Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods + The Recipe for Meat Loaf Muffins!

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Who’s got two thumbs and loves quick and easy comfort foods?

This tired mother!

Cooking From Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods (and The Recipe For Meat Loaf Muffins) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Although my dear hubby is off to New York on a business trip and I’m smack dab in the middle of another week of night shifts, there’s no excuse not to cook. I’m not saying it’s easy; as I’ve said before, I’m terrible at meal planning. But luckily, I’ve got a new weapon in my kitchen arsenal that helps procrastinators like me get nourishing, flavorful, real-food meals on the table with a minimum of fuss or muss: Julie and Charles Mayfield’s new cookbook, Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods!

Cooking From Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods (and The Recipe For Meat Loaf Muffins) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

After an early review copy of the Mayfields’ cookbook showed up in my mailbox, I immediately whipped out a bunch of sticky-notes and began bookmarking my favorite recipes. But can you blame me?

Since starting this blog, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people from the Interwebs, but Julie and Charles are two of my absolute favorites. Henry and I instantly bonded with this warm and gracious couple back at the inaugural Ancestral Health Symposium over our shared love of good food and belly laughs. Since then, every time we’ve seen Jules and Charles—whether it’s in L.A., Austin, Boston, or their home base in Atlanta—we’ve had more fun than a barrel of monkeys. And now, there’s a third Mayfield to enjoy!

Cooking From Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods (and The Recipe For Meat Loaf Muffins) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

It’s not just that the Mayfields are a lovely family—they’re also foodies of the first order. Longtime readers know that the kiddos and I had a great time cooking through their first cookbook, the wildly popular Paleo Comfort Foods, and their fried chicken remains one of our favorite recipes.

Remember the first time I made their chicken? (I can’t believe it’s been TWO YEARS since we shot this video. Where does the time go?)

What I love about Jules’ and Charles’ follow-up is that its pages are crammed with similarly rib-sticking recipes—but all of ‘em can be prepared from start to finish in a flash.

In the past week alone, I’ve made multiple batches of the Mayfields’ easy and delicious Meat Loaf Muffins (recipe below). This is hearty, portable fare at its simplest, and it’s fantastic for both dinner and as a packed lunch.

Cooking From Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods (and The Recipe For Meat Loaf Muffins) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

In fact, every time we finished eating a batch of Meat Loaf Muffins, Big-O demanded that I make more of ‘em because he liked munching on ‘em at school.

Cooking From Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods (and The Recipe For Meat Loaf Muffins) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Paleo Comfort Foods’ Farmer’s Pie

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The climate here in Northern California has suddenly turned arctic. Alright, the highs are still in the 70s and 80s, but I’ve started craving satisfying grub that warms me from the inside out. The other day, I grabbed Julie and Charles's aptly titled cookbook,  Paleo Comfort Foods, and found a recipe for Farmer’s Pie that perfectly fit the bill!

Farmer’s Pie is an adaptation of cottage pie, a rich ground beef stew topped with fluffy mashed spuds. This Paleo-friendly casserole is topped with mashed cauliflower and it’s gluten-free to boot!

Since I’m working graveyard shift this week, I divided the cooking process into three parts that I spread out over two days. Each cooking session lasted less than 20 minutes of hands-on time, which is just the right amount for my lazy ass. When I served it for dinner tonight, I was able to savor it ‘cause I wasn’t exhausted and frazzled from slaving away in the kitchen.

Wanna see how I tackled this recipe? Follow the jump!

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…And We Have Another Winner!

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STEPHANIE SCHILLING!

Congratulations — you’ve won a copy of Julie & Charles Mayfield’s fabulous cookbook, Paleo Comfort Foods! As for Part 2 of the prize, Big-O’s at school so he won’t be able to draw you a picture; instead, I’ll throw in a spice blend or two. Email me your mailing address! 

And thanks to everyone who entered the drawing! My next giveaway’s just around the corner, so stay tuned…

Giveaway Time! Win a Copy of Paleo Comfort Foods!

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Just because I love you AND Julie & Charles Mayfield’s awesome new cookbook, Paleo Comfort Foods, I’m gonna give one away! And it’s not ‘cause they profiled hubs and me as a Paleo Power Couple.

You, too, can make Paleo-friendly fried chicken, poached pears, creamed spinach, and whatever else tickles your fancy!

How do you enter? Just Tweet or post on my Facebook fan page your favorite Nom Nom Paleo recipe AND leave a comment on this post to let me know you did it. No comment, no entry!

The book has yet to ship to the adoring public — but you can win one from me and I’ll ship it to you myself with a NOTE and maybe a drawing from Big-O. (It’ll be worth something some day. Maybe.)

Deadline is Thursday, September 15 at 23:59 P.S.T., so get crackin’!

Paleo Comfort Foods’ Poached Pears

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Big-O has been pestering me to make this recipe ever since we first received the Paleo Comfort Foods Cookbook in the mail. He’s never eaten poached pears before and he’s not particularly a fan of the fruit, so I was perplexed as to why he wanted to make this dessert so badly. When I pushed him for an answer he would just retort, “You told me we could make anything in this cookbook and I want to make this one.” 

Little man, you’re just lucky I love you so much.

Here’s the original recipe (with my modifications in parentheses):

  • 3 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice (I used Odwalla O.J.)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 4 ripe but not mushy pears (I only had 3 pears)
  • 5 whole cloves (I didn’t have any)
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • parchment paper cut to fit the saucepan you’re using
  • zest of one orange (I didn’t have any)

Here’s how I made this dish:

The kids poured the juice, water, ginger, and cinnamon stick into a medium saucepan…

…while I peeled and cored the pears.

I used a melon baller to scoop out the core from the bottom of the pear…

…making sure the core and seeds were all removed.

We dunked the pears in the poaching liquid…

…topped the pot with a piece of parchment paper…

…and brought the liquid to a simmer. The pears poached in the liquid for about 30 minutes or until soft but not mushy.

I removed the pears with a slotted spoon…

…and brought the poaching liquid to a boil. Then, I turned down the heat so the liquid would simmer and reduce by half, or until it became syrupy.

I removed the cinnamon stick and ginger and poured the sauce over the pears. I stored the pears in the poaching liquid in the fridge and served them cold.

We offered the pears to our kids and their cousins for dessert and they LOVED them! Who knew kids would like poached pears? 

Paleo Eats: 9/2/11 (& Another Peek At Paleo Comfort Foods!)

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It’s Friday, so that means I got my WOD on at the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto again! Yippee!

Before class, I fueled up by eating a couple fried eggs topped with chopped tomato and avocado.

Post-WOD, I ate a nuked yam as my post-workout meal.

A couple hours later, I chowed down a mess of fried mini Turkish sliders and a salad with greens, tomatoes, carrots, and sugar snap peas.

After running errands all afternoon, I came home and starting cooking again.

I formed a bunch of mini Turkish sliders from the meat I seasoned yesterday…

…and stored them in the freezer. I purposely made these patties really small so that they’d fry up quickly and wouldn’t require a dunk in the SousVide Supreme.

For dinner, I was dead set on making the fried chicken from the new Paleo Comfort Foods’ cookbook and recruited Big-O as my sous chef.

If you’re too lazy to read the rest of the post, watch the video below:

We mixed the seasoned almond meal batter…

…dipped the chicken drumsticks in the egg wash…

…dredged them in the almond meal batter…

…fried them in coconut oil..

…and popped them in the oven to finish cooking.

To accompany the fried chicken, I roasted cauliflower in the toaster oven…

and nuked a bag of sugar snap peas.

Here’s my dinner plate:

The fried chicken was totally yummy and I was able to get everything on the table in about 45 minutes. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Winner, winner, Paleo dinner!

I’m so frexcited that there are so many Paleo cookbooks in the turnpike (e.g. Primal Palate’s Make it Paleo and Melicious’s Well Fed)! At this rate, I’ll never have to come up with my own recipes again!

Paleo Eats: 9/1/11 (& A Peek At Paleo Comfort Foods!)

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As I type this blog post, I’m already nodding off (I’m so, so sleepy…) so I’ll keep this one short and sweet like yesterday’s…

This morning, while getting the kids ready for school, I gobbled up half a piece of leftover sous vide short rib…

green beans, and a couple spoonfuls of coconut butter. I spent the morning helping out at Lil-O’s preschool — the kiddies are so cute! — so I didn’t get a chance to eat until I got home at 1:00 p.m. 

For lunch, I grabbed some green chicken and Asian cauliflower fried rice from the fridge. Hooray for leftovers!

Afterwards, I threw together a batch of Turkish slider burgers and stuck the seasoned mutton and beef in the fridge before picking up Big-O from school. I haven’t decided if we’ll serve them this weekend or just freeze ‘em for later.

The rest of the day was spent driving the kids to wushu class and and rushing back home to host a playdate. By late afternoon, I was TOTALLY beat. 

But then the mailman came — and he was bearing gifts! I was super stoked to find an advance copy of Julie and Charles Mayfield’s new cookbook, Paleo Comfort Foods!

I tore through the packaging, desperate to get my grubby hands on this tome. Why? Because after hanging out, dining, and chatting about food with this lovely couple at AHS, I knew I’d met two kindred spirits. Let me tell you, they KNOW their food and have impeccable palates. And they’re pretty hilarious, too!

Their new cookbook’s a beauty and I immediately thumbed through it to find something I could make for dinner. 

Yeehaw!

I had all the ingredients to make Charles’ and Jules’ creamed spinach…

…so I whipped that up as a tasty side dish to accompany my reheated sous vide short ribs.

Yep — I ate the same protein for both breakfast and dinner, but who says no to sous vide short ribs? Not this tired mommy.

The creamed spinach was yummerific and SUPER EASY! I’m literally going to study Paleo Comfort Foods tonight and put Post-Its on all the recipes I’m gonna try. Good eats await!

p.s. Paleo Comfort Foods officially drops on September 12th but pre-order it now!