On this cold bitter morning, I left the house with a grocery list in hand with every intention of getting all the groceries at only one store. No grocery store hopping for me today.
Upon exiting the car, I was immediately hit with a northern wind that me feel that my face was going to freeze.Â Spontaneously, my gloved hand raised and covered my mouth.
Brrrr.Â Quickly walking to the entrance of the store, I picked up a grocery cart, swiped it with a cleaning cloth and proceeded to the produce section.
How does my husband do it?Â I wondered.Â Here I drive around in a Ford Escape that has remote startup and heated seats and the poor guy leaves home every morning in a 1997 Toyota Camry that has, well, heated nothing.Â By the time he makes it to work the car has just started to warm up.Â Then it sits all day outside and he has to get in the cold car for a cold trip home.
I decided I was going to make him a special dinner today for his daily sacrifice and since one of his favorite meals is Corned Beef Hash, I was determined to make it for him.Â That would hopefully help his mood when he arrived home, right?
After finding everything on my list I was about to check out when I suddenly remembered, where’s the corned beef?Â So ~ off to the back of the store I went.Â I waited as the butcher helped another customer.Â Asking for what I needed, he led me to the place where I could select the corned beef that I was looking for.
$25.00!!!!Â Granted it was 3.5 pounds but I felt insulted.Â No, no way am I going to pay $25.Â Besides, I reasoned, it was too much meat and the recipe I had only called for 8 ounces.
So, I left the store after paying for my groceries.Â Driving around, I decided to call another store and see if they had corned beef.Â The first store I called was Lunds and Byerlys.Â This should be the model store for all stores, well except for their prices.Â The aisles are wide and you don’t bump into people, the store is organized so well and they always seem to have what I want.
I was transferred to the meat department and the woman assured me that “yes, we have corned beef but only have two left.Â Shall I put one aside for you?”Â Of course I said.Â I asked if they sold it by the pound and she said yes. “How much?” I wanted to know.Â $11.00.
So she put it it aside for me and I gleefully drove there to pick it up.
There’s a lot of love for my husband in my heart ~ the $33.00 I paid for the almost 3 pounds was more than what I was willing to pay before but I reasoned it was worth it.Â Stepping into this store makes my heart soft which is why I don’t go in there very often.Â Everything is packaged so beautifully, including the beef brisket.
And so ~ I have to say this “love” meal came out quite delicious. Although I had a recipe to start, I had to go out “on my own” and figure things out as I went along.
The ingredients for this dish are simple.Â I started with a medium onion and a yam (or white sweet potato for paleo-ites).Â I diced the onion and threw it in the oiled skillet, mixed it around until it was almost cooked through then added the diced yam.
This process doesn’t take too long but you do want to make sure the potato is almost cooked before adding the beef.
The only herb I used in this was tarragon as the beef comes seasoned.Â You could use any other herb you like ~ I chose tarragon because it seems to be used in so few recipes and I like the flavor.
For the corned beef brisket, you just follow the directions on the label as to how long to cook it … well, that is, unless it doesn’t come with instructions.Â The only instructions I had were to cook it until it was cooked to 165 or 170 degrees.Â I’m glad I had a meat thermometer.Â Whew!
Although I had 3 pounds of beef, I decided to halve it and freeze the other half for another day.Â The 1.5 pounds I baked took almost 2 hours.
I left it out to cool for about 15 minutes before I cut it into small pieces for the corned beef hash.
But first I had to cut the fat off of it.
Once the potato is almost cooked, add the cut corned beef brisket to the skillet and blend it to combine it all.
I’m still trying to keep my meal planning very simple so I can spend more time in the yard this spring/summer.
So ~ I made these marinated paleo Beef Shish Kabobs that took absolutely no time at all. Â You don’t have to marinate the meat, however, if you do the meat will be a lot more tender.
But, first things first ~ I used wooden skewers and they have to be soaked so they don’t burn in the oven. Â I soaked them in cool water for about 20 minutes. Â That did the trick. (The knife was to hold them down as they kept floating.)
Now, besides onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, I use white vinegar to “soften” the beef. The longer you can marinate the beef the more tender it will be. Â Today I only marinated the beef for a couple hours and it didn’t come out as tender as my mouth was watering for ~ I think my problem though was using too little vinegar so the recipe below uses more than what I used. Â It will also depend on how much meat you have to tenderize so if Â you use a little bit of beef, don’t use as much vinegar ~ more beef, more vinegar.
The pieces of beef below were marinated, trimmed of fat and then cut into smaller pieces for the skewers.
I only used peppers and onion to accompany the beef. Simple, right?
Since I had cherry tomatoes on hand, I added them on the side so they could roast. I could have put them on the skewers but that sounded messy to me.
The shish kabobs should bake for about 20 minutes IF you like your meat medium well. I took them out at 10 minutes just to see what they looked like ~ a little to red for me:
Well, here I am again with another new recipe. This one is paleo and vegetarian but not vegan. Â You could use vegan cheese to solve that problem though.
Cauliflower is not one of my “go to” vegetables although, add a little aged cheese and my mind magically changes its mind.
This paleo Cauliflower Tomato Casserole is very easy to make and most of the recipes can already be found in (most) of your cupboards.
Although I had purchased the cauliflower just a couple of days before, there were some parts that didn’t look “healthy” to me ~ mainly the brown parts ~ so I cut those areas off and used the rest.
I first cut the cauliflower into smaller florets, rinse them clean and put them in a pot to steam until they were soft.
While the cauliflower was steaming, I prepared ingredients that will be combined with the cauliflower once it’s steamed ~
I combined the ingredients in a bowl (with the exception of the almond flour and cheese). Â Only half of the can of diced tomatoes is used. Â These ingredients will be combined with the steamed cauliflower.
The almond flour was tossed with my favorite cheese ~ Kerrygold Aged White Cheddar ~ although any cheese can be used. This was then tossed over the cauliflower mixture.
Once everything was ready, I popped my uncovered casserole dish into the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the top started browning.
So ~ here’s the recipe for you to try. Let me know what you think.
Paleo Cauliflower Tomato Casserole
I adapted this recipe from a book called Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking.
As a Puerto Rican, we ate lots of plantains growing up.
My favorite were the maduros which were yellow and very ripe even to the point of having a black skin. These were the sweet ones as opposed to the green plantains which were not sweet at all and were usually served with a garlic dip. Â But the maduros ~ well, we just fried them up and ate the slices. Simple and delicious!
It’s interesting that almost every time I go to the grocery store and see the very ripe plantains they bring the price down because they assume (incorrectly) that the plantain is too ripe. Â So it’s a bonus to pick up these delicious maduros.
Now, being one to have a sweet tooth, I searched for a recipe to incorporate these plantains into a meal. Â And, right on my bookshelf I found a book called Puerto Rican Cookery that had been given to me as a gift many years ago. It had a recipe for plantain balls but I decided to adapt it to suit my taste.
Besides the plantains, the rest of the ingredients are quite simple: Â ground beef, cheese and seasonings.
The plantains are boiled in water until they look like they are going to pop out. Â Then they’re taken out to cool. Â Once cooled, I peeled them and added them to a bowl with butter and arrowroot starch. Â Then I mashed them up.
The ground beef is put in a skillet with the seasonings and cooked through. Â This will be used to fill the plantain balls along with the shredded cheese.
I added a little arrowroot powder to my hands before I picked up some of the plantain mixture to fill it. Â It needs to be flattened so it can be filled with the ingredients.
The plantain balls will come out looking like this …
And once baked they’ll look like this …
These Beef & Cheese Filled Plantain Balls are paleo … deliciously paleo. Â And, if you choose, you can also fry them instead of baking them but I prefer them baked.
This paleo Spinach, Cheese and Olive Stuffed Chicken Breast recipe came out absolutely great!
Normally my chicken breasts come out a tad too dry but not this time. Â I surprised even myself!
I decided on chicken breasts for tonight’s meal because I haven’t had them in quite awhile and I felt inspiration well inside of me. Â If that inspiration ever wells up inside of you, go for it!
As usual, the recipe is simple and uses ingredients that most people already have in their cupboard.
I only used two “slices” of the aged cheddar white cheese and then I chopped it up. Â You could use more cheese, but I liked the “hint” of cheese and this white cheddar does not have an overpowering flavor.
The spinach, olives and cheese will be combined in a bowl after they are all chopped.
After I cleaned and dried the chicken breasts, I sliced it down the middle but not all the way through ~
Next I stuffed them with the spinach mixture ~ (you’ll be tempted to overfill them, but remember that the pocket will be closed up).
I added a tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom of a casserole dish then the chicken breasts. Â Next I seasoned the chicken with salt, white pepper and oregano then closed the chicken pockets with toothpicks.
I baked the chicken (covered) for approximately 35 minutes before removing it from the oven. Â I then added the juice of half of a lemon and a half tablespoon of butter on the top of each of the breasts then back in the oven it went, uncovered, for approximately 5 more minutes.
Then ~ perfection. Â Moist and tasty. Â I’m sure you’re ready to see the recipe, eh?
Spinach, Cheese and Olive Stuffed Chicken Breasts (Paleo)
Motivation for a new and simple paleo chili recipe gave me the inspiration for this recipe.
The main spice in this recipe is chili powder. Sounds simple enough, no?
The handful of pistachio nuts were a last minute idea and I was glad I added them. Â They gave a nice crunch to every bite.
The veggies I choose to use were cabbage, green onions, onion and green pepper. Â I sauteed them in a tablespoon of olive oil to cook them through a little
The chili is served on a bed of shredded lettuce which gives it a crispness when you bite into it. Â I sliced the lettuce up, cleaned it with water then put it in a mesh holder to allow the water to drain. Â After a few minutes, I take a paper towel and dry it to remove most of the water.
I like to use the Organic Ground Beef that I purchase at Costco. Â It doesn’t taste grainy when cooked like other ground beef I’ve tasted.
Once the vegetables are sauteed, I added the ground beef to them until the beef browned.
Next I seasoned the beef with the chili powder and salt. Â Then I added the canned diced tomatoes.
Once everything is combined and cooked through, I added the pistachios, stirred and it was ready to serve.
Pretty simple, no? Â Check out the recipe and let me know what you think.
The end of 2016 crept up rather quickly on me. Â The beginning of 2017 did also.
For the past three months I have been troubled by pain in my right shoulder. Â One night the pain was excruciating and I finally made it to the doctor’s office. Suffice it to say that I am in physical therapy now and recuperating. Â It feels like forever since I’ve posted on this blog although it’s only been a month.
I am currently in downsizing mode ~ getting rid of things I haven’t used in awhile. Â And so I went to the cabinet that holds all of my cookbooks and started going through them one by one.
One of my favorite books is Cooking Light and that’s where I found the inspiration for this recipe. Â I have tweaked it a bit to make it more simple and have removed grapes from the recipe also.
The main ingredients are carrots, kalamata olives (or regular olives if you don’t like the kalamata ones), onion, chicken and spices.
Throughout my short cooking life, I have learned to substitute spices for what I already have ~ well, assuming I like them. Â (laughing)
I chose to use the smaller carrots and sliced them in half. Â Then I sliced the onion, added them to the carrots along with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt then mixed it all together.
I used a handful of kalamata olives that I added to the carrot mixture after it had been roasted for a little while. Â I really like the taste of these olives ~ they make my mouth happy.
The spice mixture of cinnamon, red pepper flakes, coriander and cumin can really be adapted to whatever spices you like. Go ahead ~ be bold! Â I also added a splash of salt and pepper in the spices. Â It doesn’t look like a lot but it was enough to coat both sides of four chicken thighs.
Once I cleaned and trimmed the bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, I patted them dry with a paper towel then sprinkled half of the spices on them.
The chicken thighsÂ will be put in an oiled skillet skin side down so they can become crusty-ish. While in the skillet, I seasoned the other side of the chicken thighs.
Once the veggies roasted a bit in the oven, I removed them and added the olives to them along with the chicken thighs to bake them together.
Sound easy enough? Â Okay then, here’s the recipe for you.
Paleo Baked Chicken Thighs With Carrots and Olives
During the holiday season, I always try to make easy recipes so I don’t feel stressed. Â Simple recipes take less time ~
I found this paleo recipe (although they don’t call it paleo) in a magazine called Real Simple and the only thing I changed on it was using Beef Short Ribs instead of Strip Steak.
The vegetables are tossed together with 1/4 cup or less of olive oil then seasoned with salt and pepper and anything else you’d like. Â Some of the carrots I had looked a little sad but they were still good ~ no need to throw them out just use them right away, yes?
Side note: Â My mother always said to do your best not to throw food away because there are people starving in China. Â I believe the phrase was used in “the olden days” because at one time there was a famine in China and people were literally starving.
The veggies will be put into an oven to roast and while that’s happening, you can season the meat with a combination of coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, and Â½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Â Then you’ll be cooking the meat on a skillet to whatever “doneness” you’d like.
Here’s the final product which was quite delicious …
Oh, I see you noticed that the cloves still have the skins on them ~ well, that’s intentional. Â When you go to eat the garlic whole, the skin will peel right off. Â Pretty cool!
Now ~ since this wasn’t my original recipe, I’ll direct you to where you can see the original one. Â Just click below.