Greek-style Lamb Meatballs

So I am now 35 days into eating paleo.  So far it hasn’t really been that tough!  Mornings are the toughest time for me, but instead of splurging on a bagel or something, I decided my “cheats” are probably going to be more in the composition of my meals.  For example – it’s really hard for me to eat animal protein first thing in the morning.  I get really burnt on eating eggs and don’t like eating meat with breakfast.  I find that snacking on a Larabar first thing makes my mornings so much easier, especially if I am going to go work out before work.  I am definitely noticing I have had a lot more energy for the past month and my stomach issues are all but gone.  I have almost zero cravings that can’t be satisfied by paleo-friendly meals.  The only one I still notice occasionally is the craving for baked goods.  I made coconut bread, but I just can’t get used to the texture of coconut flour, it kind of sticks in my throat.

Any how, enough about all of that – how about a delicious recipe?  Here is a good one I found on http://www.everydaypaleo.com.  Using your stand-mixer (if you’ve got one) makes this all go a lot faster.  I also used my small food processor/chopper instead of chopping everything, which made prep very easy.

I ate the meatballs next to a greek salad and it was a wonderful, flavorful, super-satisfying meal.  Enjoy!

Greek-style Lamb Meatballs

Makes 15-20 meatballs, depending on size

2 tbsp fresh chives (about 4)

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup parsley leaves

10 kalamata (greek) olives

1 lb ground lamb

1/2 lb ground beef

1 egg, room temp

1 tbsp dried mint

1 tbsp oregano

1 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp cinnamon (I know, right?  But trust me, it makes sense once you taste it)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 deg F

1. Put the first 4 ingredients in a small food processor or automatic chopper.   Blend until everything is finely minced.

2. Put everything else in your stand mixer, or in a large bowl.  Mixed on medium speed until well combined.

3. Shape into balls and place on a baking sheet with a cooling rack (so the meatballs cook evenly without turning) or a broiling pan, so the fat drips off the meatballs.  If you use a broiling pan, turn the meatballs halfway through so they brown on all sides.

4. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the meatballs)


Dinner Tonight – Panera Bread

I didn’t cook tonight – too much to do!  Instead, I went to Panera Bread, got the Cobb Salad with no cheese and no dressing.  When we got home, I added olive oil and a little cider vinegar and sea salt.  Yummy!


Menu for the week

Sunday:  Pork Carnitas

Monday: Pepper Crusted Steak Salad

Tuesday: Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi with kale chips

Wednesday: Poached Egg Salad (I think I’ll do w/o the egg and add chicken and cucumber to my hubby’s, since he doesn’t like eggs)

Thursday: Beef Short Rib Fricassee

Friday: Simple Grilled Shrimp with salad and cauliflower rice

Saturday: The Seattle Sounders opening game!  Go Sounders!

Phew!  I feel better now that I have a plan…. don’t you?


Paleo Sweet Potato Pancakes

These are insane.  Great for breakfast (eat with a little bit of chicken and apple sausage), good with a meaty, savory meal like a roast or steak, or just as a snack.  I make then whenever I am missing bread or baked goods.  They are a little carb-y, so if you are trying to watch your carb intake carefully, they probably aren’t for you.  Sweet potatoes are a tricky thing – when I was pregnant with our youngest, I went out for lunch right before my gestational diabetes screening test.  I ate a boatload of sweet potato fries at lunch (didn’t even think about the impact on my blood sugar) and when my test results came back, my blood glucose was through the roof.  So, that’s my lesson – eat these in moderation, but do enjoy them, please!

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Adapted from www.health-bent.com

Makes about 20 4-inch pancakes

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup sweet potato (peeled, chopped and boiled until fork tender)

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk from a carton (I used the So Delicious brand)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

coconut oil (for the pan)

1. Peel, chop in small pieces and boil your sweet potato until it’s fork tender

2. Blend all of the ingredients (except the coconut oil) thoroughly.  The batter should be liquid-y thin and should run off a spoon – if it’s too thick, add a little coconut milk.

3. Heat your pan/skillet/griddle over medium heat (on my griddle 375F seems to be a good temp).  Melt a generous amount of coconut oil and pour in the batter.  When the pancake begins to have surface bubbles near the center, flip and cook the other side (2-3 mins per side).  The heat on these can be a little tricky, so test a scoop before committing the whole batch.  These are also more fragile than regular pancakes, so flip with care.

4.  Serve with coconut butter and maple syrup, or whatever topping you like!


Poached Egg Arugula Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette Dressing

Hey!  Sorry for the long-ish absence.  I have been busy!  I am on day 23 of this Paleo diet and have had a couple of tough days.  Yesterday, I got super bored with the food – I wasn’t necessarily craving anything, but I just didn’t want to eat anything in the diet.  I made it through the day and decided to start today with a fresh perspective.  I totally switched up my morning meal and had a couple of slices of bacon, some orange slices, and half an avocado.  It was a great way to start the day.  For lunch, I had Chipotle and for dinner, I had this.  It was soooo yummy.  I discovered my love for poached eggs a couple of months ago at Bastille, a lovely french restaurant in Ballard and realized that it wasn’t really that hard to make them at home.  I really don’t like hard-boiled eggs much, so poached ones are a good alternative.  According to Mark Bittman, you can also use medium-boiled eggs as an easy alternative to a poached egg in any recipe.

Poached Egg Arugula Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette Dressing

1. Make your dressing:  Whisk together 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp sherry vinegar (amazing!), 1/2 tsp sea salt and black pepper to taste

2. Assemble your salad – I used arugula (though any strong flavored green would be yummy) and chopped dried apricots

2. Bring about an inch of water to a boil in a deep, small skillet, add 1 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp vinegar and lower the heat to the point where it barely bubbles (Medium low).  Break the egg into a shallow bowl, then slide the egg into the boiling water.  Begin to spoon the water over the top of the egg.

2. Cook 3-5 minutes, just until the white is set and the yolk has filmed over.

3. With a slotted spoon, remove the egg from the water and put it on the top of your salad

4. Pour the dressing over everything and eat it!