Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Simpler Times Chicken Not-So-Noodle Soup

Ok... whenever you roast a chicken, it should go without saying that the next night you make a soup! Hope you enjoy this faux chicken noodle favorite! :-)

Chicken broth
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large spaghetti squash
2 T rosemary, fresh chopped
leftover chicken pieces
1 tsp. peppercorns
1 bay leaf
pinch sea salt (optional)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Immediately after enjoying your chicken dinner, carve carcass and reserve remaining chicken. Place carcass in a stock pot, cover with water and bring to a boil (add some peppercorns and a bay leaf). Maintain a slow boil, covered, for about 2-3 hours. Remove carcass and strain debris for a pure flavored chicken broth. Pour broth into the crock pot. Add carrots and celery. Saute garlic and onions in some olive oil. Add to crock pot. Add chicken pieces, salt and pepper. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. About 1 hour before eating, preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook spaghetti squash (pierce several holes in it first). After about 30 minutes, remove spaghetti squash and cut in half. Remove seeds (careful, it's hot). Place back in oven for about 10-15 more minutes. Carefully remove pulp from shell with spoon (or fork). Very carefully... is is HOT. Add spaghetti squash to soup. There is your faux noodles! Yum. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Simpler Times Chicken

This recipe is dedicated to my good friend, Neile who just celebrated her 4oth Birthday!!!
We've made "beer can chicken" for years... but never with a fine Tader Joe's Simpler Times Lager... This one's for you, Neile! Cheers my friend!

This recipe is totally easy and great for the oven or the grill. Since we traveled to families for Thanksgiving, we were a little deprived of turkey and the leftovers. So, I thought I would cook up another type of bird to gobble up, and maybe even enjoy some leftovers as well! I know, I know, 'beer' is not exactly Paleo, but never fear, the beer plays a very small part in the recipe (you might only need to take a couple of sips... or not... it's totally optional).

Simpler Times Chicken Recipe:
1 whole chicken (preferably organic & free range)
olive oil
I used black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sage and fresh rosemary
1 can of Simpler Times Lager :-)

Heat grill to medium-low or preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean chicken, remove innards (save them if you desire... they are very Paleo). Season entire bird by rubbing it with olive oil and coating it with the seasonings. Now, take a couple sips of the beer (or pour a couple sips out) and place the chicken's open cavity over the beer can. Set chicken in a roasting pan. The beer can will hold the chicken upright while it cooks and it provides moisture during the cooking time as well. It also serves as a convenient collection point for all the fat drippings. Roast the chicken for about 40-50 minutes. Use a thermometer to check for doneness (internal temperature should reach 175 degrees). That's all there is to it! Serve with desired sides & enjoy!

Happy Birthday, Neile!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Paleo Pumpkin Bread

I have always LOVED pumpkin bread.... My whole life! This was an incredible treat to create a Paleo version! It absolutely hit the spot. However, there is room for improvement... So I might continue to perfect and tweak this recipe. Suggestions welcomed! Hope you give it a try. Enjoy!
And PLEASE have a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you surround yourselves with friends and family! :-)

1- 15oz can pumpkin
2C coconut flour
1 C arrowroot powder
1/2 C honey
1/2 C walnut oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch cloves

topping (optional):
1 T pecans, finely chopped
1 T coconut crystals

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs together. Add honey, walnut oil and vanilla to eggs. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into a loaf pan. Combine coconut crystals and pecans together. Crumble over the top of the loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Bread is done when tooth pic or skewer comes out clean! Enjoy!

This was delicious... I thought it turned out more like a cake! Next time I would use less pumpkin (perhaps only a cup). It was very dense and cake-like. But I still totally enjoyed it!
There is definitely room for tweaking... and suggestions totally welcome!!! :-)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Paleo Pumpkin Soup

I made this soup last year around this time, and was reminded I should post it again! It's a delicious seasonal soup that is sure to warm you from the inside out! I made a few slight changes to my original recipe based on some suggestions from last year, and it was super tasty ... still a recipe keeper! Hope you enjoy!

1- 29 oz can organic pumpkin puree
32 oz organic chicken broth
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
3/4 C coconut milk
2 tsp. black pepper
2-3 T fresh chopped chives
2 lbs. ground sausage

Heat chicken broth, pumpkin puree and black pepper in a stock pot. Brown ground sausage in a separate pan and add to stock pot. Saute onions and garlic in 1 tsp. of olive oil and add to stock pot. Bring soup to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and fresh chives (save some chives to garnish the top with). Cook on low for about 15 more minutes. Hope you enjoy this easy seasonal delight! :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Crock Pot Tri-Tip

This was another easy dinner (almost embarrassingly easy). Got a crock pot? Got a tri-tip? Got an onion and some wine? .... Guess what?... You got dinner!!!
I literally threw the tir-tip (fat side down) in the crock pot this morning on the way to work.
It was a hit with the family... and I enjoyed a low-maintenance evening... Ahhhhhh, nice.

Tri-tip, 2-3 lbs.
1 yellow onion, sliced chunky
5 garlic cloves, slightly crushed and halved
3/4 C broth (chicken or beef)... preferably organic, low sodium
3/4 C red wine
1 T Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper
pinch sea salt (optional)

Place tri-tip in the crock pot. Cover with onion and spices. Pour wine and broth over the top. Cover and cook on low for about 7 hours... Done! :-)

I served this with a side of cauliflower rice. I just shredded the cauliflower in my cuisinart. Season with a little olive oil (1 T), black pepper and chives (or any spices you choose). Put in a bowl, cover with seran wrap, and microwaved for a few minutes on the vegetable setting. Quick and easy, too! I LOVE cauliflower rice.

Hope you enjoy this easy winter time-saver!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baked Rosemary Chicken Thighs & Sweet Potatoes

This was so simple and yet so delicious. The chicken just fell off the bone and the potatoes were so herby and crispy. I truly recommend using fresh herbs, if possible. The rosemary was from our garden and contributed so much to the flavor... and the aroma! Rosemary and chicken and potatoes... what perfect harmony! Hope you enjoy!

8 chicken thighs (with skin and bone)
1-2 sweet potatoes (the light skinned variety), peeled, sliced and halved
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
2 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 T dried oregano
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
pinch sea salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put chicken and potatoes in a large bowl. Add olive oil to bowl and stir to coat all pieces of chicken and potatoes thoroughly. Empty bowl of chicken & potato pieces onto a large baking dish. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary and other herbs and spices. Bake for 1 hour, uncovered. To ensure extra flavor and crispiness, baste chicken and potatoes every 15 minutes!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baked Pork Chops with Rosemary & Dijon

What an excellent dinner to compliment a Back Squat day in the gym. I can feel I have hamstrings with every delicious bite! :-) This really was a pretty easily put-together dinner with great flavor and maximum satisfaction! Hope you enjoy!

6 pork chops (about 3/4" thick)
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 T organic Dijon mustard
2 T fresh chives, finely chopped
2 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch sea salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange pork chops in a large baking dish. In a bowl, mix together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, chives and rosemary (and add some salt & pepper if desired). Spoon 1/2 the mixture over the pork chops. Put pork chops in oven and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn pork chops over and pour remaining mustard mixture over the top. Continue baking for another 15 minutes. Put pork chops on a plate, and spoon the extra juices over the top. Enjoy!

We served this with some baked sweet potatoes (that I seasoned with rosemary & garlic powder), and a simple green salad. Very tasty... can't wait for the leftovers!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baja Cod Filets

I can't claim this recipe... This is 100% Scott's incredible creation! I was just the Sous-chef in the kitchen watching it all happen before my very eyes! He had a vision, and a plan... and it played out great! He deserves an A+ for this Paleo creation, which he calls Baja Cod. Hope you'll give it a try! It's made a place on my "favorites" list! Enjoy... (and thanks for cooking, Scott).

4-6 Cod filets
1/2 Red onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 T olive oil
2 tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 Bunch fresh cilantro
about 2 T lime juice
about 2 T tequila
~2 tsp. chipotle seasoning
~1 tsp. black pepper
Pinch sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season fish filets with chipotle, ground black pepper, and salt. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet. Quickly brown fish, about 2-3 minutes, on each side (seering on the spices). Place in a baking dish, and put in the oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Deglaze the fish pan with lime juice (scraping loose all the tasty bits). Add onions, garlic and jalapeno peppers to pan. Saute until soft, and liquid is almost gone from pan. Now add the tequila, mix well and pour saute mixture over cod filets and continue baking for their remaining time. Combine tomatoes, avocado and cilantro. When there is about two minutes left for the fish, add the tomato mixture over the top... and serve! Yum.....

Great served with cauliflower rice and some sauteed veggies! :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crock Pot Pot Roast

This is one of my favorite crock pot dinners! It truly doesn't get any easier... and it's so comforting and delicious. This is the kind of meal you don't mind coming home to on these dark cold evenings. No need to worry about potatoes in this pot roast recipe, rutabaga's work just as well... if not better! Enjoy and stay warm!

3-4 lb. chuck or rump roast
6 cloves garlic, pealed
1 yellow onion, quartered and sliced
1 large rutabaga, peeled and chopped in chunks
1 turnip, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 C white wine
Ground black pepper

With a knife, cut small slits into the pot roast (as many random slits as you have garlic cloves). Stuff garlic gloves into the meat, and place in crock pot, fat side up. Pour wine over roast and sprinkle with some pepper. Add veggies around roast, cover, and cook on low for 5 hours. Eat well, and enjoy the fruits of your labor! ;-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Baked Pears

Here is a warm, comforting, Paleo dessert, that is just perfect for these chilly Autumn days! It's a simple dessert, full of sweet fruity flavors with hints of vanilla and cinnamon! It's tasty and presentable... and perfect for your Paleo guests! Hope you enjoy...

4 ripe Bosc pears, with stems (washed and dried)
1 C sweet, fruity white wine (I used a sweet Madeira)
1/4 C honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cinnamon sticks (halved)
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut thin slice off the bottom of each pear, so they will stand upright nicely. Place pears in a shallow baking dish or pie pan. Whisk wine, vanilla and honey in a bowl. Pour over the pears. Add cinnamon sticks and bay leaves around the pears.
Roast pears for about 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes! Carefully transfer pears to a serving dish. Pour wine mixture into a small saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Drizzle over the pears and garnish with the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. I think it's best served warm, but it would definitely be good at room temperature or even chilled. Yummmm!

*I adapted this recipe from a Riesling Baked Pear recipe I found on the site: eatingwell.com

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baked Sweet Potato Crinkle Fries

We eat sweet potatoes a lot. Crinkling them is a fun way to change things up a bit! Same ol' sweet potato... snazzy new look! I used my 'crinkle cutter' kitchen gadget on tonight's sweet potatoes to give them a showy & presentable look! They cook quicker this way, and the kids seem to enjoy them more! You can get a crinkle cutter at most kitchen stores for under $10. Works well with other vegetables, too. Just a fun kitchen gadget to have on hand...
Hope you enjoy!
2 large sweet potatoes/yams, peeled and crinkled
2 tsp olive oil
spices of choice:
I used approximately 1 tsp of each:
black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
a pinch of sea salt & a pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into thirds or halves (depending on how large the sweet potatoes are). Use your crinkle cutter to measure where to cut! My crinkle cutter yielded about a 3 inch fry. Toss crinkled sweet potatoes in olive oil and spices. Spread over a cookie sheet and cook for about 25 minutes (toss halfway through cooking time). I broiled them for an additional 5 minutes... just to get a little more crispy on the outside.
Serve and enjoy! Tasty AND ascetically appealing! ... a fun addition to any meal. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Paleo Gourmet: Beef Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

This was my lunch today! Paleo Brands Grass Fed Beef Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash! ...My personal favorite Paleo Brands meal. Sometimes living Paleo in today's hectic world requires some modern day conveniences. Paleo Brands offers frozen Paleo Gourmet entrees for today's hunter gatherer! They offer 5 delicious selections, that I think make great emergency meals. I love them for lunches, when I do not have adequate leftovers. It's just nice to know that there are options out there for us busy Paleo enthusiasts! I recommend checking out their website for Paleo Gourmet meals at your finger tips!
They also offer an Almond Paleo Raisin Cookie (which I love mid-morning with a cup of coffee). I know, on good authority, that they will be offering a Barbecued Beef Jerky VERY soon!
Check 'em out...

Owned and operated by some good Paleo folks you may know! Robb Wolf (The Paleo Solution), John Welbourn (CrossFit Football) and Joe Cappuccio.

Give them a try! Oh...and meals are shipped FREE!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Crock Pot Paleo Chicken Cacciatore

I love my crock pot! Especially this time of year! Especially tonight! This cacciatore really turned out great and was SO unbelievably easy! But the best part is coming home to watch the Giants in the World Series! ...to a house that smells wonderful ...to a dinner that cooked itself! ...and to an awesome VICTORY for the bay area! Whooo Hooo, Giants! What a night!

8 Chicken thighs, with bone (and skin)
1 bell pepper, red or green, or both!
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/2 C red wine
1/2 C chicken broth
1/2 C water
15 oz. can diced tomatoes, no added salt
1 T Italian seasoning
1 tsp. black pepper
pinch sea salt

1 spaghetti squash

Add all ingredients to the crock pot. Turn it on low, and walk away for 5-7 hours! That's the beautiful part! 45 minutes before you're ready to eat, bake the spaghetti squash: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce several holes in the spaghetti squash, and put the entire squash in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove the squash and slice it in half (the oven makes it soft and easier to cut). But be careful... it will be hot!!! Scoop out the center pulp and seeds. The flesh will still be too hard, so put both halves back in the oven, face down on a baking sheet, with about 1/4 C water. Cook for an additional 20-25 minutes. Use a spoon and scrape out fleshy part from the shell of the spaghetti squash, it scrapes out very easily! It will work magic as a spaghetti/pasta substitute! Place 1-2 chicken pieces on the squash and spoon some sauce over the top. I hope you enjoy this totally easy and tasty VICTORY dinner!

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