Category Archives: Ellen’s Recipes

Carrot Raisin Salad

Okay, so Carrot Raisin Salad isn’t real glam…it’s more old fashioned southern comfort food.  I can recall having this as a child at family get togethers and dinners on the grounds after church services.  This is the paleo version…it tastes as good as I remember.

Image

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups shredded carrots (use a food processor…way easier!)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup finely diced pineapple
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Toss the carrots, raisins and pineapple in a large bowl with the mayonnaise until thoroughly mixed. Taste; season as needed with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate for an hour to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold.

This recipe hails from a site called Fast Paleo  http://fastpaleo.com/carrot-salad/


Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Hello again and here is another chicken dinner recipe…..always good for a weeknight!  Pretty easy dinner prep and very tasty but light and mild sauce.  I happen to love mushroom gravy and this  is akin to it.  What I would do different would be to pound my chicken breasts before cooking to increase the surface area for sauce coverage as the inner most part of the chicken was kind of dry.  So, bear that in mind as you prepare and you should have a light and tasty meal for the hot days ahead.   Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and tenders removed

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium shallot, minced

1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps

2 Tbsp dry vermouth or dry white wine (optional depending upon your paleo preference)

1/4 cup chicken or veggie broth (I used Rapunzel brand vegan and organic veggie bouillon)

2 Tbsp heavy cream or coconut milk

2 Tbsp minced fresh chives or scallion greens

1.  Season chicken with pepper and salt on both sides.

2.  Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken and cook, turning once or twice and adjusting the heat to prevent burning, until brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part register 165 degrees F, 12 to 16 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

3.  Add shallot to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes.  Pour in vermouth (or wine); simmer until almost evaporated, scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute.  Pour in broth and cook until reduced by half, 1 or 2 minutes.  Stir in cream and chives (or scallions); return to a simmer.   Return the chicken to the pan, turn to coat with sauce and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

The original recipe came from Eating Well April 2008 and was “paleo-ized” by me.


Pesto Spinach Bread

Good Evening!  I have squirreled this recipe away for over a year now just waiting for the right time to try it.  Tonight was the night and I have to say I liked it but it is nothing like bread.  It’s like a very firm spinach quiche.  Again, a good way to get some veggies but don’t expect to make sandwiches with this “bread”.  Having made this recipe once, I would really grease the pan much more liberally as it didn’t come out of it very easily as it was.   Just keep that in mind and you will do well.  Another word about the spinach.  As you probably know by now, when using broad leafy veggies, you should buy organic if possible as these veggies tend to have more pesticide exposure than others.  For this recipe, I used Cascadian Farm Organic frozen cut spinach.  I have to tell you, I was quite excited to find this in our grocery store.  Now some of you may find this banal, but this is a pretty big deal for those of us living in rural central FL!  Up until now, we had only fresh organic spinach available in our local store (Publix….great store!).  But to have organic spinach frozen is such a find!   Frozen spinach is so versatile and used in so many recipes.  I am so glad to have this option.

Anyhoo, take a look at the pic and the recipe and let me know how you find this….

Ellensister.

Image

Ingredients: (Parenthesis are my comments!)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Grease (LIBERALLY) glass baking dish with butter.  (author used a circular 8 inch pan, but I used a smaller square pan and it came out just fine).

3.  Toast your pine nuts in a saute pan with about a tablespoon of butter.  Be very careful!  Pine nuts burn easily. Watch them like a hawk and stir constantly.  When they start to turn golden brown, they are done and on the verge of burning.

4.  Chop the nuts in a  food processor and mince your basil.

5.  Mix eggs, garlic, basil, nuts and spinach together in a a mixing bowl.  Add some salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

6.  Once mixed, pour evenly into greased pan.

7.  Pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes (I needed about 20 to 25 minutes, but I had a smaller pan making the bread thicker) or until it has set.

8.  Slice and enjoy as if it were bread or all by itself (Don’t expect bread, but enjoy it for what it is!).

The original recipe can be found at http://www.marksdailyapple.com/spinach-bread/#axzz1tCJcCtJm


Cauliflower Rice

I had wanted to try this for sometime.  I had needed a base for several of my dishes and I missed being able to use rice.  I don’t miss all the mineral sucking phytate that is in brown rice, but I do miss the cozy bed that it used to make to tuck my tender main dishes into.  So, I had heard about this cauliflower “rice” mentioned frequently on Mark Sisson’s site (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz1suYnluSM) and have wanted to try it.  The original recipe hails from his Primal Blueprint Cookbook.   I served a tasty little pan-fried cod with sautéed red peppers over it and this rice held up really well.  It absorbed some of the pan drippin’s from the fish and was pretty darn convincing as “rice” goes.  The down side to this recipe is that it takes some work.  I ended up using a hand grater instead of a food processor to grate the cauliflower.  I didn’t think the processor was doing much more than pulverizing the cauliflower and making more of a mess than just doing it by hand.  So, it took a little while to get the job done, but I ended up with a more attractive “rice” than just a pile of mush.

Ingredients: 

1 head of cauliflower, grated for 1 or 2 cups (however much you will need)

Lots of Oil (i.e. organic butter, olive oil, or coconut oil depending upon your preference.

Lots of salt and pepper to taste.

Steam the riced cauliflower for just a few minutes until tender.  (I grated it directly into a glass bowl, covered it with a soaking wet paper towel, and microwaved it for 2-3 minutes.  Add lots of oil, salt, and pepper to taste.  I found it took lots as it is pretty bland just by itself.  Of course, these amount may vary depending upon what you plan to serve over it.

In the picture above, I served cod that had been gently pan-fried in olive oil and garlic, seasoned with salt and pepper.  The helpful chef that owns the natural food store close to us suggested just to fry it in a little butter so as to not overwhelm the subtle sweet taste of the meat.  But I love garlic (as I’ve mentioned before!) and prefer the strong overwhelming garlic taste on the cod!  It turned out great and I am looking forward to experimenting with this rice again.


Chicken with Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

It has arrived!  The pinnacle of our 30 day recipe review (so far!).  Gather ’round ye paleosisters, come and bask in the glow!

This was a great tasting recipe, if you haven’t already surmised.  The sauce was so rich and creamy.  It fulfills what you thought you had to give up by embracing a paleo diet.  I had left over sauce and served it over cooked broccoli the next night.  What a great dinner.  Check it out below.  I served it with mashed turnips and sauteed green beans and walnuts in garlic and olive oil.

Image

Ingredients:

2 whole chicken breasts, bone-less

1 1/2 cups heavy cream (may use coconut milk as a dairy-free alternative)

Good quality steak seasoning, optional

4 fresh thyme sprigs

1/2 cup homemade chicken broth (I didn’t have this so I used a vegan veggie broth)

10 – 12 sun-dried tomatoes, pureed in a food processor (or a blender)

1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Season the chicken breasts all over with sea salt and pepper.  Optionally, also season them with a good quality steak seasoning.  Look in your local health food store for a brand that is gluten free and doesn’t contain any vegetable seed oil.

3.  Place them in a baking dish, place a sprig of fresh thyme on top of each and place in the  preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until the juices run clear.

4.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet over a medium-low hear, bring the cream or coconut milk and the two remaining thyme sprigs to a light boil.

5.  Once boiling, lower heat and let simmer.  Allow cream or coconut milk to reduce by approximately 1/3 of its volume.  This should take close to 10 minutes.

6.  Remove the cream or coconut milk from the heat and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.   Do not remove from skillet.

7.  Remover the thyme springs and return to heat.  Add the chicken stock and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.

8.  Add the pureed sun-dried tomatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste and the fresh thyme leaves.

9.  Pour on top of the cooked chicken breasts and enjoy!

This recipe is from a site called Paleo Diet Lifestyle.   You can find the link at http://paleodietlifestyle.com/chicken-sun-dried-tomato-sauce/


Pan-Crisped Deviled Eggs

I wouldn’t call this a “deviled” egg recipe, but I would call it a stuffed egg recipe.  This is a stuffed egg for those of you that don’t like deviled eggs, and for those of you that do like them, then you will love this recipe!  It is surprisingly tasty with a hint of sweetness from the dried apricots balanced by the savory ham and mustard flavor.  What I like about this recipe is that it is very yummy!  What I didn’t like about this recipe is that you have to handle these eggs so much from the stuffing to the frying.  It is difficult to present them so that they don’t look as if they have been manhandled, which in fact they have been.  Check out the photo below.  So if you are not all into presentation with your food, then this is a delicious recipe that goes beyond deviled eggs.  This recipe is from the Weeknight Kitchen with Lynne Rossetto Kasper and modified by me.

Image

Ingredients

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tsps vinegar, or to taste

2-1/2 tsp minced onion

8 large eggs, hard-cooked and peeled

1 scant tsp Dijon mustard

1 tight-packed TBSP Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

2 TBSP minced smoked ham ( I departed from the recipe here and used Hormel’s Deli Ham with no added nitrates.  Bacon might go well here too)

1 TBSP minced dried apricot

1 to 1-1/2 tsp mayonnaise ( see http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2010/06/03/the-secret-to-homemade-mayo-patience/ for a great paleo mayo recipe)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2-3 tablespoons good tasting extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup ham “croutons”, (ham cut into 1/4-inch dice)

1. In a medium bowl blend the garlic, vinegar, and onion.  Let stand while you cut the hard-cooked eggs in half lengthwise.  Gently remove the yolks (fingers work best), and place them in the bowl.  Reserve the whites.

2.  Add to the yolks the mustard, parsley, ham, apricots, and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise.  With a fork, crush everything together into a thick paste.  If the filling is very crumbly, add a little more mayonnaise.  Blend in salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Pack the mixture back into the hollows of the egg whites so the filling is even with the surface of the egg, not mounded.  You will have leftover stuffing (this can become the salad dressing).

4.  In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Gently place the eggs in the pan stuffed side down.  Scatter the ham croutons around them.  Cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes until the eggs are beautifully browned (sprinkle them with salt and pepper as they cook).  Continue cooking the ham, if necessary, until it’s golden, them scoop it out of the pan and set aside.

5.  Gently lift the eggs from the pan, turn them filling side up, set them on the greens, scatter the ham croutons and dressing over the salad, and serve.

I changed the dressing recipe but still used the leftover filling and ham croutons.  I differed from the original recipe here as I just combined the yolk mixture, olive oil, a little more vinegar, and garlic salt to make a light dressing.  The original recipe calls for more dairy in the dressing.  Also, these eggs could stand alone and don’t necessarily need to be served over a salad.

Hope you enjoy and please let me know if you try it!


Sweet Potato, Asparagus, and Mushroom Hash

ImageGood Eeevening (in my spookiest Friday the 13th voice!).  This recipe makes for a great breakfast!  A watch-out-world-here-I-come kind of breakfast!  Oh, this was a pleasure to make!  I love vegetables and whenever I can eat them for breakfast, I feel like I am getting extra credit!   I’ve no negative comments to make about this recipe, just some cautions.  I usually cook in a cast iron skillet so I try to cook on a lower setting so as to not over cook my food as the skillet gets really hot and stays really hot even after the burner is off.  However while cooking the veggies, turning the stove to less than medium heat, I actually ended up OVER cooking them.  They just got soft and soggy initially, not brown and I had to turn up the heat to finish them.  By this time, they were overdone.  Next time, I’ll heed the instructions.  Another thing I really appreciated from this recipe is that the potatoes are partially cooked before they are fried. Thank you very much!  This is such a helpful tip as all too often the outside of the potatoes is near burned while the inside is still too firm when the potatoes are just cut up and fried.

This recipe harks from the previously cited Eating Well magazine, April 2010 issue.  Again, I paleo-ized it myself.   I used olive oil but I’ll bet that coconut oil would be awesome.  Also I served a fried egg over the hash….true to southern form.

Ingredients:

1 pound sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut in 1 inch pieces

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced

I small onion, coarsely chopped.

1/2 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers, chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh sage

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Fresh chopped chives for garnish if desired

1.  The original recipe called for the potatoes to be steamed in a steamer basket.  I however have a little microwave trick for this.  I spread the potato chunks on a plate and cover with a very moist (almost soggy) wet paper towel.  Microwave on high for about 2 to 4 minutes until all pieces are soft in the center when pierced with a toothpick.

2.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large (not nonstick) skillet over medium heat.  Add asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove to a plate.

3.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan.  Add onion and the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up the browned bits with a metal spatula, until the potatoes are browned, 4 to 8 minutes.  Return the asparagus mixture to the pan along with roasted red pepper, sage, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 more minute.  Serve sprinkled with chives if desired.