Tag Archives: recipe

Curcurbit Crazy at Pumpkin Palooza!

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Hey, Paleo peeps – we are in business now! Check out all of these gorgeous pumpkins.
Perfect for all our favorite Fall Pumpkin recipes and more!

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum hosts a Pumpkin Palooza every Fall.

The varieties of squash and pumpkin are AMAZING!  Check out these pix!

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And it just wouldn’t be Fall without our favorite pumpkin recipes!

Use George’s Banana Bread recipe and substitute roasted pumpkin for the banana!  YUM!

Pumpkin is George’s favorite!  Here are a bunch of his (Caveman) Curcurbit Creations!
He’s got meats, treats and beverages galore.  Pumpkin Lattes or Smoothies, anyone? 

Get his very special Paleo Pumpkin Thanksgiving eBook FREE with the purchase of his Caveman Feast recipe eBook.  I have used them both, and they are fantastic!  His pumpkin collection includes both sweet and savory (red: meat!) recipes.  Link also at right ===>

Another favorite of mine is PUMPKIN CUSTARD.  I have made several variations of this treat.
My favorite is made with just the egg yolks, no whites (in this recipe, substitute about 6 egg yolks for the 3 eggs plus 1 yolk) and use just the separated coconut milk cream (chill the can to separate) instead of straight coconut milk.  I like the true flavor of pumpkin to shine through, so I limit my spices to cinnamon and vanilla bean paste.  

And of course, we can’t forget the roasted pumpkin seeds!
The Paleo Parents Matt and Stacey have us covered there!

Enjoy the Fall Fun while it lasts!  We’ve already had a few snowflakes fall here in Minnesota!

Pain Paste is Good for Dogs Too!

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Our 14-year old Labrador Delenn has severe arthritis.  Her range of motion is limited and she is often stiff in the mornings and struggles to get up and down.  The vet has her on doggie NSAIDs, but lately I sense it’s not enough.

Out of curiosity, I researched the safety of medicinal herbs and spices for dogs online.
It turns out that cinnamon, turmeric and ginger are all safe for dogs!

So we tried adding a dose of my pain paste capsules to her food.
I had just made a batch and had plenty on hand.

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Definitely wear gloves and use table covering when handling turmeric – it stains everything!

She ate them up along with her other medications (for heart murmur) that I embed in a small spoonful of bacon fat and add to her grain-free kibble.

A half hour later she’s napping peacefully without panting, snoring or twitching.  Wow.

I am so glad this helps her!  She’s on the maximum safe dosage for her Rimadyl already and she refuses to take the Tramadol, which used to help. (She will eat all the bacon fat and somehow manage to spit out just the Tramadol tablet!). 

Now she’s a happy dog.

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School Lunches for Paleo Kids

Laptop Lunch Kit

We love our Laptop Lunches kits! No baggies required.

So how many of you have run out of lunchbox ideas for your kid(s) already?  Me too.
We brought our best the first few weeks of school, but then the enthusiasm waned.

Already made the taco pockets, beef stew, banana bread and caveman crack.  What’s next?  

My son’s class is nut-free due to allergies, which limits those options.  I’ve been using the old stand-bys of burger patties, grilled chicken thighs, grass-fed beef hot dogs and turkey rollups along with veggies and fruits.  Time to fire up the imagination and get creative again.  That’s hard once we get into a routine…

So, some ideas using Tara’s Paleo Magic Wonder Dough:

taco pockets with salsa or guacamole
pizza pockets with marinara
burger pockets with ketchup
spanikopita
apple pie pockets with cinnamon
other fruit pockets
paleo dough buns on the side…

The variations on taco pockets are like a mini-sandwich of sorts – fun finger food that’s perfect for the lunchbox.  Only problem I’ve had is that they’re so yummy they don’t make it to the lunchbox the next morning – so make plenty of extras!

Let’s compile a list of Paleo Kids lunch ideas to share in the Comments!

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
Liver
Bacon

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.

BACON

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!

LEEKS

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

BEEF

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*

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It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity…and grilled taco pockets

Here in Minnesota, we have a saying:

It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.

And when it gets above 100F, it’s all bad.  Hot and sticky as a jungle, with stifling humidity.  That means no heating up the house by turning on the oven!  The A/C works hard enough.

The boy was begging for Paleo Dough taco pockets.  What to do?  Grill ’em!

My Weber gas grill has cast iron grates that support a Grill’n’Around baking stone, which enables me to bake on the grill.  (The temp control takes a little practice.)  I’d made these taco pockets in the oven before this crazy heat wave, so I knew how they were supposed to turn out. Always begin with the end in mind.

First, you need to go get the Paleo Dough recipe from Primal Girl!  Mix up a batch.

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I use the food processor because it’s faster and less messy than mixing it by hand.  My dough is orange due to garnet yams.  For some mysterious reason, that formula yields a cheesy flavor that we dairy-free peeps love.   Honestly.  In the finished product, you will see the slightly doughy center that looks, feels and tastes like cheese.  Hallelujah!

Next, make some taco meat.  Find a GF/CF/nightshade-free version HERE.
Let it cool.  Do not drain the grease – it adds yumminess!

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I use a 2oz scoop to portion out the dough.  Flatten it into a disk shape, place a (small) spoonful of taco meat in the center and fold up the sides to form a ball.

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Place on the grill or in the oven for about 18-20 minutes at 425F.

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I baked these on parchment paper, but found the dough bakes up better on the bare stone.

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Good thing, since the paper gets scorched on the grill.

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These are sooo good!  Beware – they are very filling.  They will go fast and you will be stuffed!
If you like, you can serve these with a dip – guacamole, salsa or hot sauce.  Mmm...

taco pockets

Here is a batch of plain rolls baked on the bare grill stone:

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More variations to come in a Back-to-School Lunches post!

Adventures in Deep Frying

I felt brave today, and decided it was time to make the sweet potato chips on my to-do list.  The tubers had been on the counter for more than a week.  It was time.

Now, I’ve never really deep-fried foods other than some corn dogs one year on the 4th of July.  I did those outside on the grill using my Lodge Logic cast iron dutch oven and they worked. But I was still hesitant.  Shall we say… “chicken”?  Oy.

But hey, if Sarah Ballantyne could do it, so could I.  *deep breath*

So I printed off Sarah’s blog post and recipe from The Paleo Mom and began.  I used my trusty Cuisinart food processor to slice up 4 big sweet potatoes to 2mm thickness.  Salted and drained them in a colander for an hour or so, and got the oil ready.  I happened to have some of the palm shortening Sarah recommends, so I put that in my Lodge Logic dutch oven and fired up my Weber gas grill.  This grill has sturdy cast iron grates, so I can actually cook on it with cast iron cookware – keeps the heat outside in summer!

My first batch scorched: cooked them too long.
The second batch was soggy: oil cooled too much.
Third and remaining batches were fine…
until the TruGreen Lawn guy showed up and began spraying my grass  – while I was cooking!  

Really?!  *counts to ten instead of biting his fool head off*
(As a side note, I am supposed to get an advance email notifying me when they will be coming, but…)

Well, I wasn’t about to be outside cooking food in a fog of fertilizer and weed killer, so I carefully moved the operation inside.  It was a blessing in disguise, because the stovetop controlled the heat much better and there was very little mess.  I’d always thought frying food got oil all over the stove, cabinets and countertop, so that was a pleasant surprise.

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Finished up the rest of the chips and now have a small stash to accompany our burgers.  They *should* keep fresh for a week to ten days, but we all know they won’t last that long.  😉

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We like the Terra Chips from our co-op, but they are pricey and I’m not keen on the canola oil.  I did some initial calculations, and I believe the price (excluding TIME spent) is comparable.  I am hoping that I will be able to re-use the oil to make it more cost-efficient, as that is the most expensive input.  At any rate, it was a fun project and I may do it again soon.

I Miss My Frappucino!

I used to be a regular frou-frou coffee drinker before I had my son.  In summer I really loved the Starbucks Frappacinos.  Since going dairy-free, they are out.  *sad face*

I got a craving the other day and set out to create a dairy-free replica.  I think I came really close! This recipe can also be used to make coffee ice cream, freezie pops and even a mocha whipped topping!

Dairy-Free Copycat Frappucino

1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup

Mix all of these in a blender (or with an immersion blender as I did) and chill.

Top with coconut milk whipped “cream” if desired.

I filled my ISI mini-whip with this stuff and made mocha whipped topping with it.  Mmm…
And poured some into popsicle molds for some grown-up frozen treats.  Yummy…

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Nightshade-Free (GF/CF) Taco Seasoning

The weekend party food was a Taco Bar.  We are big fans of tacos, but have reactions to gluten, casein and nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes).  Commercial mixes contain at least one of these – even the organic varieties.  (Chili peppers are a given in Mexican food…)

The solution?  Make our own with a GF/CF/NF seasoning!

I developed this mix sometime last year, and have used this to make taco salad many times.  It’s one of my son’s favorite meals – especially now that we have Tara’s tortilla recipe!

Nightshade-Free (GF/CF) Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp Himalayan Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Onion Powder
½ tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Coriander
1 tbsp Cilantro
1 tbsp Oregano

All ingredients are dried.  I use the measurements as a ratio, meaning that I buy a spice jar of each ingredient and use the whole jar (or a half, as the case may be).  The result smells and tastes very much like the store-bought seasonings I have used.  If you like a thickening agent in the mix, add arrowroot powder.  Grind/mix in a food processor or high-powered blender to ensure it is uniform and well-combined.

Prepare the same way as commercial mixes: brown a pound of ground beef, add @ 1+ tbsp seasoning (to taste) to 1/2 cup water to dissolve and add to meat.  Simmer for a few minutes to meld flavors (and thicken).  Enjoy!

taco seasoning

If You Like Pina Coladas…

Freeze ’em!

Pina Colada freezie pops are my favorite flavor.  So easy.

Make quick work of it using an immersion blender and whiz together:

  • pineapple chunks (1 pkg Trader Joe’s, thawed)
  • a ripe banana for sweetness (frozen foods taste less sweet)
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • coconut cream from one can coconut milk (separate by chilling in refrigerator)

Pour into molds and freeze.  Viola!

This mixture can also be chilled and processed in an ice cream maker.  Enjoy!

Mango Chicken over Zoodles

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Another yummy recipe from Pamela’s Paleo Life Kitchen!  Sweet.  Savory.  Oh, so tasty!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1-2 lbs diced chicken thigh
1-2 lbs diced mangoes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
minced chives, scallions and/or cilantro
2 large zucchini cut into “zoodles”
coconut milk can be added if you like a creamy sauce (optional)
sweet or hot peppers may also be added (optional)

Melt coconut oil in a pan; add diced chicken thighs.  Brown until fully cooked.  Set aside.  

Add more coconut oil if desired, then add 1-2 lbs diced mango (I used 2 pouches of Trader Joe’s frozen organic mangoes, thawed).  Seasonings to taste: salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, chives, scallions and cilantro.  Cook on medium-high until juices form a sauce.

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When saucy, add pre-cooked diced chicken thigh.  Heat through to meld flavors.  Set aside.

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Sautee zucchini “zoodles” in coconut oil until “al dente”.

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Plate by using zoodles as the base and spoon the mango chicken mixture over the top.
Garnish with chives, scallions and/or cilantro.  Enjoy!

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