Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Make your own almond flour

If you are full on Paleo Almond flour is a must have in your pantry! You can make so many things with it and its a great heart healthy and fully Paleo flour substitute. It can be pretty spendy in grocery stores Ive seen it ranging anywhere from $8.99-12.00 a lb. You can make it your self for about $4.99 a lb if you get your almonds at Costco (under 10.00 for 3 lbs) or you can find them on sale in bulk bins and stick them in your freezer for future use.

You will notice a slight difference in color if you make your own flour. The reason being when buying almond flour you typically see it with blanched almonds (blanching is boiling the almonds to remove the skins). Almond skins provide the nut with some of the nutrients it contains, so why not leave it on? It wont change the consistency or flavor of the flour it will just have some brown specks (However you can buy pre-blanched almonds if you prefer.)

Take some almonds and put them in a food processor and let it whirl for about a minute. Either lay out some parchment paper of get a big bowl and a fine meshed sifter and sift the flour don't bang the sides too much or it will force some of the bigger pieces to fall through. Put the larger pieces of almonds back into the processor and repeat these 2 steps until you have sifted through all the nuts.

You can store the flour in a airtight container in a cool place for no more than a week if you are not planning on using it before then store it in the freezer for up to a month.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sweet Potato Fritters

I saw a similar recipe for fritters on another Crossfit website and changed it up a little. I made these to go with breakfast and they were very good. They would be really tasty with some homemade Paleo ketchup!

1 Each Sweet potato, carrot and zucchini

3 Green onions

1/4 C Cilantro

2 eggs

1/4 tsp each Cumin, pepper and garlic powder

2 Tbsp coconut oil

Put your veggies through the cheese grater attachment on your food processor. Squeeze out excess water, chop green onions and cilantro and add to the other veggies. Add spices and eggs and mix well. Heat a skillet really hot with about a tsp. of coconut oil per batch, I did 4 fritters per batch. Form the veggies into patties and gently put into the hot oil. Don't mess with the fritters at this point for about 4 minutes then you can turn them and cook an additional 4 minutes on the other side. Enjoy plain or with salsa!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Smothered Sausages

The original recipe for this was taken from a Cooking Light magazine and modifies (very little) to be Paleo. The flavors in this recipe blend so well and the sweetness of the grapes really pairs well with the apple in the sausage.
1 Tbsp Oil
4 Chicken apple sausages -CLEAN!!!
2 Onions sliced
2 Cloves garlic minced
2 C Red grapes
1 Tbsp Rosemary
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Heat the oil in a saute pan and add your sausages, cook until browned on all sides. Add onions and garlic and cook for another 5-6 minutes until the onions are starting to go limp. Add remaining ingredients and cook for a few minutes longer. Add the balsamic last to de-glaze the pan cook 4 minutes more and enjoy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Toasted pecans, strawberries and spinach you cant go wrong! This is very light salad and pretty tangy. You can add 1/2 a lemon instead of the whole thing for a more mild taste

1 C Sliced strawberries + 6 more for dressing
1/2 C Toasted pecan halves
4 C Spinach
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
2 Tbsp Oil- I used grape seed and it was very tasty!
Grind of fresh pepper

Make a dressing with your lemon, oil and strawberries and chill. Put your spinach in a bowl and toss with the dressing just before serving, top with toasted nuts and a bit of fresh pepper.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Agave nectar the new high fructose corn syrup?

Agave syrup, a refined fructose product is being cleverly marketed in the health food industry as a wholesome, natural, low glycemic sweetener. Even the word "nectar" is deceiving, as if it is dripping fresh from flowers or fruit.

Agave nectar, or more accurately refined fructose agave syrup was created in the 1990's using technology devised by corn refiners to chemically convert corn starch to corn syrup, known as high fructose corn syrup, the sweetener that had done much to increase obesity, insulin resistance and increased heart disease and diabetes. The main carbohydrate in agave is starch, which, like corn starch, is chemically converted to highly refined fructose. The sugar that come from fruit is levulose. The word "fructose" is cleverly used by corn refiners to make you think it is a natural fruit sugar.

Fructose is not absorbed like other sugars. It does not go directly into the bloodstream, but instead it goes to the liver where it is converted to triglycerides and fat. "Low glycemic" makes it sound safe. It is anything but safe. High fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose. Agave "nectar" is about 70% fructose.

While refined fructose agave syrup won't spike your blood sugar levels it will deplete minerals, inflame the liver, harden the arteries, cause insulin resistance leading to diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, and may be toxic for use during pregnancy.

So don't use this unnatural sweetener or "health foods" that contain it. As always read labels so that you can make informed choices about what you are putting into your body.

*Information by Dan and Talitha Butterfield

Walnut Crusted Pork

Who doesn't love pork right? I prefer the loin, it doesn't seem nearly as fatty and can be used for so many things. I usually buy pork loin at Costco, they are between 7-8 lbs and can be priced as low as $1.99 a lb. Its not bad at all considering you can get several meals out of one. (note 2 pork recipes this week Hmmmm what did I buy???)

2 Lbs Pork loin trimmed of fat and cut into 1 in thick pieces or pork chops

Dijon mustard (most are clean just double check)

1/2 C Walnuts chopped finely

1/4 C Flax seed

1 Tbsp Olive oil

Mix together the walnuts and flax seed. Slather your pork in Dijon mustard and press into the walnut/flax mixture. Press it in pretty firmly so it stays in place. Heat a large skillet with olive oil, make sure it is really hot before you put the pork in ensuring a crispy crust. Cook 5 minutes on each side and test to 165 degrees with thermometer.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cherry and Leek Stuffed Pork Loin

This would be a good dinner if you want to look fancy and impress some dinner guests. It was simple to make and very tasty, the sweetness of the dried cherries accents the meat very well.
1 lb Pork loin- butterflied and pounded out thin
2 leeks
2 Cloves garlic
1/2 C Dried cherries
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp Fresh thyme
1 Tbsp Olive oil
Saute your leeks and garlic in the oil until they become limp. In the meantime pound your meat and season it with salt, pepper and thyme on both sides. With the fatty side out place your leeks and cherries evenly over the meat and roll it up nice tight. Secure it with wooden skewer, in the same pan that you cooked leeks in add a little more oil and get it nice and hot and sear the outside of the loin on each side for about 5 minutes. If you do this in a dutch oven or a cast iron skillet you can put it right inside the over to finish cooking otherwise transfer it to a casserole dish and bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours or until it temps out at 165.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mexican Style Stuffed Peppers

So remember at the bottom of the Spanish Rice recipe how I said to make extra and you could make a totally different dinner out of it? This would be that dinner and it is delicious! I'll include both recipes on how to make it with leftovers or if you want to whip it up fresh.

Fresh version:
1 lb Ground meat (turkey or beef)
1 28 oz Can diced tomatoes
1 Head cauliflower - "riced"
1 Can green chilies
3 tsp Chili powder
4 tsp Cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Red onion
1/2 C Cilantro
4 Cloves garlic
4 Bell peppers

Brown your meat along with the onions, garlic and spices. Put the cauliflower in the microwave for 3 minutes covered to soften. Add the tomatoes, cauliflower and chilies to the meat mix and put into hollowed bell peppers. Bake covered with a little water in the bottom of the dish at 350 for about 1 1/2 hrs. or until the peppers are soft depending on the size.

Now if you had tacos and Spanish "rice" for dinner you can take your left over meat and mix it right in with the "rice" add a little salsa so its nice and juicy and bake as directed above.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Even the dogs...

I couldn't help but post these pictures. I planted a garden and have been enjoying fresh produce. I went outside one day and 1/2 my radishes were gone! I camped out and this is what I saw... Apparently my Paleo lifestyle has rubbed off on Maverick he has cleaned me fresh out of several of my veggies. He must be a vegetarian cavedog!

Craving Mexican?

I love Mexican food, in fact I think it just might be my favorite! I had a craving for some Spanish Rice the other day, but alas Cavemen don't eat rice... This is where the very versatile cauliflower came in to play. This Spanish "Rice" is so good and if you served it to non-Paleo eating people I don't think they would ever know its not really rice!

1 Lg Head cauliflower
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 Red onion
4 Cloves garlic
1 Sm. can green chilies
1 Tbsp Cumin
2 tsp Chili powder
1 28 oz Can diced tomatoes
1/2 C Cilantro- Chopped

"Rice" your cauliflower by putting it through the grater attachment on your food processor. In a sauce pan saute your onion and garlic until the onions are soft. Add your cauliflower and cover with the lid for about 5 minutes or until your cauliflower is slightly soft but still holds its form. Add your spices, green chilies and the can of tomatoes including the juice cook for a few minutes more and add your cilantro right before serving.

(p.s. Make extra rice and taco meat you can turn it into a completely different meal- details to follow soon)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Paleo Truffles

Oh so good on a hot day! You can make them frozen or eat them soft. These ones are just plain but you could roll them in cocoa powder or coconut to give them a nice look.

3-4 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/4 C Cocoa powder
1/2 C Ground nuts (Pecans and/or Almonds work well)
3/4 C Unsweetened coconut
1 Tbsp Honey

Mix all together and form onto balls. Chill or freeze to set them up a bit before serving.

Monday, July 12, 2010

10 signs your fully primal

1) You make a really good designated driver
2) You don’t hesitate to eat meat with your hands, sometimes rare meat, sometimes while driving or in a meeting
3) Your co-workers come by to see what you’re eating at lunch everyday – kind of like a freakshow. (Suckling pig with cauliflower-cous has been my best work lunch to date)
4) When you go to a restaurant, your order reads like a Shakespeare monologue, “side of veggies, steamed….can you hold the butter? can you remove the cheese? Can I get chicken with that? dressing on the side. oh wait, can you sub balsamic instead of the honey-mustard? Water. Yes, just water.”
5) 3 / $2 avocados!!!!!!!
6) $4 kelp noodles!!!!!!
7) Going to buy supplements/vitamins is your retail therapy. ”oooohhhh! You sell natural calm!?!”
8) Your sole purpose for owning a shot glass is for your fish oil.
9) You have a mini-meltdown if you run out of fat or protein sources. OMG, we’re out of coconut oil! we don’t have any nuts! You ate the last 3 eggs!! GAH!
10) Guacamole is your condiment of choice. For everything.

Did I miss one? Add your own primal signs to comments

* "cosmopolitian primal girl"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Homemade Almond Butter

Almond butter is delicious, but a draw back is how expensive it can be (not to mention hard on the old self control!) Have no fear fellow cavemen, I have a homemade alternative that costs only a fraction of the price and tastes even better because its fresh!!!

Almond Butter
1 C Almonds (you can toast them for an even better flavor)
1 tsp of a mild oil
1/2 tsp Sea salt
Take your almonds and put them in the food processor for about 3 minutes or until it becomes a solid paste. Add your salt and slowly drizzle in your oil and let it whirl for a few more seconds.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Paleo Chips

If you haven't tried sweet potato chips yet you need to give these a shot! They are crisp and sweet and we all know that sweet potatoes are a great re-feed. I made some plain and I made some spicy by sprinkling some cayenne pepper on them before they went in the oven. I also tried sprinkling some with cinnamon and they seemed like a real treat that way!

Sweet Potato Chips
Sweet potato
1 tsp Olive oil per potato
Sprinkle of sea salt
Cayenne (optional)
Cinnamon (optional)
Cut your sweet potato into thin slices you can use your food processor for this or do it by hand. I tried both ways and I think they turned out thinner by hand which made them a little crisper. Put your sliced potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with they olive oil. Lay on a cookie sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with your salt or spice of choice. Bake a 250 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours turning every 30 minutes. If you have leftovers (good luck with that!) store them in an air tight container that will keep the moisture out!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Egg Muffins

Here is a great tasty breakfast or a good reheated quick lunch. Satisfying and easy!

6 Eggs
1/8 C Water
2 Tbsp Salsa
1/2 C Meat of your choice (I used bacon)
1/2-1 C Veggies some good combos are... Spinach and red onion or bell pepper and mushrooms
Salt and pepper

(If you really want them to be creamy like a quiche you can add 1/8 C Paleo Mayo to the mix)

Beat your eggs with the water and salsa put into greased muffin tins, it will make 6 large muffins. Sprinkle your meat and veggies over the eggs and poke down if they don't sink. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes or until the centers and solid.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fried "Rice"

This would be a great side dish to complete your Paleo Chinese dinner! This was really good and even my non-Paleo husband who doesn't like cauliflower thought this was tasty.
1 Small head cauliflower
2 Cloves garlic
2 tsp Olive oil
3 Green onions- chopped
1 Grated carrot
1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes
Turn your cauliflower into "rice" by putting it through your food processor with a grater attachment. Put the cauliflower in a bowl and cover with saran wrap and put into the microwave on high for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saucepan and saute the garlic, green onions and carrot until they start to wilt. Whisk in your egg and pepper flakes before the egg is fully cooked add the cauliflower and cook for a few minutes to finish the egg.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chicken and Leeks

I had never had leeks before and had always wonded what they tasted like and what to do with them. With a little research I found out that they are part of the onion family and pair really well with bacon and other fatty type meats. I also found out that when useing themyou need to chop them first and soak them in a bowl of water because they harbor alot of sand in their leaves.
I got this recipe from My Paleo Kitchen and modified it a little bit. It was very rich and filling. Also I figured it cost only about $2.50 a serving and it was very simple to make!

2 Leeks- chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh thyme
4 Chicken breasts
8 slices of bacon

Place your leeks into a dutch oven or a casserole dish if you don't have one. Season with 1/2 the thyme and the pepper. Season your chicken with the other 1/2 of the spices and wrap with the bacon put your chicken right on top of the leeks. Put into a 35o degree oven for 1 hr covered. take off the cover and broil until the bacon is crisp it will take about 5 minutes.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Paleo Chinese Food

Healthy and fully Paleo Chinese food?!?!? Whoda thought! I thought this was a really good recipe it was filling and is a very balanced meal. Yum yum!
Broccoli Beef
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 tsp Toasted flax seed (pop under broiler for several minutes)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
1 Lb Beef- cut in strips with visible fat removed- I used a roast.
Marinade beef over night and Saute in a hot pan or wok in 1 Tbsp oil with 3 cloves garlic- set aside. In the same pan prepare the stir fry sauce and add the broccoli turning to coat. Add the beef back to the pan and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Stir fry sauce:
1/4 C Chicken broth
2 tsp Toasted flax seed
1 tsp Arrowroot
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
3 C Steamed Broccoli

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Go Nuts

Words can't even begin to describe how yummy this trail mix is! Take my word for it you will have to work hard at keeping your little fingers out of this one!!!
Trail Mix
1/2 C ea. Walnuts, pecans and almonds
1/2 C ea. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/4 tsp ea. Cinnamon and nutmeg
1 tsp Sea salt - best to use course grind
1/4 C Honey
1/2 C Dried cranberries- if you cant find unsweetened use dried cherries
1/2 C Dried apricots- use any fruit you want! Ive made it with dates, dried apples and raisins.
Mix the nuts and seeds with the spices, 1/2 the salt and the coconut oil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool, when cool drizzle the nuts with the honey and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Put back in the oven for 5 minutes more. While the nuts are still warm from the oven mix with your dried fruit and let cool.