Roasted Pork Ribs

There was a sale on pork ribs the other day at the grocery store and so I took the opportunity and bought myself a package.  I think the last time I had ribs was two months ago.  They were… okay.  The meat didn’t fall off the bone.  I don’t think it was cooked long enough for it to do so.  I didn’t cook em so I’m only guessing.  It may have been for a birthday party now that I think about it.

I judge how good a rib is by how easy it is for me to tear the meat off.  If all I need are my hands and my teeth then I’m good.  I also don’t like a lot of sauce on my rib.  I tend to wipe it off.  Dry rubs are okay, but I’ve come across ribs that have too much salt.  I didn’t want to taste salt.  I wanted to taste the meat.  Picky picky picky.

Anyhoo… I don’t have a grill at my place so I had to settle for roasting it in the oven.  I seasoned the ribs with Montreal Seasoning and Lawry’s Seasoning Salt.  That’s about it.  Simple.  Here’s how to do it…

 

ROASTED PORK RIBS

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Season your meat.

3.  Place in roasting pan.

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4.Put in oven and cook for 1 hour.

5.  After an hour flip and cook for one more hour.

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6.  DONE!!  Take the meat out of the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

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7.  Cut and serve!

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Since it was slow cooked, the meat was tender and came off the bone easily.  The only time I needed a knife was to cut off my portion for dinner.  If you are a BBQ sauce lover then I suggest putting the sauce on the meat at least 5-10 minutes prior to the end of cook time.  Slather it on both sides and it should have a nice glaze by the time it’s done.  I don’t have a recipe for Paleo friendly BBQ sauce at the moment, but now that I’m thinking about it I want to make one.  Stay tuned for a future post!  🙂

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Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs with a side of Broccoli

Last week I took the kids to the grocery store and I asked them what they wanted to eat for dinner.  They said that they wanted chicken and bacon and rice.  I told them that they had to pick a vegetable and so they chose broccoli.  When I’m cooking with the kids I like to try and have them help as much as they can.  If one is off washing dishes while the other is helping me season the dish then that works too!

For this recipe there really isn’t much to it.  It’s a very simple recipe.  You know me by now…  Bacon is my favorite flavoring!  😛

 

BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN THIGHS and BROCCOLI

Ingredients:

1 head of broccoli (chopped into pieces)

1 package of uncured bacon

1 pound of chicken thighs

3-4 tablespoons of Coconut oil or butter

Seasoning (salt, pepper, parsley, etc.  Whatever you like!)

Directions:

1.  Grab your pans and preheat them on the stove at medium high heat.

2.  In one pan, put the butter or oil and let it melt.

3.  Toss in the broccoli and cook til it is at the tenderness that you like.  I would say about 7-10 minutes.  (I like to season my broccoli after it’s been cooked that way I can give it a taste and if it needs more seasoning I add more.  I usually just salt and pepper it.  Sometimes for a kick I’ll add chili or cayenne powder, and sometimes even red pepper flakes.)

4.  While your broccoli is cooking, season the thighs and then wrap in bacon.  Try and make sure you have the ends of the bacon meet on the same side.

5.  Place your meat seam side down onto the pan and cook on all sides until the bacon has browned and crispied up.  This will be about 15-20 minutes of cook time.

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6.  When all is said and done, plate up your food all fancy and take pictures!  I mean…  serve and enjoy!

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Bacon Brussel Sprouts and Yam

A couple months ago I had never had a brussel sprout.  I knew what they were, but I had never tried one.  Anytime someone describes the taste or brussel sprouts they say it’s gross and soggy and gross!  That might be why I had avoided them for so long.

Then I met PaleoJoe and for dinner one day his Mom made roasted brussel sprouts.  She explained that yes, depending on how you cook them they can get soggy and gross, but if you cook them right they’re crunchy and delicious.  I had her brussel sprouts and I liked em!  They’re just mini cabbages.  What was I afraid of?

For this recipe I decided to cook the brussel sprouts with bacon fat and when all is said and done, sprinkle the bacon bits over the finished product.  It gives it that much more flavor AND you’re using all of your food.  No tossing the bacon fat in the garbage, use it!

 

BACON BRUSSEL SPROUTS AND YAM

Ingredients:

2 strips of uncured bacon (diced)

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1/2 pound to 1 pound of brussel sprouts (washed, drained and cut in half)

1 medium yam/sweet potato (cut into the same size as the brussel sprouts or smaller)

salt and pepper

 

Directions:

1.  Grab a oven proof skillet big enough to fit all of your ingredients and put it on the stove to heat up on medium high heat.  Note: If you do not have an oven proof skillet then a baking sheet/dish will work fine.  Just trying to cut down on your dish washing.

2.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

3.  Throw your diced bacon into the skillet and cook until crispy.

4.  Take bacon out of pan and set aside.  Turn off stove

5.  Put brussel sprouts and yam into the skillet.  Toss them so that they’re evenly covered with the bacon grease. (If using a separate baking dish then after you toss the veggies in the bacon grease, pour them into the baking dish.)

6.  Season with salt and pepper.

7.  Put skillet/baking dish in oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until the veggies are to your desired level of cooked-ness.

8.  Take veggies out of oven and serve!!  Don’t forget to sprinkle on some those bacon bits for added texture!

Brussel Sprouts and Yam

Additions:  You can always add more to this dish if you like.  Perhaps dicing up a couple cloves of garlic and letting it roast with your veggies in the oven.  How about a small onion?  Fresh herbs are always a great way to go.  Oh and if you don’t want to cook with bacon grease then olive oil or coconut oil works just fine.  Entirely up to you.  This is just a guideline.  If you want to make it your own then I say go for it!  ENJOY!

Grilled Tilapia

Massive craving for fish yesterday after the back workout at the gym yesterday.  PaleoJoe had defrosted chicken, which sounded great at the time, but after 45 minutes of back and then 1 mile on the treadmill I wanted something else.  TILAPIA!

So after the gym we headed to MOM’s and picked up a whole tilapia.  Again, when choosing fish make sure that the eyes are bright, the body has no cuts or bruising and still looks pretty, and it doesn’t smell.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about then ask the fish guy/gal.  They will help you pick the right one.  Also, if they offer fish cleaning services where you get your seafood then definitely take the opportunity and have them do it.  For this fish, we had them gut it, scale it and lop off the fins.  POW!  Here’s the recipe for…

 

GRILLED TILAPIA

Ingredients:

1 whole tilapia (cleaned)

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1 lemon (sliced)

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Handful of fresh Basil (you can keep it whole or chop it up.  Entirely up to you.  I would also recommend fresh Rosemary or Thyme.)

Salt and Pepper to taste

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Directions:

1.  Preheat your grill to medium high heat.  Charcoal grill should be about the same.  You don’t want high heat.  You’ll burn the fish and that’s sad.

2.  Season the inside of your fish with salt and pepper.  Place a layer of basil down and then the lemon slices and then another layer of basil over that.  I just so happened to have some lemon slices leftover so I squeezed the juice over both sides of the fish.  Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper.

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3.  By now, your grill is preheated so take your fish on over and lay it on the grill.

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I know…  the picture is dark.  It’s a terrible picture, but you get it right?

4.  Put the cover down and LEAVE THE FISH ALONE!  You’re going to let it cook for 12-15 minutes.  When it’s time, FLIP!  Wait another 12-15 minutes and you’re done!

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We ate the fish with a side of fresh diced tomatoes (Lemon Boy and Early Girl) from the garden.  I put about 3 tablespoons of patis (fish sauce) and mixed it.  Sometimes I overestimate how much seasoning is on the fish and I’m left with an under seasoned fish.  Whoops!  Having the tomatoes with the patis helps.  Super tasty!  Prior to Paleo I would eat this with a side of rice, but ah well.  ENJOY!!

BBBBRRRRAAAAIIIINNNNSSSSS!

 

Well, PaleoJoe and I are officially zombies.  Yesterday for our post-workout meal we had pork brains with a side of our home made kimchi and watermelon juice.  I had posted last week, a picture of the different organs that we had purchased and for today’s recipe we are going to be working with the brain.

This brain was kinda weird.  As it is our first time working with this type of meat I don’t know if we handled it correctly, or if we did everything perfectly.  We looked online at various websites on how to prepare and cook the brain.  Apparently they’re not so uncommon in the southern states and will come canned with some kind of gravy.  Didn’t look very appetizing at all. Oh and tell me why I kept thinking of this guy the entire time I was looking up recipes:

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HA!!

Anyhoo…  Since it was too hot to make a stew and we didn’t have enough vegetables for a stir-fry, we ended up using seasoned coconut flour to bread it and fried it in leftover bacon fat from an earlier breakfast.  Here’s the recipe…

 

BREADED PORK BRAIN

Ingredients:

1lb pork brain

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1/4 cup of coconut flour

Seasoning (Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Fresh chopped basil)

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Bacon Fat or Oil (EVOO or Coconut Oil.  Whichever you like to cook with.  Butter will work as well.)

 

Directions:

1.  Soak brain in cold water for 1-2 hours.

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2.  In a large enough pot, put the brain in with enough water to cover it and put it on the stove on high heat.  Bring it to a boil and when it does, turn the heat down to simmer.  Let simmer for 3-5 minutes.

3.  Drain water and cut to however large pieces you want.  (To be honest, I think since ours was frozen it kind of fell apart.  We didn’t have to do much cutting, but just in case yours stays together, then cut it.)

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4.  Preheat frying pan on medium high heat with your cooking oil/butter.

5.  I’m going to assume that you know to let your meat cool down before handling.  Carefully take your pieces of brain and roll them in the flour.

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6.  Place pieces on the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until it’s a golden brown.  (PaleoJoe says that the pieces were soft and flimsy so he had to use a fork to carefully flip them.)

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7.  Plate and SERVE!!

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Again, we had them with a side of our homemade kimchi and fresh watermelon juice.  (PaleoJoe tossed a couple of pieces in a blender and hit puree.)  I’m not sure if the brain is supposed to be soft, but that’s what it was.  Soft.  The breading on the outside gave it the teeniest of crunch, but the brain itself was very soft.  What did it taste like?  I don’t know if I can explain it.  It wasn’t iron-y, it didn’t taste like pork, but there definitely was a taste to it.  I just can’t quite describe it.  I’ll ask PaleoJoe and see what his take on it was.

We’re going to try another brain recipe, preferably with a fresh brain, and see if there is any difference in texture and taste.  All in all, it wasn’t a bad experience.  We tried something new, and we will definitely try it again.  ENJOY!

Grass-fed Burgers

Whenever I pick my kids up from the babysitter’s place, I always ask them: “What do you want to eat for dinner?”  I usually get the same answers: “Chicken and rice!  Top Ramen with egg!” or the super gross: “MCDONALD’S!!”  I always tell them no, and I offer up alternatives.  I remind them that I will never take them to McDonald’s because that’s not REAL food.  They are saddened by this, but then perk up when I tell that that they’re going to help me make dinner.  They are always so very willing to help out in the kitchen and I love that.

So last night I sugested burgers for dinner and to my surprise they said yes.  My kids don’t normally like hamburgers.  They are more hot dog eaters and they very rarely eat sandwiches.  My girl would prefer to eat the meat separate from the bread, and my boy would rather eat the bread than the meat.  They’re weird, but whatever.

We stopped at Lucky’s for ingredients and to my happy surprise there was uncured bacon and grass-fed ground beef there.  YES!  They of course had organic vegetables so I put that in the basket as well.  15 minutes later and we were out of there.

Since my kids aren’t really on the Paleo Lifestyle like I am, I allowed them to have buns to hold their burger.  But not just any old boring buns!!  NOPE!!  I had made my own Garlic and Parsley Butter a couple of days ago and I spread it on some french bread slices and toasted it up.  Oh we fancy!!  😛

Here’s what you’re going to need for…

 

BURGERS

Ingredients:

1 lb of grass-fed ground beef

3 strips of uncured bacon (diced)

3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 egg

Montreal Seasoning and Onion Powder (I kind of eyeballed it.  A tablespoon total perhaps?)

Directions:

1.  Put all of your ingredients in a bowl.

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2.  Get your 6 year old boy to wash his hands and squish away!!

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He thought that it was the grossest thing ever, but the smile on his face shows me that he thought it was fun.

3.  If you have a grill then fire it up!  If you’re like me and don’t have one, then get a pan and put it on the stove on medium high heat.  Add about 2-3 tablespoons of butter and let it melt.

4.  So the size of the patty depends on you.  Want a 1/2 pound of burger then divide the meat into two.  Want a 1/4 pounder?  or…

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HA!!  Well…  you get the picture.  Up to you!!

5.  When the pan/grill is hot, add the meat.  Let cook for 3-5 minutes on each side (or longer depending on how well you want it cooked.  I like mine rare.)

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6.  You can use the time that the patties are cooking to prep your fixins.  I had an avocado, a tomato, and iceburg lettuce.

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Now THAT’S a delicious burger if I ever saw one!!  I pretty much inhaled it.  It was juicy, flavorful, and of course Paleo friendly.  🙂

My kids enjoyed theirs as well.

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So again, it is entirely up to you what kind of fixins you want to add to your burger:   grilled onions or bell peppers, portobello mushroom, cheese (raw and unpasteurized if you’re Paleo), MORE BACON!  Up to you!  Make it your own.  I recommend serving this up with a side of sweet potato fries.  ENJOY!

Super Easy Chicken Stock

Do you know how easy it is to make chicken stock?  Any stock really.  All you need are bones and your aromatics.  As you can tell from the title, it’s a chicken stock recipe and believe me when I tell you that it is VERY easy.  You can even make this in your crock pot if you wanted to.  All you are going to need is leftover bones and skin from chicken.  Did you have a roasted chicken for dinner or lunch?  You can use those!  If you didn’t then a trip to your local butcher will work just as well.  They usually have leftover chicken parts that they have for sale or you could maybe get for free.  Usually the backs of chicken or even if they went so far as to de-boning a chicken.  Ask!  You can use chicken stock in a number of recipes.  Instead of boiling your noodles, rice or potatoes in water, why not try boiling it in stock?  It’ll add so much more flavor to your dish.

So here’s what you’re going to need for this recipe…

CHICKEN STOCK

Ingredients:

Leftover chicken bones and skin

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Celery

Onion

Carrot

Garlic

Herbs (Parsley, Rosemary, etc.  Whichever you have on hand.  Preferably fresh, but dry will work just as well.)

Salt and Pepper

 

Directions:

1.  Put chicken bones and skin into a large pot and cover it with water.  Add your aromatics and seasoning to the pot and turn stove to high.  Bring water to boil and as soon as it does, turn the heat down to a simmer.

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2. Place lid on pot and let it do it’s thing for 4 to 6 hours.

3.  Every so often you can skim the foam that appears on the surface of the liquid.

4.  After the 4-6 hours, take out the bones and strain the stock.  You can use cheesecloth or a paper towel lined sieve.  Discard the solids.  OR…  if you want to keep the solids, then at least take out the bones and using an immersion blender/blender you can blend the veggies into the stock.

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5.  All done!!  Store in your fridge for future use.  Please note that storage in the fridge is good for a week.  If you freeze the stock it is good for a month.  ENJOY!

 

Oh and to cook it in your crock pot/slow cooker all you have to do is throw everything in and set your temperature to Low (8-10 hours) or High (4-6 hours).  Then do #3-5.  🙂