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Mardi gras maskMardi Gras is on Tuesday, February¬†21. No need to feel left out just because you are on Primal and don’t eat beans, rice or wheat flour roux. There are plenty of options for Primal Cajun food.

  • Try my “Gumbo” Stir Fry. Now that you are off wheat, you may like it better than “real” gumbo. Lots of my other recipes would work just fine for your celebration too. (I like spicy food.)
  • Primal Jambalaya sounds good, although I have never made it. Honestly, though, I would use rice not cauliflower. It’s Mardi Gras after all!
  • How about Spicy Shrimp?
  • Add some greens cooked in bacon fat, with plenty of red pepper flakes or other heat.
  • Yams/sweet potatoes with lots of butter.
  • Oysters?
  • Personally, if I wanted red beans, I would have them but considering the above, why?

By the way, in New Orleans and other places with Mardi Gras celebrations, they don’t wait until Fat Tuesday to start partying. Let the good times roll!

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FrittersClearly not Primal nor Paleo. OK for Archevore I think. Recipe is adapted from the February 2012 Prevention magazine. (One of the few things I have ever gotten out of Prevention. I was given a subscription.) I served with Cajun spiced fried chicken breasts and sweet potatoes. The fritters, themselves, are vegetarian.

Ingredients

  • 1 plantain or 2 bananas, mushed. I used bananas just barely ripe enough to mash.
  • 1/2 can Eden black beans, drained and slightly mushed. (Or homemade ones.)
  • 3/4 cup almond or coconut meal. (Original uses cornmeal, which I did too.)
  • 1 large free range egg.
  • Juice from 1/2 lime.
  • 2 chopped green onions.
  • Salt (optional).
  • Virgin coconut oil.

Directions

  1. Stir together beans and plantain or banana.
  2. Mix in meal, egg, onions, lime juice and salt.
  3. Heat coconut oil in large skillet on medium high heat.
  4. Drop heaping tablespoons in skillet and fry until golden on each side.

The image is a stock photo of fritters. I did not take a picture of mine and could not find a bean fritter stock photo.

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Meatloaf

Ok. It isn’t quite head to tail but it gives you some animal parts you might not otherwise get. Many ingredients are shown as optional. Add whatever you like.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 cup crushed pork rinds
  • 1 packet of Knox gelatin
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1 grated carrot (optional)
  • 2 stalk of celery, minced (optional)
  • 1 onion, minced (optional)
  • 1 cup of chopped bell pepper (optional)
  • Salt, pepper, herbs, spices to taste
  • Some tomato sauce or ketchup (optional)
  • Tamari (1 or 2 tablespoons, optional)
  • A bit of chopped liver? (Optional. I do not use.)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to about 375.
  2. Mix tomato product, tamari and eggs.
  3. Sprinkle on gelatin. Let sit.
  4. Saute onion, celery and bell pepper lightly in oil.
  5. Mix everything together.
  6. Line baking pan with parchment paper.
  7. Form meat mixture into two loaves and place in pan.
  8. Top with ketchup (optional).
  9. Bake for about an hour (or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees).

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Bowl of guacamoleMy guacamole has never turned out to be very interesting, until now. On a whim, I mixed avocado, lime juice and sriracha sauce, a spicy Thai paste of hot peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. (The sriracha known as “rooster sauce” in the U.S. is Vietnamese, made by a Vietnamese immigrant. But my Thai daughter-in-law uses it.) Ignore the “sugar” – you can’t eat enough sriracha to be harmed by the sugar unless you are Thai, Mexican or a person from some other heat-loving culture. (Joke. Not even if you are.)

Ingredients

  • Avocado(s)
  • Lime juice, maybe one teaspoon per avocado
  • Sriracha sauce. Start with a small dash and adjust

Directions

  • Peel and roughly smash the avocado
  • Mix in lime juice and sriracha.
  • Taste and adjust

You could add cumin, cilantro, tomato, onion or something else. I didn’t have them. And the recipe stands on its own. My approach to guacamole is K.I.S.S.

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Roasted Vegetable Stew

Vegetables and stew

by Art Favor

Primal hasn’t changed my tastes all that much, unlike some people’s. And I do eat potatoes. But the traditional mushy stew doesn’t do much for me now. I wouldn’t turn it down on a cold, rainy night, but . . .

I wondered if there was a better way. The idea of roasting the veggies first seemed promising. I adapted the one that popped up most often in Goggle.

Note: The recipe I adapted called for roasting the meat for 30 minutes in the 450 degree oven. I tried that despite knowing I shouldn’t. The meat came out tough. This recipe is based on how I do stir fry. I lightly brown something tender before adding liquids.

If you want to roast the meat, do it around 300 degrees. That will mean roasting the veggies longer. Alternatively, you can start simmering tough meat with broth or water when you start roasting the vegetables.

Ingredients
(Use whatever root vegetables you have on hand. This is what I used.)

  • 1 lb tender stew meat. I used grass-fed beef.
  • 2 med. parsnips, scrubbed and sliced into rounds.
  • 2 med. carrots, scrubbed and sliced into rounds.
  • 1 med. leek, sliced and washed.
  • 6 tiny blue potatoes, scrubbed.
  • 6 med. mushrooms, brushed off.
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced.
  • Whole peeled garlic cloves. As many as you dare.
  • 1/2 cup red wine.
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste.
  • Thickener, I used corn starch. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Use something else or skip if you want.)
  • Olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. (I didn’t use any. Roasting really concentrates the flavor of the veggies.)
  • Water.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a rack around the middle.
  • Put veg. in roasting pan and brush with olive oil.
  • Put pan on lower rack in oven.
  • Mix wine, tomato paste and thickener (if used).
  • After 30 minutes, check the veggies. Don’t let them get too brown.
  • Put a dutch oven on the stove, heat until nearly smoking and add the beef. Fry until just brown. Do two batches if necessary to avoid crowding.
  • Turn burner down to med. low. Add wine/tomato/thickener and stir.
  • Take veggies out of oven and add to meat.
  • Add water as needed.
  • Taste and add salt and/or pepper if desired.
  • Cook for just a few minutes and serve.

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Cottage pieThere are lots of nice Primal/Paleo “comfort foods” such as cottage (aka shepard’s) pie made with cauliflower. (Google for comfort food paleo OR primal.) For some of us, that isn’t going to cut it when we need comfort. I love cauliflower. And when I need cottage pie, I need mashed potatoes.

Some people are cerebral. They really don’t know what an emotion is, really, they don’t. They can decide what they are supposed to feel and convince themselves they feel that way. Despite the fact that 4 billion humans (roughly) love white rice, these people can brainwash themselves to believe that it is tasteless or disgusting. What arrogance! But maybe that’s what they have to do.

When you have to have some carbs, have some potatoes rather than grains. If you try to deprive yourself, you will probably crash and stuff your face with Twinkies. (If you are reading this and don’t understand what I’m saying, just click the back button.)

I am emotional. Very emotional. When I want potatoes, I eat potatoes. As it happens, I think that they are great paleolithic food. But I would eat them even if they were marginally Primal as Mark says they are.

Cottage pie contains ground beef (or other grinded up animal), onions, carrots, celery, other vegetables that a cottager might grow, salt, pepper, maybe some herbs, and mashed potatoes. Maybe some cheese on top. It does not contain exotic vegetables, wine, sun-dried tomatoes or other yuppy food.

Here is a basic, down-to-earth recipe from Cooking for Engineers. Skip or replace the tablespoon of flour if you like. I would use more butter and substitute heavy cream for the potato water.

If you were raised on Mexican foods like I was, maybe you need refried beans and tortillas. Eat them. Prepare your beans the traditional way or buy a brand like Eden Foods that does it for you. And get the best corn tortillas you can find.

Maybe what you need is white rice. I have to avoid it because it sends my blood sugar sky high and it is also hard to stop at a reasonable amount. But I have it once a week. If you need it, get a really good type like basmati or jasmine. Most folks on Primal eat sushi once in a while.

Yes, there are other ways to deal with stress. Search Mark’s Daily Apple for stress. But sometimes those are not enough. Better to have some mashed potatoes, refried beans or white rice than to give up on Primal.

Image © Ukrphoto | Dreamstime.com

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Mexican, Caribbean, South American style stew. By adding broth you could make this a soup.

Ingredients:Squash stew

  • Winter squash cubed. I used butternut.
  • Chopped onions. I used red.
  • EVOO, lard or other fat.
  • Meat cubed. I used bison. Pork would be good.
  • Chipotle in adobo sauce and chilies, however much you dare. Or chipotle powder. Use smoked paprika for a milder dish.
  • Chopped up tomatoes.
  • Pinto beans, drained (optional). I used 1/2 can of Eden Foods traditionally soaked ones.
  • Dash of oregano (to taste).
  • Dash of cumin (to taste).
  • Salt (optional).
  • Pepper (optional).
  • Whatever else sounds good. Maybe greens.

Directions

  1. Steam or microwave squash until slightly tender.
  2. Lightly fry onions and meat in fat.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and cook for a while.
  4. Adjust seasonings.

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