Tag Archives: carrot

Paleo Fresh Spring Rolls

DSC_0830 The other day, I wanted fresh spring rolls. Badly. I also happened to be staring at the collard greens in the grocery store and this idea was born. I know you love quick and easy recipes, but I’ll be honest: this one is a bit more labor intensive because there is more cutting / chopping than usual and it depends which sauce(s) you make on the side. I could see these being an awesome weekend treat or something neat to bring to a summer party. All the components can also be prepped ahead of time and refrigerated for a day or two before use.

The really cool part is that the kelp noodles look just like the vermicelli that comes in fresh spring rolls, but if you can’t find them, you could surely leave them out. I served my rolls with Umami Mayo but I think they’d be killer with Melissa Joulwan’s Sunshine Sauce, my Paleo Sweet and Sour Sauce or my Paleo Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce on the side for dipping. Dipping rules.

Prep time: 45 min     Cook time:  10 min    Makes: 6 full rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of collard greens (you need one whole leaf per roll)
  • 6-7 medium-sized raw shrimp (about 1/4 pound)
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a cucumber, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, dark green tops removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint, basil or cilantro leaves
  • 1 package kelp noodles (you’ll use about half), optional
  • 1/4 cup of Umami Mayo for dipping, optional

Directions:

  1. You’ll need to blanch the collard leaves so they become more pliable and lose some of their bitter flavor (this can be done ahead of time). Set up a large bowl with ice water. Bring a very large pot of water to boiling. Dip the WHOLE collard leaves in the boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately place them in the ice water to cool and stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside. DSC_0810
  2. Peel and devein the shrimp, if needed. Into a small skillet over medium heat, place the raw shrimp and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cover and steam until the shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Slice in half from head to tail.
  3. Rinse and drain the kelp noodles. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the carrot, cucumber and green onion. How thinly you slice them depends on how much chewing you want to be involved. DSC_0808
  5. Now that the collard leaves are cool, remove the tough stem with a sharp knife by cutting upward toward the top of the leaf in an upside-down V shape. The leaves will roll better. DSC_0821
  6. Now assemble a wrap: Lay the collard leaf on a flat surface. Place two halves of shrimp at the top of the leaf. DSC_0813 Next, put a small amount of kelp noodles (a little less than a 1/4 cup worked for me). DSC_0814 On top of that put a few mint leaves, and two or three slices EACH of carrot, cucumber and green onion. DSC_0815 DSC_0816
  7. Now you’re ready to wrap, burrito-style. Gently but with a bit of pressure, roll from the shrimp end toward the stem end. DSC_0817 DSC_0818 Once you’ve rolled over once, fold in the sides and then finish rolling all way down. DSC_0819
  8. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  9. Slice each wrap in half and serve cold with your choice of dipping sauces, if desired. DSC_0832

 

 

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.

Paleo Noodle Bowl

noodles After a brief hiatus – traveling back to the States and returning to reality – I’m back with a tasty new recipe. This meal was inspired by 1) Patton Oswalt’s stand up comedy routine on KFC’s “eating my lunch in a single bowl”  and 2) every noodle dish that you miss when you eat Paleo. Zucchini noodles form the base of the bowl…wait, what’s that? No julienne peeler? Try kelp noodles, use a spiralizer or test your patience at julienne by hand instead (or honestly, just make the veggie / shrimp combo and eat that because it’s TASTY).

Almond butter, coconut aminos and fish sauce combine to make the creamy, umami-powered sauce in this comfort dish. For my friends living abroad: I just spent 3 weeks in the UK and realize that ingredients like coconut aminos are harder to find than Nessie or a prancing unicorn. You could substitute something like gluten-free tamari instead. Also, if shrimp isn’t your thing, substitute any cooked protein. The quantities listed below made about 6 cups of veggies + shrimp and another 2-3 cups of zucchini noodles.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized zucchini
  • Sea salt
  • 1 lb (500 g) raw shrimp
  • 1/2 of a small green cabbage
  • 1/2 of a white onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 green onions
  • 4 oz. mushrooms (I used shiitake)
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, optional if you are strict Paleo…to me, they are almost entirely pod so I eat them
  • 1/4 cup smooth almond butter
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • Coconut oil
  • Cilantro for garnish, optional

Directions:

1. Make the zucchini noodles by using a julienne peeler or spiralizer. Put noodles into a strainer and sprinkle generously with salt. Let the noodles sit for at least 20 minutes until they soften and water drains out. [Science nerd alert: you've created a hypertonic environment with the salt which pulls water out of the plant cells via osmosis.] Rinse the noodles well and squeeze gently to remove the excess moisture. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, peel and devein the shrimp if needed.

3. Prep the veggies: slice all the veggies into pieces of roughly the same thickness.

4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat: add the coconut oil and when it’s hot, sauté all the veggies until softened but still a bit crisp, about 5 minutes.

5. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 2 minutes.

6. Add the almond butter, coconut aminos and fish sauce to the pan. Stir until the almond butter is well incorporated.

7. Plate the zucchini noodles on the bottom (I like them uncooked but you could heat them through) and the shrimp / veggies on top. Garnish with cilantro.

8. Delight in the fact that you’re eating your lunch from a single bowl. Yeah!

Leftover-Turkey Yellow Curry

IMG_3605

Stupid Easy Paleo coming atcha from the beautiful city of Glasgow, Scotland! I’m here visiting for 3 weeks, enjoying the chill of winter (even saw the sun yesterday) and enjoying some R & R. Yesterday we had a lovely Christmas dinner, the centerpiece of which was an amazing 7 lb (3 kg) free-range turkey breast that I picked up for $16 on sale at the last minute on the eve of the 25th. It was delicious, but let me cut to the chase: leftover turkey isn’t my favorite thing. Sure, there is the obvious soup or just reheated slices (blech), but I was looking for something different. A quick spin around the local market found me with basic ingredients to make a fine yellow curry. Feel free to vary the veg (I used what was pretty much on hand) and get creative.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 bell pepper
  • Handful of button mushrooms
  • 14 oz can diced tomato
  • 1/2 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2-3 Tbsp curry powder (to taste)
  • 2 cups cooked diced turkey breast
  • Coconut oil or fat of choice

Directions:

1. Prep all the veggies by dicing into uniform-sized pieces.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato and bell pepper in coconut oil (or other fat of choice). Cook until the veggies begin to soften.

3. Add mushrooms, diced tomato, coconut milk and curry powder. Simmer for 30 minutes, until the veggies are cooked through.

4. Taste and add more curry powder if not spicy enough and / or more coconut milk if the sauce is too thick.

5. Stir in diced turkey to heat through.

6. Serve with chopped nuts and cilantro on top (for crunch and color). Pouring this over cauliflower rice makes a really hearty, satisfying plate.

Crockpot Turkey Breast

Crock Pot Turkey Breast  Stupid Easy Paleo

Recently on my Facebook page, I asked what sorts of recipes you all were interested in, and more than one of you mentioned crock pot meals. This recipe is as easy as it gets, and the crock pot (being one of my top 3 favorite kitchen gadgets) is in heavy rotation in my kitchen. These flavors blend nicely for fall and turkey should be increasingly easier to find in the market, but feel free to get creative and mix up different combinations of spices and vegetables (or even use chicken instead). I’ll post some suggestions underneath the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb. (1-1.5 kg) bone-in turkey breast
  • 1 large onion
  • 4-5 carrots
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 lemon or orange
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Herbs de Provence
  • Sea salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Prepare the veggies: rough chop the onion and slice the carrots (fairly chunky since you don’t want them to disintegrate in the crock pot).

2. Put the onion and carrot into the crock pot.

3. Place the turkey breast on top of the veggies.

4. Sprinkle the turkey breast generously with Herbs de Provence, sea salt and pepper.

5. Slice the lemon or orange, and arrange the pieces on top of the turkey.

6. Pour the cranberries over the top.

7. Pour about 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of the crock pot.

8. Set the crock pot on LOW for approximately 5-6 hours (you may want to increase the time if the turkey breast is very large).

Other vegetable / spices combinations: