Kansas City Vacation End-of-Summer BBQ (Whole30 Compliant)

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We are on vacation!  You know that already though, because I mentioned it in the last couple posts.  If you haven’t been to Kansas City before, it is HUGE.  Not huge in population (though I think the metro population is something like 2 million), but in physical area…it is just…well, huge.  What does that have to do with anything?  Well, we have friends all over the city, and every time we come, we end up driving all over hell’s half acre, visiting everyone.  This wasn’t a problem when we didn’t have a child (or when Isak was an infant), but with a two year old, spending hours a day in the car with short breaks to get out and see a couple people just doesn’t work.  We end up with a very grouchy toddler.  This time we decided that we would have a party at JR’s parents’ house and invite all of our friends.  We told people to bring side dishes, and we handled the rest.  As a primal eater, this was leaving a lot in the hands of my friends…but one of my friends is a paleo chef (who will be doing a guest post on here sometime soon), so I had total faith that between whatever she was making and what we made, I would have enough to eat.  Do you want to see a picture of what she brought?  It was this (apple spice muffins, apple slices, and paleo caramel):

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Remember how I said I avoid paleo baked goods because I can never seem to get the consistency correct?  Well, I would eat these things until I throw up…they are that good.

We ended up grilling burgers and hot dogs (duh), having a big box of organic baby lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, aged white cheese (not Whole30), pico de gallo, and guacamole.  The recipe for hot dogs is as follows:

1.- Buy hot dogs.

2.- Cook them.

The burgers were a little more involved.

 

Hamburgers

Serves 4

1 pound ground beef (this recipe also works with ground lamb or bison)

1/2 medium onion, diced

1/2 C mushrooms, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper

2 tsp Kerrygold (or other fat of choice)

 

1.- Heat fat in skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add onions, mushrooms, and garlic.  Saute a few minutes until onions are soft and mushrooms are browning.  Move to small bowl and set aside.

2.- In large bowl, mix ground beef, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper with hands.  Once incorporated, add in onion mixture and mix until well-combined.  Form into 4-5 hamburger patties.

3.- Grill to desired temperature is reached (you can also cook these in a skillet, broil them in the oven, or cook them on a George Foreman-type situation.

4.- Serve over greens, topped with pico, guacamole, sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, cheese and sour cream (if you tolerate dairy), bacon, and anything else you want.

 

Pico de Gallo

3 C tomatoes, chopped

3 C red onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 bunches of cilantro, chopped

1-2 jalapenos, seeded and minced (use two if you like it a little hotter)

Juice of 1 lime

 

1.- Mix everything well in a large bowl.

 

Guacamole

4 avocados, pitted and mashed

1 C pico de gallo

Juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper

 

1.- In large bowl, mash avocado.  Squeeze in lime juice and mix well.

2.- Add in 1 C of pico and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste, and stir well.

 

Vegetable Skewers

1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and chopped in 1/2-1″ thick slices

1 red onion, cut in wedges

8 oz mushrooms, cleaned

1 red pepper, cut in 1″+ squares

1 yellow pepper, cut in 1″+ squares

1 orange pepper, cut in 1″+ squares

1 pineapple, peeled and cut in chunks

1/4 C olive oil

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp raw honey

1 Tbsp mustard (regular, spicy brown, and Dijon all work)

salt and pepper

wooden skewers

 

1.- Soak wooden skewers in water for at least an hour.  Chop all vegetables and pineapple and put in large resealable bag.

2.- In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, raw honey, mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined and creamy looking.  Pour over vegetables and fruit in bag.  Move bag around to coat vegetables.  Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

3.- String fruit and vegetables on wooden skewers in whatever order and amount you’d like.

4.- Heat grill to medium.  For easier cooking, put grill pan on the racks where you’ll be cooking the vegetables.

5.- Put vegetable skewers on grill pan and cook 6-10 minutes on each side (or until you like them done).

 

Oh, and what did we do with the leftovers the next day?  This!

BBQ leftover salad

Primal Bernadette (Primal)

Primal Bernadette

My Aunt Bernadette gave my mom this recipe for a chicken dish a long time ago, and growing up, we’ve always referred to it as Chicken Bernadette.  I never give out the recipe, but I’ve made it for pretty much every single person for whom I’ve ever cooked.  Apparently it has miraculous properties–or at the very least, it causes them to have spontaneous foodgasms or something.

Anyway, as you may recall from my last post, I’m on vacation this week.  We are currently in Arkansas, but tomorrow will be going to Kansas City (by way of Joplin).  I am DETERMINED to make this entire vacation primal-compliant so I don’t have to start my 30 days over when we get back!  Yes, even when we eat out, which is frequently.  It’s getting easier to order when we go out (the only thing is, there have been a couple times that I have had french fries…which really aren’t compliant…but they also aren’t *not* compliant.  I figure, as long as I’m not having them at 50% of my meals or more, I’m doing okay).  Toward the end of vacation, I’ll have a post with pictures of my eating out, primal-style…but until then, I have this.

Before we got to my brother and sister-in-law’s house yesterday, I had sent them a grocery list for everything I would make for dinner last night…so as soon as we got in, we started cooking!  I’m only going to post the recipe for the chicken on this post…there are tons of recipes for mashed cauliflower, so look one up and there ya go.  I don’t remember who my recipe came from, but it consists of chicken broth, cauliflower, and garlic.  The other side dish is green beans with sauteed garlic and chopped bacon.  Done.

Primal Bernadette

Serves 4-6

6 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ thickness (each person will eat one, so take that into account when planning)

1 pkg full-fat organic cream cheese, softened

2 oz organic fine herb goat cheese, softened

2 tsp dried chives

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 bunch asparagus

salt and pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp Kerrygold

1/2 C chicken broth (or white wine or pure apple juice)

1.- Let cream cheese and goat cheese soften in small bowl.  Add chives, basil, oregano, and black pepper.  Mash everything together with a fork until integrated.  Resist eating the whole bowl with nothing but your fingers.

2.- After pounding chicken breasts, salt and pepper both sides.  On the bottom side, spread 1/6 of cream cheese mixture (or however much comfortably fits).  Place two pieces of asparagus near one side and roll the chicken from the asparagus side to the other.  You basically end up with a chicken roulade.

3.- Heat Kerrygold in large pan over medium-high heat.  When hot, place chicken rolls into the pan.  Brown well on each side, using tongs to turn.  After all sides when been browned, pour liquid (broth/white wine/apple juice) into the bottom of the pan and immediately turn heat down to just below medium.

4.- Place lid on pan and allow liquid to simmer until the remainder of the chicken in cooked (10-20 minutes).  When chicken is done (165 internal temp), remove from pan and serve immediately.

Pumpkin Spice “Granola” (Paleo)

Pumpkin-Spice Granola

I’ve been messing with this granola for three days, and I think I finally have it where I want it.  What did I find out?  Without using some oats or glue, there was no amount of smooshing that turned these into granola bars.  If you use oats in yours, you can likely get them to stick together better…but the lack of oats and the extreme humidity in San Antonio was working against me.  No skin off my back though…I just finished cooking it and tossed it in a bag.  Eat it anywhere, problem solved!

This is a pretty wet recipe, so unless you live in the desert (Santa Fe friends, perk up!), this probably won’t get crunchy.  This is relatively soft, but not mushy like oatmeal.  Oh…and it’s totally addictive.  Our house has smelled like pumpkin pie for the last three days, and I can’t complain.  Just wait until we get back and I use this as a topping for cooked apples!

Pumpkin Spice “Granola”

1/2 C raw honey

1/2 C Kerrygold (or coconut oil)

1/4 C nut butter (I used Sunflower butter)

1/3 C pureed pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

pinch of salt

2 C shredded unsweetened coconut

1 C sliced almonds

1 C chopped walnuts or pecans

1 C chopped macadamia nuts

1/2 C dried cranberries or raisins

1.- Preheat oven to 300.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2.- In large pot, melt honey, butter, and nut butter over low heat.  Stir until combined, add pumpkin, and mix well.  When everything is integrated, remove from heat.

3.- Stir in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt.  Add all dry ingredients and stir until dry is coated with wet.  If it still seems too wet, add in more coconut and/or nuts until desired consistency is reached.  If it’s too wet, it’ll be a little soggy…so it’s better than it’s a bit too dry.

4.- Pour in single layer on baking sheet.  Bake…okay, I baked this twice, and it was in a deeper pan…so I’ll say just bake it.  Every 10-15 minutes, use a spatula to flip it and move it around.  When it gets to the desired doneness, take it out.  Simple as that.  I think mine baked for a total of about 45 minutes, but again, my pans were different because I tried to do bars first.

5.- Store in airtight container for 1 week, or freeze for up to a year.

* Tip: WATCH the nuts.  They will burn if you cook it too long and/or too hot.  If they’re starting to burn, turn the oven temp down to 275.

Road-Trip Roll-Ups (Primal)

Road-Trip Roll-Ups

Tomorrow morning we leave to start our drive to Kansas City!  We will go as far as Plano tomorrow (it’s only five hours from here…but with a 2 1/2 year old in a Prius…let’s just say we’ll be stopping at a lot of the rest-stop parks along the way to get out and play), then to my brother and sister-in-law’s house in Bentonville on Sunday.  Come Tuesday, we are KC bound for the next six days!  I may be able to post while on vacation, but we shall see.  What I WILL be doing, though, is taking pictures along the way of paleo meals from typical road-trip stops.  Yes, that means fast food.  Trust me, it can be done.  It doesn’t satisfy the “quality” aspect of paleo; however, it will satisfy the very basic guidelines.  I’m doing this to show that even if you (a) only have time for fast food, or (b) are traveling, you can always find a paleo option.  Well, that is unless you’re stopping at American-style Asian restaurants.  You’re on your own there.

Anyway, tonight I was tasked with making our snacks for the trip.  I wanted to make something tasty with some protein and fat.  I mean, in addition to the usual things I pack (“granola,” nuts, carrots, clementines, raspberries, and trail mix).  Don’t worry–the granola recipe is coming next.  The beauty of these roll-ups is that you can put whatever you have on hand in them.  You can use whatever meat you want (you want the deli to slice the meat on a 1 or a 2, but nothing thinner than a 1).  You can use whatever vegetables you want.  As long as it fits, it works!  I’ll write the recipe the way I made them, but make them however you see fit!

Road Trip Roll-Ups

1/2 pound lunch meat, sliced on a 1 or 2 (if it’s sliced on a 1, this will make seven or eight rolls, so adjust accordingly)

organic whipped cream cheese

3 green onions, sliced thin

1/2 – 1 C baby greens (I used Central Market Herb Garden Spring Mix)

 

1.- Spread 1-2 tsp of cream cheese on each slice of ham.  Sprinkle with green onions.  Push a few of the baby greens into the cream cheese

2.- Roll up, short side to short side.  Store in a container.

* A side-note: if you want to make these paleo instead of primal, ditch the cream cheese and spread guacamole or straight avocado

Herb Roasted Chicken with Garlic Onion Gravy (Whole30 Compliant)

Herb Roasted Chicken with Garlic Onion Gravy

I’ve been trying to use whatever is in the refrigerator because we leave to go on vacation (to Kansas City) for a week and a half on Saturday.  After (what seems like) 30 days of thawing in the refrigerator, today my whole chicken was finally thawed!  I also had a small bunch of broccolini that needed to be used.  I never get tired of roasting chickens.  Seriously, as far as dinner prep goes, prepping (and to some extent, cooking) a chicken is pretty much the easiest thing you can do.  Well, other than ordering pizza.  My favorite way to prep a chicken for roasting is letting some Kerrygold soften (or get super impatient and nuke it for 5 seconds at a time until it starts to get soft), mash a bunch of herbs and spices into it, and rub it all over the chicken.  It tastes like…well, as George Takei would say:

Oh myyyyyyy.

The broccolini was just as easy, and took less than 10 minutes in the cast iron skillet.  I made the broccolini at the same time as the gravy for the chicken.  From beginning prep all the way to table, we were right around the ballpark of 90 minutes.  Not too shabby!  You could *probably* make this chicken in a crock pot, but don’t ask me about times.  I don’t like roasting chicken in the crock pot because even if I put it in a hot oven after it comes out (or under the broiler), the skin never crisps the way I want it to…and it always feels a little soggy.  If that’s your thing, have at it!

Herb Roasted Chicken with Garlic Onion Gravy

Serves 4

4-ish pound whole chicken, cavity rinsed and everything patted dry

2 Tbsp softened Kerrygold or ghee

2 medium yellow onions, cut into 8 wedges each

10-15 cloves of garlic, peeled (this is basically one whole head)

1 medium potato (if you don’t eat white potatoes, use 2 parsnips instead), cut into chunks

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp thyme

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp (scant) ground black pepper

1 C cold water

2 tsp tapioca starch

1/2 tsp salt

 

1.- Preheat oven to 425.  Put chopped onions, chopped potatoes, and garlic cloves into a 9 x 13 pan.

2.- In a small bowl, put softened butter, paprika, thyme, basil, oregano, and pepper.  Mash it all together until it’s well combined.

3.- Rub butter mixture all over the skin of the chicken.  Feel free to rub some under the skin as well (you should have enough).  Place chicken directly on top of vegetables in the pan.  Bake 60-80 minutes (internal temp should be 165).

4.- Remove chicken to a cutting board and let rest while the gravy is made.

5.- Pour cold water into the vegetable pan and stir well, scraping as much off the bottom and sides as possible.  Pull out 1/4 to 1/2 C of the liquid and put in small bowl.  Pour the rest of the mixture into a sauce pan.  Put tapioca starch and salt into the reserved liquid and whisk until combined.  Pour this into the sauce pan with the rest of the liquid and stir to mix.

6.- Heat liquid over medium high heat until it comes to a boil.  Boil 1-2 minutes.  Ladle over chicken to serve (I ladled some one each piece of chicken *after* the chicken was on individual plates).

Broccolini

1 bunch of broccolini

1 Tbsp Kerrygold (or ghee)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lemon, sliced

1/3 C chicken broth

salt and pepper, to taste

1.- Trim woody parts off the bottoms of the broccolini.

2.- Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add Kerrygold to skillet and let melt until shimmery.

3.- Add broccolini and toss to coat in the Kerrygold.  Let cook until starting to soften.

4.- Add garlic and lemon slices, tossing with broccolini.  Let cook until garlic is not quite browning.  Add 1/3 C chicken broth (it will steam and immediately start to evaporate.  Add salt and pepper.  Continue tossing until most of the liquid has evaporated and broccolini is bright green and desired consistency.  Serve!

Cowboy Stacker (Whole30 Compliant)

Cowboy Stacker

I have to laugh about how this dish came to be: last night while flipping through Pinterest, I saw no fewer than 10 different recipes for Eggs Benedict.  All the photos looked delicious!  Of course then I remembered three things:

(1.) I started a 30-day Primal cleanse on Saturday, so I can’t have English muffins…which are one of the best parts of the meal, IMHO.

(2.) I remembered that I’m always disappointed by hollandaise sauce…  I love the smell, the taste is good…but the aftertaste is just gross.  Always.  And everyone’s.  It makes me sad that this little hussy of a breakfast tasty always seduces me and then leaves me disappointed, but I digress.

(3.) I can’t poach eggs.  I can follow crazy directions to create some of the most amazing foods you’ve ever tasted, but I can’t poach a d@mn egg.  I’ve tried every “this is the easiest way” trick there is, and it just won’t happen.  If you can teach me, I will love you forever.

I wanted to recreate something similar to Eggs Benedict, but in a Primal fashion.  I  thought about using thick sweet potato slices for the “muffin” part, but I didn’t think I could get them the consistency that I wanted.  I thought about doing a friend egg instead of poached, but I thought it would look funny.  So the following is what I came up with…which is NOTHING like Eggs Benedict, by the way!

* As an aside, during a text message conversation about this dish tonight, I decided that these are the perfect size to set on top of a filet mignon…so do with that information what you will!

Cowboy Stackers

Serves 4

1 medium potato, shredded (sweet or white, doesn’t matter–I used white tonight because I ran out of sweet potatoes)

1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and shredded with the potato

1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter

6-8 pieces of bacon, cooked to crispy and drained on paper towels

6-8 pieces of black forest ham (or anything other meat you’d like)

1 small shallot, diced

6 eggs, whisked with 4 Tbsp water

guacamole

For the potatoes:

1.- Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and brush with your choice of liquid fat.

2.- In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 Tbsp Kerrygold.  When hot, add shredded potatoes and acorn squash.  Cook until browning and starting to crisp.

3.- Using a large spoon, scoop spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet.  Flatten slightly into the shape of patties.  Bake 15 minutes, flip patties, and bake another 10 minutes.  Keep warm with foil-wrapped cooked bacon in 170 degree oven.

For the eggs (feel free to add any other vegetables you want to the scrambled eggs):

1.- In large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp Kerrygold.  When hot, add shallots.  Saute until they start to soften.

2.- Add whisked egg mixture.  Cooked scrambled eggs as you normally would.  Season with very little salt and as much pepper as you want.  Remove from heat.

To assemble:

On individual plates, layer in the following order (from bottom to top):

1.- Hash brown patty

2.- 1-2 slices of black forest ham

3.- Scoop of scrambled eggs

4.- Scoop of guacamole

5.- 1-2 slices of bacon (it’s easiest if you break each slice in half)

 

Italian Sausage Pineapple Stir Fry (Whole30 Compliant)

Italian Sausage Pineapple Stir Fry

Tonight was another one of those “what is thawed and what needs to be used” kind of dinners.  My best grocery buy this week was a fresh pineapple…for $0.77!!!  So really, you can’t beat that, other than having your own pineapple tree…bush…what do they grow on?  Isn’t it a bush thing?  Oh well.

A note about the Whole30 compliance of this recipe:

(1.)  The sausage: you need to READ your labels.  For some crazy reason, they put corn syrup in sausage.  I’ve seen a few compliant brands at Whole Foods…but the easiest way to find it (usually for less expensive too) is to get it from a local farmer.  So, just keep that in mind when on the hunt for your Italian sausage.  Also, if you can only find regular sausage, you can make it pretty Italian tasting by adding some fennel to it.

(2.)  The pineapple is borderline compliant.  While not expressly forbidden, pineapple does have a fair amount of sugar in it.  I used a whole pineapple in the recipe, but each serving only had four or five pineapple chunks…so I guess it’s really not that big of a deal as long as you’re not eating half of the pineapple.  But trust me, the sweetness (and slight tartness) of the pineapple pairs perfectly with the saltiness and spiciness of the sausage.

Italian Sausage Pineapple Stir Fry (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 2-4

1 Tbsp + 1/2 Tbsp unsalted Kerrygold (or fat of choice)

1 pound hot Italian sausage, sliced

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, cut in wedges

2 bell peppers (I used orange), sliced into strips

1 pineapple, cored, peeled, and cut into chunks

 

1.- Heat 1 Tbsp Kerrygold in large pan on medium-high heat.  When pan is hot, add mushrooms and saute until browned (3-5 minutes).

2.- Add onions and saute another 3-4 minutes (until starting to soften).  Remove mushroom mixture to bowl and set aside.  Add sausage to the pan and brown well until cooked through (7-10 minutes).  Remove sausage to paper towels and drain.

3.- Melt 1/2 Tbsp Kerrygold in pan.  When hot, add pineapple and bell peppers.  Brown and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.  Once browned, add in everything else and toss to combine.  Remove from heat and serve hot.

Creamy Garlic Cauliflower Soup (Whole30 Compliant–Minus the Goat Cheese Garnish)

Creamy Garlic Cauliflower Soup

Today it dropped below 90 degrees!  Heck, at one point today it dropped below 70.  I decided (shocking, I know) to make some soup.  Cauliflower has become a staple in our house. I can pretty much guarantee that in the last month, I have purchased (and cooked with) cauliflower more times than in the history of my cooking life…which is…25 years, give or take.  Cauliflower has the potential to make a soup creamier than any amount of heavy cream, whole milk, or coconut milk–and it takes on the taste of whatever it’s cooked with.

When I make this again, my “garnish” it going to take up the entire top of the bowl.  Seriously, when you get a bite with the cauliflower, the beef, the crispy bacon, and the goat cheese crumbles all at the same time, it is like a party in your mouth!  The goat cheese adds a whole extra level of depth to the taste.  Of course if you’re Whole30, the goat cheese crumbles are off limits…but everything else is fair game!

Creamy Garlic Cauliflower Soup (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 4-6

1 pound beef stew meat

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

6 C + 1C water

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter (or you can use 2 Tbsp of olive oil instead of splitting the fats)

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

salt and pepper to taste

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

goat cheese (garnish)

4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled (garnish)

 

1.- Toss beef stew meat with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder in a resealable plastic bag.  Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in stock pot.

2.- When pot is hot, add beef and brown.  Add 6 C of water and bring to boil.  Cover and let simmer on medium-low for 2 hours.  After 2 hours, remove the beef to a bowl and set aside.  Strain the liquid and reserve 5 C for later.

3.- In large pot, heat olive oil and butter over medium-low heat.  Add onions and a pinch of salt.  Cook until tender (10-12 minutes).  Add garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.

4.- Add cauliflower and 1 C of reserved broth from the beef.  Cover and simmer until cauliflower is fork-tender (10-15 minutes).  Uncover, add remaining 4 C of reserved broth, and bring to boil.  Remove from heat and puree either with an immersion blender or in a regular blender until creamy.

5.- Add beef to the pureed soup and warm through over medium-low heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve, garnished with crumbled bacon and goat cheese (as an aside: if I had any green onions, fresh chives, or dill left, I would have added that to the garnish load as well!)

Ginger Broth with Shrimp and Green Onion (Whole30 Compliant)

Ginger Broth with Shrimp and Green Onion

I love most of the Asian soups that I’ve had in my life, but most of them contain soy.  And not just a little soy…like…COPIOUS amounts.  Even if we weren’t trying to eat Primal most of the time, I’m allergic to soy–so that keeps me from fully enjoying Asian soups.  That aside, this is quite possibly the perfect soup (other than not having bacon), and it’s versatile enough that you could easily switch out proteins if wanted (I’m planning on doing this with sliced pork in the near future).

Additionally, despite the fact that it is September in San Antonio (read: 250 bajillion degrees outside), this is not a soup that made me feel like I was melting while eating it.  We all know that I make soup in the summer, even when I’m melting while making and eating it…but this is light enough that you don’t sweat, but filling enough that you don’t feel like you need 35 loaves of bread with it.  Score!  Let’s start with the shrimp stock.

Shrimp Stock

Shrimp Stock

Yields around 8 C of stock

2.5 qt water (that’s 10 C)

1 lg onion, roughly chopped

6 stalks celery, roughly chopped

5 bay leaves

1.5 Tbsp sea salt (I used Celtic gray this time)

1 tsp black peppercorns

2 pounds medium fresh shrimp (heads on)

 

1.- In lg stock pot, combine 2.5 qt water, onion, celery, bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer.

2.- Prepare an ice water bath for shrimp.  Add shrimp to simmering water.  Remove shrimp when pink and firm–plunge into ice water bath.

3.- Continue simmering while shrimp cool.  Peel shrimp, reserving heads and tails–add them to the simmering liquid.  Simmer until liquid is reduced by 1/4 to 1/2.  Strain.

 

Ginger Broth with Shrimp and Green Onions

Serves 4-6

2 Tbsp fat

2 C chopped red pepper

1 C chopped green onion (divided by color)

2 C thin-sliced cremini mushrooms

2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp (heaping) Chinese 5-spice powder

3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

6 C shrimp stock

2 C warm water

2 Tbsp coconut aminos

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 pounds reserved shrimp from stock

 

1.- In lg Dutch oven, heat fat over medium-high heat.  Add bell pepper, whites of green onions, and mushrooms.  Cook 5 to 10 minutes (until softened).

2.- Add garlic, 5-spice powder, and ginger.  Cook, stirring until all liquid is reduced.  Add shrimp stock, aminos, salt, and water.  Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes.

3.- Add remaining green onion and shrimp, cooking until heated through.  Garnish with green onion and bell pepper if desired.

Brazilian Pork Ribs and Spiced Sweet Potato Fries (Paleo and Primal)

Brazilian Pork Ribs

I usually make pork ribs with THIS RECIPE, but tonight I felt like something a little different.  I found a few recipes for this style of ribs, but all of them had a few ingredients that I’m not entirely fond of, so I took the basic ingredients and added a few changes to suit my tastes.  It turned out really well (which is always a good thing…sometimes my substitutions don’t turn out quite like I envisioned)!  The marinade is really easy to make–you just whip it all up in the blender or food processor.  Pour it on the ribs, let it marinate for an hour, and bake them.  All in all, they are super easy to make!

The sweet potato fries were equally easy to make (well, except the cutting–personally, I hate cutting sweet potatoes because I never have a knife long enough and broad enough to easily handle the potato without having to rock back and forth).  These are my favorite sweet potato fries to make because of the combination of sweet, savory, and a little heat.  I don’t make them very often, though, because I have such a long list of side dishes to try LOL!

Brazilian Pork Ribs

Serves 4

3/4 C apple cider vinegar

6 garlic cloves, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp salt PER POUND of pork

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp Worcestershire

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

4 pounds pork ribs

olive oil (to brush)

raw honey

 

1.- Blend everything from cider vinegar to smoked paprika in a blender or food process until all ingredients are integrated.  Put the ribs in a roasting pan and pour the marinade over top of them.  Let them marinate at room temperature for an hour.

2.- Preheat the oven to 350.  Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and then top with roasting pan lid.  Cook for 25 to 30 minutes per pound (for 4 pounds of ribs, this would be an hour and 45 minute to two hours).  Spoon out any leftover drippings and reserve in a bowl.

3.- Increase oven temperature to 425.  Brush tops of ribs with olive oil.  Drizzle honey (if wanted) over oil.  Leave pan uncovered and roast 15-30 minutes.  Brush ribs with reserved marinade, let rest for 10 minutes, and serve in desired portions.

 

Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

3  large sweet potatoes, cleaned and peeled

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp rosemary

1 tsp thyme

1 Tbsp salt

 

1.- Preheat oven to 425.  Cut sweet potatoes in half and each half into fries.  Don’t make them too thick or they’ll get soggy.  Soak them in a bowl of cold water for 15-20 minutes.

2.- Drain water off fries and put into a large bowl.  Pour everything but salt into the bowl and toss well to distribute spices.  Place on a rimmed baking sheet without overlapping any of the fries.

3.- Bake for 25-30 minutes (until they’re getting crispy).  Remove from oven, season with salt, and serve.