Cod Chowder (Whole30 Compliant)

Cod Chowder

I love cod.  I love chowder.  I think this is a marriage made in heaven.  From start to finish, it took about 30-40 minutes (that includes chopping).  That is just an added bonus, of course, because the taste and texture of this chowder is heavenly!  Even though it wasn’t overly cold here today (it was in the 70s or 80s), I decided to make this anyway.  Why?  Because for the last week, I’ve been getting over a sickness that lies somewhere in the abyss between bronchitis and pneumonia.  Yeah, not fun.  Soup is just what the doctor ordered!

If you don’t like dill, you might want to pick another main seasoning…this is pretty dill-tastic.  It could work with a plethora of other spices, but to me, dill just goes with fish.  It’s like having macaroni without cheese…just…why would you?  If this wasn’t a Whole30 meal, this would be AMAZING with a giant, hot, crusty hunk of French bread.  I’m just sayin.

Cod Chowder (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 4

2 Tbsp bacon fat

1 medium onion, chopped (about a cup)

1/2 C chopped celery

3 potatoes, cleaned and diced

2 Tbsp tapioca starch

2 C water

1 C chicken broth

1 tsp salt

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried dill

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp pepper

1 pound cod, boned and cut in 1″ pieces

2 C canned coconut milk

 

1.- Heat bacon fat over medium heat in large Dutch oven.  When hot, add onion and celery.  Cook until onion is soft (3-4 minutes).  Add potatoes and cook for a minute or two.

2.- Add tapioca starch over potatoes and stir while cooking for a minute.  Add water, broth, salt, bay leaf, dill, thyme, and pepper.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce to low, cover, and simmer 20-25 minutes.

3.- Add cod, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and discard.  Add coconut milk, stir, and heat through.  Serve plain or garnished with crispy bacon or chopped green onions.

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Pork and Cabbage Soup (Whole30 Compliant)

Pork and Cabbage Soup

I’m not a huge cabbage fan.  I don’t hate it, but it’s not my favorite.  There is a naturally occurring chemical in cabbage that a small percentage of people can still taste (this is a trait that has almost evolved out of humans), and if it’s not cooked within an inch of its life, cabbage is–quite frankly–disgusting to me.  It tastes like a mouthful of dirty pennies and sulfur.  Same thing with Brussels sprouts.  To make cabbage edible to me, it usually has to be boiled for HOURS.  Not so, in this recipe!  I cut it up fairly small, so I’m guessing that the small size helped it cook a lot more quickly.  I’ll go with that as my official hypothesis anyway.

Isak Pork 2

I think it’s also safe to say that it was a success with the toddler as well.  Pay no attention to the bookshelf in the background–it is in a constant state of disarray from me moving books back and forth and from Isak piling toys on the bottom shelf.  Anyway, this is a super delicious soup that you definitely need to try.  As my final note, I’ll leave you with this:

As tested by Isak, this soup does not make an effective conditioning mask for the hair or skin treatment.  The only thing it accomplishes in a topical sense is making things a bit greasy, making everything smell like soup, and ensuring the need for a bath.  #imjustsaying

Pork and Cabbage Soup

Serves 6

1 pound pork loin, cut in 1″ pieces

1 onion, chopped

6 slices bacon, diced

4 C beef broth

28-oz canned whole plum tomatoes, drained and chopped

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 tsp salt

2 bay leaves, torn in half

1/2 tsp oregano

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

3 C chopped cabbage

2 tsp parsley

 

1.- Heat Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add pork, bacon, and onion.  Cook and stir until pork is no longer pink.

2.- Add broth, tomatoes, carrots, salt, bay leaves, oregano, and pepper.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes (there is some wiggle room here).  Remove bay leaves and throw away.

3.- Add cabbage and bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce to medium low and simmer 15-20 minutes, covered.  Stir in parsley.

Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken (Paleo)

Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken

I was looking for something to make for dinner last night.  I had a pile of chicken parts (read: thighs and drumsticks), a couple leftover lemons, some potatoes, and some pantry staples (read: honey, garlic, seasonings, etc).  So I decided to put all of it together and make some sort of a one-dish meal.  Or, at least cook everything in the same dish, even if it’s served separately.  That’s still one-dish, right?  HA!

Honey + lemon + garlic goes well on just about every meat, as far as I can tell.  It’s a magical combination, really.  This recipe is versatile in that you can use whatever chicken pieces you have around.  I’m giving the time needed for thighs and drumsticks that are bone-in and skin-on.  If you are using larger parts (like breasts) or boneless/skinless parts, you may need to adjust the cook time.  You just need an internal temperature of 165-185, depending on which part you’re using.

Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken

Serves 4-6

3 pounds chicken parts

2 lemons

2 Tbsp Kerrygold butter, melted

3 Tbsp honey

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 – 1/2 tsp rosemary

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

5 potatoes, cut in chunks

 

1.- Preheat oven to 375.  Grate peel and squeeze juice of 1 lemon (alternatively, you can freeze one lemon and grate the entire thing–it adds a FANTASTIC flavor).  Slice the second lemon into thin slices.

2.- Combine lemon peel and juice (or the entire grated lemon), melted butter, honey, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Mix well.

3.- Layer the bottom of a roasting pan with potatoes.  Place chicken on top of the potatoes, skin-side up.  Sprinkle chicken with a little salt and pepper.  Pour butter mixture over chicken and potatoes.  Top with lemon slices and bake 60-70 minutes.

 

Frittata (Primal–Whole30 Compliant without Cheese)

Frittata

Raise your hand if you don’t know the difference between a quiche and a frittata.  It’s okay, until last year I didn’t know the difference either.  If you were to look at a typical quiche and a typical frittata, the obvious difference would be that a quiche has a crust.  Then enters the crustless quiche.  Well darn, that busts that obvious difference.  Let me break it down for you:

A quiche is a custard base with whatever add-ins you include: ham, cheese, vegetables, whatever.  That means, a lot of cream or half & half with a few eggs make up the base.  A frittata, on the other hand, is all about the eggs.  Some people add up to a half cup of cream, but it’s pretty much all eggs plus the add-ins.  So there ya have it!  Quiche vs. frittata really boils down to cream vs. eggs.  Simple enough, right?

The other difference is that more often than not, a frittata is started on the stove and finished in the oven, whereas a quiche is put into a pie plate and cooked completely in the oven.  That isn’t necessarily what differentiates them on a large scale, but that is a notable difference.  In this recipe, I’m listing what I put into our frittata, but know that you can put whatever you want into it (within reason…you can’t put chocolate cake and chicken wings into it).

Frittata

Serves 4-5

12 eggs

1/2 C diced onion

2 cloves minced garlic

1 C sliced mushrooms

1 C shredded (or diced) potatoes

1/2 pound cubed ham

1/2 C shredded carrots

1/2 C coconut milk (full fat from a can) or heavy cream

1 C shredded gruyere (or another cheese)–eliminate if making Whole30 compliant

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp thyme

pinch nutmeg

1/2 tsp basil

1 Tbsp Kerrygold

 

1.- Preheat oven to 375. Melt Kerrygold in medium oven-proof skillet over medium heat (I use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet for this).  Once hot, add onions and ham.  When onions start to get soft, add in garlic and mushrooms and mix until mushrooms start to soften.

2.- Add in potatoes and cook until potatoes start to brown (quick tip: you can use frozen hash browns for this part) and are getting tender.  Toss in the carrots for a minute or two.  Add in salt, pepper, and thyme to preference.

3.- In a large bowl, whisk 12 eggs.  Whisk in the cream.  Add cheese, some salt, pepper, and thyme.  Mix in nutmeg and basil.  Pour over everything in the skillet and allow to cook.

4.- Cook on the stove until the “crust” of the eggs forms and the eggs just begin to set.  Transfer pan to oven and bake 20-30 minutes.  You want the middle to just barely be set, but still a bit jiggly.  Remove, cut into slices, and serve immediately.

 

Korean Beef (Paleo)

Korean Beef

 

I love Korean flavors…but most importantly, I love the flavors of the sweet Korean barbecue.  I’ve been working on replicating that flavor without using processed sugars and soy products.  I think I’ve finally figured it out.  At least, JR and Isak both seemed to indicate that.  I was afraid that this might be a little spicy for Isak, him being 3 and all; however, he had two helpings and continued to ask for more.  This is the picture of a happy toddler with his Korean beef dinner:

Korean Beef Isak

 

The level of heat depends entirely on how much crushed red pepper you add.  I used a whole teaspoon and it was pretty spicy (not on fire or anything, but it had a good kick to it that required some sort of liquid to diffuse it).  If you don’t want it to be that hot, you can leave it out (or add up to 1/2 tsp).  If you don’t mind a little heat, you want more than 1/2 tsp.  That’s about it for the rules!  You can make this as filling for lettuce wraps (usually that’s what I would do, but I didn’t have any more lettuce around).  I served it over top of shredded cabbage and shredded carrots.

 

Korean Beef (Paleo)

Serves 3-4

1 pound ground beef

1/2 C + 2 Tbsp coconut sugar

1/4 C + 1 Tbsp coconut aminos

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 tsp ground ginger

crushed red pepper (0 tsp for sweet, 1 tsp+ for hot)

salt and pepper

3/4 – 1 C chopped green onions

 

1.- Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium heat and brown beef and garlic.  Drain any super excess fat (a couple Tbsp is fine, but you don’t want 1/2 C floating around in there or anything).

2.- Add coconut sugar, coconut aminos, ginger, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Simmer for a few minutes, stirring to mix flavors.  Add in the green onions and mix to combine and heat through (30-60 seconds).  Serve immediately.

Baked Chicken with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Primal)

Chicken with Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce

This is a recipe that was destined to turn out yummy.  Well, either delicious or a total bomb.  Why?  Because while cooking this dish, I was talking on the phone with my best friend, Lena, as I often do.  During the cooking process, while talking, I dropped my phone into the cream sauce, as I was cooking it on the stove.  Most of you know how hot a cast iron skillet gets…yeah…so iPhone + hot cast iron skillet = doesn’t work out so well.  To be fair, everything on the phone worked after I dropped the phone into the sauce…except for one thing: when I was holding the phone to my ear to talk, no one could hear me.  The audio on my videos worked, FaceTime worked, Voxer worked, even speaker phone worked…but the microphone did not work when I talked on the phone in basically the only way that I ever use the phone.

So I upgraded to an iPhone 6+ (they are worth every penny, for those of you keeping score).  Fortunately, the camera on my phone also worked, so I was able to take a picture of the meal!  And for those of you playing the home game, my pictures may be getting better now (after I catch up on my backlog of a few recipes).  From what I can tell on my phone screen, the camera on the 6+ is waaaaaaaaay better than the 5C.  Yay for new techie toys!

Baked Chicken with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Primal)

Serves 2-4

4-6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

salt and pepper

1/8-1/4 tsp onion powder

2 Tbsp Kerrygold, divided

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 C chicken broth

1/2 C coconut milk

1/2 C julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained

1/2 C grated Parmesan

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

 

1.- Preheat oven to 400.  In small bowl, mix salt, pepper, and onion powder (about 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper).  Season chicken thighs on each side.

2.- In large oven-proof skillet, melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat.  Add chicken, skin-side down.  Cook until golden brown on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side).  Remove chicken to plate and add remaining butter to skillet.

3.- When butter is melted, add garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking until fragrant (about 10-15 seconds–don’t burn the garlic).  Add broth, coconut milk, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan, thyme, basil, and oregano.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 4-6 minutes (sauce will slightly thicken).  Return chicken to skillet and spoon sauce over top a few times.

4.- Place entire skillet into oven and cook 25-35 minutes (until internal chicken temp is 175).  Serve immediately, garnished with grated Parmesan if desired.

 

Hot Chocolate (Paleo)

Cake and Hot Cocoa

I keep forgetting to post this recipe!  So, I’m sorry that it’s about 2 1/2 months late, but at least I remembered today, right?

What you need to know about Paleo hot chocolate is that it’s a bit more bitter than something like, say, Swiss Miss.  You can add more maple syrup to it if you want to make it sweeter, but really adding sugar just negates some of the positive effects you get from the cocoa and such.  This is a pretty big recipe (I made it for about 10 people), so you may want to adjust the amounts to however much you want to make.  Because it was a large recipe, I made it in the slow cooker.  It is amazing for large batches of cocoa or cider!

Hot Chocolate (Paleo)

Serves 10-12

5 cans full-fat coconut milk

1/2 gallon almond (you can get unsweetened, unsweetened vanilla, original, vanilla, whatever you want–just pay attention to the ingredients)

1-2 C dairy-free chocolate chips (adjust to your taste)

1/4 C cocoa powder

2 tsp vanilla

1/4-1/2 C maple syrup

 

1.- Put all ingredients except for the vanilla into the slow cooker and turn on low, stirring occasionally until everything is integrated.

2.- Once everything is integrated, add vanilla and stir.  It takes about 3-4 hours on low to heat up all the liquid.  You could also do this in a stock pot over the stove to do it faster.

Slow Cooker Philly Cheese Steak Soup (Whole30 without Garnish)

Philly Chesesteak Soup

If there is one thing I love, it is a good Philly cheese steak.  Half of that love belongs to the crusty, fresh-baked roll that it goes on; however, the other half belongs to the giant pile of meat, vegetables, and ooey-gooey Provolone cheese.  This soup tastes exactly like the sandwich, only without the bread.  I’m willing to overlook that for the delectable pile of meat in a super rich broth.

I thought I would make this last week to introduce Isak to the wonder that is cheese steak (of course he’s going through one of his picky phases).  He ended up eating one piece of meat, some broth, and a few vegetables.  The next day, he ate an entire bowl from the leftovers and decided it was ” ‘licious.”  He just turned 3 yesterday, so I can only imagine that the worst of the strong food “opinions” are coming up this year, but whatever.  Take a look at his PICTURES here–he’s had a great week!  His food choices are definitely going to keep me on my toes in coming up with toddler-friendly primal recipes.

*  DISCLAIMER: We do not have Isak on a strict primal diet (not that we are 100% strict, but we try to be 80-90% compliant).  Breakfast and lunch for him are non-primal meals.  I usually make him buckwheat pancakes (I make him a billion silver-dollar sized pancakes once a month and freeze them) or waffles, yogurt, fruit, cheese, meat, and crackers.  He really enjoys the sesame flax-seed crackers, so we get those.  Dinner, however, is primal because I’m not making separate meals.  He can have some crackers or something if he wants with dinner, but I’m not a short-order cook, HA!

Philly Cheese Steak Soup

Serves 4-6

2 pounds chuck shoulder roast (I ended up getting an almost 3-pound roast for $7, so this is definitely affordable)

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 onion, sliced

2 green peppers, seeded and sliced

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced thick

32 ounces beef BONE BROTH

Provolone cheese (not Whole30 compliant)

 

1.- Rub beef roast with pepper and garlic powder.  Place in slow cooker.

2.- Add onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and bone broth.  Stir to mix.

3.- Cook on low, 5-7 hours.  Serve immediately, topped with Provolone (if desired).