Monthly Archives: October 2011

Fall Harvest Soup

I made this soup after the civilized caveman made a comment about his addiction to squash. I couldn’t help but sate my own gourd addiction. The color of this soup is so pretty that I almost don’t want to eat it. However, it is too tasty not to. Unlike my recent string of un-paleo foods, this soup is very paleo. If you too are addicted to squash you will want to make this soup.

Fall Harvest Soup

3 red bell peppers

1 pumpkin (Make sure you get the small pie pumpkin, and not a carving pumpkin. The taste is much different)

1 butternut squash

2 heads of roasted garlic

3 cans of chicken stock

2 cans of coconut milk

2 tsp of thyme

1 tsp of oregano

Cut and remove the seeds and pulp from all of your fruits (if it has internal seeds it’s technically a fruit).


Place them on a cookie sheet cut side down with a little olive oil.

Roast them until soft. The squash and pumpkin take about 45 minutes at 400 and the red peppers took about 20 minutes.

For the last few minutes of the peppers I turned on the broiler and blackened them a bit.

I made the garlic the day before but to roast garlic you just wrap up the entire head with tinfoil and roast in the oven. Just place it in with your pumpkin and squash. When all your fruit is roasted take it out and let it cool down a bit. When it is cool enough to handle scoop the flesh out and into a large stock pot. Discard the skin. Peel and add the garlic. Add the remaining ingredients except for the coconut milk. Cook on medium for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and blend in a blender. I learned a neat trick the other day for blending hot liquids. Remove the little center piece on the lid and drape the blender with a kitchen towel. This keeps the soup from popping the lid off and making a huge mess. I had to blend this in stages because I made so much of it. Once it is all blended pour it back into the pot and add your coconut milk. Cook again on medium for another 20 minutes. After that ladle it out and enjoy. This soup has all the great taste of fall with the sweet creaminess of the coconut milk. I think this is my new favorite meal.

You can enjoy this beautiful soup as a Halloween treat today with a little crumble of bacon! Happy Halloween!


The Most Amazing Mashed Potatoes Ever!

These mashed potatoes would make Paula Dean proud. They are the mashed potatoes that my husband makes. These were originally inspired by his buddy in college Connor. Thank you for showing him the way of awesome! They are amazing and not for the faint of heart. You know that saying ‘made with love’? Well these are made with all the things that make you love food. The only thing missing is bacon! Which I’m sad to say we didn’t add. Serve these for your next get together and you might just find you have new roommates.

Amazing Mashed Potatoes

3 large russets washed and cubed

1 package of cream cheese

1 stick of butter

1 package of powdered ranch dressing

2 heaping tbsp of sour cream

1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 head of roasted garlic

1 tbsp of Tony’s cajun seasoning

Boil the potatoes with the Tony’s seasoning.

Drain the potatoes and add all the remaining ingredients and mash. Black nail polish is optional but certainly adds flair. (Zombie prom remnants)

Shhh. You won’t have a heart attack quite yet.

(Secret weapon)

That’s it. Now try not to lick the pot clean.We ate them with some tasty ribs and baked beans. I think now is when the heart attack is kicking in. 😉


Sangria

This needs no introduction. Sangria is awesome, tasty, and easy.

 

There is never a bad time for it. Slice up two navel oranges, three limes, and three lemons. Add to a large pitcher that you are holding for ransom until your awesome friend Mary comes back to claim it. Pour about 3 bottles worth from your box of wine in the fridge.

 

 

Wait, what? You don’t drink wine from a box? Well then pick your favorite red wine. Sweet reds work very well, but I’m not a sweet red kind of gal so I used Cabernet instead. Let it marinate in the fridge over night.

Enjoy with friends on a fine Sunday afternoon. I have to give all the credit to the lovely Mary for this recipe. She was the one that brought it over originally.


Grain-free, Vegan, Black Bean Brownies

I made these brownies for a clothing swap my friends were having. The host is vegan and therefore I wanted to make something she would also enjoy. I love a good cooking challenge and I’m really happy with the way these came out. They are very moist and fudgy. I never would have though black beans would be a good mix in a treat but it worked well. Obviously because these have beans they are not paleo. But these are a tasty treat that you would not know are healthier if you weren’t told.

Black Bean Brownies

1 can of black beans (rinse these well to help reduce the sodium)

1/2 cup of almonds

1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup of cashews

1/2 cup of soaked dates

1/2 cup of apple sauce

1/3 cup of honey

1/2 and 1/8 cup of cocoa powder (I used a different recipe as a guide for this one. I don’t know where this crazy measurement came from but it makes the brownies super good)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking powder

I didn’t add the chocolate chips because they were made with milk, thereby negating any efforts to make this vegan. However, they would be super good if you are so inclined.

In a food processor make flour from the coconut and almonds. People, I cannot say enough about how easy this is. Coconut flour and almond flour is very expensive. By blending it yourself you save a lot of pennies. It isn’t as fine as what you buy at the store which is the only downfall. But if you are serious about going grain-free then you really ought to try this out. Remove your “flour” from the blender and add the cashews. Blend these until you make butter. Then add all your ingredients including “flour” back to the blender and process until smooth. Spread in a well greased dish and bake at 350 for 3o minutes. If you like your brownies more fudge-y this is when you want to take them out. If you like them more done, leave them in longer. Since there are no eggs in this you don’t have to worry about under cooking it. You could eat this without baking if you want it as a dip. It is very tasty that way. When they cool you can cut them and eat them.


Mary’s Stuffed Peppers

I was sent this message the other day. “I have a great recipe for stuffed peppers. How about we come over and make it at your house and drink sangria?” How in the world do you say no to that proposal? Someone wants to come over make me food and bring tasty wine? Uh why hasn’t this happened sooner? Hehe. Well Mary did come over. She brought delicious food and wine. It was a great time. It felt strange to do nothing but take pictures and drink, but it was worth it!

Below is her recipe and a few of my comments.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

1lb of ground beef
2 TBS minced garlic
2 TBS Basil
2 TBS Oregano
2 TBS Onion Powder
1 TBS Chili Powder
1 TBS Paprika
2 large bell peppers
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 medium zucchinni, chopped
6 small mushrooms, chopped
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 cup of parsley, chopped

Mix ground beef with half of the garlic, basil and oregano, all of the onion powder, chili powder, parsley, and paprika.

Check out the proper crossfit wear on Stephen! Sicfit and meat. Goes great together.
Cut the tops and bottoms off of the bell peppers, strip of seeds and membrane and slice into thick rings. You should get two rings from one large bell pepper.

You can cut up the tops and bottoms to saute in with the onion for the sauce, but if my kids are around, I just give it to them.

These kids loved veggies! I’ve never seen kids fight over peppers and guacamole.

Stuff the meat mixture into the peppers.

Put in a hot pan with olive oil to sear on both sides, and load into a baking dish.

Glass works best.

Get them as close to each other as possible. Saute the onion in olive oil until clear.

You can use the same pan. Add the zucchini and mushrooms and saute for a few minutes. Mushrooms will be soft and the squash may start to brown a little. Add the remaining seasoning and tomato products and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes, pour on top of the peppers, and bake at 425 for about thirty minutes.

You should be able to cut the peppers with a fork when they’re done.

This was a super tasty meal and so pretty!


Pot Roast

My local grocery store was running a special deal a few weeks ago. If you bought the enamel cast iron pot you got a roast, salsa, and tortillas for free! I’ve wanted an enamel cast iron for awhile. They are usually really expensive. This is a knock off of the Le Cruset so it was a lot cheaper. This is what I did with the free roast and the pot. I made a post roast. I didn’t write down the recipe because I was busy cleaning and dealing with washing machine repair men. But here are the photos and a general outline of what I did.

Seasoned the roast with garlic powder, kosher salt and fresh black pepper.

Browned the roast in a little fat.

Removed the meat and added two chopped red onions. Cooked them down till starting to get clear.

Added about a cup of dry red wine, a can of chicken stock, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, pinch of thyme, a pinch of mace (spicier version of nutmeg) and the meat.

I cooked this in the oven at 300 for about 2 hours covered. Then added some carrots and yellow bell pepper. then returned it to the oven for another 2 hours but uncovered this time.

Then I made gravy from the juice of the roast and a flour butter roux.

Nothing is more classic than pot roast and gravy. So delicious.


Five Spice Carrot Muffins

I made these this weekend. I wanted to use some carrots and my new addiction to Chinese five spice. I tried one as a cookie but they are so moist that it was much better as a muffin. Everybody who had one loved them. The only objection was from a sweet kiddo that refused to even try them on the grounds that there are carrots in them. But the other two kids who had them loved them. I figure any time you can get kids to willingly eat vegetables is good. The “flour” is ground nuts, and the sweetener is a combo of honey and dates. Try these delicious muffins the next time you are craving some paleo treat.

Five Spice Carrot Muffins

4 shredded carrots

2 cups of almonds

2 cups of pecans

1 cup of soaked dates

1 cup of honey

5 eggs

1 cup of raisins

1 tbsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ginger

1tsp cinnamon

1 tsp Chinese Five Spice

1/2 tsp salt

In a food processor blend the nuts until it resembles flour. Add the dates and blend again. Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in the bowl.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes in a greased muffin pan.

Two out of three kids agree muffins are good.

Try to resist the urge to eat them until they cool down.