Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Paleo Corndogs

In the beginning, I said I was coming clean about myself! So... I may have experience making corndogs... I may have worked at the local corndog stand in my hometown... It may have also been in a Walmart parking lot... Yes, I was the "corndog girl" at the California Corndogs stand one extremely hot summer in high school. It was horrible. You know how your little "somethings" look so fun-- like being a carhop, or ballet teacher... You cant wait to grow up and become them, only it turned out to not be any fun at all. But I did learn how to make a corndog and fresh lemonade and by fresh I mean a bunch of sugar water and squeezed lemon. My boyfriend at the time, whom I would later marry, would come to see me everyday. Of course he got free corndogs and lemonade every day. The point is, I have always loved corndogs... so I paleotized them

Paleo Corndogs

Corndog Batter
2/3 cups coconut flour
1 stick grass-fed butter(melted) or 8 oz Ghee
7 eggs
1-2 Tbs. honey or pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup water
pinch of sea salt


Combine all dry ingredients in stand mixer or large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients, except for the water together until eggs are beat, then add to dry ingredients and mix until smooth, then add water. You want the batter to be thin but not too runny.

1 package nitrate free uncured hotdogs (I found an 8-pack at HEB)
Chop sticks (I think they are way more fun than plain sticks, plus it's an homage to my friend "The Infamous" Marc Spinks)

I used an electric skillet because I didn't have a fryer. I also used coconut oil and bacon fat to fry in, more than a cup of each. Add oil and heat on high, ideally you want the oil to be deep enough to cover the corndogs. Mine didn't because I didn't have enough oil so they were ugly (as you can see) but still tasted great.

Put the dogs on the sticks. Stab the stick in the center of the dog, going halfway up. Pour your batter in something deep and narrow, I used a deep pot. Holding the chop stick, dip the dog into the batter rotating it back and forth, almost swirling it (thank of the corndog guy at the carnival!) and when the hot dog is has a thin layer of batter, very quickly pull it out and point the dog to the ceiling, then submerge in oil for about 3 mins each side... if the oil does not cover the tops of the corndog the batter will unfold slightly, this is ok because when you take them out of the oil you can kinda sandwich the batter back around.




* I used an electric skillet because I didn't have a fryer. I also used coconut oil and bacon fat to fry in, more than a cup of each.
** Yes, I used butter. I use grass-fed butter on very rare occasions, basically only when I make paleo cornbread.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pig-in-a-Pig

This is a great little hors d'oeuvre for any party! They are super-easy and I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't enjoy them. Once upon a time, I wasn't so Paleo and I would frequently make these little treats--covered in brown sugar. There was no way I could deprive myself (or anyone else) of these forever, so I made them Paleo for a ski trip to Montana with some Crossfit friends. My coach and friend Stefan collaborated with me and we came up with the name "Pig-in-a Pig," because it's not really pigs-in-a-blanket, it's more like a pig in a pig.


Sooooooooo-ey!
Pig-in-a-Pig
1 package lil' smokies (Nitrate, Gluten and Sugar free*)
1 package bacon (Nitrate free)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375. Cut bacon into thirds, about 2-3 inch long pieces and set aside. Then in a mixing bowl, add all smokies and maple syrup. Toss smokies around in syrup and one-by-one line them up on a cookie sheet** or a baking dish.  Add the bacon to the syrup a few strips at a time, covering them in syrup. Wrap one piece of bacon around each smokie, placing the seam-side down on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 45mins or until bacon looks done.

*I used AppleGate smokies
** This will make a lot of syrupy greese so be sure to use a sheet or dish with a lip.
***Been married going on 4 years and still have wedding napkins.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Pesto-Stuffed Chicken

Start the week off right! I hear so many people complain that paleo is "just too hard." It's too hard to figure out what to eat for lunch and dinner each day, it's too hard to go to the store all the time, and it's too hard because when they get hungry at work, there are no Paleo options.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Planning is key for everything in life, especially for eating paleo. I sit down Sunday night and make my menu for the week, then make a shopping list, double-checking what I already have so I don't over-buy. Fortunately I am off work on Mondays so that's when I do my shopping. I don't veer too far from my list unless I see produce on sale or something else we eat or use regularly. I come home and begin prepping. I chop, mix, puree and mix seasonings and marinades together and store them in baggies. I label everything and I'm set for the week! While this may seem overly OCD, this is just careful planning, and in the end saves me sooo much time during the week. I almost always make enough dinner every night for the next day's lunches. Bringing paleo snacks (Lara bars, nuts, nut butter, fruit, boiled eggs) to work helps so I don't cave in and cheat. It's a pretty solid plan and it's worked for me for a year and counting.

Pesto-Stuffed Chicken


Pesto-Stuffed Chicken

Pesto
1 Tbs. bacon fat or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup spinach
3 oz. fresh basil
3 1/2 Tbs. almonds
3 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Chicken
2 lbs Chicken breast
One piece bacon (per breast)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. On a baking sheet, spread almonds and bake until golden brown, about 5-8 mins. In a skillet, add bacon fat/olive oil and melt, add spinach and garlic to the fat/oil and sautee until wilted, about 5 mins. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree. Set aside.

Butterfly each chicken breast, open up and spread pesto evenly on the inside of the breast and then close up the breast. Wrap bacon around each breast and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish (I greased mine with coconut oil) and bake for 35-45 or until juices run clear.

*I served this with asparagus.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pizza Frittata


I love Pizza, I mean who doesn't? So, a few weeks ago when I found AppleGate (nitrate-free, gluten, and sugar-free) pepperonis, I was stokede! I knew instantly I was going to do something delicious with them, but I ate the whole package before I came up with anything. Have no fear the store had more! This dish definitely has the pizza flavor I was looking for.


Pizza Frittata
Pizza Frittata
12 eggs
3 Tbs. bacon fat
3 cups spinach
1 package pineapple pico( I found this in the produce section at Heb)
8-10 large pepperonis (torn into small pieces)
2 Tbs. oregano
1 can pizza sauce

Heat bacon fat in large skillet, then add spinach and sautee. When spinach is almost wilted, add in pico and combine. When pineapple begins to brown slightly add in pepperoni and toss mixture around. Let it sit about 5mins. While you wait, scramble all eggs in a mixing bowl then pour evenly over contents of skillet. Let sit on medium heat. When eggs begin to cook, about 5mins or so, sprinkle oregano over the top. Let cook about 25 more minutes or until eggs are no longer runny.

Heat pizza sauce in a small sauce pan and with a ladle pour over frittata. You will have left over sauce.

**For Pico, chop up equal parts pineapple, red onion, green onion, tomatoes and a dash of cilantro.
**Your fave (nitrate free) pepperonis will be just fine.
**I use Muir Glen organic pizza sauce, there are no hidden ingredients and it's 100% Paleo friendly.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jambalaya-ish

I thought this was an appropriate time, seeing as it is Mardi Gras weekend here, to attempt this dish.
I live very close to Louisiana, but I am neither Cajun nor French and have never really celebrated Mardi Gras. I also have never attempted to cook anything remotely Cajun. I had never even tasted gumbo until I was in high school. I can't recall a single time that we had white rice with dinner. I also don't eat seafood... Please don't quit reading this blog! I promise I have tried! I was even hypnotized a few months back... It didn't work. I'm crazy I know. Anyway, I wanted a challenge so I made this jambalaya. I'm sure some ragin' Paleo Cajuns could do a much better job, but I did my best and I'm sure this is not as "traditional" or complex as most jambalaya, that's why I'm calling it Jambalaya-ish. I thought it was pretty tasty (and spicy) and was happy with it.

Jambalaya-ish
1 head cauliflower(for the rice)
1 package sausage ( I used Applegate nitrate,gluten and sugar free apple and chicken sausage)
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic minced
1 can diced tomatoes
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil + 1 Tbs.
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 bell pepper blend(I got this from the spice section at Central Market, it dried peppers)
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1/2 Tbs. paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano

"Rice"
Break cauliflower into large pieces and steam until soft but not mushy, about 10-15mins. In small batches, put steamed cauliflower in food processor and pulse-chop, or chop up with a fork until it looks like rice. This only takes a few pulses/chops to get the rice-like texture, be care not to over chop or you will have mashed cauliflower instead.

Heat 3 Tbs. oil a large skillet or pot. Chop bell pepper and onion in food processor, if you don't have one (I still don't know why you haven't bought one) chop by hand and add to pot. Sautee peppers, onion and minced garlic. Cut sausage into medium circles and add to sauteed veggies along with bay leaves, cook on medium heat for about 10 mins. Next add "rice", spices, tomatoes and 1 Tbs. oil and mix until seasoning is evenly distributed. turn heat down and let simmer for 10 to 15 min.

** Don't have a steam pot no problem. You can fill a regular pot with a 3-4 inches of water, and put a colander on top of the pot, not inside it. Add your veggies to the colander and boil the water. 
** If  you cant find bell pepper blend just add fresh red and yellow peppers to the mix.
** If you cant find Applegate Sausage, just use your favorite (nitrate-free) sausage
** Remember to remove bay-leaves, DO NOT EAT THEM!

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Apple & Sun-Dried Tomato Smothered Pork Loin

So bacon fat will kill you right? Give you a heart attack? No! It's animal fat, natural, pure animal fat! Have you ever checked the ingredients of other cooking fats and oils like Crisco, margarine, etc.? They contain hydrogenated oils, and things like partially hydrogenated soybean and cotton seed oil...what the heck is cotton seed oil? I don't ever remember sitting down for dinner to a big steaming bowl of cotton, so why would I want to eat cotton seed oil especially if it is hydrogenated. Trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils are more harmful than naturally-occurring oils. There is a correlation between cancer and the consumption of hydrogenated fats. These trans-fats block our bodies from using essential fatty acids, causing an increase in LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Trans fats are also strongly associated with heart disease and diabetes, just to name a few.

Good fats:
- Tallow, lard or any animal fat
- Olive, nut and coconut oil
- Grass-fed butter (on occasion)
- Avocado (GUAC!)
- Nuts 

I was taught by my Grandma years ago to use bacon fat (southern Grandmas can cook!)  and not only is it delish but it is cost-effective. I use coconut, olive, and nut oils often but they get expensive. I also eat nitrate-free, uncured bacon almost everyday so I have tons of bacon fat stored in glass jars in the fridge to cook with later. Waste not, want not, yes? Also, I try to keep my empty glass jars of, say, sun-dried tomatoes so I can fill them up with bacon fat. That way, I'm B-eing (see what I did there) healthy, economical, and green!


Apple & Sun-Dried Tomato Smothered Pork Loin

Apple and Sun-dried Tomato Smothered Pork Loin

1 lb pork loin (I used bone-in)
3 Tbs. bacon fat
1 apple (cut into chunks)
10-15 sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tbs. dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add two Tbs. of  bacon fat to a skillet. While the bacon fat is melting, cut apple into chunks and add them along with tomatoes to the skillet and cover in the fat, sautee until apples are soft, about 10-15min.  Place pork in a baking dish and rub any leftover fat on the pork. After that, take the rosemary and crumble in over the bacon fat-covered pork then salt and pepper to taste. The apples should be soft by now, cover the pork with the content of the skillet, and bake for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until you cut into the pork and the juices run clear, not pink.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cocoa Amore

Cocoa Amore
Today marks a day of celebration: My one-year anniversary with Crossfit, and the birthday of my blog. This is a pretty big day for me. I am super-excited and nervous to share my food, thoughts and self so openly, but here we go! To mark the occasion properly, I'm starting with a dessert. I made this for Valentine's day and my sweetie loved it.

Cocoa Amore

1 can coconut milk
2 bars dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70% and 85%)
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2-3 Tbs. raw honey
1 Tbs finely-ground Hawaiian coffee (I used Central Market's "Lola Savannah Hawaiian Grog Coffee" because it had coconut shreds in it, but your favorite medium-to-dark roast coffee will do)

Add coconut milk to small sauce pan to let simmer until slightly bubbling. In the meantime, break the chocolate into pieces and throw it and all other ingredients into a stand-mixer, food processor or if you don't have either (for God's sake, get one!) you can mix it by hand, the old-fashioned way. Pour the hot milk over the contents and begin mixing until all ingredients are combined. Pour into mugs or small bowls and refrigerate until mixture is set. About 3-4 hours. You have yourself Cocoa Amore. MWAH!!

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