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chicken

Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Roasted Chicken 

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Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Roasted Chicken 

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The last 2 months have been quite busy for me... I turned 30, partied like I was 21, climbed a mountain, got a new roommate and started an amazing new job. A lot has changed, but the focus on my health has not and I've got quite a few new recipes to catch you guys up on... 

So, what is the first thing I cooked after returning back from my backpacking trip? A big old chicken of course!

Roasting a whole chicken can be intimidating, but it really is quite easy. The hardest part is dressing it but I've got a killer rub for you guys today! This chicken was so flavorful with just a little spicy kick and none of the unwanted sugar! If you are on a budget this is a great option too. Granted, it does require a little more work, but it's so worth it and much less expensive than buying thighs and breasts. To put it into perspective a whole (free range) chicken costs a little bit more than a pound of free range chicken breast, but with the whole chicken you get the legs, thighs and wings to go along with it! And best of all you get the bones, which I always boil down and make a nice chicken stock for soup!  

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I prefer my skin to be a little crispy because when the butter and spices are baked into crispy skin... there's just nothing better. In order to do this without drying out the chicken you're going to want to cook the first 20 minutes or so (depending on size) on high heat (450F) and then lower it to 350 for the remainder of time. 

We're also going to butterfly the chicken. This is not required, but it is great for shaving a few minutes off the cooking time and I think it makes for a great presentation. Youtube can show you better than I can explain it so here is a quite video on how to butterfly: 

Ok now that you're a butterflying expert, let talk dressing the chicken. Once you have the chicken laid out (as seen in the video) carefully separate the skin from the breast and now you're ready to load in the ingredients. Here we go... 

The Ingredients...

  • Whole Chicken (4-5 lbs) 
  • 7-8 Mini Sweet Bell Peppers 
  • 1/2 large onion (I prefer Red Onion) 
  • 1/4 cup of butter 
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil 
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon oregano
  • teaspoon chili powder 
  • teaspoon cumin 
  • tablespoon garlic (crushed or minced) 
  • teaspoon salt 
  • teaspoon black pepper 
  • teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • teaspoon liquid smoke 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
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The Steps...

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. In a bowl mix butter (room temp), garlic and liquid smoke. Lather up the bird everywhere that will be facing up... around the wings, legs, breast and under the skin. It's important to get some of the butter mixture under the skin and on top of the breast. This will really help keep the breast from drying out. 
  3. Mix all dry seasonings together in a bowl and the same thing you did with the butter mixture. Rub the bird all over and throw some underneath this skin as well! Save a little seasoning for the peppers and onions... 
  4. In a large pan add the peppers and onions, cut into strips. Mix in the coconut oil and remaining seasoning until evenly coated 
  5. Put the chicken in the pan resting on the peppers and onions. You'll want to make sure the pan is large enough that the chicken isn't bunched up. 
  6. Uncovered put the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes at 450. Then, reduce to 350 and cook for 40 more minutes. FYI this was based on a 4.5 lb chicken. Cooking times will vary depending on how big the chicken is. 

The Macros...

Calculating macros for a whole chicken is not a very accurate measurement considering the particular parts and skin play a big role in the fat/protein content.

In regards to the extra oil and butter added. I would estimate based on how much of the fat/oil you retained considering most of it will be in the pan. 

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Chicken Fajita Zucchini Boats - Low Carb, Keto Friendly

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Chicken Fajita Zucchini Boats - Low Carb, Keto Friendly

chicken-fajita-zucchini-boats

A little while back I posted a very easy recipe for Philly Steak & Cheese Zucchini Boats and they seemed to be a big hit! FYI... my basis for that statement was that it got twice as many likes as I usually get on Instagram.  So, we’re bringing the boats back, but this time with chicken fajitas! This is a great recipe that you can make with very little time and effort.

You can make it even easier by using a fajita seasoning packet, but READ THE INGREDIENTS. I stress this idea in just about every recipe post. But the fact is most seasoning packets, just like most foods that come from the big box food brands, are filled a lot of unnecessary/unhealthy crap, including sugar.  Not to beat a dead horse but anytime you are buying marinades, salad dressings, mixed seasonings, jarred sauces, etc. you really should be making sure it’s not a bunch of fillers and foods that you don’t want. Let’s take a look at one very common grocery store brands (cough Ortega cough) and the ingredients list:

Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Salt, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Sugar, Caramel Color, Dried Red Bell Peppers, Citric Acid, Garlic Powder, Autolyzed yeast Extract, Silicon Dioxide, Soybeans, Wheat, Smoke Flavor. Allergens: Soybeans, Wheat.
*This comes directly from their website

So, at the very top of the list we have Maltodextrin as the largest ingredient… that’s not a good sign. Soybean, Sugar, Silicon, Wheat, "Spices"...  we already know that these are no no's.

But what is Maltodextrin? It’s a thickener/filler for many processed and packaged foods. It’s most commonly made from corn or other starchy vegetables. It also has some unfavorable side effects:

  1. Spikes Blood Sugar - this is the opposite of what you want on a ketogenic diet!!!
  2. Suppresses Probiotic Growth - probiotics are what keep your gut health active, which keeps inflammation down! The current science agrees that gut health may be the most important factor in most of the diseases of today
  3. May cause allergic reactions and negative side effects like gas, diarrhea, bloating, cramping and skin irritations - this is not good, unless you like gas and rashes

Here at the Fatbody we’re not just about low carb and high fat foods, we’re about real foods. Despite all of the amazing benefits of ketosis you can still yield the same inflammatory issues by eating the wrong fats and ingredients.

So, once again check your labels my friends :) ok now the good stuff...

The Ingredients…

  • 1 pound Chicken (I used breast but thigh works just as well)
  • 2 large Zucchini
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheese
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • ½ medium Onion
  • 2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon of each Fajita Seasoning: Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder, Cumin, Paprika, Garlic Powder
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Guacamole (optional)
  • Sour Cream (optional)
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The Steps...

  1. Add Chicken and Seasoning to a bowl with some olive oil and marinate. Cut peppers and onions into strips and set to the side
  2. Hollow out your zucchini and sprinkle some salt on top. Let them rest in between a layer of paper towels and leave off to the side
  3. Heat your pan to a medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add peppers and onions with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook until they soften and the onions become lightly transparent. Remove from pan and set to the side
  4. Add remaining oil to pan and add chicken with all of the juices and marinade. Cook all the way through, lightly browned with no pink inside
  5. Add back your peppers and onions and drop the heat down to the lowest setting. Mix thoroughly and turn off the burner
  6. Pat down and dry your zucchini, removing most of the salt. Stuff them with fajita mix and top with cheese.
  7.  Bake for about 15 minutes on 400F, until cheese is gooey and melty! 
  8. Top with fatty ingredients of choice and enjoy! 

Note: this meal is relatively low on fats for a keto eater, this is why I added avocado (guacamole) and sour cream to the ingredient list. Those two additions should up your fats significantly

The Macros...

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chicken-fajita-zucchini-boats

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Chicken Pesto Eggplant Roll Ups - Low Carb High Fat, Keto

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Chicken Pesto Eggplant Roll Ups - Low Carb High Fat, Keto

Nothing quite compares to the flavor of a freshly made pesto sauce. The robust flavor of the basil, the sweet buttery texture of the pine nuts and a good rich olive oil. It all comes together in a flavor bomb for your mouth, plus the time commitment is so minimal for what it can do to your meal prepping!  I’ll make a pint of pesto and keep it in my fridge to use throughout the week. This is a good healthy boost of fats when made at home, but you have to watch out for the grocery store brands. More of often than not when you look at that tiny ingredient section on the back of the label the first ingredient is usually soybean oil or canola oil, which makes sense because it’s cheaper to manufacture but not so great for your health.

These oils are high in polyunsaturated fats which are very unstable and are more susceptible to oxidation. Oxidation makes the oils rancid and loaded with free radicals, which is the first step down a path of poor health. Oxidation is more likely to happen when these oils are exposed to heat and light.

Canola oil for example is made from an industrial seed called the rapeseed (seriously, who came up with that name?). This seed has been used for years as a cheap and easy to manufacture industrial oil. So, a team of scientists got together and performed some extremely high heat processing to alter the oil into a liquid, edible oil.

Wait didn’t we just say high heat to polyunsaturated fat makes it damaged and oxidized?

Yup. Totally rancid and damaging right out of the gate. Bottom line is that oil based sauces, marinades and dressings are almost ALWAYS cut with these damaged oils because they are cheap. So steer clear my friends! 

These Chicken Pesto Eggplant Roll Ups are loaded with healthy oils from the pesto, vitamins and minerals from the eggplant and spinach and the free range chicken thighs supply a healthy dose of proteins and Omega-3s like DHA and EPA which are great for good gut health.

Real foods are always the best way to balanced nutrition and well rounded meals like this are exactly how to do it!

So, let’s get down to business…

The Ingredients…

chicken pesto eggplant roll ups
  • 1 Medium Eggplant
  • 1 pound of chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • ½ cup of pesto sauce (Click link for authentic pesto recipe!) 
  • 4 ounces of mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Garnish with Fresh Basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

**I will admit that cutting the eggplant into thin slices wasn’t exactly easy. One eggplant yielded about 10 roll ups, mainly because I messed so many of the damn slices up! Lot of excess eggplant left over, but that will come with practice, and you can use it for other things like sauteed with zucchini, red pepper and cauliflower!, yum yum!

Here is a quick cutting techqine video that shows exactly how the eggplant should be cut:  

The Steps…

  1. Cut eggplant into thin slices, roughly about ⅛ of an inch. This was the most difficult part for me. Cutting thin, even slices was not my strong suit. 
  2. Let the eggplant rest, salt each piece and lay them out on an oven sheet or cutting board, on top of some paper towels and cover with paper towels as well. Let them rest for a good 20-30 minutes. These are thin slices so they’ll dry out much faster, but we don’t want soggy eggplant so be sure to give them the time they need.
  3. Preheat oven to 400F
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Cook chicken for about 5-6 minutes on each side. Seasoning lightly with salt and pepper (about ½ of a teaspoon each). Remove and let rest for about 10 minutes. Reduce pan to low heat
  5. Next, while the chicken is resting grill your eggplants. I used a grated skillet, which gives the eggplant slices the cool looking grill marks, but a regular frying pan works just as well. You’re going to want to do this on a dry pan at medium heat. Cook them very lightly , so they brown a little bit, but don’t lose their stability. About 2 minutes each side and not the same pan as the chicken, we’re still using that.
  6. Dice chicken into cube size pieces
  7. On low heat, add the spinach to the original pan and mix as much of the oil and chicken drippings as possible. Add the pesto sauce (saving a little bit to drizzle over the top) and mix. Let the spinach reduce for about a minute and then add back the chicken. And mix until the pesto is evenly distributed and the spinach is reduced to your liking. About 1-2 minutes.
  8. Remove everything from pan and put into a bowl.
  9. Lay out your grilled eggplants. On the wider end add a piece of mozzarella, a scoop of the chicken mix and sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese.
  10. Roll eggplants up starting at the wide end. You should have enough mix for at least 8-10 roll ups.
  11. In an oven safe pan, coat the pan with remaining olive oil and lay the eggplants down with the end of the roll down (this will keep them from opening) or use a toothpick if necessary.
  12. Top the rolls with the remaining pesto sauce giving them a thin coat.
  13. And Finally top the rolls with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Garnish with fresh basil.
  14. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Remember, you are really just looking to melt and brown that mozzarella a bit. So check it at 15 minutes and if you see the mozzarella starting to crisp up, you’re good! .
  15. Serve and enjoy.

This goes very well with the simple pesto zoodles. My go-to recipe for zoodles is: roast some tomatoes in a pan, add the pesto sauce and then mix in the zoodles at the end. You don’t really want to “cook” the zoodles because they will soften up and get mushy.  

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The Macros...

chicken pesto eggplant roll up macros
chicken pesto eggplant roll up serving macros

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One Pan Keto Meal Prep: Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake

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One Pan Keto Meal Prep: Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake

As some of you may know my cooking style is a bit mad scientist-ish. I like to pull all my produce, meats and cheeses out of the fridge and stare at them until something hits me square in the face. Let me tell you boys and girls I got hit hard in the face today… This came out perfect and so tasty, hell it was even the perfect amount for my meal prepping macros! 

I took two portions with mozzarella and basil and baked for about 10 minutes. 

I took two portions with mozzarella and basil and baked for about 10 minutes. 

This recipe has a hefty mix of vegetables, protein and healthy animal fats perfect for a ketogenic diet. You can sub in and out the vegetables of your choice, for example on another occasion I used mushrooms and tomatoes, it was quite tasty! 

Trader Joe's really has my back with this recipe too! The frozen organic riced cauliflower is delicious and convenient, they seem to sell out of the stuff a lot, so when I start getting low on supply I make sure to stock up with 7 or 8 bags and stack it up in my freezer. The asparagus comes courtesy of TJ's as well and is also from the frozen section. I generally stick to fresh vegetables, but the convenience and longevity of the frozen version is pretty hard to pass up. 

The spinach I used was fresh, but TJ's has a pretty good frozen brand. I personally just think the frozen spinach is too soggy. Spinach is also extremely light so it's hard to tell what 5 oz. of spinach actually looks like. Here is a comparison next to my regular sized coffee mug... 

5 oz of spinach

5 oz of spinach

If you don't have a Trader Joe's or a source of riced cauliflower you can easily make your own with a grater. Two bags of the frozen stuff is about the equivalent of one medium head of cauliflower. 

The first step of this recipe is to microwave the cauliflower. If you don't have/use a microwave you can do this in a pan as well. The point of this step is to get rid of the moisture, which can ruin a lot of recipes if you are not careful. Like most vegetables cauliflower has a lot of water and will sweat out of it once it's heated. So be sure to do this before adding the cauliflower in with all the other ingredients. 

I divided it into 6 servings. Each serving with about 640 calories and only 5 net carbs (without the topped mozzarella bake) But the best part is, is that it's a one pan dish so clean up is a breeze! 

I divided it into 6 servings. Each serving with about 640 calories and only 5 net carbs (without the topped mozzarella bake) But the best part is, is that it's a one pan dish so clean up is a breeze! 

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds Chicken Breast
  • 12 ounces Bacon
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 6 cups Cauliflower
  • 12 ounces Asparagus
  • 5 ounces Spinach
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Fresh Basil for garnish 
  • Mozzarella Cheese

Cooking instructions

  1. Rice your cauliflower. Microwave for 4 minutes, stir, and microwave for 4 more minutes. 

  2. Mix a tablespoon of butter into the cauliflower. 

  3. Using an extra-large pan (oven safe if you want this to truly be one pan) cook the bacon on a medium heat (6 out of 10). Remove and set to the side. 

  4. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste and add to to pan, still cooking at a medium heat and using the bacon drippings as a cooking fat. Cook until no visible pink and then remove. Set the chicken aside with the bacon. 

  5. Add garlic, asparagus, spinach and the 2 remaining tablespoons of butter. Let the spinach cook down for about 2 minutes constantly stirring and mixing. You really want to evenly distribute the fats and juices!

  6. Reduce pan heat down to a medium-low (3 out of 10) 

  7. Dice chicken and bacon into desired size. This should be done roughly 10 minutes after cooking the chicken as you want to give the chicken time to rest (it's still cooking a bit in the middle).

  8. Add chicken, bacon, butter and garlic. Stir until evenly mixed. 

  9. Add the cauliflower rice and and parmesan cheese and continue stirring until evenly mixed. 

  10. Stir until evenly mixed and serve.

Now here’s where you can go one of two ways:

 
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The Meal Prep route - This makes 6 perfect dinner portions, or 3 lunch and 3 dinner. It’s your world! 

The Cheesy Bake route - In the picture above I took two servings and dumped them into an oven safe dish. Then, I broiled for about 10 minutes, until the cheese was lightly browned. I used about ¼ cup per serving. 

*Remember that the broiler is HIGH heat from the top of the oven, so the higher up you put the dish the faster it will cook, and the broiler will cook the top of the bake fast. 10 minutes is all you need, maybe less depending on how strong your oven is, so watch closely! 

The Macros...

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Guilt Free Buffalo Chicken Tenders - Keto, LCHF

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Guilt Free Buffalo Chicken Tenders - Keto, LCHF

I have always LOVED buffalo wings. We had this late night delivery spot that was pretty close to my college campus, they had about 30 different flavors and to this day it is still my favorite wing place. Every UMass Amherst or Springfield area college alum knows exactly what I’m talking about… Wings Over. [drooling]. That said, they also made me pretty fat in college, and that is no bueno. Oh, and then they opened one in my hometown. If one pops up in LA, I’m doomed.  

Not these babies though!! They are breaded with almond flour and pork rind which keep the carbs low and the fats up so my body just keeps on burning fat like a well oiled machine. It’s a beautiful thing.

The buffalo sauce is as simple as they come and it’s all you need for a really good buffalo sauce. Not too hot and the right amount of saucy. It’s just equal parts butter and Red Hot. Now, I love all my hot sauces, but Red Hot is an old stand by. It’s the only one they had in my high school cafeteria and I put it on everything. 

These Keto Buffalo Tenders are really easy to make and don’t take much preparation. The chicken is very lean and protein dense so be sure to not over do it, too much protein can knock your fat burning ass right out of ketosis!

The egg batter and the breading...

The egg batter and the breading...

Ready for the oven... 

Ready for the oven... 

The Sauce...

The Sauce...

Back to the buffalo tenders, hit em with the ingredients…

  • 1 pound Chicken breast or tenders.
  • ½ cup Almond Flour
  • 1 cup Pork Rinds
  • 3 Egg
  • 2 tablespoon Heavy Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ cup Red Hot
  • ½ cup Butter

The Steps... 

  1. Preheat oven at 400F

  2. Cut the chicken breasts into desired size and length. I usually just get the pack of chicken breast “tenders” which are the perfect size. Plus they stay really moist with a bit of thickness. 

  3. Pound and flatten the chicken a bit. I actually just use my handheld citrus juicer to do this, because its pretty heavy. 

  4. Mix your batters. In one bowl mix your egg, heavy cream, salt, pepper and a little bit of Red Hot if you like it spicy.

  5. In another bowl, mix crumbled pork rinds, almond flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper

  6. Dip the chicken in the egg batter and then into the breading. Make sure to get an even coat. If nothing is sticking add another egg, this will make it stickier.

  7. Lay all the tenders on a baking sheet. If you have parchment paper this works really well to avoid the breading sticking to the pan.

  8. Cook chicken for about 20 minutes or so. Until the tops look crispy. Flip halfway through for crispier tender.

  9. In a small pan mix Red Hot and Butter and cook on a low heat until fully melted and mixed.

  10. In a large bowl add the chicken fresh out of the oven. Add in the hot sauce and toss.

  11. Slice up some celery, blue cheese whatever you preference and enjoy!

The Macros...

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