An old classic revamped to be Paleo friendly and delicously sweet.
Apricots are a seasonal fruit so l would use the fresh fruit where possible as when ripe they have the loveliest flavour and aroma. Apricots are also available preserved so just look for a good quality product i.e local and organic.
6 free range chicken thighs diced and coated in coconut flour
1.5 litres of home made chicken stock
4 apricots (seeds removed) and finely chopped.
The green tops of two spring onions (sliced)
1/4 of a small pumpkin diced
1/2 cup organic shredded coconut
ground black pepper and pink rock salt to season
Fresh herbs such as parsley and mint
1/2 a red capsicum diced
4 small radishes sliced.
1/4 cup black chia seeds added near the end of cooking
Optional: 1/2 cup quinoa which has been pre-soaked and rinsed, plus a handful of sliced green beans.
Brown the flour coated chicken thighs in a pan with some coconut oil and then placed them in the hot pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and let cook throughout the day on a low heat. Add the chia seeds about thirty minutes before serving along with the optional quinoa and green beans. These are optional as some Paleo followers don’t consume them, but l think they are o.k once in a while and will go well with this dish. Another thirty minutes or so and your casserole will be ready to serve. The chia seeds and quinoa will help it to thicken so you can add some more if it is too runny or extra vegetables.
There was a delicious sweetness to this dish from the apricots, pumpkin and coconut which is from all natural ingredients. I hope you enjoy this casserole and share the recipe with your family and friends.
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is a nutritious gluten-free grain alternative and is in fact a seed from a vegetable linked to swiss chard, spinach and beets. It is considered a super food and is high in protein, with a good balance of all 8 essential amino acids, making it a good choice for vegetarians. It is also high in fibre and has a low-GI, beneficial for keeping blood sugar levels stable as well as having a slightly alkaline effect on the body.
This dish was very quick to make as l pre-cooked the quinoa and the flavours in it were lovely. There was a strong hint of lemon, a crunch from the walnuts and a flavour kick from the addition of fresh ginger and cumin.
I was inspired to make this risotto as l have a vegetable garden filled with greens including masses of silverbeet. There is no need to follow my recipe to the letter as part of cooking is having fun and experimenting with new ingredients and flavours, and my cooking is quite plain due to food intolerances, so you may wish to spice it up a bit more.
2 cups organic quinoa (l used white)
1 tablespoon organic tomato paste
1 small tomato diced
1/2 red capsicum diced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 large leaves of silverbeet
Fresh parsley and basil chopped
1 cm fresh gInger finely sliced
2 spring onion green tops sliced
5 snow peas sliced
1/2 carrot finely diced
1 cup roughly chopped raw activated walnuts (or another nut)
Lemon juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon Organic apple cider vinegar
Pink rock salt and ground black pepper (season to taste)
Cooking quinoa requires some pre-planning as it needs to be soaked and rinsed prior to cooking. I soaked 2 cups of quinoa in filtered water all day and then rinsed just before cooking to remove the bitter tasting saponins. You can soak it for a shorter time such as 30 minutes if that is all the time you have. I placed the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan and covered with filtered water so that there was about an inch of water on top of the grain. I brought it to the boil, then let it simmer with the lid on until the water was absorbed and the seeds had popped open. You can turn the heat off at this point while the rest of the dish cooks.
In a fry pan place a splash of olive oil, the organic tomato paste, tomato, red capsicum and cumin. Let that cook for a minute then add the quinoa and mix well. Now add the rest of the ingredients and season well to taste with pink rock salt and ground black pepper.
Give it a good mix for a couple of minutes and serve. I spooned mine into a ramekin, then turned it upside down and let it slip out onto the plate. It looked lovely when it was on the table garnished with lemon rind and parsley.
If you don’t have the ingredients listed just use what you have in the fridge and you can also make the risotto the traditional way by adding the liquid in small intervals to the uncooked quinoa.
Below l have included a link to my favourite supplier of all organic goods such as quinoa and other pantry essentials. They offer a great service and very good prices with free delivery if your purchase is over a certain amount which is listed on their website depending on your location.
If you have enjoyed this post please share with a friend. You can also follow me on Instagram at holistic_paleo where you will get daily photos of the meals l prepare and a few other interesting things aimed at inspiring a healthier life.
Apricot chicken-An old classic that l was missing eating. It was a cold day and l walked past some apricots in the fruit section of the shop and the smell was enticing. They were so juicy, ripe and delicious that l bought some with the idea of eating them but then decided to experiment with the hot pot and see what happened. The result was a most sweet and delicious apricot chicken dish that l enjoyed over the next few days.
Firstly, l chopped up about 6 free range chicken thighs and coated them in a generous amount of coconut flour. I browned them in a pan with some coconut oil and then placed them in the hot pot. To the hot pot l added just over 1.5 litres of chicken broth that l had in the freezer, four apricots finely sliced, the green tops of a couple of spring onions, about 1/4 of a small pumpkin chopped up, 1/2 a cup of organic shredded coconut, ground black pepper, sea salt, some herbs from the garden such as mint and parsley, half a red capsicum chopped up and a few small radishes sliced finely. I let the hot pot work its magic for quite a few hours and then added 1/4 cup black chia seeds, 1/2 cup white quinoa and some green beans. Another thirty minutes or so and it was ready to serve. My casserole had quite a lot of liquid in it so l served it in a bowl but if l had cooked it longer it would have thickened a bit. I started cooking it around lunchtime so ideally you will start a bit earlier in the day, but over the next few days it thickened a bit and was so delicious as the flavours developed. There was a real sweetness to this dish from the apricots, pumpkin and coconut.
I hope you enjoy this casserole as l did.
Live & eat mindfully. Gluten & dairy free recipes.