Paleo

Apple Cider Pickled Red Onions

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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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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.

Almond Ginger Chicken

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I’m back! After a couple weeks spent gallivanting across Scotland and Ireland for my first wedding anniversary with my amazing husband I have had to come back to reality. Lucky for you, this involves me cooking again! The last couple of days have been spent cleaning, unpacking and doing the dreaded laundry *shudder* so last night marked only day 3 of me cooking again.

After a solid two weeks of having others cook for us and enjoying some heavy but delicious meals, we both noticed our clothes getting a little snugger than they were prior to our vacation. I do not regret it one bit! After all “we were on vacation” so when the server asked if I wanted another pint of Guiness with my chicken and mushroom cream pie the answer was naturally a YES please!

Upon our return and a moment of panic when I couldn’t find an appropriate work outfit  we both knew we had to get back on track with our eating habits. From this came a wonderful, easy and might I add Paleo dinner idea last night.

I had been wanting to try my hand at an almond chicken for awhile now, the main thing stopping me was my husband of all things. Not for reasons you may think though. Bless his heart, he has been helping me out before I get home from work by washing and prepping the chicken breasts. However, out of habit he would also marinate the chicken. Now normally I would never object to this, but for this meal that I had in mind I needed un-marinated chicken breasts.

Last night I came home to cleaned un-marinated chicken and quickly got to work. This super easy and quick meal was not only healthy, it was delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts (washed and fileted in half)
  • 1 Egg (beaten)
  • 1 Cup Almond Meal
  • 1 Handful Sliced Almonds
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • Juice from Half a Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Fresh Ginger

How To:

  1. Place your cut chicken in a shallow dish and “marinate” it with the lemon juice and ginger. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. In another shallow dish put in your egg and beat it.
  3. In another shallow dish assemble the almond meal, sliced almonds and seasoning.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 415 degrees F.
  5. Take your marinated chicken and let the lemon juice drip off a bit (you can decide how much ginger you want on each piece by rubbing it in a bit at this stage).
  6. Dredge the chicken through the egg on both sides followed by the almond mixture. You may need to sprinkle the meal by hand to fully cover the chicken.
  7. Place your “breaded” chicken breasts on a lightly greased baking rack. Place some more almond slices on top if you wish for extra crunch.
  8. Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until they turn golden.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Rustic Venison Meat Sauce on Tagliatelle

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A few months ago at my husband’s Beer Tasting Birthday Party  one of our friends who happens to be an avid hunter put something in our freezer. The next morning while looking for hash browns in our freezer I stumbled upon a random tube of meat labeled “Wild Game”. I asked my husband where it came from and after a quick call we found out his friend had brought it over as a gift and that it was in fact ground venison. It has taken me until now to make a dish with this gift.

This meal came out of a craving for pasta, however, I wanted it to match the type of meat more so I opted for more rustic ingredients to make it more hearty tasting than your standard tomato sauce. The outcome was absolutely delicious and a great change from heavy pasta dishes that leave you belly up on the couch recuperating for half an hour after your meal. This is a wonderful rustic style sauce that can be served with noodles like I did, with rice or even just on it’s own as a stew or sorts. If you choose to serve just the sauce on its own this is also a great paleo dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pound Ground Venison (Bison or another type of lean meat would work too)
  • 2 Springs Fresh Rosemary (finely chopped)
  • 4 Springs Fresh Thyme
  • 1/2 a Sweet White Onion (Chopped)
  • 4 Celery Sticks (Chopped)
  • 3 Medium Carrots (Chopped)
  • 1 Can Stewed Diced Tomatoes (I used unsalted)
  • 8 Crimini Mushrooms (Chopped)
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Beef Broth (I used No MSG)
  • 1 Large Organic Garlic Clove (Minced)
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ground Pepper
  • Seasoning Salt to taste
  • 1 Cup Dry Red Wine (I used a Merlot)
  • Tagliatelle Egg Noodles

How To:

  1. In a large pot heat up your oil then toss in your onions. Cook them until they are turning golden then toss in your garlic.
  2. Once the onions and garlic are golden toss in your meat and break it up so it doesn’t clump. Add your broth and bring to a boil (this will help break the meat up)
  3. Add in the seasonings, fresh rosemary and thyme. Cook and mix together for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove excess juice from the can of tomatoes then add your carrots, celery and tomatoes into the pot. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  5. Add in your wine and mushrooms and mix everything together.
  6. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes – 1 hour to allow the wine to cook off and to allow the flavors to combine.
  7. While your sauce is cooking make your noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a bit of oil and salt into the water. Put in your noodles and cook for about 10 minutes. This will give you al dente noodles. Strain them from the water and run cold water over them to prevent them from sticking.
  8. Once your sauce is done serve over the noodles.*Optional* You can garnish your dish with fresh parsley and shaved Parmesan cheese like I did.

Enjoy 🙂