Lazy Sunday – Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Sunday is a great day for the slow cooker.  Especially a warm day like today when you just NEED to be outside!  Throw your stuff in and it’s ready when you get home!  I served this meal with mashed cauliflower instead of the recommended mashed potatoes to keep it Paleo.  It turned out really yummy!

Cauliflower florets

 

3 lbs. bone-in beef short ribs

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup beef broth

4 fresh thyme springs

1 bay  leaf

2 large onions, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 cups dry red wine

4 tbsp arrow root

3 tbsp cold water

Salt and pepper to taste

Onions cooking in wineSprinkle ribs with salt and pepper.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Brown ribs in batches on all sides; transfer to slow cooker.  Add carrots, broth, thyme, and a bay leaf.

Add onions to the same skillet; cook and stir over medium heat 8 minutes or until tender.  Add garlic and tomato paste and cook 1 more minute.  Stir in wine , bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes until liquid is reduced by half.  Add to slow cooker.  Cook, covered on low for 8 hours or until meat is tender.

Remove beef and vegetables; keep warm.  Transfer cooking juices to a small sauce pan.  Discard thyme and bay leaf.  Bring juices to a boil.  Mix the arrow root and water until smooth; gradually stir into the pan.  Return to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve ribs and vegetables over mashed cauliflower with gravy.

Slow cooker short ribs

This is a nice hearty meal that is great for a weekend any time of the year!  This recipe is adapted from the Feb/March 2014 issue of Taste of Home magazine.  Happy cooking!

 

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Romantical Meal Series Post 3 – Cocoa-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Carrot Puree

This is the final post in my Valentine’s Day series.  This was by far my favorite part of the meal.  I’ve never done anything quite so gourmet!  I bought step 4 filet mignon from Whole Foods for this and while it cost me $30 just for the meat it was worth every penny!  This was absolutely delicious!  Again, this was adapted from the Feb/Mar 2014 Taste of Home magazine

Puree:

2 tbsp olive oil

2 lbs carrots, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Chopped carrots with garlic clovesIn a dutch oven, heat oil over medium hat.  Add carrots and shallots; cook and stir 12-15 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender.  Stir in garlic and thyme, cook 1 minute longer.  Add water to cover carrots; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until carrots are very tender.

Drain, cool slightly.  Place carrot mixture, salt, and pepper in a food processor; process until smooth.

Meat:

4 beef tenderloin steaks (1 1/2 in. thick and 6 oz each)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper

3 tbsp baking cocoa

3 tbsp finely ground coffee

Coffee cocoa mixture

 

Preheat broiler. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper.  In a shallow bowl, mix cocoa and coffee.  Dip steaks in cocoa mixture to coat all sides; shake off excess.

Place steaks on the rack of a broiler pan.  Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 9-11 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness.

Cocoa-crustedBeef Tenderloin with Carrot pureeThis is unbelievably delicious and to my delight Rob was very impressed with my cooking prowess!  This whole meal took around 2.5 hours to put together which is a lot but for a special occasion it was totally worth it.  My food processor broke in the midst of the carrot pureeing but never fear, the Vitamix was near, so if you don’t have a food processor don’t fret, a blender works just as well.  I can’t get over how well this meal turned out.  I hope you have as much success with it as I did.  Happy cooking!

 

 

Romantical Meal Series Post 1 – Kale Salad

Valentine’s Day was last month and Rob and I decided that our gift this year would be homemade.  In true cook form I decided making a big, romantic meal was my best bet.  I’m going to do a series of three posts to chronicle what I made for him.  I’ll start with this yummy kale salad.  This recipe is adapted from a recipe in the Feb/Mar 2014 Taste of Home Magazine, as is the rest of the meal.

10 cups sliced kale (about 1 bunch)

1 medium apple, thinly sliced

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 cup pepitas

Place kale in a large bowl.  With clean hands, massage kale until leaves become soft and darkened, about 2-3 minutes; stir in apple.

In a small bowl, whisk oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until blended.  Drizzle over salad, toss to coat.  Sprinkle with pepitas.

Pale Kale salad

First off I must apologize for the quality of the picture.  I was running around trying to get the meal put together before Rob got to my place so pictures were taken haphazardly.  Second, wow who knew what a difference massaging kale makes!!  It as the first thing Rob commented on.  The kale was soft and easy to eat.  I will be massaging my kale from here on out!  Stay tuned for post number 2 on our Valentine’s day meal.  Happy cooking!

Sunday Funday Dinner – Paleo Turkey Burgers

I’m posting this meal at my own risk because when Rob finds out I made turkey burgers and he didn’t get to try them there’s a very real possibility he’ll kill me in my sleep!  This recipe is from the Paleoista cookbook and they’re down right delicious (don’t worry baby I’ll make them again for you)!  Chopped roma tomato

1 pound ground turkey

2 Roma tomatoes

Freshly ground black pepper

Garlic powder

2 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped, rinsed and spun dry

1 cup arugula rinsed, spun dry and loosely packed

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 thick slices of beefsteak tomato

1/4 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 small avocado pitted, peeled and sliced

Raw turkey burger patties in ovenPreheat the broiler.

Place turkey in a bowl and mix in the chopped tomato with your hands.  Shape the meat into two large patties, season with pepper and garlic powder to taste, and place on a wire rack over a baking sheet.  Place under the broiler and cook 10 to 15 minutes, flipping over halfway through.

Meanwhile, combine the romaine, arugula, and blueberries with the oil, and lemon juice in a big bowl.  Place an even portion on each of two plates.

Place one burger on top of each salad, followed by a slice of tomato and half each of the onion and avocado.

Paleo turkey burger

This is a super quick and easy recipe and it is SO yummy!  Perfect for a lazy Sunday night or a time strapped week night.  Prep and cleanup are minimal.  I really enjoyed this one and I hope you will too!  Happy cooking!

Game Day Snacks – Chili Cilantro Lime Wings

I have a huge back log of recipes I need to post.  I fear one may be gone forever because I’ve forgotten what I put in it.  But I’ll slowly get through them all and post them for your enjoyment.  These are the wings I made for Super Bowl Sunday.  While my Broncos didn’t do so well these wings were a huge hit!

Chili Cilantro Lime Marinade

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 tsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 tsp Ground Cumin

1/2 cup lime juice

1 handful fresh cilantro

1 clove garlic, smashed

2 tsp olive oil

3-4 pounds chicken wings

 Line a pan with some aluminum foil, lightly salt your chicken pieces, and then broil them for about 4 to 6 minutes on each side, or until the skin is brown and crispy.  Mix all of your spices together in a small bowl and lightly dust on your browned chicken wings.  Add lime juice, cilantro, garlic and olive oil to a blender and blend until smooth.  Place seasoned chicken wings into a plastic bag and pour in the marinade.  Make sure the wings are evenly coated then let sit in the refrigerator overnight.  Place marinated wings in a slow cooker and cook on low for four hours.

Chili Lime Cilantro Wings

I took these to a party at a friend’s house.  I only made a half batch since there were four of us but I should have made the whole thing because they were gone in minutes!  Sadly football is over but I feel like wings are good at any sporting event. These are a great choice.  Happy cooking!

Slowcooker Wednesday – Beef Plantain Stew

I broke out the slow cooker last week and had my way with it.  I found this recipe and thought I’d try it out.  I love plantains so I had high expectations for it.  I would say that it didn’t turn out how I expected but it was definitely good!

Short ribs cooking2.5 lbs beef short ribs

6 medium plantains

3 c. collard greens, chopped

3 c water

2 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp allspice

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

plantains

 

In a large skillet, sear the outside of the beef ribs.  Transfer to a slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients.  Cook for 8 hours on low. Serve.

Beef plaintain stewI expected the plantains to really break down and become a lot more mushy creating a sort of thick soup but the opposite happened!  They got very hard, almost the consistency and taste of potatoes! It was unexpected but it made the stew very hearty.  If I were to do it again I would add more water.  Make sure you mix everything up too.  Happy cooking!

 

 

Girls Night In! – Paleo Pizza

I just recently moved and my new place is finally put together so clearly it’s time to start entertaining.  I decided to have a few girls from my MBA program over for a wine night.  What goes well with girl talk and wine?  Pizza of course!  But pizza is not exactly on the Paleo diet so I made my own, Paleo style!  I found this recipe on everydaypaleo.com and my non Paleo friends loved it!

paleo pizza

Crust:

2 cups almond meal

2 eggs

3 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Toppings:

1 cup organic marinara sauce

1 nitrate free Italian sausage link

2 small crook neck yellow summer squash, diced

3 green onions, chopped

Handful of torn basil leaves

1 small tomato, diced

1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced

paleo pizza crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using a spoon, mix all crust ingredients together until it becomes very thick.  Using your hands, form the dough into a ball.  Lightly grease pizza pan with olive oil.  Place the ball of dough in the center of the pan and push and pat the dough down into the shape of a circle.  Make it as thin as possible.  The pizza will be about 12 inches across.  Bake the crust in the oven for 20 minutes.  When the crust is done, remove from the oven and evenly spread the marinara sauce over it.  Add the sausage and remaining toppings evenly over the sauce and bake for another 25-30 minutes.

Paleo pizza

And there you have it!  You can use just about any toppings you can think of on this.  One of my friends brought over her cast iron pizza pan and it made all the difference.  The crust was light and crispy.  Add a few bottles of wine and a few girlfriends and you have yourself a Paleo friendly ladies night!  Happy cooking!