Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Simple Baked Cod

In need a quick meal? Needs some much desired Omega 3's during these 6 weeks of CrossFit Open Workouts? This is a great emergency dinner for super busy days or when groceries and/or creativity may be a bit limited. We get these Cod fillets at Costco, and they're usually good for at least two emergency meals. They are flash frozen and do not need to be thawed beforehand, which is what I just love about these! Maybe they'll make it on your next Costco shopping list?

Recipe: (embarrassingly easy)...
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the cod filets with desired spices!
I used garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, oregano, paprika and a pinch of sea salt.
Bake for about 20 minutes (or until fish is heated through and flakes easily with a fork).
That's it!!! ... Oh and delicious with some sliced lemon wedges, too! :-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chicken-Wrapped Asparagus

I have been plotting and planning this meal for about two weeks now! My first attempt did not go as planned! ... As I was about to put the chicken it in the oven, our electricity went out! So... we had to barbecue it (which was not an ideal cooking method for this dish). It was too dry and burnt on the bottom. :( Our electricity continued it's unpredictability last week with the heavy rain storms. I pretty much planned a barbecue every night since, just to be safe! So... this is Chicken-Wrapped Asparagus attempt #2! I am very happy to report that is was delicious, and well worth the wait. Hope you enjoy! :-)

4 chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 C mushrooms, chopped
1 T olive oil
2+ T fresh chopped rosemary
Asparagus spears-12 (3 per chicken breast)
Seasonings: black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
*Baking string or cooking twine (I can't remember what it's called)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute garlic in olive oil until it starts to brown. Add sliced mushroom and saute for a few more minutes. Remove from heat. In a food processor, pulse garlic, mushrooms and rosemary until slightly paste-like. Set aside. Pound each chicken breasts fairly thin. Season underside of breast with some of the seasonings. Spread about 1+ T of the mushroom/garlic/rosemary paste on each breast - stay mostly within the center of the breasts (use it all up). Place 3 asparagus spears over chicken breast and roll. Secure with baking string (about 6"). I placed the asparagus spears perpendicular to the length of the chicken breast so that I had sufficient chicken to wrap the asparagus with. Place wrapped and twine-secured chicken breasts in a baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika and black pepper (for color), cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with steamed asparagus! ...Enjoy :-)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blackened Flank Steak

Simple, but delicious! Easy, but tasty. Quick, but rewarding! Flank steak is one of my favorite cuts of meat as it packs such huge flavor and versatility in the kitchen! It can be fixed up as a quick stand-by dinner or prepared as an elegant gourmet feast! ... Tonight I opted for "quick" ... and yet I felt like I ate like a queen! Hope you enjoy!

Flank Steak, about 2 lbs.
1 T black pepper
1 T garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
olive oil

Mix together all spice ingredients. Coat both sides of steak with dry mixture. Let meat sit for about 10 minutes with spices. Coat a cast iron skillet with olive oil, and heat until oil is hot. Sear meat in pan, and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Slice diagonally in thin strips.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

St. Patty's Paleo Corned Beef & Cabbage

Happy St. Patrick's Day
If you're lucky enough to be Irish, you're lucky enough! - Irish saying.

Thursday is the big day. I bought my corned beef brisket tonight! I'm planning on preparing it the same way I did last year because (if I do say so myself) it was the best I've ever made! I hope you enjoy and have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

So, here's a heads-up on the recipe! Go shopping and get that crock pot out! :-)

3-4 lb. corned beef brisket (I trimmed the thick layer of fat off the bottom)
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
ground black pepper

Put corned beef, pepper, garlic, bay leaves in crock pot and pour just enough water to cover beef. Cook on low for 8 hours.

I did the cabbage a little different this year. I was gone all day, so instead of adding the cabbage and veggies to the crock pot, I just cooked them up separately when I got home... about 30 minutes before serving.

1 head cabbage, quartered
1 onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic
2 carrots, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 C corned beef juice from the crock pot!

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add carrots, and a splash of the broth. Add cabbage, remaining broth and cover. Cook until cabbage is done about 20 minutes.
Slice corned beef and serve over the cabbage! Sprinkle with a little more black pepper and celtic grey sea salt (optional).

A St. Patrick's Day Toast:
Here's to a long life and a merry one
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold beer - and another one!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Apple and Onion-Stuffed Pork Chops

As a kid, I really didn't like pork chops much... I always remember them being dry and chewy! As an adult, I have come to really enjoy them! And as a Paleo enthusiast... I love their versatility in a recipe! Tonight's dinner was one I found on the Food Network (and made only minor changes). We completely enjoyed this (even the kiddos)... So, I give this a "highly recommend" rating.
Now, if we could only figure out who gets the (1) leftover chop for lunch tomorrow?!?
... Ro Sham Bo?

4 boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick
2 slices bacon, roughly chopped
1 large sweet onion
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly diced
olive oil
2 T pineapple juice & 6 oz pineapple juice
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
ground black pepper
pinch sea salt
1 T fresh parsley
1 T fresh lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Gently cut a pocket horizontally in the side of the pork chop. Season the outside of the chops with some freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. In a skillet over medium heat, saute the bacon. When it starts to crisp, add the onions, thyme and sage. Cook until onions start to caramelize (about 10 minutes). Pour mixture in a bowl. Add apples and 2 T pineapple juice to the bowl and mix well. Stuff each pork chop with the mixture and secure the opening with toothpicks (there will be leftover filling). In the same skillet, add olive oil to coat pan and heat to medium-high heat. Sear the pork chops on both sides until golden brown. Transfer to a baking dish, and bake for 20-25 minutes. While pork chops are cooking, add pineapple juice to skillet and deglaze pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook until it reduces (about 5 minutes). Add leftover apple, onion and bacon mixture to skillet. Add lemon zest and fresh parsley. Pour sauce over the pork chops and serve! YUM! :-)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Barcelona Burger!

Tonight's dinner was inspired by a meal Annie recently had while visiting Barcelona, Spain. She ordered a burger and this is how it was served! Wonderfully Paleo and absolutely delicious. I highly recommend trying this twist for your next burger night! ...Use really good ground beef for this! Hope you enjoy. We all did... even the kids, when they got past the shock of seeing an egg on their hamburger patty! :-)

Thanks, Annie for sharing your Barcelona stories and restaurant experiences!

about 2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef or buffalo
(add your choice of seasoning to the ground beef. I used: black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, pinch chili flakes, and sea salt. Mix well and form into 4-6 patties).
4 eggs (one for each patty)
olive oil
3 oz. prosciutto (made into crispy chips)

Grill burgers to desired doneness. In a skillet, fry the eggs (over easy style). When burgers are grilled to your liking, top with the fried egg and sprinkle with the tasty prosciutto chips! Enjoy!

Prosciutto chips:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with an olive oil spray (or coat with a little olive oil). Place thin prosciutto slices on cookie sheet. Bake for about 10-12 minutes (tuning once). Careful not to burn! They cook quick and will crisp up more after they cool slightly. Once cool enough, just break up the pieces with your hands for delicious bite-sized chips!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sauteed Greens & Grilled Chicken

I've been a little strapped for posting time this week, so thank you Amenah, from Santa Cruz Central, for sending me this wonderful recipe! Amenah is a fairly new Paleo enthusiast (a vegetarian convert... we LOVE those). She is also an amazing cook, exploring in Paleo cookery... so thanks for sharing! Amenah made great use of some local Farmer's Market finds... like, romanesco and collard greens! Super fun... hope you enjoy!
Thank you, Amenah!

Amenah's Recipe:

2 TBL bacon grease
4 small leaks, discard the tough stuff, wash carefully and slice
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch collard greens, 1 inch ribbons
1 small head romanesco (the spiney green cauliflower) broken into 1-2 inch pieces
1/2 c water
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat sautee leaks and garlic in bacon grease a few minutes until soft.

Reduce heat to medium and add collard greens, sautee a few minutes.

Add in romanesco and water, cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until greens and romanesco are a little tender.

Salt and pepper to taste.

The chicken in the picture is something I made last night and heated up. I took handfuls of fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram, oregano, and dill) and chopped them up really fine and then crushed an entire head of garlic, ground in some salt and pepper, and stirred in a generous amount of olive oil. I quartered a whole organic chicken, peeled back the skin, and massaged the mixture on all sides, under and on top of the skin. I let the chicken sit for 20 minutes and then created an aluminum foil pouch for it which I placed on a medium-low gas grill, turned it once, and then unwrapped it and directly grilled it. It turned out INCREDIBLE. Sorry, I didn't take pics but if you don't already make a chicken this way, try it. It's so savory and yummy.

CrossFit Santa Cruz Central