Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, leaves and stem removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
2 Tbsps. grapeseed oil, coconut oil or butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken broth or reserve the cooking water
Salt and Pepper to taste
Water

What To Do:

Chop the cauliflower into medium chunks.  You can even use most of the stem for this too.  Place the cauliflower and garlic in a steamer basket or microwave safe bowl with a lid.  Fill a pot or the bowl 1/4 way up with water.  Steam or microwave the cauliflower and garlic until soft.  You want it to be a little mushy.  Drain the cooked cauliflower of most of the water.  In a food processor or with an immersion blender combine the cauliflower, garlic,  1/4 cup chicken stock or cooking water, the oil or butter and salt.  Blend until smooth, adding more broth or water until desired consistency. Adjust seasonings comprar viagra and serve.

Munchin’ Meatballs

Munchin’ Meatballs

I’m Back!  I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a new recipe, but I’m back and ready to get you cooking just in time for the holidays!

I’ve been working with this recipe for the last few weeks and it has become a “go to” meal that the whole family loves!  You can make these meatballs on the stovetop or in the slow cooker.  If you do it on the stove, you can have them ready in half an hour.  Or, you can get them ready early in the day and let the slow cooker work it’s magic and you will have meatballs aplenty by dinner.

This makes a lot of meatballs, but don’t be surprised if you only have  a couple for leftovers…they are yummy!

Two HUGE meatballs served over roasted spagetti squash!

For The Meatballs:

1 egg
1/2 onion, finely diced and separated in half
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried basil or Italian seasoning
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground turkey or chicken
1 pound ground pork
1 pound all natural sausage (mild or hot, it’s up to you)
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, keeping 1/2 of the chopped onion set aside.

2.  Using your hands, mix and knead until thoroughly combined and everything is evenly distributed.  Set aside.

3.  Make the sauce

For The Sauce:

2 tsp bacon fat or olive oil
1 – 7oz. can tomato paste
1 – 14oz. can diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 diced onion (from the meatballs)
2 tsp. dried Italian Seasoning
1 cup beef or chicken broth
salt and pepper

1.  In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the bacon fat or olive oil until melted and shimmery, but not smoking.

2.  Place the reserved onion and garlic into the pan and stir.  If the garlic starts to stick, turn the heat down a little. Continue to cook until onion is slightly browned.

3.  Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning.  Stir until thoroughly combined.  Season with salt and pepper and let simmer until some of the liquid has reduced.  Stir frequently.

4.  Add the broth and stir until combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  For a little extra kick, add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes.

 

To Finish…

1.  Using your hands or a scoop, roll the meat into balls of whatever size you would like.  (If I’m in a hurry, I’ll make them bigger, but the kids like smaller as they can eat them whole.)  Place each ball directly into the sauce, packing them in closely.  You can stack them too as they will reduce in size as they cook.  If it looks like there is not enough liquid, add more broth 1/4 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

2.  Cover and cook on medium-high heat for 15-30 minutes depending on the size of the meatball.

3.  Taste and season

4.  Serve with your favorite vegetable or over a bed of spagetti squash.

 

SLOW COOKER METHOD

1.  Prepare meat as above

2.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, make the sauce as directed.

3.  Place meatballs in the bottom of slow cooker insert

4.  Pour the sauce over the top of the meatballs.

5.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.

6.  Enjoy!

School Lunch Round-Up

School Lunch Round-Up

WHEW!  This has been a crazy busy summer!  I cannot believe it is almost over.  My big guy’s 7th grade orientation is tomorrow morning and we just received my kindergartner’s “smart start” schedule!  The stores are full of school supplies and the leaves are starting to change on the maple in my front yard.  Yep, it’s officially time to start thinking about school…and the anxiety that comes with preparing Primal lunches for my kids.  As parents, we tend to worry a great deal about what our kids are eating, or not eating, at school.  Ultimately, what I’ve discovered over the past year is that, if they are hungry, they will eat what is there for them.  I keep an open conversation with them throughout the year to gauge their likes and dislikes and if they are getting enough in their lunches to satisfy their hunger throughout the day.

So…here is an example of a lunch that I would send with my oldest to middle school.  I try to keep it balanced, but my children do not eat veggies when I’m not there to make it happen!

If I bake something for breakfast, I put it in their lunch too!  If I make waffles, then I turn it into almond butter and fruit spread sandwiches.  I make fruit and nut bars, granola bars or egg cups.  I make bacon and roll it up to fit or roll uncured lunch meat around avocado slices.  Apple sauce with cinnamon, fruit strips, hard boiled eggs,  dried fruit and jerky are good too!  There are so many choices and options to choose from, let your imagination run wild!

for the girls, I’ll add berries and use a single hot dog. My 8-year old prefers melted chocolate on the waffles, so I’ll do that too!

Granola bars

2 uncured, all beef hot dogs (kept in a small thermos), homemade ketchup, raw cheddar, 1 apple, and paleo waffle sandwich with almond butter and strawberry spread. I might put two sandwiches in there if he’s having a growth spurt!

Un-Granola Bars

Un-Granola Bars

I was recently invited to the local launch of a Paleo-inspired food line.  The problem that I had was that the chefs creating this food were not Paleo themselves and made things much too sweet and used questionable amounts and types of sweeteners.  While I’m ok with the occasional sweetener, especially for kids, I’m not ok with just making “Paleo” versions of super sweet confections and eating them on a daily basis.  So, I decided to make my own, not so sweetened, version of a granola bar.  It turned out great!  Please know that you can use whatever variation of nuts, seeds and fruit you have on hand.  You can even omit the fruit altogether and it will turn out great.

Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (no shell)
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 cup unsweetened raisins
1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries
1/4 cup finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (optional)
2 pinches of salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (you can use butter if you can tolerate it)
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. honey (optional)

Directions

  • In a food processor, pulse the cashews, walnuts and almonds until ground into large and small chunks.  Pour into a large bowl
  • Place the seeds and dried fruit into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Add to the bowl of nuts.
  • Stir the coconut, chocolate (if using), and salt into the nuts and seeds
  • In a small bowl combine the coconut oil or butter, vanilla and honey (if using)
  • Pour over the nut mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Press into a 9×13 in glass baking dish or a 1/4 sheet baking pan.
  • Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  You can place it in the freezer instead for half the time.
  • Slice and place in individual bags.  Keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Firehouse Chili Verde

Firehouse Chili Verde

This recipe has been highly coveted (by me) for a while now.  My family’s long time friend, Bill, is a Seattle firefighter and a fantastic cook.  His family chose to go Paleo just over a year ago and he has been prolific at converting recipes and creating new ones within Paleo guidelines.  This is one of his best.

Please do not be discouraged by the amount of steps in this recipe.  The time taken is well worth the end result.  You will also have delicious leftovers to enjoys for days to come!

I have been eating the leftovers for breakfast, lunch and a few dinners. It is fantastic pan fried with a couple of eggs on top for breakfast.

Serve this with avocado cream and lime wedges.

Ingredients

4-6 lbs. pork shoulder or butt (cubed into 3-4 inch chunks)
4 pieces bacon, chopped
1 onion
3 jalapeno  (fire roasted – directions to follow)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
4 cans fire roasted chiles (I used 4 oz, but Bill uses 7oz cans)
2 large cans tomatillos, drained
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. cumin
2 bunches kale, washed and roughly chopped
salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown the chopped bacon until cooked and fat is rendered.  Remove bacon to a paper towel lined bowl, set aside.

2.  Meanwhile on a gas burner or under the broiler, char the skin of the jalapenos until blackened.  Wrap in a couple of paper towels to cool.  When cooled down a bit, use the paper towels to slide the charred skin off of the peppers.  Pull out the seeds and remove the stem.  Chop the flesh and reserve.

   

4.  Season the cubed pork shoulder generously with salt and pepper.  Heat all of the bacon fat on high and brown the pork in the bacon fat, turning until most sides are golden brown.  Remove browned pork to a separate plate and set aside.

5.  Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion, chopped jalapenos and garlic to the pan.  Season with salt and pepper and saute, scraping up any browned bits accumulated on the bottom of the pan.

6.  Add the chopped tomatoes, cans of fire roasted chilis, the oregano and cumin.  Stir

7.  Next add the tomatillos by grabbing a couple and crushing them in your hand over the pot, then just drop them in.  Continue with this until all of the tomatillos are crushed and added to the chili.  Saute with a wooden spoon.

8.  Add about 1 cup of the chicken stock to deglaze the pan and continue to cook.

9.  Add half of the kale to the pot.  Add another cup of chicken stock and cover the pot.  Let the kale steam for 2-3 minutes.  Remove the cover and add the other half of the kale.  Add a third cup of chicken stock and cover until the kale is wilted, about 2-3 minutes more.

   

10.  Place the pork back into the pot with the vegetables.  Cover and cook over low heat for 2-3 hours.  Alternately, you can preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cook for the same amount of time.

11.  To finish the recipe, uncover the pot and taste the broth.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.  Add the reserved bacon back into the pot and serve with avocado cream, lime wedges and hot sauce.  Enjoy!