Friday, December 30, 2011

Crock pot Breakfast Casserole

Forgive my absence.  I have been eating...and cooking...just not paying attention to the amounts I'm dumping into the pot:)

This is SUPER duper easy and there are so many combinations you can try.  I've done butternut squash and chorizo sausage, but you could do spinach and mushroom (with seasoned beef), kale and bacon...the possibilities are endless.  

There's a little prep work the night before, but it's worth it to have a warm breakfast ready when you roll out of bed in the morning.

  • 1 lb chorizo sausage (be sure to check your ingredients) [removed from casings if that's how your sausage came]
  • 1 small onion
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • Ghee/oil for greasing the crockpot 
Note:  I did not add any seasonings because the chorizo had enough salt/other spices.  However, if you tried another combination, you might need a little salt, pepper, etc.

  1. In a skillet, start to cook the chorizo.  Meanwhile, dice the onion.
  2. Once the fat has begun to render, add the onion, cooking just until the onion is soft (you don't need to finish cooking the sausage - it will finish in the crock pot).
  3. Whip together eggs and coconut milk.
  4. Peel, de-seed, and slice/dice/chop your squash.
  5. Grease the inside of your crock pot (this is to help minimize the sticking).
  6. Put in your squash, the sausage/onion mixture, and then the egg/milk mixture.  Stir and make sure that all of the food is covered by the egg/milk mixture.
  7. Turn crock pot on low for 8-10 hours (I did 10...and it sat on warm for awhile...still very good).
  8. Wake up, eat, and enjoy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Curry-Spiced Tomato Bisque

I don't make a lot of soups.  The husband doesn't really like them...unless he's (a) sick or (b) had dental work.  So you guessed it...something is up.  The husband just had dental surgery and was wanting something soft, yet tasty, to eat.  I had some tomatoes that needed to be used and I thought I'd give good ol' tomato soup a try.

I looked at traditional tomato soup recipes (most of which are either Paleo or could easily be made Paleo) as well as the versions by Everyday Paleo and Nom Nom Paleo to come up with my version.  It's not easy competing with pure genius, but I think this version is pretty good.  Two thumbs up from both the husband and non-Paleo mom.  Mmm, mmm, good...all without the nasty stuff you find in canned soups.

Need protein?  I topped my soup with leftover ground beef.  The husband had eggs.  I might also suggest a crisp salad.

  • 14 smallish tomatoes (mine were just bigger than golf balls)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • appropriate fat (ghee, coconut oil, tallow, lard, etc.)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp curry powder*
  • 1/8 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

  1. Preheat broiler to about 450 degrees.
  2. Place tomatoes and garlic on a broiler sheet and broil until blistered.  Turn occasionally so that the other sides get broiled as well.
  3. Meanwhile, heat fat in a pan.  While heating, peel and then roughly chop onions.  Cook until they are softened and brown.
  4. Pull out food processor (or blender, etc.).  Pulse together tomatoes (including juice), garlic, onion, curry powder, ginger, and coconut milk.  Taste.  Adjust seasonings as necessary.  Pulse again until smooth.  If you like a thinner soup, add more coconut milk or some chicken broth.  
  5. Quickly heat to desired warmness.  Enjoy:)
*  Curry
  • 2 parts turmeric powder
  • 2 parts paprika powder
  • 1 part salt
  • 1 part chili powder (adjust up or down for more or less heat)
  • 1 part cayenne powder (adjust up or down for more or less heat)
  • 1 part coriander powder

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Meatloaf, Baby

I know.  Another meatloaf recipe.  Really.  Just call this Paleo Meatloaf Recipe #1001.  But, hey, we all need one, right?  Right.  

Actually, my meatloaf tweak came from two simple facts:  (i) I didn't have any tomato paste (and my go-to meatloaf recipe used to be this one by the genius over at Everyday Paleo); and (ii) I had it in my mind that I wanted to use pork rinds instead of almond flour (not really sure why...but I like pork rinds better than almond flour now that I've tried both).  

Now, I'm not one who generally understands why certain ingredients are added to a recipe.  Eggs - they are binder; that makes sense.  I wasn't quite certain about the tomato paste.  I was guessing it both added thickness to the mixture and a slightly sweet taste (because in non-Paleo recipes you often see ketchup as an ingredient).  I decided that I would first caramelize some onions (sweetness) and then blend with spices to form a paste (thickener).

Surprisingly, this came out good.  Even non-Paleo mom really liked it.  Hope you do as well.  Enjoy.
  • Fat (ghee, coconut oil, etc.)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder 
  • 2 lb ground beef (or any combo of ground meat you like)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup crushed pork rinds (or, you can sub almond flour)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Heat a pan over medium heat.  Meanwhile, peel and then chop your onion (you don't really need a fine dice unless you have great knife skills -- you are ultimately going to puree this in the blender or food processor).  
  3. Add your fat to the pan (I used ghee).  You don't need a lot - just enough to keep things from sticking (and maybe add a little flavor:)).  Add onions.
  4. Cook onions until they are caramelized.  Be patient - this takes awhile.  Your onions are going to be brown, really brown.
  5. Break out your food processor or blender.  Add onions, garlic, and spices.  Blend until you have a nice thick paste.  You don't need to add water or other liquid -- you want this to be fairly thick.
  6. In a good-sized bowl, combine meat, eggs, pork rinds, and onion paste.  Use your hands (really - this is the best way to get everything combined!) and mix everything really good.
  7. Put in a pan and pop in the oven.  I used a square glass baking dish instead of a loaf pan to reduce the cooking time.  Cook about 30 minutes (longer if you use a loaf pan).
  8. Serve and enjoy.  The leftovers (if you have any!) are great as well.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte

This recipe is dedicated to my dear, sweet grandma who passed away on September 21, four short days after my grandpa's passing.  

My grandma was an amazing woman - I can only hope to be half the woman she was.  She was kind, smart, strong (she could arm wrestle like no other!), beautiful, stubborn (yes, grandma, really), and a sharp dresser (she always wondered what happened to me...:)).  She loved dressing up, but had no problems going fishing, camping, hiking, hunting (she was a crack shot) or talking care of our HUGE yard.  "Can't" was not in her vocabulary.  She never complained, even on the day she passed away.  You just got up and "took care of business". 

But, my grandma did have one small weakness...she had a SWEET tooth.  I know that she would have enjoyed this (it would only have been better with something chocolate served with it!).  I served this to my family in her china, which has been passed down to me.  Hope you enjoy it (and one or two family pictures as well).

As always, please remember this is treat, not something for everyday.

  • Coconut milk (enough to fill your cup most, but not all, of the way)
  • Pumpkin Spice Syrup (how much?  It really depends on the size of your cup...and your taste buds...I'd start with less and keep adding until it tastes right to you:))
  • Brewed coffee (if you're really into lattes, you want either espresso or really strong coffee...we're not really coffee drinkers, so regular-strength worked well for us -- and again, this really depends on the size of your cup)
  • Chilled coconut cream (the part in the coconut milk can that separates from the water) [optional]
  • Maple syrup [optional]
  • Cinnamon [optional]
  1. Mix together coffee and milk and heat (you want this pretty hot so that the whipped cream doesn't cool it down too much).
  2. While the coffee/milk is heating, blend together coconut cream and maple syrup (I mixed about 1 cup of "cream" with 1 Tbs maple syrup -- this is a lot more than you need for a cup or two).
  3. Mix syrup in the coffee/milk, starting with less and adding more to taste.
  4. Add whipped cream.  Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and enjoy.

    Grandma & I - camping
    Grandma & I - going to "town" (i.e., shopping)

    Grandma & Grandpa - going to church

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Pumpkin Spice Syrup

    You know the thing about something like a syrup?  The pictures are pretty unimpressive, especially when you aren't a good photographer to begin with (bet you never noticed that, huh?):)  But, don't let the photo keep you from reading on - this is good stuff! 

    Fall is in the air (and here in Albuquerque, hot air balloons as well)!  Everyone seems to be talking about Pumpkin Lattes at Starbucks.  Aside from the cost, I actually can't have one due to the dairy (and I don't drink soy).  Maybe you have the same problems and are lamenting your loss... 

    But, never fear, this recipe will take care of you!  This is a base syrup, which is easily combined to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte (recipe coming).  Much easier than one would think.  And, a whole lot cheaper, plus better on waistline than Starbucks:)  

    I adapted this recipe after a long perusal on the Internet.  Usually a simple syrup is equal parts water and sugar.  I used coconut milk hoping I could cut down on the sugar.  Seems to have worked really well.  

    Use in moderation (because hey, though there's less sugar than the comparable syrup, there's still a fair amount!) and enjoy.
    • 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup coconut crystals
    • 4 cinnamon sticks
    • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
    • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
    • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1 1/2 Tbs pumpkin puree
    1. In a saucepan, combine coconut milk and coconut crystals.  Place over medium heat and cook until sugar is dissolved.
    2. Then, add the remaining ingredients (cinnamon sticks through pumpkin) and stir well.
    3. Let cook for awhile (15 mins or so) until the syrup has thickened somewhat.
    4. Remove cinnamon sticks and use in your favorite recipe.

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Egg in a (Squash) Hole

    Lately, I've seen a couple of recipes for eggs wrapped in other food, including this one (page 46) from The Food Lovers and this one from Jan's Sushi Bar.  

    As I was cutting the top part of the butternut squash the other day, I thought, how cool would it be to cook an egg in the hole?  Turns out, it tastes pretty good (though don't expect my picture to look good like the ones by Bill & Haley or Jan).

    • Butternut squash
    • Cayenne Pepper
    • Salt
    • Cinnamon
    • Fat (ghee, coconut oil, etc.)
    • Eggs
    1. Cut squash into thick slices, maybe about 1" (it needs to be thick enough to hold your egg).  Cut off the outer peel and remove the seeds.  For the portion without seeds, use a round cookie cutter to make hole in the center.
    2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add fat.
    3. Season squash with a little cayenne, salt, and cinnamon (get both sides).  Add to the pan and cook until tender (about 15-20 minutes).
    4. Once squash is softened, crack an egg into each squash hole.  Let cook until egg is almost cooked (3-5 minutes?) and then carefully flip (I lost a bit of egg in each flip).  Depending on how you like your egg cooked, let cook on this side for another minute or two.
    5. Serve and enjoy.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    Adovada Enchiladas

    I had two different food-related thoughts that came together this weekend.  First, I wanted to use the Carne Adovada (one of my favorite New Mexican recipes) sauce developed by Use Real Butter, but I wanted to make it with ground beef (I was originally thinking Adovada burgers or something).  Then, my library hold of Mark Sisson's The Primal Blueprint Cookbook finally came in (hooray!) and I was intrigued by his use of egg white crepes to make the enchiladas.  Aha, I thought (in what I like to think was a rare moment of brilliance), adovada enchiladas could be something really good. 

    I thought about making coconut flour tortillas, but eggs are generally used to tame down heat here in New Mexico (and since I don't eat dairy...these kind of things help:)), and frankly Mark's crepes looked pretty easy (I subbed coconut milk for the cream).  I found it took me a bit to make the perfect crepes, but once I got the hang of it, life was good.  [You cannot taste the coconut milk in the crepes once you are done.]

    Anyway, this recipe is a bit, er, time intensive?  But, for a special weekend meal, I think well worth it.  Also, I added veggies to my sauce mixture - you can change them up or omit them as you prefer (I figured since I was doing so much work, I wasn't going to take the time to make another side dish...).

    Served above with fresh mango and avocado to tame the heat and add a lovely bit of sweetness!

    • 20 dried, red New Mexico chiles (to tone down the heat, remove the seeds)
    • 3-4 tsp sea salt
    • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1 tsp oregano (original calls for 2 tsp, but I'm not a real fan of oregano, and I can totally taste when there are 2 tsp)
    • 3-4 cups beef broth/stock (you can use water, but I think the beef broth adds a needed depth/body)
    • 1 pound ground meat (I used a mixture of pork and beef - pork (carne) adovada is a very traditional New Mexican dish)
    • 2 yellow squash
    • 1/2 yellow onion
    • 1 bunch spinach
    • 8 egg whites (save the yummy yolks for something else)
    • 1/3 cup coconut milk (if you let the can sit in the 'fridge, the "cream" separates from the water -- I used the cream part)
    • Oil (to grease the crepe pan)
    • Sliced mango (optional)
    • Sliced avocado (optional)

    Begin by making the sauce
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degree (F).  Place dried chiles on a baking sheet and cook until blackened and blistered, about 8-10 minutes (keep the door open a crack...also, be careful of the fumes...and be VERY careful to handle the peppers and their seeds).
    2. Meanwhile, bring beef broth to a boil.
    3. Remove from the oven and cover peppers with beef broth.  Cover and let steam for about 30 minutes.
    4. Remove pepper from broth, reserving liquid.
    5. In a food processor (or blender), mix together peppers, salt, oregano, and about 2 cups of the broth.  Blend until pureed.  You may need to add a little broth/water to get the desired "sauciness".
    Make the filling [you can start this while sauce is being prepared}
    1. Begin to brown meat. 
    2. Chop veggies (if using). 
    3. Once meat begins to release a little of its fat, add veggies (except spinach) and let begin to soften.
    4. Add sauce and spinach and cook until thickened and spinach is wilted.
    Make the crepes

    1. Whisk together egg whites and coconut milk.
    2. Meanwhile, heat a pan or griddle, add oil, and pour just a little bit of the egg white mixture.  The key here - you want it to be THIN.  Mark suggests about 1/6 cup.  I don't have a cup that is 1/6 cup, so I just eye-balled it.  Once the crepes begin to form little bubbles all the way through (like pancakes), flip.  It doesn't take too long on the other side.
    3. Set aside on a plate until all the crepes are cooked.
    Assemble the enchiladas
    1. If you turned your oven off, turn it back on to 325 degrees.
    2. Put a crepe on a plate, stuff with filling, roll, and place into pan.  Do this until you are done (whether because you ran out of food or no more will fit in your pan).
    3. Cover with foil and place in an over for about 20 minutes (this helps the flavors meld together...we tried it both with and without baking, and I prefer the end result after baking).
    4. Plate.  Serve with diced mango (this is really good, and really helps tame the heat) and/or avocado slices.  Enjoy your Paleo enchiladas! 

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    Chocolate Coconut Squares

    I recently saw a post on making your own chocolate bars.  I was pretty intrigued.  Although I've learned to make a lot of things at home, chocolate bars never really occurred to me.  What a brilliant idea.  Of course, I couldn't use the original recipe due to my dairy intolerance, but I figured coconut milk/oil would work splendidly.  And, well, yeah, it worked (probably too well!). 

    I can't decide whether stumbling across these bars was the best or worst thing I've discovered in a long time:)  My husband says they taste like a Newari treat - Chaku - eaten with ghee (chocolate and clarified butter?).  My mom said they taste like a Mounds bar.  Everything thought they were fantastic.

    So, disclaimer time.  Please remember that these are a treat/occasional indulgence.  Particularly if you are working on your body composition, remember that SUGAR=SUGAR=SUGAR, regardless of the fact that the ingredients are "healthier".  Accordingly, these absolutely delicable little squares should be treated as a treat.  But, when you do indulge, savor and enjoy!
    • 1 cup coconut oil (melted)
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk (if you use the canned kind, try to get the "cream" that separates from the water)
    • 1/2 cup coconut crystals (I think honey or other sweeteners would work as well)
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    [The original recipe calls for 1 T vanilla extract and 1 tsp salt -- my palate is not necessarily all that sensitive and I couldn't tell a noticeable I left these out.  But, you might notice that these ingredients add a certain extra "oomph" that you enjoy.]
    1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
    2. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
    3. Line a small pan with parchment paper (or, grease the bottom of your pan well with coconut oil.  If you have candy molds - which I don't - you could use those as well).  Pour chocolate mixture into pan.
    4. Refrigerate for about 1/2 hour.  Then, cut chocolate into squares and refrigerate another hour or two.
    5. Best stored in the refrigerator...although if you're like my family, they don't last all that long.

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Super-Simple Sausage Bites

    Looking for something quick and easy for breakfast?  Look no further than these super-simple sausage bites (you could form them into patties - but I'm too lazy for that!).  They take very little time in the morning - I promise!  I can't tell you how often I've been having these for breakfast... 

    The recipe easily doubles or halves. Since everyone has a difference spice level preference, start with less and add more later.  It's easier to add than to subtract...  This spice level consistent with our taste profiles -- yours is likely to be different.

    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1 1/2 Tbs garlic powder
    • 1 Tbs fennel seeds
    • 1 Tbs red pepper flakes (if you can't take much heat start with a little and add more later)
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    1. Heat skillet over medium heat.  Add ground beef. 
    2. Break your beef into small bits with the spatula. 
    3. Add seasonings and stir to combine.
    4. Cook until done to your desired temperature (I like my pretty browned when I'm having "sausage").
    5. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
    6. Serve and enjoy.

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Cure for the Common Egg: Curried Eggs

    This is something I eat for breakfast.  Yes, I'm weird...but my family has known that for a long time:)  But, hey, breakfast is just another meal where I try to get quality protein, a little fat, and my veggies.  If you can't stomach this much spice for breakfast, it's good any time of the day.

    • 1 dozen (12) hard-boiled eggs, halved or quartered
    • 1 can no-salt added fire-roasted tomatoes (sub fresh if you want)
    • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
    • 2-3 Tbs curry* (start with less and add more)
    • 2 small heads cauliflower, cut into florets
    • 1 bunch fresh spinach, cut roughly
    1. If you don't already have hard-boiled eggs, begin by boiling eggs.
    2. Prep veggies (cauliflower and spinach).
    3. Combine together tomatoes (including liquid), coconut milk, curry, and cauliflower in a stock pot.
    4. Heat until boiling, then reduce heat and let simmer until cauliflower is almost cooked.
    5. Add eggs and spinach; cook until spinach is wilted and eggs are heated through [I leave the eggs for the end because I don't want them to get too cooked, but you could add them earlier if that's easier].
    6. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
    7. Serve and enjoy, although it is even better the next day.

    *  Curry
    • 2 parts turmeric powder
    • 2 parts paprika powder
    • 1 part salt
    • 1 part chili powder (adjust up or down for more or less heat)
    • 1 part cayenne powder (adjust up or down for more or less heat)
    • 1 part coriander powder

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Sweet & Sour Slaw

    I never really used to like coleslaw.  Maybe it was that I never really had good coleslaw.  I have memories of limp, wilted cabbage soaked in icky jarred mayo.  I don't know what possed me to give this one a try...maybe it was that I had a wonderful looking mango, two heads of cabbage (one red and one green), and some carrot in my 'fridge.  This turned out great, if I do say so myself:)  Sweet from the mango, sour from the coconut vinegar.  Hope you enjoy as well!

    • 1/4 head red cabbage
    • 1/4 head green cabbage
    • 1/2 large carrot
    • 1 fresh mango
    • 1/16 cup pecans
    • 1/8 cup coconut vinegar (other vinegars would work - but if you are gluten intollerant, make sure it is a gluten-free variety)
    • 1/4 cup olive oil (other oils would work here - I think coconut oil would be really good!)

    1. Thinly slice cabbage.  Grate carrot (be careful not to grate your finger!).
    2. Peel and dice mango.
    3. Break pecans into small pieces.
    4. Combine cabbage, carrot, mango, and pecans in a bowl.
    5. In a separate bowl, blend together coconut vinegar and olive oil (I used my small food processor, but I think a brisk whisking would work as well.)
    6. Combine dressing with salad.  Stir well to combine.
    7. Chill at least an hour (really, this is much better chilled).  Serve and enjoy.

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Lebanese-Spiced Spaghetti & Meatballs

    I LOVE Lebanese food.  It's flavorful without being spicy (although I like spice as well, don't get me wrong:)).  A friend in grad school, who had lived in Jordan for 20 years, introduced me to this awesomeness.  My mom gave this two-thumbs up and said I could make this anytime.

    • Spaghetti squash
    • Onion
    • Ghee or other appropriate oil
    • 2 lb ground beef
    • 2 Tbs Spice mix*, divided
    • 1 bunch parsley
    • 2 cans no-salt added tomato sauce
    1. Preheat oven and begin cooking spaghetti squash (I admit that I often cook it in the microwave...).
    2. Peel and chop onion. 
    3. Add ghee to a large sauce pan (big enough for sauce and meatballs) and when melted, add onion.  Cook until onion is caramelized.
    4. Once the onions are caramelized, add tomato sauce and 1 Tbs spice mixture.  Stir, and reduce heat to simmer.
    5. Meanwhile, chop parsley.
    6. Mix together beef, parsley, and 2 Tbs of spice mix.  
    7. Make meatballs. 
    8. Heat another pan and brown meatballs on all sides.  You don't want to cook the meatballs all the way through, just get a nice brown on the outsides.  [You could also broil in the oven or you can skip the step entirely - I just happen to like my meatballs a little browned:)]
    9. Once meatballs are browned, add to the tomato sauce mixture and let simmer until meatballs are cooked.
    10. Serve over spaghetti squash.
    *  Spice blend
    Combine together equal parts (probably about 1 tsp each) of the following:
    • Ground Nutmeg
    • Ground Ginger
    • Ground Allspice
    • Ground Fenugreek (methi)
    • Ground Cloves
    • Ground Cinnamon
    • Ground Pepper
    • Sea Salt

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    Eggplant Crisps

    I intended to make eggplant Parmesan, without the Parmesan (I'm dairy intolerant) (but don't ask me what I was going to call said dinner...).  

    Obviously, from the title of my post, eggplant Parmesan without the Parmesan didn't happen because (mainly) we were eating these little babies right off the pan and it seemed like too much work to cook them again with the sauce.  

    Seriously, these are GOOOD, like Lays potato you can't just eat one!  Served here with an Italian meat and veggie sauce.

    • 2 eggplants
    • 2 eggs + 2 Tbs water
    • 1 cup pork rinds, ground (the 1 cup is measured once the rinds are ground)
    1. Peel and slice eggplant.  Then, in a pan with a lip (to catch the dripping water), liberally salt both sides of the eggplant.  Let sit at least 15 minutes, but closer to an hour is better.  (I don't actually know if the liquid that comes out is "bitter" and needs to be released, but the end result is pretty tasty, so I went with the common thought process regarding eggplant.  Anyway, I digress.)
    2. Rinse salt from eggplant and pat dry.
    3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    4. Beat together eggs and water.
    5. Pulverize pork rinds.
    6. Take a piece of eggplant, dip into egg mixture, shake off, dip into pork rind mixture.  Place on a baking sheet (I'd suggest some parchment paper here...otherwise, a few of them stick awful bad to the baking sheet.)
    7. When they are all breaded, place into the oven and cook between 30 and 40 minutes.  You want the outside to be crispy, but not burnt.
    8. Eat and enjoy.  Tender on the inside, crispy on the outside.  Yum! 

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Beef in a Spicy Curry Sauce

    I started out trying to make a vindaloo, which is one of my favorite Indian dishes when we go out.  It's a safe food - I know I can or will eat everything that's in there (sometimes I'm even good and skip the potatoes...). 

    But, much as I like it, we only eat out once a month or so, and I decided to see if I could recreate my favorite.  Of course, we don't eat a lot of chicken since it's pretty difficult to find pastured chicken here, so I adapted the recipe to be made with beef. This didn't turn out to be what I envisioned, but it tastes great at any rate!  (I adapted from this recipe.)  Hope you enjoy as well.  [It does taste spite of the fact that I'm not a very good photographer:)]

    • 2 lb stew meat
    • Ghee or other appropriate oil
    • 2 yellow onions, peeled and sliced
    • 3" piece of peeled ginger
    • 2 oz peeled garlic
    • 1 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
    • 1/8-1/4 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 4 tsp hot chili powder (to taste!) or fresh hot peppers
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 3-4 tsp coconut vinegar
    1. Cook beef in the pressure cooker to tenderize.  [You could use another method, but this is both quick and yield really tender beef.]
    2. Meanwhile, heat ghee in a pan.  Once ghee has melted, add onions.  Cook onions until they are very caramelized (a dark brown color -- just before they burn pull 'em off the heat). 
    3. In a small fry pan, add a little ghee.  Once hot, add fenugreek seeds.  Cook until dark brown.  Then, add cumin seeds.  Cook until fenugreek seeds begin to turn black.  Finally, add mustard seeks and cook until funegreek seeds are a dark black.  Remove from heat.
    4. In a food processor (or blender, etc.), combine caramelized onions, ginger, garlic, blackened spice mixture, ground coriander, chili powder, salt, and vinegar.  Blend until a nice paste is formed.
    5. Mix together meat and spices, then cool to marinade, at least half an hour.
    6. When ready to serve, gently heat on the stove.
    7. Serve warm over cauliflower rice (or, for us today, spaghetti squash) and enjoy.

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Pan-Fried Radishes

    I have a confession to make.  I love, and I mean love, potatoes.  I've had not problems living without bread, pasta, etc.  Now potatoes...that's a different story.  But the thing is, although I don't actually have a real problem with potatoes (I know - call the Paleo police!), they don't really like me.  Kid you not, they go straight to my hips.  So, for the most part, potatoes are out.  

    I think I've found a new love, however, in the form of pan-fried radishes.  I'd never really thought much about the lowly radish, and truth be known, had only ever had them in a salad.  Not sure what possessed me to cook them.  Not that I've tried them, they've fast become a favorite.  The only challenge -- they do take a bit to cook.
    • 2-4 bunches radishes
    • Ghee or other appropriate fat
    • Kosher salt, to taste
    • Cayenne pepper, to taste
    1. Wash, trim, and cube radishes.  [I like mine in quarters to speed up the cooking time.]
    2. Heat a pot of water and par-boil radishes.  [This is super-duper quick in a pressure cooker!]
    3. Drain radishes well.
    4. Meanwhile, heat ghee or other appropriate fat in large skillet.
    5. Add radishes, a little salt, and a little cayenne pepper.  Cook until softened and browned to your liking.
    6. Serve warm and enjoy.

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    Curried Beef and Eggplant (or Nightshade Delight)

    You probably notice that we eat a lot of curry.  Today's recipe is a variation on a standard theme in our household:  meat, veggies, and spice (often, curry spices).  I have at last progressed to the point where I make my curries by taste.  I no longer need my carefully measured out curry powder to make meals.  I keep my base spices (cayenne, turmeric, paprika, chili power [Indian/Asian], cumin, cinnamon, and salt) is a nifty spice container (a masala dabba) that has a small measuring spoon (about 1/4 tsp) in it.  I use the same general proportions and keep adding a "round" until I think the spice level is about right (a little less cayene/chili power when semi-Paleo mom is eating, a little more when it's just Husband and myself).

    [Picture forthcoming - the user is experiencing technical difficulties]

    • 1 lb Ground beef
    • 1-2 Tbs Ghee (or coconut oil)
    • 2 small eggplants
    • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes, with liquid (you could use fresh here, but do take the time to roast the tomatoes -- it makes a world of difference -- you'll also want all of the juices from the tomatoes)
    • 2-3 rounds curry mixture, where 1 round equals:  1/2 tsp Turmeric powder; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/4 heaping tsp paprika; 1/4 tsp cayenne power; and 1/4 tsp chili powder
    1. In a large pan, brown the ground beef until almost cooked.  Drain fat.
    2. Meanwhile, wash, dry, and then cut eggplant into cubes.
    3. Heat ghee in a large pot (I used a smallish stock pot).  Once melted, add diced eggplant.  Cook until almost softened.  [Note:  you could use the beef fat here, but I like the taste of ghee, tomatoes, and curry and didn't feel that I needed the additional fat from the beef.]
    4. Add tomatoes (including liquid) and ground beef.
    5. Add 1 round of curry mixture.  Mix and taste.  Keep adding rounds until it is to your liking.  If you need a little more heat, add a little more cayenne and chili powder.
    6. Let simmer until flavors have melted together and eggplant is softened to you liking.
    7. Serve and enjoy.

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    I'm Back + Mother's Day Dessert

    Sorry for the long absence...we've been in the process of moving to another state.  Seems like it has been crazy, but now we're settled.  Or almost settled...except for the fact that the movers broke our 'fridge and it won't be repaired until sometime this coming week.  I miss that appliance more than I ever thought I would.  At least our chest freezer works!

    Here's the dessert I made semi-paleo mom for mother's day.  I'm ashamed to admit that before we switched to a healthier diet, I didn't think bananas were sweet.  Seriously?  They almost send me into a sugar coma now.  Definitely a decedent, special occasion (but silly easy!) dessert.

    Fried Bananas
    • Coconut oil
    • 2 Bananas (green ones work better)
    1. Slice bananas fairly thin.
    2. Heat coconut oil over medium heat.
    3. Once oil is melted, all bananas in a single layer and let cook until caramelized.  Resist the temptation to look too often, as they may become "mushy".
    4. Turn bananas and let other side caramelize.
    5. Remove from heat and serve.  Also great with a little toasted coconut.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    Fried Carrots & Cauliflower

    I've seen a lot of posts for Superbowl snacks.  Even though we aren't football fans (un-American, I know:)), we still enjoy the parties and snacks associated with the big game.  We're planning to enjoy some fried veggies - carrots and cauliflower to be exact.  If you've never tried them, you should.  They are an absolutely wonderful treat!

    • 2 cups carrots  and cauliflower florets
    • Rendered beef fat (enough for your fryer or deep pan)
    • Kosher salt
    • Cayenne pepper
    • Cinnamon
    1. Prepare veggies (peel & cut carrots, cut cauliflower into florets). 
    2. Place in a bowl.  Cover with ice water and let sit 15-30 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, heat oil in your fryer (or pan) to 325 degrees F.
    4. Once the oil has reached temperature, dry veggies and, working in batches, drop into your oil for about 3 minutes.
    5. After each batch is finished, remove from the fryer and place on towels to drain.
    6. After all of the veggies are cooked once, turn the temperature up to 375 degrees F.
    7. Working in batches, fry for another 3-4 minutes until crisp.
    8. Remove from oil and immediately season with (a little) salt, cayenne pepper, and a little cinnamon.
    9. Best served hot.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Rita's Curried Cauliflower

    This is my favorite (for now, anyway:)) version of curried cauliflower.  My husband's aunt made it for us before we left Nepal and shared her recipe.  It's the hint of the cinnamon that does it for me.  Be a little patient and cook on low - that's how you get the touch of cinnamon (without it overwhelming the dish).  Quick, easy, and full of flavor.  My kind of veggie!

    • Fat of choice
    • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
    • 2" stick of cinnamon
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1/2" piece of ginger, grated or mashed into a paste
    • 1/4 tsp cumin powder (you can use a little more, but it's not my favorite spice)
    • 1 tsp red chili powder
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    • salt, to taste
    1. Heat fat over medium heat.
    2. Add cinnamon and bay leaf and lightly fry for a minute or two.
    3. Add in the cauliflower and ginger.
    4. Mix spices with a little water (maybe about 1/4 cup) and add to the pan.
    5. Turn heat down to low and cook, covered, until cauliflower is done.
    6. Remove bay leaf and cinnamon and serve warm.

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    Quick and Easy Pear Nutmeal

    Personally, I could eat meat (or eggs) and veggies everyday for breakfast and be happy.  Not so much for the family.  Sometimes I make them pancakes or muffins, but this is a nice once-in-awhile breakfast reminiscent of oatmeal from breakfasts past.  I'm not the first person to come up with "nutmeal", but this is my take (see Fauxtmeal, No-atmeal, and Nutty Hot Cereal [where I adapted my recipe] for other variations).  Fast and easy, you can whip this up in no time for a quick and hearty breakfast.  Makes about 2 cups; recipe can easily be multiplied (or reduced).

    • 1 cup of nuts (I like macadamia and pecans, but about any nuts you have on hand will work)
    • 1 1/2 pears, cut into large chunks (almost any seasonal fruit will work here)
    • 2 eggs (preferably from pastured chickens)
    • 1 cup coconut milk (I use full-fat canned coconut milk, make sure to get the kind without the "gunk")
    • 1 Tbs cinnamon powder
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until desired consistency is reached.
    2. Pour into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until hot and bubbly.
    3. Serve and enjoy.

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    Spicy Daikon Radish Salad (Daikon Achar)

    Daikon is another pretty new vegetable for me.  I don't know if it's always been available in the stores (I suspect it has, at least for a long time, and I just walked right by it since I didn't know what it was).  I ruined it the first time I made it:)  The next time, I tried the Latke recipe by Marks Daily Apple.  Now, I'm hooked!  My mother-in-law was kind enough to introduce me one Nepali way of making the radish.  Quick, easy, and spicy.  Tastes even better if you are able to make it ahead or the next day.  This was made for a party held for my husband and myself while here in Nepal.  We bought the daikon down the street from a local vendor.  Enjoy!

    • 3 Daikon radishes, peeled
    • 2 carrots, peeled
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 small red onion
    •  5 Tbs ground sesame seeds
    • 1 tsp fresh ginger root, peeled
    • 1-2 Tbs red pepper flakes, or to taste
    • Fat of choice, to fry fenugreek (traditionally, you would use mustard oil)
    • 1 tsp fenugreek
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    1. Shred daikon and carrots (the food processor makes quick work out of this, or you can use a hand shredder).  Place in a large bowl and add salt.  Mix together and then let sit for awhile (you could finish preparing dinner while this sits).  The salt helps release the excess water.
    2. Squeeze out the water (you could use a dishtowl or I like to use my salad spinner or you can use your hands).
    3. Dice red onion and ginger.  Add to the daikon/carrot mixture.
    4. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat (dry).  Lightly roast sesame seeds and add to the salad.
    5. Add 1-2 Tbs red pepper flakes (2 Tbs if you like a good amount of spice).
    6. Heat a little oil in a small frying pan (you want an oil that can handle high heat).  Add fenugreek and fry until black (it starts out a light brown).
    7. Once the fenugreek has turned black. remove the pan from the heat and then add in the turmeric powder.  Stir together and add to salad mixture.
    8. Stir well.  It's now ready to serve or you can put in the refrigerator for use later.
    Part of Real Food Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, and Pennywise Platter.