Category Archives: oregano

Thursday’s Meals

I’m so sad to report that I accidentally deleted most of the pictures I took today. Sad face. To make up for it I’m presenting two new recipes. Gasp! I know it’s been awhile but I’ve finally eaten something that I think is worth sharing. Head on down to dinner if that’s what you came here for, otherwise:

Breakfast- was left over chorizo and eggs with collard and mustard greens.

Lunchish- was some pulled pork that T had pulled from the freezer, and some sliced cucumbers. I said ish because it was slightly larger than a snack but not quite a meal.

Dinner- was pretty good. I made a huge shoulder roast also called a Boston butt. Sam’s club is currently selling two this size for $20. Guys that’s $10 for a huge chunk of meat! That will last these two carnivores several meals.  I served the pork over cabbage and onions. Below are both recipes. I apologize for the lack of pictures again.

Mustard Caraway Spice Rub

5 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp of fresh thyme

2 tsp caraway seeds

2 tsp ground mustard

1 tsp of coriander

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp ground oregano (I didn’t have fresh, if I did I’d go with a TBSP)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1tbsp of salt

1 tbsp of olive oil

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor. Rub over the entire roast. Place roast in a deep pot or crock pot. Cook on low until tender. Mine cooked 8 hours. This is a meal for a busy day. The seasoning is quick and the cooking is long, perfect for a long working day work. If you use a crock pot or a stock pot with a tight lid you will not have to add any water. But if your crock pot cooks hot or your stock pot doesn’t have a good seal to keep moisture in you’ll want to add a little bit of water to the bottom to prevent burning. The juices will eventually start cooking out so only add a very little. About ¼ cup should be enough.

I made gravy from the drippings with the addition of a bit of xantham gum. It’s considered paleo by most accounts but if you are concerned just omit it.

Cabbage and Onions

1 small head of cabbage sliced thin

1 onion sliced thin

3 cloves of garlic minced

2 tbsp coconut oil

1.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup of water

In a frying pan sauté the onions on medium high heat in coconut oil (or any fat you like). When onions start to get clear add the garlic.  Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add vinegar and cook onions until vinegar evaporates. Add the cabbage and water and turn the heat to medium low. Toss the cabbage a few times to evenly mix onions and garlic. Toss every few minutes and add water if the pan gets too dry. You don’t want to burn your cabbage just cook it until tender. This should take about 20 minutes.

Paleo Tip 4- Go big or go home. I bought about $100 worth of meat today. It took up most of my counter. All of it on sale and in bulk from Sam’s club. It took me 20 minutes to repackage it into meal size portions in freezer bags which involved cutting a huge pork loin into thirds ($20 for the whole thing), Trimming two large shoulder roasts like the one up there so they would fit into bags. Doling out bacon and sausages into smaller bags. We have a deep freeze which is amazing. But, with a little maneuvering you’d be surprised what you can fit in a standard freezer. Buying in bulk will save you money and stock your fridge and freezer until Armageddon. We are going to purchase part of a calf this summer which is another way to save money and get local meat. Find four friends and split the bill.

Past Meals of the Week-

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday


Smoking and Hog

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, I’m sorry. School is keeping me busy and uninspired. Most of what we’ve been eating is recipes I’ve already posted didn’t think you’d like that so just kept quiet. I hope this recipe makes up for it.

Today I’m smoking one of the hams that came from this hog. Since moving to Texas T and I have fallen in love with the great art of smoking meat. It produces tender delicious food from unwanted tough cuts of meat. Now the hog shank was not unwanted, but because it was a wild animal the fat content is low and the muscles are typically much tougher. So the art of smoking on the pit was perfect for this. Everything I read said to let the meat marinate for up to two days to help reduce the gamey taste. Since this was the first time I would be trying a large cut I figured I would do a long marinade.

The recipe I adapted came from Saveur magazine. If you’ve never checked them out I highly recommend it. The recipes are unique and beautifully photographed. I changed up some of the ingredients to what I had on hand, and to make it spicy. It was a recipe they had as a Puerto Rican Christmas dish. Traditionally it uses a whole suckling pig. That sounds like a lot of fun that we might have to try some day.

Pernil Asado

1 cup of fresh orange juice

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup salt

1/8 cup black pepper

1/8 cup red pepper

2 tbsp oregano

2 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp garlic powder

4lb shank (the recipe called for an 8 lb shoulder there is more than enough marinade for a larger cut than mine)

Mix all the ingredients except the meat. With a small knife cut many small slits into the meat.

Pour marinade over meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Turn the meat twice a day. Marinate for up to two days. If you are using store bought pork let it marinate at least 8 hours.

A smoker has a side box for the charcoal and wood that cooks the meat with indirect heat. You need to first build a pile of charcoal in a corner of the side box. Douse with lighter fluid and wait about two minutes for the fumes to dissipate.

Then light the charcoal. If you don’t wait you’ll get a small fire ball. This is lots of fun, but slightly dangerous. On that note, always use charcoal outside. It creates carbon monoxide while burning. It is odorless and will kill you. It seems like a silly warning but then people make silly decisions sometimes. Let your charcoal burn for about 10 minutes. When it starts to ash over (turn white) then you know it is ready.

You can place your meat directly on the grill rack or use a cookie sheet like we do. I find that it is easier to lift the meat and helps retain some of the moisture with a cookie sheet. You want to make sure to place your meat fat side up. While it cooks the fat will break down and penetrate the meat adding taste and moisture. Check your fire every 20-30 minutes alternating between adding charcoal and wood chunks. The wood chunks are what provide the smoky flavor. Usually we use mesquite, but today I decided to try hickory.

Now crack open a beer and wait. Smoking is a great all day affair that is usually accompanied by friends or family hanging around drinking beer and playing games. Check your thermometer to make sure it doesn’t get too hot or too cold. 200-250 is the sweet spot. Too cold and it won’t cook risking food borne pathogens. Too hot and your meat will become tough and dry.

Because I had so much marinade, I reserved it to brush on the meat while it was cooking. Pour your extra marinade in a small pot and heat it on low heat. It obviously had raw meat in it and you don’t really want to be brushing raw meat back on your cooked meat. After about 6 hours, check the doneness larger cut can take up to 8 or 10 hours so plan accordingly. You are looking for easy to pull apart meat. Smoking meat is not a quick thing. It can’t be rushed, and honestly why would you want to rush it? Part of the joy is the wait. If you don’t have that kind of time, cook for the first few hours on the pit then finish it off in the oven where the heat is more direct and consistent. It won’t be too much quicker though.

When it’s done bring it to your local Crossfit Gym opening and share with hungry athletes. Congratulations Clay and Sean on your new endeavor. I wish you two the best of luck!


Paleo Meatloaf

T sent me a text message today that said “meat puck s= f—-ing amazing”. I think that is as good an endorsement as any for this recipe right here. I used a food processor to grind up all the veggies and mixed a few different kinds of meat to make meatloaf. The hands on time is quick and would be a great make ahead meal that you can just pop in the oven when you get home from work. I made one regular loaf and 12 muffin sized (or meat pucks if you prefer). This is a great recipe for those of you keeping paleo and it’s great for kids who don’t like their veggies because there is a bunch in here, but you can’t tell.

Paleo Meatloaf

3 lbs of 80/20 ground beef (this was on sale but get whatever fat content you prefer)

16 oz hot Italian sausage

16oz ground pork

3 bell peppers (I used red and yellow)

4 small full sized carrots (mine were kind of thin for a full sized carrot)

2 yellow onions

1 head of garlic

4 eggs

1 can of tomato paste

3 tsp oregano

2 tsp salt

2tsp black pepper

2 tsp garlic powder

2tsp onion powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

In a food processor throw all of your veggies and blend. Make sure to trim off stems, seeds, and the skins first. In a large bowl mix the blended veggies with your meats, eggs, paste, and your spices by hand.

Transfer the mixture to a greased loaf pan. This will be where the bulk of your meat goes. In a muffin pan place the remaining meat. Cook at 400 until cooked through. Times will vary because of the size of each. The muffins/pucks will take about an hour, the loaf about 2.

Because there is a lot of vegetables in this recipe make sure to bake on a cookie tray to catch the drippings. I also advise to cover it with tinfoil because it will burn easier.

Everything is better with guacamole!


Chicken Soup

There is something so satisfying about chicken soup. Warm, hearty, chockfull of vegetables, it just screams comfort and health. For the base of this soup I roasted a chicken on our new rotisserie toaster oven. I stripped the chicken and skin from the bones and simmered the bones in water to create a rich flavorful stock. This step will take your soup from good to amazing.

Stock

Roast one whole chicken until cooked.(I stuffed the skin with salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder). Remove all the skin and meat from the bird. The skin was perfectly crunchy and delicious so I just ate it. But you can use it in your stock if you aren’t as addicted to crispy skin and I am. Place bones, fat, and skin in a large pot cover with water, I had about I gallon of water. Add 3 bay leaves and a pinch of saffron. Cook covered on low for at least 12 hours. Cool and strain. If you pour it in plastic containers then you can freeze it forever, or use it within 2 weeks in the fridge.

Chicken Soup

~one gallon chicken stock

1 whole chicken cut up and deboned

4 carrots diced

3 stalks of celery diced

2 red bell peppers diced

2 yellow onions diced

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 head of kale torn from stems

1 tbsp kosher of salt

2 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp cumin

¼ tsp saffron

¼ tsp ground thyme (or 1tsp of regular thyme)

½ tsp oregano

3 eggs tempered

Sautee onions and carrots in olive oil on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add remaining vegetables except kale and sauté for 3 minutes. Add seasoning and chicken. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.

Add stock and turn down heat to low. Cover and cook for 1.5 hours. Add kale. Whip your eggs in a separate bowl and slowly pour hot stock over the eggs while beating them. This is called tempering eggs.

It adds heft to your stock in a totally paleo way! If you just pour the eggs in your soup without tempering you will get scrambled eggs instead. While tasty, this is not something you want in your soup. Cook the soup on low for another half hour and then serve. This makes an enormous batch of soup.

You can freeze a bunch of it or serve it for a dinner party. It’s got enough heat from the red pepper and plenty of hearty goodness from the homemade stock to cure whatever ails you.


Southern Style Butter Beans

Southern Style Butter Beans

1 bag of butter beans

1/2 onion

3 cloves of garlic

3 strips of bacon

1 tsp oregano

1tsp black pepper

1tsp onion powder

1tsp cumin

2 hot chilies

2 cans of chicken stock (or homemade chicken stock if you have it)

~1 cup of soaking liquid

1tbsp salt

Rinse and soak the beans in warm water. I let mine soak for a few hours then rinsed them and added more hot water while I prepared the rest. You can also let them soak overnight. Just be sure to rinse them before adding to your vegetables.

Dice up the bacon and cook it on medium low for about 5 minutes to render the fat. Add the onions and cook for another 5 minutes. When onions begin to look clear add the garlic.

Cook for another 2 minutes. Add all seasoning cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook until beans are soft.

This is where the picture of finished beans would be. However, I brought these to school and didn’t think to take a picture of them while there. Maybe when we eat the leftovers.

 

 


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.


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!