Thyme

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

Portobello Mushroom & Herb Risotto

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Portobello Mushroom Risotto

 

 

 

 

 

 

I cannot believe I have never attempted a Risotto in this house before. After watching the show Chopped on the Food Network and learning what definitely not to do I set out to make my own. It is in fact super easy and while it takes a bit of time to make it is totally worth it!. This can be a meal in itself or serve it up as a very filling side dish. Either way you will have leftovers if you are cooking for just two people.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Cups Chicken Broth (I used low sodium, No MSG)
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio Rice
  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (divided)
  • 1 Medium Shallot (finely chopped)
  • 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp White Truffle Oil
  • 2 Tsp Pepper
  • 3 Medium – Large Portobello Mushrooms (chopped)
  • ½  Cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves (if you use dried Thyme use 1 Tbsp)
  • ¼ Cup Italian Parsley (chopped)
  • ¼ Cup Chives (chopped)
  • 5 Tbsp Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

How To:

  1. In a pot bring your broth to a boil and set it aside.
  2. In a skillet, melt 2 Tbsp of butter then toss in your mushrooms.
  3. Drizzle the truffle oil over the mushrooms while they cook.
  4. Add in the pepper and thyme and combine. Allow the mushrooms to cook down for about 3-4 minutes. Set aside and cover.
  5. In a large pot melt the remaining butter with the olive oil. Add in the shallots and garlic and allow them to cook until golden.
  6. Add the rice and combine until the rice takes on a golden color as well.
  7. Pour in the wine and allow it to cook down.
  8. Add in 1 large ladle of broth and stir. Reduce the heat to medium. Once the liquid is cooked down add in another ladle of broth. (I had to add another ladle in every 3-4 minutes so keep the pot of broth close by)
  9. Continue stirring occasionally and adding the broth in in increments until all the broth is used.
  10. This process should take 20 – 30 minutes. By the end your rice will be perfectly soft and cooked.
  11. Once the rice is ready, add the cooked mushrooms with all their juices, parsley, chives and Parmesan, stir to combine.
  12. I served ours with some fresh chives and Parmesan on top but this is optional.

Boeuf Bourguignon

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boeuf bourguignon beouf

Move over Julia Child! Just kidding, the woman was an amazing chef who’s recipe was the inspiration for this meal.

Let me begin with the fact that I have never eaten beef and enjoyed it, that is until I made this gem of a meal. This whole endeavor began after my hubby came along on a grocery trip with me, you may think ‘big deal’? Well it is, he never does the groceries with me so it was a very nice change. Like almost every man out there, my husband loves beef and just because I do not eat beef does not mean I deprive my man of his carnivorous cravings. However, most of his beef consumption occurs in the warmer months when he can slap a huge plate sized t-bone steak on the grill leaving very little room for sides once it is on the plate. So as we walked through the meat aisle I saw some lovely looking cubes of steak that would be perfect for a stew. I held up the steak and said the magical words….”Boeuf Bourguignon?” his eyes lit up and with a huge smile said “YUP!” How could I resist that?

I knew my evening was set, I would attempt a complex French dish that I may or may not even enjoy in the end. I read several versions of this recipe all over the web and all of them were extremely complicated and at times hard to follow. I gave up and just winged it using similar techniques I use for my Coq Au Vin recipe. After hours in the kitchen I nervously watched my husband take his first bite…as I watched a huge smile come across his face I knew I had a winner! So I sat down next to him and tried my first bite…the beef melted away in my mouth and the flavorful and rich sauce seemed to almost hug me. I can eat beef like this everyday! Now to the recipe…I will try to arrange it as easily as possible below. All together you will require about 4 ½ Hours.

What you will need for a complete dish:

  • 3 Lbs Beef (cubed and preferably with some nice marbleizing)
  • 4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tsp each of Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6 Slices of Thick Bacon
  • 20-25 White Pearl Onions
  • 5 Medium Carrots (sliced)
  • 10 Crimini Mushrooms (cut into ¼” slices)
  • 2 Celery Sticks (sliced)
  • 15 Small Red Nugget Potatoes (quartered)
  • ½ Cup Flour
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 ½ Cups Beef Broth
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 Cups Red Wine (full bodied is preferable, I used a Burgundy

How To:

  1. Place your beef into a large bowl, pour in the 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper and the leaves from 2 Sprigs of Thyme. Mix together and let it sit for an hour.
  2. While the meat is marinating, cut up your bacon and cook it in a large pan on medium heat. Once the bacon is crispy remove it leaving the bacon fat in the pan.

Prep your veggies:

  1. Clean and slice up the celery, carrots and mushrooms and set aside in a bowl together.
  2. Peel the onions cutting off the ends and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Peel and quarter your potatoes and set aside in a bowl filled with cold water (this will prevent them from turning brown)

Begin the Cooking:

  1. Place the ½ cup of flour in a shallow dish.
  2. Dry your marinated meat with a paper towel then dredge in the flour.
  3. Heat up the bacon fat and add 2 Tbsp of butter.
  4. Once the fat is hot place your meat in and begin browning it on all sides. Approx. 10 minutes. (do not crowd the meat or it will not brown properly, I did mine in 2 batches)
  5. Once all the meat is browned set it aside in a bowl.
  6. Using the left over fat in the pan toss in your onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes to allow the veggies to soften. Set the pan aside.

Prep your Liquids & Continue Cooking:

  1. Take out a large cast iron pot or an oven & stove top safe dish with a lid.
  2. Combine the 2 ½ cups beef broth with tomato paste and garlic in a large container.
  3. Set the 2 cups of wine on the side.
  4. On high heat, melt 2 Tbsp of butter in the pot and toss in the browned meat, Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  6. De-glaze the pot with 1 ½ cups of the beef broth and tomato paste mix saving the rest of the broth mix for later. Toss in 2 Sprigs of thyme into the pot and add the wine. Bring everything to a boil.
  7. Cover and place into the oven.
  8. Cook for 1 ½ Hours. Check on it after an hour and you can stir it to prevent it from sticking to the sides.
  9. After time is up, remove and stir the contents. Add in the sautéed veggies, quartered potatoes and the rest of the broth and tomato mix. Stir to combine.
  10. Place back into the oven and cook for another 1 ½ Hours.

If the potatoes are soft when poked with a fork after this time then serve and enjoy, if not, pace back into the oven for 10 – 15 more minutes.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did 🙂

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.

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 🙂

Rustic Venison Meat Sauce on Tagliatelle

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DSCN0814

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 🙂