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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bambi Burgers--with Bacon!

Native Roots just started carrying ground venison and elk! Yay! Tonight, I had my first voyage into cooking up Bambi, and he was every bit as tasty as I thought he would be.

Bambi & Bacon Burgers
(Makes 4-5)

-2 - 3 oz bacon, minced

-1 clove (1/2 tsp) garlic, minced

-1 shallot, minced

-1 lb ground venison

-1 - 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

-1 tsp dried parsley

-1 egg, beaten

-Salt & pepper to taste

Over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon to a large bowl, reserving bacon grease in the pan. Add garlic and shallots to the bacon grease, and saute until soft, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add garlic/shallots to the bowl with the bacon, and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Add venison and remaining ingredients to bowl, knead with hands until thoroughly mixed. Form meat into 4-5 balls, and lightly press into patties.

Cook on griddle, grill, or in a skillet until thoroughly cooked, flipping every few minutes to prevent burning.

I ate mine (as pictured) with spinach and artichoke hearts, lightly sauteed in clarified butter with a little garlic and red pepper flakes, and the combo was really, really nice. Next time, I'll probably saute onions and mushrooms with some bacon; one can never have too much bacon.

Yay Bambi!


Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

Another Gordon Ramsay adaptation. This dish is super flavorful and exciting, and most of all, the tangy sweetness of the sun-dried tomatoes balances out the salt in the dish really well, so don't let the anchovies scare you off. Despite my love for salt, I find anchovies pretty repulsive in isolation, but they work really, really well in the context of this dish.

Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca
(Serves 2)

-2 cloves (1 tsp) garlic, minced

-1 shallot, finely chopped

-1 dried chili, finely chopped

-1 tin anchovies, sliced

-4-5 sundried tomatoes (jarred, in olive oil), finely chopped

-2 tbsp capers

-4-5 large green olives, sliced

-1 tsp dried basil

-2 - 3 cups cooked spaghetti squash (prep instructions here)

-1-2 tsp olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, shallots, and chili pepper, and saute briefly, until shallots begin to soften. Add tomatoes and anchovies, and mix thoroughly (make sure that you break up the anchovies well--otherwise you'll end up with big mouthfuls of it, and that's a lot of salt). Add capers, olives, and basil, mix well. Finally, add spaghetti squash, mix well with other ingredients, and cook until heated through.



Friday, July 22, 2011

Pig Peppers

I always struggle to find ways to use leftover pork roast (5lb roast + 1 person = many, many days of pulled pork). Why didn't I consider adding bacon sooner...?

Pig Peppers

-1 sweet pepper (just choose your favorite color)

-2 strips thick cut bacon, chopped

-2-3 oz leftover pulled pork

-1-2 oz chorizo sausage

-1 shallot, chopped

-Salsa to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the top off the pepper, and clean out the seeds. Over medium heat, cook the bacon until it is just beginning to brown. Add chorizo and shallots, and cook until the sausage is thoroughly browned, and shallots are soft. Add pulled pork, and heat through. Stuff as much of the mixture as you can into the pepper (snack on the remainder, if you're me), place the top back on, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the pepper has softened. Top with your favorite salsa to serve.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Lotta Frittatas

I've been eating a lot of these lately, and they're all awesome, but it would be pretty obnoxious to do a separate post for each of them, especially because the prep is essentially identical for all omelets/frittatas. But all of these combos are tested and (enthusiastically) approved, and they're super quick--check em out.

Peach & Pecan

-2 eggs

-1/2 peach, diced

-A handful of pecans (2-3 oz), chopped

-Vanilla & cinnamon

-Coconut oil

Carrot & Parsley

(I was surprised that this one turned out as well as it did--the carrots get uber sweet when you cook them down enough.)

-2 eggs

-1 shallot, finely chopped

-1 carrot, shredded

-1 dried chili, chopped (optional)

-A few sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped

-Sea salt & pepper

-Coconut oil

Artichoke & Sun-dried Tomatoes

-2 eggs

-1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, diced

-4-5 sun-dried tomatoes (the ones I used were marinated in olive oil), chopped

-Feta cheese (optional, but tasty)

-Basil, oregano & pepper

-Coconut oil

Basic instructions: Heat oil in a small pan (I use an 8" non-stick for these occasions) over medium heat. Beat eggs with a little salt/pepper (or vanilla and cinnamon for the first recipe), and set aside. Add veggies (or fruit) and any seasonings to pan,* and saute until they begin to soften. Pour eggs around the perimeter of the pan, and tilt to distribute the eggs through the veggies. Cook until the eggs set.

*For the carrot & parsley recipe, don't saute the parsley with the veg, sprinkle it on top once the eggs are in the pan.

Be sure not to overcrowd your pan with the veggies/fruit, or the eggs won't cook evenly--burned on the bottom and raw on top. Gross.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spiced Pork Chops and Sweet Potatoes

Part two of the I Heart Gordon Ramsay series.

I'm a little bit of a BBQ sauce junkie, and I never eat a pork chop without it. These, however, didn't need anything else. The sweet potato mash was the perfect complement to the pork chop.

And as an aside on prep: if you don't have a mortar and pestle? Get one (I found one for like $13 at Bed Bath and Beyond). Because for some reason, crushing whole spices is crazy fun, and it smells amazing. Words cannot describe.

Spiced Pork Chops with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
(Serves 2)

Pork Chops:

-2 boneless pork chops

-1 tsp coriander seeds

-1 star anise

-1/2 tsp chili powder

-1/2 tsp paprika

-1 clove garlic, crushed

-A few sprigs of fresh thyme

-A few grinds each of sea salt and pepper

-1 generous tbsp olive oil

Sweet Potatoes

-1 large sweet potato

-2-3 cups chicken broth

-1 shallot, finely chopped

-1 clove garlic, crushed

-Coconut oil

-Salt to taste

-1-2 tsp fresh sage

-1-2 tsp fresh cilantro

Crush the coriander and star anise, and add to a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well. Pour marinade onto a plate, and add pork chops. Flip once to get the marinade covering all surfaces. Put into the fridge.

Peel and dice sweet potato. Put chicken broth into a pot over high heat. When broth is boiling, add sweet potato, and boil around 8 minutes, until they are softening (they shouldn't be fully cooked yet). Remove from heat, drain, run under cold water, and drain again. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Remove pork chops from the fridge. Place a pan over medium/medium-high heat, and get it nice and hot. Add a little bit of oil to the pan, and then add pork chops. Cook on each side for about 45 secs - 1 min, and occasionally tip onto the edges to ensure that you get color on all sides. Then, put the pan into the oven, and bake for about 8 minutes, until meat is just firm when pressed lightly. Set aside to rest.

In a second pan, heat oil over medium heat, and add shallots and garlic. Saute until shallots begin to caramelize. Add sweet potatoes, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Then, with a fork (or if you're fancy and own a potato masher, use that--I do not), begin mashing the sweet potatoes in the pan. When thoroughly mashed and soft, remove from heat, add the sage and cilantro, and a bit of sea salt to taste, and mix thoroughly.

Plate it up and serve it up. These won't disappoint.


Asian Summer Salad

Does anybody else go through hardcore Gordon Ramsay phases? I've always been a huge fan of his approach to food, which is all about short ingredient lists and fresh flavors. Also, a remarkable proportion of his dishes are paleo-friendly.

Anyway, I just remembered why he's awesome, so the next few posts are probably gonna be at least Ramsay inspired, if not all Ramsay. This one is straight from The F Word, and it's a perfect summer salad. It's light, and all the constituents balance each other really nicely.

Asian Summer Salad
(Serves 4-5)

-2 cucumbers, peeled

-2 carrots, peeled

-1 fresh jalapeno

-2-3 tsp toasted sesame oil

-2-3 tsp rice wine vinegar

-1-1.5 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

-Sea salt to taste

-Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin slicer, slice cucumbers and carrots lengthwise into thin strips (my cucumber slices were too wide for my aesthetic sensibilities, so I halved the slices lengthwise). Use the peeler/mandolin to cut the jalapeno into thin rings. Put all veggies into a bowl, and add oil, vinegar, cilantro, and grind sea salt over top. Gently mix together all ingredients with your hands, and plate.

I just had this with some leftover brats (classy), but I think it would go really nicely with baked chicken or pork chops.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mediterranean Crab and Veggie "Spaghetti"

Mmm. All of these flavors just work brilliantly together. Tangy, savory, with a little bit of a kick from the chili pepper. Great way to enjoy spaghetti squash.

Mediterranean Crab and Veggie "Spaghetti"

(Serves 2)

-2 cups cooked spaghetti squash (if you haven't cooked it before, I have instructions here)

-1/2 cup chicken broth

-2 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped

-1/2 onion, finely diced

-2 cloves (1 tsp) garlic, crushed

-1/2 cup green olives, halved

-1 cup quartered artichoke hearts, halved

-1 Roma tomato, diced

-1 or 2 dried chili peppers, finely chopped

-1/2 tsp oregano

-1/2 tsp basil

-1 6oz can crab meat, drained

-Olive oil and black pepper to garnish

-Prep all your veggies. In a large sauce pan, combine spaghetti squash and chicken broth, and sprinkle with black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer while you saute your veggies.

In a separate pan, add bacon and cook over medium heat until it begins to get crispy. Add in garlic and onions, and saute until the onions begin to soften. Add olives, artichokes, and seasoning, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, and cook for about 2 minutes. Finally, add crab, and gently mix through. Remove from heat.

Drain your spaghetti squash, and plate. Top with a nice, heaping scoop of the veggie/crab mixture. Garnish with a few grinds of black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serve immediately. Enjoy.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Survivor "Popcorn"

Survivor is a pretty cool show from a paleo perspective. One particularly interesting little skill that contestants picked up in an early season and perpetuated throughout the series is the coconut "popcorn." Presumably, when you dice coconut meat and saute it, it tastes like popcorn. Why save that for a deserted island?

Survivor "Popcorn"

-1 fresh coconut

Drive a nail into one (or more) of the coconut eyes, and drain the water--do with that what you will. Then wrap the emptied coconut in a towel, and bash it with a hammer until it cracks open. Separate the meat from the shell with a sharp chef's knife. Dice the meat into small pieces (quite small--like 1/2" by "1/4"). Over medium heat, saute the coconut meat in a pan until browned. When it nears doneness, the coconut will begin to make popping sounds--much like popcorn.

It is indeed kind of reminiscent of popcorn. It completely tastes delicious. Yay, Survivor!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Paleo Public Service Announcement: For the Hippies

To my hippy friends: trade in your whole grains for some tasty meat, or you'll lose the ability to spell "psychic."

Much love.


Oven-Baked Beef Brisket

Summer! It means lots of lovely things, like camping and swimming, but it also means a tighter budget if you're a poor grad student, as we often only get funding during the school year. So, roasts are an ideal meat option: per pound, they're often the cheapest cuts you can find (I landed this grass-fed 6.5 lb brisket for about $30), and they're hella tasty. I threw this together early yesterday, and by dinnertime, it was ready to go and my apartment smelled awesome.

Oven-Baked Beef Brisket

-1 beef brisket (mine was 6.5 lbs), thawed

-2 tbsp salt

-2 tbsp black pepper

-2 tsp cayenne pepper

-2 tsp (4 cloves) crushed garlic

-1 onion, thinly sliced

-1/4 c soy sauce (gluten free--they can be found)

-1/8 c Worcestershire sauce

-1/4 c black coffee (I used a dark, bold roast and brewed it at double strength)

-1/4 c apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 250 F. Mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne and garlic, and rub into roast--use about 3/4 of it on the fatty side of the brisket, and 1/4 on the other side. Set aside. Mix together soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, black coffee, and vinegar, and pour into a roasting pan. Spread onion slices in the pan. Place the seasoned brisket into the pan fatty side up, and cover tightly with tin foil. Bake for 7 to 8 hrs (i.e., between 1 hr and 1 hr 15 min per pound). Slice it up, and enjoy for days to come. I recommend serving it with a healthy ladle of the juices that accumulate in the pan--and maybe some tasty Grok's BBQ sauce.

Yay summer!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Cakes

Yay, bacon! I really wanted some bacon wrapped shrimp, but all I have is these little baby shrimp at the moment, and (thankfully) they do not make baby bacon strips. Thus: shrimp cakes. These were pretty tasty on their own (surprisingly, pan-fried plantain mush is really, really good), but in the bacon sleeve, they were unstoppable.

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Cakes (makes about 10)

-1 large plantain, green

-1 cup shrimp, chopped

-4 or 5 green onions, finely chopped

-Black pepper and garlic salt to taste (I think I used between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp of each)

-Coconut oil for frying (maybe 3-4 tbsp)

-10 strip of bacon

Peel the plantain, and chop it into a few big chunks, then whiz in a food processor until it's a fairly smooth "batter." Mix in the shrimp, green onions and seasoning. Form the mixture into 1" - 1.5" balls and place on wax paper (yes, your hands will get gross, but deal with it--your reward is bacon-wrapped treats). Heat the coconut oil over medium heat. When the pan is hot, carefully place a ball in, and squash it into a 1/2" thick patty. Repeat until the pan is full--I was able to cook 4 at a time. Cook a few minutes on each side, until nicely browned and crispy, and move to paper towels when done.

After all cakes have been cooked, wrap each cake in a slice of bacon, such that the "seam" is squarely in the middle of one side. Place each cake seam side down in the pan, and press the top with a spatula to help the seam close. Cook on each side until the bacon is crispy. From time to time, it's helpful to tip the cake at a 45 degree angle in the pan for a few seconds, so that the bacon on the sides of the cakes isn't still raw when the rest is done cooking.

Bacon it up!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Seafood-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Yay, this is the tastiest thing I've made in quite some time. Traditional stuffed peppers usually include rice, but I didn't miss it at all--these were crazy good.

Seafood-Stuffed Bell Peppers, Paleo Style

-2 green bell peppers, halved and cleaned

-2 tbsp grassfed clarified butter

-1/2 onion, diced

-1/2 red bell pepper, diced

-4 green onions, diced

-1 clove (or 1/2 tsp) garlic, minced

-1 6oz can of crab meat, drained

-4 or 5 oz frozen tiny shrimp (fully cooked/cleaned), thawed

-1/4 tsp...
...chili powder
...basil pepper

-1/8 tsp... pepper flakes
...cayenne pepper (optional, but really tasty)

-1/4 cup tomato puree

-1/4 head cauliflower, grated (I used a cheese grater; this should come out to be a generous cup)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep all veggies. Cover the bottom of a baking dish with about 1/8" water, and set aside. Bring water to a rapid boil in a large pot, and parboil the 4 green pepper halves for 2-3 minutes (they should be just beginning to soften); place on paper towels to drain.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, green onions, red bell peppers and garlic. Stirring constantly to avoid burning, saute until onions become translucent and begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp, crab, and spices, and cook until thoroughly heated (2-3 min). Finally, add tomato puree and cauliflower, cook until thoroughly heated (1-2 min).

Place green bell peppers in baking dish, and stuff with filling. Bake until peppers are soft, about 20 minutes.

I easily ate an entire pepper (2 stuffed halves), and was sad when I could not eat anymore. This one is seriously a winner. I'd really like to try this with ground lamb or pork as well--maybe both.



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Paleo Pizza Bake

The semester is finally over, I am for realz ABD, and I realized that I could really go for some cheese. I'll pay for it later, but it was worth it. And honestly, this is barely even a recipe, but it's delicious, so here we go:

Paleo Pizza/Lasagna Bake

-1 pkg large pepperoni (around 20 slices)

-1 pkg large Canadian bacon (around 10 slices)

-1 2.25oz can sliced black olives

-6 oz package of sliced portabella mushrooms

-1/2 lb Italian sausage, cooked

-1/2 lb fresh mozzarella (preferably pastured, of course), grated

-2-3 oz parmesan, grated

-2 cups pizza sauce (I used my recipe)

Preheat oven to 400 F (actually, I initially set it to 350, but the cheese wasn't melting well after 10 minutes, so for the remaining time--6 minutes--I cooked it at 400). Cook up the sausage in a pan, and grate the cheese. In an 8"x8" casserole dish, layer the toppings in the following order (I guess you could do it in whatever order you'd like, but this seemed to create impressive cohesion):

1. 9 slices pepperoni (this should completely cover the bottom of the dish)

2. 9 slices Canadian bacon

3. Half of the mozzarella

4. Black olives

5. Mushrooms

6. Italian sausage

7. Pizza sauce

8. Pepperoni (another 9 slices)

9. Remaining mozzarella

10. Parmesan

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until thoroughly heated, and cheese is melted.

Eating this was enlightening: traditional pizza is totally overrated. The crust just slows you down. Pure toppings is definitely the way to go.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spicy Shrimp & Sausage Saute with Plantains

First experience preparing plantains--we were both a bit scared. However, this ended up being pretty simple to execute, and also pretty tasty! Enjoy.

Shrimp & Andouille Saute with Plantain "Fries"


-1 large plantain (ours was still pretty green, but beginning to ripen), peeled and chopped into 1/4" discs

-1-2 tbsp coconut oil

-1 dash mustard seeds

-1/2 tsp...

...chili powder
... turmeric

-1/4 tsp...

...ground coriander

-1/4 c water

Heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, and cover when they begin to pop, shaking the pan so they don't burn. When they stop popping, uncover and add plantains and all seasonings. Saute until they are well coated, then add water and cover. Cook until all water is absorbed (this only takes a few minutes, so keep an eye on them). Uncover, and saute until crispy.

In the meantime, you can be cooking your saute.

Sausage and Shrimp Saute:

-1 lb bag frozen baby shrimp (peeled, cleaned, cooked and all that jazz), thawed

-1 lb andouille sausage

-1/2 onion, finely chopped

-Black and red pepper to taste (we used around 1/2 tsp each)

-Hot sauce (optional--we used Blair's Mega Death Sauce, but only because we are awesome)

Add sausage to pan, and cook for a few minutes, until it begins to brown. Add onions, shrimp and seasonings and saute until the sausage is cooked, and the shrimp are heated through.

Overall, a super simple supper--I think total prep time was probably 25 minutes, and minimal chopping. Furthermore, the consensus, regarding both the plantains and the shrimp & sausage fry, was: "Solid."


Friday, April 8, 2011

Taro Chips Two Ways

After listening to the Chris Kresser episode of Robb Wolf's podcast, I was inspired to make the taro chips that Kresser described--sounded delicious. I tried making them with two different slicing techniques. First (pictured left) I used a vegetable peeler, which enables you to get super, super thin slices, and yields a product very similar to potato chips. Second, I just used a freshly sharpened chef's knife, and cut the slices as thin as I was able to do--which was pretty thin, but still several times thicker than I could get with the vegetable peeler. The product was somewhere between a potato skin and a pita chip. I think they'll be super great and versatile... I'm seeing paleo loaded potato skins and paleo chili nachos in the near future.

Taro Chips**

-1/2 of a taro root, peeled

-3-4 tbsp pastured butter, melted (or coconut oil, or pork fat...mmm, pork fat...)

-Salt, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 F. Slice the taro root as you wish--use a vegetable peeler if you want "potato chips," and a sharp chefs knife if you want sturdier potato skinny/pita chippy type things. If the latter, do make a point of trying to get them as thin as you can. Lay the chips in a single layer on a cookie sheet (I had to do this in a couple of batches--1/2 a taro root produces a ton of chips), and brush with butter.

For thinner chips: Bake 6-8 minutes, until they are just starting to brown. They burn quick, so be careful.

For thicker chips: Bake 10-12 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown.

Carefully remove from pan with a spatula, and move to a plate to cool/crisp. Sprinkle with salt. Chow.


**Quick note--some people have an allergic reaction to taro (a funny itchy feeling toward the back of the tongue/throat), particularly if it's not cooked thoroughly enough. I don't have that problem, and I don't know if anyone would have that problem with these chips specifically, given how crispy they get, but...thought I'd mention it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Epic Burger Night, Paleo Style

It was time, we realized yesterday, time to have Paleo Burger Night. In preparation, we gathered pastured bacon and bacon ends, pastured cream cheese, grass-fed beef, jalapeños and avocado, mushrooms, and onions, the ingredients for Son of Grok's BBQ sauce, and proceeded to cook enough food for a small to moderately sized party.

Things started off innocently enough, with grilled Jalapeño Poppers:

Paleo Pepper Poppers
(Makes 16)

-8 fresh jalapeños

-4 - 6 oz cream cheese

-16 strip of bacon

Cut the jalapeños in half and clean out the seeds. Fill with 1-3 tsp cream cheese, then wrap in bacon and skewer with a toothpick to keep the bacon in place. Grill until the bacon is crispy. (Well, we grilled, but you could easily broil them in an oven.)

After the poppers. we moved onto the burgers--more accurately, we made sliders.

Slider Patties
(Makes about 16)

-2 lbs ground beef
-1 egg
-1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
-A few dashes each of...
-Worcestershire sauce
-Seasoning Salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then get in there and knead the meat with your hands until well mixed. Shape into balls, then flatten into small patties--ours were about 3" across raw. Grill (or pan fry, bake, etc) to taste. Very delicious and juicy.

At the start, we crafted some burgers with an eye for aesthetics--perhaps a little overboard on the aesthetics...

Above: Cream cheese, avocado and pan-fried bacon ends on a spinach salad.

Below: Cream cheese, cucumber, avocado and bacon on a bacon salad--smart. Nick doesn't mess around with spinach on Burger Night.

But then we got eager....

Above: SoG's BBQ sauce, mushrooms & onions sauteed in bacon grease, topped with bacon.

And then we got gluttonous, sloppy, and out-of-control....

Above: Half a slider with almond butter, cream cheese, avocado, and bacon, garnished with ghost chili hot sauce.

We also made baked sweet potatoes, but the burgers were way too distracting--we never got to them.

Okay, so seriously. Would anyone really miss having a bun amidst all this crazy burger and bacon action? Honestly, I think buns would have slowed us down, trammeled our creativity, and stifled our bacon-sprinkled dreams.

Paleo burger night, FTW.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Adventures With Hash Browns

I've been working on sweet potato hash browns lately, via two methods: 1) (pictured above, topped with chorizo) sweet potato + egg, and 2) sweet potato only. I think 2) is tastier, but 1) sticks together better, and thus is more picturesque.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns: v1
(Serves 2)

-1 sweet potato, grated (I did this with a cheese grater)

-1 egg

-1-2 tbsp of pastured butter, bacon/chorizo grease, or coconut oil

-Salt and pepper to garnish

Place shredded sweet potato between two paper towels and squeeze out as much moisture as you can, repeat as necessary (I went through 2 or 3 sets of paper towels before I got bored). Place in a bowl, and mix with egg. Heat your grease of choice over medium heat. When pan is hot, add half the potato/egg mix to the pan, and flatten with a spatula, spreading it out as evenly and thinly as possible in the pan. Keep pressing it down with the spatula as you cook. Cook on this side until browned/until its easy to flip (around 2 - 4 minutes), then cook the other side, again around 2 - 4 minutes.

Pretty tasty, but i don't find that the hash browns get very crispy, and the egg messes with the texture, as well as the grease-absorption capacity (which I think is very important, especially if you're eating grass-fed meat--don't be wasting that tasty, tasty grease).

So v2:

Sweet Potoato Hash-browns: v2

-1 sweet potato, grated

-1 - 2 tbsp of grease of choice

-Salt and pepper to garnish

Same instructions as above, just cook until the outside gets crispy, but I won't give you any false hopes about this sticking together when you flip it. Clumps of it will adhere, but it doesn't look all Waffle House picture-perfect. However, without the egg, the hash browns are a lot crispier, and they will do a much better job of soaking up the grease of any meat you top it with--I recommend fresh chorizo.

If anyone has a method of doing this that nails both the taste and the aesthetics, I'm all ears.


(Are a disproportionately high number of these posts devoted to breakfast?)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

3 Meat 5 Alarm Chili

Mmm, chili. If you prefer yours a little more mild, just leave out the cayenne.

3 Meat 5 Alarm Chili

-1 lb bacon ends (or regular bacon), sliced

-1 lb ground pork

-1 lb ground beef

-1 onion, chopped

-3 cloves (or 1.5 tsp) garlic, diced

-2 or 3 hot peppers (I used serrano), chopped

-2 sweet potatoes, diced

-2 bay leaves

-1/4 c chili powder

-1 tbsp oregano

-2 tsp black pepper

-2 tsp salt (or to taste)

-2 tsp cayenne pepper

-1 tsp cinnamon or allspice (or both--that's what I did)

-1 tsp cumin

-1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

-1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

-1 8 oz can El Pato jalapeño salsa

In a large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy (or to taste). Add pork and beef, cook until browned. Add onion, garlic, peppers, and sweet potato, and mix thoroughly. Add all seasonings, and mix thoroughly. Finally, add the crushed and diced tomatoes and the El Pato, mix thoroughly, reduce heat to medium-low/low, cover and simmer for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 or 3 to really let those flavors simmer.

And if you really want to spice things up (as we, of course, did), garnish with some Blair's Death Sauce (I really like Original Death and After Death). Or a different (and clearly inferior) hot sauce.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sausage and Broccoli Scramble

Simple and tasty breakfast, and massively filling.

Sausage and Broccoli Scramble

-2 tbsp coconut oil

-2-3 tbsp beef or chicken broth

-1/2 - 3/4 c broccoli florets, finely chopped

-1/2 - 3/4 sausage

-2 eggs

-Salt & pepper to taste

Melt the oil over medium heat, add beef broth. Add broccoli and cook for about 2 minutes. Add sausage and cook until browned. Add eggs, salt, and pepper, and scramble thoroughly.

Preferably served with a cup of hot, black coffee.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Bacon Stuffed Acorn Squash

Yesterday, Nick and I had a little fun at our local hippy grocery, Native Roots, and came back with 20+ pounds of grass-fed lamb, pork (BACON), chicken and beef between the two of us, as well as some pastured butter, which I didn't even know was available here, and had never tried before...a travesty.


Buttery Bacon and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash

-1 acorn squash

-2 tbsp pastured butter (or coconut oil)

-2-3 oz bacon ends (or thick-cut bacon), chopped

-1/4 - 1/2 c mushrooms, chopped

-1 shallot (or 2-3 tbsp onion), thinly sliced

-Ground pepper and cinnamon to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F. Cover the bottom of a casserol dish or shallow baking pan with about 1/4" water. Half an acorn squash lengthwise, across stem. Clean out innards/seeds. Spread exposed surfaces with butter, and place cut side up in the baking dish. Bake for about 1 hour, removing briefly at 30 min to re-butter the exposed surfaces with the melted butter that has pooled up in the squash.

When there's about 15-20 minutes of baking time left on the squash, add bacon to a large, cold pan, and cook over medium heat until it begins to brown. Add shallots and mushrooms, and saute until mushrooms are soft and shallots are translucent. Stir frequently to prevent the shallots from burning.

Plate the squash and load up with the stuffing. I really like this as a breakfast, but with a little veggie side, it would satisfy me at lunch or dinner as well.

Happy morning.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Young Coconuts.

Another lovely find at the Asian market: young coconuts. I thought it was going to be tougher to open, but it wasn't too bad.

Place the coconut on a largish cutting board, or some other large surface to catch all the mess. Take a chef's knife, and peel the soft exterior away from the top of the coconut until a circle (about 3-4" in diameter--bigger than pictured, I had to widen that opening in order to get the meat out) of the hard core is exposed. About 2-3 inches down, hit the core with knife at about a 45 degree angle repeatedly until it cracks. Then use the knife to pry up the top of the shell. Pour the coconut water into a bowl and set aside. Then, with a spoon or a rubber spatula, peel the meat out and place in another bowl/container.

The meat is a lot softer than that of mature coconuts--almost jelly-like. And the water is a lot more flavorful. Delicious, and very filling.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Paleo Spaghetti & Moroccan Lamb Meat Balls

With reckless abandon, we mixed Italian presentation, Moroccan flavors, and paleo elements for tonight's "spaghetti" night. I tried out a new recipe for lamb meatballs and a special accompanying red sauce, and I must say, it was pretty amazing. I may never be able to eat another kind of meatball again (just kiddin). They were so good that the spaghetti squash--which in general, I love--seemed redundant.

Spaghetti Squash with Lamb Meatballs
(Serves 2-3)

For the meatballs:

-1 lb ground lamb

-1/4 c paleo ketchup (I used this recipe, plus 1/4 c dextrose and 1 tsp salt--I think you could also successfully just use a heaping 1/8 c of tomato puree if you don't have the ketchup, and want to minimize prep.)

-1 egg

-The following spices (bear with me--it's a lot, but it's worth it)...
-1.5 tsp ground coriander
-1.5 tsp ground cumin
-1.5 tsp garlic powder

-1/2 tsp curry powder (I used red)
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1/2 tsp oregano
-1/2 tsp thyme

-1/4 tsp ground mustard
-1/4 tsp paprika
-1/4 tsp allspice
-1/4 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp chili powder

-1/8 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F. Thoroughly mix together the egg, ketchup, and spices in a bowl. Add the lamb meat, and knead with your hands until it's well-blended, but be sure not to overwork the meat. Form meat into 1.5" balls (should make about 16), and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then set aside to cool.

For spaghetti squash:

There are a couple of ways to do this, but the easiest way I've found is this:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Take a whole spaghetti squash, and make 5 or 6 slits around the circumference (this is important--if you don't do this, the squash will explode). Place on a cookie sheet or in a casserole dish, and bake for 1 hour. 30 minutes in, turn the squash to ensure even cooking.

When done, cut the squash lengthwise. Clean out the seeds and stringy fibers and discard. Then take a fork and pull the squash meat toward the center. It should come out easily, and look like spaghetti. Place the "noodles" into a bowl and set aside.

For the sauce:

While the spaghetti squash is baking, prep the sauce.

-2 tbsp coconut oil and/or fat (I used the residual lamb fat from the meatballs--there was a bunch that oozed out onto the pan--plus about 1 tbsp of coconut oil)

-1/2 c onion, minced

-1 tbsp garlic, minced

-1 tbsp shallots, minced

-2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 tsp cinnamon)

-1 tbsp ground cumin

-1 tbsp ground coriander

-1 28oz can tomato puree

-1 cup chicken stock

-Salt and pepper to taste

-1 tbsp mint (preferably fresh and finely chopped)

-1 tbsp Italian parsley (again, preferably fresh)

Over medium heat, sautee the onion in the oil/fat until translucent. Add garlic, shallots, cinnamon sticks, cumin and coriander, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent browning. Add tomato puree, and bring to a boil. Add chicken stock, salt, pepper, mint and parsley, and stir well. Cover, and let simmer for at least 10 minutes, or until squash is ready to be plated.


If these aren't the best meatballs you've ever had, I'll eat my hat. Or, I'll happily eat your superior meatballs.


New BBQ Sauce Recipe

I'm not going to say that this recipe is "better" than Son of Grok's, which I used previously in the pulled pork post, because that recipe stands alone. It isn't a traditional BBQ taste, it's just a stand alone awesome sauce. However, I did manage to create a more traditional tasting paleo BBQ sauce, and it too, in my humble opinion, is awesome sauce.

It must be awesome. Just look: it glows.

Spicy Paleo BBQ Sauce

-1 c paleo ketchup (I used this recipe, plus 1/4 c dextrose and 1 tsp salt)

-4 tsp Dijon mustard

-4 tsp apple cider vinegar

-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

-2 tsp liquid smoke

-2 tbsp dextrose

-1 tsp cayenne pepper (or less, depending on your taste)

-1/2 tsp mustard powder

-1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix everything well. I imagine that doing this over low heat would allow for some nice flavor infusion, but I mixed it cold and it tasted pretty darn good.

If you're super carb phobic, feel free to omit the dextrose and see how it turns out (if anyone does, I'd be super psyched to hear how it turns out!)--I'm sure it would still be pretty good. But I think a little bit of sweetness really makes a good BBQ sauce.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Warm Kale Salad with Bacon and Quail Eggs

Needed a quick breakfast/brunch/lunch today before heading off to entertain some prospective students, so splicing bacon and eggs with a salad seemed conceptually appealing. I just warmed up some leftover steamed kale from last night, but using fresh would be even better, of course.

Bacon, Egg & Kale Salad

-1/3 - 1/2 of a bunch of fresh kale, washed and chopped

-1/2 onion, sliced

-sea salt & pepper to taste

-2 strips bacon, cut in half

-4 quail eggs (yet another find from the Asian market)

Layer the sliced onion in the bottom of a steaming basket, then cover with fresh kale. Bring a little bit of water to a boil, and steam the veggies until the onions are translucent, around 15 minutes. (CITE: Thanks to Evan for the prep suggestion--worked out great.)

Meanwhile, fry up the bacon to desired level of crispiness. When kale is done, toss it with the onions, and place in a bowl. Top with the bacon strips.

Finally, fry the quail eggs in the bacon grease (they are small, so they cook fast--I think it took about 1 - 1.5 minutes total), and top the salad.

Quail eggs are adorable.

Happy brunch.


P.S. The steamed kale/onion is a great side dish by itself. I had that with chicken the other night, and it was great.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Duck Hearts and Cassava

So after an excursion to the awesome, Wal-Mart sized asian market in Oklahoma City, I returned home with tons of loot (including a giant case of coconut milk), and decided to be a little adventurous, and have a dinner of duck hearts and cassava root. I have to be honest--I'm not completely sold on the texture of hearts (I prefer kidney, and will probably try this recipe with kidney in the near future), but the taste was pretty good. So if you know you like heart, this one's a winner.

Duck Hearts, Asparagus and Baked Cassava Fries

For the cassava:

-1 cassava root, peeled, cut into 3 or 4 chunks, and boiled for 8-10 minutes

-3-4 tbsp olive oil

-1/2 tsp...

-cayenne pepper
-chili powder
-garlic powder
-black pepper
-salt (or to taste)

For the duck hearts:

-12-24 duck hearts

-4-5 tablespoons flour for dusting

-1 teaspoon cayenne powder

-Salt to taste

-2 teaspoons dry mustard

-2 tablespoons duck fat or butter

-1 tablespoon minced garlic

-1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

-2 tablespoons chicken broth

-2 tablespoons minced parsley

For the asparagus:



Preheat oven to 350 F. After it has cooled, cut the boiled cassava into approximately 1/2" slices, and put into a bowl. Add oil and seasonings, and toss until evenly and thoroughly covered. Spread on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for about 20 minutes, until they are crispy/golden brown.

For the duck hearts, I used this recipe: but replaced the wheat flour with plantain flour, the grated onion with garlic, and the duck fat/butter with olive oil (unfortunately, I didn't have any duck fat). For the sake of timing, I would have the duck hearts prepped and floured before you put the cassava in the oven.

After the cassava starts baking, snap the tough ends off the asparagus, and place in a steamer basket, then set aside. Bring some water to a boil in a medium pot, then place the asparagus on top and steam for 6-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, start pan frying the hearts, as per the recipe linked above. The timing should put the fries, asparagus, and hearts finishing at approximately the same time.

I recommend sprinkling a bit of sea salt/pepper onto the asparagus once it's plated.

It was definitely a B+ meal, and worth the adventure. The cassava "fries" were delicious, and asparagus is never bad. The hearts were well-seasoned/cooked, but the texture just isn't my favorite. Again, though, I'm pretty sure kidney would be delicious in this recipe.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Paleo Brownie Bites

As my labmate reminded me today, I'll be proposing my dissertation topic this semester. I don't know if this is typical in all departments, but at least in ours, it's standard fare to provide some sort of tasty snack for your committee to enjoy while they listen to your (cough) incredibly fascinating defense presentation. Usually, I bring cookies, but especially because I'm examining the paleo diet as one of my key variables in my dissertation project, I felt like that would be a little...inappropriate now. But, I can't disappoint them with a veggie platter. (My advisor hearts cookies, big time.)

You see my dilemma.

So, I decided that it had to be possible to create a paleo sweet treat that was still delectable to nonpaleo eaters. Thus, I'm going to be testing this latest creation on some nonpaleo friends. It is my own opinion, however, that these are the most delicious "replacement" item I've made since going paleo.

Paleo Brownie Bites
(Makes 12)

-2 2.5 oz bags chopped macadamia nuts (from the baking section of the store--they were the only unsalted ones I could find)

-1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder

-1/4 c coconut flour

-1/2 c dextrose (EDIT: although they taste sweet to me, you may need to use more if you're feeding them to anyone who isn't paleo--some preliminary data suggests that they don't taste remarkably sweet otherwise)

-2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Grind macadamia nuts in a food processor until they form a paste. Scrape into a large bowl, and add cocoa powder, coconut flour, and dextrose. Blend thoroughly--it should have a fine-ish texture, but still a little bit clumpy. Add eggs and mix well, until you have a very thick cookie dough. Shape into 1 1/2" balls, and place on cookie sheet.

Bake 10 minutes (they should still be very soft). Let rest for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then move to a wire rack to cool.

The outside should be just a little crumbly, and the inside should be super moist. Not the kind of thing you want to eat every day, but delicious.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Bacon Explosion

The famous bacon explosion was the big event this weekend. We did a pretty good job, I think.

Since we don't have a smoker, we just cooked it in the oven at 350 F, for about an hour and a half, until the internal temperature read 165 F on the meat thermometer. I won't repost the entire recipe, as the link above gives pretty detailed instructions. However, here are a couple of tips...

-It's important to make the bacon weave as tight as possible, and it's really a 2 person job to make it right. Lay the horizontal pieces down on the pan very thickly, so that they overlap slightly. Then crosshatch the bacon by having one person lift up the horizontal strips, while the other person lays down the vertical strips, as closely to the previous vertical strip as humanly/baconly possibly. You want absolutely, positively no gaps in the bacon weave. At all.

-We added some chopped serrano peppers to the chopped, cooked bacon that we put in the middle of the roll. And there was a mutual feeling that if we ever do this again (ha, "if"), we'll add some more peppers, and more other veggies, like onions, sweet peppers, etc. Ooo, maybe even some chopped apple....

-The sausage to bacon ratio was a little bit high, in our estimation. In future, I think we'll use 1 or 1.5 lbs of sausage rather than 2, and make the relative bacon content really worthy of the name "Bacon Explosion."

-Finally, of course, we didn't use a commercial BBQ sauce, we used Son of Grok's recipe.

It was every bit as bacony and delicious as you'd imagine. It's not the kind of thing I'd want to make every weekend, lest the magic fade. But maybe we'll start a Birthday Bacon Explosion tradition instead of birthday cake...?


Friday, February 18, 2011

Breakfast: Leftover pulled pork

Yay, it's a big, sloppy, pork-laden smiley face! Using leftovers from this glorious dinner adventure, I made a quick omelet this morning with 2 eggs (which I whisked with a dash of ground cloves), stuffed with as much pulled pork as the pan could stand, and I drizzled it all with leftover paleo BBQ sauce. Nothing fancy, nothing better.


Shrimp Stew

Awesome dinner last night, courtesy of my mom's recipe. (Apologies for the photo quality--we were in a hurry to eat it, as it smelled amazing, and tasted even better.) I made a few additions and subtractions to her original, as we didn't have yellow squash or crawfish tails, and I've been on a coconut kick lately.

Shrimp Stew:

-1 tbsp olive oil

-1 sweet potato, diced into 1/2" chunks

-1/2 onion

-2 tsp (or 4 cloves) diced garlic

-1 serrano pepper

-2 sweet peppers (I used green and orange)

-3 fresh campari tomatoes, diced

-1/2 - 1 tsp curry powder

-1/2 - 1 tsp chili powder

-1/2 tsp black pepper

-1 lb bag frozen, cooked, cleaned shrimp, thawed and tails removed

-1 can (15 oz) chicken broth

-1/2 can (8 oz) coconut milk

Heat oil in medium pot over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add sweet potatoes and saute until they begin to soften, about 6-8 minutes. Add onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until they are translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add serrano and sweet peppers, cook for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, cook for another 2 minutes. Add shrimp and seasonings, and mix well. Then add in broth and coconut milk, cover, and let simmer on low/medium-low heat until the flavors diffuse, about 15 minutes.

We loved the richness and thickness of the stew--extremely tasty, and very satisfying. If Oklahoma ever decides to carry crawfish tails in their super markets, we'll be adding those into the mix.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Paleo Spinach Balls

My mom made these spinach balls at Thanksgiving several years ago that were *amazing,* I couldn't get enough of them. Unfortunately, they weren't something I could take with me into paleo land.

Until now...

Paleo Spinach Balls:

-2 10 oz packages of frozen, chopped spinach, drained and patted dry.

-1 small onion, finely chopped

-1 cup nut flower/meal (I used 1/2 almond and 1/2 sunflower seed)

-1 tsp each....


-1/2 tsp sea salt

-1/2 tsp garlic salt

-1/4 tsp black pepper

-4 eggs

-3/4 c melted coconut oil (or another oil of your choice--melted butter, if you're feeling frisky, would probably be the ideal)

Mix spinach, onions, and dry ingredients together. Then add melted coconut oil and eggs, mix until well blended. The result should be a moist but cohesive ball of "dough." Roll 1 1/2" balls (about the size of walnuts), and place on ungreased, non-stick cookie sheet. Place in fridge for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 F, and bake for about 20 minutes.

Makes about 32-34 balls.

Awesome as appetizers or party food.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Paleo Cappuccino!

Just stumbled on this combo this morning, after making for dessert last night. Awesome! Not only is it amazingly filling, but it tastes every bit as creamy and delicious as Starbucks, just way less sweet--which I really prefer, actually (however, if you have some dextrose on hand, feel free to add a teaspoon or two).

Paleo Cappuccino:

3/4 c hot coffee

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 c coconut milk (or more, if you'd like--it gets really rich really quick, though, so beware)

Pour hot coffee into the cup first, add vanilla and cinnamon and mix well. Then add coconut milk. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon on top. Excellent start to the morning.

I'm interested to try doing this with chai tea instead of coffee...


Paleo BBQ Pulled Pork & Green Beans

This was dinner last night. Awesome. This combination of elements is tasty enough to brighten the darkest of days.

Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork:

-1 pork shoulder butt roast

-2 sliced onions, separated

-5 or 6 whole cloves

-Salt and pepper to taste

-2 c water

-1 onion, chopped

-16 oz BBQ sauce (I used this *amazing* recipe:, but added a bit of cayenne)

-Extra BBQ for dipping (the recipe above makes 16 oz--I made a double batch, and was glad I did)

Slice the onions, and put 1 in the bottom of the crock pot. Stud the roast with cloves, and season with salt and pepper. Add to crock pot, and top with second sliced onion. Pour enough water over the top to fill the crop pot about 2/3 full (1 - 2 cups, depending on the size of your crock pot). Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove roast from crockpot to large bowl, discard cloves and onions, but retain the pork reserve (you'll need it for the green beans) in a large bowl. Let roast sit until it is cool enough to handle, then shred with a fork (or fingers) until the entire roast is pulled. Return meat to crock pot, add chopped onions and BBQ sauce, mix well, and let simmer on high for 1-3 hours, until onions are soft.

Green Beans:

-1 to 1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces.

-2 strips bacon

-1/2 onion, chopped

-Big dash of red pepper flakes

-1/2 tsp diced garlic (or 1 clove, diced)

-1 tsp salt

-Pork reserve

Fry bacon until crispy in a medium pot. Add onions & red pepper flakes, and saute until translucent (3-4 min). Add green beans, garlic, and salt, and mix well. Add in pork reserve until beans are completely covered. Then simmer, covered, over medium/medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes (depending on how well you like them cooked).

And I don't need to tell you to "enjoy."


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Asparagus Eggs, Sunny Side Up

I experimented with something new this morning, and was relieved to find that it was delicious. There's just something about asparagus that loves lemon and eggs.

Asparagus Eggs:

-1 tbsp olive oil

-Handful of asparagus (I think I had about 10-15 stalks), chopped into 1" pieces

-Juice of 1/2 lemon

-1/8 tsp mustard powder

-Dash of red pepper flakes

-2-3 eggs

-Salt to taste

Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Snap tough ends off the asparagus, then chop into 1" pieces. When pan is hot, add asparagus, and saute for about 2 min. Add seasonings and lemon juice, and continue to saute, 1-2 min. Evenly distribute asparagus in the pan, then carefully crack eggs into pan, without breaking the yolks. Sprinkle with salt, if desired. Cook until whites have set--yolks should still be nice and runny--then carefully remove eggs and asparagus to a plate.

Can't go wrong with this combo.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spicy Bacon and Sweet Potato Frittata

This is one of my favorite breakfasts. It seamlessly brings together all my favorite flavors--sweet, salty and spicy--and is supremely satisfying.

Spicy Bacon and Sweet Potato Frittata

(Makes 1 frittata)

-1/2 c (heaping) diced sweet potato (keep them small--1/2" or so--to keep the cooking time down)

-2 strips lean bacon, chopped

-2 eggs

-1 generous tbsp coconut milk

-2 tsp coconut oil

-1 to 2 tsp cinnamon

-A healthy dash of cayenne pepper

-Sea salt to taste

Whisk together eggs and coconut milk in a bowl, and set aside. Heat oil in a large, non-stick pan over medium heat. Add sweet potato and cook until it begins to soften, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add seasonings. Push potatoes to one side of the pan, add bacon, and cook until it begins to brown, 2-3 minutes. Stir potatoes and bacon together and continue to cook until bacon is crispy and potatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. Make sure potatoes and bacon are equally distributed in the pan, then carefully pour egg/coconut milk mixture around the circumference of the pan. Tilt the pan in a circular motion to distribute the eggs evenly. Cook until eggs are set, about 3-5 minutes. Carefully slide frittata out of the pan and onto a plate, and enjoy.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Paleo Pizza

There are a ton of pizza crust recipes floating around, but most of the ones I've tried tasted dry, or didn't support the toppings well. This one is the best I've tried so far--it tastes great, it's not dry, and it's extremely sturdy for supporting whatever you want to put on top of it. The crust recipe is a slightly modified version of this:

Paleo Pizza Crust

-4 eggs

-2 c almond flour/meal

-2 tsp olive oil

-1/2 tsp...

...garlic powder

...onion powder



Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Beat the eggs, then add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth (the consistency should be like batter, not dough). Pour the mixture onto the parchment paper-lined pan, and spread with spatula as thin as possible. Bake 15 minutes by itself. Then add sauce and toppings, and bake at 450 F, for another 10 minutes or so, until the toppings are sizzling (or until the cheese is melty, if you're having a lax paleo night).

A note on the sauce: For some reason, this crust requires a lot more sauce than wheat crusts. I don't know if there's some absorption going on or what, but I use about twice as much sauce here than I used to on homemade wheat crust.

Here's the sauce recipe I use. It's spicy, flavorful, and it's all I use for red sauce anymore:

Pizza Sauce

-2 cans (15oz) crushed tomatoes (tomato puree works too, but I like the chunkiness of the crushed)

-1 tsp (or 2 cloves) diced garlic

-1 tsp salt

-3/4 tsp onion powder

-1/4 tsp...





...cayenne pepper* pepper flakes*

*Use 1/8 tsp of cayenne and red pepper flakes if you aren't a fan of too much spice.

Add everything to a pot, mix, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes to let the flavors infuse, stirring occasionally.

The crust recipe works really well as breadsticks, too. After you've baked them, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with spices (e.g., oregano, basil, garlic powder/salt), and even some parmesan cheese, if you're feeling indulgent, and bake for another 10 minutes or so at 450 F.


Monday, February 7, 2011

(Practically) Paleo Pumpkin Cupcakes

Here's one that I adapted from one of my favorite seasonal cake breads: pumpkin bread. Unfortunately, it won't work if you do it as a loaf, but it comes out perfect as cupcakes.

(Practically) Paleo Pumpkin Cupcakes:

-3/4 c powdered dextrose/glucose

-1/2 c oil (I used almond & macadamia)

-8 eggs

-15 oz can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

-2/3 c water

-3/4 c coconut flour

-3/4 c plantain flour

-1 tsp baking soda

-1 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp...

...baking powder





-chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F, and line 2 muffin pans with cupcake papers. Cream together dextrose and oil. Add eggs, & pumpkin, mix well. Separately, mix together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients and water alternately to the egg mixture, stirring continuously, and mix until well blended. Pour batter into papers and bake until a toothpick, inserted into the center of a cupcake, comes out clean, about 20-24 minutes. Let cool on a rack, and enjoy.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Paleo "Corn" Tortillas

Despite the hundreds of paleo blogs out there, and the thousands of paleo recipes, there are still no satisfactory paleo tortilla recipes available.

Try to search for "paleo tortillas." No really--try it now. I got one hit (one!), and although it didn't taste bad, it certainly wasn't a tortilla--it was a cracker.

So, 6 hours of experimentation later, I bring you my paleo blog recipe debut:

Paleo "Corn" Tortillas:

-4 eggs

-1/4 c oil

-1/4 c water

-1/2 c quinoa flour

-1/2 c flaxseed meal

-1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Preheat an ungreased (if greased, it will be difficult to spread the batter thin enough), non-stick skillet to medium-low/medium heat, or a griddle to 350 F. Whisk all ingredients together--batter should be thin, somewhere between pancake and crepe batter. If it isn't, gradually add in more oil and water, 1 tbsp at a time, until the consistency is right. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet/griddle, and spread as thin as possible with spatula. Cook until the top darkens and loses shine, about 1-2 minutes. Flip, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Don't overcook, or tortilla will lose its elasticity. If it folds easily into a taco shape without cracking, it's right.

Makes 6-8 6" tortillas.

Works well for enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, etc.

And they taste just like my mama's corn tortillas. Enjoy!

Note: I wouldn't recommend trying to make a huge batch and enjoying them throughout the week--they won't keep for more than a day, or two at max.

(I know quinoa is controversial in the paleo-sphere. I tried using almond flour and sunflower seed meal, but neither had the right texture. Coconut flour had the proper consistency, but the taste was all wrong. If you know of another flour that's the same consistency--ultra, ultra fine--and without a distinctive taste, please share.)