When I was trying to figure out a diet plan for myself, I knew that cutting calories wasn't going to... cut it. Experiments in the past have left me feeling hungry and unfulfilled, and with way too much room to cheat. Have 200 calories left for the day? Clearly they need to be consumed via Ice Cream--which, I believe, is the most impossible food to portion out. 1/2 cup serving size is how many scoops? Five sounds good. Half the carton? Ben and Jerry's carton is ONE serving, everybody knows that! Sure.
No wonder I wasn't seeing results.
So I have been experimenting with Low Carb, because it's the one that leaves me feeling the most satisfied at the end of the day. Sure, I cheat occasionally, but eating a lovely marinated steak with a heaping portion of veggies is just so much more attractive to me than a portioned out half cup of pasta with sauce, no matter how much I miss spaghetti and meatballs sometimes. And, because I'm realistic, I allow myself to cheat every so often, as I'm following more of an 80/20 or 90/10 plan than full 100%. I've found that Paleo recipes are the easiest ones to pick, to ensure low carb intake, and they're rather tasty as well.
Paleo also tends to avoid gluten and dairy, which are digestive triggers for me. And they use plant based flours, which are less expensive (but still rather pricey, oof) than buying 5 separate flours to create a gluten-free baking mix. Plus, it's a really fun challenge to try to de-carb-ify my favorite meals. Take this fried chicken recipe, for example.
No, please, take it. Make it. Devour it. It's so SO good. The almond flour crust is so much more hearty and flavorful than traditional fried chicken batter. The chipotle honey mustard is the perfect dipping sauce. It all comes together beautifully and while I still get a hankering for KFC, this curbs the craving pretty well. I am having visions of doing a Chicken and Waffles dinner soon, using the Paleo Waffle recipe I posted last week.
And about those cheats... Foodie Events? Vacations? Totally my cheat days. Like tonight, Dishcrawl Pioneer Valley is happening in my current town, and I am SO excited to see what Jenn has in store for us! Expect a recap soon! If your city has a Dishcrawl, definitely check it out. It can get pricey, but there are often coupons and early bird specials that make it a great value for what is essentially a four course meal.
Does your city have a Dishcrawl? Have you ever been on one? What was it like?
Paleo Fried Chicken & Chipotle Honey Mustard
- 3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3 chunks each
- 1 cup almond meal
- Cajun seasoning, or whatever spicy blend you'd like
- salt and pepper
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 3 tbs butter
- Oil of choice (I used veg oil, to be truly Paleo, use coconut oil)
For the Mustard
- 1/2 cup honey dijon mustard (or mix honey with dijon mustard until desired sweetness is reached)
- 1 chipotle pepper, from a can
- 2 tbs liquid from chipotle pepper can
-In a frying pan with deep edges, melt the butter over medium heat. Add oil and let heat until a crumb sizzles upon contact.
-Meanwhile, combine almond meal, seasoning, and salt and pepper. Add more or less seasoning, to your liking. *Note* It will taste a little blander than you think, so over-season just a bit.
-Pat the chicken pieces dry and dunk in the egg wash, turning to coat evenly, then roll in the almond meal mixture. Immediately place in oil, and fry until sides are dark brown and chicken is cooked through. Repeat for each.
Mustard: In a hand-crank food processor or small batch food processor, process ingredients, adding more or less of each component until desired flavor is reached.