Sunday, April 20, 2014

Chili Relleno breakfast Casserole

I like to prep my meals for the week whenever I can, and this is perfect for a quick meal on the go. This is an inspired version of my grandma's famous John Wayne casserole that i have been craving.



12 eggs- beaten
1 sweet potato- shredded
2 cans of green chili's
 (I used 1 hot, 1 mild)
3-4 de-seeded diced tomatoes
1 small onion- shredded or chopped 
 (hello food processor was already dirty)
1-2 cups shredded Coconut gouda cheese 
(optional and probably a bitch to find but my cheese place had it)
1 package of Cooked bacon crumbled (sausage or ham would work too)
Hot sauce to taste (I used about 1/4 c siracha and beat in with eggs)
1/8-1/4 tsp ground cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
( I salt and peppered the sweet potato and tomato separately too)

Mix all ingredients. Pour in a greased casserole dish. 

Bake uncovered at 350 for 40 minutes or until center is set.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Brine that Bird!

So your thinking of brining your bird? Good thinking! But decide quick you only have a couple of days to get it together until TURKEY DAY, my favorite holiday next to Halloween. 
I have been brining my bird for over 10 years and I will never go back. It's almost a foolproof guarantee your bird won't be dry even if you get a little too tipsy and accidentally over cook it. It happens to the best of us, especially when relatives are involved.

I have been modifying a Chez Panisse recipe for years and well I think this is excellent, so does everyone else. Well I hope so anyway, they all say it's the best and well, it won a turkey throwdown. I thinks it's amazing and I am pretty picky. The leftovers are even better the next day... if there are any.

You need to get crackin' because your bird needs 5 days average to thaw in the fridge first. Mine was 19 lbs on the package BUT there are almost a full pound of innards to take into account. I weighed them at 13 oz's on my bird that I did on Saturday for a friends Thanksgiving party. So really it's an 18 lb bird because I usually rip out that neck chunk that dangles too. So I brine my bird 24 hours in advance MINIMUM and sometimes 2 days, this year it was more like a day and a half.


Get yourself a home depot bucket and some non scented, non recyclable kitchen trash bags and a drip pan. I got the generic vons/safeway bags for $1 a box. Make sure they are not scented or treated with antibacterials or chemicals.

The Magic:
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 cups Kosher Salt
1 cup Organic Raw Fair Trade Sugar
3-4 Bay leaves, torn up
1 bunch/package fresh Thyme
2 bunches/packages of fresh Rosemary
1 large head Garlic peeled & cloves bashed w/knife
2 Tbsp of crushed or minced jarred Garlic
1/2 tsp whole Allspice Berries (crushed)
1/2 tsp Juniper Berries (crushed)


The organic sugar does NOT dissolve like regular sugar so add a few cups of the water to the sugar in a pot with the crushed cloves of garlic, crushed berries, and 1 package of the rosemary, bring to boil until sugar dissolves. Off heat and let cool. This process also helps infuse the garlic & rosemary into the bird.


While it's cooling, rinse your bird well. Remove all plastic stuff and innards sacks etc. Set aside to dry. 

Line the bucket with 2 trash sacks and clear out room in your fridge for the bucket to fit. I had to remove a shelf. I have a rubbermaid 2 quart measurement pitcher that I use for the water. This is VERY handy you will need 5 pitchers of water to equal the 2 1/2 gallons. I dissolve the salt in a pitcher of the water. There is room to add salt, just stir to dissolve. Pour into trash bags in bucket. Add all the other ingredients and stir. Plop that turkey in and tie it closed. Now put on your man hands and carry that sucker to the fridge, it's not light, bend at the knee ok. You can do it ladies! The worst part is dumping the water after.

 After it has brined for 24-48 hours rinse well before cooking. Pat dry and salt and pepper the cavity with about 1- 2 tablespoons of each. Stuff butter under the skin and season the skin with garlic powder and pepper. The skin never really tastes good unless you fry it so you can probably skip that part in it's entirety because really you wash off all seasoning when you baste.

I like to grill mine and smoke with cherry wood chips. Be sure and start soaking those chips in water before you rinse and dry the bird. Any chips will work, mesquite is good too. By the time you are done prepping it the chips should be ready. You can't over soak chips (I think). 


The oven is fine too at 400 (except no smoking it).  I thresh the legs and tuck the wings back. Slap that on a rack. Cover the breast or legs with foil if they brown too much. You will also need to put broth/beer/wine in a drip pan or the bottom of the roasting pan for moisture under the turkey. I had to make one out of heavy duty foil for this particular grill.

 Either method you need to baste it every 1/2 hour with broth, wine, or beer and cook until a thermometer inserted in the THIGH, not breast and not touching any bone reaches 165.

My grilled 18 lb bird took 3 hours this year. It is usually 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours even if the bird is a little bigger. If you are at 3 and 1/2 hours something is wrong with your heat or thermometer or you are inserting the thermometor wrong. You may be overcooking it.  4 hours is doing it wrong unless you have a 23+ lb bird. It's more like 2 hours for a smaller bird. 

I assume you guys know what to do with the smoke chips? I didn't. My ex used to do the BBQin with a Weber charcoal grill. I used a gas grill and made foil packets and placed them around. Then I thought that wasn't working because, well I was drunk and I didn't see a lot of smoke. I eventually just threw them all over when I basted. Whatever I did worked it had a nice smokey flavor.

It will need to rest a half hour is perfect before carving. It is still cooking when you remove it so resist the temptation to pick at it, capiche? Whatever you do don't leave this resting around any animals especially those jerk dogs, you have seen a Christmas Story right?
Please note the beauty of this brine is that it is to your taste. You can add or subtract ingredients to your liking. Brining is the salt & sugar technique (which you must follow) which draws flavors you add into the bird.
 If you can't find an ingredient don't stress, it's fine skip it. If you have something you want to add like apple, peppercorns etc...GO FOR IT


Gobble Gobble!! 
Happy Thanksgiving peeps!

Paleo Cranberry Sauce


Turkey Day is near (yay) and what turkey dinner would be complete without cranberry sauce? Last year I tried to make some sweetened with applesauce and had to add stevia, well it failed miserably, it was just not sweet enough. Luckily I was not serving it to anyone. This year I am bringing it with paleo green bean casserole, and my butternut squash recipe (see earlier posts).  
I have to admit I am a huge fan of that canned jellied cranberry sauce. HUGE fan. I picked up a can at the grocery the other day and saw they all have High Fructose corn syrup. OH that's why its so good. Well yeah anyway I put it back and decided I have to get this right making my own.  Guess what, I perfected it BAM. Healthy, easy and Paleo. You're welcome.


1- 12oz package of organic cranberries, rinse and pick out any squishy ones.
3/4 cup fresh orange juice (or apple)
1 cup Organic Coconut palm sugar
 (or 1/2-3/4 c honey)
1 cinnamon stick
1 slice of an orange peel, try not to get any white part 
5 cloves
fresh grated/microplaned ginger to taste
1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces

Poke cloves into the orange peel, this allows you to pick them out easily after it boils and cools. Place all ingredients except pecans into non stick pot and boil over medium heat until the cranberries are almost all popped, about 10 minutes, yes they POP. Let it cool to room temp. Refrigerate. You can add the pecans before refrigeration, or at serving time for a better crunch factor. Enjoy!


UPDATE: I tried this and then I tried it with a 7oz package of organic cranberries, 1/2 cup honey and apple juice instead. Everything else the same. Of the 2, I liked the apple juice and honey better. I have a sweet tooth. The coconut sugar just isn't sweet enough for me, but it's still very good. You decide.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cabbage Rolls

I was craving Russian comfort food. I love cabbage rolls. They traditionally have rice in them so you should do brown if you are still eating rice.
 But to be completely Paleo, I did the cauliflower rice thing. Which is basically pulsing small cauliflower chunks in a food processor to a rice consistency.  After some tweaking to the original recipe well I think found the right Paleo balance.

These were super yummy and totally hit the spot!

First Pre boil the cabbage; Core and place whole in salter water. Boil for 5 minutes. 






Some people say you can just boil the leaves for 3 minutes. Hah just try and peal those tight leaves off and not tear them. I am pretty sure it's impossible.


For the beef filling:
1 lb of lean ground beef
1 TBSP crushed garlic
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 egg
1/4 c coconut milk
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne powder (to taste)
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
pepper & truffle salt or sea salt
 (1/2 tsp each or to taste)
1 c raw cauliflower rice (or cooked rice)

Mix above ingredients together. 


Place approximately 1/4 cup of the meat filling at based of cabbage leaf and roll like a burrito tucking in the sides.















For the sauce:
1  15oz can organic tomato sauce
3 fresh Roma tomatoes chopped
1/2 c broth (I used organic chicken)
1/2 onion chopped 
1 TBSP crushed garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper 
(or to taste)
1 TBSP Worcestershire
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 scoops of stevia 


Mix together and pour over rolls.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 60 minutes.


Enjoy!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Easy Paleo Tuna Salad

1 whole ripe avocado, smashed
juice of 1 lime
2 cans drained olive oil wild tuna
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
2-3 green onions
Sea Salt and pepper
Heirloom or ripe organic tomato
lettuce (optional)
balsamic/evoo (optional)
Smash avocado in bowl.
Add lime juice, tuna, jalapeno, green onions, salt and pepper. Stir. Serve inside a hollowed out tomato or as a salad. I like to plate on lettuce with large tomato wedges and drizzle with EVOO and Balsamic. This is my quick go to for work lunch. Delicious and filling. The avocado is better than mayo but you can also make paleo mayo and add it.


For the Paleo Mayo:
  • One egg (some say room temp others say cold is fine)
  • One cup Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil
  • The juice of half a lemon or lime (about 2-3 teaspoons)
  • A generous pinch of salt
It’s very important that you use light tasting olive oil
In a blender, blend the egg, salt, lime or lemon juice for a minute then slowly add the oil to the top hole in the blender and Viola! PaleoMayo. From here you can add chipolte powder, dijon, or other seasonings. I use it for my take on Whole Foods Sonoma Chicken Salad. This goes great with deviled eggs too.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Terrific Turkey Curry

This is one of my favorite easy recipes. Ever wonder what to do with that broccoli slaw at Trader Joes? This.
You can use ground pork or chicken if turkey is not your thang. Also you can kick it up or down on notch on the seasonings but I like some kick. You can serve it over cauliflower rice or cooked spaghetti squash but I love it as is.
I could eat this till I explode.


1 pound of ground organic turkey
4 organic green onions, chopped large
2 bell peppers of different colors (red/green, or yellow/purple) large dice
1 bag of organic broccoli slaw (see trader joes)
2 tablespoons organic garlic olive oil (see trader joes) or coconut oil
1 and 1/2 cans of light organic coconut milk
 (or full fat, up to you but I am not trying to gain weight)

1 1/2 Tablespoons of ground Cumin
2 1/2 Tablespoons of Curry Powder
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 teaspoon MrsDash extra spicy seasoning (or cayenne powder or more red chili pepper to taste)

In a wok or large skillet, heat the garlic olive oil/coconut oil over medium-high heat.
Add in the green onions and peppers, sautee just until crisp-tender (about 3 minutes)
Add in the ground turkey and seasonings, breaking up the meat as it cooks, for a few more minutes until the meat is nearly cooked through.
Add in the broccoli slaw (and/or your favorite veggies) and continuing to stir everything together.
Pour the coconut milk over the entire mixture and simmer about 4 more minutes until the broccoli slaw is tender.


BAM so easy, healthy, versatile, and delish!! 
The leftovers are amazing.
You are welcome.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Paleo Salisbury Steak with Garlic Mashed Potatoes; the ultimate comfort food


So yeah the whole potato debate, is it paleo? Some say yes some say no. 
Here is a good sorce http://www.primalpalate.com/blog/are-potatoes-paleo/
So I decided I need more carbs for my work outs and honestly I am going through some food allergy issues hence the non posting on my blog lately. I am working with a Doctor specializing in food allergies so I have had to experiment with my diet. I will touch more on that later.

If you feel strongly about potatoes do mashed sweet potatoes the same way but less cook time aight. 



For the Salisbury Steak:
Some of the ingredients go into the meatloaf type mixture some are for the sauce it simmers in.


1 pound grass fed ground beef
1 egg
3/4 of a whole onion chopped, (1/4 c food processed onion is needed for the beef mixture) 
1/3 cup dried mushroom (I used porcini's)
1 1/2 c broth (I used organic low sodium chicken)
2 packages fresh organic mushroom of choice (i used button and crimini) cleaned and sliced
1 tablespoon garlic puree
1 handful fresh parsley chopped in processor
3-4 sprigs of thyme
1/4 almond meal
1/2 c coconut milk
truffle salt (for the mushroom sauce)
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder for thickening (optional)
4 tablespoons bacon fat or fat of choice

Dried seasonings for meat mixture:
1/2 tsp garlic and onion powder each
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Pepper and salt to taste

Heat broth to a boil pour over dried porcini's and let sit for 20 minutes minimum.

For the patties: mix the meat, egg, 3/4 of the chopped parsley and thyme, garlic puree, 1/2 cup of finely chopped (food processed) mushrooms,  1/4 c processed onion, dried seasonings, and almond meal. Form into oval patties.


Heat bacon fat and brown the patties for 3 minutes per side over medium high to high heat. Remove patties from pan set aside lower heat add onions, saute for about 2-3 minutes on med high heat, add fresh mushrooms, season with truffle salt and pepper and saute a few minutes till browned. Pull porcini's from broth (reserving broth) and chop them. Add to pan with remaining parsley and thyme. (You can also add more pureed garlic to the sauce depending on preference). 
Mix the arrow root with some of the mushroom broth to form a thin rouge and set aside.
Pour in the rest of mushroom broth mixture and coconut milk into mushroom onion pan. Add some pepper, truffle salt, and onion/garlic powder to sauce. Nestle patties and their juices back into pan. Cover and simmer 20 minutes.

 Pour arrow root/broth mixture into pan 15 minutes through cook time  to thicken sauce.

For the potatoes:

While meat is simmering boil chopped red organic potatoes (skin on) with a head of garlic peeled and rough chopped in heavily salted water for 10-15 minutes until fork tender. Drain and mash with some coconut milk and pepper and salt to taste. I also used some of the broth while mashing the potatoes to thin them a bit. (Note: if using sweet potatoes you may want to peel them)

Pour mushroom gravy over patties and into hole you make in mashed potatoes.
Serve with veggies of choice or not. 

Slip into comfort food coma.