Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Meatball Soup (I'm not a big soup fan, but this IS good!)

As you have read in the title, I am not the biggest soup fan. After eating soup, I usually am looking around for my actual meal! Let me tell ya, I was stuffed after this soup and a side salad.  I saw a lot of people talking about italian wedding soup so I wanted to see if I could come up with a primal version. There is cheese in this recipe, I assume you could leave it out. There is only a couple of Tablespoons of raw grass fed parm in the meatball. Also I would assume you could use any meat you want, but I did not test that. I have been hearing chefs talk a lot lately about mixing meats for meatballs....ya know beef, pork, and veal for the best meatball??? So I decided to mix the meat in this recipe as well. The end result turned out really good. I invited company over to try it along with me. I NEVER do that, but I thought with all these ingredients together, it HAD to me good. My company (my MIL) is not a kale fan (GASP, I know!!) but she really loved this soup. We also chatted about how good it feels to eat and eat good without any guilt. Try this recipe, I am sure you will like it.

For the meatballs
a little over 1/2 pound ground chicken (I asked my butcher to grind up some chicken thighs for me, It was a little over 1/2 pound that he gave me but I'm sorry I didn't look at the exact weight. I just threw it in)
1/2 pound of chicken sausage ( I show you what I used below)
1 T of minced garlic
2 T of raw, grass fed parmesan
1 egg
1/4 cup of minced parsley
1/3 cup of steamed, riced or pureed cauliflower
1 teaspoon of pepper

This is the chicken sausage I used for the meat mixture. You could use any chicken sausage as long as the ingredients are clean. These ingredients are organic chicken and spices. Period. Works for me. 

SO the first thing I did was to take out a couple of these links and process them just like this...

Then, I just dumped this mixture in a bowl and added all of the other meatball ingredients.

After mixing this all together, I formed tiny meatballs and placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet. I used about a teaspoon size scooper. We want some small meatballs for this recipe.

The mixture is pretty wet so after making the meatballs, I covered with plastic wrap and stuck them in the fridge for about a half an hour. Then bake them at 350 for 30 minutes. 

Next for the soup

1/2 large onion, small dice
4 small or 2 large carrots, small dice
1 celery stalk, small dice
2 Tablespoons of your favorite fat, I used 1 T of olive oil and 1 T of grass fed butter
8 cups of homemade chicken stock or low sodium high quality box stock 
4 cups of shredded kale, sliced in thin ribbons
2 Tablespoons of minced fresh dill
It will need salt and pepper for sure, so add to taste

SO in a heavy pot add your fat over medium heat and then add your onion, carrot, and celery. 

Let that cook for a while until your veggies are nice and soft. About 5-7 minutes. 

Then add your stock.

Turn up the heat and let the soup come up to a boil. 

Once boiling add your kale. 

Turn heat back down to medium and let the kale wilt down. About 5 minutes.

Then add in your cooked meatballs and let them re-heat if need be. Don't be to aggressive stirring the soup at this time. We want to keep the meatballs in tact. Let this cook for about another 5 minutes. Don't you want to just start eating this right now? But wait....hold out for more flavor, we aren't done yet!

Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the dill and taste for seasonings. I'm telling you, it will mos def need some salt. Add it. 

Stir in the dill gently and let is sit for about 5 minutes, just for that dill flavor to get all up in there!! YUM.

There ya have it, it's ready to go. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Crab Cakes and Yummy Chipotle Sauce!!!!

I adore crab cakes. It used to be what I always ordered when we went out to a seafood restaurant. But now I don't really like going out to eat and if I did I couldn't order the crab cakes any longer. :( Time to make my own and here's how I did it.

Crab cakes
12 oz of wild caught crab meat
1/4 cup PLUS 2 T of tapioca flour
2 T of coconut flour
1-2 eggs (will need to see how dry your mix is to determine how many eggs you need)
1 tsp of old bay seasoning
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of baking powder
4 scallions (sliced thinly whites and greens)
2 T of coconut oil

-In a mixing bowl combine crab meat, flours, 1 egg, seasonings and scallions
-IF your mixture is too dry and won't hold shape at all then add your other egg.
-Heat up the oil in a skillet over medium heat
-Make cakes out of your mixture. I used a 1/4 measuring cup and pressed the mixture down into that and flipped it out into my hand. It made about 8 cakes.
-Once your oil is hot and shimmering, add the cakes to the pan
-Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side until they are nice and golden brown

Chipotle Sauce
3/4 cup of home made mayo
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (depending on how much heat you want. I used one for mine)
1 scallion
1 tsp of dijon mustard

-In a blender combine the above ingredients and serve along side or on top of crab cakes

I served myself these golden brown nuggets on top of some broccoli slaw and commenced to devour! I hope you enjoy these. Please share with others! :) 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cottage Pie....YUMmers!

This week I had some grass fed beef fresh from the farmer defrosted in the bottom of the fridge. So I went hunting through the rest of the fridge to figure out something for dinner. The cauliflower caught my eye and I immediately thought Cottage Pie. (which is like Shepherds Pie except in Shepherds Pie you use ground lamb as the meat, which is still yummy!) Anyway here is what came about...

Cottage Pie
1 batch of mashed cauliflower (make sure it is well seasoned for this recipe)
1 T of fat of choice
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 lb of grass fed beef
2 T of tapioca starch
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of coconut aminos
1 tsp of dried oregano
2 tsp of tomato paste
1 tsp of fresh rosemary, chopped
1 cup of chicken stock

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

-In a dutch oven heat up your fat of choice, I used lard, over medium heat

-add in garlic and pepper flakes and stir until you can start to smell the garlic

-add in mushrooms and let them cook down

-add in carrots and onions and cook until they become soft

-add in beef and cook until browned

-sprinkle tapioca starch over contents and stir it in

-add in salt, dried oregano, and coconut aminos

-make a little hot spot in the center of your pot and add the tomato paste, stirring and cooking it in the center until you can start to smell it. Then stir it in with the rest of the contents.

-Add in stock and rosemary, stir together and cook until nice and thick. This should happen fairly quickly due to the tapioca starch.

-Pour into a casserole dish and top with your batch of cauliflower mash. If you are primal you can top with a little grated raw grass fed cheese

-bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes

-let stand for 15 minutes before serving

Here is what it looks like....I mean seriously....that filling.....just set me down with a big spoon!!

Cauliflower Mash

For someone who thought they didn't like cauliflower....I sure do love this stuff. I could live without mashed potatoes FOREVER because of this stuff. Here is what you do....

-Cut the florets of a head of cauliflower
-Steam it until it gets tender
-Transfer the veg to a blender or I use my ninja (hi-YA!)
-Add a couple of T of raw grass fed butter (if you can tolerate it) and salt and pepper to taste

It comes out looking like this..

Now... some people like it to be more of a puree, so if that is you, just add some chicken stock in the ninja until you reach your desired consistency. Me? I like it just. like. this!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Cake

Today is a special birthday party day for my youngest daughter! I was going to wait till after the contest to share this recipe but the bday girl requested this bread for breakfast and it is soooo yummy. It has one controversial ingredient in it though...coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is low on the glycemic index but it could be a gut irritant for some people. As with ANY treat I don't recommend that they are eaten on a daily basis. We thrive very well on NO sugar. Treats should be reserved for just that....occasional treats. Ok, I'm done ranting... let's get to the recipe!

Apple Cinnamon Cake

3 T of coconut sugar
1 T of cinnamon

1 apple, diced

1/2 cup of coconut sugar
6 T of softened grass fed butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of almond flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup of tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1/4 cup of almond milk
1/4 cup of apple cider

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-prepare a greased loaf pan

-in a small bowl mix the 3 T of coconut sugar and cinnamon, set to the side
-in a large bowl mix the remaining sugar and butter
-add the eggs and vanilla and
-wisk until incorporated
-add in the dry ingredients and mix, should be fairly thick
-add in almond milk and cider, mix until all is incorporated

-dump half of the batter into the greased loaf pan
-sprinkle the top with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture and 1/2 of the diced apple
-repeat with the rest of the batter and the rest of the cinnamon/sugar and apple
-press apple into batter
-bake at 350 for about an hour

Now don't PLEASE remember about our contest!! See last post for details! I will be choosing a winner of Melissa Joulwan's new cookbook Well Fed 2 tomorrow!! IF YOU SHARE THIS POST AND LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS YOU WILL RECEIVE AND EXTRA ENTRY TO THE CONTEST!! So share away!! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Year.....New Giveaway!!!

It's still January. Some of you are still holding onto those New Years Resolutions. Congrats! I know lots of you have healthier eating goals for the new year....thats what my last post was all about. Some of you have started eating paleo, whole 30, or sugar detox. And some of you are on the verge of giving in and giving up.

Well, I have something that can help you with your healthier eating goals! And something that will help you to keep on keeping on. Most of us run out of steam with our eating goals because we run out of ideas. We eat the same thing day in and day out and say to ourselves, "I can't LIVE like this!" What if I told you that the wonderful Melissa Joulwan (from the very delightful blog The Clothes Make the Girl, and the suburb cookbook Well Fed) has agreed to give one of my readers a copy of her latest masterpiece, Well Fed 2!!

Some time ago she released her second cookbook and very generously sent me a copy to cook from and let me tell you.......You thought the first one was yummy???....Well Fed 2 is even yummier!! I could that even be possible? My absolute favorite thing about her recipes are her use of spices. It is my personal opinion that home cooks don't utilize spices nearly enough. It is also my opinion that spices not only hold incredible flavor but some pretty stellar medicinal and healing qualities as well. Other cultures that know and understand the benefit of these spices BEGIN with spices as the base of their dishes and build on that. We tend to throw some spices in at the end of our cooking and we tend to use the same spices over and over again instead of learning and venturing outside the box. We should attempt cook with the rule: Spices to begin a dish, and fresh herbs to end it. Side note: I subscribe to Alton Brown's podcast and he recently did a show with the owners of The Spice House. Very should check it out! Anyway, Melissa doesn't just throw spices in willy nilly. There is a reason for each one. I credit her for my new found love of spices and spice mixtures. Boring food be gone!!

The spice and sauce sections in the book are invaluable on their own. I would absolutely buy this book for just those alone. When you have those under your belt, in is impossible to have another bland meal.

The burgers, balls, and bangers section of the book is my absolute favorite! The name is pretty great to! As you guys know.... I make LOTS meatballs to keep on hand every week anyway, and there isn't one in this book that isn't absolutely delicious! She is a flavor genius!!

There is also a section for quick meals. And we all need more ideas on how to get some fuel in us quick to avoid the drive thru!!

You WANT to own this cookbook and here is your chance to WIN it. If you love it (and you will) pay it forward and get a book for a friend who is struggling with new ideas for food. Sometimes people just need a little support and guidance to keep on keeping on!

Here's how to enter in just 4 easy steps:

1.  LIKE The Clothes Make the Girl on FB
2.  LIKE Paleo Mommy on FB
3.  Share this blog post with your friends and family. The more people that participate the more giveaways we can have. 
4.  And finally, leave a comment right here in the comment section letting us know that you did all the above. 

A winner will be randomly chosen on Monday January 27th and will be announced on the blog. You will have 24 hours to respond or I will have to chose another.

Good luck with your goal (I am here if you need any encouragement or support) and Good luck with the Giveaway!! Get busy!! :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Beginnings

The new year symbolizes new beginnings for most: a new start, or a do-over, if you will. And with the New Year, come New Year’s resolutions – resolutions that are usually thrown out the window after two weeks...two excruciating weeks. Do you know what the #1 New Year’s resolution is? To lose weight. Oh how I have been there! EVERY year was more of the same thing - but not anymore. I have been “Paleo” for the past 3 years. Now it is a way of life, but it has been a long road. What follows is my story for those of you who don’t know.

I found out after the birth of my second child that I had Hashimoto’s. Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune thyroid disease. Symptoms included being cold all the time, depression, losing my hair, fatigue, and gaining weight despite eating a well-balanced diet and doing P90X six days a week. All this prompted my visit to the doctor. My doctor put me on meds and sent me on my way. But nothing changed. I just got more depressed! As I sat outside of Madison Drugs (a local compounding pharmacy) getting ready to pick up some vitamins, I prayed. I asked the Lord to heal me as I had countless times in the past. But I also prayed that if He wasn’t going to heal me that He would at least show me a way to help myself. I was in tears and desperate. While talking to the pharmacist, he noticed I was sad and asked what was wrong. I told him my recent diagnosis and his response was, “Well, obviously you are gluten free right?” To which I replied, “What is gluten?” I had no idea! The pharmacist gave me a list of foods that I should and should not be eating. When I got home, I googled each of the foods and a basic Paleo diet kept turning up in the search results. I threw myself into studying the Paleo diet and consulted multiple resources after starting with material mostly from Robb Wolf, a leading Paleo expert. I switched out my diet immediately. And I also stopped working out until I could wrap my head around this diet change and get into a routine. Just 30 days later I had dropped 30 pounds and, more importantly, I had no Hashimoto symptoms! Needless to say, I’ve remained “Paleo” ever since!

I personally don’t care for the Paleo label since most people don’t really understand what that really means. For me, MY Paleo diet includes the following: high quality lean meat and protein (grass fed beef, pasture raised chicken and pork, pasture raised eggs), every vegetable  under the sun, high quality healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil), some fruit, some nuts, sweet potatoes and winter squash. I have kept this diet for the past three years and plan to continue with it.

Perhaps you made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight in 2014. I would encourage you to tweak that slightly and say instead to “get healthier.” Losing weight may be part of that overall goal, but getting healthy should be the main focus. If going Paleo isn’t something you’d want to try, perhaps you could try to eliminate processed foods and foods high in sugar. Those two changes alone will make a significant difference in your health, and you will very likely lose several pounds to boot. If you have any questions about Paleo or the science behind it, feel free to email me! In the meantime, I will share with you one of my most popular recipes. It has been featured on many of the premier “Top 10 Paleo Recipes” sites. Small changes can produce big change! So take charge and start making small positive changes to better your health. 

Spicy Slow Cooker Chorizo Chili

1 Lb of grass fed beef
2 fresh chorizo sausages, casings removed (about 1/2 pound)

1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 can of rotel (I used hot)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
2 TB of chili powder
1 TB of cumin
S&P to taste

-brown off the beef and chorizo in a skillet, drain, and toss in crock pot

-in the same skillet cook off the onions and garlic. You can skip this step, but I like getting a little color on the onions before throwing them into the crock pot.
-add remaining ingredients, stir
-cook on low for 4-6 hours
-garnish with avocado, cilantro, red onion