Tag Archives: jalapeno

Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef—Paleo & Whole30

Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef | stupideasypaleo.com

The flavors of fall always inspire me. Roasted root vegetables, soups and stews, and slow-cooked roasts are highlights, meant to warm you up on a cold day. Pomegranates are coming into season now, so I decided to make a beef roast with the juice—for a bit of sweetness—and balanced it out with some heat from the habanero pepper. (I get the juice with no added sugar.) Customize to how spicy you like it. If you want it hotter, leave in the seeds or use jalapeño pepper instead.

Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef | stupideasypaleo.com

I used my Dutch oven, but I’m sure you could make it in the slow cooker…I just haven’t tested it yet! Be sure to use a cut of beef roast with enough fat so it turns out tender and not dry. If you’re ever interested in checking out the grass-fed beef from 5280 Meat in Colorado, my readers get 10% off any order with the code SEPaleo.

Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef | stupideasypaleo.com

Pomegranate Jalapeño Shredded Beef—Paleo & Whole30

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F (163C). Pat the roast VERY dry with paper towels and season with the salt. You want the meat to be very dry so that a nice crust will form when you sear it. Otherwise the surface will steam instead of brown.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, then add the ghee. (Ghee is great for searing meat because it has such a high smoke point.) Sear all sides for about 4 to 6 minutes each or until a golden brown crust forms.
  3. Turn off the heat, and add the habanero (or jalapeño), beef broth, and pomegranate juice. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and put the pot into the oven.
  4. Bake for about 3 hrs or until the meat is very tender. Shred with two forks. It's great served over roasted sweet potatoes. Bonus points for serving with a drizzle of pomegranate reduction. To make that, pour 1/2 cup pomegranate juice into a small pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until the juice has reduced by about half and coats the back of a spoon. Just keep an eye on it because it can burn quite easily. If you're on Whole30 I would avoid the reduction because of sugar content.
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Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef | stupideasypaleo.com

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Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa

Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa | stupideasypaleo.com Please welcome today’s guest blogger Meg, founder of the popular blog A Dash of Meg. I first met Meg on Instagram and have followed her journey as she’s learned how to properly fuel her body for health and strength. Meg even recently did a Whole30 and posted up lots of tasty eats along the way. She’s got a great, positive attitude about nutrition and health. Take it away, Meg!

If you had to pick a favorite fruit what would it be?

Personally, I’d say berries. But, if you asked me which berry was my favorite, I’d have a hard time choosing. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries… oh, they are all so delicious! But, if I absolutely had to pick I’d say my favorite is the blueberry. Although blueberries are itty bitty, they are packed with a lot of nutrients!

Blueberries are particularly high in the type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support the elasticity of capillary walls; therefore, they may help fight heart disease and some types of cancer. Not only are blueberries high in antioxidants, but they are also rich in vitamin B2, C, and E, manganese and fiber.

Blueberries are beautiful, delicious and nutrient-dense! They are definitely something you should incorporate into your diet especially when they’re in season.

Blueberry season is from July to August, and although I try to eat as seasonally as possible, when I saw that the blueberries at my local market were on sale last week I just had to grab some. I think this long, brutally cold winter is really getting to me (Steph’s note: Meg lives in central Canada), but these blueberries reminded me of the beauty of summer and were able to cheer me up quite a bit!

They also inspired me to create a new recipe. I love recipe developing. I’m actually hoping to publish my own cookbook some day, but for now I will just share my recipes with you!

This recipe was actually inspired by Steph! After seeing her “strawberry mango relish” on Instagram a few weeks ago, I couldn’t get the though of creating a recipe for a fruit relish / salsa of my own, particularly a blueberry-flavored salsa. So, I created this incredibly stupid-easy Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa!

Before I even met Steph, I always chose the simple way of doing things. My Mom and I call it the “KISS Method” (Keep It Simple Stupid Method). I believe that’s why Steph and I became such good friends ;) Or at least one of the reasons why…

I hope you enjoy today’s recipe! Use it as a condiment with any meal of your choice. I particularly love it on top of my salmon or with my runny-yolk eggs! Eggs and blueberries are a match made in food heaven!

Ingredients for Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa

  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, whole
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (use half for less spicy salsa)

Directions for Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. (Note: For milder flavor, seed the pepper and remove the white inner membrane. Wash your hands thoroughly.) Serve immediately or allow flavors to mingle for 30 minutes.
  2. I chose to keep this recipe stupid-easy, as you can tell. I’m not a fan of onion in my fruit salsas, so I left it out. The blueberries I used were incredibly sweet, think candy-like, so I chose to leave out lime / lemon juice. However, feel free to add in your favorite salsa ingredients!

Change it up!

Try adding the following:

  • lime or lemon juice
  • lime zest
  • fresh basil
  • sweet onion
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh cilantro

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Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions? Leave a comment in the box below!

Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collard Greens

Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collards | stupideasypaleo.com

Making homemade sauerkraut with jalapeño pepper and collard greens may sound a bit out of the ordinary, but the flavor combination is pretty darn awesome. The jalapeño pepper gives it a bit of kick (and you can customize how hot it is) along with a punch of nutrition (like phytonutrients, vitamin C and folate) from the collard greens.

Why’s homemade sauerkraut so awesome? It’s easy to make, promotes gut health and is really easy to make at home. The type of fermentation used for homemade sauerkraut is called lacto-fermentation; Lactobacillus bacteria produce the familiar tangy flavor that kraut aficionados love.

One tip: use caution when handling hot peppers and if you have particularly sensitive skin, you may want to use gloves. I didn’t have any when I went to make this homemade sauerkraut so I put my hand in a small ziptop baggie instead.

Ingredients for Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collard Greens

  • 1/2 of a large head of cabbage, sliced thinly (about 4 cups)
  • 3 large collard leaves, sliced thinly
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt

Materials for Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collard Greens

Directions for Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collard Greens

  1. Thinly slice the cabbage, and put it in a large bowl.
  2. Remove the tough center stem from the collard leaves and thinly slice them. Add them to the bowl.  Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collards | stupideasypaleo.com Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collards | stupideasypaleo.com
  3. Prepare the jalapeño pepper: if you want more heat, leave the inner membrane and seeds intact. For a milder flavor, remove the inner white membrane and seeds. Remember not to touch your face or any other sensitive bits until you wash your hands. Add to the bowl.
  4. Mix all the veggies in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Use your hands to squeeze and crush down the veggies until they are slightly wilted. Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collards | stupideasypaleo.com
  5. Load into two pint-sized Mason jars, packing down the veggies firmly.
  6. Once all the veggies are loaded, if the liquid doesn’t completely cover them, mix 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup and pour enough in the jar to cover the veggies. You may want to find a small jar to weight down the veggies (if using wide-mouth Mason jars, a 4 oz. jelly jar will fit). Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collards | stupideasypaleo.com
  7. Leave uncapped and cover with a kitchen towel. Keep in a dark cabinet for 1-2 weeks. Check on the liquid level every 1-2 days and top it off if it’s dropped with more salt water (1 cup water : 1 teaspoon salt).
  8. It’s done when the veggies have reached a tart flavor that’s pleasing to your palate – usually 7-14 days depending on climate. Some folks let their sauerkraut ferment far longer. It’s really up to you!

Have you ever made homemade sauerkraut?

Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collards | stupideasypaleo.com

 

Fourth of July Salsa

Fourth of July Salsa | stupideasypaleo.com Happy Independence Day! Summer is in full swing, and you’re sure to find an abundance of red, white and blue-themed recipes to put on your table. This fruit-based salsa is festive and easy to throw together for a holiday BBQ or party. Even though fruit is the star, it’s balanced out by a bit of heat from the jalapeño, acidity from the tomato and lime, and freshness from the mint. This would also be fantastic with some cubed avocado, served over grilled chicken or salmon. Eat up!

Prep time: 10-15 min     Cook time:  0 min     Makes: ~3 cups

Ingredients for Fourth of July Salsa

  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, sliced in half
  • 1 ripe white peach, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 a tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 a jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (or leave seeds in for more heat)
  • 1 Tablespoon thinly sliced mint leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Fourth of July Salsa

  1. Chop all the fruit. Mince the jalapeño pepper. Stack the mint leaves on top of each other and roll lengthwise. Slice thinly.
  2. Combined all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. For best results, let the ingredients hang out and get friendly for at least an hour before serving.

 

Roasted Salsa Verde

Roasted Salsa Verde| stupideasypaleo.com Every once in a while, I buy prepared salsa from the store. A bottle of organic salsa verde (green salsa) made its way into my cart recently and though I’d scanned the label for any non-Whole30 ingredients, I didn’t notice xantham gum last on the list. Xanthan gum is a thickener – it IS okay to eat on your Whole30 – but when I opened the salsa, the texture was weird and a bit slimy.

Immediately I knew that I could do better and just make my own. There are a million variations of salsa verde it seems: raw, roasted, different ratios of tomatillos to jalapeño, etc. but I found this one worked well for my taste buds. It was pretty mild but you could make it hotter by leaving the seeds and membranes of the jalapeño pepper intact.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time:  15 min     Makes: 3 cups

Ingredients for Roasted Salsa Verde

  • 1-1/2 lb tomatillos (these look like green tomatoes but are more closely related to gooseberries)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large handful of cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions for Roasted Salsa Verde

  1. Place the whole tomatillos and whole jalapeño pepper on a foil lined baking sheet. Broil in the oven on high for 5-10 minutes until the veggies start to char a bit. Flip over and broil another 5-10 minutes on the other side. *You can also char them on a grill or in a pan on the stove. Allow them to cool a bit. Roasted Salsa Verde | stupideasypaleo.com Roasted Salsa Verde | stupideasypaleo.com Roasted Salsa Verde | stupideasypaleo.com

2. Slice the jalapeño in half and remove some or all of the white membrane and seeds (if you want a mild salsa verde).

3. Put the tomatillos, jalapeño, garlic cloves, onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the salsa is to the desired consistency. I like mine a little bit chunky but you can puree until smooth if desired. Roasted Salsa Verde | stupideasypaleo.com

4. Keep refrigerated. Keeps for several days in the fridge. Roasted Salsa Verde | stupideasypaleo.com

 

Simple Shrimp Ceviche

Simple Shrimp Ceviche | stupideasypaleo.com Can I interest you in a meal that cooks itself?

Yes? I thought so!

It’s not too good to be true, it’s just ceviche – a dish of seafood that’s “cooked” using citrus juices and served up with ingredients like tomato, jalapeño and avocado. YUM. Last year, I posted a recipe for ceviche – along with one of the first videos I ever made…eeeek – and recently, I created a different one with shrimp that came out just as good (if not better).

Since I cook for just one person, I only used 1/2 lb. of shrimp but you can easily double the recipe or more. Plan the day (or morning) ahead so you can give the ceviche enough time to “cook”. If you don’t like shrimp, you can substitute scallops or firm white fish. Rumor has it that the juice from the marinade is a hangover cure though I haven’t tested that theory yet ;)

Prep time: 15-20 min     Cook time: 6+ hours    Makes: ~3 cups

Ingredients for Simple Shrimp Ceviche

  • 1/2 lb. (~250 g) raw shrimp
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 a jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 an avocado, cubed
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Simple Shrimp Ceviche | stupideasypaleo.com

Directions for Simple Shrimp Ceviche

  1. Peel and devein the shrimp, if necessary. Chop the shrimp into small pieces.
  2. Prepare the veggies: dice the tomato, mince the garlic and jalapeño, and cube the avocado. If you want the ceviche to be spicier, you can leave the seeds in or add more jalapeño.
  3. Mix the shrimp, tomato, garlic, jalapeño and avocado in a bowl. Squeeze the citrus juice on top and combine. There should be enough liquid to cover the shrimp.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until the shrimp has turned from translucent to opaque.
  5. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and top with chopped cilantro.

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.

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.

Pineapple Avocado Salsa

Pineapple Avocado Salsa | stupideasypaleo.com

Sometimes I get bored of regular salsa, and I’m not one to buy fruit at the market very often – I just don’t fancy it all that much, unless we’re talking about berries in season. Lately, I’ve made a couple of fruit salsas to brighten up some otherwise heavy winter dishes. It’s easy to switch out ingredients, so if you don’t like pineapple then try mango or papaya, for example. This recipe made about 5 cups of salsa and keeps well for 1-2 days.

Ingredients for Pineapple Avocado Salsa

  • 1/2 a fresh pineapple
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, red or green
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper
  • 1/2 a red onion
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • Juice of two limes
  • Large handful of cilantro
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions for Pineapple Avocado Salsa

1. Dice the pineapple, avocado, tomato, bell pepper, onion and cucumber into roughly the same sized pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl.

2. Remove the seeds (or leave them in if you like things spicy) and inner white ribs from the jalapeño pepper. Dice finely. Add to the bowl and then go wash your hands so you don’t get capsacin in your eyes. That would be ouch.

3. Chop the cilantro and add the juice of two limes to the mixture.

4. Add salt and a sprinkle of cinnamon to taste.

5. Let the salsa sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors combine. This goes great with pork, chicken or fish.

Jalapeño Crab Dip

Jalapeño Crab Dip| stupideasypaleo.com

Holiday time means parties, and parties mean tables full of non-Paleo treats. Today a bunch of the gals from the gym got together for brunch, and I kept trying to think of something interesting to make. My mind kept gravitating toward a dip of some sort but how to make it Paleo would be the catch since most dips have some sort of dairy like sour cream or cheese. The mayo in this dip is homemade–egg, olive oil and a few other ingredients–which is the hardest part of making the whole dish. I followed the recipe in “It Starts with Food” by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig which is based on this one from The Clothes Make the Girl. I made the whole batch and used 1/2 cup for this recipe. To substitute for the Parmesan, I pulsed Brazil nuts into a cheese-like texture with garlic and salt. Instead of crumbs on top, I used almond meal that was toasted with ghee and salt on the stove top. The jalapeños are quite mild and give a nice tanginess.

Nothing like a captive audience to get feedback on a new recipe, and the girls all said they LOVED the dip. It was served warm with sliced mini bell peppers, but any crudite would work well. Now you have another dish up your sleeve for holiday parties (and nobody will even know it’s missing the gluten and dairy).

Ingredients for Jalapeño Crab Dip

  • 1/4 cup Brazil nuts + 1 clove garlic + pinch of salt
  • 16 oz (500 grams) high-quality canned crabmeat
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeño rings, chopped
  • 1/2 cup homemade mayo
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (read labels…mine has water, chilis, vinegar and salt)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is gluten free)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup almond meal + 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil + pinch of salt

Directions for Jalapeño Crab Dip

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175C).

2. Make the Parmesan substitute: pulse the Brazil nuts, 1 clove of garlic and a pinch of salt in a food processor until fluffy, fine bits form.

3. In an oven-proof glass bowl or small casserole dish, combine the crab, chopped garlic, chopped jalapeño, mayo, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and Parmesan substitute. Stir until well combined.

4. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil, almond meal and a pinch of salt. Stir constantly until the almond meal turns golden brown and toasty. Be careful…resist the temptation to walk away because it will go from yummy and brown to burned in seconds.

5. Top the crab mixture with the almond meal crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and hot.

Pickled Jicama

If you’ve never had jicama, it’s got an interesting texture that’s like that of a crispy apple but neutral in flavor. I’ve sliced it into salads and even slow cooked it until it took on the resemblance of home fries. Recently, I ordered a salad at one of my new favorite eating spots – Craft & Commerce in the Little Italy district of San Diego – and it came with what I guessed was pickled jicama. It was tangy and crunchy and definitely better than regular pickles. I set out to recreate them at home, but my first batch wasn’t great – I used regular pickling spices, and it just wasn’t the same. So last week, while dining at C & C I asked the waitress if she could find out the ingredients for me. She came back with the info from the kitchen: rice wine vinegar, salt, sugar and chilies. I modified it a bit and this is the result.

Ingredients

  • 1 small jicama, cubed
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 a jalapeño pepper, minced

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Directions

  1. Peel the jicama with a knife and cut into small cubes, and minced the jalapeño (be sure to wash your hands after handling the pepper).
  2. In a small saucepan on medium heat, add the vinegars, honey, salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
  3. Pour the hot vinegar over the jicama cubes, and add the chili pepper.
  4. Pack into a quart-sized mason jar and refrigerate. Tastes best when it has marinated for at least 24 hours but you can make a quick pickle out of it by letting it sit for about 30 minutes.

Holy Guacamole Salad

Holy Guacamole Salad | stupideasypaleo.com

I’ll admit it: I love the Food Network. While I’m more drawn to shows like Chopped! and Iron Chef America, I decided to watch an old episode of Barefoot Contessa yesterday. Normally, Ina’s food isn’t really up my alley but her recipe for Guacamole Salad spoke to me right away. Only bummer…it wasn’t Paleo. A couple of tweaks later, and I had a bowl of amazing flavors and colors sitting in front of me…perfect for a summer cook-out (or just a quiet weeknight at home).

The creaminess of the avocado, tang from the lime and crunch from the Persian cucumbers are the stars of the show! (Persian cucumbers have thinner skin and hardly any seeds…their crunchiness is the reason I used them. If you can’t find them, regular cucumber–peeled and seeded–would be a good replacement).

Prep time: 15 min     Cook time: 0 min    Makes: 4-5 cups

Ingredients for Guacamole Salad

For the Salad

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 3 Persian cucumbers
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 large, ripe avocados (I used 3 small)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (2 if you like spicy)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro

For the Dressing

  • Zest from 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

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Directions for Guacamole Salad

1. Prepare the veggies and add to a large mixing bowl:

  • Halve the grape tomatoes.
  • Chop the cucumbers and bell pepper into medium chunks…we are making salad here, not salsa!
  • Chop the red onion into small dice (big chunks of onion = not so bueno).
  • Cut the avocados in half, and remove the pit. Use a spoon to scoop out the entire flesh. Then chop into medium chunks.
  • Chop the garlic and jalapeño finely. Remove the white inner membrane and seeds to control the spiciness.
  • Run your knife through the cilantro a few times to cut the leaves down a bit.

2. Mix all the veggies together and then prepare the dressing.

3. Zest one lime into the bowl.

4. In a measuring cup, combine the fresh lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix and pour over the veggies. Toss to coat.

Ceviche

I’m not sure how authentic this ceviche is, and frankly all that matters to me is that it’s delicious and simple to make. With warmer weather coming up soon, this cool seafood-based dish is a nice addition to those spring-summer favorites that you may already keep on hand.

Ceviche uses citrus juices (acids) to “cook” the seafood and render it incredibly yummy with a melange of flavors that will stomp up and down on your tongue and demand your attention. See what I did there…just hit you with some good ol’ chemistry (okay folks…the seafood is really not being cooked here using heat…instead the proteins are being denatured–unraveled–by the acids rendering them opaque. SCIENCE)!

In some areas, ceviche is traditionally served with tortilla chips for scooping up every last delicious bite but since corn isn’t part of a paleo diet, you could substitute in jicama slices (yeah! crunchy goodness!), butter lettuce leaves or even just eat it straight out of a bowl. If you aren’t sure you want as large of a batch, cut the quantities in half. Besides being paleo, this dish is packed with protein and yummy veg. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Ceviche

  • 2 lb. seafood (shrimp, bay scallops, catfish or other firm-fleshed white fish, etc)
  • 1 large red grapefruit
  • 4-6 limes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions for Ceviche

1. Wash citrus fruit. Using a microplane or fine grater, remove the zest (but not the bitter white pith underneath) and place in a gallon-sized zip top bag or a large glass bowl.

2. Juice the grapefruit and limes. You want about 1 cup of juice total (slightly less or more is ok). Strain the juice if you think pulp is weird :) and add to zip top bag.

3. Clean and chop the seafood into small bite-sized pieces. Add to the juice, zip bag to remove most of the air and place in the fridge.

4. Wait. Seriously, you need to wait at LEAST 4 hours, preferably 6+ for the citrus to do it’s magic. You can turn the bag every hour or two to insure even “cooking”.

5. Meanwhile you can prep the veggies: dice the onion, tomato (remove seeds and guts), avocado and jalapeño (remove as much of the seeds and pith as you want to control the heat…for very mild, you’d remove all the white pith and seeds). Slice the garlic cloves thinly. Chop the cilantro leaves.

6. Combine all the veg into another bowl and add a few pinches of salt.

7. After the seafood has completed its “cooking”, pour it all (juice too!!) into the bowl with the veg and stir. For best flavor, let this tasty union co-mingle for another 30 minutes or so before eating…if you can wait that long!

Stewed Chicken Thighs

I really struggled with what to name this! I should just call it “Delicious Chicken” and leave it at that!

Stewed Chicken Thighs | stupideasypaleo.com

The ingredient list is pretty simple, but the one thing you’ll want to do ahead of time is make the mixture of Ras el Hanout, a Middle Eastern/North African spice blend. I followed Melissa’s recipe from her amazing blog, and it turns out, I had all the spices on hand anyway! The Ras el Hanout gives this dish a smoky, amazing flavor but honestly, it would taste pretty darn good with regular old garlic, salt and pepper! Of course, this dish is done in the crock pot, but you could use a dutch oven and cut the cooking time down.

Ingredients for Stewed Chicken Thighs

  • 2-1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (trimmed of visible fat)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 ripe roma tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 3 Tbsp Ras el Hanout spice mixture
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-15 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen organic fire-roasted)
  • Coconut oil

Directions for Stewed Chicken Thighs

1. Grease the inside of the crock with coconut oil.

2. Trim fat from the chicken thighs.

3. Prep veggies: mince the garlic, seed and slice the bell pepper, slice the onion, dice the roma tomatoes, and mince the jalapeños (you can add more jalapeños if you like, remove some of the seeds, or omit completely.

4. Add half the veggies to the crock pot. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp Ras el Hanout.

5. Layer the chicken thighs in the middle. Sprinkle with another 1 tbsp of the spices and the tomato paste.

6. Top with the remaining veggies and last tbsp of Ras el Hanout. Pour can of tomatoes on top.

7. Set to low for 5-6 hours. Before removing from pot, break up chicken thighs with a fork until it is shredded.

Stewed Chicken Thighs | stupideasypaleo.com

This would be great served over cauliflower rice, roasted sweet potato, butternut squash or just plain in a bowl, topped with ripe avocado.

Jaimie’s Meatball Soup

Jaimie's Meatball Soup | stupideasypaleo.com

One of my friends recently challenged me to create a Paleo meatball soup recipe that she can take with her to Packer football parties (as we are now in season). Not wanting her to be in suspense for too long and with a lazy Sunday afternoon ahead of me, I decided to oblige, and this is what I cooked up.

I made the meatballs pretty small so they would cook quickly and be more bit-sized (because who wants to use a knife to cut their soup?!) and simmered them in a beef broth enhanced with diced tomato and chunks of yam. The smoked paprika I added to the meatballs really worked well with the hearty broth.

Ingredients for Jaimie’s Meatball Soup

  • 1 lb ground meat (I used 1/2 beef and 1/2 pork)
  • 1/2 of a large red bell pepper
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 olives, green or black
  • 3 padron peppers (or 1 jalapeño), optional if you want some heat
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 yams
  • 32 oz. organic beef broth (low salt if you want)
  • 1 can (15 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen)
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

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Directions for Jaimie’s Meatball Soup

1. Prepare veggies: dice red bell pepper, onion, hot pepper(s)–seeds and white membrane removed, and olives finely. Mince the garlic. Put veggies in a large bowl.

2. Add ground meat, egg, coconut flour, smoked paprika, salt and pepper to the same bowl. Combine all ingredients by thoroughly mixing with your hands. Yup….get ‘em dirty!

3. Shape the meaty mixture into small balls, about 1 inch across (I got about 5 dozen).

4. Peel and dice yams into ~1/2″ cubes.

5. Combine yam chunks, beef broth, and diced tomato in a large stock pot over medium heat. Bring liquid to a simmer.

6. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meatballs on all sides, working in batches. (Took me 2.5 batches to get them all browned). You want to develop a nice brown crust which is 1) super tasty and 2) will allow the meatballs to hold up once you simmer them. [Bonus points for deglazing the pan with a little stock or water and scraping all the yummy bits into the soup.]

7. Simmer meatballs, covered, for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.

8. Serve with fresh cilantro or parsley (avocado would be nice, too).