Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lamb and Beef Meatloaf

Decided to make meatloaf tonight with a combination of ground lamb and ground beef.  It really hit the spot.

This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Paleo

Lamb and Beef Meatloaf
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground lamb
2 yellow onions, diced
2 yellow bell peppers, diced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 eggs, whisked
3/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried parsley
salt and pepper
olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large skillet add a little bit of olive oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add peppers and onion to skillet and cook until onion is tender.   Once done cooking add to a large bowl and add all other ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Place meat mixture into a greased loaf pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes.  Spread some sauce over the top and continue to bake.  Add more as needed and cook for about 15 mintues more.

For the sauce:
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Mix all ingredients into a small bowl.   Spread on top of cooking meatloaf.  You can also cook this sauce on the stove and use over the cooked meatloaf on your plate.

Served it with a sweet potato

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Nothing like a dish that cooks in the oven for a couple of hours to make the house smell so good.

This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free

Braised Beef Short Ribs
8 whole grassfed beef short ribs
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup gluten free flour
6 pieces of pancetta, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 shallots, diced
2 cups red wine (I used a 2010 Syrah from Argentina)
2 cups homemade chicken broth (I didn't have homemade beef broth)
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
Salt and pepper ribs, then dredge in flour.  Set aside.  In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until completely crispy and all the fat is rendered.  Remove pancetta and set aside.  Do not discard the grease.  Add olive oil to the pan with the pancetta grease, and raise the heat.  Brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side.  Remove ribs and set aside.  Turn heat to medium.  Add carrots, onions and shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes.  Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan.  Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.  Add broth, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper.  Taste and add more salt if needed.  Add ribs to liquid.  They should be almost completely submerged.  Add thyme, rosemary and cooked pancetta.  Put a lid on the pan and place into oven.  Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours, then reduce the heat to 325 and cook for additional 30 to 45 minutes.  Ribs should be fork tender and falling off the bone.  Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, lid on, before serving.  At the last minute, skim fat off the top of the liquid.  Serve ribs over mashed sweet potatoes and spooning a little juice over.

As a side I cooked some fresh spinach.

Gingerbread Mini Loaves with Cinnamon Maple Frosting

I wanted a sweet treat this afternoon so I pulled out my Paleo Indulgences Cookbook.  I found this recipe and thought I would give it a try.

These recipes are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free and Paleo.

Gingerbread Mini Loaves
Dry Ingredients:
1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger

Wet Ingredients:
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place dry ingredients in a medium bowl, whisk to combine.  Add the wet ingredients, except for coconut oil, and blend well with a hand mixer.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the coconut oil.  Blend well.  Let batter sit for 5 minutes to thicken.  Grease 2 mini loaf pans with palm shortening.  Divide batter evenly between both pans.  Bake for 33 to 38 minutes, or until center of bread is firm to touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.   Cool 5 minutes in the pans.  Remove loaves from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.  Frost with Cinnamon Maple Frosting.

Cinnamon Maple Frosting
1/2 cup palm shortening
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
2 teaspoons coconut flour, sifted
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Place all ingredients, except coconut oil, in a medium bowl, and use a hand mixer to blend until fully combined.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the coconut oil, blending until completely smooth.  If frosting is a bit too soft, refrigerate until firm, about 1 to 2 hours.  Blend again to fluff up.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chroi Pollo (Chicken with Chorizo Sausage)

I have a confusion to make.  Whenever we eat out at a Mexican restaurant I always order their Chori Pollo.  It doesn't matter if we are someplace new, this is what I order, (provided it is on the menu) period.  Forget the other stuff on the menu, I head right to this every time.

I decided to give my own try at making it at home.  I think this came out really good.  We have a local farm who makes their own Chroizo Sausage which is really good, just not as spicy as some, but still very good.

Chori Pollo 
2 chicken breasts, pounded flat to about 1/4 inch
2 limes, juiced
1/2 pound of chorizo sausage, removed from casing
Toppings and sides: Avocado, refried beans, diced tomato, lettuce, queso blanco cheese, sour cream, corn tortillas.
Place chicken into a ziploc bag and add lime juice.  Place bag in refrigerator and let chicken marinate for about 30 minutes.  In a large skillet heated over medium high heat, add chorizo.   Chop the sausage up as it cooks.  Cook until done.  With a slotted spoon, remove chorizo into a bowl, cover and keep warm.  In the same skillet add chicken breasts.  If there is not enough oil leftover from the chorizo, add a little bit of olive oil.  Cook breasts until tender and cooked all the way through.  You can either add the sausage back into the pan with the chicken and warm it back up or just serve it over the chicken.

Mine without cheese

My husband's with cheese and sour cream on the side

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Chia Seed Pudding

This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Paleo.

I have seen a few recipes for Chia Seed pudding floating around on the Internet.  I finally decided to make one of them.  I used a recipe PaleOMG posted but tweaked her recipe somewhat due to what I had available and allergies.  This is a super easy to make recipe and it made for a great mid morning snack at work.

Here is the recipe for what I made.

Pumpkin Pie Chia Seed Pudding
1 - 1/2 cups carton unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
(I omitted 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves due to allergies)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
Place all ingredients into a bowl, except chia seeds, and whisk until smooth.  Pour mixture into one large resealable jar or 3 smaller jars (I used 3 pint canning jars).  Sprinkle chia seeds over top (if using more than one jar divide the 1/4 cup of chia seeds).  Seal jars and shake until mixed.  Place in refrigerator overnight.

Pudding ready to go into the refrigerator

The next day, ready to eat

Monday, January 13, 2014

Salmon Cakes with Avocado Basil Zucchini Noodles

These recipes are gluten-free, dairy free, and paleo.

Salmon Cakes
1 small onion, finely chopped
Olive oil
1 cup or more almond flour
2  - 6 ounce salmon filets, skin and bones removed
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon homemade mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Set aside and let cool.

Finely chop fish into small cubes about 1/4 of an inch.  Place fish into a bowl, add 1/3 cup almond flour, onion, egg, mayonnaise, parsley, Tabasco and salt.  Gently mix all ingredients until well combined.  Place bowl into refrigerator to chill slightly.

Pour remaining almond flour (and you may need more) into a shallow dish.  Form salmon mixture into 4 patties.  Dip patties into almond flour to coat on all sides.

Add some olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Cook salmon cakes for about 8 minutes, turn and cook until golden brown and fish is cooked through.

From our daughter, she gave us this really cool kitchen instrument that you can make vegetable noodles with. It is called a Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer.  It is really cool.  We actually tried it one night with some Japanese Sweet Potatoes.  Tonight I used it with zucchini.

Avocado-Basil Zucchini Noodles
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 avocado
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 garlic clove, minced
In a food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth.
1 zucchini, spiral cut
Bring a pan of water to a boil, add zucchini and cook slightly.  Drain.  In a bowl toss zucchini and sauce together and serve.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Halibut Cheeks with Coconut Curry Sauce

I don't know about you but I like to have a glass of wine while I am cooking dinner.  Tonight was no exception.  I have this very nice Viognier from a Virginia vineyard.  The bottle was open I had a glass so I figure why not cook with it.  I used it in everything with the exception of the sweet potato. I always go by the motto of if you can't drink it, don't cook with it!

Halibut Cheeks with Coconut Curry Sauce
For the Coconut Curry Sauce:
1 can of coconut milk
2 teaspoons curry
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Some wine (just to thin it out a little)
Sea salt to taste
In a mixing bowl, add coconut milk, curry, ginger and cinnamon; whisk together.  Add a little bit of wine.  Add some salt to taste.  Place milk ingredients into a small saucepan and simmer.  Whisk on occasion to keep it well mixed and adjust ingredients based on taste.  Cook until hot, don't let it boil.

For Halibut Cheeks:
Halibut cheeks
Coconut oil
Sea salt
Pat dry the halibut and sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt.  In a skillet add a little bit of coconut oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add halibut cheeks and let cook for about 4 minutes per side depending on the size of the cheeks.  I had one really large one that took a while, while the others were done much quicker.  Remove the cheeks that are done to a serving dish.

Serve cheeks over sauteed kale.  Drizzle sauce over halibut cheeks and kale.

Sauteed Kale
1 large bunch of kale, washed, stems removed
2 shallots, minced
Sea salt
Some wine
Coconut oil
In a large skillet add a little bit of coconut oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add shallots, cook for 1 minute.  Add kale and toss with coconut oil and shallots.  Continue to stir so that the kale cooks evenly.  Add a small amount of wine and quickly cover skillet.  Cook for about 5-10 minutes, just until kale begins to wilt and turn a bright green.  Remove from skillet to a serving bowl.  Cover until ready to serve.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cooked Navy Beans

I was in one of our great restaurants/kitchen provisions/deli/bistro called Town Kitchen and Provisions yesterday and they have this section with pre-made items along with other items that you can take home and make something of your own.  I saw that they had their North Country bacon (usually sold sliced how you want) chopped in a container.  I knew I had to get some and the first thing that came to mind to use it for was to make a pot of cooked beans.

Cooked Navy Beans
2 cups navy beans, sorted, rinsed and soaked overnight
A couple of pieces of thick cut bacon
1 large onion, chopped
4 small carrots, chopped (these came out of our garden)
6 cups water
olive oil
In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and carrots; cook until tender.  Add bacon and cook slightly.  Drain the beans that have soaked overnight and re-rinse them and drain.  Add beans to pot. Add enough water until the beans are covered.  Bring to a boil, cover, turn down heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally.  It will take about 3 hours for the beans to become tender, especially if you let them cook nice and slow. About half way through the cooking, check to see how the beans are doing, if the beans are cooked but still somewhat crunchy, add some salt to taste.  Let continue to cook, adding more salt later if needed.

Waffles with Strawberries

I made this recipe the other day, it was actually a pancake recipe.  What I found was that the batter for the pancakes was really thick.  I thought for sure that this same batter would make great waffles.  I made waffles this morning and I actually like the waffle consistency better.

Waffles with Strawberries (wheat free, dairy free)
For the Strawberries:
1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
Place all ingredients into a saucepan, mix together and let simmer.  Once strawberries have broken down, bring heat to low to let thicken slightly.  Cook until you get the consistency you want.

For the Waffles or Pancakes:
3 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup almond milk or coconut milk plus 3 tablespoons (carton, unsweetened)
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, honey and vanilla.  In a small bowl add coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix together to incorporate the dry ingredients. Then, while continuously whisking, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Whisk until batter is well combined.  For waffles: Oil a waffle maker and add a scoopful of batter and cook until done.  For pancakes: Over medium heat, grease a large pan.  Once pan is hot, use a large ladle to pour onto pan to make a pancake.  Once pancake has cooked and bubbles begin to surface on top, flip it.  About 2-3 minutes per side.   Top with strawberries and maple syrup.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cabbage Meatball Soup

This is a story about one pound of ground beef.  My husband, Mike, thawed out the other day a pound of ground beef with the hopes of surprising me with a meatloaf.  Due to the weather, plans changed because of my schedule.  So I thought of something to use that ground beef for.  I instantly thought of stuffed cabbage, in the crock pot, cooking all day.  Mike still has a garden going with some winter vegetables, including cabbage.  So I asked him to go out and get a head of cabbage for dinner.  He came back inside and said the cabbages are kinda small I don't think they will work for the stuffed cabbage.  So I immediately thought of soup.  I was sure that I could do something with the cabbage and the beef.  This soup is what I came up with.  The ingredients are an approximate of what I used, but you could certainly tweak this recipe for your tastes.

Cabbage Meatball Soup
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 onion, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands to incorporate the ingredients.  Roll meatballs into about a golf ball size.  Place meatballs onto a greased cookie sheet and place in oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.

For the soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
6 cups homemade chicken and vegetable broth (I used 4 cups chicken broth and 2 cups vegetable broth)
1 - 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 small heads of cabbage, chopped
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the onions and carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add spices and garlic, stir.  Add tomatoes and stir.  Stir in cabbage.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes.   When the meatballs are done, add them to the soup and cook for about 10 minutes longer.  Serve.