Category Archives: beef

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

Paleo * Gluten-free  ~~

cimg4409

Ironically, my dog Bella is on a Paleo diet.

adoption 003

No, it’s not because I’m some paleo fanatic, but because she has itch issues and the vet has taken her off the most common allergens:  beef, chicken, and grains.  I buy her grain-free kibble but then to make it more appealing, I make ground lamb stew to stir into it.   About once a month I traipse to the the meat market that has reasonably priced ground lamb and buy about 5 pounds, then portion it out for single meals.  This month I bought way too much lamb.  As it happens, I had made the Paleo Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes the day before – so Shepherd’s Pie was a no-brainer for the extra ground lamb.

Paleo-izing the Shepherd’s Pie was an interesting challenge.  The potato topping I had already dealt with in last week’s post.  The filling traditionally uses flour (wheat, of course) to create a thick gravy.  My thinking was, instead of substituting an alternate flour for the wheat, why not just let the potatoes be the gravy as well as the topping – after all, I love to smoosh the potatoes into the meat part when I eat Shepherd’s Pie anyway.

The result is a tasty, but less thick meat stew.  I liked it very much as I sometimes find traditional recipes to be a little pasty.

About the vegetables…I confess I use frozen vegetables.  They’re easy and, frankly, I like them.  If you are more ambitious than I, feel free to start with fresh vegetables and cook them before adding them to the meat or just throw in any leftover vegetables you have from previous meals.  It doesn’t really matter what vegetables you use, or even how much you throw in – Shepherd’s Pie is very forgiving.

Though I used ground lamb for the reason stated above, I also love ground lamb; but I know there are many non-lamb eaters in the world you if you are one of them, ground beef or even ground bison would be perfectly fine substitutes.

This is a great  winter meal with protein, starch, and vegetables all in one dish – add a salad for crunch and you are good to go.

Enjoy!
Continue reading Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

Sweet and Sour Unstuffed Cabbage

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free *  Paleo ~~ 

cimg2525

My grandmother made the world’s best stuffed cabbage.  I have the recipe and have made it occasionally but it’s such a pain to make the cabbage rolls that it’s enough to discourage all but the most determined cook – and frankly I’m rarely that determined.  Here is where my sister comes in.  She is a natural out-of-the-box thinker and she created unstuffed cabbage.  You make the meatballs and just cook them in the same sauce as the stuffed cabbage, but add lots of shredded cabbage.  YUM and easy!

The challenge of converting this recipe to paleo was the meatballs because grandma always put rice in with the meat and since I don’t eat rice, I needed something the give the meatballs more interest and keep them from becoming too dry.  After many tries I finally came up with this recipe that I just love.

First I added pork to the beef to add moisture (grandma definitely did not use pork as she was kosher).  Then I added the cauliflower and potato flakes to capture the moisture and make the meat fluffier.  Onion and garlic – well I don’t have to tell you what onion and garlic do.  A little tomato sauce also adds to both texture and flavor.

I am so happy with the results I have to restrain myself from going back not just for seconds, but also for third and fourth servings.

Now that I have totally convinced you that Unstuffed Cabbage is the way to go, for anyone who still likes their cabbage stuffed, just use this filling and roll it up in parboiled cabbage leaves and cook according to the recipe

cimg0094  cimg0122

BTW I freeze these in individual servings and when I need a quick dinner just pop one in the microwave.

Hope you love this as much as I do.
Continue reading Sweet and Sour Unstuffed Cabbage

Mama’s Meat Sauce

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free *  Paleo ~~ 

IMG_8614

So last week I wrote about zucchetti and promised to give you a meat sauce to use with it.  True to my word, here it is…and it’s easy and pretty quick (only cooks for 30 minutes)!  It makes a lot, but the great news is it’s one of those foods that freezes beautifully.  I freeze it in individual portions and then just pull one out of the freezer whenever I want a quick meal.

This is one of those recipes where you can use any ground meat and still end up with a tasty sauce.  You can use beef, buffalo, pork, chicken, turkey, veal, ostrich, or sausage or any other ground meat or combination of meats you can think of.
Enjoy!
Continue reading Mama’s Meat Sauce

Paleo Sukiyaki

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free *  Paleo ~

Paleo Beef Sukiyaki

CIMG2769

Despite the fact that I grew up in a family that loved good food, the number of different cuisines we tried was pretty much limited to Hungarian, Italian, Chinese, French, and Deli.  It wasn’t until after college that I first had Japanese food and then it took me another 30 years before I tried sushi.  In those before-sushi-years my go to dish was always beef sukiyaki.  I loved the flavors as well as the show they put on when they cooked it at your table.

Fast forward many years – I’m a vegetarian and writing my book “1,000 Vegetarian Recipes” and as you can imagine, I’m trying to find diverse recipes for each chapter.  Memories of beef sukiyaki float to my mind and before you know it I developed a great tofu sukiyaki.  I will say that of the 1,000 recipes in that book, the tofu sukiyaki was  probably one of the top ten I made over and over…you can tell by looking at the soy sauce stains on the page. In fact one it was one of the things that I really missed when I became paleo.

Never to be one to pass up a challenge, this week I set my mind to paleo sukiyaki.  I went back to the original beef sukiyaki that started my love for it and then set about converting the sauce to paleo approved ingredients.  Surprisingly it was really easy to achieve a super delicious version.

Coconut aminos, that I usually find to be a somewhat less than perfect substitute for soy sauce, turns out to be a natural for sukiyaki.  Because the sauce for sukiyaki is quite sweet, the sweetness of the aminos allowed me to eliminate the need for sugar in the recipe.  I added just a little fish sauce to intensify the saltiness and that was it!

When I made tofu sukiyaki I would use bean threads as my noodle of choice, but for this I found that sweet potato noodles work just as well (shirataki noodles would work well too).  I get my noodles in Chinatown, but you can get them here:  https://www.amazon.com/Dragonfly-Sweet-Potato-Vermicelli-ounce/dp/B005S9U0A8

CIMG5708

I use dried mushrooms I also bought in Chinatown.  To be honest I have no idea what kind they are.  They were in an open bin along with lots of other types of mushrooms and I just pointed to number 1046 and hoped it was good.  I think dried shiitaki mushrooms would be a good substitute.  For the fresh mushrooms I used a mixture of white and brown beech mushrooms as well as enoki.  Just regular white mushrooms, sliced would also work here.

CIMG2780

CIMG5716

For me this recipe is a real success and I’ll be making it often.  Hope you like it too.

Enjoy!
Continue reading Paleo Sukiyaki

Beef Heaven – Paleo Nua Sewan – Thai Beef Jerky

IMG_8377

Beef Heaven – Nua Sewan – Thai Beef Jerky

I gotta confess I’m not a beef jerky kinda girl.  In fact, besides Nua Sewan that I tasted in a Thai cooking class eons ago, I never even tasted beef jerky until last month when I bought a package from Trader Joe’s.  To be honest, I thought it was yucky.  So why make it?

To begin with, I had a huge sirloin and I’m only one person, so after cooking a piece of it for dinner I was still left with a lot and I recalled how much I liked the recipe I learned in my cooking class.  Of course that recipe used all sorts of ingredients that are definitely not Paleo – so here’s my version.  I think it’s pretty terrific…I hope you do too! Continue reading Beef Heaven – Paleo Nua Sewan – Thai Beef Jerky

Warm Thai Beef and Radish Salad

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Paleo~~

IMG_7562

I’m back!   The restorations to my apartment are done…don’t the floors look great?

IMG_7474

and….I got a new stove!

IMG_7468  IMG_7471

And…not least of all…A new look for the blog.  I think it’s a cleaner format and I hope you like it as much as I do.

Now about this recipe.  I’ve taken a booth at an end-of-season party at my CSA pick up location.  I hope to sell a few of the zillions of copies of my books that are taking up space in my apartment.  I was kind of sad to note that most of the recipes in my first two books are made with foods I no longer eat (grains & beans).

One of my favorite recipes in “The Complete Whole Grain Cookbook” is/was WarmThai Beef Salad – but it was made with beef and cooked rice.  I started wondering if there’s something I could use instead of the rice?  The inspiration of using radishes came because I happen to have three types of radishes in my fridge this week (I got black and watermelon radishes from my CSA and I had bought red radishes in the market because they were too beautiful to pass up).  I don’t remember seeing any recipes that call for cooking radishes, but I figured if worse came to worst I could always just throw out the dish and start again.

You must have guessed by now that it worked splendidly or it wouldn’t be the main feature today!  In fact cooking tames the radish flavor considerably.  Look for more cooked radish recipes in the future.

ENJOY!
Continue reading Warm Thai Beef and Radish Salad

Paleo Kalbi (Korean Short Ribs)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free *  Paleo~~~

CIMG4566

I was introduced to Korean food by my friend Jessica Lee Binder.  She took me to a restaurant in the Korean area (the West 30’s in NYC where there are 44 Korean restaurants and some Korean grocery stores) that was up a flight of stairs and in my whole life I would never have thought of going.  It was/is called Seoul Garden and is a lovely, peaceful atmosphere (but that might have been because we were there on an off hour) with incredibly delicious food.  Going out with Jess is always an adventure because in addition to being incredibly knowledgeable about food of all types, she also has a hollow leg and orders for us way more food than any four people could possibly eat in one sitting.  That way we taste many different items and she gets to eat her fill – and remain thin…while I remain not thin…I don’t know how she does it.

About the food.  First the restaurant puts about 5 small dishes of various items on the table for you to begin with.  Of course one or two of them are some form of kimchi (very hot pickled cabbage), there was some kind of fried vegetable fritter/pancake as well other things I was not familiar with.  Then came this stone bowl with stewy tofu and veges and a raw egg that you crack into the stew – it was amazing.  There was a noodle dish that was a little bland but perked up with some kimchi and then there was the kalbi that I just fell in love with.  I have returned to the restaurant quite a few times but since going first gluten free, then paleo, Korean (and most Asian) food is out because of all the soy sauce.  So it is my intention to recreate many of my favorite dishes using paleo (and therefore gluten free) ingredients – this Kalbi just being the first.   ENJOY!!! Continue reading Paleo Kalbi (Korean Short Ribs)

Chicken and Meatball Fricassee and Chicken Paprikash

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Paleo~~~

CIMG4201

I really don’t know what the real difference is between chicken fricassee and chicken paprikash as mom made them both the same way – except she used wings and added meatballs when she made the chicken fricassee.    Chicken paprikash she would use bigger pieces of chicken and serve with nokerle (very heavy dumplings) or she would add rice to the pot and make chicken and rice.  No matter which variation she made, they were all delicious!  Enjoy! Continue reading Chicken and Meatball Fricassee and Chicken Paprikash

Onion Soup

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian~~~

CIMG2957

I have always loved onion soup and I have many memories associated with it.  The best version I ever had was at The Brasserie at 1a.m. with my college boyfriend.  The soup was super hot with melt-in-your-mouth onions, a piece of bread saturated with savory soup just slightly sweet from the onions, and tons of ooey-gooey perfectly melted cheese – sheer heaven – and, of course, I was in love – everything tastes blissful when you’re in love.  The next is a restaurant that was my family’s favorite Georges Rey.  We would go there to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc.  I’d always order their onion soup as my appetizer – it was awesome.  My first attempt at making onion soup was when I was “baby sitting” my best friend who had had surgery.  I made the soup and it quickly became our favorite (turns out another friend of hers came to pay a visit and that was the first time I met her future husband). Fast forward a billion years and I’m giving up dairy, but I had cooked some onion soup earlier in the week, I might as well just try the soup naked.  Surprisingly, it was delicious – even without the cheese or the bread.  Now-a-days onion soup is just one of those things I like to have around for when I’m craving some comfort food or maybe just want some happy memories.  This delicious soup is easy to make and you probably already have the ingredients for it in your pantry/liquor cabinet.  Bon Appetit!
Continue reading Onion Soup

Suya (or Tsire or Chichinga) – Nigerian Grilled Meat Skewers

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Paleo ~~~

  CIMG2831  CIMG2823

Suya or tsire (also known as chichinga in Ghana) is a Nigerian street food.  The traditional recipe uses roasted peanuts to marinate the meat, but since peanuts are a legume and legumes are not allowed on paleo, I substituted roasted cashews which also gives it a wonderful flavor. On the other hand if you do eat peanuts, feel free to substitute them for the cashews and know that you are having an even more authentic version.  Speaking of authentic versions, although 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne sounds pretty spicy, the truth of the matter is most of the other recipes I looked at used at least 1 teaspoon cayenne – so feel free to increase the cayenne significantly (or decrease it if you are not fond of spicy).   Also, you do not have to limit yourself to beef for these skewers; they would be equally good with chicken, lamb, pork, shrimp, or even goat.

Now you might ask yourself how does a die hard New Yorker, who barely leaves her neighborhood, know of a Nigerian street food?  Good question.  I can’t imagine that I dreamed up the word Suya (or tsire or chichinga) and googled it, nor do I think I googled Nigerian street food – so how did I get there?  I don’t know, but I do know an interesting recipe when I see one and since I’ve been stuck at home with a cold and cough I had time to look for something that piqued my interest.  When I found Suya it struck just the right cord as I generally like to eat really spicy foods when I have a cold because:

a) they are the only thing I can still taste

b) cayenne is excellent to relieve coughs (my home remedy cough medicine starts with 1/4 cup red pepper flakes)

c) I had a defrosted steak and had to figure out something to do with it

So however I got to this recipe I can assure you it was a lucky (and delicious) find.  The salad is completely my own addition – I think spicy food goes so well with light and crunchy salads – and this truly is a dynamic duo (or if you add a beer it would make this a terrific trio).

Enjoy! Continue reading Suya (or Tsire or Chichinga) – Nigerian Grilled Meat Skewers