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.