Tag Archives: beef

Guaco-Taco Burgers!

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Sometimes ground beef gets a bit boring.  Time to spice things up a bit…

But only a bit.  Pepper consumption causes me great pain, so I developed a nightshade-free taco seasoning.  It’s not completely AIP-compliant as it contains the seed-based spices cumin and coriander, but is GF/CF/NF and tastes so much like the stuff in the packets you won’t miss the old days.

Nightshade-Free (GF/CF) Taco Seasoning

1 part Himalayan Salt
1 part Onion Powder
½ part Garlic Powder
1 part Cumin
1 part Coriander
1 part Cilantro
1 part Oregano

Minor change(s) to this batch of seasoning that resulted in improved taste/texture:
(1) Omitted the sugar.  I know sugar and salt tend to bring out the opposite flavors, but I’ve committed to minimizing sugar consumption in 2014, so there you go.
(2) Blended/ground up the seasoning in the food processor, yielding a better mix and finer powder.  We all agreed this batch is much better than its forebears.

I measure my “parts” by the jar, so one (spice) jar of cumin, etc.  Use one jar of every ingredient except garlic powder (1/2 jar), unless you really like garlic in your taco meat.

Using about 1 tbsp taco seasoning per pound of grass-fed ground beef, mix well with your hands and form burger patties.  Grill or pan-fry your burger patties to desired doneness.
Top with a BIG spoonful of guacamole and enjoy.  Great served with sweet potato chips.

Alternatively, you could stuff your patties with the guacamole, like George Bryant does.

Recently the Bulletproof Executive posted on the virtues of avocado.  The addition of Bulletproof® Upgraded MCT Oil to the guacamole is amazing!  Kudos to Dave Asprey for that tip.  I made mine with a stick blender, combining:

2 ripe avocados, diced
2 tbsp MCT oils (MCT Oil or Brain Octane)
1/2 tsp Himalayan Salt (or to taste)
a squirt of lime or lemon juice

Another great compliment to these are Paleo Dough Buns.  Make them with garnet yams for a cheddar cheese-like flavor.  It makes excellent tortillas as well!

Rib Eyes and Whoopie Pies!

Birthday Plate

This is our special Pfalzgraff Birthday Plate. It comes out three times a year to celebrate.

My Hubby’s (also now known as Captain Caveman!) birthday was yesterday.  He’s been working ungodly hours lately (meaning LOTS!) so I wanted to make him a special meal on the one day he managed to get home at a decent hour.  

Steak and bacon green beans with mushrooms and onions were on the menu, with carrot cake whoopie pies for dessert.  [All Paleo, of course!]

I get our grass-fed beef in bundles for variety and best price.  Lakewinds gets fresh steers from Iowa every week and butchers them to order within days.  It’s always good, but I was absolutely gobsmacked when I opened the ribeye steak packets – they were a full two inches thick!  Whoa!   

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Take a gander at these! Just one fed all three of us for dinner. Wowsa. That’s an 11″ diameter pan, btw…

I’ve found that my food preparation has greatly simplified since going Paleo.  Rather than a complex seasoning, marinades or other techniques popular in “conventional” kitchens, I prefer to let the [quality] food speak for itself.  So the steaks were seasoned only with Himalayan pink salt and grilled on medium 10 minutes each side.  Soo tender and tasty!

Sauteed the green beans in bacon fat and added some (pre-sauteed) mushrooms & onions – a staple in my fridge – and a bit of bacon crumbles atop to complete.

These Carrot Cake Cream Pies from Primal Cravings are about the most complicated food item I’ve prepared in a while.  Since we cannot tolerate dairy (cream cheese) I made the maple cinnamon frosting from Paleo Indulgences instead.  Mmm..  We didn’t even get the chance to insert and light a birthday candle!

Carrot Cake Cream (aka Whoopie) Pies

Carrot Cake Cream (aka Whoopie) Pies
This recipe made the perfect cakes for this treat – consisting of almond butter, eggs, shredded carrots, raisins, maple syrup, cinnamon and baking soda. Paired with maple cinnamon frosting, it was a perfect Fall Birthday treat!

Mother Nature Flipped the Switch

Mother Nature has flipped the switch from Summer to Fall here in Minnesota.
It’s a cool rainy day, so it’s the perfect time to work in the kitchen!

Fall is time for soup!  And every good soup starts with stock packed with flavor and nutrition.  Meat stock a.k.a. bone broth is truly a healing super-food and should be part of everyone’s repertoire.  I drink a half cup for breakfast nearly every day and feel incomplete without it.

It’s the secret ingredient to an awesome beef stew – the gelatin in the broth gives the sauce that silky, satisfying texture.  Mmm…beef stew…*drool*…  Better get started!

List for today:

Beef Stock (Bone Broth)
Hamburger Patties
Beef Roast
Vegetable Beef Stew
Acorn Squash

Advance prep for the week’s meals makes life easier, especially for lunches away from home at work and school.  And dinner is on the table and into our hungry tummies much faster.


I bake my bacon. Get the Coleman 3-packs from Costco, and a whole box fits in the oven at once (on 3 trays).
Put it in the fridge and there’s always bacon at the ready!


My co-op had the BIGGEST leeks I have ever seen – I just had to get them!


Low and Slow: a rump roast and beef stew with carrots, celery, mushrooms, onions, bok choy, sweet potato and LOTS of leeks! After 4 hours at 250F the meat is so tender you can cut it with a SPOON.

My reward at dinner time:  *beef bliss*

Beef 2

*GASP!* OMG It’s Paleo Heaven!

Oh.  My.  Lord.  I think we died and went to (Paleo) heaven.

Fogo de Chao, Churrascaria (Brazillian Steakhouse) extraordinaire.
This place was amazing.  You must check it out if there is one in your city!

Fogo de Chao Mpls

Posted on Facebook about our experience:

Stick a fork in us and ROLL us back to the car ’cause we’re done.

We tried about 8-10 of the 17 meat varieties they were serving and were so stuffed we just couldn’t go on – which is unheard of for Hubby!

The experience begins with a huge salad bar and evolves into a scrumptious meat-feast where the gracious servers (Gauchos) bring large skewers of roasted meats to your table and slice a bit off for you.  Saturday they were serving 17 kinds of beef, pork, lamb and chicken.

Fogo de Chao 2

I was assured by the staff that all meats except the chicken legs are gluten-free!  Yippee!  And most of the salad bar as well – anything with gluten is obvious (bread, pasta, etc) with no hidden gluten-containing ingredients.  Wow!  Some items had dairy; but those were also obvious, so we could easily self-select.

Fogo de Chao 3

It was quite the feast (as reflected by the price) and worth every penny!  Repeatedly, our eyes rolled to the back of our heads in bliss as we chewed each tender roasted morsel.

We are in love.

Planning a return for Hubby’s birthday in September.

Fogo de Chao 1

What’s For Dinner?

Let’s see…one leftover steak and three people to feed…

Sometimes leftovers create some of the best meals by accident.  I usually save small portions of leftover meat for stir fry, but tonight found myself without the accompanying vegetables.  I do however, nearly always have sautéed mushrooms and onions in the fridge.  Tonight there also happened to be some fresh green beans I’d meant to fry up in bacon grease.  Hmm…small change of plans…

First, I sliced up the steak as if I were making stir fry and browned it well in ghee, salting it to taste.  Then added a generous helping of mushrooms and onions (also sautéed in ghee) until well-heated and flavors melded.  Set the meat aside and added freshly snipped green beans to the pan with a little water, covered and steamed until tender.

Piled the green beans on each plate with a helping of steak, mushrooms and onions atop.  Yummy!  It was gone so fast there wasn’t any time to capture it in photos!

Mushrooms & Onions are so versatile and handy to have in the fridge.  Slice your onions either manually or with a food processor (I prefer the latter), salt generously and sauté in ghee until browned.  Set onions aside in a bowl and sauté the mushrooms in ghee, salting generously.  When well-browned, combine onions and mushrooms thoroughly, cool and keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.  The generous salting will help preserve and extend its usefulness.  Add to eggs, vegetables, atop meats, or anything else you can dream up.  Yum!

More Beef Jerky!

Our new grass-fed beef bundle included a flank steak, which I thought might work well for jerky.  Using what I learned from my first go at it, I made some modifications – and it turned out FANTASTIC this time!

Jerky 1

I partially thawed the flank steak and sliced it thinly against the grain while still frosty.  Then mixed the marinade based on a recipe from Eat Like a Dinosaur and modified it to my own taste; soaked the meat overnight in the fridge, turning it over in the pan a couple times; and salted the meat generously before arranging it in the dehydrator.

Jerky 2

Drying took about 3 – 3 1/2 hours to complete.  The result was very tender, tasty, gluten-free, nightshade-free jerky!  I ate a whole tray all by myself – it was so good!

The marinade recipe, approximated:

3/4 cup coconut aminos
1/4 cup (gf) fish sauce
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp onion powder
Himalayan Salt to taste

jerky 3

*nom nom nom*  😀                        It’s a HUGE hit in our house!

Where’s the Beef?

Do you have a source of quality grass-fed beef?  I highly recommend it, both for its taste and nutrition.  Find a provider near you with the Eat Wild website.  It is usually more cost-effective to buy in bulk than by the package at your regular co-op or grocery store.

We are down to 2 lbs of hamburger, 2 roasts and 2 filets, so I’m off to Edina to pick up another 1/8 cow from the Grassfed Cattle Company.  This portion of beef usually lasts our family of three about 3-4 months.

I recently tried my hand at homemade beef jerky, using an Inside Skirt cut, with the recipe on p.45 of the eBook, Eating Out and Traveling on the Paleo Diet.  I added some gluten-free Worstershire sauce (since I had it in the fridge) which added a bit of teriyaki-like tang to the final product.

Jerky 2

It turned out OK.  I would like it saltier and more savory, but it worked.  Very chewy.
I will have to adjust the marinade next time.  Being gluten-free is a bit more challenging than just buying a seasoning packet!  I cannot eat nightshades due to my autoimmunity issues, so I have a terrible time finding dried meats I can eat as virtually all of them contain red pepper or paprika.

Jerky 3

I was able to fit 3 lbs of meat into this standard Nesco Dehydrator.  I was worried about sticking and clean-up, but it was not an issue.  The finished jerky released easily and the trays are dishwasher safe.  I plan to do it again soon with different cuts of beef.

*nom nom nom*  😀


Time to Heal (bone broth recipe)

So many people are sick today for so many reasons.  Where does one begin?  At the source – the gut.  As followup to an earlier post containing a video interview with Dr. Natascha Campbell-McBride (a MUST-see!), let’s talk about healing protocol – whether it’s a chronic illness or the most recent round of stomach flu.

Healing one’s gut involves a 2-prong approach:  First, remove the irritants contributing to “leaky gut” syndrome.  Eliminate sugars, grains, legumes and dairy from the diet to halt the progression.  Second, consume nutrient-dense healing foods to provide the building blocks for the body to heal. Two of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet are organ meats and bone broth.

I learned to make this life-giving liquid gold from a chef at my local food co-op (many thanks, Greg!)  and have had great success with the process he taught me.  Both beef and chicken stocks are rich, tasty and turn to solid gelatin in the fridge – a sign of plentiful collagens and other amino acids.

Bone broth also contains large amounts of bio-available minerals and compounds that build the immune system.  Have you ever heard traditional chicken soup referred to as “Jewish penicillin”?  There’s a reason for that.

The process begins at the butcher’s counter: bone selection.  My local co-op has bags of mixed beef bones and chicken carcasses minus the legs, wings and breasts especially suited for soup.  For beef stock, select a mix of leg/knuckle and neck bones if available – choose a few with a small amount of meat on them for better flavor.  Neck bones provide nerve tissue, an added benefit.

bone broth post 1 - selection

Next, prepare the pan for roasting. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange your mirepoix (carrots, celery and onions in a ratio of 1:1:2).

bone broth post 2 - mirepoix

Place the cooling rack in the sheet pan and arrange your bones atop, placing the larger ones on the outer edges to encourage even roasting.  Salt generously with Pink Himalayan Salt (mined from ancient sea beds and contains 82 trace minerals found in our blood).

bone broth post 1a - selection

Roast the bones about 30-45 minutes at 400F turning once.

bone broth post 3 - roasting

Place roasted bones, veggies and accumulated juices in stockpot.

bone broth post - 4 vinegar

Fill the stockpot with cold (filtered) water and add more salt and 1/4 cup vinegar to draw out more minerals from the bones.  I like to use coconut vinegar as it is neutral-flavored, but some like apple cider vinegar or wine.  **Cooking is chemistry: by adding an acid (vinegar or wine) the positively charged hydrogen ions will bind with the negatively charged mineral ions and suspend them in the broth – ready for your body to use.**

Simmer in stockpot overnight with the lid on.  As fresh herb flavor can easily be cooked out, I add them near the end.  Turn off the stove and add fresh thyme, parsley and a dried bay leaf to steep.  Let the broth cool to warm before removing/straining bones, veggies and herbs.  Chill for several hours until solidified.  Defat by removing the top layer of hardened fat from the gelatinous broth.

bone broth post 5 - defatting

I like my broth concentrated for more compact storage, so I boil it down before pouring it into freezer-safe containers, chilling, then freezing for longer-term storage.

bone broth post 6a - storage

I have made turkey and chicken stock from leftovers (carcasses), and that also works well.  Since they are pre-roasted, I just add fresh veggies to the bones in the pot and follow the same process from there.

I like to use bone broths in soups/stews and stir fry, as well as drink it straight for breakfast.  Use it any way you can – any time you can.

So, there you have it: a nearly fool-proof method for great tasting, super-nutritious bone broth! (a.k.a. meat stock)  To your health!


A (Paleo) Christmas Feast

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A rich, savory, super-tender meal of Boeuf Bourguignon a la Julia Child for Christmas Day.

I’ve made this dish before.  Before Paleo.

This time was not much different except the substitution of arrowroot starch for the flour and adding carrots and celery to the basic recipe of mushrooms, onions and bacon – and ruby port in place of chianti.  Freshly simmered beef stock was at the ready to make the perfect sauce.  5 lbs of (cubed) grass-fed chuck roast is the star of this dish.  And after low, slow-baking in cast iron for 3+ hours, it was so tender you could cut it with a spoon.

This was one of those special meals that is so good, nobody  speaks.  Everyone just chews in bliss – smiling, eyes half-closed.

Baked sweet potatoes were offered on the side.  Said tubers are cooling for the fridge, left in favor of more silky beef goodness.

No one had room for dessert, either.  It doesn’t get much better than this.

Merry Christmas, Everybody!  Wishing you all a Happy Holiday and looking forward to a New Year filled with Health, Wealth and Happiness!


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