Nom Nom Paleo

Oven-Roasted Escarole

Pin It

Roasting is my go-to method for cooking veggies — so why should a head of escarole be any different? I got the idea for roasting these greens from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating From America’s Farmers’ Markets. In her version, she uses a head of radicchio but any chicory will do. Roasting mellows out the bitterness and also adds some nice crunchy bits. 

Here’s what I gathered to serve four people as a side dish:

  • 1 large head of escarole, cut into quarters (or 3 heads of radicchio, cut in half lengthwise)
  • 3 tablespoons of ghee, melted
  • 1 tablespoon Sunny Paris seasoning
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar

Here’s how I made it:

I preheated the oven to 400 F and grabbed a 9x13” glass baking dish. I coated the dish with ghee before putting the escarole in a single layer. I drizzled the remaining ghee over the top of the greens and seasoned with Sunny Paris, salt, and pepper.

I roasted the greens in the oven for 15 minutes before flipping them. After an additional 8-10 minutes, the escarole was finished — tender yet crunchy on the edges.

Before taking the dish to the table, I drizzled on some aged balsamic vinegar.

I can’t wait to roast some radicchio, too!

Roasted Kabocha Squash

Pin It

image

I’m just tickled pink when it’s autumn ‘cause I love me some winter squash, especially kabocha! When cooked, this Japanese pumpkin has the taste and texture of roasted chestnuts. Even uber-picky Lil-O will swipe roasted slices off the communal plate and gobble them down. I normally keep the skin on when I roast them but if you’ve got autoimmune issues, peel them.

Follow the jump for the easy recipe!

Read more

Riki’s Homestyle Lamb Shawarma

Pin It

I’m happy to announce my first guest blogger, Riki Shore! And lemme tell you, she ain’t no ordinary Paleo food blogger. Although Riki’s a classically trained pastry chef who worked at Charlie Trotter’s, she’s crossed over from the dark side. She’s now devoted herself to writing about delicious gluten-free fare at her blog Three Squares, on the South Pasadena edition of Patch, and on Robb Wolf’s site.

Take it away, Riki!

On a recent trip to Vancouver, my daughter had her first exposure to Middle Eastern food (that is, if you don’t count grocery store hummus, which she happens to love). She couldn’t stop eating the lamb shawarma, which, unfortunately for her, belonged to someone else at the table. Once home, it didn’t take long for her to ask me to make her shawarma.

The name shawarma actually refers to the cooking method, as well as the spices and herbs used. Much like a rotisserie chicken, shawarma is prepared over a spit. Slices of marinated meat (lamb, chicken, or beef) are stacked on a spit with layers of fat in between and a tomato and onion placed at the top. The spit then rotates over a fire, cooking the meat to juicy perfection.

Read more

Hawaiian Fire-Spiced Mushrooms

Pin It

image

Even though I’m on vacay, I care enough about you, dear reader, to post a new recipe. Okay – this recipe is super simple and involves my favorite go-to cooking technique (roasting) but why mess with a good thing?

I’m seriously crushing on the spice blends and salts from Aloha Spice Company. Most are Paleo-friendly and/or organic and the flavor combinations are spot-on. Pele’s Fire Hawaiian is a smoky and spicy salt blend that perfectly seasoned these roasted, meaty, umami-laden ‘shrooms.

image

Keep reading for the recipe…

Read more

Paleo Eats: 4/16/11

Pin It

I totally agree with the peppy boys of Erasure — I love Saturdays. When I’m off work, it’s fun spending a leisurely day with my boys and noshing on good eats.

I was disappointed with my thwarted attempts at making a breakfast burrito for dinner last night so I made myself one this morning.

It was really yummy topped with homemade guacamole and Primavera roasted tomato salsa with chipotle. If you live in the San Francisco bay area, you should really seek out this salsa – it makes EVERYTHING taste better!

After breakfast, I picked up my vegetable CSA box from Full Belly Farm

…and then we went to an Easter egg hunt at Big-O’s kung fu studio.

For lunch, we stopped by Mayfield Bakery and Café. Fitbomb and I shared a plate of soft scrambled eggs with roasted spring vegetables and asparagus nage…

…Mayfield chicken salad with Bloomsdale spinach and bacon lardons…

…and a side of bacon.

Although the chow was tasty today, Mayfield is not on our regular brunch rotation because the food and service can be totally hit or miss. We can’t wait over 30 minutes for our food when we’ve got ticking time bombs in tow.

After lunch, I started preparing dinner since we were hosting old friends for supper. To make sure I wouldn’t be too frazzled when the guests arrived, I made a lot of dishes that could be reheated later or served at room temperature.

Wanna see?

I whipped up a batch of garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes

…and roasted a slew of veggies: a tray of zucchini slices, baby artichokes

baby carrots

…and portobello mushrooms.

Big-O eagerly assisted me in my kitchen adventures by drizzling on avocado oil and seasoning the veggies with salt and pepper.

When my roasted veggie platter was finished…

…I fried the sous vide chicken thighs that I had prepared yesterday…

…nuked the garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes

… and broiled a tray of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears.

Here’s our dinner spread… 

…and my dinner plate:

As a reward for slaving in the kitchen, I treated myself to 1/3 of a bar of Guittard Nocturne 91% cacao. Oh, how I’ve missed you, dark chocolate!

Paleo Eats: 4/9/11

Pin It

It was a busy, jam-packed Saturday filled with good, clean grub.

For breakfast, I ate some leftover garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes topped with beef shank and cabbage stew.

I went to a cardio kickboxing class at Big-O’s kung fu studio and ate a post-workout meal (baked yam and Applegate Farms organic roast beef slices) in the car.

On my way home, I picked up my Full Belly Farm CSA box:

Yes, that’s a bag of legumes you spy in the box. That’s one of many reasons why I love my Mariquita Farms CSA box more.

After spending the rest of the morning at the neighborhood park, we came home to eat lunch. I fried up some Bratwurst (made from the trim of my ½ hog) and served it with leftover sautéed Italian heirloom broccoli, sauerkraut, my sis’s homemade mustard, and marinated roasted beets.

We were having company over for dinner, so I spent all afternoon cooking. Luckily, I had live, in-house entertainment in the form of  Big-O recreating scenes from his favorite Annoying Orange episodes. 

"Hey banana…"

While I waited for the sous vide carnitas to finish cooking, I broiled zucchini slices (seasoned with ghee, salt, pepper, and Fines Herbes seasoning)…

…a bunch of asparagus (tossed with ghee, salt, and pepper), and roasted some poblano peppers…

…and bell peppers over the gas range. After I peeled and sliced the peppers, I mixed them with sherry vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.

I piled all the roasted vegetables on a large platter and squeezed some lemon juice on the broiled asparagus and zucchini.

Roasted vegetable platters are great for entertaining because you can make them ahead of time and serve them at room temperature.

For another veggie side dish, I thinly sliced some watermelon radishes…

…and marinated them with a vinaigrette made with orange juice, coconut vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.

When I finished cooking all the veggies, I took the carnitas out of the water oven and pan-fried them in lard.

To accompany the carnitas lettuce tacos, we served homemade guacamole…

…diced white onions and cilantro…

…and Primavera salsa.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I had lots of subsequent helpings. I’m stuffed to the gills.

Paleo Eats: 2/6/11

Pin It

Ahhhh…there’s nothing like waking up to the smell of pork slowly braising in your oven.

However, that same smell also made me bolt out of bed because it reminded me that I had a ton of stuff to do before our guests came over to watch the Super Bowl.

Shortly after I awoke, I assembled the ingredients to roast portobello mushroom caps.

I recruited Big-O to help me season and make the packets…

…before I sealed them up and popped them in the oven.

After 35 minutes in a 400 F oven, the ‘shrooms were done and I sliced them up and put them in a Tupperware to plate later with the rest of my roasted veggies.

While the mushrooms were roasting, I chopped up a bunch of raw vegetables for a crudite platter and I threw together a quick breakfast salad with organic greens and leftover rotisserie chicken.

Once the mushrooms were out of the oven, I prepared a tray of delicata squash that I roasted for 30 minutes at 400 F.

The last thing I did before lunchtime was assemble  prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears and stick the trays in the fridge.

I didn’t want to mess up the kitchen even more by fixing lunch, so our family stopped by The Counter to scarf down some grub. I got myself another burger in a bowl of greens with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, sliced avocado, roasted bell peppers, hard boiled egg, and cucumbers.

When I came home, I finished cooking and plating all the dishes for our party. The party food wasn’t 100% Paleo because although I believe that this is the best way to eat, I don’t want to impose my views on my guests who don’t feel the same way. That’s just being an a-hole host.

For full disclosure, these are the non-Paleo items I served:

  • chips and salsa (these came free with my $30 purchase at Sigona’s)
  • salumi and cheese platter with crackers
  • my mom’s homemade spareribs (they’re delicious but there’s quite a bit of sugar in them)
  • Rick’s Rather Rich Ice Cream cookies and cream ice cream pie (Don’t hate! This pie was for a 5-year old celebrating her birthday at our house.)

The Paleo-friendly items: (~75% of the food)

Assorted nuts and coconut flakes…

…raw veggies with Aubergine dip and homemade ranch dressing made with full fat Greek yogurt…

…roasted vegetables drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar…

broiled prosciutto-wrapped asparagus drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar…

…mini bratwursts…

overnight oven-braised shredded pork tacos served with salsa and homemade guacamole…

…and fresh berries for dessert.

Our Super Bowl party was a big success: lots of fun, laughter, and good eats! Wait, who won again? Oh yeah, the team with the Paleo quarterback!

Day 29 of Whole30 Eats

I’m back to working nights again, so this post will be short and sweet.

For breakfast, I slurped down a bowl of leftover cream of tomato soup topped with sous vide chicken breast. Then, I ate handfuls of coconut flakes because I was possessed by aliens and had no free will. Really.

My parents, Lil-O, and I gobbled down lunch at The Counter — I ordered a 1/3 lb burger in a bowl, complete with lettuce, a fried egg, avocado, roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers.

At dinner time, I reheated the slow roasted pork shoulder I made on Sunday. To accompany the swine, I roasted carrots and celery root, sauteed two bags of Trader Joe’s Southern Greens Blend with caramelized onions in some melted lard, and microwaved the leftover artichoke hearts and pearl onions from the night before.

Then, I packed my meals for work and I tiptoed out the front door so as not to disturb everyone already tucked into bed.

Celery Root, Will You Forgive Me?

I have a confession to make.

Every time I received celery root in my CSA box, I’d stash it in the far recesses of my crisper and conveniently forget about it until it was covered with mold. Part of the reason was because I didn’t know what the hell to do with it. But it was also ‘cause celery root’s so damn ugly and unappealing-looking. Did I mention that I’m both lazy and superficial?

Okay. I know celery root is yummy. I’ve been served it numerous times and in various forms at lots of fancy restaurants. With that in mind, I decided it was time to overcome my bias against unattractive vegetables and cook this ugly mofo up.

To prepare the celery root for roasting, I peeled off the skin with my trusty Oxo vegetable peeler and trimmed off the ends and brown spots. After slicing the roots into matchstick-sized strips, I tossed them with avocado oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper, and roasted them with similarly-prepared carrots at 375 F (convection roast) for ~40 minutes.

The roasted celery root tasted remarkably like potato (same texture, too) with a sweet hint of celery. I can’t believe I wasted so many celery roots in the past! From here on out, I pledge not to judge a vegetable by its ugly-ass cover.