Cabbage Roll Soup & Bulk Barn Addiction

28 02 2014

I can’t be trusted in Bulk Barn. This is a hard place for a recovering sugar addict.. I cruise the aisles looking at all the candy and remembering how it all use to be my best friend. I can’t go into these places without some morale support and wont kid myself to think I can just “pop” in to buy some nuts and be done with it. The memories are too strong in those places, that I need a buddy.
The sobering truth is while I am healthy and almost five years out from my W.L. surgery, I have to be more vigilant about where I came from and how easy it could be to slip back into old ways.

It has been f-ing cold this winter so after my dodging and weaving at the Bulk Barn, I needed some comfort food. Enter Cabbage Roll Soup. It has all the components I love, cabbage, chorizo, and horseradish bitey-ness. I will also add it is pretty darn low in calories and mighty delicious. Ken had two bowls and said “blog worthy” so we make it again. Fart-tastic as well.. your colon loves cruciferous veggies. This is like kimchi in soup form… YUMMO

Cabbage Roll Soup
adapted from Anna Olsen’s recipe

3 strips diced bacon or pkg of PC chorizo
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 medium carrot, grated
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef or pork
1 clove garlic
6 cups diced green or savoy cabbage
1 28oz tins diced tomato
2 cups sodium reduced chicken stock/broth
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 bay leaves
to taste salt and pepper
garnish sour cream

Cook diced bacon or chorizo in heavy bottomed soup pot until crisp and the fat renders out. Add chopped onion and let the onions cook for 5 minutes until they start to get soft. Add celery, carrot and saute for 5 minutes.

Add the ground meat and garlic and let it all brown. Pull off any excess fat coming off the meat (or not) depending on how you are feeling.
pork cabbage
Stir in the cabbage, tomatoes, chicken stock, cider vinegar, horseradish, paprika, and bay leaves.

Bring to a strong simmer and then turn down to low simmer and neglect until the cabbage is yielding. This soup gets better the next day so let it simmer all day or make it the night before and reheat. Garnish with sour cream and serve.

This makes about 10 cups of soup, serving size is 1 cup. Ken, who doesnt believe soup is a meal, ate two bowls and told me he really liked it.
Nuts are as follows made with chorizo and ground pork. This will change with bacon and lean etc.
Calories 217, Carbs 10 (7g NET), Fat 12g, Protein 18g, Sugar 5g


LC Buffalo Chicken Casserole-Drool here!

30 09 2013

I secretly love getting American-ized recipes in my email inbox and RSS feed. Buffalo chicken wings is an all American recipe, like the coney island dog or grilled cheese.

This recipe was born from my Buffalo chicken soup and Anthony Bourdain’s CNN show, Parts Unknown. Last night’s episode was based in New Mexico, where the fritos pie is a big hit. Essentially they cut open a bag of fritos, dump a bunch of chili, beans, green chiles in there that Tony says is ‘like holding a bag of hot poo’ and then topping it with cheese. I was fascinated at how crazy it was and junk-fied. Buffalo Chicken wings are always associated with deep fried, high sodium, high fat and the casserole versions usually have rice-white potatoes and are junked out further by Campbell soup mix. Look, I dont like to judge but opening condensed soup cans to throw in your crock pot isnt cooking.

My shrink always says I am trying to re-invent bad foods and get great pleasure when I figure out how. Almost a perverse thrill that I can have my cake and eat it to post-WLS.
WELL.. she may be right but I may be crazy. All I can say is this casserole is “WINNER WINNER (BUFFALO) CHICKEN DINNER”

I dedicate this recipe to my friend Jude, who loves Anthony Bourdain, cooking, and a good spicy Buffalo chicken wing as much as I do.

Buffalo Chicken Wing Casserole
Adapted from countless American recipes by moi

1 medium head of cauliflower
spray oil for 11×14 baking dish
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, minced
1.5 lbs of pre-cooked chopped chicken
1 cup Frank’s Buffalo chicken wing sauce
1 cup of Greek Yogurt, 2% mf
1 cup of chicken stock
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheese, your choice
2 oz (half a pkg) of Danish bleu cheese
4 green onions, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and chop cauliflower into small-ish florettes. I then spray the baking pan, pop the cauliflower in the dish and spray the tops of the cauliflower. Pepper to taste and pop into the oven for 35 minutes until the cauliflower can be easily pierced with a knife.

When the cauliflower is baking in the oven, get out a fry pan and heat some EVOO and plop in the onions until they get soft. Add the chopped carrots and celery and neglect until the carrots are just starting to yield. AT this moment, stop and do a little happy dance as you have just made your first Mirepoix. Anthony Bourdain would be proud.

Dump your mirepoix in with your cauliflower and let it cool. I roasted a chicken the night before and as well had some Lillydale turkey in the fridge. I weighed everything up to 1.5 lbs (which is 24 oz) and shredded it on top of my cooled cauliflower-mirepoix.

I got out a mixing bowl and mixed my hot sauce, yogurt, and added chicken stock to cut the too-thick sauce. Gauge the amount of chicken stock depending on the type of Greek yogurt you use. I added 1 tbsp of garlic powder, stirred and then coated the entire casserole with this mixture.

I topped the casserole with the two cheeses, cheddar and blue, and chopped green onions, saran wrapped it and threw it into the fridge for Monday night’s dinner. Pop it out of the fridge and into a 350 degree oven baking for 15 to 20 minutes to get everything warm and melty.

THE BEST part of this recipe other than the taste, are the nuts on this. ARE you sitting down? I divided this into 10 servings, which are about 3/4 cup of food.
Calories 211
Carbs 9g(7 g NET)
Fat 11g
Protein 31 g !!
Sugar 3g


CrockPot Peanut Stew & Happy Fall

22 09 2013

Welcome to the first day of Fall. I missed you cardigan and knitting, I really missed you!
It is no secret that I have a love-hate relationship with peanut butter. Beyond my addiction and need for a peanut butter intervention, I know from my experiences with a paleo-primal diet, that I have a bit of a sensitivity to it. I have come to realize that depending on the type of peanut butter and what it has in it, I have a mild reaction. I believe that says more about how they process peanuts and what they stick into peanut butter, than about those lovely legumes. I react to any and all Kraft product, even the “natural” one.. there must be a processing-roasting thing that gets me clogged up and itchy because raw, freshly ground peanuts from The Carrot Common smeared on a banana is a good time and I have no itchy palate after.

So fast forward to me last night, scanning the fridge and noting I have 3 jars of peanut butter on the go: a junk food JIF jar from the States, and two natural crunchy peanut butters; one is President’s Choice, one is the dreaded Kraft.

So I decided given the chaos of sickness, and that we are getting a new mattress delivered right around dinnertime, I would crock it up and create a peanut chicken recipe to blow out some of this peanut butter. This is a morph recipe of my West African Peanut stew (OMG so yum) and my peanut chicken wings (OMG so yum).

Crock Pot Peanut Chicken stew

by moi

8 to 10 chicken thighs, boneless-skinless (~ 2 lbs of chicken)
2 red peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, set aside for serving

2 limes, juiced (so approximately 4 tbsp of juice)
1 tbsp garlic powder OR 1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 soy sauce (primal friendly one or not)
1 tbsp splenda or palm sap…whatever dry sweetener you use
1 tbsp sf maple syrup (or double the Splenda above)
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce
1/2 cup of chicken stock
2 tsp ground ginger OR a hunk of ginger thrown into the crock pot
1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
1 cup of fresh cilantro, add before serving

I usually say to saute the peppers and onion prior to throwing them into the crock pot as it gives the stew a better flavour but at 6am this morning, I was having none of it. I just chopped and threw half of the peppers and onions on the bottom of the crock pot, layered the chicken thighs in the middle, and threw another layer of onions and veggie on the top of the chicken.

I then grabbed a container and added all my liquid ingredients, and gave it a good stir. This is a lesson in patience as you know, a fat takes a while to incorporate into a room temperature liquid. Your sauce starts off like this:

And ends up looking like this but you have to work at it.

Throw the peanut sauce on top of the whole mess and crank on your crock pot on low for 4 -6 hours. I gave everything in the crock pot a good stir and the chicken shredded with a fork and little effort. Add you handfull of chopped cilantro for colour and added flavour. This is great recipe for those in their first year..sauce heaven. I served it with a side of crunchy arugula and some sliced tomatoes.

For 8 servings, all 3/4 of a cup (this recipe makes 6 cups of stew). Calories 220, Carbs 13(NET 10), Fat 12g, Protein 19g, Sugars 3

I Need a Gold Star or Just Some Soup

21 09 2013

So I woke up after a solid four hours of sleep to a barfing migraine-y husband and a sick non-peeing cat. GREAT! The stress of all this caused me to have a massive nosebleed. We are so pathetic at our house right now. While I was counting time until I could call the vet this morning, I made soup. I need some comfort.
What is great about this soup is it is a sub for those potato bacon cheddar soups but with cauliflower, so way less carbs. The OTHER fun thing is that you can sub in milk-yogurt-coconut milk depending on what your diet dictates, and how much protein you want pump into your diet.

Bacon Cheddar Cauliflower Soup
morphed from the old school recipes

2 garlic cloves
1 celery stalk
5 bacon strips
half an onion
1/4 cup of chicken stock
2 tbsp flour (i used arrowroot as it is paleo friendly)
2 tbsp water
Cauliflower, 4 cups riced or half a head chopped fine
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk OR 1 cup coconut milk/ Greek yogurt/ cream + 1 more cup of chicken stock
*(SO… 4 cups of liquid, and if you use a thicker liquid, use 3 cups of stock to 1 cup of “dairy”)

2 1/2 cups of shredded cheese
2 tsp paprika (optional)
squirt of sriracha (optional)

Get out your chopper or prepare to chop. Grab a dutch oven or large pot and get ready to soup it up. Dump in the five strips of bacon and whirl it up so forms a paste. Dump that paste into the pot and let it fry it up.

Wipe out the processor and chop up the onions, garlic and celery until they are small. Set aside until the bacon is done cooking.

In the interim, grab a bowl, add the 1/4 cup of stock and 2 tbsp of FOC (flour of choice) and stir and set aside.

Dump the celery,onion, garlic mixture in with the bacon and let is saute for 5 minutes. Whirl up the cauliflower in the food processor and set aside. Once the onion mixture has softened, add the riced cauliflower and 2 tbsp of water and pop the lid on the pot. You are steaming the riced cauliflower for 7 minutes.

Add the chicken stock-milk-coconut milk-yogurt and bring this up to a boil. At this point add the flour and whisk until the soup starts to get thick. Turn off and fold in shredded cheese and let it get all melty and gooey.

This makes 10 cups, and the nuts fall around 225 calories and 19g of protein depending on what you do with milk-yogurt.

Summer Colds & Green Goddess Soup

12 09 2013

We have had an up and down summer. While I have still been ‘in the kitchen’, my drive for new recipes has been low. I felt over-taxed this summmer and Ken really stepped up to the plate when we got the new Weber BBQ and smoker. We smoked a lot of protein this summer, probably another reason why I haven’t been posting many recipes as I made a lot of salads and left all the dirty-meaty work to him. Thank God for my husband.

We have both been in a bit of a funk lately as our lovely cat Winnie has been diagnosed with renal failure. She had an infection that alerted us/vet to the slow decline of her kidneys. We have spent a rough week with her, fighting to get meds down her throat and getting loads of water into her to flush out the kidney infection. Trying to make a cat do anything is stressful, especially every two hours for four days. We are both pretty tired and of course that is when we got hit with a summer head cold. Nothing too major, but bad enough that all you wanted was some soup and a lay down on the couch.

Enter Green Goddess Soup…I wanted chicken soup, but not tortilla soup, but sort of like a Mexican inspired soup, but with avocado in it, and cilantro. So this green soup was born! It is a cross between a William Sonoma lime chicken soup and tortilla soup with loads more protein, some good vitamins from the green veggie, garlic for kicking the cold out and a whole lotta lime for vitamin C.

Green Goddess Soup
Adaptation by moi!

1 lb of chicken, boneless-skinless
1 onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp FOC (I used EVOO because I was keeping it green)
1 can of diced green chiles
8 jalapeno peppers, chopped without seeds
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp chipolte spice (optional)
1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
3 or 4 limes, juiced
4 cups of chicken stock
1 large handful of chopped cilantro (~ 1 cup)
2 large avocados

Get a large pot or your dutch oven out and throw in your FOC to get it warm. Add chopped onions and garlic and saute for 5 minutes until they are tender. Add chopped jalapenos and let them saute until they are just starting to get tender then add uncooked chicken and saute until almost cooked, leaving all that wonderful chicken juice in the pot as it will add more flavour to the stock.

At this point I throw in all the spices as I like them to cook off some of the raw flavour. I think cumin especially is a spice than needs a bit of cooking so it gives off a mellow flavour. Cook spices maybe 2 minutes before adding all the liquids; stock, limes and green chiles. Add the cilantro and ONE of the avocados, chopped up, give it a huge stir, pop on the lid to allow a simmer and walk away.
DONE.. but I always like soup to really simmer, with the lid slightly off, to come into it’s own.

This soup makes 12 cups and serve with some more avocado diced on top if you so choose. The serving is one cup, but maybe 1.5 if you are really feeling awful. Nuts are based on one cup:
calories 118, carbs 4 (NET 3), Fat 6g, Protein 13g, Sugar 1g

Leftover Lobster & Paleo Chowder – A First World Dilemma

15 05 2013

HELLO Lobster season! We went to St Lawrence market last weekend and low and behold we find a mountain of canning lobsters, 5 for $30. Ken was super excited as May signals lobster season in the province of Nova Scotia and it reminds him of home. He made a batch of potato salad and was excited to crack into this for Sunday dinner.

So we shucked all the lobsters, had dinner and then had leftover lobster. Leftover lobster is largely a first world problem. I am not sure how many people sigh and groan and say “GOD we are having leftover lobster AGAIN?”
I had some shrimp and clams so I decided to wing it and make a seafood chowder up for the next day’s dinner. Mondays are nutso busy for dinner because I am usually running out for a 6pm Joga class.

Everyone needs a little lobster in their life

Can I just say this was the BEST chowder I have EVER had. I expected the chowder to be good, but when Ken chimes in repeatedly to say “this is the best soup you have ever made” and we all know how he feels about soup. Enough said.

Paleo Seafood Chowder
entirely by me

2 cups of lobster meat, chopped
1 can of clams in brine, keep the brine
1 lb of shrimp, de-tailed and de-veined
5 strips of bacon, uncooked and chopped
2 shallots, minced
1 tbsp fatof Choice (FOC-i used olive oil)
1 large carrot, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 springs of fresh thyme
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 large parsnip, cubed
1 can of coconut milk
2 cups stock, or fish concentrate to make two cups of stock. I use a lobster/fish stock

Grab your large and heavy LeCreuset and throw in the oil to heat up. If you dont read my blog regularly I should warn you that I am a lazy cook. Ideally you should crisp the bacon in the pan, scoop it out, brown the shallots, and throw the bacon back in. That never happens in my house.. I am a one pot girl.

So heat oil and brown bacon until crispy, throw in shallots and let them brown in all the wonderful bacon fat. Add chopped celery and carrots, stir and neglect for 10 minutes. Add thyme and Old Bay and mix it around.

At this point add the parsnips and scrap any brown deliciousness from the bottom of the pot. All the flavour is locked into those little brown crispy bits. Add your lobster, shrimp, canned clams with brine, and coconut milk and give it a stir. Use the clam can and dump in 1.5 to 2 cans of water, add the appropriate amount of stock concentrate for 2 to 3 cups of water and let it simmer a bit, but not boil or it will curd up, and look awful. Stock photo because we ate the chowder too fast and forgot to snap a pic.
seafood chowder

This makes about 12 cups of soup. Garnish with some fresh parsley if you are feeling fancy or dare I say dill. Ken hates dill so you will never see it in any of my recipes but if you dont live with a dill-hater than dill and fish go very well together.

Onion Balsamic Pot Roast… Code name DELICIOUS

27 05 2012

My mother use to make this sweet savoury pot roast when I was a child. I wanted something that replicated that recipe without the use of Lipton’s Onion Soup mix and sugar. Seriously neither of those two things are primal, and it is a shame to de-paleo a decent piece of meat.

Speaking of meat, this doesn’t require a good cut-o-beef. I used a 2 lbs beef chuck (forward end over the shoulder), but the round (the back side of the cow) or brisket would also work. Don’t use some fabulous tenderloin or sirloin for this or you’ll upset the meat gods. The balsamic will break down the chewy fibres of the meat, as well as sweeten it slightly with the onions. This pot roast is a tangy good time!

So this recipe is an amalgamation of my mom’s recipe, and a crock pot pot roast recipe. Feel free to use your crock pot for this as long as you promise to brown your meat first so you seal in all the meaty goodness.

Onion Balsamic Pot Roast

2 lbs of beef, cut is up to you
1 large sweet onion, cut in strips

8 ounces of tomatoe sauce
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of water
2 tbsp white wine OR white wine vinegar

2 tbsp of coconut oil or FOC

Seasonings: smoked paprika, garlic powder, black pepper

So I did this in a dutch oven on the stove, but you could easily do this in a crock pot. Throw in your coconut oil-fat of choice. Get out your meat and rub the meat with above spices. Wait until fat is hot and then sear each side of the meat. about 3 to 4 minutes per side, until completely browned. Take out of pot.

Whatever vessel you are using to cook this in, layer the cut up onions at the bottom of the pan. Add the meat sitting on top of onions like so.

Mix the water, vinegars, and tomatoe sauce together and pour over the beef and onions. If you are using the same pot as you used to brown, then make sure all those browned flavoured bits at the bottom of the pan get worked in.

Either set your crock to low, or pop the lid onto your dutch oven on medium stovetop for 6 to 8 hours, flipping the roast once if you can. Take roast out, and boil down the liquid to use as a gravy OR add a tablespoon of potato starch if you need/want to thicken it up. SO SO DELICIOUS
We served ours with some mashed curried butternut squash.