I think you know Autumn has hit when the soups, roasted traybakes and warming drinks start making an appearance and who says you’re to miss out just because you’re focusing on a healthier lifestyle?
A lot of people tend to think that eating healthy means restriction and lots of rabbit food (aka, salads and nuts) and whilst salads and nuts are full of amazing ingredients they can tend to get a little repetitive and unwelcoming as the weather get’s cooler. I mean, who wants to walk through the door at the end of the day, in 5 degree weather to a crunchy salad? Not many.
So this week, I’ve delved deep into my vegetable cupboard and whipped up this delicious, comforting and cheek warming Harissa spiced chicken traybake. This recipe is not only primal friendly but it’s filling, packed full of protein and contains many other essential vitamins and minerals – like all of our primal recipes!
The Harissa paste in this recipe is also primal friendly. I would suggest however, to always check the back of the ingredients when buying Harissa paste. Some can be natural with just the spices whilst others can be packed full of sugar which isn’t exactly primal friendly! For those of you who are new to Harissa paste – it’s a spicy red condiment that can used within many recipes. It certainly adds a kick to any dish (but too overpowering). To make your own (which I would recommend) you need to blend chillies into a thick paste with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and aromatic spices. I like to use cumin, caraway and coriander. You can even add red peppers, tomatoes and lemon to make it a little bit extra. The choice is yours but don’t go too over the top!
My two favourite ingredients for this traybake recipe are the organic chicken and organic cherry vine tomatoes. Notice the word ‘organic’. When living a primal lifestyle it’s important to source out all organic ingredients where possible. I talk about this a lot in the book (Primal Cure) but I’ll quickly revise how important eating organic is.
I always say that when it comes to animal produce, it’s extremley important to buy as natural as you can possibly afford. You’ll be surprised at some of things that go into what we eat!
A favourite saying of mine that I like to live by is this: “You are what you eat” and when it comes to animal produce we should switch it around a little to: “You are what your food eats”. Free ranged eggs, free range chicken, grass fed cows all provide you with heaps of benefits. They are rich in vital vitamins and have a really healthy Omega 3 to Omega 6 balance. Cows, pigs, chickens and lambs that are allowed to live naturally, in their natural habitat, feeding on their native primal diet, are really good for our health.
However, the animals that are forced to eat grains, corn, and all the other carbohydrates that turn to sugar once it’s in the guy, are nowhere near as healthy for us to consume! It would be such a shame for all your effort and attention to a healthy lifestyle to be ruined by not eating organically.
I think it’s important to remember that one of the core principles of Primal Cure, is that we should only eat what we are designed to eat. It’s exactly the same for cattle. They were designed to eat grass, not mass-produced cheap corn full of Omega 6. The food is so unsuited to them that their stomachs bloat like a hot air balloon and often the factory farmer has to stuff their feed full of antibiotics – literally the opposite of natural!
If you need further convincing as to turn all organic then I seriously recommend reading Eat Your Heart Out by Felicity Lawrence. It’s an amazing book and really opened my eyes up to the world of food and how naive we are to what we eat!
Anyway, I’ve kept this traybake recipe super simple for a quick, easy and efficient evening meal. Serve it up with a side of spinach or crispy salad and ta dah you’ve got a delicious, spiced meal perfect for all the family. All you need in one roasting tray, chicken, veggies and 45 minutes. Think you can manage that?
Primal Rating: 9/10
Harissa Spiced Chicken Traybake
A delicious and simple chicken traybake spiced with Harissa and paired with lemon, vine tomatoes and other colourful vegetables.
- 6 organic chicken thighs
- 1 pack organic cherry vine tomatoes
- 1 lemon - wedges
- 1 garlic bulb - diced/crushed
- 100g butternut squash - wedges
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil - for the spinach dressing
- Sprinkle salt and pepper - for the spinach dressing
- 3 tbsp harissa paste - primal friendly
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 organic tenderstem broccoli stalks
- Sprinkle salt and pepper - to taste
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 large pepper - or mixed slices
- 1/3 Tinned tomatoes
Begin by pre-heating your oven to gas mark 5.
Oil a roasting tray with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
Score lines across each chicken thigh and then rub the Harissa paste over them - covering them evenly. Sprinkle with pepper, salt and cumin and then place them in the roasting tray.
Scatter the garlic and other ingredients (excluding the vine tomatoes) around the chicken. Squeeze the lemon wedges all over the ingredients and then add the squeezed wedges into the tray and place the vine tomatoes on top.
Lightly toss and shake your roasting tray and then pop in the middle of the oven to roast for 45 minutes - 1 hour (until the chicken thighs are cooked and crispy).
Once cooked, serve your Harissa spiced chicken traybake with a side of fresh spinach tossed with 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!
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