Tag Archives: ginger

Beet Ginger Sauerkraut

Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com

Beet Ginger Sauerkraut has long been on my agenda to make, especially after I picked up a bag from Farmhouse Cultures. It was so delicious, and while buying it pre-made is convenient, it’s far more affordable to make it myself. The beets add a bit of sweetness—plus, the color is fantastic—and the ginger is so flavorful and provides a little bite.

I have a few sauerkraut / fermentation posts on this site already, and this isn’t really any different from those. If you’re a newbie to making sauerkraut, take a deep breath (it’s going to be okay!), and read through the whole post before you start the process. It’s actually very, very simple but there are a couple key points to remember:

  • This method uses lacto-fermentation with only salt and whatever Lactobacillus bacteria are kickin’ around your kitchen environment. There is no whey in this method.
  • The veggies must stay submerged under the brine (in an anaerobic environment) the *whole* time you’re fermenting them…and even after they’re done. If not, they’ll mold quickly.
  • Clean all your glassware, utensils and hands well before you start. For extra insurance against contamination, rinse everything with white vinegar.
  • You don’t have to use a fancy fermentation cap like this, but they make the process a bit easier, and there’s less chance of contamination. I used the Kraut Source prototype for this batch, and I’m super impressed at how simple it was. It was especially good at keeping the veggies submerged. They are about to finish their Kickstarter, so get in on it while you can!
  • I’ve included a troubleshooting section at the end of this post, so if you’re seeing odd things during fermentation, check there to see if it’s normal or you should toss your ferment.

Prep time: 30 min     Ferment time:  7–14 days     Makes: 1-quart (946 mL) jar

Ingredients for Beet Ginger Sauerkraut

  • 2 lb (907 g) green cabbage (you’ll use half unless making a double batch)
  • 8 oz (227 g) red beets
  • 2–3 oz (57–85 g) fresh ginger
  • 1-1/2 tbsp (22 g) coarse sea salt (I like this one)
  • If you need extra brine, use 1 tsp (5 g) salt in 1 cup (237 mL) water

Directions for Beet Ginger Sauerkraut

The basic method for making sauerkraut goes like this:

Thinly slice the vegetables, then salt them. Pulverize the veggies by crushing them with your hands to release the juices. Pack them tightly into a jar, submerging the veggies underneath the brine. Cover with something—like fabric—so dust and bugs stay out, but air can still escape. (Gas is generated as part of the fermentation process, so don’t cover it with an airtight lid unless it’s one specifically made for fermenting or you run the risk of the jar exploding due to pressure.) Let it sit in a dark cabinet for at least a week—or longer, depending on how sour you like it—then refrigerate.

For this batch:

  1. Cut the cabbage in half. You’ll only be using half for this recipe, unless you decide to double it. (In that case, you’ll need to double the amount of beets, ginger, and sea salt, and you’ll need another jar set-up.) Very thinly slice the cabbage. I used a mandolin, but I’ve done it plenty of times with a sharp knife. Toss the cabbage into a very large bowl. Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com
  2. To prepare the beets, I scrubbed but didn’t peel them. If you’d like, you can peel them, but it’s just an extra step. I thinly sliced the beets into rounds using a mandolin, then stacked them up, and sliced them into matchsticks. Alternatively, you could shred them in a food processor or with a box grater (but that is SUPER messy because beet juice stains). Place the beets into the bowl with the cabbage.
  3. For the ginger, I grated it down finely using a microplane grater. You could also mince it by hand, just be sure the pieces are very small since biting into chunks of ginger is very spicy. Place the grated ginger in the bowl with the beets and cabbage. Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com
  4. Now, add the salt. With clean hands, start to scrunch the veggies as you mix everything together. You have to get aggressive here because you’re trying to break down the cells in the veggies and (with the help of the salt) draw out the moisture. This takes at least 5 minutes of scrunching and squeezing. (Yay for kitchen fitness!) If there’s not a lot of moisture after that time, add more by making some brine (salt water) with 1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup of water. Some cabbages are just drier than others. C’est la vie! Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com
  5. Pack the veggies into a wide-mouth quart-sized Mason jar. Really push them down. (I use my fist or a spoon.) The veggies should come up to about the shoulder of the jar. If there is not at least an inch of liquid covering the veggies, add some brine to cover. Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com Now, you have a couple options: use a special lid for fermenting to cap it all off or use a simple DIY cover. For this batch, I used a new prototype lid from Kraut Source. It uses a spring mechanism to hold the veggies down under the brine. However, if you don’t have that, the other method I’ve used successfully is to place a 4-ounce jelly jar INTO the wide-mouth jar to keep the veggies submerged. It works really, really well. Click here to see pictures and video. Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com
  6. Place the jar into a bowl or on a plate in case any liquid bubbles out. If you’re using the jar in jar method, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a cupboard or pantry for at least a week. Check the level of the liquid every couple days. If the level has dropped, add more brine. After a week, remove a bit of kraut with a fork and test the flavor. If it’s not sour enough for your liking, keep fermenting. (I find that it’s good for me around 10-14 days, but everyone is different. Some like to keep it going for weeks!) When it’s done, cover with a metal Mason jar lid and refrigerate. Keeps for a few months. Remember to keep the kraut submerged in brine the whole time, even in the fridge or it’ll mold.

 Troubleshooting your Beet Ginger Sauerkraut

  • My veggies are slimy. Bad bacteria have probably started to grow in your jar. Best to toss it out to be safe.
  • My veggies have run out of liquid. If this was recent, within a day or so, top off with more brine. If it’s been several days, you may want to throw it out and start again.
  • Help! My veggies are foaming! This is normal especially after the first couple days of fermentation because gases are being released by the bacteria and can cause bubbles or foam. You can skim the foam and keep on rockin’.
  • I see white stuff at the bottom of the jar. Is this okay? Yes. These are the bacteria. It’s totally normal.
  • Um, my veggies have greenish-black mold on top. If you’re adventurous, you can skim it and keep going. This is how moldy ferment has been dealt with for ages (and I can tell you lots of stories about what they do with moldy cheese in the grocery store). If you’re totally grossed out, just start over.
  • It’s been a couple weeks and the veggies still aren’t sour or tangy. You may have them in too cold of a spot. Try putting them in a warmer location to speed up the process a bit.

Click here to pin this!

Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com

Have a question about making sauerkraut? Leave it in the comments below!

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix | stupidesaypaleo.com

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix is pretty awesome. Why? It has that warm, yummy smell that evokes the holiday season (isn’t it so interesting how smells can conjure up such memories?!). Luckily, Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix is super simple to make so you can have a taste of the holidays any time of the year.

Want a simple DIY gift idea for the foodie in your life? How about getting crafty and creating miniature decorative jars of Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix and Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice with nice handmade labels? A thoughtful, useful gift that won’t get stuffed in a drawer like that reindeer Christmas sweater. (Oh c’mon, I know it just isn’t me with one of those!)

Makes: about 1/2 cup

Ingredients for Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix 

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix | stupidesaypaleo.com

Directions to Make Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix

  1. Mix all the spices in a small bowl.
  2. Seal in an airtight jar. (I like small Mason jars for this job.)

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix | stupidesaypaleo.com

What can you do with your Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix?

  • Stir 2 Tablespoons into ground coffee before brewing (if making 6 cups).
  • Sprinkle it over a coconut milk latte or brewed coffee.
  • Use it mixed into paleo hot chocolate (substitute the gingerbread spice instead).
  • Sprinkle it over roasted carrots or other root veggies.

Do you like gingerbread? What would you use this spice mix for? Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix | stupidesaypaleo.com

Paleo Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Paleo Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce | stupideasypaleo.com Dipping sauces can take the same basic meal template and jazz things up to keep you from suffering from FBS (Food Boredom Syndrome). Plain chicken and broccoli again? Drizzle on some Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce. Need an accompaniment for some beautiful cooked, chilled shrimp? This one does the trick, too. It does have honey (so don’t go overboard and eat gallons of it) but if you’re looking for something to stave off FBS, feel good that it doesn’t contain weird chemicals or high-fructose corn syrup like most of the prepared sauces in the market.

No arrowroot powder? You could use tapioca flour as a thickener. Wish to avoid those completely? You can gently reduce the sauce until it thickens a bit, though it won’t have the same texture as arrowroot or tapioca.

Paleo Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce | stupideasypaleo.com

Ingredients for Paleo Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Directions for Paleo Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

  1. Mince the garlic finely and use a microplane grater to grate down the ginger (or mince very finely).
  2. In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients: the vinegar, garlic, honey, red chilis, arrowroot, ginger, salt and cayenne pepper (if desired). Stir so the arrowroot is dissolved.
  3. Bring the ingredients to a boil and cook briefly (~1 min or less) until the sauce thickens.
  4. Cool and serve alongside your favorite meats for dipping. It’s be super tasty with chicken, as a sauce on top of salmon or drizzled on top of stir-fried veggies.

What’s your favorite dipping sauce you’d like to see a Paleo version of?

Paleo Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce | stupideasypaleo.com

 

Zesty Tangerine Sauce

Zesty Tangerine Sauce | stupideasypaleo.com

This is a really simple recipe that would be great on salmon or chicken and adds a great tang and slight sweetness. If you can’t find tangerines, oranges would be a great substitute. Using the zest guarantees more flavor than using just juice alone.

Ingredients for Zesty Tangerine Sauce

Directions for Zesty Tangerine Sauce

  1. Add all the ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn to low and reduce until ~1/4 cup of liquid remains. You want the sauce to be slightly thickened.
  3. Serve over your cooked protein of choice.

Garlic Ginger Brussels Sprouts

Garlic Ginger Brussels Sprouts | stupideasypaleo.com More veggies, please!

This is a pretty simple side dish that compliments virtually any main. To save cooking time, I sliced the Brussels sprouts thinly, but if you’re crunched you could either buy them pre-sliced (I’ve seen them at Trader Joe’s) or halve and steam them, then throw them in the pan. I don’t recommend putting them in whole because they’ll take forever to cook. Adding a splash of coconut aminos at the end of cooking is a nice compliment, but if you don’t have it, salt will do just fine. Just taste before adding depending on how salty the bacon is.

Ingredients for Garlic Ginger Brussels Sprouts 

  • 4 pieces of bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. (500 g) Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, cut into ribbons with a veggie peeler
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic Ginger Brussels Sprouts | stupideasypaleo.com Directions for Garlic Ginger Brussels Sprouts

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, render the bacon until it’s crispy.
  2. Add the thinly sliced Brussels sprouts and carrots. Cook on medium-high heat for about 6-8 minutes or until the sprouts have begun to brown.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger in the last 1-2 minutes of cooking and stir to combine (adding the garlic at the end reduces the chance it’ll burn and taste bitter).
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Red pepper flakes are also good instead of black pepper.

Strawberry Vanilla Rhubarb Sauce

Strawberry Vanilla Rhubarb Sauce | stupideasypaleo.com I’ve been on a rhubarb kick lately since it’s in season and easier to find now than at any other time. Rhubarb is a very tart vegetable but is commonly paired with fruit for a sweet counterpoint. I included some chopped dates to lessen the bite, but this sauce is not predominantly sweet.

I served this sweet-tart sauce on top of a brined pork tenderloin – which I cut into medallions and pan-seared – but it would also be great on chicken or served with some chopped nuts on top as a snack.

Strawberry Vanilla Rhubarb Sauce | stupideasypaleo.com

Ingredients for Strawberry Vanilla Rhubarb Sauce

  • 1 cup rhubarb, sliced
  • 6 pitted dates, soaked and chopped
  • 3 cups strawberries, quartered (about 1 quart)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (or 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions for Strawberry Vanilla Rhubarb Sauce

  1. Put the dates in a heat-safe bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 10-15 minutes until they soften, then drain the water and chop until it becomes almost a paste. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, combine the rhubarb, strawberries and ginger. Cook over medium-low heat until the fruit gets very soft, about 10-15 minutes. You may have to reduce the heat to low to keep it from sticking or burning.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the dates and vanilla.
  4. Serve.

Paleo Peach Mango Ginger Chutney

Paleo Peach Mango Ginger Chutney | stupideasypaleo.com When I made my Coconut Wild Boar Burgers, I was searching for the perfect accompaniment. Peaches were calling to me because they’re in season and juicy and pair really well with pork, so I created this Paleo peach chutney to put on top almost like a relish. Chutney, traditional to Indian cuisine, is a condiment that combines fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices. Being Paleo, I left out the sugar and instead of using oil, I stirred in ghee for a rich buttery flavor.

Putting vinegar, onion and garlic in with fruit may sound weird but it gives just the right counterbalance to the fruit’s sweetness.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time:  10-15 min     Makes: ~2 cups

Ingredients for Paleo Peach Mango Ginger Chutney 

  • 2 Tablespoons ghee
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 3 peaches, diced
  • 1/4 cup mango, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Zest from 1 orange

Directions for Paleo Peach Mango Ginger Chutney

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the ghee, and minced onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, a few minutes. 
  2. Add the peaches, mango, garlic, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger, red pepper flakes and orange zest. (I zested the orange, then cut it open and used the juice from inside. Hint: use a microplane grater to zest the orange and grate down the garlic and ginger, saving time.) Paleo Peach Mango Ginger Chutney | stupideasypaleo.com

3. Turn heat to low and continue to simmer until the fruit is softened but not overly mushy.  Paleo Peach Mango Ginger Chutney | stupideasypaleo.com

4. Spoon over pork burgers or chops, chicken or even salmon.  Paleo Peach Mango Ginger Chutney | stupideasypaleo.com

Coconut Wild Boar Burger

Coconut Wild Boar Burger | stupideasypaleo.com Juicy, coconutty (yeah, I made that a word), and smoky with a hint of ginger. YUM.

Recently, I picked up a package of ground wild boar meat from Sprouts and was trying to think of something that would go with the peach mango chutney simmering away on my stovetop. Coconut popped into my head but instead of putting it on the outside, I mixed it into the burger meat.

If you don’t have access to wild boar – which is hard to find in some places – pork or chicken would certainly be great substitutes. I used unsweetened shredded coconut, and the texture was just perfect. Double your batch and make extras for your weekly food prep day.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time:  10 min     Makes: 1 lb. of burgers

Ingredients for Coconut Wild Boar Burger

  • 1 lb. of ground wild boar or pork
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Fat of choice (ghee, coconut oil, lard, etc)

Directions for Coconut Wild Boar Burger

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Gently mix to combine. Don’t overwork the meat or it’ll get tough, and the burgers will be dense. 
  2. Shape into small patties (I got about 6 out of a pound of meat). You could certainly make larger burgers or smaller sliders.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a spoonful of your fat of choice – I used ghee because of its very high smoke point – and cook for 3-4 min per side or until completely cooked through.
  4. Serve with your choice of burger fixins’…I used lettuce, tomato and a tasty peach mango chutney.

Fermented Ginger Carrots

fermented ginger carrots Fermented ginger carrots will knock your socks off!

It’s no secret that I love fermented foods (sauerkraut and kombucha being my favorites) because of their probiotic content, and lately I’ve started to expand my horizons. I went to a farmer’s market recently and saw a jar of fermented ginger carrots selling for something like $8! Off I went to the store to get a pound of carrots and some ginger to make my own.

This fermented ginger carrots recipe uses lacto-fermentation, a different method than is used to make kombucha. Essentially, the brine (salt water solution) that forms around the veggies is enough to discourage the growth of harmful bacteria and fungus while at the same time providing just the right conditions for Lactobacillus—the bacteria that cause the tart flavor of lactic acid as a byproduct—to grow.

Lacto-fermentation of ginger carrots—and any veggie really—requires that the veggies be completely submerged under the salty brine to give just the right anaerobic conditions. It’s possible to go whole-hog and buy fancy fermentation jars or huge crocks. (Can you say $$$?) If you’re just getting started, you may want to KISS and stick to this method for fermented ginger carrot which uses mason jars. They’re cheap and relatively easy to find.

This recipe easily doubles, triples, etc. If you don’t like ginger, you can leave it out. You can always thinly slice the carrots, but I prefer to shred them. The generally accepted ratio for vegetables to salt is 5 pounds veggies : 3 Tablespoons sea salt. I’ve adjusted that ratio down for this recipe.

Prep time: 30 min     Ferment time:  7–14 days     Makes: ~2 pint jars

Ingredients for the Fermented Ginger Carrots

  • 1 pound carrots (450 g), shredded
  • 1–2″ piece of ginger, peeled and shredded or grated
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Ingredients for extra brine 

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 rounded teaspoon sea salt

Equipment Needed to Make Fermented Ginger Carrots

Directions  to Make Fermented Ginger Carrots (including video!)

  1. Shred the carrots and ginger in a food processor and dump into a large bowl. fermented ginger carrots
  2. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of sea salt. Mix thoroughly with your hands, squeezing the carrots as you go. You’re trying to extract a bit of the natural liquid by creating a concentrated salt solution around the carrots (it’s hypertonic…SCIENCE!). Let the carrots sit for 15 min before moving to the next step. fermented ginger carrots
  3. Divide the carrots evenly between two pint-sized (16 oz) mason jars. Press the carrots down firmly until you’ve removed as much empty space as possible. There may be some natural carrot liquid at this point but not enough to cover the veggies.  fermented ginger carrots
  4. Place the small 4 oz jar on top of the carrots. Fill the remainder of the space with a little bit of the brine solution. The carrots should be completely submerged. Repeat with the other jar. Save extra brine in the fridge because you might need it during the fermentation process…you can always make more but this saves a step later. fermented ginger carrots fermented ginger carrots
  5. Cover the jars with cheesecloth, a piece of old t-shirt or a kitchen towel and place them in a bowl (I use paper bowl) or on a rimmed plate to catch any bubbling over. fermented ginger carrots
  6. Place in a dark spot (like a pantry or cupboard) and check daily to make sure the water level has not dropped down to the carrots. If it has, pour a bit more brine on top.
  7. My carrots were to my sour liking after about a week, but I live in sunny Southern California. Check yours by removing a small sample after 5 days or so and eating it up! If it tastes tangy enough for you, it’s ready. It generally takes 7-14 days but varies with temperature.
  8. Store tightly covered in the fridge…it will last for a few months!

Troubleshooting

  • My carrots are slimy. Bad bacteria have probably started to grow in your jar. Best to toss it out to be safe.
  • My carrots have run out of liquid. If this was recent, within a day or two, top off with more brine solution. If it’s been several days, you may want to throw it out and start again.
  • Help! My carrots are foaming! This is normal especially after the first couple days of fermentation because gases are being released by the bacteria and can cause bubbles or foam. You can skim the foam and keep on rockin’.
  • I see white stuff at the bottom of the jar. Is this okay? Yes. These are the bacteria. It’s totally normal.
  • Um, my carrots have greenish black mold on top. If you’re adventurous, you can skim it and keep going. This is how moldy ferment has been dealt with for ages (and I can tell you lots of stories about what they do with moldy cheese in the grocery store…haha). If you’re totally grossed out, just start over.
  • It’s been a couple weeks and the carrots still aren’t sour or tangy. You may have them in too cold of a spot. Try putting them in a warmer location to speed up the process a bit.

Paleo Sweet and Sour Sauce

Paleo Sweet and Sour Sauce | stupideasypaleo.com This four-ingredient dipping sauce, perfect for chicken, has the right balance of sweet and sour without using any added sugar. Even better, apricots are in season during late spring / early summer so finding them fresh in the market should be easier now than at any other time during the year. Score!

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time: 10-15 min    Makes: a little over 2 cups

Ingredients for Paleo Sweet and Sour Sauce 

  • 4-5 large ripe fresh apricots, pitted (about 2 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mango, chopped
  • 1″ piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Paleo Sweet and Sour Sauce | stupideasypaleo.com

Directions for Paleo Sweet and Sour Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the apricots, mango, ginger and apple cider vinegar until the fruit softens, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  2. Fish out the ginger slices with a spoon (or if you want a bit of spiciness to your sauce, leave a few slices in).
  3. Puree the mixture using an immersion blender, food processor or blender. If you want a smooth sauce, puree until there aren’t any chunks of fruit.
  4. To thin the sauce, add a bit more apple cider vinegar. To thicken the sauce, reduce over low heat in the pan until it’s to your desired consistency.
  5. Serve as a dipping sauce, warm or cold. Also, I brushed a baked chicken with the sauce in the final 5 minutes of cooking and broiled it until it browned a bit.

Slow Cooker Caribbean Oxtails

Slow Cooker Caribbean Oxtails | stupideasypaleo.com What 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 for Slow Cooker Caribbean Oxtails

  • 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 for Slow Cooker Caribbean Oxtails

  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)

Lamb Kofta (Meat on a Stick) | stupideasypaleo.com Recently, 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 for Lamb Kofta (Meat on a Stick)

  • 1-1/2 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 for Lamb Kofta (Meat on a Stick)

  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.

Thai Coconut Soup (Tom Kha)

Thai Coconut Soup - Tom Kha | stupideasypaleo.comThai Coconut Soup is one of my favorite Asian dishes.

Usually I have recipe writer’s block. The harder I try to think of something to make, the more I can’t. It’s those times when I buy random ingredients and get home to my pantry and fridge that inspiration strikes. What the heck?! My local market had wild-caught shrimp on sale, which I couldn’t resist, and when I got home I suddenly thought: tom kha! This is a common Thai soup that is really easy to make but has so many layers of complex flavor. Wha-bam! That’s the flavor hitting your tongue.

The only problem is that I didn’t have lemongrass or Thai chili paste that most of the recipes I looked at called for, so I thought…I’m going to solutionize (yes, that’s a made up word) this scenario. I omitted the lemongrass but doubled the lime juice and used sriracha instead of red chili paste. In 5 minutes – plus the time it took me to peel and devein the shrimp – I had a hot, yummy bowl of tom kha in my hands! It might not be 100% authentic but it is 1) easy, 2) fast and 3) a damn good recreation.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 10 min    Makes: ~4 cups

Ingredients for Thai Coconut Soup (Tom Kha)

  • 14 ounces (420 ml) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups (475 ml) chicken stock
  • 1 pound (500 grams) shrimp or chicken breast
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (or to make homemade, check this out)
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

Directions for Thai Coconut Soup (Tom Kha)

  1. Prepare the shrimp by peeling and deveining if not already done prior to purchase. If using chicken, clean the chicken of any connective tissue and cut into small chunks.
  2. In a pot over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, chicken stock and ginger. Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
  3. Add the shrimp or chicken, mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce and sriracha. Simmer until the shrimp (less than 5 min) or the chicken (5-10 minutes) is cooked through.
  4. Top with fresh chopped cilantro for garnish.

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Thai Coconut Soup - Tom Kha | stupideasypaleo.com

 

Green Juice

Green Juice | stupideasypaleo.com Seems like juicing is the new make-your-own-kraut craze in the Paleosphere, huh? While I don’t think juice should replace how you consume all your fruits and vegetables [juices contain no fiber and the act of chewing sends powerful signals to your brain that eating is in progress...logical, right?], as a occasional way to add in variety, I’ve been making this tasty blend. Feel free to experiment with other fruits and veggies – carrots come to mind because they add sweetness. You’ve got to remember that this juice will in no way be “sweet” in the way that you may be used to, however, so don’t run for the honey or maple syrup. Think of it as more of a tonic than a treat.

Tips:

  • Refrigerate the juice prior to drinking for best flavor.
  • If you make your juice in advance, it’s best to consume asap and to store it in a tightly covered container (mason jars work great for this).
  • You can eat the pulp if you’re feeling adventurous.
  • If you don’t have a juicer, a high-powered blender like a Vitamix will do the same job.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 0 min    Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients for Green Juice

  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2-3 kale leaves
  • 1/2″ piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 small English cucumber
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • Water

Directions for Green Juice

  1. Roughly chop the fruits and veggies so they’ll fit in the blender or juicer.
  2. If using a juicer, run it all through and you’re done.
  3. If using a Vitamix or similar: add the ingredients into the pitcher, cover with about 1/2 cup water (or more depending on how dilute you want the juice to be), and use the tamping tool to push everything down into the blades. Start on low / variable speed then gradually increase, and let it run on high for about 1 minute.
  4. Pour the juice / pulp through a wire strainer or cheesecloth, catching the pulp and allowing the juice to percolate out.

Paleo Banh Mi Sliders

Paleo Banh Mi Sliders | stupideasypaleo.com

Banh Mi is basically a Vietnamese sandwich made with French bread and layers of amazing flavors: sweet, salty, tangy, umami (savory) and spicy. [Side note: “Whaaaat?! A Vietnamese sandwich with French bread?” Yes. A quick Google search of French Indochina will give you all the historical details]. Vegetables, meat and spices combine in harmony and sing on your palate. There are as many variations and ways to make banh mi as you can possibly imagine, even breakfast versions and those with more traditional fillings like Vietnamese cold cuts and (gasp!) head cheese. This recipe is a take on Banh Mi flavors.

Of course, as all good Paleophiles do, you’ve tossed all offending grains and grain products out of your life for good. Sandwiches in the traditional sense are long gone, unless you resort to making or buying Paleo bread – which is usually pretty disappointing, am I right? These Banh Mi Sliders are going to punch you in the face with so much flavor that you won’t even miss the bready platforms of yesteryear.

One of the key ingredients in these sliders is the homemade umami mayo. If you’ve never made it, I highly recommend you check out Melissa Joulwan’s recipe for mayo from her awesome book, Well Fed or her website (linked below). You can make the mayo and the pickled carrot and daikon ahead of time if you’re busy during the week; heck, make a big batch of sliders in advance – the recipe doubles nicely as well – and just assemble these tasty wee bites on demand.

Prep Time: 30 min     Cook Time: 10 min     Makes: ~15 sliders

Ingredients for Paleo Banh Mi Sliders

For the Pickled Veggies

  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • ½ cup julienned carrot
  • ½ cup julienned daikon radish
  • Salt
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water, vinegar and honey. Heat on medium-high until boiling.
  2. Pour the hot liquid over the carrot and daikon radish in a heatproof bowl. Add salt to taste.
  3. Let the vegetables pickle for at least 30 minutes. You can make this the day ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.

For the Umami Mayo

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 1.25 cups light tasting olive oil
  • Coconut aminos (you’ll use 1.5 tsp for every ¼ cup mayo)
  1. Check out the directions for making homemade mayo here or watch the video here.
  2. Mix ¼ cup of the mayo with 1.5 tsp coconut aminos in a small bowl.

For the Sliders

  • 1 pound of lean ground pork
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger (or ⅛ tsp dried ginger)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (I like Red Boat)
  • ½ a jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and shape into sliders (mini-burgers).
  2. Pan fry or grill until completely cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.

To Assemble the Sliders

  • 1 head of Boston (Bibb) or Romaine lettuce (Boston gives you a better cup to make the  sliders in)
  • Thinly sliced English cucumber
  • Thinly sliced jalapeno (optional)
  • Chili oil (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Umami mayo
  • Pickled carrot and daikon

In each lettuce leaf, place one slider and top with sliced cucumber, jalapeno, chili oil, cilantro, mayo and pickled carrot and daikon.

Super Bowl Bites: Orange Ginger Chicken Wings

Orange Ginger Chicken Wings | stupideasypaleo.com

Stupid Easy Paleo, coming at you with another snack for your Super Bowl party (or any time you damn please). I recently read that chicken wing consumption is at an all-time national high which explains why I couldn’t find any the first time I went to the store. Luckily, my persistence paid off. When I was thinking of what flavors to baste these little flappers with, my mind automatically went to orange and ginger with a bit of heat. These wings are pretty damn Paleo and though there are a couple tablespoons of honey in the recipe, it really helps to give it that sticky glaze that we all love to lick off our fingers. Easily double the batch to feed your hungry bunch!

Prep time: 20 min     Cook time: 40 min    Makes: 1-1/2 pounds (about 12 wings)

Ingredients for Orange Ginger Chicken Wings

  • 1-1/2 pounds (~750 grams) chicken wings
  • 2 oranges
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1-1/2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 serrano pepper* (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Directions for Orange Ginger Chicken Wings

  1. Preheat the oven to 375C (190F). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the sauce in a small saucepan: Remove the zest from one orange using a microplane or grater, then add the juice of both oranges to the pan. Grate about 1 tbsp of ginger into the juice using the microplane. Add the apple cider vinegar, honey, coconut aminos, minced serrano pepper (remove the seeds and inner pith for a milder flavor) and salt. 
  3. Simmer the glaze on medium-low heat until it reduces and thickens, coating the back of a spoon. This may take several minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the coconut oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken wings dry with a paper towel and fry on each side to crisp / brown the skin a bit. Remove and drain on some clean paper towels.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the wings with the orange-ginger glaze. Remove wings from the glaze with a slotted spoon. Arrange wings on the baking sheet and save any excess glaze.
  6. Bake for 15 min, remove from oven, flip them over and baste with glaze. (NOTE: discard any unused glaze at this point as it’s been in contact with raw chicken).
  7. Bake for 15 more min or until completely cooked through.
  8. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and EAT.

*Note: Serrano peppers are hotter than jalapeños, so substitute those if you’d like or leave them out entirely. Wash your hands well immediately after handling the peppers and for goodness sake, don’t rub your eyes (or your nether regions).