Category Archives: Tapas

Ultra Low-Carb Paleo Herb “Biscuits”

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Recently, I started following the “Carb Nite Solution” by John Kiefer. I met him at the Universal Fitness Expo earlier this month (Along with The Paleo Coach
author Jason Seib of EPLifeFit – Everyday Paleo Podcast fame…. Super…Flippin’ …Awesome) – Anyway, I was talking to both of them, and particularly Kiefer about my current fat-loss goals.

At this point, I feel great, I’m sleeping well, I have energy, and I’m pretty darn happy with how I look. By comparing myself to pictures and using largely inaccurate calculators, I would guess I’m around 27% body fat…but healthy. My diet is dialed, I’m not over training, and I’m sleeping well, so I decided as long as I feel good I don’t want to do anything too drastic for largely aesthetic goals. That said, I would LOVE to get myself down to the 22-25% range. Enter the Carb Nite Solution

In a nutshell, I am eating Ultra Low Carb ( Under 30 grams) for 5-10 days, and then having a “carb nite” on which I load up on carbs (keeping it paleo, mostly, so sweet potatoes, white rice, fruit, winter squash) over a 6 hour period to jump start some hormonal thing that’s supposed to help me lose the pesky fat that’s hanging on. Seemed easy enough, and not too drastic of a change for me, so I’m giving it a go. Currently I am on my second week of ultra low carb.

So….Food.

I wanted something a little different to have as a side to my salmon. I decided to make egg-y biscuit things. Simple, not overloaded with nuts, and tasty! best of all, they are safe for my Ultra Low Carb Days! For flavor, I wanted to utilize the abundance of fresh herbs growing in my garden. I picked a few sprigs each of thyme, basil, sage, oregano, and chives, and a sprig of rosemary.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Fresh Oregano
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Sage
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons Goat Butter (Or regular butter if you can handle it)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Ground Flax Meal
  • A pinch of Salt and Pepper

Now, I guess you could mince or chop all those herbs by hand, but I was totally not about to sit there forever chopping. I decided to utilize my Ninja Blender. I actually used one of the single serve smoothie cups, and threw the herbs in whole with the 4 eggs and butter. A few seconds later and the eggs were thoroughly beaten, and the herbs were minced and evenly distributed. Afterwards, I simply poured the egg mixture into a bowl, added the dry ingredients, and mixed until everything was combined into a moderately thin batter. I poured it into a baking pan lined with parchment paper, and baked at 375 degrees until it was set and golden, and a toothpick came out clean (about 20-30 min). The parchment paper makes it super easy to remove, and makes clean up simple.

Oh and just a note about goat butter. It’s not that easy to find, I get it at Whole Foods, but it’s a little pricey. I just decided to use it, since I recently learned I can handle goats milk dairy pretty well, without digestive upset. I’m still trying to figure out if it causes any other inflammation, but if anything, it seems to be small enough, that if I don’t go crazy, I should be able to enjoy goat milk products occasionally without guilt. It’s going to take a bit more testing, going off it again, going back on, before I know for sure. In any case, you can use cows milk butter if you can handle dairy, or omit it altogether.


Curried Whole Roasted Cauliflower

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I love cauliflower, especially roasted, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little bit of a pain to prep. I’m a lazy chopper….I’ve said it….and the florettes get everywhere. Ok, so it really isn’t that bad, but I love learning that I can roast things whole. Yes, it takes longer….but in my opinion it’s more fun! In my research phase I took some information from recipes around the web such as This One by The Paleo Mama and This One – In the end I tweaked things here and there, and came up with this preperation. It was delicious, and the egg/coconut milk mixture I used was custard like in the crevices. I might use more coconut butter next time, and maybe get it a little crispier, but recipes like this are all about experimenting with flavors!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • A dash or two of allspice, cinnamon, Paprika, turmeric, salt, mad pepper
  1. Boil cauliflower for 5 min and run under cool water until you can handle
  2. Mix marinade ingredients and roll cauliflower until coated
  3. Spoon some into the underside of cauliflower
  4. Place cauliflower into a square glass pan and pour marinade over
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  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 60 – 90 minutes until golden brown. Midway through, spoon some of the marinade that dripped back on top and spread20140612-195840-71920184.jpg

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Pumpkin Sausage Sliders

20140601-170355-61435296.jpgI swear, it’s the easiest foods that take me the longest to get up. I don’t know what it is. Anyway, anything resembling a burger is an easy fun way for me to make a relatively quick dinner. It doesn’t have to be plain and boring to be easy either. To make it interesting, it’s all in the spices, and additions. However, it still should be heavy on the meat and not too loaded with filler. For these I took some simple sausage seasoning (mainly black pepper and sage) and added some canned pumpkin, to create these tasty and fun patties.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Beef
  • 3 spoons pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1-2 tbsp sage
  • 3 tbsp black pepper
  • A few shakes cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • Mix together all ingredients, and let rest for 10-15 minutes. It helps the flavors to meld together. Form into small patties, and grill or cook to your desired doneness. 20140601-170355-61435551.jpg

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    Paleo Wing Fest!

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    Top Center – Plain with Caveman Bob’s BBQ Sauce. Bottom Left – Sesame Ginger. Bottom Right – Hot Wings.

    It all started when I was hoping to pick up a bucket of tasty buffalo wings from Whole Foods. They have this awesome bucket of un-breaded wings, with nothing artificial, and simple ingredients like vinegar, cayenne, and other pepper. The only ingredient that is not great is canola oil, but all things considered, I consider them a fun treat when I’m feeling lazy, or we have Mike’s brothers over….because who doesn’t like wings! Anyway, I got there, and sadly they were out of wings. I was totally at a loss for dinner, and hungry. I ended up leaving empty-handed, and dropping into Wild By Nature up the block from my house, to see if they had anything worth eating. I was in the meat aisle, and that’s when I saw them…..WINGS! Well, they were mini chicken drumettes, and little wings, raw and ready for my magic. That was it – I was going to make my own wing fest!

    I used 4 lbs  of chicken wings and drumettes – Mike and I ate almost all of them between the two of us. Maybe we were just hungry, but when In doubt – buy more!

    To start, Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees while you dredge your wings – I Dredged them  in a combination of coconut flour and  arrowroot flour, seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne. I didn’t use egg or anything, just combined the ingredients in a bowl. added the wings, and stirred until they were all covered.

    Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, stir/flip gently, and bake for another 20-30 min until golden brown. I used two racks so every 15 min I rotated the pans from top to bottom/ bottom to top.

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    While they were cooking, I got the sauces ready. I made three varieties, but can only take credit for two. I made a sesame ginger (The shining star of the night) – and a hot wing. The only complaint I have about the hot wings, were that they weren’t “saucy” enough. They had great flavor, but it wasn’t dripping with buffalo sauce. That’s just a preference though. There have been plenty of times I’ve gotten wings in restaurants that had barely any sauce and the flavors seemed more “baked in”.  For the third flavor, I kept the wings plain – and drizzled Caveman Bob’s BBQ Sauce on top…. That stuff is finger lickin’ good!

    For both sauces – Heat ingredients in a saucepan over low-med heat. Stir gently and constantly, and be careful that it doesn’t burn.  Just cook long enough that it’s simmering and warm, and everything is combined. 

    Hot Sauce

    • 2-3 tbsp coconut oil
    • 1 tbsp mustard
    • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 3-5 tbsp hot sauce/Tabasco
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp maple syrup (Omit, or add dates or pureed fruit for WLC)

    Sesame Ginger sauce

    • 3-5 tbsp coconut aminos
    • 3-5 tbsp sesame oil
    • Lots of ginger powder
    • 1 clove crushed garlic
    • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
    • 1-2 tsp raw honey (Omit for WLC)

    Take the wings out of the oven, Toss in a bowl to coat wings with sauce, then return to pan and bake for another 10 min.

    The next night, I made some chicken legs the same way I made the wings, using the sesame ginger recipe. They came out just as awesome.

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    Simple Salmon Burgers

    Shown Here with Bacon Quail Nests (Click For Recipe)

    Shown Here with Bacon Quail Nests (Click For Recipe)

    I always like fish cakes to change things up from regular beef or turkey burgers. They are super easy to make, and to make it even easier I use canned salmon. There are a few good options for canned salmon. I like Wild Planet, but this time I used Natural Sea which I found in Stop And Shop.  With most canned salmon, you will find some bones. I picked out the obvious ones, but I am not one to mind the extra calcium. I always look for wild caught, sustainably caught salmon, and I’ve found both of these brands to be tasty and affordable.

    For these burgers, I also wanted to make them egg free, since at the time Mike was playing around with cutting out eggs. To substitute eggs, I used chia gel, which can be created by mixing chia seeds and a little water. I think the ratio is like 1:2 but you have to play with it. Honestly, I think eggs work better, and next time I probably will use them. But if you can’t handle eggs, use chia gel.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cans Wild Caught Salmon (I use Natural Sea or Wild Planet)
    • 1/2 cup minced celery and onion mix
    • 4 spoons chia gel (Or 2 Eggs)
    • 1 tbsp mustard
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 1 tbsp dill
    • Salt/pepper
    • 3 tbsp coconut flour

    Combine all the ingredients together and form into patties.

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    Add some coconut oil to a non-stick pan or griddle, and saute until brown on both sides. When using chia gel, they may be a little more fragile than when using eggs, so flip carefully.

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    I rushed a few, and they fell apart a little. Whoops, I never claim to be perfect when it comes to flipping things. Even if you lose a few to fragility, they still taste awesome. They probably would go great over salad.

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    Bacon Quail Nests

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    1. Bacon
    2. Sauerkraut
    3. Quail Eggs

    That’s it….three ingredients. These are super easy, super fun, and holy cow good. I just thought they would be fun, but the combination simple ingredients, just worked amazingly well. Originally I was going to make Cuckoo Nests, and stick an olive in there, but the quail eggs were bigger than I imagined, and so I decided to keep it simple. Bacon Nests….Need I say any more than that to get your attention. These would probably go over great at a paleo dinner party or gathering!

    There are websites that teach you how to make much prettier bacon nests than I did. I literally just wrapped, and overlapped them around overturned muffin cups and baked until crispy. It wasn’t perfect, but weaving and carefully cutting slices to size was just not going to happen. This was one of those “I really don’t have patience to go slow” times. Anyway, they came out better than I expected when I put them in the oven. Like usual I used Applegate bacon (Use US Wellness if you’re doing the WLC), two being pork and two being turkey. I was actually amazed that they held their bowl shape as much as they did.

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    Quail eggs. This was my first time using them. I found a carton of 18 at the Asian grocery, and was excited to try them. I have had them before, usually in yakitori form at various Japanese restaurants, but I had never cooked them myself. I found this website to be a great guide. Peeling them was the same as a regular sized egg, but it made me feel like a giant. As long as you break that shell/egg membrane, they peel easy. They are super pretty, and the inside of the shell is a pale blue/green. Once I peeled them all, I gave them a quick rinse, and set them aside.

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    Then, it was time to assemble. All you have to do is place a spoon of sauerkraut in each bacon cup, and then arrange 2 or 3 eggs on top. That’s it! The flavor combination was perfect. I only wish I had more bacon so I could have made more!

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    Pumpkin Meatballs

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    Because you know…Pumpkin Everything! Seriously, what can’t you put pumpkin in? These were super easy, and just pumpkin enough to satisfy my craving for more festive flavor. Did I mention my love for winter squash? Anyway, I used a little leftover “Pumpkin Sauce” from another dinner this week, which I will post soon. Yes, I’m posting a recipe using one of the ingredients from it, before I post the….nevermind. The pumpkin sauce I made was as follows:

    Pumpkin Sauce:

    • 1 cup organic pumpkin
    • 1/2 cup organic strained tomato
    • 1/4 cup organic vegetable broth
    • Sage, cinnamon, thyme, allspice

    So anyway, I had some of that stuff in the fridge and used it for the meatballs. It added a bit more flavor and strength. If you don’t feel like making the sauce, just add a bit more pumpkin, and more spice.

    •1/4 cup pumpkin sauce
    •1/4 cup pumpkin
    •1 lb grass-fed ground beef
    •sage, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon

    Then I formed medium-sized meatballs, and put them in a 9×9 glass pan that I lined with foil. As you can see, depending on the size, it should make about 9 medium meatballs.

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    Then I baked them at 425 for 10-15 minutes, drained any liquid from the pan, and cooked an additional 5-10 minutes. I just ate them plain, but you can put them over spaghetti squash, or use more of the “Pumpkin Sauce” on them.


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