Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Ultimate Paleo Breakfast Skillet

I cook my husband breakfast every morning.  Most people will say that I'm spoiling him, but it's an easy way to show him I love him, and I genuinely enjoying doing it.  Enough sappy stuff..it's Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands 101.  When I have leftovers I usually try to get creative with breakfast, and this little experiment was a success.

This 'kitchen sink skillet' is also good if you're going out of town and need to clean out the fridge.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hand Check Your Steak - Kitchen Tip

I hate to measure things (if you've read my blog, you know this is where I say "I don't bake, I'm a free spirit in the kitchen..etc etc), so I use my hand when grilling steaks.  By pushing on parts of your relaxed palm, you too can have the perfectly cooked steak without stabbing it multiple times with a food thermometer.

Illustration by Luciano Magrini, graphic grabbed from an old Marcus Samuelsson post

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Out & About - Primal Pastures

I had the pleasure of visiting the guys at Primal Pastures a few weeks back, and here's a little write up I did on the guys (the humans and the chickens).  If you need a recipe for a pasture chicken, check out my Paleo Rosemary & Black Tea Crockpot Chicken and Stock.

The mid morning sun shines piercing amber light through rows and rows of grapes, their leaves the color of fall during these last days clinging to the vine after a bountiful harvest.  Soon these vines will be naked, waiting out winter in Southern California, until they can be pruned and brought back to life by careful hands.   I’m in Temecula, a little valley of wine and agriculture between Orange County and San Diego, in the southwest corner of Riverside County. It’s harvest festival weekend, so the wineries are full and limos and party buses creep along the 2 lane roads, but I make a turn, and when the pavement ends I park up a sloping driveway and am greeted by a tall smiling man, welcoming me into his garage.

I’m at Primal Pastures, a project launched by Tom McDaniel to promote local, sustainable eating.  He found that finding good quality, pastured meats in Southern California was tough, and why truck in something from out of state when we practically have a year round growing season?  While he’d always been interested in healthy living (he even mentioned the old hippie staple, Mother Earth news) and had been toying with the idea of getting something started, it took a few family members – and coincidentally Crossfit enthusiast/Paleo eaters – to really get the operation up and running.  The family rallied, and his ‘pasture’ was born.  Taking cues from Joel Salatin, who is considered a pioneer in pasture farming and a voice for conscious eating, he set up his 2 acres, built some pens, and ordered some chicks.

What are pasture meats?

Pasture farming is different than free range.  The USDA defines free range or free roaming as such: “Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside”, but the definition of allowing access is up for debate.  It could be that the coop door is left open to a concrete slab, or the chickens have access to outside some time in their life but not consistently.   They do not have to have access to grass and bugs, or the ability to walk around, peck, nest, roost, and engage in general chicken shenanigans.

More conventional (factory farmed) chickens are kept tightly packed in pens, where they are so crowded they’ll often peck at each other.  This has led some farmers to ‘de-beak’ chicks when they hatch, which may seem barbaric and inhumane, but has yet to be outlawed.  The McDaniel’s chickens not only have the freedom to roam, but they can establish a pecking order and sort out any issues.  A few of the chickens puffed chests and made little squawks, but they soon moved on to eat grass and enjoy the sunshine.  While you might see “vegetarian fed” eggs and chicken in the store, chickens are not herbivores.  They eat bugs and worms, so while it’s good to know that supplemental feed doesn’t have any ground up animal parts in it, pasture chicken will not be vegetarians....read more after the jump!

Paleo Rosemary & Black Tea Crockpot Pasture Chicken

Here's my recipe for a pasture chicken from Primal Pastures (to read the article and learn about pastured chickens, click here)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shameless Promotion... is Wine Paleo?

So the holidays are coming up, and why not being a good elf and get your paleo friends (and maybe your not so paleo ones?) something funny to wear while they have their hand up a Thanksgiving turkey or a Christmas goose?

We also have items for babies (future bacon lovers) and dogs (caveman's best friend), because both are equally fun to dress up

Monday, November 5, 2012

Paleo Mexican Chicken Soup

I spent an amazing weekend wine tasting with my husband for our anniversary, and while you'll never get me to give up my vino, a weekend of sampling all that the great state of California's harvest had to offer left me feeling a little off kilter on this Monday.  This can usually be remedied with some detox recipes -  simple, whole foods that are easy on my post Sunday-funday stomach (this girl does not drink lemonade for 10 days, she gets way too hangry)

This chicken soup is just easy.  Easy to make, easy to eat, easy on the wallet, easy on the stomach.  It's simple enough to be comforting but also a little unique so it has some great flavor.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Paleo Kabocha & Lamb Shepherd's Pie

Happy November folks!  We had our neighbors over for dinner recently, and this is the perfect recipe for entertaining.  One pot meal, easy to prepare ahead of time, and although the picture doesn't reflect it, it does present really well! 

This is one of those epic fall meals... warm, filling, and full of all of the flavors that you crave when the leaves turn.  Since I live in southern California I have to have true seasons vicariously through the internet, so I just google pictures of fall foliage or check out my non-California friends Facebook pages.   But make no mistake, I love surfing, not owning an umbrella, and eating al fresco year round, so I have no complaints. 

This take on traditional Shepherd's Pie was inspired by Sunset Magazine, where one day I hope to grace even a tiny corner of their magical, inspirational (if somewhat unrealistic) pages.  Yay for life in the West! 


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