Italian Meatloaf

Italian meatloaf

Well, the holiday season is officially over. It’s been fun, but I’m ready for some normalcy again. The decorations and tree are down, and the house is back in order. I’m usually a little blue after the holiday season, but I’m doing just fine this year. There are so many things to look forward to that I’m not too sad. I’m excited about 2015 and know that it’s going to be wonderful. It will be a great year because I’m going to make it great! Remember, that you choose what you want to create in your life and you choose your attitude.

On another note, I had to pick a new winner for the Paleo Eats giveaway. I tried notifying the first winner numerous times and allowed about two weeks for her to get back to me. So, the new winner was picked at random again and is Julie K. Julie left this comment, “I’d like to win this book so I have something tangible to reference when I’m at home, hangry, and about to go against my clean eating habits.” Julie, please email me your mailing address at paleoinportland@gmail.com. Thanks!

Meanwhile, this recipe turned out even better than I imagined, which made me happy. It’s total comfort food and hits the spot when you’re wanting both meatloaf and spaghetti. It’s seriously the best of both worlds. We ate ours on a bed of sautéed kale with marinara on top and a sprinkle of raw Parmesan, since we both tolerate it. It was perfection.

Enjoy and cheers to a New Year!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 lb ground spicy Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1.5 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • No sugar added marinara sauce, for serving (I like this one and this one)
  • If tolerated, raw Parmesan for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté a few minutes, or until onion is softened. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Once onion mixture is cool, place in a food processor or small prep blender like this one and pulse until big chunks are broken up into fine pieces.
  4. Then, in a large bowl, mix together the onion mixture, ground beef, ground chicken sausage, egg, tomato paste, coconut flour, Italian seasoning, sea salt and pepper. Mix everything well with your hands.
  5. Place meat mixture in a large loaf pan and spread out evenly with your hands. Bake for 60 minutes in the preheated oven.
  6. When the meatloaf is nearly done, pour some marinara sauce in a saucepan and let warm over medium-low heat.
  7. Serve meatloaf slices with warm marinara sauce and garnish with raw Parmesan, if tolerated and desired.

 

 

Chicken and Broccoli Egg Bake

chicken and broccoli egg bake

Chicken and broccoli are kind of a classic combo if you ask me, and these two foods especially taste wonderful together in casseroles. Something with chicken and broccoli was calling my name recently and in deciding what to make ahead of time for dinner the other night (since Jesse and I don’t get home until about 8pm), I threw together this little creation for us to eat when we got home. Every single ingredient was already in my kitchen, which goes to show that you can create easy, delicious meals without having to run to the store. Unless it’s a total Mother Hubbard’s cupboard scenario, which makes for a different story. That’s what my mom used to say whenever she needed to go to the store and I find that I say the same thing now when our fridge and cupboards are looking a little bare.

Anyway, it’s good to be back with a recipe. Hopefully, I’ll be back again soon with what I’m making on New Year’s day. Cheers and enjoy! Oh, and happy New Year too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup melted grass-fed butter, plus extra for greasing dish & sautéing veggies
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 cup white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1 lb cooked chicken breasts, shredded (leftovers work great)
  • 3/4 cup homemade almond milk or full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with butter and set aside.
  2. Melt a small amount of butter (about 1 Tbsp) in a large pan over medium heat. Add the leek and mushrooms, and saute a few minutes. Then, add the broccoli and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to saute a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once broccoli has slightly softened, add the shredded chicken and stir. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup melted butter, eggs and almond or coconut milk. Once mixed, add the oregano, parsley, cayenne and sea salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Next, add the chicken/veggie mixture and stir. Pour into the greased casserole dish and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.
  6. Let cool about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Yields: 4 servings

 

 

Ginger Pulled Pork and Veggies

Ginger pork lightroom version2

Well, I’m back from an amazing trip in Jamaica! Jesse and I had a wonderful time, met some great people and enjoyed lots of R & R. I will be sharing a little bit more about the experience soon.

Meanwhile, this pork…oh my gosh, this pork! I can’t even put into words how delicious this turned out. The picture doesn’t do it justice one bit (thank you Portland rain and gray skies for the darkened quality), but the flavor is truly impeccable. I strongly encourage you all to try this recipe. It will not disappoint.

I recommend eating the meat on top of steamed greens and topping with avocado slices. If you have cilantro on hand, throw that on top too!

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • ~2.5 lb boneless pork loin roast
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red chili pepper, chopped (keep or remove seeds as you like)
  • 1/2 cup chicken bone broth, preferably homemade or water
  • 1 heaping Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp dried mustard
  • 3 large carrots, sliced into large pieces
  • 1/2 large head red cabbage, chopped

Directions:

  1. Generously sprinkle pork roast with sea salt and pepper. Place in a hot skillet over medium to medium-high heat and brown for 4 minutes each side (add a little coconut oil, if needed as well). Once done, place the roast in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. In the same skillet over medium heat, add the coconut oil. Once melted, add the onion, garlic, ginger and chili pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes and then add the broth or water, and tomato paste. Scrape up the brown bits from the roast and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker, along with the sliced carrots. Pour in the coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar and sprinkle in the mustard powder. Then, add the chopped cabbage and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  4. Place slow cooker on low and cook for 7-8 hours or cook on high for 5-6.
  5. Once done, shred the pork roast with two forks or tongs and serve.

Zesty Ginger Meatballs

Zesty ginger meatballs

Last week was such a whirlwind and it’s hard to believe it’s over. My mom came and stayed with me from Michigan while Jesse went for a visit back home (I actually dropped him off and picked her up at the same time last Monday night). I was working still while she was here, but we were able to do a lot with my flexible schedule. We had lots of good eating, laughs, conversations and sights. It was loads of fun and we made lots of good memories. To be honest, it was weird coming home from work yesterday and not seeing her. I got so used to that and it was definitely nice. Luckily, I’ll be home for my cousin’s wedding in less than two months and Jesse will be with me for that too, so I’ll get to see my mom and other family soon. He’s still in Michigan until this Friday, so it’s just me and the kitties at home this week.

Meanwhile, I got to relax and enjoy some quiet time after work yesterday, and prepped for a super busy week I have ahead. Part of that included making these scrumptious meatballs with some goodies I had left in the fridge. The meatballs turned out incredible and are so fresh tasting. The fresh ginger is key and I don’t recommend going the powdered route for this recipe. Don’t skimp on it either. If you like things spicier, leave some of the jalapeño seeds in or add a dash of cayenne for added heat.

Zesty ginger meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together by hand in a large mixing bowl. Form into heaping tablespoon-sized balls (or size of choice) and place on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  2. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Once done, serve as desired. I recommend serving with fresh salsa, avocado and sautéed greens.

Simple Supper Friday: Ginger Beef and Greens

Ginger Beef and Greens

I’ve made this recipe three times in the past week because it’s so good (and also because I had a huge piece of ginger root). I first made it last Saturday, after getting home from a seven hour workshop with Steve Maxwell. I was pooped out, but still mustered to throw together this delicious, quick and nutrient-dense meal. The fresh ginger is what really makes this dish pop, but if you’re in a pinch, you can use ground ginger too.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! I hope you’re able to get outside, play, relax, socialize, grill and enjoy. Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • ~2 cups broccoli (peel and chop the stems too)
  • 2 cups torn kale leaves
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • Splash of bone broth (2-4 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Ginger Beef and Greens

Directions:

  1. Melt coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir and sauté 2-3 minutes. Then, add the ground beef and break up with a spatula. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Continue to brown the meat, stirring occasionally. After about 5-7 minutes, add the broccoli, coconut aminos, dried basil, cayenne or pepper flakes and bone broth. Stir well and continue to cook for several minutes, or until broccoli is softened slightly.
  3. Add the kale and stir. Season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes more or until kale is softened. Then, remove from heat and serve.

Yields: ~3 servings

 

Fast and Easy Paleo Recipes

Grandma’s Italian Goulash

Grandma's Italian Goulash

Well, I’m back from my trip as of Monday night. It was awesome, wonderful, fun and relaxing, but it’s hard to believe it’s already over. Now, I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, but am still feeling pretty exhausted from the travel and 3-hour time change. Hopefully, I’ll be good to go by the weekend.

Meanwhile, this is a recipe I made prior to my trip, but never got a chance to share. It came together somewhat unplanned, but after tasting it, I knew I had to share. The flavor reminded me of an Italian goulash recipe that my mom used to make when I was a kid, which was actually my grandma’s recipe. I always loved it growing up and the flavor of this kinda brought me back. Grandma’s recipe included elbow macaroni, ground beef, celery, oregano and tomatoes, so obviously mine is quite a bit different, but still reflects a similar flavor. And the best part…it’s both delicious and easy!

Grandma's Italian Goulash

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 large head of green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can no salt added fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano, plus more to taste if desired
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and fennel and sauté a few minutes, until softened slightly. Then, add the ground beef and break up with a spatula. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook until meat is browned, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once meat is done cooking, add the fire roasted tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes; stir. Then, add the cabbage and season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper.
  3. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. If need be, cover with a lid to cook the cabbage toward the top (this is particularly helpful if skillet is really full).
  4. Once cabbage is softened, taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  5. Serve with grated raw Parmesan or cheddar (preferably grass-fed), if tolerated and desired.

Yields: 3 servings

 

 

 

Classic Beef Meatloaf

Classic Beef Meatloaf

I don’t make meatloaf very often, but whenever I do, this is my classic go-to recipe. I think it’s the veggie pieces in the meatloaf and homemade ketchup that really do it for me. It all adds color, and the veggies add some nice texture and flavor too. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do! Also, you can definitely make this with ground turkey if you prefer or want to change it up.

P.S. Cirque du Soleil was amazing last night! We had a fantastic time.

For the meatloaf:

  • 2 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced large
  • 1 large carrot, diced large
  • 2 small celery stalks, diced large
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced in half
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 batch homemade ketchup (see below)

Meatloaf directions:

  1. Place diced carrots, onion, celery and garlic in the food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped. You can also use a blender such as this one to prep the veggies.
  2. Melt the ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Then, add the veggie mixture from the food processor. Saute 3-4 minutes or until softened slightly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Once veggie mixture is cool, add to a large mixing bowl with the ground beef, egg, sea salt and pepper, tomato sauce, coconut flour and fresh parsley or cilantro. Get in there with your hands and mix well. Once everything is fully incorporated, place in a large loaf pan. Alternatively, you can form it into a freestanding loaf on top of a foil-covered baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Remove from oven and top with about 1/2 cup of homemade ketchup. Place back in oven to bake 30 minutes longer.
  5. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve meatloaf with extra ketchup, if desired.

Classic Beef Meatloaf

For the ketchup:

  • 1 tube or can of tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/3 cup water, preferably filtered
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Squirt of raw honey, optional

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Store in the refrigerator.