Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Paleo (or at least my attempt at it)’ Category

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.
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

If you asked me back before Paleo what foods I thought I would miss, oatmeal would not have been one of them.  I liked oatmeal and I ate it pretty often, but it was never really that exciting.  Now that I have been attempting Paleo for about 6 months, I miss other breakfasts besides eggs, which of course includes oatmeal.  I sometimes just crave something warm and slightly sweet that isn’t an egg.

When I stumbled across this recipe for ‘Almost Oatmeal’ on the Paleo Plan website, I was doubtful that it could be good but excited at the possibility.  Wow, I was overwhelmed – it was delicious and so easy!  I modified just a little based on what I had on hand.  Given I was still a little hungry after I would probably have this in the morning with an egg or some kind of protein on the side just to bulk it up a bit and make it to lunch.

Serves 1

  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) unsweetened applesauce (I used Mott’s)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • fresh blueberries, raspberries, and a few hazelnuts for toppings
  • Combine applesauce, almond butter, almond milk, and spices in a microwaveable bowl.  Microwave for about 30 seconds, just until warm (of course you could have this cold if you prefer).  Top with blueberries, raspberries, and hazelnuts.

Read Full Post »

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!

 

 

Read Full Post »

Every morning during the week I follow a similar routine.  I wake up, take a shower, and proceed to either make a quick breakfast or if I’m working from home I can get a little fancier.  What used to be the fun part of this sometimes mundane start was deciding what to eat.  Should I do an eggo – with powdered sugar or syrup?  How about a veggie sausage patty with an over easy egg on an english muffin?  No?  Maybe some oatmeal with bananas and cinnamon.

Well, since being on Paleo these days, most of the things I just listed are off limits…I still splurge with them on weekends, but during the workweek, they are a no-no.  So I have to find new ways to shake it up.  You can’t just have an egg with cheese on it every morning for breakfast, right?  You’ve probably seen my flour-less muffin recipe but I just found a new kind of muffin to keep things interesting.


Clearly, these are not your traditional muffins (like any of mine really are?).  I’ll admit, I stumbled across this little gem of a recipe on My Retro Kitchen.  These muffins are just egg, meat, veggies, and some cottage cheese…if you please.  Give them a shot, you may just like them as much as me!

 

Makes 12 muffins

11-12 Eggs (I only ended up needing 11, but the original recipe calls for 12)

1/2 lb turkey sausage (or I used 4 pre-cooked turkey sausage patties for speed)

3 green onions, chopped (I used greens only, but you can use both if you want)

1/2 cup cottage cheese

4 oz can diced green chiles

1/2 cup broccoli, steamed and chopped

 

Preheat oven to 375.

Grease 12 muffin tins.  Layer into each muffin tin a little broccoli, green onions, sausage, cottage cheese, and green chiles.  The muffin tins should be pretty full.

In a bowl with a spout (I used a large measuring cup), beat the eggs with a whisk and sprinkle in a little salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the egg mixture over top of the veggies, sausage, and cheese (if using).

Pop them in the oven and let them cook for about 25 minutes (they will puff up a little and just start to get a little golden on top).  I threw a little cheddar on top, but it was totally unnecessary.  Now I just throw them in the microwave in the morning and voila – breakfast for a week!

Read Full Post »

There was something missing from the first batch of muffins I made.  They were good, but a little dryer and not quite sweet enough.  They were, should I say, average muffins.  I have made about three batches since and I think I finally found the right combination, so I thought I would share.

I have to continue to credit Elana’s Pantry for the base recipe which I shift and play around with to suit my tastes.

**Since I first posted this recipe, I have been playing around with it a lot (since I make these practically every week).  I know replace all of the oil with a 1/2 cup of apple sauce (make sure it is unsweetened!).  This seemed to keep the muffins from getting too soft and wet as they sometimes do with the oil).**

Here you go:

Serves 10 muffins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

3 eggs

1/2 cup strawberries, mashed

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 tbsp vanilla

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup pecans

Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl, blend eggs, strawberries, oil, agave, and vanilla together with a hand mixer.  With the hand mixer, add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend until smooth.

Stir in the blueberries, walnuts, and pecans.

Scoop the mix into pre-greased muffin tins (I find they come out much cleaner in greased muffin tins instead of paper lined, but use whichever you prefer).

Bake for 20 minutes or until just slightly golden (keep an eye on them as they go from golden to burned quickly).  A toothpick inserted should come out clean.

Store wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag at room temperature (I find the fridge does funny things to the muffins – kind of dries them out).

Read Full Post »

Let me start by admitting two things:

1.  This isn’t much of a “recipe” blog tonight.  I really am just so excited about my first grill that I had to write about it.  I’m on a new grill high.

2.  This is my first time EVER owning and running a grill.  I know it’s a little odd that I have gone half my adult life without this well-known piece of equipment, but you have to remember I didn’t really eat that much meat for the majority of my life, so I thought a grill wasn’t necessary.  And if I am being completely honest, I was terrified I would it would be too complicated and I might possibly blow something up (like my house or my dog…I’m still worried that if Stuart is out with the grill he may somehow catch on fire, so I made him stay inside the whole time – which he did not like).

BUT given I am doing Paleo-ish eating these days, meat has become a little less scary (very little) and grilling has proven to be a necessity, so I broke down and bought a grill.  The grill was this little tabletop model that I had to assemble myself.  Well, it was easy enough to put together….but not so fast my friends…I couldn’t get the propane tank to screw in and it was so tall that the grill wouldn’t sit flat on the table.  And, given my fear of catching things on fire, it meant I would have to take the umbrella out of my table every time I wanted to use it so I wouldn’t fear it going up in flames.  I just knew I would never use this thing again, if I could even figure it out in the first place.

At my wit’s end, I headed over to Target at 7:30 pm to try to scavenge for a grill, but as I looked around, the thought of assembling one was daunting.  Then I had a thought…at Lowe’s there are lots of men who work there wandering around.  The thought going through my head, “Maybe I can get one of those handsome men to sell little old me a pre-assembled grill.”  I turned on my heels and headed off with a mission.

Needless to say, I got to Lowe’s and the one man in sight was helping someone else.  I paced, I sighed loudly, I put on my most confused but charming face, and then I resorted to staring.  10 minutes later and I hadn’t even gotten an, “I’ll be right with you, ma’am.”  Where’s the chivalry???  Last I checked we were in the South people.

Partially giving up, I started wandering the aisles around the grill section thinking maybe I could entertain myself for a little while.  That’s when I saw it.  My little Aussie Walk-About gas grill.  It was so cute, all assembled already and folded, on wheels, with a handle so I could pull it through the store.  Eureka!  It even fit in the backseat of my SUV (which was key because I remembered as I was wheeling through the parking lot with a huge grin on my face that my trunk was stuffed with tennis racquets, balls, bike helmet, camelbak water book bag, laptop bag and a variety of other things).

My new baby and my old baby (trying to lick the hot grill)

It took me all of two minutes to get it unfolded and into table position and I was a grillin!  I mean, you have to see this thing to understand.  What did I make?

  • Burger from Fresh Market – cooked on medium-high for about 6 min on each side.  Topped it with mozzarella about with about two minutes left on the clock.
  • Half a Bell Pepper – when I put the burger on, I put the bell pepper (halved) face down on the grill (to char the top of it)
  • I put the Bell Pepper on top of the burger/mozzarella and topped with pasta sauce (good pasta sauce with no sugar added – make sure you know clearly what all the ingredients are)
  • On the other side of the grill, I tossed some asparagus with olive oil, S&P, and put in a veggie grill basket.  I only grilled this for about 5 minutes – I like it crispy!
I have a feeling this is just the beginning of my grilling journey.
By the way, for anyone that read this far, I may have dropped the burger and had to start over with a new one.  I also, in my frenzy of trying to save the burger, grabbed the veggie grill basket with my bare hands and burned my fingers decently.  Somehow, and I’m not quite sure how, that didn’t dampen my new grill spirits.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »