Friday, December 28, 2012

Maple-Mustard Glazed Salmon with Roasted Asparagus

salmon asparagus

My life tends to revolve around food, and for this reason, I often like to try new and elaborate cooking techniques.  Due to this inclination to experiment in the kitchen, some of my recipes can get a little complicated and labor-intensive.  I realize that not everyone has the time or patience (which I could even use more of) to execute intricate recipes.  Sometimes after a long day, I come down with the “I Just Want To Sit Here and Do Nothing” bug.  On days like this, when I don’t head down the street to Chipotle, it’s nice to be able to whip up a healthy meal in 30 minutes that still tastes like a labor of love. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Paleo Balls of Joy

With the holidays quickly approaching, I decided it would be appropriate to make a little Christmas treat.  Cookies tend to be a go-to dessert around this time, so I chose a chocolatey cookie-like recipe and made it all my own.  These round little delights have a slightly salty bite to them from one of my favorite secret ingredients (ahem...bacon) that goes wonderfully with the chocolatey-ness making it a super decadent and almost guiltless treat (and yes, bacon can be guiltless!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

I didn't initially intend to post this recipe, but when I tasted it, I decided that I couldn’t keep it to myself.  My last post for Roasted Garlic Mashed Faux-tatoes addressed the concept of substituting non-primal ingredients when necessary.  This recipe does much the same thing for breaded chicken, and the results are outstanding!  Every once in a while, I long for something a little crispy or crunchy which tends to be non-existent in the paleo world, because anything “breaded” is usually off-limits. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Roasted Garlic Mashed Faux-tatoes

One of my favorite things about following the Paleo Diet is the abundance of substitutions you can make for nearly any food you might be craving that isn’t “paleo.”  Cauliflower, often a forgotten vegetable among the general population, is highly revered among the primal community.  With its  mild flavor, it can be transformed into so many things, including rice (more on that later), pizza crust, and even mashed “potatoes.” While I call this a mashed “faux-tato” recipe, it isn’t entirely “faux” because I did add one sweet potato to the mix, which adds a slight sweetness and creamier texture.  This side dish goes well with a variety of proteins, especially my upcoming recipe for Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs.

Not the best photo, but still super yummy!
Mashed “Faux-tatoes”

• 5 cloves garlic
• 3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
• 1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
• 1 sweet potato
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 Tablespoon butter
• 1 Tablespoon heavy cream (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Create a small nest for the garlic cloves out of aluminum foil and cover them about halfway with the olive oil.  Place in a glass baking dish to prevent the oil from leaking in the oven.  Poke the sweet potato a few times with a fork and place in the baking dish next to the garlic.  

2. Roast the garlic and sweet potato for about 30 minutes, then remove the garlic and turn the sweet potato over.  Continue cooking the sweet potato for about 20-30 more minutes  or until tender.  

3. In the meantime, steam the cauliflower in a pot or saucepan filled with about a half inch of water using a steamer basket.  Allow the cauliflower and the sweet potato to cool slightly, then scoop the sweet potato out of its skin, and add both the cauliflower and the sweet potato along with the garlic, garlic powder and salt to a food processor.  Purée until it has reached your desired consistency, then add it to a saucepan and set it to low heat.  Add the butter (and heavy cream if desired) and stir until combined and heated through, then remove from heat.

What is your favorite way to eat cauliflower?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hearty Beef Stew With Roasted Poblano Peppers

Over the weekend, I was given the wonderful opportunity to meet Paul Schwennesen, a local rancher from Double Check Ranch, at the farmer’s market in Downtown Phoenix.  I had heard that he was looking to hire someone to help sell his exquisite, pasture-raised, “beyond organic” meats at the farmer’s market, and took immediate interest.  After contacting Paul, I eagerly agreed to meet him at the market on Saturday morning and ended up

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sweet Omelette: A Slightly Irr-"egg"-ular Breakfast

sweet omelette

Like many followers of the primal lifestyle, I sometimes wake up in the morning and grudgingly think to myself, “I guess it’s eggs for breakfast, again.”  But one morning, I had some extra time on my hands, so I thought long and hard about what to do with my eggs to make them egg-stra special (Oh, and I apologize for my excessive use of really bad egg puns).  I knew I was craving something sweet, and that was when I had an epiphany. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Caramelized Onion and Eggplant Dip with Endive "Spoons"

I’m sure you have all heard that old saying, “Patience is a virtue.”  Well, that saying definitely applies to caramelization.  Whether you’re caramelizing sugar, meat, vegetables or anything for that matter, caramelization can be a tricky thing to accomplish.  Depending on what you are trying to caramelize, it can either happen very, very quickly to the point of burning (sugar, for example)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Ahhh, coffee.  I don’t know about you, but my morning coffee is one of the small pleasures in life that I value beyond belief.  I try not to leave the house without it, because when I do, my day just seems to start off on the wrong foot.  Unfortunately, it is one of those “limbo” substances when it comes to primal living.  Many people who follow the primal and paleo lifestyles avoid it because it was not consumed back in the (Paleolithic) day.  I’ve heard endless arguments about the health benefits of drinking coffee, possible negative effects of drinking it, and reasons why it should be avoided like the plague. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Harvest Pork Chili


I don’t know about you, but it seems like every time the seasons change (whether it is winter, spring, summer, or fall) I think to myself, “This is definitely my favorite season.” I don’t know what it is about the change of seasons, but I particularly enjoy the freshness it brings to life.  Just when you start getting tired of the current weather forecasts, it begins to cool down or warm up, and the flowers bloom or the leaves fall.  The timing is always perfect. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Almighty Meatza . . .

As my first recipe post, I felt it would be appropriate to post a recipe that would really get those primal juices flowing.  Nothing says caveman quite like a pizza crust...made of meat.  That’s right. I’m referring to the famous “Meatza.”  If this concept doesn’t make you drool all over your keyboard and forget about your average pizza, I don’t know what will.  While it may be slightly messier and juicier than pizza with an actual crust (which, in my opinion, makes it all the more primal), it is healthier and much more convenient than fussing with yeast, waiting for dough to rise, and pesky pizza stones.  It is also a very versatile meal, with endless combinations for toppings.  And of course, it wouldn’t be an almighty meatza without...bacon!  So, I decided to mix some bacon into the “crust” and sprinkle some on top for good measure, but you can omit it from the crust if you aren’t as pro-bacon as I am.  Enjoy!

Almighty Meatza

  • 10-12 slices of bacon
  • 1  pound of ground beef
  • 2  eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1  15-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ package of button mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 pepperoncinis, chopped
  • ½ cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 2  cups shredded cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Cook the bacon in a skillet, chop into pieces, and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine beef, half the bacon, eggs, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  4. Spread meat mixture evenly in a 9 x 13-inch pan into a thin layer with the meat slightly coming up the sides of the pan.  Bake in 350ºF oven for about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the meat crust from the oven and cover it with tomato sauce, spreading evenly.  Then layer the cheese, veggies, and remaining bacon and return the meatza to the oven for an additional 15 minutes until cheese is hot and melty.
Pre-baked meatza

What are some of your favorite caveman-like substitutions? . . . Feel free to leave a comment below.

Recipe adapted from: Paleo Diet and Living

A Few Primal Points

The Primal lifestyle, similar to the Paleo Diet (short for Paleolithic), was founded on the basis that the mechanisms of our bodies run most efficiently on the food that our “cavemen” ancestors would have originally eaten.  They basically ate anything that they could hunt and gather, including meat, fish, vegetables, roots, nuts, seeds, and fruits.  Grains, legumes, and refined vegetable oils and sugars would not have been viable sources of food for a hominid.  Think about it; when was the last time you went for a walk and stumbled across a vat of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil?