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A Tasty Remedy: June 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

4th of July BBQ Round-Up!

Are you still looking for some dishes to round out your 4th of July BBQ menu?  I've got you covered with this list that is sure to please your Paleo and non-Paleo crowd alike!    

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Italian No-Pasta Salad {Gluten-Free & Grain-Free}

One of my favorite summer BBQ sides was that Italian pasta salad you could find in any grocery store deli.  I loved the tangy dressing combined with the sweet bell peppers, salami and mozzarella cheese, and of course those salty olives.  The corkscrew pasta soaked up all that dressing and was just a fun shape to eat.  Unfortunately, these salads are typically full of artificial preservatives, highly processed oils and a big-ol' gluten bomb.  I knew I needed to recreate a healthier version!

Italian No-Pasta Salad
Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 5 minutes



Ingredients:

Italian Dressing:
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp sage
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp balsamic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

3 medium summer squash
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 oz salami, gluten-free, sliced into 1/4" strips
3/4 cups whole pitted black olives, or olives of your choice
2 oz mozzarella (optional)

Directions:
  1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a jar with lid.  Cover and shake to combine.
  2. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
  3. Place a large pot of water with 2 pinches of salt on the stove and bring to a boil. 
  4. While the water is coming up to a boil, run the summer squash through the spiralizer using the flat blade insert.  With all the spiralized squash laid out on a cutting board, use a large knife to roughly cut into thirds.  We're just looking to shorten the "noodles" some.  
  5. Add the spiralized squash to the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender.
  6. Transfer the squash to a colander and rinse with cold water.  Remove as much water as you can from the squash.  Leave the squash in the colander while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  7. Add the squash, bell pepper, red onion, salami, olives, and mozzarella (if using) to a large bowl.
  8. Pour about half the dressing over the salad and toss the ingredients to combine.  Add more dressing as desired.  
  9. Store the salad in the fridge until ready to serve. 
Serves: 6 - 8 (as a side dish)

Enjoy!




Monday, June 23, 2014

Strawberry Mint Pops

I've got to pat ourselves on the back right now with how awesome our first vegetable garden is doing.  We have lettuce and spinach for days, and we're being overgrown with mint.  The cats will be happy with our catnip production as well.  We've got lots of fresh herbs, minus the basil that I promptly killed.  Let's focus on the positive though.  Will all the fresh herbs, it's getting time to figure out what we'll do with them all before they go bad.  We're looking into a couple of methods: freezing and drying.  I'll let you know how that experiment goes! 

But, to reiterate...  we're being overgrown with mint.  So.  Much.  Mint!  We knew going in that it would probably take over, but we decided to throw it in with everything else in our garden anyway.  We might need to move it to its own pot for next season. 

In the meantime, I've been looking for ways to use up all this mint.  My new favorite is combining it with strawberries.  The flavor of the bright mint with fresh, juicy strawberries is a delicious combination.  You might have seen my instagram photo a couple weeks back.  I muddled the strawberries and mint together in ice water for an easy, refreshing drink.  I'm still loving these flavors together, so with summer starting up, I had to create these Strawberry Mint Pops.  They're dairy-free and full of freshness!


Strawberry Mint Pops
Prep: 5 minutes, Chill: 4 hours


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups strawberries, stems removed and quartered
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk

Directions:
  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into a popcicle mold and freeze upright for 4 hours or until completely frozen.
Makes: 1 1/2 cups

Note: I was able to fill 4 smaller popsicle molds with this amount.  Depending on the size of your popsicle mold, you may want to increase your quantities. 








Monday, June 16, 2014

My Top 6 Favorite Paleo Snacks!

In my former food-life, I snacked a lot.  I really needed it too at the time, or else I would get pretty darn hangry.  Like, I better have something to eat RIGHT NOW OR YOU WILL SUFFER.  It wasn't good for anyone involved.

When I made the switch over to a real, whole foods based diet, snacking became less important as I learned what types of foods would keep me satisfied for longer.  Snacking is by no means gone from my life, and there's nothing wrong with that.  If you're hungry, you should eat!  What I go for now, looks a heck of a lot different than former snacking.  Move over fat free cheese and yogurt.  No room for you either, pretzels and chips.  These days, I'm all about getting in my fat and protein to keep me feeling satisfied.

So, what do I snack on?




1.  Jerky!  If buying store bought, be sure to check the label.  Steer clear of those brands that have a list of highly processed ingredients and preservatives.  If you're feeling up for it, why not make your own?  Check out this Smoky Beef Jerky recipe from Against All Grain.  Looking for a fool proof brand of paleo friendly jerky?  Head to Steve's Paleo Goods for their jerky, and other eats.

2.  Almond butter stuffed dates.  Using a knife, slice open a medjool date, remove the pit and stuff some almond butter in there.  Then proceed to shove it all in your mouth.  It's amazing!  Be sure to look for unsweetened almond butter that contains only almonds and salt.  This is a handy snack I like to grab when I'm in a hurry and need a little something before a workout.  Who am I kidding though.  It's good anytime.

3.  Prosciutto wrapped apple slices.  I use green apples most of the time since they're less sweet, and 21-Day Sugar Detox approved.  This makes for a nice savory-sweet bite.

4.  Sweet potato chips with guacamole.  Check out those ingredients on the store bought sweet potato chips and make sure they haven't been cooked in processed seed oils.  Jackson's Honest Chips are fried in coconut oil, and they are delicious!  Mix up some guac, and you're good to go.

5.  Apples dipped in almond butter.  Again, using a green apple, this keeps your snack 21 DSD approved.  I think it may be one of the things that helped keep me sane during those 21 days.

6.  Tuna with mayo on sliced cucumber.  Mix up a can of wild caught tuna with your favorite homemade mayo, and serve on sliced cucumber.  I love the snap you get from that cucumber.
 

What are some of your favorite paleo snacks?





Monday, June 9, 2014

Suzie's Rockin' Ribs

Hey guys!  I made ribs!  They are fall off the bone, melt in your mouth, awesomeness on a bone.  It's a bit of a time investment, but the end result is totally worth it.  It is possible to get great ribs without a smoker.  Let me show ya how.

First, let's go over the bbq sauce!



Suzie's Rockin' BBQ Sauce
Prep: 10 minutes, Cook: 30 minutes



Ingredients:

6 oz tomato paste
4 tsp coconut aminos
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
  1. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, add all of the ingredients and stir to combine.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low for 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Remove from heat to let cool.  Should keep for a couple week in the fridge.
Makes: 1 1/2 cups



Suzie's Rockin' Ribs
Prep: 5 minutes  Cook: 3 hours



Ingredients:

1 rack of ribs (Whichever style you prefer.  We used St. Louis style since that's what our butcher had.)

Dry Rub:
1 Tbsp onion powder
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup Suzie's Rockin' BBQ Sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Cover both front and back of the ribs with the dry rub, and rub into the meat. 
  4. Place the ribs in cake pan or baking dish.  You may need to cut the rack of ribs in half to fit them in the dish.  
  5. Fill the bottom of the dish with water, about 1/4 inch high, and cover with foil.
  6. Place in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the ribs have reached an internal temperature of 145 F.
  7. Pull the ribs out of the oven and brush on a thick layer of BBQ sauce.  
  8. Time to head outside!  Heat the grill to around 400 F.
  9. Place the ribs on the grill, bone side down.  BBQ the ribs for about 10 minutes to help caramelize the sauce.  Be careful to not let the heat get so high that the ribs are charred black.  You may need to turn the grill down to low.
Note: I recommend making the BBQ sauce while the ribs are in the oven.  Gives you plenty of time to let the sauce cook and cool before using.

Serves: 2 hungry rib eaters

Enjoy!



Monday, June 2, 2014

Mexican Meatza

Happy Monday, all!

I made something.  It's like pizza, but the crust... the crust is meat.  A meatza.  Oh yes.  It's been all the rage lately, and I had to join the cool kids and make one of my own.  I went Mexican style with my meatza, using chorizo for the meat crust, and topping it with bell pepper, red onion, mushrooms, black olives and dollops of guacamole.  You can't go wrong with guac.

Just like pizza, there are endless possibilities for toppings.  What meat would you use for your crust?  What would you top your meatza with?  Share your ideas in the comment section below!



Mexican Meatza
Prep: 15 minutes  Cook: 25 minutes



Ingredients:

Meat Crust:
1 lb chorizo, casing removed
1 egg
1 Tbsp coconut flour

Toppings:
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into rings
1/4 red onion, sliced into rings
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp sliced black olives
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup guacamole

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, use your hands to combine the churizo, egg, and coconut flour.
  3. One a shallow baking dish, form the meat into the desired shape for the crust.  You'll want the crust to be about 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.
  5. When the meat is done, pull from the oven, and increase the temperature to 425 F.
  6. Assemble the toppings on top of the meat crust, and place back in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the toppings have softened.
  7. Before serving, add dollops of guacamole and enjoy!
Serves: 2

Note:  The chorizo from my butcher was on the milder side.  I'm a bit of a wimp with the spicy food, but this one was perfect for me.  If you like more heat, look for a chorizo with extra kick.  My guess would be that if it's a deep red color, it will probably be on the spicier side.  Only a guess though.  Feel free to use regular ground pork or beef if you prefer to season it yourself.