Roasted Green Beans

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Before anyone gets on my case about whether green beans are Paleo, I eat them when they’re in season because they’re more pod than bean, and because Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, and Whole9 say it’s a-OK. So there.

My favorite way to cook these green pods is to roast them in a hot oven after they’ve been tossed with melted fat and lightly drizzled with fish sauce. When they come out of the oven, they’re tender yet roast-y, and a spritz of citrus ties everything together. 

Here’s what to gather to feed 4 people as a side dish:

  • 1 pound green beans, stem ends removed
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, ghee, or fat of choice
  • 1 teaspoon Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice from half a lime or lemon

Here’s what to do:

Preheat the oven to 450°F with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Grab your washed and trimmed green beans and make sure they are bone dry.

Throw them on the baking sheet and coat the green beans with fat, fish sauce, and a few grinds of pepper.

Arrange the beans in a single layer on the tray…

…and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing the beans at the midway point.

The beans are ready when the skins are wrinkly and dotted with browned spots. Squeeze on the juice from half a lime or lemon and serve immediately.

Dinner In An Hour: Sous Vide Organic Rib Eye Steak, Mash,Green Beans, & Gravy

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Think serving steak with all the fixings is hard to do on a weeknight? Think again! With a little sous vide magic and pre-planning, I managed to get dinner on the table in under an hour. That sound you hear? It’s me patting myself on the back.

Here’s how I tackled dinner:

When I got home from work this morning, I took out a couple of Costco purchased organic beef rib eye steaks from the fridge. I dried the meat with paper towels, seasoned with Sagemary finishing salt and freshly ground black pepper…

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…and vacuum sealed them.

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Okay — these babies aren’t grass fed, but I wanted to try them out because they were reasonably priced and I miss the unctuous, fatty taste of grain fed beef.

I heated the SousVide Supreme to 129 F and plopped in my two steaks. I was going to let them bathe until I woke up at 5:00 p.m (~ 8hours).

I also vacuum sealed some Dukka-seasoned pork chops…

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…and Tabil-seasoned chicken breasts.

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I was going to put these packets in the SousVide Supreme after I took out the steaks in the evening.

Then, I took a Lunesta and conked out. (Lunesta is badass but it leaves a terrible taste in your mouth when you first swallow it…)*

When I woke up in the evening, I assembled the ingredients to make herb gravy

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…with sautéed mushrooms and leeks.

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I dumped the broth, onions, dried thyme, and garlic into a small saucepan and simmered everything for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, I steamed some cauliflower florets and garlic to make garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes.” When they were softened, I pureed them in the Cuisinart with some extra virgin olive oil, grated nutmeg, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. 

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I also dumped a pound of trimmed green beans into my Corningware and nuked them until tender. When they were done, I tossed on some extra virgin olive oil, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

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With my veggies out of the way, I focused my attention on the main event: THE MEAT. I took the steaks out of the SousVide Supreme and dried them. After heating a couple tablespoons of lard in my 12-inch cast iron skillet, I seared the steaks…

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…for 2 minutes on each side. Look at that nice char!

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After I plated the steaks…

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…I threw the sliced leeks and mushrooms into the cast iron skillet and sautéed them with some salt and pepper.  By this time, the herb gravy was ready to be pureed, so I dumped the contents of the saucepan into the Vitamix and blitzed the sauce for 30 seconds. When the mushrooms were nice and browned, I poured in the herb gravy and let it simmer for a few minutes.

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Voila! Here’s my steak dinner with three side dishes — all done in about an hour.

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Costco’s organic steaks tasted pretty good. I always get better results from my SousVide Supreme when I use grain-fed cow parts. Don’t worry; I chased it down with a shot of fish oil.

*UPDATE 3/22/13: I don’t use Lunesta anymore or any other prescription sleep aid. This post was from more than 2 years ago and my daytime sleep routine has improved a lot. 

Day 27 of Whole30 Eats

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Today was a fairly typical full-time-mommy-mode day. After walking to school with the kids to drop off the older one, we came home. While the little guy entertained himself with his ever-expanding collection of Thomas the Tank Engine trains, I re-heated some leftover seasoned ground beef, garlic cauliflower puree and mixed veggies.

After scarfing down my breakfast, the two of us went to the park and synthesized some vitamin D while we goofed around on the swings and jungle gym. At lunchtime, we swung by the school to pick up the kindergartner and then headed home to eat.

For my lunch, I made a salad with a bunch of items I’d prepared yesterday, including mixed greens, roasted bell peppers, roasted beets, a hard-boiled egg, sous vide pork chop, cucumbers, and shredded carrots.

It’s a snap to whip together a meal when your ingredients are ready to eat. I gotta keep this in mind the next time I’m feeling too lazy for meal prep.

By the time lunch was done, I was already thinking about dinner.

The Food Lover’s Primal Palate just posted a tantalizing recipe for Paleo spaghetti and meatballs on their blog — and that’s EXACTLY what my older son has been nagging me to make this past week. (Okay, he didn’t specify that it had to be Paleo. Whatever.) So after I put the three-year-old down for a nap, the six-year-old and I began making Paleo meatballs for dinner. 

We gathered up the ingredients…

…and set to work.

My kiddo helped blitz the onions — though his itchy trigger finger lingered a bit too long on the “pulse” button, which just about liquefied the onions.

Another unwanted side effect: The whirring of the mini-prep woke up the napping rugrat (sigh), who then decided to groggily join our kitchen antics. 

See his bed head? He gets that from his dad.

After we incorporated the onions and other ingredients into the meat and formed the raw meatballs, we stowed ‘em in the fridge and drove off to the big kid’s kung fu class.

When we got home, I began making dinner in earnest by preheating the oven to 350 F and grabbing the meatballs out of the fridge. After sitting in the refrigerator for three hours, the slushy wetness of the too-finely-minced onions had combined with the meat to produce some brown ooze which pooled around the balls o’ meat. The stuff congealed as the meatballs baked. Not pretty. Next time, I’ll make sure the onions aren’t pulverized to death, and if they are, I’ll just add a little coconut flour to absorb the moisture.

While the meatballs browned in the oven, I sautéed some sliced mushrooms…

…and added half a jar of store-bought sauce.

Sorry folks, but I’m too lazy to make my own marinara sauce. I love Rao’s but Cucina Antica is tasty, Paleo-compliant, and cheaper to boot.

I simmered the sauce and mushrooms for a few minutes and set it aside until the meatballs were finished.

Then, I cooked up some green beans to go with the meatballs. I don’t really like the texture of spaghetti squash and I wasn’t gonna go out and buy one.

Since the meatballs weren’t super browned at the 25-minute mark (due to the excess moisture), I cranked on my broiler and blasted them for an additional 4 minutes. When I took them out…

…I scraped off the aforementioned goo around the meatballs…

…and tossed the meatballs in the sauce.

I plated the meatballs with some green beans and we dug in.

These meatballs were really easy and yummy — my favorite combination! (I mean, who in their right mind wants difficult and gross?) I can’t wait to revisit this dish and rectify the minor mistakes we made today. My older son was beaming with pride over the meatballs he made AND he wolfed down two helpings. Of course, the younger one didn’t like it at all (he covered his mouth with the crook of his arm and refused a second bite) but that’s another story entirely. He’s one stubborn mo-fo. We’re just relieved that he’s willing to eat scrambled eggs now, albeit reluctantly.

Thanks Bill and Hayley for another great kid-friendly recipe!

Super Quick Lunch At Home: Sous Vide Chicken and Green Beans

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Since I spent the morning prepping vegetable side dishes for our X-mas Eve dinner, I had no time to make an elaborate lunch.

Eff-that. I didn’t WANT to make an elaborate lunch today.

Luckily, I had a leftover sous vide chicken breast in my fridge. For my meal, I nuked some frozen green beans in a bowl, topped it with cold shredded chicken breast and Primavera salsa.

To make sure I wouldn’t get hungry too soon, I also scarfed down a handful of coconut flakes.

Dinner Back at Home: Smoked Pork Chop, Green Beans, and Braised Cabbage

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For my first meal back home, I heated up a frozen Fatted Calf smoked pork chop in my SousVide Supreme (set at 130 F) for 30 minutes. While the chop heated in the bath, I nuked some leftover braised cabbage and some frozen green beans and butter which I later seasoned with salt and Dukka.

I took the chop out of the vacuum pack, dried it off, and seared it in my cast iron skillet in some melted lard.

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Here’s my final plate (Fitbomb and I split the chop):

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Maybe I’m nuts, but I thought smoked pork chops were already cooked. That’s why I only set my SousVide Supreme to 130 F. Our chop, post-searing, was really rare, especially right near the bone. When I heat up our last chop in the freezer, I’m gonna set the water bath to 140  F before I sear it.

How’d it taste? Nice and smoky with hints of hard cider.

Sous Vide Lamb Chops: It’s What’s For Dinner

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I got six beautiful lamb chops gifted to us last night so I sous vided them for dinner tonight.

Aren’t these pretty?

I seasoned them with some Dukka, salt, and pepper…

… and then vacuum sealed them.

At 3:30 p.m., I popped them in my SousVide Supreme (set at 130 F) so they’d be ready to take out in 2 hours.

Here are the chops straight outta the bath.

Not so pretty but trust me, it gets better.

I heated a couple tablespoons of lard in my cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and I seared them for 1½ minutes on each side..

…and then I seared the fatty edge for about a minute.

See? I told you they’d be pretty again — pretty tasty! (Sorry for the lame pun.)

I served the chops with Tabil seasoned roasted cauliflower in lard. I set the oven to 400 F on convection roast and tossed the florets every 15 minutes until they were nice and toasty on the outside and tender on the inside (~35 minutes total).

From now on, I’m gonna be roasting my veggies with lard in our oven set on convection roast.

For my second veggie side, I took some frozen haricot verts out of the freezer, threw on 2 pats of butter, and nuked the dish for 3 minutes.

Then, I seasoned them with salt and pepper.

Here’s my finished plate:

The chops were yummy. I actually think these lamb lollipops would’ve tasted better if I’d roasted them the  conventional way in the oven (more crispy, rendered fat).  But that would take a skilled chef. Sous vide ensured that I didn’t waste this wonderful meat.

Thanks H & B! You guys are the best!