Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fruit and Meat For Breakfast

Another tasty little breakfast that my hubbie really enjoyed!  The dark purple grapes were some of the sweetest grapes I've ever had - tasted just like grape juice!   Thanks Farm Fresh!

The Meat
- 2-3 pieces of bacon
- 2 breakfast links,
- 2 eggs
- salt, pepper, basil to taste

The Veggies
- 1/2 heirloom tomato, sliced
- 1/4 onion, sliced

The Fruit
- 4-6 large chunks of musk melon
- 12-15 grapes

I always start cooking the breakfast links first, since they take the longest to prepare.  I make the entire breakfast on the same griddle pan, using high heat to cook the meat and medium heat for the eggs.

After the links have been cooking a few minutes, roll them over and then add the bacon to the pan.  Flip the strips of bacon after 2-3 minutes and cook until crispy.  Make sure to save the grease for future meals!

After I remove the bacon from the griddle pan, I lower the heat to medium and cooked the eggs over easy.  It only takes 2-3 minutes for the egg to be solid enough to flip, and I usually only let it cook on my "easy" side approximately 30 seconds before removing from heat. While I cooked the eggs, I also cooked the sliced tomato and onions in some of the leftover grease, making sure the onions got soft and full of flavor, around 3 minutes.  

I plated the eggs and meat and put my heaping serving of grapes and melon onto the plate also.  YUM.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Breakfast And Dinner Had A Baby Named Awesome

Mmmm breakfast is so good.  But it's dinner time.  So make a breakfast-dinner!  There's lots of delicious protein in this meal, and the bacon grease turns the veggies into sheer tasty awesomeness.  

The Meat
- 2 petite sirloin steaks
- 2 chicken apple sausages, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 eggs
- salt, pepper to taste

The Veggies
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 small yellow potatoes, sliced thinly
- 1 cup spinach, raw
- 3 tablespoons bacon grease
- salt, pepper to taste

The Cheese

In a large skillet, put the peppers, onion, thinly sliced potato, and sausage with the bacon grease.  Bring the heat up to medium high and fry everything up, stirring every 30 seconds or so.  If you want your potatoes to be extra crispy, don't stir so often.  Cook everything for 10-12 minutes until the meat is cooked through and the potatoes are ready.  Once the veggies are ready, lower the heat and add the spinach, cooking and stirring for an additional 2 minutes until the spinach is sauteed down and ready to serve. Turn off the heat and add the crumbled garlic jack cheese so it gets all melty and delicious.

Using a griddle pan, I cooked up the steaks, around 4-5 minutes per side to get them medium rare.  This time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the steaks.  After cooking the steaks, I made two eggs over easy (our seriously favorite way of making eggs) and served everything together in a big heap of awesome.  Breakfast-dinner, you win.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pesto Bruschetta Salmon

Who DOESN'T love pesto?  The basil, the olive oil, the garlic...omnomnom.  And Pesto goes so well on so many different salmon!  I mixed diced tomato, onion, and oregano into my pesto to make a bruschetta style sauce with a big of crunch and extra kick to pair with the mild salmon flavors.  

The Meat
- 2-3 fillets of sock eye salmon
- salt, pepper, dill to taste

The Veggies
- 2 yellow potatoes, sliced
- 1 cup green beans, tips trimmed
- 1 cup spinach, raw
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon bacon grease
- salt, pepper to taste

The Sauce
 - 1 (packed) cup of basil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- lemon juice to taste
- 1 small slicing tomato, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced

To prepare the veggies, I boiled them all together with the water and bacon grease, seasoning lightly.  I cooked everything on high heat in a medium sized pan for around 15-20 minutes until most of the water had boiled away and the potatoes were soft.  

I cooked the salmon fillets on high heat with my griddle pan, flipping every 4 minutes or so until the salmon was opaque and flaky, around 8-12 minutes depending on the size of your fillets.  I seasoned them lightly, and when time to serve smothered the fish with my sauce. 

In a blender or food processor, I blended together my basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese, pulsing and scraping down large chunks to make sure everything was smooth and consistent.  I tossed in the tomato and onion with a spoon.  

*If you don't want to go about the business of making you own pesto, I won't judge you if you buy pre-made pesto from the store.  

This meal is easy to make, slightly less easy to clean up (due to the blender), and all over delicious.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Garlic Jack Cheese, Pesto, and Bacon Steaks

Yay for steaks!  This meal is classic, and the loaded steaks make you want to lick the plate.

The Meat
- 3-4 petite sirloin steaks
- salt, pepper to taste

The Veggies
- 1 cup broccoli
- 2 yellow potatoes, cubed
- 1 white potato, cubed
- 6-8 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease
- basil, salt, pepper, oregano to taste

The Sauce
Garlic Jack Cheese, crumbled
- 3 strips of bacon
 - 1 (packed) cup of basil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- lemon juice to taste

To start I cubed my potatoes, diced the onion and garlic, and tossed all three together into a medium sized saute pan with the bacon grease.  I seasoned liberally and let them cook on high heat for around 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so.  

While the potatoes were frying, I made the bacon on my griddle pan and also pulsed together my pesto sauce.  To make the pesto sauce, I used my Cuisinart Blender and Food Processor.  I blended together my basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese, pulsing and scraping down large chunks to make sure everything was smooth and consistent.  I crumbled the bacon and let it cool a little before mixing it into the pesto sauce.  Last ingredient into the sauce was the crumbled Garlic Jack Cheese.  That cheese is so good, we've been eating a lot of it lately!

After the veggies cooked for 10 minutes, I added the broccoli and lowered the heat.  I let the veggies cook for another 8 minutes or so while I made the steaks.  

To prepare the steaks I used the same griddle pan I made my bacon on, and used the leftover grease to get some extra flavor into the meat.  I cooked my steaks on high heat for around 4 minutes per side, or until the centers were pink when I cut into the steaks.  

When everything was done cooking, I plated the meals, making sure to smother a lot of the sauce onto the steaks - you'll want to ensure you get sauce with each bite, because it is soooooo good.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boneless Pork Roast

This meal was a one dish wonder!

The Meat
- 1 1/2 pound boneless pork roast, tied with string
- salt, pepper, marjoram, savory, fennel, rosemary to taste

The Veggies
- 2 heirloom carrots, thickly sliced
- 1 zucchini, thickly sliced
- 2 stalks celery, thickly sliced
- 1 turnip, diced
- 2 yellow potatoes, diced
- 1 heirloom tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup spinach, raw
- 1/2 cup chard, raw
1 cup vegetable broth
- salt, pepper, marjoram, savory, fennel, rosemary to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop all the veggies and get a big baking dish to fit everything.  Place the pork roast in the center, and mix all the veggies minus the chard and spinach together around the roast.  Pour in the broth and season everything.  

Place the baking dish with all the raw meat and veggies into the oven and roast for 45 minutes.  Check on the roast every 15 minutes or so, basting with the vegetable stock in the bottom of the baking dish.  

After 45 minutes, add the spinach and chard into the baking dish.  Swirl it around to make sure the leaves get coated with the juices that are in your pan.  Also at this point, I sliced the pork within the string netting and then cooked the meal for 15 more minutes.  The pork was juicy and tender, and the veggies were melt in your mouth soft.  Overall this is a great, hearty dinner!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mustardy Baked Chicken with Bacon, Chard, and Spinach

The Meat
- 2 bone-in chicken thighs and legs, skin on
- 1 1/2 tablespoons wholegrain dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon bacon grease
- dill, salt, pepper, savory, fennel seeds, caraway seeds to taste

- 2-3 strips bacon

The Veggies
- 1 1/2 cups of spinach, raw
- 1 cup chard, chopped
- 1 head broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 heirloom tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare the chicken thighs and legs by placing them in an oven safe baking dish.  Mix together the lemon juice, mustard, and seasoning, and rub the mixture all over the chicken.  Dot the skin with bacon grease and cook for 1 hour.  Check on the chicken occasionally, basting with whatever drippings are there if the chicken looks dry.  Before taking the chicken out completely from the oven, cut open the thickest part of the meat on the thigh to make sure the juices run clear and your chicken isn't undercooked.  

On a griddle pan, fry up the bacon on high heat.  Cook until crispy on both sides.  Save the produced bacon grease for the veggies.  Set aside the bacon to cool some, and then cut it into bite-size pieces to mix into the veggies later. 

To make the vegetables, I sauteed the broccoli, chard, and spinach together in bacon grease and a small amount of water.  I seasoned just with salt and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat, constantly stirring.  Then I tossed in the crumbled bacon and chunks of heirloom tomato.  I continued to cook the mixture on low heat for another 15 minutes, stirring pretty often.  When everything is all done, plate it and enjoy!  If you wanted to be extra fancy, you could melt a slice of swiss on top of the chicken to give this meal a Cordon-Bleu twist.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Garlic, Parmesan, And Bacon Scramble

Breakfast is a meal of champions, and bacon is king.  Eating this bacon scramble ensures you to be KING OF THE CHAMPIONS.

The Meat
- 2 breakfast links
- 5 slices of bacon, divided
- 2 eggs, whipped with 1/4 cup milk

The Veggies
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup spinach, raw and chopped
- 1 green onion, diced
- 4 Padron peppers, diced

- parmesan cheese, dill, salt, pepper, marjoram to taste

Fry up the breakfast links on high heat, turning every 5 minutes.  Make sure they cook all the way through - I usually cut one open to make sure there isn't any pink left in the center.

When the links are halfway done, add the bacon.  The bacon will cook quicker than the links, and grease up your pan nicely to fry the garlic.  

Take the cooked, crispy bacon off the pan and toss on the sliced garlic.  While that is frying, crumble three slices of the bacon, and then whip your eggs, milk, raw spinach, peppers, green onion, and the crumbled bacon together in a bowl with a fork.  Get it nice and bubbly so your eggs are fluffy.  Pour the egg mixture over the fried garlic and season everything liberally.  After 3 minutes, flip your eggs and break it up into a scramble with your spatula.  Plate everything and cover the eggs with grated Parmesan cheese.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Beef Patties with Garlic, Bacon, and Fresh Mozzarella

Another patty meal - these are my "easy" meals, where I use different kinds of stuffed ground meat to make a quick and cheap entree that still tastes awesome.  I asked my hubbie if he ever gets bored of eating ground meat and I got a pretty serious NO as a response.  Enjoy!

The Meat
- 1 pound ground beef
- 8 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 mushrooms, sliced
- salt, pepper, dill, basil to taste

- 3 slices bacon

The Garnish
- green onion, sliced
- mozzarella cut into large chunks

The Veggies
- 1 zucchini, sliced
1 summer squash, sliced
- 2 turnips, sliced
- 2 cups spinach, raw
- 1 cup water, divided
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- salt, pepper, dill to taste

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sliced garlic, mushrooms, and ground beef with the seasonings. Form the patties by picking up a fistful of the mixture and rolling it into a ball, then patting the ball flat on both sides.

In a large pan, bring the zucchini and turnips to a boil with the oil and 1/2 cup of water.  Season liberally and let cook for 15 minutes or until the turnips are soft.

Fry up 3 slices of bacon on high heat on a griddle pan.  Once cooked crispy, cut up the bacon and mix it with the zucchini and turnip mixture.  On the still greasy griddle pan, cook your patties, around 6 minutes a side - check with a knife to see how the centers of the patties look - you want them to still be a little pink in the middle so the meat is juicy and full of flavor, not dried out or burnt.

Wilt the spinach with the remaining half cup water.  Drain the spinach and toss it with the bacon, zucchini, and turnip mixture.  Layer the veggies on the plate, then the patties, and cover everything with green onion and mozzarella.  Yum-o.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Hubbie's Birthday = Veal Piccata

Happy Birthday to my hubbie!  I wanted to make him his favorite, so I went all out and whipped up some veal piccata.  He loves capers and garlic so I loaded up the sauce with extra of both.  The mashed potatoes got whole milk to make them extra creamy, and the spinach was cooked in bacon.  I did my best to make his birthday extra special and full of goodies. :)

The Meat
- 1 1/2 pounds veal, thinly sliced
- 2 cups potato flour
- salt, pepper to taste

The Sauce
- 6 tablespoons of butter
- 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup pinot grigio wine
- 1/8 cup of capers
- 6-8 cloves of garlic, sliced

The Veggies
- 8-9 small potatoes
- 1/2 cup milk
- salt, pepper to taste

- 2 cups spinach, raw
- 4 slices of bacon, diced
- 1/4 onion, sliced

Okie dokie.  This took some prep but was a lot of fun to do.  Set up your "stations" so you can streamline your productivity, and make less of a mess! On a Pyrex cutting board, lay out yer meat fer beating.  On another Pyrex cutting board, sift the potato flour, salt, and pepper.  Peel and boil the potatoes for around 15-20 minutes.  While they are boiling away and getting ready for beautiful mashed potato-dom, beat the veal with a tenderizer and enjoy it!  Dredge the beaten meat in the potato flour and set them aside for cooking. 

In a large saucepan, sear each side of the slices of veal.  Remove them from heat, they will complete the cooking process in the piccata sauce you're about to make.  In the same pan, pour the wine, butter, and lemon juice together.  Bring everything to a simmer.  After you've brought it to a simmer, add the garlic and let it cook for 5 minutes before adding in the veal and the capers.  Lower your heat and let everything cook for another 15-20 minutes.

In a different large saucepan, cook the diced bacon and onion on high heat.  While that cooks, drain your potatoes and put them in a large mixing bowl with the milk, salt, and pepper.  Use your masher to create creamy delicious mashed potatoes.

Once the bacon is a little crispy and the onions are soft, lower your heat and add the raw spinach a little bit at a time, stirring constantly and adding more as the cooking spinach begins to wilt. When the spinach is ready, plate the mashed potatoes and spinach first, then smother the edges of their sections of the plates with the veal and sauce.  The potatoes especially taste good with the leftover sauce on top.  Generously pile capers and garlic on top of the veal, and serve to happy people.

Cashew Butter Cupcakes...Did I Mention The Homemade Candy?

Another awesome cupcake recipe!  These are for my husband's birthday - he requested a chocolaty delight, and one thing we miss is Reese's peanut butter cups.  Being Primal, we don't eat peanuts or processed candies anymore, so I decided to deviate from our Primal lifestyle just a bit and treat my husband to some homemade nut-butter cups filled with almond butter, cashew butter, and honey instead!  The cupcakes were also almond butter and cashew butter mixed together, and the chocolate icing had a beautiful hint of coconut from the coconut oil use to make it.  

This is another variation of the lemon raspberry cupcakes I made a few months ago.  The basic cake recipe is the same as those and the other cupcakes I have made, I just altered the recipe to include some almond butter and creamy cashew butter.  The cupcakes turned out great, but their consistency was a little bit heavier due to the richness of the nut butters.

I made the chocolate candies a few nights before because it takes several hours to do the whole process.  I made them in cupcake liners because I didn't find candy sized liners in my usual grocery stores and didn't really feel like searching for them elsewhere...I decided to cut the chocolates into smaller sizes to put on top of the cupcakes (which proved a little difficult and required finesse but looked soooo good) and also, it was freaking awesome to have gigantic candies like this in the house.  They are so rich, we'd only eat half at a time, but oh man, so awesome.

The Candies

- 1/3 cup creamy almond butter with sea salt
- 1/2 cup creamy cashew butter
- 3 tablespoons honey

First, I melted the chocolate chips.  Put them in a medium sized metal bowl - not a plastic one! - so the chocolate can melt without burning in the pan.  In a large saute pan, I brought 1 1/2 cups of water to a low boil.  When the water was simmering nicely, I put the metal bowl with the chocolate chips directly into the hot water, keeping the heat on medium low.  I used a frosting spatula and slowly stirred the softening chocolate until it was all creamy and smooth, with no lumps of unmelted chocolate.  

Once that step was complete, I grabbed my cupcake tin and lined it with cupcake liners.  Using a spoon, I spooned chocolate into each liner, and then pushed the chocolate up the sides of each liner with the back of the spoon.  I tried to make sure that chocolate got into each crevice of the cupcake liner, as well as keeping at least 1/4 inch of chocolate at the bottom of the cups to ensure my bottoms would be thick enough to hold the goodies I was planning on packing inside the candies.  Then it was off to the freezer for around 4 hours. There was a little bit of extra chocolate in the metal bowl so I set it aside to use again for the tops of my candies.

When the chocolate shells were solid, I mixed the almond butter, honey, and cashew butter in a small bowl and spooned the delicious mixture into each shell, leaving around 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch left to cover with more chocolate. I remelted the chocolate in the same fashion as before and 

The Cake

Wet Ingredients
- 1/3 cup frozen banana, thawed
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon arrow root powder
- 1/3 cup olive oil (or light oil of your choice)
- 1/3 cup coconut milk 
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup water 
- 1/4 cup creamy almond butter with sea salt
- 1/2 cup creamy cashew butter

Dry Ingredients
   - 2/3 cup white rice flour
- 2/3 cup (don’t pack the cup) shaved palm sugar
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup almond flour 
- 1/4 cup coconut flour 
- 1/3 cup brown rice flour
- 2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the wet ingredients and beat the batter in a medium mixing bowl with an electric beater for around 2 minutes.   I stuck the mixture in the fridge for a little while to let it rest and so the arrow root could thicken it up a bit. 

In a larger mixing bowl, I sifted together all the dry ingredients.  I folded the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mixed them thoroughly. Then I spooned the mixture into cupcake liners in my baking pan. I spooned it almost up to the top of the liner.

I baked the cupcakes for 21 minutes until the tops were solid and I could stick a toothpick in cleanly.  I let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes before pulling them out - I have learned that they are slightly fragile.  Once again, I let the cupcakes sit out overnight before icing them.  They are much more firm in the morning, and they were easy to handle then.

Before preparing the icing and decorating the cupcakes, I took my candies out of the freezer and used my largest knife to CAREFULLY cut them into 4 pieces.  Some candies did not make it out intact from this surgical process and needed to be eaten.  It was sad and the candies shall be remembered.

The Icing
- 3/4 cup grated palm sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon almond butter 
- 1/2 cup coconut oil

I used the palm sugar as my base for the icing and swirled some coconut oil into the mixing bowl.  I dotted the mixture with the almond butter and palm shortening.  After beating the icing to a taste and smoothness I liked, I swirled in the cocoa powder.

BE CONSCIOUS OF THE TEMPERATURE OF THE ICING.  If it gets too warm it gets too gooey and the icing gets really drippy and won't stick to your cupcakes right.  You don't want that.  Pop your icing into the fridge for a minute to cool them down if you start to notice that they are getting gooey.  But you must be careful not to leave your icing in the fridge too long, or else it gets rock solid because of the palm shortening. 

Working quickly, I iced the cupcakes with my spatula, and then wedging a chunk of our candies on top.  Sometimes a little extra icing was used, like glue, for the larger chunks of candy.  Then the cupcakes got whisked into the fridge, for the icing to harden and keep the candy chunks in place.  

Depending on how warm you keep your home, around 20-30 minutes before you serve your cupcakes, take them out of the fridge.  Keep an eye on them, if the icing starts to look drippy send them back into the cold for a minute.

Now - go forth and indulge in these, and never settle for a mere peanut butter cup ever again.