I threw this together to take to a party with the odds and ends in my fridge. It turned out wonderfully & will be a staple this summer for the grilling season. All your veggies, carbs & healthy fats in one place. I do love anything Greek! I am always a fan of Penzey’s, but I am sure that you can substitute your own Greek seasoning. Enjoy!
For those of you that are new to this and get confused by the lingo, with the feta, this recipe would be considered Primal, without = Paleo. Eat what makes you look, feel and perform best! We are all unique snowflakes.
Taking a break from the serious, informational posts for a bit to explore a lesser known and delicious veggie: Jicama!
Pronounced with an “h” sound, “hicama.”
Jicama is also known as the “Mexican yam” or “Mexican turnip.” And to borrow directly from Wikipedia:
“The root’s exterior is yellow and papery, while its inside is creamy white with a crisp texture that resembles raw potato or pear. The flavor is sweet and starchy, reminiscent of some apple or raw green beans, and it is usually eaten raw, sometimes with salt, lemon or lime juice and chili powder. It is also cooked in soups and stir-fried dishes.
Jícama is often paired with chili powder, cilantro, ginger, lemon, lime, oranges, red onion, salsa, sesame oil, grilled fish and soy sauce. It can be cut into thin wedges and dipped in salsa. In Mexico, it is popular in salads, fresh fruit combos, fruit bars, soups, and other cooked dishes.”
You might have seen jicama on some restaurant menus included in a slaw-type side dish, or stir-fried with some veggies. My favorite local Mexican restaurant includes jicama in their sauteed mixed vegetable side dish with yellow squash, zuchinni & onions. (I love that I can order this instead of rice and beans!)
I also really like to cut up jicama and just snack on it. Very crunchy and a nice alternative to carrots and celery. High in fiber, Vitamin C, A, B, calcium and phosphorus.
My advice would be to pick up some of the round potato looking root veggies, peel them and chop them. Sprinkle them with lime juice and seasoning, add them to a veggie tray, saute them lightly, or substitute them for a potato. Experiment! See what happens.
We purchased 1/2 of a lamb this month and have been experimenting with some lamb recipes. Ground lamb is an easy go-to for a quick meal, just like ground beef and pork. I had some thawing and had every intention of making one of those fancy looking Shepherd’s Pie recipes.
This one is from The Primalist. Doesn’t it look lovely?
Then I had to get real with myself and admit that I wasn’t going to brown all that meat and mash those sweet potatoes/squash/cauliflower, then arrange it in a dish and bake it. It just wasn’t one of those kinds of days. So, instead I did a very basic “scramble” or “skillet.”
My other shortcut was trying out Penzey’s Lamb seasoning that I picked up recently to accompany our mass meat purchase. Penzey’s rarely steers me wrong. Their lamb seasoning is a blend of: Turkish oregano, rosemary, cumin, celery, sweet paprika, black pepper, onion, garlic, spearmint and ginger. What are the chances that I am going to stand around the stove and measure all of those lovely spices out into a dish? Zero! Just another reason that I am a big fan of spice blends to give a quick meal a lot of flavor! (I found that this blend worked out beautifully, but the final dish did need a little salt to finish it off.)
Here is the basic recipe, but remember this is the kind of thing that lends itself to a lot of wiggle room. I basically made this with stuff I had in the fridge. The squash I used was a Golden Hubbard that I had pre-baked earlier in the week to have on hand.
This was also really yummy later in the week topped with a fried egg for breakfast!
This was my contribution to both our Paleo Thanksgiving and my family ‘Thanksgiving dinner. I had several non-Paleo family members ask for the recipe, so in my mind that makes it a winner. I would eat this dish anytime, but it is especially suited for holiday gatherings. This recipe can also be tweaked quite a bit after you get the hang of it & it doesn’t have any strange ingredients, so I think it is a great one, even for someone who isn’t that comfortable in the kitchen.
This recipe is based off the Brussels Sprouts Slaw recipe that is in Paleo Comfort Foods. This is my favorite cookbook to go through when trying to find ideas to serve my non-Paleo family. I grew up in the Midwest on a farm, so although we aren’t Southern our preferred style of food is Home Cookin’. This particular cookbook is the closest in style to how I grew up cooking and eating. (Paleo Biscuits & Gravy, anyone?) It is a cookbook that is worth your bookshelf space.
I thought I already had this “not-really-a-recipe” posted on my blog, but I can’t seem to find it, so here it is. I am calling this dish “Weekly Sweet Potato Hash” because we eat it at least once a week. Usually the night that we are scrambling around in a hurry. I can have this ready in 20 minutes or so and almost always have the ingredients in the house.
Adapt this any way you want with whatever veggies you have in the fridge. You can also take the spices a lot of different ways. I really enjoy using Penzey’s Breakfast Sausage Seasoning or Tsardust Memories Seasoning for my hash. A little garlic, sage and paprika also gives it a nice flavor. Swap out the veggies, use ground sausage or pork instead of the links, or use bacon.
I like to cook my eggs separately and put them over hash on individual plates. I usually have leftover hash, so I can pack it away in the fridge egg-free!
I wanted to give my readers a little peek into my kitchen. Just like everybody else, I am pressed for time in the kitchen. I do not use many processed foods, but I have a few things that verge on processed that I use regularly and don’t worry about too much. Maybe you will pick up a helpful hint or two and find ways to save time in the kitchen.
I have no issue purchasing prechopped vegetables. (Brussels sprouts sliced are pictured above.) I don’t always do it. A lot of times it depends on where I am shopping that week. They are a bit more expensive, but if that makes the difference between you eating them, and letting them rot in your crisper drawer, I say go for it! Trader Joe’s seems to always have some unique things available, but your local grocery has options. Explore! I frequently pick up cole slaw, broccoli slaw, butternut squash (in season), cauliflower, carrots & broccoli already prepped and ready to go.
There is nothing wrong with frozen veggies either, so use them if you want. (Frozen chopped purple sweet potatoes pictured above.) I found them at a local International foods market. I also found pureed purple sweet potatoes & chopped lemongrass in the frozen department. The labels are clean with no additional ingredients! Yay!
I use these onions (pictured in the canister above) from Thrive foods 90% of the time when I am cooking. Onions are in nearly every recipe I make with meat and veggies and it just saves so much time to use this product. I order this large container from Thrive, but you can get them at any grocery store or bulk food market. Just read labels to be sure you are buying a clean version. You simply throw the amount needed into some water and let them plump up a bit and they are ready to go.
Again, garlic is in most of my meat recipes so this is a big time saver. This product from Trader Joe’s is one of my favorites, but this kind of thing can be found at most groceries. Just check labels for icky ingredients. This one has California garlic and citric acid. I like that it comes in a small container and I quickly use it up, never have to worry about it going bad.
I try to keep a couple of these sausages on hand for quick meals. Again, Trader Joe’s has several different flavors available, but so do regular grocery stores. Make sure to look for Gluten Free and no MSG, you may find some additional sweeteners. These are great to slice up, heat and throw into a scramble, hash or salad.
I have said it before and I will say it over and over again: I LOVE PENZEY’S! (Tsardust Memories pictured above.) They have a wonderful catalog and website. Order from them, you won’t be sorry. Some of my favorite seasoning blends include Tsardust Memories, Breakfast Sausage Seasoning & Greek Seasoning. These are time savers because they are already premixed and perfect! You don’t have to grab 5 different bottles and measure out amounts when throwing together a 15 minute dinner. There are plenty of these types of mixes on your supermarket shelves (Steak Seasoning pictured above), just make sure to read labels and be sure they don’t sneak anything dirty into them.
Those are some of my most used “cheats” to getting meals ready quickly, but with lots of flavor.
Tonight’s dinner included a few of my shortcuts: sliced Brussels sprouts, Smoked Chicken Chardonnay Apple Sausage & Penzey’s Tsardust Seasoning. No specific measurements, I just sauteed the sweet potatoes & apples in coconut oil till tender, added the Brussels sprouts, seasoned with Tsardust Seasoning and added the sausage. The hubby grilled the sausages for a minute (along with some chicken breast for later in the week) while he watched the Rams game.
This may be the most surprised I have ever been at how a recipe turned out. I am pretty sure I spent 32 years of my life hating beets and I just made a chili using beets instead of tomatoes. It was delicious.
Chili is one of my most favorite foods. I don’t even see it as a seasonally appropriate food, we eat it all year round. I used to really love chili (made with lots of beef and 2 or 3 different kinds of beans) topped with cheese, Frito’s corn chips & sour cream. My chili recipe has morphed over time to be bean-free and therefore Paleo. On occasion, I will still throw in a handful of Frito’s. They are still GMO corn and high PUFA corn oil, but they are gluten free. A girl’s gotta live. I can say that over time, it has become a lot easier to enjoy the chili plain without all the garnishes, so I don’t feel deprived at all.
We had not had chili in a while and the hubby was requesting it. Selfishly, I haven’t been making chili and other tomato based dishes lately because I have been trying to follow a nightshade-free diet to see if it would make any further improvements in my health (skin, digestion & otherwise). This is based on recommendations from Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser & Diane Sanfillipo and their respective blog posts and podcasts. The nightshade family includes potatoes, tomatoes, peppers & eggplants. For various reasons, they have a tendency to be allergenic and inflammatory to the immune system, not for everyone of course, but enough that they are often listed on restriction & isolation diets. It is hard to make and then watch someone else eat your most favorite dish and not be able to partake.
I debated whether i could just make chili without using tomatoes, but quickly realized that the other huge component in chili is chili powder made of peppers. I figured it was a shot in the dark but through the magic of Google I was able to find a “nightshade-free chili” recipe. I still had my doubts. Keep the beef, onions & cumin. Ditch the tomatoes and chili pepper. Add beets & squash for color and texture. It sounded crazy! The results were delicious!
I simply made a few minor tweaks to this recipe I found from And Love It Too! Gluten and Dairy Free Living I used acorn squash instead of Hubbard. I think any kind of squash would do. I also did not puree it, I cooked it a bit in the microwave first, cut it up and let it simmer in the chili, which broke the squash down quite a bit. I also did not use Dry Basil or Cloves and instead used about 1 tsp of allspice. I was able to start a pot of our regular Chocolate Chili on one burner and pot of this chili on the other burner. Most of the ingredients were the same, so it was easy to saute, season & simmer them at the same time.
If you are a faithful reader from the beginning, I apologize, this is an old recipe. It needed a better picture and a little revamping! This is one of my hubby’s favorite dinners. Unfortunately, it is one of the least photogenic recipes that I make. No matter what I do, it still looks like a big lump of almond butter on chicken and vegetables! It is, however, very easy and has a ton of flavor! Using some chicken and some Paleo pantry stables, this is a quick recipe that seems to be popular with several husbands of some of my blog readers!
This is originally a recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking. If you haven’t checked out this blog, you should. It is genius. She cooked with a Crockpot everyday for a year, in 2008, and blogged the good, the bad and the ugly. Simple, yummy food. She also has a child that is celiac so the recipes are already gluten free, they don’t need much adapting to be Paleo! One of my most used blogs for recipes.
Almond Butter Chicken
1. Spray a 4quart slow cooker. Put the chicken into the bottom and add the almond butter.
2. Add cumin and garlic.
3. Squeeze in lime, and add soy sauce/coconut aminos and chicken broth.
4.. Stir as well as you can to combine (the almond butter will be clumpy, and that’s just fine).
5. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for about 4 hours.
6. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice and vegetables.
Other Asian inspired recipes to check out:
I love the Internet. Faster than cookbooks when you are looking for something to do with chicken….again! I found this super easy recipe for Maple Mustard Chicken from Health-Bent, which is a great recipe site. Thank you Health-Bent, your recipes are fool-proof!
I quickly threw the mustard (I used Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Dijon), maple syrup and dried rosemary into a big bowl, mixed, then threw about 2 lbs or 10 chicken thighs in. I tossed to coat well, then baked on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for about 1/2 an hour. The skin of the chicken got nice and crispy, but the chicken stayed moist. The mustard seeds got kind of crunchy which added a nice touch.
Maple Mustard Chicken
1. Mix mustard, syrup & rosemary in a large bowl.
2. Toss chicken to coat.
3. Bake on baking sheet for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
I was able to do all the chopping and cooking of the hash while the chicken baked in the oven. No real method to my madness, here. Just using up the veggies that I had in the fridge and seasonings/spices in the pantry.
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Hash
1. Saute sweet potato and Brussels sprouts in coconut oil, till nearly as tender as you would like.
2. Add vinegar, dried cherries, salt and pepper to taste.
I got a handy little gadget last week for making zucchini noodles. It was being demonstrated by a kitchen store here in Kirkwood, Cornucopia, and I am a sucker for marketing. It was only $10 and worked great. It is basically a ceramic razor. It was so easy and fast and made much more “noodle-y” than when I slice them with a knife by hand. Totally worth the $10!
This dinner came together pretty quickly. Just a handful of ingredients and can be finished in less than 20 minutes. I cooked the salmon from frozen in my “Spaceship.” While it was cooking, I sauteed the noodles in a little bit of Kerrygold butter. When they were on the soft side, I put them back in the colander off to the side. Then I made the brown butter sauce in the same saucepan. Check out this link for specifics about a brown butter sauce: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_brown_butter/
I added about a Tablespoon of dried dill (Penzey’s) when it was finished.
1) Plate zucchini, top with salmon.
2) Pour brown butter sauce over it.
It tastes a bit like lobster and is very filling, thanks to all the good fats in the salmon and the butter!