Voodoo Sweet Peppers

15 09 2013

We had one of the last BBQs of the summer this past weekend and Ken urged me to blog about these peppers. I love mini anything, so mini sweet peppers falls into this category. We first tried these camping this summer.. what is easier to travel with than cheese strings?

Our cheese guy at the market would be eye rolling at us buying string cheese, but it really suits this recipe well as all string cheese is essentially a partly skimmed cheese, so you get melting but not oozing, which is important as you will be grilling the peppers with the string cheese inside of them and you dont want the whole thing to erupt on the BBQ.
This is a great make ahead side if you are heading to a BBQ or having people over, so you can prep and cook everything on the grill.

Ken thinks these look like voodoo dolls given all the toothpicks I used to contain the melting cheese.

Voodoo Mini Peppers

by moi

1 bag of mini peppers, any colour (found at the grocery store)
1 bag of string cheese, any type you want (moz, cheddar, mixed..the world is your oyster)
pre-cooked bacon (optional but fantastic)
toothpicks
salt & pepper

Execution:
Grab the bag of peppers, give them a rinse, and with surgeon like skills, create a T-shaped incision into the pepper, with the top of the “t” at the widest part of the pepper. Get a cheese string and eyeball the length of the pepper and cut string accordingly. Sometimes you need to shave off a little bit to make it fit and that little bit falls into your mouth. Shit happens!

Once the string cheese is in there you may be able to get the other bit that didnt fall into your mouth nearer the top of the pepper.
Like so:

Once that is done, add the bacon if you so choose (trust me, huge mistake if you dont) and tether the edges of the pepper closed with some toothpicks.

At this point throw them into a lined baking sheet and bake under the broiler in your oven until the peppers are yielding, so 10 minutes or so OR pop them into the fridge until the BBQ gets lite and put them on direct heat for 10 minutes or until the pepper skin starts to blacken.

These are a fantastic side to BBQ burgers or just about any BBQed meal. We didnt get any after pics because we inhaled them. Each pepper is minimal calories, but the cheese string is approx. 85 calories and 7 grams of protein and the pre-cooked bacon is 40 calories and 3 grams of protein per slice, so essentially converting a veggie into a protein powerhouse with minimal calories and fat.





“You know the Shrimp-Shrimp-Shrimp Movie??”

25 04 2013

You forget the name of the Forest Gump movie ONCE and your husband never lets you forget it!! Every time we eat shrimp, my famous moment of “you know what movie I am talking about! The SHRIMP-SHRIMP-SHRIMP movie”, to which at the time Ken responded “No, I don’t understand crazy”. So this Thai Shrimp Salad is now dubbed the “Shrimp-Shrimp-Shrimp salad”

You know when you make something and it is SO good you have it every week until you are over it? This salad qualifies as one of those go-to delicious recipes EVERY SINGLE TIME. This is the time of year where you start craving fresh, light summer salads. As well, this is a make and eat in minutes and the flavours get better the next day in your lunch. Ken is usually a poo when it comes to fish for dinner…’Fish isn’t filling” but happily munches away on this because it is bulky and the avocado really does go a long way to making you feel satisfied.

GO GOOD FATS!

I am having one of those pre-trip freak outs because I pulled out all my summer clothes hoping they fit. Old habits and old memories die hard and because my weight is stable this really shouldn’t be in my brain. It is crazy to think I had years upon years of massive anxiety over climate change and a change in wardrobe as a result. Everyone doesn’t love getting into a bathing suit at the beginning of the season.. there is the paste-y white skin, the leg hair, wondering if you are hanging out of the bathing suit, and the stark contrast from going from bulky cashmere and jeans to almost nakedness.. it is unnerving!

SO in anticipation of Cuba and my bikini, I cracked out this summer salad in the middle of a snow storm in April. Cilantro haters can completely ignore this post.

Thai Cilantro Avocado Shrimp Salad

2 avocados, diced
Lettuce of Choice (LOC), half or more of it – I use Boston
Cilantro, half a bunch chopped roughly
1 lb of shrimp, peeled and ready to eat

1/4 cup of olive oil
juice of two limes
2 cloves of garlic grated

Get out a huge mofo bowl.. wash all your veggie and toss into bowl. Add shrimp. In separate bowl combine fresh lime juice, olive oil, and garlic. Whirl until everything is emulsified. Pour over salad and toss. Add salt and pepper and maybe some hot cock sauce if you are feeling spicy. CONSUME
You can throw in anything into this salad to bulk it out.. I have seen it with edamame (not really paleo), or tomatoes, which I wouldn’t recommend if you are eating it next day because tomatoes have way too much water in them. HAPPY SPRING EVERYONE.. and don’t forget to shave your legs!

shrimp avocado





Avocados = Food Crack

2 04 2012

Spring is here, everything is green, and avocado is in season. Fallbrook has the annual avocado festival, which I would LOVE to go to. I have driven through Fallbrook and there are avocado farms everywhere and I bought 20 avocados for $5!!

So avocados are also primal. Ken and I had a super busy weekend, and I had put two frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot thinking I could whip up something fast. This is a typical Monday night whip-it-up dinner. Because it is the spring, we are moving away from heavy stew-y saucy dishes and this is the perfect springtime meal..5 minutes under the broiler and dinner is READY!!

Chicken Stuffed Avocados
thanks to my friend @ work, Heidi S. for this idea!

2 avocados, ready to be eaten
1 cup of chopped chicken
1/4 cup of salsa or chopped tomatoes
4 tbsp of sauted onions (we were making a chili as well, so I grabbed some from the simmering pot- not necessary)
2 ounces cheese of choice, we used garlic cheddar
spinkle of Tajin or hot sauce on each

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees on BROIL. Slice avocado in half, extract pit, and if the pit was small, use a small spoon and scoop out a bit more of the avocado so you can nestle the chopped chicken in each. As well, I took a bit off the bottom of the avocado, so they would sit nicely in a pre-foiled pan.

Stuff chicken in each avocado hole, top with onions and salsa, top with cheese and Tajin.

Pop into the hot oven and just heat it enough, about 5 minutes, to have the cheese melt, and the avocado warms up enough and becomes squishy and lovely.

Delicious and fast. If you dont have leftover chicken in your house, crack and egg in the avocado hole and broil for 5 minutes or so, until you get an egg firm enough to your liking or canned crab. My grandmother would make crab-avocado mini sandwiches when we came over.. fancy!!
enjoy





Twinkie Declares Bankruptcy – Day 11 Primal

11 01 2012

Are the two related?? LOL How am I doing?? My answer is “What is the big deal?” This lifestyle has affected my day to day very little. I still mourn the loss of Coffeemate, and will have to think long and hard whether after the 30 days is over whether I start back on the “coffee crack” or not. My doctor makes this whooshing sounds when I mention it and starts in on me with the whole “IT ISNT REAL FOOD.. it’s like a twinkie”

Needless to say this is in my frontal lobe as Hostess, maker of the Twinkie has declared bankruptcy. Sad for the 20,000 workers who work for Hostess, but a minor victory for all those who KNOW that they are pushers of an unhealthy, Hey-eat-my-white-bread-and-get-heart-disease products. I felt a little smug when it was announced on the news this morning.

I have been scouring Health-Bent.com and we tested out one of their recipes last night. Slightly unorthodox, but who doesn’t love a good hotdog, and The Sausage King at the St Lawrence market makes a mean hotdog, in turkey, beef or chicken. Check it out. I will admit to plugging the nutrition into My Fitness Pal to see where the numbers came out, and included the coleslaw into the mix. Shocked at how the numbers were not as bad as expected.. hotdogs get a bum wrap. I really liked the crunch of coleslaw on top of this “chili” and then the French’s mustard as a topper. It was like eating a Coney Island dog. Good times.

Paleo Hot Dog Chili w/ Jalapeno Slaw
modified from Health-Bent.com (in bold)

1 lb. ground meat* (I used ground turkey)
1 package hot dogs, chopped (I used organic beef dogs from the market)
1 can Rotel tomatoes, juice drained, chopped small (small can of organic tomatoes, drained)
1 c tomato sauce (passata-no seasonings etc.)
2 chipolte peppers in adobe sauce, chopped finely (Goya brand)
1 t garlic powder
1 t cumin powder
** I added half a chopped onion

1 red cabbage, sliced thinly (Dole pre-bagged coleslaw..making my life easy)
1/2 c mayo
1/2 red onion, sliced (omitted this)
3 T pickled jalapenos, finely chopped** (we used a 1 tbsp of hot cock sauce)
5 T pickled jalapeno juice** (we used 4 tbsp of cider vinegar)
1 T yellow mustard

In a nice deep Le Creuset pot, fry up the chopped onions and brown the ground meat. Add the package of chopped hotdogs and spices, and let them cook off the raw flavour for 3 minutes. Add tomatoe sauce/passata, tinned tomatoes and chipolte peppers and let simmer and reduce. I found it was liquidy, but an hour on the stove on a slow simmer with the lid off was perfect. Ken and I made this the night before, and the re-heat had great flavour.

The next night I grabbed my bag of pre-chopped cabbage (i was being lazy) and plopped it into a large bowl whilst the chili was re-heating. I mixed the mayo-cider vinegar-hot sauce-yellow mustard together to make a dressing and poured over the coleslaw and tossed.

I scooped out 1/2 cup of hotdog chili into a bowl, added 1/4 cup of coleslaw to the top, squeezed some mustard over the whole thing and sat down to eat.

Essentially you have re-created a southern chili hot dog smothered in coleslaw.. minus the bun and cheese. IT WAS SO GOOD (i left my camera at home, so imagine that the picture below without a bun)

DELICIOUS… I would make it again and like I said, the numbers didn’t come out too horrible… Jess, this is a total one pot meal that makes approimately 6 cups of chili, with loads to freeze. At our house coleslaw is something we munch on all year round… good for the lower GI and crunchy!
calories 223, Carbs 8(NET 7g),Fat 15g, Protein 15g, Sugar 2g (40:40:20 ratio is dead on for primal)





Meat Cupcakes-Primal Styles & Update

3 01 2012

So…so far, so good. Working out is happening four or five times a week, I pop out of bed again this morning, I weighted myself at my doctor’s appt and am down 3 lbs (talk about carb bloat), the allergies are still gone and I only miss cream in my coffee. I am count my blessings.
Me before the wheat cleanse

This new challenge has pushed me to stretch my culinary muscles a bit, which is good. I was feeling stale with my current 200 recipes in rotation (lol) and I really just love the challenge.

I have a bunch of recipes lined up for the weekend and I am excited about it. Jess has asked for one pot meals.. so I am thinking a Beef Bourguignon, a classic around my birthday, and a crazy deconstructed Chili dog with jalapeno coleslaw.
My mother always use to say ‘Never throw out the baby with the bathwater’ so I re-looked at some of my old recipes and re-jigged them for a more primal lifestyle.

Tonight we are having beef cupcakes, with sweet potatoe-green chile whipped topping. Perfect sized dinner with a nice tomato-avocado-balsamic vinegar toss on the side.

This weekend we are off to the market to get some yummy pasture raised meats from our butcher, and next weekend is my birthday weekend and we are going to Black Hoof for dinner on Sunday!!

Our girl Heather comes home from the UK, and I am excited to see her and the tales are spinning about NYE in the UK… should be a great catch-up.

Dinner tonight.. sorry for the crude pic. It was delicious!!

Kat’s Quick Meatloaf Cups & Green Chile Sweet Potato Topper

1 lb of ground meat – I used ground beef
1 egg
1/8 cup of sweet heat Frank’s hot sauce
1/2 shredded carrot
1 tsp ground chile
1 tsp Worstershire sauce
3 green onions stalks, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno, stemmed and chopped

1 large sweet potatoe
1 tbsp Normandy organic butter
hot sauce
1/2 can of green chiles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray full sized muffin tins (this makes 8 servings). Mix the ground beef and spices-egg and squish the meat into the muffin tins, making them level with top of the pan. Set aside until the oven is heated and pop in for 30 minutes.

Chop up the sweet potato and boil in water until they are yielding. Drain water and get out beaters to whip the potatoes. Add butter, green chiles, and spice and whip. If this needs a bit more liquid, add some chicken stock until you get a smooth consistency .
Scoop potato mixture into a ziploc bag and cut the tip.

Check the done-ness of mini meat loaves and let cool. Fish each meat loaf out of muffin tin, pip on the sweet potato and set on plate. These are equally delish cold for lunch the next day OR re-heated. I made these last night and Ken re-heated them tonight in the oven while I made the salad. Dinner was ready to be eaten by 6pm!

Because we cleaned up so fast I prepped two pepper squash, a head of garlic, and half a carrot in a 11 x 14 pan, added some EVOO, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and 2 tbsp of coconut sap sweetener and threw it into a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. It smells delicious in here!!! I am popping them in the fridge for dinner on Friday night, as we are having smoked salmon fish cakes, with pesto aoili dip and these roasted deliciousness.





Roasted Veggies with Bacon= Veggie Facelift

5 12 2011

So my husband and I have been together for almost 10yrs, and over the 10 yrs I have continually asked him “how do you feel about XXXX” and he’ll usually answer that he doesn’t like the aforementioned veggie. What we both have come to understand is it isn’t the actual vegetable he doesn’t like, but how his mother cooked the vegetables when he was a kid. Boiled to death.

I am a big roaster of veggie. I love the smell of roasting onions and garlic, as my mother use to put these around the prime rib roast we had every Sunday growing up. Roasting vegetables brings out the sweetness of any vegetable, as well as giving it a new life in your fridge. When things start to look like they have a couple of more days left, pull them out, grab your roasting pan and get cracking. Roasting is the face lift of the vegetable world.

Kat’s Roasted Vegetables

1 lb brussel sprouts
4 orange beets
1 yam
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
3 slices of raw bacon, choppped
olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You want a nice hot oven. I vary the vegetables depending on what we have in the crisper. I had some orange beets, a bit of yam, and mostly brussel sprouts that needed some love. I prepped the veg being mindful that the slices of veggie (excluding onions and garlic) were all roughly the same size. You dont want to have some things raw, while others mush.

Spray a 11 x 14 pan with PAM so you don’t get sticking. This also cuts down on the amount of EVOO that you’ll need later. Toss in all the chopped vegetables.

Grab your EVOO and two glugs over the veg and use a spoon to toss them together so they are coated with the oil. This will be in the oven anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the size of your vegetables. Check in at the 30 minute mark, and stir things around as that will allow another side of the vegetable to crisp up.
Check for done-ness by stabbing the densest vegetable with a knife.

Have a taste and add salt and pepper accordingly. I don’t like to season beforehand as the salt in the bacon infuses throughout this side dish.

Voila, a vegetable facelift. These veg can be popped into the fridge for another week, and they are as delicious cold as they are warm. For WLS people, stick to the lower GI veggies. Enjoy!





Rich People Salad

26 05 2011

So it is salad season once again, and I decided it had been ages since I made a real “Rich Person” salad. Look out Kitty !

I picked up a package of quail eggs at the market and had some lobster (read pollock) in the fridge and decided this would be the ultimate rich person salad !!

This recipe is based on my Salad Maurice recipe. I made the dressing the same way, and subbed in lobster (14 ounces) for chicken and 10 oz of baby spinach (a whole bag of spinach) for a head of iceburg lettuce.

Kat’s Ultimate Rich People Salad

14 oz of ham, chopped
14 oz of low fat swiss cheese, cubed (lappi is a good one for this)
1 pkg of quail eggs, hard boiled (18 per carton)
2 packages of lobster flavoured pollock (~12 oz)
1 bag of baby spinach (10 oz)
2 strub’s dill pickles

Dressing
2 teas. white vinegar
1-1/2 teas. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 teas. onion juice (i just grate an onion until you get a pulp)
1-1/2 teas. sugar
1-1/2 teas. Dijon mustard
1/4 teas. dry mustard
1 cup of low fat mayonnaise (homemade or store-bought) (i use half mayo/half greek yogurt to cut the fat)

Get out a big ole bowl (I usually split this recipe in half as it makes WHACK load, but for some reason, my senses left me and I made a huge batch)
Get the quail eggs in boiling water and let them hard boil for 20 minutes, and then cool.
Look how pretty they look !

After cooling, peel them under cold water. The shells are much thinner than chicken eggs, so they were a bit more challenging to peel.

Chop chop chop everything up. Wait to add the eggs until the end, post dressing.

In another bowl mix up dressing and pour onto chopped up proteins and spinach, mix to coat. Half the quail eggs and lay them on top of the salad to make the salad look oh so pretty. This is a salad even Paris Hilton would eat !!

I get a yield of 16 to 18 servings for this recipe (so 8 to 9 cups) depending on how much I pack into the 1/2 cup scoop and how wilty my spinach gets. Nuts on this are 179 calories, 8g carbs, 9g fat, 17g protein per 1/2ish cup.