I am not starving

imageAdd the beef broth

The 3 of you who follow this website may think I am literally starving right now because I haven’t posted any recipes, which likely means I am not eating. My soul-mate bff told me she was starving to death because I hadn’t posted anything. I realize that I started this website to post yummy recipes right at the same time I started 1,037 other projects. So sometimes things get pushed aside. And while I have about 25 recipes and pictures sitting on my computer, it seems impossible to find the time to sit down and plug them in to my computer. So… hang in there with me while I prioritize all my projects, and get a rythym going. My goal is to post 3-5 recipes a week. Hopefully it doesn’t take me 3-5 years to accomplish this.

Over the weekend my soul-mate bff Sage was here visiting me, and after training she really wanted some gluten free pizza. She hadn’t had a delicious pizza in ages and had been craving it. We decided to order some gluten free pizza from a local place that does a pretty fantastic job. While we were waiting for the delivery fella to bring us our lunch, I started to prepare dinner. The Hubs loves meat and potatoes, and now Sage has a Hubs of her own, so I was going over different easy meals that are not only super simple, but super delicious… and this one will certainly satisfy the Hubs’ love for meat and potatoes.

I didn’t think to grab my camera until the last second because this is such an easy meal I didn’t think to share it. But then I thought… maybe y’all might love it too. I am always looking for crock pot meals, so here is one to share with you.

What you will need:

  • 1 tri-tip
  • 1 box gluten free organic beef broth
  • 4-6 carrots, peeled
  • 10-12 small baby dutch potatoes (optional)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.5 tablespoons of dried shallots
  • salt and pepper
  • apple-wood smoked sea salt (optional)

First I warmed a pan on medium heat and added 2 tablespoons of Ghee. Once melted I added the chopped small red onion, the dried shallots, the thyme and bay leaves. I let that saute until the onions were nice and tender.

While this was going on a seasoned one side of the tri-tip with sea salt, a few cracks of ground pepper, and the apple-wood smoked sea salt (to add a little smoky flavor). If you are unsure how much seasoning to add, don’t over-do it. I put maybe 3 pinches of sea salt, 5-7 turns on the pepper mill, and 2-3 pinches of apple-wood smoked sea salt. Once the onions were tender I put the tri-tip in the pan, seasoned side down. I then seasoned the other side the same way. I cooked the tri-tip for about 4 minutes on each side, over medium heat. Just enough to brown and get those flavors going.

I transferred the tri-tip to the crock-pot with all the pan juices and goodies. I added the carrots, cut in to small chunks, and the baby dutch potatoes.These potatoes have a creamy subtle buttery flavor and taste amazing in stews.

I then added the box of beef broth. It shouldn’t completely cover the meat.

I cooked it on high for 4.5 hours. I would have preferred to cook it on low for 7 hours, but it was a last minute decision and still came out perfectly!

With about 20 minutes left, I grab 2 forks and shred up the meat. This way it can soak up some of the juices before you serve!

You can serve it 2 ways.

On a plate:

Or as stew:

This is a Paleo recipe. If you don’t have potatoes in your life, simply illuminate them from the recipe. This is a gluten free recipe, as always.

Other variations I have done with this meal is add chopped celery, and I have also added shredded cabbage. Sometimes with the cabbage I add it in the beginning so it sogs up in the juices, and sometimes I add it right on top of the stew about 30 minutes before it is done, so that it steams in the juices but doesn’t get super soggy. I have also cut the cabbage in quarters and placed the chunks of cabbage right on top of the stew. When it is finished cooking, I plate the cabbage quarter first, and then pour the shredded meat and juices all over the top. The good thing about stew is you can pretty much add whatever is in your fridge!

Shepherd’s Pie that is really Cottage Pie

imageThere it is in all it's glory.

So I found out from Wikipedia that Shepherd’s Pie is only called Shepherd’s Pie when it is made with mutton or lamb. I had to google what mutton was, and that is any meat that comes from a sheep. However, not just any sheep. Lamb is a young sheep, under 1 year old that does not have any permanent incisor teeth. A hogget is a sheep that is male or female with no more than 2 permanent incisors. A mutton is a female sheep (ewe) OR a castrated male sheep (wether) having more than two permanent incisors. And all this time I thought there was just lamb.

Anyway, I love shepherd’s pie, but I don’t love it with lamb. I prefer lamb in the form of a chop with a nice Cabernet reduction poured all over it. I always make my Shepherd’s Pie with ground beef, but I learned something today. Although the name has been used interchangeably, when Shepherd’s Pie is made with meat other than lamb or mutton, it is actually called Cottage Pie.

Apparently around 1791, the potato was being introduced as an edible crop that was affordable for poor folks. This meal was a way to use leftover roasted meat- a pie dish was lined with mashed potato filled with meat, and topped again with mashed potato. It got the name Cottage Pie because poor people typically lived in cottages, and well, because they baked it like a pie.

It wasn’t until 1877 that Shepherd’s Pie began to appear in cookbooks, this time with lamb or mutton, because shepherds are concerned with sheep and not cows.

So now I know that it is actually Cottage Pie, unless I make it with lamb or mutton. Which I won’t, ever, so there it is. But I haven’t quite come to terms with the name Cottage Pie, so for today we are going to just call it Shepherd’s Pie, but know that it is really Cottage Pie. Also, I am adding bacon, so that just throws everything off.

Before you freak out if you are coming here for Paleo recipes and you see that there are mashed potatoes, first, what Robb has to say here about potatoes, and second read  this post from The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate, and third, keep reading…

Because The Hubs and The Kiddo love mashed potatoes, I decided to make half mashed potatoes half sweet potatoes. Please note, I typically use the names yams and sweet potatoes interchangeably. I rarely call anything a yam and call everything a sweet potato. However, I always have both in the kitchen. Sometimes I like cooking with the ‘orange’ one sometimes the ‘yellowish white’ one. Today I chose the white one since it closely resembles a potato when mashed. If you are looking for Paleo recipes and didn’t like what Robb Wolf, or the Primal Palate had to say about potatoes, simply don’t use them. The great thing about this recipe is I made it half and half- you can choose which half fits your eating, and if both halves have a place in your kitchen and in your tummy, then you get to taste two different versions of delicious. But either way this is definitely a gluten free Shepherd’s Pie!

What you will need:

  • 7 pieces of bacon (I used 1 package of Trader Joe’s Apple-wood smoked bacon)
  • 1 large carrot or 1 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 large celery stick or 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 leek, dark green part removed (only use the white and light green part when chopping)
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 6 yukon gold potatos
  • 1.5 #’s of ground beef
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1-2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Unsalted seat cream butter or grassfed butter (optional)
  • garlic salt with parsley, 4-6 fresh chives, heavy whipping cream (optional for mashed potatoes)
  • sea salt and ground pepper

If you decide to use mashed potatoes that’s great, I will include my mashed potato recipe. If you choose to eliminate mashed potatoes then increase to 3 large sweet potatoes.

I am very lazy when it comes to peeling potatoes. So I don’t do it. Instead, I cut the sweet potatoes in half and pop them in the pressure cooker, on high pressure, for 13 minutes.

When they are finished, the skin is a bit loose and easy to peel off. If you are burning the tips of your fingers off, you can also use a fork to loosen and unravel the skin.

At the same time as the sweat potatoes are cooking in the pressure cooker, I boil the Yukon gold potatoes. Those too I easily peel after. *note, if your potato skins aren’t quite loose after boiling, which they should be, you can run them under cold water for a few seconds and this will help loosen them up.

So much better than using the f’ing potato peeler for 107 minutes before hand, right??

For the sweet potatoes, you can add 2 tablespoons of grassfed or unsalted sweet cream butter, but this is optional if you don’t include butter in your cooking. I think it is delicious when melted in a sweet potato! Once you have peeled them all, get out your hand mixer and whip them up! I don’t do any mashing beforehand, you can, but it is not needed. After coming out of the pressure cooker they are nice and soft and can be mashed easily with the hand mixer.

You want to whip them for 1-3 minutes or until creamy.

Set those aside and move on to the mashers (if you aren’t including mashers, skip this step). Add 3 tablespoons of butter, about 1/3 cup (a little more is ok) of heavy whipping cream, 3-4 shakes of your garlic salt with parsley, a pinch or two of pepper, and 4-6 diced chives.

And whip up with your handy hand mixer…

…until deliciously creamy.

Set both the mashers aside.

In 1 pan, brown your ground beef. Do not add any seasoning because we will be adding other flavors later, and the saltiness you get from the bacon will be flavorful. I always say, peeps eating your food can always season more after the food is finished, but will not eat it if it tastes like a salt lick. Just brown, do not complete the cooking of the ground beef.

Set that aside, and warm a pan on medium heat. Dice up your bacon…

… and put it in the pan. Yes my knife is pink. Don’t be jealous. It is also very, very sharp. Cook the bacon until it is just shy of the perfect doneness for your tastes where you want to just stick your hand in the pan, burning oil or not, and grab a delicious handful. I say just shy because it will get a few more minutes of cooking in a minute, and I hate burnt or overly crispy bacon.

Scoop it out and set it aside on some paper towels.

Save a tablespoon or two of bacon grease in your pan.

While your bacon is cooking, or after it is finished if you are not savy at kitchen multi-tasking, you want to dice up your carrot, celery, and leek. Or if you are lazy, and had already bought the already chopped carrots and celery from Whole Foods, then measure out about a cup of each, and add a couple more chops to it. We don’t want it super chunky.

With your left-over bacon grease on warm, add and saute your chopped up 3 garlic cloves for about 1 minute.

Then add your carrots, celery, and leeks along with a couple cranks on the pepper mill and 2 pinches of sea salt. Let that cook for about 7 minutes, until your veggies are soft. Around this time you should also preheat your oven to 385.

Mix in the ground beef…

…and then add 1 small can of tomato paste. Be patient mixing this in. It can be a major butt and want to clump to one part of the meat. Just keep folding the meat and veggie mixture in to the center where the tomato paste is and it will eventually blend well!

Once the tomato paste is all mixed in keep stirring for about 2 minutes so the tomato paste has time to brown and melt in to the fixins. Then add about a cup of chicken stock. This should be enough to coat all of the fixins. If you need extra that is ok, but don’t completely drown the meat. If you are unsure, and totally freaking out right now regarding what is enough, just use a cup.

Mix in your bacon chunks, then add your single bay leaf and your sprigs of thyme (just place right on top). Once that comes to a boil, turn your heat down to simmer and let cook for 2 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf and transfer the fixins into your favorite baking pan.

Top half with the mashed potatoes and half with the mashed sweet potatoes.

Put it in the oven! Because everything is pre-cooked, and you just took your meat off the stove, you only need to oven-it until the potatoes are warm. Approximately 10-15 minutes or until the top of your potatoes look like they are forming a bit of a crisp!

Cut it and serve piping hot! Here is a picture of mine, with sweet potato mashers:

This meal takes roughly an hour to prepare. In my opinion the left-overs taste even more amazing than when it was for dinner because after being left to sit in all of it’s own juices all night, the flavors are just enriched. Unfortunately I never have the patience to prepare it the day before I am going to cook it.  But I do make a huge batch so I can eat it for breaky or lunch the next couple of days.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato and Leek soup with BACON

imageGet in my belly!

 

I have been really in to making soups lately, maybe because of the rainy days… It makes you want to curl up in your favorite sweats and watch a movie with a hot bowl of soup.

This was really easy, and was the best soup I have ever had on a lazy Sunday.

First I peeled and cubed 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes.

I then chopped up 5 garlic cloves, 1 large shallot and 1 leek (white and light green part only. Discard the dark green part of the leek).

Shallots, Garlic, and Leeks

 

 

 

 

 

Heat up a pan over medium heat and add 8-12 pieces of bacon, diced  into small chunks. I used 1 package of Trader Joe’s Apple-wood smoked bacon.

Cook until browned, and than transfer to a paper towel to get rid of excess grease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to your bacon pan, there should only be about a tablespoon of bacon grease left, if there is a huge amount more than this, pour it out, leaving 1-2 tablespoons. Over medium heat, add to the grease, 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter (grass-fed preferable). Once melted add your garlic, shallots, and leeks, along with a pinch of sea salt and 4-5 turns on the cracked pepper mill (or to taste). You don’t want to add more salt than this because the bacon is salty. You don’t want your soup to taste like a salt lick. You can always add more to the finished product.

Turn the heat up to  medium-high and let that saute until the butter and grease is bubbling and the leeks have become tender and your kitchen smells amazing, 4-6 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Transfer the sweet potato chunks to your favorite stock pot or soup pan, top with the bacon, and pour in your whole pan of sauteed leeks, shallots, and garlic. Don’t leave behind any of that buttered bacon grease!

You want to add enough chicken stock to cover the sweet potatoes. If you don’t have time and/or are simply too lazy to make your own stock, just buy a couple boxes. I used an organic gluten free chicken stock that I buy at Costco. Always check your chicken stock to see if it is gluten free, sometimes it is NOT. And you wouldn’t want to ruin a whole batch of delicious soup!

 

 

 

I ended up using 1 whole box plus about a cup of chicken stock in order to nicely cover all the goods. Use a big spoon to stir it all up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover and turn up the heat, bringing your soup to a boil.

Once it is boiling, turn the heat down to simmer and mix in 2 cups of heavy whipping cream.

Let your soup simmer for 30 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.

Pour half of your soup into a blender. The chunks may sink to the bottom, so make sure you aren’t pouring liquid only.

I used a large strainer spoon and scooped what I figured to be roughly half of the goods and half of the liquid in to the blender.

I left half of the goods in the soup because I wanted the soup to be chunky. If you want the soup to be more pureed, or like a bisque, you could blend the whole batch, or use an immersion blender. I like the idea of having a smooth creamy soup with some delicious bites in between.

Blend until creamy and then pour back into your soup pot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mix it all up and it is ready to serve!

To me, the good thing about blending only some of the soup is that it allows for some versatility in your eating. If you feel like a cup of creamy bisque like deliciousness, just skim off the top. Otherwise ladle in some of the creaminess and add a big spoonful of chunkiness and you have a mighty fine bowl of amazing.

*While some folks who are Paleo include heavy whipping cream and grassfed butter in their cooking, some do not. To make this soup go from PRIMAL to PALEO, simply do not add butter (add a touch more bacon grease), and eliminate the heavy whipping cream.

Flank Steak Stir-Fryalicious

imagestirfry2

If I ask The Kiddo what she wants for dinner, her answer is always ‘Chinese food’. If I tell her we are not having Chinese food for dinner she then replies ‘sushi’.

Fortunately for us we have a local Chinese food restaurant that does gluten free Chinese food- they make almost all their dishes gluten free, if requested, for only $1 extra. And as amazing as it is, we simply cannot eat it every day of our lives and then some.

The other night we had gotten home from gymnastics, and I open the fridge to pull out my delish grass-fed flank steak that had been marinating all day in a fabulous Paleo sauce concotion, only to find the flank steak still wrapped in it’s butcher gift wrap. I obviously had imagined preparing it to soak all day.

F!

I don’t love eating flank steak if it hasn’t been marinated. I poke my head around the fridge… I needed a plan B. ‘Hey kiddo! What do you want for dinner?’

‘Chinese broccoli and beef!’ she shouts, like, duh mom, obviously!

‘We are not going to get Chinese tonight.’

‘Well make it yourself mom!’ well of course, why didn’t I think of that? Maybe because I don’t know how to cook Chinese food?

I stood wondering how I could make something yummy with this flank steak in less than 15 minutes that would taste scrumdidlyumptious without being marinated all day.

So, in true Aimee fashion, I just started pulling stuff out of the fridge.

I:

Added 2 Z’s of olive oil to the pan to warm.

Diced ½ a white onion and added it to a pan.

Added a pinch of sea salt and several cranks on the pepper mill.

Let that sauté for 3-4 minutes.

Added:

the flank steak, cut into strips.

¼ cup raw coconut aminos

¼ cup Tamari

6 finely diced chives

Juice from 1 medium orange

1 tsp crushed garlic

¼ tsp granulated garlic with parsley

Once that was mixed together, I added 1 bunch of broccolini.

I let that cook over medium heat until the flank steak was medium-medium rare and the broccolini was tender. You can cook this until the steak reaches your desired temperature, the broccolini will surely be done as well.

I served it in bowls and added some fresh orange zest on top.

Less than 15 minutes, and pretty darn delicious! Even the Kiddo went back for seconds.

* This is Paleo and Gluten Free. However, some folks who follow Paleo do not include Tamari (gluten free soy sauce) in their cooking repertoire, and so if this is you, simply exclude the Tamari, and add more Coconut aminos.

Just add BACON

imageDinner!

Yesterday for lunch on our Sunday lazy day, I had planned on making bacon wrapped burgers. But I was right in the middle of a very intense part of Super Bad, while also reading my book, and couldn’t pull myself away from the couch. The Hubs went in to the kitchen to start dicing up the bacon, and this is me: ‘why don’t we just add the ground beef to that bacon instead of making the patties… it’ll be delicious!’. READ: I am too lazy to get off the couch to do anything remotely close to forming patties for lunch, so ground beef is much quicker. I got up to add the seasonings, then got back to my laziness.

This is what went down in the kitchen.

  • 1 whole package of Trader Joe’s applewood smoked bacon, diced in itty bitty chunks. Cook until browned, and nearly done to your liking.
  • Add 1/2 chopped white onion straight to that delicious bacon grease.
  • We mixed in to the bacon and onion, a smidge of applewood smoked sea salt (2-3 pinches), 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp coarse black pepper, 1/8 tsp dried onion powder, 1/4 tsp dried french thyme, and 1/4 tsp dried sage.
  • We then added 1.5 pounds of grass-fed ground beef and 3 turns of crack pepper and 2 pinches of sea salt.
  • Mix it all up until the beef is done.

I added half an avocado to the top, and yum!

We had lot’s of left-overs and since I had established that yesterday was a lazy day, I decided to use our lunch to make dinner.

First I quartered up 1 large yam and 1 large Japanese yam and snuggled them up on a baking sheet. I added a hefty teaspoon of coconut oil on top of each and then sprinkled with fresh ground cinnamon.

I baked these on 385 degrees for 40 minutes.

With about 15 minutes to go I put the lunch pan, still nicely coated with bacon grease, on medium heat to warm.  I added brussel sprout halves and cooked for about 5 minutes until browned.

I then added the meat-bacon concoction from lunch to re-heat. It was finished right as the timer for the coconut cinnamon yams went off.

Who says you can’t turn a lunch in to a completely different dinner? It was delicious! And so simple.

*This meal is GLUTEN FREE and PALEO

 

Why is Gluten BAD?

image"A day without cupcakes is like a day without bacon" ~ Aimee

One day, when the sun was shining and the bumpers were bangin’, these fellas Robb and Greg told me to stop eating gluten. I am pretty sure I was doubled over in pain with a stomachache I had had for roughly 17 years.

When I was a child I had a stomachache nearly every day. I didn’t have the greatest home environment so doctors repeatedly diagnosed me with stress and ulcers, and/or malnourishment. I was hospitalized twice in a year when I was 13. I was put on every ulcer medication available and nothing helped. I got worse. Doctors put me on the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast), I got worse.

On to high school… I was afraid to eat lunch at school because I didn’t want to have a stomachache all day. I wouldn’t eat before any basketball games or track meets because I didn’t want to spend my game time in the bathroom. A doctor in high school told me I was eating too much meat, and suggested I become a vegetarian (GASP!). So I did that for about a year. I got worse.

Fast Forward.

I was very skeptical of everything I learned from Robb and Greg. Now this was 7ish years ago when Paleo was not as popular, and I was not as in to listening to these guys. I never in my wildest imagination thought that food could have such an impact on your life. Never, even if there was a fire. I didn’t even know what gluten was. Is that some sort of mildew that grows on rotten cheese or forgotten left-overs?

Robb and Greg, together and separately, convinced me to stop eating gluten. At the time I was also training really well and it was leading up to the best Weightlifting competition of my life… one in which I ended up becoming the National Champion.

I completely change my eating habits. I eliminate gluten, and train my ass off. After about 3 or 4 months, I realize I haven’t had a stomachache in all that time. ALL THAT TIME! NONE! But guess what I did… I said to myself, ‘Self! You are feeling so amazing because you have been training so amazing!!’ So this is the dumbass I am…

Duh, right? Skeptical ole’ me thought no freaking way has food been the reason I feel so amazing. It is because I have just had such an amazing training cycle! So I went back to eating all the things I loved… sandwiches from the local yummy deli, my favorite pasta dish, Oreo cookies, burritos, onion rings, deep-fried whatever. And I thought I would just continue on my awesome way.

After about 2 weeks, my stomachaches were back full force. And worse. Severe cramping, lethargic, terrible, terrible yuckiness.

I was wrong. It was not my training. It was the gluten. Robb and Greg were right.

I again eliminated gluten from my diet and have not had a constant stomachache in over 5 years.

I went to the Doc last year because I was having pains in my abdomen. During the process of trying to figure out what was happening (it ended up being my ovaries), I explained to the GI doc that I didn’t eat gluten and believed that I was intolelrant. She wanted to put me on a heavily loaded gluten diet for 2-3 weeks so that she could then test for Celiac. I told her no freaking thank you. I did not want to have weeks of pain and discomfort simply to be tagged Celiac.  I know I am greatly intolerant, because I just know. I get very sick when I accidently get a gluten dose, and all the symptoms I get are exactly the same as those who do have Celiac. You see, all those years of eating gluten my body built up a sort-of-tolerance. So although I had one stomachache over the course of 17 years, it was sometimes tolerable. Now when I get gluten after getting it the F out of my body for so long, I am just screwed. Just plain out-of-commision. Those doctors who told me I had ulcers and subscribed me pills and toast? They were just fueling the fire that was my guts.

Here’s a recent story. It is no secret that I love treats. We had gone to the movies and they were selling this gourmet liquorice in bags. I bought a bag, and it was so delicious! I just ate and ate and ate those little bite-size devils. My stomach started hurting so bad during the movie, I don’t even remember how the movie ended let alone what movie we even watched. I was like WTF man? I was sure that it was something I had eaten earlier in the day and was racking my brain to figure out how gluten got in my belly! We skipped going to dinner after the movie because I pretty much felt like a knife was sticking out my stomach, and I just wanted to get home. A bit later we were watching TV and Greg brought the bag over to me and said, ‘here do you want the rest of your liquorice?’ YUM! Uh, duh, I do! Chewing on a piece, I thought it was freaking delicious and so I turned the bag over to see who made it and where I could buy some more…dum dum dum.

There, next to the smiling faces of the F’ers who made the stuff, in big bold letters was the very first ingredient. WHEAT FLOUR.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY!

I never, ever thought to even look on the label (and I literally check everything, what a fool!) because who would put gluten in liquorice?

Lesson learned. I was literally sick for 3 days. Like, rolling-on-the-ground-crying, sick. I was weak and so tired, but I couldn’t sleep. I was run down and listless and all the things that go in the bathroom. All from F’ing liquorice!

Do you know what this means? If some liquorice can make you that sick, think…. just think for one second… what do you think eating wheat toast every single morning, and a sandwich for lunch, rolls with your deep fried chicken and side of pasta for dinner, and your bread pudding for dessert is doing to your guts?

When your guts are fucked up do you know what else gets sick? EVERYTHING! Autoimmunity? F’d. Insulin resistance? F’d. Solid Poop? F’d.

There are lots of big words and big reasons I don’t really understand about gluten insensitivities. I read Robb’s blog posts and sometimes it’s so far over my head I just don’t understand all of the scientific reasons. But what I do know is this. Gluten is really screwed up. It goes in to your guts and just ruins everything. I know this because I have been a victim nearly my whole life and doctors couldn’t figure it out, and by Robb knowing all he does, and Greg understanding all Robb knows, they have given me a life free of stomachaches and a host of other problems. A gift of health. They saved me.

So, you ask, why is gluten bad? I wanted to do it Dave Letterman style and write out a top 10 list of all the reasons gluten is bad, but you really only need one reason: Gluten makes your body sick and can lead to a whole host of auto-immune problems I would rather live without.

I know gluten is bad because a few measly pieces of liquorice turned my life upside down for 3 days.

*If you or a loved one, or even an enemy, suffers from tummy aches and/or would like to learn more about all the reasons gluten is bad, visit robbwolf.com.

Sunday Breakfast

imageBreakfast!

This whole breakfast took me less than 10 minutes. So for those people who say they don’t have time to make a delicious, healthy breakfast and choose to simply pop a bagel in the toaster and grab a yogurt, are totally full of shit.

I was home alone on Sunday morning and decided to get crackin on my Escaping Eggoredom egg ideas. So this recipe served just me! However, I tend to eat a lot, so this may actually work for 2. Up the eggs and quantities of the goodies according to how many you are going to feed.

Escaping Eggoredom #2

  • 1/2 large shallot, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato flakes
  • Chiffonade of fresh basil, 3 large leaves
  • 3 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste

I started with a warm pan on medium heat, and my ghetto-blaster-ipod-thingy blasting my jams. I added 1 olive oil ‘Z’ and let that heat for about 30 seconds. I added the diced shallots and minced garlic along with a pinch of seat salt and a couple turns of cracked pepper (add your salt and pepper to taste). I let that saute until the shallots were tender. I added 3 eggs and the sun-dried tomato flakes and scrambled them up. Just before the eggs were done I added the fresh basil chiffonade.

Escaping Eggoredom #2

At the same time as the eggs were cooking, in a separate pan, also on medium heat, I added 2 Z’s of olive oil and 1 sliced chicken apple sausage. I cooked this for about 5 minutes until browned.

Before I started the eggs and sausage, I cut 2 strawberries in half and hollowed them out a bit, and also cut open a pineapple and sliced it into thin chunks. I had bought a baby coconut at whole foods- have you seen them? The ones with the straws? I poured out the coconut water, and took the coconut outside and slammed it to the ground 3 times to crack it open. That was pretty much my workout for the day.

Cracked Coconut

Cracked Coconut

Once it was open, I scooped out small pieces of the wonderful fatty meat, and made little coconut fruit bites. I also made a mental note to serve these at the next party that I am invited to. They were pretty much amazing.

Coconut Pineapple bites

Strawberries with coconut

Strawberries with coconut

There it is… my whole breakfast in under 10 minutes. A delicious and hefty amount of protein, a bit of fruit, and a bit of yummy fat. I said delicious and there wasn’t even bacon in it… that’s when you know it’s good!

Breakfast!

Breakfast!

*This breakfast is PALEO and GLUTEN FREE

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Spears

imageSweet Potato Bacon Spears

It is no secret that I love love love bacon. Unless you don’t know me, then you simply don’t know me. So now you know at least that.

I put bacon in just about everything I can, and eat it whenever I can.

The other night we got home late from the gym, and The Kiddo wasn’t home. The Hubs and I didn’t feel like eating a whole dinner, and really just wanted to have a snack and then sit on the couch to watch Alcatraz.

I stood in front of the fridge, not wanting chicken, not wanting left-over steak, not wanting eggs, or fruit or anything resembling a green leafy vegetable, not even wanting dark chocolate. Then, as if a spotlight started shining down and the soundtrack to my life started playing, the fresh bacon from the butcher was all I could focus on.

I wasn’t convinced I wanted to eat the bacon solo, and eating it with anything else in the fridge seemed about as exciting as listening to the Hanson Brothers.

I had already peeled one sweet potato and was waiting for the water to boil so that I could feed The Pups his dinner.

Suddenly, like in the movies, I got the greatest idea! Forgetting that 5,037 other people in this world has likely had, and even probably posted a recipe on, the same idea, and while thinking I was the biggest genius since Dr. Dre or even Einstein, I got to peeling another sweet potato!

I cut it in to long, thick, french-fry like shapes. I boiled them until tender enough to take an easy and smooth fork stab.

Sweet Potato Spears

Sweet Potato Spears

I cut some bacon in half, and wrapped a half around each sweet potato.

I then lined them on a baking sheet covered in foil (because I didn’t want to clean bacon grease off the baking sheet, not because it is magical for the cooking process).

On half of the goodies I sprinkled a touch of brown sugar chile rub to caramelize and add a little kick of a treat (simply mix 2 tablespoons brown sugar with chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper to taste).

wrapped and ready for the oven!

wrapped and ready for the oven!

I baked them at 385 degrees until the bacon was just near perfect to my tasting. I then switched the oven to broil for 3 minutes to add a little sass to the top of the sweet potato (you can skip this part- but if you choose to do it, keep an eye on them… broil can change delicious to charred in seconds if not watched). It gives it a nice crunch, and boils the bacon grease a bit to help caramelize the sweet potato.

They were delicious little things. More filling then eating bacon by itself! Little bite sizes of amazing-so rich and fabulous!

Sweet Potato Bacon Spears

 

* Note, these little bites of amazing are PALEO, however adding the brown sugar is NOT PALEO. You can still add the chili to give a little heat. But all alone, without the brown sugar chili rub, is simply amazing. I was just experimenting.

 

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie EVER in the Universe

imageThe Awesome Cookie

My sister-n-law baked these for me a couple years ago, and I ate about 16 of them and then forgot all about the recipe. She had gotten the recipe from Mrs. Smith Cooks, who I had heard of before but simply continued to ignore because her recipes are full of gluten and sauces and everything against the Paleo rules.

Well duh! I know cookies are against the Paleo rules, but if they are gluten free I will slide them in to my Paleo-ish world. I’m a cheater, um’kay! Just like my idol, Marilyn Monroe.

Mrs. Smith calls them puddle cookies. I am not sure if that is because they semi resemble a mud puddle, but since she invented them she can obviously call them whatever she’d like. I like to call them, AWESOME.

Not one to follow a recipe exactly as written by the inventor, I obviously changed things up a bit. So this is my recipe, inspired by Mrs. Smith’s puddle cookies.

1 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips

2 cup Powdered Sugar- sifted

1/3 cup Ghirardelli cocoa powder- sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (if you don’t have this in your cupboard, your cookies can live without this)

Seeds from half a vanilla bean (if you don’t have a vanilla bean your cookies can live without this too)

2 egg whites

What you need to do:

  • Get your oven nice and toasty at 320 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk your powdered sugar, vanilla sugar and cocoa powder together. Add the chocolate chips (and any other ingredients you’d like to use to pizazz your cookies up- see below).
  • Lightly whisk your egg whites. For like, 7 seconds… no more than that. (you can absolutely skip this step if you are worried about over whisking, your cookies will still taste awesome).
  • Add your egg whites, vanilla, and half-vanilla bean to your other your yummy ingredients in a large mixing bowl until everything is incorporated nicely (don’t worry, you can’t over mix)
  • Use a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to drop large spoonfuls on to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  • The cookies do expand nicely in to an awesome sized cookie, so give each cookie a little spreadin’ room.
  • If you use the tablespoon to put your mix on the cookie sheet, it will make about 20 cookies. If you use a small scooper it will make about 10 large cookies.
  • Keep an eye on them, but you want to bake them for 10-14 minutes or until the gems puff up, look amazing, and have a bit of a crack on the surface.
  • When you take them out of the oven, refrain from immediately shoving them in to your mouth. Let them rest a bit on the cookie sheet (about 5-7 minutes) then use a silicone cookie spatula, or something non-stick to transfer them to a cooling rack.

I’d be a liar if I said I always waited for them to cool completley before eating one. So if you are completely impatient like me, then eat one after that initial 5-7 minutes so you don’t burn your tongue off, and save the rest for when they have cooled.

Sometimes, when I like to really live on the edge, I add 1/2 cup of shredded coconut, or crushed walnuts, or sprinkles for the kids. I have also used a cheese grater to shave a bit of white or dark chocolate on top of each cookie right before baking. You can also add a smidge of cheyenne pepper to give your cookies a little chocolate kick. I’ve also wanted a major bonus of amazingness and have added 3-4 pieces of cooked bacon, diced in to small itty bitty chunks… for a hidden surprise in each cookie.

The possibilities are endless! Unless you decided to add half cup of pickles. Not a good idea.

The Awesome Gluten Free Cookie

 

Escaping Eggoredom.

imageEscaping Eggoredom #1

Seriously, I am almost embarrassed to put this up here because it is really not a recipe, but merely a delicious way to escape complete and utter eggoredom. Aka eggs so boring you have to shovel them in your mouth in 3 seconds to fuel your body. So hopefully y’all need ways to escape the eggoredom in your lives because I will be posting a zillion ways to make your Paleo eggs less boring.

This one is sinchy.

Put your favorite pan over medium heat to warm it up! Make an avocado oil  Z. (If you don’t have avocado oil, you can use olive oil. I use the organic avocado oil from Whole Foods.)

Add 1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic (I like my garlic chunky, so I don’t put too much choppin’ into my mincing) depending on taste AND 1-2 tablespoons of chopped red onion to your desired chunkiness.

Add a pinch of sea salt, and desired cracked pepper and let that sauté for about a minute, then plop your eggs right on top! I cooked mine over-medium, but you could scramble them, or over-easy them, or even sunny-side up them.

Let the eggs cook until the white part gets firm (about a minute on medium heat), and right before you are going to flip them, add 3-4 fresh basil chiffonade and add it right on top of the eggs, then flip for another minute, or until eggs have reached your desired ‘doneness’.

That’s it! YUM!

This recipe is PALEO.

Escaping Eggoredom #1