Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ahi Tuna Poke

My take on a classic Hawaiian dish...

*Serves 2*

1 Sashimi grade Ahi tuna steak (you can get these at Asian markets or at grocers like Earth Fare)
1/4 cup Shelled pistachios (cashews also work well)
1 Tsp Sesame oil
2 Tbsp Wheat-free tamari
1/4 cup Finely chopped yellow onion
1 Avocado
1/2 Cucumber

Cut the tuna steak into small cubes approximately the size of a nickel. Set aside in a mixing bowl. Pour the pistachios into a plastic bag and crush into smaller pieces with the blunt end of a meat tenderizer, then add these to the bowl, Peel the avocado, remove the pit, and slice into cubes a little smaller than the tuna. Peel and core the cucumber, then slice into tiny cubes. Add these to the bowl, mixing in sesame oil and wheat-free tamari. Stir until well blended.

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Breaded" Chicken with Mashed Cauliflower

Two things that I definitely don't miss on this diet are fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Why? Because I can have their significantly tastier cousins.

*Serves 2*

Ingredients (cauliflower):

1/2 Head cauliflower
2 Tbsp Unsalted butter
Coarse salt to taste

Boil the cauliflower until tender. Drain and break into pieces small enough to fit neatly into the basin of a food processor. Combine all ingredients until smooth. Set aside to serve with "breaded" chicken (recipe below).

Ingredients (chicken):
2 Thinly sliced chicken breasts
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
1 Egg
1 cup Crushed pork rinds
1/4 cup Almond flour

Combine pork rinds and almond flour on a large plate (add any extra desired spices to this mix; Italian seasoning works nicely). Break the egg into a separate shallow bowl, mixing the yolk and white. In a large pan, melt the coconut oil on medium heat. After tenderizing the chicken breasts, dip them in the egg base and put directly onto the flour mixture plate. Flip over until fully coated, then put into the pan. Allow to cook for three minutes on one side, then flip and cook for an additional three minutes (or until the crust is browned and chicken is cooked through). Serve with mashed cauliflower. (*This dish can also be a great sub for chicken parmesan; just melt cheese on the top and add your favorite sugar-free spaghetti sauce.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Arugula Salad with Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette

*Serves 1*

Ingredients (salad):
2 cups Baby arugula
3 Strips Bacon (sugar and nitrate free)
1/2 Cucumber (peeled)
1 Mini bell pepper (or about 1/4 of a large one)
1/2 Avocado (peeled and pitted)
1/8 cup Shelled pistachios
1/8 cup Crumbled goat cheese
(*The beauty of salad is that you can add or subtract just about anything and it will taste great. Throw in grilled chicken, shrimp, eggs, olives, etc. to mix it up a little.)


Cook bacon on a panini press to ensure crispiness and to collect the fat drippings (a pan will work, but not as quickly and easily). Meanwhile, put arugula into a serving dish. Slice cucumber, avocado and pepper, then add to the bowl. Add the pistachios and goat cheese. When done cooking, break apart the bacon and crumble on top of the salad. Set aside the bacon drippings for use in the dressing.

Ingredients (base vinaigrette):
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Minced roasted garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard (*No sugar added)
Coarse salt and pepper
3/4 cup Light olive oil

(*This will make enough for several salads; the bacon drippings from the recipe above are to be added fresh to a small portion of this dressing, but not to the base, or it will not keep for as long.)

In a large bowl, mix the balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Continuing to whisk, add oil slowly in a stream about the width of pencil lead. Pour mixture into a sealed container. When the recipe for the salad above is ready to be served, pour the desired amount of dressing into a small bowl along with the leftover bacon drippings and mix together (use a little less than half the amount of dressing used). Pour over salad.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lemon Caper Chicken

If you need to make something for dinner or lunch quickly, but you don't want to sacrifice flavor, then this one is great. It takes less than ten minutes to cook, and it packs a tangy punch.

*Serves 2*

2 Thinly sliced chicken breasts
1 Tbsp Unsalted butter
2 Tbsp Capers
1/4 cup Lemon juice
1/8 - 1/4 tsp Truvia (*A little goes a long way; obviously, adding more will make it sweeter.)
Garlic powder
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a medium pan until lightly browned. Tenderize the chicken and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place the chicken into the pan with the browned butter. Flip after about three minutes. When the pan begins to dry out, deglaze with lemon juice and add capers. Sprinkle truvia over the chicken and sauce.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Orange Beef with Sweet Potato Noodles

My husband decided to surprise me with dinner tonight, and he produced this magical dish (this recipe is modified somewhat from his original version). Even though it wasn't my creation, it's definitely worth sharing.

*Serves 2*

1 Twelve oz Top Sirloin
1 Orange, peeled and sliced (*Note: peel the orange with a knife to get large chunks of orange zest, then set these aside for use in the marinade!)
1/2 Yellow onion
1 Tbsp Unsalted butter
1 Tbsp Minced garlic
1/2 tsp Grated fresh ginger (or 1/4 tsp powdered ginger)
1 tsp Sesame seeds
4 Tbsp Wheat-free tamari
1/4 tsp Truvia
1/2 Bunch sweet potato noodles (*You can find these at Asian grocers. They typically come in large bags with three bunches bundled in each bag. They are made entirely from sweet potatoes, but they are fairly high in carbohydrates, so I would not recommend making this dish often if you're primal for weight loss purposes.)

Create a marinade for the steak by mixing tamari, truvia, ginger and minced garlic. Tenderize the steak and cut into 1/8 inch thick strips. Place the steak into a bag and pour marinade in. Add orange slices and peels. Let marinate for two hours. After that time, boil the sweet potato noodles, then drain and set aside. In a large pan, saute the onions in butter. Remove the slices of orange from the marinade bag and place into the pan, stirring with the onions. Once the onions are caramelized, add the steak. Allow the steak to brown, then remove the orange slices and discard. Add the noodles to the pan. Discarding the orange peels, pour the remaining steak marinade onto the noodles. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and toss the noodles for 3-5 minutes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Simple Deviled Eggs

Eating Paleo/Primal and wondering what to bring to a party? Thinking that Mark Sisson's idea for "bacon covered balls of bacon bits" sounds FANTASTIC but that people might judge you just a little bit?

Here's your answer.

10 Eggs
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard (*Be sure to read the label; some mustard is made with sugar or brown sugar.)
4 Tbsp Heavy whipping cream
Salt to taste


Hard boil the desired number of eggs (if you don't already know how to hard boil an egg, then click here), plus an extra or two in case of mistakes (trust me; there will be mistakes). This recipe will make 20 deviled eggs (9 whole eggs + 1 extra), so assume that you will end up with 18. Allow the eggs to cool, then peel the shells off. Cut each egg in half lengthwise; set the whites aside on a serving dish and place the yolks in a mixing bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork. Add dijon mustard, heavy cream and salt and mix until well blended. Spoon a little bit of the mixture into each eggwhite half. Sprinkle a small amount of paprika on top.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Zucchini "Lasagna"

I neglected to take a picture of the one I made, but when I googled "zucchini lasagna," this popped up. Apparently the idea was not as original as I had thought...and theirs looks prettier. But mine was DAMN delicious. Note: this particular dish has lots and lots of cheese. I love my dairy, as long as it's full fat. You might want to wait for other recipes to be posted if you subscribe to the school of thought that dairy is the devil. Or you might just want to leave and never come back.

*Serves 4-8 (or 2 for several days in our case)*

3 Large zucchini
1 lb Lean ground beef
2 cups Shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups Whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Shredded parmesan cheese
1 Large egg
2 Tbsp Melted unsalted butter
Tomato sauce (*Sugar free! I use Earth Fare brand organic.)
Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a large glass baking dish with a small piece of unsalted butter. In a large saucepan, add ground beef and stir on medium heat until in small pieces and browned. Add tomato sauce and turn heat down to simmer. In a separate bowl, combine 1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 cups ricotta, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1 egg, melted butter, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until well blended. Slice the zucchini down the length so that you get lasagna-sized "noodles." Form a single layer of these in the glass baking dish, covering the bottom entirely. Cover this with about one half of the cheese mixture. Spoon the meat sauce on top of the cheese layer, then cover with another layer of zucchini. Repeat the cheese and meat sauce, then add zucchini on top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese on top of the final zucchini layer. Bake for 45 minutes. (This dish is even better the next day, so leftovers are great!)

What the hell is on my arm?!

My name is Heather, and I used to be addicted to pasta.

A little over two years ago, I developed a completely random (or so I thought), persistent rash that popped up on my forearm. I tried every medication and ointment I could find, wrapped my arm in gauze and even stopped using my favorite purse because I thought that the metal clasp might have been irritating my skin.

A year into the confusion, rash still going strong, I went to visit my parents. My father had started another one of his "crazy" diets; it consisted of no grains, no processed sugar and was high in protein and saturated fat. Feeling up for a challenge and tired of my routine, I joined him.

After just three days, my rash started to disappear. I wasn't entirely sure that the two events were related at first, then after a slice of pizza, the rash came back. And so it went that every time I ingested gluten, the rash would reappear, only to disappear when I would return to my grain-free diet.

Finally, my father gave me his copy of The Primal Blueprint. Nothing has been the same since.

For those who have discovered this "diet" as well, this blog is filled with my recipes from the journey. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.