The more I learn about the Paleo diet, the more I feel like Sokka from Avatar: The Last Airbender would be all over it. "Meat and sarcasm." That's pretty much his whole identity according to the water tribesman, himself. Sokka is a man on a mission for meat and Paleo dieters won't shut up about how much meat they put into every dish they can. It's a match made in diet heaven!
People refer to eating Paleo as "eating clean" and I get that, but really guys, just imagine a life where this is your reality! Ground beef in eggs served with bacon, chicken and veggies at lunch, and a giant slow cooker beef tip stew for dinner. If that sounds attractive, then maybe Paleo might be a good fit for you. So I thought, if I'm exploring this diet, why not try out another Paleo recipe in the name of appeasing Sokka- something that really puts meat in the Paleo spotlight.
That's when I discovered PaleOMG and their recipe for Buffalo Chicken and Sweet Potato Meatza. What's a meatza, you ask? I didn't question it, myself. I expected that it would be like pizza until I realized that clearly it would be nothing like that since Paleo doesn't allow for dairy or wheat products (sorry crust and cheese! You're out!). The idea here is that the ground beef serves as a crust and you dress the chicken in a Paleo friendly hot sauce along with a few other spices. And voila... or something! All I knew is that Sokka would approve and therefore, challenge accepted.
As for what a Buffalochicken might look like in the Avatar 'verse, I imagine something like this:
Are you sufficiently horrified yet? Good! Let's make a Meatza! My ingredients/recipe varies just slightly from PaleOMG. I call it:
Sokka's Buffalo Chicken & Sweet Potato Meatza
Serves: 9 (PaleOMG swears it serves 4-6, but given the content and my focus on weight loss, I decided servings should probably be one slice and my meatza cut up nicely into nine slices that measured just over a cup. My boyfriend, on the other hand, had two slices. It depends on personal preference!)
- 2 lbs Ground Beef (if you can get grass fed, then it's better for Paleo purposes. If not, whatevs!)
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1/4 cup of hot sauce. (Hot sauce isn't techically Paleo, but I chose mine from a list of Paleo friendly sauces and it was a Paleo recipe site so I let it slide. My hot sauce was Frank's Original and it was DELICIOUS)
- 1 tbs dried basil
- 1 tbs dried oregano
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- Sea salt
- Black Pepper
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil (PaleOMG suggests 2 tbs Coconut Oil but I couldn't find any near me and I didn't want to pay a bunch of money to buy some online that I wasn't sure I'd use.)
Kitchenware to have handy:
- Casserole dish (glass or metal)
- Frying pan with glass cover
- Mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Paper towel
- Oven mits (no seriously)
- Wash your hands. You're about to be touching a lot of meat.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- While the oven is heating, prep EVERYTHING. Once this recipe starts moving it's important that you give full attention to the actual cooking because things start happening very fast.
- Peel and chop up your sweet potato into quarter inch cubes.
- Season your ground beef in a big mixing bowl with the basil, oregano, and any salt and pepper you desire. I try to eat low sodium so I just added a little sea salt and a few good shakes of Black pepper. Now get in there and mush it all up together into a giant seasoned meat glob.
- Wash your hands.
- Get your ground chicken open.
- Prepare small plate or bowl containing your garlic and onion powder, along with any salt and pepper you want to use. You could also just dump the seasoning onto the chicken and mush it up like you did with the beef. It's up to you!
- Measure out a 1/4 cup of hot sauce.
- We are go for launch. Take your giant meat glob and use it to line the bottom of the casserole dish. It should be about a quarter inch thick and even all the way across.
- Stick it in the oven for 12-15 minutes to bake.
- Put your frying pan on medium heat. Add your extra virgin olive oil to the pan and once it heats up and once you've coated the pan, add in your sweet potato cubes. Push them around a bit to make sure they get covered in the oil.
- Then cover the pan to let them steam and soften for about 5 minutes. Watch them carefully. They can easily burn during this phase if you're not careful.
- When you're happy with the softness of the yams, add in the chicken and then dump the onion & garlic powder/salt & pepper seasoning on top.
- Use a wooden spoon to break up the chicken and mix it in with the sweet potatoes. Cover it again and allow it to cook completely.
- Now dump in your pre-measured hot sauce and make sure you stir it into the sweat potatoes and chicken thoroughly.
- When your beef is done cooking, pull it out of the oven. You may notice a lot of grease. Do your best to drain the pain of it and feel free to use paper towel to mop up any extra. No sense in eating more of that than you have to.
- When you're satisfied with your degreasing, dump your chicken and sweet potatoes on top. Make sure it's spread out evenly. You might want to add more hot sauce on top of everything at this point.
- Put the casserole dish back in the oven and cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve! The serving size should be about a cup, maybe a little over. The advantage of Paleo is that if you eat from a prescribed list of foods, you don't need "servings" and you just eat till your full. However, I'm doing Nutrisystem and flexing the plan to try this recipe, I was operating off of a sense of proper serving size, which, personally, I think is important to keep in perspective no matter what diet plan you're using.
All in all, the recipe was very... well, meaty! It might be a little too much meat for me personally, but even the small serving I had was enough to really fill me up which was very satisfying. If I were to do it over again, I wouldn't have been so afraid of the hot sauce and I would probably skip the whole "Meatza" idea and just use the portion of the recipe for the buffalo style sweet potatoes and chicken to serve with a heap of similarly seasoned veggies. So, give it a try and let me know how you like it! Also make sure you check out PaleOMG because that site has a ton of fascinating and delicious recipes for anyone who wants to try Paleo but doesn't want to just have chicken and broccoli every night.