Chipotle Turkey 2014

Ground Turkey with ChipotleOne of these days, I’m going to post my taco salad recipe. It’s one of those recipes that is never exactly the same, but it’s always delicious and it’s super simple to make. The problem is that whenever I make it, I’m kind of in a hurry so I don’t stop to write the recipe down. And that’s why it never gets shared. Or maybe it’s because I keep sharing salad recipes and I don’t want you to think that’s all I eat, so I’m pretending this isn’t one…

Anyway, last night I decided to make taco salad and instead of doing my regular taco meat, I wanted something a little spicier so I went for a chipotle version. This meat is great on top of a salad, of course, or wrapped in lettuce or scrambled with some eggs or on top of cauliflower mash…you get the picture. Make it, stick it in the fridge, and have spicy emergency protein at your fingertips!

Chipotle Turkey

1 tsp. coconut oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1 tsp. salt, divided

1 1/4 lbs. ground turkey

2 tsp. minced chipotle pepper in adobo

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled between fingers

2 tsp. tomato paste

1/4 c. water, optional

Directions

1) Melt coconut oil over medium high heat. Add chopped onion and 1/2 tsp. salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent.

2) Add ground turkey, chipotle, garlic powder, oregano, tomato paste, and other 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, breaking up the turkey, until browned and done, 10-15 minutes.

3) If the meat seems dry, add a splash of water. And done!

Serves 2-4

 

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Baked Chicken Thighs

Roast Chicken ThighsI think chicken thighs are delicious. The problem is that my husband is not a great fan of having bones get in the way of his eating enjoyment so, unfortunately, that means that I don’t bake chicken on the bone very often. This day, however, I wanted to make a recipe that used precooked chicken so I decided to bake up a batch. Wow! I had forgotten just how delicious simply baked chicken is! This is so good that it gave me serious pause as to whether I should still make what I had planned or if we should all just sit down to a plate of this chicken and call it good. I’m not sure which way we’re going tonight, but if you’re searching for something to make for your family, these just might be it.

I use a pretty heavy hand with the seasoning. It should create a crust when it bakes onto the skin. And while I recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is done, you know it’s ready when you can see lots of caramel-colored bits in the bottom of the dish (as a child we called these “flavoreens”) and the skin is so bubbly and crispy that the only thing on your mind is when it will be cool enough to taste. Sometimes you might have to go in so quickly that you burn your fingers a little bit. That may or may not have happened with this batch…

Baked Chicken Thighs

4-5 lbs. of chicken thighs

1 Tbsp. salt

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

pepper

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken thighs skin-side down in a large glass baking dish.

2) In a small bowl, mix together all the spices except the pepper.

3) Liberally sprinkle the bottom of the thighs with the seasoning. Flip them all over and coat the skin-side heavily with the spice mixture. (I had about 4 1/4 lbs. of chicken thighs and I used all the spice.) Crack a good amount of fresh pepper over everything.

4) Place chicken in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes. When the chicken smells intensely good, has crispy skin everywhere, and has created a lot of “flavoreens” in the bottom of the dish, remove it from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes, just so you don’t burn your fingers.

Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder with Sage

Crockpot Pork ShoulderWake up. Throw this together in 10 minutes. Come home later to an amazing dinner. If you don’t have a slow cooker, I highly recommend getting one. There is something magical about putting a bunch of ingredients into a pot in the morning and then coming home later that day to a marriage of rich flavors and crazy-tender meat. Pork shoulder is ideal for this kind of low, moist heat – it gets truly transformed.

Once you have a pot of shredded pork, there are all kinds of things you can do with it. In my house, it’s hard to even get it to the dinner table because everyone walks by and has to steal a bite. We liked this version just piled on our plate with the juices over the top, but you can wrap it up in a lettuce leaf or add it to your eggs in the morning. Whatever you want to do, pork probably makes it better.

Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder with Sage

about 2 lbs. of pork shoulder, trimmed of most of the visible fat

1 1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 a large onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic

1 large stalk of fresh sage, about 8-10 leaves

1/2 c. coconut milk

Directions

1) In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Rub this mix all over the pork shoulder, getting into the nooks and crannies, and set aside.

2) Put the chopped onion in the bottom of the cooker. Pour in the coconut milk, add the whole garlic cloves and fresh sage. Place the pork on top of the mixture and put the lid on. Cook on low heat for about 8 hours, until the meat is fall apart tender.

3) Remove the meat to a bowl and remove any excess fat from the meat that you don’t want. Strain the liquid at the bottom of the cooker into a fat separator or any container to put in the fridge. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or more and then remove the layer of fat that solidifies at the top.

4) When you are ready to eat, reheat the meat and juices together and pile on your plate.

Serves 6

Recipe Review: Deep Dish Tamale (Hint Hint: It’s in the Chowstalker Community Cookbook)


You know how I’ve been telling you about this amazing bundle of Primal and Paleo cookbooks, success stories, research papers, how-tos, discounts and more? If you don’t know about this incredible sale, the details are here.

Well…one of the cookbooks in the Primal Life Kit is the Chowstalker Community Cookbook. You’ll find my recipe (!) for Spring Risotto with Ham and Asparagus, of course, as well as over 130 Paleo/Primal recipes by other bloggers. It’s pretty awesome and there are so many that I want to try! One in particular kept drawing me back. It was a recipe for a Deep Dish Tamale by Emily Coatney, at Coconut Contentment.

Coconut Contentment's Deep Dish Tamale Pie

I have actually been craving tamales lately. I grew up in California and live in Colorado so tamales are a part of my culture. But they’re time consuming to make and they’re made with corn so they’ve fallen to the side. Then I saw this open-faced tamale that you whip together and toss in the oven and suddenly I knew what I would be making and sharing with all of you.

The crust of this is nothing short of amazing. The combination of white sweet potato and coconut flour does an impressive job of standing in for masa. It’s tender and fluffy and slightly sweet and the chicken topping is nicely spiced. We ate it with guacamole and salsa and it was terrific! I have to admit, though, my mind starting going wild with all of the possible toppings for this crust. Just like a traditional tamale, you could do beef, pork, even a sweet variation. There’s a lot of fun to be had!

So go ahead and make this recipe and then go get your bundle while it’s still on sale. Who knows which recipes or articles or books will be the ones to change your life?

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Disclaimer: In the spirit of full disclosure, this is an affiliate link, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase the Primal Life Kit. It’s an incredible bundle from some spectacular people, so I know you’ll be in good hands.

Deep Dish Tamale by Coconut Contentment

Filling

1 Tbsp. palm shortening (sub any healthy cooking fat)

2 c. shredded or chopped cooked chicken (about 3/4 lb., thighs are normally the most affordable and delicious)

2 1/2 tsp. cumin

3/4 tsp. chili powder

zest of one lime

juice of one lime

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 purple onion, chopped and sautéed

2 garlic cloves, finely diced

Tamale Dough

2 white sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and mashed (sub any variety of sweet potato)

3 eggs

2 Tbsp. chicken broth (sub water but broth provides the most authentic flavor)

2 Tbsp. palm shortening (sub any healthy cooking fat)

1 tsp. vinegar (white or apple cider)

5 Tbsp. coconut flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

Toppings

Guacamole

Salsa

Avocado Slices

Cilantro

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In an 8-10 in. oven-safe skillet or pie dish, place the Tbsp. of palm shortening (or other chosen fat). Put in the oven to heat the skillet to temperature.

2) Combine all of the filling ingredients in a medium sized bowl – toss well to ensure even coverage.

3) Combine all of the dough ingredients together in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, Kitchen Aid mixer, or by rolling up your sleeves and giving it a good stir until well-combined.

4) Once your oven has preheated carefully remove your skillet or dish. Evenly distribute the melted cooking fat in the bottom of the pan. Pour your dough into the skillet, spread out evenly with the back of a spoon or a spatula. Layer your filling on top, lightly pressing it into your dough.

5) Carefully place in oven to cook for 35-40 minutes, until the edges are nicely browned and the chicken has begun to brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve alongside your favorite toppings.

Serves 4-6

Pot Roast

Beef Pot Roast 2014My son loves pot roast, brisket, and basically, all slow cooked beef. I love things that can be put in the oven and left for a while so that I can get other stuff done, including hang out with him. You know what else I like? Affordable cuts of meat. This is one of those basics that is great to have in your cooking repertoire because it’s super simple and is mostly hands-off. Depending on how many you’re feeding, you also generally end up with some leftovers. That’s a big deal in my house because I love having cooked protein around to make lunches a snap.

A couple of things about pot roast. There are different cuts of meat with different names that you can use to make a pot roast; I used boneless chuck pot roast here but I use the same cooking method with beef brisket. The important thing to remember is that you need a tough cut of meat so that the long cooking time turns it into something tender and delicious. Here’s the other thing – A lot of pot roast recipes out there call for carrots and onions, wine or broth, maybe potatoes, etc. Sometimes I make mine like that too, but what I’ve found over time (and by dividing the meat and doing both ways to have a side-by-side comparison) is that my family prefers the meat separate and the veggies separate. That way they all have a chance to get this amazing caramelization and keep their individual flavors rather than stew together and get soft like beef stew veggies. The little bit of water I use is just to provide a cushion so that the juices can start accumulating into a flavorful broth without burning first. And one more thing…Do you see that black, lidded pot in the back of the photo? It’s not an expensive pot and I’m pretty sure you can find it at any supermarket, and it’s perfect for this. The lid fits tightly, things cook beautifully, and clean-up is a breeze.

There are only a few more weeks until the weather gets warm so hurry and make this simple pot roast. You won’t regret it!

Pot Roast

1 large boneless chuck pot roast, about 3 1/4 lbs.

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. paprika

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

3/4 c. water

Directions

1) Set oven to 275 degrees. Combine all the spices together in a small bowl.

2) Pour water into the bottom of a roasting pan with a tight fitting lid.

3) Sprinkle half of the spice mixture on one side of the meat and then pat and rub it in well. Place the meat spice-side down into the pot and cover the other side with the remainder of the spice mixture, patting and rubbing again. Make sure your meat is well coated.

4) Cover with the lid and place the meat into the oven. Let cook undisturbed for about 3 hours and then check to see if the desired tenderness has been reached. If not, replace the lid and allow to cook another 30 – 60 minutes. The roast in the photo cooked for 4 hours.

5) Remove the roast from the oven and allow to rest on a cutting board, lightly covered with foil, for 10 minutes. While the meat is resting, remove as much of the fat from the juices as possible using a fat separator or placing the juices in the fridge and allowing the fat to solidify slightly. Slice meat against the grain and serve with the meat juices and a bunch of roasted veggies.

 

Italian Meatballs

Italian MeatballsMeatballs are a Paleo girl’s (or guy’s!) best friend. You can make a bunch of these fairly quickly and then eat them for multiple meals or snacks throughout the week. One of the things that I’ve learned on my Paleo journey is that having prepared food in the fridge makes a world of difference. When you eat the Standard American Diet, if you’re hungry at a moments notice, you can grab a granola bar or yogurt and move on. Sometimes being Paleo means you have to be a little more creative and a little more flexible with how you look at food. I like to have extra protein in my fridge at all times, and meatballs are perfect for that!

As a matter of fact, these meatballs started first as a dinner. I threw together a quick marinara sauce on the stove and plopped in about a dozen of the already cooked meatballs. I let them simmer for a bit to get comfortable together, and then we ate them on top of roasted spaghetti squash. The next day, they were my lunch and it looked more like the picture. Confession: After I took the picture, I chopped the meatballs up, added some more tomatoes, and spread them across three large lettuce leaves. More lettuce, more lunch. That’s how I like it.

I hope you have fun with these and please share with me if you do something delicious with them!

Italian Meatballs

2 lb. ground beef

1 lb. ground pork

1/3 c. coconut milk

1/2 c. almond flour

2 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. onion powder

1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. fennel seed, lightly crushed

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 c. fresh parsley, minced

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and gently mix everything together. Hands work great for this because you can mix thoroughly but with a light touch.

2) Pinch off a small golf ball sized amount of meat. Gently roll the mixture in your hands to form a meatball about 1 1/2 in. across. Place on a baking sheet. Continue forming meatballs until the mixture is gone.

3) Place in the oven for about 23 minutes until cooked through. Use these meatballs for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks!

Makes about 35 meatballs

Zoodles and Eggs

Zoodles with eggs 2014This is my comfort food. There is something incredibly soul-satisfying about a bowl of simple noodles, or in this case, zoodles. They are perfect for any time of day – even if you think you don’t have enough time. Trust me! It’s remarkable just how quickly these come together. In fact, I make them all the time for breakfast, but they’re delicious and wonderful at any time. They even make a great snack! If you have more than ten minutes, it’s great to let the salted zucchini noodles sweat out some of their moisture, but if you only have five minutes, don’t let that stop you from making these. There will be a little extra moisture to cook off, but they’ll still taste great! These are incredibly versatile too – add a dollop of pesto, throw in some chopped herbs, add sliced sundried tomatoes…lots of options. I’ll get around to trying a bunch of variations one day, but for now, I just keep making these. Simple.

Zoodles and Eggs

1 zucchini

salt

2 tsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 eggs

pepper

Directions

1) Julienne a zucchini either with a spiral slicer (like this) or a julienne peeler. Place the zoodles in a colander and salt generously, a teaspoon or two. Let rest for as long as you have, but even 5 minutes will help draw out some moisture.

2) Preheat a sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil, red pepper flakes, and crushed garlic. Allow to sizzle for a minute and become fragrant but not brown.

3) Rinse zucchini noodles thoroughly and add to the pan. Toss with the seasoned oil for about 3-5 minutes. When nearly done to your liking, they should still have a bit of bite to them, push them to the side and crack two eggs into the pan. Allow to cook a minute or two, crack some pepper over the eggs and zucchini, and begin to scramble the eggs in their half of the pan. When they are close to done, mix them thoroughly with the zucchini noodles and finish cooking.

4) Pour onto a plate or in a bowl, slice some avocado on the side, taste to adjust seasoning, and take a break from your busy day with these simple noodles.