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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Zucchini Arrabiata

This is a truly simple dish suitable to make for a quick lunch or yummy dinner. The sauce is spicy and flavorful and the zucchini noodles hit the spot without being loaded down with empty carbs. It's easy to adjust the spice level according to how you like it by controlling the red pepper flakes and sausage. I am usually totally anti kitchen gadget, but in this case a mandolin slicer or julienne cutter works best to make the noodles.

What you'll need:

4 fresh zucchini

5 cloves of garlic, 3 diced;2 sliced

3 large hot Italian chicken sausage (make sure it's gluten free)

2 tsp olive or avocado oil, divided

1 large can crushed tomatoes (I use San Marzano)

1T dried Italian seasoning

red pepper flakes

black pepper

What you do:

Slice the zucchini on the julienne blade of your mandolin. No mandolin? You can still slice the zucchini into "french fry" size pieces with a knife.

In a large skillet use 1 tsp of oil and saute your sausage breaking it up into bits. You will have to remove the casing to do this. Add 3 cloves of the diced garlic and the Italian seasoning. Saute a minute more. Pour the can of tomatoes over the sausage and stir well. Taste for heat. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes if you want more heat. Turn the flame to low and allow the sauce to simmer down until it becomes thick.

In the meantime, heat another large skillet with 1 tsp oil. Throw in the sliced garlic, a small pinch of red pepper and a shake or two of black pepper. Stir the garlic and pepper around until the oil becomes fragrant. Now remove the garlic and discard it. Saute the zucchini noodles until soft but not mushy. You want them to have some body so they will stand up to the sauce.

Taste the sauce and adjust spices if necessary. Serve sauce over a bed of zucchini noodles.

Adjusting the spice:

There are a couple of options. For slightly less spice, omit the red pepper. For significantly less, use 2 sweet Italian sausages and 1 spicy. For more spice add more red pepper.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

I love a great success story. I love it even more when it has to do with the successful entrapreneurship of an 11-year old girl. I met Eva for the first time at our gym's B4B event in October. She is outgoing, beautiful and the future face of CrossFit. At 11 years old she knows what it means to be strong and healthy. I can tell she is a trailblazer. What makes Eva so unique at her age is that she already has a mind for business. You see...she's a bee keeper. Just the thought of getting that close to bees gives me chills. But with the help of her dad, Eva harvests honey up to four times per year. She and her sister label and bottle the raw honey. This honey is pure, unprocessed and never touched by human hands! I wanted to create a special recipe in Eva's honor. One that would showcase her hard work and at the same time be subtle enough to taste a variety of flavors. And so Eva's Honey banana pancakes were born!

What you'll need:

3 eggs

1tsp vanilla

1 tsp honey (of course I use Eva's!)

1 super ripe banana

1/4 cup coconut milk

3T coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut flour

1tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

A couple of spoons of coconut milk refrigerated until solid (must be full fat!)

Fresh berries

What you do:

In a large bowl mix all the wet ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients together. Don't skip this step. You don't want all the baking powder in one pancake! Now mix the dry into the wet. Do you have something that resembles yellow cement? Perfect! Start thinning the batter with water 1/4 cup at a time until you have it about the consistency of cake batter. I end up using 3/4 cup of water. Heat your pan with coconut oil. Now here's where it can get tricky so pay attention. Turn your flame down to low. Get out a large soup spoon and use that to spoon the batter into the pan. Use the back of the spoon to "swirl" the batter into a silver dollar sized pancake. If they get too big you will never be able to turn them and you will hate me forever. Be patient and let them cook almost all the way through on one side. Now ever so gently slide your spatula under the pancake. It takes a little practice and goes something like this: Slide, shimmy, slide, slide, quarter flip, cuss like a sailor, and giant flip! Inevitably your first couple will break, fold or land somewhere outside the pan. Stick with it! It gets easier and they are worth it. Plate them, top with a little solid coconut milk and fresh berries. These are pure heaven!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chicken Fried "Rice"

This dish is GOOOOD. When I say good, I mean the thank god it's cauliflower or I'd weigh 900 pounds, nobody better talk to me while my entire face is in this pan, I know I'm getting a third degree steam burn but I can't stop eating, just try and get in on this and you're gonna lose an arm kind of good... not to mention easy to make!

So I will get right to the point since my little ankle biters are a bit impatient these days.

What you'll need:

A head of cauliflower

5 green onions, chopped

1 zucchini, cubed small

1 large carrot, cubed small (or shredded carrot)

1 bell pepper, diced

This is what I happened to have left over in the frige. You can add any vegetable you like.

2 chicken breasts, cubed small

2 eggs

What you do:

Cut a head of cauliflower up and blanch it for 8 to 10 minutes. (blanch is a fancy word for boil it). Drain it and chop it fine... like rice.

I use a wok, but it's not necessary. Get a large fry pan out and melt a little coconut oil in it. Get the pan nice and hot and stir fry the chicken. Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm. Quickly stir fry the raw veggies. Add the ginger powder, garlic powder and Tamari.When the veggies are cooked down, add the cauliflower and chicken. Crack the 2 eggs in and stir quickly to break the egg up and scramble it.

Taste and adjust the Tamari to your liking.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

If you can open a can make a salad

This recipe is a follow up for all of the members of ACF that could not attend my impromptu cooking lesson between the 4:30 and 5:30 class. I wanted to prove that you could possess absolutely NO cooking talent and still make a delicious meal in under 5 minutes. The salad seemed to be a hit and fall nicely into our paleo challenge(d) family! :)

So, if Trader Joe's is on your radar, you're in luck. All items for this salad are purchase there.

What you'll need:

1 bag shredded cabbage

1 package "Healthy 8" Chopped Veggies

1/2 a bag of sliced almonds (no salt)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

3 green onion, chopped

cooked chicken breast called "just chicken" (not pictured cuz I roasted my own chicken)

for the dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil

just under 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons wheat free Tamari (fermented soy sauce)*

2 Tablespoons sesame oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp ground ginger

What you do:

Get out a giant bowl. Open the cabbage, veggies, almonds, cranberries and put them in the bowl. Chop the green onion, put it in the bowl. Open the chicken and chop it into bite size pieces and... you guessed it... put it in the bowl.

Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Toss and serve.

This salad will last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days without wilting.
* Yes, fermented soy sauce is okay.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Crispy Kale Chips

Sometimes, I need a snack. A crispy, slightly salty, chip-like wafer of crunchy goodness if you know what I mean. It has to be light and airy and full of flavor. Not just any chip will do. First of all, aside from sweet potato chips and perhaps a few cassava chips every now and then, chips of any kind are pretty much out of the question.

Until, of course, I came face to face with: The kale chip. Stay with me now! I forbid you to exit from this post until you at least commit to trying these. It just takes a couple of minutes... I promise.

So here's what you do (if you're me...)

Gather 25 diapers, a dozen pairs of underwear, 4 sippy cups, 3 dvds for the car, a portable potty, double stroller, 2 complete changes of clothes (and one for me), snacks for two, but not the same snack! Toddlers can't like the same snack, even if they are twins. Shove all of this into one diaper bag and pray that you don't need what's on the bottom of the bag. Throw that over your neck. Now grab your purse. WAIT! Double check that your wallet is actually in there this time. Car keys? Check! Now, it's herding time. Like a blue ribbon Australian Sheppard, herd your toddlers into the car trying ever so desperately not to lose one.

Diaper bag in, purse in, overly large and way too heavy double stroller in (thank you CrossFit), toddlers in. Buckle, buckle buckle!

"Me peepee!"............................... you've got to be kidding me......................

Unbuckle, unbuckle, unbuckle.............too late............. grab one pair of underwear and change of clothes...............use them before you leave the driveway.

Ok.... you can do this. Buckle, buckle, buckle and off we go.

Sing songs, listen to the DVD in the car for the 100th time knowing every word of every cartoon. Resist the urge to gouge your eyes out and beat your head against the steering wheel because the DVD is actually giving your ten minutes of peace while little eyes are glued to it with nary a blink.

Get to the store. Unbuckle, unbuckle, unbuckle. Toddlers in way to heavy stroller. Diaper bag over shoulder, purse in hand. Proceed into store and buy exactly $4.00 worth of kale. Leave. Repeat all steps above in the reverse order while asking yourself if this was really worth it. Answer: Yes.

Back at home and here's what you'll need:

One bunch of kale washed and dried

one clove of garlic, make it a big one

olive oil

sea salt

What you do:

Preheat your oven to broil or 500. Cut the tough center stem out of the kale and discard. Cut the leaves to about a standard "chip size". Finely chop the garlic or you can use garlic powder to taste if you'd rather. Get out a baking sheet and drizzle it with olive oil. Put the kale on top of the oil and lightly toss it in the oil with your hands. You will want to coat all the kale nicely without making it all drippy so start with less oil and add more if needed. Sprinkle with the garlic and sea salt.

Pop the tray into the oven and watch it carefully for 5 minutes. Since oven heats and times vary so greatly, be sure to stay close. You don't want burnt kale after all the work of going to the store. Half way through the cook time take a pair of tongs and toss the kale around to promote even cooking.

When the kale is done it will be light and crisp and still green. Remove it from the oven and let it cool... well, attempt to let it cool. I usually just stand in front of the molten hot tray while using my best elbow and hip check to keep my husband back and eat it right on the spot.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Pumpkin Chili -- PALEO

I love the fall. From the colors outside to the heart warming stews and soups. Even though I am from sunny So Cal, we do have the occasional tree that changes color on my block. And now that the temperature has dipped into the mid 60's it's time to break out a great fall recipe. Yes, the mid 60's is downright cold, just in case you were wondering. I realize that we are rapidly approaching winter and fall is almost over. But I've been a little busy lately, so I'm a bit behind.

This recipe is originally from Trader Joe's. It's just tweaked a little to take out the sugar and beans, etc. I never knew one could put sugar in chili. That just seems weird. All ingredients are available at Trader Joe's. If you don't have a TJ's in your area these ingredients are all available at your local natural grocery store.

So let's enjoy a big bowl of fall (ok... almost winter) Pumpkin Chili.

What you'll need:

3lbs. Ground turkey (or grassfed ground beef)

1 onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced (I like red, yellow or orange)

1 14oz can of canned pumpkin (make sure it's just pumpkin)

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 jar chipotle salsa

1 box of Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

1 tsp cumin

What you do:

Cook the ground turkey, diced onion and pepper in a large pot until the meat is crumbly and no longer pink. Drain. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and then simmer for one hour.

That's it! Enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stirfry Pork Wrap - Paleo

I didn't really even know what to call this, but I do know it's amazing! I guess it was meant to be. You see, I had a pork roast sitting in the fridge for the last couple of days. As I went to throw it in the crock pot I could not find the lid anywhere... and I do mean anywhere. After about an hour of searching, I decided it was a lost cause and I would have to find another way to cook my pork roast. As I was reaching for one of my cookbooks this tiny sheet of paper floated down before my eyes. On it was a recipe for pork burritos. It must have been a really old recipe. We haven't used a tortilla in this house for a very long time. None the less, it started by creative juices flowing... The following is the actual conversation I had in my head:

hmmm... burrito? that's no good. What about a lettuce wrap? hmmm.... no lettuce in the fridge. Oh, but I love the flavor of lettuce wraps. Oooo... PF Chang's. OMG, is that a spider on the bananas? I could make the "guts" to a lettuce wrap, but that's no fun to eat with a fork. 6:15... shoot, I'm running out of time... What can I wrap it in? Tortilla... no. Mu Shu pancake? Temping, but no... crepe? ya... in my dreams. And then it came to me. AAAAAAAAA (angels singing) I will make a very thin pancake out of egg!

Ya... I'm nuts

What you'll need:
A pork roast or if you want to make it easy on yourself get ground pork
1 onion sliced thinly
1 package of coleslaw mix (cabbage, carrot)
1T ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3T Tamari (wheat free)
2 tsp sesame oil
2 T lime juice
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (mind the heat for the little ones)
1 egg per "wrap"
fresh chopped cilantro for garnish if you are trying to impress
What you do:
Since this is all about fast, get yourself the ground pork, brown and crumble it so it looks like taco meat. Add the ginger and garlic, onion and coleslaw mix and stirfry until veggies wilt.
Stir in the Tamari, sesame oil, lime juice and red pepper flakes. Blend all ingredients well. Turn off the heat and let the mixture rest while you make the eggs.
To make the egg "wraps":
Use a small skillet. Coat the skillet liberally with oil. Crack and beat an egg in a bowl and when the oil is hot add the egg to the pan. Swirl the pan so the egg spreads into a very thin pancake. Don't flip it. Just keep swirling until the egg cooks through. Slide the egg out of the pan onto a plate and keep warm.
Assemble just like a burrito and garnish with cilantro.