Tag Archives: tomato

Crock Pot Garlic Basil Short Ribs

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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

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Green Gazpacho

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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.


Pepper Beef and Vegetables

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The other day we went over my boyfriend’s mother’s house for his brothers 15th birthday. His brother requested beef with peppers and onions, but all I remember hearing was “pepper steak”. It was a dish that was sort of inspired by the Chinese food dish, with a soy based sauce, and thickened with flour. Since Mike and I are not eating gluten (He’s not quite as strict Paleo as I am), It was worked out that a portion of the steak strips and veggies would be set aside for us, and I could make it using ingredients compliant with our lifestyle. I definitely appreciate the consideration! I might not have had control over the source of the beef or veggies (It was NOT grass-fed), but I cooked it in coconut oil, and used coconut aminos, as well as my own choices in spices. It was a huge success. It was so good, that I decided to re-create it tonight, using ground beef, and fresh vegetables from the farm stand. The secret ingredient, is definitely one of my favorites for the fall season, and compliments the sweetness and beef flavors: Cinnamon! I also seem to have been inspired in a different direction….”Pepper Beef and Onions” originally was referring to pepper the vegetable, where I took it to mean the spice.

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 large florets broccoli, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped small
  • 1 onion, quartered and sliced
  • 2 peppers, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 2-3 big tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Lots of pepper (I used a combination of black and an exotic blend), with cayenne and cinnamon
  1. Chop vegetables and saute in the coconut oil and coconut aminos over medium heat, keep covered.
  2. When they soften a little and cook down, add the spices and tomatoes, then stir. Cover pan in between.
  3. When the vegetables are cooked and have reduced a lot, add a bit more black pepper, the ground beef, and cook until meat is cooked through, stirring occasionally.

It came out absolutely fabulous. It was even better than how I made it over the weekend, now that I had full control. I liked the ground beef version, and it was a nice easy dinner. Other than chopping, it was really minimal. I served it with half an avocado, and the creamy fatty awesomeness definitely complimented the salty savory aminos in the dish.

 


A Simple Chicken and Zucchini dish, and Chicken Pineapple Kabobs

Here are two simple and tasty chicken dishes I made over the weekend. Since they were pretty easy, I didn’t really want to give either of them a WHOLE post but they were both definitely worth sharing (and making!)

Chicken And Zucchini

Chicken And Zucchini

First, is just a light and simple dish I threw together on Friday night after  getting home from CrossFit. A pleasant and sunny zucchini and chicken saute. My boyfriend loved it, and says that sometimes, the  best food, is really simple. I have to agree, as it let’s the light flavors compliment each other. All I did was throw some duck fat in a pan with some largely chopped zucchini cubes and a little garlic. I Seasoned with salt, pepper, and oregano, and let it go for a minute or two. They where large chunks, so I wanted them to cook a little before throwing the chicken in. Once they started to get shiny, but were not yet fully soft, I threw the chicken in. Lastly, I covered the pan, stirring occasionally, until everything was cooked through. It probably would make a good lunch too.

Pineapple Chicken Kabobs with Sweet Potatos

Pineapple Chicken Kabobs with Sweet potatoes

We had my friend over Saturday night, and invited him to eat dinner with us. He is enthusiastic about great food, but doesn’t really cook, and wants to eat healthier.  We all went for a trip to Whole Foods, for ingredients, and I thought this was a nice time to show him that healthy food can taste good, and get the boys involved in the process! Yay kitchen helpers! Really though, It’s an easy dish, and I just appreciated having people help chop things for a change. I hope he took away some ideas and inspirations with his belly full of yummy food! originally I wanted to make it with salmon, but since they didn’t have salmon steaks and our friend wasn’t a huge fan of fish, we switched the plan to chicken.

The Kabobs are made up of pineapple chunks, chicken breast, whole garlic cloves, onion, and cherry sized tomatoes. The order wasn’t so important, though I tried to keep the chicken bookended by the pineapple. I lightly seasoned them with salt, pepper, and paprika, and baked them in a glass pan at 450 degrees, turning once, until the chicken was cooked through. This took about 20-30 minutes. The skewers were also greased with coconut oil, and I put small dabs of coconut oil at various points along the length of each skewer, mostly on the chicken parts.

For the sweet potatoes, I put some duck fat in a pan, and sautéed over medium heat with some onion, until the sweet potatoes were soft and starting to caramelized. They were seasoned during the cooking process with cinnamon, paprika, salt, cardamom, and ginger powder.

Dinner was a huge success, and our friend really enjoyed eating healthy, yummy, food.

Oh! Here is another bonus! We ALSO made roasted artichokes! Growing up, I used to always have them boiled, or steamed, and my friend mentioned in the store while we were shopping, that he’s only had them boiled. Since finding this method, it has been my favorite go-to method for cooking artichokes. it is so easy and flavorful! Here is the link, as I follow this recipe every time, and always get stellar results!

http://pinchmysalt.com/how-to-roast-whole-artichokes/


ZukaBurger Casserole

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I wanted to make a layered bake, that reminded me of a burger. It’s not a saucy layered bake, though you do get some juices from the vegetables and meat. The Sweet potato layers make up the top and bottom like buns , and you have tomato and onion as toppings. I threw some zucchini in as a green instead of lettuce. I was really happy how it came out, and the layers hold together pretty well, which is sometimes a problem with saucier bakes.

Ingredients:

1 lb grass-fed ground buffalo or beef
2 sweet potatoes [peeled and sliced]
1 large tomato [sliced]
1/2-1 onion [sliced, keeping the rings together]
3 cloves garlic [chopped]
1 zucchini [sliced]
1 yellow summer squash [sliced]

  • Grease a glass 9×9 pan with duck fat. place a layer of sweet potato slices to cover the bottom.
  • Season the ground beef with a little salt, pepper, oregano, and maybe a little chili powder, and press lightly into the pan, covering evenly from edge to edge. [season however you would normally season burger meat]
  • Add the slices of onion on top of the beef, and sprinkle the chopped garlic around, Then place the tomato slices on top.
  • Cover with a layer of zucchini slices and finish off with another layer of sweet potatoes.
  • Rub top layer with duck fat and bake covered 300 degrees for 1 hour
    Increase heat to 400 degrees and bake an additional 30-60 min.

[optionally, you can probably start off at 400 degrees and cook for a shorter amount of time. I used the longer cook method because I wanted to leave it baking while I went to CrossFit. ]

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ZukaBurgerCasserole 127

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Crock Pot Chocolate Chili Brisket

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Here is a nice crock pot recipe I made the other day. I always like trying to add cocoa powder into savory dishes, and I love the combination of chocolate and cayenne pepper. I was going to use a brisket, but I was sent a shoulder london broil with my meat order – so I used that instead. Crock pot beef is wonderful, because you don’t even need a knife, it just falls onto your fork, ready to be eaten.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lb brisket or shoulder London broil
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic – largely chopped
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1/4 cup dried unsweetened un-sulfered cherries
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons cayenne [depending on how spicy you like it]
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons ginger powder
  • Fresh Basil ripped to pieces

Place the onions and some carrots on the bottom of the crock pot, then place the meat in. On top of the meat, add the cocoa powder and cayenne pepper. Add the rest of the vegetables, seasoning, and liquids. Cook in the crock pot on low  for 8 -10 hours.

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Instead of putting potatoes in the slow cooker with the rest of the dish, I decided to get some blue potatoes [ If regular potatoes are an issue for you, you can use another root veggie, or sweet potato] from the farm stand, and roast them for a side. Wash the potatoes, and remove any eyes. Cut slits in the potatoes, all along the length, but not all the way through. put some duck fat over each potato, so it seeps into the slits. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rosemary, and bake for 40-60 minutes until tender.

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Farm Stand Salad with Honey Hot Cod

Here is a little something I pulled together last night. I wanted to keep it fairly simple. Now I normally don’t add any sweeteners to my recipes – but I added a tablespoon of raw honey to this one. It’s still Paleo compliant, but it’s not Whole Life Challenge compliant because of that. For the fish, I have some things to tweak next time, mainly I think I would put the sauce on after the fish is on the plate – just because the fish gives off a lot of liquid, and waters it down. You can experiment with it. I thought it was good enough to post, and my boyfriend was like “That was really good”…so maybe I’m just being overly critical.

I actually wanted to highlight the salad today. It wasn’t crazy involved, but most of the ingredients came from the local farm stand, which is a practice I want everyone to start trying to implement. Eating seasonally is not only important for nutrition and budget, as the fresher ingredients are often cheaper and more nutrient dense in season, but it’s important to support your local farmers and farm stands, because generally the food you find there is way fresher, and way better than anything you will find in your local big chain supermarket.

I bought some beautiful arugula, red leaf lettuce, and cucumbers from the farm stand. The shallot also came from a trip there earlier in the week. The only things I added that did not come from there, was the tomatoes, some celery, and some fermented ginger carrot.

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  • Arugula
  • Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Shallot
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Celery
  • Fermented Ginger Carrots

Dressing – Olive Oil, Coconut Aminos, Lime Juice

It was beautiful and fresh, and the arugula had a wonderful full flavor spice to it that really complimented the light and refreshing taste of everything else! I think in the past I have only had baby arugula, which I love, but I didn’t realize how wonderfully strong the flavor is when full-grown!

So to go with it, I baked some Cod Filets. To make the sauce, I placed a glass bowl over a sauce pan, and set the stove to Hi. I added a tablespoon each of duck fat and raw honey, then added a few good shakes of hot sauce. Next time I am going to put the sauce on after baking, because as you can see by the picture, the liquid from the fish seriously diluted it. It was subtle and nice though. I topped with half an avocado for some added good fats.

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