Category Archives: Whole Life Challenge

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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    Sweet Potato Beef Stew

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    Oh slow cooker, how I’ve neglected you! I forgot how easy the crock pot makes my life on gym days. Nothing says happiness like coming home after a WOD a not having to make dinner. I took some spice cues from Thai Cuisine; using basil (But not Thai basil, since I couldn’t find it when I went ingredient shopping.) ginger, and lemongrass. Coconut milk added a rich creaminess, and everything really brought out the flavors in the yams.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 lbs Grass Fed Beef Stew Meat
    • 2 Cans Light Coconut Milk
    • 2 stalks (3-4 inches each) Lemongrass, Chopped
    • 1 2-3 Inch peice of ginger, peeled and chopped
    • 1 tsp Cayenne
    • 2 Yams
    • 1 Large Carrot
    • 1 Vidalia Onion
    • 5-7 Basil Leaves
    • Salt, Pepper, Paprika
    • 2 tbsp  Coconut Aminos
    • 2 Stalks Celery

    To prepare, chop the yams, carrots, onions, and celery. Add the ingredients to the crock pot, and then add the beef and remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 8-10 Hours.


    Piña Colada Flounder

     

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    Here is just a simple but fun way to jazz up some flounder. I made a big batch of this so I had leftovers, since flounder can be pretty light.  The shredded coconut adds some good fat to the mix, which will help keep you full longer….and really, who doesn’t like the combination of coconut and pineapple!

    Ingredients:

    • flounder Filets, thawed or fresh
    • Shredded coconut
    • Frozen, trader joes, pineapple chunks
    • Lime Juice
    • cayenne Pepper

    Prep:

    1. Arrange fish in a glass pan lined with foil.
    2. Sprinkle shredded coconut generously over the fish
    3. Sprinkle pieces of pineapple around pan
    4. Drizzle with lime juice and sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper
    5. Bake in the oven, preheated to 400 degrees, until fish is opaque, flakes easy, and coconut starts to turn toasty golden brown.

    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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    Bacon Apple Chicken Skewers

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    I’ve been using a lot of bacon lately….I think I have a bacon problem. Not really, It’s just been in the house since I can get both Applegate Turkey Bacon and Applegate Sunday Bacon in three packs at BJ’s (They also have their hot dogs…. win!). Anyway, I’ve been experimenting with wrapping things in bacon, because I’m not used to having so much bacon in the house. Actually it’s calmed down a bit…but I was kind of getting crazy for a second. So, in that direction, I decided to wrap some chicken in bacon and make kabobs…because I like food on sticks. I think I was having flashbacks to my birthday at Luso’s and the rodizio, because there was definitely some bacon wrapped chicken, and it was amazing. Kabobs are some of the easiest, and most satisfying foods. I kept it simple and added earthy mushrooms, and the sweetness of apple. I also used chicken thighs instead of breasts, I like the richer buttery flavor they lend to the pairing.

    Ingredients:

    • Chicken Thighs, Boneless/Skinless [Cut into chunks and marinated in coconut aminos, sage, cinnamon, allspice]
    • Apples
    • Mushrooms
    • Bacon (Turkey, Beef, or Pork…Pick your poison – US Wellness for WLC compliant bacon)

    That’s it – Pretty easy as far as ingredients go. While you’re getting the mushrooms and apples ready, have your chicken cut up and marinating in a bowl. Then just halve or quarter your mushrooms, and cut your apples into fairly large chunks. Then, get ready to skewer things!!!

    1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
    2. Arrange kabobs in a glass pan. You can even probably arrange them horizontally, so that the skewers are resting on the sides. This will keep them up out of the drippings and help the bacon crisp more.
    3. Bake for 15 min then flip
    4. Bake for another 25 min, Then drop the temperature to 350 degrees and let cook another 10 min or so.
    Before Cooking - I didn't realize until after cooking that If I arranged them all sideways, they would have not only fit, but all have been suspended and not sitting in the pan... *sigh* passing my wisdom to you :P

    Before Cooking – I didn’t realize until after cooking that If I arranged them all sideways, they would have not only fit, but all have been suspended and not sitting in the pan… *sigh* passing my wisdom to you 😛

     


    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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