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.
- 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.
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.
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
I 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.
2 lbs Beef
3 spoons pumpkin
1 tbsp salt
1-2 tbsp sage
3 tbsp black pepper
A few shakes cayenne pepper
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.
This dish was actually supposed to have more ingredients, but I’m glad it didn’t. That sort of happy accident only happens when you wake up and immediately start chopping vegetables while also getting ready to leave for work. I originally was going to add sweet potatoes as well, but alas I forgot. I ALMOST forgot the apple, but I remembered mid-way through cooking, and got it in the pot! The meat I used was from US Wellness Meats which is my favorite place to get meat. I thawed it for 24 hours, and it was still slightly frozen, but I used it anyway.
1 Braeburn Apple
3 or 4 Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichoke)
2 small Rutabagas/li>
6-7 Baby Bella mushrooms
1 Small Grass-Fed Brisket
Salt, pepper, paprika, rosemary mustard seed
1/4 cup red wine
A few tablespoons coconut aminos
I rinsed the Sunchokes and cut them into chunks (each Sunchoke yielded roughly 6-8 pieces). The onion I peeled and quartered then I peeled the carrots and cut them into smaller chunks. The ends I left as circles, but I halved and quartered the slices as I got to the thicker end. The rutabagas I peeled and then cubed, Most of the mushrooms I kept whole, but a few of the larger ones I halved. Place everything into the crock pot.
The brisket wouldn’t fit as is, so I cut it in half and put each half in sideways. This will depend entirely on the size and shape of your crock pot.
I then added the seasonings, coconut aminos, and cabernet. I turned the crock pot on high and finished getting ready for work (about 30 minutes) turning it to low before I left.
When I got home it had been around 8-9 hours. I realized (on looking at the 2 apples in my fruit basket) that I had forgot to add the apple. I sliced it into small-medium sized cubes, and added it into the pot. Then I turned it to high for the next hour, and then to low again for the next hour and a half after that. You probably don’t need to play with the temperature that much, but that’s what I did. All together it was cooking 11-12 hours, and it came out perfect.
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.
- 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.
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.
- Chicken Thighs, Boneless/Skinless [Cut into chunks and marinated in coconut aminos, sage, cinnamon, allspice]
- 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!!!
- Heat oven to 400 degrees
- 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.
- Bake for 15 min then flip
- 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 😛
- 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.
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.
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!