Monday, November 28, 2011

Leftover Turkey Thai Red Curry Soup




I was quite excited about the Thanksgiving Turkeys that our MEAT CSA did, and so I ordered the very biggest one they had.

TWENTY NINE POUNDS.  Just for me, my husband and the baby.

So we have a lot of leftovers, which I actually think is awesome.  And I made a ton of turkey stock, so we'll be prepped for soups for weeks to come!

In any case, I threw together this hearty stew this morning and the house smelled wonderful by dinner time.  It was definitely a winner.

The Tools:

- 6 qt crockpot

- 5 cups turkey stock (you made stock out of your turkey carcass, right? :-) )
- 1 14.5 oz can coconut milk
- 2-3 T red Thai curry paste (depending on how strong of a curry flavor you like in your soup)
- 1 T fish sauce
- 1/2 - 1 T red chili paste (be careful with this stuff!  it's insanely hot!  add slowly!!)
- 4 carrots
- 2 large turnips (or 2 medium white potatoes)
- 1 medium white onion
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 3-4 cups leftover turkey meat, chopped into bite sized pieces

The Process:

Besides mincing the garlic and chopping the carrots, potatoes and onion, this is a no-brainer.  Dump it all in the crockpot and mix it together and walk away.

(But remember to plug in AND turn on your crockpot before you do.  I've forgotten this step before.  More than once.  I blame baby brain.)

Let it cook on low for 7-9 hours.  The potatoes and carrots should be cooked through.

Add more spice to your individual bowl as you see fit!  (I always end up dumping way more chili paste in mine; Will would breathe fire if I spiced the entire pot to my liking.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dijon Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Ends


My husband swears that when we were in the hospital after having our daughter, some nurse slipped me some memo on "how to be a new mom" that included a brussels sprout mandate.  He just doesn't understand why I insist upon making them so often for our family.

(Oh, I don't know.  Maybe because they are AWESOME for you?!?)

In any case, I finally developed a recipe based off of this one that my husband doesn't mind.  (He still doesn't like them.  But he'll eat them this way without complaining.)

The Tools:

- 2 qt. crockpot

- 1 lb. brussel sprouts
- 1 T Dijon
- dash salt
- dash pepper
- 2 T butter
- 5-6 oz. bacon ends, cooked crisply

The Process:

Cook your bacon ends until they are crispy-ish.  Cool and then using kitchen shears, cut them up into small bite-sized pieces.

Wash the brussels sprouts and trim the end off of each one.  Then slice them in half.

Plop in the crock.

Add the rest of the ingredients and, using a large spoon, mix them up a bit.  Doesn't need to be perfect; it will all melt and meld in the crockpot during cooking time.

Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours.  Mine cooked for 4 1/2 and they were just perfect.

Enjoy!

Weekly Menu


Helloooooooo!  Happy Thanksgiving! (albeit late)  Anyone have any "gotta try" new recipes to share?  Around here, the turkey breast in the crock-pot was a success!  The cranberries were super tart.  My kids and I still loved them.  Hubs did not.  I also made my own version of some paleo stuffing/dressing using ground turkey.  Not on Thanksgiving, though - that would have been too much turkey.  It was good!  It was basically just a roasted mixture of meat, veggies, ground nuts, seasonings, and coconut oil.

I know "they" say not to do a strict 30 day paleo challenge during the holidays, but I am getting the itch to for some reason... we'll see.  On to the plan for the week.  I need to go grocery shopping, so I will tack on my lists at the end for those curious types.

Breakfasts:
eggs, sausage, sweet potato hash
berry cobbler
fruit
smoothies
raw milk/coffee

Lunches:
salmon salad with veggie sticks
salami
Tillamook cheddar
celery/carrot sticks and almond butter
fruit

Dinners:
hamburger vegetable soup (paleo-ified) x2
shawarma chicken and onions*, broccoli
bean-less chili with avocados and sour cream x2
chicken Italiano (crockpot version), roasted green beans

Snacks:
turkey jerky
crispy almonds

*We made this shawarma salad a few weekends ago after church, and while I've never been into middle-eastern cuisine, this is SO good.  It will smell up your whole house, but it is worth it.  It reminds me of my college years when my apartment was amongst of the international students', and I could always smell their cooking.

I missed my monthly beef pick-up due to Thankgiving holiday weekend travels... so what's the next best place to get grassfed beef in this area?  Let me know if you have any tips.

OK, here are my short lists of what I need to get at the start of this week.  Just enough to make it to the end of the month...

Costco: $30
almond butter
salami
pears
bananas
sour cream
eggs

Aldi: $22
frozen peas
carrots
celery
frozen chicken
ground turkey
sweet potatoes
avocados
onions
canned salmon

P.S.  Feel free to say hi in the comments, lurkers... I hear you are there :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekly Menu


So, we have to eat this week (and we have been, don't worry).  I may as well post the plan, right?  I'm going to be lazy and only do new links that haven't been shared before.


Breakfasts:
eggs and homemade sausage
fruit
smoothies
coffee/milk

Lunches:
leftovers

Dinners:
Trader Joe's brisket (non-paleo), sweet potatoes, salad
My kids loved this brisket, and so did I.  Probably because it is coated in sugar aka barbecue sauce.
meatza (a non-greek version), salad
shepherd's pie x2
roasted turkey breast, creamy corn (non-paleo), cranberries, salad, sparkling apple cider x2

We will also be eating with work friends and family a few days this week.  I'm sure there will be some more unhealthy indulgences.  Just being honest.  And they will taste good at the time and then we will feel like butt and want to get back to a healthy lifestyle after the week.  Yay!

Here's my non-recipe for how I make shepherd's pie.  Brown the beef.  Add seasonings: garlic, onion, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar, sometimes a little water.  Put in a 9x13 pan.  Layer pre-cooked salted and buttered vegetables of your choosing on top (green beans, peas & carrots?).  Layer pre-cooked mashed sweet potatoes on top (made just like white mashed potatoes - not sweetened.  I use butter, milk, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and a touch of chili powder).  Bake at 350 until hot and top begins to brown.  Serve and eat.  It is not pretty, but it is good.  Probably one of my husband's favorites.

I will probably try to roast the turkey breast in the crock-pot like this... I'd also like to try that stuffing recipe.  Since it has meat and is paleo, could we eat that as a main dish sometime?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekly Menu



Breakfasts:
grain-free pumpkin muffins (new recipe) with butter
smoothies
eggs and bananas
berry cobbler
milk, coffee*

Lunches:
chicken salad: chicken, toasted almonds, grapes
cheese
veggie straws
apples

Snacks:
turkey jerky
banana chips
raisins

Dinners:
I made shepherd's pie (with butternut squash for the potato part = yum) last week, instead of the meatballs.  So, they are on the menu, again.
marvelous meatballs, roasted green beans (x3)
chicken no-tortilla soup with avocado, sour cream, and cheese (x2)
apple-gouda chicken sausages, sweet potato fries (x2)
-salad with dressing with each-

*My husband is a coffee drinker.  I have not been, but have started to be these past few weeks.  Something about the cooler weather... I drink it with a generous amount of raw whole milk or else it will give me the jitters.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash (and breakfast, too!)


Trader Joe's sells butternut squash by the squash, not by the pound.

This is awesome.  I dig and dig and dig and find the BIGGEST SQUASH EVER there.  And then I only pay $1.99 per squash.  (Obviously I would like to buy them from my local farmers.  But now the farmer's market is over for the season.  So I buy them from TJ's.)

And then we eat copious amounts of this awesome, inexpensive and wonderfully nourishing squash.  I will probably make some sort of variation of this dish for our family's Thanksgiving this year.

I love this dish for dinner, but I also love how easily the leftovers turn into next morning's breakfast.  I'll make hot butternut squash mash once or twice a week (a paleo version of oatmeal); with a bit of pure maple syrup, it's one of our favorite breakfasts.  But it's sort of time intensive in the mornings.  BUT after we have this side dish for dinner, I just stick my immersion blender in the crockpot and puree the leftover squash chunks and I have breakfast done for the next day.

Brilliant!

The Tools:

- 4 qt. crockpot

- 4 T (preferably grass-fed) butter
- 1 medium to huge-ish butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- juice of one lemon
- 1 heaping tsp. pumpkin pie spice

The Process:

Turn crockpot on HIGH and add the butter.  Let it melt while you (carefully!!) attack the butternut squash.

Peel and cube the butternut squash.  (I know, I know, it's easier said than done.  Give yourself some time and be careful.)  Add all remaining ingredients to the melted butter in the crockpot and, using a large spoon, mix it well.

Cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours. Mix well before serving.

(There will be quite a bit of liquid on the bottom of the crock.  Go ahead and blend it into your puree if you're making it with the leftovers.  It will give it a creamier texture.  Enjoy!)

Shopping Paleo at Aldi and Costco

OK, time for another grocery shopping experience summary!  This is just to show anyone interested (because I am nosey on other people like that) what we bought where.

At the end of the week after class, I ran into Whole Foods for shredded coconut and organic pears ($1/lb.) and Trader Joe's for banana chips and organic apples ($1.25/lb.)  So, that gave us fresh produce through this weekend.

Today, the kids and I hit Aldi and Costco.  We drove by the mall area on the way, and it was packed!  I can't believe that many people are Christmas shopping already.  I guess the economy must be picking up a bit here...  Anyways.  I had a pretty strict list today.  As I mentioned before, I am trying to not have any extravagances in the grocery budget this month.  Here's what we got.

Aldi: $41
cashews (not purely paleo)
raisins
dried onion
black pepper
diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 dozen eggs
3 lbs. sweet potatoes
2 lbs. carrots
5 avocados
2 lbs. grapes
3 lbs. apples
2.5 lbs. bananas
1 whole chicken
1 can frozen orange juice (for smoothies)
1 pkg. diapers
laundry detergent for hubs
pasta, cheeses, and sauce to make meal for another family

I was going to get some ground turkey, but they were totally out, so we will make-do without.

Costco: $60
2 lbs. Tillamook cheddar
3 lbs. apple-gouda chicken sausages
1 lb. organic salad greens
3 lbs. bananas
big bag of frozen strawberries
3 lbs. raw almonds
big bag of veggie straws

And then we totally had a junky lunch of pizza and frozen yogurt from the snack bar. :)

All the food is put away now, so no picture, just imagine in your mind.  The menu plan for the week will be posted tomorrow!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dangers of Modern Vegetable Oils

"Isn't canola oil good for your heart?"

No!

Because I get this question from friends and family, and I am not that great at explaining the whys in my answer... here ya go!  A great, thorough little video.  Go watch Kristen here.

My Favorite Treat: Paleo Fudge Babies


I don't know what to call these.  Paleo Date Balls?  Since they are inspired by and adapted from Sarah's Great Balls of Dates in her Everyday Paleo cookbook.  Fudge Babies without a Food Processor?  Because they are also inspired by Katie's Fudge Babies.  Crack Babies?   Because I can eat them like crack.  Wait... you don't eat crack... right??  Anyways, you know what I mean.

If you are wanting something chewy and sweet like cookie dough, make these instead!  We love them.  They are my favorite of all the versions of this type of snack.  Here's what you do.

Take-
15 Medjool dates, chopped, seeds removed (this is easy to do)
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut (I get this from the bulk bins at Whole Foods)
2 T. cocoa
1 T. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla

Put it all in a bowl.  Make sure your hands are really clean.  Squish it all together with your hands until well mixed.  Form into balls.  Eat or store until eating.

All measurements are approximates and can be tweaked to your liking.  I am often not a precise measurer.  I get lazy and just throw stuff in.



Of course you can make these in a food processor and you won't have to chop the dates first.  But if you don't have one, or you are afraid you may be wearing yours out (like mine), this is an easy way to get to enjoy Fudge Baby type snacks because you use almond butter instead of grinding the nuts yourself.  The chocolate-cinnamon flavor is superb.  I would totally make these for Christmas functions except for the fact that they would be a little pricey to make in large batches, and unfortunately, not everyone would appreciate the fact that they are grain, diary, and added sugar free.  So, I guess we will enjoy them ourselves :)  And hopefully you will, too!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rosemary Garlic Roasted Lamb Chop



The Meat CSA awesomeness strikes again!  I love getting different cuts of meat every month; it really forces me to spice things up in the kitchen.  Otherwise, I think I'd just get the same things every week at the grocery store.  Lamb chops?  I don't think I would have bought them on my own, but they are so tasty!

Anyways, this is a great dish.  The lamb chop was pretty large, so the two adults and baby split it for dinner.  It slow roasted so well that it actually fell apart around the bone, as you can see in the picture above.

(I also made my Butternut Squash Apple Ginger Soup, so we had a lovely warm-you-up-on-the-insides dinner.)

The Tools:

- 4 qt. crockpot

- 1 big 'ol lamb chop
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 fresh sprigs rosemary (dried would work, too)
- 4 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
- dash sea salt

The Process:

Mix all ingredients (except the lamb!) together in a bowl.

Rub the herb and olive oil mixture into the lamb chop.  Plop the chop in the crockpot, dump any remaining oil or herbs over the top of it and turn it on LOW for 5-6 hours.

Run around with the kiddo all day, read a ton of books, crunch in the last leaves of fall and then come back to the house and ENJOY!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekly Menu


Well, we gotta eat this week, so what's it gonna be?  Let's see here...

I went to Price Chopper today and spent $25 on a bunch of chicken breasts, apples, bananas, butternut squash, and eggs.  Saved $30-some because everything was on sale.  I also spent a buttload boatload at Costco this week on non-food items, stocking up while the coupons were still valid (tp, razor blades, baby wipes, deodorant, etc.).

Breakfasts:
the usual-
eggs
sausage
bananas
berry cobbler
smoothies*

Lunches:
chicken
cheese
veggie straws
apples
pistachios

Dinners:
meatloaf or meatballs, green beans x2
sundried tomato chicken bake or braised balsamic chicken, squash, broccoli x2
chicken and green bean stir fry with cashews
bean-less chili? x2

*I was inspired by the Pioneer Woman this past week to make a pumpkin smoothie.  I made mine with raw milk, frozen ice cubes of plain canned pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, some grade B maple syrup, and then some ice cubes blended in to make it frothy at the end.  It was like a milkshake, pretty yummy, depending on how much maple syrup you add :)  Also, lately, for our other smoothies, the fruit ones, I've often been using raw milk in place of coconut milk.  I kind of just decide that day what I feel like and what we have more of in stock.

An interesting note:  For Halloween, we handed out snack sized Twix bars and fruit leather.  We set the treats out while our kids went trick-or-treating.  Guess what was the hot item that was gone when we returned?  The fruit leather!  I was pleasantly surprised.

Have a good week!

P.S.  Has anyone tried this paleo bread?  I want to give it a shot once I get the ingredients.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tell the World

Ever have something you just want everyone to see and know?  That's how I feel about the new food pyramid from Mark's Daily Apple.  I want to go out hand a copy to everyone I know.  But that would be  a waste of resources and seriously obnoxious, so I am not going to do that.  But you are my captive audience, so if you haven't heard already, I can at least share it with you :)  Go check it out.  The primal food pyramid.  It is great.  This is the nutrition information I want my kids learning in school!