Monthly Archives: April 2012

Lola

This is my new organic pest control. Her name is Lola. Can you tell how excited I am?

These are her stomping grounds. I’m hoping she will eat all the caterpillars eating my greens. I’m also hoping that we get some eggs when she gets comfortable. This garden is already making a ton of vegetables. Hooray for homegrown!

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Gyros

My friend Brittany over at B-ing paleo fabulous and I had a friendly little cook off for a going away party. Two of our friends are moving to Georgia to open up their own crossfit gym and they had a surprise going away party. Brian had said he wanted gyros. I thought it would be fun to bring these to surprise them and see our two takes on the gyro, Brittany agreed.

These are my gyros that I brought to the party. Brittany’s gyros are here on her site. We got to the party late so I didn’t get to try hers but they looked really good. She went with the authentic lamb meat. I used a combination of beef and pork. She did a pulled meat and I tried to go with ground meat on a rotisserie.

Brian was of course very diplomatic and said they were both great. So we may never know who won. It was; however, fun, challenging, and delicious. I think we might have to pair up again to try something else exciting Brittany makes such good food that she’s a good motivator.

Gyros

2.5 lbs of beef

.5 lbs of pork jowl (pretty much bacon)

1 onion finely processed and drained

1 tbsp of fresh thyme

1tbsp of fresh rosemary

1 tbsp of parsley

1 tsp of marjoram

1 tsp of red pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

7 cloves of garlic

juice of one lemon

Tzaziki Sauce

1 can of coconut milk

¼ red onion

1 tbsp fresh mint

4 garlic cloves

juice of one lemon

To me authentic gyros are the kind that are ground and cooked over an open rotisserie. Then when you want some you shave off some meat and add fresh veggies, feta, and tzaziki sauce. So that is what I tried to do here. After some research into how to achieve this method I set forth. I blended all the ingredients until it was a paste.

Then I tightly wrapped the meat in plastic wrap.

It was kind of like twisting a candy wrapper to get it tight.

Then I placed a heavy cook book on top of that.

The point of all this is to make a tight compact loaf that you can then skewer and rotisserie. I refrigerated my meat loaf over night to let the flavors meld and to squish the daylights out of it. The next morning I skewered the meat and placed it in my rotisserie.

T had very pessimistic views about the meat staying on the skewer. I had my fingers crossed. I mean it worked for Alton Brown! But, T was correct. It fell off after a few minutes of cooking.

So I left it on the tray and let it cook for 1.5 hours at 350 until cooked through.

When it was done I sliced it thin. Traditionally you’d eat this with pita bread. I went with romaine lettuce to keep it primal.

To assemble you take a leaf of romaine, some slices of meat, red onion sliced thin, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta crumbles (omit if you are paleo), and the tzaziki sauce (traditionally a yogurt based dressing but again, I wanted to keep it as paleo as possible). Here is Brian enjoying his second gyro of the day. I was really happy with the final product. I think it had all the flavors that I was looking for in a gyro. Next time I might try to just cook it in a loaf pan.

Brian and Sabrina we will miss you and wish you the best of luck in Savannah!


Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

I love mint chocolate ice cream. Though truth be told I’m not a huge consumer of ice cream. But, the other day I had a craving for something sweet and cold. I’ve been doing the 30 strict paleo challenge so dairy and sugar are out. I concocted this little recipe from three simple ingredients. I found it tasty and crave satisfying.

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

1 can of coconut milk

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1-2 tbsp fresh mint

 


Blend all ingredients in a blender. Pour into a glass or ceramic bowl. Freeze for 20 minutes. Stir mixture to help it become less icy. Freeze for another 5 minutes or so. I took mine out when it had the consistency of  a slushy. Coconut milk will freeze solid so unless you want an ice pop, make sure to not leave it in too long.

I thought it was a perfect way to satisfy a “treat” craving without all the bad stuff in most treats. I hope you enjoy it!


Stuffed Pork Loin

This is the recipe I said was coming later. It’s delicious. The apricots were tangy and not too sweet. I also love Chinese five spice it’s such a different seasoning that you don’t taste too often but is super flavorful.

Stuffed Pork Loin

~3 lbs of pork

1/2 an onion diced

1/2 cup of pecans chopped

6 dried apricots diced

4 cloves of garlic

3 tsp of chinese five spice

5 long strips of bacon

salt

Mix onion, pecans, apricots,garlic, and half of the seasoning together in a bowl.

Cut a slit into the loin almost all the way across the width of the loin.

Stuff the slit with your nut mixture.

Carefully pat the mixture down and cover with other half of loin. pin the pork closed with some long toothpicks. Use remaining seasoning on the out side of the pork and add a bit of salt. Brown both sides of your pork being careful to not let your pork open up spilling all of it’s contents when flipping. I accidentally let mine get a bit too dark here but it was still good. Wrap your browned loin in bacon. Place back in pan and transfer to the oven at 350.

Serve with some Creamed spinach from this recipe. enjoy!


Creamed Spinach

I was craving some creamed spinach the other day. Since I’m trying to lose weight right now I didn’t want to use any dairy. I decided to try out some coconut milk and see how that tasted. It came out super good. I was so happy with it I ate it for breakfast and dinner again the next day. T even asked for me to make some more. I think it was a very simple success.

Creamed Spinach

1 block of frozen spinach

1/2 an onion diced

4 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 can of coconut milk

tsp Cajun seasoning

In a pan heat up some fat. I have been using rendered chicken fat lately but use what you like. Cook the onions and garlic until they are crispy and browned.

Add the spinach. Cook until most of the water has cooked off. Add the coconut milk and seasoning. Eat. seriously it’s that easy and so tasty.

This is served with a stuffed pork loin that I will share the recipe for later in the week.

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Paleo Buns

This recipe has been around a few times before but in case you haven’t seen it before, behold…

Paleo Bread

1/4 cup almond flour

2 tbsp flax meal

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp fat

1 egg

salt

 

Mix all ingredients. Oil a baking dish and our batter in. Bake at 350 until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Approximately 20 minutes.

What come out very closely resembles bread. I tried to build a grand hamburger on this bad boy and it couldn’t stand up to the test. However, I have used this recipe for breakfast sandwiches on a smaller scale and they were amazing. So if you are craving bread this is quick to make and is pretty spot on.


Leets Garden

So we finally did it and planted a garden!

I haven’t taken any pictures up till now because I’ve been busy.

So far all we’ve eaten are some herbs and lettuce. I can’t wait for more veggie to come in. We have two raised beds with cabbage, collards, tomatoes, lettuce, about 3 kinds of peppers, cucumbers, 2 kinds of summer squash, strawberries, and onions.

Along with an herb garden with basil, thyme, mint, cilantro, and more onions.

You can’t tell from these pictures but the leaves on the squash are huge!

Everything is thriving right now and there has been enough rain that most of the watering has been done naturally or from collected rain water.

I have been hesitant to plant anything more because I usually kill everything I try to grow, but with the success thus far I foresee adding another box next year. This is living the homesteading dream! Now to just learn canning…