Tag Archives: beef

Paleo Avocado Bacon Sliders

Paleo Avocado Bacon Sliders | stupideasypaleo.com

Steph’s note: Please welcome my guest blogger Ashley from Livin Paleo! I first learned of Ashley through her Instagram account where I saw her throwing around heavy barbells, so needless to say, she became an instant girl crush. She’s a CrossFit badass—competing in the NorCal Regionals soon—and a whiz in the Paleo kitchen, coming up with all sorts of simple but really tasty eats to fuel her endeavors. Definitely check out her blog for lots of awesome gluten free bites. Take it away, Ashley!

Serves: 6      Prep Time: 15 min      Cook Time: 30 min

Ingredients for Paleo Avocado Bacon Sliders

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 pound (454 grams) ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 grams) black pepper
  • 1/4 pound (115 grams) bacon
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 tablespoon (22 mL) lime juice
  • Olive oil or fat of choice for cooking
  • 1/2 head romaine lettuce

Directions for Paleo Avocado Bacon Sliders

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
  2. Wash the sweet potato and cut into 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) slices.
  3. Line two baking sheets with foil or parchment paper, lightly coat one with olive oil or fat of choice and lay out the sweet potato slices. You will need 12 slices. Lay out the bacon on the other sheet.
  4. Bake both for 20−25 minutes. Flip the bacon and sweet potatoes halfway through. While the sweet potatoes and bacon cook prepare the burgers, bell pepper and onions, and smash the avocado.
  5. In a medium bowl combine the ground beef, minced garlic, salt and pepper and form into six patties.
  6. Heat olive oil or fat of choice in a large skillet over medium heat and add the patties. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side.
  7. Heat olive oil or fat of choice in a separate small skillet over medium heat and cook the bell pepper and onions until soft and slightly charred.
  8. In a medium bowl smash together the avocado and lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Assemble each slider by topping a sweet potato slice with lettuce, a burger patty, bacon, smashed avocado, bell pepper and onions and another sweet potato slice.

You can connect with Ashley via social media here: blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

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Paleo Avocado Bacon Sliders | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions for Ashley? Leave them in the comments below!

5 Recipes To Ease Your Real Food Transition

5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com Paleo, Primal and real food lifestyles are gaining in popularity by the day. While the benefits—such as fat loss and stable energy—are enough to convince most people to take the leap and leave their processed food-based diets behind, for others the transition can be pretty overwhelming. If you’re just starting out on your journey to Paleo, this post is dedicated to you.

These five recipes I’ve compiled from my archives can help you make the switch to a gluten- and dairy-free nutrition plan a LOT easier. And, if you don’t tell anyone what they’re about to eat is Paleo, they’ll probably never know!

5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com

Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast

Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast. What’s not to love already? You’re probably thinking, “Coffee? Pot roast? What?!” but rest assured that it’s not like downing a cup of joe. The coffee adds a subtle depth of flavor that the spices alone can’t achieve. The end result was fall-apart tender. If you have time, I highly recommend taking the liquid from the crock pot and reducing it down by boiling until it becomes thicker. It’s nice to drizzle on top, almost like a gravy. Of course, if you’re in a rush, you can skip that step. If you don’t have access to this awesome cold-brew coffee, and java will do. Whole30-friendly.

5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com

Simple Paleo Tortillas

Are Simple Paleo Tortillas really possible?! If you’re looking for a really easy Paleo version of a flour tortilla—or a French crepe—look no further. These are pretty much foolproof and are much more flexible than other Paleo tortillas I’ve tried before that mostly use coconut flour as a base. I had a huge bag of arrowroot powder to use up (a gluten-free flour alternative) so this fit the bill quite well. These Paleo tortillas hold up to folding or rolling and can be used in sweet or savory applications, and it’s easy to make a double or triple batch in advance and save them for upcoming meals. They’d also be perfect for making up some tasty lunches on the go, and I think they’d be super popular with kids (of all ages)! I tested these to see how well they’d freeze. I rolled the tortillas up, froze them, and they thawed flexible and easy to fold!

5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Chick-fil-A

This Paleo Chick-fil-A is dedicated to my friend Ricky. Being from the south, he’s been rattling on about Chick-fil-A for SO long, I finally decided to make a Paleo version for him. It came out so tasty that I’m going to bring some to party this weekend for him to officially try. The secret’s in the pickle juice! It basically brines the chicken which makes it super moist and tender. The recipe easily doubles. Whole30-friendly.

5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com

Watermelon Mojito Salad

This Watermelon Mojito Salad recipe was inspired by a Southern California road trip I took with one of my best friends. There may have been some mojitos consumed. I decided to make a mojito-esque—but clearly non-alcoholic—dish that would capture the flavors of this iconic Cuban drink. Plus watermelon. I love watermelon. Whole30-friendly.

5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com

Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta

Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta is a riff on a traditional Italian panna cotta, but mine is dairy-free. Usually panna cotta is made from a combination of milk, cream, sugar and gelatin—creamy with a slightly firm texture. Of course, there’s no actual bread in my version, but I incorporated all my favorite French toast flavors: the butteriness from the ghee, richness from the egg yolks, warmth from cinnamon and of course a bit of sweet from maple syrup. A bit of crumbled crispy bacon on top gives a savory counterpoint to the sweetness. And of course, I used coconut milk to keep it dairy-free. Seriously delicious. Keep in mind that this panna cotta doesn’t set up like super-firm gelatin desserts. I serve it in small Mason jars for a few small, rich bites.

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5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com

What’s your favorite Paleo recipe to serve to non-Paleo eaters?

The Perfect Burger

The Perfect Burger | stupideasypaleo.com

Okay y’all…the perfect burger. It’s not every day you hear a burger claim to be “the one”, but this may very well be it. Perfectly flavored beef, parsnip crisps fried in coconut oil and a decadent avocado mousse…have I convinced you yet?

The Perfect Burger is just one of the awesome meaty recipes you’ll find in The Paleo Kitchen, a brand new cookbook coming out this June from none other than George Bryant and Juli Bauer. If you like the looks of The Perfect Burger, head over and pre-order their cookbook. And, if you do it before April 10, you can enter into a pretty sweet giveaway…a 3-day, all-expenses paid trip for 2 to San Diego. (Trust me, it’s an awesome city!)

Ingredients for The Perfect Burger:

Serves 3.

For the burgers

For the shoestring parsnip fries

  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) coconut oil, melted

Garnish with

  • Sliced red onions
  • Avocado mousse (also from the cookbook)
  • Romaine hearts
  • Shoestring parsnip fries (from above)

Directions for The Perfect Burger:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the burgers without overworking the meat.
  2. Divide meat into 3 equal portions and form into ½-inch (12-mm)-thick patties. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each burger. Set aside.
  3. Using a spiral slicer or julienne slicer, cut the parsnips into strings.
  4. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat, and preheat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Once grill is hot, place the burgers on the grill and close the lid. Cook 6 minutes.
  6. While the burgers are cooking, add the coconut oil to the saucepan. Test the oil by placing one parsnip shoestring in the oil to ensure the oil bubbles. Add the parsnips to the oil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown. When the parsnips finish cooking, place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  7. Flip the burgers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare, or until desired doneness. Remove the burgers from grill and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. To assemble the burgers, place each on a bed of lettuce and top with sliced red onions, ¼ cup (60 mL) avocado mousse, and parsnip fries.

Click here to pre-order The Paleo Kitchen!

Tasty Taco Salad by Living Loving Paleo

Tasty Taco Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing | stupideasypaleo.com

Please welcome Kristen, my guest blogger and a special friend of mine, to the blog. I’ve come to know Kristen through her Instagram, and her story of sickness to wellness so touched my heart that I knew I had to share it on the blog. (Click here to read it, then come right back!) Kristen’s passion for food is clear in her super awesome blog, Living Loving Paleo, and her recipes are simple, approachable and nourishing. Take it away, Kristen!

One thing I super, duper missed when I first changed my diet to a Paleo diet was definitely sauces and dressings, especially creamy ones. I honestly thought I’d never see them again. I drew a blank when it came to making my own, as I never had before. Honestly, making my own dressings intimidated me, and I figured it would be difficult and time consuming (neither of which I’m a fan of). Then, I discovered just how easy and fast it is to make your own, and I knew I could never go back!

My life was completely turned around by changing the food that I put on my plate, and for the first time in a really long time I was healthy. I was determined to make recipes for my own sauces and dressings that fit my new lifestyle, and that were completely delicious! I love a great salad, and to me, a salad is completely made by the dressing. I must say, the dressing that I created for this taco salad makes it extra special. Store bought dressings don’t even compare! I hope you all love it as much as my family did. Happy cooking!

Ingredients for Tasty Taco Salad:

For the base of the salad, I used romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes & avocado. Feel free to use any veggies you like.

Ingredients for Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1.5 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 teaspoons cilantro, minced

Directions for Tasty Taco Salad:

  1. In a small bowl mix together the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the coconut oil has melted, add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning to the meat and mix well.
  3. While the meat is cooking, make the simple dressing. Place the oil, egg, mustard powder, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic and salt in a tall container. (I use a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup). Place an immersion blender at the bottom and turn on. Once the mixture starts to blend together and become thick, move the immersion blender towards the top, until it is well blended. This should take less than a minute! Stir in the cilantro. [Steph's note: No immersion blender? Place the egg, mustard powder, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic and salt into a blender and let these come to room temperature. Run the blender for about 30 seconds, then with the blender on medium speed, very slowly (in a thin stream) drizzle in the avocado oil until the mayo has thickened.]
  4. Top your salad with the meat and dressing! Enjoy!

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taco salad 2

 

Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips and Greens from Gutsy By Nature (AIP-Friendly)

Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips & Greens from Gutsy By Nature | stupideasypaleo.comPaleo Beef Stew…I hope you’re already drooling! Today’s post is from my guest blogger Jaime, the powerhouse behind Gutsy By Nature. I was really excited to have Jaime on the blog because not only does she make some amazing Paleo food, she’s living proof of the power of food to heal. She’s been on a journey to heal herself from Crohn’s disease—which she was diagnosed with in 1995, and she’s passionate about helping others reclaim gut health. Jaime’s recipe is suitable for folks eating an autoimmune Paleo protocol (read more about that below). Besides curating her blog, Jaime is a wife and mom to two dogs, works in literacy education and teaches yoga. Take it away, Jaime!

The Paleo diet has tremendous healing properties for people with autoimmune diseases, especially with modifications to further eliminate foods like nuts, eggs and nightshades (because they can provoke immune responses) and with the addition of nutrient-dense foods. This dish combines both aspects because it’s made without nightshades and packs a nutrient-dense punch with the inclusion of coconut oil, bone broth (click here for her bone broth recipe), grass-fed beef and a bunch of vegetables.

Nightshades are a diverse group of plants including some we wouldn’t dream of eating, like tobacco and morning glories, and others that produce fruits and vegetables that are common parts of healthy diets. Specifically, the nightshade family includes tomatoes, white potatoes, both sweet and hot peppers, and eggplants. I’ve personally been able to add some of these foods back into my diet, but I wanted this dish to work even for people who are still in the elimination phase of an autoimmune protocol (AIP), so I decided to use turnips instead of white potatoes and used another source of acidity and flavor than the tomato paste I might normally add.

I also really wanted this stew to have a thick consistency and not just be a chunky soup. In my pre-Paleo days, I would’ve tossed the stew meat in some flour prior to cooking to thicken the resulting sauce. I’ve experimented with alternative thickeners like arrowroot powder and coconut flour, but haven’t been impressed with the result. Instead, I adapted a technique I used to make gluten-free turkey gravy (click for the recipe) and pureed the aromatics prior to cooking. Success! The final result was a thick stew with amazing rich flavor.

(Note: While alcohol is generally eliminated on AIP, most people are fine with it in well-cooked dishes because the alcohol cooks off. If you choose to omit the wine, make sure you add another 2 Tablespoons of vinegar because the acidity helps to tenderize the meat as well as impart flavor. In recipes that contain tomatoes, the acid of the tomato helps this to happen naturally.)

Ingredients for Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips and Greens:

  • 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) coconut oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound (500 grams) beef stew meat (preferably grass-fed), cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups (1000 ml) beef broth (preferably homemade)
  • 8-10 baby turnips, peeled
  • 1 cup of leafy greens like kale, mustard greens, or turnip greens, ribs removed and chopped

Directions for Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips and Greens:

  1. In a large heavy pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add meat, toss to coat in oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Cook meat until browned on all sides (about 7-10 minutes total).
  2. While meat is cooking, puree onions, carrots, and celery in a food processor.
  3. Remove meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl to catch any drippings.
  4. Add pureed vegetables to the pot you just cooked the meat in and cook until soft, slightly browned and very fragrant (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and herbs and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
  5. Return meat to the pot. Carefully pour the wine into the pot to deglaze, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits. Cook, stirring frequently, until wine has nearly all evaporated.
  6. Add balsamic vinegar and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower temperature to lowest setting. Cover pot and cook for 2 hours.
  7. Add turnips and cook for 15 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with a knife but are not falling apart. Add greens and cook for 2 minutes, or until they are wilted and softened.

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Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips & Greens from Gutsy By Nature | stupideasypaleo.com

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One Skillet Paleo Dinner

one skilletOne-skillet meals are so ideal because they make everyone’s least favorite part about cooking – the cleaning up – that much easier. This is a basic template for a meal that could have several variations: you could change up the type of ground meat and the spices and end up with something that tastes totally different. Save even more time by ricing your cauliflower (pulsing it into small bits in a food processor is by far the easiest way) ahead of time on your big weekly food prep day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. (500 g) ground beef
  • 1 head of cauliflower, riced
  • 16 oz jar pasta sauce (check labels for weird ingredients)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons capers or sliced olives for garnish

Directions:

  1. Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. You may want to drain the fat if the meat’s not grass fed.
  2. Add the riced cauliflower and pasta sauce.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
  4. Garnish with capers or olives.

 

Citrus-Garlic Marinated Steak

DSC_1292 I’ve just returned from a week-long trip to London and Paris, hence how quiet I’ve been on the site here. If you’ve left a comment or sent an email, it will take a bit longer than usual but rest assured I’ll get back to you. I love traveling and discovering new foods, but I also really like getting back to my kitchen so I can make my favorite recipes and think of new ones.

This simple marinated steak was great over a fresh garden salad – use any veggies you’d like – served with some guacamole on the side. Or it’d make an awesome filling for my Simple Paleo Tortillas! If you don’t like beef, you could use chicken or pork. I bought some inexpensive steaks and cut them into strips for quick cooking. Alternatively, you could keep the meat whole, marinate it, grill it and then slice into strips once it’s cooked.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of steak, cut into strips
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 orange and 1 lime
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Put the steak strips in a large bowl.
  2. Add the zest and juice of the citrus fruit, olive oil, garlic, salt, smoked paprika and pepper. Stir the ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Let marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 30-60 minutes for best results. Stir once or twice as it’s marinating.
  4. When ready to cook, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add about half the steak. If it gets overcrowded it won’t brown. I cooked about 1.5 minutes on each side for medium.
  5. Repeat with the rest of the meat.
  6. Serve.

Hearty Spinach Beef Frittata

Hearty Spinach Beef Frittata | stupideasypaleo.comFrittatas are one of those classic one-skillet meals that are more delicious the next day. This one is based off a spinach frittata from the book “It Starts with Food” by Whole9 (they’ve got a Whole30 starting today by the way) - I’ve taken the basic idea and jazzed it up just a bit. I recommend using a cast iron skillet since it goes right from stovetop to oven. As long as your skillet is properly seasoned, the eggs won’t stick and the frittata should come out cleanly.

You can use any type of ground meat you’d like. Since ground meat can be fattier than other cuts, I try to stick to higher quality when I can. Experiment with different types of veggies, too!

Ingredients for Hearty Spinach Beef Frittata:

  • 10 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 8 to 12 oz. of raw ground grassfed beef 
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 oz. package of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and excess moisture squeezed out
  • 1 tomato, sliced

Directions for Hearty Spinach Beef Frittata:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (~175°C).
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs together with the smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat, saute the meat until it’s cooked through.
  4. Add the onion and mushrooms and saute until they are softened and slightly tender.
  5. Add the defrosted and drained spinach. [Hint: start the spinach defrosting in the microwave after you preheat the oven so you aren't waiting for it to be done. You need to drain this well by squeezing out the extra moisture or your frittata will end up soggy.] Stir to combine.
  6. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Turn off the heat and stir the ingredients to combine.
  7. Lay the tomato slices on top.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the eggs are set and not runny.
  9. Serve directly from the skillet or slice and store for leftover.

Hearty Spinach Beef Frittata | stupideasypaleo.com

Do you love frittatas? What’s your favorite flavor combo? Let me know in the comments below!

Crock Pot Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast

DSC_0858-2 copy

Crock Pot mocha-rubbed pot roast. Slow cooker. What’s not to love already?

You’re probably thinking, “Coffee? Pot roast? What?!” but rest assured that it’s not like downing a cup of joe. The coffee adds a subtle depth of flavor that the spices alone can’t achieve. The end result was fall-apart tender.

If you have time, I highly recommend taking the liquid from the crock pot and reducing it down by boiling until it becomes thicker. It’s nice to drizzle on top, almost like a gravy. Of course, if you’re in a rush, you can skip that step. If you don’t have access to this awesome cold-brew coffee, and java will do. This recipe is easily doubled.

Ingredients for Crock Pot Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast: 

For the mocha rub (you will have extra):

For the roast:

  • 2 lb. beef roast (I used grass-fed chuck)
  • 1 cup brewed coffee (I used Chameleon Cold-Brew)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 6 dried figs, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions for the Crock Pot Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast: 

  1. Prepare the mocha rub by mixing together the finely ground coffee, smoked paprika, black pepper, cocoa powder, Aleppo pepper (sub: sweet paprika), chili powder, ground ginger and salt in a small bowl. You won’t use the entire batch if you’re making a 2 lb. roast. It stores well in an airtight container. DSC_0780
  2. Pat the beef roast dry with a paper towel. Spoon 3–4 tablespoons of the mocha rub mixture over the roast and rub it in well with your hands—my preferred method. Or, place the roast and 3–4 tablespoons of mocha rub in a plastic ziptop bag and shake until it’s evenly coated.  DSC_0787
  3. Combine the brewed coffee, beef broth, onion, figs and balsamic vinegar in a blender. Puree until liquified. DSC_0776
  4. Pour the liquid into the crock pot and place the roast gently on top.
  5. Cook for 5–6 hours on low.
  6. Remove the meat and shred with two forks. You can then boil the liquid until it reduces and thickens or simply serve as is. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste DSC_0842 DSC_0859

EPIC Bars Giveaway

DSC_0241 I’m so stoked for Stupid Easy Paleo’s first-ever giveaway! I’ve recently hit a couple sweet milestones – 10,000 fans on FaceBook, launching the new website and web app to name a couple – and it’s time to reward you for your loyalty.

A few months back, Taylor from EPIC Bar sent me some samples of their turkey, beef and bison meaty bars to try, and I was instantly hooked. You can read my review here. The short version: they are awesome. We decided to team up for a giveaway, and here are the details:

The Prizes:

  • 1st Prize = 3 cases of EPIC Bars (12 bars per case, $102 retail value)
  • 2nd Prize = 2 cases of EPIC Bars (12 bars per case, $68 retail value)
  • 3rd Prize = 1 case of EPIC Bars (12 bars per case, $34 retail value)
  • We’ll also include some fun swag from EPIC for each winner.

The Dates:

  • The contest will be open from Sunday June 16, 2013 (12 pm PT) through Sunday June 23, 2013 (12 pm PT). Winners will be notified within 24 hours of the contest closing.

Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Fine Print:

  • Open to residents of the USA only. 
  • Prizes will be shipped by EPIC Bars.

Crock Pot Caribbean Oxtails

IMG_4063What the heck is oxtail? Most of what we – and by we I mean Americans – call oxtail is actually tail sections from a cow. It contains a center bone and can be a bit fatty, but when cooked low and slow, the meat becomes super tender. Sounds like a perfect job for the crock pot though you could certainly braise these on the stove top instead.

Have I told you how much crock pots rule? Yes, I have, but it bears repeating: if you are strapped for time and think you don’t have the chance to cook,  a slow cooker is probably the single best use of $30-40 that I can think of. It’s the ultimate in lazy smart cooking because once the food goes in, you literally have to do nothing but wait. Win!

When I researched Caribbean recipes for oxtail, most of them had Paleo-unfriendly ingredients like flour or sugar. Ick. Instead, I’ve given you all the amazing flavor without any unsavory additions. This would be super tasty served over cauliflower rice. For an even *faster* version, eliminate steps 2-4 and just throw everything into the crock pot together. I think the extra couple minutes it takes to brown the meat is well worth it though.

If you can’t find oxtail, you could substitute stew meat instead.

Prep time: 15 min     Cook time: 6 hours    Makes: 2 lb of meat plus veggies

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb (1 kg) beef oxtails
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
  • 2 cups beef stock, homemade or organic is best
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon allspice berries (or 1 teaspoon ground allspice)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (I like Red Boat Fish Sauce)
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • Coconut oil or fat of choice
  • Sea salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare all the veggies: dice the onions and carrots. Mince the garlic and ginger. If using jalapeño pepper, you can remove some or all of the seeds and mince. If you like it spicy, you can keep the seeds or even add a hotter pepper such as habanero (Scotch bonnet).
  2. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add a spoonful of coconut oil. Sprinkle the oxtails with salt and pepper. Brown them on all sides, and place them in the crock pot. 
  3. In the same skillet, add the onion, carrot, garlic, ginger and jalapeño. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the beef stock, tomato paste, allspice berries, fish sauce and thyme. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up all the browned bits from the oxtail. If you want to get fancy, this is called deglazing the pan and the bits are called fond. Fun with cooking!
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the contents into the crockpot to cover the oxtail.
  6. Cook on high for 6 hours.

Lamb Kofta (Meat on a Stick)

DSC_0490Recently, I ate dinner at a restaurant that served Azerbaijani ground lamb on a skewer, and the taste exploded on my tongue. If you need a geography refresher, Azerbaijan is just to the east of Armenia (which is just to the east of Turkey). The meat was perfectly flavored and tender and let’s be honest…any kind of food on a stick is just more fun than the rest. I found myself on a mission to make something similar and ended up with a mashup of kofta – basically seasoned ground meat usually shaped into meatballs – and kebab.

I polled my Facebook readers (if you haven’t, go like my page now because I post up content that doesn’t make it onto my website…unashamed self-promotion!) to see if they’d prefer  lamb or beef in a recipe (this one) – and a majority said beef. Kofta can come in many variations with different ground meats, so I decided to make mine with a mixture of lamb and beef. To be honest, ground lamb straight up is too strong for my tastebuds! If you wanted, you could do all beef, all lamb or something else.

If you don’t have skewers, you could make these into meatballs or even burger patties. Let your creativity and your tastebuds be your guide…no need to be fussy! I served mine with two dipping sauces – a Paleo version of an Indian raita and a lemony herb sauce. Both were super damn tasty but are in no way mandatory.

Prep time: 20 min     Cook time: 15-20 min    Makes: ~12

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb ground lamb (I used half lamb / half beef)
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds (or 1 tsp ground coriander)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Soak 24 bamboo skewers in water for at least 6 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  3. Combine the ground beef with the onion, garlic, salt, herbs and spices in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands to distribute the ingredients.
  4. Shape the meat into sausage-sized cylinders around two skewers (about 1/3 cup meat per skewer). Place in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the meat is cooked through but not overdone. You could also grill the skewers.
  6. Serve with lemon herb sauce or Paleo cucumber mint raita for dipping.

Epic Bars Review

DSC_0247I’ll cut to the chase with the quick version: Epic Bars. YUM. Get some.

Now, for the details.

The best way to describe Epic Bars is like tasty, meaty bars with a hint of fruit for sweetness and nuts for crunch and texture. It reminded me of taking what I love about jerky packs – the meat, fruit and nut trinity – and rolling it all into one convenient, hand-held option.

Besides using high quality meats – 100% grassfed beef and bison for example – Epic Bars have made a conscious effort to make these bars perfect for the Paleo crowd with minimally-processed ingredients: the bacon used in the bison bar has no nitrates / nitrites added, for example. As you’d come to expect, they are free of dairy, gluten and grains as well. Win. Each bar has at least 11 grams of protein, a good dose of healthy fat and is pretty low in carbs. No funky whey protein isolates or frankenfood here.

Okay, so how do they taste?

Really damn good.

DSC_0241What impressed me the most is how distinct the flavors are…there’s nothing worse than picking up bars of different varieties only to find that they taste pretty much the same (Lara Bars and 50 Shades of Dates, anyone?).

Thankfully, with Epic Bars, that wasn’t the case. Bison with Bacon + Cranberry is decidedly smoky with a hint of barbeque flavor. The Beef with Habanero + Cherry has a just the right bit of spice from the peppers. Finally, I think my favorite was Turkey with Almond + Cranberry because it’s spiced with warm notes of cumin and coriander. The flavors are wisely put together and well-balanced.

Check out the map to find a retailer near you or simply order them from the Epic Bars website directly.

Now if every convenience store in America starts to carry these, THAT would be amazing!!

Paleo Cabbage Rolls (Golumbki)

Paleo Cabbage Rolls (Golumbki) | stupideasypaleo.com

Say it with me…”go-wump-key”…it’s a fun one.

These satisfying little rolls of meat and cabbage take me back to my childhood, and having a Polish grandmother meant that golumbki were often on the menu when we went to visit. When I made this recipe, I instantly reminisced about her standing in the kitchen cooking for all of us. Traditionally, golumbki are made with rice so I substituted cauliflower to give a similar look and texture. Grandma always used a can of Campbell’s tomato soup (contains corn syrup and gluten!) to pour over the golumbki while they cook, but I used plain crushed tomatoes to give the same flavor without any weird ingredients. This one takes a little bit of time to prepare so to make up for it, I threw it all in the crock pot on low for 5 hours – you could bake them in the oven at 350°F for about 90 minutes. Or to make the process super easy, layer the ingredients in a dish, lazy-style.

Ingredients for Paleo Cabbage Rolls:

Directions for Paleo Cabbage Rolls:

1. Rice / grate the cauliflower. I use the grating attachment on my food processor or you could grate by hand – but it’s a pain in the ass. Save 1-1/2 cups for this recipe and the rest for something else…it’s tasty fried up in this side dish.

2. Dice the onion finely.

3. In a large bowl, mix the beef, pork, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

4. Put a large pot of water on the stove over high heat. To prepare the cabbage for rolling, you’ll lightly boil it whole and peel the leaves off a few at a time. Cut the core out of the cabbage and place in the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. As the leaves soften, you can peel them off with a spoon. Take care not to rip them in half. The whole process usually takes about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can throw the whole cabbage in and let it simmer for about 15 minutes – the outermost leaves will become very soft but still usable. In either case, peel as many of the leaves off as you can and let cool a bit.

5. In a large skillet over medium-high heat put a spoonful of coconut oil or your fat of choice. Add the onion and grated cauliflower  and and sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onion is translucent and the cauliflower is softened. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

6. Combine the onion / cauliflower with the meat and mix by hand to incorporate all the ingredients.

7. Roll the golumbki by taking a cabbage leaf – concave side up with the stem toward you – and placing a large spoonful of the meat mixture at the stem end. Then roll forward, fold the sides in and end with the seam down.


8. Mix the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce (not pasta sauce) in a bowl. Put ~1 cup in the bottom of the crockpot (or casserole dish). Lay the golumbki in with the seam side down. Cover with the remaining tomato mixture once the crock is full.

9. For a crockpot, cook on low for 5 hours. If using the oven, cover the top of the dish with foil and bake for 1.5 hours at 350°F (175°C).

Paleo Beef Jerky

Paleo Beef Jerky…salty, meaty and chewy.

It’s beef jerky, of course, and we all seem to love it. What I don’t love is 1) the price and 2) all the other chemicals and crap they put in it. With that in mind, I did a little research and made this simple recipe (and if you were wondering, it is Whole30-approved).

The coconut aminos really are the key to the flavor (plus, it’s not soy-based and has a lot less sodium than soy sauce and is devoid of gluten unlike tamari).

You can certainly use a dehydrator (like this one) to make your jerky, but you can still make it in the oven if you don’t have one. Directions are below.

Ingredients for the Paleo Beef Jerky:

  • 1 pound (500 grams) lean London broil or top sirloin (grass-fed if you can find it)
  • 1 bottle coconut aminos (I used ~half the bottle or 4 oz, found in the vinegar section of the market)

Equipment to Make the Paleo Beef Jerky:

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Directions for the Paleo Beef Jerky:

1. Trim all visible fat from the meat. Throw the whole steak in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. You want to firm up the meat (ha!) before you slice it.

2. Remove from the freezer and use a sharp knife to cut the steak against the grain (so it’s not as tough) and on the bias (diagonally, so you get wider pieces). You want the pieces to be less than 1/8″ thickness and as consistent as possible.

3. Throw the pieces in a large plastic bag and pour about 1/3-1/2 cup of the coconut aminos into the bag.

4. BE PATIENT and let marinate it for a few hours (or overnight). Trust me…it’ll taste better.

5. To dehydrate (jerkify), set your oven to 200 degrees. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Place the racks on top (again, you want to leave the jerky exposed to air on both sides). I used cooling racks intended for baking.

6. Place jerky on the racks, leaving a little space between.

7. Bake for at least two 2 hours (checking frequently) or until it is, well, jerky-like! You want it to be dry.

8. Store in an airtight container. I put mine in the fridge so it’ll keep even longer.

So, as you can see, stupid-easy…you just need some patience. It may not taste like the overly salty jerky you are used to, but I promise it’s so much better (and cheaper!). You could definitely mix it up by adding some chopped jalapenos, garlic, or crushed black pepper into the marinade to. Check out this version from The Food Lovers Kitchen (with garlic and smoky chipotle) and this one from my good pal Jen’s Gone Paleo (with a hint of sweetness from apple juice). Enjoy!