Iron Chef Paleo Challenge

Not really but it’s a fun thought. I doubt Alton Brown will ever consider Paleo a cooking style. Regardless, I had fun working with “mystery ingredients” and wanted to share the results.

The whole challenge started when Traci and the boys started calling for lunch. A quick rummage through the pantry and fridge proved that cooking today would be particularly challenging because we haven’t been to the store for several days. We have staples, but no fresh veggies…unless you consider an aging pineapple to be fresh. Other mystery ingredients were chicken breasts, one lime, a can of coconut milk, and cauliflower.

I’ve wanted for a while now to try riced cauliflower, so I started there. With coconut milk and lime, I decided it would be something tropical. The end result, which has no name hence the generic title, was chicken on a confetti of riced cauliflower topped with a pina colada sauce. Probably not entirely originally, but it was fun to make and tasted great; if only we could have been on the deck with cold Coronas!  Perhaps best of all, it took about 30 minutes from the time I topped the pineapple until we ate.

The Recipe:

  • 3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 cubes
  • half of 1 pineapple, crushed
  • 1/2 can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • Juice plus zest of 1 lime
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, cut into match sticks
  • 1 head cauliflower, rice
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Serves 4

Prepare the pineapple and set aside. Cut the chicken breast, season with salt & pepper, and then cook in batches over medium heat until browned and cooked through. While the chicken cooks, add the coconut milk, pineapple, lime, garlic, and cayenne to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Bring to a boil and then reduce the temp and simmer until reduced by half, stirring occasionally. While the sauce cooks, tend to the chicken AND rice the cauliflower and cut the veggies. (This is Iron Chef, so you have to cook quickly!) To rice the cauliflower, break into florets and use a grater to shred into rice-sized pieces.

When the chicken is ready, move it to plate and keep warm. I placed it in the oven, which was warmed to 175 degrees. Add a small amount of olive oil to the pan, and then toss in the onion, bell pepper, and carrot. When the onion is soft and starting to brown, move the veggies to the edge of the pan and add a small amount of olive oil to the center. Turn the heat up to high, pour in the riced cauliflower and stir fry everything until. Season with salt and pepper and then remove from heat.

To assemble, add a few scopes of the confetti (rice & veggies) to a plate. Top with a portion of the chicken and then several spoonfuls of the sauce. Enjoy.

Traci and I both enjoyed the recipe, and agreed that it should be added to the regular cycle. The boys weren’t so excited about it, though. Both of them complained about the coconut smell and the red bell pepper. Otherwise, they enjoyed the chicken and riced cauliflower with carrots. Approval from 1 out of 3 judges means I did not win the Iron Chef challenge. Blech!

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