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!

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Gluten/Sugar Free Blueberry Muffins

I was up ridonkulously early on Saturday for some unknown reason.  I think my internal alarm clock decided that Saturday was a good day to be up, and promptly at 5:45 am I was woken up.  Try as I might I could not get back to sleep.

Rather than tossing and turning in bed, and possibly waking up the kids, I got up and got productive.  Morning duties, started the laundry, and then baking!

I had a couple of ripe bananas that needed to get used somehow so I decided that perhaps a muffin would be ideal.  I didn’t have dates though, so I couldn’t make the banana date muffins, which are a big hit with the kids.  Then I remembered that there were blueberries in the fridge.  LIGHTBULB!  Blueberry muffins it is!

I did a google search of recipes and I found a couple that were promising, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients.  In the end, I found one that best suited my needs, but since I didn’t have honey on hand and I didn’t want to use sugar, I used a banana instead.  The original link can be found HERE.  Any changes to the recipe are in italics.

GLUTEN/SUGAR FREE BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Ingredients:

Eggs, pastured (3, Unfortunately I did not have the luxury eggs in stock, so I used conventional.)
Butter, grass-fed (2 TBS) (Is Kerrygold grass fed?  I don’t know, but it sure is delicious!)
Coconut milk or whole milk — I used coconut milk (2 tbsp)
1/2 a banana (Eat the other half!  It’s delicious!)
8 ounces organic fresh or frozen blueberries (3 TBS) — please do not use conventional blueberries — it’s important that they are organic* (I used a 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries and yes, they were organic.)
Sea salt (1/4 tsp)
Vanilla, organic, additive-free (1/4 tsp)
Coconut flour (1/4 cup)
Baking powder  (1/4 tsp)

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Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400F

2. In a food processor, blend together eggs, butter, coconut milk, 1/2 a banana, salt, and vanilla.  If you do not have a food processor use a blender.  If you don’t have a blender then there is absolutely nothing wrong with mixing it by hand.  Suggestion, have the butter come to room temperature so that it is easy to combine the ingredients.  You will have chunks of butter floating around your batter.

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3. Combine coconut flour with baking powder and thoroughly mix into batter until there are no lumps.

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4.  Fold in blueberries.

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5.  Line your muffin tin with liners and fill each cup as evenly as possible.

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6.  Put in oven and cook for 13-15 minutes.  Oven temperatures will vary to keep an eye on your muffins.  They are done when you stick em in the middle with a toothpick and the toothpick comes out clean.

7.  Take out of oven, let them cool and serve!  Try them warm with a bit of butter and let that butter melt all over that muffin.  Mmmm…  Tasty!

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What I would change…  as you can see from the pictures, the batter will rise to about 1/2 way up.  I’m thinking about doubling the recipe next time so that the cup fills up and you get that delicious muffin top rising over that liner.  To me, the best part of a muffin or cupcake is that top part.  Other than that, I would’t change a thing.  I’ll have to try this recipe again with honey and see how sweet it is.  PaleoJoe and I don’t eat many sweets, and when we do they’re just barely sweet.

Anyhoo…  hope you are having an amazing weekend, and if you’re not…  it’s not too late to start!!

Bay Scallops and Shrimp Cooked with Bacon

I was hungry on Friday and wanted something quick and easy to cook so I can get my grub on.  I stopped at MOM’s on the way home with the kids and picked up a london broil.  I headed on over to the seafood section because that’s where the kids like to go when they abandon me.  There are tanks over there with live shrimp, crab, and oysters that they enjoy looking at.  Nearby is an assortment of fish and other seafood, and I happened to notice that the shrimp was already peeled and de-veined and I thought, “SCORE!!”  Having them already cleaned saves me the time and trouble of doing that all myself.  I got me a 1/2 pound of shrimp and a 1/2 pound of bay scallops.

I also grabbed a pack of bacon, assorted fruit and vegetables and we made our way home.  Below is my really easy and quick to cook recipe.  I didn’t season the dish because the bacon and its grease is my flavoring.  Oh I’m sure you can season it if you want, and that is entirely up to you.  I think some fresh herbs would really make this dish pop.  Perhaps some basil?  Maybe some green onions?  When I had finally gotten home to make this dish I was already super hungry.  I also don’t have fresh herbs on hand at home so yeah.  Anyhoo…  I hope you enjoy it!

 

BAY SCALLOPS AND SHRIMP COOKED WITH BACON

Ingredients:

1/2 pound of shrimp (peeled and de-veined)

1/2 pound of bay scallops

1/4 pound of bacon (diced)

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Directions:

1.  Grab your frying pan and heat it on medium to medium high heat.  Add diced bacon and brown them up.  Should be about 5 minutes.

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2.  Add scallops and shrimp.  This part shouldn’t take long.  When the shrimp is pink, and the scallops flake when you stick a fork in them, it’s done.

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3.  Now you can drain the bacon fat or you can keep it.  Entirely up to you.

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I served this as a side to my steak, which I smashed (Golly SMASH!!) with a meat hammer, and seasoned with garlic/onion powder, parsley flakes and montreal seasoning.  Using the same pan I cooked the appetizer in, I turned the heat to high, threw the meat on, added 4 tablespoons of butter and seared for 1 minute on each side.  POW!!  Dinner is served!!  Oh I also had a side of baked sweet potato, which is not pictured.  🙂

Gluten Free Cashew Nut Butter Cookies

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I think cookies would have to be my favorite dessert to create.  They’re easy to make, they’re quick to cook, and they’re portable.  If I wanted to, I could have a bag of cookies in my purse right now to snack on throughout the day.  But cookies are treats and should only be eaten in moderation.  I don’t care how “healthy” you make a dessert.  It is still a dessert.

For this dessert recipe, PaleoJoe wanted me to make cookies using the Cashew Nut Butter that we had made, see recipe HERE.  The recipe below is simple and only a few ingredients.  What you get is a soft and moist cookie.  I’m sure if you cooked it longer you can crisp it up, but I just think it’s going to make it chewy.  Entirely up to you though.

 

GLUTEN FREE CASHEW NUT BUTTER COOKIES

Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 cup cashew nut butter (unsalted, no sweetener added)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2.  In a bowl, mix your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.)  Get rid of the lumps.

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3.  In another bowl, beat the egg and add the cashew nut butter and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.

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4.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix.

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5.  Using a cookie scoop, or if you can eyeball it (about 1.5 – 2 tblsp of dough), place the dough out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.  Note:  Try to make your cookie dough balls as even as possible.  You want them to cook evenly.  Oh and unfortunately, the dough is moist and sticky so you are unable to make the familiar criss-cross pattern that you would see in a peanut butter cookie.

6.  Bake for 11-13 minutes.

7.  Gently move the cookies to a cooling tray as soon as they are done baking.

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And there you have it!  Using the cookie scooper that I had, it made a dozen cookies.  Not all cookie scoopers are created equal by the way.  I would like to tinker with this recipe a bit more.  Like I noted above, there’s no criss-cross pattern and when I think of a nut butter cookie I think of that smooshing down with a fork thing.  I thought perhaps adding more flour would just make the cookie taste like the flour.  Might not be a bad thing since it’s almond flour, but still.  I also would like to get rid of the sugar.  I’ll try raw honey next time, though I’m thinking that it’ll make the dough more sticky and moist.  Perhaps making it a cake-like cookie.  We’ll see.  Stevia maybe?  Experimenting is fun!!

Anyhoo…  ENJOY!

Paleo Pizza

I posted earlier in the week about pizza and how much I miss it.  Well, PaleoJoe was getting his google on and found this super easy recipe on YouTube.  Perfect Primal Gluten Free Pizza Crust.  The recipe can also be found HERE.  PaleoJoe and I have made this pizza crust several times and we enjoy it every time.  You can put whatever cheese or toppings that you like.  So if you have a friend that is vegetarian and one that isn’t then you can easily make two different pizzas so all are happy.  Total cook time is about 40-45 minutes.  I’m sure you can make the crust ahead of time and freeze it for later use.  I haven’t tried it yet because we’ve always had it fresh, but again I’m sure it’s doable.  I’ve copied and pasted the original recipe and it’s in BOLD.  Everything else is my comments.

 

Perfect Primal Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

4 eggs
1/2 cup of coconut milk (or full fat milk)
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup flax meal
Add any spices or flavors you’d like to get a tasty crust. You can also cut the crust in strips and use as breadsticks. I personally add:
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
garlic powder (i don’t measure, i just add til i think its awesome)  

(PaleoJoe and I used minced garlic in the crust instead of garlic powder, and I even threw in about 2-3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.)

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Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

2.  Mix dry ingredients together.

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3.  Mix wet ingredients together and add to dry ingredients.  Mix well.  It should have the consistency of pancake batter.

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4.  Using a large cookie sheet and parchment paper, spread your batter into whatever shape you like.  Please keep in mind that you will be flipping the crust halfway through the cooking time.  PaleoJoe and I like to spread the batter so that it fills half the sheet.  See picture below.  Try and spread the batter so that it’s as even as possible.

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5.  Pop it into oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes.  (Some oven temperatures vary.)

6.  While your crust is cooking, use the time to prep your toppings.

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7.  10-15 minutes have elapsed.  Time to flip your crust.  Carefully (Your pan just came out of the oven.  IT’S HOT!  BE CAREFUL!!) grab the end of the parchment paper and fold over to meet the other end.  Lift and flip!  Your crust is now on the opposite side of the pan.  Put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes and continue to prep your toppings if you have more to prep.

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8.  The second half of the crust cooking is complete.  Turn oven to BROIL and top your crust with your toppings of choice.

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9.  Put it in the oven and let cook for about 3-5 minutes.  You’re just melting the cheese so keep and eye on it.

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Mmmm…  pizza… If you’re planning to put any meat on the pizza, I suggest that you cook it ahead of time rather than putting it on the pizza to cook.  Or…  you keep the temperature at 350 F instead of broil (when you put the toppings) and you can cook it that way.  It’s just going to take longer because now you’re cooking the meat.  Why wait for pizza any longer?!  My favorite cheese mixture to put on pizza is Mozzarella, Monterey Jack and Fontina.  I also like Parmesan, Asiago, Gruyere, and sometimes even Cheddar.  Again, it’s entirely up to you what you want to put on your pizza.

Here’s to you my fellow Paleo/Primal Brethren!  ENJOY!

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

Homemade Cashew Nut Butter

 

 

 

I have always wanted to make my own nut butter at home.  I’ve read recipes on-line to see what I would need, and how hard it would be, and how long it would take.  It’s frickin’ CAKE!  As my daughter would say, “Easy Peasy Mama!!”  That’s right…  😛

For this particular recipe I used raw unroasted unsalted cashews.  We get them in bulk at this store called Sprout’s.  They have a pretty large selection of dry bulk goods at affordable prices, which is fabulous for my wallet.  I’ve also read that cashew are a good alternative to peanuts if you’re allergic.  Though please consult your doctor before trying them if you are allergic.  I really REALLY don’t want you to die.  This would greatly upset me.  Here’s my thing about cashews, if I buy them in the store pre-roasted they have to be whole.  Sometimes they come in cans for “halves and pieces” but I can’t eat them.  There’s nothing wrong with them.  It’s just personal preference.  I also have to eat the whole cashew in pairs.  One for each side of my mouth.  It’s an equal opportunity mouth.  Haha!!  That kinda sounds wrong.  😛

Anyhoo…  for more nutritional information on cashews please click HERE.  Below is the recipe.  I recommend that you use a food processor if you have one.

 

HOMEMADE CASHEW NUT BUTTER

Ingredients:

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2 cups of raw unsalted unroasted cashews

3 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil (I used coconut oil for this recipe)

1 tablespoon of raw honey or agave nectar (I used raw honey)

1/4 tsp of sea salt (optional)

 

Directions:

1.  Put all of your cashews in a food processor and blend until all of the nuts have been chopped down.  Some recipes say it’s going to resemble a “fine powdery meal”, but this didn’t look like it at all.  I let it process for about 2 minutes and then checked up on it.  If there were any lumps I processed it some more.

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This is what it looked like after I had processed it.

2.  Add honey, salt and 1 tblsp of coconut oil.

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3.  Blend for 1 minute.

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4.  Now you can leave the nut butter as is or you can continue to add 1 tblsp of honey or coconut oil to the consistency that you like.  Always taste it after each blend.  You don’t want it too sweet, or maybe you do.  It’s entirely up to you.  I recommend 2-3 parts oil to honey.  For this particular recipe I used 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, and I blended it 1 tablespoon and 1 minute blending at a time.

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After 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.

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5.  After 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and some proper blending I had a nut butter that I was proud of.  I emptied the food processor contents into a mason jar and threw it in the fridge to use later.  Actually…  PaleoBoyfriend used about a cup of it to make Cashew Butter Frosting.  I’ll have him post the recipe and directions later.

Now I’m not sure how long the cashew butter is supposed to last.  I’ve read a few recipes where they’ve kept one jar in the pantry and the backups in the fridge to be used later, but they don’t last long in their household because they are always using it for something or another.  I am going to say a week if you leave it out, and two weeks if you store it in an airtight container in the fridge.  I will test the theory and if it’s true the post stays the same.  If it’s not, then I will update this post with the date of the edit.

Until then…  ENJOY!