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