Category Archives: peppers

Beefy Soup

So many vegetables!

So many vegetables! I could just eat them raw.

I’ve been super lucky throughout my pregnancy. I’ve been very healthy through most of it. I’ve only had cravings for healthy food, mostly broccoli. I’ve been working on stocking up some pre made food for after I have my baby. I wanted to make something that would be great from before baby and recovery after baby. This soup is made with marrow bone broth and ox tail, along with a whole host of amazing vegetables. The extra iron and vitamins in the soup will really be beneficial for  any woman but especially the post labor woman in your life. After I made it I realized that I just and to have tomatoes! So I went back and added a few can of diced tomatoes, and some tomato paste. It really kicked up the heartiness of the soup. However, I don’t have any pictures of beefy soup 2.0 so just imagine how great it looks!

 

Beefy Soup

Bone Marrow Broth – go here for that recipe

7 ox tail pieces (give or take your own preferences)

1 medium onion diced

2 red bell peppers diced (about 2-2.5 cups for the next four ingredients)

1 small butternut squash diced

4-5 stalks of diced celery

4-5 carrots diced

a head of garlic chopped (yes a head, it’s recovery soup! garlic is good for that)

1.5 heads of kale ripped up.

1 tbsp black pepper

1 tsp hot peppers or cayenne (remember, recovery)

1 tsp parsley

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp smoky paprika

1/4 tsp majoram

1/4 tsp savory

(2-3 cans of diced tomatoes and 2 cans of tomato paste)

 

meat, meat, meat, yummy meat

Frist brown your meat in a very large stock pot. Everything will be going into this pot eventually so make sure it’s big. I like to brown the meat because it adds a lovely depth to the flavor. These ox tails had a thick side of fat, so I started with that side first to render some fat to cook them in. See? I’m smart. Brown all sides, and set aside.

this is where delicious starts

This is where the magic starts. The bottom of the pan will have all sorts of meat and fat stuck to it. By cooking the onions, the moisture will help loosen up that deliciousness, giving that depth I was talking about. Cook onions until they are starting to become translucent. Note they are not actually browning, that’s the good stuff stuck in the pan adhering now to the onions. Lucky onions.

so pretty

When your onions are soft, add the squash and the red peppers. Keep temperature at medium high and occasionally stir vegetables. Cook for about 4 minutes.

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Add in carrots and celery. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

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Add seasonings, meat, and broth. Look at all that dark rich goodness! Bring soup to a slow boil for about 15 minutes. Add in kale for last two minutes. You can also skip the boiling and cook on low for about an hour. When all the vegetables are soft and your meat is cooked through your soup is done. Now I said above that I decided this soup would be even better with tomatoes. I wish I thought of that first! Add about 2-3 cans of diced tomatoes and two cans of tomato paste when you add in your broth. It gives it a great rich color and really ups the flavor. But this soup was delicious just as it was, but even better with the tomatoes. I left the meat on the bones. It’s a preference thing. If you’d rather not have bones in your soup you can remove the meat after you boil it.

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beefy soup

This makes a ton of soup. I planned on that because I wanted to freeze a bunch for post baby meals. This is a great fall/winter soup that’s super hearty and would make a great gift for a friend in need of a bit of an immune boost.

 

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Summer Slaw Salad

Who’s excited for grilling, sunshine, and fireworks? I am. This is light and refreshing alternative to coleslaw that will go great with your celebratory BBQ tomorrow.

Summer Slaw Salad

1/2 head of cabbage sliced thin (~2 1/2 cups)

1/2 large zucchini peeled with a julienne peeler (my zucchini are enormous so you might want to use 2 small zucchini)

6 sweet mini peppers sliced thin

4 green onions sliced

3 garlic cloves minced

1 jalapeno minced

3 tbsp of rice wine vinegar

2 tsp of sesame oil

A few sprinkles of toasted sesame seeds

Mix everything in a bowl.

Just before serving sprinkle the seeds on top reserve these if you plan on refrigerating it over night. I made this the day before so the flavors would meld together by tomorrow.

Happy 4th of July everyone! Have a save and lovely holiday. If you are working tomorrow, thank you. We couldn’t do it without you.


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


Tuesday’s Meals of the Day

For lunch I ate a mess of different things. It was a clean out the fridge sort of meal. I had the chicken and cabbage from last night’s dinner. A Stuffed bell pepper primal and not paleo because of the addition of cheese. One meatball with tomato sauce homemade from the garden. Actually all the vegetables in this meal are home grown!

I snacked on some raw zucchini. Rawr!

Dinner was Tandoori chicken with sweet potatoes (canned and gifted from my lovely friend Sarah) and zucchini. If you are noticing a zucchini trend it’s because we have tons of it the size of small babies coming from our garden. The tandoori was a paste I bought at the store. It doesn’t contain any sugar so I can recommend it to my paleo pals. I used a few spoonfuls to marinate the chicken overnight then added coconut milk and let it slow cook while did Helen in the rain.

Paleo tip #2 – use what’s in season. It’s cheaper, it’s fresher, and better for you. My general rule is that if you are paying much more than $1 a pound, it’s not in season. This of course doesn’t apply to certain veggies. I can never find asparagus or artichokes that cheap. If you can’t find it fresh go frozen. They freeze it in peak freshness so it’s pretty close to being fresh. Canned is okay if you watch the salt content.


Cucumber Soup

My cucumber plants are giving me lots of produce. Usually I only eat cucumbers raw in a salad or with dip. So I’ve been trying to figure out how to use up some of my cucumbers in a new way. I’m not a pickle person so that is out. My friend Sarah suggested I make soup. I thought about it for awhile and came up with this cold cucumber soup.

This recipe is not only paleo friendly, but also vegan, and raw friendly. It’s super quick and easy to make and a great cool recipe to help cool down the hot summer days.

Cucumber Soup

6 cucumbers peeled and cut in chunks

4 cloves of garlic

1 avocado

1 jalapeno

1/2 can of coconut milk

~ 1/4 tsp of fresh thyme (I used about 4-5 sprigs)

~ 1 tbsp fresh basil (I used about one sprig)

black pepper to taste

Take everything and blend it up in the blender.

Chill for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. Then eat it. That’s it. Like I said simple. I’m trying to cut down on the amount of salt I use so there is none in this recipe. By all means add salt if you are not trying to cut back.

I wanted to use more avocados for this recipe but two of my three were hard as rocks. So sad. However, I like the taste of this without them. It’s refreshing, and the cucumber really comes through. There is just enough heat from the jalapeno without being overpowering. I like the simplicity of this dish so I didn’t want to overpower the light flavor of the cucumber. I think cilantro would also work great in this in place of the other herbs up there if you have cilantro.

If you are new to cold soups I say give this one a try. You might just become a cold soup convert.


Homegrown

I have 4 zucchini/summer squash plants that are producing about 3-5 large squash every day. I have eaten a lot of zucchini and squash lately. I’m going to have to start freezing some to make space for more. I’m so happy for my produce abundance!

The plants were so large I actually had to prune them back a bit. Those were all stalks of leave where you see the tubes.

I’ve eaten it in hash for breakfast.I’ve eaten it in noodle shape for dinner.

I’ve eaten it grilled at least 4 nights a week.

My cucumbers are also quite happy and productive.

Mostly they are eaten in salad. I’m looking for some new interesting ways to eat them because they don’t freeze well. Do you have any ideas?

My tomatoes are just starting to ripen. I can’t wait for those. I also have some peppers popping up. Peppers take forever though so I’m not really crossing my fingers for anything soon there.

With Lola on the pest control my collard greens and cabbage are coming back. Tonight I’m having my first harvest of collard greens in a few weeks. The caterpillars took their toll on the leaves.

I also am very excited about these.

They are weeds!

I started letting them grow two years ago because I thought they were pretty and I realized they were berry plants. This year they have had their first berries. These are not ripe yet but I can’t wait until they are!

mmmm homegrown.

Are you tending a garden? How are your crops looking right now?


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!