Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Krabby Patties

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[UPDATED March 30, 2012: I originally posted this recipe over a year ago, but I’ve finally gotten around to fixing the pics and fine-tuning the steps. Enjoy!]

Just like Paleo mayonnaise, there are lots of great Paleo-friendly recipes out in the blogosphere for crab cakes. In particular, The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate has a really awesome one as does Mark’s Daily Apple. Why am I adding another one to the mix? Well, variety is the spice of life and I’m on a mission to Paleo-ize a bunch of recipes in my favorite cookbooks.

Today, I decided to see if I could successfully adapt the crab cake recipe in my America’s Test Kitchen’s Family Cookbook. The original recipe uses both breadcrumbs and flour (which are verboten) so I subbed in some coconut flour instead. Also, I didn’t have any fresh herbs or Old Bay seasoning so I just used a dash of  Penzeys Sunny Paris seasoning.  The end results were fantastic. Now I know why Plankton is always trying to steal the recipe for Krabby patties.

Ingredients (Feeds 4):

  • 1 pound canned pasteurized super lump crabmeat
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut flour, plus more for dusting the cakes (~1/4 cup)
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Sunny Paris seasoning
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup Paleo mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

Whip up a fresh batch of Paleo mayonnaise if you don’t have some already…

…and reserve 1/4 cup.

Place a pound of fresh or drained canned crab meat in a large bowl.

(Handy tip: keep a couple of cans of crab meat in the fridge because they’re a steal at Costco and have a long shelf life. It’s great emergency food when you have no other protein available.)

Add coconut flour, scallions, Sunny Paris seasoning…


…mayonnaise, salt, and pepper.

Gently mix with a rubber spatula to combine the ingredients.

Line a platter with parchment paper…

…and divide the crab mixture into eight portions.

Form each one into a flat cake…

…and place them on the parchment-lined dish.

Refrigerate the cakes for 30 minutes to firm up.

Once the cakes are chilled, heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering…

Fill a shallow dish with coconut flour…

…and dredge each cake lightly with coconut flour.

Make sure you pat off the excess flour or the cakes will be too dry.

Fry the cakes in two batches…

…for about three minutes on each side.

Remove the finished cakes to a wire rack so they don’t get soggy.

Serve the Paleo Krabby Patties on a tangy slaw with some lemon wedges.

Roasted Turnips

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Turnips, similar to celery root, used to wallow at the bottom of my crisper whenever they’d show up in my veggie CSA box. Not anymore. I’ve discovered that they’re fantastic roasted in the oven. EVERY veggie is better roasted. 

Here’s what I gathered to serve 4 peeps:

  • 2 pounds of turnips, peeled (make sure you peel at least a layer past the skin because they can be fiber-y) and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of melted ghee (or your preferred fat)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Here’s what I did:

I preheated my oven to 425 F and I tossed my cut turnip cubes with melted ghee, salt, and pepper. Don’t worry if the ghee clumps up on your cold turnip cubes. It’s annoying but they’ll still roast nicely. I placed the cubes in a single layer on a foil-lined baking tray…

…and put them in the oven for 20-25 minutes, flipping the cubes halfway through. The finished turnips should be nicely browned and tender. 

Another yummy replacement for roasted potatoes.

Red Cabbage Slaw with Tangy Carrot Ginger Dressing

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I was inspired to make this cabbage slaw after reading the awesome ode to cabbage on CaveGirl Eats. She’s one smart and sassy cavegirl.

I love me some cabbage but I don’t always have 2.5 hours to make my favorite braised cabbage recipe. Sometimes I just wanna chop up a raw cabbage, throw on some dressing and be done with it. So that’s what I did tonight.

Here’s what I gathered to make enough slaw for 3 hungry adults:

  • ½ a red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • handful of toasted slivered almonds (optional)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of tangy carrot ginger dressing (recipe below)

Here’s how I made it:

I threw everything except for the avocados in a bowl and mixed it together.

You can let the slaw sit in the fridge for a few hours until you’re ready to eat it.

Right before I served the slaw, I tossed on the diced avocados so they wouldn’t get all brown and icky looking. Toasted almond slivers are another great addition to the slaw but don’t add them early because they’ll get soggy.

Here’s what I gathered to make about a cup of tangy carrot-ginger dressing:

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large carrots, chopped  
  • 1-inch knob of ginger
  • 2 scallions, whites only
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup Paleo mayonnaise
  • Salt and Pepper

I dumped the vinegar, carrots, ginger, scallions, and mustard into my Vitamix and blitzed everything until it was liquefied. Then, I added the mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste and blitzed on low until everything was combined.

I’m not gonna lie — the dressing is pretty tangy but the acidity is cut really well with the raw cabbage. 

Sous Vide Lamb Burgers

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I’ve been trying to branch out and soak new proteins in my SousVide Supreme. Today, I experimented with making lamb burgers in my water oven. Why? Well, my go-to guy for all things sous vide, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats’ Food Lab, has some compelling reasons why you should sous vide your burgers. What really sold me was his drool-worthy description of sous vide burgers:

We’re talking burgers that oozed juices for nearly a minute after biting into them. Burgers that were thick, juicy, and perfectly medium rare from edge to edge with crisp brown crusts. We’re talking nearly perfect burgers here.

Sheeeit! I want to eat one!

Here’s what I gathered to make four ¼-pound lamb burgers:

  • 1 pound of ground lamb
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of Tabil seasoning

Here’s how I made them:

I preheated my SousVide Supreme to 137 F (J. Kenji suggests 130 F for medium rare, 140 F for medium) and generously seasoned the ground lamb with salt and pepper. Then, I added the Tabil seasoning and gently mixed the meat to distribute the seasoning.

I divided the meat into 4 patties…

…and then froze them for two hours so my sucky-ass FoodSaver wouldn’t squash the patties too much when it was time to vacuum seal them.

After the patties solidified, I vacuum sealed them, two per bag.

I dunked them in the SousVide Supreme for about 2 hours (you can keep them submerged for 45 minutes up to 12 hours). Then, I took the patties out and dried them with paper towels.

After arranging the patties on a baking rack on top of a foil-lined tray, I busted out my kitchen torch.

According to Douglas Baldwin, you should aim your torch 4-6 inches away from your target and make small circular motions with your flame until you get a nice even char. I think I just like setting things on fire.


The burgers were pretty tasty, but not quite “perfect” because I like them closer to medium rare. Looks like I now have an excuse to try this again!

Next time, I’m gonna use a temp closer to 130 F and char the bleep out of them.

Sous Vide Soft-Boiled Eggs (First Attempt)

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I’ve always wanted to cook eggs in my SousVide Supreme but I’ve never made them until tonight. There’ve been lots of aborted attempts because by the time I want to make them I’m too dang hungry, tired, or impatient to wait an hour for the eggs to cook. Yes, you read that right. It takes at least 45 minutes to an hour to sous vide an egg.

Why the hell would you wait that long to cook an egg when you can fry one up in a couple minutes? Well, a perfectly cooked soft boiled egg is delicious and the only “cooking” you have to do is just drop an egg into the water oven and wait an hour. It can’t get any simpler than that!

Cooking soft-boiled eggs properly the conventional way is super tricky — 30 seconds can make the difference between a nice runny yolk and a hard yolk. Plus, with kids, I just don’t have the time to be as vigilant about my cooking as I used to be. Er, yeah, it’s the kids’ fault…

What is the “perfect” temperature to sous vide an egg? That’s hard to say because it’s so subjective – some people like runnier yolks while others like them more custardy. After searching my cookbook library and the interwebs, I came up with three “perfect” temperatures that I’ll experiment with other the next few week:

Tonight, arbitrarily, I tried out 142 F.

Here’s what I did:

I filled and heated my Sous Vide Supreme to 142 F. When it was at the correct temperature, I carefully dropped in my eggs with a slotted spoon and left the eggs in the bath for an hour.

( J. Kenji Lopez Alt recommends a minimum of 45 minutes and up to 4 hours cooking time.)

I carefully removed an eggs from the bath with a slotted spoon…

…cracked it softly on the counter, and carefully removed part of the shell to reveal a hole of about 1 inch in diameter.

I carefully poured out the egg through the hole into a bowl…

…and gingerly transferred the fragile egg onto a bed of stir-fried kale and bacon. I seasoned the egg with salt and pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

What’s my verdict? The eggs were a tad underdone for my taste because I like the whites more coagulated. Still, they were pretty tasty and so damned easy to make.

Next up, 144.5 F!

Sous Vide Pork Loin Roast

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I’ve made sous vide pork chops with great sucess numerous times but tonight was my first attempt at sous viding a whole pork loin roast in the water oven. The roast turned out fantastic and it only took me about 10 minutes of actual hands-on work. Wanna see how I did it?

Here’s what I gathered to feed 6 adults:

Here’s how I made it:

I dried off my roast with paper towels and liberally seasoned it with salt and pepper from up high.

Then, I generously sprinkled on the dry rub and massaged it in.

I vacuum sealed the roast with the help of my enthusiastic assistant who exclaimed…

“Mommy, we’re going to vacuum clean it!”

I filled and preheated my SousVide Supreme to 137 F. I used to set my machine to 140 F to cook pork but I like my pork a little bit pinker.  Next, I dumped in the packet for a minimum of 4-5 hours.

When I took out the cooked roast, I dried it with paper towels…

…and blasted it with my kitchen torch.

I sliced up the roast and every piece was moist and cooked perfectly all the way through.

I can’t imagine cooking pork any other way.

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

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Today, I present another winner from Slow Cooker Revolution. I love that the cooking geeks at America’s Test Kitchen are super OCD about testing and retesting their recipes so I don’t have to tweak them too much at home. 

They list some great, eye-opening tips for cooking chicken in the slow cooker:

  1. Cook chicken ONLY 4-6 hours on LOW.
  2. Choose meaty thighs for flavor.
  3. Trim the fat and remove skin so your braising liquid doesn’t become an oil slick.
  4. Position a whole chicken breast side down (and cook a whole chicken on LOW for ONLY 4-6 hours).
  5. Brown only when necessary for flavor.

Unfortunately, a TON of the recipes in the book are totally grain or legume heavy. For example, all recipes that use ground beef incorporate a panade, bread mixed with milk, to help keep the meat moist.

The chicken cacciatore recipe, similar to the one for Korean short ribs, is pretty simple and the results were yummy. The only Paleo substitution I made was to omit the tapioca so the resulting sauce is a little thin. This dish reheats beautifully and I know ‘cause I cooked it in the slow cooker a couple days ago and served it tonight for dinner.

Here’s what I assembled to serve 6 hungry adults: 

  • 2 onions, minced in my food processor
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (I like the stuff that comes in a tube)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 1/2 ounce of dried mixed wild mushrooms, rinsed and minced (use all dried porcini mushrooms if you have it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 pounds cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved if small or quartered if large
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken thighs (the original recipe called for 12 skinless, bone-on thighs)
  • 1/4 chopped fresh basil

Here’s how I made it:

I dumped the onions, tomato paste, butter, garlic, oregano, wild mushrooms, and red pepper flakes in a microwave safe bowl…

…and nuked everything on high for ~5 minutes, stirring occassionally, until the onions were softened.

I put the cooked aromatics in the slow cooker and stirred in the cremini, tomatoes, broth, and wine.

I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and nestled them into the slow cooker and mixed everything well.

Then, I put on the lid and cooked the dish for  4-6 hours on low.

When the dish was finished, I transfered everything to a Corningware container and stored it in the fridge.

When I was ready to reheat the chicken cacciatore, I removed all the hardened fat on top, and dumped the contents in a medium sized pot. I reheated it over medium-high until it reached a boil and then I lowered the heat to simmer the stew for around 10-15 minutes. Before I served it, I topped the dish with some basil chiffonade.

I used to hate making chicken in a slow cooker but now I know it’s because I always overcooked it. See? You do learn something new everyday.

Cheesy Egg Muffins

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In my attempts to raise little cave kids, I’ve been making a ton of savory grain-free muffins lately. This morning, Little-O requested cheesy egg muffins but “no meat or vegetables because I don’t like them.” Le sigh.

Since I knew egg muffins with no fillings would probably collapse upon themselves, I searched the interwebs for cheesy egg muffin recipes with some heft. I found a really tasty looking recipe on Cheeseslave for bacon, egg, & cheese muffins with coconut flour. Since my little bugger requested no meat, I modified the recipe a little by omitting the bacon(!), subbing in Greek yogurt for the bacon grease (I know it’s not EVEN the same), adding an extra egg, and decreasing the oven temperature a little. My version turned out pretty good and they LOOKED like muffins, too. So much so that Little-O actually ate one!

Here’s what I assembled to make 6 muffins:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of full fat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Here’s how I made them:

I preheated the oven to 375 F.

I put the eggs, yogurt, and a dash of salt into a medium sized bowl and whisked it all until blended.

I added the coconut flour and baking powder and mixed the batter until it was smooth.

Lastly, I put in the cheese and some freshly ground pepper and stirred that together.


I divvied up the batter into paper cupcake liners that I’d painted with melted coconut oil. What a pain in the ass. I ordered some silicone baking cups on Amazon as soon as I finished so I never have to grease cupcake liners again!


I popped the tray in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, rotating the tray halfway though the cooking time. (The tops of the muffins should spring back when you poke them with your finger.)


I took the muffins out and let them cool on a cooking rack for about 10 minutes.


Pretty tasty. Big O complained that they were drier than the mini frittata muffins but I liked that these are more muffin-y. You can’t get the carb addict out of the girl…

Sous Vide Pork Ribs

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Dang, these ribs were easy to make.

Here what I gathered:

Here’s how I made them:

I dried the two racks with paper towels and liberally seasoned them with salt, pepper, and chili con carne seasoning.

I vacuum sealed them…

…and marinated them in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, I filled the SousVide Supreme and set the temperature to 175F. When the water was hot, I dropped in the two packets of ribs and let them cook for 9 hours (Douglas Baldwin says that you should leave them in for 8-12 hours).

In the evening, I removed the ribs from the plastic bags and dried them with paper towels.

Then, my hubby threw the racks on his hot grill and seared them for a couple minutes on each side.

I used kitchen shears to separate the ribs.

The ribs were falling off the bone tender and very tasty. However, they were a tad under-salted so you should be pretty heavy-handed with the salt when you initially season it.

I didn’t make a sticky sweet barbecue sauce to go with the ribs (or even a vinegar based one) because, frankly, my dears, I was too lazy. Plus, all the barbecue sauce recipes I found were filled with sugar and I’m not sure how to Paleo-ize them without being disappointed. And let me reiterate — I’m too lazy.

Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth

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I rarely make homemade broth because I’m so lazy that I’d rather just crack open a can. However, I’ll admit that making beef broth using your slow cooker is really easy and requires almost no hands-on time at all. 

You can easily substitute pork or chicken bones in place of beef and the results are all good.  If you befriend your local butcher, he may even give you a big bag of bones for pennies.

Here’s what I assembled to make about 4 quarts of beef bone broth:

  • 2 carrots, chopped medium
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped medium
  • 1 medium onion, chopped medium
  • 7 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3.5 lb of beef bones (from Full of Life Farm)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • water 

Here’s how to make it:

Dump the vegetables in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker…

…drop in the beef bones…

…tuck in the bay leaves, sprinkle on a wee bit of salt, drizzle the vinegar on the bones…

…and add enough water to cover everything.

Program the slow cooker to cook on low for 8-10 hours.

When it’s ready, pour the broth through a strainer, and discard the solids.

You can ladle out some to drink now, or…

…store the liquid in a large CorningWare or glass container for later.

The bones I used were pretty fatty so it made the broth taste unappealingly greasy. I stuck the broth in the fridge overnight and scraped off the top layer of solidified fat.

The broth underneath looks like beef Jell-O…

The broth will keep in the fridge for a few days and in the freezer for several months.

When you’re ready for a steaming cup of the stuff, just scoop the meaty Jell-O into a microwave-safe mug and nuke for a minute.

Voila — perfection!

(Want an even faster way to make bone broth? Check out the recipe for my Quick Pressure Cooker Bone Broth — it’s also in my iPad® cookbook app!)