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!

 

 

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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!

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!

 

 

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!