Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pumbaa-sagna

Last week I stumbled across ground venison and ground wild boar in the frozen food section of Sprouts. As a paleo eater, the idea of wild game is appealing, because it's kind of silly to call it "The Caveman Diet" when cavemen when you're eating farm raised animals. Plus, I like trying new things. I grew up in New York City, my wild game experiences are few and far between.




Of course with venison, Bambi was the first thing to come to mind. Fortunately, Disney has a vast array of animal characters for every flavor of meat. Bambi Burgers will be a future blog. Today is Pumbaa-sagna.

1 lb ground wild boar (you can substitute pork)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed brown mustard
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp basil
2 oz tomato paste
1/2 cup egg whites


eggplant
butternut squash
Grape tomatoes (really any kind will do, but I used grape)
1 tsp olive oil

I found a paleo-lasagna recipe using butternut squash once upon a time and made it and it was awesome. I usually think of meat lasagne as a beefy meal. This isn't going to be a traditional lasagne. Not even hardly. But that doesn't mean it can't be awesome. Instead of tomato sauce I just pile smoked tomatoes on top of it.

Combine meat with spices, egg whites and tomato paste in a bowl, set aside.

Thinly slice squash and eggplant. I use a mandolin. Toss eggplant in olive oil. Arrange layers of  veggies and meat in a 9x9 pan. Bake at 400 degrees until it's done, about 45 mins, the veggies should be soft. Top with roasted or smoked tomatoes.

I might have over did it on the veggies so you might want to omit one. or use less of both.

Slow Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce

I eat about 5-6 times a day and try to space out my meals every 2-3 hours. So my meals get packed up in little Rubbermaid containers. I have the worlds largest lunch bag.

It's not going to look this pretty when I open it tomorrow.


1 lb pork tenderloin
2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar 

Rub:
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Chipotle Powder
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Allspice

Marinate pork in balsamic and rub over night. I smoked the pork, but it could also be roasted. I cooked it at about 200-250 for about 3 hours. But I have no concept of time.


Sauce:
coconut oil
4 Plums
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
garlic
ginger
chipotle

Heat coconut oil in a pan, saute plums, add spices, add vinegar cook until reduced. 

You might want to make the sauce sweeter by adding honey or something. I like it tangy. Here it is with spinach, spaghetti squash, grilled red onions, roasted red peppers and smoked tomatoes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Almond Coconut Tilapia

Fresh coconut = Pain in the ass. This is how I do it:


A power tool is a single woman's best friend

I drill holes in the 3 spots on top of the coconut and drain the water. It's a refreshing beverage. Then I wrap the coconut in a towel and smash the hell out of it with a hammer. I pry the meat from the shell, peel the brown skin and I'm left with lovely fresh coconut.

Tilapia has gotten a bad reputation for being a dirty, dirty fish. You can buy Tilapia, farm raised in China at Walmart for $5.99/ lbs. Now, over the years China has been trying to poison us and buy us off so I think anything farm raised there and sold in Walmart is suspect. So buy your fish from a reliable source (I shop at Whole Foods because I'm a snob) and sleep soundly at night knowing you're not contributing to the problem.

Marinade:

1 lb tilapia
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
sprinkled with tandoori seasoning

Josh, the awesome fish dude at Whole Foods managed to measure out exactly 1 lb of tilapia. Give that man his propers.

Crust:
2 oz ground almonds or almond meal
50 grams of fresh coconut (you don't have to be so precise if you're not as neurotic as I am)
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp corriander
salt and pepper

I put this in a mini food processor and  blended. The fresh coconut is tough so it takes a bit of pulverizing.

You can bake this or grill it. 350 - 400 degrees for approximately 20 mins or whenever.

Grill Power

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Espresso Balsamic Salmon

A few weeks ago, my friend Janet and I stumbled upon a little shop in Scottsdale called Outrageous Olive Oils. They sell a unique variety of flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars. I had to have the Espresso Balsamic Vinegar because I'm a coffee addict. It's sweet and flavorful.

Salmon is a very flavorful fish so I sometimes like to go with something a little stronger than the simple lemon and garlic standby that I would use on something delicate like sole. I thought about what seasonings pair well with coffee: cinnamon, nutmeg, and anise. Since both espresso and balsamic vinegar come from Italy, I went with seasoning used in traditional Italian cuisine:  garlic, oregano, basil and thyme.

Rub:

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp anise
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp basil

If you don't have espresso flavored vinegar, try some finely ground coffee for the rub, or marinate the salmon in coffee liqueur and balsamic vinegar.

Pour about 1/2 tbsp (mas o menos) of Espresso balsamic vinegar on salmon and spread evenly. Add rub, and spread evenly. Let sit in fridge for a couple of hours.

I slow cooked it because I was also roasting a turkey breast and a boneless lamb shank. I cook everything I need for the week in one day so I don't have to worry about it on work days. I also like to cook outdoors to cut down on my electric bill. When my electric stove goes against the air conditioner in a Battle Royale, the only loser is me. You could grill it, bake it, whatever you want.

I have this awesome grill:


I also have a desert wasteland for a back yard. Awesome features of my grill include a gas grill, a charcoal grill, a gas burner, and la piece de resistance: a smoker box (sold separately). I usually do veggies on the gas burner while the meat and fish are cooking on the other side.

Balsamic Reduction:
1 tsp olive oil (I used blood orange flavored, because I can)
1/2 tsp fennel
1/4 tsp anise
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 cup espresso balsamic
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup strong coffee (pronounced Strowng CAWfee)

If you don't have Espresso balsamic, just double up on the coffee (or use some coffee liqueur) and balsamic.

Heat oil in sauce pan. Add fennel, then add the other herbs. When fragrant, add liquid ingredients. Heat at low temp until it thickens.

Of course, this will be served with Spaghetti Squash. I use frozen spinach because it's cheap and expedient. I also grilled a red onion, eggplant and roasted some cherry tomatoes for this. Mixed the veggies together with a 1/2 tbsp of the balsamic reduction and topped with salmon.

Get your 5 a day the color way!