Monday, April 30, 2012

Fresh Grilled Artichokes

On a recent date my husband and I enjoyed a grilled artichoke as an appetizer at a local beach cafe. We were surprised how much we enjoyed it. Of course my Kitchen Beast wheels were turning as I thought, "I could totally make this". I tried it out this past week and it was a hit! So get out your basting brushes and fire up your grill, you are about to enjoy some scrumptious food!

Fresh Grilled Artichokes
4-5 whole artichokes, trimmed and halved
1 lemon
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
2 T olive oil
Salt to Taste

Prepare the artichokes by cutting the stem so it is about 1 inch long. Cut the tops of each leaf as pictured:
When it is ready it will look like this:

Cut artichokes in 1/2. Cut lemon in 1/2 and squeeze out the juice (set aside for later). Slice lemon into quarters and add lemon and garlic to boiling water. Let cook for 15-20 min or until the artichokes are tender. Remove from water and let stand for 5 min allowing them to dry. In a small dish add lemon juice and olive oil. Brush mixture over artichokes and place on grill. Sprinkle with salt and grill each side until they start to brown. (Approx 3-5 min per side)

When they are finished cooking remove "hair" from the center of the artichoke before eating. Enjoy!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fresh Eggplant Lasagna

   I'll admit there are still some recipes I find that are "Paleo" but when I read the ingredients I think- "Gross!". This was one of those recipes. I really don't know why I thought it sounded so bad, but it did. Maybe it was me holding onto my old idea that lasagna is only good with lots of cheesyness and layers of those wavy noodles. Well, last weekend I was at Costco and I saw a bag of beautiful eggplants and I decided that I would finally try making Eggplant Lasagna. OH DUDE- why did I wait a year and a half to make it? Delish! If you have never tried making it- now is the time. Some recipes that I found called for some organic whole milk ricotta cheese, but I wanted to try this method first. If you have some you could always add it, and you won't be in trouble.

Fresh Eggplant Lasagna

1 lb ground beef
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 can organic marinara sauce
2-3 large eggplants

* Pre heat oven to 425 degrees

* Thinly slice eggplants long ways. These will become your "noodles"
* Brown ground beef adding salt and pepper to taste.

* Place eggplants on cooking sheet.  Bake in the oven for 4 min each side.

* In a large 9 x 12 baking dish layer eggplant, meat, and marinara. For each layer switch the direction of the eggplant. This will help the dish hold together.

* Bake in the oven for 12-15 min.

* Remove from the oven. Let it sit for 5 min before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Eat Fat Get Skinny

   As long as I can remember I was told, "Fat makes you fat!". I remember being in 7th grade, going to the vending machine after school, standing in front of the glass window and deciding between a Snickers Bar and Hot Tamales. I chose the Hot Tamales because they were, "Fat Free" so they were better for me. No wonder I struggled with my weight my whole life! That is until Paleo- thank heaven! One of the last  concepts for me to wrap my head around was that some healthy fat makes you skinny.  Check out this article by Robb Wolf explaining why fats are good for you and what kinds you should be eating. Skinny jeans, here you come!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Fresh Egg Tricks

Ever thought of BAKING your eggs to "hard boil" them? Me neither! My girlfriend shared this tip with me that she found on Pinterest. Here are the directions- you won't even need to write them down, they are that easy!

Fresh Egg Tricks

Simply Pre Heat your oven to 325. 
Place eggs on the rack long ways so the eggs don't roll. 
Cook for 30 min. 
Using an oven mitt remove eggs and place in ice water. 
Peel and Enjoy!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fresh Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Over spring break I had the TV on in the background as I was folding the laundry and putzing around the house. My attention was drawn in as I saw Ina Garten making this delicious looking salad. I googled the recipe, bought my ingredients and went to work. In no time at all my family was enjoying the tartness of the lemon, sweetness of the grapefruit and creaminess of the avocado. We paired it with some oven baked chicken for dinner and the flavors complimented each other well. The nice thing about this recipe is that the avocados are covered in the sauce so they don't turn brown. I also thought this would be amazing on a lettuce salad with some sliced chicken and a hand full of slivered almonds. Since I didn't make any modifications click here for the recipe. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What? Peanuts are not NUTS? Or Paleo!?!?!

Early on in your Paleo journey you probably discovered 2 things, 1- peanuts are not Paleo because 2-  peanuts are not nuts! Ok, who named them is what I want to know, but that is for another conversation. If you are looking for a clear and understandable explanation on WHY peanuts and especially peanut butters are not good for your body, check out this article by whole9. I have tried lots of other "butter" alternatives, but somehow missed the Sunbutter.  I am looking forward to trying it. See - you learn something new everyday!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Shortcakes

Nothing says spring to me more than Strawberry Shortcake. It is crowd pleaser and easy to prepare. I modified this recipe from the Gluten-Free Cookbook. You can make these biscuits to go with a breakfast sandwich, soup, or strawberries and whip cream, as I did here,  for a modification of the traditional Strawberry Shortcake.

Fresh Strawberry Shortcake

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup walnut, or coconut oil
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or if you have a silpat- no lining is necessary.

In a large bowl mix ingredients until completely blended. Drop batter onto baking sheet into desired biscuit size. I made mine about 2 inches wide.

Bake for 15-20 min or until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center of the biscuit comes out clean.

Add cleaned, and sliced strawberries and organic whipping cream. Enjoy!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fresh Blueberry Pancakes

Last week we celebrated 2 birthdays in our house. Breakfast in bed was of course on the docket. These are one of my FAVORITE things to make. They are so easy and delicious! Even when the nieces and nephews are over they gobble them up seeing first hand that Paleo food is scrumptious. I took the recipe from here and made some slight modifications.

Fresh Blueberry Pancakes 
1 1/2 Cups Almond Flour
1/4 Cup Coconut Milk
4 Eggs
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil (I ran out of the C.O. and used walnut oil I had on hand)
1/2 Tbs Vanilla
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
6 oz Blueberries (one small package)

Add all the ingredients, except blueberries, into large bowl. Stir until completely mixed. Fold in blueberries.

Spray non-stick spray on pan. Spoon batter into pan, cook over med to med-high heat. Flip when you see bubbles appear in the middle of the pancake.

Serve with organic butter and maple syrup. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fresh Paleo Thoughts

We have all met them, the people who take Paleo to a whole 'notha level. . . 
I am a lover of Paleo but I don't see a woolly toga in my future.

 For some fabulous tips on how to keep your Paleo lifestyle in check, read these ideas on common mistakes Paleo eaters make. Even if you find one thing on the list to improve, you are healthier and stronger than yesterday.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fresh Scrambled Eggs In A Cup

Ever had one of those mornings: you are late for work, you frantically open your fridge hoping there is some food you can scrap together to take with you only to find a half empty jar of salsa and some raw eggs? If you have access to a microwave you are in luck! A delicious snack/meal is on your horizon. Check out this simple and effective recipe for how to make yourself some scrambled eggs in a cup.

Fresh Scrambled Eggs In A Cup
Raw Eggs
Salsa, veggies, leftover meat (really anything you have on hand that you like to eat with eggs)
Salt/Pepper/Butter to taste. 

Crack raw eggs into your cup. Add salt and pepper. Place cup into the microwave. Cook for 30 second increments stirring each time until eggs are completely cooked. Cooking time depends on the number of eggs you use. Add extra ingredients to eggs and enjoy!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pepper Tricks!

Sometimes the best cooking tips come in how to prep your food! Dishes may be easy to cook, but time consuming to prepare. So here is a little pepper prepping tip for you. (Say that 10 times fast.) I have a friend, Matt that used to be a chef and he is always showing me these little gems. By using this technique most of the seeds will pop out of the pepper leaving you with more of the pepper to work with. Those pesky little seeds stick to everything don't they!?!

Place your thumb on the top of the pepper and apply gentle pressure to push in the stem. You will feel a pop and the stem will fall into the center.
Cut the pepper open. You will see the bulb with the seeds are attached to the stem.
Remove bulb with seeds attached and the rest of the pepper is ready for you to use.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Is Salt Really The Enemy?

For YEARS I have been told that salt is bad for you. At the dinner table as a child we had 2 salt shakers, the one with real salt for us and the one with fake salt for my dad. Maybe the culprit to our high sodium intake isn't the salt shaker on our tables, but the food in our pantries and the drinks in our refrigerators. Check out this article by Dr. Mike explaining the difference between adding salt to your meat at dinner and over consuming processed foods.

Let's just shake up the earth a little and throw out that fake salt and all the processed junk on our shelves. Revolutionary, and next time you eat a hard boiled egg, you just enjoy that salt sprinkled on it. :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fresh Meatballs

These tasty little nuggets are easy and delicious. They have a surprise ingredient, that takes it to another level: cinnamon. Maybe you all have been paring cinnamon with your ground beef for years, but it was new to me and surprisingly good! I modified the recipe from here. Feel free to use mine, hers or make it your own. If you find another idea, send it my way! I love to hear other people's ideas.

Fresh Meatballs
1 1/2 pound ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 T oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 T cinnamon
1 tsp onion powder
* The recipe called for 1 egg, I didn't use it and the meatballs turned out awesome and held together without any trouble.

Pre Heat Oven to 450 degrees

- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

- Roll meat into aprox 1 inch meatballs. Place onto cookie sheet.

- Cook for 15 min. About 1/2 way through I turned them so they didn't brown too much on one side.

- Remove from the oven and enjoy. Taking it to a party? Simply put the meatballs in a crock pot on low to keep warm.