Salsa Sausage With Asparagus and Sweet Potato Pie

I had some red deer sausage that I picked up from the farmer’s market this weekend that I wanted to use. There were only 4 in the package, but they were pretty big.

WARNING: GROSS CONTENT AHEAD:

I had a little incident when I FIRST went paleo, last year. It was at the beginning of my first 30 day challenge. I had some pretty big sausages in the freezer. They were in packages of 3 and I decided I’d eat the whole thing to myself. Well, later that night I ended up barfing it all up into the toilet. It looked like I had eaten condoms, from the sausage casings. It was quite disgusting. Anyway, after that, I’m not really a big fan of sausage casings, though I love the meat.

Ingredients:

2 large, gluten free,  sausages
1lb ground pork
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 453g (16 oz) jar of salsa
2 bunches of asparagus, chopped

For the pie:

4 sweet potatoes
4 eggs
sprinkle of cumin

Directions:

Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Wrap them in tin foil and bake in the oven at 375F for an hour. When they’re finished, take them out of the oven to let them cool. Remove the sause meat from the casing and cook in a skillet with the pork.

Take the potatoes and scrape them out of the skins into a pie plate. Beat the 4 eggs well then mash with the potatoes. It will look like sloppy mess, but that’s fine. Add the cumin and some pepper. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes at 375F.

Add the onions and cook until the meat is done. Add the salsa and cook for a few more minutes.

When the pie is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Serve together!  This sweet potato pie could also be a delicious breakfast alternative to make the night before. I usually use 1 egg to 1 sweet potato. You could add cinnamon and a little vanilla to make it sweeter. My kids love it when I make this. Enjoy!

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Chestnut Flour Pancakes

My son asked me for pancakes today. I haven’t made pancakes for a while, and I was about to tell him that I didn’t have the ingredients, when I remembered that I had some chestnut flour. I went online and all the recipes I found mixed the chestnut flour with either almond or coconut flours, neither of which I had. So I decided to go ahead and make up my own recipe. They turned out pretty well, but there are a few things I would change. I’ll definitely have to tinker with this recipes, but for now, they were wonderful.

Ingredients:

1 cup chestnut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBLS apple sauce

Directions:

Mix the chestnut flour and the baking soda in a bowl. Mix the wet  ingredients in another bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. It will look just like pancake batter. Heat a cast iron skillet (obviously) and put in 1 TBLS of coconut oil. I only had olive oil and I used that, and the pancakes were still fine, but I would have used the coconut oil if I had had any.

Ladle in a spoon full or two and let cook for a few minutes. These brown up real nice, however, I found the texture a little too soft, even when cooked evenly on both sides. Maybe it would be better to use a bit of coconut flour next time, or maybe a little less milk and 1 or 2 more eggs. Either way, these were yummy. Serve with maple syrup, honey, or fresh fruit and enjoy!

Home Made Apple Sauce

I love my crock pot. It’s magic should be revered by all. You can make soups, stews, roasts, and lots more,  including apple sauce! I got a magnificent amount of apples from the farmer’s market in anticipation of making apple sauce. I will admit, I generally don’t like apple sauce, the texture leaves a lot to be desired. However, my children love it. After I made it, I had to try it, and it wasn’t so bad (texture-wise) and it tasted pretty good with some fresh cut mint from the garden and some elk sausage for breakfast!

To make home made apple sauce, you will need a crock pot or you can do this on the stove:

18 apples, peeled and cored (or as many or as little apples that will fit into your crock or stock pot, it’s alright if they fill it up, as long as the lid can cover them)

Cinnamon (optional)

Raisins (optional)

Enough water to fill the crock or stock pot 3/4 full

 

1. Peel and core the the apples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. If you don’t have a fandyke contraption that chops and cores at the same time, then you’ll be stuck chopping 18 or so apples. It’ll suck, but it’ll be worth it.

3. Put apples in the crock or stock pot.

4. Fill it with water only about 3/4’s full. Add 1/2 cup of raisins, if you like them. You could also wait to add these until after you’ve mashed the apples. Add cinnamon, I didn’t measure but it’ll amount to about 1  full tsp. Put the lid on and put the crock pot on high for 3-4 hours.

5. Stir occasionally. When the apples are soft and floating, it’s ready. I couldn’t use my immersion blender in the crock pot so I had to transfer to a large bowl to blend. You could also use a blender of food processor in batches. Anyway, transfer and blend well. Now would be the time to add the raisins if you decided to omit them from the stewing. Once it’s blended, put it back into the crock pot on the ‘warm’ setting. I left mine overnight so the kids could have warm apple sauce in the morning. I also filled an empty jar (of applesauce) and put it in the fridge. You could probably fill about 3 or more (maybe) empty applesauce jars. Add more cinnamon, a little mint or lemon balm, and if you eat dairy, some cheese!

 

 

 

 

Asshole Stew

Have you ever read Swan Song, by Robert McCammon? It’s an amazing book, but there’s one part where this drifter in a post apocalyptic world gets picked up and is fed a stew. It’s rich but has a peculiar flavour. There are wolves outside howling and the guy tells the drifter they’re assholes. Then the guys tells him he’s eating “asshole stew.” Anyway, it made me laugh and whenever I make stew, I’m reminded of asshole stew. While I wouldn’t eat a wolf (unless I was in a post apocalyptic world, obviously) this is offal stew.

The only time I’ve ever had liver was when I was a teenager. My mom fed me steak one night and I told her it had gone bad. She told me it was fine and to just eat it. I kept telling her that I thought the meat had gone off. When I was finished, she told me it was liver. Yuck.

Now, however, I know there are many benefits of eating liver, and heart, for that matter. I found a great recipe for an offal stew that’s cooking right now. I’m still a little squicked out by the thought of eating liver but I was reassured several times in the post for the recipe that heart has a steak-like flavour, so I’m trusting her.

This is the link to the original recipe, by PaleoMom but I changed it a bit to use the ingredients that I had. I went to the farmer’s market yesterday and scored a huge payload of meat and fresh veggies. I got 2 beef  hearts, some beef liver, 2 pig hearts, carrots, wild garlic, onions, and lots of salad.

Ingredients:
1 beef heart, 1 small bag of beef liver, 1 pork heart
2 medium yellow onions
1 bushel of wild garlic
4 small sprigs of rosemary
1 TBLS poultry seasoning
6 carrots (about 1 pound)
1 quarter cabbage, chopped small
1 cup chopped green collards
1 ½ lbs mushrooms (I used the precut white mushrooms from the grocery store, but I bet shitake would work beautifully!)
2 cups home made bone broth or chicken stock (I only had chicken, but beef would probably work better)
A couple of splashes of red wine
5-6 Tbsp cooking fat, I used beef fat, but coconut oil would work fine too
1.    Cut organ meat into small 1” cubes.  Set aside.  When cutting heart meat, leave fat attached, but remove and discard any large vessels and silverskin (Silverskin is connective tissue, quite thin, slightly translucent and slightly silver in color.  You can usually get it started with a knife and then peel it off with your fingers.).
2.    Chop vegetables:  Peel and roughly chop garlic.  Cut the onions small, especially if you’re feeding this to kids.  Slice ½” thick rounds of carrots.  Chop the cabbage into bite size pieces.  Chop up the already cut mushrooms . Remove tough stems from collards and tear or roughly chop.
3.    Now for browning the meat (this makes a big different to the flavor, so even though it’s tempting, don’t skip this step):  Heat 2 Tbsp cooking fat over medium-high heat in your stock pot.  Add about one quarter of the meat at a time.  Stirring fairy frequently until meat has browned on all sides.  Remove meat from pot (place in a crock pot so you don’t lose any juices), add a little more fat if needed, and brown the next batch.
4.   Once all the meat has browned and been removed from the pot, add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic (add a little more cooking fat if needed).  Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are fairly soft and slightly translucent.
5.     Add the mushrooms, cabbage, collards, and herbs.  Cook for a few more minutes.
6.    Add the broth and wine to the pot.  Bring to a boil on the stove top over medium-high heat.  Transfer everything to the crockpot and set on low for 6-7 hours.
7. Alternatively, you can put the meat back into the stock pot and bake it at 300F in the oven for 4-5 hours.
***
Dinner was delicious. It was hearty with an earthy tone. I can’t believe how delicious it was. The kids, however, weren’t terribly impressed. Willow doesn’t like almost any of the ingredients (mushrooms, cabbage, onions etc) but she was a trooper and ate almost the whole bowl. She named it “Everything Willow Doesn’t Like Stew”. Probably more appropriate than what I named it. Oh well.
This is a great way to get the organ meat nutrients if you’re afraid of organ meats like I am (or was). I served it with buffalo milk stinging nettle cheese that I got at the farmer’s market yesterday. It was amazing.

A Breakfast/Dessert Recipe and Two Dinners

I’ve been making some delicious food but I haven’t had time to post them. Here are a few things I’ve done. An easy breakfast I made for the kids one morning, there are 2 variations.

Bake 2 sweet potatoes, wrapped in tinfoil with coconut oil, in the oven for 1 hour at 400F. Let them cool a bit, then put them in an oven safe dish. Beat 2 eggs, and mash well with the potatoes. Add 1 TBLS of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 375F. Take it out of the oven and let it cool. Place in the fridge for the children to eat for breakfast.

The other variation is to cut a butternut squash in half, scrape out the guts and lay them flat, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour at 375F. Take them out of the oven and let them cool for a bit. Turn them over and scrape out all the squash into a pie plate or a loaf pan. Mash well with 1 banana, 1 egg, 1/3 cup coconut flour, and 1 TBLS honey. Oh yeah, and lots of cinnamon. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes at 375F.  Great for dessert or for breakfast the next day!

I had never made pork tenderloin before, so I called my mom. She told me that I could slice it up and wrap the pieces in bacon. I did, and they turned out amazing. I used pastured bacon, and the slices were thicker than the grocery store bacon. I coupled it with a lovely coleslaw that I made on the fly with red cabbage, sour cream, a bit of mayo, the juice from half a lemon, and lots of pepper.

Finally, I made the most amazing burgers last night. They were salty and moist. I used roughly 2lbs of pork, and 1lbs of ground beef. Mixed it with 2 eggs, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I formed them into patties and pan fried them in some leftover bacon grease that was still in the pan. I served it over a grilled portobello mushroom on some mixed greens, with some yummy guacamole. I just mashed up 1 avocado with lots of cilantro and the juice from half of 1 lemon.

I gotta say, this was one of the best burgers I’ve ever made. Next time I’ll do them up on the BBQ for some extra flavour. However, my blood sugars stayed a bit high after dinner and into the evening. I guess there’s more carbs in avocados than I thought? Anyway, it was delicious.

Christmas In Your Mouth: Bacon Chicken

I haven’t posted in a couple of days, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been eating paleo! I’m still doing the challenge, I’ve lost a couple of pounds (not as much as I’d like) and I’m still trekking. I actually don’t find it terribly hard. I love the way I feel, my blood sugars are still amazing and I’m happy. I’m moving a lot, swimming, and walking. Running a bit with the kids at the park. I can’t believe how much exercise affects my blood sugars. I always knew that being sedentary was ‘bad’ for me, but I didn’t realize how bad. I’m thinking about lowering my night time insulin again, but I don’t want to drop it too drastically.

Speaking of blood sugars, I’m expecting a new blood test kit in the mail this week. It’s really neat because it’s the only monitor that tracks trends in highs and lows and let’s you know about it. I got it for free through medical alert. Yay for free stuff!

Speaking of free stuff, I notice that a lot of American bloggers have a lot of cool give-aways on their blog, but it’s only for people who live in the States. It really sucks, because I would love to be eligible for some of them, they are awesome. Anyway, I’m going to look into having a give-away here, I just need to figure out how it works.

Needless to say, I found the most amazing recipe EVER over at Paleo Parents! They wrote a book called Eat Like a Dinosaur, (which I don’t own, yet, but wish I did) and they have some super delicious recipes over at the site. One of them being Bacon Chicken.

That’s right, it’s a chicken, wrapped up in bacon slices, like a perfectly wrapped little christmas present for your mouth. I just tossed it in the oven and I can’t WAIT for dinner tonight!

***

Dinner was amazing. The bacon crisped up and fell off as it cooked, leaving the chicken evenly browned and beautiful. Not to mention, succulent!

I’ve copied and pasted this from The Bacon Chicken, over at Paleo Parents. Check them out, they are incredible.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 package of pastured bacon, cut in half
  • half a package of pre-cut white mushrooms
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 head of cabbage (about 4 cups), sliced


  1. Halve the lemon and garlic cloves, quarter the onion (don’t worry about peeling)
  2. Pat the outside of the chicken dry with a towel
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the chicken cavity and over the skin
  4. Stuff cavity with the lemon, onion, garlic and rosemary
  5. Place bacon slices over entire exposed surface of chicken, wrapping evenly in a single layer – ensuring no chicken skin is left exposed – if your bacon doesn’t stick then pat dry again and start over
  6. Spread sliced cabbage and mushrooms around bottom of a baking dish (no fat, no seasoning – trust us), set chicken on top of cabbage in a cast iron frying pan
  7. Roast uncovered at 400 degrees for 90 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, shake pan to stir cabbage every 20 minutes to prevent burning

 

Pan Fried Pork With Stinging Nettle and Dandelion

I’ve been boring and uncreative the past couple days. I’ve stuck to strict paleo, and quite frankly, I’m proud of myself. However, it also means that I haven’t posted much. I’m getting a bit bored with eggs, and I also think I might be developing an allergy. I’ve eaten 3 eggs for breakfast for years, even before I went paleo. Needless to say, it’s time to switch it up!

A couple of days ago I made myself a wicked tuna breakfast. I mixed in one avocado, a tiny bit of mayo, a bunch of spinach, some green onion and lots of pepper. It was delicious.

This morning, I wanted a hot meal. I thawed a pork cutlet last night, and this morning I went into my garden to see if there was any stinging nettle. There was a ton! I grabbed a bowl and some scissors and started harvesting.

As I was harvesting the nettle, Rowan found a patch of dandelions! I harvest a few of the heads (the leaves were too big, I should have gone out to the garden sooner,) and then headed in to prepare a decadent breakfast. I pan fried the pork cutlet in some leftover bacon grease I had in my cast iron pan. When it was almost finished, I tossed in a little bit of coconut oil and dumped the nettles and dandelion yellows into the pan too.

Stinging nettles only need a little bit of heat to get rid of their sting. They taste a lot like spinach. “Stinging nettle is a powerhouse of nutrients.  It contains on average 22% protein, 4% fats, 37% non-nitrogen extracts, 9-21% fiber, and 19-29% ash.  The leaves contain about 4.8 mg chlorophyll per gram of dry leaves, depending on whether the plant was grown in the sun or shade.  Surprisingly, more chlorophyll and carotenoids are found in plants that have been grown in the shade. The dried leaf of nettle contains 40% protein. They are one of the highest known sources of protein in a leafy green, and of superior quality than many other green leafy vegetables, The fresh leaves contain vitamins A, C, D, E, F, K, P, and b-complexes as well as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B-6, all of which were found in high levels, and act as antioxidants. The leaves are also noted for their particularly high content of the metals selenium, zinc, iron, and magnesium.  They contain boron, sodium, iodine, chromium, copper, and sulfur.” -http://www.herballegacy.com/Vance_Chemical.html

It was a damn fine breakfast.