Bamboo and Artichoke Chicken [Paleo] [Low Carb]

I always get questions on what I eat for lunch. Specifically, I'm asked for some quick gluten, dairy, nut, corn, soy, egg, blah blah free low carb recipes. This recipe will last me a few more lunches. I'm a multi-task lunch maker; I either make them while preparing dinner or while cleaning up after dinner. Recipes like this are especially easy since I can concentrate on another meal while it cooks.

This recipe obviously has meat since I need a higher protein diet, but it is free of all nuts, corn, soy, eggs, red meat, flax, tomatoes, gluten, wheat, and dairy (and many other foods I can't think of at the moment). What you see is what you get :) If you have trouble with "key" ingredients such as onions, please feel free to omit them or substitute whatever you like. Truly, there are no real "key" ingredients! Even this recipe could have chicken completely swapped out for some fresh tuna steaks, mahi mahi fillets, turkey breasts, or try a high protein vegetarian black beans, lentils or quinoa twist. Experiment and please share your results!

I hear from many people that they just don't have the time to cook. I understand. I hope some of my recipes can provide a good basis for inspiration for healthy food, lifestyles, and good time management since I have found that my diet and exercise are the cornerstones of my health and productivity. Cooking is my love and hobby but also a necessity and priority, but don't think just because you're not a stay at home cook or star chef that you can't do the same. Even my "most difficult" recipes are ones that anyone can do (well, given a little practice in the kitchen). Just ask Jon: he is occasionally forced from dishwasher to dinner maker when I'm taking a day off :) Anyways, enough motivational disclaimers and onto the food!

Low Carb Bamboo and Artichoke Chicken [Paleo]

4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1 can bamboo shoots, drained
sea salt and pepper
3-4 T extra virgin olive oil
2-3 slices onion
4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
5-6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
5-6 large collard leaves, chopped (optional)

Seasonings (to taste):
garlic powder
Italian seasoning
dried rosemary
crushed red pepper

An aside on cooking method:
This is the first recipe where I was able to use our brand new Saladmaster oil-core electric skillet. Mom and Abba Jockers (Jon's family) blessed us with this as an early wedding shower present to help me more easily and quickly prepare my food. This super sexy appliance is more than just some electric griddle or frying pan (and the price tag sure reflects that!); the insulated oil-core of the skillet allowed me to cook the chicken at much higher and even heat (350 as seen below) than I could on the stove top which drastically lessened the cooking time and even gave a nice browning to the meat. The quality of the stainless metal assured that the chicken and onions did not stick even without added fat. If food does stick, a simple rinse does the trick. Jon loved the easy cleanup - I think he's spoiled now! I added olive oil since chicken alone is too low fat for my body; my body works much better on a high protein, veggies, and good fat diet. I cooked this whole meal in the skillet while I made Jon's lunch, cleaned out the fridge, made a Crockpot beef roast for later tonight, and cleaned up. The skillet really helps me multitask and make our food asap since otherwise I am trapped in the kitchen all night. You'd think one could be overwhelmed with kitchen appliances, but I manage to make use of mine on a weekly basis preparing meals. Next on the list: Saladmaster Crockpot ...

Our fantastic new oil-core Saladmaster electric skillet cooking up the chicken and onions.
Thanks Mom and Abba Jockers!!

If you do not own an electric skillet, then you can use a frying pan and cook this all a little longer since the stove top heat is much lower. If you prefer, this can be made entirely in a Crockpot with a 4-6 hour low-heat cooking time frame. I used our electric skillet preheated to 350 degrees. If you have a normal skillet or even a teflon-coated skillet (these are not ideal, I'll talk about teflon later), then you may wish to spray your pan with nonstick cooking spray and turn to high heat.

Slice the onion and add it, the chicken breasts, olive oil, and seasonings to the skillet. I grilled the chicken in the skillet at 350 degrees (high heat) uncovered for about 10 minutes per side. The meat had a nice brown crispy "crust." This also allows for the onions to caramelize, making them naturally sweet and soft.

In the last 5 or so minutes before the last chicken side is finished, add the bamboo shoots, collards, and artichokes hearts. Stir and let the bamboo and artichokes form a slight brown hue after about 6-7 minutes. If you like your veggies softer, turn the heat down and let simmer for a few more minutes. I basically threw the ingredients in the pan, ignored it for the most part, and came back to flip the chicken and add the veggies once the chicken browned. Serve hot with a dash of sea salt and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a low carb healthy meal.

Cindalou's Kitchen Blues: Healthy Celiac / Coeliac Gluten and Dairy Free Recipes

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