Zaatar Chicken Sandwiches

This is a nice and simple sandwich that can be dressed a bunch of ways and has a good mix of protein, fats and carbs. I served these as a stand-alone for dinner and was satisfied.

high protein

This picture is tragic, but I was starving

Zaatar Chicken Sandwiches

150g chicken breast per person, sliced into thin strips

2 Tbsp. zaatar

Salt & pepper

Drizzle chicken with a touch of oil (a teaspoon worth max), toss with spices and air fry 7 minutes, shaking a couple times during cooking.

Whisk together:

1/4 c. yogurt

2 Tbsp. fresh dill, minced

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

2 Tbsp. lemon juice (more if necessary to add more zing – I started with this amount and kept adding to mask the taste of coconut yogurt)

1 Tbsp. garlic powder (more if necessary)

Salt & pepper

Toppers:

Sliced avocado

Sliced cherry tomatoes

Sautéed mushrooms & bell peppers

Sliced olives

Cucumber strips

Stuff a pita with chicken, top with veggies of your choice & yogurt sauce.

My pita ended up not being able to hold all the chicken I needed to hit my 150g protein macro, so I had a little extra in the side – along with the avocado, which kept leaping out of my sandwich. Delicious.

Bulgogi-Style Chicken Bowl

This spin on a bulgogi bowl was my favorite dish of the week, and with a 150g of chicken serving, it helped meet my protein goal for the day with 33g.

gluten-free

Bulgogi-Style Chicken Bowl

500g boneless, skinless chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces

Marinade

1 crisp apple, grated

1 pear, grated

2 inches ginger, grated

4 cloves garlic, grated

1/4 onion, grated

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp. gochujiang

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 tsp. date molasses, honey or sugar

Combine all ingredients and marinate chicken for a few hours. To cook, I air fried the chicken for 10 minutes, shaking every few. Note: this marinade is a bit wet for the air fryer and it kind of made a mess, but it was workable; I just had a bit of cleaning to do afterward.

Bowl Base

1 package broccolini, chopped

Optional: shiritaki noodles, rice, etc.

Prep your bowl base. I air fried broccolini tossed in a scant teaspoon oil, salt and pepper for 7 minutes. I meant to bulk the dish up some with shiritaki, but ended up being not so starving for dinner. Broccolini worked great.

Toppers

1 scallion, minced

Nice amount of kimchi

1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks

1 fried egg

Optional: sesame seeds, teriyaki sauce, sriracha mayo, sliced nori

The chicken makes 3 servings, the toppings as written 2

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I love it when a recipe turns out exactly how I pictured in my minds’ eye. I was craving buffalo chicken dip and wanted to give my Ranch powder a whirl – and I’m glad I did. This dish held up really well as leftovers.

gluten-free, paleo (if you use paleo ranch seasoning), low carb

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

1 lb. ground chicken

3 Tbsp. ranch seasoning powder

1 rib minced celery

An equal amount grated carrot

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. onion powder

4 Tbsp. buffalo hot sauce

2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water

2 tsp. butter, softened

Generous pinch salt and generous dusting pepper

Prepare a baking sheet and preheat your oven to 200C/375F.

Mix all ingredients by hand, form into golf ball sized meatballs, and place on the baking sheet.

Bake 15 minutes.

I served these with Ranch sweet potato fries (pictured).

To make, peel 2 small sweet potatoes and cut into fry-shaped sticks. Toss with a little oil or ghee, salt & pepper and 2 Tbsp. ranch powder. Arrange in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.

Flip, scootch over to the side, add the meatballs and bake another 15 minutes with the meatballs.

Serves 3 – 4 for dinner/lunch

Middle Eastern Spiced Meatballs

This is a good one – baked meatballs are quick to make and last in the fridge for days – a great meal prep component or emergency snack to keep on hand.

gluten-free, paleo, low carb

Middle Eastern Spiced Meatballs

1 lb. ground chicken

3 Tbsp. zaatar

1/4 c. slivered pistachios

2 tsp. sumac or lemon powder

1 small onion, grated

4 cloves garlic, grated

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water

Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F. Prepare a baking sheet.

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix with your hands to combine.

Form into meatballs and bake 15 minutes.

Makes enough for 4 servings

Bonus Recipe: A quick side salad to go with

2 cucumbers, cut into small moons

15 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 Tbsp. green onions, minced

2 cloves garlic, grated

1/4 c. parsley, chopped

Hand full of olives, sliced thin

Hand full of your favorite salty cheese (I used an aged provolone tasting vegan cheese)

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. your favorite mustard (I used Dijon)

1 Tbsp. zaatar

Salt & pepper

Whisk together all ingredients from the olive oil down. Pour over the rest.

Salad serves 2-3

Eggplant Curry With Meatballs

Ooh, this is a sneaky good one. I had *hoped* it would turn out well, but don’t have the best track record when I’m winging a coconut-based curry.

I’m happy to report that bland track record has been rectified – this dish is zippy, tangy, and still manages to give that ‘hug in a bowl’ feeling of a good coconut broth. Plus: it’s paleo, which is even better feeling for my particular body – and I didn’t miss the rice one bit.

gluten-free, paleo

Eggplant Curry With Meatballs

First, make the curry so it can simmer while the meatballs cook.

2 small potatoes (white and kinda waxy – you want something that won’t fall to mush after a good simmer)

1 medium purple eggplant

1/4 cup tamarind paste (this one is good)

1 Tbsp. roasted chili paste (this one is good)

1 can full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup good broth (I used a homemade combo chicken & ham bone broth)

Heaping Tablespoon of your favorite curry powder

Small chop the potatoes and eggplant. Add to a large pan over medium heat with a couple teaspoons neutral oil. Hit with a little salt and pepper.

Sauté a couple minutes while you gather the rest of your ingredients.

Add the stock, bring up to a simmer and let cook a couple more minutes.

Add the tamarind and chili pastes. Stir well to combine.

Add the coconut milk. Stir to combine.

Add the curry powder. Stir to combine. Bring up to a simmer, kick the heat back and let barely burble 20 minutes or until the potatoes are well cooked and the eggplant is super soft. Taste. Add a little more salt and pepper if necessary.

While the curry is working, make the meatballs.

Preheat the oven to 375F/200C. Prepare a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine:

1 lb. ground chicken

1/4 red onion, grated

1/4 red onion, minced

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

1 Tbsp. baking soda mixed in 1 Tbsp. water to form a slurry

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 inch ginger, grated

1 Tbsp. your favorite curry powder

Salt & pepper

Form your meat mixture into ping pong sized balls and arrange on the sheet.

Bake 15 minutes while the curry works.

To serve, a squeeze of lime is nice on top but isn’t necessary.

Serves 3 – 4 for dinner

Non Dairy Greek-Style Frychos

This recipe came about because of a video from one of my favorite kitchen hack channels: RachLovesLife. She’s got a ton of videos testing viral recipes, and they’ve been great fun to watch over this past year & some change of varying levels of lockdown. She did a recipe on fry hacks, and this was something she mentioned wanting to morph one of them into – just with my own non-dairy twist, ‘cause I’m not trying to die.

gluten-free, non-dairy, comfort

Non Dairy Greek-style Frychos

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 bell pepper

1 red onion

2 cloves garlic

1/2 batch this 6-ingredient vegan tzatziki sauce from the Minimalist Baker

1/2 a block of vegan cheese (this is the one I used)

Olive oil

Salt, pepper, oregano

Optional toppers: sundried tomatoes, black olives

1/2 a bag of your favorite fries (I used McCann’s crinkle cut)

Chop the onion and pepper fairly small. Mince the garlic. Add to a pan with a couple teaspoons oil and sautee over medium until soft. If the heat is a little high and the mix looks like it’s going to burn before getting nice and soft, hit with a little water and let that evaporate off as the mixture steams a bit. Make sure to hit with salt, pepper and a couple teaspoons oregano as the mix cooks to season.

While the mix works, add the fries to the oven and bake according to package directions. Salt about halfway through baking.

After the veggies are done, remove from the pan.

Add the chicken, chopped into small bites, with a Tablespoon of oil. Sautée, seasoning with salt, pepper and oregano, until cooked through.

Set aside when fully cooked.

Dice or shred the cheese.

When the fries are browned to your liking, pull from the oven, and sprinkle with the cheese. Pop back into the oven long enough to melt the cheese.

To serve, pile cheesy fries on a plate, top with chicken & veggies, drizzle sauce over top and finish with the optional toppers.

Serves 2 for dinner with enough left over toppings for another couple meals – or a nice pasta the next night

Mediterranean Chicken Bake

This one is a pretty, pretty show stopper. Just look at that Insta bait.

Not only is this pretty enough to entertain with, it’s delicious. And low key Mediterranean enough to not squick out my wary-of-all-things-Med-DH.

I also want to just eat this cheese every day. Sitting in the house while this baked was t-o-r-t-u-r-e.

Gluten-free

Mediterranean Chicken Bake

3 – 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (sub your favorite chicken)

1 lemon

1 small red onion

2 cloves garlic

A few small vine ripened tomatoes or Roma tomatoes

Vegan feta (this is my favorite)

1/2 c. good stock

Salt, pepper & olive oil

Oregano

Optional add-ins: Zaatar, fresh parsley, your favorite olives, pine nuts

I served last week’s Garden Orzo alongside and it was the perfect accompaniment

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F.

Arrange the chicken in the bottom of a pan (or sheet tray). Sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano on both sides.

Chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan. Halve the lemon and add.

Nestle the tomatoes around the chicken. Pour the stock in and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake 10 minutes, chuck the cheese on top and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese at least begins to brown.

Top with a generous sprinkle parsley, one of the squeezed lemon halves, a sprinkle of Zaatar, and the olives if you like olives. I love them and ended up eating the whole hand full in one sitting.

Serves 3 – 4 for dinner – take care to double the orzo recipe if you are serving 4; you could stretch it if you’ve got dinner bread to 3, but 4 would be a bit light of a meal

Sheet Pan Miso Bowl

This is a simple and quick sheet pan dinner with a nice, light taste for nights when you *want* some super unhealthy Japanese takeout, but don’t want a bunch of grease – or to wait for delivery.

gluten-free

Sheet Pan Miso Bowl

1.5 Tbsp. miso

1.5 Tbsp. brown sugar

1.5 Tbsp. date molasses (or a smaller amount of honey or other sugar)

3 Tbsp. soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos

3 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 bell pepper

2 – 3 carrots

2 – 3 chicken breasts or other protein

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F and prepare a baking sheet.

Combine all the wet ingredients together, mashing the miso with the back of a spoon to break it up better. Set aside.

Chop the chicken, carrots and pepper into bite-sized pieces, placing all onto the prepared baking sheet.

Pour 2/3 of the sauce over top and toss well to combine.

Spread the chicken & veggies out in a single layer over the baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Take the last third of the sauce, zap it in the microwave about 20 seconds to ensure the sugar is melted. Add a Tablespoon of water to thin the sauce a bit. Stir well to combine and toss with the cooked chicken & veggies before serving.

Serve with rice, cauli rice, noodles, or alone.

Serves 4

Chicken Teriyaki Onigiri

This recipe was inspired by a Tasty video for crispy onigiri that popped up on my Facebook feed, and turned out really well, though it’s not *technically* teriyaki sauce, since it doesn’t include mirin. Mirin isn’t available where I live, and this recipe makes a great halal alternative.

gluten-free

Chicken Teriyaki Onigiri

1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts

1.5 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder

1/4 c. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger

2 cloves grated garlic

1 Tbsp. honey

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. sushi vinegar (I used this as a replacement for mirin)

1 medium carrot, grated

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced and then chopped fairly small

Neutral oil, salt & pepper

Sushi rice

Nori sheets

Green onion (optional)

Sesame seeds (optional)

1 Tbsp. mayo

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

Mix the cornstarch with enough water to form a slurry. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, honey, sesame oil and sushi vinegar. Stir to combine.

Chop the chicken into small chunks and add half the marinade. Marinate for :30 – 1 hour.

While the chicken is marinating, cook your rice (I make mine simply with 1c. sushi rice + 1 Tbsp. sesame oil + 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, a big pinch salt + 2c. water cooked on the rice setting of my electronic cooker).

When your rice is done, remove to a bowl to cool a bit.

Reduce the other half of the marinade until thickened over low heat and set aside.

Grate the carrot and chop the pepper thinly. Set aside.

Thinly slice the green pepper and set aside.

Mix the mayo and remaining 2 Tbsp. soy sauce in a small dish and set aside.

Add 1 Tbsp. neutral oil to a medium pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and sauté, moving frequently so the sugar in the sauce doesn’t burn, until cooked through. Sprinkle with a little salt and a generous amount of white pepper (or less – or black pepper – you do you).

Set the chicken aside. Add 1 Tbsp. neutral oil to the pan and put back over the heat.

Add the carrot and pepper and sauté until soft. Add 1 Tbsp. of the reserved and reduced marinade. Stir to combine and let cook another minute or two. Set aside.

You’re ready to assemble your onigiri, and this process goes pretty quick.

I made myself an assembly line – a little dish of water to coat my hands in so the rice doesn’t stick, rice, the dish of soy sauce mayo, chicken, veggies, sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and nigiri sheets that have been cut in half.

To assemble: dip your hands in the water, grab a small hand full of rice, and press into a flat (ideally triangular shape but I couldn’t make that happen) shape. Make a small dent in the middle of the rice. Spread some of the flavored mayo all the way to the edges of the rice. Add a couple chunks of chicken (I used 3), about a Tablespoon of veggies, and a couple slices green onions. Fold your fingers up, turning your hand and the rice into kind of a cup. With your other hand, push the chicken into that cup as you continue folding your fingers up, enclosing the chicken and veggies into a rice case. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and lay on one of the halved nori sheets. Roll up into a burrito looking roll, wetting one end of the nori to seal everything together.

I know this sounds really awkward, but you’re basically doing what you would do to stuff a burger with cheese, if that makes sense. I went gentle and slow and didn’t worry too much about overstuffing each ball. Needless to say, I had a bunch of leftover chicken; enough for dinner for two + lunch the next day.

Serves 2+

Hot Mustard Chicken with Carrot Fries

What to do with some rapidly wrinkling carrots and an abundance of hot sauce? Spicy chicken with carrot fries. Yum.

Hot Mustard Chicken with Carrot Fries

2 medium carrots

2 – 3 chicken breasts

2 Tbsp. yellow mustard

2 Tbsp. your favorite hot sauce (I used a garlic variety)

1 Tbsp. Maggi chicken seasoning (I used Magic Sarap, but this isn’t strictly paleo – regular chicken seasoning would work just as well)

2 tsp. garlic powder

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder

1 – 2 Tbsp. fat of choice

2 tsp. – 1 Tbsp. chipotle seasoning

Salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F.

Halve and slice your carrots into roughly fry-shaped pieces. Toss with the oil, cornstarch/arrowroot powder, chipotle seasoning and salt & pepper.

Spread out in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet.

Bake 15 minutes, flip, and bake an additional 10 – 15 minutes or until your desired crispness is reached.

While the fries are working, chop your chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Toss with the mustard, hot sauce, maggi, garlic powder, lime juice, salt & pepper.

When the fries are ready to flip, scoot them all to 1 side of the baking sheet. Add the chicken to the other side in a single layer and bake.

The fries serve 2, the chicken 3