Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 22: An Experiment

Hey, remember how I posted yesterday? And now I'm posting again today? See how I FINALLY did two days of posts back to back again? Check me out! It's amazing what you can do when you lock yourself away in your room before 11 pm. 

I am feeling super proud of myself right now. Not only am I back on track with posting on here, I full on experimented in the kitchen today! I managed to adapt a family recipe into Paleo, and the taste was pretty close.

Chicken Divan is a treasured recipe in the Runge household, and I have been craving it bad. I am going to share the recipe with you. Feel honored? You should! Hold it dear, and use it wisely. Here you go:

Easy Chicken Divan

1 Whole chicken, boiled (save broth to use for cooking rice)
1 Can cream of mushroom
2 Cans cream of chicken
1 Cup of mayonnaise
3 tea of lemon juice (or to taste)
Curry powder (to taste, oh, and yellow curry!)

Cook the chicken. When it is done set the chicken aside and save the broth. Start cooking rice, whatever kind you choose, using the broth. While the chicken is cooling, mix together the cream of mushroom, the cream of chicken, the mayo, lemon juice, and curry power. Once the chicken has cooled a bit, de-bone it. Mix the meat in with the sauce. Spread the rice out in a 13x9 pan and pour the chicken/sauce mixture over it. Sprinkle with some Parmesan       cheese and bake on 350 until heated through.  Bam! Done! Enjoy!

So that most definitely is NOT a Paleo recipe. But it couldn't be all that hard to adapt it, right? I already had chicken cooked (I had made one in the crock pot the day before, just so I would have something delicious on hand), I know how to make Paleo mayo, and I can just use Quinoa instead of rice. Thus begins my experimental journey to make Paleo Chicken Divan.

First I started by making more Paleo mayo. I used this recipe this time around. I liked the taste of this one better, and I liked how the instructions were more through. My mayo still didn't emulsify correctly though, bummer. But like she says in the instructions, just stick it in the fridge and it will thicken. And it totally works!

When I originally took on this undertaking I was going to just stick to the mayo and skip the Cream of Chicken. But then I thought, how hard could it be to make it, really? So I looked it up. Here is the recipe. Looks adaptable to me! I substituted the butter with coconut oil, and the milk with coconut milk. Instead of flour I used, and here is where possibly one of my mistakes was made, Arrowroot Flour. Another mistake was not watering down the chicken stock I had saved from the day before. Note to self: Big difference between chicken stock and broth! 

It LOOKED like Cream of Chicken, but it had a slimy, elastic texture to it. It reminded me of something the hopeless mom makes in the 80's classic Better of Dead. Here is the clip I'm talking about (skip it to 2:40):

You will never have any idea how proud I am of myself for figuring out how to get that video on here! 

Anyway, yeah, total fail. Like I said, I think Arrowroot may have been a bad choice. It has a very similar texture to cornstarch, so of course it was going to thicken like crazy. Then there was the whole not watering down the chicken stock... Hello Amanda! There is a reason it was congealed in the first place!  
But it's alright! I made a mistake, but I learned from it. No harm, no foul. And I am determined to make it again, and make it right that time!

So no Cream of Chicken. It's cool. I still had my mayo. I just added some Curry Powder, a smidgen more lemon juice, mixed in some chicken, and viola!

Topped it with some sea salt and pepper, accompanied it with some steamed asparagus, and BAM! Deliciousness happened! And yes, that is a huge serving. And no, I did not intend to eat it all at once. And yes, I did end up eating it all in one go. I was hungry! And it was just so yummy, I couldn't stop! 

So there you have it. An easy, delicious, and nutritious meal! I seriously can't believe that was healthy... I think we are programmed that if something is creamy and delicious, it must be bad for us. But nope! All that mayo is, is an egg, lemon juice, and a whole bunch of olive oil. Nothing bad for me there! So crazy. 

I hope you get a chance to make this delicious meal, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Here is a break down of how I created it:

Paleo Chicken Divan:

Make Quinoa according to direction on box
Make mayo, following this recipe
    (Ingredients: 1 egg, 2 Tab lemon juice, 1 cup light olive oil, 1/2 tea. dry mustard. Also, I 
      only made one serving, so I only used about a 1/4 of my mayo)
Add yellow curry powder, to taste, to mayo.
Mix in chopped up chicken
Top Quinoa with Chicken mixture and enjoy! 

Food Log:

You saw my awesome dinner!
Blackberries and Raspberries
LOTS of raw almonds
Celery sticks with almond butter
1 apple pie Lara Bar
Quite a few of those delicious macaroons....
Spinach and Kale salad with boiled egg, half of an avocado, chicken, red onion, tomato, and olive oil

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