Tuesday, January 22, 2013

30 Days of Not Posting

Well, the 30 Days of Recipes was a nice idea. I doubted myself initially, but after a few days, I thought "Hey, I  might just make it."

Due to the unexpected passing of a loved one, I abandoned the daily posts. I spent a few days on the road, but now I'm back. And getting ready for shoulder surgery. So yea.. about those recipes... maybe one day!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

30 Days of Recipes: Day 8: Cheater Chicken Soup

This is a staple. If you don't already make something similar, I can't over-recommend this. This is a must. make. all Fall and Winter long. And Spring, since Spring in Oregon is so cool and wet. Maybe Summer too..

You'll need:

  1. One rotisserie chicken.
  2. One bunch celery.
  3. 3 carrots.
  4. Any veggies you want- I use whatever I find in the freeze.
  5. 3 cups chicken stock.
  6. Green or white onion to taste.
  7. Salt, pepper and garlic. Plenty of garlic.
Start by ripping up the chicken meat. I pull off all the meat that I can easily remove. I eat lots while I pull it. I usually consider that my lunch. Chop up your veggies, add a liberal amount of salt, pepper and garlic. Then more garlic. Put all of this in your slow cooker, and cover with stock. 

You can also put all of these ingredients in a freezer bag or container, and save for later.

Whenever you cook the soup, cook on low about 3-4 hour. If your veggies aren't soft enough, keep going. If you go too long the soup gets a bit darker and the flavor gets a little too deep for my taste.

Take the chicken carcass, any organ meat that may have come with your bird, and whatever veggies scraps are left, along with a little salt and garlic, and toss it in a pot of water. Just enough water to almost cover the bird. This isn't rocket science. Or, maybe it is and I should be paying closer attention to my stock.

I cook the stock on a low heat (you can use a slow cooker for this) for a few hours. Check periodically. If all the meat fell off, you're good. 

If you haven't make stock before, it's sort of interesting. You can strain what you have in the pan at this point, and collect lots of meat scraps, skin, and fragments of soft tissue. The liquid portion is rich in nutrients from the bone, like gelatin, than are so good for our own bones. After straining your stock, you can freeze it for months, or just store it in the refrigerator to use in a few days. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

30 Days of Recipes: Day 7: "Chocolate" Chip Cookies

I'm learning that if I go into a paleo desert thinking "oh, sure, this will be just like regular brownies/cookies/cake/etc" that I will be sorely disappointed.

But. These cookies are pretty stinking good, and I think even a non-paleo eating would enjoy these.

You'll need:

  1. 1.5 cups coconut flour.
  2. 1/4 cup butter (NOT Whole9 compliant, but I figure it's an animal fat, and close enough for me. Do what you want. Sub a different fat if you like- maybe ghee, lard, avocado)
  3. Big dash of salt.
  4. Big dash of baking soda.
  5. 2-3 tablespoons of honey.
  6. 1 egg.
  7. Small pour of vanilla extract (about 1/2 teaspoon).
  8. As many carob chips as you like. If you've never used carob chips before, fear not. The texture is a great match. Taste is close- maybe a bit sweeter than semi-sweet chips.
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, and scoop them onto your baking sheet. I cover my sheets with foil, but you can oil the pan, use a non-stick mat, parchment paper... whatever you want. Anyway. I go about 10 minutes at 375F.

These cookies were super yummy. I'm going to make a batch before bed tonight!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

30 Days of Recipes: Day 6: Creole Meatballs

Of course, I check Nom Nom Paleo all the time. If you noticed today, you'll find a great meatball recipe posted. That got me thinking about meatballs, so I tried a recipe with my go-to seasoning blend. Give this a try and let me know what you think!

Creole meatballs?? Yes! And YUM!

You'll need:
1 pounds of ground beef (lamb, venison, chicken, etc).
1 small shallot. Recipes always call for shallots. I usually sub-onion, then mix in some extra garlic. Try the shallot though!
Two eggs.
1 tablespoon Original Creole Seasoning.
Coconut oil or olive oil.
Tomato paste (1-2 tablespoons).
Herbs: As much or as little as you like: parsley, cilantro, basil.

Heat your over to 375F, and line your pan with foil. Oil a frying pan and heat to a high medium.

Dice up the shallot, chop the herbs. Mix ground beef, egg, herbs, tomato paste, and Creole Seasoning in a bowl.

Roll the meat into 1-inch balls. If it's too soft, you may need to put it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes and try again. When the meatballs are formed, brown the outsides in your frying pan. When all the meatballs are browned, bake them at 375F for 15-20 minutes. Check the internal temperature to be safe.

The meatballs will keep for a few days in the refrigerator. I like to serve them with salsa. Yummm!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

30 Days of Recipes: Day 5: Slow Cooker "Roast" Chicken

Yum- I love cooking the whole bird. First, because you get to eat yummy chicken. Second, you have lots of left over meat to add to chicken soup. I've tried to make my own broth a few times, with a the carcass, but it only worked once.

So! You'll need:

  1. One whole chicken.
  2. Aromatics- onion, celery, garlic, lemons, carrots. Add any of these you like, and skip which ever you want.
  3. Chicken stock (2 cups)
  4. Salt & pepper.
  5. Olive oil, ghee, etc.

Wash the chicken, inside and out, then pat dry. Stuff the bird with the aromatic veggies of your choosing. Place the bird in the slow cooker. Oil the skin of the bird, add garlic, salt and pepper outside the bird, to taste. Pour in chicken stock.

Cook the bird for 7 hours on low, then check the temperature. You can pull the chicken when the internal temperature is 165F. Continue cooking, and it make dry out. Your slow cooker may have a lower temperature than mine, and may cook slower, so check the temperature, then enjoy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

30 Days of Recipes: Day 4: Snickerdoodles (ish)

Day four! Honestly, I'm surprised I've made it this far.

You'll need:

  1. 1.5 cups of almond flour
  2. 1/4 cup honey
  3. 3 big pinches of baking soda
  4. 1 tablespoon vanilla
  5. 4 tablespoons of coconut oil
  6. cinnamon to taste

Stir everything together in a bowl. If it's too moist, add more flour. Be conservative with cinnamon- a little goes a very long way.

Feel free to substitute up to about half cup of coconut or potato flour for the same amount of almond flour. I wouldn't go higher that half a cup. Personally. Just my preference, for texture.

Anyway. Spoon them onto your baking sheet of choice, and bake for 12-17 minutes at 350F.

If you use too much coconut oil, they will be like taffy. Too much honey, and they will be uber-sweet. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

30 Days of Recipes: Day 3: Stir fry beef and veggies

Along with your cauliflower rice, try some stir fried beef.

You'll need:

  1. 1 pounds of beef (or other meat). Serves two people. Double recipe for additional people.
  2. Whole peas (in pod)
  3. Chopped onion
  4. Chopped zucchini and yellow squash
  5. Orange juice and soy sauce
  6. Garlic and ginger
Start with a warm, oiled pan. While browning the beef, add equal parts orange juice and coconut aminos. I start with 1/8 cup each. If it reduces too far, just add a table spoon of each. Finish cooking the beef in the sauce, reducing the sauce as you go. Chop a few cloves of garlic and stir the garlic into the beef.

When the beef is fairly brown, stir in the veggies. I don't like to add them too early, because I don't like squishy veggies. The sooner you add them, the softer they get. If you add them late but keep cooking, your beef with be tough.  I don't add the ginger until the veggies are in, so I can get a good sense of how the flavors will combine, but you can add it earlier. Microplane fresh ginger if you have it, or shake in some dried ginger.

Serve it up on a plate with your cauliflower rice, and enjoy!

I use stew meet, but the Hubster thinks it is too tough. I don't like chopping up the beef (or anything I don't have to chop), so I'm happy enough with it. This works just as well with chicken, and shrimp. I haven't tried anything other than these three meats. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

30 Days of Recipes: Day 2: Paleo fried "rice"

It was easy for me to eliminate grains from my diet. I don't eat much bread, although I do enjoy pizza and pasta. But really, we weren't eating those things very often. I stopped using buns with my burgers years ago. And other than the occassional burrito bowl, I don't have any reason to eat rice. Other than chips and salsa, I don't need or want corn.

But. Sometimes, it goes really well with a meal. Enter: caluliflower fried rice.

This is my new favorite staple. I feel like I make it really well, which must mean it is easy to make. I even started to "get fancy" and add more ingredients. Still easy.

My tip: use a bag of frozen cauliflower. Raw cauliflower doesn't chop quite the same, so there is much more labor (time spent chopping) and the texture is different, too. Very... cauliflowery.

I use:
1 bag of frozen cauliflower. Leave it in a collander, to thaw and drain any excess moisture.
As much frozen (or fresh) peas, chopped carrots, broccolli, chopped onion, chopped pepper, etc, as you like. I use about a cup each of peas, carrots and broccolli. I use about a quater cup of the other two.
3 eggs. You can use more, less or none.
Coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute).
  1. First oil the pan and warm it up to a warm medium.
  2. Toss in the onion to soften for a minute or two, then dump in the rest of the veggies (except the peppers).
  3. In a seperate pan, scramble the eggs, then set the eggs aside.
  4. Put the cauliflower in the food processor or blender and pulse, pulse, pulse. It doesn't take long to get a nice rice-like texture. It might look a bit like quinoa. I do the cauliflower in two or three portions, so I don't over load the food processor.
  5. Add the peppers (I hold these out a few minutes because I don't like them too soft).
  6. Season with plenty of ginger and conservatively add the coconut aminos- you don't want it soupy.
  7. Taste it- is it good? Great! Not enough flavor? More ginger. Garlic, salt and pepper to taste, if you like.
  8. Stir the egg back in. Test the flavor- still good? Great.
  9. Last, add the cauliflower. Stir everything around to warm up the cauliflower and distrubute the flavor. Test the flavor as before.
You use any meat you like, or none at all. If you use regular soy sauce, check the label, as it may contain wheat. Another option is reduced beef stock. Yep, super reduced beef stock.

I've served this to a few different folks- my extended family, a few friends, strangers at a potluck holiday party... and it continues to be a big hit with everyone. It reheats really well, which is great for packing lunches.

Give this a try! I really hope to spread the cauliflower rice love here!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

30 Days of Recipes: Day 1: PW Salsa

Happy New Year on the new blog! I'm kicking off 2013 with a new paleo recipe per day, for 30 days. I hope I don't miss a day. Fingers crossed.

So, today!

This recipe was inspired by the Pioneer Woman's Restaurant Style Salsa. I assume the Pioneer Woman has never seen my blog. This is simply my take on her recipe.

I make salsa from scratch regularly. Usually I chop all of the fresh ingredients by hand, but sometimes, like today, I use my food processor. I hear blenders work well, too, but I've never tried it that way.

First I chopped the onion. I used one bunch of green onions, and about a quarter of a baseball-size yellow onion.

I put the large can of whole stewed tomatoes in the food processor, and pulsed until I liked the texture- sort of chunky.

I added most of the leaves from one bunch of cilantro (sweet, lovely cilantro!) When I use cilantro, I keep the twist tie in place while I wash the leaves. Then you can shake them out, and use kitchen sheers to cut off the leaves, dropping them straight into the food processor. Pulse, pulse, pulse.

Then I added a couple pinches of salt, and a couple pinches of cumin. I used one very large clove of garlic. It was bigger than a fifty cent piece. Big clove. I rolled one large lime against the counter top, to soften it up before chopping it in half and squeezing the juice from one half into the salsa. Pulse, pulse, pulse.

I stirred this mix into the two cans of a chopped tomatoes with chilis. The smell of cilantro was very strong, but the taste wasn't overwhelming. There's just a little heat, but a nice flavor and texture.

I think this will be a really good burger salsa (you've tried salsa on a cheeseburger, right? mmmm!)

I'm loving this recipe. It was faster than the raw, fresh, chop method. The flavor made me and the Hubster happy. I recommend trying this one yourself. Enjoy!