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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Plan, Plan, Plan….


Yesterday at 3:00 my Spring Break officially began! For this reason, I’ve decided that I’ll have plenty of time to plan and make my meals as the week progresses. Not only for that reason, but for another bigger reason. I went to the farmers’ market today at 1:00pm. I guess it would be more appropriate to say that I drove to it. I didn’t even get out of the car. I first looked under the pavilion and noticed that there were only two vendors there. Neither of them was J & J Farms.  I then looked for the lady who typically has green beans, but she wasn’t there either. I guess 1:00 pm is too late to make a trip at this point in the year. Words cannot express how disappointed I am. It’s seriously weird of me, but it couldn’t be more true. I’m now in a terrible funk. I can’t even find joy in looking up recipes for the meats that I bought at Sam’s. Yes, Sam’s. I went in and purchased a pack of ground turkey (actually two 2.5 lb packages), three dozen eggs (not sure why so many), some “fresh” green beans, a package of blackened salmon (all paleo ingredient list), and a HUGE package of chicken breasts. Looks like this will be a white meat week. I’m struggling with finding good recipes for ground turkey that don’t say meatloaf, burger, or taco in the recipe title. It looks like I might be creating my recipes this week. It could be a kitchen confidence booster…or a HORRIBLE disaster. I’ve had cooking network on for the past two hours trying to find some inspiration. I’ll most likely involve my friend Allison (great, but non-paleo cook) in the creation process for help since she’s also on spring break and sees food as her “art.” I’ve thought about making my own pasta, trying out eggplant,….Crazy THING just happened. As I was typing that last sentence a show came on about making pasta! It must be a sign. You’ll definitely be reading about it at some time this week!

On that semi-happy note, I will close this post before it gets depressing again.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Bacon Meatloaf


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You know those days where you barely have time to get dinner cooked before you have to be somewhere else? Well, that’s what our Wednesdays are like right now! Brett and I are teaching the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class at church right now from 6-8 on Wednesdays, so dinner has been a Jimmy John’s unwiched Beach Club (no mayo) every week. This week, though, I decided that it would be good to come home from school and get dinner ready. What was I thinking?!?! The recipe said it should only take 45 minutes to cook, so I thought I’d have time– even if that meant having just enough time to place it in a to-go dish and walking out the door with it!

Let me first say that the recipe says to mix the ingredients with your hands! I don’t know about you, but I do NOT like to touch raw meat…much less knead it!! I did it, though. My hands were freezing and nasty and I almost puked but I did knead it together with my hands…the first time.

I burned the bacon again. I am TERRIBLE at cooking bacon in a skillet! I’m going to stick with the microwave from here on out! Since bacon is just as good burned as it is cooked normally, I still used it! :) (I bet no one will want to eat my food again after this post.)

Then, I was supposed to mix the bacon grease and bits of bacon into the meat with my hands again. NOT. HAPPENING. I used my handy-dandy Kitchen-Aid! I think it did the job just as well, if not better, than my own hands would have. Plus, it was much more pleasant!

The recipe said to cook it on a broiler pan, but I didn’t have a broiler pan…and to be quite honest with you, I’m not even sure what one looks like. I have found in the past, though, that loaf shaped meats (pork loin) cook best with I prop them up on cookie sheets and place those on a baking sheet. Now, my mother will probably undoubtedly laugh when she reads this and wonder if she passed any of her cooking skills and knowledge onto me, but despite my knowledge in the kitchen, I do think this method makes a difference! (psss, Mama, you may want to let me know what a broiler pan is and tell me if my method makes any sense or if I’m just dirtying up more dishes.)

At 45 minutes, it wasn’t quite done in the middle. I stuck it back in for another 7. The middle wasn’t pink or bloody anymore, but the beef didn’t look quite like the outer parts. It seemed stringier (string-y-er…is that a word?). I did what I had to do, though. I cut the ends off, placed them in to-go dishes, and put the rest in the fridge (and cooked it just a little longer later–to be safe). Brett and I devoured our servings on the way to class! And that, my friends, is the reason why there is not a nice dinner plate picture for the meal. Sorry, Charlie!

Here is the original recipe that I used:

3 pounds ground beef

1/2 pound bacon, chopped

1 cup almond flour

3 eggs

1 medium onion (I used a palm-full of onion flakes, but will definitely use onion powder in the future. I am NOT a fan of the texture of onions or onion flakes apparently.)

2 TBSP mustard

1 TBSP chili powder

1.5 TBSP garlic salt

3 TBSP tomato paste

1/4 cup coconut milk (from the can–only ingredients should be water, coconut and guar gum)

Cook bacon until crispy over medium-high heat. Remove pan from heat–don’t throw out grease!) In a bowl, combine all remaining ingredients (with your hands again–that’s what God made ‘em for!). Add the bacon AND grease and combine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil.

Form meat into two loaves and place on pan. Doing it this way will avoid all the grease that you’ll get if you use a loaf pan.

Put in oven and cook for about 45 minutes, until temperature reaches about 160 degrees.

NOTE: Just to excite you a bit (who am I kidding?)…excite me, too… this is a reminder that next week is my SPRING BREAK! The benefit for you: hopefully more delicious recipes!

To all you out there in the paleosphere: I have searched for the site where I originally found this recipe, but cannot find it. If this is your recipe, please let me know, so I can give YOU the credit for it!

 
 

Chicken Pot Pie


Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
Crust 
- 1 Cup almond flour
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt

Filling 
- 2 big roasted chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) cut into small pieces
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 Cup chopped onion 
- 1 Cup chopped carrots
- 1 Cup chopped celery
- 1 Cup finely chopped broccoli
- 1 Cup finely chopped cauliflower
- 2 Cups chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
- 5 tsp coconut flour
- 1 Tbsp fresh garlic
- pepper to taste

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the crust ingredients.
3. Put the dough for the crust in between 2 pieces of wax paper and roll it out to create a thin layer to fit the size of your casserole dish (9 inch dish). Remove the top layer of wax paper.  Put to the side.

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Before moving on to the next set of directions, I would recommend making sure your veggies are already chopped (as the ingredients list suggests). I did not do this and found myself feeling like I was in a serious time crunch to not burn something. Also, I did not have roasted chicken, so I chopped some raw chicken up, placed it in a wok with about a T of olive oil, some seasoned salt, and italian seasoning.

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4. In a pot or large skillet heat the olive oil and add garlic and onion.

5. Once garlic and onion is softened add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes.
6.  Add the carrots, celery, broccoli and cauliflower and cook for 5-7 minutes until the veggies begin to cook through.
7.  Add the roasted chicken, chicken stock, coconut flour (to thicken) and herbs.
8. Simmer for 10 minutes.
9. Pour into your casserole dish….

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…and put the dough on top.  I took the wax paper and flipped it upside down on top of the casserole dish and tried to gently pull the wax paper away from the dough. As you’ll notice in the picture below, I must have rolled my my dough way too thin. It wouldn’t “peel” from the paper. I had to use a silicone spatula to scrape the thin “crust” from the wax paper.

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10.  Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is brown.  I had to broil mine for 5 minutes at the end to get my crust to crisp up.
Enjoy!

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I used the recipe by Cosmopolitan Primal Girl. I did modify it a bit, but those changes are in the ingredient list above.

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I served the meal with a side salad (spinach leaves, tomato, sliced mushrooms, chopped carrots, and paleo ranch dressing) and green beans. The chicken pot pie, like our other meals, was really good. I thought it needed a little salt, but Brett loved it the way it was. The crust ended up almost being a filler. Brett thought it tasted like stuffing. All in all, a good dish!

Just for those of you who may be curious…I’m pretty sure the seafood vendor will be at the flea market this weekend! Get excited to see another delicious fish recipe sometime next week!

…and speaking of the weekend…my spring break starts Friday @ 3:00! For more on my SPRING BREAK FEVER click here.

Today’s CrossFit WOD became a PR for me! I know that it will seem so stupid for most people, but today we had to do the following WOD (workout of the day):

25 ring push-ups

25 double-unders (done with a jump rope. The rope must go under your feet twice during one jump. I’ve only ever done four.)

400 m run

4 rounds for time

My time was 25:11. My upper body strength still isn’t built up to where it will eventually be, so I was doing the ring push-ups at about a 70 degree angle…nothing like that girl in the video. ONE OF THESE DAYS! I also counted singles, attempts, and three double-unders for my double-unders count. The running was (IS ALWAYS) the hardest part for me. I feel like there isn’t a modification for it….you’re either running/jogging or you’re walking. I have never made it through a workout with runs without walking. TODAY, though, I rang the PR (personal record) bell because I didn’t stop to walk AT ALL. We even had a 400 m run during the warm-up that I didn’t walk during. So I ran a total of 2,000 meters today if you include the warm-up.

Brett completed it in 17:33. For the first two rounds, he counted attempts and double-unders. For the last two rounds, he counted only true double-unders. His ring push-ups were lower than the girl’s in the video. ….and of course, marathon man had no trouble whatsoever during the run.

 
 

Crock-Pot SMOKED Beef Brisket


“MONEY!”

That’s what Brett called this meal. It was SOOO good. I know you probably get tired of me saying that about my own meals, but I wouldn’t lie to you about our meals. If they were just OK, I’d tell you that. If they totally sucked, I’d tell you that. The truth of the matter is that Brett and I feel like we’re eating at gourmet restaurants every night….and every bite really is just scrumptious. When I found a recipe for beef brisket with a smoked flavor that’s made in the crock pot…I was ALL. OVER. THAT.  Nothing beats a good crock pot meal. Easy prep. Easy cleanup. This meal was no exception!

Ingredients

  • 4-7 Lb Beef Brisket
  • 3 Cups of Mesquite Wood Chips     (I used hickory wood chips)
  • 2 Tbsp Sea Salt, 2 Tsp Lemon Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Sweet Paprika, 1 Tsp Cayenne    (I did not use paprika)
  • 1 Tsp Oregano, 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder, 1/2 Tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground White Pepper
  • Parchment Paper

Cooking Steps

Combine all of the spices above and mix well. Rub all over all sides with your spice mixture from above or any other spice mix of your choice.
Wrap the brisket in about 4 layers of plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. I let mine sit over night.

When you’re ready to use the crock pot, soak the wood chips. The recipe calls for mesquite chips, but there wasn’t a small bag of small mesquite wood chips, so we went with hickory. After soaking them, make a bag out of parchment paper to put the chips in OR you could just do it the easy way and buy the pre-made parchment paper bags like I did.

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Place this packet at the very bottom of your crock pot. Using a knife or scissors, make a couple tiny holes throughout the parchment paper to allow smoky steam to escape into the meat. Unwrap your brisket from the plastic wrap and place directly on top of the parchment paper packet.

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Add 1/2 Cup of Water to the bottom of your crock pot to start the process. You can use whatever beverage you like, wine, stock, etc. I used chicken stock.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, the longer the better for your meat to fall apart. I think we actually cooked ours for 12.5 hours. Trim the fat and BON APPETITE!

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You can find the original recipe here from Fast Paleo. I had leftover veggies from last night for a side and a sweet potato for dessert! Brett had a sweet potato and raw veggies with homemade Paleo ranch dressing that I made yesterday!

By the way, if you haven’t read yesterday’s blog post you missed A LOT!

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Beef, CrockPot, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Recipe

 

Buffalo Chicken Pizza and Sunday Prep Day


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As previously mentioned, I have been craving pizza, so I didn’t waste any time cooking up this recipe from The Cavegirl Dish. She suggests adding cauliflower rice under the pizza, but we didn’t. This pizza was delicious, but hot! Our mouths were ON FIRE! For those of you out there that aren’t paleo (or are, but don’t mind cheese) you should definitely add some mozzarella cheese. It would have been divine with cheese and I think it would have helped with the heat.

Also, I have no idea where to find ghee or clarified butter in Jackson. I have still been using butter…. of course, not often, but I did have to use some in this recipe.

Well, today was my food prep day! I usually use Saturday or Sunday to get a few things ready for the week! I had a very productive day today. Here’s a brief recap:

First I took the beef brisket out of the freezer and started soaking the wood chips for tomorrow’s dinner.

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Next I got started on the quiche as a breakfast/lunch option. I cooked four pieces of bacon. I poured about half the bacon grease from that into a bowl with 7 whisked eggs. I also added about a teaspoon or two of almond milk and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I then chopped up some slices of canadian bacon and broke apart the pieces of bacon. I poured a bit of the egg mixture into a greased pie plate….just enough to cover the bottom. I then added the canadian bacon and bacon pieces.

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Yes, I burned the bacon. DON’T JUDGE! It still tasted delicious! …and I knew Brett would still eat it. He and his dad like burned food. It’s weird! Seriously, one pre-paleo day I made some beer bread and burned the edges. I cut them off and Mark (Brett’s dad) came in and ate a few pieces of it. I don’t get it….but I do think burned bacon is as good as regular, unburned bacon. …Anyhow, I then poured the rest of the egg mixture on. I placed in it the oven @ 350 for 23ish minutes. Here is what it looked like when it came out!

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While that was cooking, I got busy chopping up some veggies for snacking purposes.

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I also made paleo mayo using Sarah Fragoso’s recipe over at Everyday Paleo. Since I was going to have more than enough for the chicken salad I would be making, I decided to make some ranch dressing for the week.

The recipe was found here at The Paleo Table.

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Brett tried it out. He said really tasted like ranch dressing! I’m looking forward to indulging in it a bit later this week!

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I also whipped up some muffins for breakfasts! I used the Almond Banana Recipe (found on the paleo recipes page), but I made several modifications. I didn’t have 3/4 c of almond butter, so I used the 1/4 c I had and added half a banana and about a teaspoon of coconut oil. I added 1/2 scoop of chocolate protein powder, 3 teaspoons pure cocoa powder, and eliminated the cinnamon. They are delicious! I ran out of paper muffin liners, so I used some silicone ones that my sister Stephanie gave me for Christmas.

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I made up a batch of Chelsey’s Chicken Salad.

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…and then it was time to cook dinner! I’ve mentioned before that Brett helps me a lot in the kitchen! Here’s a little proof:

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He was getting the veggies ready for this delicious dinner!

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Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter    

recipe from here

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter (use ghee or clarified, grass-fed butter)

2 teaspoons garlic powder

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 pounds beef top sirloin steaks

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1.   Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

2.   In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat with garlic powder and minced garlic.   Set aside.

3.   Sprinkle both sides of each steak with salt and pepper.

4.   Grill steaks 4 to 5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. When done, transfer to warmed   plates. Brush tops liberally with garlic butter, and allow to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

SOOOOO easy and wonderfully delicious!

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Beef, Chicken, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Recipe

 

Meal Plans!


Just a few notes today with a promise of a picture and recipe tomorrow:

CrossFit was closed today, so I participated in the JCS Shamrock Shuffle 5K. I did one sometime last year with no training and pre-CrossFit and my time was around 43 minutes. Needless to say, I had to run/walk the whole thing. Today I had to run/walk again due to a few wheezing asthma issues. Today I found myself pushing harder. I ended up finishing in 35:45, which I know isn’t great, but I’m pretty proud of it….Oh yeah… not to be the boastful person here (because it certainly was one of the weakest weights in the gym yesterday), but we did weighted back squats at CrossFit Tuesday and I maxed out at 65. Yesterday we did weighted front squats. We were working towards our two rep max weights… I was able to do 90 lb for 2 reps and 95 for one (before failing the second one). My shoulders and collarbone are bruised, but I love that I was able to do that much yesterday! It just shows how much progress I’m making!  Also, Brett completed the Crossfit Games Challenge with WOD 12.5 yesterday and completed 78 reps of 3 thrusters (100lbs.) followed by 3 chest to bar pullups.  Each round you add 3 reps so he ended up completing 3-12 and then 15 thrusters and 3 pullups.  He also PR’d at the Shamrock Shuffle with a time of 20:25.

Brett and I went to the farmers’ market again today and purchased a beef brisket, bacon, top sirloin steaks, eggs, pickled okra, and mustard greens. I based this week’s meals off of those things and what I already have in the freezer. To view my meal plans go to the Meal Plan tab above. This week includes Crock-Pot Smoked Beef Brisket, Chicken Pot Pie, Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter, Buffalo Chicken Pizza, and Baked Turkey Meatballs. I’m pretty pumped!

Other random news: I have five more school days until Spring Break and I can hardly wait!!!

 

Yum Yum Seafood Dinner


Dinner was DELISH! Is it polite for the cook to say that about her own meal? Oh….well…. it was! Last weekend I bought gulf white shrimp and tilapia from Gandy’s Seafood at the farmers’ market, so it was about time that we pull it out of the freezer and make something with it. I also purchased cedar planks last weekend and the suggestion from a friend! I love the flavor of things that have been smoked, so I was all over that suggestion! They had to be soaked for an hour before cooking, so I made sure to start soaking them as soon as I got home from school. I actually soaked them for a total of about two hours.

Green Beans: garlic cloves, seasoned salt, pepper, chicken stock, bacon fat or other oil

I started the meal off by getting the green beans ready (also a farmers’ market purchase). I put some bacon fat (I’ve been storing it in a jar) and chicken stock in a skillet. I then chopped up a huge garlic clove (seriously equal to 2-3 “normal” cloves) and placed it in the skillet as well. I then got to work snapping off the ends of the beans. I was so thrilled that there was no stringing involved! I sprinkled some seasoned salt and pepper in there and cooked them for around 15 minutes! They were my favorite part of the meal, but then again I can hardly resist green beans anyway!

Tilapia: fish fillets, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, crushed basil, rosemary

I then placed the fish fillets on the soaked cedar planks. I sprinkled them with the ingredients listed above and Brett cooked them on the grill until the cedar planks CAUGHT ON FIRE! Yeah, that wasn’t supposed to happen. He was able to save the fish, but I can’t say the same for the cedar planks….   :(    Anyhow, he continued to cook the tilapia on the top rack of the grill. It was dark by this time, so he couldn’t tell when they were done. He brought them in and they needed a little more cooking so I just placed them in the oven on broil until they were done! They were really good, too!

Shrimp: frozen bag of peppers/onions, curry powder, shrimp, olive oil, spinach leaves

This was Brett’s favorite part. I saw the Fast Shrimp recipe by Sarah Fragoso over at everydaypaleo.com yesterday. I basically based it off hers, but didn’t follow her recipe. I placed the raw shrimp (1 lb.) in a wok (skillets weren’t available), dumped the bag of frozen peppers/onions in, sprinkled quite a bit of curry in (perhaps 1 teaspoon), and poured about 2 teaspoons of olive oil in. After the shrimp had whitened up, I placed in 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach leaves. I stirred it around until they were wilted. DELISH as well!

I hope you will make and enjoy it as well!

What’s your favorite fish recipe?  Have any of you ever used cedar planks?   Did yours catch on fire?

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Fish, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Recipe, Shrimp, Tilapia, Veggies

 
 
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