Monday, November 22, 2010

There's more than one way to skin a yam.....

Trust us, we've tried two!  By the way, for all intents and purposes, sweet potatoes and yams, where we live, are the same.  What we call yams are generally orange, sweet potatoes yellow....but they're pretty much the same.  A true yam is actually unrelated to the sweet potato.  Of course I am no horticulturist so correct me, somebody, if I am wrong!

Delicious Sweet Potato Chews

I wish I could take credit for these delicious post-workout treats, but alas, I did not even like yams until I tried these!  The original recipe can be found here.  But, to summarize:
  • Bake yams at 325 (degrees Fahrenheit of course!) for about an hour.  I usually set it to "bake time 1 hour" and then come back to it much, much later.  Oh!  Don't forget to put yams on tin foil in the oven so your oven doesn't get sticky :)
  • Once yams are cool, peel and slice into thin slices.  The recipe recommends 1/2 cm, which is 0.19 inches for those of you not metrically-inclined.  If you make them too thin, you end up with delicious sweet potato...crisps, that might burn, and therefore not be delicious anymore.
  • Melt coconut oil (a couple of big spoonfulls will do nicely) and pour over sweet potatoes, which you have since lined neatly on parchment paper.   Who needs a pastry brush!  Use the back of a spoon to spread out the oil.
  • Dust generously with cinnamon.
  • Bake for 1 hour at 350 (degrees Fahrenheit, of course!).  Make sure not to over-do these.  You want them to be chews, not crisps!  (You can see in my photo which ones turned into crisps!  They are still good....but not as good)
  • Try not to eat in one sitting.

Still have a hankering for something yummy and sweet? Is candy sounding like a must have?  Try this instead!

Glazed Yams

1 Large yam, sliced
1/4 Cup Mayo
1/8 Cup Honey or Real Maple syrup (read your labels)
Coconut Oil
Salt to taste

Heat the oven to 350.  Cover baking pan with aluminum foil (who ever is doing the dishes can thank me later).  Coat pan with coconut oil.  In large boil mix mayo with honey (or maple syrup), mix in sliced yams, coat yams with mixture. Place coated yam slices in pan, salt, and place in oven.  Cook for 5-10min, flip and return to oven for another 5-10min.  Cook until yams are cooked through and slightly browned.  Removed from oven and try to keep from licking the pan.  These taste a bit like candy, consume with caution!Try this for when the crack attack is really got ya!  This is not  recommended for the 'strict' paleo, nor would I eat this every day  especially if the goal is weight loss.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chicken Coconut Milk Curry

I like curry, unless it contains paprika.  However some curries don't or sometimes I use turmeric mixed with other spices like salt, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, etc.  Today's recipe the larger your spice cabinet the better!  Its also really easy.  Not all that fast, but one you can let cook all day on low while you're at work!
1 large chicken or bits and pieces of chicken (thighs, legs, and breast ~4# ish)
1 small onion
1 can coconut milk
1-2 medium yams
Chicken broth
Garlic Powder
In your crock pot start by coating the pan bottom with all the spices.  Then place chicken in, breast side down.  Then continue to generously cover the chicken with more of all the spices.  This way you don't miss an inch of chicken to smother in deliciousness.  Chop/slice of an onion and add to the pot.  Add chicken broth so about 1-2" of the bottom is covered.  Turn on high and cook for about 2-3 hours.  Or cook on low if leaving for the day.  About an hour before you'd like to eat chop a yam into 1" bits and add to the top.  Keep covered until yams are done.  Dish up and eat up!
*get wild with your spices, try some ginger, coriander, cumin etc
*when choosing a can of coconut milk remember fat is your friend.  And shake the can a bit.  If it sloshes freely its good to good.  If it is coagulated at the top chose again.
*instead of yams try cauliflower if you are going for something less starchy. I would add a dash of spice to these as well.  I would like to try this with some acorn squash too.  If you like try with butternut squash.

Chicken Noodless Soup

As I type this it is currently snowing here in Bozeman.  I don't know why I am so sad, it is November I shouldn't be surprised.  On the bright side, cold weather means warm comfort food.  This recipe is easy, but not exactly fast, making it great for those snow days.
Whole Chicken quartered or hacked up like a bad 70's horror movie (about 4#)
4 Stalks of celery
4 Whole carrots
2 Slices of Bacon
1 Small Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
12 quarts of water
Salt and Pepper
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh parsley
Bay Leaves
Other Spices
In very large pot put chopped bacon slices, onion quartered, 1 carrot roughly chopped, 1 celery stalk roughly chopped, vinegar, parsley, garlic (smashed in skin), and chicken quarters, skin and bones included.  Then add water, make sure chicken in covered. let water come to boil then turn down and simmer for about 2-3 hours.  After simmering run through strainer saving the broth but getting the big pieces of veggies and meat out.  Return broth to pot.  Let bones and meat cool to the touch.  Pick off as much meat as you can and add back to the pot.  Here add any additional spices to your taste.  I used salt, pepper, rosemary, and parsley.  Then I added the rest of my now nicely chopped celery, and carrots.  Cook on medium low heat until veggies are done to your liking, about 1/2 to 1 hour more.
*If your broth is bland you may add as much store bought broth (watch your labels) needed to give a good flavor. Some chickens are more flavorful  than others.  However it is my thought if you have a fresh, free range, former family pet chicken, flavor will be no problem.  Chickens on steroids most likely have less flavor.  Just my thoughts.
*If hacking up your own chicken, 1- be careful, 2- try and split some bones so there is marrow exposed.  Lots of flavors and nutrients are in those bones and this helps release them.  I am lazy and bought thighs and breasts with the ribs.
*You may want to let cool and skim off the some of the fat.  I didn't. I heart fat. Fat brings in flavor too.  Some chickens will have more fat than others.
*In the beginning when adding the chicken parts, I did remove large chunks of meat and added them later.  I did this so my chicken wouldn't be as over cooked and possibly dry.  I added it back with the second round of veggies.  Try not to sample until the chicken is all white and cooked thoroughly. Did it make a difference?  I don't know, but I sure feel better.

Stuffed Chicken with Apples and Sausage

3lbs of chicken or turkey breasts

3/4 cup Italian sweet sausage

2 tablespoons fat of choice

1/2 cup onion finely chopped

1/2 fresh celery, diced

1/2 cup Granny Smith apples, diced

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1/4 cup apple cider

1 tablespoon seasoning

4 oz white cheddar cheese*
Preheat oven to 375.  Slice breasts horizontally show in this post.  In medium skillet brown sausage and set aside.  In skilled over medium heat, melt fat, add onion celery and apples.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Then add parsley, cider, cheddar, seasoning, and sausage.  Place chicken breast on baking pan and spread stuffing over the breast.  Place in oven and cook for about 10min or until poultry is done then enjoy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Maple Glazed Chicken with Apple Brussels Sprout Slaw

First let me say sorry about missing last week's post.   I was scrambling for a recipe, then for got the camera, and overall it just wasn't all that great of a recipe.  So this week I will put up 2!  Here is the first one, stayed tuned for the second.  Maybe if mom made sprouts or slaw like this growing up, it may have saved us all some tears.
1lb of chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil divided
3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar divided
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
8oz of brussel sprouts
1/4 dried currants or cranberries
1 medium Fuji or Gala apple
Heat a large skillet season and add half of oil to pan.  Once heated add chicken to pan and season with with salt and pepper.  Cook about 3 min/side, and remove from pan.  Add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup to pan; bring to a boil.  Cook for 1 min or until reduced to about 2 tablespoons.  Return chicken to pan coating it in the glaze.
Thinly cut Brussel sprouts in half length wise.  Place remaining oil, vinegar and slat and pepper in a large bowl, and whisk thoroughly.  Add spouts currants and apple.  Toss until combined and coated.  Load a plate of greens and coat with maple glazed chicken.  That's all folks!  Enjoy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Aw Nuts! So many euphemisms where do I begin?

Ever wonder what to snack on?  Chips? No... Candy?  No... Chocolate? Nnomaaybe :)  Before we go crazy, lets go 'nuts!'  What are you craving, I may have something to get that fix!

Sweet and Salty: 

1lb almonds
1/2 lb of walnuts
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1-1 1/2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
1/2-1 tablespoon Rosemary

Heat oven to 350.   In large pan heat up the nuts, flipping occasionally. In small pan heat butter and syrup, once butter melted add in cayenne and rosemary.  Pour mixture over the nuts, mixing them so they all get coated.  On foil lined baking sheet spread nuts.  Place in oven and cook for 15min.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt while still warm so it sticks.  Let cool and pace yourself.  Mmmmbutter and maple syrup. Excuse me while I wipe my chin.

Salty and crunchy:
Squash Seeds
Oil of choice

Now that its fall there are lots of squashes to be eaten and they are filled with their own snack packs.  As you carve your pumpkins, hollow out the squash to stuff or whatever you are doing. Remove the guts from the seeds and place them in a bowl of salt water, let soak for as long as you want.  Heat up the oven to 350. Drain seeds and spread onto a baking sheet. Lightly coat with your oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place in oven and bake for 20-25min. Remove and crunch away!

Sweet and comforting:
Strawberries sliced
Coconut Milk
Honey (optional)

This is one of my FAVORITE snacks!  Slice strawberries into bowl.  Coat with coconut milk and try to keep from licking the bowl.  Add a little honey to sweeten the deal.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicken, Squash, Yam and Curry

I experimented with this recipe last year for my first attempt at a paleo Thanksgiving.  I was nervous because I had never made a curry before, and thought it was an odd combination of foods and flavors.  This is now one of my FAVORITE recipes!  Hope you like it!

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2-3  garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon  ground pepper
  • 2 pounds acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large yam , cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cubbed
  • oil and spices again at half the original amounts
Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add onion, and cook until golden-brown. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in 1/2 the curry powder, salt, and pepper. Add squash and yams and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the rest of the spices. Pour in broth and raisins, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 15 minutes remove cover and continue to cook until squash and yams are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes more. While squash and yam mixture cooks, in separate pan heat half the amount of oil and add chicken cubes and spices.  Cook until chicken is done.  Add to squash and yam mix when both are done cooking and enjoy!  This is another one of those recipes that the left overs get better the next day. 

*original recipe called for pumpkin, if you want to skin a pumpkin you can go right on ahead. 
*the golden raisins are interesting if you are unsure, leave them out.  I like them
, expect to see them again soon.
*it is also good without the chicken if you want to do it more as a side instead of main course

Monday, October 4, 2010

Soup is on!

Now that fall is here (I can’t believe it either!), with the cooler weather means soup season is here!  From a comfort food standpoint, I love this season!  I am a big soup fan personally, and I especially love this one because its easy, it utilizes my handy dandy crock pot and it freezes well.  This makes a huge batch for just one person, so I divvy it up and keep it for those rainy days, when I don’t want/have time to cook or its rainy and I want some soup!

1lb ground beef
1lb ground pork
1 medium sliced red onion
2 cups of sliced carrots
2 cups of fresh green beans
2 cups of chopped celery
1 can of diced stewed tomatoes
1 box of chicken broth
2 tsp of Italian seasonings
2 (or more!) cloves of garlic minced. 
Fat of choice – Butter, Olive, Coconut, or palm oils
Salt and pepper to taste

There are two ways you can role with this recipe depending on time.  Method one is the fastest and works well for the most part.  Method one is coat bottom of crock pot with fat of choice.  Add remaining ingredients (except tomatoes), cover and cook.  Low if you are going to be gone all day, high if you are going to go shower and come back. If you are going to be gone all day I would recommend mixing up the pot contents so your beans don’t turn brown and shrivel.  Add tomatoes just before you are ready to serve.   
Method number two is for those that enjoy the cooking process a bit more.  I also find it comes out a big more flavorful when done slowly.   Its still super fast, but you get to ‘play’ with your food a bit more.  In large pan heat up fat of choice and add onions.  Cook until onions start to go clear and add pork and beef.  Cook until meat is fully browned.  In crock pot mix meat and onion mix, with all other ingredients except the tomatoes.  Cook until veggies are desired texture.  Just before serving add tomatoes and let simmer for just a few minutes. Then enjoy!

*try Italian pork for a little jazz
*my soup pictures do not include the can of tomatoes - they hurt my belly
*why wait to add them?  They are already cooked so they don't need to simmer. 
* if serving immediately I would add some fresh squash, like zucchini, or maybe even some yams.  I didn’t add them in this recipe because I freeze it and they get too soft and over cook.
*feel free to use frozen veggies too, if you have access to fresh I say why not
* I liked to use the foofoo tomatoes like ‘in olive oil and basil’ or garlic

Monday, September 27, 2010

'Its not a cookie! Its fruit and'....chicken

I've got to admit I was a little embarrassed when I got my side of fruit at the Nova Cafe and I was unable to identify one of the pieces of fruit in my dish. Low and behold it was a fig.  I had no idea!  I was quite excited to try it, as I heard they were good and I also enjoyed a Fig Newton back in the day, but never had seen one in the flesh or fresh for that matter.  I then came across a sandwich recipe that had figs in and looked delicious!  Now how can I make that paleo and still delicious.... and viola, here is my version of the fig sammich. 

Serving for 2
2 Chicken breasts 4-6oz each
2-4 slices of prosciutto or pancetta
Mustard - oh yeah I made my own
Romain Lettuce leaves
1-2 sliced Figs dried or fresh
Coconut Oil
Salt and Pepper

Lets start of with a mustard recipe which I originally got from Mark's Daily Apple, because who knows how to make mustard?  I will list his recipe and then explain how I made mine, because recipes are more like guidelines than rules any way. 
His:                                                          Hers:
1/4 cup white or brown mustard seeds   1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup red wine vinegar                         1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine                                1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup dry mustard                                1/2 cup dry mustard
2 tsp salt                                                  2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice                            1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp cold water                                     2 tbsp cold water

Place mustard seeds, wine vinegar and wine in a small bowl and let sit for 3 hours. Pour the contents of the bowl and the water into a food processor with a steel blade. Blend until seeds are broken up and then add the dry mustard, salt, allspice, and water, and process until smooth. Scoop into glass container and refrigerate 12 hours before serving.

I pretty much did the same thing except I added smaller amounts of vinegar and wine to start so I can play with taste when adding the rest.  Do I want tangy- add more apple cider vinegar etc. 

In pan heat of coconut oil.  Season chicken breast with seasonings of choice, and/or salt and pepper.  Add chicken to warm pan cook until done.  While waiting for chicken to cook.  Rinse out and dry romaine leaves and place a bed of greens on a plate.  When chicken is done place on bed of greens.  In pan lightly sear the prosciutto or pancetta, quickly remove from heat and place on chicken.  Next add layer of mustard and top with figs.  Done!  Now enjoy!  Once you get past the mustard making this is super easy! 

*if you want a lighter fruity taste use fresh figs, where do you find them, good question.  Sorry, I used dry fig that I found a Roseaurers.  I didn't look anywhere else.
*if you want a richer taste, use dried figs, YUM.  I even 'buttered' a few figs with my mustard and ate them.  Good stuff!
*my mustard was HOT!  be careful and sample as you go!
*I am my father's daughter and I also used lemon pepper to season my chicken.  We put lemon pepper on nearly everything.  Its my family's 'ranch' dressing. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stuffed Squash

I am not world's biggest fan of squash, but after a request for stuff squash I thought I would it another try it. Especially with fall is right around the corner (if not already here!) and there will be plenty of the nutritious fall orbs to cook up. Its a good thing I tried it again, because its actually pretty dang good!

2-4 Acorn squash
1lb Ground beef
1lb Ground pork
1 Onion chopped
1 egg
4-6 Cloves of Garlic chopped (or more :) )
Italian seasoning (amount up to you)
4oz of Fresh Parmesan  or Asiago cheese*
Splash of favorite cooking oil olive, palm, coconut, butter, etc
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat up the oven to 425.  Cut squash in half medially, also slice ends of each half so they sit flat.  Dig out the guts and place on baking sheet (or in pan).  Next coat the insides with your fat of choice and salt and pepper, cover pan with foil and place in preheated oven.  Cook at 425 for 40 minutes.  While squash is cooking mix together beef, pork, egg, onion, garlic, and Italian seasonings.  When squash is done cooking remove from oven, gently spoon meat mixture into squash halves.  I say gently because if you pack it in and then bake it it can dry it out or not cook it all the way through.  Cover pan and place back in oven for another 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and enjoy or for you dairy eaters remove at 25 minutes top lightly with shredded cheese and place back in oven for 5 min or until cheese is melted.  Remove and enjoy! 

*if you are trying to lose weight, in a paleo challenge, have allergies or intolerance for to dairy do not add
*Italian seasonings or sniff and dump, or if its green, sniff and dump so far its worked pretty deliciously for me. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

"I'm strong to the finich Cause I eats me spinach."

Don't tell my mom I am finally eating spinach!  I put up a good fight back in the day, professing that I will NEVER like spinach.  When given the choice of "eat it or wear it!" I always chose to wear it, however was never held up on my parents end.  Now this time I wore and ate, mostly because my chopsticks efficiency is lacking.  Why I thought chopsticks were a good idea, I may never know. 

This recipe is for roughly two to three servings.  It seem like a lot at first but it really cooks down. 

1lb of shrimp (cooked or raw--how much work do you want to do?)
1 bunch of spinach
4 cloves (or more if you are me) of garlic chopped
1Tablespoon Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

If shrimp is not cooked, boil water and add shrimp, cook until shrimp is white and red.  This will not take long, and over cooking leads to chewy shrimp.  Heat olive oil in pan and garlic, cook until garlic is lightly browning. Add shrimp.  If you bought pre-cooked frozen shrimp make sure it is thawed and excess water is drained. Quickly coat shrimp in oil and garlic, then start adding spinach.  Add small amounts and let the spinach wilt before adding more.  Remove from heat, find left over chop sticks and enjoy! 

Take me to your leader
*for those that like a little spice, add some crushed red pepper flakes for a little zing!
*instead of cooking the spinach you could add them to a spinach salad
*instead of spinach you could top your leafy green of choice, hell even broccoli would be good rolled around in olive oil and garlic!
*instead of spinach you could have some spaghetti squash cooked up and ready to throw in
*this recipe is fast and easy, just like ol' Fluffy back on the farm
*I often make inside/family jokes, don't stress about understanding them
*"Toot! Toot!"

Monday, September 6, 2010

Meat Log

Yeah you heard me, as if meat wasn't enough, mix three flavors for a delicious log of meat.  Its the gift that just keeps on giving. 

1 1/2-2lbs of thick sliced bacon
1lb of ground beef
1lb of ground pork or favorite
1 small onion
1 large spoon full of chopped garlic (or more)

Heat the oven to 425, or light the BBQ! Roll out a 12' long sheet of aluminum foil.  On the foil create a lattice of bacon.  I'll say it again, create a lattice of bacon. 
How do you make a lattice of bacon?  Place 5-6 slices of bacon side by side on foil.  Take new slice and weave it through (over and under) perpendicular to the other pieces already laid down. Until you have a woven blanket of bacon. Doesn't it already sound delicious?  In large bowl mix together beef, onion and garlic. Then spread mixture over the lattice of
bacon, and then spread the sausage over the top of the ground beef.  If using plain ground pork you may want to add more onion, garlic and then some salt and pepper.  Next roll your log! :)  Start on one end and roll to the end.  Go slow and be gentle.  This is were good thick bacon is useful in helping to stay together.  Wrap up in your foil and place on BBQ or in oven.  If putting in oven place in pan of some kind to catch the drippings to help prevent fire in your oven.  On the BBQ is optional or do in 2-3 layers of foil, in order to stay safe from fire.  Cook for about 30 minutes or until ground meats nearly are done.  Then open up the foil and let the bacon crisp up.  I like to broil it lightly for a few minutes to crisp up the bacon.   If needed drain fat from pan, it helps keep the left overs from being so saturated.  Slice your self a bit of the log and enjoy.  If you dare, add some ketchup or mustard. 
Get creative!
* add some Cajun spices
*try some BBQ sauce in there
*cooking it in a smoker is very delicious too!

*hmm maybe a horseradish  kind dipping sauces of somemight be pretty good paired with this too...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nuts

I know you are sad its not more beets...So a 'perfect paleo' diet says no dairy, how ever I am not perfect and you can find fetas from a goat too. Also the recipe calls for 2oz for a serving of 4.  My though is unless you are allergic, enjoy your little cheat, its a better cheat than ice cream.  Well not exactly, but you know what I mean. 

5oz fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (I used garlic and herb feta, why not?)
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 galric cloves, minced
4 (6 oz) chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth

Fire up the oven to 350.  Heat oven proof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add spinach to pan, and cook until spinach wilts (continuously tossing).  Place spinach in a colander and press until barely moist.  Combine spinach, feta, nuts, thyme, juice, and garlic.  Cut a horizontal slit thorough the thickest portion of the breast to form a pocket.  For some slicing tips check out the Chicken Pizza post.  Stuff about 3 tablespoons of the spinach mixture into each breast.  Seal with wooden toothpicks and sprinkle breasts with salt and pepper. In oven proof pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook for 3 minute each side.  Add broth, and cover pan.  Place pan in oven and back at 350 until done, about 15minutes.  Then devour!  

*If you really want to get wild add a small handful of fresh basil and wilt together as recipe states.  Its delicious.  How do I know?  Well I didn't confuse spinach for basil from my CSA, and my roommate did not ask, is that fresh basil I smell? before I figued it out.  So please stop asking. I discovered this delicious combination by my sheer, and oh so so, so, so mature and sophisticated pallet.  Yeah I almost believe that too! :)
*There was lots of yummy juices left over.  I saved it in a seperate container to sprinkle over steamed broccoli and cauliflower!  It takes it from 'plain' to 'zang!'
So rhyming isn't my strong suit either.....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer isn't over yet, lets BBQ!

I shared my sob story last week about having a hard time with nightshades.  Some things are easier than others to avoid, or substitute, but BBQ sauce is a favorite condiment of mine and it jazzes up plain ol' pork, beef, and chicken.  I will admit I cannot take any of the creative genius in this one today.  I got the original recipe from Mark's Daily Apple, however ketchup and BBQ sauce have large amounts tomatoes which are hard on my stomach these days.  So what is a girl to do?  In my complaining out with friends this topic came up along with beets (hence last week's post). Instead of tomatoes I tried some roasted beets.  I realize not everyone is nightshade intolerant so I am going to share Mark's recipe and my beet-up ketchup BBQ! This is what I got!

His:                                                         Mine:
6 ounces tomato paste                           4-6 roasted and peeled beets
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar                   2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water                                         1/3 cup water
2 tbsp of honey or apple sauce              2 tbsp of honey or apple sauce
2 tbsp onions                                          2 tbsp onions
2 cloves garlic                                        2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt                                                 1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground allspice                           1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves                             1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp pepper                                         1/8 tsp pepper

If using the beet recipe, before blending, cut stems and roots from beets and place in oven at 400 for about 30min or until skins peel off.  Combine ingredients in food processor and blend until the onion disappears.  If you have used beets, it won't be as smooth, well at least mine wasn't, but I don't have the greatest blender. 

*remember beets are tomatoes, but its not that bad
*if playing the substitution game, if you don't like it (the substitution) just don't eat it!  

And now the BBQ!

His:                                                            Mine:
2 strips of thick bacon, chopped               2 strips of thick bacon, chopped
   or 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika,         1 small onion (minced)
   or chipotle powder to taste (this            1 clove garlic (minced) 
   gives the sauce its smoky flavor,            4-6oz small roasted, and peeled beets
   so using either the bacon or the             1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  spices is fine!)                                          1/2 cup water
1 small onion (minced)                              1/4 cup ketchup (use your homemade
1 clove garlic (minced)                                  version!)
1 6oz can tomato paste                              3 tbsp mustard (watch your labels,
1 tsp liquid smoke                                          homemade version coming!)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar                       1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water                                             1 pinch ground cloves
1/4 cup ketchup (again, use                       1 pinch cinnamon
      your homemade version!)
3 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch cinnamon
Hot sauce to taste (any variety is fine!)

If using bacon, fry in a 2 pan until cooked through. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes (or until onion browns). Add garlic and cook for a minute, then mix in all other ingredients and simmer for about 30 minutes. Test the mixture and add other spices, more vinegar or hot sauce until you achieve the desired taste.

Heat up the BBQ grill!  Grab your meat of choice (for me it was chicken drummies) and start cooking, browning slightly on each side, but not cooking all the way through.  Once chicken is nearly done cooking coat meat with BBQ sauce.  If you put it on all the way it tends to fall off and burn up.  If you add it later, it give it 'soak' in but crisp up as well.  Plus its easier to see if your chicken is done since the beet juice is also pink.  Remove from the heat and enjoy!
*As I said before the beet version is not the same as ketchup, Try not to let the texture and appearance scare you, it tastes better than it appears.  
*I let mine sit in the refrigerator over night before using, which allowed that onion and bacon flavor to take over a bit more.  I found it was better the next day!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Side of Dis and a Side of Dat

I know how to make meat paleo, its meat, 'nuff said!  I battle with getting my veggies in for the day without dreading to eat them. Plus upon finding my stomach is not so tolerant of nightshades, my veggie count has gone down even more.  So in an attempt to branch out and broaden my pallet here are 2 recipes from foods I wouldn't have touched with a 10ft pole a year ago.

Beet Salad
6  large or 12 small beets
1/4 to 1/2 sweet onion
2 oranges
1/4-1/2 cup sliced black olives
10 mint leaves coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
olive oil

sea salt

Heat up the oven to 350 F.  Chop tops off of beets and wipe any dirt from skin.  Place on baking sheet and lightly sprinkle olive oil and sea salt on beets, cover with foil.  Place beets in heated oven and cook for 30-40 minutes.  When done the beet's skin should peel off easily.  When done remove from oven let cool, remove skins, and chop into chunks.  While waiting to cool.  Peel oranges with a knife.  This way all white is gone and will be juicy.  cut orange into cubes.  In bowl mix solid ingredients together, and top with olive oil, lime juice and salt.  Dish up and enjoy!

*If upon going to the bathroom in the next 4-48 hours, and you think you are dying, stop and ask yourself, "Was it the beets?"
*Beets - I thought they only came pickled.  Still not my 'favorite' but nice to have something new.   

Yam Patties:
2 Cups Yam
1/4 cup Cilantro
1 Tablespoon Garam Masala
2 Tablespoons Coconut milk
1/2 cup Almond Flour
2 Tablespoons coconut oil

Cook yams so that the skins peels off and insides are mash-able.  Mix and mash remaining ingredients except coconut oil.  In pan heat coconut oil.  Form yam mash into patties and place in hot oil.  Flip and cook until both sides are golden brown, and serve. 

This wasn't the potato cake salty creation I thought it was going to be, but did taste a bit like Thanksgiving in my mouth.  It reminded me off pumpkin pie a little bit, or maybe even French toast.  I think the next time I make these I will leave out the cilantro add some cinnamon and nutmeg.  Cook and serve with plain and simple Maple syrup!  I think this could be my new fix for French toast!

*Yams - I never liked these at Thanksgiving, put all the marshmallows, brown sugar, and butter you want on them I just have never like them. I am looking for a new way to enjoy them.  Because if I don't like them covered in 'crack', am I ever going to like them?
*I lovingly refer to sugar, gluten, bread, etc as 'crack.' As I find they are just as addicting, and when trying to quit you sound like a crack addict, "I don't have a problem, I can quit anytime.  I am just looking for a little taste.  Its ok it won't hurt. Tomorrow, I"ll be good again. I can have just little....." Shake, shake, twitch, twitch.
*The original recipe called for sweet potatoes which are more yellow in color and not quite as sweet as the yams, hence why I think maple syrup would be oh so good on it. 
*What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams.  I am not really sure, aside from yams are less starchy, and have more color, and more vitamins.  However I also read that our American yams are actually sweet potatoes, and our sweet potatoes are also sweet potatoes.  You can only find 'real yams' in Mexico, Central and South America?  I don't know so I just went back to calling the orange ones yams and the yellow ones sweet potatoes.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.  :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pan-Seared Scallops with Bacon and Spinach

While scallops may not (or maybe they are!) be part of your 'normal' dinner lineups, here is a nice and easy way to treat yourself with a delicious delicacy.   

3 Thick and meaty slices of bacon
1 1/2 Pounds scallops
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 Tsp kosher salt
1/4 Tsp fresh ground pepper, divided
1 C chopped onion
6 Cloves sliced garlic
12 oz fresh baby spinach
4 wedges of lemon

1.  Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp (cast iron if you have it).  Then remove bacon from pan saving about 1 TBSP of the drippings.  Chop the bacon coarsely and set aside. Increase heat.

2.  Gently dry scallops with a paper towel.  Then evenly sprinkle the scallops with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 pepper.  Place scallops into screaming hot pan with drippings.  Cook for about 1 1/2 min each side or until done.  Remove from pan and keep in warm place. 

3.  Reduce the heat to medium-high and add onion and garlic to the pan.  Sauté about 3 min,  stirring frequently. 

4.  Add half the spinach, stirring frequently for a minute.  While continuing to stir add remaining spinach and cook until wilted (about 2 min). 

5.  Remove from heat and add remaining pepper and Kosher salt.  Divide spinach on to plates, and top with the crumbled bacon and scallops, garnish with lemon.  Enjoy immediately!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Stawberry Crumble

Ok, this dish debuted at the latest ladies night and seemed to go over moderately well ;) -ha! By popular demand here it is.  I originally wanted to make it a stawberry rhubarb type crumble.  Growing up my mother used to make this rhubarb breadcrumb ice cream topping.  It was so delicious and reminds me of summer!  Unfortunately rhubarb was already out of season so it was just a strawberry.    I found a very similar recipe on, but I was like thats' it?  I thought I could make it better.  And here it is with as always, my special tweaks.  I hope you enjoy it!

4 Cups chopped strawberries
1/8 Cup honey
1 1/2 Cup Almond flour/meal
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Cardamom
1 Egg
2 TBSP Coconut oil
Pinch of salt
1/8-1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans

Chop and or slice up strawberries the night or morning before you like to serve this dish. Heat up honey so it is runny and coats the all the strawberries.  Use more or less as needed.  Cover and let sit for at least 5 hours.  Recipe will probably work without sitting long, however I was trying to get lots of juice out of the berries. When ready to bake preheat oven to 375.  In new bowl mix remaining ingredients except the pecans and mix until crumbly.  In 9x13" pan spread out juicy strawberries, top with crumble spread out.  If you like your crumble crunchy don't mix into strawberries, if you like soggy crumble mix it all up. Top with pecans.  If you like lightly drizzle with honey before placing in oven.  Bake for 30min, crumble tops should be starting to brown.  If you like it crispier leave in another 5-10 min.

This dish is a fantastic as a warm top to ice cream, coconut ice cream or with cold coconut milk!

*careful it goes fast!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Battered Fish

As I search for reciepes I often find one I like, then another, parts of another. Then I go to the grocery store with a list of one or some of these reciepes, but somehow I still only make it home with missing parts of the reciepe.  In this case it turned out pretty good, another common bonus of my recipes its fast and easy!

2 Cod Fillets
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Almond Flour
2 Tsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tsp Lemon Pepper
1 Lemon Sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Table Spoons Oil of choice

We are going to create an assembly line of deliciousness. 
Station one:  Cod Fillets
Station two:  A bowl of the egg, whipped. 
Station three:  A plate of the mixtures of the almond flour, Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, salt and pepper (its easier to mix first in bowl).
Station four:  Heated frying pan of oil
Here's how it works.  You take the fish, dunk it in the egg mixture and coat it well.  Then place on station three plate.  Press lightly so that the mix sticks.  Flip and press again, covering both sides well.  Then quickly move to hot frying pan and cook!  About 4 minutes on each side, fish will flake when done.  Slice up the lemon and squeeze on fish just before enjoying! Then enjoy! 

Monday, July 19, 2010

MMMMeat and Pesto

This is one of my all time favorite meals!  It could be because it has 3 of my favorite ingredients...meat, salt, and garlic! Baby's getting some garlic kisses tonight!

7-9 Cloves of garlic
1/2 a Bunch of Parsley
1/2 Cup of Pine Nuts
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Arugula (I have used romaine and other leafy greens)
1/3-1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1-1 1/2# of Chuck Roast thinly sliced

Light the BBQ!  In food processor (with super blending blade), mix garlic, parsley, pine nuts, and salt.  Blend until large or whole pieces are no longer visible.  Add small amount of oil if needed.  Tear up arugula and add 1/4-1/2  cup at a time. Blend adding remaining olive oil for fluidity.  This make take some stirring to get the arugula blended into the mixture. 
Lay out slices of chuck roast (salt and pepper if you like, I like)  spoon and spread a helping of the pesto onto meat slice, roll up and secure with tooth pick.  Once all the meat is rolled up put on the BBQ and grill for 3 min on medium heat, flip and cook another 3 min.  The meat won't take long to cook, because its so thin, and overcooked meat will be extra chewy.  Remove from heat and load up your plate or you won't get any yourself! 

*Have your butcher, deli or meat dept slice the meat for you.  Trust me its worth it!  Slices should fairly thin but not transparent. 
*To clean your grill from the pesto-messo, after removing deliciousness, set heat to high and let heat up about 5-7 min.  Then turn off heat and scrape with grill brush until clean. 
*This is my variation of the recipe from the Performance Menu. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

"This is Bridget Jones with Situp Brittan Searching for Tuna...."

Tuna was not my favorite growing up, but its easy to work with, affordable, and really can be transformed in lots of different dishes. Since its summer lets give beef a break!

4 5oz cans of Tuna*
2-3 Stalks of Celery chopped
1/4 of Purple Onion
3-4 Tablespoons of Mayo
1/2 Tsp Paprika
1/4 Tsp dry mustard
1/4 Cup almond flour/meal
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Clove Garlic Minced
1/4 Tsp Ginger Minced
1 Tsp Sesame Oil

Mix all ingredients except oil and form 4-6 patties. In pan, heat up oil over a medium heat, place patties in pan and cook for 4 minutes and flip. Be careful when flipping they don't hold together well.Cook for another 4 min.  Remove from heat and enjoy!  Wrap in romaine, tomato, and/or avocado for a real 'burger' experience. I liked mine with a little mayo and wasabi. You could even go back to my very first post and use the Jalapeno Ponzu. Make a bed of greens, tear up the burger and top with Ponzo for an Asian inspired salad. Possibilities are endless!

*Check your labels
*Yes I was watching Bridget Jones Diary while typing this and other tuna line was not exactly WFS.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar.  Got it memorized yet?  I hear "I know what and how  to cook meat, but I get tired of the same boring side of veggies."   Here is yet another fast and easy set of recipes to help get you some variety to your veggies.

Squash Ribbons with Red Onion

  • 4  medium yellow squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • 1  cup  thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Shave squash into ribbons to measure using a peeler (it is as easy as it looks).  One squash is about one cup. Toss or compost the seeds and core. In large pan, heat oil. Then add squash, onion, and garlic, and let cook for about 4 minutes (or until onion is tender).  Stir gently as it cooks.  Remove from heat, and mix in salt, red pepper, and black pepper. This makes about 3-4 servings. 

Sesame Asparagus
  • 1lb Asparagus
  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tooth picks or skewers (not to eat :) )
Light the BBQ! Using skewers or toothpicks thread 4-6 asparagus sprigs together.  Using a basting brush or olive oil mister you have, lightly cover both sides of the asparagus with olive oil.  Sprinkle on sesame seeds to your liking and same for the salt.  Place skewers on the grill (medium low heat), for about 4 min a side, or until desired doneness.  The sesame seeds add a nice crunch to the already yummy traditional olive oil and salt veggie!

*Zucchini also works well instead (or combo!) in the squash recipe
*Original recipe called for 1 oz of Parmesan cheese shavings
*Yes asparagus can make your urine smell uhh...different.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Eggs for the week

Aside from not knowing what to cook when maintaining a "paleo" lifestyle, the other thing I hear people say is its hard when to eat well when at work or on the go.  Also not being prepared for the day makes it easy to fall off the wagon.  This recipe is designed for a big family breakfast or to make ahead of time to munch on the rest of the week.  It is a "breakfast" dish, but I'll eat about anything at anytime.  Once again this is one of those recipes where ingredients are up to you and same with measuring.
Egg Bake:
2 dozen eggs
Pork Sausage
Red Peppers
Black Olives

The original intent was to make a pizza or bar type serving style, to make serving easier but it didn't so my advice to to just dump and go it makes it easier. 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown sausage and/or cook bacon to desired crispness.  I would probably cook in the mix but why take the chance and I don't like jiggly raw textured bacon.  Whip eggs in large bowl.  Grease 9X13" pan with bacon grease, olive oil, or coconut oil.  Make sure to get the sides as well or the pan is a bugger to get clean AND it makes serving easier.  Pour egg into greased pan, add all your favorite ingredients. Just drop them into the egg mix.
Place pan in preheated oven and cook until done 30-45min.  When done let cool, cut into serving sizes wrap in plastic or tupperware and regridgerate and/or freeze for later!  Another way to do it is to grease a muffin pan and fill with egg mixture.  When they are done wrap up and enjoy later.  Make good travel sizes if you are head hiking or to work! Just another way to be prepared for the unknown and unknowable!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pork Chops and Melon Salsa

Just in time for summer!  Since it is officially summer now, its time to fire up the BBQ grill!  This dish is easy, fast, hot and refreshing all a the same time.  The sweetness of the fruit and the blast of cilantro with lime juice along with the spice on the meat just makes you wanna lay back under the umbrella at the pool!

Pork Chop Rub:
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  chili powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 4  (4-ounce) boneless pork chops,
Fire up the BBQ grill!  Combine spices in a small bowl. Rub mixture over both sides of pork chops.  Turn heat to medium and place chops on the grill.  Cook for about 4 minutes each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Melon Salsa ingredients:
  • 1  cup  chopped seedless watermelon
  • 1  cup  chopped honeydew melon
  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1  tablespoon  finely chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
Remember when chopping the melons remember you are making salsa not fruit salad, slightly smaller pieces make it easier to get bites of salsa and spicy pork chop! Mix, spoon over cooked pork chops and devour! 

*its like a meat Mojito in your mouth!
*thanks for for the recipe

Monday, June 14, 2010

Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps

As a busy person if I don't have food made and ready to go the instant I am hungry, my likelihood of eating something I shouldn't greatly increases.  Since it is just me to cook for I like to make a lot, and live off of it for the next week.  However I have to have a couple dishes ready so I don't get burnt out so quickly.  Also if you have a cooler or a work fridge this travels really well and doesn't take up a lot of room or need a lot of "re-fixing."
In case you haven't noticed when it comes to cooking, I don't like to "follow" the rules, they're more like guidelines anyway.  I have made this dish many times, some weeks I like it crunchy, sometimes a bit spicy, or sweet.  Sometimes I can't remember where the capers are in the grocery store.  This is why I don't always put up exact measurements.  Nor do I put in all the ingredients I have listed.  This is your food, make it the way you like it.  Burger King got it right when they said "have it your way."

Egg Salad: 
12-18 hard boiled eggs (4-6 servings)
4-6 Stalks of chopped celery
1/4C-1/2C Mayo
1 1/2 tsp Dill
1 tsp Sweet and dill relish
Lemon Juice
Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
1/4-1/2 of small purple onion*

Romain Leaves
Iceberg lettuce*
Celery Stalks*
Red, Yellow, Orange peppers*

Chop or dice hard boiled eggs and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add your desired amounts of the rest of the ingredients, except the lettuce.  Mix together.  Wash and separate romaine leaves and pat dry.  Spoon egg salad into center, roll up or taco up and munch away!

*Are ingredients I didn't use, but could!  Use tuna for a little extra protein or eliminate the eggs and just use tuna.  Instead of romaine use iceberg or spinach, instead of whole leaves use tossed greens, hollowed out peppers (my fav!), leave the celery out and use the celery stalks as your spoon (shovel :) )! There are endless options here people!  Try it out and tell me whats your favorite combo!

**Remember to check your labels on the relishes, capers, and tuna

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Jolk" Thai pork soup

I know its almost summer, but I am not sure the weather knows yet.  With this cool rainy weather, its nice to curl up with a nice warm bowl of soup. Ahh comfort food.  This recipe was given to me by Maggie, thanks!  I love it for three reasons: its delicious, its fast and easy, and I don't have to measure! I guess that's technically 4 but who's counting!  Spoons up!

1 pound ground pork
1 bunch cilantro chopped
1 container sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 cup chicken stock (or 1 can)
1 quart cold water
1 pepper chili or jalapeño sliced
1 bunch green onions sliced and with some greens
grated ginger to taste
vinegar to taste

In large pot mix cold water, fish sauce, cilantro, mushrooms, chicken stock and ground pork.  Turn on the heat until pork is cooked and.  As it heats the pork will break apart, but stir some to break up large chunks.  That's it!  When dishing up your helping, add peppers, onions, ginger, vinegar and more fish sauce to your tasting.  I love the warm zing of the cilantro and vinegar. Yummy!

*remember to use quality ingredients and check labels
*this will make about 3-5 servings
*originally this called for rice instead of mushrooms

Monday, May 31, 2010

Anchovy Spaghetti

You heard me, have you ever had one?  These salty little fish add big flavor to this dish!

Anchovy Spaghetti (2 servings)
1 Can anchovies
1 Spaghetti squash
8-12 oz Shrimp cooked
2-3 Cloves of garlic chopped
Olive Oil

Preheat oven oven to 425 degrees F. Slice spaghetti squash in half  (length or width) and remove seeds with a spoon.  Coat inside of squash with olive oil, and half of your chopped garlic, and lightly sprinkle with salt and place cut side of squash down, shell side out on a baking sheet.  Place in heated oven.  Cook squash until done, about 45min.  The shell will dent to the touch when done.  Remove from oven and flip squash open so it can cool.  While squash is cooling, open the can of anchovies and place in frying pan on low to med-low heat.  Careful of oil splattering with heat. Add the rest of chopped garlic.  As garlic and anchovies cook; use a spatula to separate anchovies into small bits. If dry add small amounts of olive oil. When anchovies are separated and garlic softened, add shrimp and turn heat to very low.  If dry add small amounts of olive oil.  After squash is cooled enough to handle with your hands, scrape squash out of its shell onto baking sheet (it collects any leftover olive oil, garlic and salt).  Turn heat to medium low on the anchovy shrimp pan.  Add spaghetti squash to  pan stirring frequently. Add all of the squash, continually stirring so that anchovies and shrimp are distributed throughout  squash.  Continue to cook if needed to burn off excess water from squash.  Otherwise dish up and enjoy! This will make about 2  servings depending on squash size.  If this is your main course make sure there is enough shrimp to be an ample protein.  You may also serve with no shrimp and with a side of
grilled chicken or pork chop. The next time I make this I want to try in more of a stir fry style.  Adding broccoli, carrots, and water chest nuts, and possibly and egg or chicken breast.  Another idea would be to add spinach along when adding the shrimp in the original recipe.  If anyone else tries these let me know how they turn out.

*Watch your anchovy ingredients
*You may use fresh or frozen shrimp just make sure its cooked!
*I like garlic!  The more the merrier!
*This doesn't win the award for most attractive dish, but it does taste pretty good and it easy to make.
*I tried it as a stir fry....oh yeah! Recipe to come!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Garlic and Thyme Burgers, Salsa Salad, and Homemade Mayo

My thought growing up was all a burger needed was some cheese and its good to go, why mess with perfection?  Well perfection got old, at least as far as my burger was concerned.  And my taste has matured since then (but only a little).  Since Memorial Day is around the corner and so is the outdoor BBQ season I thought we could celebrate summer with this burger and salsa salad! 

Garlic & Thyme Burger
1lb Ground hamburger
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
2-3 Garlic cloves minced
Sea Salt and pepper to taste
1 Large ripe tomato
Romaine Lettuce
Other Favorite toppings
Onion, avocado, bacon etc.

Light the grill!  Thoroughly mix all ingredients together.  Once blended divide into 4-6 portions and form patties. If you are using a leaner meat and having problems getting meat to stick together, add an egg to the mixture.  Place on grill and cook until desired temperature. A very pale pink center with 5 patties took about 4-5 min each side with the grill at medium heat. After placing burgers on the grill, I sliced my tomato into 3-5 thick slabs, and covered them lightly in olive oil, salt and pepper (could use garlic salt too!).  When it was time to flip the burgers I added the tomatoes to the grill. 

While waiting for the burgers and tomatoes to cook, start the mayo. 

1 egg
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 table spoon lemon juice
1 1/2-2 Cup LIGHT TASTING olive oil (EVOO is okay but can have funny aftertaste)

Place the first 4 ingredients into food processor and pulse 3 times.  Have your olive oil measured and in an easy to pour dish.  Turn your food processor on and slowly add your olive oil in a slow, steady stream.  At first it will be runny but will slowly start to whip and become rich and creamy.  Set aside in cool place and/or dish until ready to serve.  

When it is time to collect the burgers, flip the tomatoes and let them cook just another minute or two.  You want to soften the tomatoes not completely cook them.  If they over cook they will be difficult to remove from the grill, as they will become soggy and collapse.  Remove tomatoes from grill onto separate plate. 

Now start building!  Lettuce, burger, mayo, tomato and what every else you like!   

Salsa Salad
2 Large cucumbers seeded
1 medium avocado (ripe but not too soft)
1/2 C Grape tomatoes (sliced/halved)
Fresh Cilantro
2 T lime juice
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Slice, pour, mix, and enjoy!  Easy easy!

Tips and tricks to make it your own:
*If you don't like Romaine use iceberg, or on a bed of mixed greens.  Use the romaine leaves to make a 'sandwich' out of your burger! 
*I wanted my mayo to have some zing so I added more mustard, salt and paprika.  Find which combos you like and rock them! 
*To seed your cucumbers: peel and cut in half width wise then quarter each half.  Run knife down seeded inside to remove seeds. You don't have to do this, but it keeps the salsa from getting too watered down and runny. 
*Shout out to Cooking Lite magazine for both the recipes, I really didn't change them to make them diet friendly!

Monday, May 17, 2010


That's right, PIZZA!  And no weird tasting or textured crust!  This is a great for when you got gotta have that pizza fix.  This recipe has a lot of play when it comes to toppings, so there will be no exact measurements.  Remember to eat good quality foods, and pick your battles.  When choosing toppings read labels and be as picky you want/need to be!  This is a good one for families with kids as they can pick their toppings and so can you! 

1 medium chicken breast/person (crust)
Any or all your favorite pizza toppings!
     black olives*
     broccoli (use small florets)*
     marinara/ or canned diced tomatoes*
     Canadian bacon
     salt and pepper*
     crushed red pepper
Other Supplies
     cutting board or hard surface to pound on
     plastic wrap
     meat tenderizer/mallet preferably with smooth edge (small frying pans work too :) )

1.  Slice open chicken breast to increase surface area, but make sure to not slice completely in half.  Stop so that one edge is still attached, but breast opens up.  Here is how I did it.  Since I am right handed I pointed the thickest part of the the breast down and to my right, this is the corner I will start slicing.  
Start slicing from right to left, stopping before cutting the breast in half.  As you slice open the breast up, it will look look like an upside down heart when finished.
If you haven't already, place the chicken on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap.  Take frying pan or whatever meat smoosher you got and whack away! Try to evenly thin out the breast, like you would roll out pizza dough.  A perfect 'round' pizza shape is not necessary, nor worth the effort.  Pound as thin as possible without completely obliterating the unity of the crust, flip breast to other side and pound if needed. 
The chicken will plump and shrink some when cooking (if too thick it won't hold all your yummy toppings as well!).  The plastic wrap will keep pieces of mangled meat from spraying you in the face, clothing and counter tops. I learned that the hard way.
Lightly coat baking sheet with olive oil to keep chicken from sticking and place chicken in baking sheet.  If you have holes in your crust push together, and add your crust seasonings.  Bake (broil or grill) chicken until done (meat is all white and juice is clear).

This will take about 12-15 min at 400 degrees depending on thickness.  Try not to over cook or it gets really dry and chewy. 

2.  While chicken is cooking prepare other toppings.  Brown the sausage, fry bacon, saute onions and mushrooms, etc. (I sauteed my jalapeno, mushrooms, red onion, and broccoli all together in olive oil)

3.  When chicken crust is done add your favorite toppings! And place back in oven for a light toasting (low broil for a few min).  I like to get my broccoli just slightly browned.  If you are a dairy eater add your toppings and your cheese, and lightly broil until cheese melts/bubbles.    

4.  Remove from oven divide as necessary (if you used large chicken breasts it may be big enough for 2 servings).  Actual pizza slices are not necessary, or again worth the effort. 

5.  For all you Montanans, North Dakotans, and non-strict paleo people; ranch dressing makes a yummy dipping sauce.  So does marinara.

All ingredients can be found at any grocery store.  Side dish ideas could be any left over sauteed veggies, or serve with a side salad.  If you made a mostly veggie topped pizza you may not want (or have room!) for a side.   

*notes the toppings I used and are seen in the pictures.  I did use mild Italian sausage from Heebs grocery store.  As the exact ingredients are unknown, I chose it because it is delicious and it is made fresh at Heebs.   I also did put cheese on this, which isn't strict paleo.  It is up to you and your goals whether or not you chose to add dairy.  It is still delicious without cheese.   
**Heck yeah, I drink wine with my pizza usually its in a Mason jar!