Posts tagged ‘chicken’

January 10, 2012

Blog improvements and Mexican-style shredded chicken

I recently asked for some feedback on ways to improve my blog and received some great suggestions!

  • Better pictures – higher quality, use actual camera instead of phone, neater staging
  • More updates – frequent smaller posts of individual meals rather than occasional big posts of many meals
  • Actual recipes – clearly written out so readers can recreate the food
  • More Korean food

Thank you! Please email or comment with any additional suggestions! I definitely agree with all of the above and will be incorporating them in my future posts!

While I have a DSLR, I don’t always have time to pull it out (especially when I’m hungry!) so I will continue to use my phone when I’m out or feeling lazy at home. I downloaded a new camera app for my phone which has where I can adjust white balance and a special food setting! I haven’t had a chance to play around with it yet, so the picture in this post was just with the food setting (I think it makes the colors more vibrant?) and no adjustments for the orangey light.

Sometimes I use a recipe as a starting point and tweak them to be paleo, but usually I cook without a recipe depending on my cravings and what I have on hand. I’ve mostly been linking to a recipe and describing the changes I made or just explaining how I made something. From here on out I will include recipes within my posts unless it’s something super obvious. I’ll copy paste the starting recipe then edit them with my changes or I’ll attempt to write a recipe down when I’m cooking spontaneously. Most of my food is enough for 2 big servings.


Mexican-style Shredded Chicken Salad


I saved a chicken breast from the whole chicken I used for my coq au vin because I wanted to make something with Mexican flavors! I often order fajitas (no tortillas) at Mexican restaurants and always wish I could have it in salad form with a bunch of greens since the fajita meat and veggies tend to be a little salty. Instead of making fajitas, I decided I wanted something softer with shredded chicken.

I used mixed baby greens and Whole Foods guacamole. Pico de gallo would have been awesome with it too! I love salsas and guacamole as salad dressing. This was sooo good! It’s easy to make, but takes a little time and attention to make the soft, flavorful chicken.

Shredded chicken recipe from, with minor edits below:

– 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast (or 2 small)
– 1 cup chicken stock/broth (optional, I used it for more chicken flavor. Best to make your own, but this is the best store-bought I’ve found so far.)
– 1/4 yellow onion, sliced
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– water

– 1 tbsp olive or walnut oil
– 1/2-3/4 yellow onion, sliced
– 1/2-1 green bell pepper (I used red, any color will do)
– 1 med tomato, chopped (not pictured since I didn’t have one, but would have added)
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1/2-1 tsp chili powder
– 1/2 tsp marjoram
– Black pepper to taste
– Sea salt to taste (I didn’t add any)
– 1 tbsp tomato paste (or 2 tbsp sauce, I used paste because I didn’t have sauce)
– 1/4 cup chicken broth reserved from simmering the chicken breast
– 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Place first five ingredients in a pot, adding just enough water to cover the chicken.
2. Bring to a slow boil, cover, lower heat to maintain a simmer and cook until done, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove chicken from pot, cool enough so you don’t get burnt (quicker in fridge) and shred to your liking. Do not discard the broth left in the pot.
4. In a large pan, sauté onion and bell pepper in olive oil over medium high heat until it starts getting soft. Then add tomato, garlic, cumin, chili powder, marjoram, pepper, and the shredded chicken. Reduce heat to low and continue to sauté until the veggies are soft but not mushy.
5. Add broth and tomato paste/sauce (paste will dissolve in broth). I spooned the broth from pot to pan until everything was slightly juicy/moistened, not soupy.
6. Stir in cilantro.

The shredded chicken is also really good on its own!

July 28, 2011

Ginseng chicken soup

I never really researched what exactly Panax ginseng, or Asian (Korean/Chinese) ginseng does for you. I just believed my mom, grandma, and the wisdom of all my Korean ancestors that ginseng is super good for you in various ways. I’ve had to drink ginseng tea (refrigerated – tastes bad enough cold, worse when hot) pretty much my whole life (like one month out of every year) because my mom thinks I have bad circulation since I’m always cold. Actually, I do have low blood pressure at about <100/~50. She says ginseng is great for blood pressure. I have no idea if the ginseng tea works, but right now my hands and feet aren't cold (they usually are)? My mom has always said ginseng is good for stamina and the immune system as well. It may also lower blood glucose.

I finally did poke around a little online (starting here) and found little scientific research to back up various claims for the wonders of ginseng. However, who am I going to trust? Several thousands of years of Chinese/Korean medicine and anecdotal evidence or modern medicine’s limited research? So I will keep drinking my ginseng tea and eating ginseng infused foods. Possible benefits are enormous, possible negative consequences are at about zero.

Korean ginseng chicken soup
I have no idea what to call it in English, but in Korean it’s called samgaetang. A whole chicken (small) is boiled in a pot of water with pieces of ginseng, whole garlic gloves, and “dechu” (some sort of dried date) for about 2 hours until the chicken is cooked through. The chicken is stuffed with sweet rice. My mom used a free range chicken and left out the dechu at my request. I of course didn’t eat the rice. But I ate pretty much the entire chicken breast and a leg (what, it was a small chicken!) with some young radish kimchi. I had the broth on the side. I like the mild flavors and to me, it tastes a tiny bit medicinal because of the ginseng. Unlike regular/American chicken soup, it’s not salty at all and might actually do something to help you feel better when sick by boosting your immune system, rather than just filling you up with noodles and making you more sick.




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May 18, 2011

I can stay paleo eating Paseo! *happy dance*

Back to posting about food! Yesterday was full of all sorts of food! I even deviated a little from being paleo!

Non-marinated Korean-style boneless beef short ribs

One of my favorite ways to eat beef since it’s so quick and tasty! Cut the meat and in a bowl, mix it with some salt, pepper, and sesame oil. The sesame oil adds a really nice flavor and is what makes it Korean to me. In a pan, I start cooking the garlic, onions, and mushrooms before adding the meat.

I ate it with a type of radish kimchi (musengchi).

Cuban Roast Plato Paseo
Oh how I love Paseo. The Cuban Roast sandwich there may be the best sandwich I’ve ever had in my life. Yesterday was the first time I went since adopting the paleo way of eating. Since the best part about my beloved sandwich is the amazingly succulent marinated roasted pork shoulder, I decided on getting the Cuban Roast Plato entree. All entrees come with a “house salad consisting of crisp romaine lettuce, razor thin sliced purple cabbage, pickled julienne cut beets & cilantro sprigs drizzled w/ our house vinaigrette & extra virgin olive oil. Accompanied w/ fluffy jasmine rice, critically acclaimed vegetarian black beans & seasoned corn on the cob.” I asked for just the meat with extra salad. The guy taking my order looked at me like I was crazy to pass on their beans and corn. Apparently extra means gigantic at Paseo… look at all that salad! It’s SOOOO good with the cilantro and the beets! I didn’t miss the rice, beans, or corn at all! I did miss the caramelized onions and jalapeños that come on the sandwich though, I’ll see if I can add those next time! Their onions are pretty special!

Vegetable Delight Djan’s Thai Restaurant
I suppose ordering one of the coconut milk based curries with steamed veggies would have been more paleo, but I was craving some stir-fry. I chose the vegetable delight from the wok fare section of the menu: “Choice of meat stir-fried with assorted vegetables: broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, napa and cabbage.” I went with chicken. It was a bit salty to eat without rice, but still very good with all the veggies!

A non-paleo treat that doesn’t make me sick!
Since I was in Wallingford, I could not keep myself away from Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream. Sometimes they have non-dairy coconut milk ice cream, but not yesterday. So I got a kid’s scoop of their thai tea ice cream. It was deeeelicious! Since I’m not 100% strict paleo, a little quality ice cream here and there is a welcome treat. By quality I mean as natural as possible without all sorts of chemicals added in. I find that I don’t get sick after eating a little ice cream like I do with cake.

May 7, 2011

Recent eats and coconut vodka tonics

The past few days were tough as I was overdue to go grocery shopping. This meant I had to dig in the freezer and pantry to make something spontaneously!

Chicken and veggies in homemade marinara sauce

I’ve been making marinara sauce from almost scratch for several years. It’s almost scratch because I do used canned italian stewed tomatoes and canned tomato paste. I might try to make marinara completely from scratch some day since the canned stewed tomatoes list sugar as an ingredient. I loosely follow this recipe, omitting the wine. While the sauce was simmering in one pan, I steamed some veggies in another pan – cauliflower, mushrooms, red bell pepper, and zucchini. Then I added chicken breasts, poured in some marinara sauce, and added some spinach last minute. I don’t even miss pasta!!

In progress:

Balsamic salmon salad
We always have wild salmon in our freezer. I seasoned the salmon, rubbed it with minced garlic and cilantro, then put it in a baking pan along with balsamic vinegar and some olive oil. After letting it marinate for half an hour, I broiled it in the oven. Served on mixed greens with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.

Typical lazy breakfast
I don’t make scrambles, omelettes, and paleo pancakes very often. I prefer minimal cooking and prep for breakfast. Pan sear all natural chicken apple sausage, cook egg in the same pan afterwards in the sausage fat, slice up a tomato and 1/4 of an avocado. It doesn’t look like much food, but this keeps me full for several hours.

Coconut vodka tonics
Last night was my friend’s birthday celebration! Though I’m not super strict about staying paleo in social situations, I try to make it as paleo friendly as possible. I went from preferring potato vodkas like Chopin to exclusively drinking Ciroc vodka, which is distilled from grapes. Ciroc is the most paleo friendly liquor I’ve found thus far. I mix it with fresh squeezed grapefruit when available, but otherwise I order vodka tonics with a lime. The bar we were at yesterday only had coconut Ciroc and the drink was surprisingly good! Not at all overwhelmingly sweet like most flavored vodkas, it was just a hint of coconut flavor and very clean tasting. I only had two and was pretty drunk since I have lost my tolerance due to rarely drinking these days.


Now I’m off to a BBQ!

April 22, 2011

Some meals from the last few days

Roasted veggies
I pretty much add every vegetable I can find in the refrigerator into a pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle seasonings, and roast at 400 for about an hour. Usually includes: butternut squash, carrots, onions, red and green bell peppers, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, garlic, artichokes, and zucchini. (Some super strict paleo people ban nightshades and squashes, but I refuse to give them up!)

Before going into the oven

Roasted pork with roasted veggies
I roasted some pork shoulder that I rubbed with garlic and herbs. YUM.

Chicken salad w/mango tomato salsa
This was SOOOO GOOD. I marinated boneless, skinless chicken breast in lemon juice, lime juice, and some seasoning and then pan seared it. The mango tomato salsa also includes cilantro, red onion, and lime juice. I would have added avocado, but I didn’t have any ripe ones this time. Baby greens. The salsa is the perfect dressing!

Chicken lettuce wraps
YUM. My bro actually ate lettuce wraps and LIKED them. I marinated the chicken in sesame seeds, poppy seeds, minced onion, paprika, balsamic vinegar, and honey and saved some of the marinade as an optional dipping sauce. Iceberg lettuce, baby spinach, chicken breast, strawberries, carrots, and almonds. The slivered almonds provided a great crunch, the strawberries were tart and sweet, and everything was so nicely balanced!

Mangos, kiwis, and bananas

I have two parrots who light up my world. They eat a lot of what I eat, so I’ll be posting lots of pictures of them. Here is Maya, my blue and gold macaw, enjoying some fruit!