Category

Easy Dinner

Category

Our friend Marc is a quintessential foodie and an avid home cook and baker. He likes to be very precise in his cooking and baking, and will spend considerable time perfecting a recipe. He doesn’t follow any specific diet and eats anything he likes, which is no longer the case for me. Some of Marc’s recipes I can enjoy as is, like his super easy roasted chicken recipe, while others I am inspired to modify, like his pecan cookies.

These days, I’m all about quick and easy cooking. Or quick and easy alternatives to cooking myself, like buying a roasted chicken from the supermarket when I’m short on time. Well, Marc kept telling us about his homemade roasted chicken, and how easy it is to make, and then he invited us over to taste it. We were sold!

Easy Roasted Chicken with Paprika
Easy roasted chicken with smoked paprika

Plus, this way you can buy a pastured chicken, which is a healthier option, and make it yourself, instead of eating chickens that are fed corn, soy, wheat, etc. (aka “vegetarian-fed”). Even cage-free, organic chickens you buy at natural food stores are typically fed a vegetarian diet, which really means a grain-based diet. Chickens are actually omnivores like us and will eat bugs and small animals if left to their own devices!

But back to that easy roasted chicken recipe. I’ve tried fancier (more complicated) versions of roasting a chicken at home, which involved spreading butter and freshly-chopped herbs under the chicken’s skin. Don’t get me wrong, the chicken tasted great, but who has the time? Nowadays, I leave these sorts of recipes for the holidays or leisurely weekends, which don’t happen very often.

We’ve modified Marc’s chicken recipe to make it more to our liking. It’s a 2-ingredient recipe that tastes absolutely delicious — think meat falling off the bone and yummy broth filled with collagen protein. How about that! It’s also National Chicken Month, so I’m paying a tribute to that. Enjoy!

Easy Roasted Chicken Pieces

Ingredients

1 (4-5 pounds) chicken, (preferably pastured)
Salt to taste (I use Himalayan pink salt for its mineral content)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 500° F.
  2. Remove chicken’s neck and organs packet, if there is one.
  3. Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry.
  4. Cover the chicken with salt on all sides.
  5. Place the chicken, breast up, in an enameled cast iron pot / Dutch oven. Ensure the lid is closed tightly.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes (adjust cooking time slightly if the bird is less than 4 or more than 5 pounds).
  7. Remove the pot from the oven and let stand for 90 minutes without removing the lid.
  8. Remove the chicken from the pot and cut into pieces on a cutting board.

This easy roasted chicken recipe turns out juicy and tender. It’s extremely easy to make; the longest part is the cooking time. Next, I’ll have to try this in an Instant Pot® in my never-ending quest to develop quick and easy recipes!

TIP:
Feel free to store the chicken in the refrigerator inside the enameled cast iron pot / Dutch oven. That’s the beauty of these pots — you can store your food in them!

VARIATION:
Play with other seasonings and spices as you like. Marc actually only uses freshly-ground black pepper instead of salt. Feel free to use Italian seasoning, herbs de Provence, smoked paprika, curry seasoning, etc.

Looking for more juicy chicken recipes? Check these out.

One day we discovered lamb breast at a grocery store, and life was never the same again. I must admit that I love fatty, bone-in cuts of meat! The lamb breast cut is just that. Joel tried roasting it several different ways, with and without marinading the meat first, and finally perfected an easy and delicious roasted lamb breast recipe for you to enjoy. This recipe has only 4 ingredients, so it’s quick to throw together. The longest part is roasting.

In my pre-low-carb-high-fat days, I craved fatty cuts of meat — beef shanks, pork ribs, chicken thighs, beef short ribs, chicken wings, — you name it, but we didn’t eat them very often. We were fat-phobic because the low-fat trend was alive and well, and it still is, but not in our household!

I would painfully cut off and leave the yummy, fatty parts of the meat on my plate. I really wanted to eat them — my body was craving them — and sometimes I did, feeling guilty as hell afterwards. Joel was admittedly more fat-phobic than me because he’s an all-American boy. In the Soviet Union, we preferred fattier cuts of meat like dark chicken and pork belly, and we never threw away chicken skin.

Roasted Lamb Breast

In fact, I once heard an Armenian man from the former Soviet Union complain that American lamb was too lean. He would literally add pork fat onto the skewers when grilling lamb kabobs, so that the fat would drip on the coals and add more smokiness to the meat. Those were amazingly delicious kabobs!

If you’re following a Keto or Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) lifestyle, then you’re not afraid of fat, so the lamb breast is right up your alley. Fattier cuts of meat also tend to be less expensive. In any case, this roasted lamb breast recipe is sugar-free, dairy-free, lectin-free, low-carb, and Paleo. Don’t be afraid of fat and add some deliciousness into your diet!

Ingredients

2.5-3.5 pounds lamb breast, cut into 4 pieces
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Himalayan pink salt for its mineral content)
Chimichurri sauce for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 315° F.
  2. Cover all sides of the lamb breast pieces with salt, garlic powder, and dried thyme.
  3. Transfer the lamb to a roasting pan, fat side up, and cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil. Bake for about 2 hours.
  4. Cover a cooking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the lamb from the roasting pan and place onto the cooking sheet.
  5. Turn up the oven to 450° F.
  6. Bake the lamb breast pieces, fat side up, for another 20 minutes, or until the meat gets browned and crispy on top.

NOTE:
The reason for removing the lamb breast pieces from the roasting pan and placing them onto a cooking sheet is because there will be lots of melted fat in the roasting pan. When you increase the oven’s temperature to 450° F, you don’t want the roasting pan to catch on fire 🙂

VARIATION:
Try this roasted lamb breast recipe with dried rosemary instead of thyme.

Looking for easy roasting recipes? Try my Prime Rib Roast recipe. It has only 2 ingredients!

This fish hash recipe was one of those accidentally-discovered dishes when one of the ingredients doesn’t turn out quite right, but with a plan B, the dish turns into something quite amazing. I love accidentally discovering great recipes that turn into signature dishes and sharing them with you. What I love about this fish hash recipe is that it’s quick, easy, delicious, satisfying, and packed with flavor. It is also sugar-free, dairy-free, lectin-free, low-carb, Keto, and Paleo!

What’s very convenient about a flaky white fish, such as wild-caught cod, is you can buy it frozen, then bake it without thawing. You may, of course, thaw your fish first or buy fresh fillets. This recipe works well in all of those scenarios. For us busy foodies, we often stock up on frozen cod fillets for easy, longer-term storage, then pop them in the oven last minute to make a quick dinner.

In the past, we would just sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper, top it with butter or drizzle with olive oil once it was cooked, squeeze lemon juice over it, and serve with a salad or veggies. Simple enough. Then Joel started complaining.

He likes variety more than I do, so his complaint was that eating fish this way got “too boring.” Then one evening, I felt like having fish and decided to bake the frozen cod fillets. I had Joel’s complaint in the back of my mind as I was preparing the dinner. Then a funny (and serendipitous) thing happened — the fish got too flaky. It was literally falling apart on the baking sheet. I may have forgotten to grease the baking sheet. Oops.

Fish Hash Recipe

Hmm, what do I do now? Plan B! We were on a fried-onions-in-butter kick, so I had the idea to sauté some onions, fry a couple slices of bacon, and mix the fish in to make it into a fish hash! I love hash, so why not with fish? A simple Romaine lettuce salad on the side. Boom! Easy dinner. Plus, Joel gets to eat his fish in a new way.

The smokiness and crunchiness of bacon, the sweetness of cooked onions, the delicateness of the fish…this is probably my favorite way to eat cod or tilapia. Top the fish hash leftovers with an egg the next morning, and it’s breakfast! We now make this fish hash recipe quite often. Enjoy!

Ingredients

12 oz. wild-caught cod, or any flaky white fish, frozen, thawed, or fresh
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2-3 slices bacon (I like Niman Ranch No-Sugar Applewood Smoked Bacon)
1/2 teaspoon garlic power
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
Salt to taste (I use Himalayan pink salt for its mineral content)
Flat-leaf Italian parsley, minced (optional)

Directions

  1. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with avocado oil or grass-fed butter. Season the fish with salt on both sides and place on the baking sheet.
  2. If using fresh fish fillets, pre-heat the oven to 400° F. Depending on the thickness of the fillets, bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork, and the center is no longer translucent.
  3. If using frozen or thawed fish fillets, bake according to the instructions on the package and until the fish flakes easily, and the center is no longer translucent.
  4. While the fish is baking, fry the bacon slices in a large sauté or cast iron pan over medium heat until crispy or to desired doneness. Remove the bacon and allow to cool.
  5. Cook the chopped onion in the bacon fat until golden-brown, stirring occasionally, about 7-10 minutes, adding more cooking fat, if needed. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and mix well. Remove from heat if done before the fish.
  6. Cut the cooled slices of bacon into small pieces.
  7. Once the fish is baked, break it into bite-sized pieces with a fork and add to the onion in the pan. Add the chopped bacon, mix well, and allow everything to heat through.
  8. Adjust the seasonings as desired. Sprinkle with minced parsley, if desired, and serve warm.

When you use the fish hash leftovers for breakfast, it’s very similar in texture to a typical hash loaded with potatoes, but without all of the carbs!

TIP:
What helps to make this fish hash recipe even quicker is cooking things in parallel — frying the bacon while the oven is heating, cooking the onions while the fish is baking — you get the point. I also like to use a broiler pan instead of a rimmed baking sheet when baking frozen fish to allow the juices to drip into the bottom tray.

VARIATION:
Feel free to omit the bacon, but it gives this dish a very nice, smoky flavor and crunchy consistency.

Looking for more quick and easy seafood recipes? Check out my Buttered Seafood Shirataki Noodles with Baby Greens. This recipe is so quick and easy, you can make it for lunch!

Although most people celebrate Easter by serving a ham, I know there are beef lovers out there who prefer to impress their family and guests with a prime rib roast. This roast, technically known as “standing rib roast” or commonly referred to as “prime rib,” has the same tenderness as ribeye steaks. This prime rib roast recipe is flavorful, super easy to make (only 2 ingredients!), and a great centerpiece for your holiday table.

A standing rib roast isn’t for holidays only, of course. We’ve served it to guests on special occasions or just because it’s easy and impressive. Plus, think of all of the leftovers!

Prime Rib Roast Recipe

I got this prime rib roast recipe from my sister-in-law Carrie, who is an avid home cook. She found this particular cooking method online. I performed a quick online search and found several websites that use this cooking method in their recipes. I believe that Chef John of Allrecipes.com might be the originator, but I’m not sure. If it’s someone else, let me know and I’ll give you credit 🙂

Standing Rib Roast

I like to serve my prime rib roast with horseradish or a horseradish sauce.

Ingredients

Prime rib roast (cooking time depends on how many pounds it weighs, so figure out how many pounds you want per person and follow the directions below)
Steak seasoning or rub (I use store-bought ones that contain coarse salt, black pepper, garlic, paprika, and other spices)
Horseradish or a horseradish sauce for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Bring the prime rib to room temperature. This is important!
  2. Preheat the oven to 500° F.
  3. Generously cover all sides of the prime rib roast with seasoning. Place the roast on a broiler pan.
  4. Multiply the exact number of pounds and ounces that the roast weighs by 5 to calculate how many minutes to cook. For example, a roast that weighs 5 lb. and 2 oz. would cook for 26 minutes (5.2 x 5 = 26). Bake at 500 degrees for the figured out time.
  5. Turn the oven off and leave the prime rib roast in the oven for 2 hours without opening the door. This is important!
  6. Remove from the oven, let it rest, slice, and enjoy!

TIP:
You might need an electric knife to cut your prime rib roast.

Looking for more beef recipes? Check out my Russian-Style Beef Cutlets with Liver recipe. These Russian-style beef cutlets are tender, moist, and delicious!

My buttered seafood shirataki noodles recipe has got to be the fastest homemade low-carb dinner you can make on a busy weeknight. You can even make it for lunch if you work from home or happen to spend your lunchtime at home.

This recipe is grain-free, gluten-free, lectin-free, sugar-free, Keto, Paleo, and can be dairy-free if you use avocado oil instead of butter. In other words, it’s guilt-free!

In my pre-Paleo and pre-Keto days, I actually owned a cookbook titled I Could Eat Pasta Every Night. It’s too funny to think about it now. Yes, I was a self-described “carb junkie” (read my story). Yes, pasta was my favorite meal. In fact, Seafood Fettuccini Alfredo was probably my favorite dish. I didn’t eat it very often because it was known as a “heart attack on a plate,” but boy, did I love it.

Creamy, fatty, saucy carbs! I know now that creamy and fatty is completely fine, but not carby, especially when combined with fatty. 🙂 I donated that cookbook years ago because I didn’t know that shirataki noodles existed. Now I think I should have kept it and used it to modify those pasta recipes to be low-carb!

I first found out about shirataki noodles from my sister. She and my brother-in-law love Japan and have visited it quite often. Shirataki are translucent Japanese noodles made from the konjac tuber plant native to eastern Asia. The konjac tuber has almost no calories and almost no carbohydrates, but is very high in fiber. No wonder they call shirataki noodles “miracle noodles!” There is even a brand called Miracle Noodle®. You can find these noodles at natural food stores, Asian grocery stores, and online.

Plus, all you have to do with shirataki noodles is rinse them, warm them up, and dry in a pan, or skip drying in a pan if you’re in a hurry. It only takes minutes!

Low-Carb Shirataki Noodles in a Pan

Now I can have my “pasta” and eat it, too! Buttery seafood noodles on a rainy or snowy night are especially satisfying to me. Make this Mediterranean-inspired dish fancier by garnishing with flat-leaf Italian parsley, sprinkling with fresh or dried chives, or topping with goat cheese crumbles, if you’re not dairy-sensitive.

To make this a quick and easy dish, I use canned, smoked seafood. My favorite is smoked baby clams in olive oil, but you can also make it with smoked oysters in olive oil.

Shirataki Noodles with Smoked Oysters

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 packages shirataki noodles (I use Miracle Noodle® Angel Hair or House Foods brands)
2 packages smoked baby clams in pure olive oil (I use Crown Prince Natural brand)
2 tablespoons grass-fed butter, or cooking fat of choice such as ghee or avocado oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups baby greens (I like a blend of spinach and arugula)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste (I use Himalayan pink salt for its mineral content)
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper or freshly-ground black pepper, or to taste
Flat-leaf Italian parsley or chives (fresh or dried) for garnish, (optional)

Directions

  1. Prepare shirataki noodles according to package instructions: Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, rinse the noodles in cool water for 15 seconds. Place the noodles in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Dry the noodles in a non-oiled pan over medium heat stirring occasionally until the water evaporates.
  2. Remove noodles from the pan and place in a bowl.
  3. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  5. Add baby greens and sauté for 1 minute stirring occasionally.
  6. Add noodles, salt, and white pepper. Sauté for about 1 minute stirring occasionally or until the noodles are warmed through.
  7. Add smoked baby clams. Gently toss everything together.
  8. Garnish with flat-leaf Italian parsley or chives, if desired.
  9. Serve immediately.

TIP:
To make this seafood shirataki noodles recipe even faster, skip drying the noodles in a non-oiled pan (as described in step 1 and 2 above). Your dish will be a bit more soupy and saucy, if you prefer it that way.

VARIATIONS:
This dish also goes well with smoked oysters in olive oil instead of baby clams. I use Crown Prince Natural brand because it’s the only brand I was able to find that uses olive oil instead of highly-inflammatory industrial “vegetable” oils. Not a big fan of smoked seafood? You may also use canned baby clams or precooked shrimp. Not in a hurry? Cook up some fresh seafood to serve with the noodles!

Low Carb Shirataki Noodles with Shrimp

Now I should create a low-carb shirataki Fettuccini Alfredo recipe 😉

Looking for additional quick and easy seafood recipes? Check out my Fish Hash recipe.

My husband and I love chicken wings, but most restaurants fry their wings in industrial “vegetable” oils, which are highly unstable and inflammatory, so we finally perfected our own, homemade, crispy chicken wings recipe.

Lulu’s BBQ, where we live in Louisville, Colorado, smokes their chicken wings, and although they’re delicious, they are marinated in a BBQ sauce and must be full of sugar. I still prefer Lulu’s smoked wings to fried wings, so it’s a treat when I find myself wanting someone else to cook for me.

Chicken wings are great to eat while watching a football game. Joel loves football, so we were at a game our community was hosting, but they were serving breaded chicken wings (apparently, the grocery story ran out of the un-breaded ones). What?! I was so disappointed because I was craving wings, but I didn’t want the fried, the breaded, nor the sugary ones.

I bought a bag of frozen wings, saw how easy it was to make them, and voila — our crispy chicken wings recipe was born. Then Joel perfected it when he came up with a well-seasoned butter sauce to toss the wings in. It helps that he worked at a Wings ‘N Things restaurant in high school. 🙂 Now we often make these at home.

When you are busy business owners and healthy foodies, you come up with quick and easy recipes that are healthy, delicious, and satisfying, and then you share them with the world!

Plus, with the Super Bowl 2018 coming up this weekend, for all of you football fans out there, and the rest of us who love to watch Super Bowl commercials while eating healthy football party food, this recipe is a must!

The beauty of this homemade crispy chicken wings recipe is that you don’t have to thaw the chicken wings, which makes this a breeze. They might taste better thawed, but I’ve been too busy lately to try 😉

Ingredients

2 lbs. bag of frozen chicken wings
3 tablespoons butter, melted (I use grass-fed butter)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Salt to taste (I use Himalayan pink salt)

Directions

  1. Turn on the oven broiler.
  2. Arrange frozen chicken wings on a broiler pan. Ensure there’s plenty of space between wings, so they get really crispy.
  3. Once the broiler is heated, place the broiler pan with chicken wings about 6 inches from the heat source.
  4. Broil for 25-30 minutes, turning chicken wings over every 5 minutes, until they are as crispy as you like them. We like them really crispy!
  5. Meanwhile, mix melted butter, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, white pepper, and salt in a large bowl.
  6. Toss cooked chicken wings in the butter sauce. Serve while warm.

TIP:
We’ve also tried adding powdered mustard in addition to the above seasonings. Or, if you like them spicy, use a dash of cayenne pepper instead of Italian seasoning.

Enjoy!

Love chicken as much as we do? Check out our Crispiest Baked Chicken recipe.

I love chicken! I like it roasted, fried, baked, steamed, simmered in a homemade soup — you name it. Because I grew up in Russia, I always preferred the juicy dark meat (chicken legs and chicken thighs). I also love crispy chicken skin.

The key to achieving a super crispy chicken without frying it is the cooking fat that you use. I think that the pork fat is the best cooking fat for baking your chicken.

This crispiest baked chicken recipe is so good that you’ll never miss the deep-fried stuff. It’s super easy to make, too.

Crispy Baked Chicken Legs Recipe

Ingredients

8 whole chicken legs
1/4 cup pork fat (I like EPIC pastured pork fat)
1 tablespoon garlic powder, or to taste
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Pe-heat oven to 415° F.
  2. Generously slather chicken legs with pork fat.
  3. Sprinkle chicken legs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. Arrange on a broiler pan to allow for some of the fat to drip when cooking. Ensure there’s plenty of space between chicken legs, so they get really crispy.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the skin is really crispy.

TIP:
Fry some garlic in grass-fed butter and pour over the chicken legs once they were done baking, as featured in my photo above.

Enjoy!