Monthly Archives: May 2012

Rachel Ray’s Pork Chops Slathered in Mustard Butter

Honestly, I have several other recipes in ‘queue’ for this blog, but I made this tonight for dinner and had to share it.  This recipe does contain butter, so I guess it is technically ‘primal’ instead of ‘paleo’, so sorry about that.  If you do use butter every once in a while, this would be a good way to do it!

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What I liked:  Holy cow, this was easy and yummy and looks like it took a ton of effort.  My four year old said it was like we were in a ‘fancy restaurant!’

I found the recipe from Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Get Real Meals.  She made hers with bacon-braised napa, but I did not have any of that, so I made mine with green beans.

Ingredients:

–         4 pork chops

–         Salt and pepper to taste

–         EVOO

–         4 Tablespoons butter, very soft

–         2 Tablespoons grainy mustard (I used 1 Tablespoon Dijon and 1 Tablespoon Plain Mustard because that is what I had in the fridge!)

–         2 Tablespoons fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley

–         Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar

Instructions

(Serves 4):

 

–         Heat EVOO in frying pan.  Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper and sauté until done.

–         While pork chops are cooking, mix butter, mustard, parsley and apple cider vinegar in small bowl.

–         Serve pork chops with 1 Tablespoon mustard butter on top.  Enjoy!

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Zesty Steak Salad from Mark Sisson’s Quick & Easy Meals

Man, I love Mark Sisson.  I own two of his books:  The Primal Blueprint and The 21-Day Total Body Transformation, but this recipe is from a book I borrowed from Susan:  Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals.

It is, in fact, so quick and easy I am sort of embarrassed to “review” it, but it was soooo good, how can I not?

Here are the ingredients:

Romaine lettuce

Red onion, sliced thin

Jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced thin

2 TBS Dijon mustard

1 TBS red wine vinegar

1/8 Cup + 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 pound of steak (I used a thinly-cut sirloin)

Salt  and pepper

You rub the steak with 1 TBS of olive oil and 1 TBS of mustard, add salt, then grill it quick.  Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients to make the salad and dressing.  Slice the steak, add it to the salad, and serve.

Told you it was easy.  And it made the *perfect* start of summer meal.


Too Tasty Meatballs from Everyday Paleo

It seems unlikely that none of us has posted on these before.  Susan’s been making them for months and telling me to make them.  When I visited her a couple of weeks ago, she served me these for lunch, and I was convinced to try them – and I nominate these for the “All Star” category!

Too Tasty for Super Bowl Sunday Meatballs

Here is the recipe from Everyday Paleo:

Meatballs

1.5 lbs ground beef

½ cup dried unsweetened cherries, finely diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup diced cilantro

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ tablespoon Garam Masala

Dash or two of cayenne pepper

Black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Sauce

1 6oz can tomato paste

1 can coconut milk

5 green onions, diced

1 ½  teaspoons Garam Masala

½ teaspoon sea salt

Pan drippings from meatballs

Using your hands mix together the meatball ingredients except for the coconut oil.  In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat.  Make sure the pan is nice and hot before you start adding your meatballs.  Once the oil is hot, form golf ball size meatballs and add to the pan.  Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown.  Remove the meatballs and set aside.  To the pan drippings add the tomato paste, onions, and spices and using your whisk, blend these ingredients together with the pan drippings.  Slowly add the coconut milk, whisking as you pour.  Once the sauce is well mixed, bring to a simmer and let it cook for 3 minutes.  Add the meatballs back to the sauce, cover the pan and cook for three minutes.  Turn the meatballs over so that they are coated with sauce, cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Serve with a few diced green onions on top. Delicious!!!!

My Review:

I made these after a loooooong day at work.  I was pretty cranky and hungry.  So the first thing I liked about these was, they came together super fast.  I was eating dinner 45 minutes after I walked in the door.

The next great thing about these meatballs was, they are delicious.  Really, super, fabulously delicious.  I served the leftovers the next day, and my dinner guest licked the plate!

I did make a couple of substitutions / changes:  I used dried apricots instead of cherries, and I added some broccoli and spinach to the sauce last minute just to green it up.

Make this!  Here it is served with spaghetti squash and spinach:

 


Chicken Apple Hash Fail

It isn’t that this dish was bad, it was just that nobody wanted to eat it.

For me, it is the idea of ground meat for breakfast – I just can’t do it.

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The recipe is from the Whole 30 Guide and let me say that they have a lot of good things in there – a lot.  This just didn’t happen to be one for me.

Ingredients:

 

–         2 lbs ground turkey or ground chicken

–         2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and grated

–         1 sweet onion, diced

–         1 zucchini or summer squash, diced

–         Jamaican All Spice (I used 1 ½ teaspoons)

–         Cinnamon (I used 1 teaspoon)

–         Cooking fat of choice

Instructions:

            Add spices to oil, heat 2 min, add chicken, when almost browned, add the rest.  Cover, cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Fruit Cake! The good kind – not that heavy brick-like thing filled with green cherries they sell at the gas station each December.


 

Okay, so this one is more of a craft than a recipe.  It is a bit fiddly to make, but totally worth it!   My sister Rachel and I, with the help of a six year old chef, made this for our mom’s Mother’s Day dessert.  I am going to be making this all summer, so heads up if you invite me to a cook-out – you know what I’ll be bringing!

 

Ingredients:

 

–         Watermelon – get a big one, not those little personal size ones.  You are going to need a lot of triangular slices for the cake foundation.

–         Any fruit that floats your boat.  We used cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries.  It would be fabulous to use honeydew or kiwi fruit to get some green color too.  Raspberries, pineapple, mango… you get the idea.

Preparation:

–         Cut your watermelon into triangular slices and arrange in a circular fashion on a plate, staking up the layers as you go.  Take the time to fiddle with it a bit so that the cake layers are as even as you can get them.

–         Slice your fruit up how you like it.  We thinly cut the cantaloupe and then had the six year old cut out flower patters with a fondant cutter (so glad to have a use for those again.  Palo diets aren’t big on fondant).

–         Stick your fruit on toothpicks and decorate the cake any which way your little heart desires!

–         Enjoy!


Pumpkin and Indian Paleo Chicken

OK, I sort of have an issue with using the word “Indian” as an adjective in this manner.  It is ambiguous.  Allow me to elucidate.

My friend, who is Indian (from India), and I were discussing hair conditioners.  She tells me, “you need to get some Indian oil.”  Me:  “Um, what?  The oil of Indians?”  Really, “Indian oil” could mean just about anything (she meant coconut oil,  y’all, and it really does work).

“Indian” is not too accurate a cuisine descriptor, either.  India is a large country with influences from Africa, Portugal, and Asia (and one day maybe I’ll even do a post on Native American Indian cooking – fry bread, Indian tacos, bison, planked salmon, marionberries, yummm).  Anyway, if I knew much more about India Indian cooking, I’d tell you now.  But I don’t.  So I am just going to live with the name of this dish being Pumpkin and Indian Paleo Chicken.

Pumpkin and Indian Paleo Chicken

Susan and I have started another “Whole 30” plan, so I am working to get some meals made ahead.

Here’s what is cool about this recipe.  I found it on the Google recipe finder.  This lets you type in keywords and narrow the results by, for instance, what you may happen to already have in the pantry.  I had canned pumpkin and chicken, so I decided to give this a try!

Modifications:  This recipe instructs, “If you’re not doing paleo, add some salt,” which is inexplicable to me.  A whole foods / paleo diet contains way less sodium than the average french fry and chips diet.  In fact, when I am strict, I sometimes suspect I am not getting enough sodium.  I’m not a doctor, but I have a friend who was once on a low-salt diet, and her sodium levels got so low she passed out, smacked her head, and had to go to the hospital!  So, reasoning that I don’t want to go to the hospital, I add some salt to most food.  But I do keep an eye on salt in ingredients and used low-sodium broth for this.

I also added a bunch of fresh, organic spinach at the end because it is beautiful, and I think food should be green!  This is photographed below with riced cauliflower and collard greens.

This was an easy and tasty dish.  Give it a try, or check your own pantry and try your hand at the Google recipe finder!

  


Waldorf Salad with Dijon Dressing

I had good intentions of following this recipe.  But here’s the thing.  I had *most* of the ingredients for this, and I was really, really hungry.  And I liked the idea of this recipe, because it didn’t involve mayonnaise.  Susan and I have started another Whole 30 program, so we aren’t eating store-bought mayonnaise, and I’m usually too lazy to make it from scratch.  Rather, I am not lazy, because mayonnaise takes five minutes to make, but I forget to take an egg out and bring it to room temperature before I want to eat.  But you should make some homemade mayonnaise.  Here’s the link at The Clothes Make the Girl:  Mayonnaise.

So anyway, Waldorf Salad with Dijon Dressing sounded pretty tempting.  So I made it.

Tarragon-Dijon Vinaigrette

Chicken Salad

Except I didn’t have any tarragon, so I skipped that, and I added the juice of half a lemon, and I didn’t have white wine vinegar, so I used apple cider vinegar.  Oh yes, and I added grapes.  And I didn’t have chicken, so I used tuna.  Oh, and I used the whole apple, instead of just half, and used white onion instead of red.

All in all, it tasted pretty close to this recipe, also from The Clothes Make the Girl, but I couldn’t “test” that recipe, since I make it all the time!

So for what it’s worth, my dinner was delicious!