Thursday, February 13, 2014

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Walking home in the very unusual North Carolina snow storm today and thinking of what things I had available, I came up with this recipe for stuffed bell peppers.  I didn't actually have the bell peppers and had to walk across the street to buy them, but that's beside the point, they are delicious.

If you want to make them assemble the following:
1 pound of ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 bunches of asparagus
5 plum tomatoes, diced OR 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
12 oz baby spinach
5 large bell peppers
10 cloves (or more) of roasted garlic
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
Salt, pepper, olive oil

First prepare the bell pepper cups by slicing the peppers through the stem and removing the seeds.  Then slice and dice all of the other vegetables.  Next cook the ground beef over a high heat.  Be patient after first putting it in the pan and let it get a little crispy before breaking it up.  After it's cooked, remove it to a large bowl.

Now stir fry the onions in a bit of olive oil for a minute before adding the asparagus.  When the asparagus begins to soften, add the mushrooms.  When they start to soften add the tomatoes.  When the tomatoes start to soften, remove from the heat and add to the large bowl containing the ground beef.

Now add a bit more olive oil to the pan to wilt the spinach.  Add the roasted garlic cloves after the spinach starts to reduce in volume.  When it's done, add to the large bowl with beef and other vegetables and mix until everything is well distributed.

Next, fill the halved bell peppers with the beef and vegetable mixture and bake in the oven at 350 F for about half and hour - until the bell peppers go a little soft.  Then place under the broiler to get the tops a little crispy and you are ready to eat.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Muffin tin egg cups

I've never been a huge fan of the egg and sausage combination.  It's probably because of the smell of a McDonalds sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich making me vomit on a car ride when I was 5 years old. Anyway, I've recently found that proper sausage from Whole Foods with the Step 4 animal welfare rating works pretty much OK.  These egg cups are intended for breakfast, though I just had 2 for lunch.

To make yourself you will need:
0.5 lb of good Italian sausage
1 onion diced small
1 green pepper also diced small
1 sweet potato shredded in a food processor
12 eggs
olive oil
Muffin tin or two with 12 large cups

First, dice the onion and green pepper.  The remove the skin from the sweet potato and shred in a food processor.  I used the attachment with the smallest shredding holes.  Next, sauté the onions in olive oil for a few min before adding the shredded sweet potato.  Cook until the potato is soft and beginning to brown.  Remove from the heat.

Now cook the sausage until brown and crispy

While the sausage is cooking. in a large bowl, crack all the eggs and whisk until frothy.  Grease the muffin tins with olive oil spray and add about 1/3 cup of the eggs to each cup.  Then sprinkle the green pepper equally between all of the cups.  Add a spoonful of the cooked onions and sweet potatoes and top with the cooked sausage.

Cook in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 20 min.  You can change to the broiler for the last 5 min to make the tops crispy.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Paleo chocolate chip cookie in a mug

Lately, I've seen a bunch of recipes for things cooked in a mug.  See for example:

I've been craving some chocolate chip cookies, so I thought I'd invent a paleoish version of a chocolate chip cookie in a mug...

You will need:
1 mug
1 egg
1 spoonful of coconut oil
A dollop of maple syrup (how much depends on how sweet you want things)
A pinch or two of baking soda, maybe 1/4 teaspoon (this will make it puff up and fill the cup)
A tiny bit of salt
A few drops of vanilla extract
about 1/2 cup of almond flour
chocolate chips

Melt the coconut oil in the mug using your microwave.  Whisk the egg, maple syrup, and vanilla together in a cereal bowl.  Add the baking soda and almond flour.  Add enough almond flour such that the mixture isn't too runny.  Then mix in the chocolate chips and melted coconut oil.  Spoon it all back into the mug and microwave for 1-2 min depending on the power of your microwave and checking continuously so it doesn't spill over the top of the mug.  Eat immediately.

Taste was OK, but not as good as a baked cookie as it was missing the Maillard reactions which cause the browning and carmelization of the sugars.  Oh well - it was quick!


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pan fried Scallops with almost crispy Brussel sprouts, shallots, and cranberries

Last week, I visited a Turkish/Greek/Lebanese tapas restaurant in Washington DC called Zaytinya.  The food was fantastic!  My two favorite dishes were the crispy brussel sprouts and the scallops.  My memory of these dishes inspired this one. Sadly, my sprouts aren't nearly as good as theirs, but good nonetheless.

This recipe serves 1, multiply as needed.

4 1-2 inch diameter scallops (I used frozen from Trader Joe's)
1 lime
Coconut oil
Two large hand-fulls of brussel sprouts sliced in half
1-2 Shallots sliced
1 small hand-full of dried cranberries

First, if you have frozen scallops, put them in cold water to thaw.  Slice your brussel sprouts and place them in a vegetable steamer and steam until soft, but still bright green.  While the brussel sprouts are steaming, preheat the oven to 450F, slice your shallots,  sauté them in some coconut oil, and place aside.  When the brussel sprouts are soft (about 10 min), remove them from the steamer and add to the sautéed.  Place them in a pan and into the oven.  Be sure to mix them around in the coconut oil you sautéed he shallots in.  Wait about 5 min so the brussel sprouts start roasting and then prepare the scallops.

To prepare the scallops, add coconut oil to a non-stick fry pan and melt at medium heat.  Dry the scallops with paper towels and add salt and pepper.  Fry on each side for 3 minutes.  By this time, the brussel sprouts should be getting brown. Take them out, plate them and put the scallops on the top.  Finish with the juice of 1 lime and the cranberries.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Coconut chlli lime shrimp and spicy bok choi

I've made this one about 5 times this week trying to get it right.  I'm still not happy with the crispiness of the srhimp, but it still tastes damn good. Sorry it's got so many directions....

You will need:

1 pound peeled deveined and uncooked shrimp. I used frozen.
3 limes
1 knob ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 fresh jalapeno pepper
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
6 baby bok choi (the trick is to find small ones, the big ones like those pictured don't taste as good)
1 bunch of green onions
Coconut oil

Thaw the shrimp and dry with paper towels.  Put in a bowl and marinate with the juice of 2 limes. Preheat the oven to 400F. While the shrimp is marinating, mince the ginger, garlic, and jalapeno pepper.  Slice the green onions into half inch cylinders.  Wash the bok choi and cut off the stems such that all the leaves separate.

Once finished with the prep, drain the lime juice from the shrimp and add the almond flour and shredded coconut with a spoonful of coconut oil.  Mix around and place in a shallow oven safe/broiler safe dish.

Put in the oven at 400F and immedately start the vegetables.  Put a spoonful of coconut oil along with the minced ginger, garlic, jalapeno pepper and red chili flakes in a frying pan or wok.  Heat on medium high for about 1-2 min, turn the heat down to medium and add the green onions followed by the bok choi. Cover and mix occasionally while watching the shrimp.

When the bok choi is done (~5 min) it will be soft and look like this:

At this point, turn on the broiler to make the shrimp crispy.  When they are done, they will look something like this:

Plate and enjoy:

Will serve 4 normal people or two crossfitters

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Watermelon zinger

Those of you who know me well, know that I'm not one to drink alcoholic beverages very often.  However, today I had a brilliant idea.

Take the Watermelon and Pear mingle mangle, and pop it in a blender.  Then add a shot of vodka to an 8 oz glass and top off with the blended fruit mix.

It is fabulous.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Spicy Watermelon and Pear mingle-mangle

Watermelon is sweet and juicy, Asian pears are cool and crispy, limes are magically acidic, and jalapeno peppers are frighteningly basic.  Mix them all together and you will generate a taste explosion.

You will need:
1 medium sized watermelon (basket ball sized)
4 limes
1 fresh Jalapeno pepper (use about 3/4 of the pepper)

Chop everything up.  With the Jalapeno pepper, slice in half on the long axis, remove the seeds and dice very small.  Best to wear gloves, but if you don't have any, wash you hands a few times alternating between vinegar and olive oil to neutralize and solubilize the capsaicin.  Add the juice of the limes and enjoy the explosion in your mouth.