We Got a Facelift!

Hey guys!

Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t, but I’m telling you anyway.  Not only is the sight slightly re-formatted (no surprises, I swear…I am definitely not that competent with computery stuffs) but I’ve dropped the TGIPaleo brand name and adopted a new one, The Not So Desperate Housewife.

More details to come–right now I’m going through and making some formatting tweaks for some stuff that didn’t make it through in one piece.

Otherwise, everything should be unchanged.  All the old posts are there, all the old recipes intact, and if you search TGIPaleo, it will still direct you here.

We’ll talk soon, k?

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Quicker, Lighter Fish and Chips

If you know me at all, you know I really don’t care about making sure my recipes are “light” or “healthy” or “skinny” or whatever.  The Paleo/Primal way of eating, by definition, is a hell of a lot better than the Standard American Diet, and I’ve found that just avoiding crappy ingredients makes a world of difference–even when you’re making comfort food.  Fish and Chips happens to be one of my all time favorite comfort foods, so I got some tilapia and some sweet potatoes, was all set to make up a nice batter and fry everything up in some coconut oil, and then…I just pooped out.  I’m mid-move, you guys.  I’m tired.  I’m cranky.  I just wanted dinner on the table when Ross came home and was NOT in the mood for anything requiring any cranial activity.

Image

So, here’s what I did…I made sweet potato fries like I always do, except with some vinegar because that’s how they always give them to you when the whole mess is served out of a truck wrapped in newspaper.  Then I took the fish, threw them on a baking sheet, and seasoned the heck out of them with all the flavors that you’d expect from the fried variety.  Think lemon, thyme, a little oregano, garlic, and (obviously) salt.  I know every recipe varies the batter a little bit but I really tried to capture what I would say (in my own experience) is the quintessential fish and chips experience.  And it definitely did not disappoint.  But I was tired, so maybe I’m just full of it.  Either way, the whole thing took 30 minutes, most of it spent racked on the couch, so I’ll call that a win.

Quicker, Lighter Fish and Chips
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 tilapia or cod filets
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 T salt
  • ½ lemon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut your potatoes up into fries. Place them in a mixing bowl with the vinegar, oil, and salt and mix them up really well.
  3. Spread on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 30 minutes
  4. Place your filets on a baking sheet.
  5. Mix up all the seasonings and sprinkle over the tilapia filets.
  6. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the filets.
  7. After the sweet potatoes have been cooking for 15 minutes, place the tray of fish into the oven with them. Bake 15 minutes more.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Fall in Love with Salads

Time for another Guest Post, everyone!  Today I’ve got Sara, a food lover with a little bit of advice and some fresh ideas for those of you with a certain aversion to anything green :-)

Look, I get it: There are plenty of salad haters out there. I’ve heard from the lot of you that they can lack taste and substance and should never be the star of the meal. OK, fine, you can have your say all you want, but here’s mine: After eating a godly kale salad last year, I’ve never looked back at enjoying these dishes, especially in the summer.

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 1.29.27 PM

As we all know too well, the summer months lead to many obvious changes in our daily lives: the need for sunscreen and air conditioning; an urge to head to the closest beach; and the desire to grill more than ever before. Of course, the grill enthusiasts out there will argue that you can take your cooking outside during any time of the year, but let’s be real: If it’s snowing, raining, or below 45 degrees, you’re staying indoors. However, for the next few months—if you’re anything like me—you’re looking for any excuse to hit the grill. Not only that, but you may be trying to eat a bit lighter and searching for a way to do so without losing any flavor.

That’s a sentiment I’ve had in the past two years or so, particularly when I was in college. I was lucky enough to rent a house off campus with five of my friends that came equipped with one sweet grill. The only problem? It was gas, which meant that the real “grill” flavor wasn’t there. Personally, I’ve preferred the charcoal approach ever since I was a kid, because my dad knew how to bring that coal flavor right into whatever he was grilling. Unfortunately for me, my recent (and first) attempts at charcoal weren’t terribly successful. However, I stumbled upon this grilling article at Verizon Wireless hosted by Guy Fieri of the Food Network. Among other tips, he recommended “avoid[ing] putting on coals that aren’t burned through.” I know, duh, right? Well, no, because no one had taught me that!

It was then that I realized the problem with my otherwise killer ginger-lime chicken salad recipe—the grilled chicken breast just wasn’t tasting as good as when I baked it. After reading that article, though, all has been well and my bright and delicious salad has never been better. The chicken is a riff off of Ina Garten’s tequila lime chicken recipe, in which I replaced the tequila with ginger (powder or grated) to amazing results. Let’s get to the recipe!

First, you’ll want to marinate the chicken for at least a few hours, though overnight is preferred. To do so, you’ll need one or two boneless, skinless chicken breasts—it depends on how many people you’re serving—and the following:

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5 to 6 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger (or powder!)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno pepper (seeded)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Once you have the chicken properly (or at least partially) marinated, you’re ready to grill it (or bake it, if needed). When grilling, it should take about five minutes on the first side and then 10 minutes on the other. Once you have a nice brown color on the meat, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest for five minutes before cutting into it. As a commenter on this Food Lab post makes clear: Yes, you even want to rest your chicken breast to make sure all the juices remain inside the meat.

Now, here comes the best part of the recipe, because the rest is all up to you! Personally, I’m on a kale kick—I know, so trendy, right?—and I’ve found a great way to keep the green at its most palatable. You’ll want to massage it with avocado before dressing it, because this step will make the green lose its toughness. Next, I like to add red onion that I’ve marinated in balsamic vinaigrette, shredded carrot, a little grated parmesan cheese for a salty kick, fresh snap peas, a sliced hard-boiled egg, and chickpeas (preferably roasted).

As for the dressing, a simple vinaigrette will do perfectly here. I like to go with something bright and acidic. However, you do not want it to be too acidic because you’ve got enough acid from the marinade. Find a solid balance—or just use the aforementioned balsamic—and you’ll be enjoying one of the most delicious recipes I’ve ever had (and made!).

Good luck and hopefully you enjoy it as much as I do!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Cumin Spiced Fried Plantains w/ Collard Greens and Roasted Peppers and Onions

I have been doing a lot of Vegan meals lately, haven’t I?

Fried Plantains with Collard Greens and Roeasted Peppers and Onions

The way I see it, making at least one meal a day is 100% plant-based is a phenomenal way to get an array of veggies and nutrients in my diet.  I’ve ranted about it before, but the one thing anyone or any “diet” can agree on is that we could all use more veggies.  Over the years, what I would consider to be “My Paleo” has certainly changed–I’m kind’ve over the whole eat-nothing-but-giant-hunks-of-meat-all-day-every-day.  Nowadays it’s more like a 25/75 split between animals and plants.  I eat my eggs with greens and grilled veggies…my steaks with tons of salad and sweet potatoes…and even have the occasional meal that’s purely plant-based (my mornings lately have begun with fruit, kale, and coconut milk “ice cream” topped with Paleo Krunch).  “My Paleo” now is a lot more balanced and I’ve noticed such a huge difference in how I look and feel.  This past year I lost 15 pounds and just feel…better.

I really do agree with a lot of the thoughts behind Veganism–namely that processed “foods” are, well, crap, and that we’re missing out on so many of the valuable nutrients in plants.  I’m also sympathetic to the moral arguments…I’m not against eating animals, since humans need a lot of nutrients from the muscles and organs of others and have evolved to consume them, but I am against eating factory farmed animals subjected to inhumane conditions both because it’s unhealthy for them and unhealthy animals make unhealthy meat and because, frankly, it’s just cruel.

I’ve slowly become the people from Portlandia who insist that their chickens need to be happy and have little chicken friends to lend a shoulder when they feel sad.

ANYWAY, let’s talk about last night’s dinner.  As far as I’m concerned, plantains are always a good idea…I’d think of this as almost a deconstructed mofongo.  I added the collards as almost an afterthought and am SO glad I did.  They really do add a nice bitterness to balance the sweet of the plantains and coconut oil and make everything just a little more vibrant.  As a main dish, it’s perfect over cauli rice but I’d bet that it would be great with a root vegetable mash, big baked potato, or even as a side.

Cumin Spiced Fried Plantains w/ Collard Greens and Roasted Peppers and Onions
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ c coconut oil
  • 3 large plantains, peeled and sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 4 cups collard greens, washed and chopped
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t black pepper
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the oils over medium high heat in a high sided skillet
  2. Add the plantain slices, frying about 2 mins per side until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil behind.
  3. Add the peppers and onions. Fry in the remaining oil until soft.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add back the plantains and add the collards and seasoning, stirring to coat everything with the coconut oil and spices.
  5. Cover and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the collards are nice and soft. You can definitely leave it longer if needed--the flavors will only get richer!

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Roast Chicken in Butter Raisin Sauce

My mom was in town the other day and stayed over for dinner, so naturally I felt the need to outdo myself at dinner. Cooking for your mother—the same mother who taught you to cook—is pretty much akin to fighting Mr. Miyagi.

The last thing I wanted to do, however, was create some elaborate meal plan and totally wreck the whole thing…let alone spend hours in the kitchen and leave my mom out back. We haven’t seen each other in way too long and that’s just rude. So…fancy-pants dinner with minimal prep. Ready, go!

Butter Raisin Chicken TGIPaleo

I took a little inspiration from my trusty Game of Thrones cookbook (seriously, it’s so much fun) and a recipe for a chicken roasted in a honey sauce. Not having any honey or mint on hand and a firmly believing that the book’s version definitely did not have nearly enough butter, I improvised a bit. I also brined the chicken—as I always do to ensure the most tender and moist product possible. Do NOT skip the brining step. Ever. A properly brined chicken can be tossed in the oven with nothing more than a drizzle of olive oil and come out looking like Julia Child herself came to dinner.

Anyway, my mom gave this the seal of approval…when she asked me to get a bigger spoon so she could douse her plate in more “raisin sauce,” as she calls it (thus my title), I knew I had a winner. She even took leftovers home with her, which is kind of a big deal since she’s still terrified that her adult children don’t have enough to eat.

Roast Chicken in Butter Raisin Sauce
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken, about 4-5 pounds, giblets removed
  • 1 c sea salt
  • 1 c vinegar
  • 2 T black pepper
  • Water
  • ¼-1/3 c olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c maple syrup
  • ½ c raisins
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) pastured butter or ghee
Instructions
  1. First, brine your chicken. Fill a large stock pot with lukewarm water. Add the 1 c salt, vinegar, and pepper and stir to dissolve.
  2. Add the chicken, making sure there is enough water to cover it.
  3. Cover the pot and allow the chicken to brine at room temperature for about 1-2 hours (you can also prep ahead of time and refrigerate for 3-24 hours if needed, just bring it to room temp before you roast the chicken).
  4. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Place in a greased roasting pan. Use the ¼ to ⅓ cup olive oil to rub down the whole bird, massaging it all over (imagine the birdie getting ready for a long day at the beach…).
  6. Truss the legs and place in the oven. Sprinkle with salt.
  7. Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
  8. While the chicken is roasting, place the apple cider vinegar, syrup, raisins, and butter in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  9. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and pour about 1-1 ½ cups of the butter/syrup/raisin mixture over the chicken. Return to the oven for 30 minutes more, then add more butter sauce.
  10. Roast 30 minutes longer (the chicken should roast for a total of 90 minutes) and pour the remaining sauce over the chicken. Cover with foil and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
  11. Carve and serve!

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Apricot Barbecue Drummies

I was feeling another 30-minute meal.  I hope you won’t complain.

photo-3

Ever seen those slow cooker recipes that are just meat with a bottle of barbecue sauce and a jar of jelly?  This is kind of like that but wayyyyyyyy less waiting involved.  All you need is a batch of my Sugar Free BBQ Sauce and a jar of clean jelly.  I found this brand at my Whole Foods and was thrilled to see that it’s perfectly crap-free.  Paleo win.

photo 1

Ingredients?  Apricots, apple juice, pectin, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).  Not too shabby.

An added bonus is the leftover sauce you get once the chicken gets eaten.  It’s positively addictive and goes so well on….everything.  Do yourself a favor and make a little extra ;-)

photo 3

Apricot Barbecue Drummies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 6-8 chicken drumsticks
  • 6 oz (1 can) tomato paste
  • ¼ c apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ c water
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 t paprika
  • ½ t dried mustard
  • ½ c coconut amines
  • ¼ t allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 8-9 oz jar apricot jelly (check the label to ensure cleanliness)
Instructions
  1. Heat a little oil over medium high heat in a high sided skillet.
  2. Add the drumsticks and cook for a few minutes on each side, until lightly browned.
  3. While the drumsticks are cooking, whisk together the remaining ingredients for your sauce.
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken and rotate the drumsticks so they are coated.
  5. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan, and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Spanakopita (Paleo, Vegan)

Having gone to college in southern New York, I became absolutely infatuated with the bazillions of Greek diners we frequented any chance we got.  Pancakes the size of my face…the ginormous pastry display…gobs of butter on EVERYTHING…

And, of course, the Greek food.  I was on a moussaka kick at one point–even made MDA’s primal version–but my favorite has always been the delightfully crispy and cheesy spanakopita.  Spabakopita…which also happens to be the most Paleo-unfriendly dishes around thanks to the phyllo (which is the best part, duh!) and cheesy goodness.

photo-2

Having nothing but time on my hands this summer, I finally cracked it.  I’ve been obsessed with Cappello’s pasta for a long time, and even more so now that the ingredient list changed to make them 100% Paleo (no more potato starch).  While not exactly the flaky crispity crusty phyllo, the lasagna noodles make a perfectly delicious substitute for the shell.  Making this baby dairy-free was no problem at all, especially since I’ve been experimenting so much lately with cheese alternatives.

The result was beyond even my expectations.  Even my husband–who rolls his eyes every time I tell him we’re having a meatless meal–went back for seconds!

The cauliflower mixture–before mixed with the spinach and all the rest of the ingredients–stands very well on its own as a topping or base for other recipes.  I’d like to say it tastes a little like feta cheese…but faux feta or not, it’s great.  I’ll probably post the recipe for just that piece in the next couple days.

Spanakopita
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • ½ head cauliflower
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t marjoram
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t oregano
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • ½ c chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1 t onion powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ c coconut milk
  • 1 lb frozen spinach
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package Cappello's lasagna noodles
Instructions
  1. Steam the cauliflower until soft. Place in a food processor with the olive oil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, lemon juice, coconut milk, green onions, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Pulse until you have a rough puree...not as smooth as you'd want for mashed potatoes but more smooth than cauliflower "rice."
  3. Heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high in a skillet. Add the garlic and onion, then saute until soft.
  4. Add the spinach, sautéing until excess water has evaporated off.
  5. Mix the spinach mixture with the cauliflower mixture, along with the olives.
  6. In a baking dish, spread a thin layer of the spinach-cauliflower mixture.
  7. Lay a layer of lasagna noodles on top.
  8. Pour the rest of the spinach mixture on top of the noodles.
  9. Top with one more layer of noodles.
  10. Cover tightly with foil, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  11. Uncover, brush some olive oil all over the top, and return to the oven for 10 more minutes.

xxx

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Guacamole Stuffed Beach Burgers

My husband and I spent all last week on vacation in Texas…both of us needed to get out of town, like, months ago, but with school and jobs and all that life business we haven’t had a chance to take a real vacation since our honeymoon.  We probably wouldn’t have gone this year, either, until we realized his cousin was graduating college–kind’ve an big deal.  And oh, wait, her school is an hour from the beach.  So we spent the weekend engaging in graduation festivities and then drove out to the shore and rented a house with some friends.

As fate would have it, said beach house had a full kitchen and–most importantly–a grill.  So we grilled.  We grilled a lot.

photo

Call me crazy, but I’ll take guac oozing out of my burger over cheese any day.  The beef is also seasoned to give it a little more substance, too…feel free to just use plain ground beef (I know the Grillmasters out there won’t have it any different) but against the cool, creamy avocado a slightly sweet and spicy burger is Ah-mazeballs.

Guacamole Stuffed Beach Burgers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 T dijon mustard
  • 1 T coconut aminos
  • 1 t chili powder
  • ½ t paprika
  • 2 T pineapple juice
  • 2 or 3 ripe avocados
  • ¼ c salsa of choice
Instructions
  1. Mix together everything except the avocados and salsa. Make sure you don't over mix, since the burgers can get tough.
  2. Mash the avocados together with the salsa.
  3. Assemble the burgers...the easiest way is to make largish patties and press them into large, flat circles.
  4. Spoon some guac into the middle of each burger and draw up the sides around it, pinching the edges to seal it in. No need to make them look perfect.
  5. Grill 'em!
  6. Eat 'em!

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Home-Made “Chipotle” Burrito Bowls (Vegan and Paleo)

As much as I love to hate on fast g=food, I’m not going to pretend it’s not convenient.  And damn if I don’t love me some Chipotle burrito bowls teeming with gobs of guac.

The beauty of this meal is that it’s so simple and really only requires as much prep work as you’re willing to give.  If nothing else, just throw a bunch of leftover meat and veggies in a bowl and smother in salsa and guac (salsa and guac go well on EVERYTHING) and you’re good.  This week, though, I was obviously feeling a little fancy.  Sometimes you miss the diversity of textures and flavors you get from not-so-Paleo-friendly ingredients like beans and corn…

The squash cubes add the perfect addition of texture you’d get from the beans or corn, and the roast veggies are a must to add a little variety.  Just like the real deal, a variety of meats work well and this is a phenomenal way to use up leftovers.  Ross used chicken on last night’s, for example.  Since I’m on another “Paleo-Vegan” kick, I made some palm heart “barbacoa” in a nice little simmer sauce.  (Recipes below)

This is a great dinner that can be prepped well ahead of time.  Sort of reminded me of my mom’s “Fajita Nights”–she’d set up big containers of cooked meat and veggies in the fridge that just needed to be nuked and assembled.  Just make a giant batch of cauliflower (or regular) rice, butternut “beans,” roast veggies, meat, etc and have them staged and ready to go.  Also makes an awesome pack-able lunch or breakfast…add a runny egg and thank me later!

butternut squash tgipaleo

For the “beans”:

Take a butternut squash and cut it up into little cubes (about 1/2 inch).  Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until browned.

roast veggies tgipaleo

For the roast veggies:

Cut up a bunch of different veggies (I used cherry tomatoes and onion here but feel free to use whatever).  Drizzle and toss with olive oil and slat and pepper.  Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until browned.  You can (and should!) save time and have these in with the squash.

For the simmer sauce:

To a bkender, add 1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, 1 T chipotle powder, 4 garlic cloves, 1 t oregano, and 1 t black pepper.  Pulse until you have a smooth sauce.  Transfer the sauce to a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Lower to medium low and simmer for 1 hour.

No time to make a fancy sauce? Just use a clean store-bought enchilada sauce.

palm hearts tgipaleo

For the palm heart “barbacoa”:

Heat a skillet over medium heat.

Shred about 7-8 palm hearts with a fork.

Add a drizzle of oil to the skillet and then the palm hearts.  Saute for a few minutes, then add about 1 cup of simmer sauce (recipe above) and stir until combined.

vegan and paleo chipotle burrito bowl

Assemble your bowls!!

In a nice, big bowl, start with a layer of rice (cauliflower rice or regular, I won’t judge).  Add some “barbacoa,” butternut “beans,” roast veggies, salsa, and guacamole.  If there’s anything else you want to add, go for it!

Devour.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Marbled Pound Cake

Clearly, Pinterest wasn’t a thing in the early 90′s, but my mom was a huge clipper of recipes from magazines, newspapers, boxes, etc.  Even now, there’s still an enormous pile of clippings in the living room at their house I *love* sifting through every time I come over.

paleo marble pound cake

A few months back, I came across a page out of Food and Wine magazine for a marbled pound cake–this was actually one of the first things I baked all by myself and I was kind of obsessed.  Cake for breakfast, people.

Clearly I needed to make this happen again.  I mean, if it’s finally warm enough to have coffee on the patio in the morning, I really need something sweet to dunk.

Marbled Pound Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • ½ c coconut flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t psyllium husk powder
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cashew butter
  • ½ c honey
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 2 T coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Combine your dry ingredients (except cocoa powder) and set aside.
  2. Cream together the eggs, cashew butter, honey, vanilla, and vinegar.
  3. Add the dry mixture and beat *very* well until smooth.
  4. Pour ¾ of the batter into a prepared loaf pan.
  5. Add the cocoa powder and coconut milk to the remaining ¼ of the batter. Mix well.
  6. Pour the chocolate layer on top of the batter in the pan. Using a clean knife, swirl the chocolate layer slightly through the vanilla layer.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

1 2 3 4 46