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!

Its a Keeper! – Steamed Fish in Lemon and Herbs

I didn’t used to eat fish at all so I’m always looking for interesting fish recipes since my skills in seafood aren’t honed.  I found this recipe in the Hungry for Change cookbook.  I was quite impressed with the finished product and Rob dubbed it a “keeper” which means he really enjoyed it 🙂

IMG_18072 7-ounce fillets of thick, firm, white, non-oily fish (I used halibut)

6 green onions, roots and dark green ends removed, sliced into 1-inch lengths

4 lemon slices

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoons fish sauce

Pinch of sea salt per fillet

Handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped

IMG_1808Preheat the oven to 230 degrees.

Cut a piece of parchment paper roughly 20 inches long.  Place one fish fillet in the center and top it with green onions, lemon slices, coconut oil, fish sauce, and salt.  Bring the long ends of the paper together and fold down securely several times, then twist the ends tightly and fold under the fish.  You should have a tightly wrapped packet of fish. Repeat with your second fillet.  Bake for 45 minutes or until just cooked.  The fish should flake easily, by this point.  Open the packet and serve immediately, with all of its cooking juices.

IMG_1809This is basically slow cooking a piece of fish in your oven.  It’s really tasty and easy too!  Happy cooking!

Back on Lentils – Hearty Lentil Stew

There was a time in my life when I ate lentil soup for lunch every day for probably 6 months straight.  A friend of mine inspired me and she and I both vowed to never eat lentil soup again around the same time as we both got completely sick of it.  That was about a year ago so I figured it was time to try it out again.  It’s a great lunch staple afterall!

IMG_18054 tablespoons coconut oil

4 medium onions, roughly chopped

4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 cups dried green lentils

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning

1 bunch kale, chopped

2 cups frozen peas

Fresh sage, chopped

Unrefined sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

IMG_1806Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions, celery, and carrots in the oil for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the lentils, stirring to coat them evenly with the oil and vegetable mixture.  Add enough filtered water to the pot to cover everything by an inch.  Add the bay leaves and Italian seasoning.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes.

Once the lentils are tender and the water is absorbed, add the kale and peas.  Cook an additional 10 minutes.  Stir in the chopped sage to taste.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.

IMG_1810This makes a bunch and is hearty enough to keep you full until dinner time. I guess I’m back on the lentils!  Happy cooking!

 

 

 

Holy Moly this is DELICIOUS – Apple Pork Roast

I don’t eat pork all that often but it tends to do really well in the slow cooker so I’ve been eating it more often.  Since my schedule is unbelievably crazy with my new job, commute, and school I’ve been doing slow cooking a lot more.  This recipe is unbelievably yummy.  I wanted to lick the plate clean after eating!

IMG_18021 tablespoon coconut oil

2 pounds pork loin

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

2.5 apples cut into slices

1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice

1 tablespoon maple syrup

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

IMG_1803Turn slow cooker on high while you get ingredients ready.  In a large frying pan, place the coconut oil and allow it to heat.  Place the pork loin in the frying pan and brown on all sides.  Transfer the pork to your slow cooker.  Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper.  Put the apple slices in the slow cooker around the meat.  In a measuring cup, stir together the apple juice, maple syrup and ground ginger.  Pour the mixture over the pork.  Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 10 hours on low.

IMG_1804I couldn’t believe how juicy and tasty this was!  I ate the entire two pounds of meat myself over a week’s time.  This is probably my favorite slow cooker recipe to date!  Happy cooking!

Salad of the Summer – Arugula Salad with Berry Dressing

I have my go-to salad that I rework every once in a while with different fruit and vinegars but its basically the same.  I decided to do something a little different for Memorial Day and found this recipe on tasteofhome.com.  I reworked it so it complied with real food guidelines 🙂  It turned out really delicious.

1 cup halved strawberries, divided

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon raw honey

Dash salt

2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios

4 cups fresh arugula

3/4 cup fresh blackberries

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup grated jicama

IMG_1796For the dressing, place 1/4 cup strawberries, vinegar, oil, honey and salt in a blender; cover and process until smooth.

Divide the arugula between 4 salad bowls, top each with blackberries, blueberries, jicama, remaining strawberries, and pistachios.  Drizzle with dressing.

IMG_1801This might be my favorite salad ever made.  I love fruit in salads and this one is so easy.  Enjoy!  Happy cooking!