Nom Nom Paleo

Stir Fried Napa Cabbage with Mushrooms and Bacon

Pin It

To celebrate Chinese New Year, I finished off my hunk of Fatted Calf slab bacon by making a Napa cabbage stir fry with diced bacon, thinly sliced onions and cremini mushrooms. Doesn’t sound like a Chinese dish to you? Tough. Gung Hay Fat Choy, buddy.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • Small head of napa cabbage, sliced crosswise into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ cup diced bacon
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces of cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chicken broth

Here’s what I did:

I assembled the ingredients…

…heated a large cast iron skillet to medium and threw in the bacon.

The piece of bacon I had was pretty meaty and I sliced it pretty thick, so it was more like sautéing ham matchsticks as opposed to crisping thin slices of bacon.

Then, I added the onions (with some salt and pepper) and cooked them until they were translucent.

Once the onions were softened, I added the sliced mushrooms (with some salt and pepper) and sautéed them until the moisture had cooked off.

I put in the Napa cabbage…

…and splashed in some chicken broth.

I placed a lid on the skillet and lowered the heat to medium low. I simmered the dish for about 5-10 minutes until the cabbage softened to my preferred tenderness. I did a final taste for seasoning and adjusted with salt and pepper.

Easy and tasty. In the future, I’ll scoop out the bacon before adding the onions and mushrooms because the fatty part gets kind of rubbery. Because the bacon I used was more like ham, it wasn’t a problem. If I were using thin bacon, I’d definitely fish out the bacon and sprinkle the crispy pork bits on top after I finished the dish.

Fridge Staple: Trader Joe’s Southern Greens Blend

Trader Joe’s ready-to-cook bags of Southern Greens Blend are a handy staple to stock in your fridge. I love me some hearty dark green leafy vegetables, but it can be a pain to remove all the stems and wash and chop the leaves prior to cooking them. And I’m all about shortcuts in the kitchen!

Tonight, I dumped two bags of the ready-to-cook greens into a pot of salted boiling water and let them simmer, covered, for ~5 minutes. Then, I drained and rinsed the greens and squeezed out as much liquid as possible. (Yes, it’s crossed my mind that I’m boiling out all the nutrients, but the fine folks at Cook’s Illustrated insist this is the best way to cook tough greens).

Normally, I’d throw in some bacon or ham, but since they’re off limits while on the Whole30 program (which ends TOMORROW!), I slowly caramelized a thinly sliced onion in melted lard before adding the blanched greens. 

The result? A super-easy and delicious accompaniment to a big plate of pig!

Quick Lamb Burgers Topped With Fried Egg and Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms and Onions

Pin It

There’s nothing I like more than waking up in the evening to the delicious aroma of seared meat. (For all you newbies, I’m not sleeping away the day because I’m lazy or depressed — I’m a shift worker.) Today was my lucky day: not only did my hubby entertain the kids all day, he also made dinner! I’m telling you, when someone else makes dinner, the food takes on a mysterious, MSG-like, flavor-enhancing quality.

What was on the menu? Butter-lettuce wrapped grass fed New Zealand lamb burgers topped with a fried egg, homemade guacamole, sautéed mushrooms and onions — with roasted carrot fries on the side. As an added bonus, dinner was on the table in around 30 minutes, which was just enough time for me to do a quick metcon workout (lots and lots of burpees!) while the kids caught an episode of Scooby Doo on the boob tube.

Here’s what the husband assembled for dinner:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 frozen grass fed lamb patties
  • 1 large avocado
  • ½ pound of shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 leaves of butter lettuce (I like using Live Gourmet brand with the roots attached. The heads stay fresher longer and are grown pesticide-free)
  • Handful of shredded carrots (optional garnish)
  • 5 or 6 carrots
  • Coconut oil and/or avocado oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper

Here’s how he made the burgers:

Earlier in the day, the boys hit Whole Foods and stocked up on Atkins Ranch New Zealand frozen lamb patties (which happened to be on sale — $4.99 for each package of two patties).

When they returned from the store, Mr. Mom put a two-pack in the fridge to defrost and put the rest in the freezer. If you forget to defrost them, you can take the patties straight from the freezer and use the defrost function on the microwave to thaw them. (But be careful defrosting meat in the microwave because if you’re not watching it like a hawk, you’ll end up cooking part of it.)

About an hour before he started making dinner, he took the patties out of the fridge and seasoned them liberally with salt and pepper.

Per Thomas Keller, you should always bring your meat up to cool room temperature before cooking to get the best results. But don’t be dumb and leave it at room temp for half a day or your meat’ll become a veritable petri dish of badness.

At around 5:00 p.m., hubs prepped his veggies and popped a tray of carrot “French fries” tossed with avocado oil, salt, and pepper into the toaster oven (400 F for about 25 minutes).

Then, he made some guacamole by simply smashing up the avocado with some salt and pepper. Personally, I like to add a squirt of lemon or lime juice but I swear I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth!

Next, hubby heated a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat and sautéed the onions until they were translucent. He added the sliced shiitake mushrooms along with some salt and pepper and sautéed everything until all the liquid had evaporated.

At the end, he tossed in the minced garlic and stirred the veggies around for about 30 more seconds. If you toss the garlic in earlier, you’ll burn it — and burnt garlic adds a yucky metallic taste to everything.

Once the mushrooms and onions were finished, he rinsed and dried out the skillet, added another dollop of coconut oil and set it over medium-high heat. When the oil was shimmering, he added the lamb patties to the pan.

He seared them for about 4 minutes on each side and checked that the internal temperature was ~ 145 F with our handy-dandy meat thermometer.

Finally, he rinsed the skillet again before frying a couple of eggs in some melted coconut oil.

He plated the burgers over the butter lettuce and topped ‘em with sliced tomato, fried egg, shredded carrots, guacamole, and sautéed mushrooms and onions. By this time, the roasted carrot fries were finished…

…so we sat down and scarfed down dinner.

Bun-less burgers can be pretty messy to eat, so I ate mine with a fork and knife since I’m a cavegirl with good manners. My husband, however, didn’t seem to mind the meat juices running down his hands and forearms as he devoured his burger.

These Paleo lamb burgers were fan-effing-tastic. Cavemen, make this meal for that special someone in your life and I promise that the 30 minutes you spend will be repaid in sex. Er, I mean spades.

Sautéed Cabbage and Onions with Smoked Wild Alaskan King Salmon

Pin It

This morning, I discovered a sad little 1-pound cabbage languishing in our vegetable crisper. It was too small for my favorite braised cabbage recipe so I decided to sauté it up with some butter and sliced onions.

I love onions sautéed in butter…

Once the onions were translucent, I added my coarsely chopped cabbage.  I used my little 8-inch cast iron skillet, but it’s really too small for a pound of cabbage — I’ll use a bigger one next time. I seasoned everything with salt and pepper and mixed everything around so the fat would be well distributed.  Then, I lowered the heat to low and plopped on a lid for a few minutes so the cabbage would soften.

I topped half of the cabbage with some smoked wild Alaskan king salmon and kept the other half for one of my packed lunches during my workweek.

Yummy! (The salmon was a little on the salty side, but hey — that’s how smoked salmon tastes.)

Easy Paleo Frittata

Pin It

You can essentially turn any leftover meat into a frittata.  All you do is dice up the meat, chop up some veggies (frozen veggies are perfect), sauté them in an oven-safe skillet, add some eggs and dairy/coconut milk, and pop it all in the oven until it sets.  You can add herbs, sautéed onion, minced garlic, whatever! You can decide how fancy you wanna be. 

Here’s just one example of how you can throw together a simple frittata.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or fat of choice
  • 1 cup emergency protein (whatever cooked meat you have on hand)
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli (or any leftover or frozen veggies)
  • 4 large pastured eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper

First, preheat the toaster oven to 350°F and heat the coconut oil in an 8-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Then, add whatever protein you have on hand (here, I used some leftover spicy lamb merguez sausage and onions) to the skillet and stir-fry until heated through.

Meanwhile, place the frozen broccoli in a medium microwave-safe bowl, cover it with a wet paper towel and nuke it until it’s thawed. Use a pair of kitchen shears or a knife to cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces.

Add the broccoli to the ingredients in the pan and mix to cook thoroughly.

Crack the eggs into a medium bowl, and add the coconut milk, salt, and a few grinds of pepper.

Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the bottom of the frittata is set.

Place the skillet in the oven. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, and then crank the heat up to broil for another 2 minutes or until the frittata puffs up and is cooked all the way through.

Carefully transfer the frittata to a plate, slice, and serve.

The frittata is delicious cold so it’s perfect for leftovers!

Braised Escarole with Onions

Pin It

I got a big ass escarole in my CSA box last Friday, so I looked in my trusty copy of Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone to see how best to tackle it. Yes, I’ll admit that when I was a misguided youth I went through a vegetarian phase but now I’m reformed. 

Her recipe for “Braised Escarole with Onion” seemed simple enough so I cooked some up, subbing in butter instead of olive oil.

Here’s what you need to wrangle up:

  • 1 large head of escarole (~2 pounds in all)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • salt and freshly milled pepper
  • vinegar of your choice

The first thing you need to is separate the escarole leaves and wash well (there can be lots of mud and dirt at the base of the inner leaves).  Drain and coarsely chop.

Heat the butter in a wide skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions until soft.

Throw in the garlic and stir around for ~ 30 seconds and then dump in the escarole (damp greens are good). Lightly salt the greens and onions and cook covered until the greens are wilted and tender (~12-15 minutes).  Season with salt and pepper and add a splash of your favorite vinegar.



About Michelle

    RECIPE INDEX

   WHOLE30 MEALS

   PACKED LUNCHES

   WHAT TO BUY

   VIDEOS

   WHAT’S PALEO?

   FREQUENTLY ASKED

   ABOUT ME

Nom Nom Paleo Cookbook


Nom Nom Paleo iPad App


Nom Nom Paleo Shirts


 Nom Nom Paleo Action Figure

Shop LunchBots