Confession: I didn’t use to eat very well. Actually, I just never thought about what I was putting into my body and more specifically how my body was reacting. I used to eat a lot of bread and pasta (although I think I blame that on being French) and it never made me feel good. Besides the fact that my digestive system didn’t love what I was eating, my whole body was sluggish and felt gross. I never really realized the importance of meat being a part of every meal, and I didn’t eat a huge variety vegetables.
I have read, researched and experimented with different eating styles and finally (finally, finally) realized that there is no ONE specific way to eat. I say this all the time, but what works for me might not work for you. And that’s ok. But really, it’s your responsibility to know that, not mine. If there is something in a recipe that I post that you can’t tolerate, whether it be nuts, cheese, chocolate, whatever, you should be aware of that. If you’re unsure of how to make a recipe like this one work (or if it even will work) by eliminating something, just ask me! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I read every single comment. I will be more than happy to let you know what is a good substitute or if something can be left out without completely compromising the recipe.
For me, paleo (or my version of paleo) works the best for my household and my lifestyle. It might not work for you. You might love grains. If that’s the case, when I give you recipes for spaghetti pomodoro using spaghetti squash, sub the squash for angel hair pasta. If this recipe seems to complicated (or you eat bread) then substitute the chicken for a Pillsbury pizza dough and be done with it. It’s really that simple!
Now, on to this recipe. I love the foods I eat. But sometimes, I crave crap like a peperoni and mozzarella Stromboli. In this situation, I have two options: get it and feel like crap afterwards or make something that tastes VERY similar but won’t leave me with a tiny hint of regret (I know, I know, I preach about not regretting what I eat, but sometimes I just do ok!) That’s why I’ve made things like Salt and Vinegar chicken that I love from Buffalo Wild Wings; Stupid Easy Paleo’s Chick Fil A Nuggets; and it’s also where the inspiration for this recipe came from.
Honestly, this recipe actually came from me trying to make stuffed chicken (another recipe I will be sharing soon) and cutting it all wrong, leaving me with a sort of chicken roll up type of thing. TJ is actually the one who said that it reminded him of a calzone, and after that all I wanted was to try to make a paleo version (without the bread, even gluten free bread) of a pepperoni Stromboli. God I tend to babble when I get up on my soapbox about eating, don’t I?
2 chicken breasts**
1 pack of pepperoni. Many pepperoni’s have added nitrates and other crap in them. Applegate Farm’s makes a much better pepperoni if you are looking to stay strict paleo. If not, any pepperoni will work.
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Again ,if you are looking to stay strict paleo (or you can’t tolerate dairy) omit this ingredient. It won’t make a world of difference.
1/2 cup fresh spinach. This can also be left out, but I couldn’t even taste it so I figured why not add in extra veggies wherever I can?
1/2 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sugar free marinara sauce
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. While your oven is preheating, butterfly your chicken breast and pound it so it is all one level size. I do this by basically cutting the breast like a Subway employee would slice the bread (almost in half, but with one side left in tact) and then putting it into a plastic bag. Then you take a meat hammer or anything that is heavy and pound away at the meat. Since this is chicken, you have to be somewhat careful. You can hit it too hard and put a hole in some parts, or make one part way flatter than the rest – that’s not the goal here. You want everything to be the same thickness. Once both breasts are ready, load on the rest of the ingredients except for the marinara.
The order in which you use the ingredients is your call. I did: pepperoni, cheese, then spinach. Once your chicken is loaded, roll it up. This isn’t the prettiest part of the process, but it always works in the end. If you have them on hand. stick wooden toothpicks into the rolled breasts to hold them together. I didn’t have toothpicks, but the breasts didn’t fall apart in the oven.
Rolled and ready to go in the oven!
Top your rolled up breasts with a little more oregano and salt and pepper (and cheese like me if you want to). Pop them into the oven for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink, and voila! Top with your marinara or leave it on the side as a dip, and enjoy.
This picture is crappy, but it was almost impossible for either of us to stop eating long enough to take a picture of the inside.
**This was actually more food than either of us could finish, so the leftovers went into the fridge for lunch the next day.