Winner! Winner! Carnitas Dinner!

Leave a comment

This is going to be a super quick post, but I just HAD to share this one! I knew it would be a long day, and we’d want something awesome for dinner. Enter a pork loin, a crockpot, a killer rub recipe, some onions and green chiles…carnitas! I borrowed the recipe from Mom Gone Paleo – and served the pork with some avocado, spicy salsa, and some chopped lettuce and tomato. Hubby had some quinoa and black beans along with his. I have to admit, I did have one taco style with a corn tortilla, but realized it was totally unnecessary. I highly recommend this recipe – exactly as is. It’s very rare this happens, but I didn’t change a thing! I did cook the pork on low for 10 hours since I wasn’t home to drop the heat down. Hope you like this as much as we did!

Paleo Carnitas

Advertisements

There’s No Rice In There??

1 Comment

That’s what my husband said when I told him what he was eating for dinner wasn’t rice! I downloaded the book Well Fed in my quest to learn more about the paleo lifestyle, and it has not disappointed yet! I did my “weekly cookup” yesterday – I cooked a bunch of proteins, steam-sautéed some veggies, and stocked up my fridge with ready-to-go components to throw together quick meals. I was in the mood for something with curry tonight, so I took some onions, garlic, red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, pineapple, coconut milk, and curry powder and turned it into this:

Yum...curry!!

Yum…curry!!

Then I decided to try making cauliflower “rice” to go along with it. You see, my husband could eat rice all day every day. I think he could make a meal out of just rice with barbecue sauce. Actually, I think he’s done that before!! Anyway, when following the paleo style of eating, grains are a no-no. I’m already gluten-free, so rice is one of the few I still had in the house. I figured if I could get away with making cauliflower “rice” I just might be able to sneak this whole paleo thing past the hubby without too much fuss.

Here goes…. Take a head of cauliflower and cut it into florets, removing the stems. Throw it in the food processor and pulse it (10-15 times) until it looks like this:

Cauliflower "rice"

Cauliflower “rice”

Then, heat up some coconut oil in a large sauté pan and add some onions and garlic.

The base...

The base…

Now here’s where things get interesting… You can do this a million different ways. Tonight, I chose a curry version, so I added curry powder,  some chopped fresh pineapple, and a handful of chopped up roasted cashews – and sautéed that until fragrant.

photo 3

Add the seasonings…

Then add the “rice” and sauté 5 minutes or so, or until the cauliflower is tender, but not mushy. Adjust the seasonings as needed (salt/pepper/more curry), and voila!

 

Curry Cauliflower "Rice"

Curry Cauliflower “Rice”

It went perfectly with my quick curry – and I could totally see this being flavored many different ways depending on what I was making for dinner. It totally snuck past the husband until I told him it was cauliflower. Then he said he didn’t like it – but I think he just didn’t like the idea of it. He still ate more of it even after I told him!! I have a feeling cauliflower will be making more appearances as a stand-in for rice in my kitchen from now on!

In other exciting news – my blog is now included as part of the Gluten Free Global Community! I’m super excited! Just click on the button below and check out the many bloggers featured as part of this community. I’ve already found lots of great info through these folks, and I’m sure you will too!

ggfc_logo_final_out-298x300

Have you ever snuck an ingredient past someone??

What’s your favorite “stand-in” food?

Making Something from Nothing

2 Comments

Tonight was one of those nights. I had a meeting at work until almost 5:30, hit traffic on my commute home, headed to my trainer for a workout, and finally got home a little after 8:00 – and I was HUNGRY!

I looked in the fridge and even though I just went shopping, there wasn’t a whole lot going on in there. That was on purpose. I have a terrible habit of overbuying things at the store, and as a result, I have been known to throw out a lot of food. Not only am I trying to get my health on track, but my hubby and I have been working really hard at keeping our finances on track as well. This means budgeting, and trying to make the most of every dollar. We went through all of the cabinets over the weekend and took inventory of what we have, decided to donate some of the things we know we won’t use, and organize things so we can find them.

What I did have was the rotisserie chicken I bought at Costco the other day – cut up into pieces. I also had half of a red onion, some garlic, a few sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, frozen broccoli, and frozen brown rice. Oh yes…I can do something with this.

I sautéed the onion and garlic in a little bit of olive oil while I rehydrated the sundried tomatoes in hot water. Then I drained the tomatoes and added them to the olive oil. While all this was going on, I microwaved the rice and the broccoli. I added some black pepper, crushed red pepper, and oregano, then tossed in the broccoli and rice. The last thing I added was a little sprinkle of feta.

This is what I wound up with. Seems like I’ve been making a lot of veggie-infused rice lately, huh?? 🙂

I heated up a piece of the rotisserie chicken, put it on a plate with some of the rice, and dinner was on the table (so to speak) in a matter of about 10 minutes. Quick, inexpensive, and healthy. Can’t beat that!

Have you ever made something from nothing for dinner?

Funky Fried Rice

3 Comments
I was looking for something different to make for dinner a couple of weeks ago, and up popped on my Twitter feed a recipe from Whole Foods for Vegetable Brown Rice with Feta Cheese.  Their recipe served as my inspiration, but I went off a little on my own! I’ve even made it four different ways now, but this is the original one…
Tempeh-Veggie Brown Rice
1 bag Trader Joe’s Organic Power Greens (kale, spinach, chard)1 package tempeh1 bag frozen brown rice, heated according to directions (or use leftover cooked rice)

1/2 bag frozen veggies (heated through)
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
a few tablespoons of EVOO
Sea salt, black pepper, oregano, and crushed red pepper to taste
Crumbled feta cheese
White wine vinegar
Heat a large frying pan over medium – high heat. Saute the onions, garlic, and tempeh together until the tempeh starts to brown and the onions are translucent. Add the greens and saute until they wilt.
Add a splash of white wine vinegar. Add the veggies rice, salt, pepper, oregano, crushed red pepper, another splash of vinegar, and the feta. Heat through and serve.
This has become a once-a-week dinner at my house – often with enough for one lunch worth of leftovers. It’s really a quick, inexpensive dinner, and it’s gotten good reviews from my hubby and one of my besties – and she had it as leftovers! I’ve tried a few different things with it, and I think my favorite version is exactly as above, only adding some sliced shiitake mushrooms to the starting part with the onions and garlic. They add a little something that I can’t quite explain in any way other than to say they are yummy! I’ve also tried making it using coconut oil instead of olive oil – that was the way I last made it. YUM!! I once made an Asian-inspired version with the shiitakes added at the beginning, a frozen stir-fry veggie blend subbed in for the mixed veggies, a handful (or two!) of edamame, and instead of white wine vinegar I used a little soy sauce and rice vinegar. I did omit the feta for that one – don’t think that would have been very tasty…
I see this as one of those “clean out the produce bin” meals where you could add just about anything you want to it and still wind up with something tasty! I’d love to know if anyone tries another spin on this… 🙂
Do you have a dish that keeps coming back in different ways?

Lazy Dinner…

Leave a comment

We all have nights where we really don’t feel like cooking. There are even those nights when take-out is too much trouble. Besides – take-out usually equals too much fat, too much sodium, and too much guilt afterward!! I had one of those nights last night, so I decided to go through my pantry and see what I could find… (You’ll have to excuse my lack of pictures – I wasn’t thinking blog post as I was doing this!!)

I found a bag of vegetable radiatore pasta, a can of artichoke hearts, a jar of roasted peppers, a jar of manzanilla olives, 2 cans of water-packed tuna, a can of chickpeas, a jar of capers, and some vinaigrette. BOOM! Dinner! I boiled the pasta, chopped up the artichoke hearts, roasted peppers and a few olives, drained the chickpeas and tuna, took a couple of tablespoons of capers (drained), and a little of the vinaigrette and tossed it all together to make an AMAZING pasta salad! I also happened to have a little chunk of smoked mozzarella in the fridge, so I cut some into tiny cubes and sprinkled them over the top when I served it.  Quick, cheap, and healthy! Of course you could use whole wheat pasta (which I also had – but I just thought the veggie pasta was pretty!!), add whatever other veggies and stuff you want to. It was a definite hit in our house.

There’s always something healthy hanging around in the pantry…sometimes you just have to be creative to make a meal out of it!

What are some of your favorite pantry staples? Do you have any “toss it all in” recipes that you come back to often for a quick dinner?

Black Bean Mushroom Veggie Burgers

4 Comments

First things first… I have to apologize for the fact that this post has no pictures, but I promise I will come back and add them as soon as I have time to make this recipe again! I’m hoping that will be tomorrow, but I didn’t want to wait that long to post this. These veggie burgers ROCK! They are super simple to make, taste amazing, and don’t have a bunch of junk (read: genetically modified soy) in them. You can modify this recipe in lots of ways – but the base of the mushrooms and black beans is really what helps to make these satisfying and yummy!  Please make sure to comment if you try them!

Mushroom-Black Bean Veggie Burgers
Yield: 5-6 burgers

12 oz. cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (or your choice of oil)

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 egg
4 tbsp. chopped green chiles
1 tbsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 carrot, finely grated
4 tbsp. finely chopped red onion
4 tbsp. finely chopped bell pepper (I used yellow)
2 oz. finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Whole wheat bread crumbs (about ½ – ¾ cup)Place the mushrooms in food processor and pulse until texture resembles ground beef. Melt butter in large skillet. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook about 10 minutes, or until mushrooms release all liquid, then dry out (should resemble cooked ground beef). Allow to cool. Rinse out food processor bowl. Place black beans in food processor, and pulse until they are almost a paste. In a large bowl, combine black beans and all other ingredients except bread crumbs. Add bread crumbs until mixture begins to hold together. Form “burgers” using a ½ cup measuring cup for each portion. You should get 5-6 good sized burgers from a batch.

To cook:
Spray a large skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add burgers and cook 4-5 minutes on each side, or until heated through and browned on the outside. Serve with your favorite condiments!