Paleo Kielbasa & Super Kraut

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I’ve made a handful of recipes from the PaleoPot page.  Every single one that I have made has been pretty fantastic. The majority of the recipes on the have been crock potified.  He really tries to create delicious one pot meals that are simple and easy on the wallet.  This recipe came across my Facebook newsfeed recently. I earmarked it in my “To Make” file.  I saved it for a chilly, snowy day.  Something to warm the soul AND the belly.

Ingredients
Sauerkraut, 1 large bag (approx 2#)
Red cabbage, half of 1 medium head, shredded
Beef Kielbasa, 1-1.5#, sliced into 1/2″ or 1″ pieces

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Instructions
1. Pour the sauerkraut into your crock pot / slow cooker, including the juices.
2. Add the shredded red cabbage and mix evenly into the sauerkraut.
3. Cut the kielbasa into 1/2″ to 1″ lengths
4. Place the kielbasa (cut sides up) around the edges of the crock pot to form a ring. Use the excess kielbasa slices to start a second ring inside of the first.
5. Cover your crock pot / slow cooker and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
6. Eat, enjoy, package the leftovers for tomorrow or the next day.

I feel like sauerkraut is a love it or hate kind of food.  As I have gotten older, I have really grown to love it.  I’m a big fan of corned beef and sauerkraut on St Patrick’s Day.  I also enjoy a Reuben every now and again.  That being said, the whole sauerkraut thing in this recipe is what caught my eye.  Two more things that drew me to this particular recipe were 1.  Slow cooker.  Duh.  B. 3 ingredients.  That’s it.  Meat and vegetables.  Done and done.

The recipe calls for bag-o-kraut.  I had trouble finding that, so I ended up using a jar, which worked out just fine.  With the kielbasa, check labels.  Look for those sneaky sugars (i.e. corn syrup).  They’re everywhere.  It may be a bit spendier, but look for the kielbasa with just meat, no tricky extras.  As far as the cabbage, I found a decently sized small one and shredded the crap out of it.  I recommend using a larger shredder.  That’s it.  No salt.  No pepper.  No spices.  Just 3 simple ingredients.

After about 5 hours, my house was smelling pretty fantastic, although I did have to apologize to my husband for “stinking” up the house like cooked cabbage.  After snapping a few fancy pictures of my meal, I literally inhaled it.  This stuff is pretty tasty.  All the flavors just blend together so well.  The tangy kraut.  The color, texture, and unique flavor of the cabbage.  The slightly crispy, plump and juicy kielbasa.  Delicious.  Couldn’t get enough.  Even better on day 2 and 3.  I plan to make this at the station for my firefighter friends sometime in the not too distant future.

Happy eating!

Recipe HERE.  While you’re there, peruse through his other recipes.  Something for everyone!

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

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I’m a sucker for cranberry sauce.  A Thanksgiving staple that can easily be forgotten.  I guess I grew up having the canned cranberry sauce…didn’t know any better.  This year I decided to try something a little different.  The ingredient list just screamed FLAVOR!  I was all about it.  Here is what you need to know:

Ingredients
One 14 ounce bag of cranberries
One medium Bartlett pear, cored and diced smaller than the cranberries
Juice and zest of one medium orange
One tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup coconut sap crystals/coconut sugar

Instructions
1. Wash your cranberries (turns out, cranberries are pretty dirty). Strain excess water off before dumping into your slow cooker.
2. Add your pear, orange juice, orange zest, and ginger. Stir.
3. Add your honey and coconut crystals. Try your best to stir evenly. If clumps form, set them towards the top.
4. Leave your lid slightly cracked to allow excess moisture to cook off, which will provide a thicker sauce.
5. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours. If doubling the recipe, cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

The only thing that I changed was the ginger…accidentally.  I read tsp vs Tbsp so I did not buy enough ginger.  Otherwise, the recipe was followed to a T.  I have so much to say about this recipe, but to keep this post short, let me summarize my thoughts with bullet points.

1. This cranberry sauce made my house smell A-MAY-ZING.  After throwing this together in the slow cooker, my husband and I left for a bit to run some errands. When we got back, my house smelled like Christmas.  It was an olfactory delight. Way better than a candle. 
2. This is THE best cranberry sauce that I have ever had. The cranberry.  The orange.  The pear.  The ginger. Wow.  Just…wow.  It’s a perfect punch of flavor.  Everything goes together really well.  Great layering. 
3.  I visited with Jason, the guy behind PaleoPot , a little about this recipe.  We talked about the pears.  Pears aren’t typically found in your traditional cranberry sauce.  The purpose for pears is twofold.  A. The pears add sweetness.  Sure, honey and coconut crystals add sugar, but really, nothing beats that natural sugar that you get from fruit.  B. Pears have pectin.  Pectin is a thickener.  Nature’s thickening agent.  Boom!
4.  Next time, I would double the receipe. I can’t get enough.  This recipe made about 2 cups, give or take.  Not nearly enough for those of us who pile on the cranberry sauce.
5. Only a handful of ingredients.  The only prep “work” really is with the orange and the ginger.  With a sharp microplane, it takes no time at all.  Quick and simple.

In short, this recipe is a huge win.  This WILL be made again (and again and again and again).  Thanks, Jason from PaleoPot, for making our turkey better, for making our house smell like cranberry spice, and for a more colorful Thanksgiving table this year. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Recipe HERE.

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Sweet Potato Chili Round 2

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Sweet potato chili.  I’ve made sweet potato chili before (previous post HERE).  It was such a hit at work that I decided to try another recipe, hence the Round 2.  Some ingredients are similar…some are different.  With a name like Paleo On a Budget, of course I had to try it.  Here’s the info.

Ingredients
1 medium Sweet Potato {diced into bite sized pieces}
1lb ground pork
6oz Frozen Sausage {or whatever sausage you have on hand}
1 Big can crushed tomatoes
 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1/3 Big Bag Frozen Green Beans
Large Onion, Diced {I did a big dice}
3 Carrots, Peeled + Diced
Seasoning: 3 Tbsp Cumin, 5 Tbsp Chili Powder, 2 Tbsp Dried Basil & Oregano, 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning, 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder + Red Pepper Flakes
4 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt + Pepper
KerryGold Butter

Instructions
1. In a big pot get some butter all melted. Toss in your onions and carrots, let them start to cook and soften.
2. While that’s going on dice up your sweet potato {I kept the skin on} and toss that in. Same with the sausages.
3. Once those are all happy together you can add in your pork. Then all of your spices, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Salt + Pepper go in. Stir it all together {you want everything coated in the spices and herbs}.
4. Then… Then… add in your tomato products and then your frozen green beans {if they’re the whole green beans try to snap them in half as you put them in so they’re more bite sized}.
5. One more big Stir, cover… put it on low.. forget about it for a few hours.
6. Boom, it’s done…. I serve mine w/ Homemade mayo. It’s just wicked yummy that way. You could also drizzle some EVOO on it for an additional boost of fat!

Again, I chose to make a slow cooker version of this.  Not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’m a fan of the slow cooker.  Big fan.  Here’s how I made this recipe.
1.I melted the butter in a big pot. 
2. In the meantime, I chopped carrots and onion then threw that into the melty butter pot.  (If you haven’t tried Kerrygold butter yet, you are missing out.  By far THE BEST butter I have ever tasted)
3. While the vegetables were cooking, I chopped up the sweet potato, leaving the skin on, and set aside for a few hours. 
4. Once the vegetables started to soften, I added the meat.  Really, just add whatever you have on hand.  I chose to add 1# of pork and 1/2# of beef.  Seemed to do the trick. 
5. Time for the spices
6. Next comes the vinegar.  I cooked this at work and accidentally left the apple cider vinegar at home on the counter.  Regular white vinegar seemed to work just fine.
7. While everything simmered and flavors infused in the pot, I prepared my slow cooker.  I ALWAYS use a slow cooker bag.  The fewer the dishes, the better.  I also added my tomatoes to the slow cooker at this time.
8. Next, I added the meaty vegetable mixture to the slow cooker. 
9. I did use the frozen green beans.  Legumes are not Paleo and I typically do not eat them, but for the sake of the recipe, I chose to add them.  I was intrigued.
10.  I let the whole lot cook on low for about 8 hours or so.  I added the sweet potatoes to the chili about 1 hour prior to eating.  This way they keep their firmness a bit better and don’t just become soggy clumps.

That’s it.  I typically serve my chili with a combination of any of these delicious ingredients: sweet potato chips, a little sour cream, a little cheese, avocado, tomatoes, scallions.

I really enjoyed this recipe.  The vinegar adds a fun acidic element to the chili.  I also loved the fact that the carrots and onions were cooked in butter beforehand.  Cooking the buttery vegetable, meat, spices, and vinegar combo worked really well.  I think it gave the dish a more intense flavor.  Richer. 

Next time, I would probably leave out the green beans.  They weren’t bad.  If green beans are a part of your diet, leave them in.  They definitely add a bit of texture to the chili.  Since I would leave out green beans, I would probably add an additional sweet potato for next time.  I would probably add a few more carrots as well for a little more Vitamin A.  I’m also curious if apple cider vinegar would change the flavor any.  As far as the meat, the pork/beef combo worked well.  I do like chili with a bit of kick, so for next time, I’m tempted to try a Graziano or Andouille sausage to give it a bit more pop.

Overall, this was pretty tasty.  I think the best part has been eating the leftovers.  Days 2-4 have been delicious.  I also stuck a container of leftovers in the freezer.  This will come in handy on one of those cold winter days to come.

I hope that you enjoy this chili as much as I do.  May it warm your soul as well as your tummy.

Happy Eating!

Recipe HERE.

Perfect Pried Egg

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Eggs.  A staple for anyone who chooses to have a Paleo way of eating.  Also one of my very favorite foods.  Liz, of Cave Girl Eats, came up with this one.

She writes:
I love eggs – always with a runny yolk – but I have major issues cooking them. It takes an average of five broken yolks for me to get one intact yolk, which I find exceedingly dumb. When I poach eggs, even with vinegar in the water, the whites go all stringy and they’re always either over- or under-done. When I fry eggs, they get all burn-y around the edges, and I don’t like that…I bought some fancy-schmancy egg cooking ring things, and not ONCE have they worked. Even when greased, they seem to hang on to the whites like Real Housewives hang on to their fleeting youth.

Yes.  Just…yes.  I can relate to this with all of my being.  Absolutely I will try making your pried eggs.

Ingredients
egg
water

Instructions
1. Add approx. 1 inch of water into your fry pan.
2. Heat until steaming.
3. Drop a large Mason jar ring into the water.
4. Crack an egg inside.
5. Cover the fry pan with a lid to allow steaming.
6. Cook until desired doneness.
7. Drain water, use spatula to remove egg from pan

Brilliant.  The egg came out perfectly!  PLUS, the egg released from the mason jar lid just as it should.  No stickage.  Liz writes “Since this is kind of a fried-poached cross, I shall call it ‘pried’.”  Really truly the perfect egg.  The doneness of poached, with the look of fried.  Try it out on this lazy Saturday morning.  Today, I chose to pair it with some tasty turkey & cranberry meatballs and a cup of coffee with a splash of heavy whip.

Happy Weekend Breakfasting!

Recipe HERE.

Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs

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Melissa, of The Clothes Make the Girl, posted this recipe not too long ago.  With Thanksgiving quickly…very quickly…approaching, I have been on the lookout for fun T-day dishes that could add a little health AND creativity to the meal. Turkey & cranberries have a delicious compatibility.  Heck yeah, I’m going to make this recipe. I purchased Melissa’s cookbook Well Fed quite awhile ago.  So many awesome creations.  I just knew this one would be just as tasty as the rest of her recipes.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened), coarsely chopped (check labels to make sure the cranberries are truly unsweetened)
1/2 tablespoon rubbed sage
1/2 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix baking soda and cream of tartar in water. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix turkey, orange juice, garlic, cranberries, sage, orange zest, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine.
4. Add the baking soda mixture to the bowl, and mix again. NOTE: For a smoother, more tender texture, use a food processor or a standing mixer – fitted with the paddle attachment – to blend the ingredients. For more a traditional texture, mix the meat by hand.
5. Mixture will be super gooey. Place meat in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes.
6. After 20-30, roll about 1 tablespoon of meat into a 1-inch ball. (Melissa likes to use a 1-tablespoon scoop to speed up the process.)
7. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake meatballs for 20-25 minutes, until browned and sizzling.
(This recipe yielded 16 meatballs approx golf ball size)

Melissa recommends serving with your favorite sides — or recreating a Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich by wrapping a meatball in a butter lettuce leaf with homemade mayo, salt, pepper, and a few fresh parsley leaves.

First of all, do not be intimidated by the ingredients or the amount of steps.  Most of the ingredients I actually already had in my cupboards at home.  The instructions are pretty easy and straight forward. Simple, really.

The house smelled fantastic while the meatballs were cooking. I could hardly wait to try them.  I dug right in once they came out of the oven.  I suppose one could put gravy on them or Paleo mayo, but really, they’re delicious on their own. The flavor is fairly complex.  There’s a lot for your taste buds to figure out.  I love the crispy turkey flavor combined with the citrus of the orange and the tartness of the cranberries.  I had to sample at least 4 or 5 to really get the flavor down….  (Note: The only thing that I left out was the sage. I’m fairly allergic to sage, turns out.  I haven’t had it in quite a while, so I’m not sure how much it would change the flavor.)

These meatballs are definitely a fun twist on the turkey & cranberry combo.  Perfect as a snack or a meal.

Happy Eating!

Recipe HERE.

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorites.  Everyone gathered together, a table full of food, a heart of thankfulness.  Speaking of food….since deciding to eat clean, it has become a bit more difficult to partake in holiday meals.  Many traditional favorites are full of ingredients that I choose not to eat.  Lately, I have been keeping my eyes open for great Thanksgiving recipes. Cleaner options. So.many.recipes. Elana’s Pantry recently posted this pumpkin pie recipe.  Now, just so you know, I definitely prefer pie over cake and I’m somewhat of an aficionado. I do make a mean pumpkin pie…with my grandma’s secret pie crust recipe.  BUT, since my family pumpkin pie recipe isn’t so much Paleo, I thought I’d try my hand at this one.  Elana’s Pantry is good about posting fantastic recipes.  I was optimistic.

Ingredients

1 (15 oz ) can pumpkin puree (or 1.5 Cu homemade pumpkin puree)
3 eggs
1/2 Cu coconut milk (full fat)
1/3 cu honey
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Crust
2 Cu blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 egg

Makes 1 pie crust
Recipe HERE

Instructions
Prepare the crust first
1. Place flour and salt in food processor and pulse briefly
2. Add coconut oil and egg.  Pulse until mixture forms a ball.
3. Press dough firmly into a 9-inch pie dish, set aside.
4. In a food processor, combine pumpkin puree and eggs.
5. Pour filling into Paleo Pie Crust
6. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes
7. Allow to cool completely then refrigerate for approx 2 hours to set up

Makes 1 pie

Topping
Heavy whipping cream
vanilla
cinnamon

I don’t have exact measurements.  I just pour and sprinkle and whip the crap out of it by hand.  Truly made with love.

Ever the skeptic, I was pleasantly surprised at how this pie turned out.  Really, it turned out perfectly.  Towards the end of baking, the crust was getting dangerously golden so I placed some tinfoil on top for the last 10 minutes or so.  Other than that, the recipe was relatively simple.  There are a handful of ingredients, but basically you just mix them together.  Nothing fancy.  I would make this pie again…and often.  It truly tastes like pumpkin pie.  The whipped topping really makes this pumpkin pie the perfect ending to your traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  Best part is, it’s guilt-free.  Grain-free, dairy-free, and the only sugar is the honey.

Try it out this Thanksgiving.  See if your dinner guests notice a difference.  I’d bet they won’t.  This would also be the perfect item to take along to that dinner party you’ve been invited to.  This way, you know EXACTLY what went into the pie and can enjoy a care-free dessert.  pairs well with coffee.

I hope you enjoy this pie as much as I do!

Happy Eating!

Recipe HERE.

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Maple Roasted Carrots

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My medic partner and I planned a delicious feast for dinner. Ribs in the slow cooker. Roasted asparagus. …but what to do with these carrots? Why not maple roasted carrots?

Ingredients
Carrots
Real maple syrup
Butter

Instructions
1. Preheat your oven to 400°.
2. Line baking sheet with tin foil.
3. Wash, peel, slice carrots.
4. Spread carrot rounds evenly on baking sheet
5. Drizzle with maple syrup
6. Top with small pieces of butter (I use Kerrygold butter)
7. Bake for approx 30 minutes, or until tender.

These carrots were just what dinner needed. A subtle sweetness. And only 3 ingredients. A new favorite.

Happy eating!

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No-Churn Two Ingredient Pumpkin Ice Cream

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I don’t have an ice cream maker, so I was excited to see that you could make this recipe without it. PLUS, only 2 ingredients and 3 easy steps.

Ingredients
4 large or 6 small very ripe bananas, frozen ( I always have a bunch of bananas in the freezer for smoothies and whatnot. When the bananas on the counter start getting brown/lots of black spots, I peel them, wrap them in plastic wrap, then freeze them. So much easier. Just a little helpful tip.)

1/2 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree (if you used canned, check labels. You want the one with pumpkin as the only ingredient)

Optional: raw honey, pure maple syrup, cinnamon, or chocolate chips

Instructions
1. Blend the frozen bananas and pumpkin together in a high speed blender or food processor until creamy. The bananas must be pre-frozen even if you are going to freeze the ice cream after blending. 2. Taste and add some sweetener, like maple syrup, if desired. Cinnamon and chocolate chips can also be blended in, yum!
3. Serve immediately for soft serve texture or freeze for at least 4 hours for a firmer ice cream. If ice cream is in the freezer for a while, let it soften for about 5 minutes at room temperature before serving.

I’m a big fan of the banana ice cream (freeze bananas then blend them). This is really the same thing, you just add a little pumpkin. I also added some real maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice as well. Perfectly sweet. Great way to end the day. Just fruit. Delicious and nutritious. Brilliant.

Happy eating!

Recipe HERE.

Slow Cooker Baked Apples

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I came across this recipe the other day. I was at work and was looking for a delicious dessert to complete our perfectly Paleo dinner. I had previously posted a winner of a recipe on my blog, but I’m always looking for more recipes. I came across this one on the Health, Home, & Happiness website.

Ingredients
6 medium to large green apples
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp coconut oil, butter, or ghee

Instructions
1. Core apples. To core, using an apple corer or paring knife, cut around the core (about 1/4 inch from the stem all the way around), but leave about half an inch at the bottom. Use the knife (I used a large spoon) to “drill out” the core.
2. Divide raisins, honey, cinnamon, and fat among the apples.
3. Place apples in a crock pot and add 1/2 inch of water.
4. Cook on low overnight and enjoy a hot breakfast in the morning.
5. (Optional) Alternatively, bake covered at 350°F in a glass fish for 45 minutes-1 hour.
6. To with heavy whipping cream, coconut milk, or just eat plain.

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I love this recipe for many reasons. 1. It’s simple. 5 ingredients. That’s it. Most people have all of these ingredients in the pantry already. No extra trips to the store. 2. There is a slow cooker option. I do love crock potified recipes. Throw it in, forget about it, come back later to something delicious. 3. It’s a healthy sweet treat. The honey could easily be substituted to make it even cleaner.

I opted to go the glass dish route. Also, my fat of choice was Kerrygold grass-fed butter. These babies made the fire station kitchen smell all sorts of delicious.  I typically use red apples, the kind you get from a local apple orchard. This time, I opted to stick to the recipe and use the Granny Smith. Delicious. The raisins were plump, the taste was perfectly sweet, and when the apples were served, they were dripping with buttery goodness.

Another recipe win. This recipe is firefighter approved. Perhaps next time I will try the slow cooker option.

Happy eating!

Original recipe HERE.

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Baked Delicata Moons

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South Beach Primal posted this recipe on Facebook recently.  I grew up having squash typically as a savory-type dish, so I’m always eager to try a sweeter version of the vegetable. I had never heard of the Delicata squash before (picture HERE), so I went on a mission to find some.  I ended up finding these guys in the organic squash section of my local grocery store.  About a buck and some odd change for one.  Not bad. I brought one to work with me today, thought I’d try this recipe out on some of the fire guys.

Ingredients

  • 1 Delicata squash
  • 1 tbsp butter from grass-fed cows
  • 1 tsp Grade B maple syrup (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cinnamon to taste

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
2. Wash the skin of the squash, getting in the creases of each ridge.
3. Cut off both ends and then cut long ways down the length of each ridge.
4. Taking a spoon, scoop out the stringy seeds.
5. Vertically, cut 1/2 inch pieces so the squash looks like half-crescent moons
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup (and less sticking).
7. Lay out each moon, cover with melted butter, syrup, salt, and cinnamon.  Try adding the seeds for a nice crunch!
8. After making sure each side is evenly coated, pop the tray in the oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping occasionally.  BE GENTLE!
9. Enjoy!

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This squash recipe is delicious!  The butter, syrup, cinnamon, salt combination is perfect.  I also chose to bake the squash seeds.  I had never had squash seeds before and was pleasantly surprised.  Turns out, I prefer them over the every popular pumpkin seeds.  The squash seeds are smaller and easier to eat.  The crunch of the seeds complimented the soft squash quite nicely.  I had this as a snack today, but this could easily be a dessert.  The firefighters approved as well.  Really a perfect sweet snack at the fire station.  It’s easy to prepare with easy clean up. It’s nutritious AND delicious.  Looking forward to making more moons this week.

Happy Eating!
Your Paleo Paramedic

Original recipe HERE.

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