Monday, July 9, 2018

Oriental Beef Marinade

This weekend I was looking for an oriental style steak marinade but wanted one without the added sugars of many Asian cooking sauces.

This made a great marinade and flipping the steaks a few times on the grill cooked perfectly without burning.  It would also make a great marinade/stir fry sauce for veggie "beef" strips.

Asian Steak Marinade

1/3 cup Hoisin sauce
3 Tablespoons soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 Tablespoons Mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh ginger.
dash of cracked pepper

Mix together and marinate steaks in a gallon zip lock bag for 2-4 hours.  Drain and grill.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Five Years -My pants are Half the Size Without a Diet

Pants five years ago on the left, pants on the right from today.  No dieting! I gave up diet soda and beer (I still have dry wine and single malt scotch on a very regular basis). No fast food, nothing fried except for Friday Night and Saturday Morning "anything goes" meals, but made at home so it's sauteed not deep fried, but yes there is cheese sometimes.

I use coconut oil and Avocado oil and mayo. I eat at least 8 servings a day of non-starchy veggies and non-starchy fruits and all the organic, grass-fed meat or wild caught fish I want. I bake or make pasta with Einkorn flour so my bread isn't full of chemicals and additives and genetically modified flour or make it from scratch gluten-free and limit my bread/pasta to 2-3 days a week and half a large potato or sweet potato to twice a week.

I work out twice a week for 90 minutes, which includes 20 minutes with a punching bag for cardio. I snack on Paleovalley jalapeno beef sticks (the bomb) or a cup of Fire and Kettle Bone Broth instead of chips or candy. Yes, I'll have a homemade cookie or a sugar free pudding once every week or two, but it's a TREAT, not a daily handful.

I drink at a minimum of 3 quarts of water a day. I am never really "I'm starving" hungry, like when I lived on Slim Fast and diet frozen meals and fruit and still never lost a single pound.

Dieting sucks. Eating and living healthy does not.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Gluten Free Scones

These are so tender and nicely sweet and sugary, you'll never guess they start out with a baking mix. One of our choir members made them for after church coffee hour and so many ladies asked for the recipe she printed it out the following Sunday.

If you aren't gluten sensitive Bisquick can be substituted for the g.f. baking mix

Gluten Free Scones

2 cups King Arthur Flour gluten-free baking mix (this brand contains Xanthan gum already)
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (or full-fat coconut milk if dairy sensitive)
1 egg or equivalent egg substituteadditional heavy cream or milk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, raisins, or craisins
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teasponn pure vanilla extract

additional sugar for topping

Heat oven to 425 F.  Spreay cookie sheet with non stick spray.  Mix all ingredients just until combined into a soft dough,   Pat into an 8 inch circle (if fingers stick to dough sprinkle them with additional baking mix).  Brush with additional cream or milk and sprinkle lightly with additional sugar.  Cut into 8 wedges.

Bake about 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Carefully separate and serve warm.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Thai Carrot Ginger Soup

I love Thai food more than any other ethnic cuisine.  I'm not a big fan of Pad Thai, too many years of munching on airline peanuts as both pilot and frequent passenger, but I love everything else.  My favorite  - some of the soups as well as ginger anything.

But how about making my own.  This soup was easy, creamy and delish and spicy without being "hot" and was a great way to use up some extra carrots. The ginger and spices balanced the taste of the carrots quite nicely.

You also want to make this with the canned coconut milk and not the carton style that you would use on your cereal.  That's essential to get the creamy taste as well as making it extra filling while still being less than 300 calories a serving.

 It also freezes well.

Thai Carrot Soup 

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3/4 large sweet onion chopped
2 pounds carrot, peeled and chopped (1 pound of carrots is about 5 medium sized ones, no wider than an inch and about six inches long)
4 teaspoons jarred minced Garlic
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground Cumin
1 teaspoon ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground Ginger
pinch of crushed red pepper
3 cups low-sodium veggie or chicken broth. (I used chicken bone broth for a Paleo version)
1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk, (the full-fat kind)

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, deep saucepan or Dutch Oven.
Add the onion and carrots and sauté until they begin to soften and onions are browning up)10-15 minutes)
Add the garlic and remaining spices and sauté until fragrant (1 to 2 minutes).
Add the broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer until the carrots are completely cooked.
Let cool slightly and then place the soup into a blender and blend until soup is creamy. 
Return to stove and heat for couple more minutes on medium.
When reheated, add a 1/4 teaspoon coconut sugar and a squeeze of lime before serving. (Optional)
Serve with some chopped basil or cilantro  (Optional)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Chily Days - Chili Mac

We had an unusually cold day for June yesterday, requiring a sweater while out for a walk, so a warm dinner sounded good, warm as in "heat" as opposed to temperature.

This was an experiment started by tweaking an internet recipe and it turned out REALLY good.   I made it with ground sirloin and bone broth that really complimented the flavor.  It's really low in fat, high in protein and was very tasty served over either gluten free pasta or steamed finely chopped cauliflower if you want a Paleo meal.

Chili Mac is something I never had growing up and didn't see it until I moved to the Midwest in the mid 90's.  It's easy to make, some folks just make a box of Kraft dinner and add a can of regular chili or it can be made from Scratch. (trust me, do the "from scratch").  Traditionally the dish doesn't contain peppers but as I had a handful left from another meal I threw them in and they added a nice taste.

Chili Mac.

In a crockpot place:
1 28-ounce can of Italian seasoned crushed red tomatoes (I love organic  Muir Glen).
A handful of chopped onion and
About 1/3 cup of chopped red and green pepper (small bite-sized)
1 Tablespoon honey

Start heating on low while you cook the meat.

In a skillet cook 1-pound ground grass-fed sirloin until about 3/4 cooked through. You will be cooking without adding oil to the pan so make sure you move the meat around the pan as it cooks so it doesn't stick

Sprinkle with:

1 and 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chopped minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (omit if you want a much milder version)
1/2 teaspoon mild smoky hot sauce (I used Scoville Brothers Singing Smoke which is available online and my absolute favorite brand of hot sauces)
add 1/2 cup bone broth (my favorite is Fire and Kettle which is simmered for 20 hours with various herbs and spices)
Cook until meat is cooked through and liquid is reduced by 1/2, stirring occasionally.

Stir meat mixture into tomato mixture and cook in the crockpot on low 4-8 hours.  You could also make this on the stove, just cook until the veggies are soft and the mixture is bubbly.

Top with shredded low-fat cheese and/or low-fat sour cream or leave off if you want a strictly Paleo meal.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

The photos are luncheon leftovers from Thursday night, so the broccoli isn't as bright green but it was still just as tasty and every bit as good as takeout with less cost and a LOT less oil.

I'm sure most of you know how to stir-fry, but there is another Chinese cooking secret that is key to meat that is silky soft and lusciously tender.  It's called "velveting".  Sure, it's an extra step, but it's beyond easy and takes only minutes.  Once you're done that step the meat is ready for the normal stir-frying.

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry (Serves 4)

You start with a marinade

1 egg white
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch ½ teaspoon salt

Mix that up and slice your beef (1 pound of steak)

Beef has a grain to it; It's the direction that the major muscle fibers run in. The angle at which you hold your knife in relation to this grain while cutting has a pretty profound effect on the tenderness of the meat. Cut in the same direction as the grain, and your meat comes out tough and ropey. Cut against the grain, and you shorten the muscle fibers, effectively tenderizing the meat. So cut your steak up against the grain and place pieces in a bowl with your marinade that you’ve whisked together.

Let it marinate at least 30 minutes then you are ready for the "velveting step".  Add water to a depth of two inches into a large cook pot or saucepan.  Add 1 Tablespoon of oil.  Turn heat on high and bring to a boil  Reduce heat to medium LOW and immediately add the meat, stirring to spread out.  Bring water back to a gentle simmer and once it's barely bubbling cook an additional minute, stirring a few times.  Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon, draining well and setting aside on a plate or platter.

Make your Stir Fry Sauce:

Combine and set aside:

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Hoisin sauce
1/3 cup bone broth or vegetable broth (you can use water if you don't have broth)
3 Tablespoons coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
 1 and ½ teaspoons oyster sauce
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Assemble Stir Fry Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
 ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
 ½ teaspoons minced garlic (from a jar)
 half of a bag of frozen broccoli, thawed and patted dry (equivalent to half a head of fresh broccoli)
1/3 to ½  of a red pepper cut into bite-sized pieces
 1 small can sliced water chestnuts (drained)
 1 and ½ teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoons warm water

 1 small green onion for garnish (optional)

Getting Ready to Cook:

 Heat up a wok over medium heat with the oil. When the oil is hot (shy of smoking though as you don’t want it spattering) stir-fry the marinated beef in three batches, just until they are starting to crisp up on the edges (about 2 minutes). Cooking the beef without crowding makes for a more evenly cooked and tender outcome.

Remove the meat with tongs and set aside. Add the sesame oil to the oil left in the wok and stir-fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant.

 Add the broccoli, water chestnuts, and red pepper and stir-fry until they are tender with the broccoli still being bright green.

 Add the beef back to the wok with the prepared sauce. Simmer until the beef is cooked through (roughly 1 and 1/2 to 2 minutes).

Add the cornstarch mixture and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly. Serve immediately over rice or “riced” cauliflower (if Paleo)