Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wild Cod with Pesto, and butter-garlic beans

Some may argue that green beans aren't Paleo. I belong to the school of thought, that they're more veggie than legume and therefore I eat them. Hence....rock on with your bad beans...

For the Green Beans

1 lb. green beans, trimmed and washed
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grass-fed butter (or oil of your choice--olive, walnut, coconut)
Sea salt

Steam the green beans in a saucepan for about 5 minutes. They won't be soft just yet. Drain the green beans, and then heat the butter (or oil) in a large saute pan with the garlic. When the butter melts, add the green beans and stir occasionally until the beans absorb some of the liquid, and the garlic begins to brown (another 4-5 minutes).

For the Pesto Topping

3 tablespoons pesto sauce (paleo style)
1 tomato, cubed small
2 tablespoons red onion, diced small

While the green beans are sizzling with the garlic above, go ahead and chop up your tomato and onion. Place these in a small bowl and stir in the pesto sauce.

For the Fish:

1 lb. wild cod fillets
sea salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Pat the fish dry on a few paper towels, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the fish fillets (not overlapping), pepper-side-down (I, obviously, only peppered one side). Cook for 2-3 minutes and flip, cooking the other side for 1 minute or until firm to touch with your spatula. (Food-firm.....not rock hard).

Once the fish is cooked and the beans are done, serve them both with a big dollop of the tomato/pesto on top of the fish.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coconut Curry Chicken (two ways) with cauliflower and broccolini

So here's the recipe for the coco/curry chicken I cooked for The Games. Side Note: I grew up knowing a girl named Coco Curry. And that is legit. I remember being jealous of her awesome, original name. So Coco, if by some random chance you're reading this, congratulations!, you are now famous among the 11 people who read this blog!...and I named a dish after you! Below is a picture and recipe of the chicken, BBQ'd because is there really anything out there that doesn't taste good on the Q?

Coco/Curry Marinade

**Note-start this chicken overnight per below!

4-5 pounds chicken (I used half boob half thigh, boneless and skinless)

1 can regular or lite coconut milk (I used lite)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced lemongrass (bottom, interior, white portions only)
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large zip-lock bag. Add chicken and squish the bag around to expose all the sides of the chicken pieces to the marinade. Place bag of chicken on a plate or on a towel and let marinade in the fridge overnight. (You can also marinate this in a large baking dish or bowl in your fridge, I just like the zip locks because the chicken is well contained and you can easily squish the bag around to make sure it's all getting marinade on it)

The following day for your meal, heat up your gas or charcoal BBQ and get to grillin! When I take the chicken out of the bag I give it a light shake back into the bag so I'm not flinging masses of coconut goo onto the BBQ...less to clean up later. I usually cook the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side, depending on how thick the pieces are, covering the grill as needed.

Coco/Curry chicken in the oven, with veggies!

Here I took some of the chicken and baked it in the oven instead of on the BBQ for a little change of pace. Marinate the chicken as per the above, and the following day after it's marinated, perform the following:

12 ounces broccolini, ends trimmed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut up the broccolini into 2-inch pieces. Place the marinated chicken into a 9x13 baking pan and top with the broccoli. Pour about 1/4 cup of the marinade over the broccolini and chicken. Pop into the oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes. Check the chicken at 15 minutes and if the broccolini is drying out then cover with tin foil. While that's cooking, make the cauliflower:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 head cauliflower, in 1-inch pieces
Sea salt and ground pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to turn translucent. Then add the cauliflower, salt and pepper. Cover and turn the heat down to low, cooking for 10 minutes. After about 10 minutes, stir the cauliflower and add a touch of water if it is looking dry. Cover again and cook another 5 minutes or until very soft and easy to break into tiny pieces. When it is soft, lightly break it all up with your spatula or whatever you're using to stir it with.

When the chicken is done, spoon some of the cauliflower on a plate. Top with a couple pieces of chicken, the broccolini, and pour some of the coconut sauce in the baking pan, on top of it all. The cauliflower will trap the sauce and it will be good times all around.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Easy Pulled Pork "Tacos"

Pork es muy bueno. I mean really, what's not to like?

Pulled Puerco

4-5 pound pork shoulder roast, boneless preferred
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ground pepper
Juice of 3 limes
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
3 cloves garlic, smashed

Mix the cumin, salt, pepper, lime juice, and olive oil in a small bowl. Place the pork roast in the pot of a slow cooker, and pour the oil/spice mixture over the meat, rubbing it in well, and evenly. Top the meat with the onions and garlic. Cover with the lid and cook in the slow cooker over low heat for 6-8 hours. (You could also cook this in the oven (in a crockpot) at 300 degrees for 3-4 hour or until it gets tender). Afterwards, take two forks and pull the pork apart. It should fall apart easily at this point.

**I usually make this the day ahead or just make it and freeze it in portions, after pulling it with a fork for later use.

Then when you're ready to make "tacos" you just need the following:

Red onion
Chopped cilantro
Whole leafs of lettuce

Separate a whole leaf of lettuce, top with some of the warm, pulled pork, salsa, red onion, chopped cilantro and sliced avocado....and you've got an awesome Paleo Taco. Add any other toppings you like, olives, radishes, shredded cabbage, squirt of lime juice, hot sauce etc.

Serve with a side of broccoli or other yummy veggie!!

A Weekend of Food: CrossFit Games 2010

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to cook for a friend of mine from Regina and their affiliate team for The Games weekend. Here is what I prepped for them:

Pictured above are.....

8 pounds strawberries
10 pounds of tomatoes
2 limes and garlic for their own guacamole prep
10-ish cups roasted yams
6 pounds blueberries
1-half gallon jar of almond/pecan butter made by yours truly :)
A jar of Paleo Pesto made by yours truly :)
10 avocados
Couple bunches of naners
12 large english cucumbers
10 bell peppers
5 pounds baby carrots
10 pounds bbq'd rosemary-garlic chicken
10 pounds grass-fed hamburgers

What I couldn't fit in the picture or what was cooling down still...were

The other 25 avocadoes
More bananas
10 pounds bbq'd curry/coconut chicken
10 pounds grass-fed hamburgers

I'm pretty sure that's all I prepped for the weekend, and I have a sneaking suspicion I could have made more yams and meat to last them the full three days. But all the above was packed into coolers and driven down to the Games, and was a success! If you weren't able to go or watch the live feed, you missed out!!!

I'll post the recipe for the curry chicken this week most likely :).

But, CONGRATULATIONS TO CROSSFIT REGINA for their stellar work this weekend. They did awesome!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Meatballs with Coconut Sauce, Cauliflower mash and Curry Bok Choy

In order of cooking...

Cauliflower Mash

1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and pepper

Coconut Sauce

1 can coconut milk (I used lite since that's all I had)
1.5 tablespoons minced lemongrass**
1 tablespoon minced garlic
sea salt and pepper

**I cheated and used the pre-mince lemongrass in a tube


1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons "21-Spice seasoning" from Trader Joes, or other spice blend of your choice
sea salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Bok Choy

3-4 large bok choy
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and pepper
curry powder
ground coriander

Start with the cauliflower. Heat the olive oil in a large pot along with the sliced onion. Once the onion starts to brown a bit, add in the cauliflower, salt and pepper, and stir. Cover with a lid and let cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Check in on the cauliflower after 10 minutes or so and add a bit of water if the pan looks dry.

While the cauliflower is cooking, heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Add in the lemongrass, garlic, salt and pepper and let simmer while everything else is cooking. It will reduce down to about half, and thicken a bit. While simmering it will probably form a thin film on the top, just whisk this in every few minutes or so while you're preparing the other food.

While the coconut milk is simmering away, mix the ground beef with the garlic, salt and spices (I just mix it all together with a fork) and form into 1-inch balls. I think I ended up making about 20 meatballs. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add half the meatballs at a time. Don't crowd them too close or they won't cook as well. After 4 minutes (the bottoms will be brown and cooked through) roll them over with a fork and cook the other side. Continue to cook another 4-5 minutes or until the meatball feels firm when you press down with a fork. Once done, remove the meatballs to a small serving bowl, and continue with the other half of the meatballs.

After adding the second half of the meatballs to the pan, heat the tablespoon of olive oil in another pan over medium heat. Add the bok choy and sprinkle with curry powder, coriander, salt and pepper. Cook until the bok choy is just soft, about 6-8 minutes. This should coincide with the meatballs, give or take.

When all meatballs are cooked, give the coconut milk one last whisk, and remove from the heat. Uncover the cauliflower and mash it with the back of a spoon or a potato masher. Serve the meatballs with the coconut sauce on the side. I ate my meatballs on top of the cauliflower with the sauce on top, and the bok choy on the side.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Roasted Leg-O-Lamb with Indian flavors (cooked with bok choy) and sweet taters

I try to be open to new foods...but the first time I tried lamb, there was something about the aftertaste that just wasn't jiving with my tastebuds (there were no tastebuds with "jazz hands", sadly). Not wanting to give up that quickly, I have been looking for recipes with bold flavors that might cover that up, and this recipe is just the ticket. It has a variety of spices to create that bold flavor, and cooks slowly so that the meat is nice and tender. Money.

For the Lamb:

1 4-5 lb. boneless leg of lamb, with some of the fat trimmed
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons cloves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can coconut milk
2 teaspoons ground pepper

**Start this recipe the night before to allow the meat to marinade.

My leg of lamb roast came with the netting around it to keep it a compact, round roast. Cut off this netting if you have it, and flatten the roast out, cutting into the meat to open it up more if there are portions that are thicker than the rest. My roast ended up being about three inches thick, give or take.

Mix everything together (except the lamb) in a mixing bowl. Stir to make sure all the spices blend together well with no clumps. Then place your lamb, still flattened out, in a gallon-sized zip-lock baggie. Pour the spice mixture into the bag and squish it around so that it's coating all of the meat. Close the bag and stick in the fridge overnight.

The next day, remove the meat from the baggie and place in a lightly oiled, glass baking dish. When I placed the meat in my baking dish there was about half the marinade still in the bag. That's okay, the meat will have absorbed the flavor and there should still be a good amount stuck to the meat itself. If not, feel free to pour some of that marinade on top or into the pan.

Bake at 300 degrees for about 2.5 hours or so. Check the meat after 90 minutes to make sure the marinade isn't burning. If it is beginning to burn, just cover the meat with foil and continue to cook until the meat is tender, about 2.5 hours total. When I took my meat out it was definately tender. It wasn't quite at the "falling off the bone" phase of tender, but trust me, it will be tender. I shredded 1/3 of it for use in this meal, and left the rest in roast form for later.

For the Sweet Taters:

1 medium yam (orange)
1 medium sweet potato (white)
Coarse sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Curry powder

Peel the yam and sweet potato. Cut them into 1/3 inch rounds. Place the rounds in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer until soft, about 10-12 minutes. Drain the sweet taters and let sit, covered, while you cook the veggies with the lamb below

Lamb and Bok Choy

4 large bok choy, rinsed with bottoms cut off
8-10 mini spring onions, cut in half
As much lamb meat from above as you like
1 tablespoon olive oil

Chop the bok choy leaves into thirds. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add in the bok choy, stir and cover. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the bok choy begins to soften. Then add in the shredded lamb meat and about 1/4 cup of the sauce from the lamb's baking dish. Stir occasionally while the bok choy finishes cooking, another 5 minutes or so. When the bok choy is done, remove from heat and spoon onto one side of a serving platter. Then layer the yam/sweet potatoes along the side. Sprinkler with sea salt, cracked pepper, and the curry powder (I just sprinkled it over like salt).

**I should note that I cooked the lamb roast on Sunday while doing other chores around the house. Then used the meat for this meal a day or two later. So you don't have to do it all at once. Feel free to cook this up on the weekend and use it for this and other tasty recipes!! :)