Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Clean Holiday Delight

This was one of the recipes that I brought to my parents house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a hit especially with my nieces they kept coming back for more!

Primal Eggnog
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 Fresh Nutmeg
4 Egg yolks
3 C. Coconut milk
1 Tbsp. Pure maple syrup

In a sauce pan on meduim low heat 2 cups of the coconut milk with the egg yolks. This needs to be a very slow process otherwise you will have scrambled eggs. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the milk starts to thicken and coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the stove and place in an ice bath. Stir to cool for about 5 minutes add the remaining milk, cinnamon, maple syrup and vanilla. Transfer to a pitcher and cool for a few hours to thicken. Serve in glasses with fresh nutmeg ground on top.
The finished product yummy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Holidays in My Paleo World

Wow Thanksgiving come and gone and less than a month until Christmas... Can you believe it??? Sorry for the post hiatus I have been crazy busy with preparing for the holiday at home and at work. Never fear I did have time to make some scrumptious dishes for Thanksgiving! I will post one today and the rest through out the week and maybe just maybe you out there will want to make some of them over the holiday season.

Holiday gatherings can be tough when you are the only (Paleo-ite Paleo-un Paleo-odian???) Whatever you want to call it... My family was so great this year, we all decided to take a healthier approach to traditional dishes. My sister ground her own wheat and used a fresh pumpkin to make her pies and my mom made a jello mold with completely Paleo ingredients (GO MOM). I contributed a Dutch Apple Pie, Sweet Potato Casserole, Eggnog and Bacon Mashed Sweet Potatoes. Everyone raved over the dishes and were amazed that they were made with Paleo ingredients!
My mom with her delish side dish.

My Mom Debbie's Holiday Cranberry Mold

1 20 oz Can crushed pineapple- drain and reserve the juice

12 oz Fresh cranberries

3 Envelopes unflavored gelatin ( I searched and didn't see why this wouldn't be considered clean)

1/2 C Honey

1 Orange peeled and cut into chunks

1 C Diced Celery

1 Tart apple-grated

1/2 C Walnuts-chopped

Mix the gelatin into 1/4 C. of the pineapple juice let set and thicken. In a saucepan over medium heat cook remaining pineapple juice with the cranberries for about 5 minutes or until they start to burst open. Add the gelatin mixture and honey and cook 1 minute longer to incorporate. Put the orange in a blender with 1 C. of the cranberry mixture and blend until it forms fine pieces. Add the remaining cranberry mixture and pulse a few times to slightly break down the cranberries. Pour into a bowl and add the celery, apple and walnuts. Pour into a glass dish or jello mold and chill until you are ready to serve.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meal on a Budget 3rd Edition

If you were at the Halloween Party this is the dish I brought to share with one modification I substituted Kelp Noodles for the spaghetti squash. Either way its a great dinner! As with the other "budget" meals I've featured this will feed a family of four for under $10.00 I'll break that part down further in the recipe. I did my shopping at Super 1 Foods

Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Greens

1 Large spaghetti squash ($3.56)
1 LB Sausage ($.99)
1 Bunch spinach ($1.68)
1 tsp Crushed red pepper ($.20)
6-8 Mini peppers or 1 Large bell pepper ($1.25)
1 Onion ($.40)
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning ($.10)
1 C. Chicken stock ($.25)

I get these pepper's from Costco they are $3.99 for 2 LB's. They are crisp and flavorful and I love love LOVE them!
Cook the sausage and drain. In the same pan cut up all your veggies excluding the spinach and put them with the chicken stock and cook them with the spices until they are soft.

Add back in the sausage and let it cook together for a few minutes to let all the flavors mix. Put the spinach over the veggies and meat and stir together to wilt this will only take a few minutes.

In the meantime, halve the squash place in a microwaveable dish add 1/2 cup water and heat for 10-15 minutes on high. Repeat with the remaining squash half. Discard the seeds. Using a fork, comb the squash into strands into a bowl.

Spoon the sausage and veggies over the squash and serve.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Veggie of the Week.... Diakon

Diakon is a white radish from Japan, having a long root that is eaten raw, pickled or cooked. Its also known as a Chinese radish, Japanese radish, or an Oriental radish. From the Japanese word Dia (large) Kon (root) this vegetable is in fact a large radish and is mild, crisp and slightly sweet in flavor. Diakons flesh is fresh, juicy and white, while the skin can range from cream colored to black. It ranges from 6-15 inches in length with a diameter of 2-3 inches. Choose a diakon that is firm and had a smooth unwrinkled skin. One serving of diakon (3oz) provides us with over 30% RDA for Vitamin C and contains the active enzyme myrosinase. Here is some information on the enzyme
Pickled Diakon
Take a diakon radish and peel it with a veggie peeler, Cut into 1 inch cubes and put in a bowl with 1 tsp salt and give it a quick stir. Let the radish set out at room temperature for 30 minutes. You will notice that the radish will have released some liquid (pictured below) Rinse the radish to remove the excess salt and water and add 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp sesame oil. Stir and refrigerate over night. The longer they set in the liquid the better they will be.

The finished results, I ate them as a little snack and they were crisp and yummy without the dye and chemicals you find in grocery store pickles.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Fabulous Find

I Love Costco, even though there is rarely Paleo friendly samples... This is my new favorite Costco find, It is clean and smokey and delicious! You can either heat it up on the stove or in the microwave. It contains 2 lbs of smoked pork goodness and costs $9.99, so worth it! I made it and ate some over sauteed cabbage and onions and then had some plain for lunch the next day. I bet it would be super fantastic to mix the pork with clean BBQ sauce and eat in a lettuce wrap yummy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beef Jerky 2 Ways

I am always looking for tasty ways to get protein and its a bonus if they are easy to make and easy to take along to work or for a pre-workout snack. Both of these jerky recipes fit the bill. If you went to the Halloween party this is the recipe I used for the jerky I was handing out. I have a super sweet food dehydrator and its what I used to make the jerky, if you don't have one you can always cook it in the oven at 200 degrees for about 5 hours.
I got this dehydrator at Cabela's for $79.99 and Its been great! With the rectangular shape you can fit so much more on the screens then the round versions that you typically see.
For the traditional Jerky I used a roast that I had the butcher at Safeway cut super thin when it was on sale for $1.99 a lb. ( It happens often in the fall watch the ad's and stock up, jerky usually runs about $8.99 a lb so you save big when you make it yourself!). I made a marinade and soaked the meat for 24 hrs. 1/2 C Tamari (wheat free soy sauce), 1/2 C Pineapple juice, 1 tsp each Salt and Pepper, 2 tsp each Chili powder and Garlic powder, a dash of nutmeg and 1 Tbsp Vinegar (this helps tenderize the meat). I also made a little rub out of the dry spices and sprinkled it on the meat as I put it on the trays to dry.
For the ground beef jerky I mixed 1 lb of ground beef, 2 tsp each Salt, Garlic powder, Onion powder, Curry powder, 1 tsp Cayenne pepper and 1 tsp Black pepper.
with rolling pin roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness between 2 sheets of waxed paper.

Peel the back sheet of paper off and place on the rack then peel off the top sheet.

You have a few options here, you can either roll it into big sheets that cover most of the surface of the rack or you can make smaller pieces, you just have to roll alot more out! If you do it in a sheet cut a hole in the center to get better circulation.

Here is what they look like when I did them out of 1 Tbsp of meat and rolled them out to make medallions.

Here is the Jerky out of the roast when its all dry and ready to eat.

Here is the medallions, I found that its best to take the ground beef jerky out about 1/2 way and dab it with a paper towel to remove some of the excess grease.
This is the finished ground beef jerky that I made into sheets. I took a pair of kitchen shears and cut it into uniform pieces. I think this way looks pretty legit but I like the medallions better they just seem more caveman to me! You can see in the picture the grease that I had dabbed of the jerky during cooking. It really does need to be done I'm not sure how it would turn out if it was left.

Making jerky is NOT as hard as it seems and is totally worth it in the end! If you have a great marinade or recipe for jerky please post it to the comments for us to try!

The Veggie of the week is... Chayote Squash

Chayote Squash: (Scientific Binomial Name: Sechium edule).
Pronounced: KAY-OH-TEE
Usage: Use like any other squash. Steam, bake, stuff, fry or even eat raw.

Also know as the vegetable pear or christophene, good quality chayote will be unblemished, firm and will have light to medium green skin. The skin can either be rough or smooth. Avoid squash that is soft or has a growth coming out the crack (its a baby plant). Chayote is available year round and peaks September-May.

Chayote squash is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Its a good source of Niacin, B6, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium and Potassium and a excellent source of Fiber, Vitamins C and K, Folate, Zinc and Copper.

Chayote is naturally grown in Mexico and is used in Spanish and Caribbean cooking.

Chayote Squash Stir fry with a Hint of Mexico

2 tsp Oil
4 Cloves crushed garlic
1 Chayote squash
1 Sweet Onion
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Chili flakes
Juice of 1 lime

It doesn't get much easier than this! Saute the onion and garlic in the oil until they are caramely and delicious add the squash and spices and cook until slightly soft about 5 minutes. Squeeze a bit of lime juice over the top when you serve and enjoy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Spiced Rubbed Chicken

1 1/4 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Chili powder
1 Lemon
1 3.5-4 lb Chicken
Rinse and pat the chicken dry. Pull the skin from the meat with your hand and liberally apply the rub to the meat. Sprinkle any extra rub on the skin
Cut the lemon in half and put in the chicken cavity

Bake at 375 for 1hr-1 hr 15 minutes or until a thermometer stuck in the thigh reads 165 degrees. Remove the lemon and squeeze over the chicken and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Meal on a Budget Part 2

I wanted to make another affordable dinner, In fact lets make this a trend... $10.00 meal for a family of four. My last 10.00 meal was the fish tacos, if you haven't made them yet DO IT! They are so good. I will try and post a few budget meals a month. We are going for simple, affordable and delish. I have been craving grilled cheese dipped in tomato soup, well I couldn't do the grilled cheese part but the soup is do able. It turned out great! It has so much flavor and is extremely easy to make. I did my shopping at Super 1 Foods and included the prices to prove how affordable this dish really is. Enjoy!

1 TBSP Olive oil (.25)
4 Coves garlic (.15)
1 Very finely chopped onion (.45)
2 28oz Cans crushed tomatoes ($2.40)
1 Box chicken stock ($2.00)
20 Leaves fresh basil ($1.98) I only used half the package so this technically is .99

In a 6 qt pot get the oil nice and hot, add the garlic and cook until it starts to brown. Add the onion and saute until it turns a nice caramely color. At this point I added a little sea salt and pepper.
Take the basil and tear the leaves from the stems. Roll the leaves into a little bundle. This is a method for cutting called chiffonade. It will help you get the basil into thin strips. Use a sharp knife and slice the basil as thinly as you can.

Lastly add the crushed tomatoes, stock and basil. Let simmer for 20 minutes and serve.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Veggie of the Week is...

This week our veggie needed to start with a B, I thought to myself... Broccoli, no that is too common. Hmmmm what could I use?!? I decided one something that has some people in a big stink (hehe) and whats even better I had never even had them before!
Brussels Sprouts are members of the cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower family. They are a cruciferous vegetable and contain 80 nutrients! They are high is vitamins K, C and A. They are higher in glocusinolate than other members of its family. Containing levels even higher than Kale and other greens. Glucosinolates are important phytonutrients for our health because they are the chemical starting point for a variety of cancer protective substances that our bodies create. Brussels Sprouts are good for healthy thyroid function and aid in digestion. They are best when harvested from autumn-spring.

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
2 Lbs Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
1 TBSP Olive oil
7 Cloves garlic minced
1/2 Bunch fresh thyme or 2 TBSP dried
1 Sprig rosemary or 1 tsp dried
2 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Salt
1 TBSP Vinegar (I used white wine)
Wash the Brussels sprouts, cut off the bottom and halve lengthwise. In a large saucepan cook the sprouts, uncovered, in enough lightly salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain well and pat dry with some paper towels.
Place the saucepan back on the stove and heat on high for a few minutes . Reduce heat to medium. Add oil and garlic; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until it starts to turn golden brown.
Carefully arrange half the sprouts, cut side down, in the hot skillet. Top with half the thyme, rosemary, fennel seeds and salt. Cook uncovered 4 minutes or until the sprouts are well browned. Remove sprouts form the pan and repeat with the remaining sprouts and spices.

Repeat with remaining sprouts and spices. Return all the sprouts to the skillet along with the vinegar. Quickly toss to distribute the flavors.

If you are worried about offending your family with umm how do I say this nicely... Tooties? That's what the vinegar is for! It will help break it down so you wont be running outside for fresh air!