Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Eat Like a Predator

Why eating like a predator is beneficial to your health, and why I chose to convert.

Remember there is no such thing as perfect, but we can still practice. Practice what you preach, practice what you eat, and practice who you want to be. Practicing results in Success! You are what you eat!

Check out this awesome article I found on simplifying a Paleo diet. Although I practice and follow Primal Blueprint,    I found this website article  GNOLLS.ORG to be insightful, and straight to the point.

Glycemic Index, and Why We Should Care About It

Glycemic index and glycemic load offer information about how foods affect blood sugar and insulin. The lower a food's glycemic index or glycemic load, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels. Here you'll find a list of the glycemic index and glycemic load for more than 100 common foods.
FOOD Glycemic index (glucose = 100) Serving size (grams) Glycemic load per serving

Banana cake, made with sugar 47 60 14
Banana cake, made without sugar 55 60 12
Sponge cake, plain 46 63 17
Vanilla cake made from packet mix with vanilla frosting (Betty Crocker) 42 111 24
Apple, made with sugar 44 60 13
Apple, made without sugar 48 60 9
Waffles, Aunt Jemima (Quaker Oats) 76 35 10
Bagel, white, frozen 72 70 25
Baguette, white, plain 95 30 15
Coarse barley bread, 75-80% kernels, average 34 30 7
Hamburger bun 61 30 9
Kaiser roll 73 30 12
Pumpernickel bread 56 30 7
50% cracked wheat kernel bread 58 30 12
White wheat flour bread 71 30 10
Wonder™ bread, average 73 30 10
Whole wheat bread, average 71 30 9
100% Whole Grain™ bread (Natural Ovens) 51 30 7
Pita bread, white 68 30 10
Corn tortilla 52 50 12
Wheat tortilla 30 50 8

Coca Cola®, average 63 250 mL 16
Fanta®, orange soft drink 68 250 mL 23
Lucozade®, original (sparkling glucose drink) 95±10 250 mL 40
Apple juice, unsweetened, average 44 250 mL 30
Cranberry juice cocktail (Ocean Spray®) 68 250 mL 24
Gatorade 78 250 mL 12
Orange juice, unsweetened 50 250 mL 12
Tomato juice, canned 38 250 mL 4

All-Bran™, average 55 30 12
Coco Pops™, average 77 30 20
Cornflakes™, average 93 30 23
Cream of Wheat™ (Nabisco) 66 250 17
Cream of Wheat™, Instant (Nabisco) 74 250 22
Grapenuts™, average 75 30 16
Muesli, average 66 30 16
Oatmeal, average 55 250 13
Instant oatmeal, average 83 250 30
Puffed wheat, average 80 30 17
Raisin Bran™ (Kellogg's) 61 30 12
Special K™ (Kellogg's) 69 30 14

Pearled barley, average 28 150 12
Sweet corn on the cob, average 60 150 20
Couscous, average 65 150 9
Quinoa 53 150 13
White rice, average 89 150 43
Quick cooking white basmati 67 150 28
Brown rice, average 50 150 16
Converted, white rice (Uncle Ben's®) 38 150 14
Whole wheat kernels, average 30 50 11
Bulgur, average 48 150 12

Graham crackers 74 25 14
Vanilla wafers 77 25 14
Shortbread 64 25 10
Rice cakes, average 82 25 17
Rye crisps, average 64 25 11
Soda crackers 74 25 12

Ice cream, regular 57 50 6
Ice cream, premium 38 50 3
Milk, full fat 41 250mL 5
Milk, skim 32 250 mL 4
Reduced-fat yogurt with fruit, average 33 200 11

Apple, average 39 120 6
Banana, ripe 62 120 16
Dates, dried 42 60 18
Grapefruit 25 120 3
Grapes, average 59 120 11
Orange, average 40 120 4
Peach, average 42 120 5
Peach, canned in light syrup 40 120 5
Pear, average 38 120 4
Pear, canned in pear juice 43 120 5
Prunes, pitted 29 60 10
Raisins 64 60 28
Watermelon 72 120 4

Baked beans, average 40 150 6
Blackeye peas, average 33 150 10
Black beans 30 150 7
Chickpeas, average 10 150 3
Chickpeas, canned in brine 38 150 9
Navy beans, average 31 150 9
Kidney beans, average 29 150 7
Lentils, average 29 150 5
Soy beans, average 15 150 1
Cashews, salted 27 50 3
Peanuts, average 7 50 0

Fettucini, average 32 180 15
Macaroni, average 47 180 23
Macaroni and Cheese (Kraft) 64 180 32
Spaghetti, white, boiled, average 46 180 22
Spaghetti, white, boiled 20 min, average 58 180 26
Spaghetti, wholemeal, boiled, average 42 180 17

Corn chips, plain, salted, average 42 50 11
Fruit Roll-Ups® 99 30 24
M & M's®, peanut 33 30 6
Microwave popcorn, plain, average 55 20 6
Potato chips, average 51 50 12
Pretzels, oven-baked 83 30 16
Snickers Bar® 51 60 18

Green peas, average 51 80 4
Carrots, average 35 80 2
Parsnips 52 80 4
Baked russet potato, average 111 150 33
Boiled white potato, average 82 150 21
Instant mashed potato, average 87 150 17
Sweet potato, average 70 150 22
Yam, average 54 150 20

Hummus (chickpea salad dip) 6 30 0
Chicken nuggets, frozen, reheated in microwave oven 5 min 46 100 7
Pizza, plain baked dough, served with parmesan cheese and tomato sauce 80 100 22
Pizza, Super Supreme (Pizza Hut) 36 100 9
Honey, average 61 25 12
The complete list of the glycemic index and glycemic load for more than 1,000 foods can be found in the article "International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008" by Fiona S. Atkinson, Kaye Foster-Powell, and Jennie C. Brand-Miller in the December 2008 issue of Diabetes Care, Vol. 31, number 12, pages 2281-2283.
An earlier version of this table appeared here: "International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002," by Kaye Foster-Powell, Susanna H.A. Holt, and Janette C. Brand-Miller in the July 2002 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 62, pages 5–56.

Breaking Bread Addiction

Breaking Our Bread Addiction

So how do we break our bread addiction?
There is good news! Most people attempting a paleo diet (which is ‘low-carb’, or low-sugar), can indeed regain your ability to burn body fat for energy—and once you’re ingesting enough protein and B vitamins, your serotonin levels won’t be completely dependent on eating sugar. (Eat more meat and eggs.) The relentless sugar cravings slowly dissipate over a couple weeks. You’ll find that not only do you not crave huge piles of empty sugar calories (bread, pasta, potatoes) with meals—as a bonus, you’ll find that it’s suddenly much easier to go without food entirely, because your body is learning how to burn fat again! You’ll be able to skip a meal without feeling like you’re going to die of hunger…and you’ll also discover that being a little bit hungry substantially boosts your mental capacities due to the action of Ghrelin (this is a hunger hormone. Your body secretes it when you haven’t eaten for some time. It makes you hungry, and blood levels plummet once you eat, once you’re no longer distracted by hunger pangs)

Info provided by GNOLLS.org (this website is a wealth of information)

Where Can I Save on my Grocery Bill?

Having a Paleo influenced lifestyle leads to many substitutions in your cooking; this however, can get pricey. With amazing stores like Whole Foods, and Good Earth ( Marin County) who provide fresh and local produce, and carry brands of odd ingredients you have never heard of, can be a special dieter's dream location. However, I have found that there are several ingredients that I use more often than others, and cost more to buy in smaller portions at your local health food store. With a little net surfing I discovered that Amazon.com can be my kitchen's main pantry supplier. Amazon.com has access to so many different distributors, which allows me to buy my favorite brands and foods in bulk, saving me both time and moolah.

Listed below are a few links to my pantry essentials:

Celtic Salt (1lb.) $9.20

Almond Flour (4lb. bag) $27.91

Arrowroot Powder (1lb.) $9.88

Spirulina Powder (2.2 lb.) $42.99

Maca Powder $18.28

Hemp Protein Shake Mix $18.33

Digestive Enzymes $16.50

Coconut Flour (4.4 lbs.) $19.99

Adobo Seasoning $9.76

Why I Use Celtic Salt

Celtic Sea Salt:  Refers to naturally moist salt harvested from the Atlantic seawater off the coast of Brittany, France.  This type of salt are harvested using the Celtic method of wooden rakes allowing no metal to touch the salt.

It is naturally air and sun-dried in clay ponds and gathered with wooden tools to preserve its living enzymes.  Because it is unrefined, it contains all of the 84 beneficial live elements found in sea water, with no chemical and preservatives nor any other additives

I personally use Selina Naturally Celtic Sea Salt. I buy in bulk from Amazon.com. Otherwise, it can get pricey from Whole Foods.
The Healing Virtues of Celtic Sea Salt

Celtic sea salt has tremendous healing virtues that have the exact opposite effects of refined salt.  It helps to balance out and nourish our body with minerals that our body lacks.  It is particularly helpful in helping with mucus elimination.  Here are some conditions that Celtic sea salt is also good for:

Sinus and bronchial congestion:  I have seen many times how Celtic sea salt when taken before sleep has helped the sufferer sleep through the night as it breaks up the irritating mucus, providing much relief.

Regulate blood pressure:  We are right to say that salt causes high blood pressure but it is the toxic table salt that is the culprit.  Celtic sea salt has been shown to actually normalize blood pressure.  It literally goes around your body and 'scrounges' for the harmful sodium deposits and completely eliminates it from your body.  If you have high blood pressure, pure salt will bring it down.  But if you have low blood pressure, pure salt will bring it up.  Only nature has been designed with the ability to do this.

Deeper and more restful sleep:  When Celtic sea salt is taken with warm water before bedtime, it promotes a deeper and longer sleep that is both restful and refreshing.  Nor does it cause you to wake up and wanting to urinate.

Water retention:  We often hear that salt causes water retention.  Again, this is only because the wrong salt was taken¾table/commercial salt.  Celtic sea salt does the opposite by helping our body properly balance out the electrolyte minerals and releasing the retained water.

Kidney stones:  Celtic sea salt has also been reported to actually dissolve kidney stones.

Building the immune system and aids healing:  Celtic sea salt provides the rich minerals directly to our cells to enhance resistance to infections and bacterial diseases.  It also helps our body heal quicker when there has been a surgery, sickness, burns, mental disorders, etc.

Prevent over-acidity in body:  The rich minerals effectively eliminates unwanted sodium from the body, extracting excess acidity in the body, especially in the brain.  The electrolytes are vital to the nerves for communication and information processing of the brain cells.
Helps control saliva:  If you drool in your sleep, it could mean that your body is deprived of the right kind of salt, and that you are not drinking enough water.  This condition may also lead to double chin as your saliva glands work doubly hard to lubricate your insides.  Drink more water with Celtic sea salt to stop this condition.  

Wound Healing:  Bathing wounds in sea salt water does not sting, and it helps wounds to heal faster. Also helpful for gargling or drinking to ease sore throats. 

Diabetics:  Helps balance out sugar in blood in diabetics. 

Muscle cramps:  Providing essential minerals to the muscles and preventing muscle cramps.
Strong alkalinizer:  Helps keep our body at the right pH.  This is important as an over-acidic body creates many health problems and an endless list of degenerative diseases.

Other Types of Salts:
Salt is essential for the survival of all living creatures, including human.  It is needed to regulate the water content in our body.  We often hear bad press about salt, and indeed table salt which is refined, is extremely unhealthy and toxic.  What our body really needs is natural pure salt.  Taking the wrong type of salt is detrimental to our health. 

In fact, without the right kind of salt, our body will encounter many kinds of problems.  Is it any wonder then, by taking table salt, our body is actually deprived of the real salt and minerals.  Here's only a small shocking list of what can happen when our body lacks proper salt:
  • High blood pressure
  • Accelerated aging cellular degeneration
  • Respiratory and blood sugar problems
  • Liver failure, kidney problems, adrenal exhaustion
  • Heart muscles tire and lacerate, causing fatal heart attack
There are many types of salt but I want to talk here about three types of the more popular salt. 

Table Salt:  Also known as common salt, is commonly used by most people for cooking and for food preservation.  Table salt is refined (processed), removing 82 out of the 84 minerals in salt, leaving behind only sodium and chloride.

Over-consumption of table salt causes many untold health problems.

Table salt is composed of 40% sodium and 60% chloride.  The human body needs salt to function.  Salt is responsible to help carry nutrients into the cells.  It helps regulate other bodily functions, such as blood pressure and fluid volume.
It is now known that it is really table salt that is causing many untold health problems, regardless of its amount. Because it is refined and processed, what is left of table salt is only sodium and chloride which are toxic to our body. 

Sea Salt:  Sea salt is a general term that refers to salt derived directly from the sea.  And that is what it is, except that it is refined¾similar to table salt.

Sea salt is thought to be healthier and more flavorful than table salt, but in actual fact it is actually processed and minerals and trace elements are removed.

Now that you know that table salt is harmful, remove it from your kitchen shelf and replace it with Celtic sea salt.  Use Celtic sea salt for all flavoring just as you would in place of table salt. 

Generally, you would need only 2/3 of the amount you normally use.  For example, if the recipe calls for 1 tsp of salt, then just use 2/3 tsp and it would give your cooking sufficient (and better) taste and flavor.

Lemon Salad Dressing


1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves minced
Celtic salt


Finely chop garlic, sprinkle with salt. Take side of knife blade and press garlic into cutting board. Continue to chop and smooth until garlic is wet. Place garlic into olive oil. Add salt for taste. Let sit in fridge until chilled, remove majority of garlic with a fork. Shake and serve.

I drizzle this over mixed greens with sliced Heirloom tomatoes. This dressing is finger lickin' good!

Chicken Piccata


 4-6 flattened chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1/2 cup almond flour(season with salt and pepper, and 1 tsp. garlic powder)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup chicken broth or 1/4 cup white wine and 1/4 cup chicken broth
1-2 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter (optional, add extra oil instead)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (you may use Wondra or flour if you are not gluten intolerant)


-Pound flat chicken breast so they are 1/8-1/4 inch thin, lightly salt and pepper both sides
-Lightly coat chicken with seasoned almond flour
-Heat skillet with butter and oil, brown chicken on both sides (5-8 minutes) Remove from heat and set aside and cover to keep warm
-Add finely chopped garlic (you made need to add 1 Tb. of olive oil) and cook until lightly browned
-Add wine and chicken brother, or just chicken broth, and lemon juice to de-glaze pan
-Add chicken back to pan and add capers
-Cook on medium to low heat until chicken is cooked through (5-10 minutes)
-Place 1/4 cup of liquid in cup and add arrowroot powder. Mix until dissolved. Add mixture to pan with chicken, reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened.

*I love capers so I always add more than what is called for. Also if you you prefer to use regular flour, make sure to only lightly dust the chicken. Shake remaining off. Too much flour = gooey mess.

Tortilla-less Fajitas with Fajita Dip

4 chicken breasts cut into tenders
2 green bell peppers sliced
1 orange bell pepper
1 large onion slices into half moon slices
1 roasted red pepper diced (optional, but mighty tasty)
Adobo seasoning
Salt and Pepper
1 can Fire roasted tomatoes

-Place chicken tenders in ziplock bag. Add garlic olive oil to coat, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 Tablespoon Adobo seasoning. Let stand 10-15 minutes
-Heat grilling pan to medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon or less garlic olive oil. Grill chicken tenders until brown on outside and slightly uncooked in the inside. Place in bowl.
-Grill onions alone until golden brown and tender. Season with salt and pepper, and a sprinkled layer of Adobo seasoning. Set aside.
-Grill bell peppers until there is a slight charred. Season with salt and pepper, and a sprinkled layer of Adobo seasoning.
-In a large pan heat can of fire roasted tomatoes. Season with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and Adobo. Add grilled peppers, chicken and it's juice, roasted red pepper, and sauteed onions. Heat until chicken is cooked.

Garnish with cilantro and Fajita Dip (recipe as follows)

Fajita Dip
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. finely chopped cilantro
Mix and serves

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ahi Tuna with Warm Kale salad

(serves 1 for dinner and 2 as an appetizer)

3/4 -1 lb sushi-grade ahi tuna chopped in small chunks
1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 green onions sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tsp. fish sauce (optional)
1-2 tsp. seasoned rice vinegar
Sriracha for taste
Sesame seeds

Mix together and add chopped ahi to sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds
1/2-1 bag pre-mixed kale salad with cabbage and carrots
 Heat pan with 1 tsp. sesame seed oil and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Add kale and cover. Continue to steam until slightly tender 3-5 minutes. Add 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tsp. fish sauce. Mix and cover for 1 more minute. Plate warm kale and top with ahi mixture.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds

Top 10 Primal Pantry Essentials and Superfoods

Celtic Salt- Replaces table salt and sea salt. Celtic sea salt has tremendous healing virtues that have the exact opposite effects of refined salt.  It helps to balance out and nourish our body with minerals that our body lacks.  It is particularly helpful in helping with mucus elimination.
Almond Flour-replaces baking flour, toasting almond flour can substitute bread crumbs, and use instead of flour for dredging chicken
Coconut flour- used in lots of paleo baking recipes
Arrowroot powder-replaces cornstarch, and is used in cakes and breads to help lighten and fluff up dense almond flour
Chia seeds- Used as substitutions for fat in baking, tasty soaked in fruit juice,and fun to eat raw.  (I put in my veggie protein drink daily) Also a superfood (see below)
Adobo Seasoning-tasty seasoning for turkey and chicken,delicious on sweet potatoes, awesome as a fajita seasoning for onions and peppers.
Almond Milk- Substitute for milk, and can replace juice in smoothies
Honey-replaces sugar in coffee, can be a sugar substitute in baking, buying local raw honey can help with allergies (don’t give to babies)
Coconut Oil-Great for browning meat and stir frys, and can be used in baking. Coconut oil is rich in vitamins and minerals and especially rich (60%+) in important fatty acids, the medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)Coconut Oil has been mistakenly labeled as unhealthy due to its high saturated fat content.  However, modern science has now refuted these earlier claims and instead, is praising the health benefits with some even stating it as the “healthiest oil on earth.”
Full Fat Coconut Milk- replaces dairy milk and cream in cooking and baking. Awesome for thickening soups.
Super Foods- great additions to add into shakes and smoothies

Maca Powder-Maca has long been used to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue for good reasons. The root is a superb adaptogen, as it enables the body to more easily adapt to and regulate stress factors imposed upon it. Studies have also identified four alkaloids present in maca, which are known to nourish the endocrine system (the system in the body which is responsible for the production and maintenance of hormones). Maca root is a highly nutrient-dense whole food, as it is packed with vitamins, plant sterols, many essential minerals, amino acids and healthy fats. This is a particularly powerful and balanced food for athletes and those who are looking to combat stress or increase stamina.Maca is a very potent food, and just a little maca sprinkled into recipes turns any meal into a supermeal. With an earthy taste that is mildly nutty with a hint of butterscotch, maca is easily blended into superfood smoothies, various milks, chocolates, or mixed into flour for dessert recipes. Alternately, use maca straight by taking in a capsule form, and enjoy its benefits anytime and anywhere.

Spirulina-Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids, antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage. It contains nutrients, including B complex vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, and gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid).

Chia Seeds-
  • 2 times the protein of any other seed or grain,Chias seeds are said to have:
  • 5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that
    helps transfer calcium into your bones,
  • 2 times the amount of potassium as bananas,
  • 3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
  • 3 times more iron than spinach
  • copious amounts of omega 3 and omega 6, which are essential fatty acids
They are a complete source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form. They are also a fabulous source of soluble fibre.
Like flax, chia is highly ‘hydrophilic’ - the seeds absorb water and create a mucilaginous gel. They can hold 9-12 times their weight in water and they absorb it very rapidly - in under 10 minutes.

Antioxidants One advantage of chia is that because it has such a high antioxidant content, the seeds stay stable for much longer, whereas flax, for example, may turn rancid. Chia seeds can easily be stored dry for 4-5 years without deterioration in flavour, odour or nutritional value. You can substitute chia in any recipe that calls for flax.

  • Provides energy
  • Boosts strength
  • Bolsters endurance
  • Levels blood sugar
  • Induces weight loss
  • Aids intestinal regularity

Turkey and Chicken Loaf

1 pound ground chicken
1/2 pound ground turkey
8 oz. can tomato sauce (save 1/4 for topping)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (sauteed 2-3 minutes)
1 1/2 finely shredded carrots
1/4 cup almond flour (substitute almond flour for 1/2 cup oatmeal and do not add carrots if you are not paleo-driven)
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg beaten
1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard for topping only

Pre-heat oven to 350

Mix all ingredients together. Place in greased loaf pan. Mix remaining tomato sauce with mustard. Smooth over top of loaf. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Insert knife to make sure meatloaf is cooked through. Also, when removed from over there is lots of liquid. Allow liquid to absorb back into loaf. It takes about 10 minutes.
I use almond flour as a bread crumb/oatmeal as Gluten-free substitute. 

Salmon Marinade

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup horseradish
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4-6 green onions chopped
1 teaspoon mustard
4 tablespoons mustard
4 tablespoons fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions in olive oil and butter until tender.
Add remaining ingredients.
Heat over medium heat in sauce pan for approx. 5-7 minutes.
Cover fresh salmon with sauce. Options for cooking:
Cover in tin foil and bake
Saute in mixture on stovetop
Make tin foil packet and throw on grill

Shepherd's Pie (courtesy of Primal Blueprint Cookbook)

1 head cauliflower
4 tablespoons butter
1-3 tablespoons cream (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 cup frozen peas and carrots thawed
3/4 cup frozen green beans thawed
1 pound ground beef or bison (or use leftover beef and cut into small pieces)
1 tablespoon coconut flour or almond flour
3/4 cup beef stock or broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp. dried

Preheat oven to 400

Break the cauliflower into chunky pieces and steam until just tender. Put in the food processor with 2 tablespoons butter and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add cream (optional). Set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute several minutes until soft. Add beef and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring to break up the meat so it browns evenly. Add peas, carrots and green beans and cook another five minutes. Stir in coconut flour. Add broth and herbs and reduce the heat to low and simmer., stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from skillet and put into a 9 inch pie pan. Spread the cauliflower over the top.
Scatter 2 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces on top of the cauliflower. bake 30-35 minutes.

Moroccan Chicken: courtesy of Primal Blueprint cookbook


2 tablespoons oil
1 onion finely diced
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1/2 tsp.tumeric
1/2 tsp. cinnimon
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne
Salt to taste
4 chicken thighs
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
2 cups water
1/2 cupr finely chopped cilantro
1 lemon. thinly sliced
2 cups green beans cut in half
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
juice from 1 lemon

Saute onion, garlic and ginger in oil until soft and slightly browned. Add spices and saute a minute more. Then add chicken, tomatoes, water, cilantro and sliced lemon. Simmer with a lid for 30 minutes. Add green beans, mint and lemon juice. Simmer a few more minutes until green beans are done. Serve over cauliflower rice (recipe to follow)
I personally double the recipe to ensure we have leftovers. This dish happens to get better after a day or so.

Cauliflower Rice:
Cut 1 cauliflower into small florets. If you are adding cauliflower rice to a dish that will simmer on the stove, there is no need to pre-cook. If you're serving the cauliflower rice alone as a side dish, steam it briefly before grating. Run the florets through the food processor using the grating blade, or use a cheese grater.

Adobo Chicken

1 cut up chicken browned *I prefer all wings, thighs and/or legs
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup cider vinegar *I use ¼ c cider vinegar and ¼ c seasoned rice vinegar
1 cup water
4 cloves of garlic peeled
1 teaspoon peppercorns…I just give it a few grinds of fresh pepper
No salt, soy sauce is salty enough
A slice or two of fresh ginger (dry ginger in a pinch, but it isn’t as good)

Place browned chicken in pot with sauce and cook it covered until the chicken is done. Pick out the ginger slices.  Remove the chicken and reduce sauce or thicken with arrowroot powder (or cornstarch for the non- paleo folk) or leave it alone. Serve with cauliflower rice to soak up the sauce. I’ve also made this dish with chicken that hasn’t been browned, but it is better if you take the time to brown it first.

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Serves 4
1 pound ground lean turkey meat
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (bite-size chunks)
2 tsp. - 1 T dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped cheese (I prefer tangy white cheddar, but feta is great too)
salt and pepper to taste (cheese and olives are salty, so go light on the salt)

-Mix all ingredients in bowl, and form into 4 patties
-Heat grill pan to medium high heat and lightly coat in garlic olive oil
-Grill each side for about 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through.
-Garnish with lemon mayo (recipe follows), and sliced roasted red peppers
-Place on top of a bed of greens with lightly salted tomatoes

Lemon Mayo:
1 T mayo
1/4 lemon (about 2 tsp. of juice)
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Balsamic and Shallot Salmon

Serves 4
Salmon steaks for 4 (season with salt and pepper, dried thyme, and garlic olive oil)
1/3 c. balsamic
1/2 c. red wine
2 Shallots chopped finely
1/2 cup butter ( 1/4 cup works tastes just as good)

-Place balsamic, shallots and red wine in pan and heat on medium-low.
-Simmer until liquid is reduced by half. -Grill salmon on both sides (if skinless) for 4 minutes per side, or 6-8 minutes in total.
When sauce is reduced, add butter and melt. As soon is butter is melted, plate fish, and drizzle sauce over top (the sauce is so good it's downright drinkable, so don't skimp on it!).

Coconut Curried Chicken (courtesy of The Primal Blueprint Cookbook)

4-8 Bone-in and skinned chicken thighs (I use the same recipe but for 8 pieces)
2 Tb. coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 medium finely chopped onion
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 inch piece of ginger root, grated
1 green chilli, seeds removed
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tb. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground tumeric
Cayenne pepper to taste
salt to taste
1 Tb. white wine vinegar
1 1/4 cup-2 cup coconut milk
1 head cauliflower, cut into 2 inch florets
Garnish with cilantro and or shredded coconut

Heat oil in a large skillet, add chicken and cook over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes, turning once or twice to brown exterior.
Remove meat from the pan to a large plate. Add mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop (about 1 minute)
Add onion to pan and cook, scraping up the browned bits left behind, until soft and golden.
Stir in garlic, ginger root, green chili, and ground spices: cook about 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar, then return chicken to pan, turning and coating them  with spicy mixture. Pour coconut milk over all and bring to a slow boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low and simmer about 40 minutes, or until chick is tender. Add cauliflower florets in the last 10 minutes of cooking and simmer until tender.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and shredded coconut (optional)

Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breast

Serves 4

4 chicken breasts pounded flat (thin enough to roll)
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1-2 roasted red peppers cut in small chunks
1 can drained artichokes sliced into small chunks
1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
1/2 cup toasted seasoned almond flour (recipe to follow)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven 350

-In a small mixing bowl, add all ingredients except for chicken
-Take a large scoop of mixture and place in the middle of flattened chicken breast.
-Pull sides of chicken together to and attach with tooth picks or metal prongs
-Brown chicken in hot skillet on both sides (3 minutes on both sides), or until brown.
-Add to greased baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, give or take a few.
-Rest for 5-10 minutes and then serve.

Toasted, seasoned almond flour:
Heat olive oil in small skillet. Add almond flour, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, and keep stirring until almond flour is golden brown. This is a replacement for bread crumbs.

TLW - Turkey Lettuce Wraps

The easiest way to replace sandwiches at lunchtime.

I use Columbus Peppered Turkey, but any sandwich meat, canned tuna or chicken, or leftover cooked meat works just as well.

2-4 large lettuce leaves (wash and dry)
several slices of roasted red pepper
cheese slices (optional)
dijon mustard (optional)
sliced tomatoes
turkey slices
Roll up roasted peppers, tomatoes, and cheese inside turkey slices. Wrap lettuce around turkey rolls and eat!
Kid-friendly, great to eat on hikes, and versatile enough for any palette.

Chocolate Power Balls ( courtesy of Gluten free Vegan Comfort Food)

This recipe is very similar to my goji bars, and ingredients can be substituted with seeds, and dried fruits.

 Makes about 16 balls
1 cup walnuts
1 cup cashews
1 cup pitted and chopped dates
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
1 tablespoon orange juice

1. Place the nuts and dates in a food processor and pulse until ground. Add the rest of the ingredients and whirl until the mixture begins to form a ball.
2. Remove the mixture from the food processor and put into a large bowl. Form into tablespoon-size balls and place on a cookie sheet. Chill in fridge for about an hour until hardened. (They last in the fridge for about a week.)

Portobello Mushrooms Steak with Smothered Onions (courtesy of "Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food" by Susan O'Brien)

Serves 4

This recipe was so delicious, I had to share it with everyone.

4 portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
3 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons tamarind sauce ( I used 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar and a splash of fresh orange juice)
1 teaspoon molasses
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Celtic salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix ingredients in a casserole dish. Coat mushrooms with marinade, and spoon marinade on top of gills. Let stand for 15 minutes on counter, flipping the mushrooms half way through. Heat grill pan, or grill, and grill for 3-5 minutes on each side. (Keep extra marinade for later)
Slice up one onion. Saute onions in olive oil ( 1/2 tablespoon) and cook until tender. Add a sprinkle of salt. Remove onions and set aside for later. In hot sauce pan add remaining marinade and keep over heat until hot. Remove mushrooms from grill pan , top with sauteed onions, and drizzle remaining warmed up marinade on top.

I have a meat lover at home, so I cooked up some chicken sausage from Trader Joe's (removed from casing) and added to sauteed onions. I then topped mushrooms with the sausage-onion mixture. It was delicious with the extra meat, but tasty just by itself for the non- meat lovers.

Chicken Parmigiana (Yes, you can make Italian dishes without the bread crumbs!)

Serves 4
4 -6 Thinly flattened chicken breasts
2 eggs
1 cup almond flour (seasoning suggestions below)
4-6 slices fresh mozzarella
4-6 large fresh basil leaves
4-6 slices of heirloom tomatoes or fresh in-season tomatoes
salt and pepper
1/2 cup ground Parmesan cheese
14 oz of fresh tomato sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven 350 degrees

-season almond flour with salt, pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, dried parsley, garlic powder and place on large flat plate
-crack two eggs and whip until blended in large flat bowl
-Salt and pepper chicken on both sides
 -Place chicken breast in egg on both sides and then dredge in seasoned almond flour
-When all 4-6 pieces are finished, place in hot skillet with olive oil and a tab of butter. Brown chicken, about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown
-Grease a large glass dish and place chicken breasts in a line. Top with fresh basil leaves, fresh tomato slices and then mozzarella cheese slices. Coat all chicken with homemade tomato sauce. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.
-Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Check half-way through so chicken does not dry out.

Tomato Sauce Recipe ( I guesstimate with my seasoning, but these are my approximate measurements)
14-20 oz canned unseasoned tomato sauce. Add 1 tablespoon unsalted chicken bouillon, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried basil, sprinkle red pepper flakes, 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Stuffed Bell Peppers ( Have it your way)

This super basic recipe can be manipulated a hundred different ways, and still taste amazing.

4 orange bell peppers (medium sized)
2 shallots finely diced
1 package of white mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, diced
4 oz. feta cheese
1 package of Trader Joes uncooked Chicken Sicilian Sausage (remove from its casing)

Saute shallots in olive oil (limit the amount) until slightly tender (2 min), lightly salt, remove from heat and toss into large mixing bowl. Saute mushrooms next with olive oil until tender (2-4 min), lightly salt, remove from heat and toss in with shallots. Remove chicken sausage from its casing and cook all the way through. Add to bowl, add feta cheese and mix all ingredients together.
Preheat oven 350. Removed tops from bell peppers, remove inside ribs and seeds with your fingers. Sprinkle light salt into each pepper. Stuff each pepper, lightly packing in the sausage mix until full. (There may be extra stuffing.) Bake for  20-25 minutes.

This recipe was created by a good friend of mine who was trying to make a dish that followed the primal blueprint guidelines. She came up with a Trader Joes one- stop-shop recipe. The sausage she chose is out of this world, and there is no need to season the meat as it is already done for you. I find this meal to be delicious, and a perfect recipe for a busy work week. Plus you only have to stop at one grocery store! Orange peppers seem to hold up in the oven best, but use what is accessible and looking fresh at the market. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever you already have in your fridge, and it will still taste great.
Thank you Lauren, this dish is one of my favorites!

The Fancy Buffalo Burger (for the non fancy cook)

Keep in mind primal eating is subjective, so where some may opt to stay away from cheese entirely, there are some of us who can't stay away. Choose a "raw" cheese when possible, and if bleu cheese doesn't tickle your fancy, mozzarella, Gruyere, and jalapeno jack are great substitutes for this dish.

1 lb. ground buffalo (provided by the butcher is always fresher and tastier)
1/2 lb. crimini mushrooms chopped finely and sauteed until tender (season with salt)
2 shallots or fancy onion finely chopped and sauteed until tender (season with salt)
1/2 c. -1 c. raw bleu cheese (crumble by hand)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
garlic salt or garlic powder to taste

In a bowl mix buffalo meat with salt, garlic powder or garlic salt, and pepper, and then add sauteed muschrooms and shallots to the mix. Gently incorporate the bleu cheese so it is distributed evenly throughout the meat. Form into four burger patties. Heat indoor or outdoor grill pan or grill on medium to high heat. You want a good sear on each side, so cook the first side for about 3-5 minutes before flipping. Flip burger and sear the other side for about 2 additional minutes. Your patties will continue to cook once removed from heat, so don't overdo the cooking process. A little pink is always ok (and tastier, in my opinion).
Garnish with heirloom tomatoes and fresh avocado slices. (Primal eaters don't eat grains, but a homemade piece of almond bread can be enjoyed alongside this burger.)
Happy eating!