pasta

I just had to share this….such a beautiful sight, a bowl of steaming hot pasta! NO no…not paleo you say? Well, it is.
If you have never run across a company called “Cappellos Gluten Free” you need to look them up. Grain free, gluten free pasta made with almond flour…it keeps in the freezer, and cooks in 45 seconds flat! delicious! They also have other little indulgences at Cappellos like Paleo slice and bake cookies….yep. you heard that right.

So I cooked my pasta and topped it with a lovely sugar free marinara I found at Whole Foods…and gave it a quick grate of parmesan (indulge me!).

Such a lovely lunch! I just had to share it! And check out the site for the pasta at http://www.cappellosglutenfree.com , you won’t be dissappointed!

Advertisements

Been Busy? Chicken in a Pot!

chicken soup pot

Been busy? Yep. That’s right. That’s me. You too. But I try to think ahead sometimes!
In my house it is non stop. My days are long and my family is busy doing all things all directions, so when I went Paleo I broke down and bought my very best friend, the slow cooker.
I have tried many things in it, some are just great! Some are so-so….but you never know until you try!
(One of my favorite slow cooker recipes is for Ketchup! sugar free! The recipe came from the “21 Day Sugar Detox” By SanFillippo…I add some cayenne pepper and it is great!)

Roasts are a snap. Soups and Chilis are easy and delicious too.

Yesterday I ran home at lunchtime and threw all of the items below in the pot knowing we had my daughter’s water polo game to go to after work, and it would be late when I got home, and I would probably be too tired to start cooking? yep.

Here is how we did it:

Chicken in a Pot (pretty much a Chicken Soup!)

Start layering….I put the veggies on the bottom.
4-5 carrots, cut in 1-2 inch pieces.
3 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces.
1 onion, rough large chop
LOTS of fresh garlic, 10-20 cloves, rough chop
one small finger of ginger, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper liberally
Poultry seasoning, or at least garlic powder, thyme, celery salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Several pieces of organic, free range chicken…I used 2 breasts with skin and bones, and one boneless plus one drumstick I held out from dinner the other night.
(another round of the same seasonings on top of the chicken, plus a little of the chopped garlic)
a handful of fresh parsley

I give it a drizzle of good olive oil and a splash of chicken stock just to put a little moisture on the bottom of the pot…the slow cooking will create a full pot of “juices” as your soup cooks!

PUT THE LID ON….and set it to go for 6-8 hours on low!

Easy easy easy….leave it and come home to lovely smells and a delicious meal….and it is so good for you!

PLUS! Leftovers for the next day! SWEET!

Thai Chicken Meatballs

20140219_20143620140219_20115720140219_202249

Last night we made Thai Chicken Meatballs and broccoli, which turned out mighty good!
I admit, this recipe was not mine originally. I found it in a favorite book, Primal Cravings, that I have a love/hate relationship with. I think the writers of this book have some fantastic ideas! Great flavor profiles! Super ideas! But I truly do not believe they tested half of these recipes, or if they did, they wrote a few of them up, well, wrong. I have made MANY things from the book, and once I have tweaked and fixed a few things, they are really great recipes! So I will say this is their base recipe, with some tweaking so you don’t throw the book out the window, which I almost did more than once.

Here is what should happen:

Put all of the following into a large mixing bowl:
2 pounds ground chicken (we decided last night beef would work here too)
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp Peach Jam (all fruit, no sugar added)
2 Tbsp Spicy Chile Sauce (as clean as you can find it!)
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp of salt ( or more, to your liking)
Cayenne pepper if you like it spicier….I used about 1/4 tsp
*2 Tbsp water mixed with 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and 1/4 tsp baking soda

Mix with your hands and form golf ball size meatballs. Plece meatballs evenly spaced on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. (Do not use a silpat. This turns into a mess.)

Bake these in the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until and instant read thermometer reads 165+ degrees. They should be browned on the outside and on the bottoms.

While meatballs are browning in the oven, in a small sauce pan bring the following to a simmer and turn off:
1/2 cup of peach jam (from above)
1/4 cup of chile suace, or more to your liking
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 minced garlic cloves
2 Tbsp water
salt to taste
whisk until blended, heat to a simmer.

When the meatballs are ready, place them in a bowl and pour peach chile sauce over them and toss gently….you are ready to dig in!
We just steamed some broccoli with lemon and salt to serve with them! These are great the next day for leftovers as well, if any are left!

Plate this!

mexiplate

Always on the search for something with alot of flavor that is easy and fairly quick on a weeknight, coupled with will everyone in the house eat it….I was flipping through the March 2014 issue of Paleo Magazine and stumbled across some definitely doable recipes! I read through the two recipes that were meant to be served together called “Salsa Beef and Spiced “Rice” Bowls” and thought, this is too simple!

I got my head around it and started a little improvising in my head, and ended up with the recipe below. I wanted to credit whoever wrote the base recipes, but there is no author cited! So, thank you to Paleo Magazine …for printing those two recipes for inspiration! And here is how I made them my own:

I prepped all my ingredients, the chopping anyway,for both recipes and then just threw them together in their seperate skillets at the same time….

Skillet One – Mexican Beef
Brown 1 pound of Grass fed ground beef in a Tablespoon of coconut oil
Once browned, add:
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
4 medium scallions (greens and whites) trimmed and chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
Continue to cook in the skillet another 5 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup of your favorite fresh salsa
Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Skillet Two – Spiced Mexican Rice
Chop florets of 2 heads of cauliflower in a food processor
Saute cauliflower in about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil along with 1 medium chopped red onion, 5 minutes. Add in 5-7 cloves of chopped garlic as you saute.
Season the cauli rice with:
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 + tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt, pepper and up to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more, to taste
Keep moving this around in the skillet until evenly distributed.
Whish together 1/2 cup chicken broth and 2 tablespoons tomato paste….add to the saute and mix in.
while that is cooking a minute or two, chop a handful of cilantro and toss in. Mix in, turn off heat.
Squeeze the juice of a lime over the whole thing and give it a quick mix.

SERVE IT UP:
Put a good helping of cauli rice on the bottom of the plate or bowl.
Top it with your Mexican Beef…
Add a dollop of home made guacamole (mine is a secret recipe…for now!) or chopped avocado…

we decided it could be spicier…
Next time around I will put a couple of spoonfuls of pico de gallo in the rice and mix in….I think that sounds good!

This whole thing took 30 minutes, start to finish…smells divine! Tastes even better!
I cannot wait to hear how you like it!

And now a word from my Mother!

fritatta

My mother sent me a pic of her breakfast last weekend…she does this from time to time…and it always looks amazing so I post it on instagram and everyone loves it and it gets way more likes than anything of mine, whatever! She is paleo, she will not let me tell her age, but I am 43, and she gets discounted movie tickets! So that is all I have to say about that except how cool is it that she GETS it! She is holistic, organic, natural and paleo!

And because everyone on IG wanted to know, here is her recipe for the fritatta above, and her guest post….so, mother….you are on the internet now! you famous!

Guest Post from Mother:

I understand there are some who are
wanting to make the Sunday morning frittata.
This is a meal that fits many occasions. An easy breakfast/brunch
Or try for dinner on a busy day. Aren’t they all?

Most time consuming thing is grating the sweet potato. “What?” you say.
Yes sweet potato!
Recipe coming up and it is very healthy!
I have a little farm where I grow some of my own vegetables and herbs.
Love that and of course we do it organically !
So here is the frittata using veggies and herbs
a la my farm garden.

Sunday Morning Frittata with Chorizo
the oven does alot of the work for you…..and fast!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 -1 lb. chorizo sausage uncooked ( I used veal chorizo)

1 small sweet potato, scrubbed and shredded (about1 cup)

1/2 large yellow bell pepper sliced

1/4 cup of yellow or white onion

8 large pasture raised organic eggs

1 tsp. coconut milk

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 roma tomatoes sliced, (even 9 or 10 small grape tomatoes sliced is fine)

Garnish: avocado slices and fresh chopped herb of your choice, cilantro, sage, basil

the marriage:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Heat the oil in an oven safe skillet over medium heat.

Add the sausage, sweet potato, yellow pepper, and onion and sauté apx. 5 min.

(I browned the sausage first, and added the rest for a sauté of 5 min.)

Beat the eggs with the coconut milk and salt, then pour into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes

Just pour evenly, no stirring or turning…….just easy

Arrange the tomato slices in a circular pattern on top of the eggs. (I added1 cup chopped spinach first)

Place the frittata in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

Serve with the avocado and sprinkle with the torn herb

**I would add some “smashed garlic with sea salt”, we tend to thrive on alot of garlic!

And if you like hot peppers, I would do either of the next suggestions for a little “tickle” for your taste buds.

Just chop one hot pepper, could be cayenne, our personal favorite that we grow, or jalapeño or a small Tai pepper. I seed them mostly and chop finely with sea salt.

Add 8-10 sliced grape tomatoes. Toss some of this on each slice of the Frittata.

Or do all of the above except sauté with 1 teaspoon grass fed butter or oil in a small skillet for a minute and then add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk and stir till thickened slightly. You can add some(grass fed) grated cheddar to this or just spoon it as is over… anything really. Just delicious!

Oh! Don’t ever breathe over a skillet with hot peppers cooking or you will choke a bit and or sneeze, depending on your particular physical make up. Experience is our teacher, right?

I think it took me longer to write out the recipe for you than it did to make it.

So, hope you try this, it will work for any “busy girl for a paleo world”.

A Fast Scramble in the mornings

fast scramble

Ok so first, clearly I am obsessed with blueberries right now. I eat them like a sugar junkie on jelly beans. The are so juicy and sweet right now, I almost cannot stand it! Cheap they are not, but mighty tasty and really good for you, so I splurge!
Blueberries are showing up along my breakfast, as a snack and trailing through my salads. I just cannot get enough right now!

This morning was a blur in my house as usual. The daily scramble to get yourself dressed and ready for work along with a few household items (washer, dryer) dogs and cat fed and watered and let out…always leaves me barrelling out the door in a rush no matter what time I get up! I kind of like it, but I don’t like running late, and that does happen.

Thankfully there are alot of quick ways to throw breakfast together….I usually pack mine and eat it at my desk when I can breathe a little!

A red pepper was calling my name from the fridge, and bacon was not.

So here is the super fast and easy scramble I threw together (and ate along with my BLUEBERRIES!!!):

I put a bit of Kerrygold butter in a small skillett to melt over medium heat. Quick chopped about a fourth of a RED PEPPER…tossed it in the pan.
While that is cooking, crack two eggs into a bowl and chop about a teaspoon of fresh PARSLEY – add that to the egg.
Beat the egg with a fork with a dash of salt and pepper.
Pour into the skillet and start moving the eggs and peppers around as it scrambles.
THATS IT!

You can give a quick sprinkle of grated Kerrygold Cheese over the eggs if you like, or dice some tomatoes or avocado over the top….but today it went as is into the container….

You can do this!
So easy, so fast….so good!

And, that’s Lunch

and thats lunch

All right, one last one for today.
Lunch kind of just happened today, but happened really well!

So, I posted earlier about a little cucumber veggie salad that I like alot made with chopped veggies, mayo, Sunny Paris Seasoning, fresh garlic, S&P and a little vinegar. Well, the nice thing about that mix is it gets better as it sits, and I had a little (very little!) left over last night, and I kept it! I decided to make a salad at lunch and a sweet potato and a little leftover grilled chicken.

I just made a salad with spinach and lettuce leaves. Added a little more veggies (more radishes, carrots, a stalk of hearts of palm) and a tiny bit of organic feta cheese (goats). I hit the whole bowl with a small dollop of mayo, a little more vinegar, and dumped the remainder of last nights salad on top! mix mix mix . wow and WOW! look at that plate! I sort of went into a trance while I was eating away, ended up not even eating much of the chicken and of course devoured that tater!

So this I guess is kind of a recipe? More of a guideline of how quick and easy paleo lunches can be! Keep easy things on hand like leftover proteins, lettuce, fresh organic veggies, and a fresh jar of your home made paleo mayo at all times!

Hope you like my pretty plate, I know I did!

My twist on Gingerbread Donuts – Paleo!

gingerbread donuts

I drooled over some facebook post a few weeks ago for “Gingerbread Donuts” and I cannot recall who posted it (it was a repost) and all I have on the author of the recipe is that it was by Cook/Baker Maria Emmerich. I stayed pretty close to the original, but changed the source of “sweet” as well as a few other minor tweaks. They cooked up so nice, and smell fantastic! I also liked the idea that they are for dipping rather than glazing them. The coconut flour in it fills you up quick so one donut is very satisfying (or two if you really are huuunnngry!)

Here is how you do it:

Lightly grease your donut pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the following by hand or with hand beater:
1/2 Cup coconut crystals
3/4 cup Kerrygold Butter or coconut oil

Then stir in:
1/2 cup Almond Milk
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp allspice

Next add:
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour ***optional – I sub out 2 Tbsp of Tapioca for 2 Tbsp of the coconut flour…gives a “breadier” texture
1 tsp baking soda

Mix all together until well combined.

Fill your doughnut pan just shy of the top. I dump the batter into a ziploc bag, snip the tip and pipe it in….alot less mess getting the donut shapes full of batter! But you can spoon it in too!

Bake for 15 minutes, pop out of the pan and let them cool.

While they bake, make the sauce:

Melt 1/2 cup of Kerrygold butter and add in 1/2 cup coconut crystals, 1/4 cup almond milk and 1 Tbsp vanilla. A dash of cinnamon is nice here too. Whisk until blended, and pop in the fridge to cool off. It will thicken up as it cools…… dip or spread on cooled donuts!

This is some good paleo treating I must say!

Let me know what you think!

Simple Green and a Cucumber Mix up

good stuff salad

So this salad is too easy not to try, and there are so many variations you can make it your own! I actually had this one published in Paleo Magazines Reader’s Choice Cookbook!
I have a soft spot for broccoli! Broccoli is always the base for this salad for me. And avocado (but I didn’t have any on hand that day…wah!).

So here is what happens:

Bring a pan with about an inch of water in it to a boil.
Throw in a large handful of broccoli florets and let them cook about 2-3 minutes….you do not want them to get mushy!
While that is happening, place the following in a bowl…
Chopped veggies! Tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, avocadoes, celery…whatever catches your eye that day!
Strain and drain the broccoli…then dump out on a paper towel to catch the last bits of water. Then add those to the bowl.
Into the bowl with a big spoonful of homemade mayo, salt and pepper to taste, and squeeze lemon juice all over it…then toss, toss, toss.

That is it! so easy and so good! (I think this is going to be lunch today too!)

Another variation I did last night was simply:
One cucumber, thinly sliced
sliced radishes and sliced carrots
Mash up one piece of garlic into the bowl
Salt and pepper, and a good handful of Penzey’s Sunny Paris Seasoning
A spoonful of mayo and this time I shook some light raspberry vinegar over the top…maybe 3 tablespoons?

toss and mix and toss….the longer it sits, the better it gets!

So delicious I just cannot say enough about these two easy salads that are so different every time you make it!

Inspired Italian Meatballs

italilan meatballs

I am a huge fan of Michelle Tam of http://www.nomnompaleo.com and book, Nom Nom Pale, Food for Humans. She was the first paleo blogger I found when I did my first Whole 30 about two years ago. I loved all of the things she made and the fact that she is a mom of two boys and works full time and seems to truly love food! Everything I have ever made from her blog or book has had such depth of flavor, just amazing food!

Well, I had a pound of ground meat on hand and wanted to make one of her meatball recipes, but she used veal, and seasonings that lended themselves to veal like basil. I had beef…so I ran with that using her recipe as a base to stem from.

They turned out light and airy and so flavorful!

Here is what I did:

Place all of the ingredients below in a mixing bowl and mix with hands:
1 pound organic grassfed ground beef (would be good mixed with pork)
1/2 finely chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup chopped italian parsely
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 cup garlic cauliflower mash (Steam 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets with 5 cloves of garlic for about 10 minutes. Pulse through the food processor until smooth with 2 Tablespoons ghee or butter from a grassfed source)

Shape into golf ball sized meatballs. Brown in a good skillet over medium-hi heat in a mix of ghee or butter and coconut oil for 2-3 minutes per side, keep turning until browned all over.

You can sauce these up so many different ways or just eat on their own! Easy stuff!
We ate with the remainder of the cauliflower mash on the side and a chopped veggie salad.

Let me know what you think!