Category Archives: Whole Life Challenge

The Best Winter Comfort – Crock Pot Pulled Beef Recipe!

IMG_1581
Ah it’s been too long! Seriously though, things got busy for awhile, and the holidays, and I didn’t do much to re-invent the world of food. I went to a lot of staples, and simple un-blog-worthy dinners (They were still yummy, just not exciting enough for the pages…A girl has to draw the line right? Anyway, I was stressing out about posting things, and rule #1 is “if it starts causing too much negative energy and stress, take a step back and breath” – Stress management is part of this whole thing, so I took a little hiatus, and didn’t sweat it. Hope you all had plenty of recipes to tide you over!

But I’m back! Today anyway, I just bought a new crock pot, since I realized that my 4.5 quart one was waaaay too small, and I bought a whopping 8.5 quart one to replace it! The exciting thing is now, even with the large amount of food that the two of us go through, I’ll actually have leftovers!! After much review scanning, I went with the 8.5 quart model from Elite Platinum, and so far I am thrilled with it!

So my first recipe that I tried out in my new “big guy” crockpot, was some pulled beef. I wanted something that was tasty as a stand alone food, but something that could be versatile to eat throughout the week. Instead of keeping it SUPER simple. I totally made it weird and special, and it was utter magic let me tell you. I ate this stuff almost every day, and not only did it last all week (YAY FOOD!) but it was just as awesome tasting each time! I put it in Paleo Wraps, I put it over salad, I ate it straight from a bowl, I ate it as a side to eggs….seriously, it did not get old.

Ultimate Pulled Beef!

  • 3 lbs* beef round (String Removed if Present)
  • 1 lbs* flank steak
  • 2 lbs* chuck steak
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup raisins*
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Java salt (Sub 1/2 Tbsp Salt, 1/2 Tbsp ground coffee
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos*
  • 1/8 cup coconut vinegar*
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika*
  • 1 tbsp black pepper*
  • 1 tspn ginger*
  • 1/2 tsp cumin*
  • 1 tbsp turmeric*
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 small Spanish onion
  • *Aprox. measurement

    Place all ingredients into the Crock Pot and cook on Low for 10-12 Hours, then shred and mix all ingredients with two forks.

    Sorry, I have not gotten any better with ensuring that I actually measure anything, but I think my approximations are good 🙂


    Pattypan Squash Stuffed with Beef and Wild Mushrooms

    20140801-005307-3187937.jpg

    I love Patty Pan squash, they are one of my favorite seasonal vegetables in the summer, Not only are they tasty, but they have such a fun shape, it’s hard NOT to get creative. I found some bigger ones at the Fairway Market that just opened up, so I grabbed them with stuffing in mind. I found some grass-fed ground beef for a reasonable price as well as some wild mushrooms, so I left with a mission for dinner the next day. If you really want to make this paleo or whole life challenge compliant, omit the goat cheese, but since my system handles it well, i decided to include it.

     

    Ingredients:

    • 2 large patty pan squash
    • 2.5 lbs grass bed ground beef chuck
    • 1 onion, Chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, Chopped
    • 2 cups wild mushrooms, Chopped
    • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
    • 1/8 cup vegetable broth
    • 1/2 cup greens (I used a mixture of kale, spinach, and chard)
    • Sage,pepper,salt,thyme,smoked paprika
    • 2-3 Tablespoons crumbled goat cheese (optional)

    Bake patty pan at 350 for about 20-30 min while mostly cooking your filling. You WILL have extra filling. You just want to soften them up so you can easily scoop out the middle.

    20140801-005307-3187692.jpg

    Cut off the top, just enough to expose the seeds. Scoop out the seeds, along with a little of the flesh to form a bowl. You can chop up any flesh and add it back inside, mixed in with your stuffing. If you are going to add some goat cheese, mix it with the stuffing, and crumble a little on top as well. Bake for another 15 -20 minutes until the cheese is golden brown.

     

    20140801-005308-3188185.jpg

     


    Crock Pot Garlic Basil Short Ribs

    20140718-092924-34164520.jpg

    The crock pot wins again! I swear I ate this for days and didn’t get sick of it. Now ideally you would use grass-fed short ribs (Try US Wellness Meats!) but I happened to buy a big ol’ value pack from BJs this time. Short ribs are awesome, but you HAVE to cook them slow. I’ve never had any luck cooking them any other way, they always come out tough and gross, but in the slow cooker they are DIVINE. By the end they are falling off the bone and tender, and I cannot think of a more lovely way to be greeted coming in from work.

    As for prep, there isn’t much. I threw the onions on the bottom, packed in the short-ribs, and threw the garlic in between. Then I piled the rest of the veggies on top, added any liquid, and cooked on low for 8-10 hours. Super simple and tasty! Be sure to go heavy on the fresh herbs and garlic!

    • 4-5 Lbs Short Ribs
    • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Broth
    • 1/8 Cup Coconut Aminos
    • 4-5 Tops/Bunches Fresh Basil
    • 6 cocktail tomatoes – Halved
    • 6 – 7 small Baby Bella mushrooms
    • 2 small vidalia onions
    • 6+ Cloves Garlic
    • 1/2 Cup Celery Hearts – Chopped
    • Salt, Pepper, Smoked Paprika

    20140718-092924-34164770.jpg


    Green Gazpacho

    20140717-191208-69128480.jpg
    I love gazpacho, especially in the summer. It’s super easy to make, and served cold, so it’s perfect for a hot day. It’s also a great way to get a bunch of veggies into your day! Traditionally gazpacho is made with pieces of bread included in the mixture, and I’ve seen gluten-free versions made with rice, however I don’t think you need it, and instead I added an avocado for some creamy richness. Most gazpachos are tomato based, and this one DOES have tomato included, but I used a yellow, and a green heirloom variety, so it stayed a nice green color. I also went heavy on the other veggies, so it really was vegetable based rather than tomato based.

    • 1 red onion – quartered
    • 2 large tomatoes – red, yellow, green heirloom, doesn’t matter, quartered 
    • 8 large radishes – halved
    • 2 bell peppers – seeded and quartered
    • 2 cucumbers – halved lengthwise and cut into thirds
    • 1 avocado
    • 1 bunch celery hearts
    • A generous amount of basil and mint (I used A Lot – but season to taste)
    • Some oregano, thyme, and cilantro (season to taste)
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 1 tbsp lime juice
    • salt, pepper

    After lightly prepping the ingredients, the rest couldn’t be any simpler! Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend!

    Please note, if you don’t have a high powered blender like a Ninja Kitchen Systemor a Vitamix, you might have too chop things smaller. Chances are you will have to blend a little anyway to make room as you go.

    Blend until everything is liquefied and well combined. Chill and serve.


    Carb Nite Baked Triple Sweet Potato Frites

    Yeah Carb Nite! As I mentioned in my last post I am following the Carb Nite Solution by John Kiefer, and tonight is my “Carb Nite” – glorious. Now, I am not binging on donuts, pizza, and scones like some people, and am keeping it pretty much paleo. I am allowing myself white rice, since it’s pretty harmless (Phase One: SUSHI ) and have recently added some full fat dairy as I mentioned previously that I’ve discovered that I can handle goat milk pretty well (Generally, I will consume it in the form of full fat goat milk kefir and some goat milk cheeses) so I found this brand of GOAT MILK ICE CREAM which will definitely serve as an occasional “Carb Nite” indulgence (Phase Two: Figs and Ice Cream) ….I figured it was a holiday…. Oh man.

    Just to get side tracked for a second, let me tell you about ice cream. This past year and a half, if I had Ice Cream (Rare Occasion) it was Larry and Luna’s Coconut Milk based Ice Cream. Which is absolutely awesome. But holy cow, this Goats Milk Ice Cream by LaLoo’s is A-MAZE-ING. I don’t particularly like that it has carrageenan in it, but considering this is going to be a very occasional treat, it’s not the worse thing in the world. The two flavors I bought were the Dark Chocolate, and the Vanilla Snowflake. Absolutely lovely and rich in flavor and the level of creaminess in the texture is just not something you are going to find in the coconut based ice creams. Easy on the digestive system and delicious….I’m totally sold.

    Anyway this post is not about any of that. Well I guess it is, but mainly it’s about Sweet Potatoes (Phase Three: Sweet Potato Fries!!!!)

    I’m big on homemade food, and getting rid of processed artificial crap, but sometimes you don’t want to chop up a million sweet potatoes. Sorry folks, unless you know of a brand I don’t, I’m pretty sure a bag of simple sweet potato fries doesn’t exist. All the ones I’ve seen have crap oils and weird seasonings. That’s OK, who needs the freezer section anyway. I decided to just suck it up and make them myself.

    I decided to make things a little more fun, and used three different varieties of sweet potatoes: Japanese, Garnet, and Hanna

    20140705-015123-6683157.jpg

    As for the recipe, I cannot take any credit beyond that. These are pretty much verbatim from THIS recipe on NOM NOM PALEO‘s website. For the seasoning I used Salt, Pepper, and Paprika as described in her recipe, but added cinnamon as well. They came out amazing, so I highly recommend you check out her recipe and make them.

    20140705-015123-6683407.jpg


    Ultra Low-Carb Paleo Herb “Biscuits”

    20140630-232339-84219919.jpg

    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

    20140612-195839-71919660.jpg

    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
      20140612-195839-71919921.jpg
    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

      20140612-195840-71920652.jpg

     

     

     

     


    %d bloggers like this: