Category Archives: thyme

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

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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.


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!


Scotch Eggs

Today I have a recipe for all those hardboiled eggs that are crowding your fridge right now. It’s simple, delicious, and paleo. Plus you can freeze the extras without going into egg salad overload.

These eggs have a fond place in my heart because my mom likes to make these for me and my brother when we come to visit. She also will make sure to pack a few for us for our trip home. They are so tasty and easy. Mom thanks for the food love!

I make my own sausage here in a food processor. I realized I don’t have to always go through all the effort of meat grinding after making Kibbeh. In a food processor you can quickly and easily make sausage. This is wonderful since almost all sausage at the stores have lots of added sugar, salt, and unpronounceables. If you are like me, buying the organic kind is just out of the question. So I make my own. Give it a try and I promise you won’t go back.

Scotch Eggs

~ 3lbs pork loin

1 onion

4 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp red pepper

1 tbsp garlic powder

1tbsp onion powder

1tbsp Italian seasoning

a few sprigs of fresh thyme

1tbsp salt

14 hard boiled eggs

In a food processor add all ingredients but the eggs. Blend until a paste.

Make a test patty to make sure it’s good. I know I say this every time but it’s an important step. This is the only way to make sure the seasoning tastes the way you like.

Refrigerate the meat for an hour. Most of my sausages are some variation of this spice mix. It’s a spicy Italian because it’s what I like. Don’t let this stop you from exploring your favorite tastes. I like the combo of fresh and dried seasoning which is why you’ll see it here. I think each lends a different flavor.

That’s it for homemade sausage free of all the stuff you don’t’ want to eat. It’s too easy to not do at home. Of course this is not cased. I don’t have a machine for casing sausage but most of the sausage I eat is loose anyway so this is perfect for me. If you don’t already have a food processor I would highly recommend getting a sturdy one. I use mine all the time. Next to my kitchenaide mixer it is the most used appliance.

While your meat chills, boil your eggs.

Place the eggs on the bottom of a pot and cover with cold water. Place pot on a burner over high heat. Let the eggs boil for a few minutes then remove from the heat. Pour out the hot water and pour in cold water, ice is also helpful here. Shake the eggs vigorously so they crack against each other in the pot. This helps loosen the shell from the eggs.

Then I like to peel them under running water or in a bowl of water. By no means am I an expert of cooking times or peeling methods. I still get a few terrible looking eggs like this one. But you will be covering these in sausage so the appearance doesn’t matter much.

But these steps seem to help me. If you can, don’t full cook the eggs because they’ll be going back in the oven very soon. But I fully cooked mine, and the finished egg came out great. So no worries if you do.

Take your meat out and form a large ball.

Flatten it into a pancake.

Put one egg in the middle of your pancake.

Close the meat all the way around the egg.

Place meat ball on a well oiled baking sheet with a lip.

Some juices will run from the meat so you don’t want them dripping into your oven. Traditionally scotch eggs would then be rolled into corn flakes or some sort of breading. But to keep this paleo I skipped that step. I did lay some bacon on a few just to try it out and they were tasty. But I wanted to keep the fat down so most of them don’t have bacon.

Bake these in an oven at 350 until browned on top. This will take about 30 minutes. I got to mowing the yard and lost track of time. ooops. But they came out excellent regardless.

These can be eaten warm or cold. Traditionally they were put in a workers lunch cold for them to eat at work. They are very hearty and one makes an excellent breakfast. They can also be frozen for a later date so you don’t get hard boiled egg overload.


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.


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!