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Monday, April 26, 2010

Fajitas




Well, I'm a moron! For the last zillion years I have made fajitas at least a couple of times per month. It's such a regular go to item in the house that I was sure I had posted the recipe long, long ago. Alas, I had not! What evilness lurks in my brain to be withholding such an easy and delicious recipe from you? It's my favorite kind of dish to make too. Marinate in the bag all day... 10 minutes to the table at night. And hardly a dish to clean up (especially if you use paper plates). How "ungreen" of me... I know. Next time you see me, you can let me know what you think of my "ungreenness". But I am warning you, I deadlift over 250 pounds now... you may be playing with fire.

So let's get started.

What you'll need:
Grass fed skirt steak (4oz per serving)
1 purple onion
1 white onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 2 limes
zest of 1 lime
2 tsp chili powder
1tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne (or more for more kick)
additional lime wedges to serve with
guacamole

What you do:

Start this one off at about 11pm the night before. Prep for this great meal by praying to the gods that your son will sleep this fine night so you can be refreshed in the morning and actually feel human. At midnight realize that you have fallen asleep on the couch with a bite of apple hanging out of your mouth and the almond butter that should have gone in with the apple is now pasted to the side of your face and in your hair. At 12:05 thank your husband for taking over the child care duties while you passed out. Sit down on the couch with said husband and watch in amazement as the same son that did not nap, the same son that got up at 7am after only 4 hours of sleep the night before, the same son that has been going nonstop all day, continues to run and laugh and scream with delight and jump on his trampoline. Face it there is no end in sight. Now do what any other irrational and exhausted mother would do. Pack up your son and head on out for what we lovingly call the 55 loop. Drive the 55 fwy from Orange to Costa Mesa for the next hour until he falls asleep. Consider staying in the car all night. After all, it's quiet in there. Get back in the house and colapse into bed. Sweet dreams, you now have 4 hours until it starts again.

Now in the morning start off with a big-ass cup of coffee. Get out a 2 ziplock bags. Slice up the onions and peppers and place them in the first bag. Slice up the meat in strips making sure you slice across the grain. This ensures the meat is tender when cooked and not stringy. Put the meat in bag #2. Whisk up the olive oil, limes, lime zest and spices. Poor it over the meat, seal that baby up and squish it all around to coat the meat. Stick the meat and veggies in the fridge. When it's time to cook in the evening, get out your pan and cook up the veggies in a little oil until they are crisp-tender. In the same pan cook the meat in two separate batches so you don't crowd the pan. If you put all the meat in at once you will steam the meat instead of saute it.

Serve the fajitas up with some additional lime wedges and store bought guacamole. This literally takes 10 minutes to throw together. The perfect meal for when you are just shy of comatose.

Enjoy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

BBQ Rub Pork Butt






Before I get started, let me just say that I am not from Texas. I am not from Louisiana or Alabama or any of the Barbeque states. I don't pull a smoker around hitched to the back of my car. I don't own overalls, make bathtub gin or say Yee Haw! Barbeque in my world is a verb, not a noun. So with that disclaimer you can rest assure that I am no barbeque genius.

Truth is I love real barbeque. I love the sloppy sauce, the smoke ring, the bark... It's pure heaven. As a matter of fact when my friend Jill's dad visits from Austin, TX (my surrogate home town) I am praying that he pulls his trailer sized barbeque grill all the way out here so he can feed me. I am also secretly hoping that his grill is manufactured in the shape of a pig...

So, what I am trying to do here is to create a barbeque like flavor and feeling in a paleo world. There are a few things that have to be eliminated to make barbeque paleo friendly. The big one of course, is sugar in all of its forms. So I made up this little dry rub and slapped it on a pork butt. Let me just say it came out so delicious it never made it to the plate. My husband and I, once again, scarfed dinner while standing over the stove like mad jackals devouring a zebra. When we were done we actually laughed out of embarrassment. It was quite a feeding frenzy.

And so with the barbeque god's pardon... here is my recipe for a nice little paleo friendly pork butt.

What you'll need:

3 pound pork butt (shoulder)
extra virgin coconut oil
a heavy cast iron skillet or dutch oven

for the rub:

1 3/4 T chili powder
1T paprika
3/4 T black pepper
3/4 T garlic powder
2 tsp Herbs de Provence
1tsp onion powder
1tsp mustard powder
1tsp cumin
1/4tsp cayenne pepper

What you do:

Preheat your oven to 350. Mix the rub spices together in a bowl. Take out your pork butt and coat it with the rub. You can use the entire amount of the rub or you can go a little lighter. The flavor is strong. We used the whole thing and loved it. Now give that pork butt a massage and work those spices in there!

Get your heavy pan going with a couple of tsp of coconut oil. When the pan is hot sear the pork butt on all sides. You're not cooking it here, you're just making a crust on the outside so just a couple of minutes per side at the most. When you are done searing, cover the pan with the lid or heavy aluminum foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes are up, turn the pork over and turn the oven down to 250. Cook the pork at one hour increments (turning it after each hour). It took me a total of 3 hours to cook ours. You will know that the pork is done when you can easily shred it. It will literally fall apart. The smell this puts off while it's cooking is out of this world. No wonder we scarfed the whole thing down in five minutes flat!

This is not a typical Primal Mama 15 minutes and you're done recipe, but it is worth the time if you have it to spare on the weekend. Sometimes I really need barbeque and this recipe satisfies that need. Let me know what you think!

Enjoy

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thai Beef Salad


So now let's talk about dinner. This dish is by no means original. In fact, very few dishes in the world are. But it's the way they can be changed to fit the paleo lifestyle that makes them unique. You've heard me profess my love of Thai food. It's got to be my favorite. But there's almost nothing that's going to be paleo friendly coming from that region of the world. (They do give us coconuts, bless their hearts). So we shall do a small tweak here and there and make a great paleo friendly Thai Beef Salad (que salivation).

What you'll need:

4 oz of steak per serving (Sirloin works well)
1 bag of salad greens
1 cucumber, scored and chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 large tomato, seeded and thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
1 bunch green onion, chopped
1/2 purple onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
several limes, juiced
zest of 1 lime
1/3 cup olive oil
1tsp soy sauce (or fish sauce)
sweet chili paste (trader joe's or supermarket)

What you do:

In the morning, in a big baggie, marinate the steak in the olive oil and 3 crushed garlic cloves. Oh, what the heck, squeeze a lime in there, grate a tsp of lime zest, add a tsp of sweet chili paste and throw it in too. Let it sit in the fridge all day. When you are ready to start dinner, throw the bag of meat in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This firms up the meat and makes it easier to slice really thin. While you are waiting on the meat, slice up your onions, chop the cilantro, slice the tomato. If you have one of those really cool but utterly useless cucumber peely things (to make stripes on the cucumber skin) you can use that. Otherwise just scrape the skin with a fork or just leave it alone and chop the cucumber.

Take the meat out of the freezer and with an extremely sharp knife, slice it very thin. Heat a pan with a little oil and stir-fry the beef. Remove the beef from the heat when cooked and let it cool. Place all salad ingredients and meat in a large bowl.

Mix 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup lime juice, 1T. soy sauce (or fish sauce), 1 crushed garlic clove and 1tsp sweet chili paste for the dressing. Poor over the salad and toss to coat. If you want more heat you can use some red pepper flakes.

Enjoy!

ps. I have no idea why the first paragraph of this post is blue and underlined. I'm going to have my two-year old look at it for me when he wakes up.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Primal Mama Greek Pizza...(faint)


PLACE TOPPINGS HERE



There are lots of paleo pizza recipes out there and they're all pretty good. Reading through them got me inspired to make a pizza of my own. If you've been following my blog you know that I like a lot of flavor in my dishes. This pizza is no exception. Instead of a plain almond meal crust, we are going to jazz it up with some spices and veggies. You can add or omit anything that sounds good (or doesn't sound good) and the basic crust will still be there. So get you primal chef hat on and let's make a pizza!

What you'll need:
(2 servings)
crust:
1 cup almond meal (trader joes)
1 egg
1 tsp olive oil
1T minced sun dried tomato
1T minced kalamata olives
2tsp Italian seasoning

sauce:
1 can tomato sauce 8oz (low sodium)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1tsp onion powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning

toppings:

Quartered artichoke hearts
thin sliced red onion strips
bits of cooked chicken or cooked Italian turkey sausage

additional:

foil

What you do:

If you have a pizza stone use it. If not, use a cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 400. Mix your crust ingredients in a bowl with your hand until well combined. Mix your sauce ingredients together and let the flavors combine. Take your stone/sheet and cover the baking surface with foil. Spread a tsp of oil on the foil. Take the dough and press it into your shape of choice right on the oiled foil. This is not meant to be a deep dish pizza so spread that dough until it's about 1/4 inch thickness. Now bake the crust off for about 15 minutes. Open the oven door. Let the smell transport you to the Greek Islands. Imagine you're beach front with a glass of Grappa. Rename your husband Nickolos Stranokravokopolus. You're wild and free and enjoying the sunshine with no children in sight... aaahhhh.

Yes, I know pizza is from Italy but it's my fantasy so back off! If you want to go to Naples or Venice you can, I'll be on Santorini.

Back to the pizza. Spread the sauce out all the way to the edges of the crust and put the toppings on. Bake it for an additional 10 minutes. Let it cool slightly before cutting.

This in no way is New York pizza. The crust is more like a cracker than pizza dough. But it is a great pizza without the carb coma and fat ass that goes along with NY pizza. Feel free to play around with your own crust ingredients and toppings. Make sure you let me know what you come up with!

Enjoy!

ps. This makes a really good cracker bread for dipping or an open-face sandwich. Be careful though!!! The calories are pretty high!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Marinated, Grilled Chicken




Sometimes I feel really limited by eating so much chicken. I'm actually having a huge craving for something beef but I can't do a thing until my order from US Wellness comes in. I'm trying a few new cuts this go round so I'll have to see what I can create. Seafood is almost completely out for this family. The smell of it makes my husband sick. What I do like about eating so much chicken is that it makes me more creative in my recipes.

This chicken has a distinct Middle Eastern flavor. It's quite delicious and of course easy to make. I have to admit, I don't ever use the grill. It's not because I'm a girl, or because I think of grilling as the "man's job". It's because some years ago I had a freak grilling accident where I singed off a good percentage of my eyebrows and let's just say my bangs didn't need a trim for about six months. My daughter still laughs about it to this day. Of course she wasn't the one faced with a two-foot flame shooting out of the grill scaring me so badly that I dropped my cell phone into the BBQ. Well, okay... it is kind of funny now, but I can assure you I wasn't laughing back then. Can you imagine the look on the guys face at my local T-Mobile store when I brought in the half melted phone?? Priceless.

What you'll need:
4 Boneless chicken breasts (free range)
for the marinade:
1T. Dried mint
1T. Olive oil
1T. Lemon Juice
1T. Soy sauce (I know it's not paleo. Stop wagging your finger at me)
1tsp. Chili powder
1/4tsp Pepper
4 Garlic cloves, minced

What you do:

Wake up to another glorious morning. Stretch and smile... It's going to be a good one. Meander over to the kitchen and open the drawer that contains the staff of life... no, not bread silly... COFFEE. Root around in the drawer and realize that you have none. Drop to your knees and scream like Stanley Kawalski in Street Car Named Desire. Pull yourself off the ground using as much drama and histrionics as possible. Check out of the corner of your eye... Is your husband watching? This is the perfect time to smile meekly and give him the "will you go get me coffee" look. It usually works.

While you are waiting for your coffee throw all the marinade ingredients together in a bag and toss in the chicken. Give the bag a good squish to coat the chicken well. Let it sit in the fridge all day. Come dinner time it's ready to grill! You can bake it at 350 for about 20-30 minutes or until juices run clear if you don't have a grill.

Enjoy!