Lately I’ve been testing out the paleo diet. Now when I say “diet” I mean in the literal sense, as in the way I’ve been eating and what I’ve been consuming – not necessarily with the intention of losing or gaining any weight. I won’t bore you with the details but the idea was to reset my thinking about what I eat and not just eat things because they are available to me. However, I could never completely commit to anything that eliminated dairy altogether. (Have you tasted burrata on toast? Namely, the appetizer from The Porch.) So I’ve been eating this way the majority of the time but to a lesser degree on the weekends and picking and choosing worthy meals to abandon all thoughts of cavemen (like when I previewed Sissy’s brunch debut). In a paleo-friendly almond nutshell, I’ve heavily curbed dairy, grains, refined sugar, legumes and more.
With this change in eating habits, I’ve learned to get crafty with meals at home and Monday night I prepared a dish that I was quite proud of – and paleo-friendly – and I felt the need to share in case you were looking for a healthy, hearty meal that isn’t devoid of flavor.
I call it Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken. I paired mine with charred Brussels sprouts.
1 tbs minced garlic
¼ red onion sliced
Handful or two of spinach
Handful of steamed artichoke hearts (I bought mine pre-packaged in the cold produce section at Trader Joe’s)
Splash of almond or coconut milk (I used almond)
Handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced (about ¼ cup)
*Small handful of kalamata olives
4-5 Fresh basil leaves
*A few slices of pepperoncini
2 chicken breasts
*Note: Sources seem to be mixed on whether these items are truly paleo. Both items certainly add flavor but won’t make or break the meal. If they aren’t for you – leave ‘em out! Either way, you’re in for a healthy, tasty meal…
Sautee the garlic and onions (about 3-5 minutes) and add the spinach to the pan. Sautee the spinach until just wilted and remove from the pan.
In a small food processor, mix the onions and spinach with the artichoke hearts and basil, then add a splash or two of almond milk (just enough to add some texture) mix well.
Make a deep slit/pocket in each chicken breast and evenly distribute the spinach and artichoke mixture. Next add in a few cherry tomatoes, olives and pepperoncini. Close up the chicken breasts with a few toothpicks (tip: soak them in water for a few minutes first) and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle pepper, a small amount of salt and any other dry seasonings on the outside. I used dried oregano and salt-free Cajun seasoning, both sparingly.
Cook the chicken at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.