Holy Beef Roast, Batman!

I have never made a good roast, until my friend Kim gave me her amazing roast recipe last year (her mom’s recipe).  I tried it and it turned out AMAZING – full of flour-y, cream of mushroom-y, potato-y deliciousness.  I love that recipe.  Unfortunately, it’s about as far from Paleo as you can get.  I have tried a couple of other roast recipes but nothing compared.  Until now.  This is a mostly paleo recipe (the balsamic vinegar is questionable) – you could probably use cider vinegar in place of balsamic, but I’m not that much of a purist.

What I really like about this recipe is that I was able to prep everything the night before and just toss it all in the slow cooker in the morning.  As mentioned in my previous post, I am up pretty early and the last thing I want to do is brown a roast and make a sauce!  Forgive the poor photos from the last few posts – I am going to get a better camera soon, I promise!  But for now, you’ll have to trust met that this is delicious.

Balsamic Roast with Sweet Onions

1 3-4 lb chuck roast (You can get pretty great deals on grass-fed beef at Central Market if you are in the Seattle area)

2 tbsp lawry’s seasoning salt (You can replace with sea salt and pepper to be more orthodox paleo)

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 lb Cioppini Mushrooms, quartered (these are the best part, so put in as many as you like!)

1 cup parsnip, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks

2-3 large sweet onions, cut into thick slices

Sauce:

1 cup chicken broth (you can substitute beef broth)

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (you can substitute cider vinegar)

1/2 cup tomato sauce

Prep (night before):

1. Mix the seasoning salt, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper – rub all over roast.  Cover, refrigerate overnight (this is like a dry brine or dry marinade and will help create a crust and seal in the flavor without browning the meat).  Chop the vegetables and put into a container, so they will be ready in the morning.

2. To make the sauce, reduce the cup of chicken broth over medium-high heat to 1/2 cup.  Remove from heat, cool slightly, then add vinegar and tomato sauce.  Let cool and put in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

3. In the morning, put the vegetables in the bottom of the crockpot, put the seasoned roast at the top, then pour the sauce over the top of everything.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Alternatively, you can do all of the same steps and cook in the oven at 300 for 3-4 hours (1 hour per lb of meat).

4. Once the roast is cooked, you can take the extra delicious step of reducing the sauce over medium-high heat (I would skim the fat off the top before reducing) until the mixture is crackling and a spatula leaves a wide trail behind it (picture below).


Simple Paleo Breakfast – Apple, Almond Butter, Egg

Sometimes breakfast can be so difficult!  If you are like me, you are up at the crack of dawn (or before, let’s be honest here), tired, your contacts are still dry, you have to pack your kids lunch, and the last thing you want to do is cook something up in the kitchen.  Here is my go-to breakfast for those tough mornings:

– 1 whole sliced apple (carb)

– 1 tablespoon almond butter (fat)

– 1 egg, lightly beaten (protein)

Put the egg in a small, microwave safe cup – microwave for 30-45 seconds

Spread almond butter on each apple slice

Enjoy!


Dinner Out + Dessert

My husband and I do not get to go out often (we’ve got 2 kiddos), and when we do manage to find an available babysitter, it’s usually for one of his shows (he plays in the awesome 80’s cover band, Nitewave – seen above) or some other type of organized event.  Tonight, he had a show, but didn’t go on until 10:30, so we were able to grab a quick dinner together.  alone.

We went to this greek restaurant, Costas Opa in Fremont, which has been there since both of us have lived in Seattle (16+ years).  It was super charming and the food was really delicious.  I was surprised at how easy it was to eat Paleo and enjoy my meal.  I had a Greek Salad (order it with no feta and dressing on the side) and the lamb chops, which were served with a delicious mix of seasonal stewed vegetables.  So delicious – we will be going back!

After his show, I found some almond butter, spread it on a hunk of 85% dark chocolate, and ate it up!


Three Hidden Ways Wheat Makes you Fat

This is an interesting article – I have been holding off on transitioning my kids to eating Paleo, since I wasn’t fully convinced it was the healthiest way to go, but now that I read this, I might be getting even further on the bandwagon.  It’s nice to see some information put out by someone who isn’t making money off the Paleo trend.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/dr-mark-hyman/wheat-gluten_b_1274872.html


Lunch: Curry Chicken Salad

I didn’t even think to take a picture before I gobbled this one up – but it’s quick, easy and very delicious for lunch.  Here is the recipe:

Curry Chicken Salad

Serves 4

1 pack thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 tsp curry powder

Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

1 head butter lettuce

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

1 whole thinly sliced bell pepper

1. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and curry power evenly over both sides of chicken pieces

2. On an indoor grill pan, grill for 4-5 mins per side

3. While chicken is grilling, chop vegetables and pile in a bowl

4. Once chicken is finished, chop into 1/4 inch thick slices and put over the vegetables

5. Pour dressing over everything

6. Take a picture for your blog, THEN eat

Dressing

2 tbsp high-quality unfiltered olive oil

1 tbsp cider vinegar

1/2 clove minced garlic

Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Whisk everything together in a bowl until emulsified.


Bunless Burger and Parsnip Fries

Okay, I know I said I would cook steak kebabs and vegetables a la barigoule.  I’m sorry, but I really wanted a burger, like all day long, so I did it.  I. changed. the. menu.  Forgive me, dear readers, but I am weak.   So instead, I made this dinner.  I’m not going to give you my burger recipe, to be honest, the burger wasn’t as good as it could have been, because all of my creativity was being channeled into making these delicious parsnip fries.  Make them, right now.  I don’t even care if you live on the other side of the world and are just starting breakfast – they would make good breakfast food too.  If I had a do-over on the burgers, I would probably make these burgers instead.

Parsnip Fries

6 servings

Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

2 1/2 lb parsnips, peeled, cut into 3 X 1/2 inch strips

3 tbsp Olive Oil

Sea Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 450

1. Toss parsnip strips with olive oil and sea salt, spread on baking tray in a single layer

2. Roast for 10 mins, turn parsnips and roast until browned in spots and fork tender, 10-15 mins longer.

3. Eat them

You can add all sorts of ingredients to step 1 – crushed garlic, finely chopped rosemary, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp pepper, etc.  If you want to add cumin, sprinkle 1/2 tsp over the finished parsnips.


Pork Loin with White Wine Peppercorn Sauce, Pan-Fried Cauliflower Steaks and Sweet Potato waffle fries

This dinner sounds kinda fancy.  It tastes pretty fancy too, but trust me, it’s EASY.  I started making this for dinner parties last year and it always goes over with rave reviews – it’s so hearty that your guests won’t even notice that the meal is gluten, grain and dairy free.  My family likes this one a lot too – the only trick is to be careful about how much pepper you use to crust the loin – if you put too much on it’s SPICY (in a bad way) and if you put too little on, it doesn’t have enough flavor.  That’s really the only tricky part – the rest is, well, gravy.

Pork Loin with White Wine Peppercorn Sauce

Serves 4

Adapted from www.gimmesomeoven.com

1 Pork Tenderloin (~1 lb)

2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, divided

1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (you can use onions if you don’t have shallots on hand, but shallots taste soooo much better)

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1/4 cup coarse-ground black or mixed peppercorns

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup carton coconut or almond milk (coconut milk will impart a distinct coconut flavor, which is delicious, but almond milk will not impart any of it’s own flavor)

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

To prepare the tenderloin: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Trim pork tenderloin of any excess fat, and remove silver skin.  (For a helpful video on how to remove silver skin, see here.)

1. Heat 1 Tbsp. coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Generously season the tenderloin with the freshly-cracked black pepper, and press to be sure it sticks.  Add to the skillet and cook, turning as needed, for 4 to 5 minutes (about 1 minute per side), until evenly browned. Transfer tenderloin to a greased baking dish, and place it in the oven to roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin reads 140 degrees. Remove dish from oven and transfer the tenderloin to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

2. To make the sauce: Meanwhile, in a skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat, add the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes.  Then add the garlic and saute 1 more minute.  Add the wine and as it boils, deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon (helps to have one with a straight edge) to dislodge all the browned bits. Once the wine is almost cooked away, add the chicken stock and turn the heat to high. Boil the sauce down until there’s a noticeable trail when you drag a wooden spoon through the center of it (4-5 minutes).

Pour in the cococnut or almond milk and resume boiling. Again, boil down until you can make that telltale trail from the wooden spoon. Turn off the heat and add the parsley and any remaining black pepper (no more than 1 Tbsp, the rest should have already been used to pepper the tenderloin). Taste for salt and add if needed.

Cut the tenderloin on a slight diagonal (in 1/2″ or 1″ slices), and then spoon the sauce over to serve.

Pan-Friend Cauliflower Steaks

Serves 4

1 Cauliflower, sliced in half, then into 1/2 in thick steaks

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium skillet

2. Add cauliflower steaks, so they are in a single layer in the bottom of the pan.  Once they are nicely browned, turn them over carefully, so the whole steak stays intact.

3. Once both sides are brown, remove from pan and serve.

I served the pork and cauliflower over a sweet potato waffle fry – I used the Alexia brand in order to save time, but you can adapt this recipe from Paula Deen if you want to make your own.  After dinner, I snuck back into the kitchen and made myself a bowl of paleo ice cream, with kiwis, blueberries and honey on top.