One Skillet Dinner- Beef, Sweet Potato and Kale

So, I tend to think of paleo things as not as good as normal food.  This may be an unfair assessment, but it’s my gut reaction.  I assume it will taste “healthy” instead of good.  If you enjoy a little bit of mockery all in good fun, JP Spears has a video on youtube about the paleo diet in his Ultra Spiritual series.  My husband and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  If you get offended when people poke fun at things you like, you might not enjoy it…

Anyway, I went into this recipe with pretty low expectations, but I needed to thin my kale, I had a sweet potato growing stems and leaves on my countertop, and my carrots were growing roots in the fridge.  It was time to use these ingredients.  Normally I don’t let things go that far, but well, what can I say.  This was one of the first recipes that came up and I decided to give it a try.  I actually went back for thirds and am glad there are leftovers for later :-).  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Also, I changed a few things, so I don’t think it’s paleo the way I made it, but I’ll put the link to the original recipe at the bottom and you can look at that if that’s important to you.  Basically, I replaced the coconut oil with olive oil and the coconut flour with brown rice flour.

 

Ingredients:

2 T. olive oil

1/2 onion, finely diced

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

3-4 carrots, peeled and diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced (I forgot to add this, so I sprinkled on garlic powder at the end)

1 to 1.5 pounds ground beef (lower fat preferred since you won’t be draining it)

salt and pepper to taste

2 T. brown rice flour

2 cups chopped kale- about 2 handfuls (this was my first harvest from my garden!)

 

Directions:

Dice the onion, sweet potato, carrots, and garlic.  Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add the diced vegetables and garlic to the pan, stir, cover, and cook for 10 minutes on medium.  Add the ground beef and continue cooking uncovered while stirring the beef.  When beef is cooked, add salt, pepper, and brown rice flour.  Stir until combined.  Add the kale and cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring.

Taste and add more seasoning as desired.

 

Original recipe: http://fit4godonline.com/skillet-dinner-hamburger-sweet-potatoes-kale/

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Pepperoni Rolls

I love pizza rolls.  They were a major part of my junior high and high school experience.  After I moved to Texas, I soon discovered Double Dave’s, which was the location for many a gathering.  Unfortunately, I can no longer eat there since I discovered the root of my stomach issues.  Boo, hiss!  I want pizza rolls!  Then we had a coffee date with friends.  I was looking for an interesting dessert and went back to my few recipe books.  I made what was supposed to be chocolate croissants.  As I was eating them, I thought, this is not a croissant.  Hmmm….I wonder if this would work for pizza rolls!  Indeed it did!  Unlike many gluten free doughs, this one can be rolled out and wrapped (albeit you have to be a little more careful than with a gluten dough, but it works!)  I was also concerned with how fake cheese would taste inside of the rolls.  I made ones with real cheese for my husband, but I decided to settle for the fake stuff.  It usually comes out a little dry on pizza so I wasn’t expecting much, but I think this is the best that the fake cheese has tasted so far- something about it being wrapped up and having the pepperoni grease seep into it.  Anyway, I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.  Let me know if you discover any other interesting ways to use the dough!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 baking flour

2 1/4 tsp quick-rising yeast

1/4 c. sugar*

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 c. olive oil

1/4 c. warm water

1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 2 T. warm water (or 1 egg)

Up to 3 T. warm water (as needed)

White rice flour for dusting

Mozzarella or Daiya cheese, shredded

Pepperoni slices

 

Directions:

Mix flours, yeast, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.  In a stand mixer, combine oil, water, and egg replacer for one minute on medium speed.  Add dry ingredients and mix slowly until incorporated.  For 5 minutes, beat the mixture on medium high until the dough is coming together.  As you mix, if it’s too dry, you can add water by 1/2 Tablespoons until it is wet enough to mix (up to 3 T.).  Don’t make it too wet or it will be harder to roll out later.

Preheat your oven to it’s lowest temperature.  Once it hits 200 degrees F, shut it off and let it cool down to 115 degrees as you roll out the dough.

 

Use the white rice flour to flour a clean surface like your countertop.  Divide the dough into 8 parts.  Put one part on the floured surface and flour the top.  Roll it out with a rolling pin and re-flour as needed (I felt like I added a lot of flour to keep it from sticking).  Flip it over several times as you roll it out to make sure it’s not sticking to the counter.  If it does, you can use a spatula to help get it up.  Roll it out until it’s about 6×4 inches.

Once rolled out, place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Lay out pepperoni on the dough, leaving about a 1/2 inch or more at the edge.  Sprinkle a line of mozzarella cheese or Daiya cheese down the middle.  Roll the dough, staring on the long side.  Place on baking sheet with the seam facing down.  It’s ok if the dough has a few small gaps in it.  Repeat with each piece of dough.

After all the rolls are made, place the pan of pizza rolls in the preheated and cooled oven (cooled to 115 degrees F) and place an oven safe bowl of water on the rack below the rolls.  Allow to rise for 35 minutes.  At 30 minutes, take the rolls out of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake for 12-16 minutes or until they start to brown slightly.

 

Optional: serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

 

*It turned out fine with this much sugar- a little on the sweet side.  I’m not sure if reducing the sugar would affect the recipe or not.  I think you might need at least a little to help the yeast.  Let me know if you try it out and what the results are!

 

Original recipe:

Martin, Colette.  “Chocolate Croissants.”  Learning to Bake Allergen-Free.   New York: The Experiment, LLC, 2012. 175.  Print.

Dominican Beans and Rice

This recipe is from some old friends who learned it in the Dominican Republic.  It’s cheap and way easier than I thought it was.  I finally made it on my own and here it is!

Ingredients:

1-2 cans pinto beans or 2 c. dry beans

1/8 c. olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 pepper, diced (optional- I didn’t use)

1/2 can tomato paste

1 1/2 c. uncooked white rice*

2 c. water

1 can chicken broth (14.5 oz) (or vegetable broth)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp oregano

handful of fresh cilantro

1-2 cans pinto or navy beans or 2 c. dry beans

 

Directions:

Prepare and cook pinto beans if not using canned beans.  Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Add onions and peppers and saute until onions are translucent.  Add tomato paste and allow to caramelize (about 5 minutes).  Add in rice, stir, and let them toast together, another 5 minutes or so.  Add 2 c. water and the chicken broth, salt, garlic powder, oregano, cilantro, and beans.  Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat and cover.  Allow to simmer for about 35 minutes.

 

*I think next time I may try this with brown rice.  I am assuming it will need to cook a little longer and may need a little bit more liquid, but I don’t know.  I’ll update this recipe if I actually try it!

 

Original recipe from:  Megan and Lesley

 

 

 

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Cilantro Hummus (no sesame)

So, for awhile I was avoiding sesame.  Hummus has a lot of sesame, so I found an alternate recipe.  This one is very easy and tasty.  I recently discovered Rudi’s Spinach Wraps (frozen section) and I enjoyed spreading the hummus on the wrap for a tasty snack.

 

Ingredients:

1.5 cloves garlic

1 can garbanzo beans, drained (~19 oz)

2 T. lemon or lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 c. olive oil

1/2 c. cilantro, washed

optional: add 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

Directions:

Blend garlic in the food processor.  Add beans, lime, and salt, and blend.  Add olive oil and blend.  Add cilantro and blend.  I didn’t add jalapeño but you can.

 

Serving:

Take one Rudi’s Spinach Wrap out of the freezer.  Lightly toast grill it in a pan and flip until it is flexible but not crispy.  Spread a few spoonfuls of hummus on the wrap.  Top with lettuce and whatever else you want in there.  Roll up your wrap and eat!

Salmon Cakes

After a brief hiatus, I’m back!

 

So, my initial reaction to this recipe was, “Tastes like fish.”  I’d never had salmon cakes before, so I didn’t really know what to expect.  My husband, on the other hand, is apparently more versed in seafood than me.  He said, “It tastes like salmon cakes.”  That was good enough for me!  After I got over them tasting like fish, I craved them and ate all of the leftovers over the next 24 hours except one (trying to spread it out…).  I adapted the recipe from the back of the canned salmon and it was easy!

 

Ingredients:

1- 14.5 oz. can pink salmon (Honey Boy brand)

2 T. liquid from the canned salmon, drain the rest of the liquid

2 c. finely chopped Rice Chex cereal

1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk

2 flax eggs (2 T. golden flaxseed, 6 T. warm water)

1/3 c. finely minced onion

2 tsp dried parsley

1 T. lime or lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp dried dill

dash pepper

oil for frying

 

Directions:

Drain off all but 2 T. of liquid from the can of salmon.  Set liquid aside.  Flake the salmon but leave the bones and skin in it (I removed the vertebrae.  It says online that they will dissolve but it just seemed to weird to me as this was my first canned salmon experience.)  Mix flaxseed with water in a small bowl and set aside.  Process Rice Chex cereal in the food processor until you have 2 cups of finely crushed Chex.  Chop onions with a knife and then mince them using the food processor so they will be really small.  Add all ingredients together including the salmon and the 2 T. liquid from the salmon.  Stir until all is combined.  Shape into 11-12 patties about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.  Cover the bottom of a frying pan with about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil (I used olive oil) and heat on medium/medium high.  I drop one drop in the oil and when it pops it’s ready, but be careful.  I recommend using a splatter shield to protect yourself.  If you have a better method, please share!  When oil is hot, carefully add patties until the bottom of the pan is full.  Do not stack them.  Cook until one side is browned and a little crispy, about 10 minutes give or take.  Carefully flip them and cook until the other side is browned, about 7-10 more minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto a paper towel-lined plate.

May be served with sauce.

Sauce recipe:

2 T. mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise)

dash lime juice

dash garlic juice

dash dried dill

 

Original recipe found on the back of the Honey Boy Pink Salmon can.

 

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Salmon Patties before being cooked.

St. Patrick’s Day Cookies

I love St. Patrick’s Day- the music, the story, how green the grass is, and all the wildflowers that are blooming.  If you haven’t heard the story of St. Patrick before, let me fill you in on the major points.  As a teenager, Patrick, who was actually from Britain, was captured by Irish pirates and became an animal-tending slave in Ireland for about six years.  He escaped, but then later he returned to Ireland as a missionary.  What a story of forgiveness!  With the powerful story and my love of Irish music, I always anticipate St. Patrick’s Day with eager expectations.  I am often disappointed on the actual day because I am reminded each year that most people don’t really celebrate the day, and if they do, it’s mostly about drinking.  Well, this year, I played some Irish violin music, listened to my Irish Pandora station, and actually made something green with the intention of celebrating tonight with some friends.  These are the cookies I made for tonight’s event.  Hope you enjoy!

Time requirement:

Mixing: 10 minutes

Chilling: 2 hours or overnight

Baking: 7-8 minutes per cookie sheet

Frosting: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 c. vegan butter (SmartBalance or EarthBalance work)

1/4 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour

2 T. cornstarch

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

 

Icing:

4 c. powdered sugar

4 T. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)

dash salt

1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla

Green food coloring, if desired

 

Cookie Directions:

Combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with butter, 1/4 c. non-dairy milk and vanilla.  Mix on low in a stand mixer.  Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Give it a little stir so the flour won’t poof, and then mix with a stand mixer until combined.  Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  The dough will be wetter than normal cookie dough.

After two hours, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  You have at least two options with the dough.  The quick version is to take it out by Tablespoons and press onto a piece of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thick in the shape of a cookie.  If you want shaped cookies, it will require a fair amount more of effort since the dough is wetter.  Always put remaining dough back in the fridge until you are ready to shape it so it will be less sticky.

Bake the cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees until edges just start to brown.  Cool on a cooling rack (I just pull the whole sheet of parchment paper onto the cooling rack.)

Icing Directions:

Mix powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and non-dairy milk.  Stir well and then spoon onto cooled cookies.  If it is too thick, add a tiny bit of milk at a time until it is the desired texture.  Put a spoonful on each cooled cookie and spread as needed.  It will flatten out and turn to a glaze-like icing in a minute or two.

Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Adapted from:

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/vegan-sugar-cookies/45ab6889-511a-4345-9391-9ea5c00c8d4a

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti Squash and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

Squash:

1 medium spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and with seeds removed

olive oil for drizzling (not extra virgin)

salt

 

Sauce:

1 c. yellow tomatoes, sliced in half

1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1/4 c. olive oil (not extra virgin)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 tsp red pepper

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

3 T. fresh basil

4-5 fresh sprigs of thyme

1 T. fresh oregano

 

1 handful of spinach

 

Directions:

Squash: Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds (this is super easy with a grapefruit spoon).   Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place squash halves on pan, cut side up.  Drizzle halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 20-30 minutes for small squash and 40-50 minutes for medium to large squash (I may have needed to cook it for 60 minutes- I don’t exactly remember).  Squash is cooked when you can easily pierce it with a fork (similar to how a potato would pierce when done).  Using a spoon, scrape out the strands of squash.

Sauce:

Pour olive oil into a pan and allow to heat for 1-2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and garlic and allow to cook down for 5-10 minutes.  Add salt, black pepper, red pepper, and herbs and cook for another 5 minutes or so.  Add spinach and cook until it’s wilted.  Serve over spaghetti squash.

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Simple Ground Beef and Potatoes

This is one of those meals where I looked in my fridge to see what needed to be used.  It turned out surprisingly well, so I have decided to share with you what I did.  Since I started blogging, I try to write down what I do while cooking so that I can share it accurately.  🙂

 

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds ground beef- raw

2 pounds red potatoes, diced with skins on

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

1 c. frozen corn (or more)

1 c. frozen peas (or more)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp sage

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp parsley

1/4 tsp coriander

 

 

Directions:

Brown ground beef.  Don’t drain the fat!  Set the beef aside, leaving the grease in the pan.  Cook the potatoes in the grease for about 10-15 minutes until they start to get soft (this will depend on how big or small you cut them).  Add in all other ingredients and cook until potatoes are tender and peas and corn are warm.  Feel free to add in more vegetables than called for!

 

 

 

Sausage Potato Spinach Soup

This soup was really good!  We were sad when all the leftovers were finished.  I made a really bad soup the other day that is NOT making the blog.  This soup, on the other hand, is on the opposite end of the spectrum.  It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it may even be good for you!

 

Ingredients:

1 pound Jimmy Dean regular sausage

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or more if you like it spicy!)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

5 c. chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1 pound red potatoes, diced with skins on

3 cups spinach (I used frozen spinach)

2 T. fresh basil

2 T. fresh oregano

Thickening agent: 1 T. cornstarch mixed with 1 T. chicken broth

 

Directions:

Brown sausage in a soup pot or dutch oven.  Drain fat if needed.  Add garlic, onion, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes.  Cook while stirring until onions are clear, about 3 minutes.  Add salt and pepper, chicken broth, and bay leaf.  Turn up the heat and let the soup begin to boil.  Add the potatoes and continue to boil the soup until the potatoes are cooked, about 10 minutes.  At this point, I actually had to walk away from the soup, so I turned off the heat, put the lid on my dutch oven, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  When I came back, the potatoes were great!

Add in spinach and fresh herbs and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin to droop.  Combine corn starch with chicken broth in a small bowl and then add to soup and stir.  I used this in place of 1/4 c. heavy cream.  If you can do the cream, go for it!

Original recipe:

http://damndelicious.net/2014/10/29/sausage-potato-spinach-soup/

 

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins

These are mostly made of nuts and apples.  I found myself eating more of these than perhaps I would have if they were straight up flour, sugar, and such.  If you want something sweet but want it to be a little healthier, this is a good compromise.  They do have a little bit of a “healthy” taste because of the nut flour, but if you don’t mind that, they’re pretty good!

 

Ingredients:

2 1/4 c. almond meal/flour

1/2 c. quick oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF quick oats)

2 T. ground flax seed

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 c. coconut oil

1/4 c. maple syrup (I recommend the real stuff!)

1/4 c. non-dairy milk

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 c. finely diced apple with skin on (about 2 small apples)

1/2 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped

Topping:

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Directions:

Combine all of the dry ingredients (almond meal/flour, oats, flax seed, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Melt the coconut oil in a medium bowl.  Add the maple syrup, milk and vanilla and stir.  Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is combined.  Add in the apple chunks and the nuts and stir.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill to 3/4.  Put a little bit of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top of each one.  The original recipe calls for more, but it was way too much and didn’t soak in.  You may use more if you want.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.simple-veganista.com/2013/04/apple-cinnamon-muffinsgluten-free.html