Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Work in Progress

I experimented with making my own meatloaf recipe tonight.  This isn't really anything new, I've been making meatloaf for years.  But I've been trying to figure out how to get the classic texture without using breadcrumbs, and without having to add something that drastically changes the flavor.  I really like this recipe, however it uses coconut flour AND coconut milk....and I could really taste it. Good variation, but not "classic".  The meatloaf I made tonight tasted AMAZING, but didn't hold together quite as well as I had hoped. It held up well enough, but not great. A good starting point!

1 lb ground beef
1 lb mild italian sausage
just less than 1 package of button mushrooms, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 can tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce (no salt added)
1 egg
~1/4 cup flax meal (I usually use almond meal, but I decided to try something different)
black pepper
~1 T dried oregano 
~1 T dried parsley

Preheat oven to 375. Throw everything in a bowl and mix. Hands work best! I like to take a little ball of the mixture and cook it in a frying pan so I can see if I need to adjust the seasonings. Put the mixture in a pyrex dish... I used 13X9, use whatever you got...and bake for 1 hour. Let rest for about 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.

I also made "ketchup" to put on top...

1/2 can tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce (no salt added)
~1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
~1/2 T honey
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of cloves
pinch of allspice
black pepper
1-2 t "Italian Seasoning" (or use any combination of dried herbs...rosemary, parsley, thyme, basil etc.)

Mix everything together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Some Simple Stuff

Wow, it's been a long time since I updated! And I'll be in Maui for the next week, so I'll just jam a whole bunch of good stuff in one post. Here goes.....

First, an interesting article from Mark's Daily Apple about how to wake up feeling alert!

Ok, I'm adding a link to this article even though it doesn't really have anything to do with paleo... it's paleoISH maybe? Maybe? The top 5 things people regret on their deathbeds.

Now, some really simple paleo stuff I've been enjoying as of late:

Nature's Otter Pops: Take a bag of grapes, stick them in the freezer. Eat. My roommate Ivan says they taste like Otter Pops.  They are the perfect sweet snack, especially since it's finally starting to warm up around these parts.

Tuna Stuffed Avocado:  This is not something new; you've probably come across a million variations of this. But an on-again-off-again house guest, Jeff, made one for me the other day and it was the best I ever had. Maybe it was because it was so simple. Or maybe it was just because someone else made it.  All he did was drain a can of tuna, add a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, then he stuck it on top of a halved avocado. Whenever I've made it, I end up putting a whole bunch of other veggies in it-which is good too- but this was fast, easy, and satisfying.

Pretending Coconut Milk is Yogurt: I always have coconut milk in my cupboard. And I usually have some in my fridge too. I try to get the organic "Thai Kitchen" FULL FAT version, I open a can, transfer it to a tupperware to keep in my fridge and eat over a few days. If you keep it in the fridge it thickens to a consistency similar to Greek yogurt.  I take a banana and whatever kind of berries I have at the moment (sometimes I use mango and banana), put in a bowl with a few scoops of coconut milk, then add walnuts and UNSWEETENED coconut flakes, and cacao nibs. I kinda feel like I'm making a banana split. I'll eat this for a snack or dessert mostly.  Sometimes I eat it for breakfast if I'm starting to get burnt out on eggs.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tilapia with Green Olive Tapenade

Very quick and easy meal.  I based this recipe on one I saw on a Food Network Canada cooking show a few weeks ago. The original recipe is here.

6 tilapia fillets (or any white fish)
3-4 tomatoes
1/2-1 cup large green olives (I got some from an olive bar, not the pimento stuffed ones)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Herbs de Provence

Preheat oven to 400.  Put olives, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until almost smooth. You might have to scrape down the sides a few times. Place fish on an oiled baking sheet and spread the olive tapenade in an even layer on top of fish. Put a couple slices of tomato on top of each filet, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and Herbs de Provence (if you don't have this you can use thyme and/or rosemary). Bake for ~ 7 minutes depending on thickness of fillets, then broil for a couple minutes. I served this with roasted broccoli that I tossed with some wonderfully amazing port wine reduction and herb butter which someone so graciously left at our house after a bbq (thanks Lorraine!).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pulled Pork and BBQ Sauce

First off- props to my roommate Yogy for making this for dinner tonight. This is not an original recipe by any means. In fact, you can find tons of recipes for paleo pulled pork, and I have tried quite a few. This is by far the best I have come across. I've also had some successes and failures with all sorts of BBQ sauce recipes, and this one turned out great. So I'm just going to post links for the recipes...

Crock Pot Pulled Pork
BBQ Sauce

I ALWAYS eat pulled pork with coleslaw.  Back in the days when I would eat  a pulled pork sandwich, I would put the coleslaw right inside the sandwich. Here is a recipe(ish) of the coleslaw I made tonight. I say "ish" because I don't measure so you just have to taste it as you go along. It's also not quite paleo because I used sour cream as the base for the dressing. If you want to make it paleo, simply replace the sour cream with some homemade mayo.

1/4 head of cabbage (red or green),  core removed and shredded
2 carrots, grated
1 apple, grated

1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 of a yellow onion, grated
1-2 T apple cider vinegar
1-2 t hot sauce
caraway seeds (optional)

I shredded the cabbage with a knife, but from time to time I use the food processor with the grater blade to shred and grate everything. Throw everything into a big bowl and in a separate bowl mix the sour cream and vinegar. Grate the onion into the bowl and add hot sauce and salt to your tastes. Caraway seeds are optional- I threw them in because I had them and don't use them for anything since I no longer make bread.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chicken Cacciatore

I don't really know what the "classic" version of chicken cacciatore is. All I know is that this takes less than 20 minutes to put together, it tastes good, and it makes for some good leftovers. Shout out to my momma who used to make this when I was a kid!

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (use dark meat if you prefer, just bake a bit longer)
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
2 bell peppers (any color), sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
at least 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1- 28oz can of crushed tomatoes in puree
1/2 a can of tomato paste
Any fresh or dried Italian-ish herbs 1-2 tsp. (herbs de provence, basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, "italian seasoning")
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 375.  Place onions in the bottom of a casserole dish, then layer the chicken (season with salt and pepper), bell peppers and garlic, and mushrooms.  In a bowl, mix together the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, a couple pinches of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper (as much or as little as you like).  Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken and veggies, and bake for about an hour. I kinda mixed everything around and flipped the chicken after about 40 minutes. My oven tends to be on the cool side, so it takes me about 1hr 15 minutes.

No pics, again. Sorry!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A new, old favorite

This is going to be a quick, pic-less post. My apologies in advance. You'll just have to take my word on this one....

Roasted broccoli with garlic oil

Preheat oven to 375.  While it's preheating, chop a few cloves of garlic and put into a pot with a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Heat over low heat, just for a few minutes.  If it starts sizzling turn the heat off and just let it sit- you aren't trying to brown the garlic here.  Cut the florets off your head(s) of broccoli, place on a baking sheet and drizzle your garlic oil on it, but reserve the garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and toss so everything's evenly covered. Roast for 30 minutes, remove from oven, and toss with reserved garlic.

The broccoli should be nicely browned on the edges, and has a similar flavor to kale chips.  But this tastes even better than kale chips in my opinion because they are more..... toothsome. I'll try to remember to post a picture the next time I make this dish.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Braised Artichokes

This dish is based on a recipe I came across this weekend in a magazine. I spent the weekend in Vancouver and read cooking magazines en route, and I came across a lot of good stuff that I could easily make paleo friendly. So there will be lots more to come in the near future!

Quick-Braised Artichokes and Onions

Quartered artichoke hearts, or halved baby artichoke hearts (link to how to prep after recipe)
3/4 of a bag of frozen pearl onions (defrosted)
~4 T olive oil
2-4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 c water
juice of 1 lemon
~10 mint leaves
salt and pepper

Heat 2 T oil in a pan over medium-heat until it is screaming hot. If artichokes have been in lemon water (to prevent browning) pat them dry and add to pan. Brown for a couple minutes on each side, you should get some good color here. Add a little salt and pepper. Move artichokes to a bowl, add more oil to the pan if needed, and brown the onions.

Add the artichokes back into the pan with the garlic and cook for no longer than a minute. Add the water and lemon juice, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-20 minutes (depending on the size of the artichokes). The artichokes are fork tender when done. Remove cover, add mint, and let cook for another couple of minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.

I didn't specify the amount of artichokes, because I just used what I harvested from our garden today (6 small artichokes) and supplemented with the pearl onions (because I happened to have them). If I had made a trip to the store, I would've used celery and braised that as well. As a matter of fact, I will probably make the same recipe with celery this weekend.

We ate this tonight with homemade sweet potato fries and a bun-less burger. The burger was a grilled pattie on top of a slice of tomato, with roasted garlic and avocado mashed on top.