Baby, it’s cold outside! Winter time means comport food time. Time to cozy up to a fire at your local pub (or at home) with a pint and some warm hearty food. You can recreate your favorite pub food recipes with a clean, whole food, Paleo twist. Just a few easy substitutions, a bit of creativity, and . . . Bob’s your uncle. We are starting our Paleo Pub Crawl series with these yummy garlic fries, made with sweet potatoes, which are more nutritious and easier on your blood sugar than regular potatoes. This is an EXCELLENT accompaniment to our Paleo Pub Burger, coming up next.
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into large wedges
2 tablespoons bacon fat or coconut oil, meltedSea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or more or less, to taste (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
4 – 6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the sweet potatoes into uniform large wedges, then toss with the melted fat, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, until the wedges are evenly coated.
Spread the wedges in a single layer on a cookie sheet. (If they are too crowded, they might get a bit soggy.)
Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning a few times during baking, until the wedges are done and slightly crispy.
While the wedges are baking, mix together the chopped parsley, minced garlic, and olive oil.
Once the wedges are out of the oven, toss them with the garlic mixture and serve while hot.
Every Thanksgiving, I make cranberry sauce, refining and improving the recipe over the years. But I think I can stop trying to improve it, because I honestly don’t think it gets any better than this! This sauce is tart, sweet (but not overly) and is an amazingly fresh, bright complement to an otherwise heavy meal. Time, sugar and cooking candy the orange peel to take out most of its bite. It is best to make the day before serving, to allow the flavors to blend and mellow.
1 lb organic cranberries, picked over
1/2 cup water
2 oranges – 1 washed, unpeeled, seeded and cut into chunks, 1 for juice and zest3/4 cup coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey (or more, to taste. I ended up using about a cup.)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
Cook the cranberries, water, coconut sugar, spices, unpeeled orange chunks and juice from the second orange uncovered over medium heat until most of the berries pop and the sauce is thick, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat when it is cooked down and looks like this:
Blend with an immersion blender, right in the pan (or remove to food processor or blender – the goal is keeping it chunky.) Remove and discard any remaining larger orange peel pieces.
Add orange zest and pomegranate seeds and chill in refrigerator at least several hours up to two days before serving. Enjoy!
It’s fall, it’s Holiday season, and it’s time for some delicious recipes to share with the family. I’m still perfecting my pumpkin recipe for this coming Tuesday (fingers crossed), so a delectably sweet squash is a perfect dish to tide Mr. G-Love over in the meantime. Please don’t pay too much attention to the pictures, the sage makes the finished product look funky. I’ve taken a gazillion pictures, and none are really that great. Trust me, this dish is divine.
Baked Acorn Squash with Cinnamon and Sage
Ingredients (serves 4) 1 acorn squash, cut into 8 wedges 5 tablespoons ghee (or pastured butter) 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage ¼ cup coconut crystals (the deep flavor resembles brown sugar, and is perfect!)
sea salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375º
2. Cut squash into wedges, and place in baking dish. Note: you should probably use a bigger dish than my 9X9 one, because I had to cram them in there. Doh!
3. Coat wedges with 1 tablespoon melted ghee, and sprinkle lightly with finely ground sea salt.
4. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
5. While squash is baking, combine 4 tablespoons ghee, cinnamon, sage and coconut crystals in a bowl. It should be a gooey blobby mass of sweet goodness. Taste it, and swoon.
6. Take squash out after 20 minutes, and spread the mixture on each wedge.
7. Pop back in the oven for 35 minutes, and baste the melting juices over the squash halfway through.
8. And that’s all, folks. Super easy, and so melt-in-your-mouth good.
This is a delicious hearty, smooth soup that is a variation on my Carrot Habanero soup. Perfect for warming you up on a cold evening. The sweetness and tartness of the apple and orange complement the creamy coconut milk and squash beautifully. For folks who don’t like spicy, I have made this soup without the peppers and it is still amazing. It doesn’t last long in my house either way. I love the fried sage garnish described in the wonderful Practical Paleo cookbook. It adds a nice crunchy herbal accent to the soup.
A note about habanero peppers – many people are comfortable handling, cutting and deseeding them, but I like the technique of piercing them several times with a knife to infuse the heat into the soup without the intense burning. Increasing the number of peppers and time cooked will increase the heat. You can start with just one, and scoop it out after it has cooked a fraction of the time, and gradually increase your comfort zone in the future with handling the peppers if they are new to you but you want to experiment with this spicy food. I pierced 3 large habanero peppers for this last batch, sauteed them with the rest of the vegetables, then let them simmer in the slow cooker for about 6 hours with the rest of the soup and I have to tell you it was pretty hot. As in if I had it to do over again, I would have used maybe two and scooped them out after 2 hours. We still gobbled the soup up and took seconds in between sweating a bit and blowing our noses.
You can prepare this in a slow cooker or a Dutch oven or soup pot (if using a slow cooker, just scrape/ladle the veggies into the slow cooker after the deglazing stage, then add the remaining ingredients, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.) If you use the slow cooker method, add 2 cups of water as it gets pretty thick. This yields about 6 large servings.
1.5 tablespoon fat (coconut oil, ghee, bacon grease or pasture butter (I used 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1/2 tablespoon butter) plus about 1 tablespoon of fat to fry optional sage leaves for garnish
2 cups thinly sliced leeks (about 2 large, washed, white and pale green parts only)
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 cup chopped peeled carrots (about 2 medium)
1 cup chopped celery (about 2-3 stalks)
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1-3 whole habanero peppers, depending on desired heat (see above note)
1/4 cup dry white wine*
4 cups free range chicken broth (preferably home made)
Juice of one orange
1 teaspoon of orange zest (optional)
1 can coconut milk (14 ounces) reserving a few tablespoons for garnish if desired
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried sage or 4-5 fresh leaves, plus a few leaves extra per serving for frying later for garnish (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the fat in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat.
Add leek, butternut squash, carrots, celery, apples and garlic, and sauté 7-10 minutes or until tender and browning.
Stir in the wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. (This is called deglazing the pan. See below for alcohol-free options.)
Pierce the habaneros several times with a knife and add to the pot. (Transfer the vegetables to a slow cooker if you are using that.)
Add the chicken stock, orange juice (and if juicing the orange, zest some of the peel) and coconut milk, then add spices, and stir to combine the ingredients.and bring to a boil.
Partially cover, reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes. (Or add 2 cups of water and cook for 6-8 hours on low if using a slow cooker.)
Remove and discard habaneros (see note above).
Blend the ingredients using an immersion blender (or transfer in batches to a blender) until smooth.
Ladle into bowls. Garnish with reserved coconut milk and fried sage if desired.
* If you are avoiding all alcohol for any reason, (Whole30, anyone?) you can use almost any liquid to deglaze the pan, such as stock and lemon juice or vinegar diluted in water. There are a lot of good alternatives discussed here.
I picked up a 2 pound Boston Pork Butt at the farmers market (yay for pastured and humanely treated animals!) and was trying to figure out what to do with it. I had already made a slow cooker pulled pork recipe, and wasn’t in the mood to do the same thing. But I wanted to try brining the pork butt first, and then see how that affected the overall tenderness. Let the experimentation begin! So this is a variation of the slow cooker recipe, and uses some varying spices and results in a different (and superior!) flavor.
Savory, Spicy and Perfect Paleo Pulled Pork
Ingredients: 2 lb pork butt (up to 7 pounds, because you will have enough seasoning for larger cuts)
Dry Rub Ingredients: 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon Himalayan pink salt (or Celtic sea salt) 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon paprika ½ cup coconut crystals (instead of brown sugar)
Brine ingredients: ½ cup Celtic sea salt ½ cup coconut crystals (instead of brown sugar) 3 tablespoons dry rub mix 2 quarts cool water 2-3 bay leaves
2. Time to prepare the secret weapon aka Brine. A brine solution helps keep extra moisture in meat intact for a long cooking period and is perfect for the slow cooker.
3. Add salt to cold water and stir really well until completely dissolved. Then add in the coconut crystals and the dry rub mixture, and stir until combined. It will be a murky looking liquid at this point.
4. Rinse the pork butt in cold water and place in a ziploc bag. My 2 pounder fit perfectly into a 1 gallon ziploc, but if you use 4-7 pounds, I suggest you get a 2 gallon ziploc. Carefully pour in the brine solution and add 2 bay leaves. (note: my picture looks funky and like the pork isn’t submerged, but once it settled down it was completely covered. )
5. Let sit in refrigerator over night, at least 8 hours.
6. The next morning, drain the brine solution and pat the pork butt dry.
7. Coat the entire surface with the dry rub, and massage it into the pork butt. Depending on the size of your pork butt (heh) you won’t use all of the dry rub, save some for another day.
8. Next, just pop it into your slow cooker, making sure that the fatty side is facing up. Set to low and cook for 9-10 hours. Easy peasy.
9. When all done (and smelling divine), I placed the roasted pork butt in a baking dish and then poured all the juices/fat over it.
10. Take two forks, and start to shred the pork into… yep, pulled pork.
11. Once shredded, I let the pork sit in the juices and soak them all up. Yummmmmmmmm.
Seriously, Mr. G-Love looked at me and said that this might be the BEST pulled pork he has ever tasted. It is THAT AMAZING. ::swoon:: So easy to make, and just so tender and flavorful. A winner!
Back in my pre-paleo days, I used to make an amazing Kashmiri inspired dish with kidney beans and turnips. Sounds funky, but this dish is so delicious and spicy. I found a ton of turnips at the market and figured I’d take a shot at recreating this meal using different ingredients. Get rid of the kidney beans (see ya!) and add in some grass fed meat. Success!
Now, at first glance this probably looks very similar to my Masala Kheema dish. Zucchini noodles, ground beef, and spices. But this recipe is quite different. For a little background, Mr. G-Love has basically told me that he won’t eat any type of organ meat. No liver, heart or kidney. So, I decided to experiment and hide some in this dish and see if he notices. Tee Hee. Organ meats are nutrient dense and full of essential vitamins, but I find the cooking of them a tad daunting. They have a strong flavor and the thought of just cooking a liver with onions kind of grosses me out. So masking the flavors in Indian food seemed like a doable plan. I am happy to report that not only did this dish turn out savory and delicious, but I made enough for leftovers and Mr. G-Love very willingly ate them all. I even threw some in a fritatta on Sunday and it was divine.
Ingredients 2 lbs ground grass-fed beef 1 lb chicken hearts (ground up in a food processor) 5 small turnips, cubed (about 4 cups or 18 ounces in weight) 3 cups water (to cook the turnips) 1-2 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons coconut oil 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds 2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds 2 cups chopped sweet onion (or red onion) 2 tablespoons minced ginger 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 red bell pepper, chopped 2 cups chopped tomato 2 teaspoons salt (additional to salt added earlier) 3 teaspoons sweet paprika 2 teaspoons turmeric powder 2 teaspoons ground ginger 4 teaspoons garam masala 1 teaspoon cinnamon
chopped green onions, for garnish
1-2 zucchini, made into noodles with a spiralizer
1. Place 3 cups water, 4 cups cubed turnips, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to med/low, cover and simmer until turnip is soft (5-10 minutes). Once tender (but not mushy) drain and set aside.
2. Put 6 tablespoons of coconut oil in a very large skillet (mine is 14 inches and technically not a skillet) on medium-high heat. Add in the cumin and fennel seeds, and stir until the spices become fragrant. This should only take a few minutes.
3. Stir in the onion, and cook until translucent.
4. Stir in minced garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about a minute or two.
5. Chicken hearts seem a little tough in texture to me, so I put them in my food processor and made a mash of them. A soupy mash.
6. Stir in ground beef and heart mash together. I used a ratio of 2/3 beef to 1/3 heart, and that worked great for masking the flavor. This is my first time cooking with heart, so I am sure I will try new ways next time. And that folks, is why we are called the Evolving Dish. Always learning and growing here.
7. Once cooked through, add in chopped red bell pepper and cook for about 5 or so minutes.
8. Add in chopped tomatoes, and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir for a couple minutes to let all the flavors blend together as the tomatoes soften.
9. Next, add in the rest of the spices and simmer over medium heat. Paprika, turmeric powder, ground ginger, garam masala, and cinnamon.
10. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Last, but not least, add in the cubed turnips. Stir some more, and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
Serve over some zucchini noodles (or cauliflower rice), garnish with green onions and no one will know that you just snuck in some nutrient dense heart to their meal. This dish is a HUGE winner (Winner Winner, Chicken Heart Dinner) and I am so happy I took the risk of incorporating the chicken heart.
Here are some pictures of the Inception Frittata* using some of the leftovers:
*I’m calling it the Inception Frittata because it is a sneaky hidden meal, within a meal. Two levels down, and no one could taste the mystery ingredient.
So, since we are still a gel-less blog over here, (ha ha, get it?) as we have not conquered the elusive bone broth gel as StephyG mentions in her post. I thought I’d share a recipe, in the meantime, as a way to get that healthy gelatin into your system. Why? Gelatin is an excellent source of collagen and is full of vitamins and minerals that are good for your hair, nails, teeth, skin, bones, muscles and joints . Google “gelatin benefits” and you’ll find all sorts of articles by people smarter than me, who can give you the low down on why you should be eating gelatin- if you want to, of course.
This is my third time making gummies and this recipe is my favorite so far. I like the tartness of the grapefruit with the spiciness of cayenne as you can see in my quick snack post. I’ve made it with watermelon juice and pineapple but any juice will do here. Use this as a guide and come up with your own favorite. I was thinking of trying a lemon/lime with basil next. I also use a silicone mold but you could easily pour the mixture into an 8 x 8 glass cake pan and slice them into desired sizes.
Spicy Grapefruit Gummies
2 cups freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (or fresh juice of choice)
¼-1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste, I used ½ teaspoon and these were pretty spicy
½ teaspoon sea salt
6 Tablespoons gelatin, I like this brand as it is grass-fed animals
Heat the juice slightly- you don’t want this boiling or overheated (you still want the vitamins in the juice). Add cayenne and sea salt. At this point, if you are using a silicone mold, place a cookie sheet under it for stability. While the juice is heated add the gelatin 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk into the mixture. You are trying to avoid clumping here. But if it does clump, heat the juice mixture a little more and it should dissolve. Now pour the juice mixture into your mold of choice (I used a measuring cup with a pour spout and this worked really well).
Place your newly filled mold(s) into the fridge and step away for about an hour. Come back and you will have easily removable snacks. Place in an airtight container for up to a week, if they last that long.
This is quick and easy (kind of a pattern these days for me) and seriously delish. I’d like to say that there were tons left over, but I can’t. We wolfed it all down between the two of us. Doh!
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Ingredients (serves 2-4 as a side dish) 12-16 ounces brussels sprouts (roughly 4 cups) 5 ounces pancetta (diced) 2 shallots (diced) 1 tablespoon fat (I used pastured lard, but ghee would also be divine) 2 tablespoons herbs of choice (I used rosemary from my garden, and thyme or sage would be great as well) ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Heat oil (fat/lard/ghee/coconut oil) over medium heat, and add in diced pancetta. Cook until fat begins to render, then add in diced shallots.
2. When shallots are translucent, add in brussels sprouts and cook 5 minutes until bright green. Stir thoroughly to make sure that the sprouts are completely coated with fat. Mmmmm, fatttttttttttt.
3. Add in 1/2 cup water, lower heat a smidge, and let braise for 10 minutes.
4. Add in spices, and then salt and pepper to taste.
5. Braise for another 5 minutes or so, until sprouts are cooked through.
This is seriously so easy to make, and the pancetta adds so much extra YUM to this dish. Mmmm, pancetta….
I know, yet another recipe incorporating kohlrabi. I can’t help it — it’s sitting there on my counter, and I felt compelled to use it. Paired with sweet potato, this is an easy side dish that is very savory and perfect on a brisk fall day.
Scalloped Kohlrabi and Sweet Potato Stacks
Ingredients 1 medium size Kohlrabi (mine weighed about 5 ounces) 1 medium sweet potato (mine weighed 8 ounces) 1 garlic clove (minced) ²⁄3 cup coconut cream ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 3 tablespoon pastured butter (or compound butter) your choice of fresh herbs (chopped) - sage, thyme, rosemary are all great choices
1. Thinly slice kohlrabi and sweet potato into disks.
2. Grease a muffin tin with coconut oil. I used a larger size muffin tin, the cups are about 1.5 to 2 times larger than a standard muffin tin. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just fill as many cups as you can and then if you have empty ones — just fill them with water before you pop the tray into the oven. I used 4 cups.
3. I used my compound butter that I had in the refrigerator, but you can use plain pasture butter and just supplement with fresh chopped herbs of your choice.
4. Now to layer the muffin tin cups. I put a layer of sweet potato, then a dab of compound butter, then a slice of kohlrabi, then another dab of compound butter.
5. Repeat process until you reach the top. If you are just using plain butter, add in some chopped fresh herbs to each layer. Easy peasy.
6. Preheat oven to 375º
7. In a small saucepan on warm, heat up the coconut cream, garlic, salt and pepper. Don’t let it boil. You just want it warm enough to blend the flavors, and have the cream be a thinnish consistency (not too watery, but not thick and goopy.)
8. Pour mixture over each stack, and make sure each tin is saturated.
9. Bake at 375º, covered with foil, for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, uncover and bake for additional 5-10 minutes.
10. Remove from oven, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Delish!
Soup season is here! I love soup usually all year long, but when the weather starts changing, there’s nothing better than a warming soup sitting in front of you ready to sip. This soup recipe is adapted from “The Longevity Cookbook”, and is quite simple but full of flavor and lots and lots of nutrients to keep your immune system on track through the long winter. Long winter *sigh*
Bento Box Soup
4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil or hot pepper sesame oil
1 (6-inch) strip of kombu (seaweed), optional
3 green tea bags
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 cup stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
4-6 ounces cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 Tablespoon coconut aminos
2-3 Tablespoons tahini or almond butter
2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced diagonally
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 cups loosely packed baby spinach (I used a mix of spinach and arugula)
6 ounces kelp noodles, rinsed, or your favorite veggie noodles
Put broth in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low, add the kombu (if using) and tea bags and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove the kombu and tea bags with a slotted spoon. Add the carrots, mushrooms, chicken and coconut aminos. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the tahini or almond butter, scallions, lime juice and sesame oil. Simmer for about 1 minute and then add the kelp/veggie noodles and spinach. Simmer for another minute until the spinach is wilted. Serve.