Hot wings chicken oven roasted tom schmidt photo

Chicken Hot Wings – Oven Roasted and Cooked to Perfection

Tom Dinner, Easy Impress, Essential Homemade, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly 0 Comments

Do chicken hot wings have their own place in the food pyramid? I think they might have left them off the bottom… Maybe they just ran out paper when they were drawing it.

Glorious chicken hot wings, how I love thee. If there ever was a food that could brighten even a dark Chicago winter day, it would have to be the perfectly roasted chicken wing, with magic dust of course, and finished with some Frank’s hot sauce. Worries disappear as you get covered in hot sauce and the lips start to tingle. BLISS.

chicken hot wings oven roasted tom schmidt photo

I perfected this recipe while living in CHI-Town (Chicago for the rest of y’all) in a classic high-rise condo building. It’s nice enough, but they forgot to put a balcony with a grill on our unit! Consequently, I have been relegated to preparing my favorite chicken wings in the oven. My love for wings and chicken makes this one by far the most tested recipe.

chicken hot wings oven roasted tom schmidt photo

For years I have oven-roasting these famous wings on aluminum foil lined pans, but recently switching over to parchment instead. I have heard from a few people about how aluminum might hurt the brain… I would much rather kill my brain cells with booze rather than aluminum foil!

Be careful, these wings are bound to impress your friends, so buy plenty if sharing. I have seen 100 pound girls demolish upwards of 20 wings, seriously.

These wings are also great un-sauced for those with a little less tolerance for the spicy.

Let’s Cook!

Recipe for Oven Roasted Chicken Hot Wings with Franks Hot Sauce and Magic Dust


Hot Wings
3 pounds high quality chicken wings
1/2 cup Magic Dust seasoning (Check out the recipe!)

2/3 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
1/2 stick butter (not margarine folks…)

Chicken Hot Wings – Oven Roasted and Cooked to Perfection


broccolini recipe plenty more edamame green beans coconut

Asian Inspired Broccolini Recipe, Edamame, Coconut

Tom Adventure Eating, Dinner, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetables 1 Comment


Broccolini Recipe with Edamame, Coconut and Kaffir Lime Leaves

Fresh and light with tons of lime and coconut. Take a ride around the world with this tropical vegetable dish. The Kaffir Lime leaves give an amazing aroma of lime throughout the dish without citrusy bitterness. Finished with heaping handful of cilantro for an ultimate fresh taste.

Over the Christmas break, I was back at home perusing cookbooks and found “Plenty More” by the uber famous Yotam Ottolenghi. At first glance I was thoroughly impressed by the images, but felt the ingredients may be too obscure for most.  I still grabbed the book and loaded it up for some airplane reading on the way back from Missouri to the Chicago Arctic.

Recipe Inspiration – Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi (pg.62)

While squished into an airplane seat and thumbing through the book, I found myself quite excited about a number of Yotam’s recipes. They seem to have an un-abashed other world flair to them. Due to his British tongue, a number of ingredients that sound exotic turn out to be easily attainable. For example, “haricots verts” actually are just simple green beans…

Ok, so beans are haricots verts, but when do I find curry leaves, and fresh ones to be exact? Well I haven’t yet… But I did find fresh Kaffir Lime leaves at an asian grocery store for real cheap. So I tossed ’em in! Although I am sure it’s a very different flavor from the original recipe, the aroma and flavor infusion from the leaves is worth a quick trip to the market.

Another substitution I made for this recipe was young coconut meat for grated mature hard coconut. Until preparing this dish I had never hacked into a fresh coconut in the kitchen. Recalling my childhood, we might have had one that I smashed with a hammer in the driveway, but that’s about it. My girlfriend loves coconut water and has many fond memories of drinking them along the roadside in Singapore. She assured me, “just cut here and here and the top will come right off.”

broccolini recipe plenty more edamame green beans coconutI sort of believed her, but I still wore my cut resistant gloves. I dug up an old knife and began gently hacking away at the top point. It’s easy to cut through the white flesh, but then there is a woody center that does take a bit more whacking. Then suddenly the coconut water begins to leak out and whoohoo! Just like finding water in the dessert. Take a look down below for images of how-to break into the young coconut, it is definitely easier than I would have imagined. AND the coconut is totally worth it in this veggie dish for a hint of sweetness and richness.

This recipe was the my first foray into “Plenty More” and it actually turned out real tasty! Either every recipe in this book is pretty good, or I just got lucky. Regardless, I am motivated to translate more British English to discover the world according to Yotam.

Yotam Otteolenghi’s Plenty More Recipe Adaptation for Broccolini and Edamame Salad Step by Step Images


how to make sausage from scratch - illustrated recipe Eat with Tom

Chorizo Recipe – How to Make Pork Sausage

Tom Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Paleo Friendly, Party Food, Recipe, Techniques 2 Comments

How to make Chorizo Recipes

A wise man once said: “When life gives you big ole pork butts, make Chorizo sausage”

Here we turn our pork butt into Chorizo, a dynamic and delicious team player in the kitchen. This sausage brings a strong spicy and rich flavor to any dish. (Check out the Seafood Stew!) Chorizo can also stand on its own, I’ll even throw a link on the grill and top it with some ketchup. Shoot, Chorizo can even take the lead on your next conference call, really just a great team player…

When picking out your next piece of butt, choose a nice big one with plenty of marbling. Good fat content is paramount to a successful sausage. Or if your local grocery does not have whole butts, grab a large pack of pork steaks, it is the same meat.

All spices our local shop The Spice House in Old Town

We shot this recipe when my parents were visiting and my Dad Jerry is the true sausage aficionado who got me started with this whole idea. I like to be a conscious eater, and sausage is terribly hard to find without NASTY chemicals. Soooo I am learning to make it at home without the monster toxins!  Additionally you know that the ingredients include good quality meat with the proper fat content (approximately 20% with a pork butt), compared to store-bought sausages that can go as high as 50% fat!

Making Sausage at home is a bit of a project, but it saves super well and you will love spicing up all kinds of dishes with a bit of sausage. Add a bit of chorizo to Kale and Eggs or a frittata to give it a uniquely Spanish taste.  Also you can simply poach these sausages in fry pan with a bit of water or pan fry to an internal temp of 165F for a quick lunch.

The Tools for Sausage Making

Kitchener Sausage Stuffer - Harbor Freight Meat Grinder ReviewYou need a few tools for this project, but seriously, you can afford these! The grinder is $50 and the stuffer is $100. Combined, about equal to the price of a pair of decent dress shoes. Of course you could get it done with the KitchenAid Grinder Meat Grinder attachment, but you likely won’t have as much fun. Believe me, I was bit skeptical on this investment, but I am diggin’ it now!

Electric Meat Grinder
Harbor Freight grinder is a great cheap grinder for the foodie. It is perfectly capable of grinding any meats without bones. It is a simple,  small and light enough to easily put away. It seems that this grinder will run for quite a while as long as you do not feed it rock solid frozen meat.

Although the grinder can stuff your casings it can be a real mess and take a long time to stuff and clean up. A true stuffer is a key tool for success.

Kitchener 5-Lb. Stainless Steel Sausage Stuffer
At $100, this is the least expensive route to a great sausage stuffing experience. The tool is finely manufactured and works great. The speed that you force the meat through the tube can be finely adjusted. The ability to control all that raw meat moving around your kitchen will go a long way toward enjoying your sausage making experience and keeping your food prep safe.

Chorizo Homemade Sausage Recipe and Stuffing Tutorial


Summer Seafood Stew with Salmon and Mussels

Tom Dinner, Easy Impress, Great Left-Overs, Paleo Friendly, Recipe 4 Comments

Tom Schmidt commercial photographer website

Seafood Stew Recipe with Salmon, Mussels, Fennel, and Chorizo

Bright, hearty and complex! This salmon and mussel seafood stew has a delightfully fresh tangy flavor and a deep savory finish. Although it is a warm stew, it is perfect on a summer evening with a glass of white wine.

This is one of our favorites for at home celebratory meals. Compared to some of the more simple (and cheaper…) dishes featured on Eat with Tom, this one is definitely worth the investment. Maybe a good idea for the next big night in with your sweetie…

Seafood Stew Recipe Salmon Mussels FennelFeel free to make this with whatever seafood is available in your area, this dish is versatile. I have made it with a variety of fish and seafood ingredients, but have landed on Coho salmon and mussels as my favorite. The Coho Salmon has a strong flavor that is perfect in the stew and tends to hold together nicely.

Recipe Inspiration – Feasting at Home (blog)

Don’t forget the lemons! The stew develops a wonderful depth of richness that is brightened up with the zestiness of the lemon juice.

Step-by-Step Summer Seafood Stew Recipe


Chinese food recipe for chicken stir-fry with vegetables - Illustrated recipe foodblog

Quick Weeknight Stir-Fry with Coconut Aminos

Morgan Paris Dinner, Paleo Friendly, Recipe 1 Comment

**Guest Post from Morgan Paris Fitness**

This extremely simple chicken and vegetable Stir-Fry recipe will leave your taste-buds feeling like you slaved over the stove when in fact you threw together a package of organic chicken (make high quality meat a priority!) and some pre-cut frozen veggies in a pan and pushed “go.”

You know the nights you get home from your workday and you are just so pooped it feels like it may be easier to eat an entire bag of chips than take time to make a healthy dinner?  It’s not a pretty sight… I get whiny and draggy and I’m pretty sure my fiance (yes, we just got engaged this week, I am on cloud 9!) wants to stick me in the frying pan right along with the veggies.

My favorite part of this dish, besides the fact that it is healthy, is the sweet and salty flavors of  Coconut Aminos. You can buy this alternative to soy sauce online or at Whole Foods. Not only does this replace soy (for those who are sensitive or who follow a Paleo diet), this baby is jam packed with healthy amino acids which are the fundamental building blocks of our tissues.

I hope this recipe will become a staple in your yummy food repertoire for the nights you need to make something quick that will still fuel you in a healthy way!

Quick and Easy Chicken with Vegetables Stir Fry



Chickpea Pizza Refined – Plus Chicken Sausage / Magic Dust

Tom Dinner, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Great Left-Overs, Paleo Friendly, Recipe, Recipes Refined 1 Comment

How to cook Gluten-Free pizza at home - Eat with Tom Chicago

Chickpea Flatbread Pizza Recipe – Gluten-Free

The original Chickpea Pizza with Eggs Recipe has become kinda small-time famous for some crazy reason.  Maybe it’s the eggs on top that get all the attention…   Personally, I dig this recipe so much that I make it nearly every week!  It then becomes lunch and snacks for the next few days.

As I continue to make it time and time again, I have worked out a few new additions that you are sure to love.

I have been integrating more high quality meats into my diet these days and I am feeling as strong as ever.  There is something about incorporating some delicious animal fats that tame my hunger and help me to think more clearly.

It would seem that I am evolving into a P-egan (Paleo-Vegan, borrowed from Dr. Mark Hyman) to get the building benefits of the Paleo diet and the cleansing benefits of lots of veggies.

For the Chickpea Pizza, the refinements include:

  • Spice up the CRUST:  Add 1 tablespoon Magic Dust to the chickpea crust batter
  • Chicken Sausage the Slice:  Add ½ pound of browned Italian Chicken Sausage to the pizza toppings
  • Simplified cooking instructions: “20-20-5”  20 minutes for the crust, add toppings, 20 minutes for the pizza with toppings, add eggs and cook for a final 5 mins for perfect yolks

    Pizza Recipe with Chickpea Crust


Bacon wrapped dates recipe pictures how to make healthy party food

Bacon Wrapped Dates – Bring a Hot “Date” to Your Next Party!

Morgan Paris Appetizer, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly, Party Food, Recipe, Side Dishes 0 Comments

Bacon wrapped dates recipe pictures how to make healthy party food

**Guest Post from Morgan Paris Fitness**

Do you love hearing people comment on how awesome the dish you brought to the party is? I know I do!  These delicious Bacon Wrapped Dates will delight your tastebuds with the rich sweetness from the dates contrasted by savory, salty bacon.

I’m exited to share this recipe with you because it’s kinda become my “thing.”  I always bring my ” Dates”   ;)   to parties and secretly I can’t wait to hear, “oh my gosh, these are so good! Who brought these?!”

Now that my secret is out …

Not only are these delicious, they are SO EASY to make! I recommend getting the Uncured Bacon from Trader Joe’s because it is nitrate and nitrite free. You can also pick up a package of their Fancy Medjool Dates there, too. It ends up being analmost perfect ratio (sometimes there are a few dates left over that you can use in another recipe).


But wait, there’s more! These are also pretty healthy! So they have a high sugar content, but the protein and fat in the bacon helps slow down the absorption of the sugar into your bloodstream allowing it to disperse and digest normally. Dr. Mercola shares these various health benefits:

  • First and foremost, dates are easily digested, allowing your body to make full use of their goodness.
  • Dates contain 6.4-11.5% of fiber which helps move waste through your colon and helps prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol absorption by binding with cancer-causing chemicals in your body.
  • Dates contain iron, potassium, B-vitamins, Vitamins A and K, copper, magnesium, manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid and riboflavin.
  • Together these factors help your body better metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Eating dates in moderation can contribute to many additional health benefits including stroke prevention, protecting against damage to cells from free radicals, as well as less chance of coronary heart disease and the development of colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.

Bacon Wrapped Dates Recipe


Sweet Potato and Hamburger Hash – Paleo Breakfast Ideas

Morgan Paris Breakfast, Easy Impress, Paleo Friendly, Recipe 5 Comments

Morgan Paris Fitness Recipe Paleo Training Eat with Tom Chicago Foodblog

Sweet Potatoes with Hamburger Breakfast Recipe

** Guest Post from Morgan Paris Fitness**

“What should I eat for breakfast?” AKA – the most common question I receive from clients who are just starting their Paleo journey.  This warm and savory dish with a hint of sweetness from the sweet potatoes makes for a great start to many of my days. With grains and dairy out of the question, most people are not sure what they will do without their standard breakfast of cereal with milk or yogurt.

And I don’t blame them! This is a common hurdle for people making the lifestyle change because most traditional breakfast foods don’t fit into the Paleo template. So I wanted to share this extremely versatile recipe for Sweet Potato Hash to help you see that breakfast can still be really yummy, even without ham, cheese and egg sandwiches. :)

One of the reasons I started making this recipe was the fact that I was eating according to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol to help relieve some of my autoimmune symptoms. One of the foods to avoid in this diet is eggs. At first, that seemed to take away even more options for breakfast but I soon realized that it actually expanded my options – I could eat all sorts of things outside of the traditional breakfast choices! So thanks to the Autoimmune protocol, this delicious recipe was born.

And in fact, although the base of this recipe is the sweet potatoes and ground beef, you can add in as many different kinds of vegetables as you want (I use mushrooms and spinach most often) and experiment with the type of protein as well. I also love using ground turkey thigh and ground lamb. It’s fun to experiment with flavors and textures!

“Let’s Cook”, as Tom says!

Sweet Potatoes with Hamburger Recipe


Spiralized Zucchini with Fresh Spaghetti Sauce – Paleo “Noodles”

Tom Dinner, Paleo Friendly, Recipe, Vegetables, Vegetarian 1 Comment

Zucchini vegetable noodle recipe main dish with pictures

No noodles? No problem… when you have a spiralizer!  You are going to love the light freshness of the zucchini with the simple, slightly sweet home cooked tomato sauce for this dish.  This fare satisfies and leaves you feeling full (which makes me happy) without the drag and resulting carb coma of demolishing a huge plate of pasta.  It’s got a double whammy positive effect!

I often make an entire meal out of a few heaping helpings of these zucs, but it can also make a nice side dish, or even an equal partner in a left-over buffet.  I’m even happy to eat it cold the next day… Kind of like cold pizza?

Sooo how do you take this zuchini and turn it into a noodle?!?  Magic… Of course.  Actually the magic happens with a cheap silly plastic device that looks like a toy called the “Spiralizer.”  I enjoy nice top quality kitchen tools as much as the next guy.  This one is cheap and flimsy, but simply works well.  Here is a LINK to the one I use.  There seems to be about 5 different models on Amazon, but I think they are all the exact same.  For 20ish bucks, you might as well try it out!

Spiralizer for sale on Amazon - Cheap and useful

You won’t regret making the spaghetti sauce at home, it’s worth the few extra minutes.  The sauce is assembled from organic canned tomatoes to make it a bit quicker and cheaper for those of us city dwellers that have to buy our tomatoes.   Even canned tomatoes combined with fresh onions, garlic and herbs will knock the socks off of any bottled up sauce.

For the sauce flavoring I used an Herbs de Provence spice blend (savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender) for two reasons, it’s a wonderfully versatile and fragrant spice for many dishes, and I have a ton of it right now…  But feel free to get creative with your spice choice or just put in regular ole I-talian blend.

Spiralizer Zucchini with Fresh Spaghetti Sauce Recipe


Hamburger Recipes, Grind Your Own Beef at Home!

Tom Basics, Essential Homemade, Paleo Friendly, Recipe 0 Comments

Learn to cook with Tom Schmidt - Chicago Foodblog eatwithtom

Grind Your Own Beef at Home for Amazing Hamburger Recipes!

With a simple food processor you too can have the best burgers known to man!  Grinding your own ‘burger meat transforms a household comfort food into a luxury item.  Start with a fresh piece of organic grass-fed beef and you should claim the “Grill Master” title from your buddies.

By doing the grinding yourself, you retain complete control of what goes into your burger.  I think we all have realized that there are truly unspeakable things integrated into those tubular packages of “hamburger food” sold in the freezer section.  When we go to eat some meat, it might as well be some quality stuff!

Where do you get your favorite high-quality meat?  I am still working my way through the different butcher shops in Chicago and would love to hear some suggestions.

Currently I am a high-rise apartment dweller, so I have to improvise my grilling for the indoors.  I will be working through a few ways to utilize your beautiful hamburger in subsequent posts coming soon!

Hamburger Recipes – How to Grind Beef with Food Processor