Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pork Meatballs with Mashed Savory Sweet Potatoes

Meatballs are a household favorite, so when meatballs are on the menu the family is pleased! There are so many different ways to cook them, and you really can't go wrong with any variation! I enjoyed tonight's pork version. The cinnamon, nutmeg and pecans gave it a very comforting Fall feeling that paired really well with the savory spices in the sweet potatoes! It was total comfort food at its best and a great way to enjoy these crisp Fall evenings!

Pork Meatball Recipe:
1 lb. ground pork
1 egg
1/2 C applesauce
1/2 C super finely chopped pecans (I used a food processor)
1 T finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
pinch sea salt
2 T olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Combine pork and all other ingredients, mix well (I love to use my hands for this). Form into about 2 inch balls (which should make roughly 22-24 meatballs). Place in the skillet and brown on all sides. I did this fairly quickly and then placed in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes to finish up. While they were baking, I made the sweet potatoes...

Mashed Herbed Sweet Potatoes:
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 T olive oil
3/4 C coconut milk
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, diced small
1 T finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 T finely chopped fresh mint
1 T grated orange zest
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
pinch sea salt

In a 5 quart pot, boil potatoes for about 10 minutes, until tender. Saute onion and garlic in 1 tsp. olive oil until translucent and tender. Mash potatoes and mix in coconut milk, remaining olive oil, orange zest, salt and pepper (I used an electric mixer to give it a smooth, creamy texture). Fold in sauteed garlic and onion mixture and fresh herbs. Mix well. Serve & enjoy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Paleo Pancakes... Revisited

Sunday morning was the perfect day to wake up to the sound of rain on the roof, a cup of hot fresh brewed coffee, and the smell of nut butter pancakes on the grill! What a special way to spend a Sunday morning.

I actually make these nut butter pancakes a lot. It's a very forgiving recipe if the quantities aren't exact or if you want to change up the flavors a bit. I was in the mood for banana chocolate chip pancakes... paleo-style, of course! Hope you enjoy!

1/2 C nut butter (I used equal parts cashew butter and almond butter)
1 ripe banana
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C raw organic cocao nibs
dash cinnamon

Combine all ingredients. Mix well. Heat a non-stick griddle pan to 400 degrees. If you don't have one, use a non-stick skillet over med-hi heat (coat with a little coconut oil). Pour the nut butter pancake mix on the grill to form round pancakes. Flip and serve!
You could top with a little fresh berries if desired. If your really lucky you can enjoy these while wearing some comfy pajamas, sipping a hot cup of coffee, listening to the sound of rain outside. Leftover pancakes make great snacks, too! :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pan Fried Flap Steak with Leek & Shiitake Mushroom Sauce

SUCH an exciting night around our house! The Giants are up 3-1 in the series! Woot woot!
You got to LOVE Ooooribe!!!! Torture never felt so good!! Hope you enjoy the dinner! Flap meat!!! Got it at Costco! Just like skirt steak or flank steak, but cheaper! If you can find it... go for it! and GO GIANTS!

2-3 lbs. Flap meat
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
pinch sea salt (optional)
1/4 C red wine
1/4 C beef broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
8-10 shiitake mushrooms
1 large leek, washed well, thinly sliced white and light green parts
1/2 tsp. arrowroot powder

Coat flap meat with a tad of olive oil and rub with seasonings (garlic powder, black pepper and crushed red chili flakes), set aside. Heat skillet or grill pan to medium high heat. Grill flap steak for about 10 minutes on each side. While flap steak is cooking, saute garlic in a little olive oil. Add leeks and mushrooms, as they cook down and soften, add red wine. Mix together arrowroot powder and beef broth. Add to pan and cook on medium temperature until sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside. Slice steak across the grain and pour mushroom leek sauce over the top. Add a pinch of celtic grey sea salt (if desired). Serve this with your choice of side... a tossed green salad or steamed veggies would be tasty! We just had some simple sliced heirloom tomatoes. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paleo Beef Stew

Well, stew weather has arrived! In fact, it hit with such urgency that I made a special trip to the store for just stew ingredients. It was as delicious as I remembered and made lots of leftovers! What a way to welcome the cooler weather! I think I'll be keeping the crock pot out for awhile!
Comfort food is only a crock pot away!

Recipe: I like to keep my stew vegetables and meat on the larger, chunky side!
2 pkg. stew meat (about 1 lb. each)
2 carrots, sliced thick
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 large rutabaga, chopped in big chunks
2 turnips, chopped in chunks
1 parsnip, sliced thick
10 boiler onions, whole, peeled
32 oz. organic beef broth
1 C almond meal
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 T oregano
pinch sea salt
1 bay leaf
1 T olive oil

Heat olive oil in a skillet. In a ziplock bag add almond meal and all seasonings (except bay leaf). Place stew meat in bag and thoroughly coat. Brown stew meat... (you may have to do this in batches, depending on how large your skillet is), add to crock pot (include all almond meal-spice bits). Add all vegetables to crock pot (except boiler onions). Cover meat and vegetables with beef broth, add bay leaf, and cook on low for 4-6 hours. About 20 minutes before serving, add boiler onions - cook until tender.
Serve and enjoy this cool weather friend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sauteed Spinach, Grilled Sausage & Heirloom Tomatoes

This has been a busy week... I needed another quick dinner! Tonight's dinner was from our Costco shopping trip. Yes... even the organic heirloom tomatoes! Which were absolutely delicious, by the way... and 1/2 the price! Way to go, Costco!

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a saute pan, and add 1-2 cloves chopped garlic. Add baby spinach to pan and cook down. While the spinach is cooking down, grill sausages. Serve sausage on top of spinach and serve with sliced heirloom tomatoes. Yummy and easy! :-)


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Marinated & Bacon Wrapped Pork Chops

I know, I know... Pork again. I didn't plan my week very well. But... these pork chops were great! I got up this morning and prepared the marinade, so it would have ample time to cure. They were very tender and flavorful. Hope you enjoy!

6 pork chops (about 1/2 in thick)
1/4 tsp. red chile flakes
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
pinch sea salt (optional)
6 oz. 100% pineapple juice
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped
6 pieces bacon

Trim pork chops of all visible fat, and pound slightly. Sprinkle chile flakes, pepper, and salt over both sides of pork chops. Put in a ziplock bag. Put in crushed garlic and pour pineapple juice in bag. Let marinate for 6-8 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wrap each pork chop with one piece of bacon and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and any remaining pineapple juice. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

We served this with steamed zucchini (also sprinkled with a little cilantro) and some very simply baked sweet potatoes. Hope you enjoy... we did! I would definitely make this again. The pork chops would be great grilled, too. You could even omit the bacon?! Have fun with it... the pineapple juice is such a GREAT marinade ingredient (both a flavor enhancer and tenderizer)! Enjoy!!! :-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Smoked Pulled Pork Over Sauteed Cabbage

I know we all have those kind of crazy evenings when cooking dinner just isn't an option! Whatever the situation may be, it's important to have quick resources on hand to get you through. When I shop at Costco, I always pick up some of their Smoked Pulled Pork (in the refrigerated section) for just such occasions. It's simply made, pure ingredients, totally Paleo, and super tasty! It has saved dinner a number of times! (It can be kept frozen, too) I highly recommend this Paleo kitchen helper...

I served this Costco special with some sauteed cabbage. Again, this took very little time. (It was done by the time the pulled pork was heated and ready to serve).
Cabbage Saute: (I didn't add any additional seasoning to the cabbage because the Pork is SO flavorful)
1 head cabbage
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2 C sliced mushrooms
Heat oil in skillet and saute onions until translucent. Add mushrooms and saute until tender. Now add sliced cabbage... keep tossing and stirring until fully cooked (about 5-8 minutes). Cover with a lid if you want it to cook down faster, too.
Serve cabbage on a plate and top with the pulled pork! An easy 10 minute dinner!
We all could use a little help in the kitchen once in awhile! :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Paleo Macaroons

Can I just say that my daughter is the sweetest thing?! And she's becoming quite the Paleo baker, too! I came home from work to a house that smelled sweet from freshly baked macaroons... not just any macaroons, mind you. Paleo "Birthday" Macaroons! ...(kind of takes the sting out of turning 40-something)!

6 egg whites
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3/4 C Honey (preferably organic, local honey)
1 T almond extract
3 C unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Fold in honey, almond extract and shredded coconut. Form macaroons into small balls (or spell something fun)... Bake on a lined cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes (or until lightly browned around the edges).
Serve... and make someone smile! Enjoy...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grilled Lamb Chops with Rosemary

This seemed like such a decadent dinner (and I guess it was)... but it was really simplistic! Simple yet delicious! Hope you enjoy...

6-8 Lamb chops
olive oil
4-6 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
sea salt and black pepper

Coat lamb with a little olive oil, and season with sea salt, black pepper, and rosemary. Grill over medium heat until browned and to desired doneness! See? Simple!

For the sides, I sliced some sweet potatoes, sprinkled them with some more rosemary, garlic powder and black pepper and baked them at 350 for about 45-50 minutes! I sauteed 1/2 sliced yellow onion in a little olive oil, when tender and translucent, I added a handful of shiitake mushrooms. Then I added about 16 oz of baby spinach and sauteed until tender and wilted!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Italian-Style Sea Scallops with Spaghetti Squash

What a great Monday WOD... deserves a great Monday dinner! This was super tasty and really not difficult at all! I got the scallops at Costco. Such a great bargain! There are many methods for cooking spaghetti squash... the oven is my personal preference. Hope you enjoy!

About 20 bay sea scallops
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can, 15 oz, stewed sliced tomatoes (preferably organic, no added salt)
1/2 C + fresh basil, chopped
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt (always optional)
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Splash (or about 1/4 C) red wine
1 spaghetti squash

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce several holes in spaghetti squash and place in oven for 45 minutes. While squash is cooking, heat olive oil... sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper, and saute until golden brown. Set aside. Deglaze pan with splash of red wine. Add onions and saute until tender. Add tomatoes and Italian seasoning. When flavors are heated through and well blended, add scallops and basil. Simmer until ready to server.
Remove spaghetti squash from oven. Slice in half and remove seeds. Then just spoon out of shell onto your plate. *careful... it's hot!* Spoon scallop tomato mixture over spaghetti squash. Serve and enjoy!

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