Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Recipe - Chili Sauce

I remember looking at the nutritional information many years ago on our favourite brand of Chili Sauce. The amount of sodium was ridiculous and this was way before we started eating Paleo.

Chili Sauce

1 Large Onion, finely diced.
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
12 ozs Tomato Paste
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup Water
2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
3 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tsp Mace
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
Salt to Taste

Cook the Onions in 2 Tbsps of Coconut Oil until softened. Add the garlic, chili powder, and mace and saute for 1 minute until fragrant.

Add the tomato paste and cook for 3-5 minutes until the paste starts to darken. This really helps to develop the taste of the tomatoes.

Stir in the cider vinegar, water, and coconut aminos
and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes until thick. Stir regularly to keep the sauce from burning and season to taste with salt and pepper.

This is great served warm as a dipping sauce or can be combined with horseradish to make a classic cocktail sauce.

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Whole30 January 2014 Day 14

This morning I was feeling lazy with cooking, so I chopped up some bacon, sauteed it, and then dumped in a bag of roasted peppers and onions from our last trip to Trader Joe's.  Once the peppers were tender, I stirred in some beaten eggs to make a scramble.  I put some Trader Joe's salsa on the side and went to town.

We had a late lunch at around 2pm.  Stopped at a local Afghani restaurant that serves consistently healthy and delicious food.  I opted for the kofta kebab and grilled filet with a large side salad.

I got a little peckish later in the evening, so I cooked up some eggs and had those.  Pretty boring, so I didn't bother snapping a photo of that!

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

January 2014 Whole30 Day 13

We had a late start to the day again today, so my parents who are visiting offered to take us out for breakfast.  We went to a local breakfast spot, and I had a very large omelet stuffed to the brim with spinach, mushrooms and bacon.  And I subbed out the toast and home fries for some tomatoes.

I grabbed a nap this afternoon and when I woke up I was really hungry; heated up some leftover meat and spinach muffins and that held me over until dinner.

And dinner was fondue.  I love doing this.  It really is such a fun thing to do as a family, and our kid loves that he gets to cook his own food.

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January 2014 Whole30 Day 12

Late again, shame on me!  I worked until 11pm last night, came home and flopped on the sofa until I peeled my body off of it 90 minutes later.

For breakfast, we had zoodles, bacon and eggs that I sprinkled with Zatar.

I took leftover meat and veggie muffins with me to work and bought a salad made with spring mix and topped with hard boiled egg, cucumber, tomato, mushrooms and green peppers.  I ate with a bit of balsamic vinegar and it was the perfect pairing with my meat muffins.  Like those gorgeous green polyester pants?

And for dinner, I had leftover meatza with a baby romaine salad with artichokes and kalamata olives.  I brough some creamy Italian dressing along for the ride.  Perfect.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Recipe: Meat and Veggie Muffins

These are adapted from my favourite paleo cookbook, Well Fed.  I love these muffins, they're incredibly easy to make and are perfect for on the go.  They're delicious warm or cold.

You'll need:
3 16 oz bags frozen, chopped spinach or kale, defrosted
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1.5 lbs ground pork
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
1 tsp summer savory
3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 375*F.

Squeeze excess water from the greens; there should be about 4 cups of greens once they are completely wrung out.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil after the pan is warm.  Saute the onion, until it is tender and transluscent, about 5 minutes.

Crumble the ground meat into the pan, breaking up lumps with the wooden spoon.  Add the garlic and spices and cook until the meat is browned.

Stir in the greens until it's combined; set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.  While it's cooling, scramble the eggs in a small bowl.

When the meat is cool, add the eggs and mix together.  Use your hands! It's the best way to make sure everything is combined well.

Place muffin wrappers (I prefer to use silicone ones) into the muffin tin; they'll help to prevent sticking.

Pack the mixture into a 1/2 cup measuring cup, then transfer to the muffin pan.  Use your hands to pack the spinach tightly into the muffin wrappers.  They should be slightly mounded.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.

When removed from the oven, allow them to cool, and store covered in the refrigerator.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

January 2014 Whole30 Day 11

I started out this morning by making up a large batch of spinach and meat muffins with the intention of having leftovers for work tomorrow.  I'm really pleased with how these turned out.  Much better this time than last and I really think it has to do with the silicone muffin liners.  The recipe for these should be going up tomorrow morning.

We have a really full fridge right now, so I decided to have a mish mash for lunch; leftover buffalo chicken and kalua pig with a large salad topped with olives.

For dinner my little man asked for pizza.  I said no deal, but we can have meatza.  He was all over that.  So we had meatza and I set up a toppings station and he and I went to town topping our pizzas.

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Recipe: Paleo Beef Vindaloo

This is a really delicious dish that is quite simple to make.  It has a hint of spice without being overly hot.  It can also be made in a slow cooker, with the cooking time adjusted.

You'll need:
3 lbs beef, I used stewing beef.
2 cups beef broth
2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
3/4 cup yellow onion, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2.5 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp Vindaloo spice mix (recipe below, or used prepackaged)
rice vinegar, to taste
black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste

Start by making your Vindaloo spice mix.  For the spice mixture you'll need to do the following:
Preheat the oven to 340*f; combine and toast the following on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes until golden and fragrant:

1/4 cup cumin seeds
1/3 cup coriander seeds
5 tbsp black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
1 tsp cloves (whole or ground)
1/2 tsp mace (ground or whole)
1/4 tsp cardamom

Once done toasting the spices, grind them in a spice grinder until it's a fine powder.

Now, for the beef.

Combine the beef and stock in a pressure cooker.

Pressure cook the beef for 45 minutes; start timing as soon as full pressure has been reached.  Once your 45 minutes is up, allow the pressure cooker to cool and depressurize.  If using a slow cooker, cook the meat for 8 hours on low.

Strain the cooking liquid into a large pot.  Cook the strained liquid over medium-high heat until reduced to a syrup.

In a large skillet, sweat the onions, ginger, garlic and Vindaloo spice mix in oil over medium heat until the onions and garlic are almost translucent.

Add the tomato paste and cook over low heat until the mixture is almost dry.

Add the reduced syrup to the tomato paste and spice blend.

Pour the reduced liquid over the beef.  Simmer it over medium-high heat, turning and basting the meat until it browns and the liquid reduces to a glaze, about 6 minutes.

Serve over riced or mashed cauliflower and season to taste.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January 2014 Whole30 Day 10

Once I returned home from a brisk (read: freezing) walk to drop the kid off at school, I made up some scrambled eggs, bacon and green beans.  Easy and satisfying for hours!

For lunch I made up a big batch of deli tuna salad and had it with cucumbers on the side.  After lunch I was still feeling a little bit hungry, so I had a spoonful of coconut butter.  If you're going to splurge and buy a jar of coconut butter, buy Artisana.  It's incredible.  I can't even describe how delicious it really is.

And dinner was beef vindaloo.  It's pretty easy and incredibly delicious.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January 2014 Whole30 Day 9.

I worked a night shift last night, so when I work nights I normally have a quick bite to eat at around 5am.  I had two meat muffins and a large cup of herbal tea, while perusing vacations.

When I woke up, I had some zucchini noodles topped with homemade meat sauce.  It was warm and hearty on this -25*c (-13*f) day.

And for dinner, it was Italian sausage from a local butcher that sources healthy animals and makes their own compliant sausage.  We had this with cucumber noodle salad, which tastes much more delicious than it looks!

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January 2014 Whole30 Day 8

My apologies for a late entry.  Yesterday was a bit of a busy day with errands to run, trying nap before a night shift and having to leave early for said shift because of poor weather, which turned out to be not so poor after all.

Breakfast was bacon cooked in the oven, spinach and two eggs dusted with zatar.  I think zatar is easily becoming my favourite spice blend.

I've really been wanting lobster lately; it's one of those things from Nova Scotia that I truly miss a lot sometimes (and I refused to eat it when I lived there for whatever reason), so we picked up a can of frozen lobster meat from Costco and I made a quick lobster salad that was very similar to deli style tuna salad.  I had some celery and pickled green beans on the side and it was the perfect light lunch before I napped for a couple of hours before work.

And for dinner we had a roasted chicken with roasted Brussels sprouts with roasted garlic on the side.  And then I was off to work for the night.  At around 11:30pm I had a small snack of almonds and celery to help sustain me for a couple of hours.  I placed an order for Primal Pacs recently and I'm dying to receive them.  I think they'll be the perfect emergency protein to keep in my locker!

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 2014 Whole30 Day 7

Today was a bit of an abnormal day for me.  I worked a 12 hour day shift, which is always interesting when doing a Whole30; or any other day for that matter.  I started by munching on some meat muffins while sitting at the nursing station. Professional? Perhaps not.  Delicious? Indeed.

I was able to grab a quick snack of almonds to sustain me while I was one to one with a patient for a couple of hours.  Once 4pm rolled around I was ravenous and went to the break room to indulge in some cucumber noodles and bahn mi meatballs.  I was so hungry that this was pretty much the most delicious food I had ever tasted.

After a snowy and wet drive home, I settled in with a large plate of roasted brussels sprouts, green beans and buffalo chicken.  Divine.  And now I'm ready to sleep for a week.

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

January 2014 Whole30 Day 6

I had a bit of a late start this morning; got to sleep in a bit before heading out to the zoo to meet some friends for a wonderful morning.  Last night I made meat muffins and had some leftover mixture, so I baked it in  a ramekin.  It was quite delicious; pork, summer savoury, kale and eggs.  I had it with some leftover spiced cauliflower rice.

We had a busy morning strolling through the zoo and were lucky enough to see one of the pandas close up.

When we got home I grabbed a meat muffin from the fridge and ate that before starting dinner and playing with my new spiralizer. I wasn't particularly hungry, since I had some emergency protein in my purse and ate that on the drive home.

For dinner I made a huge batch of meat sauce and served it on top of zucchini noodles.  Yum!

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Friday, January 3, 2014

January 2014 Whole30 Day 5

Today I started the day with steamed spinach topped with fried eggs and bacon.  I dusted the eggs with a little bit of Zatar from Penzey's.  I also stole a couple of apple slices from my kid's plate.

We went to see Frozen, so had a later lunch and threw together something quickly.  Leftover Kalua pig from Nom Nom Paleo, pickled green beans and dill pickles.  I also had a package delivered while I was mid-lunch.  A spiral slicer!  Very exciting!

And for dinner we played around with our new pressure cooker again and had coconut cauliflower rice from Well Fed 2 topped with pork vindaloo from Modernist Cuisine.  This really hit it out of the park for me.  The combination of ginger, coriander and all of the other spices was really delicious.  I'm planning on making it again next week with beef and will likely post the recipe.

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