Category Archives: Meat

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

Paleo * Gluten-free  ~~

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Ironically, my dog Bella is on a Paleo diet.

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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 ~~ 

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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

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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 ~~ 

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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

Lamb Stuffed Eggplant

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

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I’m publishing this recipe at the request of my friend Paula W.  We had a dinner date this week and I realized  I’d been doing a lot of cooking and had a refrigerator full of recipe tests in need of a taster (beside myself).  I’m happy to report that they were all delicious!

This particular dish was Paula’s favorite and she has already called me for the recipe…so Paula, here it is.

Hope you love it too.  Enjoy!
Continue reading Lamb Stuffed Eggplant

Paleo Sukiyaki

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

Paleo Beef Sukiyaki

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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

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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.

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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

Kale and Sweet Potato Soup with Tiny Turkey Meatballs

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

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As I’ve mentioned recently (or maybe not so recently) I’m enamoured with soup meals -that is soups with enough protein, vegetables, and starch to constitute a complete meal in one bowl.  This one came about in what is not uncommon in my kitchen – leftover stuff.

I had lots of chopped kale left from the Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad I posted last week and, due to a miscalculation on my part, way too many sliced sweet potatoes from the soup kitchen.  Further, I had purchased a pound of ground turkey at the farmer’s market (I love their turkey products) and so…Ta Ta  Sweet Potato and Kale Soup with Tiny Turkey Meatballs.

I love saying that:  Tiny Turkey Meatballs….Tiny Turkey Meatballs…. I love saying that because whenever I make meatballs of something other than beef I usually name them Turkey Balls or Lamb Balls or Pork Balls – all of which are terrible names.  However, browsing someone’s blog (can’t remember whose or I would give you a link to them) I noticed s/he made a dish with turkey balls and called it turkey meatballs…Why Didn’t I Think of That????  If only I could go back to any of my cookbooks that have recipes for some form of meatball and rename them properly…alas it’s too late for past balls – but you know all future balls will be meatballs!
Hope you love this soup – Enjoy! Continue reading Kale and Sweet Potato Soup with Tiny Turkey Meatballs

Beef Heaven – Paleo Nua Sewan – Thai Beef Jerky

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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

Portuguese Sausage and Vegetable Soup

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I have always loved “soup meals” during the colder months (although this year you could hardly have called October or now November cold months).  This morning I went out to walk the dog,

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felt the nip in the air, came in and immediately went to the kitchen to make soup.

A soup meal is more than just a bowl of soup.  It’s soup laced with enough protein, starch, and vegetables that you don’t need anything more to make a complete meal…well, in the BP (before Paleo) days I would have added some crispy bread to the menu.  The reasons that I love soup meals are many:

It can be made in large batches and freezes well so you can alway have an easy/quick meal on hand

Easy clean-up:  In addition to being a one spoon, one bowl meal, it’s usually also a one pot meal.

If you have a crock pot/slow cooker (and know how to use it) it can be prepared in the morning and then is ready by dinner

I started cooking soup meals when my dad was on Chemo.  His taste buds and appetite had changed; food no longer interested him and he was just getting thinner and thinner.  He was, however, willing to eat soup – so I would “hide” lots of small pieces of meat or chicken and some kind of starch (rice or barley or potatoes) in my soups and he would eat the whole thing.  If you have a friend or loved one who is having a hard time eating, try a soup meal and see if it does the trick.

I adapted this soup from a recipe I wrote for “1,000 Vegetarian Recipes” – obviously there was no sausage or ham in that recipe, but I remember loving the combination of cabbage, greens, and potatoes.  I used hot Italian sausages but I will warn you that the soup is pretty spicy – you may want to use sweet Italian sausages or some combination of the two (I’ve made this sometimes using turkey sausage and sometimes pork), but you can also use cooked sausages like Kielbassa or maybe even frankfurters or cured meats like corned beef or tongue (though I honestly haven’t tried any of those yet).

In any case…look for more soup meals in the near future.

Enjoy!
Continue reading Portuguese Sausage and Vegetable Soup

Warm Thai Beef and Radish Salad

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

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

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and….I got a new stove!

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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

Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Cranberries

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

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I don’t cook pork often but I’m very fond of pork tenderloin.  It’s quite tasty, not fatty, and doesn’t take too long to cook…but is it paleo?  There are differing opinions on that subject.  Clearly I am of the “it’s okay” school.  The thumbs down for pork is about the relatively high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to that of other meats.  On the other hand, compared to vegetable oils, pork is a real lightweight.  So my take on it is – okay to eat pork sometimes.  Aim for lower fat cuts.  Try to get pork from local farmers instead of mass producers…and when you do eat it…Enjoy!
Continue reading Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Cranberries