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!

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Paleo Stir-Fry (Chicken, Shrimp and Vegetables)

 

 

 

 

I really wish I had written the recipe down or had typed up this entry the day after I had made this dish.  I am going to try my best to redo the recipe based on the pictures that I took.  PaleoJoe and I had made this dish on Wednesday last week and it only took about 30 minutes to make.  Since I didn’t write down the recipe all of the measurements will be guesstimates so please use the minimum amount of seasoning and then add more at the end when everything has been cooked.  The noodles used in the dish were made from Sweet Potatoes.  So yes, this is Paleo friendly.  I haven’t had these noodles before, just the shirataki, but these were great!

 

PALEO STIR-FRY

Ingredients:

1 bag of sweet potato noodles (You can find them at your local Asian market.  Shirataki or Konjac Noodles will work just as well.  Just make sure there’s no tofu or sugar added if you are Paleo Friendly.)

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1 lb. Shrimp (Peeled and De-veined)

1 lb. of chicken breast (cut into large chunks.  Try to make them all the same size so that they cook evenly)

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1 chinese egg plant (cut into chunks)

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1 small onion (cut into chunks)

2-3 stalks of green onion (diced)

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 carrot (peeled and shredded)

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5-6 large shiitake mushrooms (sliced)

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2-3 handfuls of mung bean sprouts

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2 sweet gypsy peppers (I had them leftover from my FullCircle box and I didn’t want them to go bad.  Gave it a nice kick.  Optional.)

Seasoning (Tamari or Soy Sauce, salt, pepper, powdered/fresh ginger, white vinegar, Mirin, or even sesame seeds.  Entirely up to you what you want to put in it.  If this is your frist stir-fry then go with the first 3 ingredients.)

 

Directions:

1.  Get a large pan or pot and soak your noodles.  Put on stove and bring water to boil.  Turn down heat so that the water is simmering.

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2.  If your veggies aren’t prepped yet, then please get to preppin’!  Otherwise, get a wok and preheat it to medium high heat with coconut oil.

3.  Put eggplant and onion.  Cook for 5 minutes.

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4.  Add peppers.

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5.  Add chicken and cook 5-7 minutes.

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8.  Add the rest of the vegetables except the mushrooms.  Cook 3-5 minutes.

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9.  Add shrimp and cook until they are pink.  About 5-7 minutes.

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10.  Add mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes.

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11.  Check your noodles.  They should be soft.  Taste one.  Should be similar to spaghetti where it’s flexible, soft, but not mushy.  Get a colander and put it in your sink.  Take your noodle pot to sink, and dump noodles into colander so that the water will drain.  You can also take tongs and transfer the noodles from the pot to the wok if that’s easier for you.

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12.  Mix noodles and veggies.  Season your dish with salt, pepper, etc.  Taste and if you think it needs more then add some more.

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13.  Transfer food to a dish and ENJOY!

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You can easily make this a vegetarian or even vegan dish by opting  out of the chicken and shrimp.  You can also put in any number of vegetables into this dish.  Perhaps some baby bok choy, zucchini strips, etc.  Have fun with it!  Experiment.  Recipes aren’t set in stone.  They’re more like guidelines.  Make it your own.  🙂

Rambutan

Ever heard of Rambutan?  It’s a funny looking fruit that looks similar to lyechee, but this one has that hair all over it.  I had first heard of this fruit from my friend Justin.  He said that if I like lyechee, then I’m going to like this.  I had picked up a pack of them at my local Asian grocery market and took it home.

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But how do you open it?  I had no idea.  The outer part is kind of hard, but I couldn’t peel it easily.  Thank goodness for YouTube because someone had posted a video on how to open a ramubutan on there.  It was very simple.  Take a knife and press down into the fruit until you feel it cut through the shell.  You’ll feel it.  Don’t cut all the way through.

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Once you’ve cut all the way around you can pull the top shell off and then the fruit.

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It is now ready to eat.  Please note, that there is a seed in the middle of the fruit.  It’s not so tasty.  The fruit itself is juicy and sweet.  For more information on Rambutans please click HERE and HERE.

 

Korean Melon

Ever heard of a Korean Melon?  I hadn’t until about 3 days ago when I was out grocery shopping with PaleoJoe.  When we grocery shop we mainly stick to the perimeter of the store where all of the REAL food is located.  Processed foods are bad you know?  While in the produce section I happened to glance over where the fruit were and saw this yellow fruit.

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This one is about 6 inches in length with maybe a 4 inch diameter.  It wasn’t heavy, and I tried to find one with the least amount of bruises and was firm.  Since I had never had this fruit before I decided to buy two of them and then get my google on to see what this fruit was all about.

I first did a search of how to prepare it.  It is very very easy.  The skin of the fruit is very thin so if you wanted to, you can give it a wash and munch away.  I didn’t do that.  I used a knife peeled it.  I’m sure you could use a peeler if you really wanted to.  Again, the skin is thin so you shouldn’t have any problem peeling it.

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So as you can see, the meat of the fruit is white.   The smell if fresh, sweet, and like a melon.  Cantaloupe, honey dew, etc.

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This is the inside of the melon.  As you can see, there are seeds inside.  You can either scoop out the seeds or eat it.  I did both.

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The seeds are soft and sweeter than the meat.  I guess I lucked out and chose the right one because it wasn’t soft, but nice and crisp.  Had a crunch to it.  All in all, a very refreshing fruity treat.  I would definitely buy this again.  I haven’t seen this fruit in any good ol’ American supermarkets so your best bet is to check out the nearest Asian market to see if it’s in stock.

Saw an excellent suggestion on the page that I’m going to link to below:  Use the melon as an edible bowl.  Serve cottage cheese, yogurt, fruit salad, etc. in them.  What a great idea!

For more information on the Korean Melon you can go HERE.

Zucchini Pizza

I always second guess myself whenever I type out “zucchini”.  Is it two C’s or two N’s?  It’s two C’s.  Vacuum messes me up too.

Back to the original subject:  Zucchini Pizza.  I miss pizza.  I’ve started living my life Paleo and because of it…  I can’t have normal pizza.  Eh, I’ve made it work though.  I’ve made these delicious treats which are WAY healthier than normal pizza.  I’ve also made a coconut flour crust pizza, which I will most likely make a post about sometime in the future.

In the harvest box that I get every two weeks there was a bag of zucchini and normally I would cut it up and put it in a stir fry, but I wanted to try something different.  A friend of mine posted something similar to this on facebook and I knew that I wanted to try it.  I’m always looking for new recipes to try, and if they aren’t Paleo friendly then I find a way to make it so.  Below is the recipe:

 

ZUCCHINI PIZZA

Ingredients:

7 zucchini (Use as many or as little as you want. Tops cut off and sliced in half.

Tomato Sauce

Parmesan Cheese

Shredded Mozzarella cheese

olive oil

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Wash and prep your zucchini.

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3.  Drizzle baking sheet with olive oil and arrange zucchini on pan.

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4.  Spread tomato sauce on zucchini.

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5.  Top with parmesan cheese.

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6.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes.

7.  Take pan out of oven and top with mozzarella cheese.

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8.  Put pan back in oven and cook for another 5-10 minutes (you’re just melting the cheese)

9.  DONE!!  Serve on a plate and ENJOY!!

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Note:  You can add any toppings that you want to this dish.  Want pepperoni or sausage?  SURE!!  Add that in step 5.  It’s a very versatile dish.  You can put whatever toppings or cheese that you wish.  I think some stores even have a pizza blend.  I like to use Parmesan, Monterey Jack, and Mozzarella cheese for my pizza.  This would make an excellent appetizer/side dish or even an entree.  It’s not vegan friendly because of the cheese, and I know that there are some Paleo people that don’t eat dairy, but the cheese used was raw and unpasteurized.  Dairy is a gray area for Paleo.  PaleoJoe and I try to keep to the raw and unpasteurized dairy as much as we can.  Just so you know.  Oh and nutritional facts about zucchini can be found HERE.

Kale Chips

I had gotten a kale bunch in my harvest box last week and PaleoJoe had a great idea to make them into kale chips.  You see them in the store at Whole Foods or perhaps your local grocer.  You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to make and how much cheaper it is to make it at home.  I looked up a bunch of different recipes on-line and here’s what I’ve put together.

 

KALE CHIPS

Ingredients:

1 bunch of kale (washed and dried)

Olive oil

Salt (You can use any seasoning you want.  Throw some hot pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for some heat!)

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Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F

2.  Wash and dry your Kale.

3.  All you want are the leaves so break off the stem.

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4.  Cut your kale into as big or as small pieces as you like.  I think mine are about an inch wide.

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5.  Arrange the pieces on the baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil onto the kale.  You don’t want too much.  They will just cook up soggy.  Just do a little at a time, toss, and drizzle some more.   I did it about 3 times with 3 tosses.  Add your seasoning and make sure you toss so that it’s evenly distributed.  When you’re done, try and get your pieces facing down so that it’s like this:  /\  I hope you get what I mean.  The back side of the leaf should be facing up.

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6.  Put baking dish in oven and cook for 6 minutes.  At 6 minute mark, turn the tray around 180 degrees.  Cook for another 6 minutes.  Now that it’s done, check on it.  Is it as crispy as you would like it?  Add another 2-3 minutes for desired crispyness.

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Note:  So I’ve read that the “curly” leaf kale is the best to use.  You don’t want to add too much olive oil because then it will be soggy instead of crispy.  You’ll see that with some of your chips if you had put too much on some of them.  Cooking them facing down elevates the leaves so that they’ll cook evenly.  If you cook too long it’ll be too crispy or burned, so keep an eye on it.  10-15 minutes of cook time should be enough.  ENJOY!!

Kale Nutrition Facts HERE

Plantain Chips

I was at Trader Joe’s yesterday after the gym, which probably wasn’t a good idea because I was super hungry.  Everything at the store looked delicious and it all needed to make its way into my belly.  At the register there was a bag of plantain chips, but it was fried in sunflower oil and that’s not Paleo friendly.  PaleoJoe said that if I wanted plantain chips he would buy them fresh and make them at home.  SOLD!!  There weren’t any plantains at Trader Joe’s so we made a stop at Sprouts and picked some up.

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Before I go any further…  what’s a plantain?  It’s a big starchy banana.  There’s a Filipino dessert called Turon where you roll it in sugar, wrap it in lumpia wrapper and deep fry it.  SO GOOD and SO BAD for you.  Not very Paleo friendly.  The plantain doesn’t taste very good raw.  I know, I’ve tried it.  It’s actually kinda gross.  So if you plan on trying a plantain, cook it first.

You might find a few of them at your local grocer next to the regular bananas, and you’ll notice that they are thicker than a regular banana.  The peel is also thicker and depending on how ripe it is, you may have some trouble trying to take it off.  I like to cut off the end, slice down the center and peel it that way.  Store them just like you would a regular banana.  You can get more info on plantains HERE or HERE.

 

PLANTAIN CHIPS

Ingredients:

Plantains (3-4 ripe plantains.)

Coconut oil (Enough to cover the whole frying pan.  If you have enough to submerge the fruit then cooking time will be a whole lot shorter)

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat your frying pan and coconut oil.  Medium to medium high heat.

2.  Peel your fruit

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3.  Slice your fruit as evenly as possible.

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4.  Once your pan has pre-heated, put your chips in.

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5.  Let it cook for a couple of minutes.  5-7 perhaps.  Just keep an eye on it.  When they are a nice brown on the side then flip.

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6.  When they are cooked, put them in a colander with paper towel to soak up an excess oil.

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7.  From here you can let them cool and eat them as is, or if you want you can add salt or sugar/brown sugar with cinnamon.  Entirely up to you!  Just put a little at a time, taste, and add more to your liking.

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8.  Transfer to a serving dish/bowl and ENJOY!!

I am not sure how long these will keep for as we made them last night.  I would imagine a couple of days in an air tight container.  I would also like to note that the taste and texture is way better when they’re fresh.  Not to say that they weren’t amazing the next day, but still.  It’s tastier and crispier when it’s eaten the same day.  ENJOY!!