Spiced Grilled Chicken with Zucchini and Avocado Pasta

Paleo.  It's a word that probably makes you cringe on a certain level.  It might make you think of bland food.  Or difficult to make.  Or too expensive because of the ingredients used (which by the way, this meal cost me about $4/person to make) Or maybe you just don't like the idea of a diet fad.  Well, let me tell you this, Paleo is simply a clean way of eating.  Low simple carbs and simple proteins.  And yes, it can taste amazing.  If you are willing to cook with herbs and spices, you can have a fantastic Paleo meal.

This recipe is a grilled chicken, marinated in herbs and spices, olive oil and lemon juice.  Nothing fancy, right?  But the spices that are used make it taste so good.  The part that might be a little intimidating is the zucchini noodles.  But don't be.  As long as you have the right julienne tool, which is inexpensive (a simple version can be under $10), you can make these.  And are they kid friendly?  YES!  My girls LOVED the zucchini pasta.

The sauce, what about the sauce.  Will you like it?  Yes.  If you think about it, a typical white pasta sauce is based on a fat - butter and cream.  Avocado is simply a MUCH healthier fat.  Add some basil, lemon juice, and warm it up and you have a tasty alternative to a simple carbohydrate.  That's all this is.  You are getting healthier food because they are complex proteins and carbohydrates.  Don't be scared.  Try it!

Spiced Grilled Chicken

with Zucchini and Avocado Pasta


3 lbs. (approx. 4 pieces each) chicken legs and thighs
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. pepper
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1 Tbs. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. turmeric
1 Tbs. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano

4 zucchini
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. salted butter
2 avocados
1 bunch fresh basil
1 tsp. salt
Dash of pepper
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice


1. Prepare chicken.  Combine olive oil and lemon juice in a ziploc bag.  Add chicken pieces to bag and toss to coat.  Combine spices in a small bowl.  Add to chicken and toss again to coat.  Place in fridge to allow to marinade for 6-8 hours.

2. Preheat grill on medium high heat.  Grill chicken for 30-35 minutes, rotating 4 times, until juices run clear.

3. While chicken is grilling, make pasta.  Julienne zucchini. Place in a colander and toss with salt.  Allow to sit for 20 minutes.

4. While zucchini is resting, make sauce.  Combine avocados, basil, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor.  Process until smooth.

5. Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add zucchini.  Saute for a few minutes.  Add sauce and heat through.  Serve immediately with chicken.

Serves 4

*TIP: To Julienne zucchini, you can use a julienne slicer/peeler, a mandolin, or an awesome little contraption called a spiral vegetable slicer.  I have added all three to my Amazon store.