Category Archives: cheese

Burgerspiration

It’s hot. Oh you didn’t know summer was hot? *wink* Summer is for cooking outside and eating burgers! This burger more closely resembles a salad when done. I don’t really try to replace the bun with something paleo. I like to have lots of toppings on my burgers so it just ends up a mess anyways.

This glorious mess is tomatoes, onions, avocados, cheese (primal), bacon, lettuce, and a homemade mix of mayo and siracha. T had easy eggs on his too. The burger patties I seasoned with the quad of seasonings I use in EVERYTHING; garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt. The grocery store had thick delicious patties on sale so I didn’t mix them or shape them. Sometimes when it’s so hot, it’s nicer to do nothing.

The orange spikes are some mango that was also on sale! If fruit is cheap its in season and delicious.

People will rib you for not eating a bun at first. They will understand when you pile all the amazing stuff on top. I’ve actually done this at a few BBQs and had non paleo eaters follow suit because they wanted to fill up on the yummy stuff and not bread. So grab a fork and knife and dig into a burger this grilling season.

What are you favorite burger toppings?


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!


Pesto Spaghetti Squash

I have an amazing basil plant on my porch. It continues to grow prolifically! I needed to get a good harvest off of it or risk losing it entirely. I decided to go with pesto. I love pesto. It tastes so great and it’s so very simple. This has cheese so it is more primal than paleo. You can leave the cheese out and be just as happy.

Pesto Sauce

2-3 cups of basil

5 cloves of roasted garlic

1/3 cup of olive oil

1 cup of pine nuts

1/2 cup of strong flavored shredded cheese such as Parmesan (I used some leftover Emanteliear)

Blend all ingredients in a blender. Cook a spaghetti squash until soft.

Scrape out insides into a big bowl.

Toss with pesto sauce.

I also made some quick chicken with Italian seasoning and olive oil to add to the pasta.

It was very tasty and very simple. With the chicken there was enough leftovers for two lunches too! Whether you are Paleo or trying to cut carbs this is a tasty meal to make for dinner.


Turkey Chili

I  wanted to make something big that would last all week and be a tasty hearty meal. Since the weather is cooling down (or trying to), I thought chili would be a great thing to make. I used a lot of vegetables and some beans to bulk this meal up. You could definitely make this with more meat and no beans if that is what you are eating. Sorry the spices are measured so strangely. I originally didn’t add enough so I had to go back and add more.

Turkey Chili

2 lbs of ground turkey

3 diced carrots

3 diced bell peppers

2 diced onions

1/2 head of minced garlic (about 5 cloves)

2 cans of diced tomatoes

1 can of tomato paste

1 can of chicken stock

1 can of rotel

1 can of hot diced green peppers

1 can of mild diced green peppers

3 tbsp of chili powder

1 tbsp and 1 tsp of cumin

1 tbsp  and 1 tsp of onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder (I ran out of fresh garlic if you have enough use the whole head)

2 tsp cayenne

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 cups of red kidney beans soaked overnight

salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat on medium high in a deep pot. Remove the meat and add veggies to pot stir frequently for 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and deglaze the bottom of the pan. Turn the pot on low and return all ingredients to the pot and add remaining ingredients. Cook all day while you work. Come home and eat a delicious hearty meal. Because of the beans, this meal is not paleo. We can eat beans without any adverse affects and so we do. This is a personal dietary choice for you to make on your own. I like the chili with the beans. I’ve never tried putting carrots in before but they were a welcome addition that taste great in this. Here is a picture of the more paleo version.

And then this one with cheese! Yeah I know breaking all the rules. But look, it looks so tasty this way.


Epic Timpano

**** Warning this is the most unhealthy and unpaleo meal ever! It is also Epic****

I love Food in My Beard. He makes some of the most creative and original dishes I’ve ever read about. Every recipe of his that I’ve tried was a success (try the cheese steak!). I read this recipe a while back and have always wanted to eat it. The lovely Lucy reminded me of it recently. After some planning T and I came up with our version of that Epic Timpano. Since it contains so many elements this is more of a documentation of what we did rather than a recipe.

So many carbalicious treats. It’s been a long time since we’ve bought this much packaged food.

T made an amazing alfredo sauce using a béchamel sauce from the ‘Joy of Cooking’.

Add penne and try not to eat it all before you make the rest of the elements.

                   
T also washed ALL the dishes, epic meals means epic dishes! I think our kitchen would be buried right now if it wasn’t for him. Maya grated and cut all our cheese, mmm cheese.

Again try not to eat it all before you assemble all the parts.

My elements started with some chicken parmesan. I used chicken thighs because that’s just smart. When you pound them out make sure you cover them with parchment paper, otherwise you’ll be cleaning chicken pieces off your light fixtures. (true story)

Once they were thin I breaded them with parmesan and panko. I added some garlic powder, thyme, and oregano to the panko.

After I breaded them I fried them up in a pan and set them aside to cool.

Then there came a pesto sauce with basil, garlic, olive oil, and more parmesan cheese. We used dinosaur pasta for the pesto. We could only find dino pasta in mac’n’cheese boxes so we just put the cheese aside. T needed me to help decipher what some of the shapes were. But we eventually identified all the Dinosaurs

We cooked up some cheese ravioli and Italian sausages and set them aside to cool. T cooked up some cheese sticks in the oven. We never eat cheese sticks so we failed there. I think we should have fried them but the thought was baking would keep them less greasy. They all melted together and made a large breading and cheese mess. I was only able to salvage a few for the timpano. The rest went to some very happy dogs.

Once everything was cooked the fun part could begin. I used FIMB’s idea of a disposable tin. I lined it with store bought pastry dough. Trust me making your own pastry dough is a terrible lesson in futility. Store bought is easy and makes me happy.

We put in the alfredo first and patted it down into the bowl. Then the sausage went in next. Then the ravioli went on top of that.

The dino pesto went on top of the ravioli. We places a few failed mozzarella sticks down with some sliced fresh mozzarella too.

Last went the chicken parmesan.

Finally, I sealed the whole thing up in more pastry dough. Make sure to press down each layer firmly to keep out pockets of air.

I baked it at 350 for 1.5 hours, let it sit for about 20 minutes before cutting.

T was in charge of the Epic flip. This thing weighed about 20 pounds. I had to get a bathroom scale out to weigh it because my kitchen scale couldn’t do the job. Flipping something so big is not an easy task. We all held our breath and waited. T did a flawless job!

Double thumbs up for a job well done.

Look at this monster! It is important to let it sit a bit before flipping and cutting so it will stay together. I cut one a little early and it wanted to collapse.

It’s like Italian Inception. Layers in layers!

We had to call in some reinforcements to eat this monster meal.


Ryan does not look happy about this daunting task.

Oh my! I ate every bit of this and it was good!

If that wasn’t enough, Karen made these cute blueberry tarts for dessert. Aren’t they adorable?

We had 6 people eating this and still didn’t finish half. It was so good! If you are looking for a truly epic meal I highly suggest this one.

We all then died and went to carb heaven.


Cajun Jalapenos

Warning this is not a paleo recipe. It’s not even considered healthy by more conventional diets. It is however amazingly tasty.

We were invited over to watch a fight not too long ago. I didn’t think I liked fighting sports until recently. I went just to socialize with other adults. I ended up glued to the matches and cheering the fighters on. This time I know what to expect; something gory, something violent, and something entertaining. I wanted to bring an appetizer and thought these would be perfect. My friend Lucy gave me the idea for them because she recently made sausage stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon. T and I wanted to find a way to take this to the next level. Hence this creation:

Cajun Jalapenos

2 links of boudin (if you can’t get boudin locally use ground sausage)

2 packages of cream cheese

4 diced cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp red pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp of black pepper

Few dashes of Slap ya Mama (or similar Cajun seasoning)

18 jalapenos sliced lengthwise and seeded

2 packages of cheap bacon sliced in half (the cheap stuff wraps up better)

Mix up first eight ingredients. Check mix and adjust spices accordingly. This recipe was a little more on the spicy side. If you are using ground sausage you don’t cook it first. Our boudin was already cooked but it’s not necessary.

Fill a large freezer bag with the mixture.

Cut one corner of the bag. Squeeze the mixture on to all 36 jalapenos.

I tried scooping it with a spoon. It was getting very messy and time consuming. The bag was much easier. We had extra mix leftover so we could have gone with a few more jalapenos. Instead, we plan on putting it on our eggs tomorrow because we ran out of peppers.

If you have a handsome kitchen helper like I did you can pipe the mix on the peppers and the helper can wrap the bacon around the filled pepper. When you wrap be sure to tuck ends under the pepper. Place the peppers on a baking rack in a deeper cookie sheet to collect the drippings. If you don’t have a rack you can put them in a baking dish, they will just be a little oilier.

While the bacon cooks it shrinks. I forgot about this so the filling squished out a little bit. Once it was cool though, it stayed together. These were spicy and tasty a perfect appetizer to watch the fighting.


Buffalo Ranch Dip

People always request that I bring this dip to gatherings. We were going to a going away party this weekend and I was asked by the lovely Erin if I could make this again. (Hi Erin) Apparently she’s been craving this dip since our last gathering. Since I too love this dip, I couldn’t say no. If you like tradition hot wings with ranch, then you will love this dip. I won’t even begin to pretend that this is paleo. It is however, amazingly delicious, and memorable.

Buffalo Ranch Dip

3-4 chicken breasts

5 clove of garlic

two packages of cream cheese

1 bottle of your favorite hot sauce (Frank’s hot sauce is a pretty standard choice)

1 bottle of ranch

1 package of shredded cheese (you want about 2 cups)

1/4 tsp of celery seed (not necessary but yummy)

Boil the chicken with celery seed and garlic. When the chicken is cooked chop it and the garlic up finely.

Mix all the ingredients in a large mixer.

Pour mixture into a baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Serve with celery and crackers.