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Everyone in the household passed whole30 day two with flying colors. There were no accidental non-whole30 ingested items and I have almost stopped throwing a tantrum about not getting my birthday sushi. Okay, I lied. Tantrum is still in full force. I am not ready to grieve the loss of my birthday sushi yet. To add to my tantrum I just received a sushi making kit for Christmas and I want so badly to use it, but just opening up the little booklet that it came with makes me drool. If I watch the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi…. it’s over.

Enough sushi talk…onto the real food.

My roomy Dez was craving something creamy, so we decided we would give a cauliflower puree a go. Served it with Roasted chicken, chimichurri sauce, and some roasted zucchini. ( not pictured )

photo-147

For the cauliflower puree, I steamed the cauliflower until very tender. (almost mushy ) and then put it in my food processor with garlic and coconut milk. I roasted the chicken with mexican spices..thought i’d change it up a bit. I made a “compound butter” with coconut oil, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. I placed the coconut oil under the skin just like I would normally do with butter.

For the Chimichurri I placed a few cloves of garlic in the food processor with salt, pepper and parsley and pulsed until turned into a paste. I then added in the oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. You want it to be a little bit tangy to balance out the creamy/salty flavors of the cauliflower and chicken.

Now onto day three of Whole30, round two.

 

 

It’s day number two of the Whole30 challenge. Day one was pretty easy for me, but this ain’t my first rodeo. It was a little harder for my roommies who had a few accidental incidents of non-whole30 ingested items…but since it was an accident, we are going to keep on trekking. They know, and I know, that these incidents were not intentional. One of the biggest goals/challenges of Whole30 is to change your emotional approach with food which they both did beautifully.

I have been eating Paleo for quite some time now, and this is my second time participating in the Whole30 challenge. The first time around, the hardest part was kicking my energy drink habit…which I successfully did. I am still energy drink free thanks to Whole30. The hard part this time around is that my birthday is landing within this 30 day challenge. Yep. Realizing that I was doing another whole30 challenge during my birthday made me want to tell Robb Wolf to suck it, Punch Mark Scisson in the wiener, and slap the pretty little smiles off of the Hartwigs faces. I was supposed to get sushi on my brithday, which happens to be my favorite paleo cheat food. I am obsessed with Sushi, and it is a treat. A treat I won’t be getting on my birthday. I will admit, I am pretty sad about this, and I am not yet done throwing my tantrum. It’s my party, I will cry if I want to.

Onto the Food:

For dinner we had a spaghetti. Paleo spaghetti of course. We used Spaghetti squash for the noodles and the usual spaghetti sauce with grass-fed beef, canned tomatoes, onion, carrots, celery, garlic and some sauteed spinach. In the summer I would normally use fresh tomatoes, but believe it or not canned is better in the winter. Tomatoes are canned when they are ripe and actually have flavor. Those tomatoes you see in the produce aisle right now- are fake…well, they might as well be considering they have no flavor.

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Sorry for the bad food photo. It looks a little more Everyday Paleo and less Nom Nom Paleo.

Off to plan today’s menu!

Garden loot

Thanks to the garden, cooking dinner can be a bit of a mystery box challenge. Certain ingredients (peppers, tomatoes, squash, basil ) are in abundance so it is fun to see what you can make in order to use them up. Sometimes I wonder if I could ever make it a whole summer without stepping into a grocery store, or maybe even just a month. I am on day 24 of my Whole30 paleo challenge and have found myself entertaining the idea of creating my own challenge of shopping at only farmers markets for 30 days and not stepping foot in a grocery store. It is only 30 days right? I think nearly anything can be done for just 30 days. Just a thought.

Now onto to dinner. I had just bought some grass fed ground beef so what could be better than stuffed peppers?

Stuffed Peppers topped with an egg yolk and roasted red pepper sauce

I know, your first thought; Is that a RAW egg???!! No, calm down. Its not raw, ( although I am not afraid of raw eggs ) It is just an egg yolk that was baked along with the peppers JUST until it was set but still runny when you cut into it.  Yum. Your probably also wondering why I chose to top it with an egg yolk. Well two things came to mind when I decided to top it with a yolk. #1 Have you ever had a hamburger topped with a fried egg? #2 there is no dairy allowed during the Whole30 program so I couldn’t top it with cheese…then I remembered this: ( fast forward to about 33 seconds if you are short for time )

“it tastes like cheese sauce” well…close enough. So I topped it with an egg yolk to get that semi-cheesy tasting, fatty mouth feel. It worked.

Now for the recipe.

Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato, and basil sauce:

Ingredients:

About 5 red peppers

3 Tomatoes

2 cloves Garlic

a good bunch of basil

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

1 Tbs. Apple Cider vinegar

Directions:

First, Roast the red peppers and tomatoes. I did this on the grill but you can use your oven ( under the broiler ) or on your stove if you have a gas stove.

You want to roast your peppers until the skin is nearly burnt. This makes it easier to remove. After your peppers are nice and browned/blackened place them in a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap and let them sit for 5 minutes. You don’t have to blacken the tomatoes. Just roast them until they have a nice color to them. They will be a little extra sweet.

After 5 minutes remove the skins/seeds/stems from the peppers and throw them in the food processor with the garlic and tomatoes and pulse until smooth.

Add the basil, pulse again, and Season with salt and pepper and add about a Tbs. of apple cider vinegar.

Pulse the sauce again and add the olive oil while the processor is running, add enough to get a sauce like consistency. Enough to be able to spoon onto a plate or onto your peppers with ease.

Taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking. It should be a bit sweet and tangy.

 

Peppers:

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 green bell peppers

10oz. to 1lb. of ground beef.

1 Squash, diced ( I used the squash from the garden pictured above )

6 oz. Tomato paste or about 12 oz. can of tomato sauce that does not contain added sugar.

Note***I suggest a can of tomato sauce but I had to use about tomato paste because I saw that my tomato sauce had added sugar and forcing me to go to plan B.  You can also use plenty of fresh tomatoes if you have them on hand. Just dice them up and throw them in the pan when you add the squash and let them cook down a bit so that the flavors are concentrated.

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

Chili powder – about a Tablespoon Plus or minus…taste your food to your liking!

Cumin about a tablespoon

8 egg yolks

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut your peppers in half, season with salt and pepper, and par-bake the peppers until they are soft, but firm enough to hold their shape.

In a large pan over medium-high heat, add your ground beef and onions.
Cook until the ground beef starts releasing its juices. Add the tomato paste and stir.

Add the squash, garlic, and spices,

Let simmer and then remove from heat.

Stuff your peppers with the ground beef mixture and create a little nest for your yolk. ( otherwise it will just fall off ).

After placing the yolks on the tops of your peppers, place it in the oven until the yolks are JUST set. This only takes a couple of minutes max. Keep an eye on those peppers!

After your yolks are set to your liking, plate up your peppers and top it with your roasted red pepper sauce.

Enjoy.

So, I know I said the next post would be on how to render lard…but I got a bit distracted. I ended up buying some beautiful pork belly. Do you know what this means??? Homemade bacon. The curing process takes about a week so sit tight, but in the meantime I will be making some Gravlax. (Google that ).

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Monday, and you love your life. Don’t deny it.

Well, if you are not feeling much love for your life at the moment than you should enter my giveaway if you have not yet done so. I know I would love my life if I won an awesome jar of coconut oil, but i’d hate my life if I missed the opportunity to do so. The giveaway ends tonight at 10pm! Time is running out people. Enter Here.

Just in case you don’t win, I have a little recipe to cheer you up. I know it is supposed to be “Meatless Monday” and all, but instead of going meatless I decided I would go beef-less. I went with 100% grassfed goat from Flying Mule Farms instead.

I ended up getting two of these little guys, trimming them up a bit ( removed as much of the silver skin as possible ) and making a curry/stew out of it. You are also welcome to use lamb, or beef in this dish but if you can get  your hands on some goat, I highly recommend it. I found the goat to be less gamey than lamb, and rather tender. This recipe is actually one that has been adapted from my Latin Cuisine class. I believe we used lamb but it comes from Trinidad where using goat would be more authentic. Believe it or not, goat is actually pretty popular in other countries and is a very sustainable meat, but for some reason us Americans prefer beef. Onto the recipe!

Curried Kid

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. Lime Juice

1 lime cut into wedges

1 Tbs. sea salt

1 1/2 pounds of boneless lamb or goat ( cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes )

2 Tbs. coconut oil

1 cup onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons of tamarind pulp ( usually found in the ethnic cuisine part of the store. Make sure to buy seedless or else you will have a fun time picking out the seeds by hand…unless your into that…) Never used tamarind pulp? Consult Dr. Google. Here.

1 cup green mango, peeled and diced about 1/2 inch cubes

1 Tbs. curry powder

1 jalepeno pepper, seeded, minced

1 cup tomatoes peeled, seeded OR since tomatoes are not quite in season or yet you can use one 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes.

1 Cup of chicken stock

1 cup of potatoes, peeled and diced ( optional if you don’t do potatoes or if you can sub white potatoes for sweet potatoes )

1 Cup Kohlrabi, peeled and diced ( you can find this at the farmers market, whole foods and even Raleys right now. )

1 Tbs. Fresh Thyme, chopped

1 tsp. fresh lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large spaghetti squash

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

First you are going to want to get your spaghetti squash baked so that you have it ready to serve with the stew.

Place your spaghetti squash face down on a sheet pan and bake until tender. ( usually around 30-40 minutes but keep an eye on it. )

1. Combine the 1 tablespoon of lime juice, lime quarters, sea salt, and meat with one cup of water. cover and allow to stand for 30 minutes. ( meanwhile prep the rest of your ingredients.

2. Drain your meat and pat dry. ( make sure to dry it off really well or else it won’t brown properly ).

Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat and brown the meat on all sides. Remove the meat.

3. Add onions; cook 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Add garlic, tamarind pulp, mango, curry powder, and jalapeno pepper. Cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook 2 minutes. Return meat to the pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes to make sure that the meat is coated with the spice mixture. Add the stock.

4. Bring to a simmer, add kohlrabi, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.

5. Add potatoes, and cover and simmer 30 minutes or until meat and vegetables are tender. Stir in the fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon of lime juice and correct seasonings.

6. Serve hot over spaghetti squash.

Bon Appetite

 

 

Day #30 has come and gone. It felt weird making my breakfast this morning and not snapping a photo of it before I dug in…so I snapped a quick photo anyways. I think I have created an odd habit. Taking pictures of my food has worked its way into my routine. Uh oh.

I may take a few days off from posting about my food but I have a feeling I will be back with more very soon…perhaps something a bit more challenging. We shall see. :)

Now on with the days food!

Breakfast

Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, dill, and sweet potatoes.

If you still have not tried smoked salmon in your scrambled eggs… you don’t know what you are missing out on. I suggest you try it immediately.

Not only did I survive yesterdays WOD but I also had the opportunity to cook lunch for my friend Laura and her little one Claire. ( well, Claire had a sandwich with almond butter and jelly ).

Salmon with red and golden beets, ( glazed with coconut oil, chicken stock, and raw honey ), and brussel sprouts.

I was a little nervous serving beets and brussel sprouts to Laura…little did I know it was the first time she had tried either of these vegetables. If you have had beets before, you know they have what we call in the culinary world an “earthy” flavor. A.K.A. it tastes like dirt. They are kind of an acquired taste…but luckily Laura isn’t a picky eater and enjoyed the beets and the brussel sprouts. Mission accomplished.

Another concern when serving fish is that people are not used to #1 eating the skin, #2 seeing it served skin side up, and #3 are used to it being served to them over-cooked. Laura asked me before she started eating “Can you eat the skin?”. Yes. You can indeed eat the skin. If it is served nice and crispy of course.

Dinner

Salad of of leftovers

For a post-workout meal I made a salad out of leftovers from lunch. The only thing I had to slice up was mushrooms and avocados. I added a bit of balsamic vinegar and dinner was done!

And that my friends concludes my thirty days of Paleo…or does it?

Hard to believe yesterday was day #29, only one more day to go…that is if Is survive this WOD  today…

WOD ( workout of the day )

50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

I might die. Guess I better make some good food.

Breakfast

Bacon, eggs, and sweet potatoes…yum

 

Lunch

Left over London Broil and the usual avocado, mango, peppers, and olives

Dinner

More leftovers!

I love leftovers. I used the rest of the London Broil from the night before and sauteed some peppers, onions and mushrooms. I guess you could say I made fajitas..just minus the tortillas.

If there is no blog tomorrow its probably because I didn’t survive today’s WOD…or my arms, including my fingers are too sore to lift. Wish me luck!

I was kind of a slacker yesterday. I think I had an adrenaline hangover from the midterm the day before. I didn’t even make it to CrossFit. I know, complete and total slacker. I did however, get some time in the kitchen.

Yea…

Lunch

Sauteed chicken breast, carrots (and purple carrots), and brussel sprouts with bacon

I usually blanch, or steam my veggies before I saute them. In this case I steamed the carrots and brussel sprouts so that I am pretty much just warming them up and adding a little color in my pan while I season them. I seasoned the brussel sprouts with salt, pepper, and some white wine. The carrots are seasoned with salt, pepper, and fresh dill.

Dinner

I don’t eat a lot of beef. Not because I think it is unhealthy, but because I only eat grass-fed beef and it is kind of pricey sometimes. Well, I picked up a little treat from the Farmers market…

Yep, Grass-fed goodness courtesy of Flying Mule Farm.

Fun Fact of the day: London Broil is not a cut of meat…it is actually just a cooking process. What you are really getting when something is labeled London Broil is usually top round roast. Oh, and they have no idea what a London broil is in London. Yep, Americans just love to make this stuff up. :)

Here is another fun fact: Dogs go crazy for grass-fed beef. I think there is something different in the way it smells when its cooking compared to corn-fed beef. That should say something right?

Good thing there is a glass door between me and this hungry pup..I hadn’t even started cooking it yet.

There was a huge watermelon taking up space in our fridge so for the purpose of creating some more storage space I decided to use it up by making a gazpacho…

Watermelon Gazpacho

Along with the watermelon I used 1/2 serrano pepper, 1 tomato, 1/4 cup red onion, olive oil, dill, and a mix of apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Red wine vinegar would of been ideal but I was out. I just blended the pepper, tomato, onion, dill, and watermelon up in the blender until smooth and then added the vinegar, salt pepper,  and oil, to taste. After it I seasoned it to my liking, I placed it in the fridge to chill for a bit and served it topped with more dill, coconut milk and olive oil.

For the london broil: I marinated it with a mixture of balsalmic vinegar, coconut aminos, garlic, olive oil, and italian herbs. I didn’t want to make a liar out of the name so I broiled it in the oven until it was medium-rare. I served it with a side of mashed sweet potatoes and asparagus. Yum :)

What is your favorite cut of beef?

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