Paleo Challenge Update

March 07, 2014

This week has been crazy per the usual, but I've now completed my 4th day of the Paleo Challenge. And so far, so good. This week, I've loved how paleo has made me go outside of my usual cooking routine to try new and somewhat unusual recipes. With Paleo's focus on protein and natural ingredients, I have been cooking a lot of fish and meat. My favorite new discoveries have been cooking with coconut oil, a cinnamon and walnut salmon recipe, spaghetti squash, and a great way to cook chicken on the stove top. 

Until this week, I didn't really know coconut oil existed. Turns out coconut oil is pretty much a super oil with a lot of healthy benefits. Coconut oil can help our bodies resist viruses and bacteria, improve insulin levels in the body and boost metabolism, endurance and energy. I love the coconutty aroma and very subtle taste, and am definitely going to start experimenting with it in future recipes. 

This salmon, cinnamon and walnut recipe is another thing I loved this week, and also something I had never thought of before. Shockingly enough, cinnamon and salmon are quite the killer pair. Here's the recipe I followed.

Next on my never having tried list, is spaghetti squash. This one I have definitely heard of, but since I'm allergic to yellow squash I had always thought it was off the table for me. When it showed up on my menu for dinner, I looked into it and found it's more similar to winter squash like butternut and gave it a try. This stuff is amazing! And now I totally get why people have been freaking out about it. All you have to do is - cut the squash in half long ways, scoop out the seeds, rub with salt, pepper and olive oil and cook in the oven for about 45 minutes. When you take it out, you use a fork to scrap the squash, and volia - spaghetti squash.

I served the spaghetti squash with chicken that I cooked on the stove top using coconut oil. Something you might not know about me is I absolutely hate to cook chicken. I never buy it. In fact it's quite possible it had been a year since I bought chicken to cook at home until this week. This was really because I couldn't quite nail an easy recipe that didn't taste bland or too much like well, chicken. I tried out this new recipe tonight and it was super easy and really tasty. I took about a tbsp of coconut oil and heated over medium heat. I took about a 5 oz piece of chicken and rub it with a mix of spices like garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, etc. and cook it on each side for a minute each. Then I covered the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes. Then without removing the lid, I turned the heat off and let it sit for another 10 minutes. I ended up with perfectly cooked chicken with just the right amount of juice.

Enjoy your weekend! 

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