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Broccoli-leek-potato soup

The recipe in the magazine. I made mine without the sour cream and chives.

The recipe in the magazine. I made mine without the sour cream and chives.

(Modified to be “paleo” from a recipe by Food & Wine magazine.)

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and tender parts only, finely chopped
1 – 1 ½ lbs broccoli, stems peeled, and sliced/cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large or two small-to-medium boiling potatoes, cubed
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
5-6 cups chicken stock/broth
Salt & pepper
Zest of one lemon
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup almond milk or other non-dairy/non-soy milk
Chives or cilantro

  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the broccoli, garlic and 3-4 cups of the chicken stock, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until the broccoli is tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. In a separate sauce pan, add the rest of the chicken stock and the potato, add salt and boil on medium-low until potato is soft enough to mash. The potato will soak up most of the stock. If liquid gets too low, add more. When done, add the milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cilantro or chives. Mash together.
  3. Add the mashed potato mixture to the broccoli/leek soup. Using a handheld mixer, puree the soup until the desired consistency.

Walnut shrimp salad in endive leaves

I also added red peppers, tomato and cucumbers to this for a more substantial dinner.

I also added red peppers, tomato and cucumbers to this for a more substantial dinner.

(Modified from Food & Wine magazine, the original calls for hazelnuts and hazelnut oil)

Ingredients:

3 tbsp walnuts
2 garlic cloves, smashed, plus 1/2 teasp. minced garlic
1 lb. large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
1/4 cup walnut oil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped basil
2 tbsp chopped celery leaves (optional)
1 scallion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
3 large Belgian endives, leaves separated

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a pie plate, toast the nuts for about 10 minutes or until they are fragrant and browned. Transfer nuts to a clean kitchen towel and rub off the skins. Let the nuts cool then coarsely chop them.
  2. Meanwhile bring a medium saucepan of salted water to boil with the smashed garlic. Add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, about 2 minutes. Drain and let the shrimp cool, discard the garlic.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the minced garlic, 1/2 teasp of salt and a generous pinch of pepper until combined. Whisk in the hazelnut and olive oils until incorporated, then stir in the chopped basil and celery leaves. Stir in the scallion and 2 tbsp of the chopped nuts until mixed.
  4. Coarsely chop the cooled shrimp and add to the dressing. Season with salt and pepper and toss the mixture to coat the shrimp.
  5. Arrange the endive leaves on a large platter and spoon the shrimp into them. Sprinkle with the remaining nuts and serve. I added tomato, cucumber and red pepper to mine so I could have it as a dinner. Otherwise, this is good as an appetizer.

Day 6 of week 5

This is the meal that I described earlier this week. It is a Spanish recipe from this book: “Spain Mediterranean Cuisine” by Konemann (translated from German). “Fricassee” means something like braised, meat cooked in some liquid slowly. Man, this stuff came out delicious!!

Chicken Fricassee with Walnut Sauce

Chicken Fracassee with Walnut Sauce, plus salad

Chicken Fracassee with Walnut Sauce, plus salad

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Same meal but with fennel and tomato

Ingredients:

1 small roasting chicken 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. (organic or free-range)
3/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine (I used white cooking wine)
1/2 cup walnuts
1 bunch parsley
3/4 cup almond milk
4 cups chicken stock (organic)
1 – 2 garlic cloves
2 cups almond meal
(optional) 2 tablespoons regular flour
salt + pepper

  1. On a chopping board, cut the chicken into 8 pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 legs). Set the carcass aside for another purpose, such as making chicken stock. Season the pieces with salt and pepper
  2. Put about 1 1/2 – 2 cups almond meal on a plate and coat the 8 pieces completely.
  3. Fry the pieces in a large casserole pan with olive oil over very high heat, turning each piece so they are all browned evenly. Set aside. Lower heat to medium. Leave the oil and drippings from the chicken in the pan. Saute the finely chopped onion for about 5 minutes. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and pour in the white wine.
  4. In a mortar (or in a mixer or food processor) crush the garlic, walnuts and parsley. Add the milk and mix until a thick mixture forms. Add this to the pan.
  5. Add the chicken stock to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook on medium-low for approximately 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Remove the chicken from the pan when done. Using a hand-held mixer, mix the broth/sauce until pale brown.
  7. If the sauce needs thickening, add a slurry of water with 2 tablespoons regular flour. I tried doing this with almond meal, but there isn’t enough binding material in meal, so flour is best. Alternatively, use some other meal or flour that has gluten in it. A boiled potato or two could also work, I would expect. You can also try cooking the sauce on medium-high on its own with the lid off the pan to reduce it down.
  8. Add the chicken back into the sauce and serve. The recipe suggests sprinkling boiled eggs over the dish, but I didn’t think it needed it. Sprinkle fresh herbs over as well.

Ginger Stir-Fry with Shrimp and Snow Peas

IMG_1222 IMG_1223

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 teasp Chinese chile-garlic sauce
1 tbsp corn starch (optional)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh ginger cut into fine matchsticks
1/2 lb. fresh snow peas
1 lb. medium ship, peeled and deveined
4 small scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal

  1. In a small bowl whisk the chicken stock with the soy sauce, chile-garlic sauce and corn starch.
  2. In a non-stick skillet heat the vegetable oil. Add the ginger over moderately high heat until softened, about 1 minute.
  3. Add snow peas and stir-fry until crisp-tender and ginger is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and stir-fry about 1 minute.
  5. Add scallions and stir for about 30 seconds.
  6. Whisk the sauce and add it to the skillet until the shrimp are opaque and sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Serve.

This is likely one of the least healthy meals I made, only because I used prepared meatballs rather than making my own. I know these meatballs likely have ingredients in them that are not on the Paleo list. But they were in my freezer and sometimes you just need to work with what you got. So here is the recipe. I “healty-ed” it up a bit by adding lots of veggies. I also used home made chicken stock.

Meatball soup

12-15 Swedish style meatballs
Bunch carrots (6-7), sliced
¼ onion, chopped small
½ cauliflower chopped small
1 or 2 slices chorizo, chopped small
1 ½ – 2 liters (6-8 cups) chicken stock/ broth

If using your own meatballs then brown them beforehand. They do not have to be cooked through.

In a soup pan, fry the chorizo about 2 minutes. Add the diced onion, cook until onion is getting soft, add in cauliflower and carrots. Cover with the broth. Bring up to boil then turn to medium/low simmer. Add the meatballs. Cook for about 20 minutes and all vegetables are soft. Eat.

Sundays are when I go grocery shopping for the week. Last week I hadn’t needed to go shopping for food because I had enough left over from the previous week. So this week I went early on Sunday to the store. Before I went, I wanted some ideas for meals, so I looked on my iPad and found one I could modify from Jamie Oliver. It’s a chicken curry with rice, but instead of the rice, I did it with cauliflower (see the recipe and photos below). It took a while to prep and make, but it came out really good.

I did real good at the store, only spending $81. I think I’m getting better at choosing stuff from mostly the meat and vegetables sections.

I started cooking almost as soon as I got back home. Besides the chicken curry, I made two other meals for the week too: a salad with baked salmon and asparagus and a meal I call Beef Fajita. It’s basically what I would put in a beef fajita (beef, onion and green pepper), but minus the cheese and sour cream. It can be served with guacamole, which I make myself (see food post from January 6).

Chicken Curry with Cauliflower

This recipe from Jamie Oliver will last me two or three days. Instead of rice pilaf, which his recipe calls for, I used cauliflower. I also modified the recipe a bit to fit my taste and based on what spices I have on hand.

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Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts (enough for 2 people)
½ head of cauliflower
14 oz canned tomatoes
olive oil
small bunch of fresh cilantro (about 15 stalks)
2 teasp. ground cardamom (I used garam masala, which contains cardamom)
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teasp. ground coriander
½ teasp. ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 onion (medium size)
1 ½ tablespoons almond meal
2/3 – 1 cup chicken broth, warmed up
4 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger root
1/3 cup plain yogurt
lemon juice
hot sauce or hot chili flakes
sliced toasted almonds (about 3 tablespoons)
salt

  1. Put 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 crushed or ¼ teaspoon powdered clove and 1 teaspoon cumin in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Remove the leaves from the stalks of the cilantro and put them in a small bowl with cold water. Keep the stems and cut them up very fine.
  3. Put the chopped cilantro stems, the finely cut or pressed garlic and the grated ginger root in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Cut the chicken up into small, bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  5. Dice the onion very fine. Set aside.
  6. Dice the canned tomatoes and set aside.
  7. Dice the cauliflower up into bite-size or smaller pieces.
  8. In a frying pan, add oil and add the whole clove, 1 teaspoon cardamom or garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin, break the cinnamon stick in half, add it and fry the spices until aromatic. Add in the cauliflower until coated with the spice/oil mixture and then add the warmed up chicken broth. Let it come to a boil then lower to simmer, put lid on and cook until cauliflower is soft (about 15 minutes).
  9. Over high heat, in a second frying pan, add oil and add the chicken to brown. Once brown, put the pieces on a plate and set aside.
  10. Lower the heat to medium. In the same frying pan, add the spices from step 1. Let them cook for about 30 seconds. Add the diced onion and let this cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly golden.
  11. Add the items from step 3 plus the diced tomatoes. Add tumeric and coriander. Let this cook for about another minute. Stir through the almond meal.
  12. Add the chicken and stir until the chicken and vegetables are covered in the spices. Add salt to taste and a little bit of water or chicken broth and let this cook for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  13. When ready to eat, add 1/3 cup plain yogurt and stir thoroughly. Plate the food and add the cilantro leaves and toasted sliced almonds on top. Sprinkle with lemon juice and/or hot sauce to taste.

Beef Fajita

Ingredients:

1 lb approx. beef sirloin (steak tips) cut into small bite-size pieces
1 green pepper, sliced thin
1 yellow onion (I used Vidalia) sliced thin
Chili powder
Steak seasoning (I use Penzy’s)
Cumin
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

  1. Sprinkle the beef with olive oil, salt, pepper and the spices to taste (I use about half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of each of the spices).
  2. Brown the pieces of beef in a frying pan on high heat with olive oil.
  3. Let the beef rest on a plate. In the same pan, add the onion and pepper and cook until softened and slightly golden. Add more oil if needed.
  4. Lower the heat and add the beef back into the pan and cook for a minute or so more.
  5. Serve the mixture with guacamole. Add hot sauce or salsa if desired.

Swordfish Steak with Herb Marinade

Grilled swordfish, here with cauliflower and green beans

Grilled swordfish, here with cauliflower and green beans

ingredients:

1 swordfish steak (enough for about 2 people), cut in half
mix of fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, cilantro (a handful or so of each)
olive oil
fresh lemon juice (from about a half a lemon)
salt to taste
any dry spices per preference (I used Muskego Ave chicken and fish seasoning from Penzy’s)

  1. Make the marinade with the fresh herbs, salt, fresh lemon juice and olive oil mixed in a blender. You can add water to thin it a bit.
  2. Marinate the fish for at least 30 minutes before grilling
  3. Grill the fish. My fish was slightly frozen still, so I seared it on both sides about 3-4 minutes each side, then turned the grill down a bit and covered the grill, cooked both sides another 8 or so minutes.
  4. You can add more of the herb marinade to the fish while grilling

 

Herb/oil mixture

Ingredients:

Any fresh herbs you have on hand (cilantro, parsley and basil is what I used)
Juice from a lemon (about a tablespoon)
Salt and pepper
Good olive oil

Mix all in a blender until herbs are chopped small.

 

Tomato concassee

Good for putting on eggs, a salad or piece of meat

Good for putting on eggs, a salad or piece of meat

So tasty!

So tasty!

Ingredients:

2 tomatoes peeled and seeded
a mixture of fresh herbs, about a small handful each
juice from a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
good olive oil, about 1/3 cup
salt and pepper
dry spices to taste if needed

  1. To peel and seed a tomato, you cut an “x” into the bottom of the tomato, then dip the tomatoes whole in boiling water for about a minute. Pull them out and put them into a bowl of ice cold water. The skins come right off. Then cut them open and squeeze or scoop out the seeds. Dice the tomatoes into small pieces.
  2. Mix the herbs and rest of ingredients in a blender until the herbs are chopped into fairly small pieces.
  3. Combine the herb/oil mixture with the tomatoes

I made these today:

Berry smoothie

bag of frozen blueberries (10 oz?)
bag of frozen raspberries (10 oz?)
cup of jarred (can also be frozen) cherries
1 – 1 ½ cup kefir or greek yogurt (can also substitute yogurt with almond milk if avoiding ALL dairy; alternative: add water to thin out the smoothie)

Put all into blender and blend until smooth. You may need to filter out the hard raspberry kernels.

 

Roasted sweet potato sticks

Sweet potato sticks

Sweet potato sticks

2 sweet potatoes, cut into ¼ inch slabs first then into sticks
Tablespoon or more of olive oil
Salt + pepper

Spread sweet potato sticks out on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Roast in preheated oven at 350 degrees, about 20 – 30 minutes, stir a few times. If you want them crunchier on the outside, cook them longer.

 

Grilled Asian marinated steak tips

Asian marinated (sirloin) steak tips

Asian marinated (sirloin) steak tips

I finally got to use my new grill!

In a bowl:

Teriyaki or soy sauce (about ¼ – ½ cup)
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
juice from a ¼ of a lemon
any Asian-style marinade (I use one with lots of ginger)
¼ cup of olive oil
Beef sirloin tips (about 1 – 1 ¼ lb)

  1. Add the steak tips (make sure they are about the same size)
  2. Let marinate in the bowl in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours
  3. Good to let the steak tips sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes or so)
  4. Grill the steak tips, about 5-7 minutes on each side

 

Chicken or Turkey Burgers

Turkey burger, here with avocado and tomato concassee

Turkey burger, here with avocado and tomato concassee

1 lb ground chicken or turkey
Herbs, like fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 egg
Spices to taste (I used smoked 4S, Muskego Ave chicken and fish seasoning and Mural of Flavor, all from Penzys)
Salt
(I also used a few tablespoons of an herb/lemon/olive oil mixture I had made)

Mix ingredients together. Form into patties. If needed, wrap each individually with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to let flavors soak into meat.
Cook on a hot grill, about 10 minutes one side, 5 min on the other.

Countdown

Completion of 8-Week Impossible Abs programMarch 4th, 2013
8 weeks completed!

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