All posts tagged Paleo

Weeknight Bites – Salad with Bacon and Egg

Salad with Poached Egg

Quick one this time for a Tuesday night dinner in a hurry. This salad with bacon and egg is a play on the French frisée aux lardons, but spun about for what I had on hand.

One of the nice things about poached eggs is that you can do them ahead of time and keep them in a container of water in the fridge for days. Dunk them in warm-hot water for 45-60 seconds to refresh, dry on a paper towel, and you’re ready to go.

In this case, I had a head of romaine left from Mother’s Day, but I’ll freely admit to using pre-cut bags of lettuce from the grocery store. No, it’s not hard to clean and cut lettuce, but even I need grab-and-go ease once in a while. It’s not really a “processed” food, and while it doesn’t have the bright flavors that fresh lettuce would have, it’s fine for a meal for myself.

Cutting the Poached Egg on the Salad

Basically, this is a lettuce salad lightly dressed with crispy bacon and a poached egg. Wash and cut the lettuce (or cut open and dump out the bag) and place in a bowl. Cut a few strips of bacon into inch wide pieces and cook until crispy; remove to a paper towel to drain while you strain and save the rendered bacon fat in the fridge. Heat the poached egg in hot water, and place on a paper towel to drain. Dress the lettuce lightly – just glistening, and you’ll get some more from the egg yolk – add the bacon, place the egg on top, finish with a bit of salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Warm bacon, warm egg, cold lettuce, and a bit of seasoning. Really, you can’t go wrong. (Heck, fry the egg if you prefer it that way.)

Poached Egg on Salad

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Recipe

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Recipe

Poor Brussels Sprouts. They get such a bad rap as being one of the most hated vegetables out there. I won’t deny it, until I started eating a 4-Hour Body / Paleo style of diet, I thought I hated them too. Then Mike made these, and he turned my perception of them around with this recipe for Caramelized Brussels Sprouts.

Brussels Sprouts Recipe

A member of the cabbage family, these beautiful little morsels are quite delicious! (Maybe because we cook ours with bacon?) The key is to not overcook them, as that will bring out the strong flavor in them. Brussels sprouts contain glucosinolates, which have a lot of health benefits, but also release lots of sulfur the longer they’re cooked. Take care when cooking your Brussels Sprouts and you will have a delicious dish that is full of nutrients and vitamins!

(Today’s random trivia: did you know the spelling is Brussels, not Brussel like I thought? I had no idea. I thought Mike had made a typo at first, so I had to look it up.)

Preparing to make Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts to be Caramelized

Cut down the Brussels Sprouts in to halves or quarters

Trim end of the sprouts and pull off tough/loose outer leaves, leaving a tight leaf ball with a bit of core to hold it together. Cut into halves or quarters, depending on if the sprouts are small or large.

Cut Brussels Sprouts

Rendering the Bacon for the Brussels Sprouts

Cut bacon into pieces, place in pan, and cook over medium heat until the fat has cooked out and the bacon is crispy and dark golden brown. Remove the crispy bits and put them in a bowl to the side.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts cooking in a pan

Turn the heat up to high and add the sprouts to the pan. Ideally, the cut side should be down – this will draw out the moisture in the sprouts and help them to caramelize better. Even heating will help make sure you don’t overcook them and draw out that sulfur flavor.

Leave them to cook for 2-3 minutes, then toss in the pan. Keep cooking, tossing occasionally, until they look well caramelized and become tender. (With larger sprouts, you might add a quarter cup of water to the hot pan to create some steam and help them get tender. Do this at the end.) Remove the sprouts from the pan to a bowl and set aside.

Brussels Sprouts set aside

Sauteing the Shallots for the Caramelized Brussel Sprouts

Add the minced shallots to the pan and sautée them for a minute or two. Add 2-3 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar, and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots

Return the Brussels Sprouts to the pan along with the crispy bacon. Toss to combine it all together.

Tossing the Brussels Sprouts

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Bacon Recipe

The next time you’re looking for a new vegetable to bring something to your dinner table, give these Brussels Sprouts a try. You may discover that you think they are delicious after all!

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Yield: 3-4 Servings

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb. brussels sprouts
  • 4-6 strips of bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 shallot
  • Balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Trim end of sprouts and pull off tough/loose outer leaves, leaving a tight leaf ball with a bit of core to hold it together. Cut into halves or quarters, depending on if the sprouts are small or large.
  2. Render bacon in pan. (Cut bacon into pieces, place in pan, and cook over medium heat until the fat has cooked out and the bacon is crispy and dark golden brown.) Remove crispy bits to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Turn the heat up to high and add the sprouts to the pan. Ideally, the cut side should be down - this will draw out the moisture in the sprouts and caramelize better. Leave them to cook for 2-3 minutes, then toss in the pan. Keep cooking, tossing occasionally, until they look well caramelized and become tender. (With larger sprouts, you might add a quarter cup of water to the hot pan to create some steam and help them get tender. Do this at the end.) Remove the sprouts from the pan to a bowl and set aside.
  4. If needed, add a tablespoon or two of oil back to the pan and sautée the minced shallots for a minute or two. Add 2-3 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar, and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated.
  5. Return the sprouts and bacon to the pan, toss to combine, and season to taste
http://spoonandknife.com/caramelized-brussels-sprouts-with-bacon-recipe/

Easy Flounder Ceviche Appetizer Recipe

Easy Fresh Flounder Ceviche

I’ll confess, I had never heard of Ceviche until I went to Belize to photograph a destination wedding a few years ago. We went for an all day boat cruise with Ras Creek off of Caye Caulker, Belize and had a chance to swim with the stingrays among the coral. As part of the experience, Ras dove down and caught a fresh lobster and made Lobster Ceviche on the boat for us to snack on between stops.

I was amazed. I had NO idea you could “cook” seafood with just the acidity of citrus juice! Incredible!

Flounder Ceviche - Prep Items

It doesn’t have to be lobster either. For this ceviche appetizer recipe, we used flounder fillets from PJ Stoops, which Mike picked up at Revival Market. Fresh fish is brought in on Saturday, so Mike tries to make it over there every few weeks to pick some up.

(Our Vermilion Snapper Meuniere was from PJ as well, and you can read more in the Cook’s Notes on the Meuniere on why finding good local suppliers is important.)

Rolling the Oranges to maximize the juice

Mike rolled the oranges to maximize the juice he could get out of them, and then squeezed them by hand over a bowl, catching the seeds that came out.

Hand squeezing the oranges for flounder ceviche

Preparing the flounder ceviche

After combining the juice of 1 orange and 2 lemons and adding the salt, Mike added the Sriracha to taste. How much you add is entirely up to you and the flavor you like. Whisk it together to prep and set it aside.

whisking the citrus juice together for the flounder ceviche

Shallot

Cutting Shallots

Cutting Shallots - Knife Techniques

Cutting Shallots - Knife Techniques

Prep the shallots, the scallions, and parsley. When Mike cuts shallots, he first cuts them horizontally through all but the end, and then vertically through all but the end, and then minces them. That way, they stay together and are easier to mince.

The Flounder from PJ Stoops, purchased at Revival Market

Flounder prepared for Ceviche

Add to a bowl the scallions and shallots with the flounder cut similarly sized pieces so that they will “cook” evenly.

Preparing Flounder Ceviche

Stir to coat well – you want the fish to be submerged if possible. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10-15 minutes or until fish is “cooked” (opaque white all the way through). Add the parsley after it has cooked.

Flounder Ceviche with parsley

Now amaze your friends with your “cooked” Ceviche appetizer, which has never touched the stove! (Ok, maybe this is only impressive to me. I clearly need to be more adventurous in my eating.)

You can serve it with tortilla chips, sweet potato chips, or something else crunchy. Delicious!

If you would like to learn more on making Ceviche or get other ideas on fish and ingredients to use, check out the inspiration for this recipe, Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook’s Manifesto.

Flounder Ceviche Appetizer Recipe

Flounder Ceviche

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. flounder fillets, skinned, cut into 1/2" by 1" or so strips
  • 3 scallions, white and light green part, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • Salt to taste (1-2 tsp)
  • Sriracha to taste
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Combine juice of 2 lemons, 1 orange, salt and Sriracha in a small bowl. Whisk to stir well. Set aside.
  2. Combine chopped scallions (both white and light green part), minced shallot and flounder in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Add liquids, and stir to coat well - you want the fish to be submerged as much as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10-15 minutes or until fish is "cooked" (opaque white all the way through).
  4. After the fish is cooked, add parsley for garnish.
  5. Serve chilled with tortilla chips, sweet potato chips, or something else crunchy.
http://spoonandknife.com/easy-flounder-ceviche-appetizer-recipe/

Cauliflower Leek Soup Recipe – Cooking with Mike…

Easy Cauliflower Leek Soup Recipe

Cauliflower Leek Soup Recipe Prep

This Cauliflower Leek Soup recipe has the distinct honor of being the first post of the new cooking series on my blog!

My husband Mike & I have long talked about doing a “Cooking With Mike” series. He cooks, I take photos, and we share it all with you. I turned it in to a resolution for the new year – every weekend (well, every weekend that we are both in Houston), we spend time together in the kitchen cooking and photographing recipes. We’re still working the kinks out of the system, so while we cooked this the first weekend of the year, I am just now posting it here on the blog. Don’t worry though, I will be catching up soon!

On to cooking – the Cauliflower Leek Soup recipe! When I started doing 4 Hour Body 13 months ago, I gave up potatoes. The down side to that was no more potato leek soup. Mike decided to try to make it with cauliflower instead, and I discovered it tastes just as delicious, all while being Paleo / 4 Hour Body friendly!

Cauliflower and leeks for making soup

I should probably admit that until I met Mike, I didn’t even know what a leek was, other than being some weird thing I saw on the menu from time to time. Ah, the life of being a picky eater. He has definitely made me more adventuresome when it comes to food!

Who Doesn't Love BACON?

And who doesn’t love Bacon? Oh, wait, I didn’t until a year ago. Well, I used to, but then I stopped. I still can only eat it if it is really crispy!

Cutting leeks to prepare them to be washed.

Cutting leeks to prepare them to be washed.

When preparing your leeks, you want to cut them in half in one direction, but not all the way through at the base. Then turn and repeat for the other half (essentially cutting them in to quarters), again, not cutting all the way through the base – as Mike shows in the bottom photo. This will keep them together while you soak them to get them clean, making it easier to cut them for the soup.

Leeks - Ready for the Cauliflower Leek Soup

Chopping for the Cauliflower Leek Soup Recipe

Leeks - Ready to go in the Cauliflower Leek Soup Recipe!

Removing the core of the cauliflower

Breaking Down Cauliflower for cooking cauliflower leek soup

Cutting the cauliflower for our cauliflower leek soup

Cauliflower, ready for Cauliflower Leek Soup

While he was breaking down the cauliflower and cutting it, the leeks were sweating in the pot behind him, getting nice and soft and all of the water out of them so that we could add the cauliflower and the (still frozen) chicken stock.

The leeks are done when they have sweated out, are very soft, are not browned, and are about half their original volume.

Sweating the leeks - cauliflower leek soup

Cauliflower Leek Soup - cooking

Testing the cauliflower to make sure it is done cooking

Cauliflower Leek Soup in the Vitamix

Cauliflower Leek Soup in the Vitamix

We used our new Vitamix Professional Series 200 Blender [affiliate link] to blend our soup, but we discussed afterwards that it makes it so smooth and creamy, it is too smooth for me. (I have texture issues.) Mike’s tips to work around that if you like your soup a little more “hearty” like I do is to either hold back 25% of the soup and blend that in separately at the end, not quite so smooth, or to use a stick blender. He was THRILLED with how smooth the soup came out putting it all in at once, and said that that was the classic texture. Just so you know you have options!

Update January, 2014: We are so excited to be included in the Meal Planning Magic 25 Simple Soup Recipes for National Soup Month list! Many great ones there to check out as well!

Easy Cauliflower Leek Soup Recipe - topped with bacon

Easy Cauliflower Leek Soup Recipe

Cauliflower Leek Soup Recipe

Yield: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 4 strips of bacon, cut into ½” pieces
  • 3 leeks, trimmed and washed
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 4 C chicken stock
  • ½ C heavy cream
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a pot over medium-low heat, cook the bacon pieces until golden brown and fat has rendered. Remove bacon pieces with slotted spoon and reserve.
  2. Halve the leeks and chop roughly into pieces about ½” wide.
  3. Turn heat to medium-high. Add leeks to pot, scatter over 1 tsp. kosher salt, stir, and cover pot. Let leeks sweat for about 5 minutes, until soft. Stir to scrape up brown bacon bits from bottom of pot.
  4. Core the cauliflower and separate the florets.
  5. Once leeks are done, add cauliflower and stock to pot and bring it to a boil.
  6. Turn heat to medium-low. Cover pot and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Transfer soup to blender (work in batches if necessary) and blend until smooth. (May use a stick blender if you prefer.) For additional notes on this step, see the Cook's Notes.
  8. Stir or blend in cream, then taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
http://spoonandknife.com/cauliflower-leek-soup-recipe-cooking-with-mike/