Month: September 2014

Spicy Ginger Green Beans

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A week ago we decided to go out for a dinner and  a new item on the menu caught our eye. They were spicy green beans and they were delicious! Ever since then I have wanted to try my hand at making these. Last night as we were leaving from the vet, my father-in-law drove past us and my husband quickly gave him a call to let him know he was spotted. Earlier that morning I had put in a ridiculous amount of pork into the slow cooker so I figured why not invite him over for dinner. However, all we had at home was just that, pork. Now I also had some of my recently pickled onions but my father-in-law flat out refuses to eat onions so those were off the table for him. (The recipe for those amazing things will be posted soon along with the pork) Alright back to the beans. I had recently picked up some lovely looking green beans at the market for the purpose of attempting to recreate the spicy beans from the dinner. So last night was the night I gave it a shot, I have to say for something so easy and quick, they were delicious! If my father-in-law hadn’t shown up soon after I made them I think me and my husband would have easily polished them off as an appetizer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pack of Green Beans
  • 2 Small Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger (grated)
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Fresh Pepper to taste

How To:

  1. Rinse your green beans and cut off the tips a bit for freshness. Set aside.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Heat up your wok and pour a little bit of water mixed with some olive oil into the bottom.
  4. Once the water is bubbling, throw in your beans and sauté them until they are bright and starting to get a bit golden (approx. 5 minutes)
  5. Pour in your sauce and cover the beans. Saute them for about a minute more.
  6. Remove and serve right away.

Rustic Stuffed Bell Peppers

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One of my favorite dishes made by my mom is stuffed bell peppers. She usually stuffs them with a combination of ground turkey, pork, rice and an array of spices. Last night I set out to make a similar meal. As much as I would have loved to stuff some rice into these cute little peppers, our Paleo diet was there in the back of my mind shaking its finger at me. Insert *sigh* here. It has been a bit of a rough week so some comfort carbs would have tasted amazingly. At least the rice would have been better for us than the pizza and beer combo my hubby kept dreaming about. I am happy to announce that we did not give into any of those amazing sounding food temptations. Instead we ate these cute little peppers filled with all kinds of Paleo goodness.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Medium – Small Bell Peppers
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 400 grams Ground Lean Turkey
  • 400 grams Ground Pork
  • 6 Tbsp White Onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 Cup Celery (chopped finely)
  • 8 Brown Mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (I used a 796ml can and strained it)
  • 6 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 cup Beef Broth
  • 8 Tsp Almond Flour (for topping)
  • Almond Slices (for topping)

How To:

  1. Wash your peppers, cut off the tops and remove the seeds.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Place your peppers cut side up on a lightly greased pan and fill the bottom with water.
  4. Bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Once the time expires remove them and let them cool.
  5. While the peppers are baking make your filling. In a large pan, brown your onions with the olive oil.
  6. Add in the meat along with the beef broth and stir constantly to break up the meat. (the broth with water will help break down the meat into small bits)
  7. When the meat is no longer pink, add in your celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, spices, thyme and garlic.
  8. Stir everything together for about 7 minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.
  9. Remove from the heat and let it cool a few minutes.
  10. Stuff your peppers generously but be careful not to tear the peppers.
  11. Top each pepper with a bit of almond flour followed by the almond slices.
  12. Pour whatever liquid is left in the pan into the bottom of the baking dish. If nothing is left pour some water into the bottom just to make sure it is covered. This will prevent the bottoms of the peppers from burning and sticking.
  13. Place the peppers back in your baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.

Let them cool a bit before eating as the stuffing will be very hot.

Enjoy 🙂

Cedar Plank Salmon with Dill Sauce

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Sadly we are nearing the end of BBQ season. Traumatizing, I know. Who doesn’t like the fact that with a BBQ there are almost no dishes and all you really have to do to clean up is scrub the racks and put the cover back on. Normally the BBQ is my husbands domain, as I think it is for almost every man (at least they like to think so lol). I will not take away from my husbands BBQ skills because they are very good and I always love it when he cooks something up for me. However, I am not entirely sure when this gender role was established in our society.

For the most part, our society associates women with cooking in a kitchen and men at the BBQ cooking on an open flame as a more or less traditional role.  You can almost picture it can’t you?! That stereotypical image of a woman in her kitchen surrounded by her friends while she cooks and sips her wine, oh and don’t forget the gossip that is unfolding as well. Meanwhile… the husband is outside in the yard, proudly standing in front of his BBQ, wielding tongs in one hand and a cold beer in the other while reliving sports greatest moments with his buddies to the smell of sizzling steak. Personally I think it goes back to the time of cavemen. Picture the cavewoman, sweeping up the cave to make it tidy and prepping her foraged food while the caveman proudly comes home with his kill just in time to roast it over a flame. Yup, I am going with that one, that’s where all this stems from lol. Since we are eating Paleo right now or in some circles “like a caveman” that explanation just seems to fit even more.

All stories and theories aside, lets get to last nights dinner of Cedar Plank Salmon. I did not abide by the traditional gender roles described above however and I took charge of the BBQ. Who says women can’t grill huh? 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Salmon (filleted and approximately 14″ long with skin on)
  • 1 Cedar Plank
  • 4 Tbsp Fresh Dill (finely chopped)
  • 4 1/2  Tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp Honey or Agave Syrup *optional for strict paleo
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Clove Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 4 Tbsp Water
  • 2 Tsp Olive Oil

How To:

  1. Soak your plank in water for at least 2 hours. (If you do not do this it will burn on the grill)
  2. Rinse your Salmon and place it skin down on the plank.
  3. Pat it dry with paper towel.
  4. In a bowl mix the dill, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, water and olive oil.
  5. Pour your mixture over the Salmon making sure it is covered evenly and on the sides as well.
  6. Heat up the BBQ and leave it on a low setting. Check on it every couple of minutes to make sure the cedar isn’t burning.
  7. Place your plank with the Salmon onto the bottom rack and cook for 20 – 25 mins. Time will vary depending on how thick the Salmon is. After 20 minutes you can gently cut into the thickest part of the fish. If it flakes away nicely it is done. If not leave it in for a bit longer.

Paleo Breakfast Frittata

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The Paleo Challenge has been set at our house again. For the next 40 days we will be eating ‘caveman’ style. Why? well it is simple really… in order to feel better and to shed some of that summer beer intake and the “lets just get take out because it is too nice outside” weight. Just in time for the low calorie holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas lol. The truth is, we have had great results with eating this way. It does take a significant amount of more work, but in the end the results make it worth it. The thing I have struggled the most with during this diet in previous months are the breakfasts. I start work at 7 am which makes time in the morning for chopping, frying and mucking about the kitchen hard to come by. Most breakfasts need to be made the night before or at least prepped in order to expedite things in the morning. I do this because most days I don’t know which way is up when the alarm clock starts going off. Therefore, something I don’t need to put much effort into is perfect. This was my first attempt at an egg frittata and for something that took under 30 minutes to make the night before, it was well worth it :). It made a perfect ‘grab and go’ style breakfast this morning that can be eaten cold or heated up.

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp White Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 Medium Red Bell Pepper (finely chopped)
  • 12 Kalamata Olives (chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp Sundried Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 5 Tbsp Frozen Spinach
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp Seasoning Salt
  • Fresh Pepper

How To:

  1. Defrost your spinach and once it is fully thawed squeeze out the water.
  2. Cut up your onions, pepper, olives and tomatoes.
  3. In a frying pan heat up the coconut oil and toss in the onions. Cook until they start to go golden.
  4. Toss in the peppers, olives and tomatoes to allow the peppers to soften. Approx 3 mins.
  5. Add in the Spinach and quickly heat it up.
  6. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk your eggs and add in the seasonings. Mix well in order for everything to combine.
  8. Heat your oven to 400 F.
  9. Lightly grease a 9″ glass baking dish.
  10. Add your cooled veggie mixture to the eggs and mix them together.
  11. Pour it into the baking dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  12. Remove and let it cool.

Like I said before you can easily make this the night before and quickly grab a few pieces in the morning.

Beer Batter Onion Rings with an Arugula, Beet & Daikon Salad

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Last night I decided to try something I do not do often as well as trying something new.

The thing I do not do often is make some deep fried food, more specifically as the title of this blog suggests, onion rings! The new thing we tried out for the first time was some Lo Bok which is just one of many names for Daikon or Japanese radishes. I had always looked at these guys in the market but never bought them for reasons I simply can’t explain because we love radishes! Now these  two things were never supposed to come to play in a dinner together. Originally, the daikon was for tonight’s dinner to go in a salad served along side some yummy lamb for my father in law. But since I had never used it, I wanted to try it out last night and not use my father in law as a guinea pig for some made up salad.

So here I am winging this new salad with the Food Network on in the background, when all of a sudden one of the competitors on Food Fighters busts out some onion rings! This is how the whole attempting to make onion rings for the first time occurred in my kitchen. I was inspired and figured it would go well with the salad I was making. I needed a bit of a richer salad to fill up my husband because the meat I had originally taken out for our dinner was still taking it’s sweet time defrosting in the sink, and would not be making it to the dinner table. So while I whipped up some beer batter for my rings he ran to the nearest Nando’s to grab some chicken. The meal turned out great! While I can’t take credit for the chicken of course the salad and onion rings worked perfectly together and made an easy and filling side dish. The onion rings were apparently so yummy that the last words I heard from my husband before going to bed was not “goodnight” it was “damn those onion rings were good tonight.”

I will take that 🙂

For the Onion Rings:

  • 1/2 Large Sweet Onion
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 Can of Beer
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp White Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 3 Dashes of Smoked Paprika
  • Oil for Frying (I used Grapeseed Oil but Vegetable Oil will be good too)

How to:

  1. Mix the flour and seasoning in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk the beer in with a fork and mix until the batter is smooth. Let it stand for 10 – 15 mins.
  3. Heat up your oil in the frier or a heavy bottomed pot to about 380 degrees. I used a medium pot and filled it about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom. (if you want to know when the oil is ready, after about 5- 7 minutes drip a tiny bit of batter into the oil, if it turns golden in 20 – 30 seconds it is ready, if not, let it heat up longer)
  4. While the oil is heating up cut your onion into rings. Mine were about a 1/4 inch thick to allow for faster frying.
  5. When ready, dip each ring into the batter and gently put it into the oil. (You should be able to do 4-5 rings at a time)
  6. When the rings are a golden color, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper lined plate so they drip off.
  7. Repeat until all the rings are fried.

*Please be careful* this oil gets very hot! When you are done with the oil, take it off the burner and let it cool down slowly on the stove. Do NOT pour it into the sink right away as it could splatter and the last thing you want is to drop a pot of hot oil.

For the Salad:

  • 4- 5 Handfuls of Organic Arugula
  • 2 Small Red Beets (finely chopped)
  • Shredded Daikon (I used about 10 Tbsp)

For the Salad Dressing:

  • 1/2 Ripe Avocado
  • 2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
  • 3 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

How to:

  1. Place your arugula, beets and daikon in a large salad bowl.
  2. Mix the dressing in another bowl until the avocado is smooth.
  3. Drizzle over the salad and mix it all together.