-Compliant Mayonnaise

You can easily make your own Whole30-compliant mayonnaise in less than a minute. Or, you can buy a jar. These days, there are a few brands making Whole30-approved and Whole30-compliant mayonnaises. Some even come in different flavours. For this potato salad, I recommend using an unflavoured one.

Grainy Mustard

In a perfect world, I would only be buying Pomerry Moutarde de Meaux, a very fancy, French, old-world, whole-grain mustard that comes in a beautiful ceramic crock. Not only is it a seriously delicious, whole-grain mustard that happens to be Whole30-compliant, but the jar can be reused to store kitchen utensils and cutlery. It does come at a pretty price point, so most of the time I look for a more affordable option.

As long as the mustard is whole-grain, tasty and made with compliant ingredients, it’s good here. You can also use a creamy Dijon mustard if that’s what you have. You just won’t get the same look and texture from the mustard seeds.

Fresh Dill

Dill and potatoes go together like Jordan and Pippen. There’s something magical about the combo. For me, when the two are combined, I’m immediately transported back to my parents’ kitchen and my childhood eating pots of Half-Smashed Garlic and Dill Potatoes.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Tangy, sharp, acidic and slightly sweet. Apple cider vinegar perfectly balances the creamy mayo-based dressing and cuts through the richness of the potatoes. It’s more complex in flavour than your regular white or red wine vinegar and also a bit healthier.

For something a bit fancier, you can try using an aged sherry vinegar – my all-time favourite.

Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad Primal Gourmet Easy Summer Recipe

The Secret to Perfect Potato Salad

The single-most important tip I can give is to boil the potatoes whole, with their skins intact, in salted water. Even if you know you’re going to end up peeling the skin anyways, you should still boil the potatoes whole, with the skin on.

You’ll have a much more flavourful finished product, more of the nutrients will remain intact, and the potatoes will retain their shape better.

Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad

Dreamy, Creamy Whole30 Potato Salad is the ultimate summer side dish. It's easy to prepare, requires a handful of ingredients and can be made ahead of time.

  • 2 pounds waxy potatoes (such as new potatoes, creamers or Yukon golds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup Whole30-compliant mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • ¼ cup fresh dill (finely chopped)
  • freshly-cracked black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 stalks celery – diced
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dill pickle (around 2 large pickles)
  • ½ red onion – diced
  1. Scrub potatoes clean of any dirt and remove any spuds. Add the potatoes to a stockpot and cover with water. Add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until completely fork-tender, around 20 minutes or longer depending on their size. Drain the water and let the potatoes cool completely.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, prepare the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Whisk until incorporated. Add the celery, pickle and onion. Using your hands, roughly tear the potatoes into 1″-square chunks and add them to the bowl. Toss well with a spatula until coated and some of the potatoes become slightly creamy. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as desired.
  3. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

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Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken (Paleo) https://cookprimalgourmet.com/rosemary-orange-honey-garlic-chicken https://cookprimalgourmet.com/rosemary-orange-honey-garlic-chicken#respond Tue, 23 Jun 2020 18:48:34 +0000 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=6174 This Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken is super easy, requires only a handful of ingredients, and cooks quickly.

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Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken is super easy, requires only a handful of ingredients, and cooks quickly. It’s the perfect recipe for grilling weather and goes great with some creamy coleslaw and potato salad. 

Grilled Rosemary and Orange Honey Garlic Chicken Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Recipe

What You Need to Make Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken 

A Grill 

I have a Traeger Grill, which uses a combination of electricity and all-natural wood pellets. It is, hands-down, the best and most versatile grill I’ve ever used. It delivers incredible wood-fired flavour, maintains incredibly consistent temperatures at the push of a button, and couldn’t be easier to clean and maintain. Unlike conventional gas or charcoal grills, Traeger Grills work similar to a convection oven in that they use a central heat source and fan to circulates hot air. Nevertheless, the newer models can reach temperatures of 500F, which is hot enough to get a great sear, as you can see with this Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken.

If you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can cook the chicken on a grill pan or roast it on a sheet pan in your oven at 425F for around 35 minutes.

Chicken Thighs

You can use just about any cut you like for this Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken: breast, thigh, drumstick or wings, bone-in or boneless, skin-on or skinless – the choice is yours. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs because it’s what I had on hand at the time and they cook quicker than bone-in pieces. Truth be told, it’s probably my favourite cut of chicken because of how delicious and versatile it is. Not to mention the fact that it’s very hard to overcook. Dark meat is juicier, fattier and more flavourful (and cheaper!) than white meat, but if you love chicken breast than feel free to use that.

Alternative Cuts of Chicken

If you decide to use a different cut of chicken here, keep in mind a few things. Bone-in pieces take longer to cook than boneless so be sure to account for that before making the recipe. When grilling bone-in chicken, I recommend cooking it over medium, direct heat with the grill door closed and flipping fairly regularly to prevent it from burning. Once the grill door is closed, the grill functions similar to an oven by trapping heat, causing the meat to cook a bit quicker. Because all grills have hotspots, it will be up to you to keep on eye on each individual piece of chicken because chances are some will cook more quickly than others.

If cooking on a Traeger grill, I recommend positioning the chicken along the perimeter of the grill where it gets hottest. That way the honey in the marinade can caramelize and char a bit. However, don’t put the chicken all the way to the edge or rendered fat can drip below the grease pan and cause a grease fire.

Grilled Rosemary and Orange Honey Garlic Chicken Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Recipe

Fresh Rosemary

Probably the easiest herb to grow. Seriously, if I can keep a pot of it alive for more than a month, you can too! Fresh rosemary is key here. It’s far more aromatic and mellow in flavour than dried. If you don’t have rosemary, you can try fresh thyme or sage for a different flavour profile.

 Fresh Orange Zest and Juice

You’ll need the zest and juice of an orange. Any variety will do. The zest is what gives the chicken its main citrus flavour. The acid in the juice of the orange will flavour and tenderize the meat a bit. If you don’t already have a microplane zester, it’s an excellent tool to have.

I’ve also made this recipe with grapefruit and it is SPECTACULAR! In fact, I might even prefer it to orange because it adds a slightly more sour element that balances the honey.

All-Natural Honey

Using a natural sweetener like honey makes all the difference. The sweetness isn’t just delicious, but it also caramelizes and chars a bit on the grill. Look for an all-natural one, but I wouldn’t recommend anything expensive. After all, any nutrients in the honey will likely be destroyed by the heat of the grill.

You can also use all-natural maple syrup, if that’s what you have or prefer.

For a Whole30-compliant option, try substituting date syrup. 

Fresh Garlic

Because you can never have enough garlic in your life.

Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken

This Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken is super easy, requires only a handful of ingredients, and cooks quickly.

  • Zest and Juice of 1 medium orange
  • 3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless (skinless chicken thighs)
  1. In a bowl, combine the orange zest, orange juice, garlic, honey, olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and add it to the marinade. Toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 8 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the chicken over direct heat and cook, flipping occasionally, until slightly charred and the thickest part of each thigh registers around 175F, around 15 minutes total. If using a Traeger Grill, cook the chicken near the edge of the grill where it gets hottest.

  3. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve immediately.

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Paleo Sesame Chicken (Gluten-Free & Grain-Free) https://cookprimalgourmet.com/paleo-sesame-chicken https://cookprimalgourmet.com/paleo-sesame-chicken#respond Wed, 17 Jun 2020 19:31:32 +0000 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=6160 Skip the take-out and make this Paleo Sesame Chicken instead. It's just as good and happens to be gluten-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free.

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If you enjoyed my Paleo Orange Chicken, I have a feeling you’ll love this Paleo Sesame Chicken. It’s just as good, if not better, than some of my favourite take out spots in Toronto and much, much healthier.

It’s free of gluten, grains and refined sugar, but you’d never know it. The chicken gets nice and crispy before being tossed in a slightly sweet and sticky sesame sauce. It’s super easy to make, absolutely addictive, and requires only a handful of readily available ingredients.

Paleo Sesame Chicken Primal Gourmet Gluten-Free Grain-Free Easy Stir-Fry

What You Need for Paleo Sesame Chicken

Chicken

Personally, I’m a dark meat kinda guy. It’s juicier and more flavourful than white meat and is much harder to overcook. For stir-fries like this, I buy boneless, skinless chicken thighs to make my life easier. You can also substitute boneless, skinless chicken breast if that’s what you have or prefer. Either way, the measurements, ingredients and technique will work the same and your Paleo Sesame Chicken will come out delicious.

Bell Peppers

For flavour, colour and texture, I add diced green and red bell peppers in my Paleo Sesame Chicken. I like the sweetness, flavour and aroma they add to the dish. If you don’t have bell peppers and want to substitute a different vegetable, you can try thinly sliced carrots, celery or even bok choy. Any kind of low-moisture vegetable will work here.

Arrowroot Starch

This naturally grain-free alternative flour is a great replacement for the cornstarch that is more commonly used in many Asian-inspired recipes. Here, the arrowroot plays double duty. It’s first used to dredge the chicken, helping it develop a crispy crust. Once the fried chicken pieces are added to the sauce, the arrowroot starch will actually help to thicken it.

Many recipes will call for making an arrowroot starch slurry to thicken the sauce. To do this, you can combine 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch with one teaspoon cold water and stir until dissolved. Adding the slurry to the sauce will thicken it like a cornstarch slurry.

However, if you’re not careful or add too much starch, the sauce can get gummy and clumpy. In this recipe, I recommend taking the time to reduce the sauce on the stovetop and avoid using a slurry altogether here. Once you return the fried chicken pieces back to the sauce, you’ll notice that there’s enough residual starch to thicken it enough that it becomes syrupy.

If you don’t have arrowroot starch, you can use tapioca starch. However, be sure to only dredge the chicken IMMEDIATELY before frying. Otherwise, the tapioca will turn gummy once it comes into contact with the moisture on the chicken.

Paleo Sesame Chicken Primal Gourmet Gluten-Free Grain-Free Easy Stir-Fry

Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos are naturally soy-free and a great soy sauce replacement. You can use it 1:1 anywhere soy sauce is called for. Keep in mind, it’s a bit sweet and not nearly as salty as soy sauce so you may need to adjust the salt after tasting the finished dish for seasoning. As the coconut aminos reduce, they’ll intensify in flavour, which is a good thing here. 

Rice Wine Vinegar

Using an acid like rice wine vinegar adds tang and balances the sweetness from the coconut aminos and honey. A little goes a long way so try not to overdo it or your Paleo Sesame Chicken will be a bit too sour. If you do accidentally add too much vinegar, you can try to balance it out with a touch more honey.

Toasted Sesame Oil

Toasted sesame oil packs a serious punch of flavour and you can easily overpower a dish if you add too much. On the other hand, cooking it for too long will mellow its flavour. So, what I like to do is add the sesame oil at the very end. This way, I don’t have to use too much to get a pop of toasted sesame flavour and I don’t run the risk of subduing it.

Paleo Sesame Chicken Primal Gourmet Gluten-Free Grain-Free Easy Stir-Fry

Aromatics

Onion, garlic and ginger add aromas, textures and depths of flavour that make this dish really stand out.

Honey

Honey sweetens the dish, balances the other flavours and also helps the sauce to reduce down to a syrupy consistency that helps it to stick to the chicken.

For a Whole30 version of this Paleo Sesame Chicken, omit the honey and increase the coconut aminos by an extra ½ of the called for amount. In other words, if the recipe calls for 1/3 cup coconut aminos, add around 2 extra tablespoons. Then take the extra bit of time to reduce the sauce so it thickens naturally.

Avocado Oil 

Using a neutral flavoured, high-smoking point oil is ideal here. It will allow you to fry the chicken without the risk of burning the oil and will let you make the sauce without overpowering any of the other flavours.

Sesame Seeds

Garnishing with some sesame seeds looks pretty, adds a bit of crunch and rounds out the whole Sesame Chicken story.

Paleo Sesame Chicken Primal Gourmet Gluten-Free Grain-Free Easy Stir-Fry

Do You Need a Wok?

It’s a question I’m often asked when it comes to making any kind of stir-fry or Asian dish.

Woks are great and I love them. Especially carbon-steel ones, like this beauty from Made In. Carbon-steel is a terrific conductor of heat, can handle very high temperatures, is naturally non-stick when well-seasoned and much lighter than cast-iron. But there’s a caveat to woks in general.

In my experience, stir-frying in a wok only really works well if you’re cooking on a gas range, where the flames of the burner can rise up along the sides of the wok and evenly distribute heat. For those of us who are limited to electric, induction or coil stove tops, woks are not nearly as effective. In fact, they will actually work against you because of their smaller bottoms and sloped walls, which decrease the part of the pan that comes into contact with the heating element.

So, unless you’re cooking on a gas range, I recommend using a large carbon-steel, cast-iron or stainless-steel fry pan or sauté pan. The increased surface area will allow you to cook the ingredients more evenly and at a higher heat. Plus, unlike non-stick pans, these materials can withstand higher temperatures and, in the case of carbon-steel and cast-iron, if they’re well-seasoned, they are virtually non-stick.

Cooking with Stainless-Steel

If using a stainless-steel pan, preheat the dry pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Then raise the heat to medium-high and add the oil. Heat the oil until shimmering before cooking. This will help prevent food from sticking.

Paleo Sesame Chicken (Gluten-Free & Grain-Free)

Skip the take-out and make this Paleo Sesame Chicken instead. It's just as good and happens to be gluten-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free.

  • ¼ cup (plus 1 tablespoon, avocado oil)
  • 1.5 pounds boneless (skinless chicken thighs or breast – cubed)
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion – diced
  • ½ medium red bell pepper – diced
  • ½ medium green bell pepper – diced
  • 2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 thumbnail-sized piece fresh ginger – peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds – for garnish
  1. Preheat ¼ cup avocado oil in a cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until oil registers 375F on an instant read thermometer.
  2. Lightly season both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and add to a large bowl along with the arrowroot starch. Toss until completely coated. Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, shake off excess starch and carefully add the chicken pieces to the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, around 3 minutes, then flip and fry until the second side is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through, another 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside while you fry the remaining pieces.
  3. Preheat a separate pan over medium-high heat. Add the avocado oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion, red pepper, green pepper, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until onions are slightly translucent. Add the coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar and honey. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced in volume by half. Add the sesame oil, black pepper and cooked chicken pieces. Carefully toss everything to coat.
  4. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, season with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

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Buying A Traeger Grill – Which Model Is Right For Me? https://cookprimalgourmet.com/buying-a-traeger-grill https://cookprimalgourmet.com/buying-a-traeger-grill#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2020 21:39:19 +0000 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=6138 When buying a Traeger Grill you'll want to consider a few things, like cost, size, and features. In this article, we cover just about everything.

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If you’re thinking about buying a Traeger Grill, you’ll want to consider a few things first. In this article, I go over each of the different series of grills (Pro, Ironwood and Timberline), their pros and cons and other things you’ll want to think about before making your purchase.

Traeger Grill Pro780 Buying A Traeger Grill Guide Father's Day

Traeger Grill Considerations When Buying

Before we do a deep dive into the different models, let’s cover some general considerations:

Budget

Obviously, this one goes without saying, but how much do you have to spend? When buying a Traeger Grill, a big part of your decision is going to depend on your budget and what you can afford. Just keep in mind that depending on how often you use your Traeger, you’ll also need to allocate a few hundred dollars a year, or more, for wood pellets to operate your grill.

Size of Your Family and Circle of Friends

How many people do you expect to cook for? The amount of people will determine how big of a grill you buy. For a family of 2 adults and 2 children, or less, I think you can manage with any of the smaller sized grills. For larger families or families with older children that eat more, the bigger grill sizes are probably a better fit because you can handle more food at once.

Also consider where you plan on putting your grill. You might be lucky enough to have a condo that allows grills on balconies, but your balcony might only have enough space to accommodate a smaller sized grill.

Traeger has actually made this decision an easy one for you to navigate because they’ve included the grill capacity right in the name of each grill. The number following the grill model always refers to the size of the grilling capacity in square inches. In other words, the Ironwood 880 has 880 square inches of grilling space. The Pro 780 has 780 square inches of grilling space. The Timberline 1300 has 1300 square inches of grilling space. So on and so forth.

To give you an idea of how big the Ironwood 880 is, it’s enough for 10 chickens or 7 racks of ribs or 9 pork butts, according to the Traeger website.

Keep in mind, the bigger the grill, the more pellets it will need to heat it. So, if you think you are only going to be cooking for 2 or 3 people on a regular basis, you might be wasting money on pellets trying to heat up a larger grill. Instead, it might be a better option for you to purchase the smaller grill and use the savings towards more pellets.

Traeger Smoked Ribs Buying a Traeger Grill Fathers Day

Buying a Traeger Grill Based on What You Want To Cook

In my opinion, this is one of the most important considerations because it’s largely going to determine what features and size you need. If you’re looking to throw a block party or cookout with several racks of ribs, pork butts or big briskets, than a bigger grill with more internal real estate is ideal to accommodate the larger format of these cuts of meat. If you just want to roast some chicken or grill some burgers and sausages every now and then, a smaller grill is more likely for you.

Do You Want Bells and Whistles? Buy Accordingly

You can read below for more detailed comparisons, but Traegers come with a variety of features and upgrades as you go up in price. For example, the Timberline is fully loaded and comes with additions like a pellet sensor that lets you know when you’re running low on pellets. The Ironwood and Timberline also come with upgraded controllers that have additional buttons, which simplifies things compared to the scroll-through menu functions on the Pro Series.  

Grill Design and Aesthetics

The grill design you like is entirely personal preference, so when buying a Traeger grill it’s going to be up to you to decide whether the streamlined looks of the Ironwood or Timberline play a role in your decision or not.

Traeger Pro22 Buying A Traeger Grill Guide For Fathers Day

Traeger Grills Models and Cost

Aside from older Traeger models, smaller units, like the Ranger or Tailgater, and store-exclusive grills, like the Century, Texas Elite or Silverton, sold at retailers like Costco, Traeger Grills come in 3 main lines: the Pro Series, the Ironwood Series and the Timberline Series. Each of these series has two grill sizes: a smaller one and a larger one. The smaller grills in each line are always less expensive than the bigger ones, as can be expected. More on the specific comparisons below.

It’s important to know that each Traeger basically works the same. They use electricity to burn 100% all-natural, food-grade wood pellets. There is no propane, natural gas or charcoal involved. All you need is access to an electrical outlet and Traeger-brand wood pellets.

Unlike most conventional grills, Traegers use indirect heat to cook food (no direct heat or flame-to-food cooking). At the push of a button and turn of a dial, the wood pellet hopper feeds an internal auger that channels the pellets into a fire pit in the bottom middle of the grill. The fire pit is equipped with a heating rod and small fan. As the pellets get hot from the rod, the fan introduces oxygen and the pellets combust. The fire pit is topped with a heating baffle that deflects the heat, pushing it out towards the edges of the grill. Above it is the grease pan, which catches any drippings that fall while the food cooks, and directs it into a grease pan or bucket. The easiest way to understand a Traeger is to think of it like an outdoor convection oven with smoking, grilling, roasting and baking capabilities. It is the most versatile and user-friendly grill I have ever cooked with.

The Pro Series grills are the most affordable, the Timberline is the most expensive and the Ironwood is somewhere in between.

Buying a Traeger Grill is kind of like buying a car. You can buy the baseline model that comes with standard features, the midline model that comes with a sunroof and leather seats, or the fully-loaded edition that comes with all of the above, plus a 21-speaker sound system, 20” chrome rims, and a bigger engine. Of course, each upgrade comes with a price.

Whether you only have the budget for an entry-level Pro Series or top-of-the-line Timberline, I honestly believe you are making an excellent decision buying a Traeger. I absolutely love, love, LOVE, my Traegers and have been cooking on them exclusively for over 3 years now. I got rid of my gas grill, no longer touch my charcoal one and have pretty much replaced my oven with my Traeger most days of the week.

Traeger Grill Pro780 Buying A Traeger Grill Guide Father's Day

Traeger Pro Series – The Most Bang For Your Buck

The Pro 575 retails for $799.99 USD and the Pro 780 retails for $999.99 USD. The Pro Series is Traeger’s best-selling line and rightfully so. They’re an amazing value, perform very well and are easy to install. If you’re looking into buying a Traeger grill right now, they’re actually currently on sale for $100-off for Father’s Day.

Thanks to a complete product overhaul in 2019, the Pro Series are actually better than ever. They now come standard equipped with WiFire® Technology, which allows you to control your grill from your phone using the Traeger App. The new D2® Direct Drive drivetrain improves start-up and temperature control speeds, which were previously lagging. And thanks to a very recent 2020 software update, the new Pro Series grills can now churn out a maximum temperature of 500˚F. In fact, on a hot, summer day, my Pro780 has gone up to 506˚F, which makes for excellent searing capabilities.

If you’re just looking to grill and have no desire for any additional bells and whistles, the Pro Series is for you. It’s the best bang for your buck. However, I highly, HIGHLY recommend purchasing one of the 2019 or later models so that you can get these new features, updates and designs. They seriously make a world of difference!

Traeger Ironwood 880 Buying a Traeger Guide

Traeger Ironwood 880. Image via TraegerGrills.com

Traeger Ironwood – Midline Buying at its Best

The Ironwood 660 retails for $1199.99 USD and the Ironwood 880 retails for $1499.99 USD. The increased price comes with a few improvements and features above the Pro Series. If you’re going to be buying a Traeger grill and have the extra bucks lying around, the Ironwood might be the one for you.

Downdraft Exhaust and True Convection

Unlike the Pro Series, which emits smoke from a side chimney, the Ironwood uses a Downdraft Exhaust positioned at the rear of the grill. This allows for a better exhaust system, which pushes old smoke out of the grill through the back, while simultaneously introducing new smoke produced in the fire pot. It also creates what Traeger refers to as True Convection.

In terms of how the Downdraft Exhaust delivers smoke and impacts the flavour of your food, it mostly applies in cases when you’re actually smoking foods between 165˚F and 275˚F. When cooking above 275˚F, you are venturing into the realm of grilling or roasting and at those higher temperatures, the grill does not produce as much smoke because the pellets are combusting at a faster rate.

What’s interesting about the Downdraft Exhaust is that it contributes to something Traeger calls True Convection. This helps circulate heat and smoke through specially design channels throughout the grill, resulting in more efficient and reduced cooking times.

Traeger Grills Downdraft Exhaust

Downdraft Exhaust. Image via TraegerGrills.com

Super Smoke

The Ironwood also features Traeger’s Super Smoke Mode. This feature, which does not come on the Pro Series grills, increases the overall output of smoke between 165˚F and 225˚F at the push of a button. This is ideal if you plan on making BBQ recipes, such as beef ribs, pork ribs, pulled pork, brisket, or even smoked fish. Really, it’s great for anything you want to infuse with wood-fired flavour. One of my favourite things to do is smoke a chicken for an hour at 165˚F and then finish it at 425˚F to get the skin all crispy. It’s the best of both flavour worlds. You can do this on the Pro Series grills – the Super Smoke setting just pumps up the level of smoke. At higher temperatures though, the Super Smoke feature doesn’t come into play.

Double Sidewall Insulation 

On the Ironwood, an additional piece of aluminized steel is placed on the sidewalls of the grill (not on the back or door of the grill) to help with heat retention and insulation. This may be an important consideration if you live in a colder climate or plan to use your Traeger grill in the winter months.

Ambient temperatures can sometimes cause the inside of the grill to fluctuate +/- 5˚F. For the everyday home cook, this is not a huge deal. I run my Pro780 all winter long in Toronto where the temperatures sometimes drop below 30˚C and I rarely have any issues in cold weather cooking. After all, you can always adjust the temperature dial to run +/-5˚F to account of the fluctuation. Keep in mind, though, running the grill at a higher heat to account for a colder ambient temperature will increase the amount of pellets used. Also, cold weather will increase the grill start-up time because it takes longer to warm up the interiors. A better insulated grill actually uses less pellets.

For older Pro Series models, Traeger sells insulating blankets that can be secured onto the outside of the grills. This helps with heat retention, but, as far as I know, they haven’t made these for the new Pro Series models.

Side Shelf

The Ironwood Series come standard with a stainless-steel side shelf with built in hooks for utensils. It’s a convenient feature if you need a place to rest your serving platter, carving board, or anything else you bring out to your grill. Front shelves can be purchased individually.

Controller

The Ironwood also comes with an upgraded control panel with additional buttons, like super smoke. This makes for a more streamlined grilling process because you can just push a button, rather than scroll through the digital menu like you would on the Pro Series.

However, keep in mind that a lot of the time you might be using the Traeger App to control your grill anyways, so are you really going to need those extra buttons?

Traeger Timberline 1300 Buying a Traeger Guide

Traeger Timberline 1300. Image via TraegerGrills.com

Traeger Timberline – Fully Loaded Like No Other

The Timberline is the top-of-the-line, fully-loaded Traeger model. The 1300 is by far the largest of the Traeger grills and an absolute behemoth. It has a larger cooking capacity than 2 Pro 575s combined, handling 12 chickens or 15 racks of ribs or 12 pork butts.

Because the Timberline is very similar to the Ironwood Series, it’s actually easier to just describe the differences and additions, rather than go over all of the features again.

So, along with everything listed above about the Ironwood, the Timberline has the following:

Fully Insulated Grill Interior with Gasket

In addition to the double sidewall panels of the Ironwood, the Timberline features an aluminized steel double-wall back panel and grill door for even more insulation. It also comes with a gasket that runs around the edges of the grill door, which helps keep heat in.

Stainless-Steel Grill Grates 

Unlike the non-stick coated porcelain grill grates on the Pro Series and Ironwood, the Timberline comes with stainless-steel grill grates. On the one hand, this is a good thing because stainless-steel grates are much more durable than the porcelain ones. Steel is also a better conductor of heat, meaning they get hotter than porcelain grates, which allows for better searing capabilities. However, they are also more prone to having food stick to them. Therefore, you may need to oil your grill before placing food down, depending on what you’re cooking.

Keep in mind that Traeger sells different individual grates, including cast-iron ones. So, you can always swap out one for the other as long as they are the ones that fit your grill size and dimensions. 

Taller Barrel

The Timberline is taller and slightly more oval-shaped than the Pro Series and Ironwood. This increased height has allowed for the inclusion of a third shelf in both the Timberline 850 and Timberline 1300, as opposed to the 2 shelves in the Pro Series and Ironwood. So, even though the grill footprint of the Timberline 850 is around the same as that of the Ironwood 660, it provides 200 square inches more grilling capacity.

Internal Grease Management System

A major difference with the Timberline is the internal grease management system. On the Pro Series and Ironwood, grease is channeled down the grease pan in the centre of the grill towards the left side and out through a spout where it gets caught in a hanging grease bucket.

On the Timberline, grease is directed to the front of the grill into a trough that runs towards the left side of the grill and down into an internal grease trap built into the bottom of the barrel. This makes for a more streamlined design and is possibly an important consideration when buying a Traeger grill if you have a dog that likes to get its nose in the grease bucket!

Some people really like this feature and others, like myself, are just as happy with an external grease bucket.

Increased Hopper Size and Included Pellet Sensor

The Pro Series hopper can hold 18 pounds of pellets. The Ironwood can hold 20 pounds of pellets. The Timberline can hold 24 pounds of pellets.

The Timberline also comes standard with a pellet sensor that will alert you when your pellets are running low. I know, this seems like an insignificant feature but I’m embarrassed to say how many times I have run out of pellets in the middle of cooking something on my Traeger. The pellet sensor would have alerted me so that I could have added more before it was too late. This is especially important when cooking temperature-sensitive foods like brisket.

The good news is Traeger now sells the pellet sensor individually so you can add it to any model.

Steel Front Shelf and Side Cutting Board

In addition to the steel side shelf that comes with the Ironwood, the Timberline includes a narrow steel front shelf and a magnetic bamboo cutting board that sits on top of the pellet hopper. The front shelf looks very nice, but it’s a bit too narrow to be practical. The magnetic cutting board is also a nice addition and I have to admit that I really like the way it looks with the wood addition. In my mind, these are both aesthetic upgrades more than functional ones.

Traeger Grill Pro780 Buying A Traeger Grill Guide Father's Day

Buy the Traeger Grill That’s Right For You

Buying a Traeger grill really boils down to what you’re looking for, how much you want to spend and how many mouths you want to feed. Are you a weekend warrior who wants to smoke a rack of ribs a couple times a year? Or do you plan on cranking out brisket, pork butts, legs of lamb, loads of burgers, steaks and veggies any day ending in the letter ‘y’?

Either way, no matter which Traeger grill you buy, I think you’re getting an amazing product and are going to be cooking some of the best tasting food you’ve ever enjoyed.

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links provided. This is one of the ways I am able to support my blog and provide free articles and recipes for readers.

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Paleo Orange Chicken (Gluten-Free & Grain-Free) https://cookprimalgourmet.com/paleo-orange-chicken-gluten-free https://cookprimalgourmet.com/paleo-orange-chicken-gluten-free#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2020 19:59:13 +0000 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=6127 In this Paleo Orange Chicken, crispy fried pieces of dark meat get tossed in a sweet and sticky orange sauce. It's easy, delicious and better than take out.

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In this Paleo Orange Chicken, crispy fried pieces of dark meat get tossed in a sweet and sticky orange sauce. It’s super easy to make, absolutely addictive, and only requires a handful of ingredients.

Paleo Orange Chicken Primal Gourmet Easy Delicious Whole30 Recipes

What You Need for Paleo Orange Chicken

Chicken

Personally, I like using boneless, skinless chicken thighs here. However, you can substitute boneless, skinless chicken breast if that’s what you have or prefer. Either way, the measurements, ingredients and technique work the same and your Paleo Orange Chicken will come out delicious.

Arrowroot Starch

This naturally grain-free alternative flour is a great replacement for the cornstarch that is more commonly used in many Asian-inspired recipes. Here, the arrowroot starch plays double duty. It’s first used to dredge the chicken, helping it develop a crispy crust. Once the fried chicken pieces are added to the sauce, the arrowroot starch will actually help to thicken it.

Many recipes will call for making an arrowroot starch slurry to thicken the sauce. To do this, you can combine 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch with one teaspoon cold water and stir until dissolved. Adding the slurry to the sauce will thicken it like a cornstarch slurry.

However, if you’re not careful or add too much starch, the sauce can get gummy and clumpy. In this recipe, I recommend taking the time to reduce the sauce on the stovetop and avoid using a slurry altogether here. Once you return the fried chicken pieces back to the sauce, you’ll notice that there’s enough residual starch to thicken it enough that it becomes syrupy.

If you don’t have arrowroot starch, you can use tapioca starch. However, be sure to only dredge the chicken IMMEDIATELY before frying. Otherwise, the tapioca will turn gummy once it comes into contact with the moisture on the chicken.

Paleo Orange Chicken Primal Gourmet Easy Delicious Whole30 Recipes

Orange Zest and Juice

The orange juice adds a bit of flavour to the sauce, but it’s the zest that really brings this dish full circle and gives it a pop of orange flavour. Rather than zesting the orange with a microplane (or rasp grater), I like to peel the orange with a vegetable peeler and than thinly slice the skin into ribbons. I think it looks pretty.

Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos are naturally soy-free and a great soy sauce replacement. You can use it 1:1 anywhere soy sauce is called for. Keep in mind, it’s a bit sweet and not nearly as salty as soy sauce so you may need to adjust the salt after tasting the finished dish for seasoning. As the coconut aminos reduce, they’ll intensify in flavour, which is a good thing here.

Toasted Sesame Oil

Toasted sesame oil packs a serious punch of flavour and you can easily overpower a dish if you add too much. On the other hand, cooking it for too long will mellow its flavour. So, what I like to do is add the sesame oil at the very end. This way, I don’t have to use too much to get a pop of toasted sesame flavour and I don’t run the risk of subduing it.

Aromatics

Onion, garlic and ginger add aromas, textures and depths of flavour that make this dish really stand out.

Paleo Orange Chicken Primal Gourmet Easy Delicious Whole30 Recipes

Honey 

I find that the honey helps to not only sweeten the dish, giving it that take-out food flavour I love so much, but it also reduces down to a syrupy consistency that helps the sauce to stick to the chicken. For a Whole30 version of this Paleo Orange Chicken, omit the honey and increase the coconut aminos by 1/2 . Then take the extra bit of time to reduce the sauce so it thickens naturally.

Avocado Oil

Using a neutral flavoured, high-smoking point oil is ideal here. It will allow you to fry the chicken without the risk of burning the oil and will let you make the sauce without overpowering any of the other flavours.

Sesame Seeds 

Because a little garnish goes a long way.

Paleo Orange Chicken (Gluten-free & Grain-Free)

In this Paleo Orange Chicken, crispy fried pieces of dark meat get tossed in a sweet and sticky orange sauce. It's easy, delicious and better than take out.

  • ¼ cup (plus 1 tablespoon, avocado oil)
  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast (– cubed)
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup arrowroot starch
  • 1 medium yellow onion – diced
  • 2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 thumbnail-sized piece fresh ginger (– peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks)
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 medium orange (– zested and juiced, around 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds – for garnish
  1. Preheat ¼ cup avocado oil in a cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until oil registers 375F on an instant read thermometer.
  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towel, lightly season both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and add to a large bowl along with the arrowroot starch. Toss until completely coated. Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, shake off excess starch and carefully add the chicken pieces to the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, around 3 minutes, then flip and fry until the second side is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through, another 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside while you fry the remaining pieces.

  3. Preheat a separate pan over medium-high heat. Add the avocado oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until onions are slightly translucent. Add the coconut aminos, orange juice, orange zest and honey. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced in volume by half. Add the sesame oil and cooked chicken pieces the pan. Carefully toss everything to coat.
  4. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, season with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

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Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites (Paleo, Gluten-Free) https://cookprimalgourmet.com/baked-buffalo-cauliflower-bites-paleo-gluten-free https://cookprimalgourmet.com/baked-buffalo-cauliflower-bites-paleo-gluten-free#respond Fri, 29 May 2020 17:33:53 +0000 https://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=6112 These Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites are a super easy, delicious, and borderline addictive way to get your family to eat vegetables.

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These Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites are a super easy, delicious, and borderline addictive way to get your family to eat vegetables. Try serving them as an appetizer or snack with a creamy, homemade dipping sauce and some celery sticks.Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

What You Need for Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is the star of the show here. For best results, cut it down to medium-sized florets. Too large and they won’t get as crispy. Too small and they’ll burn. But if they’re just right, you’ll get the best of both worlds.

Cassava Flour

By far my favourite alternative flour. It’s grain-free, gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30-compliant and as close to wheat flour as you can get.

Spices

Adding spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, turmeric and black pepper will not only add a lot of flavour, but they will also bring some colour to the dish. I particularly like turmeric for this reason. It helps give the cauliflower a golden hue.

Hot Sauce

Using a Buffalo-style hot sauce, such as Frank’s, is ideal because of its mild heat and tang from the vinegar base, which pairs really well with the cauliflower. Buffalo-style sauces are also much looser than other types, which helps when it comes to coating all of the florets.

If a Buffalo-style sauce is too mild for your liking, you can always increase the spice level by mixing in some cayenne pepper or a couple dashes of your favourite hot sauce.

Ghee

Mixing in a small amount of melted ghee with the Buffalo sauce adds flavour and also helps the cauliflower to get crispy in the second round of baking. If you don’t have ghee, you can use some melted grass-fed butter or even some avocado oil.

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

How to Make Buffalo Cauliflower

It’s as easy as whisking the batter ingredients in a bowl, coating the cauliflower and baking them on a sheet pan in the oven until crispy and golden brown. Baking them isn’t just easy, it’s also a bit healthier than pan-frying it in some oil. The added benefit is that you can cook large batches of cauliflower quickly.

The key to making sure the Buffalo Cauliflower Bites get as crispy as possible is actually to bake them in two stages.

First, coat the cauliflower florets in the batter and roast them at 450F for 20 minutes. This will allow the batter to harden and set.

Once par-baked, remove the cauliflower from the oven, brush them with the prepared Buffalo sauce and return them to the oven for a second round of baking so they get crispy, delicious and cooked through.

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Can You Air Fry the Cauliflower?

Great question! I personally don’t own an air fryer so I can’t really say. However, depending on the model you have, it may be possible!

Can I Use a Different Flour?

If you don’t have cassava flour, you can try substituting a combination of almond flour and tapioca starch. The finished product won’t be quite the same in terms of flavour and texture, but it will work in a pinch. For ½ cup cassava flour, try ½ cup almond flour plus 1 tablespoon tapioca starch. Water measurements can vary so work towards a loose pancake batter.

If keeping things Paleo isn’t a concern, you can use a gluten-free flour or all-purpose flour of choice. I leave that decision up to you.

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Paleo Primal Gourmet Easy Recipe

Are These Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Whole30?

Although all of the ingredients are in fact Whole30-compliant, I would say that the finished product is not. Technically, this is a Paleofied version of a junk food, and would, therefore, be considered SWYPO under the rules of the program. The main reason I would consider it SWYPO is because of the batter. If you were to simply coat the cauliflower with just the spices and sauce, it would be Whole30-compliant. The batter is the deal breaker in my opinion.

Nevertheless, it is very much Paleo-friendly and an excellent dish to incorporate into your Food Freedom!

Other Cauliflower Recipes

Roasted Curried Cauliflower with Tahini

Creamy Curry Cauliflower Soup with Sausage Crumble

Whole-Roasted Spiced Cauliflower

Cauliflower Polenta

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

These Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites are a super easy, delicious, and borderline addictive way to get your family to eat vegetables.

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (cut into medium-sized florets)
  • ½ cup cassava flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 scant cup cold water
  • ½ cup Buffalo-style hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (melted)
  • Dipping sauce of choice (such as Ranch)
  • 1 stalk celery (cut into matchsticks, for serving)
  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cassava flour, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, paprika, turmeric, and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the water and whisk until completely smooth – it should resemble a loose pancake batter. If it is too dense, whisk in 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches the correct consistency. If it is too loose, add 1 teaspoon of cassava flour at a time until it reaches the correct consistency.
  3. Working in batches, toss the cauliflower florets in the batter until they are evenly coated. Shake off any excess batter and lay the florets in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining florets.
  4. Transfer the sheet pan to the oven and bake the cauliflower until the batter is slightly golden, 20 minutes.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the hot sauce and melted ghee. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and brush each floret with the Buffalo sauce mixture. Return the cauliflower to the oven and bake for until golden brown and crispy, another 20 minutes. Drizzle the cauliflower with some more Buffalo sauce and serve with dipping sauce of choice and celery sticks.

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