Adventures of Eating with dReJ: healthy, cheap, delicious

Posts tagged ‘paleo’

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Cauliflower Rice

Try cauliflower rice instead of actual rice! Perfect low carb or low calorie option!

 

Since we’ve been doing the Paleo/Primal inspired eating, we’ve looked for ways to still enjoy some of our favorite meals like stir fry with rice, shrimp-n-grits – you know – the good stuff! So we aren’t eating any grains, so rice is out of the question. Corn in moderation so grits aren’t all that great of a replacement either.

I stumbled across something called Cauliflower Rice and despite the fact I am not a huge cauliflower fan, I figured why not give it a try? I used it in one of my primal quiche recipes and the flavor wasn’t overwhelming at all, so we decided to go for it as the accompaniment to our shrimp stir fry meal this week.

It is SUPER easy to do, and even if you aren’t avoiding wheat and grains – it’s a great way to knock out a TON of extra calories and that crazy full feeling you get when you eat all that rice. This also works for vegetarians and vegans! So anytime you see a recipe that calls for serving your food on a bed of rice, couscous, grits, etc – just sub this instead! You can easily bring it to work and heat it up again – still tasty!

 

Put small roughly chopped pieces of cauliflower into your food processor. I did mine is several smaller batches to make sure I didn’t miss any big pieces!

 

The cauliflower should be like a grits/couscous sort of texture.

Once you have processed the cauliflower, put in microwavable bowl with lid and heat for 5-6 minutes. DO NOT ADD WATER! Once it’s done – season like you would regular rice and serve!

Enjoy!

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Primal Meatloaf (with Brie & Mushrooms!)

I mentioned I was going to try out this recipe a few days ago and had several people ask for the recipe or to share how it went. We made it over the weekend and I ate it yesterday for lunch, so I feel more confident in sharing the recipe and results now!

Right out of the crockpot!

 

I can’t take credit for the idea – I found the recipe at PaleoPot and you can see the original post here. As usual, we made a few changes so I’ll include the original recipe and our changes in Green so you can take it or leave it, or invent your own variation!

What you need:

  • 1.5 pounds of 90/10 grass fed ground beef. Leaner cuts work better as the extra fat simply runs off in cooking anyways. (We used a mixture of beef and pork for ours)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 4 cups of button mushrooms. Any fungi of your choice will work fine. Buy less mushrooms if you are afraid of having extras! (I bought pre sliced mushrooms and used about 8-10 oz)
  • 1 small log of brie or goat cheese. Usually 2 to 4 ounces. Trader Joe’s sourced my small log of brie this time. (I used 40z of brie, found it at Harris Teeter!)
  • 1/8 cup granulated garlic (We used minced garlic from a jar – and we used probably 1-2 TBSP because we heart garlic)
  • 1/8 cup dried parsley (We didn’t have any of this in our spice cabinet, so we left it out)
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano (We grow  this, so we used fresh!)
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary (again, spice fail! Didn’t have this one, and our rosemary isn’t growing very well…so we left it out)
  • pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Make this quick:

  1. By hand, mix together your beef with your egg and spices. Everything but the mushrooms and the cheese.
  2. Once mixed, press the meat mixture down into the bowl to flatten it out as evenly as possible. This also works on a countertop, yet I prefer to just get it done in the bowl for easy cleanup.
  3. Cut your mushrooms lengthwise into slices. Think pizza topping slices.
  4. Place your log of brie in the center of your flattened meat mixture, and fold the meat around it, fully encasing the cheese.
  5. Make sure your cheese is fully covered by meat, and if there is a “seam” or place where the cheese is closest to the surface, this place will be facing up in your slow cooker.
  6. Press your mushroom slices into the exterior of your meatloaf. The goal is to have the entire outside encased in mushroom slices, held only by the meat mixture.
  7. Cook on low for 6 hours. (We cooked ours for longer since we wanted to make sure the pork was completely cooked!)

As it’s cooking, some fat will run off and some cheese may ozz out. Just put it on top because Brie is amazing!

 

This was quite tasty – and easy to put in a to-go container for a work lunch or quick dinner. I would definitely use the herbs/spices recommended, or jazz it up with whatever you have on hand so you are still getting some yummy flavors. The first bit of the meatloaf, I was thinking – this is okay. Then the next bite, I got some brie and then I was thinking: YUM! So You may be want to put more cheese in it, or make sure it’s spread all the way through when you are prepping so that every bite is delicious! You could certainly experiment with different cheeses as well. I know my hubby was worried that it would crumble since we weren’t using breadcrumbs or anything, but it really wasn’t a problem! The mushrooms stick to the outside and it really did pop out of the slow cooker all in one piece!

Hope everyone enjoys this recipe and that you’ll pop over to Paleo Pot as well for more slow cooker ideas that fit in with a wheat free, primal/paleo diet! Isn’t it fun when your chosen eating style is also exceptionally delicious!?

 

 

Primal Breakfast Ideas

For those who may be avoiding wheat or just are tired of cereal for breakfast – I wanted to share a recipe for a crustless quiche or casserole (whatever you want to call it!)

I stumbled across 2 different recipes and have made them both (with a few modifications). I find that the one thing people always say when they hear we are eating wheat free/primal style now is that they just can’t get past the convenience factor of cereal and other typical breakfast items. Making an easy casserole or quiche on the weekend gives you breakfast the whole week and it’s a great way to slip in some extra vegetables! It’s perfect to bring to a party as well!

I can’t take credit for either recipe, the first is from Grain Free Foodies and the other recipe is from The Prime Pursuit.

Both are pretty similar in ingredients and cooking method and I’ll say that I made a second quiche this week for breakfast after trying out the Grain Free Foodie recipe last week and I got lots of compliments on the Prime Pursuit recipe at a work event this week, too!

Soooo good!

 Crustless Quiche (from Grain Free Foodies with my comments in green!)

INGREDIENTS:

4 eggs
1 can (14-16 oz) of coconut milk without additives (I get the Taste of Thai can from the international aisle)
1-2 T butter or fat for cooking
1/2 onion
1 cup diced meat (I prefer ham)   (I used andoille sausage last week and regular pork sausage this week – both are good!)
OR diced vegetables (bell pepper, asparagus, greens, or zucchini work especially well) (I put veggies and meat in mine – so go nuts as it’s never a bad thing to get more veggies in your belly for breakfast! I usually do peppers, spinach, onion, sundried tomatoes…)
1 cup of cubed cheese (I used cheddar cheese – leave the cheese out if you are doing true Paleo or dairy free)
1/2 tsp salt
other herbs and spices, optional  (I used fresh basil and oregano from our garden, red pepper flakes, some paprika, cumin)

METHOD:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat in the coconut milk.  Mix in the cubed cheese, salt, and any other herbs or spices that you are using.

3.  In a 10 inch skillet (ideally cast iron), melt the fat and saute the onions for several minutes. (I didn’t use cast iron and it still worked out just fine.)

4.  If you are using vegetables, add them now and saute several more minutes, allowing any moisture to come out (such as with mushrooms).

5.  Turn off the heat, add your meat and stir, and then pour the egg mixture over the top.

6. Bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

It’s really that simple. What I love most about this recipe is that it’s super easy to switch out ingredients to make it taste different or to please picky eaters. I was also impressed that it only used 4 eggs! I put mine in a square baking dish and we got about 8 servings out of it. I’m sure you could do more/less depending on how big of a breakfast you like!

The other recipe has a few more steps but I was really pleased with how it turned out.

Sausage & Spinach Breakfast Casserole (from The Prime Pursuit with my comments in green!)

1 head of cauliflower
3/4 c chicken stock or water (I didn’t use this because I followed the saute instructions below in her update)

1 lb sausage (I picked hot chicken sausage!)
5 cups raw spinach
6 ounces full-fat coconut milk (I prefer Taste of Thai brand)
4 eggs lightly beaten
juice of 1-2 lemons (i used one lemon)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder (I used minced garlic and way more than 2tsp, but I heart garlic!)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I added this in – leave the cheese out if you are doing true Paleo or are dairy free)

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a 9X13 baking dish by greasing it with coconut oil. (I just used pam spray and I actually made it in a circle/deep dish baking thingy because I wanted it to be more like a “pie” serving for my work event)

Wash, remove leaves, quarter, and core the head of cauliflower.  Pulse it in a food processor until it looks like grits.  Put all the cauliflower-grits in a pot, add 3/4 c chicken stock or water.  Simmer on low until tender, about 10-15 min.  Drain off excess liquid, set aside.  The grits can also be fried (see below).** (So you don’t need to put the grits in a pot and use the water or stock if you are going to fry them up!)

Brown and crumble the sausage.  Leave the sausage oil in the pan and add in the fresh spinach.  Stir until it wilts.

In a large mixing bowl,  add the coconut milk, eggs, and spinach mixture & cheese, stir well.  Add in the salt, garlic powder, pepper, and lemon juice and stir.  Add the cooled cauliflower-grits and stir well. (I didn’t cool my “grits” very much and it worked out okay)

Pour into the prepared baking dish, and bake for 45 minutes or until center is set.

**UPDATE:  I have recently been sauteéing the cauliflower “grits” in a frying pan instead of boiling them.  They retain the same texture, but have a toasted taste and appearance.  I like it much better.  Heat 2-3 tbsp of the oil of your choice (reserved bacon is best!!), and sauté the “grits” until they are done.  Let them sit, then toss/flip them every few minutes.

So I didn’t take a picture of this one before I took it into work, but I had multiple people ask me about the recipe. People said they loved the texture and it was a little spicy, too, which I think worked well. I would have never thought to use cauliflower to add texture AND a few extra servings of vegetable, but it worked GREAT! Awesome recipe.

Hope these recipes inspire you to cook a little in advance on the weekend so you can easily enjoy a healthy breakfast all week long! I know I definitely was happy to find some yummy and easy to follow recipes on Prime Pursuit and Grain-Free Foodies blog!

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