Friday, April 29, 2011

Paleo Braised Chicken with Tomatoes & Spinach

This is a very rustic dish.  Simple, comforting, hearty...but not really much to look at.

4 large chicken breasts
3 tbs olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup sundried tomaotes
1 16oz can diced and fire roasted tomatoes (with liquid)
1/4 cup red wine
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

Heal olive oil in a large dutch oven, salt and pepper both sides of chicken and brown all sides.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 1 hour until chicken is cooked.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Paleo Recipe Challenge!

I love reading cookbooks and food magazines, salivating over gorgeous photos (aka food porn) and fantasizing about working next to Marco Pierre White on the line in a restaurant with 3 Michelin Stars.  I wonder if he would yell at me?  But when my dreams make way for my reality, and I really am thankful for  my life (have you seen my snorkeling dog??), I realize I have my own little dream in my very own kitchen, translating all of those wonderful, creative recipes into something that my Paleo life/tummy can enjoy. 

So consider this a call to arms!  Have you recently eaten at a restaurant and loved a particular dish but can't imagine it without breadcrumbs?  Did your grandmother used to make you something as a kid that was covered in cheese?  Is there something your craving that you think could never be made Paleo??  Are you in the middle of a Paleo challenge and getting bored with steak and broccoli??

I'm up for the challenge, so send me your ideas!  I'll spend a little time in the test kitchen and see if my skills can give you a Paleo feast! Or, if you have a fantastic recipe, send it my way and I'll try and share it!

And because every post needs a photo, here is my sous chef Brody, unfortunately not sniffing for truffles but digging his morning hole. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Paleo Grilled Fennel, Asparagus & Tomato Salad

 Summer seems to be slowly creeping in, and with more hours of sunlight and a slightly warmer ocean breeze I find myself craving crunchy, fresh stuff and manning the grill.  Fennel has a delicate anise flavor, and is tasty raw, but throwing it on the grill brings out some of the natural sweet flavors.  I also like to hit this with a little lemon juice right before serving to give it a brighter finish, and it's delicious warm or cold.

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced
Handful cherry tomatoes
2 tbs olive oil
Juice & zest from 1/2 lemon
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat grill on medium.  Toss all ingredients together and put in a mesh chef's/grill basket*.  Grill for 10-12 minutes, giving it a good toss every now and then so the bottom doesn't burn, until asparagus have softened (this salad is best with a slight crunch, so don't cook for too long. 

*I have the one from Williams Sonoma that has a genius removable handle.  This makes your life way easier as you don't have to flip every single asparagus spear (because who wants to stand there the whole time?!?!) and you won't lose any through the grates to the fiery depths of your grill.  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Paleo Porc au Lait

This is a classic french dish, and it can make any weeknight dinner seem decadent.  It's rich, so a 3-4 lb pork butt (also called a pork shoulder) can feed 5 people if they're average eaters.  I adapted this recipe from the Les Halles Cookbook, and if there's one thing about French cooking I love it's the sauces.  It's a simple way to give your dishes some depth, and fairly easy to paleo-cize.

3lb pork butt
3 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 tsp coconut flour
2 cups unsweetend coconut milk (I like the SoDelicous brand)
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven, season the pork with salt and pepper and brown on all sides.  Remove from pan and set aside. Add onion, carrot and garlic and saute for about 10 minutes.  Add the flour and stir to coat, then add the milk.  Tie the bay leaf, thyme and rosemary together using butchers twine (it will make it mu easier to retrieve later) and toss it in.  Bring to a boil, return the pork to the dutch oven and simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the pork, discard the herbs, and puree what's left in the pot.  Serve sliced pork with sauce!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Paleo Beet Sliders

I know many of you probably thought WTF when you read the title.  I agree, when I heard of these little things existing, I too was a skeptic.  But as a beet lover, I felt compelled to adapt and eat these mythical meatless sliders.  I discovered this concept watching a food show, highlighting a Sacramento restaurant called Gatsby's that serves them up daily.  I did some research and then hit the kitchen, and I think they're delicious!

4 large golden beets, peeled and greens trimmed
1/4 cup salt
6 arbol chilies
2 tbs coriander seeds
1 tbs caraway seeds
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tbs black pepper
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tbs olive oli
Mayo (I use Julia Child's recipe)
Red leaf lettuce

Place beets in a large stock pot and cover with water.  Add everything from the salt to the lemon juice and bring to a boil.  Simmer until beets are tender (about 30-40 minutes) and turn off heat. This gives the beets a 'meaty' flavor, so you can even let them stew in the liquid overnight in the fridge.

Remove the beats and heat olive oil in a saute pan.  Slice beets into thick rounds and place in pan, heat both sides on high to get a little caramelization on them.

Spread a little mayo on your coconut biscuits, place the beet on top of that...throw some lettuce (and any other burger accouterments you're feeling) and you have yourself a beat slider.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Paleo Meat Cupcakes - Turkey & Pork Cupcakes with Jalapeno Butternut Squash Icing

Who says the cupcake craze has to be limited to flour and sugar laden sweets? (Also, I heard that BBQ is the new burgers, which were the new cupcakes, before they were the new frozen yogurt - finally a food trend I can really get behind).  These little guys pack a fragrant punch with all of the herbs, so try to use fresh if possible, and the sweet heat from the 'frosting' really brings that out. 

These turned out to be really tasty and fun, and if you leave the frosting off they freeze well. 

For the cupcakes:
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground pork sausage
1 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika

Preheat oven to 400 and spray a muffin tin with olive oil, or grease with coconut oil. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl (using your hands works the best) and place meat mixture in to a muffin tin.  You can fill up the cups to the brim as the meat won't expand out and up.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes until cooked thoroughly. 

For the "icing":
1 small butternut squash
1 tbs coconut oil
2 tbs pickled jalapenos (plus extras for garnish)

Cut squash in half and remove seeds.  Wrap each 1/2 in foil and bake until tender.   Scoop out the roasted flesh and pulse in a food processor with the coconut oil (easier to work with if you warm it up) and jalapenos until you have a smooth paste.  Frost away! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Paleo Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken

I have some lemons.  I mean, a LOT of lemons.  My parents live in Palm Desert and have some incredibly prolific citrus trees so they're always giving it away.  Don't get me wrong, I can handle my fair share of lemons, and here are some ideas if you find you have a plethora of these tart, oval fruits

1) Can we say cocktails?
2) Squeeze the juice into ice cube trays and freeze for later use
3) Keep wedges cut up in your fridge to throw in a glass of water -  instant spa water at home
4) Squeeze it in your hair, sit in the sun and grab some highlights
5) Clean your yoga mat
6) Make a big batch of salad dressing (2 parts oil to 1 part lemon juice + fresh herbs)
7) Put them down your disposal to make your kitchen smell fresh
9) Slice them up and use them in a floral arrangement
10) Make twists for your double espressos
11) Make this delicious lemon rosemary chicken on the grill


8 small chicken thighs
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 3 lemons
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a large plastic bag and marinate your chicken in the fridge for a few hours (up to about 4 - any longer and the acid from the lemon juice will slowly start to cook your chicken).  Preheat your grill to medium and grill chicken about 12-15 minute on each side.

If you get inundated with amazing citrus like we do in Southern California, grilled lemons really add a lot of wow to your plate, they'll take about 10 minutes on medium heat.


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