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Archive for the ‘Main Course’ Category

I’ve mentioned one or two times that I have a hard time eating all the meat I am supposed to for the Paleo diet, so every once in a while I like to throw in one of my favorite recipes since my semi-vegetarian phase.  When I used to make this recipe, I used cornflakes instead of the almond flour and a packet of french onion soup mix instead of plain old onions and veggies.  I always felt that it wasn’t as healthy as it could be, but until starting Paleo, I didn’t realize there were other options and ingredients I could swap out to make this more whole and healthy.
I haven’t seen this version of a cottage cheese, meatless recipe out there anywhere (I had to experiment to see if it would work), so hopefully somebody will be appreciate of my approach.  To most, or anyone who is familiar with a Cottage Cheese Roast/Meatless Loaf, this recipe may sound odd and not particularly appealing, but you’ll have to trust me as it is delicious and it holds together nicely once cooled.  The recipe actually ends up being pretty high in protein and good vitamins and low in carbs so it blends well into my version of Paleo.
My preferred way of eating this is on it’s own with a little mustard and some brussels sprouts on the side, but I have also mixed leftovers into eggs for breakfast, which was really tasty.  Back in my bread eating days it made a good sandwich, too!
This makes 2 regular sized loafs and one small loaf.  I found that you can get about 6 big servings out of it.
  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire
  • 8 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 2 regular sized loaf pans and 1 mini loaf pan with pam or olive oil.

In a pan, saute mushrooms, onions, celery, carrots, and peppers until onion is translucent.  This is mainly to cook some of the water out of the vegetables to help your loaf stick together.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the four eggs with a fork and then stir in the cottage cheese, flour, half the can of tomato sauce, walnuts and worcestershire.  Fold in the veggies that were just sauteed.

Pour mixture into the loaf pans evenly.  Spread some of the remaining tomato sauce across the top of each of the loaf pans.  Cook for 1 hr or until firm (the big ones had to cook for about 90 minutes for me to be satisfied they weren’t “jiggly”, but the little one only took an hour).

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This is the baked version - there is one picture of the fried version at the bottom!

It is a beautiful Friday (what Friday isn’t beautiful??) –  70 degrees F and sunny.  I have all the windows open and a cool breeze is blowing through.  It’s hard to see the glass half empty today, so I am using the postivity to propel me through a few Paleo recipes.

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I have been back and forth lately on whether I will be able to sustain the Paleo diet.  I love the way it makes me feel but oh man, I miss bread and sugar sometimes (I would love to have a lunch every now and then that is a sandwich and then follow it up with a cupcake!).  But alas, I am going to charge ahead and keep trying to stay on this path as it is very nice to not have to take blood pressure medicine anymore.

On that note, I made two separate meals today that I think will help me get through.  First, fish sticks!  I based my recipe on an Elana’s pantry recipe, because in my mind she is the Queen of Gluten Free cooking, which translates to Paleo most of the time.

I should start by pointing out that these are not your standard fish sticks.  This version didn’t come out crispy like I had hoped, but they still really hit the spot for me.  I liked them so much I made them two days in a row.

This served one as I was just making them for lunch, so you can up the recipe as needed.

Fish Sticks

  • 4 oz white fish (I use flounder, but you could use cod, tilapia, or a number of other fish!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • If baking, 1 tbsp melted butter
  • If frying, 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (you could use half and half grapeseed/olive oil)
You can bake or fry these – if baking, preheat the oven to 450 F.  I did both methods and probably prefer baking for the ease, but the frying made them slightly crispier.  Also, line a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with Pam.
  • If not baking, heat about 1/4 cup grapeseed oil in a pan over medium heat.  Be patient so you don’t burn the oil.
Start by whisking an egg in one bowl and stirring all the dry ingredients together on a large flat plate (you could use a bowl, but I found the plate to work nicely).  Slice the fish into strips (about an inch thick, maybe a little less).  Dip the fish into the egg to coat and then roll in the flour mixture until well coated.
If baking, place on the foil lined baking sheet, brush with a little melted butter and cook at 450 for about 15-20 minutes, flipping once to brown both sides.
If frying, once the oil is heated, place the fish sticks in the pan, leaving plenty of room to flip – don’t overcrowd, do a couple batches if necessary.  Fry on each side for about 2 minutes (I did all 4 sides).  Remove from oil and place on paper towel lined plate to absorb extra oil.

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I know I have said this about a million times now, but I miss pasta.  I have been struggling lately to stay the course of gluten free Paleo eating, so every day I have been trying to com up with new recipes that will help me get through it.  One of the things that definitely includes pasta that I have missed the most is spaghetti surprisingly.  It’s hard when you don’t have pasta to find something to put the sauce over besides plain old meat.

For some, this might not be that big of a challenge, they will just throw some sauce over a slab of meat, but I like to have lots of vegetables to balance out my meat so I don’t think about what I am eating so much.  Pasta has usually held the place of that distraction but now I am turning to my dear old friend veggie to take that spot.  I have been wanting to try using zucchini or squash as a substitute lately, so today I finally gave it a shot.

Now, let me first state that you cannot expect it to taste like pasta, let’s be clear about that.  That being said, the texture and bulk it adds to a meal was much more satisfying and tasty than I expected.  I watched a how-to video on Summer Tomato and she showed exactly how to get these beautiful “noodles”.  I used a vegetable peeler just like she did.

 

 

Serves: 1

1 yellow squash (or zucchini)

Olive Oil and Butter for sautéing

Aidell’s Andouille Sausage (or any other nitrate free meat product)

Your favorite Spaghetti Sauce (I used Chef Ricardo’s Mucho Macho – read your ingredients label carefully to ensure no sugar and other sketchy ingredients)

Start by cooking your meat (I grilled my sausage for 10 minutes on high, rotating every couple minutes) and slicing it up.  I then heated up the tomato sauce in the microwave.

To prep the “noodles”, I used a vegetable peeler and just shaved long thin slices off the squash.  Every time I shaved a slice off, I turned the squash a quarter turn.  When I got down to the seeds I stopped to the noodles wouldn’t get soggy.  I did choose to use the outside peel slices as well.

Next, heat a pan over medium high with a little olive oil and butter.  Once heated, toss in the squash and cook for no more than 2 minutes (I did about a minute and a half).  You don’t want the noodles to get soggy.

I tossed the sausage, sauce, and “noodles” together and topped with a little parmesan.  It was fantastic!

 

 

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I’m mainly doing this post to document my recipe so I don’t forget next time I want to make it…because it was fantastic!  I apologize in advance, as always, for my poor camera skills.  I couldn’t get any great photo’s so you will have to take my word that it was fun to make and kind of (in and ugly way) pretty.  Also, this looks complicated but it’s totally not.

So, I’ve been on Paleo for over a month now and I don’t feel like I have seen the weight loss that I had expected (especially not as quickly as I had hoped).  I feel great and I feel like I am getting stronger and stronger at my gym and I no longer have the lack of energy that I did in the beginning of Paleo (and come to think of it, before Paleo).

I’ve discovered some great recipes that have gotten me through this diet (thank you www.elanaspantry.com for the bread, the cupcakes, the muffins…) and I have a totally different view on how I ate before this.  I never realized how much of my diet revolved around bread, rice, grains, and most of all – SUGAR.  Now, even on my cheat days–yes I cheat sometimes–I don’t eat nearly as many carbs and sugars as I used to eat.

All this being said, I still haven’t eased cheese all the way out of my diet.  I’ve gotten rid of most of the other dairy but I LOVE cheese.  I also love Mexican, I mean I could eat it every day and not get tired of it.  So, I have had to come up with some new ways to do Mexican without the rice, beans, and shells/chips.  I think I found it with this recipe, which you could do without cheese, but I still add a little in because I just can’t help myself. Messy but tasty…

4 large poblano peppers

1 lb ground beef (93% fat-free)

1 onion, finely diced

1 zucchini, finely chopped

3 eggs

5 dried ancho chiles (those big shriveled red ones you get in the Mexican section at the store)

6 oz can tomato paste (make sure there is no added sugar – and you understand all ingredients on the label)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp oregano

Mexican cheese blend (optional)

For the peppers:

Turn broiler on high and line a baking sheet with foil.  Place the poblano peppers on the sheet and watch closely as the char on each side – flipping as each side chars (the skin should be blistery and black).  Mine took about 5-6 min per side.  Once all sides are charred, take peppers out and place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients in the dish.

I turn the oven straight onto 400 degrees F to get in ready for the rest.

For the “stuffing”:

Brown ground beef in a pan.  Add in onion and zucchini and cook until veggies are soft.  Drain off excess grease.  In a bowl, whisk the eggs and stir in the beef/onion/zucchini mixture.

For the enchilada sauce:

Stem and seed the dried ancho chiles (I find this easier to do before you cook them, but you can do it after but you have to be careful!).  Cover the ancho’s in water and bring to a boil.  Boil for about 15 min to soften.  Pour ancho’s into a colander and let cool a little.

In a food processor, add the ancho’s, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, paprika, and oregano.  Process into a paste. Add some water a little at a time until you get a slightly (very slightly) thinner consistency – it should be spreadable  but not too thick.

To assemble:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Take the poblano peppers out of the bowl and peel the outside charred skin off.  Remove the stem and open up the pepper.  Take your knife and smooth it along the open inside of the pepper to remove all seeds.  Place a single layer of poblano peppers at the bottom of a 9 in x 5 in loaf shaped pan (you could use a variety of other pans, I just like the way this one works).  It took about 2 poblanos to line the bottom for me.

If using a layer of cheese, I put a very thin on here, but you can do without.  Next, add about a 1/2 – 1 inch layer of the beef mixture.  On top of that, add a layer of the enchilada sauce.

Repeat each layer on more time and if you want, top with a little queso fresca or cheese of your choice.

Bake for about 30 min or until you see it start to bubble around the edges.

You could serve this with sour cream or with avocado on top and a nice green salad to start.

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Okay, so lots of small posts today from my one tasty lunch.  As I mentioned in a previous post, chicken salad is a good easy Paleo lunch.  You can pretty much add anything you want to it, but here is what I put in:

Shredded Chicken (I used a 4.99 Rotisserie Chicken that was on sale on Sunday – probably not the best way of approaching this, but I have to tell the truth)

3 Hard Boiled Eggs, peeled and diced

Shredded Carrots (1/4 – 1/2 cup)

1 celery stalk, diced

Pecans, chopped

Almonds, chopped

Paleo Mayo – 1/2 batch or about a 1/2 cup – adjust to your liking

I often add a variety of spices like parsley, sage, thyme, and dill – but I put most of those straight into my mayo this time so it was already mixed in!


Mix all of the ingredients above and serve on top of a slice of gluten-free bread.  I like to add a side of Parsnip “Fries”.

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I make chicken tortilla soup at least once a month, so I was definitely not prepared to give that up when I started Paleo, but I had to make a few tweaks to make it still enjoyable. Here is how I did it.

Chicken Tortilla-less Soup

32 oz reduced sodium chicken broth

2 lbs chicken breasts

1 can petite diced tomatoes (so this was cheating a little – you could use fresh tomatoes here)

1/2 can tomato paste

2 cloves garlic

1 onion, diced

2 green peppers, diced

1 zucchini, halved and sliced

2 chipotle peppers (I like it spicy, so this can be omitted if you don’t!)

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

Avocado (for topping – not in the slow cooker)

Throw all ingredients together in the slow cooker.  I set it on low for 10 hrs, but you can do much less time – 6hrs on low would probably do it.  Top with a lot of diced avocado!

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I didn't like the first pic so here are some leftovers served with chargrilled tortillas!

Who would have thought?   Frankie Valli (who is still AMAZING at 76 years old) and The Four Seasons was one of my favorite shows of all time.  This could be because it felt more like going to see a musical than a concert, but I just adored the show.  The theatre where he played was gorgeous and half way through the show we look over at one of the balconies and see an older couple spontaneously slow dancing to one of his songs.  It was a touching, wish we could all have that kind of lasting love moments.

Frankie – apologies for my poor photography skills!

Anyways, with that show and a couple of other things that have been going on this week it has been busy!  I haven’t had time to go grocery shopping in weeks and there are basically just a few cans of beans and tomatoes lingering in my cupboard and not much else.  I looked in the freezer and found some frozen chicken breasts, so I knew exactly what I was going to make.  The recipe is from another one of my favorite food blogs, SkinnyTaste, it’s called Chicken Taco Chili.  The best thing about this site and the recipes is that they are healthy but so good.  The name doesn’t sound fancy but it always turns out so tasty.

You can put this in a taco, on rice, on a salad or eat it as chili.  Try this, you won’t be sorry.

Serves 10: about 200 calories per serving (1.25 cups each)

1.5 lb chicken breasts, uncooked

1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce

1 14.5 oz can pinto beans

1 14.5 oz can black beans

2 14.5 oz can Rotel (diced tomatoes with mild green chiles)

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp chili powder

10 oz frozen corn kernels – optional

1 packet taco seasoning, reduced sodium

Whatever toppings or serving choices you like – rice, lettuce, taco shells, chips, chargrilled tortillas (just throw a tortilla on a burner (electric) for five seconds on each side)

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker (with the exception of the toppings).  Cook over low heat for 8-10 hrs or high heat 5-6 hrs.

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