Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Monday morning mini-marathon (for cooking)

A trip to the grocery store late last week to get mainly meats meant I could get an early start Monday morning on meals for the week. Several leftover sides made it even simpler. Here are some of the dishes I turned out in two hours:

Five boneless, skinless chicken breasts became:
Fried Chicken--one breast, cut into five cutlets, seasoned with salt, pepper and steak seasoning, cooked in a little olive oil.
Chicken Strips--one big breast, cut into narrow 3-inch strips, marinated in a bottled marinade sauce, then sautéed in a little canola oil, yielded enough for several servings, and are ready for fajitas, a salad, or a main dish.
Spinach-stuffed Chicken Rolls--three breasts, split from the back, and pounded evenly, with a layer of spread made in a small food processor, of fresh spinach, cooked Brussels sprouts, sour cream, and steak seasoning, rolled with the ends tucked in, held with toothpicks, sautéed in olive oil, then baked in a casserole covered with foil, for about thirty minutes. Some of the filling oozed out, but I just spread it back on top of the rolls before refrigerating them.

Turkey Sausage--in links like kielbasa, cut into coins, sautéed with soy sauce, leftover BBQ sauce, and Worchester sauce.

Three pounds of ground beef became:

Meatloaf, Hamburger Patties, and Cooked Beef for Spaghetti Sauce, Tacos, and Chili.
A good morning's work.

Super Sunday Menu

Super (Bowl) Sunday meant lunch at my house this year. We had five adults and two toddlers visiting, and I wanted to have an ambitious but rounded meal. I also wanted to include several Paleo dishes, but more traditional (high calorie) dishes as well. Nobody went away hungry, and the leftovers have been delicious and easy to incorporate in other dishes. The menu:

Chicken tortilla soup.         BBQ wings.         Chili-cream cheese dip
Rotel cheese dip.         Assorted corn muffins.         Sweet potato fries
BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, lite raspberry pecan vinaigrette dressing
Roasted pear, pecan and spinach salad.         Scoops and tortilla chips
Shredded cheddar cheese, sliced avocados, tortilla chips
Deviled eggs, dill pickles, sweet gherkins, stuffed olives.         Jalopenos
Black olives, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, lemons.         Salsa
Pumpkin cheesecake bars.         Sticky brownies.        Cool Whip

We have a two-level kitchen island, so most things fit on there, with the soup on the stove. The corn muffins stayed hidden in the microwave until after lunch, but not on purpose. The two hot cheese dips were by special request, and neither could be disguised as Paleo. The roasted pear salad was similar to Cheddar's Restaurant's recipe, with the vinaigrette as topping. I served so many individual toppings so each person could could garnish as he or she pleased. Good meal, great company.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Church Party Foods Paleo Style 12-2-12

Church Party Foods Paleo Style

   Tonight was the Adult Sunday School Party at my church, Keystone Church. I took traditional sausage balls (NOT Paleo), and crab-shrimp dip made Paleo style with finely shredded cabbage, shrimp, crab meat, and seasoning. I was afraid I wouldn't have anything to eat except my dip, but I was pleasantly surprised. I filled my plate and only had a little non-Paleo food.

    Vegetables featured cherry tomatoes and broccoli.

     Fruit included apple slices and grapes.

     Guacamole was super, just avocado, onion and tomato, and not spicy. Another dip did not seem to have any dairy (cream cheese or sour cream), but had lots of spice, herbs and flavor. The only dip I didn't like was my crab-shrimp dip, but I ate some anyway!

     Coconut macaroons are generally Paleo-friendly, but these were very sweet. I ate two. I also ate a small piece of peppermint bark which was smooth and delicious. I wanted to try some of the other dozen desserts, but I managed to eat nicely. Hooray for desserts!

     The best way to diet at a party is to take your own food, but I took a chance and it worked out beautifully. Thank you to all the great cooks.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Protein-Packed Breakfast 11-30-12


2 Fried eggs
Turkey kielbasa with red, yellow, and green peppers-sauteed
Chopped sauteed onion
Grilled pineapple slices
Orange-strawberry juice

   So far, my cholesterol is great and my heart doctor has not limited my meats and eggs. In fact, he continues to encourage me to "eat like a caveman", following the Paleo Diet.  When I make a fruit smoothie, I try to add a raw egg.  Protein is important in my diet, in addition to fruit, vegetables, and nuts. Sometimes I don't want to go to the trouble to add a protein to my breakfast, other than the eggs I eat every other morning. I try to have a variety of meat options available, and I am open to more ideas. I have not gotten the appetite for fish in the morning yet, but I think I might like tuna or salmon patties. This is a list of some of the meats I have tried so far.

Small slices of steak
Hamburger patties
Roast beef au jus
Pork chops
Ham slices and chopped ham
Bacon, crisp
Pork roast
Pork link sausage
Chicken tenders
Cubed chicken (in an omelet)
Chicken livers
Roast turkey slices
Turkey breakfast sausage
Turkey kielbasa sausage
Turkey patties
Turkey bacon
Turkey link sausage

    Eggs are big on the Paleo Diet, and easy to fix for breakfast. My favorite way to prepare them is fried, over medium. I have made my eggs fried sunny side up, scrambled, poached, and boiled. I prepared many types of omelets and frittatas. Fillings for the omelets and frittatas have been: mushrooms, chopped or sliced peppers and onions, chopped spinach and kale, fresh oregano leaves or basil, dried Italian seasoning, steak seasoning, and other herbs and salts. No cheese allowed, but for non-Paleo eaters, cheddar, parmesan, cream cheese, cottage cheese, American slices, and other cheeses would be delicious.

   I usually like a little sweet with my breakfast, especially with salty meats. I grill pineapple slices on the stove, fry apple slices in a little chicken stock, have chopped or sliced fruit (drained, if canned), or add a teaspoon of jelly, jam, preserves, syrup, or honey. Of course, any 100% fruit or tomato juice is great, as well as an orange, tangerine, necterine, peach, apple, grapes, or any berries. Sliced tomatoes or cherry, cherub, grape or other baby tomatoes count as a fruit, too.

   The most important thing to remember is: Don't skip breakfast, keep to good nutrition guidelines, and don't get sidetracked with sweet rolls or donuts, even Krispy Kreme. Happy breakfast!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

You're chicken. No, you're chicken. No, you're chicken. 11-29-12


     Cooking for several meals at a time can be challenging, but it is often efficient. I bought two pounds of chicken tenders and decided to cook them all at once, but in a variety of ways. I only had about an hour, so I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. (Please forgive the joke.)

CHICKEN SPAGHETTI (for my husband): I boiled a few strips of chicken in water, some mirapoix (onions, celery, bell pepper), and pepper.  Meanwhile I made a white sauce with 2 % milk, cornstarch, salt and pepper, and Worchestershire sauce. I also cooked 4 oz. of spaghetti, drained it, added the sauce and the chicken with the veggies and most of the water (now chicken stock.) Then I added shredded cheddar cheese, some Parmesan, and a little white cheese. This dish will serve Kenny 4 times. (He loves leftovers/cook aheads as much as I do.)

SAUTEED TENDERS: My trusty steak seasoning made these tasty, cooked in a little canola oil. I will chop these up and add to various veggies to make different dishes, or just eat them with sides.

CHICKEN SALAD: (Paleo style) I boiled a few more strips in water and chicken stock, then shredded the chicken. I added raw chopped celery, onion, oregano (a gift from friends!), dried basil, a chopped boiled egg, salt, pepper, and olive-oil based mayonnaise. I eat this as a regular salad with lettuce or spinach, or as a stuffing for a char-grilled bell pepper half or a scooped out tomato.

OVEN "FRIED" CHICKEN: I use almond flour and milled flax seed, cayeene or chili pepper, with salt and pepper, as a coating, spray both the pan and the chicken with Pam, and bake for about 15-20 min. in a hot oven. Since I used tenders, they are small and thin, so they don't need much time. (There are other nut flours, but at $8 a pound, I only buy one at a time so far. Cashew flour sounds great, and I have found it online.)

BBQ CHICKEN:  I pre-boil the chicken just a little, then coat the chicken in BBQ sauce, and bake it for 15-20 minutes. BBQ sauce can be used with Sauteed Chicken, but it can get hard if not eaten soon.

That's a lot of chicken, but I will spread it out over two weeks. Each of my preps will make two or three servings for me or my husband. And I have a steak in the freezer when I need a break!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Menues" and another Menu 11-28-12

"Menues" and another Menu

     Cleaning out a drawer, I came across a few pages written by my granddaughter Reagen, probably when she was six or seven, who is now a senior in high school. She had written a cafe-type menu, and I almost remember her writing it while I was cooking. A sample:

egg's and biscuts bacon too $3.00
towst and jelly, Butter, and jam ect.
stake with vegteble's $2.50
rolls for apatisers
Sweet potato with marshmellow

   I love menus, so here is one for appetisers and such: (any misspelling is my mistake!)

Paleo Style Sort-of Cocktail Party

Appetisers and Tapas
Pecan crusted salmon squares
Lettuce wraps w/grilled chicken and hot pepper jelly
Thin-sliced meat rollups w/grilled bell pepper strips
Grilled portabello mushroom caps w/salsa and black olives
Pan-fried green tomatoes w/roumelade sauce
Shredded cabbage, carrot and pineapple coleslaw w/pepitas
Almond butter-stuffed celery sticks
Baked sweet potato chips w/steak seasoning
Garlic kale chips
Avocado halves with olive and onion tampenade

Almond flour cookies
Coconut macaroons
Grilled pineapple spears
Baked apples

Coffee w/caramel flavoring
Hot apple juice w/cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice (or Red Hots)
Crystal Light slushies

   This coud likely be my menu for a pre-Christmas party, although I have to admit, I would probably add a bunch on non-Paleo items out of habit and indulgence. Perhaps this will inspire you, too! Thanks, Reagen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Yummy for my tummy -- computer glitch

To finish:

Choose the form your cake will take. This amount will make 2 dozen mini-muffins; 8 full size muffins; 3-4 mini-loaves; 2 small loaves; one 9-inch layer; 2 8-inch layers.  The flexibility of the recipe allows for other ingredients and flavorings to be added. This cake is especially good in slices with soft cream cheese, or a cream cheese-orange icing.

Sometimes even a Paleo Dieter needs a sweet snack, and a mini-muffin is a tiny choice that includes both dates and nuts, which is good, and only a little flour, sugar, and icing. Have a treat!