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There are SO many great paleo cookbooks coming out this year (plus even more in 2014).
Recently, I got a chance to check out my friend Ciarra’s new cookbook, The Frugal Paleo Cookbook, and as I expected, it was fabulous.
Ciarra is the founder of the Popular Paleo website and her focus for this book was to help people save money on their grocery bills, while still enjoying delicious paleo food. More about her book below.
Whenever I get a new cookbook, I am so excited to flip through it and make a list of the recipes I must try right away. At the top of that list were:
- Thai Coconut Chicken
- Orange Cashew Chicken
- Kohlrabi Chips
- Triple Pepper Lemon Chicken
- Ahola Sliders with Pineapple Relish
I whipped up the first three recipes this weekend and they were a huge hit. The kohlrabi chips (featured above) are SUPER addicting. Good thing I bought extra kohlrabi. I’ll be making more of these ASAP!
The orange cashew chicken (featured below) is the perfect recipe to keep in your repertoire for when you’re craving takeout (but don’t want the “junk food hangover” that it brings). Fast. Easy. Delicious.
Ciarra was kind enough to let me share one of her recipes today, so I selected the Thai Coconut Chicken (featured below). This recipe is SUPER easy and fast to make. You’ll have a delicious chicken and veggie dinner on the table in no time with this one.
- 1 pound (454 g) chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup onion, diced
- ½ cup (40 g) sliced white mushrooms
- ½ cup (75 g) carrots, sliced into coins
- 1 cup (150 g) zucchini, sliced into half-moon shapes
- 1 (13.6oz/403 mL) can full fat organic coconut milk (I love Aroy-D)
- 3 tsp (45 mL) green curry paste
- ½ tsp, plus a pinch kosher salt
- 1 tbsp (45 g) red chile pepper slices
- 1 tbsp (45 g) coconut oil
- Optional: Prawns can be substituted for chicken for a seafood option or double the recipe and use both chicken and prawns to feed a crowd!
- In a small bowl combine the canned coconut milk with the green curry paste. Set aside.
- Preheat a large, high-sided skillet with a lid, to medium-high and melt the coconut oil in the pan.
- Meanwhile, cut the chicken breasts into 2-inch (5-cm) cubes and season one side with a sprinkling of kosher salt.
- When the coconut oil is hot, drop the cubed chicken into the pan. This is one time when you don’t want to stir the meat while it cooks. Let the chicken sear, undisturbed, for about 5 minutes before flipping or turning the cubes to a second side to sear for about 3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium, then add the carrots, onion and garlic to the chicken. Cook and stir for about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, mushrooms, chile pepper slices and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
- Continue to cook and stir for another 5 minutes. If at any point the pan is getting too dark with what looks like burnt bits on the bottom, use about a ¼ cup (60 mL) of water to deglaze the pan. Deglazing means that liquid is used to loosen the browned bits stuck to the bottom of a hot pan during the cooking process. The liquid “lifts” them up and incorporates the browned bits as added flavor to the dish. If you need to do it while you prepare this portion of the recipe, do it. If the browned bits are not overwhelming the pan, don’t worry about it.
- When the zucchini and mushrooms are golden brown, pour in the coconut milk mixture. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes at this temperature to reduce the coconut milk slightly and concentrate the flavors.
- I recommend serving this dish over cauliflower rice (which can be found on page 169 of the book) or eating it as a chunky soup, garnished with fresh basil—regular, sweet or Thai basil is fine.
- For a pescatarian variation, 1 pound of prawns (about 31 to 40 per pound [1 kg] size is ideal) can be substituted. Select wild prawns that have been shelled and deveined, for added convenience. Cook the vegetables as directed, then add the prawns to the pan at the same time as the coconut milk mixture. The prawns will cook as the coconut milk simmers and thickens.
This is a great book, especially for those who are just getting started on the Paleo diet and are overwhelmed with budgeting and prepping.
If you follow her tips and tricks, you should be able to greatly reduce the amount of money you spend on groceries. Ciarra shows you how to:
- Select less expensive cuts of meat AND how to stretch those cuts even further than you expect.
- How to shop seasonally so you can take advantage of the best prices on produce.
- How to think simple about the meals you create (so you can get the biggest bang for your buck).
- Prepare amazingly delicious dishes without breaking the bank or slaving in the kitchen.
- Ciarra’s 20 Frugal Finds at Costco
- 10 Paleo Diet Myth Busters
- 7 Special Offers from Barefoot Provisions, Tx Bar Organics grass-fed beef, Fat Face
- Skincare, Pure Indian Foods, WholeMe, Exo Protein Bars, and 50% off PrimalPal—the best online meal planner out there!