Friday, August 31, 2012

Crock Pot Beef Broth

As you have seen in a few of my recipes, when broth is called for, I use broth that I made myself.  I became interested in making my own broth this past winter while I was preparing for a swim meet and trying not to catch the many illnesses that my coworkers were spreading around the office.  I began to feel a little under the weather and my dietitian suggested broth.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coffee Marinated Steak from PaleOMG

Recently, I attended a Coffee 101 class at Texas Coffee Traders, a local coffee roaster.  I found my way to Texas Coffee Traders after having really good cups of coffee at Alamo Drafthouse (served in french press) and 24 Diner.  When both told me their beans had come from Texas Coffee Traders, I knew I needed to go to their store at their warehouse/roasting facility. I'm so glad I did.  Just open the door and you will be intoxicated by the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans.  The staff there is so knowledgeable and willing to help you find a coffee you will love and insure you have the brewing equipment to make it.  They will also fix you a coffee drink to enjoy while you shop.  I had the best cup of black iced coffee I've ever had while shopping there once.  I jumped at the chance to participate in their monthly Coffee 101 class.  

SCOBY Watch Part 3: Brewing Kombucha Tea

It's been just over a week and a half since I started my Kombucha experiment.  In Part I, I used a commercial bottle of kombucha to begin growing a SCOBY.  After one week, I checked on my jar, and a SCOBY had in fact grown.  I decided that it was now big enough to begin brewing actual kombucha.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Paleo Parents' Buffalo in a Pig's Blanket

I had a pretty busy weekend and wanted to cook something for the blog but didn't want to spend much time in the kitchen.  Luckily, I have quite a few frozen main dish portions in my freezer, so if I couldn't (or didn't want) to cook, I didn't have to do so.  I took out my recipe binder and searched for something quick and easy but that I had not tried before.  I'd take a picture of my binder, but its pretty boring even with its rainbow tabs.  When I find recipes I want to try on the internet, I print them and put them in the binder.  I've divided the binder into categories that make sense to me.  I've further divided each category into tried and untried recipes with a handy paperclip.  I decided upon a recipe from Paleo Parents for Buffalo in a Pig's Blanket.
Ingredients and paleo recipe binder in the background.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

SCOBY Watch: Week 1 Report

Last week, I began my home brew kombucha experiment by putting together a jar full of sweet tea and commercial kombucha together in a jar to hopefully grow a SCOBY that I can use to brew actual kombucha tea.  I left my little veiled jar in the closet underneath my staircase for the past week.  I've taken care not disturb the jar when I've needed to go into the closet which I mainly use for extra kitchen storage.  After my first post, I was glad to receive some kind words of encouragement from a friend of mine who has done this before.  Thanks Lynne!
Tonight, almost exactly one week later, I lifted the veil, and this is what I found.

Squash Casserole from Paleo Comfort Foods

This Squash Casserole recipe is from Paleo Comfort Foods.  They have not reprinted it online themselves, so I wont, but if you search the internet you may or may not be able to find where someone else has posted it.  Not that I would suggest circumventing buying such a great collection of recipes!  My general rule for this blog will be that if the recipe's author has posted the recipe online, I'll link to it.  If its just in the book, I'll reference the book.  Perhaps I will explore asking some of these fine folks for permission, not that I think I need it, but I think it's polite.

What intrigued me most about this recipe is that they say that it freezes well.  It would be so nice to have a reliable vegetable dish that I could make ahead and freeze.  I worried the most about this recipe being mushy and bland.   Let's cook it up and see!

Squash!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Well Fed's Basic Cauliflower Rice

There are many recipes for cauliflower rice out there, but as Melissa Joulwan's Well Fed has served me well for paleo basics, I turned to her "Basic Cauliflower Rice."  I did not see that she has posted her recipe anywhere online, and I can neither confirm nor deny that I've seen it posted elsewhere with a little internet searching.  I encourage you to get this cookbook and enjoy this and other recipes.  
Looks like we're making rice!

Chicken Tikka Masala

I love Indian food.  When I think about having a cheat meal, Indian food with all of its creamy goodness often comes to mind.  I really excited to find this this recipe from 
www.marksdailyapple.com for a paleo friendly chicken tikka masala as it is my favorite Indian dish.  

I saw Mark Sisson present at PaleoFX last March.  I had not read his book and really only knew that there were differences between between his primal approach and a paleo approach when I went to his presentation.  I was so impressed with his positive, inclusive, whole food based message that I bought his book.  Sure there are differences, but there is far more to learn from what both approaches have in common.   

  
Most of my ingredients.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig


For whatever reason, I don’t make pork that often.  When I do, I wonder why I don’t.  This recipe  for "Slow Cooker Kalua Pig" from NomNomPaleo.com certainly makes me wonder.  

First, I gathered my ingredients.  

Yummy Bacon and Pork!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Kombucha Experiment Part 1: Growing a SCOBY

                       
I recently incorporated kombucha tea into my daily routine.  I had seen it mentioned in several places in the paleo blogosphere.  It is a fermented tea that is full of gut healing probiotics and other nutrients.  I’m generally interested in anything I can do to further promote healing in my gut.  After years of dietary abuse from eating foods that attacked my gut and abuse imposed in the form of modern medicine to “treat” the IBS that resulted from eating a poor diet, my gut needs all the healing it can get.  

I'll admit the first time I tried kombucha tea, I wasn't sold.  Its a bit tart and some may think its sour.  You have to get past the little brown floaty bits in the drink. Its grown on me, and I now see it as a daily fizzy treat.  

Lab Equipment

Store bought kombucha is not cheap.  Depending on where you shop, I’ve found it GT’s Kombucha Tea, a popular brand, from around $2.50 to $3.50 a bottle.  I don’t spend that on coffee daily and I drink a fair amount of coffee.  I started to research making my own Kombucha at home.  Yay! Experiment time!

Well Fed's Olive Oil Mayo

Mayonnaise, glorious mayonnaise.  For years I avoided mayonnaise and felt guilty any time I had it from listening to the fat-phobic conventional diet wisdom, but no more.  I was very skeptical at the idea of making my own mayonnaise as I've tried making other condiment recipes and none have lived up to what I think they should taste like.  There are several paleo mayonnaise recipes out there, but I've had the best luck with Olive Oil Mayo from Melissa Joulwan's book Well Fed.   She has an awesome blog and is an Austinite to  boot.

The ingredients are few but do not underestimate the importance of getting a very mild light olive oil.  If you try to make this with extra virgin olive oil, you will be disappointed as it will turn out with a strong unmayonnaise-like flavor.  I had bought two different brands to try.  Out of these, the Star brand is the best I've found for mayo making so far.  It has a very mild taste.

I've made mayonnaise with a blender, a full size Cuisinart and my mini-Cuisinart.  When I used a blender, while it actually made the mayo just fine, I found that it was more difficult to get the mayo out and I felt like more than I wanted was wasted in the work jar.  Also, taking the blender apart to clean was an added pain.  My full size Cuisinart also did the job just fine, but it also seemed like I was wasting precious mayo.   I like using my mini-Cuisinart best and that's what I used this time around.

First, crack the egg into whichever mixing machine you are using and add the lemon juice.  Wait until the egg reaches room temperature before continuing.

This batch was made with Carbonell brand olive oil, not my preferred Star brand.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mason Jar Experiment

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've likely heard about a chemical called BPA that is found in many of the plastics we use in our kitchens and in the lining of canned goods.  When this first came to my attention, I replaced all of the Nalgene bottles I use for water and my plastic food storage containers with BPA-Free versions.  This was not an inexpensive endeavor.  Now I've read that there is some debate out there as to whether or not BPA-free plastics are really safer.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"World's Best Cabbage:" We'll see about that!


Meat, meat, meat!  You’d think that’s all I eat from the posts I’ve put up so far.  I eat quite a bit of vegetables.  Typically, I have a cooking marathon on the weekend and make some meat dishes to portion and freeze.  The veggies, if not included in the meat dish, are pretty free form for the rest of the week.  For example, I like to shred up cabbage and carrots and make stir fries with ghee or grass-fed butter and coconut aminos (paleo soy sauce).    I hope this blog will help me incorporate a better variety of veggie recipes.  In this post, I’m making nomnompaleo.com's  "World’s Best Braised Green Cabbage."    World's best?  This is crying for a review!

As I mentioned above, I like shredding cabbage for stir fries.  I actually had a large amount of cabbage I needed to cook before it went bad, so I decided to be a rebel and try this recipe with shredded cabbage rather than wedged as the recipe calls for.  I’ve made it with the wedges before so I was fairly confident the result would be the same.  I did decide to cut the cook times by 15 minutes as I figured it would cook quicker shredded. 

Here are my ingredients: 

Don't worry. The dark spots on the green cabbage are actually purple cabbage and not something sinister.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Italian Style Chuck Roast

Have I mentioned that I really like using my crock pot?  I actually have 4 crock pots.  My friends assure me that I don't need a twelve step program for this.

Today's paleo review recipe is Italian Style Chuck Roast  from  Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations.        I've made this recipe a few times and have not been disappointed.  I can almost get over my the Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken experience based on the goodness and utility of this recipe.  Utility?  When you make this recipe, you're really getting two recipes:  the Roast and the sauce.   Sure you'll want to use some of the sauce on your meat, but I've typically had lots of tasty slow cooked sauce left to add to other dishes.

I've made the recipe with chuck roast as the recipe calls for but this time around I decided to use a grass-fed brisket.  First, I assembled my ingredients.



Paleo Fried Chicken

Does eating a paleo style diet mean you have to give up comfort foods you’ve always loved?  Absolutely not!  In fact, for me, it has meant reintroducing some foods I once believed to be unhealthy.  I feel better about indulging my comfort food cravings now more than ever as I’m in control of the quality of ingredients.

Today, I am putting Paleo Fried Chicken from Paleo Comfort Foods to the test.  When I first tried this recipe, it was the first time I had ever made fried chicken and I was a bit afraid of it.  I got my cast iron skillet out and was ready to go.



Recipe Requests?

Have you seen a recipe you'd like to try but would rather have someone else try it first?

I'm open for  your paleo or paleo friendly recipe requests.

All you need to do is comment on any post with a recipe from a cookbook or from the web.  It doesn't have to be from a paleo food website, and I'm planning a few mainstream website/cookbook recipe posts that are easily tweaked to be paleo friendly.

Here is my current Paleo recipe book collection:

I've spiral bound my favorite books.


Lemon Garlic Crockpot Chicken


As I have limited time to cook, I love crock pot recipes and will be blogging about my favorites in due course.  It seems to be very difficult to find a crock pot recipe that really does chicken justice.  I love lemon and garlic, so I decided to put this recipe from Civilized Caveman Creations to the test.  This site is a great resource for recipes.  I had the pleasure of meeting George at PaleoFX this past March and though I was only around him for a few moments, you could tell that this man is passionate about his website and his food.  Off to the kitchen. 

The Ingredients

What in the world is the Paleo diet?


As I’ve talked with friends, colleagues and family about starting this blog many have no idea what the paleo diet is.  The paleo diet, to me, is eating a diet of whole real foods focusing on quality meats, vegetables and healthy fats.  There are a few foods that I avoid, but I would rather focus on the filling, scrumptious, healthy food I do eat - and you can eat too- here on this blog.

Scrumptious Braised Beef Shanks

It was hard to think of which paleo recipe to blog about first, but the fact that the first time I made this recipe the first word that popped into my mind was "orgasmic," decided it.  This recipe is from The Food Lover's Kitchen and it can be found here.

I started out by prepping the thyme and garlic: