Monday, July 23, 2012

Breakfast Bake

Good Monday Morning! (Oxymoron, I know)

Since going Paleo, I have discovered the joy & deliciousness of FRESH veggies & fruit. I do not mean grocery store fresh, I'm talking either home grown, or day of, farmers market fresh.
We planted a variety of vegetables in our back yard this year -- it has been a learning experience to say the least. BUT, we have gotten some great zucchini, tomatoes, a few peppers, green onions, mint, and more cucumbers than I know what to do with. Randomly our okra just started to grow, I'm not so sure how that is going to turn out.
 Apparently, we also fed a family of cut worms (no worries, they aren't coming back!) and I'm learning more and more about the "perfect soil" (which seems almost impossible to achieve) But it has been a fulfilling experience (as well as stressful at times) and we are already planning what we are going to do for next season!
 If your not lucky enough to have veggies in your back yard, I recommend finding a market that showcases locally grown foods. The best ones are only open a few (maybe just 1) day(s) a week. (ensuring FRESH, just picked products)
Not only are you supporting your local agriculture/ hard working families, but you will get some of the most delicious food you can imagine!
If you are around Birmingham, you have many options on a Saturday morning. Last weekend, we went  to Pepper Place and it did not disappoint. We got blueberries, watermelon, apples, jalapenos, green peppers, figs & onions, and had a great time sampling all the salsas, fruits, coffee and even a margarita mix! One of the best things about Pepper Place is the addition of local craftsman as well. I got the prettiest, handmade bracelet from a local jeweler for half the price of what I would have paid in a larger department type store! They also had a chef demonstration (and tasting!) and live music. If you live in the area or are ever down here during the summer months, try and make a point to spend a Saturday morning at the old Dr. Pepper plant.

 I don't know about everyone else, but I love breakfast food, especially for dinner. It's usually an easy & comforting meal that we never tire of.
 This recipe is one of our favorites (believe it or not, it has NO bacon in it) and even after stuffing our faces, we usually have a decent amount of leftovers! This is another recipe that your Non-Paleo friends would enjoy, so keep it in mind for Holiday Breakfast/brunch or when you wake up to a house full of mouths to feed!

Egg Bake
1 lb. grass-fed, hot*, Italian sausage (aka not processed, get it from behind the meat counter)
12 eggs whisked
2 yellow onions - thinly sliced
1 red onion - thinly sliced
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
handful of parsley
Italian seasonings of choice

(* The hubs does not like spicy food, but with the addition of the eggs, etc. there is not too much heat. If you are nervous about it being too spicy though, do 1/2 lb. mild 1/2 lb. hot.)
(And, if you are not a mushroom fan, you could leave them out & still achieve the same consistency)

- Pre-heat oven to 375
- Remove sausage casings & brown (season with a little bit of garlic) (I love using my Pampered Chef "smasher" as I call it, to break apart & get good crumbles. If you ever get roped into a PC party, make sure you purchase this little guy. I use it almost EVERY meal!)

- Put sausage in a greased baking dish (glass seems to work best) Use a slotted spoon to do this so most of the grease stays in pan.

- While the pan/grease is still hot, cook the onions & mushrooms until tender - season

- While the onions/mushrooms are cooking, pour the whisked eggs over the sausage

- season egg mixture (make sure to use your paprika here!)

- When onions/mushrooms are caramelized, position them to cover the top of the egg mixture

- Bake for 30ish minutes (depends on the depth & thickness of your dish)


You may not really be what you eat, but what you eat can really affect what you are.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Deer & Sweet Potatoes

 I know, I know.. I'm slacking with my blog, I missed 2 weeks BUT..... I did PASS my comprehensive exam and then took a much needed beach vacation.
 I really should be working on a 15 page paper I have due Friday, but this is just so much more fun :)

 I had posted a quick phone picture on Facebook yesterday of a deer roast and had a few people ask for the recipe, so don't judge me on the picture - I wasn't prepared for it to make it to the blog.
 For the second recipe, it's summer (DUH)! Ovens are HOT, it's beyond HOT outside, and I don't know about y'all, but I sweat way more than I am comfortable with, so after a good WOD ("workout of the day" for all you non-crossfitters) the last thing I want to do is heat the house (and myself) slaving over the stove. I love "grill only" meals, (almost as much as I love my crockpot) they are usually so easy to prepare and have less clean up. So fire up the grill & enjoy a night away from the kitchen!

If you don't have a stockpile of deer meat, scroll on down to recipe #2. If you want a stockpile of deer meat, call me. We have a LOT to eat before next season starts.

Recipe #1 - Don't go freaking out on me, remember - I told you in the beginning, we hunt and we eat deer meat. If you don't agree with that, I suggest you go on & delete this blog from your viewing history and find something else to read.

Deer is actually very tasty and SO very good for you.  On average you are getting 30g of protein and obviously it's about as paleo as it gets. (Especially when I'm cooking one of the deer I shot with my bow he he) Even did a little blurp on the nutritional value.
I'm not kidding, we have enough meat to feed a large army, so if you live close, you are more than welcome to come gather your own surplus ;)

 Pre-Paleo, when I was preparing a roast (and by preparing, I mean after it's thawed out and Perry gets all the silver skin etc. off) I would soak the roast in buttermilk overnight. This draws the blood out of the meat and gives it a less gamey taste. (You only have to do this with the larger pieces, the ground meat is not near as gamey) If your not Paleo (or not 100%) buttermilk is a good soak, if you are stricter Paleo - full fat, canned coconut milk is a good substitute.
(The mushrooms & apples in the recipe also help smooth out the flavor. I'm picky & I can't stand to eat anything that has that wild game taste).

This recipe is Paleo, but you can change some of the ingredients around to suite your desires. Obviously, we don't weigh our shoulders and back-straps into perfect little packages when field-dressing our harvest, this recipe was fitting for a large piece of meat, make adjustments as needed per your weight.

*Deer roast (stating the obvious here, huh?)
*3-4 cups chicken (or beef) broth (organic or homemade - this round I used homemade & it was YUMMY)
*large onion - roughly chopped (large pieces)
*5-6 garlic cloves - chopped
*4oz mushrooms - sliced
*large apple - chopped (large pieces)
*1/2 cup full fat, canned, coconut milk (or you could use a red wine, but cut that to 1/4 cup & add some sort of cream. Pre-paleo I would use a can of what ever cream of ___ soup we had on hand, but honestly we really liked the taste of the meat in the coconut milk & we do NOT like coconut flavor so I think you should try it!)
*Garlic Powder
*Italian herbs
*pinch of red pepper flakes
(I use a bass pro shop deer seasoning too. Probably not 100% Paleo but what-ever, it's tasty!)

These are some of those intense directions, so prepare yourself.......................

1) Pour some of the broth on the bottom of the crockpot & sprinkle half of the garlic in it (Really, I don't know if this makes a difference, but it's what I've always done, so I like to think it's imperative)

2) Plop your prepared (no silver skin, soaked overnight if you desire) roast in the crockpot

3) Season your meat & add the rest of the garlic (Remember: Salt dehydrates meat so use it sparingly)

4) Pour (it's more like splat) the coconut milk over the meat

5) Throw in the mushrooms, apples & onions ( I usually add a little more seasoning on top of these, especially the red pepper flakes - I like it spicy!)

6) Cook your roast on low for 6-8 hours & get on with your busy day!

Grilled Sweet Potato Glory
Seriously, these little round pieces are AMAZING. Even your non-paleo friends will devour these things. 

2 sweet potatoes (try to get the long skinny ones) cut into thin rounds (like chips)
Package of Bacon - slices cut into oneish inch squares

Heat the grill up (low to med-low)
Get out a large piece of aluminum foil
put a handful of the bacon on the foil (helps keep the potatoes from sticking)
put the potato rounds on top of the bacon & the rest of the bacon pieces on top of the potatoes
Sprinkle cinnamon, pepper and salt over the mixture (more cinnamon than pepper and more pepper than salt)
roll the sides of the foil up over the potatoes (making a little foil boat)
Cook the potatoes on the top rack of the grill for 20 minutes 

(sorry I don't have a picture of this one, it's on the computer that has decided not to turn on. When it works again - aka when Perry fixes it - I'll add one to it!)