Happy Monday and happy National Infertility Awareness Week! I have seen so many great posts today on this year’s theme, you are not alone. More on that later.
Today is day 9 of my second Whole30. I can tell you without a doubt this time is easier so far. And I feel better earlier. I know I still have a ways to go before I feel as great as I did on Day 30, but over the weekend my energy levels rose dramatically.
After a great Saturday spent at a local lake hanging out on the beach with another family I decided to get adventurous and try some new recipes yesterday. I am happy to report that they both turned out to be phenomenal. One of them is a super easy chicken dish that requires very little hands on time. The other is a pork meatloaf that turned out to be a lot of work, but honestly for the end product it was totally worth it. Both are derived from Nom Nom Paleo recipes.
Slow Cooker Chicken with Gravy
3 table spoons olive oil (or fat of choice)
3 large leeks. White parts only, chopped medium (you could probably use a yellow onion if you can’t find leaks, but the flavor would be slightly different)
10 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
½ cup chicken stock
1 Whole chicken
Poultry Seasoning (or other herb blend of choice)
In a large skillet bring fat to medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir in to combine. Cook until leeks are soft. Deglaze pan with chicken stock. Add the mixture to your slow cooker.
Coat chicken inside in and out with poultry seasoning. Add salt and pepper (probably a teaspoon each sprinkled over the bird). Place the chicken in the slow cooker breast side down.
Cook on low for 6 hours. (If your chicken is less than 4 lbs you can reduce time to 5 hours.
After it has cooked take the chicken out of the crockpot and transfer to a platter. Tent with foil and leave out for 20-30 minutes.
Defat the liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker, and transfer the rest to an immersion blender container. I had to do mine in batches because there was more than what would fit in the container. Use your immersion blender to blend ingredients until smooth. Makes a rich amazing gravy for the chicken. Can be stored in a seal container for a week, or frozen!
After chicken has cooled pull apart for amazing moist shredded chicken. Discard bones or save them in the freezer to make chicken stock. Honestly, I have made several chickens in the crockpot and I have never had one so easy to take apart. It literally took 5 minutes because the meat just came off into my hands.
I reheated today for lunch in the microwave at work chicken with gravy on top and it was AMAZING. It was so moist with excellent flavor. This is going to be a regular in my rotation from now on, and it’s so darn easy!
It has been years since I have had any kind of meatloaf, but this one caught my eye because I love ground pork and this seemed like a great way to use it. It turned out really well, but it was more work than I anticipated. In the end since I had the time to prepare it ahead of time, it was worth it.
1 tablespoon of olive oil or ghee
1 small yellow onion diced small
½ lb cremini mushrooms minced
2 medium celery sticks
½ Italian parsley
¼ cup coconut cream (place a can of coconut milk in the fridge the day before. The milk will separate and the cream will rise to the top).
½ lb ground pork
½ lb ground beef
1 lb fresh spinach chopped small (frozen will also work, thawed and squeezed dry)
½ red bell pepper diced
¼ cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs beaten
5 bacon slices
In a large skillet heat fat to medium temperature. Add onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and ½ of the garlic. Cook until onions are cooked through and translucent.
In an immersion blender cup add celery, Italian parsley, and coconut cream. Blend to smooth with the immersion blender.
In a large bowl combine pork and beef with onion mixture, coconut cream mixture, coconut flower, spinach, salt, pepper, the rest of the garlic, and the eggs. Work through with your hands to thoroughly combine.
Pack into a 9×5 meatloaf pan to about ½” from the top. Top with bacon slices.
Place in a 350 degree oven on top of a foil lined baking sheet for 70-80 minutes.
I actually prepared two meatloaves because my husband hates mushrooms, but honestly I could not taste them at all. I also left out the bell pepper from his. Since I was preparing two loaves I decided to combine the beef and pork, but you could definitely do all ground pork. You can serve with some warm compliant marinara sauce, but I think it tastes fantastic on its own!
You can also prepare the mixture and place in the pan in the fridge up to one day in advance.