Tag Archives: paleo

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.

 


Spinach stuffed Chicken Breasts

If you are a fan of my creamed spinach, you will LOVE this dish! My friend Rebecca is just starting her paleo journey and came up with this. I tweaked it a little for my own preferences, but I’m so thankful she gave me the idea for this. It was super tasty.

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

4 pterodactyl breasts (or enormous chicken breasts)

6 pieces of bacon diced

1 package of spinach (the frozen brick is 80 cents at my grocery store)

1 yellow onion diced

5 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 cup and 1 table spoon of coconut milk

1tbsp red pepper

A few dashes of the following: Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder

1tsp xanthan gum (omit this if you prefer)

Cook up the bacon bits in a pan on medium high until crispy.

Remove bacon and keep the fat in the pan. Add the onions to the pan and sauté until they start to soften. About 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the spinach and red pepper and toss the pan a few times until evenly distributed. Remove from heat and add to the bacon bits. Mix and set aside to cool.

While your spinach cools, slice your chicken (pterodactyl) breasts in half making sure to keep one side still attached. If you are feeling particularity skillful try to only cut from the top so you have what is essentially a chicken breast mitten. When the stuffing is cooled enough to handle, stuff the breasts with the spinach mixture.

Place them in a well oiled baking dish. Pour the 1/4 cup of coconut milk on top of the breasts then season them with your remaining seasonings.

Bake covered in an oven at 400 for approximately 45 minutes. Check with a thermometer that the internal temperature is 180.

When done pour out the pan drippings into a stock pot, turn temperature to medium high. Add the remaining coconut milk and xanthan gum. Whisk until the mixture begins to thicken.

We ate ours with roasted brussel sprouts. I love brussel sprouts and noticed they were super cheap at the store in frozen dinner sized packs so I bought a few. Apparently I thought this was a good deal last week too. We now have a LOT of frozen brussel sprouts. T told me not to buy any more for awhile. Ooops.

This meal is so amazing! Try it today.


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?


Wednesday’s Meals

Breakfast today was 3 scrambled eggs, 6ish pieces of bacon, and 1.5 cups of broccoli. Breakfast was a bit larger than normal because there was a particularly killer WOD today. I upped the protein hoping it would help to give me the boost I needed. In the end I couldn’t finish all this and left some egg and bacon for later. The bacon I cooked all at once a few days ago for ease later in the week.

Snack was a mix of cashews, unsweetened coconut, and pecans. I don’t always snack, but on nights T coaches I find I need something to carry myself over until dinner which happens after 8:30.

Dinner was a mix of mustard and collard greens with chorizo and eggs. I love chorizo and eggs. We are running low on proteins and I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet. That’s why I had eggs twice today, plus they are super easy to cook. I know it’s not very creative but It’s okay. Tomorrow We’ll have something made from pork shoulder that can be made slowly in a crock pot or stove top.

As always I drink tons of water, a few cups of coffee (less today because I was so excited about rowing time trials), and a glass of kombucha.

I also thinned out the garden to make way for some new crops. I planted beans, peas, corn (I know it’s not paleo), two kinds of hard squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, and oregano. I tore out all but one cucumber because I honestly am kind of tired of them. I cut back the zucchini to four main plants, again getting a bit tired of zucchini. I have a freezer stocked with plenty of zucchini for the winter. Hopefully our new diversity will grow as well as the first round of plants.

Paleo tip 3- That bacon fat you drain off when cooking it makes for a perfect cooking fat. If you cook it like I do on a baking rack  the fat is much cleaner too. Just store it in an old glass jar with a lid. I  keep mine in the fridge but the counter is fine too. next time you roast your veggies use a little bacon fat to cook them, so good. (if you keep your fat in the fridge do not pour fresh super hot oil into the cold hard fat in the jar. It will shatter.)

Monday

Tuesday

What did you eat today?


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.


A Week of Meals

I have several friends that are new to paleo eating. In honor of them I will be posting my meals for each day. I usually eat twice a day with tons of water in the middle.

This was breakfast:

I had leftover zucchini noodles from meatballs last night so I thought they’d make a good breakfast. I served that with two eggs, some tomatoes from the garden and bacon. I made extra bacon and had a few slices as a snack in between.

This was dinner:

The unfortunate theme of dinner was “oops I burned it!” The cabbage and the chicken are both a little toasty. I had grilled chicken, braised cabbage, and raw zucchini slices. Again all the vegetables are from the garden.

I also had a few raw unsalted cashews, and a glass of kombucha (fermented tea) but that would make for a boring picture so I didn’t take it.

I hope that by posting my daily meals I can help inspire a few of you to try paleo too. It’s really not that hard. One of the biggest suggestions I have right now is to stop trying to find substitutes for your favorite grain food. Don’t look for a paleo bread or muffin. Instead think about making meat and veggies the star. Up there for I mentioned that I use leftover zucchini noodles. I just take a whole zucchini and peel it with a juiliane peeler.


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!