Something to warm the bones – Chicken Tomato Basil Soup

It’s not cold here in SoCal right now.  In fact, it’s down right hot!  But that wont stop me from making soup.  It’s perfect for taking for lunch! This one takes a while to prepare but it’s well worth it. So tasty!

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 small chicken (2-3 pounds)

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped

2 portobello mushrooms, wiped clean, dark gills scraped out, coarsely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

2 large heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 cup red wine (cabernet sauvignon works well)

3 cups chicken stock

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp dried basil

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup cauliflower florets

IMG_2072Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Place the chicken in the pot on its back and cook for 5 minutes.  Flip the chicken over and cook another 5 minutes on its breast.  Remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot.  Add onion and mushrooms.  Cook until browned, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

Add the tomatoes, wine, and stock.  Turn heat to high and bring to a boil

Return the chicken to the pot and add the bay leaf.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook, covered, stirring and basting occasionally for 1 1/2 hours.

Add the basil, broccoli, and cauliflower and cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer until the vegetables are tender.

Remove the chicken and cut into serving pieces.  Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Serve the chicken, vegetables, and stocks in bowls with basil sprinkled on top.

Chicken tomato basil soupThis is a super yummy soup!  I’ll definitely make it again.  Happy cooking!

 

 

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Try something new – Lemon Calamari Steak

I was at Sprouts the other day and in an effort to always buy wild caught fish I picked up a calamari steak.  There was nothing else!  I’ve never cooked calamari steaks before and had no idea what I’d do with the thing.  I searched online and all the recipes I found were breaded.  Then the stars aligned and I found this recipe on pracitcallyprimal.com.  I had to tweak it a bit to make it Paleo but it was fate that I had all the ingredients and I had even already put broccoli on to steam when I noticed it suggested serving it with steamed broccoli!

1 squid steak

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 lemon

salt and pepper

calamari steak in panPat the steak dry and coat both sides with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a saute pan.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute over medium heat.  Don’t let it turn brown.   Add the juice of the lemon.  Add the squid steak.  Cook for 90 seconds per side.  Serve with steamed broccoli and pour the lemon sauce over everything.

Lemon Calamari Steak with steamed broccoliThis turned out really good!  I will probably add calamari steaks to my regular rotation.  Happy cooking!

Au Jus Doing? – Halibut au Jus with Mushrooms

I’ve missed doing big fancy Sunday dinners at my place so when I had the time I decided it was time to put that tradition back in place!  Rob wanted fish so here’s what I chose!

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 large beefsteak tomatoes, coarsely chopped

2 large Portobello mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed, dark gills scraped out, coarsely chopped

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 teaspoons died oregano leaves

Two 6- to 8-ounce skin on halibut fillets

Salt-free garlic powder

2 cups mesclun greens, loosely  packed and spun dry

2 cups baby arugula, loosely packed and spun dry

Chopped portobello mushroom

 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes, until browned.  Add the tomatoes and mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the tomato has softened.

Pour in the chicken stock and wine and turn up the heat to medium-high until boiling.  Set aside a pinch of the oregano and add the rest.  Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels and season to taste with garlic powder.  Place the fillets, flesh side down, on top of the tomato mixture, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Combine the mesclun and arugula and place equal portions onto each of two plates.  Place a fish fillet on top of each, followed by half of the sauce. Garnish with the reserved oregano.

IMG_2071If I had this to do again I’d probably add salt.  It was a little bland.  Or maybe I’m still getting used to the Paleo way of life.  But hearty and healthy!  Happy cooking!

 

 

Get your cold weather fix – Paleo No-Bean Turkey Chili

Okay, okay so it was 88 degrees here today and I sweat profusely as I ate this dish but it’s cold everywhere else in the country right??  If there’s one thing I miss on the Paleo diet it’s beans (hey, I’m half Brazilian, we live on the things).  I loooooove chili.  So when I came across this recipe in the book Paleoista is had to try it out.  I wasn’t disappointed either!  No chili powder in it so I’m still figuring out how and why is tastes to chili-y!

10 oz ground turkey

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped

4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

2 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1/8 cup dried cilantro

2 cups broccoli florets, lightly steamed

Sauteing onions in dutch ovenPreheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat oil in a large cast iron dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook 5 more minutes.  Add the ground turkey and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up clumps.   Add the garlic and jalapeno along with the stock.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the paprika, oregano, and cumin.  Cover and place in the oven.  Cook 1 hour, stirring every 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, stir in the cilantro, and let sit for 10 minutes.

Place 1 cup broccoli in each of two bowls.  Ladle the chili on top.

Paleo No-Bean Chili in a bowlI have been enjoying this for lunch this week.  There’s no salt in the recipe so add some in if you think it will be too bland.  I recently rediscovered my dutch oven and have been using it a lot more recently.  I highly suggest everyone invests in one!  I have a Lodge but my next one will definitely be a Le Creuset! Hope you enjoy this chili.  Happy cooking!

Eggciting Veggie Frittata – My Paleo Breakfast Staple!

Paleo breakfasts can be difficult because you need to eat a lot of protein and who wants a steak for breakfast every morning?  I’ve done the Paleo thing before and this is what I had for breakfast pretty much the entire time.  It’s super easy to make and lasts a while.  I usually triple the recipe so it lasts me all week.  Rob’s sister and brother-in-law got me a cast iron skillet for Christmas so now I really have all the tools necessary to make it.  I swear it tastes even better from cast iron!

eggs with beater

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 oz white mushrooms, thinly sliced

4 large pasture raised eggs, beaten

onions, red peppers, and mushrooms in cast iron skillet

Showing off my new Lodge cast iron skillet!

Preheat oven to broil.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium flame.  Add pepper, onion and garlic.  Saute while stirring for about 5 minutes or until tender.  Mix in mushrooms and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Pour in eggs and continue to stir occasionally for 2 additional minutes.

Place in over and broil for 3 to 4 minutes until eggs are brown on top and firm to the touch.

vegetable frittataI usually add a little salt and pepper before I put mine in the oven but if you want to be truly Paleo, leave it out.  I use this recipe all the time and switch out different veggies to keep it interesting.  Hope you like it as much as I do.  Happy cooking!

Final Detox Post – Potassium Balance Soup

I finished my green detox, yay!  Proud of myself for doing it.  Here’s the final recipe in the detox and I’ll talk about results afterward 🙂

4 cups filtered water

4 medium zucchini, finely chopped

3 celery stalks, leaves removed, then finely chopped

1 cup roughly chopped green string beans

1 large bunch fresh parsley, stems and leaves roughly chopped

3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon rosemary

soup makingsPut all the ingredients in a large stock pot.  Bring to a gentle boil, then lower the heat, cover, and let simmer gently for 30 minutes.

IMG_2061

There you have it.  I ate this all three days for dinner.  It’s surprisingly hearty and yummy!  So now for the results.  I did the detox purely for health reasons.  I wanted to start this year off with a clean and healthy body.  I wound up losing three pounds during the detox. An added benefit I guess!  The first day of the detox I had so much energy!   Then that night I got a killer headache and felt really nauseous after dinner.   Day two I felt very weak and then I got another headache in the afternoon that went through until the next morning.  Day three I felt really exhausted and weak.  Only a headache in the morning but it subsided early and then I was craving chicken!  The day after I finished the program I felt great!  My  body just felt so clean an energized!  My run in the afternoon was awesome!  I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested.  I didn’t post everything so make sure to get the book Hungry for Change and read about it so you know what to expect.  That’s all for now.  I’ve begun the Paleo diet.  More to come!  Happy Cooking!

Happy New Year! Detox time…Green Sushi Salad

Hi friends!  I’m back at it!  After my job change, a crazy move across LA and the holidays I’m finally ready to start cooking again. I’ve been cooking just not COOKING.  Nothing exciting at least.  I’m all settled in now and I have the time, so the blog is back in action!  I decided to start 2014 with a guided green detox from my favorite Hungry for Change book.  It’s a three day thing and then after that I’m doing Paleo for 30 days.  I’m making the commitment.  I posted my detox  breakfast smoothie on my Facebook page so if you’re interested, check it out there.  This salad is what I had for lunch all three days of the detox.  It’s surprisingly delicious!

For the Dressing:

1 tbsp finely grated ginger

1 tbsp tamari

Juice of 1 lemon

For the Salad:

1 ripe avocado, sliced

1 large cucumber,  halved and chopped

1 carrot, grated

Handful of alfalfa sprouts

Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 nori sheet, cut roughly with scissors into bite-sized strips

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Avocados on cutting boardTo prepare the dressing, take the ginger gratings and squeeze them between fingers, making your hand a fist, into a small jar. Discard the pulp.  Add the tamari and the lemon juice to the ginger juice.  Close the lid and shake.

To prepare the salad, mix the avocado, cucumbers, carrot, sprouts, parsley, and strips of nori in a bowl and toss with the salad dressing.  Sprinkle the seeds over the top to garnish.

green sushi saladThis is a surprisingly hearty salad.  It takes a while to eat because there’s so much to chew but it will keep you feeling full!  Stay tuned for the dinner installment in a day or two and the results of the detox!  Happy cooking!