Brining 101

Brining 101
I have brined turkeys for thanksgiving for many years, and I finally tried this method with other cuts of meat. It is my new favorite method to get juicy and delicious pork and chicken. I keep it really simple by just using salt and water to make my brine, then brine for a minimum of 6 hours and up to up to 3 days. This is a way for me to make dinners during the week that are fast and easy. I will use Sunday to defrost the cuts I want, I use a lot of boneless skinless chicken breasts and boneless pork chops, then I add them to a Ziplock bag with my brine and put them in the fridge until I am ready to use them. When I get home from work, I will pull out what I want, transfer the meat to a plate, pat each piece dry (this step is especially important), add a light drizzle of oil, and seasoning if I want, and cook. If you season your meat, you will not need to add salt. The brining method makes the meat so tender and juicy. Use your usual cooking method of choice. You can grill, pan sear, air fry, or oven roast. Cooking times very so I always use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat is done to my liking.
For pork, I use 1 tablespoon salt and 3 cups warm water. Once the salt is dissolved and your meat is defrosted, add the meat to the brining liquid.
For chicken, I use 1 tablespoon salt and 4 cups warm water. Once the salt is dissolved and your meat is defrosted, add the meat to the brining liquid.

Brining process
• Create brine (1T salt with 3C water for pork, 1T salt, 4C water for chicken) Make sure salt is dissolved in water
• Place your meat in brine, refrigerate for 6 hours up to 3 days
• Remove meat from brine, pat dry
• Season meat, you don’t need to add more salt (optional)
• Drizzle meat with a little oil (I use light olive oil or avocado oil)
• Cook meat with the method of your choosing

Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Gluten-free, Meal Prep

Chicken Tikka Masala

Created by Kimberly Smith
http://www.foodfamilywine.com

Ingredients:
4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut in 1 inch cubes
Spice mix:
2 ½ T garam masala
1 ½ T turmeric
2 ½ t ground ginger
2 ½ t salt
2 t pepper
1 ½ t ground coriander
½ t cumin
1/8 t cayenne pepper

24 ounce jar of strained tomatoes
1 onion, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T ghee

How to make Cashew Cream:
½ C raw cashews (Place in a bowl and cover with water. Soak while your chicken is in the slow cooker)
½ C water

Directions:
Blend spice mix and coat chicken.
In slow cooker, add strained tomatoes, onion, garlic, ghee and chicken. Give it a quick stir.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours

Drain water from cashews after they have soaked for 6-8 hours. Place cashews in blender. Add ½ C water and blend until smooth and creamy consistency. With a ladle, remove as much liquid from the slow cooker and add to the blender with the cashew cream and blend.

Add coconut cream mixture back to the slow cooker along with the lime juice, cilantro and scallions. Stir to combine

Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Low Carb

 

Chicken Pesto Meatballs

Created by Kimberly Smith

Makes 18 large meatballs

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground chicken
1C fresh pesto
1/2 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C almond flour
1tsp salt
1tsp pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix all ingredients in medium sized bowl. Using a scoop, form meatballs into the size of a golf ball. Place on lined baking sheet.

Bake meatballs for 15 minutes. Then turn oven to broil and broil for another 2 minutes or until the tops of the meatballs are browned.

Pesto
1 big bunch of basil
1/2 C pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
Squeeze of lemon
Salt to taste
About 1/2 C EVOO

Directions:

To make the pesto, place all garlic and basil in the food processor or blender. Pulse a few times until basil is rough chopped. Add Pine nuts and sale, pulse again until you have a fine shop. Begin drizzling the olive oil to the mixture until it is the consistency you want.  Add a squeeze of lemon and stir.

Putting it together

Meatballs and Sauce: Add you spaghetti sauce, meatballs and a couple tablespoons of water to saucepan.  Add 1-2 T pesto. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, reduce heat to medium-low if it starts bubbling too much.

For the Zucchini noodles: Place large skillet on stove and turn the heat to medium-high.  Add 2 T EVOO. Let the oil heat for 30 seconds then add the zucchini noodles. Using tongs, move the zucchini to warm through.  It should only take about 4-5 minutes to heat the zucchini. You don’t want overcook or they will be too soft.  Add Salt and pepper.

Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Low Carb, Dairy Free, Gluten Free