Paleo

Honey & Thyme Golden Beets

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Golden Beets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing our new favorite Paleo Side Dish! This was a totally random dish that I made the other night to go with our left over Risotto. Let me tell you…they were wonderful! My husband had to restrain himself from eating all of them in order to have a few left over for his lunch. They were very simple and easy to make and can go with so many different meals due to their gentle flavors. These wonderful and highly nutritious beets will definitely be making a regular appearance as a side dish during dinner time.

Ingredients:

  • 5 – 6 Medium Golden Beets (trimmed & peeled)
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tbsp Honey (use organic if possible)
  • 4 Cups Water

How To:

  1. Slice your beets into 1/4 ” slices.
  2. Place beets flat into a large and deep skillet. (mine fit in 2 layers)
  3. Sprinkle in the thyme leaves and drizzle in the honey.
  4. Add the water over the beets to make sure they are all submerged.
  5. Place a lid on the skillet and begin cooking. Once the water starts to boil, lower the heat to medium/high.
  6. Cook the beets partially covered for 25 – 30 minutes. Check and stir them gently occasionally. Once they have softened they are ready.
  7. Remove from the heat and let them sit in the juice for a few minutes.

* This amount of time will still leave the beets sightly hard and crunchy, if you prefer them softer simply cook a bit longer.

Serve and Enjoy

Baked Brussel Sprouts

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brussel sprouts

Don’t panic. I know what the vast majority of people will think when they see this title…”Brussel Sprouts…Yuck!” If you are anything like me you are probably reliving all the family dinners from your childhood when your parents tried to force you to eat brussel sprouts. Personally I have never been a fan of these tiny cabbages, that is until now. It all changed this past Christmas when my lovely sister-in-law served up these bad boys at the family dinner, this is also to say that I cannot take credit for this recipe as it is something I got from her 🙂 This is a super easy and quick side dish that is sure to please even the most determined hater of brussel sprouts.

Ingredients:

  • 30 – 40 Brussel Sprouts
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Coarse Salt & Pepper to taste

How To:

  1. Wash the sprouts, peeling off any loose bits.
  2. Trim off a bit from the bottom of the sprouts then cut then in half.
  3. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. In a bowl toss the sprouts with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. (I used approx. 1 Tsp of each)
  5. Place the halves face down on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Take out of the oven and check the sprouts. If they are golden on the bottom remove and serve. If they aren’t golden yet, flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes.

Serve and enjoy 🙂

These baked brussel sprouts go great with a little bit of white vinegar sprinkled on top too

Sage Butter Yams

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Sage Butter Yams

Looking around at some other blogs it looks like I am not the only one who has either not posted as frequently or is behind on stuff this month. Between decorating, doing all the Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts and most recently taking care of our injured dog who took a stick in the throat, punctured it and almost severed his tonsils, I have been M.I.A from blogging. For those that follow me, I do apologize for this but on a good note our pup is expected to make a slow but full recovery :). Until then, he has taken up residence on our bed and since we do not have the heart to tell him to leave, we now have an 80 pound snoring dog in between us on a queen sized bed. Basically my husband and myself have spent the last week clinging to the edges of the bed, getting great sleeps of course…I can’t imagine how this will play out once we decide to have kids lol.

On to the food…to try and make up for this lack of posting I am posting a Christmas related dish. By this I mean something you can quickly and easily whip up as a side dish for your spectacular Christmas feast. There are so many classic dishes to choose from around the holidays and for each of those dishes there are endless variations. At our house yams are always a must and generally do not last long. Typically, I prepare them with just butter and a bit of salt and they have always been great, but last year I wanted to add a bit of panache to them. I bought a bunch of fresh sage for our turkey and since there was so much left over I did not want it to go to waste. Staring at all the food on our island I had a light bulb moment, I would infuse the butter I needed to use with sage to add a subtle rich flavor to our yams.

Sage Butter

For the Sage Butter…

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 10 – 15 Fresh Sage Leaves (finely chopped)

How To:

  1. Melt your butter in a small pan on medium heat.
  2. Once your butter is melted and bubbling, add in your sage.
  3. Stirring constantly, allow the sage to crisp up a bit in the butter (approx. 2-5 minutes)
  4. The golden butter should turn a light green color from the fresh herbs, once you see the leaves are crisped up remove from the heat.

For the Yams...

Ingredients:

  • 4 Medium Yams (Peeled)
  • 2 Tsp Sea Salt

How To:

  1. Cut your yams into cubes (mine were about 2 inches) Helpful tip: if you are in a rush, cut the yams smaller so they boil faster.
  2. Put your yams into a medium pot and add enough water to just cover the yams and add your salt.
  3. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Once it is boiling reduce the heat to medium.
  4. Cook the yams until they are soft. (approx. 15 – 20 minutes depending on how big the cubes area) Helpful Tip: Use a fork or small pairing knife to check the doneness of your yams, if they are soft and fall off the utensil easily they are ready.
  5. Strain your yams and place  back into the pot.
  6. Add in your sage butter and mash the yams.

Paleo Almond Coconut Cookies

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Almond Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, I have said this before…I am not a baker. However during our previous paleo diet my hubby was constantly craving cookies and since we weren’t doing the strictest level of the paleo diet I was able to make these delicious treats.

I had tried several recipes I had found throughout the Internet but somehow none of them hit the spot. I set out to do something that is seldom a good idea when it comes to baking….I winged it. Attempt number #1 and #2 for that matter were to put it lightly, disasters. While we eventually ate the ‘cookies’ they were nothing to write about that is for sure. I am pretty sure that without dipping them in coffee or tea those bad boys would have been inedible due to how dry they turned out. If you ever tried to eat a spoon full of cinnamon for some reason (most likely as a dare of sorts), you would have a reasonable comparison to my first two attempts at cookies.

Third time was a charm however, and what turned out was devoured within half an hour. Yes, we ate a plate full of cookies at 11:00pm, judge all you want…we certainly judged a bit after looking down at a plate of crumbs, this passed quickly and turned into a high five 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Cups Almond Meal
  • 1 Cup Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
  • ¾ Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tsp Organic Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ Cup Coconut Oil

How To:

  1. Combine the above in a bowl and mix until everything is combined thoroughly.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment.
  4. Taking small pieces of the dough, roll them in your palms to make balls approximately 1 inch in diameter. Flatten then in your hand and place on the baking sheet. Mine were about ¼ inch thick.
  5. Place cookies into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Apple Cider Pulled Pork

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Apple Cider Slow Cooked Pork

This has become a staple in our house. After trying various different methods for making some slow cooker pork this one has come out on top in our house. It all began with not having enough time to make Paleo approved dinners in our house so I began trying to make more and more meals in our slow cooker. This recipe is one of the main reasons I started eating more pork. It is full of wonderful flavors and pairs with so many different things which makes it a super easy Paleo dinner options. Your house will be filled with amazing smells and if you make enough of this, you will have leftovers that can be transformed into tacos, stir fry’s and a number of other options. When I first made this version of pulled pork I made so much of it that we decided to invite my father-in-law over to help us get through some of it. Now normally he does not go up for very many second helpings but after he had a bite of this pork he asked for 2 re-fills and a tupper ware for lunch!. i was more than happy to oblige and since then I have made this dish several more times in order to perfect it. I usually pair it with some of my homemade Apple Cider Pickled Onions, the flavors combine into an amazing meal!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pork Tenderloins
  • 1/2 White Onion (sliced)
  • 6 Garlic Cloves (halved)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth (No MSG)
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 3 Tsp Ground Pepper
  • 3 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tsp Paprika

How To:

*If you are putting this pork in before work I recommend combining all the spices the night before in a bowl and putting your onions and garlic into the bottom of the slow cooker before bed, that way you can simply put in the pork, season it and top it off with the broth and vinegar.

  1. Place your onions, garlic and oil into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Rinse your pork loins and place them into the slow cooker.
  3. Combine your seasonings together in a bowl then generously coat the pork with the mixtures. Try to cover the sides as best as possible.
  4. Mix your broth with the vinegar then gently pork it around the pork being careful not to wash away the spices.
  5. Close your slow cooker and set it for 8 hours on low.

Finally, come home from work or a day of running around doing errands and enjoy your pork with whatever sides you wish 🙂 You also won’t need to light and scented candles because your house will smell amazing!

Smoked Tomato Red Pepper Soup

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Smoked Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have always been a fan of tomato soup, there is just something comforting about it and always brings me back to my childhood. Let’s just say I had and still have an obsession with tomatoes. My mother can attest to the fact that growing up I practically lived off of tomato and cheese sandwiches and since I used to be such a picky eater, sandwiches it was, for most snacks, lunches and sometimes even dinner. Bless my moms heart, she tried just about everything to get me to eat anything but these sandwiches but with limited success. I even distinctly remember when we lived in Spain she tried to trick me into eating fish by telling me that it was “pollo” something I actually ate on occasion. For those of you who do not know Spanish, “pollo” means chicken, not fish. However at that age and a very limited palette, I took my moms word for it and ate the fish thinking it was chicken. The jig was up pretty quick and I went back to tomato and cheese sandwiches as my go to food source. Since I loved tomatoes so much, tomato soup was a pretty regular occurrence in our house, perhaps that is why it is still such a comfort food for me.  This past Thanksgiving I decided to put a twist on the standard tomato soup and since Thanksgiving brings so many rich flavors and sweets to our plates I wanted to start the meal off with something savory and different. Bring on the smoky richness of those crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (796ml)
  • 4 Roasted Red Peppers (I used mine from a jar)
  • 5 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 White Onion (diced)
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 8 Cups Chicken Broth (I used one with No MSG)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Flour (optional for thickening)

How To:

  1. In a medium soup pot heat up your oil and toss in the onions and let them brown.
  2. Toss in the peppers and tomatoes and combine with the onions.
  3. Add in your seasonings followed by the broth.
  4. Bring everything to a boil and then simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and using a handheld blender, puree the soup until it is smooth. If you do not have a hand held blender you can always pour the soup into a blender to puree.
  6. If you would like to thicken your soup a bit, mix 2 Tbsp of flour with 1/4 cup of cold water (i used coconut flour for the paleo version of this soup) Once the flour is dissolved into the water without clumps, slowly pour it into the soup and bring it all to a boil again.

 

Ratatouille

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Baked RatatouilleBaked Zucchini Ratatoullie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After seeing the title of this post all of you can now guess what tops my list of favorite animated movies. Yes, that’s right it is Ratatouille. The story in short is about a brave young mouse named Remy who makes his way to Paris and sets out to become a chef. Towards the end of the movie in order to impress a tough restaurant critic he cooks up this dish. This traditional French dish originally from Nice brings the critic back to his childhood and warms his heart. This is an incredibly simple meal to make and makes a great side dish or even a meal in itself. If you have seen the movie you will know that Remy takes great care and time arranging the veggies beautifully. I simply do not have that sort of time as I am sure many of you do not either so mine is slightly messier. The result is the same, a yummy hearty meal perfect for a cool autumn night. Typically this dish also calls for egg plant, I however am allergic to it so naturally this dish is sans egg plant 🙂 If you like you can always add  it into yours.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium Zucchinis
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1 Can of Tomato Paste
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1/4 Medium White Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 Cup Hot Water
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

How To:

  1. In a food processor, slice your zucchinis on a medium setting. Then slice up your bell pepper into strips.
  2. In a baking dish, put the onion and olive oil into the bottom.
  3. In a small bowl mix the garlic, thyme, spices and tomato paste with the water. Combine them all until the paste is dissolved. (using hot water will help dissolve the paste easier)
  4. Pour the tomato ‘sauce” into the bottom of the baking dish and mix with the onions and oil.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 350F.
  6. Arrange your zucchini and pepper slices into the dish.
  7. Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper then bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.

Apple Cider Pickled Red Onions

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DSCN1218

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the inspiration for these bad boys came from several places. Initially we were in BC wine country over the summer and had an amazing lunch at Burrowing Owl. There we ordered a charcuterie platter and one of the fixing they had on the side were pickled red onions that they made on site. Amazing. A few weeks later we were in Vancouver and decided to stop off at a taco joint which several of my husband’s co-workers rave about. As a side and added fixing you could put on your taco was nothing other than pickled red onions. Being the person that I am and a grandchild to an amazing pickler of everything and anything you can think of, I decided I would try my hand at pickling! Thanks granny! All those early years spent watching you fill the basement with mason jars packed with veggies, fruits, jams and so on paid off! This was my very first attempt at pickling and I am proud to say they are delicious and jam packed with wonderful flavors! Try them on anything from tacos and Mexican inspired meals to pulled pork and sandwiches 🙂

Ingredients:

  •  1 1/2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar (use coconut sugar for paleo)
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1/2 Tsp Cracked Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Boiled Water
  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • 1 Large Red Onion

* This recipe makes 2 full 500ml mason jars

How To:

  1. Clean and sanitize your mason jars. (I simply placed them in a large pot with water and boiled them for 10 minutes)
  2. Cut up your onion into strips and place into a strainer. Pour the 1 cup of hot boiled water over the onions and let them sit for a minute to soften them.
  3. In a small sauce pot combine the rest of the ingredients and bring them to a boil.
  4. Strain the onions then stuff them into the mason jars.
  5. Once the vinegar mix is boiling, pour it into the jars and fill to the top to cover the onions.
  6. Seal the jars and let them stand. Once they have cooled place them in the fridge and store for up to 2 weeks.
  7. The onions will be ready to at after 24 hours in the fridge.

Spicy Ginger Green Beans

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DSCN1235

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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DSCN1200

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 🙂