Slow Bone Broth

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Last year I went to PaleoFX and heard about the wonders of something called “slow bone broth”. I was intrigued. Why is everybody talking about this stuff? It must be off the chain! So I cornered a bunch of the panelists to interrogate them about this miraculous elixir, and was disappointed to discover that slow bone broth is exactly the same broth that my mom used to make. It’s broth. Made with bones.

I guess nowadays most people make broth with bouillon cubes or buy it from a cardboard container. Bouillon is basically salty brown colloid. It looks like what you would get if you pressed mouse turds into a cube. It’s full of chemicals, preservatives and other weird “flavor science” developed in an evil laboratory somewhere in New Jersey. Bouillon broth is gross. Don’t eat it.

Real bone broth is full of minerals, glucosamine, amino acids, gelatin and other goodies that your body needs. And it’s absurdly easy to make. Here’s how I do it. First I buy a roasted chicken. I get chickens from Kowalski’s because the quality is high and the seasoning is reasonable. I peel off all the meat and skin.  Then I dump all the bones and whatnot into a slow cooker, along with some peppercorns, a bay leaf and some vegetables, cover everything with filtered water and cook on low.

The next morning you have amazing bone broth. You have to strain out all the bones so I pour the broth over a strainer into a mug. This broth is INSANELY GREAT. It’s like drinking a chicken. Since we’ve been making bone broth I don’t even take glucosamine pills anymore. My knees feel great which is remarkable considering that I’ve been training twice a day.

A couple of tips about bone broth. Once you take some broth out, you should put a mug of water into the slow cooker. That way you can keep the broth going for days. Some bone broth advocates will keep broth going for a week but we usually start over every few days.

A lot of broth makers will drink a quart a day which is kind of nutty. They must not leave the house much. I just have a couple of mugs, one for breakfast, and one in a thermos that I take with me in the morning.

One last tip, for those of you who are trying to lean out. I don’t know what it is about this stuff but it really mutes my appetite…

Honey Sesame Chicken

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This honey sesame chicken recipe is a great way to add some variety to your meals. It’s not tricky to make and is much better for you than the restaurant variety since it’s free of the commonly used sweeteners. Give it a shot!

What you’ll need:

4 chicken breasts
1 egg
1/4 cup arrowroot starch (available in the bulk section at local co-ops)
1 tbsp, 1 tsp coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger root
1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp coconut aminos
2 tsp sesame oil

How to make it:

1. Cut chicken into 1″ cubes, then toss in the whisked egg.
2. In a bowl, toss the chicken with arrowroot starch until all pieces are evenly covered.
3. Fry the chicken in a pan (using the tbsp of coconut oil) for 7-10 minutes, or until cooked through.
4. While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Combine 1 tsp coconut oil, garlic, grated ginger in a pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
5. Add the honey, coconut aminos and sesame oil, and whisk together.
6. Whisk 1 tbsp water with 1 tsp arrowroot and add to the pot. Then stir occasionally as the sauce heats and thickens.
7. Once the sauce has thickened, pour it over the chicken until all pieces are coated.
8. Serve over steamed broccoli with some sesame seeds on top, and you’re all set.

This made a good amount of food, but it went fairly quick. If this sounds like something you’re really going to like, or if you’re cooking for more than a couple people, I’d recommend doubling the recipe. Enjoy!

Need Something Easy In the Morning?

Breakfast Casserole

What do you do for breakfast when you are in a rush? Do you grab a banana, eat a quick yogurt, or do you just get caffeinated and try to make it through until lunch?

Most of us are in a rush in the mornings, but all of us need fuel for the day. Something that works well for me, so that I don’t always need to be cooking in the mornings, are egg bakes. There are many variations but most paleo options have similar ingredients.

What works well for us is preparing this on Sunday so that we don’t have to slave over the stove on weekday mornings.

Here is one that we made recently that was quite tasty. We used turnips, but a safer bet if you haven’t tried an egg bake before may be rutabagas or sweet potatoes.

Ingredients

- Coconut Oil
- 3 turnips, 2 rutabagas, or  2 sweet potatoes- your choice (peeled)
- .5- 1.0 pounds of ground pork or beef (we cut the casings off of 3 spicy italian sausages)
- 4 scallions, green parts only (chopped)
- 8 eggs, beaten

Breakfast Casserole

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Grease a baking dish with coconut oil
3. Grate the root vegetables or use a food processor
4. Brown the meat with a little oil in a large pan until not quite cooked through
5. Then toss in rest of ingredients and cook for 2-3 minutes
6. Spoon into baking dish and cook for 45 minutes
7. Enjoy for the next few days!!!

Pumpkin Poblano Turkey Chili

chili
It is chili season! Not only is chili convenient, and relatively low on the labor side, but it is a delicious source of protein for your post-workout meals and snacks.

Here is another favorite recipe, pumpkin poblano turkey chili:

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 green poblano peppers, seeded and chopped (we added a jalapeño to kick the spice up a bit)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lb ground turkey (try to get 90% lean)
1½ tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups homemade pumpkin puree (if your pressed for time you could use canned, but don’t make the mistake of using pumpkin pie filling)
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
guacamole for serving (homemade is always the best option)
chopped cilantro for serving
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a stock pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and poblano peppers and cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and cook for an additional minute.
  2. Add the turkey, chili powder, cumin and salt and cook until turkey is white, another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, add the fresh oregano, and then simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with guacamole and chopped cilantro.

Enjoy!

Simple Paleo Chili

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset This recipe is great because it knocks out two common complaints that I hear from people looking to start eating better. First, it is really easy to make, and second it makes enough food for more than just a couple of servings. It’s also a perfect dish for this *shiver* time of year.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 lb. ground beef 4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 2 tsp crushed garlic instead)
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
28oz. can diced tomatoes
15oz. can tomato sauce
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp basil
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne

Here’s how to make it:

Cook the ground beef in a frying pan with garlic and onion until it browns. Drain all excess fat from pan and add to crock pot with other ingredients. Mix thoroughly and then cook on low for 6-7 hours. BAM, that’s it! Now, you eat.

I found this recipe on a site called Paleo Grubs and for the most part followed it as it was listed. I’ve used their site for numerous recipes in the past and recommend checking them out if you’re looking to change up your routine a bit.

Thanksgiving without the hang-over

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Sure, this recipe doesn’t have the mashed-potatoes and gravy with turkey and stuffing, but it leaves the same after affect where you want to just keep crawling back for more.

Cauliflower Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash- Here are the ingredients, how we cooked it and I would encourage you to put your own little touch into it:

2-3 acorn squash, halved and seeds removed (the recipe we had called for two squash, but we had extra stuffing and wished we would have had more squash on the ready).

1 small head of cauliflower (don’t get one that’s too big)

1-1.5 lb. of ground beef

1 package of mushrooms (any kind will do)

2 apples, diced

1 yellow onion

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

2 Tbsp coconut aminos

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 dried minced garlic

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Cut squash in halves and remove seeds. Place the open side on your baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. You’ll know it’s done, and you’re good to go, if you press on the outside and it gives a bit.

3. Rice your cauliflower in a food processor, while you cook the squash.

4. Add cauliflower to a saucepan over medium heat, along with 2 Tbsp of water and 2 Tbsp of coconut aminos. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the cauliflower shrinks down a bit.

5. While the rice is cooking, add chopped onions and apples to a large skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes then add ground beef. Cook until beef is cooked through half way, then add the mushrooms.

6. Let ingredients cook down for a bit longer, then add the seasonings from above, coconut milk, and vinegars to the saucepan. Mix throughly.

7. When both the cauliflower rice and beef mixture are done cooking, combine them – either in the large skillet or large bowl and mix them up.

8. Once your squash is done cooking, flip over and add your concoction. Sprinkle pecan pieces on the top of the stuffing and cook uncovered for 8 minutes.

Have fun and don’t worry if you eat it all in one sitting!

Easy Breakfast Hash

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If you’re like me and wake up by four o’clock every morning, you want a hassle-free way to get some quick fuel with your coffee to get the day going.

Try making this easy hash recipe ahead of time for stress-free mornings.

Instructions:

  1. Buy vegetables for roasting. Root veggies work well; we used russet potato, red potato, onion (other options are parsnips, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, etc).
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Wash, peel, and chop vegetables into bite sized cubes/pieces.
  4. Put chopped vegetables in a big bowl and toss with just enough oil to coat it all (we used olive oil).
  5. Season with whatever you like, but save the salt for when you take the veggies out of the oven so it doesn’t burn (we used pepper, salt, crushed red pepper). You can also switch it up with herbs like oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, chipotle, or Indian spices like vindaloo and garam masala.
  6. Spread vegetables in a single layer over two baking sheets.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes, flipping and stirring the veggies every fifteen minutes to prevent them from sticking. But if they do, so what, eat the crunchy pieces off the pan later. what can I say, I’m a fat kid!)
  8. In a pan on the stove top, brown 1 lb. of breakfast sausage (we like the Beeler’s breakfast pork from the Wedge). Tip: slice each sausage link down the middle and remove the pork from its casing before cooking.
  9. Drain the excess fat from the pan and mix with your hash when it comes out of the oven.

This makes about 8-10 servings, enough to enjoy all week long.

Top with an egg or two in the morning to add protein and deliciousness to the mix. Add Cholula or Sriracha sauce for extra spice.

Bon appétit.

Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato

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This week’s recipe is a seasonally appropriate dish of baked pumpkin and sweet potatoes. While commonly used for little more than Halloween carving, pumpkin can also be cooked and used as a side for a favorite fall meal.

Here’s what you’ll need:
one small sugar pumpkin
two sweet potatoes
one pint grape or cherry tomatoes
two red onions
1/2 cup olive oil (or coconut oil if you’d prefer)
fresh thyme
one head of garlic (cut in half)
two tbsp lemon juice
two tsp maple syrup salt & pepper

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Start by preheating the oven to 400°. Then cut the pumpkin, remove all the seeds and guts, and cut into 1-2″ strips. Half the sweet potatoes and cut them into pieces similar to the cuts of pumpkin, then peel the onions and cut into wedges. Place the pumpkin, potatoes, and onions into a mixing bowl and stir in the olive oil, thyme, lime juice, maple syrup, garlic, and salt and pepper.

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Once everything is mixed together, place it on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and bake for 45 minutes (or until the edges are starting to brown). Then add the tomatoes, stir everything together and bake for another fifteen minutes or until the tomatoes begin to soften.

I had this with pulled pork, but it would be a great, hearty side for almost and kind of main course.

Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Soup

sausage soup

Here is a delicious soup recipe; great for that first chilly night in Autumn.

I’ll be honest. I stole this recipe from my girlfriend, but I will take credit for it. This was the first meal she cooked for me, and I knew as soon as I tried it she was a keeper.

A helpful note: if you prepare the ingredients in advance, or use store-bought, pre-prepared ingredients, (buy organic if you choose this avenue), you will cut down on your time in the kitchen the day you plan to cook.

The recipe yields a boat load of soup. Seriously. Maybe ten generous portions. It also freezes well, so don’t panic if you have way more soup than you need.

Ingredients:
3 roasted red peppers (roast them yourself or buy them in a jar and drain them)
2 small pumpkins, enough to make about 6 cups (you could use canned pumpkin, too)
2 1/2 lb spicy pork sausage (we used 1/2 chorizo and 1/2 pork breakfast sausage, raw and removed from casings)
1 Yellow Onion, diced (white will also work)
4 tbsp Ghee (or grass-fed butter)
4 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk, organic full fat
1/2 cup honey, organic
1/3 tsp ground cloves
1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 tsp ground ginger
1/3 tsp crushed red peppers
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped green onions or fresh herbs, for garnish

Spice Notes: We eyeball everything. Use more of what you like, less of what you don’t like. Use caution when adding cloves, those babies are powerful. Some people are also sensitive to nutmeg, however, we love it.

Cooking Instructions:

Roasting the peppers: Preheat oven to 375

  1. Cut peppers in half, scoop out seeds and membrane.
  2. Place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Place on middle rack of oven.
  4. Roast for thirty minutes.
  5. Remove the peppers from the oven and put them in a Ziplock bag for a few minutes until they start to cool (we used a glass bowl with cling wrap on top because we didn’t have big bags).
  6. Peel off the skins and dice.
  7. Set aside in a medium bowl. (You can roast them ahead of time. They’ll keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week).

Roasting the pumpkins: Preheat oven to 375

  1. Use a sharp, sturdy knife for this.
  2. Cut off the top of the pumpkins, by the stem, like you are making a jack-o-lantern.
  3. Cut the pumpkins in half.
  4. Scrape out the seeds and guts. It doesn’t have to be perfect (you can save the seeds for roasting later).
  5. Cut the halves in half again so you have quarters.
  6. Place skin side down on a foil-lined baking sheet (no need for oil).
  7. Roast for forty-five minutes or until tender.
  8. Remove and let cool.
  9. Peel off the skin. If it gives you trouble, slide a knife between the skin and the pumpkin “meat.”
  10. Dice the pumpkin into large chunks. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you will eventually blend it).

Putting it all together

  1. Heat up a large, heavy bottomed, stock pot over medium heat.
  2. Add sausage, until golden brown (if you are using two kinds of sausage, use a potato masher to blend them together).
  3. Add some crushed red peppers if you like extra spice, we do.
  4. Remove the sausage and set aside.
  5. Add the sausage to your bowl of red pepper, but remove the fat first.
  6. Add the onions and saute until golden (the longer you cook them, the sweeter they will get).
  7. Remove onions, set aside (add them to your sausage and pepper bowl).
  8. Add the ghee, stock, spices, and pumpkin.
  9. Stir together, (scraping the bottom of the pan to get all those crispy bits of flavor from cooking the sausage and onions).
  10. Bring to a boil and then drop to a simmer for five minutes.
  11. Use an immersion blender to create a smooth pumpkin sauce, this will take a few minutes (if you do not have an immersion blender, let the pumpkin mixture cool and transfer to your blender in batches. Make sure you put a kitchen towel over the blender and your lid is on tight so you do not splatter the hot soup. Trust me).
  12. Add the red peppers, sausage, and onions back into your smooth pumpkin sauce and stir.
  13. Bring the soup back to a boil, reduce to simmer for ten minutes.
  14. Add the coconut milk, honey, salt, pepper, and stir.
  15. Garnish with some chopped green onions, or fresh herbs, for a little something extra.

Enjoy!

Paleo Freezer Meals

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If you are struggling to find the time to cook Paleo, Paleo freezer cooking may be a solution for you. Freezer cooking involves preparing a whole meal in a bag (usually uncooked), storing it in your freezer, pulling it out the day before you want to make it (to allow it to thaw), and popping it in your crock pot or your oven the day you want to enjoy it.

When our second child arrived, we didn’t have the time to prepare a Paleo meal each day, so my wife started looking for Paleo recipes that would work as freezer meals. Now she spends about thirty minutes a couple of times a month planning what meals to make, another sixty minutes to assemble the meals on a weekend, and then we have Paleo meals for two weeks (most recipes make enough for at least 2 dinners for our family).

This kind of cooking may be ideal for you if you have children and dread that busy time before dinner when everyone is fussy and you have to be in the kitchen preparing a meal. All you have to do is remember to take a freezer bag out of the fridge the night before, and then pop it in the crock pot in the morning (or, for some recipes, pop it in the oven in the afternoon). By the time dinner rolls around, you can just prep a veggie and put it all on the table.

This kind of cooking may also be ideal for you if you find yourself too tired at the end of the day to cook. It is wonderful to come home at the end of a long day to the delicious smell of a healthy meal in your home.

Below are links to a few of our “go-to” Paleo freezer meals. Some of the recipes are written as freezer meals, and some are not. For the recipes not written as freezer meals the method we use is just to place all the ingredients (raw) in a freezer bag. (Sometimes to save room in the freezer, we will leave out the broth or coconut milk called for in these recipes and just pour those in the crock pot the day of cooking along with the contents of the freezer bag). Here is a link to learn more about Paleo freezer cooking in general: http://www.eatlivegrowpaleo.com/2012/05/introduction-to-cook-ahead-freezer.html

Other tips: you can prepare and freeze cauliflower “rice” ahead of time to serve with any of these meals (just “rice” the cauliflower according to any recipe, freeze it, and cook it in a skillet the day you want to eat it). And you can prepare a new veggie each night, or roast a large amount of veggies on the weekend and have some of them each night with dinner.

Pork and Kale

http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-slow-cooker-pork-kale/

Curry Soup (this works best in a slow cooker with cut up chicken rather than ground beef)

http://everydaypaleo.com/quick-curry-soup/

Bacon Wrapped Chicken (we make this one in the oven)

http://www.allergyfreecooking.net/bacon-wrapped-chicken-with-rosemary/

Pork and Veggies

http://mixingwithmichelle.blogspot.com/2014/05/pork-and-veggies-crock-pot-thm-s.html

Butter Chicken (we replace the yogurt and cream with 2 cans of coconut milk):

http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2009/04/20/butter-chicken-crockpot/

Do you do freezer cooking? Please share your Paleo favorites!