Friday, June 22, 2012

Cream Sauced Pork Chops

I always do my prep work for all my meals on Mondays and this week was no different. The only problem was when I made my menu for the week I simply wrote pork chops for one of the days because I knew I wanted pork chops I was just unsure as to how I wanted to cook them. So when I did my normal prep I didn't prep them. That just goes to show you that sometimes the best things in life aren't always planned--don't get me wrong, planning is very important. This dish was AMAZING! So good ya just gotta lick the plate!! It was also very, very simple and took 30 minutes, tops. I can not wait to make the cream sauce again... I'm thinking Chicken Alfredo, so stay tuned!

Cream Sauced Pork Chops
3 lbs pork chops
1 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs. onion flakes
2 Tbs basil
2 cloves garlic
1 can coconut milk
1 Tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large deep skillet, heat olive oil and brown the chops on each side. In the meantime, combine oregano, onion, basil and coconut milk in food processor and puree until garlic and herbs are chopped. When meat is almost completely cooked thoughout, pour coconut milk mixture over and let simmer in medium heat with a lid for about 15 mins. Enjoy :)

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Cucumber Salad

"Paleo is an investment in your life."
- My dear friend Toben Squires

I have been doing these little Paleo workshops lately, I talk a little bit about what Paleo is and isn't but mostly I talk about finding a balance and making Paleo fit into your life (because when we first started it seemed impossible). Paleo is a lifestyle not just a "fad diet"... let me go on a rant for a moment.

First of all, the definition of a fad is "any form of behavior that develops among a large population and is collectively followed with enthusiasm for some period, generally as a result of the behavior's being perceived as novel in some way. A fad is said to "catch on" when the number of people adopting it begins to increase rapidly. The behavior will normally fade quickly once the perception of novelty is gone." Yep, I copied the exact definition from Wikipedia.

So when something is everywhere you look and everybody wants on board... kinda like skinny jeans, feather hair extensions, or the hundred diets that come and go as the wind blows. How many times have you opened a restaurant menu to see "weight watcher" "Atkins" "low fat" "low cal" "skinny" menu items? How many times have you turned on the TV to see an advertisement about a processed food that has been improved NOW WITH WHOLE GRAINS? When you go to the mall, what does every store carry; What's in style, no? When you go to restaurant how many Paleo friendly options do you have, without making the substitutions yourself? Almond flour pizza, Salad dressing without soy, dairy or sugar, sweet potato fries fried in coconut oil, all grass-fed meat? Nope not at traditional restaurants, not at street vendors, not at the mall food court. Ever see a commercial talking about a cool new bakery that only makes cakes from coconut flour, or a commercial just talking about Paleo? Nope, me either. But people constantly refer to Paleo as a "fad diet". If you look around, healthy is not a fad, it's not even in style. In fact I get made fun of on a near-daily basis for trying to be healthy. I also get told that "I go too far with it all" and I should just "chill out and eat a cheese burger."  This is amazing to me because when I ate close to nothing (500 cal. a day) and was obsessed with being skinny and that ruled my life very few people noticed and the ones that did didn't say a peep. But I start eating like I was made to eat and here comes the constant ridicule. If it is all just a "fad" than why are most people so unhealthy and on a million different kind of medications, overweight and don't have to energy to exercise and if you pay attention to the world around you, you can't help but notice this. I don't mean to come across all high and mighty, it just makes me so sad! It is heart-breaking to see people you love plagued by illness, for which they are taking medicine for and in most cases actually GETTING WORSE. So with that B-eing (ha) said, back to my point... Paleo is worth the trouble and is completely manageable, if you think of it as a lifestyle not a "diet." Also, it can be expensive if you are not careful so a helpful tip would be to eat produce while it's in season. Go say hi to your neighbors because I bet one of them has a garden and right now
cucumbers are in season! People are giving them away everywhere you look. But what are you going to do with all those cucumbers? It's hot outside (in Texas it is actually blazing hot) so it needs to be something refreshing, hmm? Well since you asked  here is a little recipe involving the cucumis sativus AKA the cucumber!

The most refreshing salad you'll ever have.

Cucumber Salad
1/2 of a cucumber
3 small tomatoes
2-3 fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic flakes
1 1/2 Tbl. olive/nut oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Dice up cucumber and tomatoes and place in a mixing bowl. Next, chop the basil and add to bowl along with all other ingredients. Toss salad around until herbs are evenly distributed, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

*I used caprese tomatoes because they are my fave.
**My friend Cassie over at leetstreet gave me their home-grown cucumbers and they were delish!

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Meatball Soup

I have made this soup three times trying to get it right. GRRR. I made it this past week (again) and feel better about it. It's not perfect but it's a lot better than what I started with. Don't you just hate when you are trying to perfect something and you can't get it quite right? I feel that this dish is missing something, so input is encouraged and welcomed! As with the recent theme of my recipes, this works great in a crockpot!

2 lbs. ground meat (I used beef)
1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
1 Tbs. onion powder
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. marjoram
1/8 paprika
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste

2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup strained tomatoes
3 gloves garlic (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
6 large carrots (sliced)
4-5 basil leaves
1tsp. fresh oregano (chopped)

In a large pot, add tomatoes, broth, tomatoes, onion, carrots and garlic and simmer on medium to high heat. While your soup is cooking, make your meatballs by mixing meat with the egg, cayenne, onion powder, thyme, marjoram, paprika, salt and pepper. Work all the spices using your hands and trying to get them evenly distributed. Next make meatballs (bite-sized or however you prefer) and drop them one-by-one into the soup. Turn the heat down slightly and add the fresh basil and oregano. Place a lid on the pot and cook until veggies are soft and the meat is cooked thoroughly. Should cook for about 35 minutes.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Paleo Flatbread

This is the flatbread used for the gyro recipe... Just typing that makes me want to eat it again!
Back to the "bread", it was perfect, perfect texture and everything! It tasted like real bread and I will most definitely use it again for burgers, wraps or sandwiches. I wish I could claim it was my creation but I can't, though, I did add chopped parsley to it just to give it a little texture and to incorporate more herbs in the overall dish. This is where I found it:

Paleo Flatbread
1/3 cup steamed and pureed cauliflower
4 egg yolks
6 egg whites
2 Tbs. parsley
1 tsp salt
Coconut oil (for your cooking pan)

Preheat oven to 300. Break cauliflower up and using a steam-pot steam it until soft, about 30 min. After it is almost falling apart transfer it to a food processor and puree. Mix the puree with the eggs yolks. Beat egg whites with the sea salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold in the veggie mixture and parsley until blended, then get out a baking pan. I used a brownie pan and greased it with the coconut oil, then grease it again...really really grease it!

Pour the mixture in the pan and smooth until it is evenly distributed and bake until the bread is golden or about 30 mins. I used a pizza cutter to cut into bread slices.

*Dont spread it too thin, You want it thick like real bread.

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